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#1421193 - 04/21/10 10:07 AM Bohemia upright
LHJ Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 11
My work involves theatre lighting so I get to visit many school auditoriums. A recent school had a Bohemia baby grand which I played briefly and really enjoyed the sound - crisp, clear notes and maybe a medium brightness. In my search to buy a piano I had not heard of Bohemia and it does not seem to get much discussion in this forum.
I am looking to buy an upright and would appreciate input on how their uprights are and how it compares to other European pianos like Schulze Pollmann, Petrof, or Vogel I have played. My other option which is in a different class would be a Hailun H5
My closest Bohemia dealer is about an hour and a half away.

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#1421215 - 04/21/10 10:33 AM Re: Bohemia upright [Re: LHJ]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 13965
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
I am looking to buy an upright and would appreciate input on how their uprights are and how it compares to other European pianos like Schulze Pollmann, Petrof, or Vogel I have played. My other option which is in a different class would be a Hailun H5


Did you actually try a Hailun H5 and how did the various pianos compare in your opinion?

Bohemia pianos are very nice pianos IMHO somewhat comparable to Petrofs.

If the 50" Hailun H5 is indeed in a 'different class' may be personal opinion - price wise it certainly is.

Let us know how your search will continue - good luck!

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

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#1421239 - 04/21/10 11:24 AM Re: Bohemia upright [Re: Norbert]
LHJ Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 11
I have played the H5 and several others including the 121 and newer K5. I liked some of the Hailuns and I am still considering them as an option. By different class I was primarily referring to the price, although the additional costs of the other brands I mentioned generally reflect more expensive components and hand built construction which does differentiate them from other mass-produced pianos. The comment was not meant as a reflection on Hailuin.

My primary interest is feedback on Bohemia, which does not get much print in this forum, and my very brief contact was positive and wanted to know if it is worth pursuing. Thanks.

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#1421393 - 04/21/10 03:10 PM Re: Bohemia upright [Re: LHJ]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 13965
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
The whole market seems to be shifting to "value for dollar" and those who produce - or "have to" - produce at higher cost have the onus to make their products worthwhile for consumers.

The problem is that "more expensive" components are not automatically any longer "better quality", perhaps the very reason why some of the high end makers have meantime resorted to include outsourced components in their own pianos.

Bohemia uprights are very nice pianos, but bear in mind that at their price point there are options by others, including others small-midsize grands.

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

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#1421484 - 04/21/10 05:27 PM Re: Bohemia upright [Re: Norbert]
PianoWorksATL Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2630
Loc: Atlanta, GA
When we sold Bohemia & Vogel side by side in our store, the Vogel uprights were much preferred by customers and technicians, so we did not continue with Bohemia. However, Bohemia's wood finish cabinets were more attractive IMO.

Are there certain characteristics you have preferred in the pianos you've played so far? Since you've played several candidates, would you be willing to describe their various strengths and weaknesses as you experienced them?
_________________________
Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Weber & Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
www.PianoWorks.com
www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta

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#1421492 - 04/21/10 05:38 PM Re: Bohemia upright [Re: PianoWorksATL]
Biff Baxter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 47
Loc: California
Just my opinion but I like the Bohemia uprights. For dollar value (quality of manufacture and sound produced) I think it is hard to beat them at their price point.

I would say they are comparable to the brands you mentioned (Schulze Pollmann, Petrof, Vogel) but not quite in the same class. I think the Schulze Pollmann and the Petrof have a little more depth or warmth of sound.

I have always wanted to hear a Vogel but have yet to see one in my area.

Biff
_________________________
Bloviator of Platitudes
Casio CDP-100

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#1421590 - 04/21/10 07:31 PM Re: Bohemia upright [Re: LHJ]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7089
Loc: torrance, CA
Quote:

I am looking to buy an upright and would appreciate input on how their uprights are and how it compares to other European pianos like Schulze Pollmann, Petrof, or Vogel I have played.

Bohemia doesn't get a lot of attention here because most of the membership is in North America, and Bohemia is a very minor player here. Its distributor handles only August Forster and Bohemia. Bechstein, the actual maker these days, handles all its other brands through its own distribution network.

When Norbert writes that that Bohemhia pianos are similar to Petrof, I think he is referring to production methods, action choices, and build quality. The tone is distinctly different. Bohemia's tone is lush and robust. The large verticals are quite full and powerful. Petrof is capable of more delicacy, as are Vogel and Pollmann to a certain extent..

Whether the Bohemia is good value depends on how much yo pay for it.
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#1427040 - 04/30/10 10:35 AM Re: Bohemia upright [Re: turandot]
LHJ Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 11
Well I took the piano shopping tour yesterday and visited 3 dealers looking for an upright (even small grands are not an option):

First stop was for Bohemia - they had two 125s. First seemed medium bright and the second was very mellow which I initially liked. After listening to the dealer play both it sound too mellow. His comment was it sounded like it had a blanket over it - I couldn't get that image out of my head and he was probably right. Price is $8K. I left the store thinking the first piano was a contender and liked the mahogany finish better than the ebony of the second.

Next store was for Schulze Pollmann. I had played a used one a few months back and liked it. My initial reaction to this one was neutral but it grew on me as I played it and listened to it being played. Action seemed to have slightly more resistance than the Bohemia and the keyboard seemed slightly higher. Cabinet was a cherry finish that actually looks better than the catalog photos. Asking $12K but sounded like something in the $10-11K would buy it.

Final stop was Petrof 131 and various Hailuns. As much as I have tried to like Hailuns there is something in the sound that just doesn't work for me. I have played at least 10 of more units (H121, H5, H1P, & K5) in 4 dealers and I hear the same thing in each. The notes just don't seem clear and crisp. They look good, a lot of people on this site like them, and the price is terrific. I wish I could make it work.
Then I played the Petrof and melted - sounded good and the mahogany finish was stunning. I had heard several Petrof grands before and like the crisp notes and mellow sound. A 125 I had tried before at another dealer was out of tune and it was hard to like. The dealer promised to get it tuned. The Petrofs are $11.5K for the 125 and $14K for the 131.

I have previously tried Kawai and YC which both left me neutral for a variety of reasons.

In the $14K range it was also suggested I check out Shimmel. I am currently playing on an inexpensive electric piano so almost anything I get will be an improvement. Since the Petrof appears to be the leading contender - is $14K for the 131 or even $11.5K for the 125 a good number? Petrof seems to get good reviews on this forum except for the company's financial situation and previous problems with their US distribution. Given all of this are these Petrofs a prudent decision or do I keep searching?

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#1427122 - 04/30/10 12:35 PM Re: Bohemia upright [Re: LHJ]
PianoWorksATL Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2630
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Hello LJH,

Your description of crisp notes and mellow sound are at odds, but it sounds like the Petrof really made you happy. The 131 is a big upright.

Schimmel uprights are excellent choices, but you'd be looking at smaller models (and probably ebony) in that price range. Try them out if you can, but I think the Petrof may be the winner for you.

Good luck!
_________________________
Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Weber & Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
www.PianoWorks.com
www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta

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#1427226 - 04/30/10 02:58 PM Re: Bohemia upright [Re: PianoWorksATL]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 13965
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
LHJ:

In reading yours and some of the other's above post I wouldn't rule out the Bohemia 125.

Whenever I run into these pianos I'm qite impressed. In case of Bohemia, you don't have to go to their 130s as the 125s already are very nice pianos with certainly impressive sound.

The ones I tried before actually 'smoked'
[own Sauter upright at home..]

Being a lower production piano, I saw their attention to detail and sincere strive to constantly improve things.

I also know Bohemia from the various trade shows: the company is healthy and people involved are fine folks.

It's run and owned by the Schramlova family with 2 of their kids involved in management and distribution, the way European companies traditionally are owned and operated.

Good luck in choosing the right piano for you!

Norbert smile


Edited by Norbert (04/30/10 03:11 PM)

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#1427584 - 05/01/10 02:30 AM Re: Bohemia upright [Re: Norbert]
Bojan Babic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 324
Loc: Vojvodina, Serbia
I do not know if that is true, but here they say that Bohemia has stopped with production.
_________________________
Bojan Babic
piano technician and tuner
Sid, Vojvodina, Serbia
_____________________________
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#1427725 - 05/01/10 11:15 AM Re: Bohemia upright [Re: LHJ]
gutenberg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/05/07
Posts: 376
Loc: Wichita, Kansas
Hello LHJ, sounds like you are doing a pretty thorough job of auditioning. I bought a Petrof 131 three years ago and I am very happy with it. I can identify with your immediate response to the tone.

$14000 certainly puts you in the range of the less expensive grands. I can't address whether $14K is a good number for the 131 in this market and with Petrof's recent price increases. Others can address this better than I.

I feel comfortable giving you my opinion on whether the 131 is a "prudent" decision, assuming $14K is a competitive market number and assuming this is in your affordability range. Three years after my purchase, I haven't found another piano under $15K, grand or upright, that I would trade my piano for. Part of the reason is that touch means alot to me too, and the full Renner action on the 131 is great.

While I have played a lot of different pianos, I haven't been able to find a Bohemia. A number of people here think very highly of Bohemia, and $8K is a lot less money, even for a slightly smaller piano. So I would find a few more to play if I were you.

But IMO the Petrof 131 is worth it.

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#1427731 - 05/01/10 11:20 AM Re: Bohemia upright [Re: gutenberg]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 13965
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
gutenberg:

Excellent post! thumb

Quote:
I feel comfortable giving you my opinion on whether the 131 is a "prudent" decision, assuming $14K is a competitive market number


This is where it's at.

In fact, 14 k is a "highly competitive market number".

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

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#1427743 - 05/01/10 11:36 AM Re: Bohemia upright [Re: Norbert]
Greyhound Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/06
Posts: 81
LHJ: If it helps as a price comparison, I bought a Bohemia 123A approx a year ago for $5700 (includes tax, delivery, tuning & artist bench).
_________________________
Enjoy life...this is not a dress rehearsal.

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#1427884 - 05/01/10 03:48 PM Re: Bohemia upright [Re: Norbert]
Enrico Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 71
Loc: NJ
I have sold both petrof and Schulze Pollmann. I would contend that the Schulze Pollmann has a sweet sound, while the petrof can be booming and sometimes bright. This initial reaction to the loud piano is usually a positive one in the showroom. However, in the home this booming and sometimes overly bright piano may come back to be not pleasing for everyday playing. On the other hand the less assuming sweet voice of the Schulze Pollmann in your home setting may be the one you are happiest with in the long run. The Schulze has a tone that sings and is warm and clear without ever becoming harsh or overbearing. I would say try the piano with softer sounding music, as many salespeople play bombastic pieces to "impress" you with the sound of the piano. Let the piano sing and I think it will be clear that the Schulze Pollmann is the better piano for most situations, and in my experience you will be happier with the overall construction and quality control of the Italian made Schulze Pollmann. (did you see that one piece back and ciresa soundboard and renner action - aside from the phenomenal case? Really what a piano! , It is the closest thing to a Fazioli upright you can buy (Fazioli doesn't make uprights frown )


disclaimer - I do currently sell the Schulze Pollmann brand, but man it really is great!
_________________________
Rick Aquino
Worldwide Piano
www.worldwidepianostores.com
732-777-7381

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#1427991 - 05/01/10 08:19 PM Re: Bohemia upright [Re: Enrico]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10297
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Originally Posted By: Enrico
disclaimer - I do currently sell the Schulze Pollmann brand, but man it really is great!


Enrico,

If you are a dealer, could you go one step further and fully identify your affiliation in your signature line as Norbert does two posts above yours.
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

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#1428026 - 05/01/10 09:17 PM Re: Bohemia upright [Re: Piano*Dad]
TX-Dennis Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/05
Posts: 4126
Loc: Texas
Isn't it wonderful to be able to choose from among so many truly fantastic pianos? I haven't played the others, but I do so love the sound of a nice Petrof 125. It's by far the sweetest sounding upright I have ever played. One almost convinced me not to buy a grand when I was shopping a few years ago. Sweet, sweet tone with a sparklingly clear treble that was truly marvelous. Should I need to downsize to an upright - that's the one for me.
_________________________
Dennis

flickr


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#1428876 - 05/03/10 09:59 AM Re: Bohemia upright [Re: TX-Dennis]
JWP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/31/07
Posts: 128
Loc: Delaware
Hi LHJ,

I have owned a Bohemia 132 upright for ~ 3 years now and I just love it. Even thought this is what I bought I still visit piano stores when I get the chance to play different pianos and I still love my Bohemia.

Bohemia is now owned by Bechstein. Earlier this year I visited Prague prior to a business meeting in Frankfurt and I had the opportunity to visit the factory and receive a tour of their facility. My host was Martina Bocanova the daughter of Marcela Schramlova. Martina was a wonderful and a very gracious host. She picked me up in Prague and drove the 90 miles to the factory. Everyone was very nice and very informative. I was able to see the entire production process from beginning to end. It's truly amazing!

My two cents for what it's worth.

Best of luck with you piano search,

John
_________________________
Bohemia Concerto 132

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#1428891 - 05/03/10 10:16 AM Re: Bohemia upright [Re: JWP]
Ric Overton Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/07
Posts: 253
Loc: Burbank, Ca
JWP, Thanks for the clarification. I was sure it was no longer privately owned, but that Bechstien owned the company.

I would take the time to visit with a W HOFFMAN. I carry this piano at PianoSD in San Diego. It has a very nice touch, very crisp sound. Take the time to go to your local Bechstein dealer and try this piano out.

Ric Overton
PianoSD.com
San Diego, Ca
ric@pianosd.com
_________________________
Ric Overton
Ric@PianoSD.com
http://PianoSD.com

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#1428902 - 05/03/10 10:28 AM Re: Bohemia upright [Re: Ric Overton]
JWP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/31/07
Posts: 128
Loc: Delaware
Ric,

Yes, the signage outside of the factory had a large C. Bechstein Europe with smaller print below for Bohemia Piano and W. Hoffman.

John
_________________________
Bohemia Concerto 132

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