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#237796 - 10/01/08 09:42 AM Life is Grand! Part 5--Conclusion (I promise)
kadiddle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/21/08
Posts: 38
Link to Part 1: http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/23978.html
Link to Part 2: http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/23988.html
Link to Part 3: http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/23993.html
Link to Part 4: http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/24005.html

Life is Grand, Part 5 – Conclusion

Next, I went back to Baker Pianos in Littleton to see the Shigerus one more time while everything was fresh in my ears. There were two on the floor, a SK-7 and SK-3. I thoroughly enjoyed the warm, rich, yet clear sound of the SK-7. Like the other fine pianos this one had a powerful distinct bass and an overall tone that made it’s sound so fulfilling. The touch is excellent and this is a piano we could live with for a long time. By interpolation, I knew that the SK6 would be great too. My previous craving for this piano was as strong as ever.

At this point, I was in a daze. I knew what we liked and wanted but the prices were a bit much to swallow. Bluthner, August Forster, Mason & Hamlin and Shigeru; all Group 1 pianos according to Larry Fine, all deserving of this ranking and any of which we would be delighted to own. Petrof or Estonia? Also very nice pianos, I don’t think we could go wrong with either.
Once back at home, I ran some numbers through an excel spreadsheet, it would be a stretch for what we really wanted. I battled with myself about the logic of such a decision, recounting all the arguments for and against spending this much on a piano.

Finally, after much frustration, came a moment of clarity. I got up and drove back to Woods & Son Pianos. Joe and I sat down for a chat and our dilemma was explained to him. I told him that it was up to him to decide whether or not we would own one of these fine pianos. I made an offer to him for one of his pianos,….. he didn’t like it. We talked for a few more minutes, also discussing the other pianos on our short list, and then I left.

On the drive home I reviewed everything that happened so far, and considering all the facts, decided that I had made the right decision.
When I got home I needed to call my wife at work and bring her up to date with all that had transpired this day, I had not spoken with her since she left home for work this morning. When she answered I said: “Honey, we need to get a new rug”; “Why?” she asked. “To go under our new piano”, I replied.

As I write this, delivery of the 2003 August Forster model 215 is about 2 hours away. The dining room table and chairs are in the basement, a new rug is on the floor of the dining…. Uhhh, I mean Piano room… and we feel like two young children waiting for Santa Clause to arrive.

I can hardly believe the evolution that this piano quest underwent. All I wanted was a digital piano with a little better sound and feel. What we ended up with comes from another universe. Of course, this would not be possible without the cooperation and encouragement of a most wonderful and loving wife. I would also like to thank a few forum members here that assisted me in private messages. Many thanks also go to Trevor Nelson, who joined me in this search and helped us make an informed decision. And finally, thanks to an understanding and cooperative piano dealer, Joe Woods, who in the end, accommodated our limitations and made the dream of owning a wonderful GRAND[/b] piano possible.

I’ll post pictures soon.
In closing I want to tell you that our experiences at every dealer we visited were excellent. We encountered no high pressure sales tactics and no bashing of the competition. Everyone we met was a true professional. I would highly recommend any of the piano dealers mentioned in this story.

Very truly yours,

ps, the digital piano will remain in my office

Link to Pictures: http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/24029.html
August Forster 215

Hailun / Pearl River Pianos

Pearl River World's Best Selling Piano
#237797 - 10/01/08 09:49 AM Re: Life is Grand! Part 5--Conclusion (I promise)
DanLaura Larson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/01/08
Posts: 695
Loc: Pocatello, Idaho
Hooray! I was so rooting for the AF215. \:D You have made a lifetime purchase and made a fantastic choice. I hope you have a decades of love with that piano.

Dan and Laura Larson
Fazioli and Ibach grands
Larson Piano Studio

#237798 - 10/01/08 10:06 AM Re: Life is Grand! Part 5--Conclusion (I promise)
SophieM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/08
Posts: 353
Loc: New York City
What a wonderful story! Congratulations. \:\)

#237799 - 10/01/08 10:16 AM Re: Life is Grand! Part 5--Conclusion (I promise)
Woody-Woodruff Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/08
Posts: 615
Loc: Coastal Mississippi
Congratulations! Excellent choice! And Monica was right too so we have two winners..... But I have to ask, what happened to the 9' Bechstein? How did it fall out of the running?

#237800 - 10/01/08 10:33 AM Re: Life is Grand! Part 5--Conclusion (I promise)
kadiddle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/21/08
Posts: 38
Dan & SophieM, thanks for the support.
Woody, size and price kept the 9' Bechstein from ever being "in the running". You'll see the size problem when I post the pics.
My wife and I had also tried a new 9' Bech at another dealer during this quest and were most impressed by it, I think the price they had on it before haggling was $180,000. It was sitting next to a Pramberger 9' concert grand (about half the price of the Bechstein if recall correctly). Out of deference to Pramberge I'll not mention the differences.
August Forster 215

#237801 - 10/01/08 10:39 AM Re: Life is Grand! Part 5--Conclusion (I promise)
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012

Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17906
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
WOOT! I'm so rarely right on these guessing games that I gotta celebrate when I am. \:D

Congratulations, kadiddle, on your new AF 215. \:\) And thank you for a most enjoyable piano search story.
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

#237802 - 10/01/08 11:10 AM Re: Life is Grand! Part 5--Conclusion (I promise)
kadiddle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/21/08
Posts: 38
Yeah, you had it Monica k.
I'm sure this has happened to others.... Once we tried the Af215 it just grabbed us and nothing else we tried, no matter how good, could take the spot it occupied in our hearts and mind. When Trevor joined me in this hunt, I think the same happened with him but the difference is that Trevor was better able to "quantify" (or is it "qualify"?) what it was about this piano that made it so appealing. It sat in the showroom adjacent to some very tuff competition, but nothing else could top it in either an emotional or a logical comparison.
One thing I found interesting during this quest was that my wife was almost instantly able to rank the pianos by just poking a few notes on them. Even after scrutiny by Trevor there was hardly any change in our rankings from her 5 second evaluation.
August Forster 215

#237803 - 10/01/08 11:27 AM Re: Life is Grand! Part 5--Conclusion (I promise)
Woody-Woodruff Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/08
Posts: 615
Loc: Coastal Mississippi

I was sincere in my response yesterday regarding your wife. It's not everyday that a non-player/addict willingly gives up a part of the house nor tromps through piano store after piano store and has the ability to identify the right piano instantly. I think she should be in the running for "spouse of the year" if we ever have one of those here at PW.

Regarding the $180K asking price for the new concert Bech.... I had no idea! Based on everything you've said in your postings the AF certainly matches it it for performance versus size.

I'm looking forward to the pictures and a follow-up report in a few months to let us know how the AF is "breaking-in".

Thanks for the entertaining and informative posts.


#237804 - 10/01/08 11:29 AM Re: Life is Grand! Part 5--Conclusion (I promise)
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4983
Loc: boston north
Nice ending!

Only 2 hours wait? Lucky you...some of us have to wait months!!!

Now...I have a question.

"I made an offer to him for one of his pianos,….. he didn’t like it. We talked for a few more minutes, also discussing the other pianos on our short list, and then I left."

Was this an offer on a piano OTHER than the Forster? If so, which?

Forsters are beautiful pianos. I watched as one happy new owner was still playing her new purchase of a Forster when I arrived at Cathy Harl's for the DC weekend with Lisitsa last year.
She was smiling ear to ear!

Now, you also realize that we like delivery pics, right? And now there is even a thread on WHAT PIECE DID YOU FIRST PLAY on your new piano!!!

Enjoy, kadiddle. It was fun sharing it with you.

"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

#237805 - 10/01/08 11:43 AM Re: Life is Grand! Part 5--Conclusion (I promise)
kadiddle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/21/08
Posts: 38
Woody, she certainly gets my vote. In fairness, remember that early on she said that if we got a Grand that she would likely learn to play also. So there may have been a little self interest involved, but make no mistake about it, she's one in a billion.

The offer was for the AF215. The final price was not far from the offer. I prefer not say what that price is, but suffice it to say that if I did mention it, most of you would be wondering why all the fuss about the price. ;\)
August Forster 215

#237806 - 10/01/08 12:31 PM Re: Life is Grand! Part 5--Conclusion (I promise)
Rod Verhnjak Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 3665
Loc: Vancouver B.C. Canada
Originally posted by kadiddle:
Many thanks also go to Trevor Nelson, who joined me in this search and helped us make an informed decision.[/b]
Congratulations on your purchase.

Good you had Trevor helping you, he is a great guy and very talented technician.

Verhnjak Pianos
Specializing in the Restoration, Refinishing & Maintenance
of Fine Heirloom Pianos

Verhnjak Pianos Facebook

#237807 - 10/01/08 12:49 PM Re: Life is Grand! Part 5--Conclusion (I promise)
vlamb Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/16/08
Posts: 4
Loc: Toronto
I have been looking for Forsters during my piano search but had no luck. Anyway, congrats and be sure to post them pictures!

#237808 - 10/01/08 01:06 PM Re: Life is Grand! Part 5--Conclusion (I promise)
kadiddle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/21/08
Posts: 38
Rod V, I was lucky to have found Trevor. He had just the right skill set and personality that we needed. Super nice guy.

Vlamb, Woods & Son has an AF170 and an AF190 in stock at very good prices. His 190 is excellent. I'm sure he could get a 215 or 275 if you wanted one.
Let us know how your search goes.
August Forster 215

#237809 - 10/01/08 01:55 PM Re: Life is Grand! Part 5--Conclusion (I promise)
Aley Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/17/08
Posts: 82
Loc: Albuquerque, NM, USA
kadiddle, congratulations on your piano! May you and your wife enjoy it for years to come. You wouldn't have gone wrong with any of the pianos on your final list, but it seems that you got the one that's just right for you.

#237810 - 10/01/08 02:26 PM Re: Life is Grand! Part 5--Conclusion (I promise)
Galahad Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/11/08
Posts: 46
Loc: Newton, Massachusetts
The AF 215 is a simply wonderful piano. That was the piano that tempted me to venture deeper into the perilous fantasy realm of high-end grand pianos, never to return to the world of prudence and cold rationality. Oh well, I’ve never for even one second regretted my purchase, and I’m sure you won’t either. You will enjoy that piano more with every passing day. Congratulations, and may you and your wife have many joyful years of playing.

#237811 - 10/01/08 08:39 PM Re: Life is Grand! Part 5--Conclusion (I promise)
TX-Dennis Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/05
Posts: 4126
Loc: Texas
kadiddle, great writing! I enjoyed reading about your quest for the perfect piano. I am glad you found it! Congratulations, now just play it!



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