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#324641 - 05/20/08 09:03 PM Should I buy...Hardman Piano (Baby Grand)
scopp Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 7
Loc: Northern VA, just outside of W...
Hi all,

Unfortunately I don't play the piano, but, I want to buy a baby grand piano because they are beautiful! I don't want to spend a tremendous amount since I don't play, but, I do want a good quality, middle of the road baby grand. I found a 5' Hardman R143S (Ebony) in a piano store for $5,000. The owner said that he could also order one w/ a player for $8,995. My question is are these good prices? Also, can I install the player later if I buy the one without the player? Thanks for any help you can give.
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#324642 - 05/20/08 10:20 PM Re: Should I buy...Hardman Piano (Baby Grand)
ninja8701 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 284
Loc: El Paso, Texas
Take this for what it's worth. My first piano store I visited Hardman Peck pianos. If this is the piano you're talking about it is Chinese made. But I think maybe a lower Chinese made piano. Anyway, I looked at a 5' Hardman polished ebony and the price started out to be $7995. Before we walked out the door, it went to $5995 and a free cover and maintenance kit. After we bought another piano somewhere else, the store called on a followup and said they had a clearance at $3995 for the 5' Hardman piano. There's a message there somewhere but I don't really know what it is. Someone more knowledgeable will come along I'm sure.
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#324643 - 05/20/08 11:21 PM Re: Should I buy...Hardman Piano (Baby Grand)
swampwiz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/07/07
Posts: 634
Loc: Louisiana, USA
In "The Piano Book", Larry Fine rates the Hardman as 4D, aka bottom of the barrel. Of course, you are looking for a beautiful but inexpensive instrument, so it might just be what you are looking for. And I'm sure if someone now and then visits and plays a key, a sound reminiscent of a piano will be heard.

And the "baby grand" size is always an inferior product because of the size limitations. Try to get something at least the next size up.

The question you have to ask yourself is if you have any plans to learn to play (or someone in your household.) If the answer is yes, you should look for something a little better like Pearl River, Ritmuller, Henry Miller, Samick. etc.

The good thing about cheap pianos are that the resale value is really bad, so you should be able to get a used one at a nice discount.

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#324644 - 05/21/08 02:14 AM Re: Should I buy...Hardman Piano (Baby Grand)
Jim Volk Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/03
Posts: 916
Loc: Jacksonville, Florida
In recent years, to my knowledge, Hardman has been made by Hsinghai (Beijing-Xinghai) and Dongbei.

Despite disparaging ratings from the divine and omnipresent Pope Larry, some studious dealer prep on either pianos from either of these manufacturers yeilds a very pleasant sounding, good playing instrument that is more than adequate for home use. Neither Hsinghai nor Dongbei are amateurs or upstarts, and both are prolific and reputable Chinese builders.

As in all mass-produced Chinese pianos, quality control issues always exist to some degree, which is why the dealer has to do the final prep with diligence.

My advice is, get a good deal on a new Chinese piano from a dealer who goes the extra mile in all respects--and plan to keep it. Buying a piano with resale in mind or with high resale value as a priority is not going to get you the most piano for your money, most of the time...

vis a vis Steinway, or any other rarefied brand name that builds 'bragging rights' into an overpriced product.

That dealer Ninja encountered who kept cutting price may have had any of a dozen different reasons why he did so--none of which should be taken as indicators of a poor quality piano that needed quick disposal. When times are hard, piano dealers have been known to sell at cost, and sometimes below cost.
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#324645 - 05/21/08 02:25 AM Re: Should I buy...Hardman Piano (Baby Grand)
Jim Volk Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/03
Posts: 916
Loc: Jacksonville, Florida
about the player system...

...installing it later will end up costing you more than the additional $4K the dealer is asking for a factory-installed player unit.

You may have to add the price of round-trip moving, unless the tech is willing and able to install the unit in your home; you may have to add the higher price of a unit purchased in the USA rather than China (e.g. PianoDisc); and you also have to consider the expense of a local tech versus a handful of assembly line workers (also e.g. PianoDisc...though I believe QRS installs all their player units here in the States, which should still add up to some savings in comparison to the local retro-fit).
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#324646 - 05/21/08 08:26 AM Re: Should I buy...Hardman Piano (Baby Grand)
blue rondo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 22
Loc: Midlothian MD
Check your "My Profile", I sent you a private message. - Blue

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#324647 - 05/21/08 09:06 AM Re: Should I buy...Hardman Piano (Baby Grand)
scopp Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 7
Loc: Northern VA, just outside of W...
Wow....thanks so much for sharing your knowledge w/ me Jim. I really, really appreciate it! I just can't spend this kind of money not knowing what I'm getting, so your advice is invaluable to me!! Thank you again!
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#1292989 - 10/24/09 04:06 PM Re: Should I buy...Hardman Piano (Baby Grand) [Re: scopp]
charleslang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2144
Originally Posted By: scopp
I do want a good quality, middle of the road baby grand. I found a 5' Hardman R143S (Ebony) in a piano store for $5,000.


The new Hardmans are not 'middle of the road'; they are entry-level. But on the other hand, a survey of comments by the professionals on PW over the last year or so will show that the quality of the entry level has improved greatly in the last decade or so.

If your main interest is in furniture, the Hardman would be a great choice. If you want the occasional pianist who comes by to feel good about your piano and stick around to play a bit more because it sounds so nice, or if you want to install a player and you'd like to enjoy the music more, consider something a little bigger and/or another brand.

On the other hand, as others have said, the tone and feel are importantly dependent on preparation work done on the piano. It would be a shame to buy something more expensive without great preparation and so end up with tone inferior to the little Hardman would be with excellent prep work.

I think the new Weber is a notch above Hardman and here is a little one for just a little more than your quote for the Hardman:

http://www.fordpiano.com/pianosforsale/grands/new_weber_5_for_sale.htm
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charlessamuellang.com
Semi-pro pianist and piano technician
Tuesdays 5-8 at Vince's West Sacramento, California

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#1293011 - 10/24/09 05:04 PM Re: Should I buy...Hardman Piano (Baby Grand) [Re: charleslang]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7439
Loc: torrance, CA
Charles,

Scopp's last post was more than a year and a half ago. This thread was re-opened today by an antique dealer looking for free advertising for a "historic deal" shocked on a Hardman.
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#1293134 - 10/24/09 09:18 PM Re: Should I buy...Hardman Piano (Baby Grand) [Re: turandot]
Marty Flinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/06
Posts: 2604
I don't have a beef with Hardman pianos. However the model you reference (R143S) is not a 5' piano. It is a 4'8" piano. This is a material difference. Sub 4'11" pianos typically have miniturized actions and very poor tonal quality overall and an especially weak bass.
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Work for west coast dealer for Yamaha, Schimmel, Bosendorfer, Wm. Knabe.

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#1293138 - 10/24/09 09:29 PM Re: Should I buy...Hardman Piano (Baby Grand) [Re: turandot]
charleslang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2144
Originally Posted By: turandot
Charles,

Scopp's last post was more than a year and a half ago. This thread was re-opened today by an antique dealer looking for free advertising for a "historic deal" shocked on a Hardman.


Oh dear. Woops! Thanks. whome
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charlessamuellang.com
Semi-pro pianist and piano technician
Tuesdays 5-8 at Vince's West Sacramento, California

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