Sunday, October 19, 2008

Piano Shopping Experience

Piano Master (@ Geylang East)
Piano Master gives me a very home feeling. The sales person was very nice, I can feel free to play on the pianos (uprights and grands) to compare the different pianos together. I feel very comfortable there, and had the chance to listen to the salesperson share her perspectives on choosing a piano. I played a few Chinese pop songs on the different pianos, and I like 2 pianos. Both are Hailun. The 125cm upright and the grand (I think is the 161). Both have a very thick and sweet sound. Both pianos should be able to last till my kids reach Grade 8 (if they ever reach that standard). The upright is S$3,600 which I think it is affordable. And the grand was around S$10,000 (I forgot the exact price), but is definitely out of my reach. Hence the Hailun upright is shortlisted.

Yamaha (@ Thomson Plaza and @ Plaza Singapura)
I tried the Yamaha CLP320, CLP330 and the digital grand piano series. They feel quite real. But generally I feel that digital pianos have their keys quite bouncy. But something that I don't like about CLP320 is that I cannot control the metronome other than the + and - buttons. For S$1,800, it has limited functions even though it has 3 levels of sampling. However CLP330 has better functions, but S$500 more expensive, which is quite significant. As for the digital grand pianos, the sound was very sweet. I liked the sound a lot. But they are over S$10,000, and I still feel that Yamaha digital pianos are too expensive.

I get the chance to try the Silent Pianos as well. I tried the U1. Yes, the sound is very sweet and the touch is very nice. But a silent one is S$9,000. So expensive! But since everyone likes to compare their pianos with U1 (which is suppose to be the standard pianos usually like to compare with). I looked at the hammers, very nice, but not very straight though. But clean and good.

Too bad, their grand pianos are in another glass room, which I need to ask the salesperson if I wish to try the pianos. Haha. I am not a very good pianist, so shy to request. Anyway, I don't have the intention to buy.

Luther Music (@ Excelsior Shopping Centre)
Luther Music is a shop that sells guitars and digital pianos. I tried Korg SP250, same thing, I feel that the keys were bouncy. However, it has more function buttons than the Yamaha CLP320, and it is at S$970. So much cheaper than Yamaha CLP320. But of coz, it does not come with the casing, and the salesperson told me that Korg SP250 only has 2 level sampling. I also tried the Yamaha P85 and P140. I thought P140 is good. The salesperson told me that Yamaha P140 is made in Japan, but all CLP series are made in Indonesia. And P140 is about S$1,800 as well, with more function buttons than CLP320, but also without casing. I also tried Casio digital pianos. Same thing, the keys are very bouncy. In fact, the feel is similar to the Korg one. And Casio are slightly more expensive, so I am not interested. I also forgot which Casio models I tried. But I can't find any other that is cheaper than Korg SP250. So I didn't look further.

But this shop is good in the sense that if you have a particular digital piano model in mind, eben when they do not have it available for you to try, you can ask them about their prices, I feel that the prices are generally cheaper and they can help you order, and deliver to your house.

Carrerfour (@ Plaza Singapura)
For those who are interested in Casio digital pianos, you should be able to find a few more models in Carrerfour. You can sit there and keep playing, no salesperson will come and bother you. I saw an uncle happily sitting there and played for as long as I was there trying out the different models. But no one came and disturb us. I think we were there for an hour or so.

Cristofori (@Bedok)
I tried a few pianos at Cristofori. Personally, don't quite like the feeling, coz the salesperson is using hard selling. Maybe I have the very naive look.

That aside, I tried their Cristofori pianos. For a 121cm, it was $4k+. The salesperson says it is the same as Yamaha U1, at half the price of Yamaha U1. Cristofori is a stencil brand. I am not sure what is the original brand. When I tried, I would the piano is ok, nothing fantastic, but a decent piano, with quite a sweet sound. But I still like Hailun pianos better. Moreover, Cristofori is more expensive. I tried Samick and Pearl River. Both less than 121cm (can't remember the height). Samick is about $4k and Pearl River is about $3.2k (cheaper than Hailun). Samick is also ok, but I don't quite like it's appearance, trying to be too contemporary and I still prefer Hailun's sound at a cheaper price. As for Pearl River, I heard very bad comments about it. But is not as bad as I expected. It has a very bright sound. I prefer a more thick chocolate kind of sound. And it is too short. For the same height, I can get a Hailun at 2k+. So no point considering further.

1. Grand Piano:
Too expensive. Out!

2. Upright Piano:
Hailun 125cm S$3,600 (can bargain somemore, can consider)
Hailun 120cm S$2,899 (haven't tried, but if sounds good and can bargain, can consider)

3. Digital Piano:
Korg SP250 $970 (To enable me to practice at night, but is it necessary? Can consider.)