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#28694 - 05/19/03 10:28 AM Re: Buying a new piano!
Arlene Steffen Offline
Star Member

Registered: 06/20/00
Posts: 2972
Loc: Fresno, CA USA
Don't forget to look at rebuilds. I bought my Steinway L for $29K. The trick is you have to make sure the rebuild was done properly.

If I didn't have this instrument, I probably would be looking at the Kawai grands. I've liked them better than the Yamaha grands, in general. Don't know why, but I prefer the Yamaha uprights over the Kawai uprights.

#28695 - 05/19/03 01:32 PM Re: Buying a new piano!
Jalapeņa Offline
Star Member

Registered: 02/20/03
Posts: 1143
Loc: New Mexico
I luv my Yamaha 52" upright with the working sostenuto pedal, & plan to buy the very same model next time I shop for a new piano, whenever my piano needs to be restrung (my technician says in about 10 years). I'll never own a house large enough for a 6' grand, & I prefer my upright to the 5' grands I've played on.

FWIW, I wouldn't pay a cent for a Baldwin. I have never played on a Baldwin that's worth anything. :rolleyes: For one thing, the action's much too stiff.

My piano teacher has a Kawaii upright that's still going strong. \:\) It's been a good piano for her.

My mother & sister both own Yamaha uprights, & love them. Of course, my mother doesn't play; she just has it in the house for family members to play when they visit her. However, I was there the last time it was tuned, & the technician remarked about how good Yamahas are. He wanted to buy my mom's piano, but she wasn't interested in selling it.

#28696 - 05/20/03 01:16 AM Re: Buying a new piano!
Piano lady Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 361
Steinway grands don't cost anything close to $50K unless you're getting a brand new one and paying list. Besides, I like the older ones better anyway.

If you look at used ones, you can snag an "M" (5'7") circa 1920 for between $10K and $25K depending upon condition. The $25K should be able to go right into your house, have a refinished case, new action, the works. The $10K one you can expect to put about $5000 into for rebuilding: new Renner action, new hammers, shanks, & wippins.

Buying a used piano can be tricky. No matter how bad of shape, the piano should sing. Bring your technician.

I got mine for $13K about 7 years ago -- 1916 M. put $3500 into it. Worth the $25K now.

Make sure you get something you're going to be happy with. I'd lean toward that upright unless you've got a lot of money free.

#28697 - 05/20/03 04:43 AM Re: Buying a new piano!
pianoannie Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 07/20/01
Posts: 946
Loc: midwest USA
Originally posted by Piano lady:
Steinway grands don't cost anything close to $50K unless you're getting a brand new one and paying list. Besides, I like the older ones better anyway.

Yes, the $50-90K that I've seen were indeed new and list, but there's not enough negotiating room to be of significance to me! I've never seen any used Steinways at that store. Where do you all look for used? I hate to just pick up the paper and start driving all over the state. I know ebay has lots of pianos, but I can't imagine buying one that way (unless one happened to be very near home). I've bought both of my pianos new, but if you're on the mark with saying used Steinways can be bought for 10-25K, I need to seriously reconsider! The Boston I love at our store lists for almost 30K. Every time my piano savings gets close, some financial emergency ie job layoff comes along, and drains it!

#28698 - 05/20/03 05:46 AM Re: Buying a new piano!
Arlene Steffen Offline
Star Member

Registered: 06/20/00
Posts: 2972
Loc: Fresno, CA USA
I got mine when our local store acquired two rebuilt Steinways from a technician in L.A. They knew I was looking and called me. I got to choose between and M and an L. They were both lovely, so I took the bigger one. \:\)

Both technicians I've had to my home say I've done very well. I love my piano -- it does sing!

We are managing to pay for it much more easily since we refinanced the house. $400 less going out the door each month. We got 15 years at 5.5%! The new carpet was installed in the LR yesterday, the landscaper comes today, the roofer comes Thursday . . .

#28699 - 05/20/03 08:29 AM Re: Buying a new piano!
Jalapeņa Offline
Star Member

Registered: 02/20/03
Posts: 1143
Loc: New Mexico
My Yamaha U3 (which is now model U4; they've changed the specs) was purchased new in July 1977, for my 16th birthday. The list price was somewhere around $3k, but my father paid less by trading in our 10-year-old Kimball upright + a Lowry organ. Anyhoo, other than having it tuned 2x/yr., I've spent under $850 in repairs, which isn't that bad considering it was in a Costa Rican tropical rain forest environment (no heat or A/C, just a small damp chaser rod inside the piano) for 8 years. Also, over $400 of the $$ I spent was for replacing 44 hammer butt strings, which I later found out was a completely unnecessary repair. Leave it to a Lubbock piano technician to rip me off! :rolleyes: The rest of the repairs were for "wear & tear" stuff such as leveling the keys, repairing a squeaky damper pedal, & voicing. Overall, considering how much use it's gotten & how many times it's been moved, I think it's had a pretty good repair record. \:\)

[ 05-20-2003: Message edited by: Jalapeņa ]

#28700 - 05/22/03 03:13 PM Re: Buying a new piano!
Jennifer Online   content
Star Member

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 1403
Loc: AZ
Okay! We are down to two piano's for our deciding factor. Here they are,
if you are familiar with both, please give me your opinion... I did buy
Larry Fine's The Piano Book and really glad I did. It's so nice to be
eductated before

Piano #1
Wm. Kanabe 590 SR
Store demo - used 5 years
Includes PianoDisc system and can record (PDS128 Plus)
Includes $500.00 worth of music for PianoDisc system
5 year warranty
Great condition
Delivery included

Piano #2
Yamaha DP1
Includes Disclavier (does not record but can play L.H. R.H. seperate which
is pretty cool.)
Brand New, got them down to $13,995

What would you do? And why? Another option we might consider is a 5' (I
think GE-20) Kawai and have them add a Disclavier to it. They have one down
to $8995. Thanks!

Fun Yearly Incentive Programs and Workshops

#28701 - 05/22/03 04:41 PM Re: Buying a new piano!
Lisa Kalmar Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/10/00
Posts: 4277
Loc: KC
Which one plays like a dream to you and there's your answer.

Regarding #1, there can be a HUGE difference between a 5'6" and 5'1". Huge, I say. Also, the recording function can come in veeeeery handy if you don't have any other technology in your studio that can do that. Just a couple of thangs that popped into my head!

You were smart and nailed down thangs that were close in size and price. When I was looking I stoopidly played the 5'8", I think, (Schimmel) that I was pretty sure I was gonna buy. A lovely Debussy piece, as I recall... \:D Then I, like an idiot, moved to the model next to it that was identical manufacturer, but 14-16" larger and thousands more, and played the identical passage. Mr. Kalmar looked at me in anguish and said, "I wish you wouldn't have done that!" Having heard the difference we had NO CHOICE but to get the more expensive one because we knew we would always look back with regret if we bought the "OK" one! \:D

PS I had to get a loan for 3 years and I never regretted a PENNEY of it! A grand piano is the gift that keeps on giving!

[ 05-22-2003: Message edited by: Lisa Kalmar ]

#28702 - 05/22/03 07:45 PM Re: Buying a new piano!
Carole Offline
Star Member

Registered: 06/08/00
Posts: 2229
Loc: southern California
I agree with Lisa. Buy the largest and best brand you can afford (plus a little more) and the one you LOVE to play. You will not regret it in the long run, although when you finance it you will have a lump in your throat \:D . I know little about the extras you add to acoustic pianos so can't comment on that. Good luck, Jennifer. Let us know what is your decision.

#28703 - 05/23/03 01:57 PM Re: Buying a new piano!
Rhapsody Offline
Star Member

Registered: 11/19/00
Posts: 2329
Hi Jennifer,

Buying a new-to-you piano is one of the great joys in life -- and sometimes it turns out to be a once- or twice-in-a-lifetime event, so please don't rush it. You may end up with more new husbands than you do pianos -- so when you look at it from that perspective, it just makes logical sense to take your time, shop around, open up the lid and look around thoroughly, play as many different instruments as possible, and -- unlike shopping for a spouse -- it's a good idea to watch and listen while someone else plays it.

[ 05-23-2003: Message edited by: Rhapsody ]
There is no cure for boring.

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