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#2081989 - 05/13/13 04:28 PM My Grand Search
Juli_et Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 11/27/09
Posts: 43
Loc: On, Canada
Hi everyone,

I'm just starting looking for a grand piano and I thought I would start my own piano search thread. I expect it to a journey for several months. At this point I don't really have questions so I'm just going to relate which piano I tried and comments on them. Please feel free to comments.

Background:
I studied piano in college but when I went to university (studying something other than music), all I had to practice was a 125 year old Dominion upright. Then I didn't have money or life got in the way so after not playing much for 13 years I decided to buy a piano. So a little over a year ago, I bought a brand new Yamaha upright.
I always thought the root cause of not practicing was that I was too frustrated with my old 125 years old Dominion but it had been so long since I had practiced seriously that I was in a vicious circle. I always thought the piano I would buy would be a grand and the last piano I ever buy. Because I wasn't practicing, I couldn't justify for myself the cost of the grand I wanted. So my husband convinced me that I just needed to get out of this vicious circle and not think about it as the last piano I ever buy. At the time, a good reliable upright seemed perfect in the sense that if I don't use it that much, I would enjoy it much better than the old one, and it would not take the space a grand required so I could fit it in anywhere I move in the future. But now I find myself practicing everyday and having long term plans so I want a grand. The good news is I feel my Yamaha upright serves me well enough that I don't have to rush to buy one so I can take my time.

What I think I'm looking for:
Could be Japan, USA or Europe made
At least 6 feet long
Brand new

What I've tried so far:
1986 Steinway L: it was lovely, it was at the close by dealer but it is now sold. It had a mellow sound that I liked better than the new ones.
Yamaha C2X: I liked the mellow sound of the CX series, it had a sharp attack which I don't know yet if I like it or not, the action responded really good, I would like to try the C3X and/or C5X and/or C6X
Yamaha C6: like most Yamaha piano, I liked it, nothing bothers me but I don't fall in love with them, it was bright

I went to another place selling Bechstein and Schimmel but it is not listed on the Bechstein website as an authorized dealer. Those are the 3 pianos they had from Bechstein and Schimmel were Bechstein A-175, Bechstein A-208 and Schimmel C182. I don't think any of them were at their full potential. I don;t have a lot of experience trying pianos but it felt like the action wasn't right. When I played soft on the A-208 and the C182, the hammer was like bouncing back almost hitting the string a second time. The A-175 was the best one with a mellow sound a little small to my taste, the bass wasn't deep enough.

Future plans:
Kawai dealer close by
A trip (or several, I'm only about 4 hours away) to Toronto for more choices.

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#2082051 - 05/13/13 06:59 PM Re: My Grand Search [Re: Juli_et]
musicpassion Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 1323
Loc: California, USA
Looking forward to following your piano search as it unfolds.

RE the action problem you are describing: yes, the piano needs adjustment. Probably the action has not been regulated well. I also encountered very poor prep work on Bechsteins when I was shopping.
_________________________
Pianist and Piano Teacher

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#2082153 - 05/13/13 10:33 PM Re: My Grand Search [Re: Juli_et]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17876
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Hi Juli et, it sounds like you are in a good position for grand shopping: You've got a nice upright that will serve you for the time being, so you can take your time and not be rushed into a hasty decision.

If you don't mind sharing, do you have an approximate budget range you're working with? That might help us narrow down suggestions.

My main advice (as always) is to create a piano shopping template where you record information about each piano you try that you think might be a contender, e.g., dealer name, piano model & size, finish, asking price, your impressions of the action and tone of the piano, etc. etc. If you conduct a careful and thorough search, you will find that all the different pianos will start running together in your mind. Good notes will help a lot. Make sure to record the serial numbers of each of the contenders.

Good luck, and keep us posted. smile
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#2082360 - 05/14/13 10:23 AM Re: My Grand Search [Re: Monica K.]
Juli_et Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 11/27/09
Posts: 43
Loc: On, Canada
Originally Posted By: musicpassion
RE the action problem you are describing: yes, the piano needs adjustment. Probably the action has not been regulated well. I also encountered very poor prep work on Bechsteins when I was shopping.
I told the woman it needed work but she only thought it needed tuning.
I think there is an authorized Bechstein dealer in Toronto so maybe when I go there they'll have better prep.

Originally Posted By: Monica K.
Hi Juli et, it sounds like you are in a good position for grand shopping: You've got a nice upright that will serve you for the time being, so you can take your time and not be rushed into a hasty decision.
Yes smile I don't want to rush my decision.

Originally Posted By: Monica K.
If you don't mind sharing, do you have an approximate budget range you're working with? That might help us narrow down suggestions.
Pianos are so expensive that my budget has been evolving with time....what I can afford is probably higher than what I'm mentally willing to pay...people think I'm cheap but I prefer seeing it as carefully choosing to pay for what is really important for me and my own happiness.
So anyway, right now I'm comfortable with 40k-50k and that going as high as 70k-80k would be reasonable based on my age and counting all the years I'll be enjoying it.

Originally Posted By: Monica K.
My main advice (as always) is to create a piano shopping template where you record information about each piano you try that you think might be a contender, e.g., dealer name, piano model & size, finish, asking price, your impressions of the action and tone of the piano, etc. etc. If you conduct a careful and thorough search, you will find that all the different pianos will start running together in your mind. Good notes will help a lot. Make sure to record the serial numbers of each of the contenders.
I've taking some notes but it's been mostly informal. I think I'll follow your advice and create a template so I won't forget things to note. Thanks!

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#2082365 - 05/14/13 10:43 AM Re: My Grand Search [Re: Juli_et]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: Juli_et
Originally Posted By: musicpassion
RE the action problem you are describing: yes, the piano needs adjustment. Probably the action has not been regulated well. I also encountered very poor prep work on Bechsteins when I was shopping.
I told the woman it needed work but she only thought it needed tuning.
I think there is an authorized Bechstein dealer in Toronto so maybe when I go there they'll have better prep.

Originally Posted By: Monica K.
Hi Juli et, it sounds like you are in a good position for grand shopping: You've got a nice upright that will serve you for the time being, so you can take your time and not be rushed into a hasty decision.
Yes smile I don't want to rush my decision.

Originally Posted By: Monica K.
If you don't mind sharing, do you have an approximate budget range you're working with? That might help us narrow down suggestions.
Pianos are so expensive that my budget has been evolving with time....what I can afford is probably higher than what I'm mentally willing to pay...people think I'm cheap but I prefer seeing it as carefully choosing to pay for what is really important for me and my own happiness.
So anyway, right now I'm comfortable with 40k-50k and that going as high as 70k-80k would be reasonable based on my age and counting all the years I'll be enjoying it.

Originally Posted By: Monica K.
My main advice (as always) is to create a piano shopping template where you record information about each piano you try that you think might be a contender, e.g., dealer name, piano model & size, finish, asking price, your impressions of the action and tone of the piano, etc. etc. If you conduct a careful and thorough search, you will find that all the different pianos will start running together in your mind. Good notes will help a lot. Make sure to record the serial numbers of each of the contenders.
I've taking some notes but it's been mostly informal. I think I'll follow your advice and create a template so I won't forget things to note. Thanks!

You're in Steinway B, M&H BB, CC territory, and a number of the fabulous European brands as well. Lucky you. In that case, take a long time and choose carefully.

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#2082397 - 05/14/13 11:25 AM Re: My Grand Search [Re: Juli_et]
Carbonblob Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/13
Posts: 413
Loc: Los Angeles, Ca.
Hi Juli et,

when I read the original post, I was going to offer advice I received from this group. That being, if you're looking at the Yamahas in that range, try the Kawai RX series. I had a Yamaha as well but went with the Kawai RX in the end. However, after you posted your budget, you could be looking at the Shigeru Kawais and wow, those are really special in my book. I was fortunate enough to play an SK7 a few weeks back, what an instrument.

I also agree with making a shopping template. After a while, notes DID run together and didn't make much sense. I needed a precise log and that was a big help. Keep us posted, you'll have a great time searching out your piano. That was part of the fun for me, at least. Happy hunting......blob
_________________________
KAWAI RX-3 BLAK
YAMAHA GRANTOUCH GT1

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#2082410 - 05/14/13 11:45 AM Re: My Grand Search [Re: Juli_et]
Almaviva Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 840
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Juliet,

You're right, you will find a wide variety of piano dealers in the Toronto area. Be sure to visit Remenyi House of Music in Toronto. The Remenyis sell premium piano lines like Bechstein, Bluthner, and August Forster, with Fazioli soon to arrive. They also sell more modestly priced piano lines like W. Hoffmann, Irmler and Pearl River. The Remenyi family and the other staff are very friendly and helpful. You can spend a very pleasant morning or afternoon in their showroom auditioning pianos, and possibly find the instrument that is right for you.

Good luck.

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#2082414 - 05/14/13 11:50 AM Re: My Grand Search [Re: Juli_et]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
As well, check out Ontario Pianos in Mississauga and Merriam in Vaughn and Oakville.

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#2082433 - 05/14/13 12:25 PM Re: My Grand Search [Re: Juli_et]
Ataru074 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 535
Loc: Houston, TX
Originally Posted By: Juli_et

Pianos are so expensive that my budget has been evolving with time....what I can afford is probably higher than what I'm mentally willing to pay...people think I'm cheap but I prefer seeing it as carefully choosing to pay for what is really important for me and my own happiness.
So anyway, right now I'm comfortable with 40k-50k and that going as high as 70k-80k would be reasonable based on my age and counting all the years I'll be enjoying it.

As have been said... you are in a golden budget for a piano.
Take your time and try as many as you can. Personally I'd look at steingraber, bosendorfer and so on... you can get a tier one.. do it.
_________________________
working on:
Beethoven: Op 35
Bach: French Suite G major, English Suite G minor.
Clementi: Gradus ad Parnassum

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#2082447 - 05/14/13 01:14 PM Re: My Grand Search [Re: Mwm]
Almaviva Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 840
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Might as well throw in Robert Lowrey Piano Experts in Toronto for good measure!

LOL. Remenyi is the only Toronto dealer that I have dealt with personally, so that was why I singled them out.

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