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Grand piano rec's for my budget please (Read 6029 times)

Offline sandracb

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Grand piano rec's for my budget please
« on: September 02, 2015, 02:54:37 PM »
hi all,

I would like to ask for some recommendations for what sort of grand piano I should consider for my needs. We are considering a purchase in the next 1-2 years.

I am an advanced student, currently pursuing my ARCT and probably the LCRM after that. I play around 6hrs +/- a day. My piano space is my front living room, which only measures 10x13ft but it is open concept and attaches into the dining room area which is another 11x13, so basically a long rectangular open concept space of a total 20x13 approx. This area opens into the rest of the house so there's no enclosement at all. The living room section has a vaulted cathedral ceiling 2 storeys high. I have wood floors but a lot of rugs/soft furnishings in the space.

Because of exam requirements, I will be playing a huge variety of genres so I need something that will work for everything from Prokofiev to Bach. I also enjoy noodling around with jazz standards and pop/rock for fun.

My budget, max, probably tops out at around $35k. Alas I know that is not a tonne for a grand! We would like as full size as can fit into our space, so I'm thinking around the 6 foot range is good. I currently play on a Kawai BL-51 upright (1980 year) and I enjoy it very much, but one thing that bothers me about my Kawai is that it's really difficult to get pp dynamics, and the action is not rapid enough for really quick repeated notes. Which is super annoying when I'm trying to play Barber Excursions movmt #4 up to speed! Generally speaking I am fond of Japanese pianos, cannot stand ones with really deep keys or heavy action. I like a tone on the bright side but of course with depth, I hate honky-tonk sounding pianos with a passion. I do not love really mellow pianos either. I believe my Kawai is something of a medium weight (my extremely unscientific experiment says the downweight is around 56gms) and I like it so far.

I would LOOOOOVE a Steinway, I do adore them, but I could only afford a rebuilt model B of around 1920's vintage, and rebuilds do make me nervous. I'm also not sure if the Steinway prestige is all it's cracked up to be in terms of a quality instrument for actual use as opposed to snobbery factor. The rebuilt Steinways in my area tend to be Model A's primarily, with a few Model B's, and $25-33k.

I'm not sure what else to consider. Perhaps a Yamaha? Not sure if any new are in my budget though. I've read some great things about Shigeru Kawai's but new is unaffordable, and I've never seen one used anywhere near me. I live in east Ontario but I'm willing to travel to the Toronto area or Montreal area to shop. I'd consider NY area but the exchange rate is too brutal now.

I would love some suggestions on what grand pianos to consider please!
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #1 on: September 02, 2015, 03:45:05 PM »
This place rates the touch and tone, speaks of the condition ( rebuilt or otherwise) and offers a 10 year warranty with full trade in within that time frame if you upgrade. Unfortunately they are in the US but look anyway ! Even with the exchange rate ( if they ship to Canada) you might make out. And if nothing else you get to drool over some possibilities that you could look for in Canada, maybe give them a call or email and converse about your needs.  Have a look see:     
http://rickjonespianos.com/grands.htm
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline silverwoodpianos

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #2 on: September 02, 2015, 04:10:48 PM »

 We are considering a purchase in the next 1-2 years.

My budget, max, probably tops out at around $35k.


in reality the budjet is lees than 35k as there is a maintenance budget to consider.

This is an often overlooked point by purchasers.

 
Dan Silverwood
 www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/

If you think it's is expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.

Offline visitor

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #3 on: September 02, 2015, 04:20:20 PM »
if you can find a babied Estonia 190 (post Dr. Laul, not before), you'd be hard pressed to beat it's quality, and versatility.

Kawai Rx, really REALLy good pianos.

Steiny's are all over the place, and unless you really have  a highly reputable re-finisher that has worked on a vintage one, i'd steer clear.

there are bargains to be found if your timing is right. A well cared for Shigeru is probably one of the best deals in pianos if it is reasonably priced.

August Forester, again if you can find one, and well maintained, quality is tops and my tech contacts affirm to this.


shop around, play a lot, remember its a buyer's market, people will sell what they think they are worth, the value is really the market demand, what people are actually willing to spend is what it's worth.


Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #4 on: September 02, 2015, 05:03:17 PM »
Thanks for the recs to start! :) I am very much in favour of Kawai as all my life I have pretty much loved every Kawai I have played. I enjoy Yamaha's too but only if they're not too light in the action or *too* bright. I also find Yamaha's a tad....uniform.

I'm just not sure a Kawai grand, even used, is in my budget. I looked up the Shigeru grands and holy crap, LOL, $175k!!!

I do realize maintenance, etc, will be additional. That's fine, we can afford that, and we tune our upright 3-4 times a year anyhow. The $35k I mention is what I can afford to pay in lumpsum cash in the next year for a piano (savings). Maintenance costs we've already budgeted outside that. I will trade in my Kawai upright if possible, not sure what it's worth though.
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline visitor

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #5 on: September 02, 2015, 05:44:46 PM »
Thanks for the recs to start! :) I am very much in favour of Kawai as all my life I have pretty much loved every Kawai I have played. I enjoy Yamaha's too but only if they're not too light in the action or *too* bright. I also find Yamaha's a tad....uniform.

I'm just not sure a Kawai grand, even used, is in my budget. I looked up the Shigeru grands and holy crap, LOL, $175k!!!

I do realize maintenance, etc, will be additional. That's fine, we can afford that, and we tune our upright 3-4 times a year anyhow. The $35k I mention is what I can afford to pay in lumpsum cash in the next year for a piano (savings). Maintenance costs we've already budgeted outside that. I will trade in my Kawai upright if possible, not sure what it's worth though.
it would help to know where you are. Shigeru's in the north american/US market tend to be more expensive than elsewhere inthe world. They are pricey but not that much in USD.  I have seen them int he 33K-70K range depending on age, model, finish, etc.

Kawai's age well generally, i have seen them abused in my old music school and they are still holding up  quite well actually. it's the honda/toyota of pianos. A shigeru is the accura/lexus.

if you are in the US do not discount a Charles Walter grand. If i were buying new/newer and American my choice would be between Charles Walter and Mason & Hamlin. They are rare (CW) but are 'heirloom' quality instruments.

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #6 on: September 02, 2015, 08:34:26 PM »
Oh I did mention it right at the end of my original post. :) I'm in east Ontario, Canada, about 5 hours east of Toronto and 2 hours west of Montreal.

I've never in my life seen a Charles Walters unfortunately. :(  I don't think they're common in Ontario. We do seem to have Mason & Hamlin pianos it seems, though I've never played one so I'll need to find one to try out. The vast majority of secondhand pianos in the Ontario markets are Yamaha, Kawai's, rebuilt Steinways, some Petrofs and a lot of Heintzmen (a Canadian company). I grew up playing my grandmother's old Heintzmen upright, and omg I HATED it - such deep keys and soggy action.

Sounds like Kawai might be the best bang for my buck though, given our limited budget. It's tempting to shop in the upper NY/WA/VA area but the exchange rate at 75cents Cdn to the 1USD is horrific!
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline pencilart3

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #7 on: September 02, 2015, 09:03:50 PM »
Have you guys seen the piano in all my recordings, I got that for 3k.
You might have seen one of my videos without knowing it was that nut from the forum
youtube.com/noahjohnson1810

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #8 on: September 02, 2015, 10:27:36 PM »
Have you guys seen the piano in all my recordings, I got that for 3k.

Wow that's a steal! I can't tell from the vid what kind of piano it is though. Where'd you luck out?
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline pencilart3

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #9 on: September 02, 2015, 11:02:55 PM »
Wow that's a steal! I can't tell from the vid what kind of piano it is though. Where'd you luck out?

A site called "GetCheapStuff.com". LOL just kidding!!

I got it from an old friend, it was sitting in his basement unused. I came over to his house and I was like "About that Kawai in the basement..." A few weeks later and $3000 later, it was in my house.

So it's probably not very helpful. But, don't miss the fact that there could be an opportunity like this for you. Like right now my neighbor has an almost brand new piano her husband played, he died from cancer.  :-[  :'(  :'( But anyway, there's a brand new piano sitting there, I help her out a lot with work and such around the house and I'm sure she would basically give it to me if I asked.

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with getting a piano from a store, you're basically guaranteed success that way. But just check around your neighborhood first.  ;)
You might have seen one of my videos without knowing it was that nut from the forum
youtube.com/noahjohnson1810

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #10 on: September 03, 2015, 12:12:26 AM »
A site called "GetCheapStuff.com". LOL just kidding!!

I got it from an old friend, it was sitting in his basement unused. I came over to his house and I was like "About that Kawai in the basement..." A few weeks later and $3000 later, it was in my house.

So it's probably not very helpful. But, don't miss the fact that there could be an opportunity like this for you. Like right now my neighbor has an almost brand new piano her husband played, he died from cancer.  :-[  :'(  :'( But anyway, there's a brand new piano sitting there, I help her out a lot with work and such around the house and I'm sure she would basically give it to me if I asked.

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with getting a piano from a store, you're basically guaranteed success that way. But just check around your neighborhood first.  ;)

Oh for sure I wouldn't limit myself to a store! No way! I'd definitely be all over an opportunity like that. You are SO lucky!!

I've been actually peeking into people's homes as I walk the dog lately, lol. I don't see many pianos at all, let alone any lovely grands. Doesn't seem to be a popular pursuit around these parts, more a hockey town really. Lots of digitals I think though more than anything else.
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #11 on: September 03, 2015, 01:49:38 AM »
So I've found a local restorer that has the following pianos listed that I am pretty tempted by:

1982 5'10" Kawai Grand Model KG-2, Red Mahogany, $11,000

1982 6'1" Yamaha Grand Model G3, Black Gloss, $13,000

1892 6'2" Steinway Model "A", $25,000

1911 6'2" Mason & Hamlin Model "AA", Black Satin, $20,000

What does everyone think of this guy's asking prices and these pianos? Any obvious turkeys or ripoffs? It sounds like the prices are somewhat negotiable. I must admit being EXTREMELY tempted by the Kawai or Yamaha at those price points.

I've emailed to ask to go take a look, but I don't want to fall in love with a piano that's not priced well.
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #12 on: September 03, 2015, 10:07:57 AM »
So I've found a local restorer that has the following pianos listed that I am pretty tempted by:

1982 5'10" Kawai Grand Model KG-2, Red Mahogany, $11,000

1982 6'1" Yamaha Grand Model G3, Black Gloss, $13,000

1892 6'2" Steinway Model "A", $25,000

1911 6'2" Mason & Hamlin Model "AA", Black Satin, $20,000

What does everyone think of this guy's asking prices and these pianos? Any obvious turkeys or ripoffs? It sounds like the prices are somewhat negotiable. I must admit being EXTREMELY tempted by the Kawai or Yamaha at those price points.

I've emailed to ask to go take a look, but I don't want to fall in love with a piano that's not priced well.



They all sound worth a look and a play. It's Always worth a Look And Play, even if no commitment is made you get to try various instruments !!

If those are prices for a rebuilt piano/pianos then not so bad. Our local shop ( I mean local like 1/2 mile from my house) had a Mason in about that size range that he wanted $11,000US for in basically original condition. Mason and Hamlin pianos are well regarded most everywhere, they are not a secondary brand name around here but I'm not sure it's going to give you that bright sound you are looking for. I think the Yamaha will or is more likely too. of course piano tone can be altered to a pretty good degree with hammer work and you are dealing with a rebuilder, he should be able to handle that to some degree.

But that said, You should sit at a piano and play it, the one you don't want to walk away from, the one you just can't stop playing is the one you want to own. If it costs a little more so be it. These are all within your desired budget. You're going to live with that piano for years if not decades. And if the prices are too far out of line the piano will not move from the shop generally speaking. except Yamaha for some unknown reason tend to go quickly. it's like "Yamaha" is some buzz word, must have thingy.

I don't know , this rebuilder with showroom that is a 1/2 mile from my house says some of the Chinese knock offs are actually very good, very consistent with precise laser cut woods, good sound boards, quality strings and hammers used etc. Good fit, great finish. Engineers from companies like Kawai and other name brands on site in these factories. He has a heck of a time selling rebuilds for $11-$15 even, when a customer can buy a brand new shiny everything 5'7" grand for $7000 and it plays as well as the rebuild. Not all Chinese pianos are built alike but he claims the ones he brings in are quite good. And for the life of me at this moment I can't think of the brand off hand. Actually I think he carries two brands, maybe in desperation ! The rebuilt Steinways sit there, that Hamlin last I knew was still down there, been there for months, maybe a year now. A decent name around here is Henry Miller, he has a partial rebuild of one there with a new satin finish for $6500, just sits there. It's been there for two years that I know of, unless it's gone this summer. This seems to be the case other than Yamaha, unless it's a customers piano getting finished up and ready to ship back to their residence..
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #13 on: September 03, 2015, 01:20:31 PM »
I will definitely go play as much as I can!! I told my husband one has to fall in love with a piano.....kind of like a wedding dress, LMAO. You have to find The One, and when you do, your heart knows it!

Unfortunately the place in town closed up shop (which I'm not shocked about, I have a hard time imagining our tiny town supporting a piano restoration business!) , but I did get a referral to a place in Montreal that has a LOT of models to choose from. They have 4 rebuilt Steinways, a Kawai KG2, a 6'8" Bechstein, 7' Bluthner, even a couple of Chickerings! Wow what variety. I will have to make time soon to make the trip but the selection is certainly fabulous!

Prices seem fair too? The Steinways are $28k, Kawai $11k, Chickering $9-15k, the Bechstein and Bluthner are both $20k. I've heard good things about Bechstein/Bluthner but they are 7' pianos!! I guess we'll see how I feel playing them.
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline pencilart3

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #14 on: September 03, 2015, 01:33:31 PM »
You have to find The One, and when you do, your heart knows it!

Amen!! :D
You might have seen one of my videos without knowing it was that nut from the forum
youtube.com/noahjohnson1810

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #15 on: September 03, 2015, 02:04:12 PM »
I will definitely go play as much as I can!! I told my husband one has to fall in love with a piano.....kind of like a wedding dress, LMAO. You have to find The One, and when you do, your heart knows it!

Unfortunately the place in town closed up shop (which I'm not shocked about, I have a hard time imagining our tiny town supporting a piano restoration business!) , but I did get a referral to a place in Montreal that has a LOT of models to choose from. They have 4 rebuilt Steinways, a Kawai KG2, a 6'8" Bechstein, 7' Bluthner, even a couple of Chickerings! Wow what variety. I will have to make time soon to make the trip but the selection is certainly fabulous!

Prices seem fair too? The Steinways are $28k, Kawai $11k, Chickering $9-15k, the Bechstein and Bluthner are both $20k. I've heard good things about Bechstein/Bluthner but they are 7' pianos!! I guess we'll see how I feel playing them.

I wouldn't rule out any of those brands. I played a public performance at a Golf club years ago on a roughly 6ft Chickering, I liked it very much and they often sell for a bit less than some other brands around here. The Chickering as I recall it just played well, good action, decent tone. It was a nice piano.  Some Bechsteins can be wonderful, very full sounding, not so sure about bright. But you are on the right track for certain with all those brands to try out.

You must let us know how it goes along the way here !
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #16 on: September 03, 2015, 02:19:25 PM »
I wouldn't rule out any of those brands. I played a public performance at a Golf club years ago on a roughly 6ft Chickering, I liked it very much and they often sell for a bit less than some other brands around here. The Chickering as I recall it just played well, good action, decent tone. It was a nice piano.  Some Bechsteins can be wonderful, very full sounding, not so sure about bright. But you are on the right track for certain with all those brands to try out.

You must let us know how it goes along the way here !

Definitely not ruling out anything! I've never seen a Chickering before, I'll have to look one up on youtube. Of course I lust after Steinway, but, it's at the top of my budget. If I can get away with $20k or less I'd be delighted.

I don't want to rule out the Bechstein or Bluthner, but gosh they are big pianos. I'm just glad that this one place has that much variety to try out.
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #17 on: September 07, 2015, 01:14:25 AM »
So I've tried a few pianos this week! The list:

-Baldwin grand at a teacher's house - meh. Hated the action (squishy), the keys were small and slippery, and the sound was subdued.

-Heintzman - keys too deep, just as a recall from childhood. So no go on Heintzman for me.

-turn of the century Victorian Steinway A - lovely action, brassy sound. Disappointing.

-Knabe (not sure model) - action was okay, sound was 'okay'.

-Yamaha - really light keyweight, and really tinny!!

-Mason and Hamlin AA , 1911, asking $20k - LOVED the action on this piano. Very quick and responsive and FAST which I LOVED. It played so nicely. Bright 'crispy' sound, and has been completely rebuilt. I'm a little worried the sound trends towards brassiness, at least it sounded that way from playing it, but it sounded a LOT richer and nicer when I stood to the side when someone else was playing it. Bach sounds gorgeous on this piano, worried that it doesn't have the richness for romantic works, but again it might just be because it sounds different from playing than from the side.

-Mason and Hamlin BB, 1922, asking $25k - nice firm action, but slower than the AA. The power of this thing though, HOLY CRAP. And 7 feet of piano is a lot!! Sound is more mellow by a lot than the AA, I quite like it but it doesn't sound as good for Mozart & Bach. Beautiful for romantic though. It's been mostly rebuilt but has some cracks on the soundboard, but was told they were inconsequential.


So far I like the M&H AA the best  I think. Planning to go try some brand new pianos in stores next, and then off to Montreal next weekend to have a look there. Anyone have any advice about the M&H AA of that vintage? Is it a good buy??
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline indianajo

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #18 on: September 07, 2015, 02:51:59 PM »
Glad to here someone is considering new world antique wood and iron, and modern restoration craftsmen.
There is a restorer near Georgetown KY that can beat those prices by about $5000, but he is at least $5000 in travel expense from Ontario. 
Yes, grands sound better from the side than the front.  A special room with a hard wall 20-30' from the right side might help, but that is another $$$$$ accessory.  One reason I've stuck with console pianos, and the 1982 Steinway 44 console was so dull from the keyboard, I bought a new Sohmer. 

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #19 on: September 07, 2015, 03:52:48 PM »
Glad to here someone is considering new world antique wood and iron, and modern restoration craftsmen.
There is a restorer near Georgetown KY that can beat those prices by about $5000, but he is at least $5000 in travel expense from Ontario. 
Yes, grands sound better from the side than the front.  A special room with a hard wall 20-30' from the right side might help, but that is another $$$$$ accessory.  One reason I've stuck with console pianos, and the 1982 Steinway 44 console was so dull from the keyboard, I bought a new Sohmer. 

Yah the travel expense and customs across the border is a total dealbreaker. :( That and the exchange rate pretty much eliminates the option of shopping in the US. It's really too bad, there's SO many piano stores that have amazing selection on the US side!

At least we're not in any rush. I mean if I find THE piano, great! But if not, our Kawai upright is pretty darned good enough for right now.
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #20 on: September 08, 2015, 02:31:27 AM »
Oh! I forgot to list another piano I tried:

-rebuilt Schimmel - gorgeous piano. Terrifically response, though it didn't seem to rich in the bass. I loved the way it felt though, the Renner action was beautiful.

I did see a Schimmel recently listed in Kijiji this week, but IMO it's really overpriced. It's 40 years old, all original parts, and owner said it was due for regulation. Asking price was $20k - at that age, I think that is probably twice as much as it should be going for?

I got contacted today for a 2006 Kawai RX-3, asking price $13k,  that I will see next weekend. I am very excited about this one! I was thinking of trying to negotiate for $10k cash if I like it, is that a fair price or am I lowballing the guy?
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #21 on: September 08, 2015, 08:14:30 AM »
11-13K is about the going rate on a decent Rx IMO. It should be a good piano but so much depends on care upkeep and current voicing, regulation etc. Any piano that feels sluggish or isn't voiced the way you like it and has not had either done recently or to your taste then you are getting a slanted view of the piano. You are walking in on the "chance encounter" that it's regulated and voiced how you like it to be .

That AA may be able to have some voicing work done. Additionally, Key depth is part of regulation, even key weight can be addressed. Whether this gets included in the current asking price of a given piano and whether after the work it fits your desires and needs remains to be seen. But I'd ask about it on those pianos you might like if these things about it were not as they are. Too, all pianos get brassy over time and need some voicing work done, even most new hammers need to be voiced to the owners taste, the more you play, the harder you play, the sooner it will need to be done. It's the nature of felt to compress when hammered on, hammer surfaces are made of felt.

Absolutely try the Rx, some people love them.

The M+H AA sounds like a winner. Just remember the piano you purchase should sing to your heart. But the thing about an acoustic piano, one piano can't address all the genre to perfection and then compromise yourself on the rest. You mention classic era and romantic, pre classical, well the best piano is either going to address one, the one you want most or semi compromise on them all. It's part of why I play my digital so much when I own a grand, I can have a whole bunch of different sounding pianos at the touch or a mouse stroke and still have my largely romantic sounding grand ( though it could use new bass strings now, they have been re twisted a couple of times in my many years of ownership, it's time to replace now)..

Thanks for the update, it's exciting, I don't even know you but I'm excited for you !! Good luck in your search.
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #22 on: September 08, 2015, 11:14:31 AM »
Thanks hfmadopter!!

The M&H AA has one flaw that I forgot to mention before. Repaired soundboard cracks. It has been rebuilt apparently, and I'd have to hear the piano in tune to know how it really sounded, but the soundboard cracks is REALLY freaking me out. I realize it's a 1911 build so over a century old, and wood products of that age must all have some flaws, but soundboard cracks are one of those things that make me very, very nervous. Kind of like buying a historical home. Lots of character, but probably lots of aging damage that might or might not end up being a big problem down the road.

We're also going to get a quote from a local Kawai dealer on the GX series grands. See how amenable they are to making a deal too. While a new Kawai GX doesn't have the character and personality of the old rebuilt M&H or Steinways, it does have the reassurance of a 10 year guarantee too!

Lots more pianos to play though. :) I must admit, lol, at least it's giving me lots of exposure to overcome my stage fright.
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #23 on: September 08, 2015, 12:34:30 PM »
Amen to all of the above, " I Get It" and would probably feel the same way ! Happy searching !

I don't know much about the GX, it could be made in China these days. Just sayin lol.
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #24 on: September 09, 2015, 10:56:20 AM »
Amen to all of the above, " I Get It" and would probably feel the same way ! Happy searching !

I don't know much about the GX, it could be made in China these days. Just sayin lol.

I *think* the GX's should still be made in Japan. I'd have to know for sure though - it's a dealbreaker for me!

Boy, the local Kawai dealer wouldn't even give us any quotes over the phone.....he's all, 'come in and we'll find you something in your budget'. Darnit! OTOH I've read new pianos are priced at 300% of cost, so plenty of room to haggle.
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #25 on: September 09, 2015, 09:50:33 PM »
I *think* the GX's should still be made in Japan. I'd have to know for sure though - it's a dealbreaker for me!

Boy, the local Kawai dealer wouldn't even give us any quotes over the phone.....he's all, 'come in and we'll find you something in your budget'. Darnit! OTOH I've read new pianos are priced at 300% of cost, so plenty of room to haggle.

Of course !
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #26 on: September 11, 2015, 11:16:17 AM »
Could anyone tell me please what a good Bechstein or Bluthner usually feels like? Like is the action similar most to Steinway, M&H, Kawai, Yamaha or Baldwin?

My personal tastes favour Steinway, M&H and Kawai for action. I find Yamaha's too light and I've HATED every Baldwin I've ever played.

The reason I ask is, the restorer we're visiting this weekend has a Bechstein and Bluthner but at this point they're not rebuilt and pretty much unplayable. He also has a 1910-1912 Steinway A ready to go. So if I don't adore the Steinway, then I was going to think about the Bechstein or Bluthner but he'd want a deposit (no obligation to buy) to do the rebuilding, and I don't know if that's a good idea or not.

Also the guy with the Kawai RX3 (private sale) is now asking $15k, which seems high. Especially when for $30k I could likely get a brand new one at a local store! If I loved the Kawai I think I might offer $11-12k but probably not more than that.
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #27 on: September 11, 2015, 05:06:23 PM »
If it's to be a total rebuild he should be able to make the action be what you want it to be. Period. It may end up with new Rener Action and hammers for all you know.

What model is the Steinway ?
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #28 on: September 11, 2015, 05:12:08 PM »
If it's to be a total rebuild he should be able to make the action be what you want it to be. Period. It may end up with new Rener Action and hammers for all you know.

What model is the Steinway ?


It's a 1910-1912 Steinway A. So while I loooove Steinways I'm a tad wondering if that's worth the $29k asking price, as I've heard better things about the B. Of course, depends how it plays!

Right the now the asking on the Bechstein and Bluthner are only $19k, but of course if I ask for premium parts like Renner then the price might go up. So I guess there's a lot of factors. I'll have to look up some vids on Youtube so see how these two brands tend to sound, I've never seen one before.
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #29 on: September 11, 2015, 11:25:59 PM »
It's a 1910-1912 Steinway A. So while I loooove Steinways I'm a tad wondering if that's worth the $29k asking price, as I've heard better things about the B. Of course, depends how it plays!

Right the now the asking on the Bechstein and Bluthner are only $19k, but of course if I ask for premium parts like Renner then the price might go up. So I guess there's a lot of factors. I'll have to look up some vids on Youtube so see how these two brands tend to sound, I've never seen one before.

I think you will like the A a lot but who am I to judge lol !!

Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #30 on: September 12, 2015, 12:43:36 AM »
I think you will like the A a lot but who am I to judge lol !!



Hah! Part of me hopes I'll love it....the other part is afraid of spending so much $$. I sure hope I love it though, I've wanted a Steinway since I was 12!
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline kypiano

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #31 on: September 12, 2015, 12:52:00 AM »
It's a 1910-1912 Steinway A. So while I loooove Steinways I'm a tad wondering if that's worth the $29k asking price, as I've heard better things about the B. Of course, depends how it plays!

Right the now the asking on the Bechstein and Bluthner are only $19k, but of course if I ask for premium parts like Renner then the price might go up. So I guess there's a lot of factors. I'll have to look up some vids on Youtube so see how these two brands tend to sound, I've never seen one before.
...

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #32 on: September 13, 2015, 09:37:03 PM »
Back from my piano shopping trip! Got lots to report.

Disappointingly the Steinway A that was supposed to be ready to go was nowhere to be seen. :( The guy showing us around wasn't the owner either, so he had no idea where it was or if it had been sold or whatever. Really kind of annoyed as we'd driven 2 hours to see that workshop in LARGE part because of that Steinway! Sheesh!

Still we did see many other pianos. The following are the ones I tried and my thoughts:


Mason&Hamlin A, 1914 - very muffled sound, action felt 'trampoline-y' with far too much recoil

Steinway model O - great tone WITH the sustain pedal on, but sounded *completely* dead when playing with no pedal (Bach, Mozart). what - is this a flaw of the piano, or a problem with the rebuild?!? I really want to know as I'm still considering this shop to rebuild a Bluthner but I won't bother if this Steinway's issues are a fault of the tech. Also, the sustain pedal was extremely stiff and had very little travel.

Steinway D, 1887 - Omg this was such an ugly piano! Bizarre L shaped monstrosity. Full bass but really thin treble. Nice action, no sostenuto pedal makes it a dealbreaker.

Yamaha C7 (1970's) - it was "nice". LOL that's about all I can say. Good power in the base, but completely boring and almost clinical.

C.Bechstein 5'8" - very light quick action, but also very small sound


and finally, a private sale:

Kawai RX3 (2006) -

I do love Kawai's, and this one had a nice full bodied sound, and a heavier action which I liked. However, some serious voicing issues here. The current owner bought the piano when he started to first learn (yeaaaaaahhh, bad idea) and basically quit trying to play after a year. So basically, this piano hasn't been played at all in most of its lifetime, so I think a LOT of its issues are that it's never been properly broken in and adjusted. It's so strange - the middle and lower registers sound quite muddied, but the upper ranges are REALLY overbright,so when playing it if you cross into the upper few octaves it's just jarringly bright out of nowhere.

Also, sticky keys everywhere! An easy fix, but wow, shouldn't be happening in a fairly new piano. I was considering offering around $10k cash if I want this one, as I'd still have to pay for the move and probably a whole bunch for a technician to fix the voicing. We're going to ask our tuner what he thinks, because I'm not sure if the voicing issues are a dealbreaker, but I'm tempted as we can probably get a good price here. And it's still got a year of manufacturer's warranty left on it.

Next weekend we're going to the Kawai dealership, so I can try the brand new ones and compare. I'm also waiting for the rebuilder guy to call me back about the Bluthner/Bechstein.

Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #33 on: September 13, 2015, 11:27:39 PM »
Quite a trip !! Too much to respond to in detail, at least tonight.

Sounds like the dampers are set too tight in the O. That should be a great piano if set up right.

However: That RX6 sounds to be suffering from non use and voicing issues. I'll be curious to hear what your tuner has to say. You could have a winner there if my guess is right.

I'm surprised at the thin sound in the C.Bechstein.
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #34 on: September 14, 2015, 12:23:40 AM »
Quite a trip !! Too much to respond to in detail, at least tonight.

Sounds like the dampers are set too tight in the O. That should be a great piano if set up right.

However: That RX6 sounds to be suffering from non use and voicing issues. I'll be curious to hear what your tuner has to say. You could have a winner there if my guess is right.

I'm surprised at the thin sound in the C.Bechstein.

The Steinway O was not available, had already been sold to someone, I was just trying it out. :) Good to know that it's not a terrible fault though.

The RX3 needs a lot of voicing work for sure, I'm going to talk to my tuner and see what he thinks.It definitely isn't used! LOL No wear on anything. I recorded some of my playing on my phone and it definitely sounds very over-mellow and *extremely* 'rounded' tone with no 'sing' to the middle/lower registers at all which is odd for Kawai. Reminds me of a Baldwin actually, definitely not my preference.
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #35 on: September 14, 2015, 10:49:36 AM »
All I can say is look at all the pianos you have found in a week or two !
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #36 on: September 14, 2015, 11:14:09 AM »
All I can say is look at all the pianos you have found in a week or two !

LOL yes, that's true. I am certainly getting my experience playing lots of different pianos!

I feel like Goldilocks though.....too big, too small, too hot, too cold, nothing quite right....

I also feel like I'm apparently super picky?!? That Kawai RX3 was referred to me from the tech who tuned it, he said it 'sounded great'. I think he has awful taste then, because surely no one would think a 1/3 bright treble + 2/3 mid&low register mellow tone = evenness in the tone at all?!?

So my tech guy says that the voicing should be fixable (though  he won't know till he sees it of course) but the sticky key thing sounds weird for a grand. And that $15k is too high, but I was planning on offering $10-11k approx and not go any higher. Sounds like I really can't make a decision till I get a tech in to check the RX3 to see if my concerns are fixable. (I have to find a local tech as the Kawai RX3 is 2 hours away from where I live.)
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #37 on: September 14, 2015, 11:20:15 AM »
Anything is fixable one way or another, it's if you want to pay for it lol !!

A little custom action work on that RX and I bet it could really please you in that sense. I can't speak for the tech and the tuning but suspect that piano needs some serious playing in before too much voicing takes place. It's been sitting stationary for almost a decade.
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #38 on: September 14, 2015, 02:47:57 PM »
Anything is fixable one way or another, it's if you want to pay for it lol !!

A little custom action work on that RX and I bet it could really please you in that sense. I can't speak for the tech and the tuning but suspect that piano needs some serious playing in before too much voicing takes place. It's been sitting stationary for almost a decade.

Yah that's kind of my gut feeling too? That piano probably just needs to be abused for awhile to shake off its factory glue! ;)

I'm pretty interested in it, I have to lookup some youtube vids of RX-3 to hear what they're supposed to sound like, and I trust the brand. If the tech says there's nothing fundamentally wrong with it I'll probably make an offer. I figure if I can get it for $11-12k that's good even if it's another $2-3k to move/regulate/voice it after.

I just made an appt to see that 40 year old Schimmel this Sunday too. I'm very interested in the german pianos, though this Schimmel is getting up there in age and they're asking $20k which is too high, but hey I can always offer what I'm willing to pay and go from there.
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline hfmadopter

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Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #40 on: September 14, 2015, 06:43:37 PM »
https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=Kawai+RX3+video&ei=UTF-8&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-001

https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=Kawai+RX3+video&ei=UTF-8&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-001

Well those weren't the links I wanted lol !!!

LOL! Well thanks for the links anyways! :)

Hmm, just had a trial lesson on a Kawai baby grand, and it too is more rounded/mellow than I was expecting, so maybe my ears are too used to my old Kawai upright, and new Kawai's do sound pretty mellow?

Either that or I have terrible taste and no one but me likes a brighter sound, LMAO.
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #41 on: September 14, 2015, 07:26:33 PM »
It's tough for me to say much of anything since most uprights don't satisfy my taste anyway. Be that in touch or sound or just something or other. I've played a couple of uprights that I sort of kind of liked. But none have much leg room and I'm tall so that's a negative right off the bat.

Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #42 on: September 14, 2015, 10:01:36 PM »
It's tough for me to say much of anything since most uprights don't satisfy my taste anyway. Be that in touch or sound or just something or other. I've played a couple of uprights that I sort of kind of liked. But none have much leg room and I'm tall so that's a negative right off the bat.



I can see that! Well I'm super short - 5 feet even. So leg room ain't a problem. ;)

I'm favouring the RX3 for the heavier action though.....the rebuilt vintage pianos all seem to be VERY easy to play. Which isn't a good thing when I'm practicing for exams and all the teacher pianos seem to be set really heavily, and I don't want to lose strength to handle a heavier piano. (I hear the one they use for exams isn't that great either! Yikes!)
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #43 on: September 14, 2015, 10:57:59 PM »
I can see that! Well I'm super short - 5 feet even. So leg room ain't a problem. ;)

I'm favouring the RX3 for the heavier action though.....the rebuilt vintage pianos all seem to be VERY easy to play. Which isn't a good thing when I'm practicing for exams and all the teacher pianos seem to be set really heavily, and I don't want to lose strength to handle a heavier piano. (I hear the one they use for exams isn't that great either! Yikes!)

When will a tech see it ?
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #44 on: September 15, 2015, 01:22:25 AM »
When will a tech see it ?

Haven't booked it yet, emailed a few and waiting to hear back. Hoping for maybe the week after next when I can get there again since I kind of want to be there at the inspection.
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline indianajo

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #45 on: September 15, 2015, 12:31:29 PM »
I've heard a decade old or older 9' Kawai grand in concert.  The top was up pointed at me, like it is supposed to be, in a 400 seat church in New Albany.  It was pretty "mellow",  not much ping that I like on Sohmer & Baldwin Acrosonic consoles, and the Steinway grand at Kentucky Center for the Arts.  The Kawai bass had a little character, not being as monotone boring as Yamahas.  I really preferred the sound of an old Baldwin 9' grand they had in a Luthren church in downtown Louisville.  
I'd be afraid of the cost of unsticking  a lot of keys on that low use Kawai.  Also mismatched sound voicing.  Both of those are mysterious processes not within the capability of the average tuner around here.  This is a flyover state more known for excellence of banjo and guitar players than excellent piano players or tuners.  I've tried to get the hammer out of my 1941 Steinway to ease  the pivot (compress the felt), no success so far.  If instead the stickyness in the Kawai is in the key pivots, those come out pretty easily.    Compressing felt is just putting an oversized rod or wedge through it to cram things down some, IMHO.  Voicing can involve fluffing up felt with picks and steam or compressing it or even putting varnish on it to harden it.  Voicing is a very 3 dimensional process.  
I detest pianos with mismatched sound between the bass, 2 string, and 3 string notes - probably because my Mother owned one, a 1948 Everett,  I practiced on it for 8 years.    

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #46 on: September 15, 2015, 12:57:27 PM »
I've heard a decade old or older 9' Kawai grand in concert.  The top was up pointed at me, like it is supposed to be, in a 400 seat church in New Albany.  It was pretty "mellow",  not much ping that I like on Sohmer & Baldwin Acrosonic consoles, and the Steinway grand at Kentucky Center for the Arts.  The Kawai bass had a little character, not being as monotone boring as Yamahas.  I really preferred the sound of an old Baldwin 9' grand they had in a Luthren church in downtown Louisville.  
I'd be afraid of the cost of unsticking  a lot of keys on that low use Kawai.  Also mismatched sound voicing.  Both of those are mysterious processes not within the capability of the average tuner around here.  This is a flyover state more known for excellence of banjo and guitar players than excellent piano players or tuners.  I've tried to get the hammer out of my 1941 Steinway to ease  the pivot (compress the felt), no success so far.  If instead the stickyness in the Kawai is in the key pivots, those come out pretty easily.    Compressing felt is just putting an oversized rod or wedge through it to cram things down some, IMHO.  Voicing can involve fluffing up felt with picks and steam or compressing it or even putting varnish on it to harden it.  Voicing is a very 3 dimensional process.  
I detest pianos with mismatched sound between the bass, 2 string, and 3 string notes - probably because my Mother owned one, a 1948 Everett,  I practiced on it for 8 years.    

Thanks indianajo, that's really helpful. I think what we need to do is chat with a few different techs then to ask about the voicing imbalance issue.

The sticky key issue is weird too in such a new piano (in a 100% climate controlled space). They have a/c, so if anything it should dry out a piano not overhumidify it. And I found it weird how the keys visibly shifted with pedal use.

Hmm.....might be worth getting a technician in there at least, but I'm wary of how fussy voicing can be.
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #47 on: September 15, 2015, 01:15:18 PM »
On most grands the keys shift with the left pedal.  When you  press the left pedal the whole rack of hammers shifts to the right. I assume this is what you saw.

A couple of years back I read up on this stepped bass phenomenon ( tonal step), for the life of me my memory banks are not dredging up the info, mechanically speaking. There was something about double and triple wrappings of bass strings and transition to single wire etc etc. Bridges, string lengths. It wasn't as simple as: just " this". So you really need the techs view point, that's why I asked earlier when he was showing up  ;)  .
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #48 on: September 15, 2015, 03:42:57 PM »
On most grands the keys shift with the left pedal.  When you  press the left pedal the whole rack of hammers shifts to the right. I assume this is what you saw.

A couple of years back I read up on this stepped bass phenomenon ( tonal step), for the life of me my memory banks are not dredging up the info, mechanically speaking. There was something about double and triple wrappings of bass strings and transition to single wire etc etc. Bridges, string lengths. It wasn't as simple as: just " this". So you really need the techs view point, that's why I asked earlier when he was showing up  ;)  .

Oh. Interesting! I apparently don't know much about mechanics of pianos, LOL.

Well I just spent an hour on the phone with the rebuilder guy, the Steinway A is still available and I think I'm excited about the options there.

Basically -

1912 Steinway A , rebuilt, currently has circa 1980 S&S brand hammers/action. Last refinished about 40 years ago. In its current finish and with its current setup, would be $21k.

If we opted for replacing the action with Hamburg action instead, would add another $2k to the price, so $23k.

If we wanted to refinish it totally too, $25 900.

Prices include delivery. So I could care less about the finish unless it looks like crap, which it doesn't sound like it does, just not 'brand new finish' but I don't care. I don't even like buying pristine new stuff since it hurts too much to get that first scratch, LOL, I much prefer getting used stuff already banged up. I think I would opt for the Hamburg action though.

He said he's going to set it up the way it sounds like I prefer my pianos, and I can go try it in a few weeks. Sounds great to me!
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #49 on: September 15, 2015, 03:44:08 PM »
Oh and there's also a Victorian Bechstein he thinks might be an option for me, that would be $18k rebuilt.

He says the Bluthner isn't a good choice as they tend to be fussy to service, and if I'm very particular about how I want my pianos it'd probably be hard to find a tech in my area capable of servicing it.
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory