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#2146112 - 09/08/13 01:07 AM If the piano sounds good, you needn't question why. Correct?
jc201306 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/21/13
Posts: 42
"If the piano sounds good to you, you needn't question why — just buy the piano and enjoy it!" Yes, this is almost a direct quote of Larry Fine. And yes, comments similar to this one are repeated on this forum and piano showrooms every single day. It is very much politically correct.

But, is it CORRECT?

If indeed it is, then:

There is no point discussing anything technical. Are the dense and stiff wood rims better than the soft wood ones? Are the wet-sand-casting plates better than the V-Pro ones? Are the wood actions better than the composite ones? Are the solid spruce soundboards better than the laminated ones? Why bother? As long as it sounds good to you, you should not care even if the sound board is made of cardboard, right? grin

Furthermore, there is no point arguing the sound quality either. There is no better or worse sound. Never mind the questions around American sound vs. European sound vs. Asian sound. "Steinway sound", if there is such thing, is no better than the sound of any other piano. The sound quality is almost like the colors. "Steinway sound" is green, a color with certain frequency which is surely no better than any other colors within the visible light spectrum. In fact, it is tragic if you prefer the "Steinway sound", because you are in love with one very expensive green color. Even the sound out of harmony is not worse, because you may like it. It sounds good to you, therefore you should enjoy it (and save yourself the tuning cost), right? grin

Your thoughts are welcome. help

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#2146119 - 09/08/13 01:30 AM Re: If the piano sounds good, you needn't question why. Correct? [Re: jc201306]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
I suppose yes. However, wear and tear is not something so easy to tell when a piano is new. I think this is why reputation is still an important buying criteria when there are so many unknowns.



Edited by 4evrBeginR (09/09/13 08:49 PM)
Edit Reason: Editorial withdrawn
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Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

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#2146128 - 09/08/13 02:04 AM Re: If the piano sounds good, you needn't question why. Correct? [Re: jc201306]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: jc201306
In fact, it is tragic if you prefer the "Steinway sound", because you are in love with one very expensive green color.


My mother always said there is nothing wrong with expensive tastes, just you have to work hard to afford them. smile Unfortunately, I did not grow up working hard enough to afford a Steinway or many expensive things, so I had to learn to like another shade of green.
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Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

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#2146158 - 09/08/13 03:25 AM Re: If the piano sounds good, you needn't question why. Correct? [Re: jc201306]
maurus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 788
A good piano should last longer than a lifetime. Draw your own conclusions. (And from this point of view, how cheap is a 'cheap' piano in the long run?)

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#2146258 - 09/08/13 10:47 AM Re: If the piano sounds good, you needn't question why. Correct? [Re: jc201306]
Furtwangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 1523
Loc: Danville, California
Yeah, here is one of those Chinese pianos that fall apart.

But wait....

Feurich 218

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#2146331 - 09/08/13 01:03 PM Re: If the piano sounds good, you needn't question why. Correct? [Re: jc201306]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3498
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Something that baffles me is Paul Barton's piano on Youtube. It's a small upright but somehow has the presence of a grand piano on his videos. I have a much larger Yamaha U3 which should be superior to what he is playing, but it's not even close to the clarity, power and intuneness of his piano. I almost wonder if he's using a silent piano with a digital sound module it sounds so good, but I have no evidence to support this at all. Obviously he's a superb player, but what the heck's going on with this little upright?

Have a listen:


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#2146346 - 09/08/13 01:22 PM Re: If the piano sounds good, you needn't question why. Correct? [Re: ando]
BDB Offline
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Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21250
Loc: Oakland
Originally Posted By: ando
Something that baffles me is Paul Barton's piano on Youtube. It's a small upright but somehow has the presence of a grand piano on his videos. I have a much larger Yamaha U3 which should be superior to what he is playing, but it's not even close to the clarity, power and intuneness of his piano. I almost wonder if he's using a silent piano with a digital sound module it sounds so good, but I have no evidence to support this at all. Obviously he's a superb player, but what the heck's going on with this little upright?


It is a decent upright, tuned well and voiced moderately well. I would spend more time voicing the bass, but it sounds like the bass [of] a small piano and always will.


Edited by BDB (09/08/13 03:02 PM)
Edit Reason: added a word
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#2146350 - 09/08/13 01:28 PM Re: If the piano sounds good, you needn't question why. Correct? [Re: BDB]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3498
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: BDB
Originally Posted By: ando
Something that baffles me is Paul Barton's piano on Youtube. It's a small upright but somehow has the presence of a grand piano on his videos. I have a much larger Yamaha U3 which should be superior to what he is playing, but it's not even close to the clarity, power and intuneness of his piano. I almost wonder if he's using a silent piano with a digital sound module it sounds so good, but I have no evidence to support this at all. Obviously he's a superb player, but what the heck's going on with this little upright?


It is a decent upright, tuned well and voiced moderately well. I would spend more time voicing the bass, but it sounds like the bass a small piano and always will.


Ah BDB, my ever present nemesis and naysayer... I never even mentioned the bass, I'm talking about the whole sound of the piano. The music school where I work has these same pianos (tiny boxy things) and even right after a service, they don't sound nearly as good as Paul's. Yeah, I know, you aren't impressed. Let's see what others think though.

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#2146357 - 09/08/13 01:33 PM Re: If the piano sounds good, you needn't question why. Correct? [Re: jc201306]
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3443
Loc: US
No, I don't think it's enough for a piano to sound good on the day of purchase. With enough lipstick, many pianos can be made to sound good for a day or two. Whether that will be stable over time is another matter entirely. Change is inevitable in all pianos but underlying build integrity is important here. There is no substitute for getting information and trying to determine what your priorities are, your goals (short and long-term) and what is available within your resources.


Edited by sophial (09/08/13 01:49 PM)

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#2146393 - 09/08/13 02:28 PM Re: If the piano sounds good, you needn't question why. Correct? [Re: ando]
fcar Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 48
Loc: GA, USA
Have to agree with you after listening to 2 other videos by Barton.

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#2146467 - 09/08/13 04:31 PM Re: If the piano sounds good, you needn't question why. Correct? [Re: ando]
jc201306 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/21/13
Posts: 42
Originally Posted By: ando
Something that baffles me is Paul Barton's piano on Youtube. It's a small upright but somehow has the presence of a grand piano on his videos. I have a much larger Yamaha U3 which should be superior to what he is playing, but it's not even close to the clarity, power and intuneness of his piano. I almost wonder if he's using a silent piano with a digital sound module it sounds so good, but I have no evidence to support this at all. Obviously he's a superb player, but what the heck's going on with this little upright?


You are probably right. It is the way he records his play. Take a look at the video I attached. Listen to his voice when he talks. It is obvious that the room is acoustically terrible and you can hear ambient noises and echos. Then go to 1:55 and listen to the sound of piano when he recorded directly in the room with the beeps. And finally continue and listen to him playing the same sections again. This time the sound is much fuller and clearer, and with no ambient noise or echo what so ever. Clearly the recording here is done either in a different location or with DP module.

BTW, I am not that impressed with the sound of his piano. In fact it sounds very "electrical" as if the sound is from a keyboard rather than an acoustic piano. But that might be due to his recording method.



Edited by jc201306 (09/08/13 04:37 PM)

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#2146511 - 09/08/13 05:22 PM Re: If the piano sounds good, you needn't question why. Correct? [Re: jc201306]
pianoloverus Online   content
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"If the piano sounds good"....relative to what? If the buyer has tried a reasonable number of pianos within his budget and has a reasonable amount of musical experience then what sounds "good" to him probably makes sense.

If the buyer is only comparing the sound of a possible purchase to their 50 year old inexpensive upright, has only tried two piano in their piano search, or has little musical experience they may not be in a position to make the best possible judgement of how to best use the funds they have available.

If the buyer doesn't fall into one of the categories in the second paragraph then their own evaluation should at least reasonable and perhaps even perfect for them.

I do think the technical details of why a piano sounds a certain way are not nearly as important as the judgement of the purchaser. I'd guess there are many excellent professionals who are relatively unfamiliar with the technical aspects of pianos but who have very good judgement about which pianos sound very good and can hear small differences in piano tone. OTOH it never hurts to hire a great tech to help you evaluate pianos, even new ones.

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#2146621 - 09/08/13 09:00 PM Re: If the piano sounds good, you needn't question why. Correct? [Re: jc201306]
Jeff Clef Offline
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Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4414
Loc: San Jose, CA
"...It is obvious that the room is acoustically terrible and you can hear ambient noises and echos. Then go to 1:55 and listen to the sound of piano when he recorded directly in the room with the beeps. And finally continue and listen to him playing the same sections again. This time the sound is much fuller and clearer, and with no ambient noise or echo what so ever. Clearly the recording here is done either in a different location or with DP module..."

If an acoustic piano is close-miked, with the mikes damped down to reject ambient noises and avoid clipping, the effects of an acoustically-poor room can be greatly minimized. Basically, the piano is so loud at the location of the mikes that they hear very little else. This intimate and intense sound suits some people and certain situations; not all.

I don't see any mikes or recording gear in the photos of this player's 'studio,' so maybe it was recorded elsewhere or on a DP. Or, just possibly, with a contact or bar mike inside the case.

Maybe the performer is making a virtue of necessity.
_________________________
Clef


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#2147018 - 09/09/13 03:17 PM Re: If the piano sounds good, you needn't question why. Correct? [Re: Jeff Clef]
Derek Hartwell Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/03/09
Posts: 219
Loc: United Kingdom
Why all the speculation about how the small piano was made to sound and how the recording was done?! Don't any of you know Paul Barton well enough to ask him direct?
I couldn't ask him. I don't know him and in fact, until now, I've never heard of him. He's a good player, though. smile

rk
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Music Teacher (Piano/Theory/Musicianship)

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#2147080 - 09/09/13 04:50 PM Re: If the piano sounds good, you needn't question why. Correct? [Re: jc201306]
peekay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/13
Posts: 184
I don't know him, but I'll ask him the question on his YouTube & Facebook...

Edit: message sent; hope he replies.
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#2147086 - 09/09/13 04:58 PM Re: If the piano sounds good, you needn't question why. Correct? [Re: jc201306]
Steve Cohen Online   content
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10446
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Even if a piano sounds good and plays well, a question remains.

Will it continue to perform well?

This is determined by the quality of construction and ongoing care.
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Since 1937.

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

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#2147106 - 09/09/13 05:36 PM Re: If the piano sounds good, you needn't question why. Correct? [Re: jc201306]
patH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/13
Posts: 547
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: jc201306
"If the piano sounds good to you, you needn't question why — just buy the piano and enjoy it!" Yes, this is almost a direct quote of Larry Fine. And yes, comments similar to this one are repeated on this forum and piano showrooms every single day. It is very much politically correct.

But, is it CORRECT?

My opinion: No, it is not correct.

Here's why.
- The sound of a piano is only one factor. Others are: How is the action? Is it too light for you? Too hard? Too imprecise? How do the key tops feel?
- The quality determines how well a piano will hold up. A new and freshly prepped piano will always sound and feel at its best. But if after a few weeks, the action becomes mushy and the sound out-of-tune faster than you can say: "Peter plays the piano perfectly with plenty of pedal", then you have bought a lemon.
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#2147113 - 09/09/13 05:43 PM Re: If the piano sounds good, you needn't question why. Correct? [Re: jc201306]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7215
Loc: Rochester MN
All of this is overthinking/overanalyzing a very simple statement.

The converse is: If the piano sounds bad to you, you needn't question why — just try another piano.
_________________________
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It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2147127 - 09/09/13 06:25 PM Re: If the piano sounds good, you needn't question why. Correct? [Re: jc201306]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19219
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: jc201306
"If the piano sounds good to you, you needn't question why — just buy the piano and enjoy it!" Yes, this is almost a direct quote of Larry Fine.
I doubt Fine wrote this single sentence without some other related statements before or after it. By quoting just one line much of the meaning of that line can be lost.

For example, before the sentence you quoted maybe there was a discussion of some of the minor technical aspects(wide tail, super thick rims, handmade, etc.)that salesmen often use to sell a piano or recommend one piano over another.

Edit: Having just checked the latest PB my suspicions were correct. Even the single sentence quoted above is misquoted having left out Fine's recommendation to judge how the piano feels and looks in addition to how it sounds. There are many other sentences in the paragraph both before and after the single sentence mentioned in the OP that makes Fine's statement totally reasonable and, I think, completely correct.

For example, Fine does NOT say that no technical understanding about a particular piano is useful. He says "Although some technical information can be useful and interesting, extensive familiarity with technical issues usually isn't necessary to a successful piano shopping experience, especially for a new piano."



Edited by pianoloverus (09/09/13 07:57 PM)

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#2147463 - 09/10/13 09:57 AM Re: If the piano sounds good, you needn't question why. Correct? [Re: pianoloverus]
jc201306 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/21/13
Posts: 42
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I doubt Fine wrote this single sentence without some other related statements before or after it. By quoting just one line much of the meaning of that line can be lost.


Let me clarify that my original posting was NOT an attempt to criticize Larry Fine. As I mentioned in the posting, Larry simply wrote a comment that has been repeated by other people many times before and since. However, my posting WAS to criticize the statement itself, as it has been used so often to prematurely end the valid debates on technology or sound/tone quality.

Here is what Larry wrote in the latest edition of <<Piano Buyer>> before and after the statement: "First, it must be said about this and any other tone-related technical issue that if the piano sounds good, you needn't question why---just enjoy it. However, since the technical issue may be raised by the sales person (usually in the context of steering you toward or away from a piano with a laminated soundboard), you may want to know more.
"

So, even in Larry's case, his statement gives readers the impression that technical issues raised during buying process are mostly marketing tactics or salesmanship, and therefore have little merit in themselves.

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#2147474 - 09/10/13 10:26 AM Re: If the piano sounds good, you needn't question why. Correct? [Re: jc201306]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19219
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Originally Posted By: jc201306
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I doubt Fine wrote this single sentence without some other related statements before or after it. By quoting just one line much of the meaning of that line can be lost.


Let me clarify that my original posting was NOT an attempt to criticize Larry Fine. As I mentioned in the posting, Larry simply wrote a comment that has been repeated by other people many times before and since. However, my posting WAS to criticize the statement itself, as it has been used so often to prematurely end the valid debates on technology or sound/tone quality.

Here is what Larry wrote in the latest edition of <<Piano Buyer>> before and after the statement: "First, it must be said about this and any other tone-related technical issue that if the piano sounds good, you needn't question why---just enjoy it. However, since the technical issue may be raised by the sales person (usually in the context of steering you toward or away from a piano with a laminated soundboard), you may want to know more.
"

So, even in Larry's case, his statement gives readers the impression that technical issues raised during buying process are mostly marketing tactics or salesmanship, and therefore have little merit in themselves.
If you read the entire paragraph from the PB(some of which I quoted in my last post but you again omitted), then I think it's clear that your original post and also your more recent post are leaving out critical information and do NOT really represent what Fine said.

Fine does NOT say that technical aspects are not important. He says only that it's not necessary to get overly involved with them when buying a new piano. He says "Although some technical information can be useful and interesting, extensive familiarity with technical issues usually isn't necessary to a successful piano shopping experience, especially for a new piano". He does say that some of the technical information one is likely to hear from a dealer(handmade, extra wide tail, extra thick rims, etc....(my examples)may be mostly marketing tools and not particularly relevant information when buying a piano.

I don't think many PW posters have said all the technical information about a piano is irrelevant either. They may have said a particular technical aspect is not important or that the buyer's personal judgement of tone and touch is the most important consideration. But I think those statements are quite different from saying no technical information is important. In fact, I'd guess that there is more discussion about technical issues of pianos at PW than anywhere on the internet.


Edited by pianoloverus (09/10/13 10:59 AM)

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#2147531 - 09/10/13 11:49 AM Re: If the piano sounds good, you needn't question why. Correct? [Re: jc201306]
Norbert Offline
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Good sound and good touch is the sum of everything going on in a piano. It's no different from what's happening with "good food"

In many cases, it also has to do with the set up, preparation and condition of instrument. [or food... wink ]

Without being attracted to sound, it's same like eating food without taste. It doesn't get better by simply chewing on it.

Or trying to analyse every bit of it.

To me the question is the other way around: why do so many pianos sound so average or even below that DESPITE allegedly being of high quality?

The only possible answer: Store doesn't care, i.e piano has been neglected or quality is simply not there.
Classic "Emperor without clothes" type situation.

In no industry is this a more more misunderstood concept than in ours.

People forget that "built quality" is different from designing sound. Simply by making things out of concrete, perhaps to last for 1000 years, it doesn't "sound" necessarily better.

So what's quality anyways? Ever noticed when manufacturers fall silent, not wishing to reveal the inner-most secrets of their products? As supposed to those constantly harping about certain "features" - but bringing nothing to table?

Every guitar made in the back streets of Madrid or Paracho sounding more typical Flamenco than those coming from world's most fancy factories. And they sure have tried...

One day when we have overcome brand prejudices, start to really listen to "sound" and replaced "reality is reality" - instead the old "perception is reality" - there will be lot's of bewilderment out there.

The "will it last" question is the typical last card being played by those morbidly afraid about these changes [already] happening.

Trying to sell a piano twice the price and replacing it with one half that?

Already starting to happen out there.

Sometimes including our own brands.

Dr. Tan, Angela Cheng - are you there?

Norbert


Edited by Norbert (09/10/13 01:01 PM)
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#2147699 - 09/10/13 03:59 PM Re: If the piano sounds good, you needn't question why. Correct? [Re: jc201306]
Caowner2013 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/17/13
Posts: 79
An interesting question!

While out shopping for a grand, we were delighted by all the different sounds of different brands and models within each brand; a combination of new and used. To read about such differences is one thing, to play them and then hear such differences is something else.

Then there is the touch. The singular word, "touch", cannot do justice to the amount of feelings our fingers can convey in combination with our hearing. Even the models within the same brand can feel different.

The most important lesson was imparted by a well used Yamaha concert grand (8-ft? 9-ft? huge thing) at a local University music festival.

It was well prepared and tuned and touch and tone were very nice at the start of the day. After five hours of playing by different performers, that same identical piano had then lost its feel and sound. The feel was sluggish, inconsistent and the lower notes were becoming mush for the second half of the day. It was on the same stage inside a theater, under nearly identical environmental condition. We could feel and hear the deterioration. As we were leaving, the scuttle-bug was that a tuner was en route thumb.

That was the first important "Piano Education" for me and my children. What sounded "great" at t=0 hour may not be so grand at t=x hours, where x>0; and all within a span of less than six hours.

The second important lesson was new versus used. We had an opportunity to play two near-identical pianos from the same maker side by side. The used one was 5 inches smaller. While the touch on both were well prepped and near identical, the sound was totally different! The smaller used one was "big", clear, airy, and engrossing. The new and larger one was deep, solid but a bit recessed, almost shy. We could hear the same characteristics in both but the new one had less of everything while hinted at the potential.

Without them side by side, we would not have experienced first-hand the contrast between new and old.

Given these two experiences, regardless of how one interprets Fine's writing, if we were to purchase based on sound alone, then the well-prepped used one "in the morning" would almost always "win" our ears cry.

So we have learned to treat new-sound and used-sound differently. Used is used and it is what it is at the time we play it, and it requires a careful technician's inspection.

New is more complicated and best complement by either an identical used one or a close used sibling. Then we can better understand how its sound will "open" in a couple of years. Barring that, we will have to use our imagination and what we hear now is not all of what it will become.

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#2147825 - 09/10/13 06:31 PM Re: If the piano sounds good, you needn't question why. Correct? [Re: Norbert]
maurus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 788
Originally Posted By: Norbert
The "will it last" question is the typical last card being played by those morbidly afraid about these changes [already] happening.


From the perspective of a conscious buyer who does not have lots of money to throw out of the window this question is not the last but one of the first. Do I want good sound and touch? Of course. Do I want my hard earned money to buy me an instrument that will last a lifetime or longer? Of course, if I can. Do I want a piano that I need to replace in, say, 10 years? Well, no...

To me, it rather seems that the sentence quoted above is the typical last card of someone hoping to sell pianos whose longevity is, let's say, not proven.

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#2147846 - 09/10/13 07:30 PM Re: If the piano sounds good, you needn't question why. Correct? [Re: patH]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19219
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: patH
A new and freshly prepped piano will always sound and feel at its best. But if after a few weeks, the action becomes mushy and the sound out-of-tune faster than you can say: "Peter plays the piano perfectly with plenty of pedal", then you have bought a lemon.
I'd be surprised if this is true even for the "worst" entry level pianos available today.
What do you base this statement on?


Edited by pianoloverus (09/10/13 07:31 PM)

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#2148257 - 09/11/13 01:57 PM Re: If the piano sounds good, you needn't question why. Correct? [Re: peekay]
jc201306 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/21/13
Posts: 42
Originally Posted By: peekay
I don't know him, but I'll ask him the question on his YouTube & Facebook...

Edit: message sent; hope he replies.


Have you got any reply?

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#2148338 - 09/11/13 04:43 PM Re: If the piano sounds good, you needn't question why. Correct? [Re: jc201306]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3446
I did not read all the posts but Burton's piano really sounds like a DP to me. He's playing nice but the DP sound spoils it a bit for me...
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#2148341 - 09/11/13 04:51 PM Re: If the piano sounds good, you needn't question why. Correct? [Re: pianoloverus]
patH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/13
Posts: 547
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: patH
A new and freshly prepped piano will always sound and feel at its best. But if after a few weeks, the action becomes mushy and the sound out-of-tune faster than you can say: "Peter plays the piano perfectly with plenty of pedal", then you have bought a lemon.
I'd be surprised if this is true even for the "worst" entry level pianos available today.
What do you base this statement on?

I'm basing this on my experience with school pianos at the university where I studied music.
My favorite piano was a Sauter upright. Sounded crisp and had a very precise and agreeable action on the first day I tried it, and throughout my stay at the university.
During my studies, the university acquired a few new Schimmel pianos. One of them was put in the same room as the Sauter.
In the first weeks, it played and sounded nice. But after a few weeks, the action started to feel unpleasant. Imprecise, mushy.
After giving this Schimmel a few tries I went back to the Sauter for practice.

So what I learned then was: Used Sauter > Used Schimmel when it comes to quality.
I know that Schimmel has since then being restructured; maybe their new pianos are better.
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#2148343 - 09/11/13 04:54 PM Re: If the piano sounds good, you needn't question why. Correct? [Re: jc201306]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3446
Originally Posted By: jc201306
"If the piano sounds good to you, you needn't question why — just buy the piano and enjoy it!" Yes, this is almost a direct quote of Larry Fine. And yes, comments similar to this one are repeated on this forum and piano showrooms every single day. It is very much politically correct.

But, is it CORRECT?


It actually is a number of statements:

1 If the piano sounds good to you, you needn't question why

2 If the piano sounds good to you, just buy the piano

3 If the piano sounds good to you, enjoy it

@1. Of course you can question why. It may help you find other pianos that also sound good.

@2. Well, there is more to consider than how it sounds. How is the action? How does it sound to others? How old is it? How much maintenance does it need? How does it look? How expensive is it? ...

@3. Even if it sounds good, you may not enjoy it. See also @2.

Originally Posted By: jc201306

If indeed it is, then:

There is no point discussing anything technical. Are the dense and stiff wood rims better than the soft wood ones? Are the wet-sand-casting plates better than the V-Pro ones? Are the wood actions better than the composite ones? Are the solid spruce soundboards better than the laminated ones? Why bother? As long as it sounds good to you, you should not care even if the sound board is made of cardboard, right? grin


See @2. Even if cardboard pianos would sound great, there may be other considerations determining whether I would buy it.

Originally Posted By: jc201306

Furthermore, there is no point arguing the sound quality either. There is no better or worse sound. ....


If you belief so, good for you, get the cheapest piano you can find ;-) However, if you have such bad ears, you might have some problems learning to play the piano. Wrong or right keys, wrong or right rythm, whatever.. you may think there is no better or worse sound, but that won't make you a very good pianist.
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#2148392 - 09/11/13 06:20 PM Re: If the piano sounds good, you needn't question why. Correct? [Re: patH]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19219
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: patH
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: patH
A new and freshly prepped piano will always sound and feel at its best. But if after a few weeks, the action becomes mushy and the sound out-of-tune faster than you can say: "Peter plays the piano perfectly with plenty of pedal", then you have bought a lemon.
I'd be surprised if this is true even for the "worst" entry level pianos available today.
What do you base this statement on?

I'm basing this on my experience with school pianos at the university where I studied music.
My favorite piano was a Sauter upright. Sounded crisp and had a very precise and agreeable action on the first day I tried it, and throughout my stay at the university.
During my studies, the university acquired a few new Schimmel pianos. One of them was put in the same room as the Sauter.
In the first weeks, it played and sounded nice. But after a few weeks, the action started to feel unpleasant. Imprecise, mushy.
After giving this Schimmel a few tries I went back to the Sauter for practice.

So what I learned then was: Used Sauter > Used Schimmel when it comes to quality.
I know that Schimmel has since then being restructured; maybe their new pianos are better.
I think trying to generalize based on a sample size of one piano is unreliable.

If any brand of piano, even the lowest level, significantly deteriorated in a few weeks with regularity the maker would probably not be in business very long and their warranty problems would cause a disaster.

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