Piano Forum logo

Kimball 5'8" Advice Needed (Read 1444 times)

Offline mtpianos

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Kimball 5'8" Advice Needed
« on: June 21, 2015, 03:46:02 AM »

I am looking at purchasing a Kimball Viennese Classic 5'8" with Piano disc 228 CFX. Serial #R01020 Model # 580P. Not sure the age, but thinking late 80's or early 90's. Looks to be in excellent condition. I would be the 3rd owner.

Looking online, similar models without players look like they run for $4-6K. This is listed for $12,000 with some room to negotiate.

Any advice or opinions out there? Piano quality, tone, maintenance/longevity, etc. Any thoughts on the Piano Disc 228?

The max we can fit in our home is 5'8".  To be honest, I would like to stay closer to $6,000, but would consider closer to $10,000 with a good player.

Any pearls of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks in advance!

Offline indianajo

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1105
Re: Kimball 5'8" Advice Needed
«Reply #1 on: June 24, 2015, 12:35:00 AM »
The Kimball consoles that were installed in the O-clubs and enlisted clubs of the Army in the seventies, they did not hold up.  They were good sounding consoles at time of purchase, finely engineered to all fall apart XXXX hours later. Here in the home county of the Kimball plant, I know of no church that has a Kimball grand of any kind.  Used Kimball's do draw a premium on craigslist, but I suspect this is more home town sentiment that any sort of reason.  Most home pianos never get thousands of hours of use.   If you are going to use your piano a dozen hours a year right before Christmas, yeah, go ahead.  The Kimbals in the O-club, had sticky keys, broken part keys, they were just wrecked.   I've busted a string out of an 82 Sohmer and a hammer shaft out of a 41 Steinway, I use my pianos many hours.  And I have tiny hands and forearms, excessive force can't be the reason.
As far as oriental imports made to old US names, generally, who knows if they will hold up? they are not even made of maple and spruce.  I know of a 99 Pearl  River that is **** and I hate the sound of the Yamaha consoles around. I  turned down an Everett by Yamaha in 83 when I bought the Sohmer because the sound was so blah.  Yamaha grands sound okay, but for the price they certainly should.   I certainly get a lot of oriental **** in non-musical instruments that look like real products but have to be replaced every year or so.  
Pianos that hold up at 50 years of age, Baldwin, Hamilton by Baldwin (sound compromises, not durability) Sohmer, Steinway, Mason &  Hamlin, Wurlitzer, Grinell of Detroit, Kawai of NorthCarolina,  Maybe Chickering and Kohler & Campbell (some school use survivors of the last two brands are around town,  no outstanding issues I know of).  Watch paying a premium for school use pianos especially Steinway, the dampers and hammers can wear down in the middle and the pivot felts can get wiggly.  My Steinway with the broken hammer might have been used by a home teacher, some felts might not be totally factory spec.
There is a guy between Cincinnatti and Lexington KY that rebuilds old grands, especially Steinways but occasionally other premium brands, I have a pipe organ voicer friend that knows him personally.  When he advertises on craigslist, his prices seem about 2/3 of what things cost on the East Coast.  With the cost of living around here, no wonder.  If you can reach there with a reasonable rental truck, talk to him.  Don't ship a piano moving and storage interstate, not if you want a premium product to come out the end.