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#2288473 - 06/11/14 11:06 AM The Search for my Forever Piano
Markarian Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 252
Loc: Seattle Area
So many of you have been following my progress over the last couple of months. Long story short, I bought a 2002 NY Steinway B from a local reseller that had it on consignment. After getting it home, I noticed that the soundboard had cracks/compression ridges (I've heard conflicting opinions on them) and was peeling off the ribs in at least three places near the tail. The dealer, Northwest Pianos, graciously offered to take it back for a refund so now my search begins anew.

I am focusing on finding another B, since I was so happy with mine until discovering its flaws. I would NOT say no to a D, but I am finding that there is very little concentrated inventory of them anywhere and I would have to fly all over heck and breakfast to try each one. As it is, a B is thunderous in my space, but I recognize that a concert grand could also be tamed and make me a better player.

I started yesterday by auditioning the following pianos at a local dealer:

-Two 1996 Bs. One had great tone, but was a bit ho-hum overall. Not bad, but not great either. The other was singing, but voiced quite brightly and its action was a bit heavy for my tastes. It's a serious contender. There were a couple minor compression ridges in both.

-A 1981 Bosendorfer Imperial. The sales rep really encouraged me to try this one thoroughly. I liked it a lot, but wow did it have a different tone. I still felt like I got a better dynamic range out of the Steinways. Still I am wanting to play this one again. It was formerly owned by the Seattle Symphony, but was pristine except for extensive lacquer crazing on the plate. The sales rep rattled off a litany of work that had been done to it, including new hammers, strings, etc.

-Two Mason & Hamlins. Sweet, lovely, very, very mellow. They were both brand new and presumably haven't been voiced yet.

The rep kept asking me how I found all these different brands and after describing their feel, tone, and what I wanted out of them, he chuckled and said, "You really are a Steinway guy. That's the only way you're going to get the sound you're describing. I may not have exactly the instrument for you, but it seems as if you know what you want."

So those two Bs are in the running. Today I will try to see two more, and next week I fly to Texas to try out another 6 or 7.

This is quite a process, but it is not one I am willing to spend 6-24 months undertaking. I am NOT a concert pianist, I am NOT a classically trained musician. While I am picky, I am not Vladimir Horowitz and in the end I just want a piano that feels right, sounds incredible, and will last me past my own life.
NY Steinway Model B | Kawai MP11 | Korg Kross 61

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#2288485 - 06/11/14 11:44 AM Re: The Search for my Forever Piano [Re: Markarian]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014

Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7437
Loc: Rochester MN
Markarian - Have you given Ed McMorrow a call?
Marty in Minnesota

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

#2288495 - 06/11/14 12:06 PM Re: The Search for my Forever Piano [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Markarian Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 252
Loc: Seattle Area
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Markarian - Have you given Ed McMorrow a call?
That's on my list for today smile
NY Steinway Model B | Kawai MP11 | Korg Kross 61

#2288564 - 06/11/14 02:19 PM Re: The Search for my Forever Piano [Re: Markarian]
leel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/07/13
Posts: 56
Loc: Lacey WA
Have you looked at what Prosser Pianos in Tacoma might have? They seem to have an awful lot that they put on Craigslist, and they've been around a good long while.

Lee In Lacey, WA

Yamaha P2

#2288847 - 06/12/14 10:18 AM Re: The Search for my Forever Piano [Re: Markarian]
joe80 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1194
without hearing these pianos in person it is so difficult to say, but I tell you what I do like a good Imperial. They are huge though, and too big for my home!

#2288867 - 06/12/14 10:59 AM Re: The Search for my Forever Piano [Re: Markarian]
Rich D. Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/27/01
Posts: 1254
Loc: Rehoboth Beach De. USA
Originally Posted By: Markarian
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Markarian - Have you given Ed McMorrow a call?
That's on my list for today smile

If you make it to Ed's place I'd be interested to hear what you think. He sure sounds like he knows what he is doing.

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"

#2288953 - 06/12/14 03:51 PM Re: The Search for my Forever Piano [Re: Markarian]
Markarian Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 252
Loc: Seattle Area
I had the chance to visit Ed's workshop yesterday and played a wide variety of pianos--A couple of A's a couple of B's, a 9' Baldwin concert grand, and a very fascinating Chickering 7'6" with a unique tone and bass register. While I am halfway through looking at the pianos I'm going to, Ed's shop was certainly worth the two hours on the road roundtrip to see him. He's passionate, knowledgeable, and I was impressed with his work. While he may or may not have the piano for me, it was fun to finally meet up with someone else from PW and have a great time talking and playing pianos.
NY Steinway Model B | Kawai MP11 | Korg Kross 61


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