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What you should know about ‘used’ Kawai Pianos
1. Approximate age
Our research indicates that the typical used Kawai from Japan may be 25-35 years old. This period in a piano’s life represents a transitional time for the instrument. Piano technicians know that a piano may require serious reconditioning at around this age. During such an overhaul, hammers and strings are frequently replaced, tuning pins are reset, and regulation and voicing are necessary. This process can often be quite costly. When considering an older used piano, a customer should factor in the cost of reconditioning that may be required to ensure adequate piano performance
There are other situations in which customers have been offered used Kawai pianos that are somewhat younger (6-12 years old). In most instances, these pianos have been subjected to rigorous daily use in music schools in Japan and, despite their younger age, will almost certainly require reconditioning much sooner than described above because of the heavy use to which they have been subjected.
2. Does the Kawai warranty apply?
No. Kawai’s 12 Year Warranty applies to new pianos purchased from an authorised Kawai retailer in Australia or New Zealand.
3. The issue of wood instability
Today’s instruments are seasoned and approved suitable for all markets and are far less susceptible to the problems outlined above.
Kawai has addressed this problem by introducing high tech carbon fibre components into the action. Carbon fibre is stronger and virtually impervious to the swelling and shrinking that affects comparable wooden action parts. The use of carbon fibre reduces parts breakage and helps to ensure precise hammer alignment for more consistent tone and touch. Customers should be aware that older pianos without carbon fibre action parts cannot be expected to maintain anything like the level of consistency in tone and touch found in newer Kawai pianos with this patented technology.
4. What about replacement parts?
Over nearly a century, Kawai has built a wide variety of piano models to meet the specific needs of various markets around the world. Some models, for instance, were designed exclusively for European countries; others were built for music schools in Japan. Since these instruments were never sold in Australia and were built so long ago, Kawai does not carry parts for these models. Piano buyers should be aware that replacement parts will not be available for these used instruments or any instruments that were not purchased through Kawai’s authorised dealer network.
5. What is a ‘grey market’ piano?
There are traders who do not have access to new Kawai pianos, selling secondhand pianos imported from Japan. These are known as ‘grey market’ pianos and, while it can be enticing to buy a larger piano at a cheaper price, it should be remembered that manufacturing technology has changed dramatically in the last few decades. A smaller new piano will usually sound better, respond more reliably to the fingers, and offer a more enjoyable playing experience – and that’s not to mention the full Kawai manufacturer’s warranty you only get on new Kawai pianos from an authorised retailer. We hope the following answers will be of value to you as you seek information about these pianos.