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#1858165 - 03/08/12 12:46 AM Please weigh in on my "finalized" Upright shopping list
sushifor5 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/12
Posts: 74
Loc: Northern Idaho
(EDIT: just a warning that this is no longer relevant, as we are no longer looking at uprights, but are now wanting to buy a grand. thanks!)

OK, after much research and a little bit of shopping and many phone calls, I have narrowed down our short list for the professional grade upright we want to buy...a purchase will be made within a couple months if we can find the instrument that sings to us.

A grand is not an option...I have a talented 12-year-old and other kids coming behind him... I know an upright, even an excellent one, is not a grand...but we want the best upright we can afford that will get close to the touch/feel and tone of a grand so he isn't so "off" when he plays his teacher's grand and so he develops his skills to the best of his potential; we hope in 10 years to move into a 6-foot-ish grand, and this upright would need to be the last "best" step before that. I do not care for the metallic/bright/percussive tone of certain instruments and we are looking to spend in the $7K to $10K range. I really want a 52" with sostenuto pedal, but others will be considered...quality construction matters as well as tone, and I don't care as much about how the piano looks, though I don't like ornate cases. After looking at used pianos in our area, the results are discouraging. I would buy a "newish" used instrument that met the criteria and was lovingly/gently played and well maintained...But as of now, we're shopping new b/c of our location and time constraints. (I'm sure I could get more piano for our price range if I could wait and buy new and travel nationally...not sure that's going to happen.)

The following is my list. Please be brutally honest and give me as much info as you can/desire... We currently live in a remote location (north Idaho) and shopping for instruments is a challenge...we have little access, but will travel for the right piano. I very much want to play each of these before choosing/buying, but because that may take a few months, I'm hoping to narrow down this list with the valuable feedback of people here. Which instruments in this list would seem to be a good fit for our needs/desires? If you have real-life pricing advice, that would be appreciated also.

In no particular order:

Knabe WKV131 (Classic line) = 52" with sostenuto
Charles Walter studio (1500?)
Hailun HU7P = 52" with sostenuto
Albert Weber AW52
Young Chang YP52 or PE131
Perzina 129R or 133R (no idea where I'd ever see one)
Boston UP-126E or 132E
Langlois 52" with sostenuto
Kawai K6 or K8 (not really in our price range, but...)

OK, I want to say thanks in advance...I really need feedback and as much direction as possible here, b/c the search for the right instrument is very difficult for us logistically. Any way I can narrow this down would be great. I value the opinions of pros and players and people who may know any/all of these instruments.


Edited by sushifor5 (03/11/12 12:59 AM)

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#1858171 - 03/08/12 01:02 AM Re: Please weigh in on my "finalized" Upright shopping list [Re: sushifor5]
Pianolance Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 1178
Loc: Nashville, TN
That looks like a good list although I've never heard of Langlios. If it were me I would be tempted to add a Petrof to the list and a Fandrich. I might also add a Vogal and May Berlin both by Schimmel. You will be well able to get a fully professional piano that may never need an upgrade. Personally, if you are going for a superior action that is grand like, the Fandrich would be of great interest to me, but it's unlikely you will find one to sample, but hey, it could happen. Best of luck to you.
_________________________
Knabe 5'2" Louis XV Walnut circa 1927
Very part time piano broker.

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#1858265 - 03/08/12 08:48 AM Re: Please weigh in on my "finalized" Upright shopping list [Re: sushifor5]
MrMagic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 371
Loc: Stettler AB Canada
I have only played one Petrof upright, a P135 K1, and it was delightful, so I would agree with Pianolance to add a Petrof to your list.
_________________________
1928 Chas. M. Stieff 6'1" Grand. Major rebuild 2011
1920 Mason & Risch Upright (actually my mother's)
1971 Hammond R-100
Roland KR577
Roland VK-8M Tonewheel organ module
GigaStudio GS3 Ensemble (Bosendorfer & Estonia piano samples)
Roland E20, JV30 (retired)
An old concertina which I can't play

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#1858290 - 03/08/12 09:49 AM Re: Please weigh in on my "finalized" Upright shopping list [Re: sushifor5]
jivemutha Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 528
Loc: Portland, OR
Brutally honest? Your kid will probably never use the sustenuto pedal. Requiring it ups your cost, shrinks your options, and is likely to buy you very little. (I have a sustenuto pedal, enjoy fooling with it, but would not make final decisions on the basis of its existence.)

Brutally honest? As you can't afford one of those rare Fandrich uprights, the only pianos that will feel exactly like a grand are the digital AvantGrands by Yamaha. As that's not on your list (and possibly, like me, you really dislike digital pianos) you'll need to give up on matching the feel of a grand. The good news? This isn't a big deal unless your kid is going to become a concert pianist. It's probably not even a medium sized deal. I say this having a grand, having previously had uprights, enjoying the better feel of the grand, but not being a concert player.

Brutally honest? If you've written Yammy (U1 or U3) off because of the sound of older instruments, I think you should give the new ones a listen. Yamaha has toned them down. They make great work horses for kids, sounding good for what they are, staying in tune, having very few quirks (sometimes a pedal might squeek), and being relatively easy to resell. They are in your price range new. While the only one that nobody could possibly ever call "too bright" is more expensive (YUS5), you might want to give it a test drive if you're exploring U1s and U3s at the dealer.

Finally, a new K6, with enough bargaining might go out the door for far closer to your budget than you might think. Try asking PW Kawai owners here what they actually paid. You'd be surprised at some of the very large discounts below SMP. Good luck!

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#1858297 - 03/08/12 10:01 AM Re: Please weigh in on my "finalized" Upright shopping list [Re: sushifor5]
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2172
Loc: Huntington Beach, CA
That's a good list. Go with your gut instinct.

If you can find a dealer, try W. Hoffmann. I've really liked the couple I've played.

Edit to correct spelling. What a stupid git!


Edited by Plowboy (03/08/12 10:18 AM)
_________________________
Gary Schenk

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#1858305 - 03/08/12 10:09 AM Re: Please weigh in on my "finalized" Upright shopping list [Re: Plowboy]
TX-Dennis Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/05
Posts: 4126
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: Plowboy
That's a good list. Go with your git instinct.

If you can find a dealer, try W. Hoffmann. I've really liked the couple I've played.


I know this was a typo, but I couldn't resist . . .

_________________________
Dennis

flickr


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#1858307 - 03/08/12 10:16 AM Re: Please weigh in on my "finalized" Upright shopping list [Re: sushifor5]
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2172
Loc: Huntington Beach, CA
LOL!
_________________________
Gary Schenk

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#1858420 - 03/08/12 01:41 PM Re: Please weigh in on my "finalized" Upright shopping list [Re: sushifor5]
sushifor5 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/12
Posts: 74
Loc: Northern Idaho
Thanks for the thoughts, the honesty and the humour!! Digital is not an option, losing the "feel" of the grand is fine...just want an excellent playing upright with great components and tone we like and powerful bass and even, melodic treble...good sustain, good touch feel, etc. I'm really hoping someone will help me narrow down the list by saying, "get rid of so and so...." Thanks again!


Edited by sushifor5 (03/08/12 01:42 PM)

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#1858439 - 03/08/12 02:20 PM Re: Please weigh in on my "finalized" Upright shopping list [Re: sushifor5]
master88er Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/07
Posts: 789
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Originally Posted By: sushifor5
I'm really hoping someone will help me narrow down the list by saying, "get rid of so and so...." Thanks again!


Hi Sushifor5:

Okay, I'll do you the favor: Get rid of them ALL - and go buy the grand you've alluded to wanting. There are MANY small grands on the market today in the price range you've indicated that would run rings around all of the pianos on your list! Check out the recent articles on Pianobuyer.com about small grands recently designed and on the market. There are some truly amazing products available - so why wait when it's what you want anyway?!
_________________________
Russell I. Kassman
R.KASSMAN, Purveyor of Fine Pianos
Berkeley, CA

FORMER US Rep.for C.Bechstein

SF Area Dealer: Steingraeber•Grotrian•Sauter•Estonia•Kayserburg•Baldwin•Brodmann•Ritmüller
www.rkassman.com
russell@rkassman.com
510.558.0765

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#1858457 - 03/08/12 02:46 PM Re: Please weigh in on my "finalized" Upright shopping list [Re: sushifor5]
sushifor5 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/12
Posts: 74
Loc: Northern Idaho
Because it is physically impossible to get one in the space in which we live. But thx for trying.

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#1858466 - 03/08/12 02:57 PM Re: Please weigh in on my "finalized" Upright shopping list [Re: sushifor5]
mahermusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 330
Loc: U.S.A.
+1 for the Walter.
_________________________
Charles R. Walter 1520 QA Mahogany #531739 w/ High Polish, Renner and Quiet Pedal

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#1858488 - 03/08/12 03:36 PM Re: Please weigh in on my "finalized" Upright shopping list [Re: sushifor5]
Pianolance Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 1178
Loc: Nashville, TN
Walter has a stellar reputation, however, I used to live in the Baltimore area and Warfield Pianos had Walters in stock, and I was never very impressed. I don't know if it was the way Phil had them prepped, I do know he specified certain hammers that were not the stock Walter hammers. I want to like Walter, but they just never rang my bell. I tried their 7' grand once and it was spectacular.
_________________________
Knabe 5'2" Louis XV Walnut circa 1927
Very part time piano broker.

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#1858581 - 03/08/12 06:36 PM Re: Please weigh in on my "finalized" Upright shopping list [Re: Pianolance]
Rod Verhnjak Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 3635
Loc: Vancouver B.C. Canada
Originally Posted By: Pianolance
I tried their 7' grand once and it was spectacular.


That would be a model 190 6'4"
_________________________
Verhnjak Pianos
Specializing in the Restoration, Refinishing & Maintenance
of Fine Heirloom Pianos

Exclusive Dealer For Charles R. Walter Pianos
www.pianoman.ca
Verhnjak Pianos Facebook


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#1858599 - 03/08/12 06:54 PM Re: Please weigh in on my "finalized" Upright shopping list [Re: sushifor5]
Rod Verhnjak Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 3635
Loc: Vancouver B.C. Canada


Originally Posted By: sushifor5
just want an excellent playing upright with great components and tone we like and powerful bass and even, melodic treble...good sustain, good touch feel, etc.




The Walter is the only instrument on your list that has a Renner action (if you order it that way)
The Walter is the only instrument on your list that does not use MDf or like material in their construction.
The Walter is the only instrument on your list that finishes their pianos in Lacquer which can be stripped and refinished in the future if needed.
The Walter is the only instrument on your list that is manufactured in the U.S.
The Walter distributes their pianos direct to their dealers so there is no middle man/woman making a few $$$
The Walter does not have to be shipped from another country and have added expenses applied to the price that could be put into components.

The Walter is smaller in stature but produces a tone equal to many 50" pianos and with a Renner action can compete with the best in performance.

Just a great piano that you don't have to pay extra for their marketing, since they don't have a marketing department grin

_________________________
Verhnjak Pianos
Specializing in the Restoration, Refinishing & Maintenance
of Fine Heirloom Pianos

Exclusive Dealer For Charles R. Walter Pianos
www.pianoman.ca
Verhnjak Pianos Facebook


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#1858630 - 03/08/12 08:04 PM Re: Please weigh in on my "finalized" Upright shopping list [Re: Rod Verhnjak]
master88er Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/07
Posts: 789
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Originally Posted By: Rod Verhnjak



Just a great piano that you don't have to pay extra for their marketing, since they don't have a marketing department grin



Yes they do Rod, and you're doing a GREAT job!!! grin
_________________________
Russell I. Kassman
R.KASSMAN, Purveyor of Fine Pianos
Berkeley, CA

FORMER US Rep.for C.Bechstein

SF Area Dealer: Steingraeber•Grotrian•Sauter•Estonia•Kayserburg•Baldwin•Brodmann•Ritmüller
www.rkassman.com
russell@rkassman.com
510.558.0765

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#1858668 - 03/08/12 09:26 PM Re: Please weigh in on my "finalized" Upright shopping list [Re: sushifor5]
sushifor5 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/12
Posts: 74
Loc: Northern Idaho
OK, well, we spent the day playing a couple pianos at the Steinway gallery, and now the game is changed. For the people here who said, "when you're thinking of spending in the $9K-$11K range on an upright, you might as well look at entry grands," well, I'm here to tell you that I'm eating crow. LOL

We are now looking at baby grands. oh boy...more research!! i'm thinking this is a new post coming...

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#1858918 - 03/09/12 11:07 AM Re: Please weigh in on my "finalized" Upright shopping list [Re: sushifor5]
TXT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/14/12
Posts: 25
Because it is physically impossible to get one in the space in which we live.

Just be cautious about your grand selection -- it may overpower the room.

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#1858937 - 03/09/12 11:53 AM Re: Please weigh in on my "finalized" Upright shopping list [Re: TXT]
jivemutha Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 528
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: TXT

Just be cautious about your grand selection -- it may overpower the room.


TXT makes an important point here. For example, Yamaha C3s are widely viewed as sounding a big step better than C2s, and that's what my ear tells me too. But due to budget and space issues, I got the smaller C2. It's good that I did. For our living space, not only was the C2 (5'8") as big as we could get without making the room look way overcrowded, the sound of the C2 is also as big as would make any sense.

The point? You CAN buy too much piano for a given room. Larry Fine cautions to never exceed 10% of the perimeter of the room. (Thus, in a room that's 12X18 with a total perimeter of 60 feet, Fine would say a piano should not be bigger than 6' long.)

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#1858989 - 03/09/12 01:21 PM Re: Please weigh in on my "finalized" Upright shopping list [Re: sushifor5]
sushifor5 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/12
Posts: 74
Loc: Northern Idaho
Good to know...we are going to be moving out of this place, though, likely within the year...so we want to buy the right piano for our family and try not to constrain ourselves based on living in a shack. LOL!

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#1858996 - 03/09/12 01:33 PM Re: Please weigh in on my "finalized" Upright shopping list [Re: sushifor5]
John Dickinson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/04/10
Posts: 51
Loc: California, USA
I love my Kawai K8 . . . it feels a LOT like a grand when you play it, thanks t the lightweight Millennium action. The sound is quite grand-like, and it has a proper music desk (see my blog on this topic at http://www.jdickinson.com/2012/03/pianos-and-posture.html ), but is otherwise the same as the K6. AND, piano stores are not doing all that well, so negotiate!
_________________________
John Dickinson
www.jdickinson.com
Kawai K8, Kawai ES6

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#1859027 - 03/09/12 02:53 PM Re: Please weigh in on my "finalized" Upright shopping list [Re: sushifor5]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7089
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: sushifor5
OK, after much research and a little bit of shopping and many phone calls, I have narrowed down our short list for the professional grade upright we want to buy... what was the research method that pared down your choices to t


Sshi,

I realize that you're now thinking grands, but I'm wondering just exactly what you mean by research. I ask that because you are juggling three threads here and seem to be standing by to respond quickly to all. Is that research?

Looking at the upright list you came up with.........

Knabe WKV131 (Classic line) = 52" with sostenuto
Charles Walter studio (1500?)
Hailun HU7P = 52" with sostenuto
Albert Weber AW52
Young Chang YP52 or PE131
Perzina 129R or 133R (no idea where I'd ever see one)
Boston UP-126E or 132E
Langlois 52" with sostenuto
Kawai K6 or K8 (not really in our price range, but...)

and bearing in mind where you live and how you've described your local piano market, I'm wondering if you have any inkling of how these finalists on what you say is your short list list sound and play? What is the basis of their making the cut? Are you employing the same research methods in your new grand research?
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#1859048 - 03/09/12 03:47 PM Re: Please weigh in on my "finalized" Upright shopping list [Re: sushifor5]
sushifor5 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/12
Posts: 74
Loc: Northern Idaho
Well, I appreciate your concern, but no...I'm not just conducting all my research on the pianoworld forum...i happen to have a job/lifestyle that allows me to check in online frequently. I wasn't aware that multiple threads were frowned upon...I ask a lot of questions...that's a great way to learn. I am a former professional journalist and I know how to research. I'm employing all the avenues I have available to me, including print materials, online materials, discussions with many real people, etc. We are working on getting to play as many instruments as we possibly can. As far as how I compiled my list? Price, reputation, discussions and partly availability. Thx.


Edited by sushifor5 (03/09/12 04:44 PM)

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#1859078 - 03/09/12 05:44 PM Re: Please weigh in on my "finalized" Upright shopping list [Re: sushifor5]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7089
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: sushifor5
I wasn't aware that multiple threads were frowned upon...I ask a lot of questions...that's a great way to learn. Thx.


I'm not aware that multiple threads are frowned upon. I doubt it. I asked because in looking at your list it seems to contain pianos that don't fit your available market.....

Quote:
We currently live in a remote area...a 1.5 hour drive gets us to a small city that has two piano stores (a Steinway dealer and another store that carries Yamaha, Knabe and etc). Needless to say, the selection is limited!


So I was wondering on what basis you pared things down to those pianos and ostensibly eliminated others. And I would also ask you re. "That's a great way to learn" Learn what? Do you feel it's an acceptable substitute for playing the pianos yourself and/or having your child play them before they are selected for your short list or removed from it??
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#1859210 - 03/10/12 12:59 AM Re: Please weigh in on my "finalized" Upright shopping list [Re: turandot]
sushifor5 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/03/12
Posts: 74
Loc: Northern Idaho
Originally Posted By: turandot
I asked because in looking at your list it seems to contain pianos that don't fit your available market.....

Quote:
We currently live in a remote area...a 1.5 hour drive gets us to a small city that has two piano stores (a Steinway dealer and another store that carries Yamaha, Knabe and etc). Needless to say, the selection is limited!


So I was wondering on what basis you pared things down to those pianos and ostensibly eliminated others. And I would also ask you re. "That's a great way to learn" Learn what? Do you feel it's an acceptable substitute for playing the pianos yourself and/or having your child play them before they are selected for your short list or removed from it??


I'm not sure why you are challenging me so aggressively ... I am accustomed to participating in forums and getting different points of view and friendly help. You seem dissatisfied and even upset with what I've presented, and I've no desire to debate. I ask for opinions and input to add to the growing level of knowledge we are acquiring and I will apply all of that to our special circumstances. I don't think I should have to explain myself and detail our plans to drive 12 hours to test the pianos on my list. If there were compelling arguments people offered that would assist me in paring down my list before we begin such a trek, I consider that to be useful information. I don't need to play every available piano in our price range to choose a great instrument for my family. We don't have the resources to do so. I am confident that I will find an instrument that meets our needs and that we love, even if our pool of choices is smaller than ideally desirable. We have already played a handful of pianos; some I liked, some I couldn't stand. I assumed the purpose of this forum was for people to share such impressions with one another and dialogue about the good, bad and the ugly about the instruments available. Hence, all my questions. Cheers.

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#1859232 - 03/10/12 03:03 AM Re: Please weigh in on my "finalized" Upright shopping list [Re: sushifor5]
Rickster Online   content


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8067
Loc: Georgia, USA
Originally Posted By: sushifor5
We have already played a handful of pianos; some I liked, some I couldn't stand. I assumed the purpose of this forum was for people to share such impressions with one another and dialogue about the good, bad and the ugly about the instruments available. Hence, all my questions. Cheers.

You assumed correctly...

Good luck with your piano search!

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

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#1859256 - 03/10/12 05:09 AM Re: Please weigh in on my "finalized" Upright shopping list [Re: sushifor5]
Rafterman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/12
Posts: 407
Loc: New York
Turnadot being aggressive to someone on a forum? Never!! wink

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#1859261 - 03/10/12 05:19 AM Re: Please weigh in on my "finalized" Upright shopping list [Re: sushifor5]
Rafterman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/12
Posts: 407
Loc: New York
Turnadot I am seeing a pattern here.......Guy wants a Kawai K8....you disect his posts.....indirectly criticize him.

Did someone with a Kawai K8 break your heart or something? smile

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#1859287 - 03/10/12 08:26 AM Re: Please weigh in on my "finalized" Upright shopping list [Re: sushifor5]
mcours2006 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/07/12
Posts: 32
When I was doing my research I found that the 'Search' function on PW extremely useful. It searches the database for the past ten years or so on whatever model you are looking for, and without the apparent abuse.

What was useful on the current forum was getting opinions on pricing on both new and used pianos. Prices from ten years ago aren't much use in today's market.

Good luck with your search.

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#1859308 - 03/10/12 09:19 AM Re: Please weigh in on my "finalized" Upright shopping list [Re: sushifor5]
fingers Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/08/04
Posts: 799
Loc: Westchester, NY
sushifor5,

Sometimes the best answers are in the form of questions. Questions,not so much answers, can help us sharpen our focus, clarify what we think is important and afford us the tools to answer our own questions.

Unfortunately, sincere and well intended questions can sometimes be mistaken for something else.
Just some food for thought and all the best in your search.

fingers
_________________________
Playing piano at age 2, it was thought that I was some sort of idiot-savant. As it turns out, I'm just an idiot.

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#1859325 - 03/10/12 09:46 AM Re: Please weigh in on my "finalized" Upright shopping list [Re: sushifor5]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7089
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: sushifor5

I'm not sure why you are challenging me so aggressively ... I am accustomed to participating in forums and getting different points of view and friendly help. You seem dissatisfied and even upset with what I've presented, and I've no desire to debate. I ask for opinions and input to add to the growing level of knowledge we are acquiring and I will apply all of that to our special circumstances.


You stated in your opening post here that you wanted readers who responded to be brutally honest. Yet here you are recoiling because someone asks you how you have arrived at what you call your short list. What's the chippiness all about?

The response you've given is that you were a professional journalist and know all the tricks of the trade when it comes to research. You also mentioned having a foggy recollection of a similar piano research project a couple of years ago. Well, all that's fine, but I've never known a journalist who did his research in chat rooms, and to be politely honest (not brutally honest), I don't see how it makes a dime's worth of differrence whether you're a professional journalist or a professional wrestler when it come to pianos. So I don't know how that kind of research applies to sorting through candidates for a piano that you say should sing to your family.

There's nothing hostile or aggressive about my question. Curious, yes. Nosy, maybe. But to be annoyingly repetitive (on top of brutal grin), I just don't understand how collecting picks and pans in char rooms helps your cause. Maybe I'm just old-fashioned.

I thought that the retailers who advised you to withhold judgment until you meet the pianos in person gave you good advice. At the risk of enraging you still further grin , I will add this. Take them (the pianos) as they come. It's hard enough to sort out pianos without having others' subjective opinions ringing in your ears. If you and your boy like something, you can hang it on the line here and see how it dries.

I hope everything works out for you.
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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