Kawai ?!?!? Worth it?

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N Lugansky

Kawai ?!?!? Worth it?

Postby N Lugansky » Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:29 am

Hi, I am searching for a grand piano and I recently came across a BRAND NEW Kawai, 5 foot 10 inches, white polish, and the dealer asks for $14,000 , including taxes, delivery, bench, and 2 tune ups. Is this a worthy price? I have been to 5-6 different dealers and I am really looking for a good piano. Is Kawai reliable? i was thinking of a Steinway Model S, but they are rather over priced. If anyone has any suggestions on models or brands of instruments, I would love to have it, My price range is from 15-20 Thousand. And I am not interested in any restored instruments either. I was told that a piano does not get better with age.

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Re: Kawai ?!?!? Worth it?

Postby sarah » Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:40 pm

I really like Kawais for a good middle-end piano (like them better than some Yamahas if they're prepped well), but as always I'd have it checked out by a reputable tech before I bought it. What the dealer is offering seems like a fairly decent price.

I'd also recommend the Boston brand; it's the product of a joint venture between Steinway and Kawai, with the pianos being made by Kawai from designs by Steinway. I think the first three sizes would be in your price range. The Bostons are a little more expensive than the standard Kawai line pianos (RX line, if I'm thinking straight), but I personally think there's a little more music and nuance in the Boston. Of course that's just my preference - you may compare the two and find you like the Kawai sound and touch better. I purchased a Boston a little over a year ago and have been very pleased.

You might want to give Yamahas a look, too. They're very reliable and responsive and are in your price bracket. The Yamaha pianos seem like they can get bright after being played for a time, but a voicing job will fix the problem easily.
Though everything else may appear shallow and repulsive, even the smallest task in music is so absorbing, and carries us so far away from town, country, earth, and all worldly things, that it is truly a blessed gift of God.

Felix Mendelssohn

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Re: Kawai ?!?!? Worth it?

Postby 88man » Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:08 am

What timbre and tone do you like?... Do you like a light or heavy action?... What genre of music will you play mostly?... These questions will help you/us in your selection.

Kawai has a bright timbre, if you like the sound go for it. But, for $20k, you're into the the range of lightly used European pianos which have stellar build quality over any Asian piano. It's a far better investment buying a lightly used European piano than a new piano made in the far east. Get something that's less than 25 years old to avoid restoration issues. In this economy, you can find a 5'10" range Grotrian, August Forster, Schimmel, Feurich (rare), Petrov, or even a Baldwin (U.S.). However, Steinways will always fetch more money.
"Nobility of spirit has more to do with simplicity than ostentation, wisdom rather than wealth, commitment rather than ambition." ~Riccardo Muti

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Re: Kawai ?!?!? Worth it?

Postby Rachfan » Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:31 am

Hi N L

First, you don't really want a Steinway S. The problem with that piano beyond its exorbitant price is that at 5'2" it's a true baby grand. If you're a serious pianist, you need a grand at least 5'5" in length. A medium grand (about 5'8") or a larger parlor grand (about 6'3") would make you far happier. So the 5'10" Kawai is more along those lines. An RX-2 in white typically sells for $29,590 according to Larry Fine's book, but dealers do discount further. So a brand new one for $14,000 it sounds like a steal. Kawai RX grands are considered to be consumer grade grands, not high performance grands. Nor are they considered ideal for performing classical music.

Personally, I don't like Asian pianos as well as American and European brands. I do like Kawai more than its chief competitor Yamaha though. Kawai to my ear has a richer sound and seems more consistent throughout its scale. The thing I dislike about Kawai is that it lacks a "signature timbre" that would give it an unmistakable character. Instead, it's has a neutral or plain vanilla sound, at least to my ears.

Yes, Kawai is a very reliable piano. It gets fine factory preparation. Warranty service is very good, and after-sale problems are generally limited to very minor problems.

Where the price is so dramatically low, I tend to think "if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is". So you might want to have your own technician check the piano out to make sure there is no hidden surprise in there. Also ask about the details on the warranty, which should be a Kawai Company warranty, not a dealer warranty.

Good luck on your search for a piano!

"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April

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Re: Kawai ?!?!? Worth it?

Postby richard66 » Tue Dec 07, 2010 4:54 pm

I must say I inquired the other day about the price of a new Kawai (I believe a baby: I played a used one when I called at the shop) and the price was more or less that one. I thought the price for the used one (at $ 8k) was a bit high, considering how the case was battered and the keys yellow.
Richard Willmer
"Please do not shoot the pianist
He is doing his best."
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Re: Kawai ?!?!? Worth it?

Postby musical-md » Tue Dec 07, 2010 5:20 pm

Call me crazy! I bought my Baldwin SF-10 (7') on-line! Well actually, off-line. It was for sale on e-bay and I knew it wasn't going to sell. After the auction closed, I contacted the sellers. It turned out to be owned by a Steinway Artist in Atlanta, who shall go nameless. I mention this to say, if you are careful and do your homework, you may consider that alternative too. However, I have to add, that knowing the quality of such a piano ahead of time allowed me to even consider such a purchase. It would be more difficult with mid and economy grade grands.
Last edited by musical-md on Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne

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Re: Kawai ?!?!? Worth it?

Postby allanmac » Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:58 pm

I practiced a few times on a Kawai upright a few years ago and was very impressed. Not sure what their grands are like though.

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Re: Kawai ?!?!? Worth it?

Postby RWAS » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:27 am

The price for the Kawai RX2 (5'10") seems very competitive. In particular, the new Blak models are very fine. In my opinion, Kawai pianos are excellent instruments and have a solid reputation for reliability, durability and their musical qualities. However, a piano in a white finish is always more difficult to sell than the standard dark finishes and that is something you need to consider should you wish to upgrade in the future.


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