You are here:

Piano, Organ, and Keyboard/Can you tell how old this piano is?

Advertisement


Question
Dear Mr. Onesti,

I noticed in your response to another question that you were able to determine the production year (& hence possible value) of a Kawai grand piano from its serial number. My husband has an opportunity to make an offer on a Kawai model 650, serial #189818.  It's been maintained by a local college and comes with some kind of wheeled dolly and a de-humidifier.

Based on this serial number, would you say that it was manufactured recently enough that the quality issues with older Japanese models were perhaps resolved?  Would you be willing to suggest a maximum reasonable offer for this instrument?

I should add that we have adequate space in our home, and that the piano would be for our family's enjoyment rather than for resale or for any professional purpose.  (In other words, not "just furniture" -- as we'd like, and are able, to play it -- but our level of sophistication is not "elite"...)

Thank you for your consideration of my question; my husband has about a week for us to make our decision.

Answer
HI Michele:

The piano was made in 1965.

The piano is an OLD 6'8" grand.

No Asian manufacturers were competent in 1965.

I would NOT touch this piano unless it was looked at by a competent REGISTERED member of the Piano Technicians Guild: http://www.ptg.org. There you can plug in your zip code, or the zip code of where the piano is.

The dolly is likely to be in your way, and the Humidity system is surely outdated by now.

Be careful here...you could be purchasing something that's not very serviceable!

There isn't much worth here and this piano is NOT worth putting money into if it needs major work!

Let me know how you do!

I'm here to help.  

Piano, Organ, and Keyboard

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Ralph Onesti

Expertise

I am a Registered/tested member of the Piano Technicians Guild (RPT) with 49 years of experience in all phases and levels of the acoustic piano. I will answer any questions regarding acoustic pianos only. All questions and answers are to remain public. Please to not include sensitive material! If they are marked private, I will change them to public. My answers may be of assistance to others. If privacy is an issue, please contact me through my web site: http://www.onestipiano.com Electronic keyboards, organs, and player/reproducing piano mechanisms are outside of my expertise. Anything to do with: Construction, Service, Tuning, Climate Control Systems, Piano Disc, Purchasing, Selling, Insurance Appraisal, Rebuilding, Repairs, Legal issues, Maintenance, Environmental issues, Finish issues with acoustic pianos. My full resume can be found at: http://onestipiano.com/pages/history.html You can like us on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/onestipianoservice

Experience

In business since 1964, Extensive Rebuilding/Repair/Service facility. A certified, tested, member of the Piano Technicians Guild, Member of the Technical Advisory Service to Attorneys. Have performed piano service on Concert Stage, Recording Studios, and in the home. Http://www.onestipiano.com. The shop's work comes from all over the world from private clients or other techncians.

Organizations
The Piano Technicians Guild, Master Piano Technicians of America, Technical Advisory Service to Attorneys. (TASA), IAPBT. The Piano Technicians Guild is the only organization in the US that offers a certification test to become Registered. There are no "factory authorized techncians".

Publications
The Piano Technicians Journal

Education/Credentials
Attented Temple University, Drexel University, Philadelphia Community college all in the areas of engineering and Music. I taught a two semester course in Piano Technology and the related acoustical physics at Temple University. I have taught extensively for the Piano Technicians Guild and the Master Piano Technicians of America.

Awards and Honors
Service Award for the Rose Tree Media School District in Pennsylvania. Chapter Award from the Philadelphia Chapter of the Piano Technicians Guild.

Past/Present Clients
The list is rather extensive. I would suggest you go http://onestipiano.com/pages/testimonials.html where there is a comprehensive list of clients past and present.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.