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#2041884 - 03/02/13 02:30 PM Re: Estonia L190--looking for reassurance! [Re: hotcat]
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4381
Loc: Jersey Shore
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2026042/2.html

I've corrected Norbert before...my statement is in this thread.

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#2041893 - 03/02/13 02:59 PM Re: Estonia L190--looking for reassurance! [Re: Norbert]
ando Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3665
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Norbert
Quote:
Surely we are interested in truthful balance around here?


The "truthful balance" was that several people including the original dealer have made several efforts to help in this case.

The problems encountered were that even after a tech was sent out, no problems had been detected or could even be identified.

The dealer in question next offered a full trade in value, which was rejected by the owner.

It's is regretful when someone is not happy but not accepting what appears to have been sincere help is a different matter.

If a piano is not to one's own liking or not in the state it should be in, it is something that in most cases can easily be improved by additional technical services to the instrument.

It is inconceivable to me if there were indeed an issue with this piano that a credible dealer would not look after his customer. Besides there is a 10 years factory warranty.

Interestingly enough, there was another,independent tech who apparently recently inspected the piano.

It would be nice to hear from him at this point.

If this gentleman would be my own customer I would not rest until the matter has been 100% resolved.

A customer is "always right" and when something is "not right" it needs to be made right. Simple.

Regretfully,the owner [not my own customer] has viewed my efforts to help him as hostile and there's nothing one can do in this case.

There are cases where one can't help even when help is offered.

Regretfully, this one may be one such case.

Norbert


Norbert,

I don't want to get involved in the minutia of Mark's complaints, but I still think it's ok to mention that if you buy an Estonia, you aren't necessarily buying a totally trouble free experience. We shouldn't propagate a myth of perfection and universally satisfied customers.

I don't see a problem with the range of sentiments being expressed. No other brand has been spared a balanced critique on PW. It has been my observation for some time now that Estonia enjoys a strange prestige on PW. I'm not really sure why. To me they are just one of dozens of pianos out there which have no particular quality distinction over many others. It often feels to me like there is a sort of "sponsorship" of the Estonia company here. For some reason it doesn't sit well with me. Maybe it is the personal connection with Indrek because of his visits here. Maybe it's because Frank has an Estonia and he owns PW and has documented his trips and experience with Estonia. In any case, I think we should be careful that we are not averse to hearing a range of opinions on Estonia. I realise there are lots of very happy Estonia owners, and that's great, but not everybody is going to feel the same way. I played 2 new Estonias recently and was not so delighted with them.

I hope that I will always have the right to say this on PW. It's just my opinion and I don't want to rain on anybody else's parade, but we still should be able to come and give our own opinions and experiences. There's no more reason why Mark should be taken to task over giving his opinion than anyone else should be taken to task for praising their Estonia.

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#2041903 - 03/02/13 03:20 PM Re: Estonia L190--looking for reassurance! [Re: hotcat]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14190
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
ando:

Your remarks are totally reasonable, I have no issue with any of that.

My attempt was simply to help Mark's situation, it was not based on creating a "myth of infallibility" for Estonia
Based on my extensive experience with this make, I simply made myself available to help or give advice.
Sorry if I was not able to succeed in this case and that it has been perceived differently by some parties.

My respects to Mark - wishing him the best!

Time to move on with things...

Norbert smile


Edited by Norbert (03/02/13 03:22 PM)
_________________________
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Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
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#2041906 - 03/02/13 03:37 PM Re: Estonia L190--looking for reassurance! [Re: Minnesota Marty]
AJF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/18/06
Posts: 1651
Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Is reading "The Tribulations of Mark..." a prerequisite for understanding the focus and purpose of this thread?

It is a bit presumptuous to assume that all members are acquainted with your issues.


+1
When it comes to people's personal issues they quite often develop delusions of "grand"eur smile
_________________________

Pianist, Composer
Disclaimer: Shigeru Kawai Artist

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#2041907 - 03/02/13 03:38 PM Re: Estonia L190--looking for reassurance! [Re: Mark...]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: Mark
I didn't think going over my Estonia problems again would be helpful, but when someone makes a blanket statement that "you can't go wrong" and its not true, then I felt it was necessary to speak up.

However, you did not speak up. You only took a pot shot with a cryptic statement and then stated that everyone would know of your past experience. That is hardly helpful. It is also quite egocentric.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2041913 - 03/02/13 03:47 PM Re: Estonia L190--looking for reassurance! [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4381
Loc: Jersey Shore
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted By: Mark
I didn't think going over my Estonia problems again would be helpful, but when someone makes a blanket statement that "you can't go wrong" and its not true, then I felt it was necessary to speak up.

However, you did not speak up. You only took a pot shot with a cryptic statement and then stated that everyone would know of your past experience. That is hardly helpful. It is also quite egocentric.


It's a cryptic statement when some one says "you can't go wrong" buying an Estonia. But I guess that's ok.

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#2041916 - 03/02/13 03:56 PM Re: Estonia L190--looking for reassurance! [Re: ando]
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3485
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: Norbert
Quote:
Surely we are interested in truthful balance around here?


The "truthful balance" was that several people including the original dealer have made several efforts to help in this case.

The problems encountered were that even after a tech was sent out, no problems had been detected or could even be identified.

The dealer in question next offered a full trade in value, which was rejected by the owner.

It's is regretful when someone is not happy but not accepting what appears to have been sincere help is a different matter.

If a piano is not to one's own liking or not in the state it should be in, it is something that in most cases can easily be improved by additional technical services to the instrument.

It is inconceivable to me if there were indeed an issue with this piano that a credible dealer would not look after his customer. Besides there is a 10 years factory warranty.

Interestingly enough, there was another,independent tech who apparently recently inspected the piano.

It would be nice to hear from him at this point.

If this gentleman would be my own customer I would not rest until the matter has been 100% resolved.

A customer is "always right" and when something is "not right" it needs to be made right. Simple.

Regretfully,the owner [not my own customer] has viewed my efforts to help him as hostile and there's nothing one can do in this case.

There are cases where one can't help even when help is offered.

Regretfully, this one may be one such case.

Norbert


Norbert,

I don't want to get involved in the minutia of Mark's complaints, but I still think it's ok to mention that if you buy an Estonia, you aren't necessarily buying a totally trouble free experience. We shouldn't propagate a myth of perfection and universally satisfied customers.

I don't see a problem with the range of sentiments being expressed. No other brand has been spared a balanced critique on PW. It has been my observation for some time now that Estonia enjoys a strange prestige on PW. I'm not really sure why. To me they are just one of dozens of pianos out there which have no particular quality distinction over many others. It often feels to me like there is a sort of "sponsorship" of the Estonia company here. For some reason it doesn't sit well with me. Maybe it is the personal connection with Indrek because of his visits here. Maybe it's because Frank has an Estonia and he owns PW and has documented his trips and experience with Estonia. In any case, I think we should be careful that we are not averse to hearing a range of opinions on Estonia. I realise there are lots of very happy Estonia owners, and that's great, but not everybody is going to feel the same way. I played 2 new Estonias recently and was not so delighted with them.

I hope that I will always have the right to say this on PW. It's just my opinion and I don't want to rain on anybody else's parade, but we still should be able to come and give our own opinions and experiences. There's no more reason why Mark should be taken to task over giving his opinion than anyone else should be taken to task for praising their Estonia.


very reasonable post, ando.


Edited by sophial (03/02/13 03:56 PM)

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#2041930 - 03/02/13 04:28 PM Re: Estonia L190--looking for reassurance! [Re: AJF]
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4381
Loc: Jersey Shore
Originally Posted By: AJF
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Is reading "The Tribulations of Mark..." a prerequisite for understanding the focus and purpose of this thread?

It is a bit presumptuous to assume that all members are acquainted with your issues.


+1
When it comes to people's personal issues they quite often develop delusions of "grand"eur smile


So AJF, you say you can't go wrong owning an Estonia, how are you basing this opinion? Are you a dealer? Do you own one? Have you owned one? Where does your Estonia expertise come from?



Edited by Mark... (03/02/13 05:16 PM)

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#2041936 - 03/02/13 04:38 PM Re: Estonia L190--looking for reassurance! [Re: Minnesota Marty]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19582
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted By: Mark
I didn't think going over my Estonia problems again would be helpful, but when someone makes a blanket statement that "you can't go wrong" and its not true, then I felt it was necessary to speak up.

However, you did not speak up. You only took a pot shot with a cryptic statement and then stated that everyone would know of your past experience. That is hardly helpful. It is also quite egocentric.
A link has been posted to the previous discussion for those unfamiliar with the details.

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#2041943 - 03/02/13 04:50 PM Re: Estonia L190--looking for reassurance! [Re: Mark...]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: Mark
So AJF, you say you can't go wrong owning an Estonia, ...

AJF made no statement about the Estonia, or any other piano.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2041946 - 03/02/13 04:53 PM Re: Estonia L190--looking for reassurance! [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4381
Loc: Jersey Shore
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted By: Mark
So AJF, you say you can't go wrong owning an Estonia, ...

AJF made no statement about the Estonia, or any other piano.


direct quote from first page of this thread...where I said "yes you can."

"OU'VE MADE A HUGE MISTAKE!!!!





Just kidding:) Relax. They're top notch instruments. You really can't go wrong."

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#2041974 - 03/02/13 06:02 PM Re: Estonia L190--looking for reassurance! [Re: hotcat]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7265
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: hotcat
Estonia L190--looking for reassurance!

Well, I went ahead and made a (refundable) deposit on an Estonia L190. I do love it and it will be my first grand piano! But it's so nervewracking to make such a huge purchase.

I'm just an amateur player, but putting in lots of hours lately. On the Estonia I played some Mendelssohn, Brahms, Chopin, etc. and it was heavenly--like the piano was just made for those kinds of pieces.


Reassurance about the piano chosen,or reasssurance that the hours spent in the future at the piano will justify the dollars spent to acquire it?

It's really up to you. If you find your groove on the piano and stay in that groove for years to come, you'll have all the reassurance that you need, but you'll need to be patient in accumulating it. If you find after a couple of years that the piano is more and more just sitting around occupying space, you may kick yourself.

If a loss of interest were to occur, it wouldn't be because you had chosen an Estonia. If you had chosen a Yamaha CX instead, it's likely the same thing would have happened. People persevere on far lesser instruments than an Estonia grand. People lose their attachment to instruments that many would say are better and cost far more. The music you mention seems like a nice fit for an Estonia to me. If so, that's a good point in your favor.

Despite the attempts to sancitfy the brand on PW that Ando mentioned, you really can't blame the piano. it's still a very good piano. It's not like there's some organized attempt here to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse. Out where I live, Estonia is just another very good brand. It doesn't have a high recognition factor, but those who know it respect it. We don't have the Northeast corridor power grid of Estonia retailers that post here on PW. We have a few dealers up and down the left Coast, but they are mostly concerned with making a sale and replacing it in their inventory, not so much with publicizing the brand. I think it's a better environment for choosing your personal piano. I imagine it's like that where you live too.

Recently there was a flap here about a word framed by inverted commas or quotation marks however you want to refer to them. I note that refundable has been framed in parentheses in your post. If the parentheses and what lies within them were a form of reassurance to you, I hope you put that issue behind you before you committed.


Edited by turandot (03/02/13 08:06 PM)
Edit Reason: horse had left barn
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#2041983 - 03/02/13 06:25 PM Re: Estonia L190--looking for reassurance! [Re: Steve Cohen]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7265
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
Not only can I opine that you made a great selection, but in the upcoming issue of Piano Buyer a new feature wiil reinforce that opinion.

[Consider this my first "upcoming issue" tease!]


The frost is off that pumpkin on the West Coast. I guess spring comes earlier here. It's a little comical what with you forever teasing Larry's thoughts and the '''''R A N K I N G S'''''' as some important development in order to pad site visitor stats, and Larry coming on here periodically to write how it's just a map of the market.

If this thread is a parade, you're the guy without a vendor permit setting up his lemonade cart hoping for a hot day. grin
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#2042041 - 03/02/13 09:26 PM Re: Estonia L190--looking for reassurance! [Re: turandot]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10523
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Originally Posted By: turandot
Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
Not only can I opine that you made a great selection, but in the upcoming issue of Piano Buyer a new feature wiil reinforce that opinion.

[Consider this my first "upcoming issue" tease!]


The frost is off that pumpkin on the West Coast. I guess spring comes earlier here. It's a little comical what with you forever teasing Larry's thoughts and the '''''R A N K I N G S'''''' as some important development in order to pad site visitor stats, and Larry coming on here periodically to write how it's just a map of the market.

If this thread is a parade, you're the guy without a vendor permit setting up his lemonade cart hoping for a hot day. grin


The rankings aren't "a new feature".
_________________________
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

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#2042055 - 03/02/13 10:22 PM Re: Estonia L190--looking for reassurance! [Re: turandot]
hotcat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 105
Oh wow, I'm really getting a kick out of this thread! For what it's worth I do feel much better and less anxious. To answer your question, turandot, I suppose my nervousness is/was partially caused by the fact that I haven't found anyone around here (St. Louis) who actually owns an Estonia and they don't sell them here.

Also, the action on the Estonia is stiffer than what I'm used to. But I've always had pianos with too-light action and have wanted to make this change for a long time. I play better with a stiffer action but then I get fatigued earlier, so I'll have to adjust.

I played the piano for a total of about 5 hours. And it is just absolutely lovely and makes my heart go pitter-pat. 3hearts

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#2042063 - 03/02/13 10:54 PM Re: Estonia L190--looking for reassurance! [Re: hotcat]
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3485
Loc: US
It might benefit from some regulation if it has not already been done to eliminate any excess friction or other causes of the stiffness you're feeling from it. You don't want unnecessary causes of fatigue.

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#2042118 - 03/03/13 02:12 AM Re: Estonia L190--looking for reassurance! [Re: Mark...]
AJF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/18/06
Posts: 1651
Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: Mark...
Originally Posted By: AJF
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Is reading "The Tribulations of Mark..." a prerequisite for understanding the focus and purpose of this thread?

It is a bit presumptuous to assume that all members are acquainted with your issues.


+1
When it comes to people's personal issues they quite often develop delusions of "grand"eur smile


So AJF, you say you can't go wrong owning an Estonia, how are you basing this opinion? Are you a dealer? Do you own one? Have you owned one? Where does your Estonia expertise come from?



I'm basing my opinion on the fact that Estonias are highly regarded instruments, and the ones ive played, although not my cup 'o tea, have been very fine top notch instruments for the price, and that they come with a 10 year warranty.
In my books these attributes mean that you can't go wrong here. Even if you bought a lemon I can't see how any issues with one of these instruments can't be resolved based on the fact that it has a comprehensive warranty.
This of course is all based on the assumption that the buyer originally liked the instrument that they chose. If they didnt like it, or bought it sight unseen then the problem may not be with the instrument. If you haven't had all of your issues with YOUR instrument resolved then you need to pursue your dealer's attention. If that doesn't work then you need to pursue the company's attention. If that doesn't work then you need to talk to a lawyer. All that said, I cant see how in the end your issues can't find a resolution.


Edited by AJF (03/03/13 02:14 AM)
_________________________

Pianist, Composer
Disclaimer: Shigeru Kawai Artist

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#2042125 - 03/03/13 02:34 AM Re: Estonia L190--looking for reassurance! [Re: hotcat]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
The modern day Estonias have a huge following and fan base among the tiny, unrepresentative sample of North American(s) (dealers) on pianoworld.

Almost everywhere else in both the virtual and real world, not so much.

In fact, puffery and social media promotion on pianoworld probably has a lot to do with the Estonia being exclusively a small, niche US brand that happens to be built in Estonia.

Having said that, rather than return to the echo chamber of the pianoworld piano forum, sometimes you just need to make a choice and enjoy it rather than second guessing yourself and seeking reassurances that may be irrelevant to your personal experience.

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#2042160 - 03/03/13 04:39 AM Re: Estonia L190--looking for reassurance! [Re: theJourney]
Withindale Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 2051
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: theJourney
In fact, puffery and social media promotion on pianoworld probably has a lot to do with the Estonia being exclusively a small, niche US brand that happens to be built in Estonia.

This gives completely the wrong impression. Estonia pianos are a Estonian brand. The factory turned out concert grands in the Soviet era. As is well known, the owner, an Estonian and a concert pianist who trained in the US, has turned the company into a respected European manufacturer of grand pianos.

Originally Posted By: hotcat
I'm just an amateur player, but putting in lots of hours lately. On the Estonia I played some Mendelssohn, Brahms, Chopin, etc. and it was heavenly--like the piano was just made for those kinds of pieces.

The reasons Estonia pianos are as successful as they are in the US are that Americans buy more grand pianos than Europeans and because people like them.

Originally Posted By: hotcat
Well, I went ahead and made a (refundable) deposit on an Estonia L190. I do love it and it will be my first grand piano! But it's so nervewracking to make such a huge purchase. Is there anyone out there, including owners/tuners/technicians who have time to leave a comment or two?

Why shouldn't someone seek reassurance? I recently bought a used piano for peanuts but, after it arrived, I had to reassure myself time and again that I had not made a mistake.
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2042185 - 03/03/13 06:41 AM Re: Estonia L190--looking for reassurance! [Re: Withindale]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: Withindale
Originally Posted By: theJourney
In fact, puffery and social media promotion on pianoworld probably has a lot to do with the Estonia being exclusively a small, niche US brand that happens to be built in Estonia.

This gives completely the wrong impression. Estonia pianos are a Estonian brand. The factory turned out concert grands in the Soviet era. As is well known, the owner, an Estonian and a concert pianist who trained in the US, has turned the company into a respected European manufacturer of grand pianos.

Yes. Estonia pianos are an Estonian brand that turned out pianos in the Soviet era. Remembering (and sometimes still being confronted with) the poor quality of these pianos is one of the main reasons that Estonia is not a successful brand in Europe.

Not having the memory of those poor pianos is one of the main reasons that the "new" Estonias can be successfully promoted here and sold in the US. Close to the entire production of today's Estonia is sold in the United States. That makes them look more like an off-shore US produced brand than a "respected European manufacturer of grand pianos."

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#2042195 - 03/03/13 07:14 AM Re: Estonia L190--looking for reassurance! [Re: AJF]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19582
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: AJF
If you haven't had all of your issues with YOUR instrument resolved then you need to pursue your dealer's attention. If that doesn't work then you need to pursue the company's attention. If that doesn't work then you need to talk to a lawyer. All that said, I can't see how in the end your issues can't find a resolution.
What this comment fails to understand is that all "issues" with pianos aren't clearly covered by a warranty. Warranties cover defects in materials and workmanship. When these are black and white issues like pin block failure, major cosmetic problems, parts breaking, delamination of the case, etc., the need for resolution by the dealer or company will be obvious. Other problems can be more subtle and not so clearly covered under a warranty.

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#2042199 - 03/03/13 07:29 AM Re: Estonia L190--looking for reassurance! [Re: theJourney]
Withindale Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 2051
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: theJourney
Close to the entire production of today's Estonia is sold in the United States. That makes them look more like an off-shore US produced brand than a "respected European manufacturer of grand pianos."

Good points but, if you look behind appearances today, I suspect you will find it's more a question of demand, marketing strategy and resources.
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2042222 - 03/03/13 08:27 AM Re: Estonia L190--looking for reassurance! [Re: hotcat]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: hotcat
I played the piano for a total of about 5 hours. And it is just absolutely lovely and makes my heart go pitter-pat. 3hearts

This, my friends, is the bottom line.

All recommendations, pro and con, should ultimately lead to the satisfaction of the buyer. That is what is most important.

Mission accomplished.

Hotcat, trust your heart and enjoy your piano.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2042234 - 03/03/13 09:01 AM Re: Estonia L190--looking for reassurance! [Re: hotcat]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7265
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: hotcat
To answer your question, turandot, I suppose my nervousness is/was partially caused by the fact that I haven't found anyone around here (St. Louis) who actually owns an Estonia and they don't sell them here.


I can understand that. Estonia isn't the only brand that seems larger than life on PW, but turns out to be almost invisible unless you live in certain pocket markets.

Conversely, based solely on PW chatter, you might think that Yamaha and Steinway are obscure brands that are widely disrespected......until you go shopping and keep bumping into them. grin

Think of yourself as a trend-setter in the St. Louis market.

Congratulations and best of luck in your new partnership.
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#2042240 - 03/03/13 09:32 AM Re: Estonia L190--looking for reassurance! [Re: theJourney]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10523
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Originally Posted By: theJourney
Yes. Estonia pianos are an Estonian brand that turned out pianos in the Soviet era. Remembering (and sometimes still being confronted with) the poor quality of these pianos is one of the main reasons that Estonia is not a successful brand in Europe.


Your position here is incorrect. I have spoken to Indrek on this topic on several occasions, most recently over dinner at NAMM. Estonia has limited production capabilities. For a variety of reasons Indrek doesn't want to significantly expand production. Estonia is able to easily sell the overwhelming majority of its production in the U.S. at reasonable margins.

It is not a major factor in the Europen market because it is not marketed there. Were its production sufficient to satisfy that market I have no doubt it would be a very competitive brand in Europe, as it is here in the U.S.

Also, the reason Estonia is discussed often on Piano World is that it is a very good value when compared to other brands selling in the same price range.

For clarity, I am not, nor have I ever been an Estonia dealer, nor a paid consultant for Estonia.
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My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

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#2042251 - 03/03/13 10:21 AM Re: Estonia L190--looking for reassurance! [Re: turandot]
Rich Galassini Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9350
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Originally Posted By: turandot
I can understand that. Estonia isn't the only brand that seems larger than life on PW, but turns out to be almost invisible unless you live in certain pocket markets.

Conversely, based solely on PW chatter, you might think that Yamaha and Steinway are obscure brands that are widely disrespected......until you go shopping and keep bumping into them. grin


Turandot,

Popularity and availability alone hardly make something a better value, although they often make something a better "perceived value".

For instance, walk down the main street of any small town in the USA and randomly ask people to name a brand of automobile. I think you will hear Chevy, Ford, Honda, etc. - all common choices, but it would be rare to hear McClaren. It is probable that few, if any, of the people questioned could tell you anything about the McClaren. That does not mean that is was not a product that pushed the line in technology in its time.

The marketing line item in the P&L of Ford in the 1970's likely dwarfed the entire revenue of the McClaren company. Does that make a Ford better?

Now switch to a specialty item - performance pianos. Let's walk down that same street and ask those same people to name a piano. We will most likely hear Steinway, Yamaha, or Baldwin alot. We will likely not hear some of the finest brands today that have NOT had big marketing budgets in post WW II USA (including huge artist rosters).

Does that make a Fazioli or a Steingraeber somehow less piano? Just because they are not popular or available in our small town?

The fact is that a huge number of Steinway buyers never even consider another brand. Does that fact alone make it a better piano than an Estonia or a Schimmel?

In the end I think open minded pianists tend to play more brands (just for fun), find talking about boutique brands more interesting, find some of them a joy to play, and sometimes find them to be a wonderful instrument to buy.

My 2 rambling cents,
_________________________
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#2042258 - 03/03/13 10:54 AM Re: Estonia L190--looking for reassurance! [Re: hotcat]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14190
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Being one of the oldest Estonia dealers on the continent I can assure everyone here that the success of Estonia was hard earned.

Opposition to the newcomer was immediate, some using the most grotesque arguments in the hope that this was not just another wonna be.

While I have been accused from early on of "hyping the brand" with others employing similar ungodly methods, the success of this piano was really very simple:

People liked its tone when trying it. Many were even startled. They recognized this was something different from virtually every other instrument out.

When playing the piano first time myself, I immediately recognized that this was not a new "manufactured tone" but something very deep based on something very old.

A unique Baltic culture based on song, choir and choral music.

This, and this alone is the success of the piano.

Those who did not pick up on it could simply walk away, but many didn't.

While in the beginning Estonia was mostly compared to Yamaha and other Japanese pianos, today its owners include many previous shoppers for Steinway,Bechstein, Shigeru, Sauter, even Fazioli.

The time of simply being denoted a "wonna-be" is over.

This of course could never have been occurred because of someone "hyping" the thing up the ranks, slick marketing or whatever.

Not even Steve Cohen, our fine onboard industry consultant, could have accomplished it. wink

"Equal among equal" is about the best I could describe things.

It was earned by nobody else but Estonia itself.

Norbert smile


Edited by Norbert (03/03/13 11:11 AM)
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#2042263 - 03/03/13 11:07 AM Re: Estonia L190--looking for reassurance! [Re: Norbert]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19582
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Norbert
While I have been accused form early on of "hyping the brand"
A completely accurate description of your literally many hundreds and probably thousands of repetitive posts about Estonia. Of course, your personal definition of hyping(i.e. making false claims about a product)has never been the one others have used when they talk about your hyping. This has been explained to you many times by many people but you constantly forget it.


Edited by pianoloverus (03/03/13 11:10 AM)

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#2042274 - 03/03/13 11:18 AM Re: Estonia L190--looking for reassurance! [Re: hotcat]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14190
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
The above post is exactly describing the type hostility against the brand by those directly connected to the industry.

Typically these people appear under a disguise of names never too swift indifying themselves.

They fail to realize that the real "hypers of the industry" include some other brands whose long time efforts would dwarf anything ever being said about this small Baltic maker

Curiously it is this very hostility that has become the norm here. It totally ignores the fact that anybody can ignore anything or simply walk away from any piano option out there.

In real life excellence does have its price, the small guys know this and it's showing wherever they are operating.

Estonia is one of them.

These critics also don't realize that the need for further promotion for Estonia has long seized to be necessary with every single dealer known to me currently scrambling for replacement of existing stock.

In fact one fine U.S. dealer just "stole" a long awaited 190 Hidden beauty from me and I could kill him for that!

Norbert smile


Edited by Norbert (03/03/13 11:29 AM)
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#2042277 - 03/03/13 11:22 AM Re: Estonia L190--looking for reassurance! [Re: Rich Galassini]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7265
Loc: torrance, CA
Rich,

I don't believe that I have written a negative word about Estonia pianos. If I have somehow made a demeaning comment about Estonia pianos, I did not intend to.

My original question was addressed directly to Hotcat. His direct response to me was that part of his hesitation and need for reassurance stemmed from the fact that in his St. Louis market, he could find no retailers who stocked Estonia and no end-users either.

My reply back to him was that Estonia was not the only brand that seemed larger than life on PW, but was not easy to source in most US markets. Hotcat was committing a large amount of money to his piano purchase. It's easy to understand (at least to me) that the conditions in his own market (not that small a market BTW ) would make him stop and think before committing.

Hotcat overcame that hesitation. That's all good with me, and I can understand it too. I've always felt (and sometimes posted) that Estonia pianos have an alluring quality to their tonal response, and that it's harder to sound bad on one than it is to sound good.

If Dr. Laul has found a formula that attracts North American pianists to his brand and identified certain US local markets as his key strategic market, I would say that's his business -- literally.

As I wrote in the quote you excerpted, Estonia is not the only brand to seem larger than life on PW yet somehow nearly invisible in most US markets. There's quite a bit of Sauter chatter on PW, certainly not as much as Estonia, but more than you might expect considering Sauter's current presence in the US market. Yet Sauter is a force in tiny Singapore. If Sauter has identified Singapore as a key market and not worked quite as hard in the US, I would hardly fault the company for that, and certainly never fault the pianos.

So, to repeat, it's all good to me in terms of Hotcat's purchase, and the piano lit ne mentioned seems to me like a nice fit for his new Estonia. I was merely pointing out that appreciative attention paid to certain brands on PW is often disproportionate to their actual market presence here and that unappreciative attention paid to other brands is proportionate to their market dominance.

BTW, I drive a Honda, but I'd rather have a Citroen. It's just so hard to source one.
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