Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#1856401 - 03/05/12 03:28 AM Advice for an upright
minimalistic Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/04/12
Posts: 18
Hi all,

I've been reading this forum for a while now and have found tons of useful info already! Thanks guys and keep it up! smile

Now to my problem - I need an acoustic upright piano. I've been looking for one for the past few years, constantly increasing my budget (the darn instruments aren't cheap smirk ). Currently I'm looking for something in the range of 2000-3000 GBP and if it's really worth it, I could stretch with another 500 or so.

So far I've found that in this price range I can only get a second hand Yamaha/Kawai. I was at a local dealer yesterday, testing a fully serviced U3 from 1978 which was quite decent - both action and tone wise. The only thing is that as part of the repairs, this guy replaced the bass strings, so they still sound quite tinny, but he said this should be fixed within an year as the new strings age..

I also found a Grotrian-Steinweg model 120 that is from the 60s, which the owner claims has been well maintained throughout its lifetime, which I'm going to be testing today.. Based on what I've read in this forum, if this piano is in a good shape, this should be a good deal.

I've played a few times Steinway and it's really depressing how much better those sound and how much more expensive they are.. Talking of which, a local owner is selling his upright Steinway (serial 374286) from 1962, which he claims is also in a very good condition. It hasn't been rebuilt or anything as far as I understood, and he wants for it 7500 GBP. Would that be a fair price? Especially given the age of the piano and the fact that it hasn't been rebuilt..

Any opinions are welcome.

Thanks,
Alex

Top
(ads 568) Hailun Pianos

piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#1856416 - 03/05/12 06:25 AM Re: Advice for an upright [Re: minimalistic]
crogersrx Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/25/08
Posts: 712
Loc: San Francisco, CA
On the U3, I'd be suspicious of that statement that the new strings will sound better when they've aged a bit.... ? Really? Sounds like a line of hooey to me. Basically, if the piano sounds bad at the time you play it, walk away, or let them get it tuned and voiced properly. If you buy it and it doesn't ripen... you'll still have a tinny sounding piano and he'll have your money.

As for the Steinway upright 7500 GBP sounds pricey, but if you've got it to spend, and a tech checks it out and gives it the thumbs up, it might be one of the best uprights you'll find. 1960ish is pretty old, but if the strings and hammers are in good shape, and it's been well maintained, it may be worth that much. If there's any significant wear that will require rebuilding, you might want to shy away from it though. I've heard from two technician friends that they are a difficult rebuild (ie - expensive).
_________________________
Cary Rogers, PharmD
San Francisco, CA
1887 Knabe 6'4" (Rebuilt)

Top
#1856464 - 03/05/12 09:25 AM Re: Advice for an upright [Re: minimalistic]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8068
Loc: Georgia, USA
Hi, and welcome to the Piano World forums, Alex!

I agree with Cary, I thought the quality of bass strings got worse with age and not better. In fact, they should sound their absolute best when new; unless he was talking about the tuning stability… which is a good possibility. Any newly installed piano strings will stretch and need frequent tuning until they stabilize. I’ll bet that is what he was talking about as I think about it…

But, there may be something about aging bass strings that I don't know (which is a lot).

I've heard good things about the Grotrian-Steinweg brand, though I've never seen or played one.

Good luck, and keep us informed!

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

Top
#1856483 - 03/05/12 09:51 AM Re: Advice for an upright [Re: minimalistic]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1795
Loc: Suffolk, England
Two pianos equally worth considering at our local piano emporium the other day were a 1980s U3 at £3250 and a hardly used 1970s(?) Knight at £1750. We once had a wonderful 1960s Grotrian-Steinweg in the family.
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

Top
#1856513 - 03/05/12 11:10 AM Re: Advice for an upright [Re: minimalistic]
dancarney Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/06/11
Posts: 144
Loc: UK
Where in the UK are you? I may be able to point you in the right direction...
_________________________
BMus(Hons) DipABRSM
Piano Technician

Top
#1856694 - 03/05/12 04:55 PM Re: Advice for an upright [Re: minimalistic]
minimalistic Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/04/12
Posts: 18
Thanks for all your comments!

The guy was explicitly talking about the richness of the bass, not the need for regular tuning due to the strings being new..

Also I should've mentioned that I am an expat, currently living in Denmark, so guidance for the UK market probably won't help me much. I appreciate the offer though smile

Today I couldn't see the Grotrian, but managed to get my hands on a number of other pianos. Played a couple of other U3 and U1, some Kawais and a Boston. I more and more think that the U3 is not what I want. It is a decent piano, but it just doesn't sound right.. It could be that the ones I tried weren't in their best shape, but either way - none of them really impressed me.

The Boston was kind of nice, but it was brand new so it's definitely out of my budget. The same dealer had a number of second hand grands, so I played some of them and fell in love with a Bechstein from 1938 which hasn't been rebuilt or anything but still had an amazing sound and great action! It comes at 6000 GBP which I could somehow convince my wife into, but I simply don't have the space.. frown

The whole experience of finding a decent piano is incredibly frustrating.. Another learning for me so far is that a decent digital (I own a Roland FP-4 and I'm quite happy with it) has a way better price to quality ratio, than most of the second hand and brand new acoustic pianos smirk

Top
#1856891 - 03/05/12 11:32 PM Re: Advice for an upright [Re: minimalistic]
Monaco Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/28/11
Posts: 387
Loc: GA
If you get a chance, check out a Hailun. I played one today that was very nice. They are relatively inexpensive too.
_________________________
Ben Ereddia
Piano Teacher
Beginning Tech

Top
#1856951 - 03/06/12 02:10 AM Re: Advice for an upright [Re: minimalistic]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1795
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: minimalistic
Also I should've mentioned that I am an expat, currently living in Denmark, so guidance for the UK market probably won't help me much.

+1
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

Top
#1859820 - 03/11/12 11:52 AM Re: Advice for an upright [Re: minimalistic]
minimalistic Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/04/12
Posts: 18
I checked a whole bunch of other pianos and I'm more and more leaning towards buying a Kawai K-6 or K-8. I don't really have the space for a baby grand, otherwise I loved a GE-20 which sounded so nice..

The problem now is, my local Kawai dealer in Copenhagen doesn't have neither the K6 nor the K8 on stock.. And I really don't feel like buying a piano that I didn't even test.. I know that Kawai's are fairly adjustable (voicing, touch, etc.), so with this in mind would it still be completely insane to buy a piano off a catalog without even hearing it? Also - in case I want the piano voiced and the touch adjusted (I like a bit lighter touch) - how long does that normally take? And is it something that normally dealers do as part of prep or am I supposed to pay separately for it?

And last, but not least, I saw that Bohemia R132 and W.Hoffman T-128 are also in the same price range as the Kawai K6/8. Does any of you guys have any experience with those brands? Is it worth the travel to go check them out (the store isn't exactly in the city) smile

Thanks!
Alex

Top
#1859822 - 03/11/12 11:55 AM Re: Advice for an upright [Re: minimalistic]
minimalistic Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/04/12
Posts: 18
Ah yeah, and compared to the first post, I nearly doubled my budget. Looking for something in the 6000gbp range now.. Simply can't find anything cheaper around here, that's really worth it

Top
#1859845 - 03/11/12 12:43 PM Re: Advice for an upright [Re: minimalistic]
minimalistic Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/04/12
Posts: 18
And a side question - I read somewhere a guy that was advising not to buy a new piano as it takes 10 years for a piano to 'mature' (whatever that means).. Is that really a valid advice?

Top
#1859924 - 03/11/12 03:03 PM Re: Advice for an upright [Re: minimalistic]
terminaldegree Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 2554
Loc: western Wisconsin
Originally Posted By: minimalistic
And a side question - I read somewhere a guy that was advising not to buy a new piano as it takes 10 years for a piano to 'mature' (whatever that means).. Is that really a valid advice?


No, but you can expect the instrument to need the most service/attention in the first year of ownership and should budget accordingly. (typically, double the amount of work in my experience) The piano will become increasingly stable after that if you service and play it regularly.
_________________________
Pianist, teacher, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Casio px-200, Bechstein A190 #192939 @ home
Steinway A #585209, B #416809 @ work
Schimmel 130T #339100, on loan

Top
#1859963 - 03/11/12 03:55 PM Re: Advice for an upright [Re: minimalistic]
minimalistic Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/04/12
Posts: 18
yeah, i imagined that smile

How about the Bohemia R-132 vs W.Hoffman T-128 vs Kawai K6 vs Kawai K8? Anyone any observations? And whether it's safe to buy a Kawai K6 without even having played it prior to purchase?

Thanks,
Alex

Top
#1859970 - 03/11/12 03:59 PM Re: Advice for an upright [Re: minimalistic]
terminaldegree Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 2554
Loc: western Wisconsin
Originally Posted By: minimalistic

How about the Bohemia R-132 vs W.Hoffman T-128 vs Kawai K6 vs Kawai K8? Anyone any observations? And whether it's safe to buy a Kawai K6 without even having played it prior to purchase?


Sorry, I haven't played 3 of the 4 specific models you list there. Regarding the second part (buying without trying it), how confident are you in the dealer? How well do the models play in-store? How picky are you about the touch and tone being exactly the way you want it? If the answer to the last question is, "very picky" then I wouldn't advise taking the risk.
_________________________
Pianist, teacher, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Casio px-200, Bechstein A190 #192939 @ home
Steinway A #585209, B #416809 @ work
Schimmel 130T #339100, on loan

Top
#1859981 - 03/11/12 04:12 PM Re: Advice for an upright [Re: minimalistic]
RJ10 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/12
Posts: 44
Loc: Chicago, IL
Originally Posted By: minimalistic
And a side question - I read somewhere a guy that was advising not to buy a new piano as it takes 10 years for a piano to 'mature' (whatever that means).. Is that really a valid advice?


Not sure what this means.

Piano mfrs generally recommend that a new piano be tuned about 3-4 times the first year and every 6 months after that. Of course, a lot of the stability of new pianos depends on how much they have been tuned at the factory and how well the dealer has prepared them. Lower cost and lower quality pianos get less attention.

New hammers need to be voiced, played in for a while, and voiced again. This is an area where less expensive vertical pianos tend to be neglected at the factory and by the dealer. Make sure your dealer has the hammers shaped correctly and voiced as part of the dealer's prep of the instrument. Yamaha Little Red Schoolhouse says that in order to voice a piano, it must first have a perfect regulation and a perfect tuning, then you can voice the hammers.
_________________________
“Music in the soul can be heard by the Universe.” ~Lao Tzu

Richard J Beebe, RPT
Piano Technician & Collaborative Pianist
Bb Piano Service
Chicago, Illinois

www.bbpianoservice.com
bbpianoservice@gmail.com

Top
#1859987 - 03/11/12 04:19 PM Re: Advice for an upright [Re: terminaldegree]
minimalistic Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/04/12
Posts: 18
Originally Posted By: terminaldegree

Sorry, I haven't played 3 of the 4 specific models you list there. Regarding the second part (buying without trying it), how confident are you in the dealer? How well do the models play in-store? How picky are you about the touch and tone being exactly the way you want it? If the answer to the last question is, "very picky" then I wouldn't advise taking the risk.


well, the dealer is the official and the only dealer of Kawai in Denmark (according to Kawai's webpage).. they're pretty big and supply pianos for most of piano schools around Copenhagen, so my confidence is good - I think they know what they're doing..

but I am picky on both - voicing and touch.. I like the touch a bit lighter than heavier and the tone more mellow than bright (hence why I'm leaning towards Kawai and not Yamaha)

I'll talk to these guys tomorrow and see what they can offer.. I definitely don't wanna a new piano that sounds like crap smirk

Top
#1859989 - 03/11/12 04:22 PM Re: Advice for an upright [Re: RJ10]
minimalistic Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/04/12
Posts: 18
Originally Posted By: RJ10
Lower cost and lower quality pianos get less attention.


I know that Kawai are mid-price pianos, but still expected the K6/8 to be of good quality.. am I missing something here smile

Top
#1859994 - 03/11/12 04:29 PM Re: Advice for an upright [Re: minimalistic]
RJ10 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/12
Posts: 44
Loc: Chicago, IL
Originally Posted By: minimalistic
Originally Posted By: RJ10
Lower cost and lower quality pianos get less attention.


I know that Kawai are mid-price pianos, but still expected the K6/8 to be of good quality.. am I missing something here smile


So sorry - I didn't mean to imply that Kawai K6/8 is a lesser quality piano; they are very good quality pianos. I was speaking more generally about dealer preparation and how vertical pianos tend to get short-changed in dealer prep. And it's sad that this happens because most people's introduction to owning a piano is through a lower cost instrument. These pianos should be prepared as well as the best piano in a dealer's showroom. Yes, I am a bit idealistic and probably very off topic as well... Hope this clarifies my earlier comment.
_________________________
“Music in the soul can be heard by the Universe.” ~Lao Tzu

Richard J Beebe, RPT
Piano Technician & Collaborative Pianist
Bb Piano Service
Chicago, Illinois

www.bbpianoservice.com
bbpianoservice@gmail.com

Top
#1860026 - 03/11/12 05:25 PM Re: Advice for an upright [Re: minimalistic]
minimalistic Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/04/12
Posts: 18
no worries smile

I think I'll go and check out the Bohemia 132 anyway.. seems it's a good piano, although I'd really really love to play and hear the Kawai. for some reason (pure prejudice) I tend to believe that the Kawai K6 will be better - i really like mellow sounding pianos smile

Top
#1860036 - 03/11/12 05:40 PM Re: Advice for an upright [Re: minimalistic]
Maxtor Offline

Bronze Supporter until Jan 01 2013


Registered: 08/14/11
Posts: 182
disclaimer: I have no knowledge or experience with the European piano market or its prices.

Hailun would be worth checking. I think they are actually branded Wendl & Lung in Europe. They should be around your original price range new, maybe a bit beyond it. You should be able to find something that is either very good and used, or good and new (but not Japanese or European) for that price range. In America, the Kohler & Campbell uprights are often sold next to Kawai, and I have thought well of them. They would be in that price range.

If your budget increased to 6000, I think you might as well get a used baby grand. If you don't have the space for it, then lower the budget and stick with uprights. And re-read my disclaimer when considering my advice smile

Top
#1860055 - 03/11/12 06:08 PM Re: Advice for an upright [Re: minimalistic]
minimalistic Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/04/12
Posts: 18
i really want a baby grand and did find a good (for me) deal on a Kawai GE-20.. the problem however is that I really don't have the space. i mean - I can squeeze it in, but it will not be nice.. otherwise I do play quite a bit and even the baby grands have better and more responsive action than any upright I've tested so far. of course - just my subjective opinion.

I tried the Wendl (in Europe it's marketed as Feurich), but I honestly don't like how they sound. and it might be just me, but I haven't found one Chinese/Korean piano that sounds anything worth the money (that includes Wendl, Essex, etc.)

I also tried some new Seilers and Grotrians and wasn't quite impressed, given the price difference between them and a Kawai upright - I really did expect more from those quite famous brands.

but i more and more get convinced that it really gets down to the dealers - in many cases they don't even bother properly tuning and voicing the pianos (even the Seiler wasn't tuned!).. and this is smth I'll never understand - what's the point of having all these pianos on stock if they are not in their best shape?

that's why i will try getting some good service deal with the Danish official Kawai dealer (that includes tuning, voicing and adjusting the touch as part of prep) and if they agree to make the piano as I'd like it to be, I'll order a K6 without even having it heard.

damn, why should it be so complicated to buy a piano? increasing my budget 10 times didn't make the decision making any easier smirk

Top
#1860179 - 03/11/12 10:36 PM Re: Advice for an upright [Re: minimalistic]
Sparky McBiff Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 1112
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Originally Posted By: minimalistic

damn, why should it be so complicated to buy a piano? increasing my budget 10 times didn't make the decision making any easier smirk



Tell me about it.
It was MUCH easier for me to buy my house than buy my piano if you can believe it.
And I still think I bought too early and should have shopped a bit more (although I love my Hailun).
_________________________
Hailun 198







Top
#1860181 - 03/11/12 10:36 PM Re: Advice for an upright [Re: minimalistic]
Monaco Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/28/11
Posts: 387
Loc: GA
I would be scared to buy an instrument that I have never even heard.
_________________________
Ben Ereddia
Piano Teacher
Beginning Tech

Top
#1860245 - 03/12/12 12:47 AM Re: Advice for an upright [Re: minimalistic]
gnuboi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 2349
Loc: USA
I wouldn't buy a piano without trying it first, but Kawai with the 10-year transferable warranty (at least in the USA) and their usual good service reputation should mitigate some of that risk.

Top
#1860253 - 03/12/12 01:01 AM Re: Advice for an upright [Re: Monaco]
jivemutha Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 528
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: Monaco
I would be scared to buy an instrument that I have never even heard.


We all are. However, there are times when it's usually unavoidable--it's called special orders. This generally happens when a person wants a special finish (e.g., mahogany instead of polished black) or when the order is for something else not likely to appear on the floor of the dealership (like a silent piano in America, as I had to special order). Depending primarily on the brand, but also the dealer (in terms of prep work) the risk can vary from surprisingly small (Kawai or Yamaha from a reputable dealer) or remarkably large.

Thus, even with the seemingly straight forward advice, "never buy a piano--even new--that you haven't played," it's not always a slam dunk and there are times when this reasonable dictum needs to be ignored and even times when it can be ignored with a modicum of safety. There are other times--most other times--when I think it shouldn't be ignored.

Top
#1860500 - 03/12/12 02:20 PM Re: Advice for an upright [Re: minimalistic]
minimalistic Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/04/12
Posts: 18
Well.. it turns out that the local Kawai dealer in Denmark doesn't have K6/8 at all on stock in the country. so I was told that if I want, I can order a K6 which they'll import from Japan, and until it's here (estimated to be somewhere in August) I'll have a temporary K5.. Ah yeah, and the K5 is of course in another city, so I'll need to pay to get it over for this period.

I tried an Irmler P132 today which was advertised as built-in-Germany piano with Renner action, which after I got home turned out that it's preassembled in China and hammers + tuning added in Germany.. I personally didn't find the action too responsive on this one smirk

Besides most dealers here don't have the pianos in their showrooms even tuned! I'm honestly shocked - how can you keep something on stock, hoping for someone to like it and buy it, if it's not even tuned?!

I think I'll soon go crazy and probably rent a van and drive over to Germany to some _decent_ dealer there that has good and tuned pianos on stock..

Aaaaaaaaaaarrrgghghghgh frown

Top

Moderator:  Ken Knapp, Piano World, Rickster 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
Download & Print Sheet Music Instantly
sheet music search
sheet music search

sheet music search
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
152 registered (accordeur, ando, antony, Akshay, 36251, 47 invisible), 1724 Guests and 29 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
74217 Members
42 Forums
153529 Topics
2249942 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Why 88 keys?
by gsmonks
04/17/14 03:01 PM
Casio AP range advice please
by thamajor7
04/17/14 01:38 PM
Installing plain wire: no twists involved
by A443
04/17/14 01:12 PM
Disney - Mulan - Reflection (arr. by K. Landry)
by Gi Dy
04/17/14 12:32 PM
A good introduction to history of French classical music?
by BWV 846
04/17/14 10:50 AM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission