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#2053523 - 03/24/13 02:33 PM How to compare 2nd hand pianos?
Loo-Meng Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/24/13
Posts: 5
Hello,
I am in the market for an acoustic grand in the ballpark of 10K and am seeling advice in 2 areas :
1. How to compare pianos
I have tried dozens of pianos but unable to nuance the differences that matter. I can decide between pianos( of my target price range) in the same location which piano speaks to me in terms of touch and tone but as soon as I move to another shop, I am unable to recall whether I prefer that particular Kawai or that Bechstein I am playing now.
2. whether my technique is the factor limiting my ability to finesse the differences between the entire range of the piano.
I have been playing a digital piano for 15 years and through preference play mostly sweet small pieces like Bach's variations or french suites etc. I am not sure if I am even capable technique wise to "get" the deep base and sustained tones .

Any advice would be appreciates

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#2053525 - 03/24/13 02:38 PM Re: How to compare 2nd hand pianos? [Re: Loo-Meng]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21828
Loc: Oakland
A friend explained this method to me:

Look at 2 pianos at a time. Decide which you prefer. Once you have done that, forget the other one. Then compare the one you preferred with the next piano. Repeat the process until you have found the one that you like the best.

If you are comparing between two stores, find the one that you prefer in each store, and then compare those two pianos.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2053572 - 03/24/13 04:37 PM Re: How to compare 2nd hand pianos? [Re: BDB]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2351
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
BDB,
Your friend gives excellent advice. Are you inclined to post their name to attribute credit where credit is due?
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2053575 - 03/24/13 04:42 PM Re: How to compare 2nd hand pianos? [Re: Loo-Meng]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2351
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Loo-Meng,
The literature you describe makes less use of dynamics and tone color to express the composers intent. The music of that era was less dependent on the instruments character and could be arranged in many ways to communicate the same information.
Do you know a pianist who plays late classical, romantic, and more modern literature? Maybe you could employ them to play the pianos in question while you listen?
Good luck and thanks for playing the piano!
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2053710 - 03/24/13 09:32 PM Re: How to compare 2nd hand pianos? [Re: Loo-Meng]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21828
Loc: Oakland
My friend learned it from another furniture salesperson when he was doing that. (He teaches and makes violins now.) I adapted the process for this topic.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2053714 - 03/24/13 09:46 PM Re: How to compare 2nd hand pianos? [Re: Loo-Meng]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
When you can't compare in the same shop, you might "rate" each element, touch, tone, repitition, etc., in a written form using a 1-10 scale. It is always helpful to use the same music on each piano. Keep notes on "general impressions." Sometimes, making a quick audio recording can be helpful.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2053763 - 03/25/13 01:03 AM Re: How to compare 2nd hand pianos? [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
dsch Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/17/08
Posts: 325
Loc: florida
The literature you describe makes less use of dynamics and tone color to express the composers intent. The music of that era was less dependent on the instruments character and could be arranged in many ways to communicate the same information.

There is always the heavily romanticized Bach-Busoni and Bach-Liszt.

But even with just plain Bach: On a good Steinway B it is orgasmic. On a good K3 it's still Bach but not nearly satisfying, either in hearing or playing.

I am tempted to think that if OP doesn't feel or hear much of a difference (s)he just hasn't encountered the right instrument yet. So my advice is this: go out and see/play a lot more of them before deciding! Don't worry about what people say so much as what your ears and heart are telling you. But do have a tech check it out (if it's used) before you buy it.


Edited by dsch (03/25/13 01:06 AM)

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#2054119 - 03/25/13 04:54 PM Re: How to compare 2nd hand pianos? [Re: Loo-Meng]
Loo-Meng Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/24/13
Posts: 5
Hello ... Thank you for your insight. Will continue to search.
LM

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#2054120 - 03/25/13 04:55 PM Re: How to compare 2nd hand pianos? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Loo-Meng Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/24/13
Posts: 5
MnMarty... Thank you.

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#2054121 - 03/25/13 04:56 PM Re: How to compare 2nd hand pianos? [Re: dsch]
Loo-Meng Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/24/13
Posts: 5
OP thanks you.
LM

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