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#1856113 - 03/04/12 01:53 PM Your review of Steinway 1098 models and upright scene
Chopinlover49 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/11
Posts: 642
Due to circumstances out of my control, I am changing my piano search to uprights at the moment and have had trouble finding anything decent locally. I have a chance to take a short road trip and see 1 or 2 Steinway 1098 models. I believe they are only 45", right? I was planning to get at least a 48" or 52" but they are Steinways. One is 3 years old and the other is a rebuilt 1961 model I believe. My local dealer had an older 1098 on consignment but it needed a bit of work and wasn't satisfying at all so I am unsure if I will like either of these pianos. What do you think of this particular model? I also went to see a Kawai K5 and a Yamaha U1 and found each had some harsh sounds in the treble. I had hoped to try the high-end models of each manufacturer but none around here new or used. I am afraid of ordering a piano I have not tried. Ideas?

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#1856148 - 03/04/12 02:59 PM Re: Your review of Steinway 1098 models and upright scene [Re: Chopinlover49]
terminaldegree Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 3097
Loc: western Wisconsin
The 52" Steinway upright is the model K, fwiw. Totally different animal than the 1098... Be sure you're comparing other uprights of the same price for reference.

Who rebuilds 45" uprights? What exactly does that mean?
_________________________
Pianist, teacher, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer

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#1856150 - 03/04/12 03:10 PM Re: Your review of Steinway 1098 models and upright scene [Re: Chopinlover49]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3333
1098's do not have much of a good reputation, which, in my opinion, is well deserved. Back in the 1980's I fell for the fallboard name, purchased one new from a Steinway dealer, and never really liked it, and my tuner absolutely hated it.
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#1856151 - 03/04/12 03:10 PM Re: Your review of Steinway 1098 models and upright scene [Re: Chopinlover49]
dancarney Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/06/11
Posts: 145
Loc: UK
Chopinlover49,

Out of interest, how old was the U1 that you tried? In my experience the new ones are anything but harsh. In the UK the Yamahas come to us via Germany, and seem to be prepped very nicely and sound very 'round' for such a small piano.
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#1856155 - 03/04/12 03:19 PM Re: Your review of Steinway 1098 models and upright scene [Re: Chopinlover49]
newgeneration Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 442
Loc: Richmond Hill, Ontario
I am biased towards Steingraeber as my signature explains,
but if you have considered Steinway uprights, for a couple of notches more Steingraeber offer the finest uprights in the world. Make sure you try one with the SFM action which pianists describe as nearly the same touch and response as a grand.
_________________________
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J.D. Grandt Piano Supply Company (formerly Grand Piano House Inc.)
www.jdgrandt.com
https://www.facebook.com/JDGrandtPianoSupplyCo
Steingraeber & Söhne (Canada)
Lomence Modern Crystal Piano (North America)
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#1856163 - 03/04/12 03:37 PM Re: Your review of Steinway 1098 models and upright scene [Re: Chopinlover49]
Chickering125 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/05/11
Posts: 9
Loc: TX
I owned a Steinway 1098 when I was a university student and the university I teach at has 1098s in the practice rooms. I would not recommend them to anyone!! They have an ugly sound and many action issues. I would recommend a Yamaha or Kawai upright before any Steinway upright including the k-52's.

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#1856177 - 03/04/12 04:00 PM Re: Your review of Steinway 1098 models and upright scene [Re: Chickering125]
jim ialeggio Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 872
Loc: shirley, MA
Originally Posted By: Chickering125
I owned a Steinway 1098 when I was a university student and the university I teach at has 1098s in the practice rooms. I would not recommend them to anyone!!


And as an extra bonus, they are one of the hardest pianos to tune on the planet. Some tuners charge extra to tune these things, or refuse outright to tune them. I would wager this is why Chickering125 says they have aa ugly sound...un-tunable except by a determined tuner on a mission.

Jim Ialeggio
_________________________
Jim Ialeggio
www.grandpianosolutions.com
advanced soundboard and action redesigns
978 425-9026
Shirley Center, MA

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#1856178 - 03/04/12 04:02 PM Re: Your review of Steinway 1098 models and upright scene [Re: Chopinlover49]
master88er Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/07
Posts: 931
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
There are a myriad of nice 50" uprights on the market. If you're going to travel a bit, why not visit piano row and try all the uprights available within one block. Personally, I think Irving and Sarah Faust at Faust Harrison have a marvelous collection, and you might like the tall Mason Hamlin upright they have.
_________________________
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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#1856230 - 03/04/12 06:00 PM Re: Your review of Steinway 1098 models and upright scene [Re: Chopinlover49]
Chickering125 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/05/11
Posts: 9
Loc: TX
Hello Jim Ialeggio! You are absolutely right about the tuning problems! Most of the 1098s I have played have tuning stability issues due to the fact that they are extremely difficult to tune and to keep in tune. I have also played many 1098s that have bass notes that rattle, uneven actions, harsh sounding trebles, etc, etc, etc... Overall, I do not think these pianos are worth the money. Most of the technicians I have spoken to hate servicing Steinway uprights.

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#1856471 - 03/05/12 09:40 AM Re: Your review of Steinway 1098 models and upright scene [Re: dancarney]
Chopinlover49 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/11
Posts: 642
The U1 was brand new. It had a weak bass and very harsh upper treble. The first part of the treble (not sure if my terminology is right, but around the middle C and slightly above) was just ok. This dealer doesn't do much prep other than basic tuning, I think.

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#1856476 - 03/05/12 09:46 AM Re: Your review of Steinway 1098 models and upright scene [Re: Chopinlover49]
Chopinlover49 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/11
Posts: 642
Well, your opinions confirm my fears. I never really wanted another upright, but around here there is not much to choose from other than used spinets which I definitely will not buy. I tried a K5 hoping that it would be enticing because the dealer has shown it to other people and ended up ordering K6's for them with success. I found it not to my liking and very worried about ordering something bigger without even playing one. As it turns out, the two Steinway 1098's are sold so it is a non-issue but I will cross them off my list. I have heard some glorious sounds coming out of Grotrians and Schimmels on YouTube but the dealers are in UK. Around here there is only 1 Steinway dealer with no uprights of interest, 1 Yamaha dealer with the U1, and 1 tech who sells a few Chinese pianos and the K5 as well as a few grands. I like his shop but he is small and just doesn't have a lot of inventory to try. Funny, but I had read on PianoWorld how many people like the Charles Walters even though they are only 45" and he had a new one. He said it had been in the shop a while and he could probably make a good deal on it, but it sounded terrible. Am I the only person who has not liked one? I am beginning to wonder if my tastes are way too fussy? I had been playing a 5 year-old Steinway L so I suppose I am expecting too much.

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#1862257 - 03/15/12 01:38 AM Re: Your review of Steinway 1098 models and upright scene [Re: Chopinlover49]
gnuboi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 2349
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Chopinlover49
Funny, but I had read on PianoWorld how many people like the Charles Walters even though they are only 45" and he had a new one. He said it had been in the shop a while and he could probably make a good deal on it, but it sounded terrible. Am I the only person who has not liked one?


I played a new 1500 and a used 1520 and they are well built and well priced for what they are . However, I also did not like the tone, at least not from just one trip each. Rick Jone's videos of his Walters seem to have a more familiar, comfortable tone than the ones I tried in person. Every company has their tonal goals and it's possible the Walter is peculiar enough to appeal to some but put off others. I have a feeling that if I have the Walter at home for a while, I'd grow to like to quickly.

The smaller Walter grand is also Del's work; haven't seen one in person yet, though.

Anyway I know you're looking for a small grand now, but just wanted to throw this out there.


Edited by gnuboi (03/15/12 01:38 AM)

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#1862425 - 03/15/12 10:24 AM Re: Your review of Steinway 1098 models and upright scene [Re: gnuboi]
Laurie Springs Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/13/09
Posts: 13
We purchased a used (2004) Charles Walter French Provincial console a couple years ago. It was in very good condition. We actually went to the CW factory in Indiana since we are not too far away. Had a very good buying experience. We had a tour of the factory which was very interesting. My 17-year old son is an advanced piano player. While he likes his CW piano, the action of the piano can be frustrating, especially when he is trying to play trills, etc. He seemed to like the CW grands at the factory quite well--way out of our price range. We are considering the possibility of selling or trading our CW piano in for a used Yamaha (if we can find one in our price range). Does anyone out there have any input on what the trade-in value would be for our piano (without having to pay for an appraisal) or a good resource to find this information?

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#1862428 - 03/15/12 10:31 AM Re: Your review of Steinway 1098 models and upright scene [Re: Chopinlover49]
Chopinlover49 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/11
Posts: 642
Well, I tried a Charles Walter (new), a Kawai K5 (new), and Steinway 1098 (used) and a bunch of other pianos including a new Knabe. Prices were ok but the sound was not. I am back to trying to figure out how to squeeze a small grand into the space I am allotted. (Originally I had enough space for a 9'' grand, so the change of situation is very frustrating!) In a separate post, I have some questions about small Boston grands if anyone has any input. Thanks. (I will still keep looking on Craigslist and PianoMart in case a decent upright turns up.)

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#1862459 - 03/15/12 11:52 AM Re: Your review of Steinway 1098 models and upright scene [Re: Chopinlover49]
Rank Piano Amateur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/07
Posts: 1823
There are some excellent European uprights out there. The Mason and Hamlin 50 is fabulous, if you can find one. I don't know what your price range is, but there are definitely some great uprights from which to choose! You might want to take a trip, as was suggested above, to see other options and not limit yourself to what is in your immediate area.

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#1862697 - 03/15/12 06:26 PM Re: Your review of Steinway 1098 models and upright scene [Re: Chopinlover49]
Chopinlover49 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/11
Posts: 642
I know that a trip to NYC or some other metro area would afford me many choices. I just have trouble going very far from home these days.

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#1862698 - 03/15/12 06:33 PM Re: Your review of Steinway 1098 models and upright scene [Re: Chopinlover49]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 22603
Loc: Oakland
There are a number of good, inexpensive vertical pianos out there. Some of them may need a good tech to bring out the best in them. I tuned a Chinese Yamaha T118 the other day, which is shaping up to be a fairly nice piano with a bit of matching the hammers to the strings.

45" Steinways have changed in recent years. They now have Renner actions instead of Pratt Read. I understand they have worked on the tuning problems as well.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1862895 - 03/16/12 01:50 AM Re: Your review of Steinway 1098 models and upright scene [Re: Laurie Springs]
gnuboi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 2349
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Laurie Springs
We purchased a used (2004) Charles Walter French Provincial console a couple years ago. It was in very good condition. We actually went to the CW factory in Indiana since we are not too far away. Had a very good buying experience. We had a tour of the factory which was very interesting. My 17-year old son is an advanced piano player. While he likes his CW piano, the action of the piano can be frustrating, especially when he is trying to play trills, etc. He seemed to like the CW grands at the factory quite well--way out of our price range. We are considering the possibility of selling or trading our CW piano in for a used Yamaha (if we can find one in our price range). Does anyone out there have any input on what the trade-in value would be for our piano (without having to pay for an appraisal) or a good resource to find this information?


Have you hired a technician to regulate the action?

If that doesn't work, there's a depreciation schedule at Piano World as well as in the Piano Buyer. Remember to apply the depreciation percentage against prices of new pianos today (in your case, today's Walter pricing).

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