I don't have the budget for anything German, and I don't want to waste money at shipping anything French. So, I started to look at the English second-hand piano costing around £1200 (+-£500). To French people, English pianos are best avoided. I guess that it's reciprocal. However, I discovered that some are quite good. Same story for the cheese, but it's not the right forum.
I recently had the opportunity to play a Knight K20 and I liked it. Unfortunately, I didn't like the case. So I started to do a bit of search about Knight. And I've got a few questions:
1) What is the difference between the K10 and the K20 ? The frame of the K20 I played looked, well... over-designed. Is it the same for the K10 ?
2) Knight pianos seem to have a strong reputation for solidity, but many on the market had their tuning pins replaced. Is it a weakness, or is it because many had a hard life in music schools ?
3) What action was fitted ? Langer ? There was nothing written on the action of the K20 I tried.
4) I saw for sale a few pianos, made in the 70s or 80s, and whose case looks a bit like a 19th century bureau. Many of them are quite low (K15 ?), but some of them are higher, like a proper K10 or K20. They don't look like they were designed especially for schools. Are they as solid as the K10 and K20 with the "art-deco" or "trapezoidal" case ? Er... am I clear, here ?
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to answer some of the questions that you have asked....
1. The K20 is a smaller piano.
2. Through my 30 years in the piano trade..I have never had occassion or need to ever change the tuning pins in any knight piano. They are solid in every aspect. I would add ....that's precisely why schools used to be able to afford them.
3. I have both a K10 and K20 in my shop....both are from the mid 80's. I will look at the actions in the morning....but I would guess that thye have langer actions inside.
4. I have came across a number of K15 over the years. I beleive that the K10 and K20 are better built pianos.
Though knight was very popular in schools....models made for the home....in my opinion are a very wise purchase.
They maybe expensive, but weigh that up against the quality of tone and the touch. I would suggest that you would be hard pressed to find a better quality piano for the money.
We decided that it's better to wait a bit before getting another piano at home. So I will have a few months to try a few pianos here and there before buying. It's a bit of a shame because there is a K20 for sale in London on ebay for a fraction of the usual price.
- Colin Nicholson
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- Location: Morpeth, Northumberland
I have never come across any major or structural problems with them - the maker's name them selves is very good, however its the owner that sometimes creates the problems by keeping their piano in temperatures well over 20 degrees (central heating/ underfloor heating).... and many customers do not monitor the relative humidity of a piano, which should be about 55%.... so its not really the piano's fault - but instead the punter's!!
If tuning pins have to be replaced after about 20-30 years, this is probably because the piano has been kept in too warm conditions - so the wrest plank dries out, or cracks and pins become loose.
In fact, about 3 years ago, a pupil's parents of mine bought a BRAND NEW Samick upright piano - played beautifully and tuned well.... BUT.... even after 3 years, some of the pins are not as tight as they should be, because the parents insist on spending over £70 a week on their gas bill! .... I sometimes need my shorts & T-shirt on to tune it! ......
As Vernon says (our very reputable Moderator) .... its not the piano that needs to be tuned.... its the customer!
Knight are fine - so long as they are regularly serviced, regulated and tuned, and kept in the right environment.
Just like I regularly keep my car in good condition.... I also do the following to my own piano....
1. Monitor humidity/ temperature every 2-3 days.
2. Tuned every 2-3 months (by myself)
3. Regulated/ cleaned/ serviced every 12 months.
4. Keep a record of all the above.
My pianos is dated around 1930 - it was re-strung in 1996, and it is still in perfect condition, and well looked after.
Remember this phrase.... "pianos can not necessarily be saved by their previous conditions & ownership negligence" ...... then when a piano lands into new hands, it gets all the blame & a bad write-up!
Hope that helps....
They where taken over by the Bentley Piano Firm and the quality plummeted,seen many over the years,one example had a client years ago looking to upgrade a Knight K20 for a quality new grand piano,they had bought the Knight new in 1985 ,the pressure bar had been loosened and they put small baize front washers round the pressure bar screws to stop the piano buzzing when been played ,helped a liitle but not alot.A good Knight K10 is in my opinion the best modern British upright piano ever made and the best ones where made in sixties and early seventies depending on usage,would get out there looking and get it checked by a reputable tuner/tech.Phiphi wrote:What are the problems with the Knghts build after 1983 ? I'm just asking to get z bit more knowledge, because most of those advertised are from the 70s or earlier.