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#1170111 - 03/28/09 03:27 AM Moving Seiler Concert Grand f. Germany to U.S.
SeilerFan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/27/09
Posts: 746
Hello, this is my first post. I have enjoyed reading this forum for quite a while now and thought I'd chime in with my personal situation.

I own a beautiful Seiler 242 concert grand (7'11f) that I bought new in Germany in 1998. It has a wonderful and sonorous bass, a full and vigorous tenor, and last but not least an extremely clear and brilliant treble. Altogether, the piano sings. I had all keys regulated to 58 grams as I love a heavy action and as I equally love the feeling of burying my fingers in the keys. Despite the higher weight, the keys are still extremely responsive. I even feel that the added weight gives me a pleasant counterpressure/backswing (for lack of a better word) when perfoming trills and the like. The grand is probably a bit oversized for use in a home, but then one cannot escape the charm of an 8 footer.

I am originally German but have lived in the U.S. for five years now. My girlfriend and I live in a little house and we would have space to place the piano. It is time NOW that I be reunited with my beloved piano!

I have done research and learned that I can import my piano into the U.S. duty free as personal effects.
I have contacted a German mover, Krause and Pabst, who are very experienced in piano moves. They offered to pick up the piano at my parent's place (where it has been sitting all those years), wrap and crate it professionally and either take it to the airport (I assume Frankfurt) or the port (Hamburg).
Incl. of insurance, they charge 1130 EUR for this service.

Surface(ship) is EUR 1425 (incl. of EUR 840 insurance for the new value of the piano, EUR 40.000)

Air is approx. EUR 1800 (incl. of EUR 820 for fees and insurance + EUR 2 per kilogram; piano weighs 490 kg + box at least another 10-20kg)

Then, I will have to have the piano picked up by a U.S. based mover and get it to Ohio.

Do the above prices sound ok to you? Would you prefer air over surface? The people I've talked to, unanimously said I should ship it via air as it would be safer and handled more carefully.

Please feel free to chime in with tips. Also, since Seiler is not so well-known in the American piano market, I'd be curious to hear from those who have been exposed to the brand and their pianos. I don't know much about their recent production, especially since the buyout by Samick. However, Seiler pianos were beautiful instruments when I bought mine. I assume (and hope) that this hasn't changed...


Edited by SeilerFan (03/28/09 03:30 AM)

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#1170124 - 03/28/09 05:01 AM Re: Moving Seiler Concert Grand f. Germany to U.S. [Re: SeilerFan]
Gregor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 433
Loc: Münster, Germany
The prices seem okay. For the German part you could compare Krauss & Papst to Piano-Express:

http://www.piano-express.de/

I would ship it via air because the time spent in a box is shorter and not so humid compared to sea freight.

Gregor
_________________________
piano tech - tuner - dealer
Münster, Germany
www.weldert.de

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#1170243 - 03/28/09 12:54 PM Re: Moving Seiler Concert Grand f. Germany to U.S. [Re: Gregor]
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3441
Loc: US
I don't know anything about moving it from Europe, but I have played Seilers here in the US and been very impressed with them. I played a 242 that was one of the nicest pianos I have ever played. I hope your piano arrives safely and you have a wonderful reunion with it!

Sophia

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#1170275 - 03/28/09 01:35 PM Re: Moving Seiler Concert Grand f. Germany to U.S. [Re: sophial]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14096
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Seiler fan:

First of all congratulations to your piano: the Seiler concert is a spectacular piano. I played a few when in Kitzingen few years back: they were by far the best of the whole bunch.

Re shipping: it is expensive and they are unfortunately no shortcusts or 'deals'. Don't forget the piano will have to get crated first, something very expensive in Germany.

One thing to watch out for is that they will have to find an airplane with big enough cargohold to take such big box, most regular planes are too small for that.

Best of luck - you will certainly own one of the finest pianos anywhere in U.S!

Norbert


Edited by Norbert (03/28/09 01:36 PM)
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#1170311 - 03/28/09 02:31 PM Re: Moving Seiler Concert Grand f. Germany to U.S. [Re: Norbert]
Robert 45 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/18/06
Posts: 1193
Loc: Auckland New Zealand
Dear SeilerFan,
Such a glorious piano deserves the best quality freighting available. The cost of freighting is small in comparison to the potential cost of finding a comparable replacement in the USA.
I would definitely air freight as that is so much quicker and less stressful for the piano.

Even pianos moved between Australia and New Zealand are air freighted and we are quite close neighbours.

Very best of luck!

Robert.

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#1170361 - 03/28/09 04:01 PM Re: Moving Seiler Concert Grand f. Germany to U.S. [Re: Robert 45]
SeilerFan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/27/09
Posts: 746
Thanks for all your feedback so far. It is reassuring that you all seem to hold the Seiler in such high regard. THe brand is unfortunately far too unknown here.

When I picked out my model 242 at the time at the factory in Kitzingen, they only had three of those on display. Ironically, one was already spoken for. The Wildecker Herzbuben, a German folk music duo, had bought it. Luckily, I didn't like it anyway. The sound was way too soft and to imprecise for me. The second one was very balanced, beautiful and nice. But then, the third one blew me away. I had played a Steinway model B a week prior to that, and this Seiler's treble reminded me so much of the Steinway that I fell in love with it. Plus, the bass was richer than the Steinway's. Incidentally, some Russian pianist had played the same mod. 242 a couple of days ago and had said the same thing, as I was told by the sales person. Needless to say, that was the mod. 242 I picked. It spoke to me. And even though the other mod. 242 were nice, only this one convinced me completely. I then met with Seiler's piano master technician and he prepared it to my specifications. It was so nice that I could communicate directly with the person who actually supervised my instrument when it was made. That's the advantage of buying a piano from a small factory like Seiler.

I will probably pick air freight. And as the move is going to happen in late June, I hope that the prices will then still be reasonable. I hate to say this, but I hope that the economic slump will last until then, before the prices will inevitably go up.


Edited by SeilerFan (03/28/09 04:12 PM)

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#1170381 - 03/28/09 04:36 PM Re: Moving Seiler Concert Grand f. Germany to U.S. [Re: SeilerFan]
Seneca Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/23/06
Posts: 277
Loc: Portland, OR
You can check the international air freight charges against a quote from either the UPS or the Fedex websites. I have used Fedex for much smaller packages, and they also provide a customs brokerage service (which I believe can handle a VAT refund, if you're moving newly purchased merchandise).

A couple of other comments:

1. Airfreight is the way to go.

2. Insurance is definitely a good idea.

3. You save quite a bit of money by allowing a 3-4 day delivery window, rather than requiring expedited or overnight service.

4. I would not worry about the size of the shipment vs. the size of the airplane. A crate containing a 500 kg piano is all in a days work for a commercial freight forwarding operation. Those people deliver everything from fresh flowers to multi-ton special purpose machinery every day.

5. Finally, I think I remember reading somewhere on this website that it cost about USD4000 to airfreight a grand piano from Europe to the United States. Your bids are consistent with that.

Enjoy your adventure.


Edited by Seneca (03/28/09 07:32 PM)
_________________________
Seneca
http://apachecadillac.blogspot.com/

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#1170387 - 03/28/09 04:45 PM Re: Moving Seiler Concert Grand f. Germany to U.S. [Re: SeilerFan]
Kurtmen Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 632
Loc: San Mateo, CA
This is a spectacular piano and the shipping is a small fraction of the price and value of the piano. It is worth finding a good moving company that can pack it properly. Spare no expense to protect this valuable instrument.

SMC (Samick Music Corp) just purchased the factory in Germany and vows to maintain the quality of the product. With deep pockets, the Seiler, may now get the marketing and recognition that it truly deserves. Seiler has been undervalued and undermarketed for eons. Larry Fine needs to take a good look at this piano and re-rate it to the rightful conclusion.

We are one of the best Seiler dealers in the bay area and country, and have the six, seven, eight and nine foot grands on our floor all the time, they are truly our prized pianos. We carry the Bluthner and Shigeru pianos too, so we have a good understanding of quality!

Seiler is Awesom!
_________________________
San Mateo Piano
Purveyors of:
Kawai, Wilh. Steinberg.
Kawai Digital Piano, Pianodisc.
<a href="http://sanmateopiano.com" style="color:#FF0505;font-size:10px;font-family:Times New Roman;text-decoration:underline;" target="_blank" >http://sanmateopiano.com</a>

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#1170509 - 03/28/09 08:32 PM Re: Moving Seiler Concert Grand f. Germany to U.S. [Re: Kurtmen]
rapide Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/05
Posts: 76
Loc: uk
Hi. Our first big grand was a Seiler 240. Presumably since then they have changed the size to 242cm? It was a great piano with a beautiful bass. Unfortunately an overflowing cistern in the upstairs bathroom turned our Seiler into a temporary swimming pool. End of Seiler - but fondly remembered. John

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#1170542 - 03/28/09 09:47 PM Re: Moving Seiler Concert Grand f. Germany to U.S. [Re: rapide]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Originally Posted By: rapide
Hi. Our first big grand was a Seiler 240. Presumably since then they have changed the size to 242cm? It was a great piano with a beautiful bass. Unfortunately an overflowing cistern in the upstairs bathroom turned our Seiler into a temporary swimming pool. End of Seiler - but fondly remembered. John


That's sad. frown
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#1170590 - 03/28/09 11:41 PM Re: Moving Seiler Concert Grand f. Germany to U.S. [Re: Horowitzian]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14096
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
When I picked out my model 242 at the time at the factory in Kitzingen, they only had three of those on display. Ironically, one was already spoken for.


Wondering if these were the same three I saw when there.

They offered some incredible deals on them, somehow one sensed things weren't going too well for them....

What counts is you got the piano of your dreams - nothing wrong getting it also for a good price!
[no need to confirm...]

Norbert thumb


Edited by Norbert (03/28/09 11:42 PM)
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#1170824 - 03/29/09 02:16 PM Re: Moving Seiler Concert Grand f. Germany to U.S. [Re: Norbert]
SeilerFan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/27/09
Posts: 746
Originally Posted By: Norbert
Quote:
When I picked out my model 242 at the time at the factory in Kitzingen, they only had three of those on display. Ironically, one was already spoken for.


Wondering if these were the same three I saw when there.


Hi Norbert, I have to make amends, methinks. I picked out the piano in 1998, and then the model was the 240, I think, not the 242. The 242 was a slight redesign of the 240, and I have the previous version. I have to check at home in Germany, as I don't remember it now. At the time, Ursula Seiler was still in charge, and things were ok for Seiler then. But I could be wrong.

So, when were you at the factory.


It's sad to hear about the other poster's story, and how the water ruined that beautiful grand piano. My condolences!

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#1170980 - 03/29/09 06:47 PM Re: Moving Seiler Concert Grand f. Germany to U.S. [Re: SeilerFan]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14096
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
So, when were you at the factory.


Yes, Kitzingen is on the way from Frankfurt to my old home town Erlangen.

Last time I was in Kitzingen in 2005 things didn't look good...

A you know factory has been meantime sold to Samick.

Let's see what will happen in future but won't hold my breath.

Congratulations again to your piano!

Norbert
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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