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#2108388 - 06/26/13 01:07 PM Grand Piano - Steinway vs. Estonia
Koyuki Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/24/13
Posts: 21
Loc: Vancouver
I have an upright piano and wanted to get a grand piano that is at least 5'7".

I really like Steinway, but the price is a problem.

I've heard that Estonia is the same class as Steinway but much better in price.

Anyone know the price range?

What are the similarities and differences between the 2 brand?

Where can I find dealers for Steinway and Estonia?

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#2108411 - 06/26/13 01:47 PM Re: Grand Piano - Steinway vs. Estonia [Re: Koyuki]
Almaviva Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 591
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Heritage Pianos in Surrey (near Vancouver) carries Estonias. Norbert Marten, the owner (or co-owner), is a regular poster here. He also carries used or rebuilt Steinways, so you can play competing Estonia & Steinway models side-by-side.

New Estonias cost quite a bit less than similarly-sized new Steinways, but a lot of people say that the Estonia models are as good as Steinway.

Good luck.


Edited by Almaviva (06/26/13 01:51 PM)

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#2108413 - 06/26/13 01:50 PM Re: Grand Piano - Steinway vs. Estonia [Re: Koyuki]
GGO Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/16/13
Posts: 16
Hi Koyuki:

I have recently auditioned all top tier grand pianos under 6'3", and in fact Steinway and Estonia are my final two shortlisted. (C. Bechstein is nice but price out of range.)

From budget perspective, Estonia is about 1/2 of the price of Steinway, making Estonia extremely competitive.

From sound perspective, both Steinway (New York) and Estonia are among the top pianos. In my opinion, Steinway sounds better, although the difference is not big. However, the difference could also be very small between a silver and gold Olympic medalist. In other words, differences can be small but substantial, and there is no way to quantify such difference to justify the price based on that.

Again my personal experience, the Steinway sounds substantially better than Estonia. Although expensive, Steinway offers 1-year or 2-year interest-free financing plan.

Disclaimer: I am not involved in the piano industry.

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#2108414 - 06/26/13 01:51 PM Re: Grand Piano - Steinway vs. Estonia [Re: Koyuki]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7239
Loc: Rochester MN
Koyuki - Welcome to Piano World!

Norbert's a good guy. If you want an earful, ask about Ritmuller!

Estonia is a very fine piano. It is one of the best bargains among the truly fine instruments.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2108448 - 06/26/13 02:22 PM Re: Grand Piano - Steinway vs. Estonia [Re: Koyuki]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19266
Loc: New York City
Since you indicate price is a problem, you need to compare Steinways and Estonias at whatever price you can afford. I think the largest non concert grand Estonia (at around 7'4") is still less expensive than the smallest Steinway at 5'1".

Many would say that the Steinway S has some tonal problems in the bass inherent in pianos that size, so unless, despite the higher cost and tonal weakness in the bass the Steinway sound is still more appealing overall to you, I would choose the Estonia. Almost any piano purchase under 100K involves some compromise, and only you can decide whether a shorter Steinway is preferable to a much bigger Estonia.

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#2108473 - 06/26/13 02:58 PM Re: Grand Piano - Steinway vs. Estonia [Re: pianoloverus]
Koyuki Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/24/13
Posts: 21
Loc: Vancouver
I went to Tom Lee, and my ideal Steinway would be the Model A (6'2") or the B (6'11"). But the B is a little too big... they do have a financing program, but I have to pay 70% first, the remaining 30% gets split into 12 monthly installments. The price they quoted for the Model A is $74,000 CAD (tax included).

I would love to try the Estonia. Do they only have 4 models?
I guess the one that matches Steinway Model A would be the Parlour Grand 190?




Edited by Koyuki (06/26/13 03:04 PM)

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#2108498 - 06/26/13 03:38 PM Re: Grand Piano - Steinway vs. Estonia [Re: Koyuki]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7239
Loc: Rochester MN
Koyuki,

For questions about the pianos from all manufactures, may I suggest that you check out the "A&D Piano Buyer" by Larry fine. The online edition is free of charge and is available at:

www.pianobuyer.com

It will answer all of your questions including relative pricing. The prices in Canada may differ slightly from those listed for the US market.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2108624 - 06/26/13 06:44 PM Re: Grand Piano - Steinway vs. Estonia [Re: Koyuki]
PianoWorksATL Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2700
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Originally Posted By: Koyuki
I would love to try the Estonia. Do they only have 4 models?
I guess the one that matches Steinway Model A would be the Parlour Grand 190?
They have 5 models, though the 2 newest models (L210 & L225) are quite rare.

For Estonia, like many makers, the model refers to the length in cm. So, a model A-188 is close to model L190 and model B-211 is close to L210.

I think you will have fun comparing these two fine makes.
_________________________
Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Weber & Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
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www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta

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#2108645 - 06/26/13 07:24 PM Re: Grand Piano - Steinway vs. Estonia [Re: Koyuki]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4414
Loc: San Jose, CA
What could it hurt to give the Shigeru Kawai a try (if you haven't already considered it). "The poor man's Steinway," some call it. It's just something they say--- I don't think any actually poor people buy them. Then there are the two Charles Walter grands, which are fine instruments and are certainly worth the effort it might take to find them, and compare.

Your mind will be more at ease with your final decision, if you get out and try a wider range of instruments.
_________________________
Clef


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#2108658 - 06/26/13 07:42 PM Re: Grand Piano - Steinway vs. Estonia [Re: Koyuki]
jdw Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 957
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
If introducing other competitors, you might consider Petrof. I don't think they're quite as trendy these days as Estonia, but worth comparing.
_________________________
1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Grieg, Papillon
Mozart, K 330
Brahms, Op. 118 no. 2

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#2108662 - 06/26/13 07:45 PM Re: Grand Piano - Steinway vs. Estonia [Re: jdw]
Koyuki Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/24/13
Posts: 21
Loc: Vancouver
Originally Posted By: jdw
If introducing other competitors, you might consider Petrof. I don't think they're quite as trendy these days as Estonia, but worth comparing.


Actually the lady at Tom Lee told me that Petrof has been bought by some other company, from now on, they will be Made in China. They stopped carrying the brand.

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#2108672 - 06/26/13 07:56 PM Re: Grand Piano - Steinway vs. Estonia [Re: Koyuki]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14136
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Tom Lee owned "Euro Music" in Totonto for many years was known to be the Canadian importer of Petrof but appears having recently opted to go with German Schimmel instead.

Apparently this was a simple business decision based on greatly increased pricing for Petrof products.

Petrof continues to operate out of their Czech factory but due to greatly diminished market for their products has expanded major into furniture making.

Sorry, article in German

http://www.shortnews.de/id/754514/tschec...auch-moebel-her

Norbert


Edited by Norbert (06/27/13 03:14 AM)
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#2108676 - 06/26/13 07:59 PM Re: Grand Piano - Steinway vs. Estonia [Re: Koyuki]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7239
Loc: Rochester MN
The lady at the store seems to have some secret information about Petrof that no one else knows. Petrof is a good piano.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2108679 - 06/26/13 08:02 PM Re: Grand Piano - Steinway vs. Estonia [Re: Koyuki]
Dave B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1945
Loc: Philadelphia area
I service a few Estonia's. All I can say is there hasn't been any service problems and the owners love them.

Another brand you might enjoy is Schimmel.

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#2108746 - 06/26/13 09:42 PM Re: Grand Piano - Steinway vs. Estonia [Re: Koyuki]
hotcat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 104
Hi Koyuki--
For what it's worth, I recently purchased an Estonia L190 and I'm very pleased with it. I was glad I saved the money over purchasing a Steinway, and I'm usually one who prefers to have the "best." I haven't been pining away for a Steinway, in other words, so that says something. I have been playing for hours each day and I never get tired of it. It is really true that new pianos change their sound as they settle in. It has continued to improve, or maybe I'm just getting better at playing it, but it really has a gorgeous tone. I play mostly classical so it suits my repertoire very well. Here is a video you might find interesting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OZ9oo2AOPs

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#2108837 - 06/27/13 01:33 AM Re: Grand Piano - Steinway vs. Estonia [Re: Koyuki]
ando Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3546
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Koyuki
Originally Posted By: jdw
If introducing other competitors, you might consider Petrof. I don't think they're quite as trendy these days as Estonia, but worth comparing.


Actually the lady at Tom Lee told me that Petrof has been bought by some other company, from now on, they will be Made in China. They stopped carrying the brand.


Don't believe everything you hear - especially from salespeople!

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#2108942 - 06/27/13 07:55 AM Re: Grand Piano - Steinway vs. Estonia [Re: ando]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1742
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: Koyuki
Originally Posted By: jdw
If introducing other competitors, you might consider Petrof. I don't think they're quite as trendy these days as Estonia, but worth comparing.


Actually the lady at Tom Lee told me that Petrof has been bought by some other company, from now on, they will be Made in China. They stopped carrying the brand.


Don't believe everything you hear - especially from salespeople!


Mr. Dooley said, "Trust everyone, but cut the cards."
_________________________


"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

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#2109106 - 06/27/13 02:03 PM Re: Grand Piano - Steinway vs. Estonia [Re: Koyuki]
GGO Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/16/13
Posts: 16
Originally Posted By: Koyuki
I went to Tom Lee, and my ideal Steinway would be the Model A (6'2") or the B (6'11"). But the B is a little too big... they do have a financing program, but I have to pay 70% first, the remaining 30% gets split into 12 monthly installments. The price they quoted for the Model A is $74,000 CAD (tax included).

I would love to try the Estonia. Do they only have 4 models?
I guess the one that matches Steinway Model A would be the Parlour Grand 190?

With $74k CAD tax-included, what's the paint?

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#2109113 - 06/27/13 02:28 PM Re: Grand Piano - Steinway vs. Estonia [Re: Koyuki]
williambonard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/22/11
Posts: 110
Loc: Essex, UK
If you're already able to be looking at buying a Steinway then I highly recommend you look at Steingraeber & Söhne. Totally hand-built in Beyreuth in Germany, the tone is to die for and they play so nicely. From a price point I know they are cheaper than Steinways however I'm not sure if they're cheaper or more expensive than Estonia.

Steingraeber produce a model B-192 which is similar in size to the Estonia L190 and Steinway Model A.

They honestly are such beautiful instruments. The first time I played a Steingraeber I fell in love with it.

All the best,

William
_________________________
Kawai K-15 E upright piano
Yamaha Clavinova CVP-208 digital piano
Aspiring concert pianist

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#2109120 - 06/27/13 02:43 PM Re: Grand Piano - Steinway vs. Estonia [Re: williambonard]
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2296
Loc: SoCal
Originally Posted By: williambonard
From a price point I know they are cheaper than Steinways however I'm not sure if they're cheaper or more expensive than Estonia.


According to Piano Buyer, the B-192 is $117,000. The Steinway Model A is $79,000 and the Estonia L190 is $44,000.


Edited by Plowboy (06/27/13 02:45 PM)
_________________________
Gary

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#2109122 - 06/27/13 02:46 PM Re: Grand Piano - Steinway vs. Estonia [Re: Koyuki]
williambonard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/22/11
Posts: 110
Loc: Essex, UK
Oh, my apologies! Here in the UK, I think I can get a Steingraeber cheaper than a Steinway. However, I'm not sure about Estonia! They're extremely scarce here as we have no main dealer/distributor. Which is a shame because they seem like beautiful pianos.
_________________________
Kawai K-15 E upright piano
Yamaha Clavinova CVP-208 digital piano
Aspiring concert pianist

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#2109132 - 06/27/13 02:53 PM Re: Grand Piano - Steinway vs. Estonia [Re: Koyuki]
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2296
Loc: SoCal
No apology needed! The Piano Buyer is USA specific I believe. It seems like prices are higher in Canada and Australia, especially for Yamaha and Kawai. Sounds like each country is different.
_________________________
Gary

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#2109134 - 06/27/13 02:54 PM Re: Grand Piano - Steinway vs. Estonia [Re: Plowboy]
GGO Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/16/13
Posts: 16
Originally Posted By: Plowboy
No apology needed! The Piano Buyer is USA specific I believe. It seems like prices are higher in Canada and Australia, especially for Yamaha and Kawai. Sounds like each country is different.

I think William is referring to Steinway Hamburg not NY?

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#2109137 - 06/27/13 03:02 PM Re: Grand Piano - Steinway vs. Estonia [Re: Koyuki]
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4373
Loc: Jersey Shore
You should be able to get the Estonia L190 in low to mid 30's.

or a used one in the mid 20's... smile

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#2109155 - 06/27/13 03:57 PM Re: Grand Piano - Steinway vs. Estonia [Re: Koyuki]
williambonard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/22/11
Posts: 110
Loc: Essex, UK
Yes, indeed. I am referring to the Hamburg Steinways! Not the New York ones. The New York models are almost unheard of here in England - they're never seen. I don't know if the Hamburg models (when converted to USD) are more/less expensive than the NY ones?
_________________________
Kawai K-15 E upright piano
Yamaha Clavinova CVP-208 digital piano
Aspiring concert pianist

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#2109182 - 06/27/13 04:49 PM Re: Grand Piano - Steinway vs. Estonia [Re: Koyuki]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7239
Loc: Rochester MN
However, Koyuki is in Vancouver, BC, Canada. That's Astoria's territory.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2109629 - 06/28/13 12:09 PM Re: Grand Piano - Steinway vs. Estonia [Re: hotcat]
Koyuki Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/24/13
Posts: 21
Loc: Vancouver
Originally Posted By: hotcat
Hi Koyuki--
For what it's worth, I recently purchased an Estonia L190 and I'm very pleased with it. I was glad I saved the money over purchasing a Steinway, and I'm usually one who prefers to have the "best." I haven't been pining away for a Steinway, in other words, so that says something. I have been playing for hours each day and I never get tired of it. It is really true that new pianos change their sound as they settle in. It has continued to improve, or maybe I'm just getting better at playing it, but it really has a gorgeous tone. I play mostly classical so it suits my repertoire very well. Here is a video you might find interesting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OZ9oo2AOPs


My purpose of the grand piano is similar to yours. I play mostly classical music, I use it to prepare for exams and competitions. I've heard that the piano tuner can tune it in a way so it sounds like you are playing in a concert hall? or the sound can be darker (more suitable for chamber music)? Do you think the Estonia is better or similar to the Steinway? like in what ways?

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#2109630 - 06/28/13 12:10 PM Re: Grand Piano - Steinway vs. Estonia [Re: GGO]
Koyuki Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/24/13
Posts: 21
Loc: Vancouver
Originally Posted By: GGO
With $74k CAD tax-included, what's the paint?


black, matte, so it's not glossy


Edited by Koyuki (06/28/13 12:10 PM)

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#2109763 - 06/28/13 04:02 PM Re: Grand Piano - Steinway vs. Estonia [Re: Koyuki]
terminaldegree Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 2658
Loc: western Wisconsin
Originally Posted By: Koyuki

My purpose of the grand piano is similar to yours. I play mostly classical music, I use it to prepare for exams and competitions. I've heard that the piano tuner can tune it in a way so it sounds like you are playing in a concert hall? or the sound can be darker (more suitable for chamber music)? Do you think the Estonia is better or similar to the Steinway? like in what ways?


Although tuning can change one's perception of tone to some extent, there's no tuning that will make your piano sound like it's "in a concert hall", no.

If you want a darker sound, you want to find an instrument that is inherently this way from the start and hire a technician who is skilled at voicing make adjustments as needed. There are other attributes besides "dark" that can work well for chamber music, btw. "Clear" or "pure", but not overpowering works well too- I opted for a Bosendorfer Imperial over a NY "D" in a recent concert for that reason.
_________________________
Pianist, teacher, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Casio px-200, Bechstein A190 #192939 @ home
Steinway A #585209, B #416809 @ work
Schimmel 130T #339100, on loan

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#2109793 - 06/28/13 04:42 PM Re: Grand Piano - Steinway vs. Estonia [Re: Koyuki]
hotcat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 104
Originally Posted By: Koyuki
Do you think the Estonia is better or similar to the Steinway? like in what ways?


I'm not qualified to say; I've tried quite a few Steinways over the years but only two Estonias. I loved both Estonias in terms of both touch and tone. The Steinways have been all over the map. I think an Estonia has a sweeter, more singing tone, perhaps. As for the ability to produce an "angry" tone or percussive sound, maybe the Steinway has an advantage there.

Maybe someone else can chime in here; I've often wondered how to characterize the difference between how pianos sound. Does the Estonia have a classic "European" sound or is it somewhere between European and "American" as I've read somewhere? What is the best way to describe the tone of a piano? One thing is certain: an Estonia does indeed sound different than a Steinway. But HOW?

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