Purchasing my very first piano. Question about two brands...

Posted by: BKSinAZ

Purchasing my very first piano. Question about two brands... - 07/23/05 01:45 PM

I recently started to learn to play and decided that ,with out a doubt, I want to buy my own piano.

I am looking at new models, a Samick model# SIG-50D for $6500 or a Kohler & Campbell model# KCG500 for $7500. (I was informed that Samick makes the Kohler & Campbell but not sure if true)

Now I realize that judging a piano should be decided on mostly on how it sounds, but I am very nervous about buying a piano that I will be unhappy with in the future. Don't want to buy junk with my tightly budgeted $6500 to $7500. I am also inexperienced when it comes to buying a piano and this is where I would like to ask for all your assistance.

Which of the two is a better piano? Sound board?
Posted by: Casalborgone

Re: Purchasing my very first piano. Question about two brands... - 07/23/05 03:48 PM

Do a search for the pianos in which you are interested in the archives here. Get a copy of Larry Fine's book. Expand the range of pianos in your same price range and play them. Ask your piano teacher about which instruments available locally he or she likes. These steps will help you to get going in your search.
Posted by: BKSinAZ

Re: Purchasing my very first piano. Question about two brands... - 07/23/05 04:05 PM

I am new to this site. Where are the archives?
Which of the two pianos that I listed would you get?
Posted by: Casalborgone

Re: Purchasing my very first piano. Question about two brands... - 07/23/05 06:04 PM

You search the archives by clicking on the word "search" at the very top of the page.

I can't tell you which is better of the two pianos you are interested in because I have not played the individual instruments which you have mentioned. I am assuming that these instruments are ones that you have played at a local dealer's shop.

Pianos can vary a great deal between individual instruments. Beyond design differences in models, this is due to differences in the particular natural materials in each instrument, wood and felt, for example, which are variable in quality and small differences in assembly. There also will be variability in each piano's condition regarding tuning and action set-up (regulation).

This is why I recommend that you spend some time learning about pianos and their makers. A little time reading will show you that there may be no easy way to choose a piano based simply on builder and model.
Posted by: Jolly

Re: Purchasing my very first piano. Question about two brands... - 07/23/05 06:37 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by BKSinAZ:
I recently started to learn to play and decided that ,with out a doubt, I want to buy my own piano.

I am looking at new models, a Samick model# SIG-50D for $6500 or a Kohler & Campbell model# KCG500 for $7500. (I was informed that Samick makes the Kohler & Campbell but not sure if true)

Now I realize that judging a piano should be decided on mostly on how it sounds, but I am very nervous about buying a piano that I will be unhappy with in the future. Don't want to buy junk with my tightly budgeted $6500 to $7500. I am also inexperienced when it comes to buying a piano and this is where I would like to ask for all your assistance.

Which of the two is a better piano? Sound board? [/b]
With a tightly budgeted $7500 or less, provided you are committed to a new grand, it's going to be Chinese.

Look for something in the mid-five foot range - you'll be surprised how much better they'll be than the five foot stuff. I do like the Dongbei stuff, if prepped decently.

Alternatively, look for used. Some of the 5'7" to 6'1" Korean stuff, of fairly recent vintage, or small Japanese is definitely a possibility.

Just remember, condition is king when looking at a used piano.

Read The Piano Book , maybe ask around for a good tech, and get ready to enjoy the hunt. Buy in haste, repent in leisure...
Posted by: BKSinAZ

Re: Purchasing my very first piano. Question about two brands... - 07/23/05 06:51 PM

Yes, I am commited to new as there are not alot of sources for used pianos here in the desert of Tucson. What I've seen, I don't like.

A follow up question; Does anyone know what a fair price for a new Kohler & Campbell KCG 500 would be or do you know where I could look it up? Not 100% sure the piano salesman is not taking advantage of me. He told me that it is worth 13000.00 but will let me have it for 7500.

Sounds too good to be true, though it is new as I watched them take it out of the box to assemble.
Posted by: mamma2my3sons

Re: Purchasing my very first piano. Question about two brands... - 07/23/05 07:05 PM

Its my understanding the Kohler & Campbell while made by Samick is a little bit of a step up from the actual Samick branded pianos as well as the Chinese pianos including Dongbei. But the K & C costs more as well. ..

I own a KCG 600 (5'9" model K & C) It is made in Indonesia & a good piano at its price point. It has a solid soundboard & is single strung with Roslau strings. I believe (not entirely sure here) that the Samick may have a laminated soundboard. The ones I looked at did. (although some say this is not that important)

LukesDad who posts here, sells Kohler. You may want to pm him if you have any questions.

As someone else said, its really best to play as many pianos as you can afford in your price range & see what you like best. There are quite a few grand pianos (albeit more entry level) in your price range.

Hopefully some piano professionals in addition to Casalb will respond to your question as well.
Good luck to you, let us know what you eventually choose!

Addendum: manufacturers suggested retail on the KCG500 is $13700. Sounds like you're getting a good price considering that the KCG600 (5'9" model) was recently selling in the $8800+ range.
Posted by: Lizard

Re: Purchasing my very first piano. Question about two brands... - 07/30/05 12:21 AM

$7,500 is a fair price for the KCG500 and it is a step above the chinese pianos. The KCG600 is a nice piano for the price.
Posted by: Norbert

Re: Purchasing my very first piano. Question about two brands... - 07/30/05 12:53 AM

Not exactly.

Chinese is not just *Chinese* any longer.

Nor is Korean=Korean.

When comparing pianos today, it's better to compare specific[/b] models rather than whole nations......

And nobody is to blame if one is not totally up-to-date at all times.

It's a rather fast moving world out there.....

Norbert
Posted by: Lizard

Re: Purchasing my very first piano. Question about two brands... - 07/30/05 05:52 PM

I was speaking in general terms but well said. I'm in agreement on the Korean pianos but still skeptical about the majority of what I see coming from China.
Posted by: mamma2my3sons

Re: Purchasing my very first piano. Question about two brands... - 07/30/05 07:19 PM

Lizard said:

 Quote:
$7,500 is a fair price for the KCG500 and it is a step above the chinese pianos. The KCG600 is a nice piano for the price. [/b]
Yes, I agree obviously as I bought one. \:\)

By the way, welcome Lizard. This is a great website. There is tons of information plus piano professionals who post are required to identify themselves so its easier to identify any possible agendas. People are really helpful here in general.

Enjoy! See ya 'round
Posted by: richster

Re: Purchasing my very first piano. Question about two brands... - 08/21/05 03:57 PM

Hi, I am looking to get back into playing piano after a 15 year hiatus and want to buy an entry level baby grand piano. I saw some postings that the Kohler and Campbell KCG500 and 600 are good basic pianos for $7500. Does anyone know where I can get one of these models for this price. Also, any other suggestions for high quality basic baby grand pianos in the $5-10K range. I found a used 2000 Yamaha GP1 on Craisglist for $8K, can't tell if this is a good deal or not. Any suggestions are much appreciated. Thanks.
Posted by: Jolly

Re: Purchasing my very first piano. Question about two brands... - 08/21/05 06:16 PM

I don't even think the Yamaha dealers were wild about the GP1...

High quality in a new piano, and a 10K budget are mutually exclusive items. IMO, high quality does not exist under 10K.

Luckily, good quality does. At least as defined in decent entry level pianos.

I like the Nordiska. It has performed well, for the money spent. But there are other pianos that will also do a decent job for the money. Think H-D, some of the K&C-Samick Indonesian stuff, Heintzmann, and few others.

Check out the "search" function on this board, and use the link on this site to purchase "The Piano Book" along with the pricing supplement.

After a couple of weeks of digging, you'll be a much better piano consumer...good luck!
Posted by: mamma2my3sons

Re: Purchasing my very first piano. Question about two brands... - 08/21/05 10:07 PM

Richster asked:

 Quote:
I saw some postings that the Kohler and Campbell KCG500 and 600 are good basic pianos for $7500. Does anyone know where I can get one of these models for this price.[/b]
You may want to PM the original poster to ask where she/he was offered the KCG500 (ie.5'1" Kohler) at $7500. The KCG600 (ie.5'9" model) is going to cost you quite a bit more. SMC in St.louis sells them. However I see you live in Boston, you may want to contact Samick/kohler campbell directly-they'll tell you exactly who sells them in your area. Its been my experience that they are very quick to respond to any questions. http://www.kohlerandcampbell.com/contact.html

As Jolly pointed out (& as he said, owning one would know) that the Nordiska-like the other Dongbei Chinese pianos(Story & Clark, Hallet Davis etc) have a good reputation at their pricepoint. The 5'5" models can be had for around $7k+/-.

The best advice is to play all the pianos that you can in your price range & let your ears decide. Also as Jolly mentioned, The Piano Book is a wonderful tool.

Best wishes. Stick around, let us know what you decide.
Posted by: richster

Re: Purchasing my very first piano. Question about two brands... - 09/04/05 10:55 PM

thanks for the feedback from everyone. very helpful for a newbie like me. i'm getting quoted a price pf $7900 for a new 5.5 nordiska, including shipping, prepping, etc. does anyone know if this is a good price. thanks.
Posted by: mamma2my3sons

Re: Purchasing my very first piano. Question about two brands... - 09/05/05 12:03 AM

Richster asked:

 Quote:
i'm getting quoted a price pf $7900 for a new 5.5 nordiska, including shipping, prepping, etc. does anyone know if this is a good price.
[/b]

From your comment it appears you have not played the piano you are considering. So it is being shipped evidently from somewhere else? Normally you don't pay for shipping if its local-unless you mean delivery---many throw that in.

I would be careful about the prep actually being done. Its my understanding for less expensive pianos, many dealers just are not able to pay a tech for the # hours required to perform this adequately. This is not conveyed to the buyer. ..see if you can get a tech to actually sign off on what he actually did to the piano.

Prices will vary, I was offered a Story & Clark (another Dongbei clone) for $7k last fall-including del & tuning. Others bought Dongbeis for under $7k. I'm sure there have been those who bought higher[/b] as well. Of course rising prices in general must be taken into account as well as a dealers overhead, store location etc.

Manufacturers suggested retail on the 5'5" model in ebony is $9180. One can expect 20% or so discount off of msrp. You do the math.
If it were me, I probably would try to negotiate lower & then pay a tech to come to my house for the prep (will probably cost you $500+) so I would know with certainty that it was done. Prep makes a world of difference for lower tierred pianos.

I may also try to negotiate a tuning into the deal as well. However when its all said & done, you don't want to beat the dealer to the ground, he has to feed his kids too. He's also the guy you'll need to return to for service. Of course it always pays to be nice.

Best wishes!
Posted by: richster

Re: Purchasing my very first piano. Question about two brands... - 09/05/05 09:01 AM

thanks for the info mamma2. i did play a nordiska and liked it a lot. they didnt have ebony in stock though and therefore have to deliver from their facility. they said that they are going to prep it a lot but i'm sure they all say that. i agree with you that 7K-7500 sounds like closer to the right price. thanks.
Posted by: Art Olson

Re: Purchasing my very first piano. Question about two brands... - 09/05/05 03:15 PM

Larry Fine's latest suppliment rates the Dongbei pianos including Hallet Davis, Story and Clark and Nordiska as the top Chinese grands. You can read his review on line.

Art Olson