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A New Piano

Kent and Connie came over yesterday for Family Home Evening and saw our new piano. Now that the cat is out of the bag we can finally tell everyone about it.

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A Kawai RX-2 Grand.

For some reason I was reluctant/embarrassed to tell people that we bought a grand piano. I guess I was worried that others would think it too ostentatious or snooty. We've had it for a little over a month and have loved every minute of it. Emily and Nancy are taking lessons (from me) and as soon as we can afford it I'll start taking lessons again.

Buying a piano was definitely more agonizing than buying a car. You can spend as little as $200 and as much as $120,000 or more on a piano so it's a good idea to decide beforehand what your budget is, what your piano needs are, research dealers, brands, etc. I bought a copy of the Piano Book by Larry Fine which I had read about on the Internet as well as his 2002-2003 pricing guide. The book was definitely useful in helping us gain knowledge about the manufacturers, piano terminology, and options. The pricing guide was less useful because every piano I looked at had much lower prices than the "street prices" listed in Mr. Fine's book. At least the pricing supplement made me feel like I wasn't getting ripped off so in that respect I would consider it worth it. (Hey, you can never overvalue peace of mind!)

 

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We love it even though it fills the front room

We decided to buy new (I always buy new) and to look at the following brands:

We looked at Steinway just for fun because we could never afford even the most inexpensive Steinway. Although there are many European brands and plenty of American brands (many of them made in various Asian and Eastern European locations) we felt that the four brands we chose would give us the best hope of finding a good quality piano in our price range. I decided to go and scope out the brands first and get a feel for things before I took Nancy with me. I went to Daynes Music and looked at Boston first. Daynes had a Boston piano I really liked that ended up second on our list. Next, I went to Riverton Music to look at Baldwin. I looked at Kawai at Summerhays Music and Yamaha at The Piano Gallery.

 

All of the dealers had pianos that I liked and in the end it came down to simply which piano and dealer we felt the most comfortable with. Summerhays was really good to work with and we felt they dealt with us in a straightforward manner without being too pushy or too expert. LuAnn (our sales rep) was very patient with us as we tried out various pianos to find the one we liked and as we agonized over little details.

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A view from the top

We've had the piano for a little over a month now and I haven't regretted it for a second. I get the sense that Nancy thinks it is a bit too much but so far she hasn't said anything. Now if we can just make it though the next 20 years of childrearing without too many nicks, scratches, and gouges we'll be in good shape.

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