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#2157349 - 09/25/13 09:56 AM What do you think of a second hand W. Hoffmann upright?
ayaya Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/20/13
Posts: 12
Loc: Bangkok, Thailand
Hello! I am a new member based in Bangkok and would really appreciate any feedback. I came across with a second-hand W. Hoffmann upright for sale from an individual. I am yet to see/play it but the piano is 20 some years' old (produced around 1990 or a little before). The serial number is 139641 and Bechstein in Germany confirmed the rough production year for me. The owner is asking for US$2000 for this. He bought it new when he was based in Europe. He has two other pianos and now selling at least one of them (according to him). I have checked some facts about this brand and seems to be of a good value. What is your view?

I studied the Piano for about 15 years when I was much younger. After a long gap of doing nothing about it (because of my relocation to Bangkok), I am now looking forward to appreciating the joy of playing the piano again. I had Yamaha U3 at home in Japan. Now I am more inclined to European pianos. My longer-term plan is to purchase a higher end grand piano but the house needs to be expanded a little before welcoming a big piano. So I resoluted that my immediate strategy should be bugyig a reasonaly-priced second hand piano in order to at least start practicing which will be necessary when going for shopping to try on various pianos.

Second-hand piano market in Bangkok is not good at all, so the price is actually super great already.

Thank you in advance!

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#2157437 - 09/25/13 12:37 PM Re: What do you think of a second hand W. Hoffmann upright? [Re: ayaya]
jdw Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 971
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
I haven't played their uprights, but the W. Hoffmann grands are lovely pianos. If the condition is good, my guess is that this would be a good deal, especially given your market.

As I'm sure others will recommend, you should get an independent technician to assess the condition.
_________________________
1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Grieg, Papillon
Mozart, K 330
Brahms, Op. 118 no. 2

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#2157921 - 09/26/13 09:45 AM Re: What do you think of a second hand W. Hoffmann upright? [Re: ayaya]
ayaya Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/20/13
Posts: 12
Loc: Bangkok, Thailand
Thank you so much for your kind response. I am happy to learn a positive comment about W. Hoffmann. I have already sought an advice on a qualified technician in Bangkok from a forum member and am trying to bring him with me when trying the piano.

I love to hear more from you and any other forum members who owns W. Hoffmann piano, especially who have the uprights. I love to learn why you chose it over other pianos, etc.

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#2157969 - 09/26/13 11:22 AM Re: What do you think of a second hand W. Hoffmann upright? [Re: ayaya]
Rich D. Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/27/01
Posts: 1254
Loc: Rehoboth Beach De. USA
I played a new W. Hoffman upright (120?)over ten years ago and was impressed with it's clear tone, smooth action and reasonable price (which I can't remember). Quality upright all around.

Rich
_________________________
Retired at the beach (well maybe not completely)

"Life is like a piano....what you get out of it depends on how you play it"
Anonymous


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#2157993 - 09/26/13 12:11 PM Re: What do you think of a second hand W. Hoffmann upright? [Re: ayaya]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1349
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
I own a small W. Hoffman upright (about 45 inches) with a serial number in the 131,000 range: i.e., a little earlier than the one you are contemplating. I bought it used here in Ontario from a private individual who loved German pianos, and it is superb. Fine Renner action, singing tone, and remarkable bass clarity for such a small instrument.

If you get a technician's ok and you like playing it, buy it!

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#2158000 - 09/26/13 12:18 PM Re: What do you think of a second hand W. Hoffmann upright? [Re: ayaya]
ayaya Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/20/13
Posts: 12
Loc: Bangkok, Thailand
Thank you Rich and Peter. Your feedbacks are most encouraging and delightful. I am so excited now. I will make myself absolutely well prepared for the visit to the piano owner. Actually it is this Sunday!

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#2158111 - 09/26/13 03:44 PM Re: What do you think of a second hand W. Hoffmann upright? [Re: ayaya]
hoola Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/07/08
Posts: 171
Loc: LA, USA
Hi,

What's size is the piano?

I owned a W. Hoffmann 114 cm from 1988 to 1991, it was warm, beautiful but I prefer Yamaha U3, 131 cm of my teacher because 17 cm taller makes big difference. But my W. Hoffmann 114 sounds very different from the U3.

BTW, you have a U3 in Japan, your ears are well-trained, so please listen to your heart and taste. Another sound is maybe interesting.

At that time 1988-1991, for similar size, W.Hoffmann (made in West Germany)is better than Schimmel, Seiler, Sauter.

Please check inside the piano to see where it was made (I believe they would have something like Made in B....., West Germany if it was made in W Germany).

It seems that Hoffmann now is made in East Europe with parts from West ?


Edited by hoola (09/26/13 03:49 PM)

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#2158252 - 09/26/13 08:35 PM Re: What do you think of a second hand W. Hoffmann upright? [Re: ayaya]
Norbert Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14138
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:

It seems that Hoffmann now is made in East Europe with parts from West ?



W.Hoffmann pianos' production has shifted several times in last decades.

The ones built in Germany before are different than the ones made now. I happen to know them both having fond memories from late 80's early 90's when at Piano Fischer in Stuttgart Germany

Things since have changed, read here if like:

http://www.pianobuyer.com/fall12/154.html

Norbert


Edited by Norbert (09/26/13 08:45 PM)
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#2158316 - 09/26/13 11:06 PM Re: What do you think of a second hand W. Hoffmann upright? [Re: ayaya]
ayaya Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/20/13
Posts: 12
Loc: Bangkok, Thailand
Thank you so much for these additional most helpful inputs. I will definately find out more on the item when I make a visit to the piano owner this Sunday. I thank you, too, for the advice of carefully listening and feeling it as I also think that such are the important deciding factors for me now. I indeed confirmed Yamaha U3 being not bad at all, after trying out a number of pianos in one of the second-hand piano shops here. It was rather surprising as I had higher expectation on other pianos (especially those from Europe). Perhaps I am looking for a piano with a slightly lighter touch on keyboards as Yamaha keyboads are quite heavy. I was in Europe a few weeks ago and accidentally came across with Fazioli for the first time. I did not know about this piano's existence before (sorry but it is true)so you can imagine how shocking the experience was for me. The keyboards were narrower, shallower, lighter (but just right) and the tones were so sweet while giving you solid and firm feeling. I was so obsessed about it for a while and could not forget that emotion I experiences then. It became my dream piano.(I believe it is no harm dreaming!)

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#2159467 - 09/29/13 03:30 AM Re: What do you think of a second hand W. Hoffmann upright? [Re: ayaya]
ayaya Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/20/13
Posts: 12
Loc: Bangkok, Thailand
Here's some update, hoping to get more feedback from you.
I went to see the W. Hoffmann this morning, I confirmed the inscription inside "Made in Langlad, W. Germany". It looked good in general, I liked the touch and the tone as well. However, there were a several keys no longer responding! When I looked inside, the felt of those key hammers were stuck against the string. I suspect this happened because the piano has been left unattended for quite sometime. (Owner has two other pianos and not really using this one). It seems that everything can be fixed according to a technician (who will have to go there to see it on another day), and he says that I should get it if I really like it. I wonder if you endorse this, given the maintenance cost here would be quite reasonable?

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#2159738 - 09/29/13 04:42 PM Re: What do you think of a second hand W. Hoffmann upright? [Re: ayaya]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1349
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
If the owner has 3 pianos, including a fine German upright, I don't understand why at least one has fallen into such neglect that several keys don't work. That's a red flag, but not a reason to reject the purchase altogether. Is the owner a dealer, or a piano buff, or neither?

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#2159818 - 09/29/13 08:25 PM Re: What do you think of a second hand W. Hoffmann upright? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
ayaya Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/20/13
Posts: 12
Loc: Bangkok, Thailand
Yes I was very surprised, too, that it was totally neglected. The owner has a daughter who studied the piano at university/conservatoire. The other two pianos are 1)Yamaha grand and 2)Kawai upright. He does not play the piano himself. Perhaps they think W. Hoffmann can go because it is the oldest and not being used by them any more. He told me that since his daughter is moving out, they want to get rid of at least one of them.

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#2159820 - 09/29/13 08:27 PM Re: What do you think of a second hand W. Hoffmann upright? [Re: ayaya]
ayaya Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/20/13
Posts: 12
Loc: Bangkok, Thailand
I failed to mention that the owner is neigher a dealer or a piano buff. He is just the father of a pianist.

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#2159850 - 09/29/13 09:39 PM Re: What do you think of a second hand W. Hoffmann upright? [Re: ayaya]
jdw Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 971
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Sounds very fixable to me, as the technician says. I wouldn't be put off by it.
_________________________
1989 Baldwin R
Currently working on:
Grieg, Papillon
Mozart, K 330
Brahms, Op. 118 no. 2

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#2163358 - 10/08/13 09:37 AM Re: What do you think of a second hand W. Hoffmann upright? [Re: jdw]
ayaya Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/20/13
Posts: 12
Loc: Bangkok, Thailand
Just to report to you that my second-hand W. Hoffmann was safely delivered to my house yesterday! It is a 120-cm high upright and I feel I made the right choice because I confirm that I generally like the tone and the action. The bass clarity, indeed, is very attractive. Thank you so much for those kindly given me feedback. It is wonderful to be near the piano once again.

However, I have a few questions. It has not yet been tuned properly but my concern at the moment (which I did not quite notice when I tried it earlier) is that certain keys do not respond well when using a sustain pedal. Could this be a common problem when a piano has been neglected for a long time? Also I wish if the high-pitch notes could sound better, I mean they sound a bit like hitting an iron board at the moment (sorry for my English, I do not know how else I can describe this). I wonder if the tuner can fix/adjust all of these? Or do I need to replace felts or some items in the mechanical part of the piano? Or should I forget about these, as these may be something that I need to bear with, given the condition/character of this piano?

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#2163360 - 10/08/13 09:50 AM Re: What do you think of a second hand W. Hoffmann upright? [Re: ayaya]
Rickster Online   content


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8529
Loc: Georgia, USA
Congratulations on your new-to-you W. Hoffmann upright piano!

Yes, a skilled pinao tech should be able to address the issues you mentioned.

It's been my experience that when you buy an older piano, it will not perform like a brand new one; however, improvements can usually be made by a good paino technician.

Post pictures when you can! smile

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#2163379 - 10/08/13 10:31 AM Re: What do you think of a second hand W. Hoffmann upright? [Re: ayaya]
Rich D. Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/27/01
Posts: 1254
Loc: Rehoboth Beach De. USA
Congratulations on your purchase. A good technician should greatly improve the touch and tone of your fine upright. I have a 25 year old well maintained Bechstein upright which sounds and plays as good as new (or close enough). Enjoy.

Rich
_________________________
Retired at the beach (well maybe not completely)

"Life is like a piano....what you get out of it depends on how you play it"
Anonymous


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#2163390 - 10/08/13 10:51 AM Re: What do you think of a second hand W. Hoffmann upright? [Re: ayaya]
Romek Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/13
Posts: 113
Loc: Warsaw, Poland
Congrats!!

I am sure that you will enjoy your piano as much as I enjoy mine.

All the best,
Romek
_________________________
W. Hoffmann V120/Vario

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#2163480 - 10/08/13 01:52 PM Re: What do you think of a second hand W. Hoffmann upright? [Re: ayaya]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1349
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Bravo for your purchase! Now find a worthy local piano technician and spend a few extra dollars to bring this instrument up to code.

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#2163739 - 10/09/13 01:18 AM Re: What do you think of a second hand W. Hoffmann upright? [Re: ayaya]
ayaya Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/20/13
Posts: 12
Loc: Bangkok, Thailand
So releived and happy to learn of your positive comments. I will certainly invest into a well qalified technician and try to spend time with him communicate with him well and clearly as to my wishes. Nice to learn Romek enjoys W. Hoffman V120. You are from Poland? It is a wonderful country where I have a very fond memory from (and the home of K. Zimmerman)!

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#2163770 - 10/09/13 03:43 AM Re: What do you think of a second hand W. Hoffmann upright? [Re: ayaya]
Romek Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/13
Posts: 113
Loc: Warsaw, Poland
Hi ayaya,
yes, I'm Polish and I'm glad you've enjoyed Poland - it's a fantastic place to live despite many challenges it faces smile . Please post some pictures of your piano and tell us how it sounds after the tech's visit.

Here's my gear cool

W. Hoffmann V120 with the Vario system

All the best,
Romek


Edited by Romek (10/09/13 03:46 AM)
_________________________
W. Hoffmann V120/Vario

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#2163855 - 10/09/13 09:50 AM Re: What do you think of a second hand W. Hoffmann upright? [Re: ayaya]
ayaya Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/20/13
Posts: 12
Loc: Bangkok, Thailand
Hi Romek. A nice photo of your W. Hoffmann! Yes, I much enjoyed my visit to Poland. I visited my close friends there. It was in 1984(!) so it was definately a very interesting time. In fact, you may be able to imagine that I was a center of attention wherever I went, as I must have looked exhotic, but people were very kind.
Sure, I will try to post a photo next week (need to find out how...) and share with you on tuning result.

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#2164694 - 10/11/13 02:20 AM Re: What do you think of a second hand W. Hoffmann upright? [Re: ayaya]
Romek Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/13
Posts: 113
Loc: Warsaw, Poland
Wow, 1984! You'd be amazed how Poland has changed over the last 30 years. It is a totally different country than in the 80s. Fortunately, people have not changed that much wink.


Edited by Romek (10/11/13 02:34 AM)
_________________________
W. Hoffmann V120/Vario

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#2164705 - 10/11/13 03:33 AM Re: What do you think of a second hand W. Hoffmann upright? [Re: ayaya]
bebopsam Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 43
Congrats on your new fortepiano!

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