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#28774 - 02/18/05 12:45 PM samick brands of pianos
Christina Offline
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Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 402
Loc: Canada
does anyone have a samick piano they could tell me about? i'm checking into a local piano store that sells the Kohler & Campbell, the B. Steiner and the Hazelton names. is anyone familiar? i've only vaguely heard the name in passing. any good or bad stories? any personal info besides what i've read on the internet would be greatly appreciated. thanks!
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#28775 - 02/19/05 04:32 AM Re: samick brands of pianos
Dolce Offline
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Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 934
Loc: USA
If your local library has a copy of "The Piano Book", by Larry Fine, I think you would find it an invaluable resource as you look into purchasing a piano.

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#28776 - 02/19/05 04:51 AM Re: samick brands of pianos
PFVTeach Offline
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Registered: 09/17/04
Posts: 481
Loc: USA
I may be able to help you out here- used to spend alot of time helping out a music store that made me their piano specialist for good pianos and advice on keyboard and strings supplies.
Kohler and Campbell- I would pass it up. They are great for beginners but don't have in my opinion the sound needed or balance in keys for intermediates and up. Samick I have never been impressed with at all. They are OK but I don't think the keys are evenly balanced or weighted properly to touch. They can be a bit hard to get technique out on making it clumsy to play. My church used to have a Samick they bought new and I used to play it for church regularly in offeratory and other things to accompany people. Was not impressed.
If you are looking to purchase for yourself I would look at Boston. Most Steinway locations will carry Boston in addition to their original namesake. You may also want to look at Yamaha who surprisingly makes a really nice piano. I have several students who play on a yamaha and have played them myself. They are really nice pianos but you don't want a yamaha built before mid 80's because they are'nt as nice in tone or touch.
If a student is looking for a piano I'd steer them towards Essex (made by Steinway. These have a fairly good balance, quick response and nice tone over all octaves), Yamaha or even an entry level Kawaii piano is nice in balance. If your looking for upper end pianos though, I'd stick with Yamaha, Boston or a Steinway in that order of preference.

Pearl River and Baldwin are two I would avoid as well. My mom has a baldwin and has never been happy with it. Always has some problem in balance or sound or something. Any student I have ever had using a baldwin has also ditched it pretty quickly for something else for the same reasons. Pearl River also falls into this category- they look pretty but inside and in sound they aren't much to write home about.

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#28777 - 02/19/05 05:01 AM Re: samick brands of pianos
Christina Offline
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Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 402
Loc: Canada
thanks, pfv teach, that's just the type of personal recommendations/warnings i was looking for. since i only have a digital piano at the moment, i haven't seen too many pianos up close recently. i worked at a music store for 2 years who mainly dealt with kawaii, which i have come to really like. unfortunately, i am in a different city now, so i'm not sure who i'd buy from. the salesman told me that these days 90% of the pianos made have a really bright tone. does anyone know if this is true? i didn't think kawaii does, so i'm wondering if this guy is just trying to schmooze me. (i didn't tell him my experience in music, so as far as he knows, i knew nothing).how do you find a trustworthy piano salesperson these days? i guess start with a brand you like first, huh?
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#28778 - 02/19/05 05:15 AM Re: samick brands of pianos
alidoremi Offline
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Registered: 03/11/02
Posts: 2120
Loc: California
Although I'm not knowledgeable about all piano brands, I would personally opt for a Yamaha first, then Kawai.

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#28779 - 02/19/05 06:33 AM Re: samick brands of pianos
Lisa Kalmar Offline
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Registered: 04/10/00
Posts: 4277
Loc: KC
You really need to read The Piano Book as a way to educate yourself. It should not be considered as the Bible for selection, but it will give you some excellent background information. Piano companies have gone through so many changes it is probably not fair to make blanket statements about particular brands. Baldwins of today are not the same as Baldwins in the late 70's which were not the same as Baldwins made earlier, for instance. Ditto Yamaha, which makes a very fine piano if you purchase the correct one.

Then there are some brands that have always been awful. The book will point that out as well! ;\)

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#28780 - 02/19/05 07:03 AM Re: samick brands of pianos
Christina Offline
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Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 402
Loc: Canada
thanks guys!
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#28781 - 02/19/05 12:15 PM Re: samick brands of pianos
PFVTeach Offline
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Registered: 09/17/04
Posts: 481
Loc: USA
when checking out pianos at music stores go with your gut on both sales pitch and your experience combined. If you have the feeling your being schmoozed you probably are. Salesmen work on comission so they will tell you the buyer whatever they think you want to hear to make the sale. On the Steinway web site they have a publication you can get FREE called "8 Keys to Finding a Piano" which is helpful regardless of what maker you go with. The site is at www.steinway.com

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#28782 - 02/20/05 01:41 AM Re: samick brands of pianos
Dolce Offline
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Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 934
Loc: USA
What does "pitchy" mean? I've been confused ever since American Idol started telling people they were pitchy. Is it slang?

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#28783 - 02/20/05 04:41 AM Re: samick brands of pianos
PFVTeach Offline
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Registered: 09/17/04
Posts: 481
Loc: USA
PITCHY:
with instruments it refers to discolored tone that is uneven in balance. Sounds as if a gap is between octaves when changing, uneven tone and balance in sound. No smooth transition between high/low/low/high or middle ranges.
In the case of American Idol pitchy refers to being in and out of tune and wandering in sound.

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#28784 - 02/20/05 07:27 AM Re: samick brands of pianos
Dolce Offline
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Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 934
Loc: USA
Ok. I understand the Idol thing, but what do you mean by a gap between octaves? Silence? Maybe I just don't have a good enough ear to understand the gap and smooth transition thing. Can you explain the gap and smooth transition? thanks

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#28785 - 02/20/05 08:52 AM Re: samick brands of pianos
Christina Offline
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Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 402
Loc: Canada
wow, how embarassing, i just realized i was spelling kawai wrong. i think subliminally it was because my brother just left for hawaii this morning and i'm sooooooooooooooooooo jealous!!!!!!!! sorry!!!

by the way, just as a side, i do know a thing or two about pianos, i was just looking for personal opinions. don't worry, i wouldn't buy a piano i don't know anything about. reading all the information about pianos is one thing, but it's just nice to know about other people's experiences, too.
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#28786 - 02/20/05 09:39 AM Re: samick brands of pianos
PFVTeach Offline
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Registered: 09/17/04
Posts: 481
Loc: USA
Dolce, I'm sure it's not your ear it is just hard to explain in words but easy in demo.
What I mean by this is that if you are playing arpeggios for example and starting in the lowest octave and going to the highest possible on the keyboard and somewhere in transition around the middle to the different contrast in octave it sounds as if you are "missing" something in tone between octaves even though you know for fact you have played the octaves sequentially up and down. It will have an "empty" feel to the sound because it does'nt transition well in tone between the different octaves. It's kind of hard to explain in words but would be really easy to demonstrate on a piano with this problem. Cheaper made pianos are usually the culprits of this because the range isn't really that great in tone and is'nt warm sounding in all octaves. Better made pianos and instruments typically will not have this problem unless there has been some major damage to the inside that needs rebuilding or replacing on something major such as the action, the soundboard or strings.
Hope this helps and that I explained this ok.:0)

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#28787 - 02/20/05 03:43 PM Re: samick brands of pianos
jaydub2 Offline
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Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 250
Loc: WA
My piano tech. says there can be a change in tone quality in the notes around the E below middle C and lower. This is due to the different type of strings and manufacturing process used on the strings on that E and lower.

for the record....i would choose a Yamaha piano. i love their tone and action.

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#28788 - 02/21/05 02:36 AM Re: samick brands of pianos
Dolce Offline
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Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 934
Loc: USA
Yes, I do like the Yamaha, but their tone is too bright for me. I have a Kawai which I love. Beautiful mellow tone, and superb action.

I've actually been hearing lots about the Petrof (hope I spelled that correctly) recently.

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#28789 - 02/24/05 02:34 PM Re: samick brands of pianos
Christina Offline
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Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 402
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
the salesman told me that these days 90% of the pianos made have a really bright tone.
anyone agree with this statement? disagree?
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"Laughter is the shortest distance between two friends" - Victor Borge

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#28790 - 02/24/05 02:56 PM Re: samick brands of pianos
PFVTeach Offline
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Registered: 09/17/04
Posts: 481
Loc: USA
I disagree. Maybe 90% of what he sells have bright tone, but I don't think that is the case with every piano out there. How it's made and how it sounds to you, the owner, is all that matters. Pianos are kind of like the old pair of sneakers in the closet- what is comfortable for one person won't necessarily be a great fit for someone else. Personally I prefer a warm and mellow sounding piano to a bright one.

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#28791 - 02/24/05 05:44 PM Re: samick brands of pianos
pianoannie Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 07/20/01
Posts: 946
Loc: midwest USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Dolce:
Yes, I do like the Yamaha, but their tone is too bright for me.
I had my eye on a Yamaha for a few years; I loved the touch, even though it was a bit brighter than I prefer. But when our store started carrying Boston I was immediately drawn to its mellower tone. I bought a Boston about a year ago and have loved every minute of playing on it.
Veering off topic a little--am I the only one who has to hold back a combination laughing/choking fit, when a parent hears their child play on my perfectly maintained and tuned grand piano, and they say "Wow, Suzy's song sounds better on your piano than on ours." (knowing that their's was a freebie from who knows where that hasn't been touched by a tuner since the Hoover administration) :rolleyes:
Oh well, I suppose if I didn't play piano I probably wouldn't know any better either.

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#28792 - 02/24/05 08:48 PM Re: samick brands of pianos
Carole Offline
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Registered: 06/08/00
Posts: 2229
Loc: southern California
I have a Mason & Hamlin and love it! It has a firmer touch and mellower sound than the Yamaha I play at church so I have to re-adjust between the two. Both are great to play on. I have heard the same comment, Annie. Playing on a grand has inspired several of my older students to request one of their own. I have not seen their pianos at home and might be shocked if I did.

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#28793 - 02/25/05 04:33 AM Re: samick brands of pianos
alidoremi Offline
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Registered: 03/11/02
Posts: 2120
Loc: California
 Quote:
by Carole:
I have not seen their pianos at home and might be shocked if I did. [Eek!]
It might be a fun for us as piano teachers to announce that we will be scheduling 'piano inspection appointments at your convenience' to all of our families. \:D

For about a month I taught a student in his home rather than at my studio. He had an ancient piano that the mom admittedly bought not for tone quality but for its lovely craftsmanship and ornate carvings. The tone was 'rinky-dinky' (like the honky-tonk setting on my clavinova, but not nearly as in tune). Three keys didn't even play and they happened to be situated right around the middle of the piano where most of the repertoire was played. I commented on it but what more can I do? They eventually had the keys fixed but the tone is still horrible.

I think if I heard all the pianos my students had in their homes I'd be so depressed I'd quit teaching. :rolleyes:

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#28794 - 02/25/05 05:38 AM Re: samick brands of pianos
pianoannie Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 07/20/01
Posts: 946
Loc: midwest USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by alidoremi:
[QUOTE]by Carole:
I think if I heard all the pianos my students had in their homes I'd be so depressed I'd quit teaching. :rolleyes:
:D \:D \:D

That was a coffee-spewing statement if ever I read one!

You made me laugh out loud. (which was probably not your intention). But then as I thought about it for a moment, it is sad to think about how hard some of my students work, yet nothing they play at home is ever going to really sound pretty. Oh, I know pianos are expensive, and I certainly don't expect everyone to go out and buy a $50K grand piano. But there is a happy medium--I wish that my students who are excited about piano could have a decent instrument.

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#28795 - 02/25/05 09:00 PM Re: samick brands of pianos
Christine/Pelirroja Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 08/23/03
Posts: 245
Loc: CA, USA
I had a student ask me for info on a tuner/technician. She is one of my most hard working students, so I assumed her piano was in working order. After the tuner spent several trips to their house the mom had this to say to me, " Thank you so much for that number, xxxxx's playing has never sounded so good. Our piano hadn't been tuned since the early 1900s. We had 2 keys that wouldn't come back up, and the technician replaced all the white key tops, so it works and sounds so much better!" Well, I have to say my first reaction was that I was so glad for this talented/dedicated student. My second inward reaction was 1900S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I Know theirs is an heirloom but wow, I'm surprised she could even tell she was playing a song on it.

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#28796 - 02/28/05 03:47 PM Re: samick brands of pianos
PFVTeach Offline
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Registered: 09/17/04
Posts: 481
Loc: USA
I think sometimes parents go for "free" or "cheap" pianos because they don't want to lay out money into something better because its "for a child" or "we don't know if we'll stay with this very long" or whatever. I have a family I travel to with 6 children, 4 of which take lessons (the other 2 are way to young yet). They have a piano that looks like it was the ark! The legs are wobbly and ready to fall off, it has horrid sound from lack of maintainence, the pedals just klunk with no real effect and the bench scares me to let anyone sit on it because of the wobbliness. At one point they actually had one of the legs duct taped to keep it from wobbling. To be honest it's only good for firewood at this point. And they wonder why the piano sounds "horrible" compared to ones they use for performances. Why can parents not see that the quality of the instrument affects practice, sound and effort of the student? They don't all havet to spend a fortune(as I believe someone else said) but why can't they invest in something playable and with a better sound??? If they can't afford a decent instrument, why can they afford lessons? I don't think that plays out as a viable reason.

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#28797 - 02/28/05 06:05 PM Re: samick brands of pianos
xstitch4me Offline
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Registered: 08/15/04
Posts: 2167
Loc: Idaho
I have a family of three kids whom I teach and they've been with me for three years (this is the 4th) and they still play on a keyboard! It's not even a fancy one.....no 88 keys, no pedals etc. I feel it's really a hinderance to them because the oldest boy is VERY good yet he can't practice all the dynamics that go with music until he comes to his lesson. It's amazing he's gone as far as he has and he loves it! He loves classical music and when I watch him play, you can see the feeling he has for the music. I keep encouraging them to invest in a piano. At this point, he's going to stick with it for all of his life. They get so disappointed when they hear how their songs can sound on a real piano. I honestly think with this family it's a matter of finances. I'm just glad they all stick with it and enjoy it!

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#28798 - 03/30/05 12:25 PM Re: samick brands of pianos
AdrienneM Offline
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Registered: 04/28/01
Posts: 317
Loc: Kentucky, USA
Originally posted by pianoannie:
 Quote:
Veering off topic a little--am I the only one who has to hold back a combination laughing/choking fit, when a parent hears their child play on my perfectly maintained and tuned grand piano, and they say "Wow, Suzy's song sounds better on your piano than on ours." (knowing that their's was a freebie from who knows where that hasn't been touched by a tuner since the Hoover administration) :rolleyes:
:rolleyes: \:D

What's even better is when they (or the students) just say it sounds "different" or even "not right." LOL!

Your post made me chuckle out loud, pianoannie!
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#28799 - 05/03/05 07:41 AM Re: samick brands of pianos
Gail Offline
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Registered: 09/04/04
Posts: 369
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
I went back and reread the comments on piano brands, since I am considering investing in a new piano. I know a lot pf people really like Yamahas and Kawais--and the Boston and Petrof names seem to be popping up regularly. I have an older (1927) Ivers & Pond ebony-finish baby grand--nothing great, but perfectly serviceable for lessons, especially since I keep it tuned and cleaned regularly. I heard a Schimmel several years ago and fell in love with it, and then the church where I had my recital last week had a Schimmel baby grand in their sanctuary--what a lovely tone, and wonderful, powerful bass! I am looking seriously at a new piano and the local dealer has a special that I may not be able to turn down. What can anyone else add about their piano? And can anyone tell me about the tax write-off (depreciation over how many years?)?

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#28800 - 05/03/05 09:03 AM Re: samick brands of pianos
PFVTeach Offline
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Registered: 09/17/04
Posts: 481
Loc: USA
Pianos depreciate if you don't take care of them and keep them maintained. There are also some brands and makers much more desireable in trade up or resale value as well. Just like cars there are the Yugos of piano and the Mercedes Benz of pianos. Personally I love the steinway made pianos like Boston (yes it is a steinway make. I own one and it is stamped on the brass inside "made by steinway and sons") and Steinway itself. Their Essex line is reasonable in price, and plays well with a nice easy action, but not something I'd recommend for advancing or experienced players. Tax write offs apply only if you use it for business reasons and your teaching. If it is something you plan to buy for pleasure and personal use the tax write off does not apply.(I asked on that one with an accountant when I bought my last piano). In other words, you need to keep it at a studio if for business only.

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#28801 - 05/03/05 09:11 AM Re: samick brands of pianos
Lisa Kalmar Offline
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Registered: 04/10/00
Posts: 4277
Loc: KC
I have a 6'10" Schimmel and LOVE it - one of the best decisions I ever made. Silvery upper work, bosendorfy bass. It is a choice made in heaven for those who prefer a more mellow European type sound (as compared to Yamahas or Kawais) and the action is tres` fabu as well. Win, Win.

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#28802 - 05/03/05 10:09 AM Re: samick brands of pianos
pianoannie Offline
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Registered: 07/20/01
Posts: 946
Loc: midwest USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Gail:
And can anyone tell me about the tax write-off (depreciation over how many years?)?
As someone else mentioned, the piano would have to be used for lessons, not merely personal. I would think that if you had some of your advanced students play on the new one, and if you consider your own playing on the new one preparation/continued training for teaching, you could perhaps deduct the cost of the new one. I'm not positive though. It's kinda hard to separate "personal" piano playing from "teacher prep" playing--it all contributes to us being better teachers.

I do know that you don't have to depreciate the cost over several years. Google for info on section 179 of the tax code. That allows for a business expense of up to (I believe for 2005) $102,000. I deducted my new piano back in 2003 that way. One catch, your section 179 deduction can't be greater than the total income on your tax return. I could do it, even though my business itself had a net loss of $20K after deducting the piano, because I file jointly with my husband. Together we did not have a net loss. Another point to consider, if you stop teaching before a certain number of years (sorry, I forget how many), you would have to pay taxes on a portion of what you deducted for the piano.

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#28803 - 05/03/05 10:38 AM Re: samick brands of pianos
ABA Offline
Regular Member

Registered: 02/21/05
Posts: 50
Loc: Nashville
posted 05-03-2005 10:09 AM                      
------------------------------------------------------------------------

quote:

Originally posted by Gail:
And can anyone tell me about the tax write-off (depreciation over how many years?)?
---------------------------------------------------------------
As someone else mentioned, the piano would have to be used for lessons, not merely personal.

If you also use the piano for recording ( in a teaching context ) where you record the student or anyone else's performance as a way of producing demonstration CDs...this is deductible if you charge for that service. Which means you could record other teachers or friends that are not your students; especially if you have a particularly nice piano. However, the whole idea of recording may open up a can of worms since getting a good recording of a piano is a challenge even for audio engineers at professional studios. But still, I've heard some very nice recordings done at home.

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#28804 - 05/03/05 02:54 PM Re: samick brands of pianos
Gail Offline
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Registered: 09/04/04
Posts: 369
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
Hee hee!! It was perfectly clear to me that I was going to be buying a new piano for my studio--to be used for lessons--but obviously, it wasn't clear to everyone else!! \:D I'll have to check into the tax write-off--thanks for the info!

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#28805 - 05/03/05 03:59 PM Re: samick brands of pianos
pianoannie Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 07/20/01
Posts: 946
Loc: midwest USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Gail:
Hee hee!! It was perfectly clear to me that I was going to be buying a new piano for my studio--to be used for lessons--but obviously, it wasn't clear to everyone else!! \:D I'll have to check into the tax write-off--thanks for the info!
Oh, when you said your Ivers and Pond is perfectly serviceable for lessons, I (and apparently everyone else) thought you would continue teaching on that one, and have the Schimmel for yourself! \:\)
(I think it would be nice to have one for students and one just for me! )

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