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Thread: Buying my first piano ...

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    Member catseye's Avatar
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    Default Buying my first piano ...

    Hieee ...

    Any pianists in the house?

    Need to buy my first piano for my daughter who is taking up piano lessons. Appreciate if any brothers/sisters here can give pointers on the type, model, brand to consider/avoid. Which are the shops to check out (the MS Colors, CPs, TCWs of piano shops!), which to avoid.

    Have done the first round today ... checked out brands like Wilhelm Tell ($3800-academic), Pearl River ($2500-academic, $3400-exam), Weber ($3500-exam)

    All advice are appreciated. Thanks in advance.


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    Default Re: Buying my first piano ...

    Grand pianos?

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    Member catseye's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying my first piano ...

    Quote Originally Posted by wazzup View Post
    Grand pianos?
    No la .. where got dough after having Photography as a hobby

    Trying to consider an entry level model that can last for a while ... budget shd be about < $4000.

    Thanks.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Buying my first piano ...

    btw, just to give a small advice: Dun over-rate the word "exam model", this word is often used just as a marketing purpose to "deceive" customers into thinking that a particular piano is more "exam-oriented". there isn't really such a thing as "exam model" and i dun know why they actually are able to come out with such a term.

    however, how high is your daugther's standard? truthfully speaking, a piano costing less than 4k has very mediocre quality. so i actually find it economically smarter to get a 2nd hand piano, either yamaha or kawai. if your daughter is still in that stage where you aren't sure if she will be continuing piano in the future, get a 2nd hand piano, it is not worth to buy a 1st hand piano.

    about the choices you stated, i personally dun like their tone. yamaha and kawai have a better tone. if your daughter starts off learning under the influence of such unreined tone its bad for her musicianship in the long run.

    but if this is a long term investment, 4k is quite low. if you are willing to spend more and get a good upright, you can try Pleyel uprights. i like their touch and tone, which is soft yet brilliant. yamaha U3 or U5 and Sauter pianos are very very good uprights, but those are not cheap. however, if you are just wanting to expose your daughter to music only(like a trial period), than it is back to yamaha or kawai 2nd hand pianos.

    regarding the prices of them..........i have forgotten as the fluctutations of the US currency kept causing the piano prices to be unstable.
    Last edited by satay16; 5th November 2006 at 09:50 PM.

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    Member catseye's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying my first piano ...

    Thanks Satay16 for the detail explanation and advice.

    My girl actually just started a few lessons The options have moved from getting a Casio keyboard (the piano type) to a used piano and now a new one.

    So I see Yamaha is highly regarded ... how will you rate the cheaper Indonesia ones?

    Thanks.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Buying my first piano ...

    The quality of a piano is very important .... if you are serious about her playing serious music, then sell yr camera and give her a $10k piano ....,
    sometimes it is due to the quality sound that encourages the child to enjoy playing the piano.
    A good quality one can last for tens of years .... some as long as 30,40 years....
    However, you have to decide carefully .... many ppl give up after a few years of playing.
    Last edited by Canonised; 5th November 2006 at 11:11 PM.
    always the Light, .... always.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Buying my first piano ...

    Quote Originally Posted by catseye View Post
    Thanks Satay16 for the detail explanation and advice.

    My girl actually just started a few lessons The options have moved from getting a Casio keyboard (the piano type) to a used piano and now a new one.

    So I see Yamaha is highly regarded ... how will you rate the cheaper Indonesia ones?

    Thanks.
    well.....frankly speaking, i rather get a 2nd hand yamaha than a 1st hand Indonesia one. but getting a piano is also actually an investment. some pp actually buy steinway pianos and sell in off after decades to make quite alot of profits.

    so right now, a yamaha piano is definitely better than one made in indonesia, but it has to be up to you whether you are willing to pay for the quality. if your girl stop playing after sometime, your yamaha still have a acceptable resale value whereas a mediocre one might not even be worth selling. but if your girl continues for a long time, getting the yamaha means a few years of music enjoyment whereas a mediocre one can risk certain detrimental effects on her musicianship.

    so to kept it short, i personally recommend a 2nd hand yamaha or kawai. to a piano enthusiast like me, i rate the quality of the piano very highly. and since your girl is just starting, it is best to start from a medium grade yamaha or kawai model. anything lower than that, i find it not useful in building up her musicianship.

  8. #8
    Member catseye's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying my first piano ...

    Thanks Canonised ...

    Wow that would be a big sacrificed on daddy's part to give up photography.

    But seriously then ... seems like the tonal quality is important consideration in choosing the right brand/model.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Buying my first piano ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Canonised View Post
    The quality of a piano is very important .... if you are serious about her playing serious music, then sell yr camera and give her a $10k piano ....,
    sometimes it is due to the quality sound that encourages the child to enjoy playing the piano.
    A good quality one can last for tens of years .... some as long as 30,40 years....
    However, you have to decide carefully .... many ppl give up after a few years of playing.
    i agree with you. a good piano can easily cost 10k and above. but the enjoyment and lessons gained from it made it definitely worthwhile(but i did not paid for it, so i dun really have to right to say that actually...... )

  10. #10
    Member catseye's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying my first piano ...

    Quote Originally Posted by satay16 View Post
    well.....frankly speaking, i rather get a 2nd hand yamaha than a 1st hand Indonesia one. but getting a piano is also actually an investment. some pp actually buy steinway pianos and sell in off after decades to make quite alot of profits.

    so right now, a yamaha piano is definitely better than one made in indonesia, but it has to be up to you whether you are willing to pay for the quality. if your girl stop playing after sometime, your yamaha still have a acceptable resale value whereas a mediocre one might not even be worth selling. but if your girl continues for a long time, getting the yamaha means a few years of music enjoyment whereas a mediocre one can risk certain detrimental effects on her musicianship.

    so to kept it short, i personally recommend a 2nd hand yamaha or kawai. to a piano enthusiast like me, i rate the quality of the piano very highly. and since your girl is just starting, it is best to start from a medium grade yamaha or kawai model. anything lower than that, i find it not useful in building up her musicianship.
    Thanks again satay for the advice.....

    To be concise, I was referring to the Indonesian-made Yamaha but I guess this is the lowest grade version.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Buying my first piano ...

    Quote Originally Posted by catseye View Post
    Thanks again satay for the advice.....

    To be concise, I was referring to the Indonesian-made Yamaha but I guess this is the lowest grade version.
    actually you dun really have to worry about that. the thing about having a brand like "Yamaha" means that their products must be top-notch no matter where it is made.

    and sry, haven't played on the LU90 before. can't really give personal comments about it.

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    Default Re: Buying my first piano ...

    If you're going to buy a piano and if you're serious about going all the way, get the Yamaha U5. A big reason why I bought one is because of the sostenuto pedal, which is found in most grand pianos.

    Never compare buying a piano to buying a car or worst, buying a camera. It's not something that you buy one day and sell in like weeks time.

    Not that I'm an avid supporter of Yamaha, they ain't the best, but customer support is there when you need it.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Buying my first piano ...

    Quote Originally Posted by canturn View Post
    If you're going to buy a piano and if you're serious about going all the way, get the Yamaha U5. A big reason why I bought one is because of the sostenuto pedal, which is found in most grand pianos.

    Never compare buying a piano to buying a car or worst, buying a camera. It's not something that you buy one day and sell in like weeks time.

    Not that I'm an avid supporter of Yamaha, they ain't the best, but customer support is there when you need it.
    must be a U5. damn nice upright grand. but i think it is way over budget.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Buying my first piano ...

    If your daughter is just starting out and you're not sure she will stick with it to the end, I suggest getting one of the Yamaha Clavinova pianos or the P series piano keyboards. Less maintainence and outlay is cheaper.

    If you do decide to get a real piano, I suggest going for yamaha exam models or Kawai. This is because she'll likely be playing a yamaha piano for her exam. Kawai's touch is very similar to a yamaha but at a cheaper price, so can consider that as well

    Note that you have to keep the heater on 24hrs and also do a tuning once a year.

  15. #15
    Member catseye's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying my first piano ...

    Guys thanks for all the advice ...

    So looks like it is Yamaha or Kawai ...

    I am sweating profusely now!!! Anyway keep the advice coming though.

    Cheers!

  16. #16

    Default Re: Buying my first piano ...

    Quote Originally Posted by catseye View Post
    Guys thanks for all the advice ...

    So looks like it is Yamaha or Kawai ...

    I am sweating profusely now!!! Anyway keep the advice coming though.

    Cheers!
    last piece of advice: if you want to really make that piano reall worth it, go learn it, it is fun and enriching, also can be used as a destressing tool by playing some russian piece.

  17. #17
    Senior Member creampuff's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying my first piano ...

    Actually a Yamaha Clavinova is pretty good to start off with. Passed on my upright piano to a relative and got a Yamaha DGX-620 for just under $1.4K. Got weighted keys which is a must and it sounds good. Certainly no maintenance needed and doesn't take up too much space. At the end of the day, a good pianist can play with anything, just like the late Cuban pianist Rubén González who was so poor that at times he didn't have any piano to play.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Buying my first piano ...

    Quote Originally Posted by catseye View Post
    Thanks Canonised ...

    Wow that would be a big sacrificed on daddy's part to give up photography.

    But seriously then ... seems like the tonal quality is important consideration in choosing the right brand/model.
    Personally I do not advocate anyone to borrow money to buy expensive toys/expenses (cars, renovation, fashion, hobbies, collectibles, etc..) but when it comes to things like piano or other musical instruments, where it takes years for someone to learn, and enjoy, I wouldn't think twice to borrow (within my mean) to get the best, esp for my love ones..... The reward will be lifelong for the benefitted parties, and not necessary for myself.
    always the Light, .... always.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Buying my first piano ...

    just my 2 cents from experience..

    just to sum up...

    The build of the piano is impt if you want good tonal quality. Better makes and higher prices usually means that the build (ie material used) of the piano is better, giving good resonance thus a nicer, fuller sound. A better sound allows you to better hear and feel the music which you play... Helps in you bring out the 'feelings' of a piece.

    What mattered most for me during exams was the touch & feel of the keys... I prefered my piano to have the same feel as what I would be playing on for my exams. I started out on a yamaha beginners model, the keys were so light that I suffered during studio practice and the exam itself. So I was blessed to 'upgrade' to a good, though not top of the line baby grand for my higher grades.

    and finally, most importantly... no matter how good or 'bad' your piano is, what matters most is the interest and passion that your girl has or will build up. cos when u are passionate about it, doesn't matter how crappy the instrument is, you'll still be able to make beautiful sounds from the most ugly of instruments.

    hope this helps in some small way...

    enjoy the music!
    Last edited by Benjymocha; 6th November 2006 at 11:50 AM.
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    Default Re: Buying my first piano ...

    Personally, why I chose the Yamaha U5 is because there's more depth in the keys, which is *quite* close to that of a grand piano and more importantly, the responsiveness. And the bass is not too muddy, higher range doesn't sound like glass breaking... Nowadays, the keys are way too light for my liking, even the grand pianos.

    I don't work for Yamaha, nor do I think they make fantastic pianos, but the reason why you see their piano all over the place in Singapore (Esplanade, La Salle, NAFA, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory) is because of the after sales.

    Forget about buying the lower range grand pianos, if you ever need one, a decent Yamaha C3 has a price tag of $30k.

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