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#2018856 - 01/22/13 08:28 AM UPRIGHT PIANOS
Karl Watson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/11
Posts: 351
It probably goes without saying that many of us have a memory of a vintage or modern upright that we've played at home or abroad, or possibly an instrument that we've worked many hours at learning repertoire.

Do any of the forum members regard these as pleasant experiences or not ? Is it possible to have a rewarding artistic relationship with an upright piano ?

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#2018869 - 01/22/13 08:52 AM Re: UPRIGHT PIANOS [Re: Karl Watson]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
I started out on an Acrosonic spinet. The happiest day of my life was when my parents bought an S&S-M. Need I say more?
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2018870 - 01/22/13 08:54 AM Re: UPRIGHT PIANOS [Re: Karl Watson]
Rich Galassini Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9300
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Originally Posted By: Karl Watson
It probably goes without saying that many of us have a memory of a vintage or modern upright that we've played at home or abroad, or possibly an instrument that we've worked many hours at learning repertoire.

Do any of the forum members regard these as pleasant experiences or not ? Is it possible to have a rewarding artistic relationship with an upright piano ?



Well Geez, sure it is possible to have a pleasing relationship with an upright piano. There are many avid amateur pianists that go a lifetime only playing upright pianos and I am sure they have had satisfying experiences.

The problem comes in after one has tasted better quality. For instance, after playing a particularly fine grand piano in our inventory, like a Bosendorfer Imperial, I cannot count how many times I have heard comments like, "I can never go back to my piano now." Of course, very few of those people actually purchase an Imperial. smile

As far as uprights, I feel there are a variety of qualities that can be very satisfying. From Knabe and Yamaha (dare I add Cunningham?) on the lower end, to a great midrange of Charles Walter, to Schimmel, Bechstein, and Bosendorfer on the high end.

Are you set on giving up your grand, Karl?
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
www.cunninghampiano.com

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#2018878 - 01/22/13 09:09 AM Re: UPRIGHT PIANOS [Re: Karl Watson]
Whizbang Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/12
Posts: 788
Originally Posted By: Karl Watson
Is it possible to have a rewarding artistic relationship with an upright piano?


I love my upright.
_________________________
Whizbang
amateur ragtime pianist

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#2018910 - 01/22/13 10:06 AM Re: UPRIGHT PIANOS [Re: Rich Galassini]
Karl Watson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/11
Posts: 351
Rich -

I'm set on moving heaven and earth to avoid it ! However, our retirement digs will probably not allow for a grand, at least not something 6'4".

If we give up the dining room and convert same to a music room, it will mean eating in the kitchen, which is possible, I suppose, but not preferable. My father would regard that decision as socially backward.

But I may yet opt to do just that. How does one part with something that has become almost a family member ?

KMW

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#2018914 - 01/22/13 10:15 AM Re: UPRIGHT PIANOS [Re: Karl Watson]
Eric Gloo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 1251
Loc: Richfield Springs, New York
Originally Posted By: Karl Watson
How does one part with something that has become almost a family member ?


One doesn't. wink
_________________________
Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
Certified Dampp-Chaser Installer
Richfield Springs, New York

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#2018950 - 01/22/13 11:18 AM Re: UPRIGHT PIANOS [Re: Karl Watson]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14139
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
From Knabe and Yamaha (dare I add Cunningham?) on the lower end, to a great midrange of Charles Walter, to Schimmel, Bechstein, and Bosendorfer on the high end.


Could it be that this week's upcoming NAMM show will once again show and newly introduce some other highly worthy candidates?

Norbert
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#2019002 - 01/22/13 12:36 PM Re: UPRIGHT PIANOS [Re: Karl Watson]
bennevis Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5281
If you don't know any better, it's possible to love any old piano, no matter how inadequate.

Like the little Yamaha console that I learnt on as a child. Even from new, it had a tendency to develop sticky keys, and its tone was tinny and strident, even at p (pp just wasn't possible on it). When pushed harder, it just became more strident. But I didn't know any better as a kid because it was the only piano I ever played on (as my teacher came to teach me at our home). That is, until my first piano exam.....

I encountered it again a few years ago, after a long period of time. And I have to say, absence hasn't made the heart go fonder.....
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2019010 - 01/22/13 12:50 PM Re: UPRIGHT PIANOS [Re: bennevis]
RealPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 2340
Loc: NYC
I had a big old upright in my starving-artist early 20's in San Francisco. And it worked very well for that period in my life. But I wouldn't go back.

And the less said about the spinet I practiced on as a beginner, the better. Incredibly, my brother still has that piano; even had it refinished! But he and his family don't play -- it's furniture.
_________________________
Joe

www.josephkubera.com

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#2019033 - 01/22/13 01:18 PM Re: UPRIGHT PIANOS [Re: Karl Watson]
piano_deb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/05
Posts: 787
Loc: Memphis, TN
Originally Posted By: Karl Watson
It probably goes without saying that many of us have a memory of a vintage or modern upright that we've played at home or abroad, or possibly an instrument that we've worked many hours at learning repertoire.

Do any of the forum members regard these as pleasant experiences or not ? Is it possible to have a rewarding artistic relationship with an upright piano ?


Are you referring only to the very tall vertical pianos that are properly called uprights ... or to vertical pianos in general? Perhaps I'm misunderstanding your question, but I dare say there are plenty of people who own and love their vertical pianos. Some of them/us even visit and post here on PW. smile

As for comparing verticals to grands, I think it's a mistake (unfortunately a fairly common one) to automatically assume that the first is inferior to the latter. As has been stated n these forums before, it's far better — helpful, enjoyable, artistically satisfying — to learn and play on a quality vertical than on a lousy grand.


Edited by piano_deb (01/22/13 01:20 PM)
_________________________
Deborah
Charles Walter 1500
Happiness is a shiny red piano.

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#2019078 - 01/22/13 02:09 PM Re: UPRIGHT PIANOS [Re: piano_deb]
Karl Watson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/11
Posts: 351
Dear Deborah -

I should have excluded any thought of spinets or anything shorter than about 45".

In particular, I have happy memories of my grandmother's very tall, vintage McPhail. I'm a second generation Interlochen camper and even as late as the early 60s, there were quite a number of turn of the century uprights in the pratice rooms there. In fact, I learned all the two part inventions on one during the Summer of '62. Wish I could remember the name of it, but I'm sure I spent at least four hours a day on it.

As for YOUR piano, I particularly like the feel of those long keys.

Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY

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#2019108 - 01/22/13 03:13 PM Re: UPRIGHT PIANOS [Re: Karl Watson]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8569
Loc: Georgia, USA
I have had a few upright pianos, some better than others, but none of them new… I must say that I enjoyed them all and played them all a lot. Each time I upgraded it was an improvement over the last one (usually, but not always smile ). The nicest upright I owned was a 46” Petrof; it was a very nice piano, with a warm, mellow tone.

In the order I got them… 1969 42” Cable console, a decent piano (gave it to my 9 year old granddaughter); a 1969 Kohler & Campbell 46”studio, a more decent piano than the Cable (sold it for about what I had in it); a 1907 Conover 53”… I paid more than I should have and refinished the cabinet; I enjoyed it while and sold it to my sister-in-law for less than half of what I had in it (I’d never make it in the piano business smile ). Next was the 2001 Petrof 46”… a lovely piano; I sold it for just a few dollars more than I paid.

Next was an old early 1900’s Schiller; got it cheap ($75) and had a boat load of fun with it (got a YT video playing that piano with over 100,000 views). I sold the Schiller for $100 (made $25 on that one). Next, I happened upon a 1969 (I know, there is something about me and 1969 model upright pianos smile ) Kawai K48A upright; a lovely piano and it sounds almost as good as the Petrof; I still have the Kawai K48A and do not plan on selling it anytime soon. I also currently have a Baldwin 243 studio (46”) that I bought from a local college state surplus sale; I paid just over $500 for it and I like it a lot. I pound on it regularly.

I also have a recent project piano, an early 1900’s Conover/Cable 53” upright. I paid $50 for it and have done some restoration on it. I’m thinking I could probably sell it for a small profit, but that is not my goal in tinkering with old pianos. I’m after the “fun factor”.

Not to put a damper on this discussion, but my pride and joy is my 1978 Yamaha C7 grand (7’4”). It is a magnificent piano! Uprights have their place, but a grand piano is a wonderful instrument to own.

Now, if only I knew how to play a piano! smile

Can’t say that I’ve enjoyed any hobby as much as I’ve enjoyed my piano adventures! smile

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

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