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#1550 - 04/04/05 12:33 PM Grade for piano brand
siuju Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/14/05
Posts: 50
Loc: Vancouver
I heard that there is a grading list for all the piano brands. Can anyone help me find that list? I view it once but don't know where to find it. It states for example, Steinway made in US is grade B while Steinway made in German is grade A. It also includes all other brand names such as Yamaha, Kawai, Baldwin, Estonia etc..
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#1551 - 04/04/05 01:30 PM Re: Grade for piano brand
taiwan_girl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/27/04
Posts: 332
Loc: Illinois/Thailand/Korea
There are probably different ranking systems out there, but I think that one that many people here are familiar with is in the Larry Fine "The Piano Book", which rates pianos by "Tiers", with a Tier 1 group of pianos being the best (all subjective of course, though based on input from Mr. Fine and others).

You can buy the book here at Piano World. See near the bottom of the column on the right.

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#1552 - 04/04/05 03:04 PM Re: Grade for piano brand
siuju Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/14/05
Posts: 50
Loc: Vancouver
Thanks. However, I find an unofficial ranking in here: http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?/topic/1/8503.html
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#1553 - 04/04/05 03:21 PM Re: Grade for piano brand
Steve Cohen Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10342
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
 Quote:
Originally posted by siuju:
Thanks. However, I find an unofficial ranking in here: http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?/topic/1/8503.html [/b]
Bear in mind the AKindWord, who wrote the rankings you linked to, has been banned from the Piano Forum for spreading misinformation.

His opinions were not generally respected.
_________________________
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

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#1554 - 04/04/05 03:42 PM Re: Grade for piano brand
siuju Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/14/05
Posts: 50
Loc: Vancouver
Thanks for the information.
BTW, can someone tell me which piano is the best for the size of 5'8"? or some sizes around that because I got the limitation of space in my home.
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#1555 - 04/04/05 03:50 PM Re: Grade for piano brand
teachum Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/19/04
Posts: 2913
Loc: idaho
VERY un-unofficial!

Lots of nice ones, Mason & Hamlin, Schimmel, Estonia, Petrof... depends of your budget.

Get Larry Fine's Book - it's the best way to start your education.
_________________________
You will be 10 years older, ten years from now, no matter what you do - so go for it!

Estonia #6141 in Satin Mahogany

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#1556 - 04/04/05 03:58 PM Re: Grade for piano brand
markallen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 460
Loc: Stanwood, WA
Since you're in Vancouver, I would recommend you drop in and meet Norbert at Heritage Piano ( www.heritagepianos.com ). Tell Norbert you're a PW member and I'm sure he will help you in your search.

Note: This is not a paid plug for Norbert. Simply one PW member trying to help another find information. No specific brand names were mentioned in this post. Any specific brands or countries of origin have been changed or removed to protect the innocent. ;\)
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New sig line in the works....

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#1557 - 04/04/05 04:20 PM Re: Grade for piano brand
Steve Cohen Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10342
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
What you ask is very subjective and answers will likely lead to more confusion.

Perhaps it would be better to post information on what, in particular, you are looking for. Price range? Experience level of player(s)? Tonal qualities desired? Etc.
_________________________
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

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#1558 - 04/04/05 04:38 PM Re: Grade for piano brand
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 13969
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Steve is right.

Asking for the *best* piano opens a can of worms and very subjective ratings.

Just ask in any store and see them rush to the answer: "OURS".....[/b]

\:D \:D

[Now: if you start to ask "what's the best piano for the $$"....you'll inch perhaps a little closer to a hopefully more sensible answer.... ;\) ]

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

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#1559 - 04/04/05 04:40 PM Re: Grade for piano brand
siuju Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/14/05
Posts: 50
Loc: Vancouver
Thanks for all your informations. I'm looking for a grand to play classical music. The piano I am having now is almost 40 years upright...the keys are loose. I don't have a definite price range yet because I would like to spend more for a better piano. I know for sure in general bigger the piano, better the sound. However, I don't have much room to fit in any piano > 6'.
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#1560 - 04/04/05 04:44 PM Re: Grade for piano brand
siuju Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/14/05
Posts: 50
Loc: Vancouver
I also don't mind buying a second hand piano, therefore, I really can't tell what my budget is. For example, $30000 can't get a good new piano but it can get a good second hand piano(assume it is nicely used).
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#1561 - 04/04/05 04:46 PM Re: Grade for piano brand
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 13969
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Can't get a good new piano for $ 30000??

Did'ya hear that people?? \:D

How much change may I give you to take home??

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

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#1562 - 04/04/05 04:50 PM Re: Grade for piano brand
markallen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 460
Loc: Stanwood, WA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Norbert:
Can't get a good new piano for $ 30000??

Did'ya hear that people?? \:D

How much change may I give you to take home??

norbert [/b]
Down boy.....
Down boy.....
;\) ;\)
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Mark

New sig line in the works....

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#1563 - 04/04/05 04:51 PM Re: Grade for piano brand
siuju Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/14/05
Posts: 50
Loc: Vancouver
sorry Norbert. I'm just giving an example.
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No life if without music

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#1564 - 04/04/05 05:11 PM Re: Grade for piano brand
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 13969
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Don't feel *sorry*,siuju - we're here to help:

what piano for $ 30,000 [!] - or any other price range for that matter - did you see out there that wasn't [at least] *good*?? \:\(

If you just "gave an example", it's better to indicate your actual $ range and compare pianos within[/b] that stated range.

And when you really play and listen[/b] to some instruments within that particular range - you will [hopefully!] inch a little closer to your targer as you go.....

Unfortunately, some dealers,especially in this area, have a hidden agenda to sell you perhaps a better known,more expensive and - of course - more *profitable* piano right upfront, and by realizing you don't have quite the funds for it - make you believe you now have to restrict your search to some "lesser" or "not-as-good" piano.

Trust me that this does not[/b] have to be the case.

Please note: since you're in my own area in Vancouver, B.C. I won't be able to comment when you start giving your actual choices and options available to you out there.....

I'm sure others will!

Good luck in your search!

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

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#1565 - 04/04/05 10:18 PM Re: Grade for piano brand
Axtremus Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/03
Posts: 6150
 Quote:
siuju from Vancouver wrote:

"... $30000 can't get a good new piano ..."
Very sorry to hear that the Looney has tanked so badly.

\:D
_________________________
www.PianoRecital.org -- my piano recordings

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#1566 - 04/05/05 08:29 AM Re: Grade for piano brand
siuju Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/14/05
Posts: 50
Loc: Vancouver
If everyone think a price range is really matters, then I will set the price range to $25K.
Thanks for all the information.
_________________________
No life if without music

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#1567 - 04/05/05 10:13 AM Re: Grade for piano brand
hgiles Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 736
Loc: Charlottesville Virginia
siuju,

Price range is the first obstacle you will overcome. No use shopping for a Ferrari if the budget won't allow for it.

Incidentally, you will have the pick of the litter if your budget is truly $25k and the size limit is 6 feet!

We're talking Tier 2 pianos and maybe some Tier 1s!!

TIER 1 ---
Bosendorfer
Bluthner
August Forster
Steingraeber & Sohne
C. Bechstein
Fazioli
Grotian
Mason and Hamlin
Steinway and Sons
Baldwin SF10

TIER 2 ---
Broadwood
Haessler
Sauter
W. Hoffman
Charles Walter
Baldwin M1, R1, L1
Shigeru Kawais
Yamaha S
Schimmel
Seiler
Petrof
Schulze Pollman
Estonia
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Haywood
-------------

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#1568 - 04/05/05 10:28 AM Re: Grade for piano brand
hgiles Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 736
Loc: Charlottesville Virginia
http://www.pianos.co.uk/info/ratings.php3

Maybe this wa the link you were referring to...
_________________________
Haywood
-------------

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#1569 - 04/05/05 10:42 AM Re: Grade for piano brand
siuju Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/14/05
Posts: 50
Loc: Vancouver
Thanks for the ranking.
Yar I'm a bit too harsh in setting the price. But really, I think of buying not a new piano but instead buying a used one with that price.
_________________________
No life if without music

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#1570 - 04/05/05 10:54 AM Re: Grade for piano brand
ghostclaws Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/20/05
Posts: 382
Loc: Canada
<<...
Incidentally, you will have the pick of the litter if your budget is truly $25k and the size limit is 6 feet!

We're talking Tier 2 pianos and maybe some Tier 1s!! ...>>

I think the 25K is Canuck bucks not greenbacks so I think it's somewhat optimistic to be able to get a brand new Tier 1 piano for that price. Second thought, you might be right...maybe Norbert might disagree and will sell me a brand new Sauter for 25K ;\) --> !!! hehe!
(hey Norbert...if you do that, I will pay for my own delivery and tunings etc...lol) \:D

GC

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#1571 - 04/05/05 11:08 AM Re: Grade for piano brand
siuju Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/14/05
Posts: 50
Loc: Vancouver
Sauter for 25K? no kidding...
BTW, what is the best I can get for 25K?
_________________________
No life if without music

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#1572 - 04/05/05 11:10 AM Re: Grade for piano brand
hgiles Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 736
Loc: Charlottesville Virginia
You can have any used 5'6" that you actually find/like for $25k...

You will have a fun time shopping. I wish I had your dilemma!
_________________________
Haywood
-------------

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#1573 - 04/05/05 11:17 AM Re: Grade for piano brand
ghostclaws Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/20/05
Posts: 382
Loc: Canada
siuju:
That was just tongue in cheek. $25,000 for a Sauter?...give me 5 of the black ones LOL!

OTOH, maybe if Norbert is in a really euphoric mood...how about it, Norbert! ;\)

GC

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#1574 - 04/05/05 11:18 AM Re: Grade for piano brand
Axtremus Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/03
Posts: 6150
.
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www.PianoRecital.org -- my piano recordings

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#1575 - 04/05/05 11:19 AM Re: Grade for piano brand
siuju Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/14/05
Posts: 50
Loc: Vancouver
Thanks hgiles.
Is there any web site to find the price of new piano?
_________________________
No life if without music

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#1576 - 04/05/05 11:26 AM Re: Grade for piano brand
Axtremus Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/03
Posts: 6150
There are different rankings of pianos out there. And pretty much every one here can find something to disagree with pretty much every ranking there is.

Beware also of ranking that goes by brand names alone -- most brands tend to have many different models and sizes, and a brand that's ranked lower may very well has a model that "performs better" than some models of a higher-ranking brand.

Different rankings employ different methodologies, and many criteria used in rankings are very subjective (e.g., "tone quality"). So be careful to study and understand what criteria are used in the ranking and try to understand the methodology, and not use the rankings blindly.

If you're buying USED[/b] pianos, rankings are EVEN LESS USEFUL[/b]. A brand that is highly rated today and is producing good pianos today might not have produced good pianos ten years ago.

The condition of the used piano is very likely to be much more important than the brand/model of the piano. Two ten year old pianos of the same brand/model may perform very differently today due to the different maintenance (of lack thereof) each received over the last ten years.

It does not matter what brand it is, given the right abuse or given enough neglect in maintenance, any brand of piano can be turned into junk over the years.

Usual advise here is that after you've found a used piano you think you like, get an independent technician to inspect the piano for you before you buy -- like you would get an independent mechanic to check out a used car for you before you buy a used car.

Pricing[/b] of pianos is another big, contentious subject. See THIS DISCUSSION in the FAQ section of this website.

Good luck. \:\)
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www.PianoRecital.org -- my piano recordings

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#1577 - 04/05/05 12:03 PM Re: Grade for piano brand
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 13969
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
*Pricing* of pianos is better understood when one considers a few related aspects and also the variable spread between dealer price and final [retail] price.

Firstly, there are certain pianos out there that are selling consistently for quite a bit *more* than, say an equivalent Yamaha - though they cost the dealer consistently *less* than the Yamaha actually would.

And then the other way around.

Yet both pianos, interestingly enough, happen to be in the very same quality ranking *category*.

A good example would be *Boston* - selling for *more* retail but costing *less* to the dealer - and then *Pramberger* - costing less and also selling for less - but being nonetheless in the same[/b] quality category.....

Following sheer logic - and personal taste, of course.... ;\) - if you'd go by *price* alone at least - it's quickly established which of the buys here would make generally "more sense"........

The lesson to learn here is:
perception is *not*[/b] always reality:
don't always believe what a retailer *tells* you!

The second is, that dealers need to make different margins on their pianos depending to their own operation cost and need for profit.

That's why one can find considerable variablity between different areas and dealers - but still concerning the very same[/b] piano.

Giving a dealer "exclusivity" for one of the more common makes - making it perhaps more *noble* sounding to the unsuspecting public in advertising - can mean the opposite and be read *negatively* for consumers:

"Don't worry going elsewhere - there's nobody to 'compete' with us" anyways.....

So, if you're dead set on an [otherwise common] make or model, you're often *not* getting as good a piano- dollar-wise at least - as you could by shopping around with a more flexible or open set of mind.

Thirdly: prices are presently in great flux.

What is considered a *good* price for certain brands and their models now, may not hold its promise with the future in mind.

Again there will be considerable "winners" and "loosers" and it will be your job to identify them for yourself.

It reminds me on a report on local real estate values - they're going mostly *up* across the board - but in some[/b] areas they are actually down.[/b]

If you like to learn more about the most likely future "uppers" and "downers" of industry - you need to look around some more, do some serious playing and - *learning* about this business!

Pst,pst: You guessed right: local salespeople aren't always your most reliable source of information here in that regard....

Oh, a Sauter for $ Can 25,000??

You wouldn't expect me to be *that* nasty a competitior in the Vancouver area - would'ya?? \:D \:D

[Mind you for 1/2 point in ranking *less* - one can always flex the muscle on perhaps a......na...won't tell! \:o ]

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

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#1578 - 04/05/05 02:00 PM Re: Grade for piano brand
siuju Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/14/05
Posts: 50
Loc: Vancouver
Thanks Norbert and Axtremus.
No I don't mean Sauter can be sold at 25K. I think I need to pay 40K for Sauter.=)
So there really isn't a list of suggested retail price for all brand?
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No life if without music

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#1579 - 04/05/05 02:08 PM Re: Grade for piano brand
2MP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/28/05
Posts: 59
Loc: Hawaii
I would suggest the current supplement to Larry Fine's book. There is a free listing of prices on the internet http://www.bluebookofpianos.com/newprices.html
but these prices are in many cases way out of date (e.g., Estonia 190 is listed at $25,000 but from what I was told by my dealer, current retail is >$30,000).

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