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#2033905 - 02/15/13 07:06 PM New Stephen Paulello SP300 piano with 102 keys in mid 2013.
subcontra Offline
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Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 29
While I was mulling over the Stuart & Sons webpage for the 278th time, I decided to Google its wire supplier, Stephen Paulello, since Wayne Stuart tipped me off to a possible extension to 108 keys thanks to Paulello's new XM wire. After a quick look at the maker's different wire types, I discovered he also made pianos. I checked the current offerings, and came across this.

Your thoughts?


Edited by subcontra (02/15/13 07:56 PM)
Edit Reason: Removed "advertisement" dead ringer

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#2033920 - 02/15/13 07:40 PM Re: New Stephen Paulello SP300 piano with 102 keys in mid 2013. [Re: subcontra]
Rickster Online   content


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8422
Loc: Georgia, USA
Hi subcontra, and welcome to Piano World...

For a very first post, (from someone who just joined PW today) your thread sounds an awful lot like an advertisement to me, more so than an enthusiastic sharing of new-found information on the internet.

Please forgive me if I'm wrong.

Rick
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#2033930 - 02/15/13 07:54 PM Re: New Stephen Paulello SP300 piano with 102 keys in mid 2013. [Re: Rickster]
subcontra Offline
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Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 29
I can easily change the first post to just mention the piano itself. I have no affiliation with any of the makers I mentioned, but if that's the image they perceive, then it shall be done.

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#2033934 - 02/15/13 07:55 PM Re: New Stephen Paulello SP300 piano with 102 keys in mid 2013. [Re: subcontra]
beethoven986 Offline
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Registered: 01/20/09
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Yes, it is interesting (Paulello started making pianos back in the '90s, I think). I've been aware of Paulello's latest projects for a few months, and I first encountered a Stuart (two of them, actually), in person, in 2009 (Stuart did not, to my knowledge, produce a 102 note piano until 2010ish). I think it's great that there are piano companies willing to do something different (even if these "innovations" are actually quite old), however, I think expanding beyond the traditional 88-note compass is a frivolous novelty. Heck, most of the pianists I know (myself included) don't even use the 88 notes they already have!

As far as how they sound, I do like the Stuart, but these pianos are often criticized for sounding strident at higher volumes. So far, I'm relatively disappointed with how Paulello's existing pianos sound, based on recordings I've heard.... the bass is excellent, but the treble just sounds harsh to me. We'll see.
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#2033936 - 02/15/13 07:58 PM Re: New Stephen Paulello SP300 piano with 102 keys in mid 2013. [Re: Rickster]
beethoven986 Offline
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Registered: 01/20/09
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Originally Posted By: Rickster
Hi subcontra, and welcome to Piano World...

For a very first post, (from someone who just joined PW today) your thread sounds an awful lot like an advertisement to me, more so than an enthusiastic sharing of new-found information on the internet.

Please forgive me if I'm wrong.

Rick


Hi Rick, I imagine Mr. Paulello is much too busy to engage in anonymous shenanigans on PW.
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#2033964 - 02/15/13 09:25 PM Re: New Stephen Paulello SP300 piano with 102 keys in mid 2013. [Re: subcontra]
BDB Online   content
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I am far more impressed with the companies who are making really good pianos at very affordable prices than anyone who is making a limited quantity of expensive pianos, no matter how good they might be.
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#2033965 - 02/15/13 09:35 PM Re: New Stephen Paulello SP300 piano with 102 keys in mid 2013. [Re: subcontra]
Norbert Offline
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Can we not be a bit more welcoming to a new member?
Not a bit of harm done....
Welcome, and thanks for sharing your news!
Norbert smile
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#2033969 - 02/15/13 09:51 PM Re: New Stephen Paulello SP300 piano with 102 keys in mid 2013. [Re: subcontra]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Registered: 12/09/12
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Stephan Paulello is certainly DOING something about piano structure and design instead of just talking about it. I doubt if he is getting wealthy at it. I don't know anyone in the piano business who IS.

Some of these remarks posted sound like jealousy.
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#2033982 - 02/15/13 10:21 PM Re: New Stephen Paulello SP300 piano with 102 keys in mid 2013. [Re: subcontra]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Although I have only heard the Stuart briefly and the Paulello not at all, I do not understand how extra notes in the treble make sense when the top few notes in an 88 note compass piano almost always sound unmusical. Also, I'd guess there is virtually no music written so far that requires the extra notes. There are only a handful of pieces that require the Bosie 97 note compass with extra bass notes. Does someone really buy a piano hoping that sometime in the future someone will write a piece needing those extra those notes?

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#2033987 - 02/15/13 10:35 PM Re: New Stephen Paulello SP300 piano with 102 keys in mid 2013. [Re: subcontra]
Norbert Offline
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This is a Paulello designed piano, never noticed that treble is not completely acceptable.
Not an Estonia treble but rich sounding throughout register.
A joke around $ 25-30 k mark...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ia0nOOM_024

Norbert


Edited by Norbert (02/15/13 10:36 PM)
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#2033993 - 02/15/13 10:51 PM Re: New Stephen Paulello SP300 piano with 102 keys in mid 2013. [Re: Norbert]
beethoven986 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Norbert
This is a Paulello designed piano, never noticed that treble is not completely acceptable.


I quite like the Paulello designed Hailun 218; this is not the piano I was referring to. His French-built pianos, however, sound harsh to me in the treble. I'm sure it's nothing that a different set of hammers, or serious voicing, couldn't solve.
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#2033997 - 02/15/13 11:00 PM Re: New Stephen Paulello SP300 piano with 102 keys in mid 2013. [Re: pianoloverus]
beethoven986 Offline
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Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Although I have only heard the Stuart briefly and the Paulello not at all, I do not understand how extra notes in the treble make sense when the top few notes in an 88 note compass piano almost always sound unmusical.


In fairness, the bridge agraffes make these notes usable because they are a more efficient termination.


Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Also, I'd guess there is virtually no music written so far that requires the extra notes. There are only a handful of pieces that require the Bosie 97 note compass with extra bass notes. Does someone really buy a piano hoping that sometime in the future someone will write a piece needing those extra those notes?


This is why I think it's rather silly. 99.9999% of the repertoire doesn't need the extra Bosie keys. Certainly, no composer is going to be able to afford one of these pianos to compose on, and the same goes for performance venues and the vast majority of pianists, professional or amateur. Even if this weren't the case, very little of the new music being written today will be played in 100 years. Most pianists just simply don't care....
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#2034000 - 02/15/13 11:03 PM Re: New Stephen Paulello SP300 piano with 102 keys in mid 2013. [Re: beethoven986]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1890
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
PIANOLOVERUS;
If you hear one of my rebuilt pianos with the Patent Pending "Fully Tempered Duplex Scale" I doubt you will find the top notes musically "un-usefull".

I do not think an expanded compass makes sense from the ergonometric perspective. The reach to play at the bottom and top at the same time splays the angle of the fingers to the keys so much that pianistic technique is inhibited.

Maybe four-hands makes sense. I do like the effect the extra keys make on the low A of a big Bosendorfer-it helps to have more bridge extending below the lowest strings.
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#2034069 - 02/16/13 01:56 AM Re: New Stephen Paulello SP300 piano with 102 keys in mid 2013. [Re: beethoven986]
Del Offline
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Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5184
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Also, I'd guess there is virtually no music written so far that requires the extra notes. There are only a handful of pieces that require the Bosie 97 note compass with extra bass notes. Does someone really buy a piano hoping that sometime in the future someone will write a piece needing those extra those notes?


This is why I think it's rather silly. 99.9999% of the repertoire doesn't need the extra Bosie keys. Certainly, no composer is going to be able to afford one of these pianos to compose on, and the same goes for performance venues and the vast majority of pianists, professional or amateur. Even if this weren't the case, very little of the new music being written today will be played in 100 years. Most pianists just simply don't care....

Just because there is little music written that includes the use of these notes doesn't mean they are not played. In my past life I tuned Imperials for Oscar Peterson on several occasions...he used those notes a lot. I wish he could have seen and played David Rubenstein's 371 (approx. 12') grand. He'd have loved it. I expect other improvisational jazz pianists find use for them as well.

ddf
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#2034076 - 02/16/13 02:21 AM Re: New Stephen Paulello SP300 piano with 102 keys in mid 2013. [Re: Del]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3320
Originally Posted By: Del
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Also, I'd guess there is virtually no music written so far that requires the extra notes. There are only a handful of pieces that require the Bosie 97 note compass with extra bass notes. Does someone really buy a piano hoping that sometime in the future someone will write a piece needing those extra those notes?


This is why I think it's rather silly. 99.9999% of the repertoire doesn't need the extra Bosie keys. Certainly, no composer is going to be able to afford one of these pianos to compose on, and the same goes for performance venues and the vast majority of pianists, professional or amateur. Even if this weren't the case, very little of the new music being written today will be played in 100 years. Most pianists just simply don't care....

Just because there is little music written that includes the use of these notes doesn't mean they are not played. In my past life I tuned Imperials for Oscar Peterson on several occasions...he used those notes a lot. I wish he could have seen and played David Rubenstein's 371 (approx. 12') grand. He'd have loved it. I expect other improvisational jazz pianists find use for them as well.

ddf


Yes, I remember you mentioning this before. While I'm sure some, like Oscar Peterson, used and could use an extended compass effectively, I am equally sure that such artists wouldn't be any less great with only 88 keys.... Bach did a pretty awesome job with little more than half the compass of the uber-Stuart or Paulello. And, of course, I'm also thinking of myself here; I find that carrying an 88 note keyboard/ top action is awkward enough, so I'm quite sure the extra octave would kill me. I'm all for piano innovation, but I'm still not convinced about the expanded compass. Of course, I wouldn't presume to tell Stuart or Paulello what to do....
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#2034114 - 02/16/13 05:30 AM Re: New Stephen Paulello SP300 piano with 102 keys in mid 2013. [Re: subcontra]
ando Offline
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Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3520
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
So many killjoys around lately!

Somebody wants to make a piano with an extended scale? Why the heck not?, I say. I'd love a piano with extra notes. I'd use them for sure because I'm an improvisor first and foremost. I can definitely think of how I'd use them.

Somebody wants to start a thread to tell us about Mr Paulello's pianos? Also why the heck not?!

Do we have to seize on people so quickly? More than half the time the sinister motives prove to be more imagined than real. Why not give the thread a chance to be something before we destroy it with cynicism?

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#2034117 - 02/16/13 05:48 AM Re: New Stephen Paulello SP300 piano with 102 keys in mid 2013. [Re: subcontra]
wouter79 Offline
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Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3464
What makes the Paulello's piano look interesting is the straight stringing. I'm really curious to hear for myself how it sounds.

His webpage looks good but the buttons don't work here (Firefox 3.5). Do we have to go to France to try them?
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#2034180 - 02/16/13 09:45 AM Re: New Stephen Paulello SP300 piano with 102 keys in mid 2013. [Re: ando]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Originally Posted By: ando
So many killjoys around lately!
Somebody wants to make a piano with an extended scale? Why the heck not?
I think the correct question is "why"? If there is a reasonable answer, and perhaps for jazz pianists these extra notes might be useful, then fine.

This reminds me of chess lecture I saw many years ago by Grandmaster Edmar Mednis. Someone in the audience said "What's wrong with (some move)?" Chess player actaully often phrase a question about a position like this. Mednis looked at the spectator and said something to the effect "One should never ask what's wrong with a move".

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#2034183 - 02/16/13 09:48 AM Re: New Stephen Paulello SP300 piano with 102 keys in mid 2013. [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
PIANOLOVERUS;
If you hear one of my rebuilt pianos with the Patent Pending "Fully Tempered Duplex Scale" I doubt you will find the top notes musically "un-usefull".
Is it possible to explain in non technical terms what you do to make the highest notes sounds more musical?

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#2034275 - 02/16/13 01:51 PM Re: New Stephen Paulello SP300 piano with 102 keys in mid 2013. [Re: pianoloverus]
AJF Offline
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Registered: 05/18/06
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Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Although I have only heard the Stuart briefly and the Paulello not at all, I do not understand how extra notes in the treble make sense when the top few notes in an 88 note compass piano almost always sound unmusical. Also, I'd guess there is virtually no music written so far that requires the extra notes. There are only a handful of pieces that require the Bosie 97 note compass with extra bass notes. Does someone really buy a piano hoping that sometime in the future someone will write a piece needing those extra those notes?


As a player of primarily improvised music I would very much welcome an extra octave up top. Mainly for being able to complete musical ideas started in a lower range that are abruptly halted by the range limitations of an 88 note keyboard.

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#2034280 - 02/16/13 02:09 PM Re: New Stephen Paulello SP300 piano with 102 keys in mid 2013. [Re: subcontra]
Norbert Offline
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I never understand why pointing to one particular pianist the piano he happened to use would gain in significance, at least musically speaking. These guys are great without any of them.
Oscar also was a Baldwin artist, remembering when he had the 9' concert delivered for his Vancouver concerts despite Boesendorfers available to him at same time.
Plus Oscar's life long idol Art Tatum never used any of them.
He blew the world away coming [originally..] from simple old uprights...

Norbert


Edited by Norbert (02/16/13 02:15 PM)
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#2034281 - 02/16/13 02:12 PM Re: New Stephen Paulello SP300 piano with 102 keys in mid 2013. [Re: pianoloverus]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Registered: 12/09/12
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Loc: Seattle, WA USA
PIANOLOVERUS,
I have a thread in the technical forum where I explain the state of affairs regarding my Fully Tempered Duplex Scale, (FTDS). Please read that and stay tuned for future announcements.

The FTDS does anticipate extending the treble compass and would make them more musical as well.

One advantage of the extended bass compass is how the extended bridge helps make the standard compass low notes sound better. The low A is made better that way.
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#2034304 - 02/16/13 03:13 PM Re: New Stephen Paulello SP300 piano with 102 keys in mid 2013. [Re: Norbert]
Del Offline
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Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5184
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Norbert
I never understand why pointing to one particular pianist the piano he happened to use would gain in significance, at least musically speaking. These guys are great without any of them.
Oscar also was a Baldwin artist, remembering when he had the 9' concert delivered for his Vancouver concerts despite Boesendorfers available to him at same time.
Plus Oscar's life long idol Art Tatum never used any of them.
He blew the world away coming [originally..] from simple old uprights...

My point was that there is more than one way to create piano music. It can be composed and placed in written form where people memorize it and repeat it over and over down through the ages. If this were the only way music was played then the observation that very little music has been published calling for these "extra" notes on the piano would be much more convincing.

To be sure, when Oscar Peterson was playing on a piano using a standard 88-note compass he still made great music. But, when he had them at his disposal he used them and clearly enjoyed the added musical potential at his disposal. He used no sheet music indicating the use of those extra notes -- he improvised -- so the fact that there is little published music available calling for these notes was irrelevant. He used them anyway.

(Someplace on YouTube there are a couple of videos of him discussing the use of the extra bass notes on an Imperial. I'm in an area where it is impossible to connect with YouTube so perhaps someone will be kind enough to locate them and post a link. Listening to Oscar Peterson discussing pianos and music is always time well spent.)

Personally, I've only been asked to design one scale that included these notes -- the Rubenstein 371 (the speaking length of that lowest string is slightly longer than an Imperial grand) -- and I certainly don't see pianos with extended keyboards, whether those extra notes are added to the top or the bottom, becoming mainstream but I'm glad there are at least a few pianos out there that do offer them. And a few more certainly won't hurt the industry; might even liven things up a bit.

ddf


Edited by Del (02/16/13 03:27 PM)
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#2034321 - 02/16/13 04:01 PM Re: New Stephen Paulello SP300 piano with 102 keys in mid 2013. [Re: AJF]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Originally Posted By: AJF
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Although I have only heard the Stuart briefly and the Paulello not at all, I do not understand how extra notes in the treble make sense when the top few notes in an 88 note compass piano almost always sound unmusical. Also, I'd guess there is virtually no music written so far that requires the extra notes. There are only a handful of pieces that require the Bosie 97 note compass with extra bass notes. Does someone really buy a piano hoping that sometime in the future someone will write a piece needing those extra those notes?


As a player of primarily improvised music I would very much welcome an extra octave up top. Mainly for being able to complete musical ideas started in a lower range that are abruptly halted by the range limitations of an 88 note keyboard.
But one could theoretically use that argument to opt for a piano with 150 notes as one can always complete an idea higher and higher. For me the question is mostly related to how musical the notes sound.

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#2034541 - 02/17/13 12:45 AM Re: New Stephen Paulello SP300 piano with 102 keys in mid 2013. [Re: subcontra]
AJF Offline
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Registered: 05/18/06
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Loc: Toronto
Yeah I get your point. But I'm just saying I think most people's ears (or at least mine) could probably appreciate an extra octave.

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#2034584 - 02/17/13 04:06 AM Re: New Stephen Paulello SP300 piano with 102 keys in mid 2013. [Re: Del]
beethoven986 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Del
.... might even liven things up a bit.


Ok, but only if we can have a spinet burning party first!
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#2034597 - 02/17/13 05:27 AM Re: New Stephen Paulello SP300 piano with 102 keys in mid 2013. [Re: pianoloverus]
ando Offline
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Registered: 11/23/10
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Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: AJF
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Although I have only heard the Stuart briefly and the Paulello not at all, I do not understand how extra notes in the treble make sense when the top few notes in an 88 note compass piano almost always sound unmusical. Also, I'd guess there is virtually no music written so far that requires the extra notes. There are only a handful of pieces that require the Bosie 97 note compass with extra bass notes. Does someone really buy a piano hoping that sometime in the future someone will write a piece needing those extra those notes?


As a player of primarily improvised music I would very much welcome an extra octave up top. Mainly for being able to complete musical ideas started in a lower range that are abruptly halted by the range limitations of an 88 note keyboard.
But one could theoretically use that argument to opt for a piano with 150 notes as one can always complete an idea higher and higher. For me the question is mostly related to how musical the notes sound.


Well, if it's purely about the quality of sound, why don't you tell us how many keys you think your piano should have? Presumably you find at least a portion of the range on your piano to be unusable, since you have such strong opinions on the matter.

For me, it's a matter of how well built the piano is. If it's well built enough it will be able to support the extended range and be usable in a musical manner. I would hazard a guess that anyone who goes to the considerable trouble of designing and making an extended range piano, also knows something about how to get a reasonable tone out of the extra notes. If it wasn't usable, they wouldn't do it. I applaud people doing something different.

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#2034703 - 02/17/13 11:15 AM Re: New Stephen Paulello SP300 piano with 102 keys in mid 2013. [Re: ando]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Originally Posted By: ando
Well, if it's purely about the quality of sound, why don't you tell us how many keys you think your piano should have? Presumably you find at least a portion of the range on your piano to be unusable, since you have such strong opinions on the matter.

For me, it's a matter of how well built the piano is. If it's well built enough it will be able to support the extended range and be usable in a musical manner. I would hazard a guess that anyone who goes to the considerable trouble of designing and making an extended range piano, also knows something about how to get a reasonable tone out of the extra notes. If it wasn't usable, they wouldn't do it. I applaud people doing something different.
I think on almost all pianos I've played including my Mason BB around the top three notes are either unmusical to some degree or at a point where it's hard for me to imagine going beyond those notes and getting what I would call a musical sound. I don't see much point in having notes that sound very unmusical available. Of course, another person's idea of what's unmusical or unpleasant or not useful might e different from my own.

There have been threads about which classical pieces(perhaps not including the last 50 years)use the top three notes and only a handful for pieces get mentioned. And one poster in a recent thread said at least one reason the 85 note compass was eventually extended to 88 was purely for the aesthetic reason of avoiding two groups of black keys at the top.

If I was buying a rebuilt Steinway, if I could save 10K on a Steinway 85 note model(which in my experience is the cost differential between 88 and 85 note models) or buy a larger Steinway 85 for the same money as a smaller Steinway 88, the only thing that would prevent me from buying an 85 is the considerable(for me)psychological negative of owning a reduced compass piano. From a practical point of view I think those last few notes are rarely needed and composers seemed to have agreed.


Edited by pianoloverus (02/17/13 11:34 AM)

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New Topics - Multiple Forums
Old Wurlitzer (circa 1940s) baby grand, Worth Picking Up?
by Paul678
Today at 07:31 PM
Piano software without sheet music
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Today at 06:05 PM
Transcribing Music
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Yamaha P-105 or the Casio PRIVIA px-135?
by Acevle
Today at 05:30 PM
Another reason to love the MP11
by Markarian
Today at 03:57 PM
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