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#1310783 - 11/23/09 06:47 AM Input requested from Brodmann Grand owners
JimG Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 59
Loc: Georgia, USA
Greetings,

There is not a great deal of feedback yet on Brodmann grand pianos. But what I have seen on this forum seems generally positive. If you own a Brodmann grand, can you please provide your thoughts about what drove you to your selection, and how you have enjoyed the ownership experience.

Thanks

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#1310793 - 11/23/09 07:29 AM Re: Input requested from Brodmann Grand owners [Re: JimG]
Larry Larson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 992
Loc: Carmel, Indiana
Hi Jim, I do not own a Brodmann, but I played one many hours every day one week in San Diego at the PianoSD owned by Ric Overton. I had never heard of them at the time, and I was blown away by how good it was. They are right up there with the best of the new breed of high quaility high value Chinese pianos.
_________________________
1995 Baldwin L grand
2001 Baldwin Hamilton upright
Yamaha S90 synthesizer
www.larrylarsonpiano.com
YouTubeChannel www.youtube.com/LarryLarsonPiano

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#1311312 - 11/24/09 12:32 AM Re: Input requested from Brodmann Grand owners [Re: Larry Larson]
SDurand Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/09/09
Posts: 10
Loc: California
Hi Jim,
I bought a Brodmann BG187 back in April. The pianos that I seriously considered were Yamaha C2 and C3, both new and used, Kawai RX2 and RX3, A variety of other used Kawais, a used Vogel 177T, A few different Boston and Essex models, and a K&C 600,there was also a very nice used Shigeru Kawai that I was considering but it was a bit out of my price range.

Even though I have read a lot of comments about how Yamahas can be voiced, I found the ones that I tried to be uniformly bright in a way that didn't appeal to me. I also didn't care for the keyboard feel of the Yamahas. Just a personal preference.

I found the Kawais to be the most variable in the way that they sounded, some being quite bright and some very mellow. My favorite of the Kawais that I tired was an RX3 that had a nice full mellow tone. I felt that the action was very good.

None of the Bostons or Essex that I tried really grabbed me with either their tone or feel. Nothing wrong with them, just not exceptional.

I felt that the Vogel was a really nice piano. Had a nice tone and a really good bass for it's size. I also thought that it had the nicest action of all of the pianos I tired.

I was really surprised when I tried out the Broadmann because I felt the tone really had character and I preferred it to all of the pianos except the Vogel. It was sitting on the floor right next to the RX3 that I mentioned above and I really preferred the sound of the Brodmann.

Ultimately my choice came down between the Vogel and the Brodmann. I slightly preferred the Vogel overall but could not justify the price difference to myself so I ended up buying the Brodmann

I'd like to point out that all of the dealers that I went to in the area (Southern California-Orange County area) were very professional and didn't try to pressure me one way or the other. The all gave me plenty of time to try out the pianos and answered any questions that had without a lot of bias as far as I could tell.

I have had the piano for 7 months now and it has been mechanically perfect and I still love the sound.

Steve


Edited by SDurand (11/24/09 12:34 AM)

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#1311474 - 11/24/09 11:27 AM Re: Input requested from Brodmann Grand owners [Re: SDurand]
Zooplibob Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/04
Posts: 245
Loc: Houston, TX
Hi, I recently purchased a Brodmann 212 7' grand. I agree, there hasn't been much feedback on the forums about it. In a way, thats good, since I know I made my decision by which piano I actually liked the most instead of the hype.

I was in the market for a nice grand, up to about $35,0000. The fact that I chose the Brodmann does say something, since it sells for around $20,000, and there are many "higher-tier" instruments you can get for 35k. I got a chance to play many instruments (used/rebuilt Steinway, Shigeru Kawai, M&H, Estonia, Boston) and can honestly say I preferred the Brodmann 212 to them all. I actually owned a new M&H AA for a few months before I returned it, deciding I didn't like the sound. I was looking at the M&H BB at the dealer, and just for comparison played the piano next to it (the Brodmann), and never got up.

Sound quality: To me, it has a nice balance between the American Steinway sound and the more "refined" European sound. In other words it has the ability to get loud and aggressive sounding, yet still able to produce a sound sweet and bell-like when playing soft. This is the most impressive part of the piano to me.

Build quality: The Brodmann definitely looks cheaper than the high-tier pianos. The finish is not quite as perfect, seams are visible inside the piano, and just overall it feels a little less perfect than the M&H or Steinways. Having said that, I don't believe this affects performance, maintenance, or sound quality, so for me it was a non-issue

Action: Felt perfect to me. Moderate to light touch, and allows for fast repetition. Everyone that has played it comments on how good the action feels, so I think this is a strength.

Longevity: Can't comment here, and nobody else can either, since the pianos are so new. What will the piano play like in 15 years? Will it start to fall apart after 10? Will the company have gone bankrupt in 10 years? All signs point to no, but that is a risk you would take with any new brand. Comments from owners who have owned for 4+ years have all been positive and really give no indication the piano will not last.

Feel free to message me if you want to know more. I was extremely picky in my search an wound up with the Brodmann, so I hope that says something. Thanks

Jeff

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#1312278 - 11/25/09 04:18 PM Re: Input requested from Brodmann Grand owners [Re: Zooplibob]
rickshapiro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/15/08
Posts: 171
I’ve had my 187 for over a year or so and my feelings are mixed. Its price point makes it a winner against most if its competition. I really like the action; it is just weighted perfectly for me. Tone for me is somewhat problematic. Transitions between certain sections (ranges of keys) have enough differences to be noticeable and disconcerting. I also have issues with what can be best described as “clipping” using an analog audio analogy. Any fortissimo playing tends to result in a distortion as if the soundboard cannot handle the volume. For a while I thought it was perhaps the room but I have had more than one technician say the distortion is definitely emanating from the piano. There is nothing mechanically wrong that can be fixed. Voicing it down a bit takes off the edge but it is still problematic.
On the plus side it appears to be well built. Tunings have held reasonably well. At level below fortissimo it has a very nice singing voice in a more European style.

I often have chances to play other pianos in this price range and somewhat above and very rarely find something I like more overall.

If I would have been able to stretch my dollars more I would have made another choice perhaps. Although I do not regret the purchase, I would like something else down the road if my finances allow (times are really tough).

Best advice is to try the piano, even better would be to find a dealer that would provide the flexibility to return, exchange or upgrade the piano if it is not to your liking.

If anytime you want to come to New Jersey and give mine a whirl, just let me know.
Rick Shapiro
_________________________
Music Hack

Nord NP88,Yamaha Motif ES7, Ensoniq KS32, Brodmann 187 Grand, JV2080, GR20, JV90, MKS-20, Sonar S1, Reaper, ACID, Record/Reason, Samplitude, VOX Tonelab, Tech21 Power Engine, NI, Kore, True Piano, Sampletank, Komplete, Bluesky Studio Monitors Yamaha 01X, Line 6 HD500, tons of guitars.

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#1312425 - 11/25/09 08:15 PM Re: Input requested from Brodmann Grand owners [Re: rickshapiro]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 13968
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
Transitions between certain sections (ranges of keys) have enough differences to be noticeable and disconcerting. I also have issues with what can be best described as “clipping” using an analog audio analogy.


Solution:

Seat strings on bridge, tune, re-tighten action screws,mate hammers to strings, regulate entire action, [extra attention to repetition springs] reshape hammers - voice.

6-12 hours work by experienced tech.

We do this to all pianos BEFORE even shipping out.

No propblemo Senor!

Norbert smile


Edited by Norbert (11/25/09 08:18 PM)
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#1315820 - 12/01/09 11:50 AM Re: Input requested from Brodmann Grand owners [Re: Norbert]
rickshapiro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/15/08
Posts: 171
Originally Posted By: Norbert
Quote:
Transitions between certain sections (ranges of keys) have enough differences to be noticeable and disconcerting. I also have issues with what can be best described as “clipping” using an analog audio analogy.


Solution:

Seat strings on bridge, tune, re-tighten action screws,mate hammers to strings, regulate entire action, [extra attention to repetition springs] reshape hammers - voice.

6-12 hours work by experienced tech.

We do this to all pianos BEFORE even shipping out.

No propblemo Senor!

Norbert smile


If you ever come to New Jersey let me know. I have some work for you.
_________________________
Music Hack

Nord NP88,Yamaha Motif ES7, Ensoniq KS32, Brodmann 187 Grand, JV2080, GR20, JV90, MKS-20, Sonar S1, Reaper, ACID, Record/Reason, Samplitude, VOX Tonelab, Tech21 Power Engine, NI, Kore, True Piano, Sampletank, Komplete, Bluesky Studio Monitors Yamaha 01X, Line 6 HD500, tons of guitars.

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#1315980 - 12/01/09 02:46 PM Re: Input requested from Brodmann Grand owners [Re: rickshapiro]
JimG Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 59
Loc: Georgia, USA
Update: I played the Hailun HG218 yesterday and the Brodmann 212 today, and here is my report:

Hailun - Pros

Very nice, warm tone
Consistent timbre throughout the whole range of the piano
Consistent Action (see cons)
Fit and finish was very nice

Hailun - Cons

The action was too light - never felt like I was "grabbing" onto anything. Reminded me somewhat of my Story & Clark console
Dynamic range was narrow -- on other instruments I can get very soft and very loud - on this one, the difference between softest and loudest was limited -- and that included using the left pedal
Keys appeared and felt a little too "plastic" (i.e. shiny) for my liking -- including the sharps. Compare to the matte finish of keys on higher end instruments.

Brodmann - Pros

Outstanding sound throughout the entire range
Sustain in the upper two octaves was clear and audible (not percussive) - best I have heard in any piano
Action -- was the best I have tried in any piano in this class -- comparable to the Petrof II (which I love)
Keys felt like high-end piano keys
Dynamic range much wider than the Hailun -- not up to the dynamic range of the Petrof II -- but well within the range of acceptable to me.
Fit and finish was also very nice.

Brodmann - Cons

A few of the notes in the mid-upper register sounded different than other notes (i.e. stood out while playing through a phrase at mezzo-forte). Could not tell if it is a matter of regulation or voicing -- but did not distract me that much, and something I am confident can be adjusted.

Based on my experience, the Brodmann would be my choice over the Hailun.

I will keep every updated on my piano search progress.

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#1317338 - 12/03/09 08:32 AM Re: Input requested from Brodmann Grand owners [Re: JimG]
joe80 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 954
I have a 187 and I think it's great. Balanced sound, excellent dynamic range, nice action, great value for money.

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#1317484 - 12/03/09 11:43 AM Re: Input requested from Brodmann Grand owners [Re: JimG]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19097
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: JimG
Update: I played the Hailun HG218 yesterday and the Brodmann 212 today, and here is my report:

Hailun - Pros

Very nice, warm tone
Consistent timbre throughout the whole range of the piano
Consistent Action (see cons)
Fit and finish was very nice

Hailun - Cons

The action was too light - never felt like I was "grabbing" onto anything. Reminded me somewhat of my Story & Clark console
Dynamic range was narrow -- on other instruments I can get very soft and very loud - on this one, the difference between softest and loudest was limited -- and that included using the left pedal
Keys appeared and felt a little too "plastic" (i.e. shiny) for my liking -- including the sharps. Compare to the matte finish of keys on higher end instruments.

Brodmann - Pros

Outstanding sound throughout the entire range
Sustain in the upper two octaves was clear and audible (not percussive) - best I have heard in any piano
Action -- was the best I have tried in any piano in this class -- comparable to the Petrof II (which I love)
Keys felt like high-end piano keys
Dynamic range much wider than the Hailun -- not up to the dynamic range of the Petrof II -- but well within the range of acceptable to me.
Fit and finish was also very nice.

Brodmann - Cons

A few of the notes in the mid-upper register sounded different than other notes (i.e. stood out while playing through a phrase at mezzo-forte). Could not tell if it is a matter of regulation or voicing -- but did not distract me that much, and something I am confident can be adjusted.

Based on my experience, the Brodmann would be my choice over the Hailun.

I will keep every updated on my piano search progress.


Nice to see a more reasonable and balanced evaluation with pros and cons for a change.

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#1317615 - 12/03/09 02:10 PM Re: Input requested from Brodmann Grand owners [Re: pianoloverus]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 13968
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
JimG:

Nice reports, thank you for sharing! thumb

Of course let's not forget that this was not just "brand against brand" but involved certain models by these makers: their 7' size

Well done: perhaps we have a chance to hear for others involving some other sizes by these makers?

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

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#1317617 - 12/03/09 02:14 PM Re: Input requested from Brodmann Grand owners [Re: pianoloverus]
Zooplibob Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/04
Posts: 245
Loc: Houston, TX
Thanks for your report. Makes me feel better since I never even go to try a Hailun and seems like I shouldn't regret it.

Also glad you got to play the 212. I played both the 187 and the 212 seems to be in a different class overall, not just the lowest octaves.

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#1318801 - 12/05/09 07:47 AM Re: Input requested from Brodmann Grand owners [Re: Zooplibob]
JimG Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/08/09
Posts: 59
Loc: Georgia, USA
More Updates:

I have now played the Brodmann 228 and the Brodmann 212, side by side at the dealer's establishment.

First thing I will say is that both pianos were exceptionally well prepared and voiced to my personal liking -- and this was not simply a stroke of good luck. The dealer (Nick Mauel of Nick's Piano Showroom) and I had four detailed phone conversations about what I liked and was looking for in a piano. Nick took the time to prepare these piano's specifically for my audition. For me, that was a unique aspect of salesmanship and customer service before the sale. I will write more about my dealings with Nick in a subsequent thread.

About the pianos: I have played at least 40 pianos during my search - different designs, different sounds, different price ranges. In most cases, I could immediately perceive differences from instrument to instrument within a model class. For example, the first place I went in my search was the Steinway Gallery -- there I played three different Model 'B', and there were clear differences in each as I moved from one to the next.

I have played three Brodmann's -- two of the model 212 and one of the 228. The first 212 I played was in the home of one of Nick's customers. I was impressed with the consistency between the three pianos. In fact, when I was at Nick's yesterday, it took me three hours of playing both the 212 and 228 before I could start to perceive subtle differences. I would literally play a passage on the 212 -- then jump over to the 228 and play the same passage. I was expecting to hear an immediate difference in the bass -- but I did not. What I was finally able to hear in the bass was a greater dynamic control in the larger instrument -- my point here is that the clarity of the bass in the 7' is just as good as the 7'5".

As I began the audition, I was expecting to come away favoring the 228. Well into the audition, I started thinking that the 212 is just as good and would cost a little less. In the end, I finally decided that I preferred the 228 -- but the differences are subtle.

I am a piano enthusiast who plays for my own enjoyment (and occasionally for friends), so I cannot claim to be an "expert" in the area of piano quality and value. However, I think the Brodmann brand is going to take off. I have learned a lot about what separates quality among pianos. Based on my experience, Brodmann has the touch, tone, and appearance of pianos that are much more expensive. So, if you are shopping, do yourself a favor and give the Brodmann a try.

I did make a deal with Nick on the 228. When it arrives, I will post pictures.

Cheers
Jim


Edited by JimG (12/05/09 07:48 AM)

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#1318858 - 12/05/09 10:47 AM Re: Input requested from Brodmann Grand owners [Re: JimG]
Hop Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 654
Loc: Hudson, FL
Congrats on your decision for the Brodmann.

I had a similar experience at Nick's Piano Showroom, and chose the Hailun HG178 over the similar Brodmann. It's really great to be able to have things arranged so that you can go and try (at length) the candidate instruments and make a personal choice that suits us. It's a year since I first played the very instrument that I bought, and I like it as well or perhaps even more now than when I first played it.

I'm sure that you will feel the same after a year of ownership also.

Cheers,

Hop
_________________________
HG178, Roland FP-5, Casio PX 130

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#1320795 - 12/08/09 12:51 AM Re: Input requested from Brodmann Grand owners [Re: Hop]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 13968
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Jim:

Your report about the 228 is very interesting.

A while back I had a customer for the 212, but the guy was also curious about the 228 grand - a piano I have never seen myself.

So I did what dealers shouldn't really do: called factory owner and asked his 'opinion' about things.

Guess what?

Very much like your own report - this takes guts....

Long live the 212- but the 228 will undoubtedly live just as long!

If ever in doubt, just saw the few extra inches off....

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

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