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#2201909 - 12/23/13 01:56 PM The Overlooked
Jolly Offline
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Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14065
Loc: Louisiana
Name a piano that you think is a wonderful value or is a great performer, but is often overlooked by the piano playing public.

And why is it overlooked?
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#2201920 - 12/23/13 02:38 PM Re: The Overlooked [Re: Jolly]
Rich Galassini Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 10328
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Jolly,

I don't have a specific model in mind but I have a comment.

In general, the first time buyer overlooks many great opportunities because their teacher, brother, sister, (insert name here) who knows about pianos told them to only buy a "xxxxx" (again, insert name here). The person mentioned is usually a "concert pianist" as well.

Consumers who are uneducated make bad decisions. I also think this goes for more than just pianos.
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
www.cunninghampiano.com

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#2201928 - 12/23/13 03:04 PM Re: The Overlooked [Re: Rich Galassini]
Grandman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/18/12
Posts: 397
Loc: Usa
Originally Posted By: Rich Galassini
Jolly,

I don't have a specific model in mind but I have a comment.

In general, the first time buyer overlooks many great opportunities because their teacher, brother, sister, (insert name here) who knows about pianos told them to only buy a "xxxxx" (again, insert name here). The person mentioned is usually a "concert pianist" as well.

Consumers who are uneducated make bad decisions. I also think this goes for more than just pianos.



Yes, this is so true.

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#2202030 - 12/23/13 08:11 PM Re: The Overlooked [Re: Jolly]
JohnSprung Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 3464
Loc: Reseda, California
Older concert grands. They last a long time, the sound is magnificent, and you can often find them for very little money. They're overlooked because people aren't willing to devote nine feet of floor space to a piano.
_________________________
-- J.S.



Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690

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#2202051 - 12/23/13 09:52 PM Re: The Overlooked [Re: Jolly]
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 2035
Loc: Conway, AR USA
Great piano, but seldom mentioned: Sohmer & Co. (pre-1983).


Edited by bkw58 (12/23/13 09:59 PM)
Edit Reason: typo
_________________________
Bob W.
Retired piano technician
Conway, Arkansas
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com

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#2202166 - 12/24/13 03:40 AM Re: The Overlooked [Re: Jolly]
musicpassion Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 1625
Loc: California, USA
On the new market: Shigeru Kawai. Many people haven't heard of it, or think it's simply an option on their normal consumer line. I think it's was of the best values at the high end of the market. Moving downmarket... I think Hailuns are still overlooked as you can't hardly find them anywhere.

On the used market there are so many all I can do is list what comes to the top of my head: Kurtzman, Sohmer (the old ones), Knabe (the American ones), Vose and Sons (pre 1930), Chickering (the name was eventually driven into the mud), Steinert, Bluthner (outside of Pianoworld most in USA haven't heard of it).
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#2202393 - 12/24/13 01:52 PM Re: The Overlooked [Re: Jolly]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5468
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Jolly
Name a piano that you think is a wonderful value or is a great performer, but is often overlooked by the piano playing public.

And why is it overlooked?

The two Walter grands are among the most overlooked grands on the market even though they are among the world's best in their size ranges.

We hear a lot about the Walter uprights but the grands are not promoted at all.


ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#2202469 - 12/24/13 05:04 PM Re: The Overlooked [Re: Jolly]
Roy123 Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/04
Posts: 1776
Loc: Massachusetts
I played a CW190 once and thought it was quite wonderful. At that time, my piano teacher had an L that he adored and kept well serviced. The L was, in fact, very nice indeed, but the CW190 blew it away, especially in the lower half of the piano's compass.

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#2202547 - 12/24/13 08:43 PM Re: The Overlooked [Re: Jolly]
pogmoger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/23/13
Posts: 201
Loc: Norway
I'm visiting my parents for Christmas and I've been playing on the Ronisch upright they bought for me new about 12 years ago. It's always a pleasure to come back to that piano and at the time it was purchased, it was priced only slightly more than a similar sized Kawai (which was my second choice.) I picked it myself based on what I thought sounded and played best in the price range.

I can relate to what Rich is saying. My parents asked my piano teacher for advice, and he told us to get a big used Yamaha like the one he played at church. Nothing wrong with that, except that he didn't really know what else was available on the market at the time, and I didn't like any Yamahas I tried smile. So we went to a few different piano stores, I tried everything and anything and bought the instrument that was most fun to play (even though almost no-one has ever heard of the brand). And no regrets.

These days, Ronisch is owned by Bluthner and the pianos have been redesigned and got a bit more expensive. I haven't played any of these newer models, but would love to try some out one day.

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#2202561 - 12/24/13 09:14 PM Re: The Overlooked [Re: pogmoger]
PhilipInChina Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/19/13
Posts: 2582
Loc: Bulgaria
Originally Posted By: pogmoger
I'm visiting my parents for Christmas and I've been playing on the Ronisch upright they bought for me new about 12 years ago. It's always a pleasure to come back to that piano and at the time it was purchased, it was priced only slightly more than a similar sized Kawai (which was my second choice.) I picked it myself based on what I thought sounded and played best in the price range.

I can relate to what Rich is saying. My parents asked my piano teacher for advice, and he told us to get a big used Yamaha like the one he played at church. Nothing wrong with that, except that he didn't really know what else was available on the market at the time, and I didn't like any Yamahas I tried smile. So we went to a few different piano stores, I tried everything and anything and bought the instrument that was most fun to play (even though almost no-one has ever heard of the brand). And no regrets.

These days, Ronisch is owned by Bluthner and the pianos have been redesigned and got a bit more expensive. I haven't played any of these newer models, but would love to try some out one day.


Like another aspect of life- practice on as many as you can before you decide which one to get and keep.
_________________________
Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"

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#2202608 - 12/25/13 12:08 AM Re: The Overlooked [Re: Jolly]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4680
Loc: San Jose, CA
"...We hear a lot about the Walter uprights but the grands are not promoted at all..."

I do urge people to go to the trouble to find a dealer who carries them, and to consider them when they are looking for a grand for the home. But if you mean, "Does the company promote them," then I'd have to say no, or at least, that I've never heard of it. And if these shoppers do get to the showroom, the typical giant sales floor is not optimal for hearing these instruments.

However, Carnes in San Jose has moved their Walter grands to a newly-made section of their sales floor. It's the size of a fairly big living room; two walls are solid glass plate. It may not be the ideal showcase--- a little on the live side--- but I give them credit for taking a step in the right direction. And it would warm your heart to see the effort Darlene makes to get customers to give them a fair try, even though they may never have heard the name before... and that's a steep hill to scale.

If I had known more when I was piano shopping, about its special features and design philosophy, it could be sitting in my living room today. Though, to be honest, Kawai's MIII action is very hard to beat, and when you're trying your way through 15 or 20 pianos, it stands out. Maybe it's preaching to the choir, but C. Walter doesn't even have an ad on PW, to help make their website easy to find; these days, that kind of thing can help a lot.

Bottom line... well, most shoppers are looking for uprights anyway, and that's why they get directed to the CW 1500. And they end up buying a used Yamaha. Bottom line... you're closer to right than not.
_________________________
Clef


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#2202634 - 12/25/13 01:41 AM Re: The Overlooked [Re: Jolly]
Gary Fowler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/27/13
Posts: 375
My 1925 7' August Forster grand is the find of my LIFE! I installed a new pinblock. Overall, this piano is better than any Steinway of equal size. This thing gives me so much playing pleasure that I doubt I could let it go at any price
_________________________
Making the world a better sounding place, one piano at a time...

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#2202648 - 12/25/13 02:17 AM Re: The Overlooked [Re: Jeff Clef]
BornInTheUSA Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 1365
Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef
"...We hear a lot about the Walter uprights but the grands are not promoted at all..."

I do urge people to go to the trouble to find a dealer who carries them, and to consider them when they are looking for a grand for the home. But if you mean, "Does the company promote them," then I'd have to say no, or at least, that I've never heard of it. And if these shoppers do get to the showroom, the typical giant sales floor is not optimal for hearing these instruments.

However, Carnes in San Jose has moved their Walter grands to a newly-made section of their sales floor. It's the size of a fairly big living room; two walls are solid glass plate. It may not be the ideal showcase--- a little on the live side--- but I give them credit for taking a step in the right direction. And it would warm your heart to see the effort Darlene makes to get customers to give them a fair try, even though they may never have heard the name before... and that's a steep hill to scale.

If I had known more when I was piano shopping, about its special features and design philosophy, it could be sitting in my living room today. Though, to be honest, Kawai's MIII action is very hard to beat, and when you're trying your way through 15 or 20 pianos, it stands out. Maybe it's preaching to the choir, but C. Walter doesn't even have an ad on PW, to help make their website easy to find; these days, that kind of thing can help a lot.

Bottom line... well, most shoppers are looking for uprights anyway, and that's why they get directed to the CW 1500. And they end up buying a used Yamaha. Bottom line... you're closer to right than not.


I played a Charles Walter at Carnes but only for a couple of minutes. I'm not sure if the one they had needed some regulation work or what not, but the action was incredibly stiff. The stiffest I've ever encountered. I just got done playing their Kawai RX's, which isn't exactly the lightest action either.

I knew the piano market in the 80's and 90's, took a long layoff and got re-acquainted with it a year or two ago, read PianoBuyer, and definitely did read about Charles Walter. But when I read words like "Made in America" and "handmade" I sort of took it off of my list thinking it would be in a different pricing tier than something like a Kawai or Yamaha. I'm not sure if that's true or not. Hard to tell since the piano industry likes to mess around with MSRP. Anyways...

Another thing, when I went to Sherman Clay's in SF, they sell these pianos with the "Henry F. Miller" label, made by Pearl River I believe. I kept getting thinking that was the CW I read about. Perhaps if CW did more advertising I would remember their name better. I just remembered it as "some American guy's name."

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#2202696 - 12/25/13 08:52 AM Re: The Overlooked [Re: Jolly]
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14065
Loc: Louisiana
A good CW can run with anybody's piano of the same size.

Anybody.

Hard action? Never run into one. Everyone we've ever sat down to had an action like butter. The piano wanted to be played.

And at the prices I've seen on some, they can be a screaming deal for the piano you're getting.
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Over 1.3M (and counting) posts where pianists discuss everything. And nothing.

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#2202741 - 12/25/13 11:24 AM Re: The Overlooked [Re: Jolly]
Rich Galassini Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 10328
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Originally Posted By: Jolly
A good CW can run with anybody's piano of the same size.

Anybody.

Hard action? Never run into one. Everyone we've ever sat down to had an action like butter. The piano wanted to be played.

And at the prices I've seen on some, they can be a screaming deal for the piano you're getting.


+1 smile
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
www.cunninghampiano.com

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#2202753 - 12/25/13 11:57 AM Re: The Overlooked [Re: BornInTheUSA]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5468
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: michaelh
I played a Charles Walter at Carnes but only for a couple of minutes. I'm not sure if the one they had needed some regulation work or what not, but the action was incredibly stiff. The stiffest I've ever encountered. I just got done playing their Kawai RX's, which isn't exactly the lightest action either.

Did you ask about the action? The people at the factory lavish time and attention on the action setup. More than many companies offering considerably more expensive pianos. I've never known one to have and action that "was incredibly stiff."

I'm not suggesting that it couldn't happen, of course, but if it did you should have purchased it on the spot for its rarity. The value of such a one-of-a-kind instrument must surely go up quickly.

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#2202777 - 12/25/13 01:06 PM Re: The Overlooked [Re: Jolly]
RX2Bunny Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 119
Loc: Chicago
I have heard a lot of good things about CW but didn't try when I shopped for my grand because it seemed to be significantly out of my price range. If I remember right, a 5'9" would be in the 30-40 range. Much more than a Kawai in the similar size.

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#2202781 - 12/25/13 01:09 PM Re: The Overlooked [Re: bkw58]
Dave Horne Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5638
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: bkw58
Great piano, but seldom mentioned: Sohmer & Co. (pre-1983).


I've played Sohmer uprights and while they were good, they were less than a typical Yamaha upright.

If Sohmer made grands, I'm not aware.
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website | mp3\wav files | Yamaha AvantGrand N3 | Yamaha CP5 | Sennheiser HD 598 headphones

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#2202808 - 12/25/13 02:28 PM Re: The Overlooked [Re: Jolly]
Rich D. Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/27/01
Posts: 1368
Loc: Rehoboth Beach De. USA
I played a few refurbished large Charles Stieff uprights which were exceptional. I've also played a couple of Stieff baby grands which were equally as good.

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

Anton Rubinstein said about the piano: "You think it is one instrument? It is a hundred instruments!"

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#2202919 - 12/25/13 09:30 PM Re: The Overlooked [Re: Rich D.]
PhilipInChina Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/19/13
Posts: 2582
Loc: Bulgaria
Why hasn't "somebody" mentioned Petrof on here yet?
_________________________
Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"

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#2202924 - 12/25/13 09:46 PM Re: The Overlooked [Re: Dave Horne]
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 2035
Loc: Conway, AR USA
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
Originally Posted By: bkw58
Great piano, but seldom mentioned: Sohmer & Co. (pre-1983).


I've played Sohmer uprights and while they were good, they were less than a typical Yamaha upright.

If Sohmer made grands, I'm not aware.


I would generally give Yamaha higher marks than the Samick Sohmer.

Yes, the Sohmer family did make grands.
_________________________
Bob W.
Retired piano technician
Conway, Arkansas
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com

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