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#1929365 - 07/20/12 01:10 AM What to buy after 40 years of not studying
Stevio55 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/18/12
Posts: 36
40 years after any serious lessons, I'm studying again -- with my original teacher, no less! I'm loving the discipline, and even getting a perverse sense of pleasure out of retraining my fingers with those damned Hanon exercises. How the world turns...

I inherited my family Baldwin Acrosonic spinet. It has great sound for its size, but I want something more substantial that will give me more artistic control. I've done other musical endeavors, so I know what I want. I just need an instrument (and the practice) to allow me to express my musicality.

SO...the question is what grand to buy. I've got the space for a 6' to 7' instrument. I love the very different sounds of two instruments: the Schimmel (altho it's a little on the refined side) and the Mason & Hamlin (to me, a more masculine sound). I intend to play into my retirement, and am buying the piano as a source of pleasure and a determination to be the best pianist I can be, even at my age (late 50s).

I have very eccleectic taste in what I hope to play. I love French repertoire, and hope to soon be able to play the Faure Barcarolle No. 6 in E Flat Major. But I also like Bach, more classic and romantic works, and wild/wooly pieces like the Muczynski Tocatta. Heck -- I've even been known to play showtunes.

Honestly, I'm torn between the characteristics of the two. Can any of you help with other considerations that might influence my decision? I'm in the very lucky position of being financially able to buy new instruments, but wonder if there's an advantage to having one that is vintage rather than new. Local access to exceptional technicians is not a problem, and my tuner that I've used for years is a gem.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me. You consistently amaze me with the warm and generous way you share you opinions.

Steve

p.s. I'm not so much a Steinway fan...


Edited by Stevio55 (07/20/12 01:13 AM)

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#1929378 - 07/20/12 02:17 AM Re: What to buy after 40 years of not studying [Re: Stevio55]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
Schimmels are superb.

you are not old.. apple, age 56.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1929394 - 07/20/12 02:54 AM Re: What to buy after 40 years of not studying [Re: Stevio55]
backto_study_piano Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 515
Loc: Australia
Hi - I just turned 59, with similar aspirations. Now got time (just retired), and could afford better. The Schimmel is a very eclectic sound, possibly more than a Mason, and I have one, 6', 2½ yrs old which I bought as a stop-gap. A good Mason BB is a fantastic piano, though. Unfortunately, the only one available in Australia was a very tired example.

However, just this week, I traded my Schimmel on a Grotrian Concert (7'4") - it flies out of Hamburg today!! I felt it had an adaptable tone, as I play a mix of styles. I'd like to say I'm a classical pianist - could be a stretch of my wishful thinking, as I'm only really getting my standard up slowly.

In your price range, you have a great range of pianos - including ones we don't see here, but have been spoken well of in the forum. Estonias, Bluthner, Seiler, Sauter come to mind. You might even like the larger Yamaha C6 or C7 or ***** ***,***/***,***.

Steingraeber was highly recommended to me by several people, but there isn't a dealer within 2000 miles of me, so it could be worth looking at.

Don't rush. Play as many as you can. One will very clearly say "take me home" - then pose the question to the forum to validate your feelings. It becomes difficult when dealers have pianos only partly prepared on the showroom floor, to be able to guess what they'll be like when fixed.


Edited by backto_study_piano (10/03/12 09:36 AM)
_________________________
Alan from Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert - she's 7'4" long and ebony) & 2 Allen Organs [long story - the first is for sale] - MDS312 and CF-15.

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#1929400 - 07/20/12 03:04 AM Re: What to buy after 40 years of not studying [Re: backto_study_piano]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5347
Loc: Philadelphia
I like the suggestions I've seen so far. I was about to say, don't discredit Yamaha's, particular if you like contemporary/jazz. My first piano teacher had a Yamaha and loved it for its jazz sound.

And, I will add: you are old. But I say that out of jealousy for your financial situation in that you can afford what I cannot. haha, kidding :p

(And apple, my old friend with whom I have not spoken in years, this is no reflection on you for being in your MID 50's and not your LATE 50's. smile )
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#1929496 - 07/20/12 06:57 AM Re: What to buy after 40 years of not studying [Re: Stevio55]
Cornelius Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/13/08
Posts: 65
Loc: Stuttgart (Germany)
Hello Steve
welcome in the "club of the late 50s" where I am a member as well. Similar to Alan from Australia (he currently is waiting for his new family member, a Grotrian Concert) I decided two years ago to make me a "short before retirement" present and owed to myself a Grotrian Concert too. Enjoy the possibility that you can afford a new grand and enjoy playing as many different makes and models as possible. I am sure, the quality standard of all the makes that are often mentioned in this forum as "tire 1" or "tire 2" instruments is excellent. Go with the one that speeks to you. Have much fun on your piano journey.
_________________________
Cornelius
Grotrian Steinweg 225
Pfeiffer 124 (1950s)

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#1929500 - 07/20/12 07:10 AM Re: What to buy after 40 years of not studying [Re: Stevio55]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Go with the piano that you like the best. After all, you are the one that has to play and enjoy it, not us..... smile Remember who will be playing it the most... YOU...

Ask a tech to look at it prior to purchasing if it is not new. Even then, depending on the dealer, it might not hurt to have someone check it out. Also, when you find the one that you like, write down the serial number to make sure that is the piano you get delivered, not another one out of the crate..

Enjoy!
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1929511 - 07/20/12 07:51 AM Re: What to buy after 40 years of not studying [Re: Stevio55]
Rank Piano Amateur Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/07
Posts: 1791
Greetings, and welcome to the Piano Forum and welcome back to pianos!

Some years ago, I went through exactly what you are experiencing and went back to piano after decades of not playing, although with a new, wonderful teacher. I also went through a similar choice-of-piano process as well. I grew up with an old battleship of an upright that I took when my parents no longer needed it, a huge and wonderful old 1911 creation that never went out of tune and that I thought sounded just fine until I started piano shopping. . . .

I ended up with a new (Burgett) 7' Mason & Hamlin, and I love it. Like you, I did not care for Steinways, although I tried out extensive numbers of them at the time I made my choice. I liked Schimmels a lot, but I LOVED the Mason sound, especially the bass. For me, the glorious sound felt like it added years to my skill, because my piano always sounds so wonderful. (I don't always sound so terrific, but the piano does.) When I get frustrated, I crash out hymns, or play gorgeous folk songs to remind me how wonderful the piano is and to let off steam--and then back to the wonders of Schubert, Beethoven and Bach. . . .I revived a piece from my youth (Maple Leaf Rag), and that sounds incredible too!

I have never regretted my choice. The Mason BBs are fabulous. They are equally fantastic no matter what composer or piece you play.

Have fun!






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#1929546 - 07/20/12 09:08 AM Re: What to buy after 40 years of not studying [Re: Stevio55]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19589
Loc: New York City
deleted


Edited by pianoloverus (02/20/13 07:11 PM)

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#1929559 - 07/20/12 09:35 AM Re: What to buy after 40 years of not studying [Re: Stevio55]
Pianolance Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 1192
Loc: Nashville, TN
Both the Mason and Hamlin and the Schimmel are excellent pianos. Of the two - I personally would select the Mason, however, I played a 6'10" Schimmel almost every day for about 5 years and it was a wonderful instrument. I loved the treble of the Schimmel, but the middle register, while great, was not as great as the high and low of the piano. I spent about an hour on a new Mason BB in a store recently and it was just a wonderful piano. One of the best I have ever played. As suggested, there are a few other choices that you should also consider. Best of luck with your new piano purchase.
_________________________
Knabe 5'2" Louis XV Walnut circa 1927
Very part time piano broker.

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#1929724 - 07/20/12 01:50 PM Re: What to buy after 40 years of not studying [Re: backto_study_piano]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1811
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Originally Posted By: backto_study_piano

...In your price range, you have a great range of pianos - including ones we don't see here, but have been spoken well of in the forum. Estonias, Bluthner, Seiler, Sauter come to mind. You might even like the larger Yamaha C6 or C7 or Kawai RX6,RX7/SK6,SK7.

Steingraeber was highly recommended to me by several people, but there isn't a dealer within 2000 miles of me, so it could be worth looking at.

Don't rush. Play as many as you can. One will very clearly say "take me home" - then pose the question to the forum to validate your feelings.


I'm another late '50s person who recently went through a search, focused on pretty much the same price range and menu of options you've mentioned (and that have been mentioned by others above).

FWIW, I came across a lot of pianos I didn't care for at all (including some that were pretty expensive), a fair number that I sort of liked, and three that I loved: Fazioli, Grotrian, and Steingraeber.

I know it's an obvious point, but where you live is a factor in how easy it is to sample everything. If you're in NYC, no problem; if you're in rural Montana... you might want to take a trip to New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta, etc.

One strategy you might consider -- unless you're very confident in your ability to read and deal with the rather opaque piano marketplace -- is engaging a consultant to help you sort through the instrument options and, more important, the deal details. I had the pleasure of working with Steve Cohen of this forum, who was a tremendous help to me; he didn't make my choice or steer me in a particular direction, but he really helped me think through my options and the details of such a major purchase.

Best of luck to you; I'm sure you'll end up with a great piano!


Edited by ClsscLib (07/20/12 01:51 PM)
_________________________


"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

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#1929790 - 07/20/12 04:05 PM Re: What to buy after 40 years of not studying [Re: Stevio55]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Hi Steve - Welcome to Piano World!

The first three that came to my mind were Steingraeber, Shigeru Kawai, and Estonia. Then I thought of the Charles Walter, with a sound closer to a Mason than a Steinway.

Somehow it think there will be a lot of "but the ...." in your search. That is the fun thing. There is so much to play and explore and have a great time with the quest.

Take your time, put up with the Baldy Acro for awhile, and find that perfect piano for you.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#1929804 - 07/20/12 04:36 PM Re: What to buy after 40 years of not studying [Re: Stevio55]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3604
Quote:
I'm in the very lucky position of being financially able to buy new instruments, but wonder if there's an advantage to having one that is vintage rather than new. Local access to exceptional technicians is not a problem, and my tuner that I've used for years is a gem.


Yes the advantage of a 2nd hand is that it can be cheaper than a new one, or to put it differently you can get more for your money. The disadvantage is that you need to ensure that a 2nd hand is not worn out or has a problem, as repairing may get very expensive. But since you have a good tech, they can tell you what the actual state is of a 2nd hand if you find one.

I bought a 2nd hand Grotrian that would be waaay out of my budget if new. It had been fully restored, new strings, new hammers, new paint, lighter touch, and I like it better than a new because of the lighter touch.
_________________________

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#1929972 - 07/20/12 09:04 PM Re: What to buy after 40 years of not studying [Re: Stevio55]
Stevio55 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/18/12
Posts: 36
Wow -- you people are amazingly generous and thoughtful. Lots of seeds to plant and harvest in all of your posts.

I spent the afternoon at a local retailer (in whom I have utmost confidence and trust), and he basically gave me the keys to his extended showroom to go and play. Sadly, only 1 M&H (a brand new AA) was in decent tune and regulation, so I didn't get much of a chance to compare them as much as I'd hoped. I did, however, find a C182T Schimmel that was gorgeous. Even more surprising, I found a Bosendorfer 185 that was only slightly different from the Schimmel, but that I liked as well for different reasons. My friend told me the store had gotten it back from some musician patrons who had bought it the last year before Bosendorfer split the K/C models, and that someone in the family had died and they needed to unload the instrument. My sense is that I could get this very nearly pristine Bosendorfer for well under $25k. I still have some searching to do, so I didn't jump...and perhaps may kick myself one day. I do have to say, though, that I'm not a sort who wears designer labels on his clothes, so the inlaid brass "Bosendorfer" on the side seemed a bit tacky. It was a lovely piano.

Just the same, the C182T had something a little more exquisite in the treble, and the bass was as growling and substantial as the M&H BBs that I playe. More to explore...but all of your thoughts are going into my "cone of knowledge," and will percolate/drip down through my brain and in my ears.

Does anyone have or know about the Bosendorfer I mention above? Any of you have C182Ts that you can tell me about? I am sponge for your comments.

Be well, all!

Steve

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#1929981 - 07/20/12 09:33 PM Re: What to buy after 40 years of not studying [Re: Stevio55]
backto_study_piano Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 515
Loc: Australia
Hi - my Schimmel is a C182T. Which I bought as a fill-in piano till I bought the real thing. It's a lovely piano for it's price point, and the tone is great.

I did find that the touch was a bit notchy. I was assured that this would be regulated out when it arrived home. However, the dealer's technician, though he came on 5 occasions, I eventually found was incompetent. Playing pp or ppp was difficult without missing notes. Once I decided to upgrade - past the point of giving up - I had another technician regulate it, and it's now much better than when it first arrived.

When I bought it, I really wanted a Mason BB (wooden action) at the same store, but funds wouldn't stretch (or a Hamburg Steinway A elsewhere). When I came back 2½ yrs later to get the Mason BB - which the dealer still had - the BB was quite tired, needing a lot of regulation and voicing, so I skipped it (I suspect the same technician had been at it).

Don't rush - I was looking for over 4 months before I made a decision.

There is an up-side of trying lots of pianos, some on several occasions. Playing some reasonably well known repertoire pieces plus some others which weren't so good - they all improved dramatically. And playing them in front of an audience (of other people in the store plus the salespersons) has been very good experience. Unplanned. I actually enjoyed the experience of trying different pianos. I ended up with 4 pianos on my short-list, and re-visited them in different sequences, making notes about my feelings for them.
_________________________
Alan from Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert - she's 7'4" long and ebony) & 2 Allen Organs [long story - the first is for sale] - MDS312 and CF-15.

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#1929982 - 07/20/12 09:35 PM Re: What to buy after 40 years of not studying [Re: Stevio55]
j&j Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/24/09
Posts: 445
Loc: Southwest
Welcome back to piano and welcome to Piano World. I found the clear treble of the 7' Konzert Schimmel addictive. You should also try the new Yamaha C6XA while you're auditioning so many beautiful big grands. You now have the time and the money and the determination to really enjoy your new adventure.

Good Luck - keep us posted on what you fall in love with.
_________________________
J & J
Yahama C3 PE
Casio Privia PX-330
"Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working." Pablo Picasso

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#1930387 - 07/21/12 06:42 PM Re: What to buy after 40 years of not studying [Re: Stevio55]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4437
Loc: San Jose, CA
While I don't know the answer to your question, I do know how to find it out: play lots of pianos in the 6-to-7-and-a-half foot range. Listen carefully, shoo the salesperson away (if they hang over your shoulder), make notes. Try every key, every pedal, every moving part to make sure they work properly, feel right, and work well together. Examine the case (including the underside) for fit-and-finish. You may need a flashlight.

When you have a couple of serious candidates, go back and play each one three different times, with a day's rest in between. Call the seller beforehand, and ask that they have the candidate(s) in tune and prepped. We certainly cannot evaluate a piano fairly if it's out of tune and has shipping foam inside, and it is not too much to ask, for a serious shopper trying to decide. Shop carefully, and avoid 'piano fever,' which impels people to shop precipitately--- and usually, unwisely. We get lots of letters from them, few happy.

Going through this process will help you to become sure, in your own mind. There is really no other way to gain this perspective, and this kind of confidence.

Meanwhile, read the reviews and determine as well as possible what a reasonable price would be, in your area. This will be of great assistance when you are negotiating, and will help it to be a pleasurable experience. You know what they say about falling off the turnip truck.

Try to pick a seller who will have your back, and who will be there if you need help--- one with a good reputation. It's true that you are not taking them home, but it can be a very valuable resource, and it's a good relationship to cultivate. They are in a position to help with all kinds of things. Besides, you have something in common: you both love pianos.
_________________________
Clef


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#1930393 - 07/21/12 07:12 PM Re: What to buy after 40 years of not studying [Re: Stevio55]
jdw Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 1016
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
I love the newer Masons too--but if I had your money to spend I'd want to try out a Bechstein. Actually though, I probably would have grabbed the Bösendorfer at that price (could that price be true? seems awfully low). I haven't encountered a Schimmel except for uprights.
_________________________
1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Grieg, Papillon
Mozart, K 330
Brahms, Op. 118 no. 2

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#1930492 - 07/21/12 11:54 PM Re: What to buy after 40 years of not studying [Re: Stevio55]
virtuosaval2 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/08/11
Posts: 13
Loc: Colorado
I think that the comments above are all excellent. It took me four years to find my Bosendorfer and it wasn't the one I loved the most. It turned out that I loved the Fazioli 227 (I think that was the size, 7foot and 4 inches or something) in Salt Lake City at Rick Baldassin's store. It was so beautifully voiced, it made me melt. But, alas, I couldn't afford it. So, then I played other Faziolis, some Shigeru Kawais (which I really liked)and a Steingraeber (that was nice too!!!). I did play several Bosendorfers, used and new, and really fell in love with a 225 (not the one I have now, mine was a close second) but I just couldn't stand the dealer, very patronizing toward me and actually said "You need to go and talk to your husband about it". REALLY? Oh, don't get me started!!! So, I had to walk away from that gorgeous piano. Something that hasn't been mentioned is what worked for me. The dealer actually let me try THREE pianos IN MY HOME!!!!! The first one was the Shigeru Kawai (7'6") that I LOVED in the store. It was a surprise, but it didn't speak to me in my home, I had to work too hard for the sound, so it went back. Then I tried the conservatory Bosendorfer (6'7") in my home. I didn't care for it at all. Then I waited for the 225. We actually had a performance in Hamilton Hall at the University of Denver before we moved it to my home. Once it was home, it really spoke to me, it was so different from the other ones. I think it was just factory voiced, so no one messed with it before I got it. I'm very happy with it and so glad that I got to play and hear it in different places. That is a neat history. My other piece of advice is to ENJOY the process. If I had it to do over again, I would have gone to piano row in NYC and played everything. I'm still going to do this, just for fun. So, have a wonderful time and don't limit what you play, even if it is out of your budget!!! Compare everything!!!
_________________________
Mus. B and Mus. M in Classical Piano Performance; Fulbright Scholar, Vienna, Austria; Bosendorfer 225, Yamaha Disklavier C2, Kawai KG-2G, Baldwin 5'4" Grand, Yamaha Clavinovas CLP 170 and CLP 930.

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#1930497 - 07/22/12 12:19 AM Re: What to buy after 40 years of not studying [Re: Stevio55]
backto_study_piano Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 515
Loc: Australia
DANGER. Playing beyond your budget. I started 4 yrs ago looking for a nice 131cm upright. But alas, played a Mason BB, then Schimmel, then Steinway D, Grotrian Charis.

Now I've got a $90k, 7'4" piano on its way from the Grotrian factory (and considered seriously pianos up to $136k and 9' long. Pity the 9 footer wouldn't quite fit!!!!!!

But I'm glad I lived dangerously - totally out of character.

Alan
_________________________
Alan from Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert - she's 7'4" long and ebony) & 2 Allen Organs [long story - the first is for sale] - MDS312 and CF-15.

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#1930506 - 07/22/12 01:22 AM Re: What to buy after 40 years of not studying [Re: Stevio55]
plumpfingers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 170
Loc: Northern California
You have so many great options, and I second the advice you've already received to play as many pianos as you can before making the final decision. I just wanted to respond to your initial reaction of enjoying the refined sound of the Schimmel as well as the more masculine sound of the M&H. Of the many pianos I have played, one that combines a very refined and singing treble with a deep, resonant and very masculine and powerful bass is the Steingraeber. I highly recommend you give it a try. But if you have already fallen for the Bosendorfer, a truly unique and beautiful sound, you will never regret owning it. Enjoy the search.

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#1930614 - 07/22/12 10:28 AM Re: What to buy after 40 years of not studying [Re: plumpfingers]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1811
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Originally Posted By: plumpfingers
You have so many great options, and I second the advice you've already received to play as many pianos as you can before making the final decision. I just wanted to respond to your initial reaction of enjoying the refined sound of the Schimmel as well as the more masculine sound of the M&H. Of the many pianos I have played, one that combines a very refined and singing treble with a deep, resonant and very masculine and powerful bass is the Steingraeber. I highly recommend you give it a try. But if you have already fallen for the Bosendorfer, a truly unique and beautiful sound, you will never regret owning it. Enjoy the search.


Any piano selection ultimately becomes at heart a question of personal preference. But I agree completely with this description of the Steingraeber sound -- or, at least, I'd say that it captures my personal reaction to that sound. To my ears, the Steingraeber is the Nordic Combined.
_________________________


"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

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#1930874 - 07/22/12 06:54 PM Re: What to buy after 40 years of not studying [Re: Stevio55]
j&j Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/24/09
Posts: 445
Loc: Southwest
A Bosie for 25K???? Wow, unless it's totally trashed that would be a steal!
_________________________
J & J
Yahama C3 PE
Casio Privia PX-330
"Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working." Pablo Picasso

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#1931304 - 07/23/12 01:35 PM Re: What to buy after 40 years of not studying [Re: Stevio55]
Stevio55 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/18/12
Posts: 36
OK. Since so many of you suggested I check out a Steingraeber, I have now done that. I liked what I played, but wasn't charmed. Funny how I seem to quickly develop an emotional reaction (or not).. I now clearly get the concept of playing instruments more than once in order to make sure it's not just the mood I'm in.

I also went back and played several other Bosendorfer's, just for reference. I was surprisingly unimpressed by a 7' conservatory model, but again charmed by a smaller model (but still larger than the 185 I liked so much last Friday). And this seems to be as much a journey of discovery about myself as it does about an instrument!

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#1931317 - 07/23/12 02:17 PM Re: What to buy after 40 years of not studying [Re: Stevio55]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1811
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Originally Posted By: Stevio55
...this seems to be as much a journey of discovery about myself as it does about an instrument!


Exactly! What we like most doesn't matter at all; what YOU like most is what counts. Good luck, and enjoy the search.
_________________________


"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

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#1955092 - 09/06/12 09:42 PM Re: What to buy after 40 years of not studying [Re: Stevio55]
Stevio55 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/18/12
Posts: 36
Happy Indian Summer, all -- had to take some time off to deal with a medical issue, but I'm back at it again.

Thanks to your generous and insightful comments, I've continued narrowing my selection. Another question faces me, though: do I go with a "conservatory" or a "concert" model?

Both Schimmel and Bosendorfer have models that are marketed as concert instruments, and a lesser model that seems to be very similar but somehow judged to be of lesser interest to a concert artist. To me, they sound virtually identical, altho there are slight differences in size and a more considerable difference in price.

What is the thinking out there on these conservatory models? Are there significant, appreciable differences between the two levels?

Thanks for any input you might share! And I hope you all have a wonderful Indian Summer, filled with great music.

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#2036588 - 02/20/13 06:44 PM Re: What to buy after 40 years of not studying [Re: Stevio55]
Stevio55 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/18/12
Posts: 36
OK -- the looking has slowed down, and I'm more and more convinced that I want an M&H AA after playing about 30 different brands/models and spending hours (and hours) in piano stores here in the US and in Spain.

My local M&H dealer doesn't have too many rebuilt/refurbished instruments, but does have new ones. He has told me that he will sell me a brand new, "specially priced" model from M&H for $24,000. It's not on his show-room floor yet, so I can't play it. Questions:

1. Is the price too good to pass up?
2. Should I go back to MA and check out the facility at M&H?
3, Should I wait for a nice rebuild instrument that was made in M&H's "golden age" (i.e., prior to 1927?)

The price isn't the greatest consideration...

Thanks!

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#2036592 - 02/20/13 06:51 PM Re: What to buy after 40 years of not studying [Re: Stevio55]
Rank Piano Amateur Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/07
Posts: 1791
I love the new Masons, and I think they sound wonderful. Will the dealer hold the price until the piano comes in, so that you can try it out?

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#2036599 - 02/20/13 07:28 PM Re: What to buy after 40 years of not studying [Re: Stevio55]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19589
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Stevio55
He has told me that he will sell me a brand new, "specially priced" model from M&H for $24,000. It's not on his show-room floor yet, so I can't play it. Questions:

1. Is the price too good to pass up?
2. Should I go back to MA and check out the facility at M&H?
3. Should I wait for a nice rebuild instrument that was made in M&H's "golden age" (i.e., prior to 1927?)
I think the price is so low as to be a possible cause for concern. What model Mason is it and why is it "specially priced"??

If you can play it and have it inspected by an independent tech(because the price is so low as to be suspicious), then I guess it would be fine if you like it. Since the cost doesn't seem to be a big concern for you, why not get a AA or BB(I'm assuming the 24K piano can't be one of those since it's ridiculously low for even an A or B)? Also, even if price was a concern I would caution you to buy a piano you love and not the deal.

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#2036653 - 02/20/13 11:02 PM Re: What to buy after 40 years of not studying [Re: Stevio55]
Okanagan Musician Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 25
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
Bosendorfers are amazing...I've had the privilege of playing on one and it was an absolute treat.

That said, have you considered a Kawai? The RX-3 is a 6-1 size semi-concert grand that delivers a great sound and touch, especially at the price point.

If you have the space and money to do so (from your post it would appear so), you could go up to a RX-5 or RX-7 - great instruments. I think the RX-3 is better bang for buck but if you want something bigger and more expensive...well there's that option. The sound feels a bit different from them but obviously the size difference comes into consideration on that point.



Edited by Okanagan Musician (02/20/13 11:03 PM)
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#2036655 - 02/20/13 11:07 PM Re: What to buy after 40 years of not studying [Re: pianoloverus]
Stevio55 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/18/12
Posts: 36
Suspicious for what? Some kind of damage? This dealer is a long-time acquaintance of mine, and I've sent him literally dozens of buyers and hundreds of renters for his business. I trust him implicitly, and he knows that. smile

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