1st ( and last purchase) ?

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seniorminnion
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1st ( and last purchase) ?

Post by seniorminnion » 30 Jan 2013, 23:16

Having always regretted giving up piano lessons as a teenager upon discovering what I then thought were better things to do --- at the age of 50 I want to start again.
I want to make this purchase the right one - and not something I want to upgrade later. Perhaps the biggest problem is not being able to play so I can only rely on my ears - not the feel and touch of the actual instrument.
I think I've narrowed my choices down to 3 :
- A 2nd hand U3
- A brand new K3 (about £1000 more than the U3)
- and finally because of a complaining SWMBO about the size of acoustics - a clavinova - possibly the CLP 470 - although tbh Id rather have what I consider a 'living' instrument if that makes any sense !
- I do need some sort of 'practice pedal' to mute the awful sounds I'm sure to make a little - though the absolute silence of the digital is not a necessity.
- the 2 acoustics both sound great to me - the K3 a little 'mellower' ? - whilst in some modes the 470 sounded really good and in others a little electronic !
- any advice greatly appreciated - thanks !

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Re: 1st ( and last purchase) ?

Post by NewAge » 31 Jan 2013, 00:05

Was the U3 and the K3 in the same store? If so, ask a salesperson to play one of them first, turn your back and listen carefully for a minute or two. Now the same with the other piano, and the same piece of music - ensure you don't see the salesperson playing either, or the piano's location. Ask yourself, which sounded the most pleasing. This should be a reasonable guide as a starter.
If you can raise the extra funds, seriously consider the Kawai K3 - a fine piano. I'm sure you won't regret it.
I was playing the piano in a zoo, when the elephant burst into tears. I said, "Don't you recognize the tune?" He replied, "No, I recognize the ivories!"

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Re: 1st ( and last purchase) ?

Post by seniorminnion » 31 Jan 2013, 01:25

yes -both in same shop - both on1st floor up an open staircase so thats a good idea that ihadnt thought of !
I know the k3 is brand new and has a 10 yr warranty but the iu3 still has a 5yr warranty and has a soft fall lid so I dont think it can be that old (salesman wasntsureof age but said he woukd find out ? )

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Re: 1st ( and last purchase) ?

Post by joseph » 31 Jan 2013, 20:16

It wouldn't have been that hard for the salesman to find out the age, if he has a piano atlas, which he probably does if he's buying in used pianos. The soft close fall has been installed on Yamahas for about 15 years now. When I was in first year at the RSAMD we got a stock of new U3 pianos in, and they had soft close, and that was in 98. Not that this one will necessarily be that old, nor does 15 years old mean the piano is bad. It depends on the condition.

Personally I would be tempted by the Kawai, unless I loved the Yamaha.

There is a shop in a city in Scotland that isn't Glasgow or Edinburgh, and he has a Yamaha G3. He's selling it for 12,000 and it's in original condition. He said to me it's about 10 to 15 years old....

I looked at the serial number. It's clearly a mid 1970s model.... and it's not a particularly good example either. The shop will remain nameless. Just to say, these things, unfortunately, happen.

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Re: 1st ( and last purchase) ?

Post by seniorminnion » 31 Jan 2013, 21:42

Is it worth trying to haggle for a lower price for the K3 - since everywhere on the net it seems to be the same price. Do Kawai fix the price a bit like apple computers are all the same price ?
( I know everywhere in the world seem to haggle but for some reason we Brits never seem to think it's a normal way to do business !

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Re: 1st ( and last purchase) ?

Post by vernon » 31 Jan 2013, 23:15

Whoopee!
Phone up any of us Kawai agents and you will get a good deal.
You won't get better than a K3
Failing your finding a dealer,Kawais will direct you to your nearest dealer. If he can't satisfy you, shop around all us other dealers.
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Re: 1st ( and last purchase) ?

Post by mdw » 01 Feb 2013, 08:45

seniorminnion wrote:Do Kawai fix the price a bit like apple computers are all the same price ?
No I think people just think its a better bit of kit than the Yamaha therefore no need for the price slashing desperation of Yamaha dealers. :D
When reading guarantees look at the detail of what it covers. Massive guarantees of things that never go wrong look good on paper but you really want to be covered for the things that are likely to go wrong as well like sticky notes, odd buzzing etc.

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Re: 1st ( and last purchase) ?

Post by seniorminnion » 02 Feb 2013, 17:48

Ive emailed the store to ask for the age of the U3 and who exactly reconditioned it --- the reply was "the 1990's !! ) , and a company called "BOL" recondition all their pianos and provide documentation and what work has been done etc.. complete with a 5yr guarantee ( they go on to say the company in question is run by a Ronald Bol ?? ) I've asked if they can supply me with the serial number !
- the store In question has a decent reputation ( and I dont know if it's acceptable to make their name public on here?) but this "bol" thing just has me wondering ?
- any advice appreciated - thanks !
Last edited by seniorminnion on 03 Feb 2013, 10:56, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1st ( and last purchase) ?

Post by Withindale » 02 Feb 2013, 18:28


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Re: 1st ( and last purchase) ?

Post by seniorminnion » 03 Feb 2013, 01:06

salesman mailed me with info on what he said had been reconditioned and said the piano was from the 1990's and that BOL had added the soft fall system. This immediately set alarm bells ringing and when he said the serial number was 1183061, a little searching by myself would appear to date the piano at 1971 !!!!
I certainly wouldn't touch the U3 from them now, It may have just been an honest mistake or even a salesman who doesn't know a great deal about pianos, although I can't even play a single note but didn't find it too hard to determine the approximate age and tbh I don't even think I would buy the new K3 from them if as I suspect, they may have deliberately mislead me.
Anyone know of a good reputable dealer in the north ? - prices seem to be about the same everywhere so I'm more interested in a good honest dealer and good after sales service - since knowing my luck, I'd end up needing it ?

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Re: 1st ( and last purchase) ?

Post by vernon » 03 Feb 2013, 12:03

How far north?

Kawais will give you a list of us approved dealers
Our mission in life is to tune customers--not pianos.

Any fool can make a piano-- it needs a tuner to put the music in it

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Re: 1st ( and last purchase) ?

Post by seniorminnion » 03 Feb 2013, 12:30

Newcastle area ! (thanks for the advice - I'll check with Kawai !)

Update ---- told store what I believed the true age of the U3 was and they mailed me straight back and said it was an honest mistake - they must have got confused with a U1 they had in stock --- or an earlier U3 they'd sold !!!!!
(strange how they weren't confused about the price they were asking !)

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Re: 1st ( and last purchase) ?

Post by mdw » 03 Feb 2013, 17:38

I would be more interested in what they have done to it rather than age. An older piano would warant a full rebuild a younger one only if its been thrashed.
Just bite the bullit and buy a new Kawai then you wont always be wondering about its history and concerned about if you got stitched up or not. You will only get confused with the Yams and what has or hasnt been done to them. There is so much " ive dont this or ive done that" and miss infomation about them posted buy net dealers that it confuses me and ive been a tech for nearly 30 years!!!

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Re: 1st ( and last purchase) ?

Post by sussexpianos » 04 Feb 2013, 18:21

You have to remember the "Grey Market", as these pianos are concerned, are mostly bought from large music academies where the pianos are played 7 hours a day. How can you call a piano reconditioned when all that's been done is a soft fall been fitted?? Felts, leathers and more importantly, hammers, all wear out and need replacing at some stage.
At new, the U3 would be the better buy than the Kawai K3 but not against a K5 or K6. But this is 23 years old, so in my mind, the Kawai is much better value. You also have to bear in mind that the Japanese yen is very high, so anything coming out of the place will be expensive.
If you like the Kawai K3, buy it, it’s a nice middle of the road piano and comes with a 5 + 5 year warranty
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Re: 1st ( and last purchase) ?

Post by seniorminnion » 06 Feb 2013, 00:49

Going to go with a K2 or K3 now. There's just too much uncertainty for a beginner like me to take any of the claims of 'reconditioning' at face value. The yamaha's sound a little 'tinny' ( I understand that 'bright' is the correct term) to my untrained ears compared to the kawais which appear more 'relaxed:?
Unfortunately, the new K3 is a little expensive for me atm and I think I might have to lower my sights if I'm to buy a new piano. Is the K2 much of a step down for a beginner or would I be happy with it ? ( at my age I'm not planning to be a marvellous pianist - but would like to be able to eventually play popular swing/ jazz /Gershwin etc..
I have read about bigger uprights being a little too much in a smaller room like the one I'm planning to put the piano in so maybe the K2 would be more practical anyway ?

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Re: 1st ( and last purchase) ?

Post by bartgovaert » 06 Feb 2013, 15:52

seniorminnion I went through the same decision process as yourself a few years ago and ended up buying a new K2. This is about 4 years ago. We have been very happy with it, I would say that we are between grades 2 and 6 in our house. It has a really nice sound and action (but not as good as the K5 and higher).

However, we are moving to a place where noise is more of an issue so I am thinking of selling it and buying a silent one.

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Re: 1st ( and last purchase) ?

Post by vernon » 06 Feb 2013, 20:06

Get a good part exchange
Our mission in life is to tune customers--not pianos.

Any fool can make a piano-- it needs a tuner to put the music in it

www.lochnesspianos.co.uk

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Re: 1st ( and last purchase) ?

Post by joe » 06 Feb 2013, 21:19

joseph wrote:It wouldn't have been that hard for the salesman to find out the age, if he has a piano atlas, which he probably does if he's buying in used pianos. The soft close fall has been installed on Yamahas for about 15 years now. When I was in first year at the RSAMD we got a stock of new U3 pianos in, and they had soft close, and that was in 98. Not that this one will necessarily be that old, nor does 15 years old mean the piano is bad. It depends on the condition.
Aberdeen by any chance ?
Personally I would be tempted by the Kawai, unless I loved the Yamaha.

There is a shop in a city in Scotland that isn't Glasgow or Edinburgh, and he has a Yamaha G3. He's selling it for 12,000 and it's in original condition. He said to me it's about 10 to 15 years old....

I looked at the serial number. It's clearly a mid 1970s model.... and it's not a particularly good example either. The shop will remain nameless. Just to say, these things, unfortunately, happen.

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Re: 1st ( and last purchase) ?

Post by joe » 06 Feb 2013, 21:20

Aberdeen by any chance?

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Re: 1st ( and last purchase) ?

Post by vernon » 06 Feb 2013, 22:36

Not Inverness I can tell you!
Our mission in life is to tune customers--not pianos.

Any fool can make a piano-- it needs a tuner to put the music in it

www.lochnesspianos.co.uk

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Re: 1st ( and last purchase) ?

Post by seniorminnion » 10 Feb 2013, 20:11

Think I'm going to go with The K3 --- I've been offered a good price with stool ,delivery and 1st tuning ---- only query I have left is I was asked if I wanted the shop floor model or should they order one for me ? -- it must be the only 'industry' Ive come across where the model on the shop floor isn't discounted because of it. ( You wouldn't buy a demonstrator car at full price just because it drove nicely -- you'd expect a discount since it didn't have zero miles on it ?)

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Re: 1st ( and last purchase) ?

Post by vernon » 10 Feb 2013, 20:37

The piano on the shop floor is the one you have tried and approved.
The analogy with cars is false. Nobody has taken this out for a spin at 100 miles an hour down the motorway nor has the finish been scuffed.
Pianos are hand finished even now and the next K3 could differ in detail.
Go for the one you have tried and congratulations for a wise choice.
Our mission in life is to tune customers--not pianos.

Any fool can make a piano-- it needs a tuner to put the music in it

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Re: 1st ( and last purchase) ?

Post by seniorminnion » 11 Feb 2013, 18:08

thanks to all for the valuable (and invaluable) advice !

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Re: 1st ( and last purchase) ?

Post by seniorminnion » 17 Mar 2013, 21:58

took the plunge and awaiting delivery of K3 --- just need to decide what learning material to get and find a tutor ! - really looking forward to it !

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Re: 1st ( and last purchase) ?

Post by joseph » 27 Mar 2013, 13:04

Joe, the shop I'm referring to isn't run by anyone on the forum, and it's not in Glasgow or Edinburgh, or Aberdeen, nor is it in Inverness and I'm not saying more than that!

O.P:

I'm glad you went for a K3. I tried a K3 that was sitting next to a reconditioned U3. The U3 was a decent piano, it was from 1976 so it was quite old, but it was OK. The K3 was far superior in every way. Well done.

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Re: 1st ( and last purchase) ?

Post by seniorminnion » 18 Jul 2013, 23:02

Just a quick progress report. 3 months down the line and an hour a day of practicing later --- and I now regret giving up lessons as a teenager even more. I found a teacher who I like ( whether she's a good teacher is impossible for me to know for sure, since I have no one to compare her with) - but we get on and seem to share the same achievable goals for me at least. I'm going to go down the exam route and am currently practicing towards the grade 2 ABRSM although I think the grade 1 would 'ground' me better and will suggest that to her.

thanks to all on here for the advice etc... !

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Re: 1st ( and last purchase) ?

Post by joseph » 19 Jul 2013, 09:46

Sounds like you are a happy customer! Enjoy your piano, and enjoy making music, and thanks for the update! :piano;

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Re: 1st ( and last purchase) ?

Post by Peter Smith@PSPianos » 24 Jul 2013, 21:52

joe wrote:[quote="joseph"

There is a shop in a city in Scotland that isn't Glasgow or Edinburgh, and he has a Yamaha G3. He's selling it for 12,000 and it's in original condition. He said to me it's about 10 to 15 years old....

I looked at the serial number. It's clearly a mid 1970s model.... and it's not a particularly good example either. The shop will remain nameless. Just to say, these things, unfortunately, happen.
[/quote]

Joe, I wonder if I could suggest that you inform the local Trading standards office of the details of the company etc.
It's things like this that give the piano trade a bad name.
I tirelessly try and pursue the type of mis-representation like this that goes on in my area.
If someone has advertised an item incorrectly then thay have committed an offence under 'the sale of goods act'.
The only purpose that they mis-represent their stock.....is for greater profit.
Its a wee but like 'clocking the milage ' in the motor trade.
It has to be stampped out and these people held to account.

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