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#1937124 - 08/03/12 11:29 PM Re: Jansen Artist Bench [Re: David Xavi]
HWU Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/23/12
Posts: 4
Hi Marty,
How's the vinyl quality compare to jansen's, the leather top is not much extra though.
Any squeky noise when adjusting the lever?

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#1937132 - 08/03/12 11:55 PM Re: Jansen Artist Bench [Re: David Xavi]
PianoWorksATL Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2727
Loc: Atlanta, GA
I've seen a lot of mechanical benches over the years and regardless of price or other materials used, nothing has ever been close to Jansen's mechanism. We've had some really high dollar European made benches with gorgeous fittings and buttery leather but the mechanisms were laughable by comparison. I'm delighted with the HM hydraulic benches that we order, but their crank style is not as good. It's just not fair to compare other crack-style benches to the precision made Jansen. Sorry Marty if this seems strong, and I hope your other bench performs well for you, but they all follow the same pattern after regular use and time.

No one can currently match Jansen quality at a lower price. It's good there are cheaper benches for most budgets, but they will not perform the same.
_________________________
Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Weber & Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
www.PianoWorks.com
www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta

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#1937134 - 08/04/12 12:00 AM Re: Jansen Artist Bench [Re: David Xavi]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


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

The vinyl appears to be of very high quality, only time will tell. Visually it appears identical to the Jansen, with the difference that the Jansen has a bit more sheen from use at the contact areas.

Absolutely no noise from either mechanism. If either bench would develop a squeek, it would be simple to lube as the bottoms are open with the mechanisms exposed.

The legs are attached in a standard chair leg fashion (a bolt through a bracket with pressure from the leg to the frame), on both benches. Experience has taught me that this type of leg can cause a click or creek with a weight shift. My dad, a carpenter, taught me a trick long ago. Lightly rubbing a hard bar of soap on the butt end of the frame, where it meets the leg, prior to setting the leg into the brackets will prevent the problem. One of my Jansens used to drive me nuts and this was the same methiod I used to solve the problem. It's much easier to do at the initial assembly.

Though I like leather upholstery in general, I don't think it would be as durable as the vinyl on a piano bench. The leather would also become shinier over time and does need periodic emolument treatment.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#1937141 - 08/04/12 12:35 AM Re: Jansen Artist Bench [Re: David Xavi]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Sam, a bench doesn't perform, a pianist does. A bench functions. Didn't I use the analogy of a Walter and a Hailun? Not everyone is able or willing to plunk out the funds for a Jansen. I have two of them, and they are exceptional, durable products. At first inspection, and with the assembly, I believe the Frederick to be a very good product at a very moderate price.

Never did I claim that it was better than a Jansen. That would be akin to an owner of a Lester trying to say it is as good as Steingraeber. However, I would put the Frederick sort of as a Kawai in the midst of the quality range. The aura and bickering of piano name snobbery need not extend to the bench.

I happen to be the owner of three Steinways, all rebuilt and kept in top condition, but I don't get involved in the 'this is better than that' debates. As a performing classical pianist, my butt is usualy on a Jansen bench, whether at home or on the stage.

Please take the time to re-read my initial posting. You will find that you are making incorrect assumptions about what I actually said.

Regards,
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#1937160 - 08/04/12 03:28 AM Re: Jansen Artist Bench [Re: David Xavi]
HWU Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/23/12
Posts: 4
Hi Sam,
What do you mean when you say crank style?
I just looked at HM bench, model bc39 is very similar to jansen, price is cheaper too.

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#1937279 - 08/04/12 11:38 AM Re: Jansen Artist Bench [Re: David Xavi]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4425
Loc: San Jose, CA
Sorry Minnesota, but I believe Sam.
_________________________
Clef


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#1937286 - 08/04/12 12:25 PM Re: Jansen Artist Bench [Re: David Xavi]
Steve W Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/18/07
Posts: 249
Loc: Omaha, NE
One thing I know is that Jansen sells replacement parts in the event that you ever wear out any part of the lift mechanism. I imagine that happens mostly in benches used in professional settings where they are adjusted several times a day and that the average homeowner would use their bench for a lifetime without having to do any part replacement.

I did have a cheaper bench with a "crank" handle before biting the bullet and buying a Jansen. The metal on the scissors part of the lift mechanism kept breaking. I had it welded once and it worked for another 6 months or so until it broke again. Enough was enough at that point.
_________________________
Steve W
Omaha, NE

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#1937319 - 08/04/12 01:34 PM Re: Jansen Artist Bench [Re: David Xavi]
PianoWorksATL Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2727
Loc: Atlanta, GA
HWU,

Mechanisms for adjustable benches come in 3 styles: crank style refers to a threaded rod and scissor lift for fine, continuous height adjustment, there are spring-loaded scissor lift mechanisms that will have several height choices, but no crank and therefore no continuous adjustments, type 3 is hydraulic - also continuous. There are straight hydraulic, like HM's BM-45H or hydraulically controlled scissor lifts (HM makes a hydraulic version of the BC-39...BM-39H??).

When adjustable benches have problems, it is generally in 3 areas - the leg joints, the scissor lift, or the upholstery. More rare is finish issues, but they occur.

Unlike pianos, bench making is a short and simple manufacturing process. At some point, some company may find a more efficient way to produce to Jansen's quality, but I hear many great new bench company stories and a couple of years later, they have the same rocks and squeaks that all the rest develop. A little rocking and squeaking isn't the end of the world, but that's part of what I refer to when I speak about a bench's performance. Another is the upholstery itself. Not only is the quality of the vinyl/leather a huge variable, but also the physical folds and stitching. HM may be able to match Jansen in this regard but most do not.

We have a variety of benches in our rental pool. We have a handful really expensive Burghardt benches with buttons missing and cranks so stiff that children and even most adults can barely turn after only a few years. We have even older Jansen benches and the wear is only surface deep and they are still easy to turn. They are easier to service even though they need it less often.

While I've seen them, I do not have lasting experience with HM's crank style benches. I do not think their scissor mechanism is quite as good as Jansen's because nobody's is. I have extremely good feedback about their hydraulic benches over the last year from some of the Universities that have used them. I understand Juilliard is also a fan of the hydraulic HM benches. So, FWIW, HM is a good company with good products, but I'll leave you to try and report on the BM-39.
_________________________
Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Weber & Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
www.PianoWorks.com
www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta

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#1937351 - 08/04/12 02:55 PM Re: Jansen Artist Bench [Re: David Xavi]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Never did I state that the Frederick bench was better than, or even equal to, a Jansen bench. Please read what I wrote. I only commented with my observation of a product which is new to me. Belief doesn't even enter into in it. Do you not believe that I just purchased a new bench? Do you not believe my comments to be apropos to this thread?

Jeff, I have a name. I am not a state.

Sam, have you had any direct experience with the Frederick bench? It's like saying that nothing could possibly ever be a good as a Bosendorfer when comparing apples to oranges. It would be like you recommending that a Hailun shouldn't be purchased because it is not the quality of a Grotrian.

If anyone can find where I said something like 'the Frederick is the best bench on the market,' I sure would like to see it. I don't happen to believe it is. But, it is available, and built to a certain price point, and I merely provided information that it exists, and thought that I would give it a try.

In the comming weeks I may discover that it is a piece of crap. I don't know that yet. I commented on something based only on visual inspection. Out of the box, I was more impressed with it than I thought I would be, for what I paid.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#1937395 - 08/04/12 05:53 PM Re: Jansen Artist Bench [Re: David Xavi]
PianoWorksATL Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2727
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Marty, deep breath.

I'm not criticizing you or your bench. You made the statement that it holds its own next to the Jansen, and I felt that judgment was premature and defied my common sense. I'm not going to bluster or get defensive. I'm not carrying over to other brands or analogies in this case because I don't believe the world of pianos offers one.

I'm offering a opinion based upon lots of reasonable experiences. At NAMM, Chinese bench makers are all lined up representing different factories. Frederick is the dealer's house brand from one of those factories. While some of these are vastly better than others, not one of them has the same approach to machining of parts and other elements of quality that Jansen uses to intentionally set themselves apart. Neither do most European makers (most set themselves apart with luxury leathers and custom finishes). We're talking about milled parts vs. stamped parts, steel vs. pot metal, and levels of precision tolerances. If a Chinese company took it upon themselves to adopt these designs, they could, but the added cost takes them away from their market...the masses. As of now, that's not where they are focusing their efforts.

FYI, did you know that a NWS Edition Schimmel bench (if sold separately) retails for over $6,000? It's a beautiful thing, but learning that made my jaw drop.
_________________________
Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Weber & Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
www.PianoWorks.com
www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta

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#1951571 - 08/30/12 02:52 PM Re: Jansen Artist Bench [Re: PianoWorksATL]
BostonMark Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/30/12
Posts: 3
Saturday I bought a used artist bench after checking out a piano store. They had been a Schimmel dealer some years ago. The bench was branded Schimmel on the height adjustment knobs as the friend its intended for has a Schimmel 174 grand following having had a Schimmel upright. After a couple years of daily playing, the Chinese, $200 Ebay bench she has became wobbly. I have frequently lubricated the lift mechanism to stop squeaks and twice tightened up the legs. The bench would be perfectly fine except for the lift rails and scissor pieces made of stamped sheet steel with rivets for axles, that have worn and become hopelessly loose. The side to side movement of playing simply takes its toll over time. Durability and serviceability is what you get with the premium benches. Doing some maintenance with care of the seat, legs, and mechanism lubrication help extend life.

The bench I bought did not wobble at all. It was probably made by Burghardt based on the mechanism design, being German, and missing some buttons! I will get the buttons fixed at a local upholstery shop, so no problem. The piano store had lots of used benches for me to examine. A number were Jansen, looked quite experienced, but did wobble. That is no problem as replacement scissor lift and other parts are readily available. None were labeled Schimmel, unfortunately.

I've yet to see an Italian Lanzani bench in person, in particular the Habermann model with tilted seat seems interesting. I wonder how long before hydraulic lift benches will need replacement of the nitrogen charged pistons as the ones on car hatches all eventually lose pressure (obligatory car reference). The ease and speed of changing height is very attractive for teachers and practice rooms.

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#1952867 - 09/02/12 05:37 AM Re: Jansen Artist Bench [Re: Terry Sham]
crogersrx Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/25/08
Posts: 712
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Originally Posted By: Terry Sham
I would like to buy a Jansen Standard Artist Piano Bench recently. Is it worth to upgrade the upholstery from vinyl to leather for $330? Thanks for your advice!


It is only worth the upgrade to leather if you ALSO have my cat come over and custom perforate the leather for you like mine.... I can make the cat available at a very reasonable fee... LOL
_________________________
Cary Rogers, PharmD
San Francisco, CA
1887 Knabe 6'4" (Rebuilt)

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#1952874 - 09/02/12 06:25 AM Re: Jansen Artist Bench [Re: David Xavi]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
I too wish i had thought to upgrade to a duet bench.. Who would have thought that years down the road, I'd be avidly teaching.

Those benches ae heavy!
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1952896 - 09/02/12 07:59 AM Re: Jansen Artist Bench [Re: David Xavi]
BoseEric Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 731
Loc: Fairfield County, CT
The HM (Hidrau Model) benches are actually pneumatic, not hydraulic. They used nitrogen filled pistons.
_________________________
RPT. In the business: Feurich pianos, Neupert harpsichords, Hidrau benches, piano technician

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#1953087 - 09/02/12 06:28 PM Re: Jansen Artist Bench [Re: BoseEric]
Karl Watson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/11
Posts: 351
I believe that a deluxe Jansen bench is in my future. At least stateside, that's all there is. I've actually owned one some years back, but it, like its lesser brothers, developed a kind-of loose, rocking from side to side.

I currently own a vintage Steinway bench from the '30s. Its mechanism is somewhat simpler than the Jansen, but MUCH more substanial. It is ROCK solid, not to mention of a higher quality THROUGHOUT.

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#1953126 - 09/02/12 08:56 PM Re: Jansen Artist Bench [Re: Karl Watson]
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1731
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
.
_________________________
http://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D, Yamaha CP4, CP5 (home use) , RCF TT08A, TT22A speakers

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#1953179 - 09/02/12 11:59 PM Re: Jansen Artist Bench [Re: David Xavi]
OperaTenor Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2395
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
I found a ten year-old Rieger Kloss 5'8" grand for a friend recently, new condition, hardly-played, for $5K. We went to the seller's house to look at it, and they bought a Jansen leather DUET bench when they bought it, and it was included in the asking price of the piano.

My friend scored...
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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#1953201 - 09/03/12 01:33 AM Re: Jansen Artist Bench [Re: David Xavi]
John Pels Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/31/07
Posts: 1263
Loc: Tomball, Texas
Marty, if possible could you shoot a picture of the underside of your new bench. I am curious about how they execute the mechanism.
Thanks, John Pels

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#1953647 - 09/04/12 02:10 AM Re: Jansen Artist Bench [Re: Karl Watson]
BostonMark Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/30/12
Posts: 3
Originally Posted By: Karl Watson
I believe that a deluxe Jansen bench is in my future. At least stateside, that's all there is. I've actually owned one some years back, but it, like its lesser brothers, developed a kind-of loose, rocking from side to side.


Jansen makes and sells bushing repair kits exactly for fixing the rocking. $25-$35 for the parts is much cheaper than getting another bench. I've not seen such refurb parts for any other benches so affordable and available as Jansen.

BTW, my friend loved the Schimmel/Burghardt concert pro bench I found for her - much more comfortable for her hours of daily playing. The height adjustment was stiff, but seems by design so the seat won't sink on its own. Sticky grease was used on the screw. I replaced with non-sticky and sprayed in some white grease in the oil holes near the knobs. Much easier.

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#1953723 - 09/04/12 08:48 AM Re: Jansen Artist Bench [Re: David Xavi]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4425
Loc: San Jose, CA
"...I see Mr. Jansen every year at NAMM and it's like an ongoing skit. Me-"Hi I have two of your benches, they're great but the foam is getting a little compressed". Him- "We can certainly rebuild that for you, send it in". He then gives me his card and I swear to myself..."

See, this is my idea of meeting a real celebrity. Don't believe it? Ask him to autograph his card next time, then see how much you can get for it on E-Bay.

I should just send them a thank-you note, and never mind the autograph.

Do you ever wonder? At piano solo concerts, the artiste comes out on stage, bows, sits, and adjusts the bench height. Are we to believe that he has not, just before the concert, already adjusted it? That he has grown to a different size in the interval? That prankish imps have come up on stage and changed the bench height, or have exchanged the piano's legs for a different size?

In the days before Jansen benches, what did they do?
_________________________
Clef


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#1961923 - 09/21/12 03:10 AM Re: Jansen Artist Bench [Re: David Xavi]
piano_deb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/05
Posts: 787
Loc: Memphis, TN
Re the difference between the Jansen vinyl and leather benches, I strongly recommend going for the leather if the price difference is at all doable.

Not long ago, I came across nearly new second-hand vinyl Jansen bench on sale at a dealer's; it would have been in mint condition, but the owner's dog had mauled the corner. When I handled the torn edges, the vinyl felt surprisingly soft and thin, not at all equivalent to leather. (I sew and have handled much heavier vinyls, which I what I'd expected to feel after reading so often that the vinyl is very high quality.) I believe that the exceptional padding Jansen uses makes the vinyl feel and appear very firm and smooth when new -- but I don't believe it could possibly hold up as well as leather over the years and decades.

Got my own new Jansen bench not long after. In leather, of course. smile
_________________________
Deborah
Charles Walter 1500
Happiness is a shiny red piano.

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