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#126598 - 03/11/05 06:58 PM Almost ready to get a Steinway upright
AlwaysWanted2Play Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/13/04
Posts: 8
Loc: Houston
I've been considering several different uprights but the one I can't seem to forget is the K52 S&S upright.

I've heard they can be somewhat difficult to work on & keep tuned. Is this true?

Anything else I should know before I take the plunge?

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#126599 - 03/11/05 07:05 PM Re: Almost ready to get a Steinway upright
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 13963
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
What's the price range of this piano - and have you looked at other options perhaps also generously available in that $$ range??

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

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#126600 - 03/11/05 07:28 PM Re: Almost ready to get a Steinway upright
AlwaysWanted2Play Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/13/04
Posts: 8
Loc: Houston
Norbert,
I believe the price is in the $20 - $22K USD.

I've looked at Boston uprights, August Forester & will check out Walter's on a trip I will make to a city with a dealer at the end of the month.

I love the full sound and touch of this piano.
I must admit that aesthetics play somewhat of a role in this also - as I love the traditional case and burled walnut.

I don't have room for a grand and I would like a piano that will meet the needs of my family as we develop as pianists.

I've got a significant birthday and anniversary coming up and my husband will be happy not to have to go shopping...

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#126601 - 03/11/05 07:55 PM Re: Almost ready to get a Steinway upright
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 13963
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Well there is a right piano for everyone - perhaps this *is* the one for you after all!

Once you have covered all your bases - which should always include checking on a few similiar [or better priced.... ;\) ] alternatives - the decision is entirely yours.

For which I may wish you sincerely the very best!

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

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#126602 - 03/11/05 07:59 PM Re: Almost ready to get a Steinway upright
G. Murdaugh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 235
Loc: Springfield, MO
I'm totally jealous, that is one of the most awesome uprights ever made. Of the ones I have serviced I have found them to be wonderful instruments. They need the same attention before delivery that any high quality piano needs, but after proper dealer prep they can be outstanding!


Good luck
_________________________
G. Murdaugh
Piano Craft Inc.


Authorized dealers for new Yamaha, Kawai, Walters, Young Chang, Kohler, Roland, Allen, Lowrey and....

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#126603 - 03/11/05 08:12 PM Re: Almost ready to get a Steinway upright
Bootsy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/05/04
Posts: 113
Loc: Yonkers, NY
Perhaps I've had bad experiences with many NY Steinway uprights. In fact, I've had lots of bad experiences with these pianos -- I've known quite a few as practice room pianos, office pianos and classroom pianos when I was in academia.

Who's to blame, I'm not sure. These pianos tended to get a lot of use, but they were also well-maintained, by excellent technicians. Yet none were among the better upright pianos I've played. Hamburg Steinways yes, New York Steinways no.

I'm only speaking of the uprights here, and only those I've played myself. Of course some of the most wonderful pianos I've ever played were NY Steinways -- but somehow, never the uprights.

So before spending so much on a K-52, I'd hope that you might look at some other high-end uprights, especially from Germany. If then you find that the best piano (for you) is the NY Steinway K-52, I congratulate you. But I think that you owe it to yourself to compare.

Your mileage may vary,

Bootsy

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#126604 - 03/12/05 04:29 AM Re: Almost ready to get a Steinway upright
jon-nyc Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/05
Posts: 2022
Loc: the left bank -- of the east r...
You should check out Larry Fine's "The Piano Book". He has a large section on S&S.

He does say that the S&S verticals are difficult to tune but says they hold their tune quite well.

I wouldn't worry too much about it as a consumer, so what if the tech takes 15-30m longer tuning you piano than he would some other model??

By the way - I've played a few Steinway uprights and they are fantastic pianos.
_________________________
If you don't talk to your children about equal temperment, who will?

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#126605 - 03/12/05 05:17 AM Re: Almost ready to get a Steinway upright
JD Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/02/03
Posts: 83
Loc: SF Bay Area
I have to admit that the K52 in walnut is one beautiful piano. (there is one at our local Steinway dealer that has been there for a while.) This one has a pretty good sound to it as well. However, the K52 is pretty pricey for what you get.

I spent well over a year on my upright search and subsquently looked at the majority of uprights on the market. (not AFs or Bechsteins).

For my money the uprights I would seriously consider before plunking down 22k+ for the K52 would be the 52" Bohemia, M&H Model 50, Grotrian, 52" Petrof, Yamaha U5 and Fandrich & Sons 50".

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#126606 - 03/14/05 05:54 PM Re: Almost ready to get a Steinway upright
AlwaysWanted2Play Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/13/04
Posts: 8
Loc: Houston
I am discovering just how difficult it is to purchase a piano. When I finally started to consider the decision made (Steinway K52), I stopped to do some more research and now I'm getting the feeling that beyond being just "pricey", the Steinway is much, much, much more expensive than comperable performing piano's. I just don't seem to be able to find a really classy traditional case that I like in other piano's. At the same time I don't want to feel like I made a mistake. :rolleyes:

I'm going to look some more...

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#126607 - 03/14/05 06:04 PM Re: Almost ready to get a Steinway upright
Grotriman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/07/04
Posts: 697
Loc: New York City
I would recommend considering other pianos. I had a Steinway technician who used to tune my upright and thanked his lucky stars that he did not have to tune another Steinway upright.

Have you considered Bohemia? Sauter? Grotrian? All of these make great uprights that have far more value for the money (ascending order).

Also look at the Schimmel uprights. Then the Bechsteins also come to mind.

Another American upright which has (IMHO) a better sound is the full size (52") Mason and Hamlin - does anybody know if they still make this model?

There is a world of uprights out there and in my own opinion the Steinway does not represent the best of the pack.

But then there is the heart - and if you've fallen for one particular piano. There is nothing for you to do but go for it!
_________________________
Regards,

Grotriman

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#126608 - 03/14/05 06:09 PM Re: Almost ready to get a Steinway upright
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 13963
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
I may as well tell you that I am [was?] a Pramberger JP dealer for several years but will not hesitate to make you aware of their *drop dead* beautiful JP 52" - for a fraction of the price of the Steinway.

And are these models similiar?

I really believe they are.

While I was never hot on their 48" models, their JP 52" really were quite something.

[They also apparently make an outstanding 49" model I saw once at the NAAM show but never had in stock myself!]

The 52" model is one of the most overlooked top notch uprights I have ever seen - it comes in a variety of stunning wood finishes!

Find yourself a Young Chang dealer who has some of these pianos in stock - and write me
"Thank You" card later.

Will add it to my wall.........

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

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#126609 - 03/14/05 06:26 PM Re: Almost ready to get a Steinway upright
Jim Lob Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/06/02
Posts: 115
Loc: Maryland
I think that the reason for the lack of selection is the general lack of a market for a $20k + piano.

I agree with the other posters that there is a huge range of pianos out there for the same or less money that should give you more satisfaction. If I were you, I'd be calling Beethoven's in NYC, Keith at Pianocraft in MD (who has a Steingraeber upright -- how's that for big $$), perhaps Chris Finger in Colorado, Altenberg's in NJ, and anyone else who sells high-end German pianos in the U.S. Don't worry about losing a particular K-52 -- there should always be more around.

Jim

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#126610 - 03/14/05 06:40 PM Re: Almost ready to get a Steinway upright
Bootsy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/05/04
Posts: 113
Loc: Yonkers, NY
Grotriman, I think that the Mason & Hamlin upright is a single model, which is 50" tall. It seems like a very nice piano to me, based on briefly playing one M&H 50 at Faust-Harrison in New York. I thought that this was by far the best upright that they had in their store when I visited them (fall 2004), and it was simply because I hadn't yet raised my price range to that level that I didn't seriously consider it a potential candidate to buy. A very big bass, an aggressive but complex tone, a very responsive action -- a fine piano, in the same ballpark pricewise as August Foerster, Sauter and Grotrian pianos of similar size and quality, perhaps slightly less expensive and therefore a good value in a dynamite American piano.

Wonderful to say, none of these pianos could be mistaken for any of the others -- each has its own distinctive personality. All of these are worth considering as alternatives to NY Steinway uprights, and if possible you ought to try them out; another alternative would be the Hamburg Steinway, and another would be the C. Bechstein, and still others come to mind -- Bosendorfer, Bluethner, Steingraeber, Schimmel and Seiler: there are plenty of high-end upright pianos worth playing if you have the opportunity.

I certainly enjoyed playing many of these pianos before pulling the trigger on a Grotrian. Of course, if you are in love with a particular Steinway upright, by all means go for it. But don't forget that there exist a lot of possibilities for someone willing to exceed 10K, much less 20K, for an upright piano.

Best,

Bootsy

P.S. You also might try some less-expensive pianos as well, such as Bohemia, Petrof, Shulze-Pollman, Pleyel, Yamaha, Kawai, etc., as suggested by some posters above.

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#126611 - 03/14/05 10:14 PM Re: Almost ready to get a Steinway upright
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20744
Loc: Oakland
The K-52 is a great piano, much better than their smaller model, and the classic lines of the case are unique among today's pianos. It's expensive, but if it's to your taste, you shouldn't feel bad about getting one.

If the cost is a strain on your budget, and you like the styling, you might want to look into a well-restored old American upright, but it is difficult to know the good ones from the so-so, and there are not a lot of people who restore them well.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#126612 - 03/15/05 12:22 AM Re: Almost ready to get a Steinway upright
Pedro Navas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/24/05
Posts: 180
Loc: Spain
If I were you I would also try the Bösendorfer upright which is an amazing piano as well as the Bechstein Concert 8.

Both are incredible pianos in every sense and in addition with a beautiful cabinet.

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#126613 - 03/15/05 01:15 PM Re: Almost ready to get a Steinway upright
Alanjazz. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/13/04
Posts: 84
Loc: England
You could try a Pleyel 131 (thats cm's high). Just the bass will I think amaze you. A most loveable sound and with deep rich vibrations more than I've ever found even on the many high ranking grands.

Alan

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#126614 - 03/15/05 01:22 PM Re: Almost ready to get a Steinway upright
kluurs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/02
Posts: 3739
Loc: Chicago
I'm not sure where you are located - but pianos I'd give a try - Mason & Hamlin, Schulz Pollman and if you're near MD - try the unbelievable Steingraeber that PianoCraft has. Mind you, I'm a fan of S&S - and won't beat you up for choosing it - but there are some other great uprights you should also play before the decision.

K

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#126615 - 03/15/05 01:46 PM Re: Almost ready to get a Steinway upright
B Man Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/30/04
Posts: 230
Another thought:

Why an upright? If you have so much money to spend, I assume you have enough space at home for a grand. Of course, this assumption could be wrong, but seriously consider a grand. It is so much better and *different*!

While I'm generally very pro Steinway, I'm not impressed with their uprights. As mentioned above, try at least a Grotrian or Bechstein. The Steingraeber is also wonderfull. All of them are -in my opinion- better uprights than the Steinway's.

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#126616 - 03/15/05 02:53 PM Re: Almost ready to get a Steinway upright
MikeC65 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/11/01
Posts: 325
Loc: St. Louis, Missouri
OK, as the owner of a K, I feel obliged to jump in here to defend my piano :p

A well-prepped and maintained K is an excellent piano. There is certainly nothing wrong with the scale design. I have played some (not all) of the other high-end uprights, like the Boesendorfer 130CL, and I didn't think they were necessarily better than what I have, just different. They all, and that includes the Steinway, were clearly a cut above the second tier brands like the Yamaha U series. My K has an excellent tone which my tech says is the best of all the uprights he works on, and the touch, although certainly limited compared to a grand, is more than fine for an upright. If you think a K meets your needs, don't hestitate to get one. I love mine.

Having said that, of course you should play other brands and see which one meets your personal preference. Also, if you have $25K to spend, other posters are correct that you should see what grands might be available in your price range.
_________________________
Mike Cohan
St. Louis, MO
1910 Steinway Model K

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#126617 - 03/15/05 05:59 PM Re: Almost ready to get a Steinway upright
Steve the ragtimer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/03/02
Posts: 206
Loc: Philadelphia
On a trip to Cunninghams a couple of years back, Rich had both a M&H and a Bosendorfer upright - the M&H was wonderful, and the Bosie was incredible. Price-wise, the M&H would be less than the S&S, the Bosie just slightly more.

I've played several S&S K-52s, and think that they were all very "quirky" - none of them sang to me.

I'd encourage you to at least look at the M&H, and hope to find the Bosie to look at. Goosebumps!

Steve

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#126618 - 03/15/05 11:33 PM Re: Almost ready to get a Steinway upright
velopresto Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 605
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
Great uprights, one and all. But if you have the money and the space, a good quality grand will afford you more playing pleasure.

If you have your heart set on an upright, you could certainly do worse than a "K"! But I'd look around before making the plunge. Lots of great uprights out there in that price range. I like the M and H, and the Seilers quite a bit. And if you want to save a chunk of change, the Bohemias are quite nice!
_________________________
Dave Stahl
Dave Stahl Piano Service
Santa Clara, CA
Serving most of the greater SF Bay Area
http://dstahlpiano.net

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#126619 - 03/16/05 08:39 AM Re: Almost ready to get a Steinway upright
WynnBear Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/13/03
Posts: 698
Loc: Dallas, TX
To paraphrase Larry Fine:

High-end uprights have a very limited market. They are for those with almost unlimited funds, but with very limited space, a relatively rare situation.

I own a very nice vertical that is built well and plays well (Charles Walter). Space was an issue for me. But my piano was between $5 and $6 thousand.

If I were shopping in the $20 thousand plus range, I'd have found a way to fit a grand. There are lots of very nice instruments to choose from in that price range.
_________________________
Wynne

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#126620 - 03/16/05 03:57 PM Re: Almost ready to get a Steinway upright
FranklySpeaking Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/22/04
Posts: 273
Loc: Texas
Always,
Nice to meet you over at Scott's. Yes, I have to admit it's hard to get over the piano shopping bug after shopping for two years! \:D
I just had to look at his new Bosie and the Rosewood Bluthner while I was "in the area".
You have received some great advice here .... glad to see you looking at the grand option again. If you can make it work in your room you will never regret it. We love ours more and more every day as it has filled our home with joy!
_________________________
Jay

"If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." -Katharine Hepburn

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#126621 - 03/16/05 04:19 PM Re: Almost ready to get a Steinway upright
AlwaysWanted2Play Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/13/04
Posts: 8
Loc: Houston
I'm very grateful for all the information from folks on this forum.

Recent update, I've revisited the space issue and am also looking at squeezing in a smaller grand. I've looked at the Estonia and a smaller Petrof and liked them both. Even for a novice like me, the difference in touch between the grands and the uprights is noticable.

Any other smaller grand contenders I should look at in the $20K range?

Jay - nice to meet you too and thanks for sharing your experience. I'm glad you like your Estonia.

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#126622 - 03/16/05 05:00 PM Re: Almost ready to get a Steinway upright
Steve Ramirez Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/01
Posts: 1094
Loc: El Cajon, California
 Quote:
Originally posted by AlwaysWanted2Play:
Any other smaller grand contenders I should look at in the $20K range? [/b]
Schimmel and Vogel are two.

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#126623 - 03/16/05 10:28 PM Re: Almost ready to get a Steinway upright
velopresto Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 605
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
I'd check out an RX1 (5'4")and RX2(5'10"). The actions in these pianos are very nice, and the tone is quite pleasing! Bohemia makes some nice grands, too, but I don't know about price ranges for them.

When you try the pianos out, suggest to the store owners that you are serious and that you'd like to hear what the pianos sound like in a well-tuned state. Hearing one tuned and another not tuned will make a big difference in your perception of the instrument.
_________________________
Dave Stahl
Dave Stahl Piano Service
Santa Clara, CA
Serving most of the greater SF Bay Area
http://dstahlpiano.net

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#126624 - 03/18/05 08:06 AM Re: Almost ready to get a Steinway upright
FranklySpeaking Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/22/04
Posts: 273
Loc: Texas
Agreed ... prep can make a world of difference.
_________________________
Jay

"If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." -Katharine Hepburn

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#126625 - 03/20/05 02:21 PM Re: Almost ready to get a Steinway upright
B Man Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/30/04
Posts: 230
The best of the small grands is certainly the Steingraeber 168. Most grands of this size aren't that terrific, but the Steingraeber is. Check it out!

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#126626 - 03/20/05 03:30 PM Re: Almost ready to get a Steinway upright
iyi bir piano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 664
Loc: USA
If you are willing to drop 20k plus for an upright IMO S&S K-52 is one of the worse choices.

I will seriously consider a Steigraeber or a Seiler 132 SMR.

These pianos WILL blow away any S&S upright or a model S.... baby grand.
In terms of looks they also beautiful and by far more refine than Steinway.

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#126627 - 06/09/06 08:15 AM Re: Almost ready to get a Steinway upright
yamaha2006 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/02/06
Posts: 39
I played on the

K132 (Hammburg) !!
Bosie 130CL
Bechstein concert8
Grotrian 130
Yamaha U5 or SU

And the best in touch and tone was K132 !!
Even the V125 (Hamburg) was excellent , the touch of Steinway pianos is far better than any other pianos!Even Grand yamaha!!!

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