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#1960377 - 09/17/12 07:55 PM Shigeru Kawai
Furtwangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 1523
Loc: Danville, California
Does anyone have any opinion or perhaps even objective information about the quality of Shigeru Kawai pianos?

Somehow I was just wondering...

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#1960383 - 09/17/12 08:16 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai [Re: Furtwangler]
Robert 45 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/18/06
Posts: 1199
Loc: Auckland New Zealand
Hello Furtwangler,

There is a published opinion by George Kolassis, an eminent piano technician, which may be helpful if you have not already read it. You can find this on the Kawai website.
The Shigeru Kawai instruments have not been around for a long time, but I would say that they have already established a formidable reputation.

Kind regards,

Robert.

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#1960389 - 09/17/12 08:21 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai [Re: Robert 45]
Rich Galassini Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9132
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Originally Posted By: Robert 45
Hello Furtwangler,

There is a published opinion by George Kolassis, an eminent piano technician, which may be helpful if you have not already read it. You can find this on the Kawai website.
The Shigeru Kawai instruments have not been around for a long time, but I would say that they have already established a formidable reputation.

Kind regards,

Robert.


I agree with Robert. The pianos are intelligently designed and competently built. They are not my favorite instruments, but if you choose my favorite piano then YOU will have MY favorite piano, which does not make any sense!

Bottom line - play what you love!
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
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#1960396 - 09/17/12 08:34 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai [Re: Rich Galassini]
Furtwangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 1523
Loc: Danville, California
Originally Posted By: Rich Galassini
Originally Posted By: Robert 45
Hello Furtwangler,

There is a published opinion by George Kolassis, an eminent piano technician, which may be helpful if you have not already read it. You can find this on the Kawai website.
The Shigeru Kawai instruments have not been around for a long time, but I would say that they have already established a formidable reputation.

Kind regards,

Robert.


I agree with Robert. The pianos are intelligently designed and competently built. They are not my favorite instruments, but if you choose my favorite piano then YOU will have MY favorite piano, which does not make any sense!

Bottom line - play what you love!


What ARE your favorite instruments?

Does the name start with a B or a C??

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#1960407 - 09/17/12 08:59 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai [Re: Furtwangler]
Kurtmen Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 632
Loc: San Mateo, CA
For the Kawai family (the people) this piano has a very significant meaning. Consequently there is a high degree of attention to quality, as these instruments represent their legacy to the music world. The people dedicated to the refinement of these instruments are very serious about the endeavor they have been trusted with. In my opinion the stereotype of the Ancient Japanese Warrior it describes them well; as they have the loyalty of a soldier and the artistic skill of a craftsman.

It is difficult to make a description or understanding the qualities and virtues of the MPA; without having the opportunity of interacting with them, watch them work and off course experiencing the results of their work.
The MPA are greatly what make these pianos special.

In the technical aspects Kawai geometry of the action and key-balance is quite an achievement. The pianos have a strong up-weight with a very smooth feel for the down-ward motion of the keys.

The hammers’ gradient allows for very gradual changes in tonal quality giving plenty of room to create contrast and shading. The stiffness of the soundboard system has an excellent balance as the board radiates energy fairly even in all registers of the piano. The soundboards produce very good sustain and amplification.

Kawai did not try to reproduce another Steinway or Bösendorfer; in fact they were not concerned with any competing brands. They simply putted heart and soul into making the best possible piano ever built by Kawai. I can say they have taken very seriously a motto established by Shigeru that if I remember well reads as follows: The quest for perfection is not just an ideal but duty.


Edited by Kurtmen (09/20/12 01:31 PM)
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Purveyors of:
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#1960410 - 09/17/12 09:11 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai [Re: Furtwangler]
Stephen Lacefield Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/29/06
Posts: 195
Loc: St. Louis, MO
Furtwangler,

I can get you in touch with someone who could provide you with that info.
_________________________
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#1960562 - 09/18/12 09:11 AM Re: Shigeru Kawai [Re: Furtwangler]
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2693
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
Originally Posted By: Furtwangler
Does anyone have any opinion or perhaps even objective information about the quality of Shigeru Kawai pianos?

Somehow I was just wondering...

As a regular here you must be aware of the Piano Buyer rating, in the high quality category of performance grade pianos. That's as objective an opinion as possible. Why do you ask? Are you shopping?

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#1960611 - 09/18/12 10:53 AM Re: Shigeru Kawai [Re: Furtwangler]
maurus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 790
My opinion stands in my living room smile

PS. Opinion constrained by my bank account, of course wink
_________________________
Shigeru Kawai SK-2, etc.

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#1960698 - 09/18/12 02:27 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai [Re: Furtwangler]
Kurtmen Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 632
Loc: San Mateo, CA
Maybe I'm misinterpreting some of the posts; but I feel there is some sort of an antagonistic tone towards Furtwangler by some of the Shigeru supporters. He is legitimately interested in the piano.

Even though this is a Kawai product their availability is limited in comparison to let say a Steinway or a Bösendorfer. There are many professionals in the industry who are not yet familiar with the piano; hence I don’t doubt that Furtwangler wants more information about it.


Edited by Kurtmen (09/18/12 05:24 PM)
_________________________
San Mateo Piano
Purveyors of:
Kawai, Wilh. Steinberg.
Kawai Digital Piano, Pianodisc.
<a href="http://sanmateopiano.com" style="color:#FF0505;font-size:10px;font-family:Times New Roman;text-decoration:underline;" target="_blank" >http://sanmateopiano.com</a>

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#1960753 - 09/18/12 05:11 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai [Re: Rich Galassini]
AJF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/18/06
Posts: 1594
Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: Rich Galassini
Originally Posted By: Robert 45
Hello Furtwangler,

There is a published opinion by George Kolassis, an eminent piano technician, which may be helpful if you have not already read it. You can find this on the Kawai website.
The Shigeru Kawai instruments have not been around for a long time, but I would say that they have already established a formidable reputation.

Kind regards,

Robert.


I agree with Robert. The pianos are intelligently designed and competently built. They are not my favorite instruments, but if you choose my favorite piano then YOU will have MY favorite piano, which does not make any sense!

Bottom line - play what you love!


Competently built? That to me is a strange choice of adjectives for a Shigeru Kawai's build quality. I think it's fair to say that the vast majority of entry level pianos on the market today are 'competently built'. The build quality of a Shigeru is on par with the best pianos out there. To say 'competent' is bordering on damning by faint praise IMO.

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#1960754 - 09/18/12 05:11 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai [Re: Kurtmen]
maurus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 790
Kurtmen, at least in my post no antagonism was intended, not at all. On the contrary. I can only invite Furtwangler to try and find one or more Shigerus to play - for me at least the personal encounter was way more significant than anything written, be it by Kawai or a Kawai dealer or a Kawai owner or someone else.

In my very personal, very biased comparisons with ca. 30 other grands of all kinds the Shigeru I now own won (by a margin) over everything I was able to compare it to in the same price range or lower. Truth to be told, some other instruments were even more attractive to me, but then these were in a very different price range, and out of reach for me, such as a new Bösendorfer 200 and some larger Hamburg Steinways (I didn't care too much for the shorter Steinways I played) and Bluethners.

But all these impressions - both in terms of tone and of playability - are strictly mine, and might not be too telling for others.
_________________________
Shigeru Kawai SK-2, etc.

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#1960757 - 09/18/12 05:18 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai [Re: Furtwangler]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1918
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: Furtwangler
Does anyone have any opinion or perhaps even objective information about the quality of Shigeru Kawai pianos? ...

The build quality of the best Japanese products is at the highest level. From what I have seen in other industries in Japan, and read about Kawai, my guess is that anyone visiting the Shigeru Kawai factory and development facilities would put their instruments in that category.

When I compared a Shigeru with some European pianos in London recently, the excellence of its action made an immediate and lasting impression, as did the tone of a restored Bluthner. If money were no object I would put them on my shortlist with Steingraeber and Hamburg Steinway.

Does anyone know if there are any Mason & Hamlin BB pianos on sale in England?
_________________________
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Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#1961464 - 09/20/12 08:53 AM Re: Shigeru Kawai [Re: Furtwangler]
backto_study_piano Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 397
Loc: Australia
[comment deleted]


Edited by backto_study_piano (10/03/12 10:05 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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#1961481 - 09/20/12 09:57 AM Re: Shigeru Kawai [Re: Kurtmen]
turandot Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7130
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: Kurtmen
Maybe I'm misinterpreting some of the posts; but I feel there is some sort of an antagonistic tone towards Furtwangler by some of the Shigeru supporters. He is legitimately interested in the piano.




That may be true. I can't imagine that his interest is illegitimate in the usual sense of the word. However, Furtwangler's opening post ends with the sentence "Somehow I was just wondering". I have a feeing that line is a playful reference to a thread started by the proprietor of your shop (what goes around comes around))in which the proprietor sang the praises of the Shigeru to an extent that the thread was quickly shut down. That thread was titled "The Perfect Piano."

Probably Furt's been here long enough to know that any time you serve up a brand as a thread title, the responses from different interest groups pro and con is likely to result in a tug of war of polarized opinion. Also, Furt's segue to Rich Galassini to expound on his own favorite pianos indicates he may be on a fishing expedition and not all that interested in objectivity.
_________________________
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The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#1961501 - 09/20/12 11:05 AM Re: Shigeru Kawai [Re: Furtwangler]
joe80 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1082
they are excellent pianos, they have an amazing action, as do all Kawai pianos these days. They have a much more refined tone than the RX series which are already very good instruments.

The quality is second to none, and it's a matter of personal taste whether or not you like them. yes, they can compete with the best pianos out there. Especially the model EX.

My only criticism of them, is, that perhaps they are kind of quiet. They don't project in the same way as hamburg Steinway, but that could just be the ones I played, and it could have been the venue I was playing in, or the technician, rather than the piano. Other than that, it is beautiful.

I've also tried the SK3, which is exceptional in it's class and for it's size, and the SK6, which I didn't like as much as the 3, but then all pianos are different. Also, the SK6 I tried wasn't really in tune so it's unfair of me to comment, I suppose.

The SK2 is a bit of a hero in it's class too.

The RX7, which is not a shigeru, is also one of my favourite pianos. Really beautiful.

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#1961507 - 09/20/12 11:26 AM Re: Shigeru Kawai [Re: Furtwangler]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1474
I tried Shigeru Kawai at its dealer. This dealer also sells Fazioli.
SK is a very well built piano, but I have to say that I am not impressed by the sound, and action.
They are just good piano, they are not amazing. I will choose a new Yamaha over SK.

It is just my opinion.

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#1961559 - 09/20/12 12:56 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai [Re: Furtwangler]
jawhitti Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/12
Posts: 235
Maybe a new Yamaha S series would top an SK but I will freely admit that the new SK6 I played next to the [used] C6 I bought was hands down a better piano.

It played like butter and had a wonderful liquid singing sound. When I first played it I wasn't too impressed (sound seemed kind of "flat" to me) but when I spent more time with it and compared to the RX-5 next to it it really grew on me. It was VERY expensive though (60k?) and at that price point you could be looking at Bosies. I could believe that next to a Fazioli the SK wouldn't impress but at that point it becomes a matter of taste - the SK is very impressively put together and a very fine piano IMO.

Interestingly I was even tempted by the SK1, which has just a monster bass for being 5'10". I would have seriously considered it but even at 5'10 it was north of $40,000.

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#1961612 - 09/20/12 02:38 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai [Re: RonaldSteinway]
Furtwangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 1523
Loc: Danville, California
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
I tried Shigeru Kawai at its dealer. This dealer also sells Fazioli.
SK is a very well built piano, but I have to say that I am not impressed by the sound, and action.
They are just good piano, they are not amazing. I will choose a new Yamaha over SK.

It is just my opinion.


Thanks Ronald - your posts are always, shall we say...thought provoking.

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#1961625 - 09/20/12 02:59 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai [Re: jawhitti]
Furtwangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 1523
Loc: Danville, California
Originally Posted By: jawhitti
Maybe a new Yamaha S series would top an SK but I will freely admit that the new SK6 I played next to the [used] C6 I bought was hands down a better piano.

It played like butter and had a wonderful liquid singing sound. When I first played it I wasn't too impressed (sound seemed kind of "flat" to me) but when I spent more time with it and compared to the RX-5 next to it it really grew on me. It was VERY expensive though (60k?) and at that price point you could be looking at Bosies. I could believe that next to a Fazioli the SK wouldn't impress but at that point it becomes a matter of taste - the SK is very impressively put together and a very fine piano IMO.

Interestingly I was even tempted by the SK1, which has just a monster bass for being 5'10". I would have seriously considered it but even at 5'10 it was north of $40,000.


Perhaps you mean the SK2?

It is 5'10" I believe

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#1961640 - 09/20/12 03:33 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai [Re: Furtwangler]
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4373
Loc: Jersey Shore
Shigeru Kawai, not sure of the size:



Edited by Mark... (09/20/12 03:34 PM)

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#1961649 - 09/20/12 03:44 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai [Re: jawhitti]
Furtwangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 1523
Loc: Danville, California
Originally Posted By: jawhitti
Maybe a new Yamaha S series would top an SK but I will freely admit that the new SK6 I played next to the [used] C6 I bought was hands down a better piano.

It played like butter and had a wonderful liquid singing sound. When I first played it I wasn't too impressed (sound seemed kind of "flat" to me) but when I spent more time with it and compared to the RX-5 next to it it really grew on me. It was VERY expensive though (60k?) and at that price point you could be looking at Bosies. I could believe that next to a Fazioli the SK wouldn't impress but at that point it becomes a matter of taste - the SK is very impressively put together and a very fine piano IMO.

Interestingly I was even tempted by the SK1, which has just a monster bass for being 5'10". I would have seriously considered it but even at 5'10 it was north of $40,000.


Should you change your mind, or should you have friends who might be interested in a Shigeru, I could speak to Steve - who is a good friend of mine - and obtain a significant price reduction for you just on my say-so: perhaps as much as five or ten dollars.

No, no - that's ok - glad to do it.

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#1961652 - 09/20/12 03:46 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai [Re: Mark...]
newinstru? Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/28/12
Posts: 113
Loc: SoCal
Mark, I think there's a mixup somewhere....that one said Yamaha on the fallboard.

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#1961659 - 09/20/12 03:57 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai [Re: turandot]
Furtwangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 1523
Loc: Danville, California
Originally Posted By: turandot
Originally Posted By: Kurtmen
Maybe I'm misinterpreting some of the posts; but I feel there is some sort of an antagonistic tone towards Furtwangler by some of the Shigeru supporters. He is legitimately interested in the piano.




That may be true. I can't imagine that his interest is illegitimate in the usual sense of the word. However, Furtwangler's opening post ends with the sentence "Somehow I was just wondering". I have a feeing that line is a playful reference to a thread started by the proprietor of your shop (what goes around comes around))in which the proprietor sang the praises of the Shigeru to an extent that the thread was quickly shut down. That thread was titled "The Perfect Piano."

Probably Furt's been here long enough to know that any time you serve up a brand as a thread title, the responses from different interest groups pro and con is likely to result in a tug of war of polarized opinion. Also, Furt's segue to Rich Galassini to expound on his own favorite pianos indicates he may be on a fishing expedition and not all that interested in objectivity.


Hi T

Actually I started this thread somewhat tongue-in-cheek but also because I wanted some comments from others that I could forward to 2 friends of mine who are currently shopping for grand pianos, and although my opinion is one thing - the opinions of many others, including industry professionals, are important as well.

My segue to my friend Rich was in an attempt to allow him once again to express his love for Boesendorfers (I love them too) and also the new Cunningham pianos - which are truly a wonderful instrument and a phenomenal value.
Thus the reference to "B" or "C". But I think he is too shy.

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#1961669 - 09/20/12 04:07 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai [Re: newinstru?]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: newinstru?
Mark, I think there's a mixup somewhere....that one said Yamaha on the fallboard.


Too Funny. Here you go. Actually, kind of hard to find Kawai in this competition as most of the pianists chose Yamaha, Steinway, or Fazioli. Anna Fedorova is the only one I noticed playing on Kawai.




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#1961671 - 09/20/12 04:10 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai [Re: Furtwangler]
jawhitti Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/12
Posts: 235
Furt - pretty sure I played an SK1. That one might actually have been 5'5 making even more remarkable. It was a pretty neat piano.

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#1961708 - 09/20/12 05:05 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai [Re: newinstru?]
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4373
Loc: Jersey Shore
Originally Posted By: newinstru?
Mark, I think there's a mixup somewhere....that one said Yamaha on the fallboard.


Damn...when I saw an interior shot I thought I saw an SK medallion...

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#1961738 - 09/20/12 06:35 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai [Re: jawhitti]
scepticalforumguy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/08
Posts: 1475
Loc: Lower Mainland, BC
Originally Posted By: jawhitti
Furt - pretty sure I played an SK1. That one might actually have been 5'5 making even more remarkable. It was a pretty neat piano.

Unless they've introduced something in the last year, the smallest has always been the SK2, 5'10".

I wonder what the SK1 would compete against? A Mason B? Are there little Bechsteins around?
_________________________
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#1961752 - 09/20/12 07:11 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai [Re: Furtwangler]
gmf001 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/10/06
Posts: 247
Loc: Uxbridge, ON, Canada

[/quote]

Actually I started this thread somewhat tongue-in-cheek but also because I wanted some comments from others that I could forward to 2 friends of mine who are currently shopping for grand pianos, and although my opinion is one thing - the opinions of many others, including industry professionals, are important as well.

[/quote]

I've been going thru a piano hunt for over 6 months and played over 75 pianos across the spectrum of new and used and prices from <$10k to >$100k. I already have an S&S B and played other fine Bs but I wanted something different for my 2nd piano. While I haven't finalized my purchase two of my short listed pianos are Shigerus. For a small grand the SK2 is tough to beat. Very big for its size but also refined. Great action and as someone else commented the best pedals of any piano I've played. I was looking for something bigger so the SK7 seems to be the one. I did play a fine 7' Fazioli but at nearly 2x the price it can't compete. The Fazioli sound seems soulless the more you play it (perhaps the antithesis of an M&H with its big and brash demeanour which, to me, also irrates over time) and I find you can get more tonal variety from the SK line. So for me the SK will offer a fine complement to my B and while others might come to different conclusions I believe any serious piano search would miss out by not considering them - especially considering value for money.

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#1961829 - 09/20/12 10:27 PM Re: Shigeru Kawai [Re: 4evrBeginR]
gnuboi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 2349
Loc: USA
At first I thought the SK in the video sounded a bit peculiar, and then the midrange chords came out really clear and warm. I jumped over to YouTube to listen to Rubinstein and Perahia on Steinways... much more prefer the SK smile

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#1962388 - 09/22/12 03:57 AM Re: Shigeru Kawai [Re: Furtwangler]
pianistical Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/04
Posts: 1377
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Bösendorfer is competently built but I would choose a Shigeru over a Bösendorfer. The Bösendorfers I have played were good but not outstanding IMO. The one and only Shigeru I played on the other hand was delightful.
_________________________
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1913 Blüthner model 6
1929 Blüthner model 9.
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