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#223723 - 03/11/07 02:23 PM Grotrian 162 - opinions?
Dave A Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/11/07
Posts: 12
Loc: Basel, Switzerland
I may have the option to buy a Grotrian 162 in the next week or two. It was built in 1976, so is 30 years old, and according to the dealer, has been completely overhauled (including new a finish over the exterior). Does anybody own a Grotrian 162, and have an opinion on this piano that they would be kind enough to share with me?

My background is: I play classical (Chopin, Beethoven, Schubert are my top 3), to a moderate hobby level, have for the last 20 years or so made do with digital pianos, principally because I have always lived in a flat, with the obvious noise restrictions. But having just moved into a 'real' house, I now have the possibility of fulfilling my dream of owning a small grand. It will have to be small, not so much because of the 3.5m x 4.5m room that it will go in, but because of the rather tricky stairway leading to it.

I've done a little piano shopping already...I've looked at Yamahas C2 and C3 (don't like the touch at all, I found playing quietly impossible), Boston 178 (charming sweet tone, somewhat heavy and spongy feel for my taste but got used to it after just a few minutes in the shop), then made the great mistake of sitting at a Grotrian 190+ and thinking - wow - this is what a good piano feels and sounds like. I really liked the feel - it was much lighter than the Boston (I've always preferred a light piano, even in my days before digital pianos), and could be played very quietly, and fast. It sounded to me more 'serious concert piano' like - I liked it very much, although my wife thought that it was not as sweet-sounding as the Boston.

Now the Grotrian 190 is out of my price range and too big, and no doubt the 162 won't be up to the 190, but does it come close? Particularly in my smallish room? And should I worry about it being 30 years old (I could buy a brand new Boston 178 for about the same price). I'll have to wait a few more days before I will have the chance to play it, and would be very interested to hear the opinions - both positive and negative - particularly of someone that owns one, but also of anyone that may have tried one out.

By the way, I believe that Grotrian no longer make this model, instead they now make a 165. Does anyone know if this a significantly different piano, or just a slight size increase?

Thanks in advance to anyone that responds...and happy playing.

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#223724 - 03/11/07 02:30 PM Re: Grotrian 162 - opinions?
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14138
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
No matter what Grotrian you choose, you're at an absolutley top flight and, at the same time, one of the most 'unrecognized' names of our time.

At least here in North America......

The whole episode whereby Grotrian could no longer use it's full historic name being "Grotrian-Steinweg" - the actual name of the company by the way - has cost this world class maker in the last decades considerable market share over here.

In my honest opinion, Grotrian is today perhaps the most 'complete' German piano, easily rivalling or even beating the mighty Hamburg Steinway.

It's the very reason we have chosen Grotrian for ourselves, fitting in perfectly with our theme of representing only the absolute best and musically most interesting pianos in each and every price class.

Interestingly enough, a number of people appear to be sharing a similiar point of view, people who typically have done a lot of comparing between some of Germany's top makers - this not to take away from its many other top manufacturers.

Grotrian appears to become increasingly discoverd by top pianists on a worldwide basis again - its order books are full - and may very well be on its way to emerge just once again as one of the true giants among some of the most historic makers of our time.

Remember: all pianos merit comparison and your opinion may vary from case to case.

[Disclaimer: we are Grotrian dealers.]

Norbert
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#223725 - 03/11/07 02:43 PM Re: Grotrian 162 - opinions?
Dave A Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/11/07
Posts: 12
Loc: Basel, Switzerland
Thanks for your speedy reply Norbert - you leave no doubt about your opinion there - but what about the 162 in particular? Does it suffer badly from its small size?

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#223726 - 03/11/07 02:49 PM Re: Grotrian 162 - opinions?
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14138
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Sorry - that's for you to decide - the pianist!

Insider's hint: few of any of the German pianos *do*......

Norbert ;\)
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#223727 - 03/11/07 02:50 PM Re: Grotrian 162 - opinions?
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5484
dave, you may wish to email grotrian.de, but right around the time this piano was built, the design of the grotrian was changed. you might send them the serial number and find out the history of this piano, and if it has the old or the newer string scale design.

i suspect it is a different design than today's grotrian.

you should play it and judge for yourself the touch and the tone. our opinions mean little if the piano isn't one you fall in love with.

grotrians have always been well made, but the condition of a 30 year old piano depends so much on the care it received over that time. you need to evaluate this piano on its own individual merits.

yes, the smaller pianos have less power in the bass, and are more limited tonally overall. you should compare it to other pianos of its size, not to larger pianos you can't afford.
_________________________
piqué

now in paperback:


Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey

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#223728 - 03/11/07 02:58 PM Re: Grotrian 162 - opinions?
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7382
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Dave, I'm the owner of a 193 Grotrian-Steinweg, built in 1998, which I purchased in Germany while teaching there. My dealer had several of the 162's on the floor and IMHO, there were very, very good. The bass was a bit weaker, but the treble was excellent. Obviously, being smaller, the sound was a bit smaller overall. I had really wanted the 225 (the 208 wasn't yet made), but couldn't afford it. I must tell you that now, after nearly a decade of playing on it, I have absolutely zero regrets with the 193. It fills the house with more than enough sound. The best features of the Grotrian, regardless of length, is that from the mid-range on up, it sounds like you're playing chimes, the bell-like sound is simply amazing. And the high treble sustain is probably the best in the world, bar none. I don't know how they do it.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#223729 - 03/11/07 03:06 PM Re: Grotrian 162 - opinions?
vippo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/07
Posts: 292
Loc: Sterzing (Italy)
I have absolutely no idea what the "old" Grotrian- Steinwegs are like, but I absolutely fell in love with the new instruments they make now.

There is, however one thing I noticed: last week, at Bergamini Pianoforti near Torino, I played on a five- six year old Grotrian- Steinweg 192 which was there for rental, and it had a noticeably heavier touch. Mr. Bergamini, the dealer, said he thinks that the factory only recently has turned towards these incredibly light setting.

I don't know if that is correct or if it applies to instruments of that age, but be sure to check it thoroughly.

Happy hunting!
_________________________
Proud owner of an August Förster 190 Serial No. 164163

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#223730 - 03/11/07 03:20 PM Re: Grotrian 162 - opinions?
vippo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/07
Posts: 292
Loc: Sterzing (Italy)
 Quote:
Originally posted by John v.d.Brook:
Dave, I'm the owner of a 193 Grotrian-Steinweg, built in 1998, which I purchased in Germany while teaching there. [/b]
John, as your 193 is still a few years older than the one I tried, do you feel a difference in the action between your model and the newer (assuming you got to try one)?
_________________________
Proud owner of an August Förster 190 Serial No. 164163

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#223731 - 03/11/07 03:56 PM Re: Grotrian 162 - opinions?
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5484
i have one built in 2000, and i can't feel any difference between my piano's touch and the touch of the new ones. they are indistinguishable as far as i can tell.
_________________________
piqué

now in paperback:


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#223732 - 03/11/07 04:56 PM Re: Grotrian 162 - opinions?
Axtremus Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/03
Posts: 6180
Go play the 1976 piano and form your own opinion. It's a 30 year old piano, and a lot can happen to a piano (any piano) in 30 years, regardless of how well it was built 30 years ago.

I've played impressive new 193cm Grotrians, and I've played an utterly disappointing 30+ year old 9 ft. Grotrian concert grand because it was in very bad condition. We're talking about a 30 year old piano here, so pay attention to the condition of the piano.

Go play it, and if you like it and feel it's "promising," then get an independent piano technician (independent as in having no conflict of interest with the seller) to examine the piano for you. The technician should be able to advise you if the piano needs any work (e.g., new strings or new hammers or rebushing or whatever due to 30 years of wear), either in the very near term or in a few years time, depending on how you intend to use that piano.

Then you can weigh all that against other options you're looking at.

Shop wide, play as many different pianos as you can. Have fun, and good luck.
_________________________
www.PianoRecital.org -- my piano recordings

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#223733 - 03/11/07 05:23 PM Re: Grotrian 162 - opinions?
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7382
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Vippo, my action is quite light and no, I haven't played a new model since '01.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#223734 - 03/11/07 09:46 PM Re: Grotrian 162 - opinions?
bkkmd Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/06
Posts: 304
Loc: Bangkok, Thailand
For what its worth, my piano tuner mentioned to me once while he was working on my Grotrain 192 that he also tuned someone else's Grotrian that is a good 40-50 years old and he thought that the characteristic Grotrain sound of the older Grotrain was very consistant with my much newer Grotrain. The tuner is an independent tuner and does not work for the Grotrian dealer.
My Grotrain has been sitting in a dealer in Hong Kong for a few years before shipped to the dealer in Bangkok. After I bought it, the dealer ordered another brand new 192. When I played it, I also noticed that the action is quite a bit lighter than my Grotrian as well.

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#223735 - 03/12/07 03:55 PM Re: Grotrian 162 - opinions?
Dave A Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/11/07
Posts: 12
Loc: Basel, Switzerland
Thank you all very much for your opinions and tips - they are most appreciated. I'm hopefully going to have a test-drive of this Grotrian 162 during the course of this week, and I'll report back here what I find, just in case anyone is interested.

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#223736 - 03/13/07 01:38 AM Re: Grotrian 162 - opinions?
pianistical Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/04
Posts: 1377
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
My experience has been limited to old Grotrian Steinwegs and they have been very pleasurable to play. I find them to have a have a very unique and expressive tone.

Here is how members of pianoworld ranked them a year ago:
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/12654.html#000000
_________________________
“There are only two important things which I took with me on my way to America, It´s been my wife Natalja and my precious Blüthner.” – Sergei Rachmaninov

1913 Blüthner model 6
1929 Blüthner model 9.
1955 Steingraeber upright.

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#223737 - 03/18/07 03:27 PM Re: Grotrian 162 - opinions?
Dave A Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/11/07
Posts: 12
Loc: Basel, Switzerland
Well, I never got to play this Grotrian-Steinweg 162 because I found out before I went to see it that it has no sustenuto pedal. Well I can't imagine life without this astoundingly useful devise - despite the fact that most of my hero composers were born and died before it was invented - so on that basis I ruled it out. Maybe a little hasty you think, to rule out a piano solely for missing one pedal...

But in fact, I got to play a much newer (2002) Grotrian-Steinweg 165 at Jecklins in Zurich yesterday. I have to say, I was expecting a lot (too much probably), and was really quite disappointed. Maybe it was partly due to the fact that it was sitting in a rather poor spot - a very small and rather noisy area with hard floors, walls and ceiling. But it sounded very hard and loud, and at times even painfully bright - not at all the rich sound and sensitive touch of the 192 that had so aroused my interest in Grotrian-Steinweg pianos.

Although the spot it was sitting in was far from ideal, it is probably not that far removed from the accoustics of my own room, which is fairly small and with a wooden floor and concrete ceiling.

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#223738 - 03/18/07 03:29 PM Re: Grotrian 162 - opinions?
Jeffrey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/04
Posts: 2948
Loc: New York
Play more pianos. You can't go wrong playing many different pianos before you purchase.

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#223739 - 03/18/07 04:23 PM Re: Grotrian 162 - opinions?
AJB Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/05
Posts: 3655
Loc: Surrey, England
Dave

Jecklins are an excellent dealer. Talk to them again and try some more Grotrians. They have several rooms and more than one site and they are very accomodating.

I disliked Grotrian on first aquantance. It took a while but they really grew on me. I think 162 is a bit small though.

Good luck

Adrian
_________________________
S&S Hamburg D, Yamaha CLP 280


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#223740 - 03/19/07 02:30 AM Re: Grotrian 162 - opinions?
pianistical Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/04
Posts: 1377
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Yes, Grotrians are like Blüthners. They grow on you.
Some pianos, just like some people, reveal their personality over time.
_________________________
“There are only two important things which I took with me on my way to America, It´s been my wife Natalja and my precious Blüthner.” – Sergei Rachmaninov

1913 Blüthner model 6
1929 Blüthner model 9.
1955 Steingraeber upright.

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#223741 - 03/19/07 11:04 PM Re: Grotrian 162 - opinions?
Jeanne W Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/04
Posts: 1240
Loc: New England
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jeffrey:
Play more pianos. You can't go wrong playing many different pianos before you purchase. [/b]
Good advice but then again...

Playing a Grotrian, in my opinion, pretty much spoils a person. It's one of The Very Best. But then again, taste is highly individual. You may you prefer the sound or touch of some other wonderful piano. So, yes, it's always a good idea to do your homework and experience as many different pianos for yourself as possible.

Jeanne W
_________________________
Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
My Piano Delivery Thread:
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/8776.html#000000

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