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Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
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#3215450 05/11/22 11:22 AM
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Hi Everybody,

I'm a long-time reader, first time poster in piano forum. I would like to hear your thoughts on my choice paralysis at the moment. It's between three instruments.

I put down a deposit on a Yamaha N1X in July 2021 and it's still not arrived in Canada! At the time I was excited and thought that this hybrid was the perfect solution for me. I won't go the details, it checks a lot of boxes for me. Since it's still not in stores, I've gotten wondering eyes and have started thinking that an acoustic grand is going to be more satisfying even I can't play it when the kids are asleep.

That leads me to the two other options I'm considering. First, and the option I'm leaning towards, is a Kawai KG-2E, manufactured 1989. It's $12,179 CAD before taxes. It's being sold by a local dealer/technician who I've known and worked with for years so includes moving and warranty and al that. Despite the age, the piano is almost brand new, there is very little wear on the hammers and everything is in great condition. I enjoyed playing the instrument, I was impressed by the tone and the control I had over the expression. Action a bit heavier than I'd like but working fine.

Second option, I fell in love with a piano. I never thought it was possible. Most characteristic and wonderful piano I've ever played. An Estonia L190. Store is giving me a good deal: $55,000 before tax, throwing in a concert preparation setup and a digital keyboard! Problem is obviously price. It is technically doable for me but would stretch the family finances in a way that could make emergency situations much harder to deal with and would involve tightening the belt. Global inflation makes this tougher. Does anyone out there have experience with buying a dream instrument?

Third option is obviously waiting for N1X which is supposed to arrive any week. I tried an N3X and was impressed. But I did not connect to the instrument in the same way as either of these acoustics. The N1X, in summary, is the practical choice for me. I'm sure it would be great but just seems kind of boring, you know?

Three very different options but I'm stuck. If I'm being honest, the Estonia is a long-shot. I'm a serious player: a full-time Director of Music at a church. Which is also to say that I have access to a grand piano there, a Kawai GE-3 that I'm increasingly unimpressed by. The purchase in question is one is for the living room.

Thank you all for your insights.

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Originally Posted by Space_doodle
Second option, I fell in love with a piano. I never thought it was possible. Most characteristic and wonderful piano I've ever played. An Estonia L190. Store is giving me a good deal: $55,000 before tax, throwing in a concert preparation setup and a digital keyboard! Problem is obviously price. It is technically doable for me but would stretch the family finances in a way that could make emergency situations much harder to deal with and would involve tightening the belt. Global inflation makes this tougher. Does anyone out there have experience with buying a dream instrument?

My $0.02, don't strain your family budget; their wellbeing is always top priority. The piano is an entirely discretionary purchase, it depreciates fast, and it's illiquid, if you finding yourself needing the money. It's great having your dream instrument, but having it hang over your head due to financial strain will really take away from the whole experience. If in a few years you can afford it without as much of a stretch, you'll love it so much more.


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Ugh, you have my sympathies! Waiting 10+ months for the N1X would be seriously frustrating!!

Before I say anything else, I need to state my bias, which is that acoustic pianos are wonderful. I've also played a Yamaha N3, it was nice but not my cup of tea. So, knowing that I am totally biased whome here are my thoughts.

If at all possible, I think you should get the Estonia.

But! This comment:
Quote
Problem is obviously price. It is technically doable for me but would stretch the family finances in a way that could make emergency situations much harder to deal with and would involve tightening the belt.

is a huge concern. You don't want to put yourself in a situation where you can't handle an emergency.

So, having said that, is there anyway you could finance it so that you spread the payments out but don't drain your savings all in one go?

If the answer to that is no, then I would recommend you seriously consider the Kawai, which I'm guessing is not much of a financial strain.

There's one other thing to consider: did your experience with the acoustic grands move you enough to decide not to buy the N1X, but also wait until you can find an acoustic that you like more than the Kawai but that isn't as expensive as the Estonia?

Because, esp. given that you have access to a piano at your church, there's no real reason why you have to buy a piano immediately. Is there?

If not, and assuming you don't want to finance the Estonia, then, again, I recommend waiting till you can find a piano that you love but that isn't so expensive.

Hope this is helpful!

If it's not, then just buy the Estonia. grin


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So many great choices and so hard to wait!

I can't speak intelligently on any of these instruments, but financially I'd recommend staying away from the amazing Estonia piano despite it's amazingness! The last thing you want to be in a situation where you aren't leaving enough slack in the financials for your family.

I love the dream piano, and perhaps there is something to be found in between the price points here? Stretch but not overstretch...

Do keep dreaming!


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Very good advice above. Meanwhile is the piano at the Church in need of some TLC? When was it last regulated and what was done? If you haven't done so already, I'd suggest you download the Kawai Grand Piano manual to see what might need doing.


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I don't know about Canadian pricing except that it's often or sometimes much more expensive the U.S. pricing. And I don't remember if the Piano Buyer pricing is only for the U.S. or if it also includes Canada. With and SMP of 51K, 55K would be outrageously expensive in the U.S. unless the digital included is very high end. And you don't need a high end digital.

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Could I be the devil's advocate here?

Who said the $55k was a 'good deal'? The dealer?

What finish wood is the Estonia?
According to Larry Fine:
MSRP SMP
L190 6' 3 Polished Ebony w/Karelian Birch 61,198 50,958

anyone else know more about Estonia's?
what price would NOT be a financial buster? 50K? 45K? 40K?

FYI - agree 100% your family is more important tho!

or do you need to stick to the 25k or below?

brdwyguy

Last edited by brdwyguy; 05/11/22 12:11 PM.

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Does the church have a capital budget for decent grand pianos? Might be worth a chat with a board member.

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Originally Posted by brdwyguy
Could I be the devil's advocate here?

Who said the $55k was a 'good deal'? The dealer?

What finish wood is the Estonia?
According to Larry Fine:
MSRP SMP
L190 6' 3 Polished Ebony w/Karelian Birch 61,198 50,958

anyone else know more about Estonia's?
what price would NOT be a financial buster? 50K? 45K? 40K?

FYI - agree 100% your family is more important tho!

or do you need to stick to the 25k or below?

brdwyguy


This is a Canadian buyer, so the Pianobuyer prices are not useful


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Ghastly but inspirational.


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Originally Posted by Withindale
Ghastly but inspirational.
Wrong thread. Not the KG3, ShiroKuro"s amazing artistic ceiling.

Last edited by Withindale; 05/11/22 12:48 PM.

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Is the Estonia brand new ? If it is, it is really a waist of money as it will depreciate quite quickly. If you are tight on budget, it is not the best solution.

If you are looking to get a grand, then you should play other pianos as well. Between 12k and 55k, you should be able to find a pre owned of good quality which you will like and wont put you into financial trouble.

The choice between the acoustic and digital is a question of practicality and personal preferences. If for example you cant use the acoustic because of family constraints, it would be an issue for me. You can also buy both a good acoustic and a digital if space allows.


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I also fell in love with a piano that would have stressed me to buy. I didn't buy it, and it's the one that got away. I played over 100 pianos and it was the only one that grabbed me the way it did, including other new pianos of the same model. Did you play many others, and is this Estonia truly special and a standout? If it's a uniquely amazing instrument, perhaps you can finance it. It's not the most financially optimal solution but these decisions aren't always practical.

I tell myself it was the right decision for me at the time, but knowing what I do now I should have made it work somehow. I think there are some really special pianos in the world, but not many.


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Of course the Estonia L190 is fabulous. If the price is problematic here’s what I would try. I’d try to get the dealer to come down on the price or get a special deal on the financing. If that doesn’t work, go back and try the Kawaii again. If it really doesn’t seem a vast improvement over the hybrid, pass it by and maybe get a different hybrid that’s actually in stock.

Best wishes in your search!

Last edited by j&j; 05/11/22 01:25 PM.

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I had another thought. Like vehicles, digital and hybrid pianos have a full array of motherboards and circuitry. I would guess there could be stacks of keyboards waiting on chips like there are new trucks sitting unfinished waiting on similar chips.

Thank God for acoustics. No offense to our digital piano friends.

Last edited by j&j; 05/11/22 01:51 PM.

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Originally Posted by j&j
I had another thought. Like vehicles, digital and hybrid pianos have a full array of motherboards and circuitry. I would guess there could be stacks of keyboards waiting on chips like there are new trucks sitting unfinished waiting on similar chips.

Thank God for acoustics. No offense to our digital piano friends.

We've seen supply chain and chip shortages hitting the digital pianos, for sure. Long delays on hybrids, production pauses on certain models, and (suspected) delays in new product releases. Sometimes, it hits the "acoustic" world as well, such as with Yamaha's early retirement of the SH2 silent system!

The thing is, it's not *entirely* silo'd off from the acoustic world, even when you eliminate the silent/player pianos with built-in electronics. There are manufacturing, worker, shipping and logistical constraints for hard goods across the world, and part of the reason we're seeing delays and price increases even in the pure acoustic piano market is due to the supply chain squeeze. Hopefully these get worked out soon (though I suspect that means a number of quarters, as opposed to weeks/months).


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Welcome to PW!!

I’m glad you got to play a amazing piano but personally, I wouldn’t get the Estonia... maybe you can get a really good piano later in life... 😢

There’s always another you will love I guarantee it!!

Happy piano buying

Last edited by probably blue; 05/11/22 01:59 PM.
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Originally Posted by Sidokar
If you are looking to get a grand, then you should play other pianos as well. Between 12k and 55k, you should be able to find a pre owned of good quality which you will like and wont put you into financial trouble.

I am not a romantic type when it comes to spending that amount of money. So believing that amongst the hundreds of piano available at any given point of time, there is only one in the world that you may like is something that makes no sense for me. I have had several pianos and If I couldnt afford the one I have now, I would be perfectly happy with a well regulated and prepared Yamaha or Kawai, which I played in the past. But everybody is different.


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Although I usually don't recommend traveling far to audition piano, if prices in Canada are that much more expensive than the U.S., you might consider a trip to a U.S. Estonia dealer. Of course, you should try to get at least an estimate of the selling price before making a long trip although that may be difficult. And hopefully, go to a place that has at least two 190 models to audition. I don't know what typical prices for Estonias in the U.S. are but with an SMP of 51k it's certainly possible that you might be able to get one in the high 30ks. There might be an additional shipping charge. Two, at least onetime dealers, that I know of are Allegro Pianos in Conn. and Cunningham Pianos in Philly. You can undoubtedly find more dealers on the Estonia website.

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Three thoughts:
1. Based on the current exchange rate, 55k Canadian is 42.5k US.
2. In your opinion, is the Estonia 43k better than the kawai?
3. Aside from emergencies, have you considered long-term financial needs and wants?

Good luck!

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