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#238958 - 01/10/07 07:56 PM Bohemia- Worth the trip? Other Ideas?
rdubs Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/10/07
Posts: 2
Loc: Saint Paul, MN
Hi All,
I'm new here and wow- what an amazing resource. I'm really impressed with the depth of knowledge and the overall civility of the discussions.

Like many others, I found the forum in the midst of my first piano search. Just a little background- I've just started taking piano lessons (6 mo) as an adult beginner but I've been around keyboards for many years through my work writing music for tv and film. My frustrations with my lack of piano skills finally pushed me over the edge. So I've committed to practicing and I'm really enjoying playing really poorly each day.

After learning my old 1915 Cable upright wasn't worth restoring, I've shopped quite a bit, searched the forums, read the Larry Fine book, obsessed, and agonized over it, etc. Sound familiar?

So far, despite really loving the G4 Disklavier where I work, I've determined I'm not a fan of the Yamaha upright sound. Too nasal for my tastes. I've checked out Pramberger (JP48), Kawai K3 and K5, Petrof, Boston 118, Brodmann 125, and a Schimmel 120 AE- which of those was the hands down winner in touch, timbre, and overall loveability. But it's more than I ever expected to spend (8-10k instead of my original 5k budget). Generally I like a slightly darker sound like the Kawai or Bostons I've checked out but there was something very sweet about the tone of the Schimmel despite being a bit brighter and heavier on the fundamental than I might like. It's also got the Renner action and is less mysterious than some of the others in terms of quality and resale value.

So- my question. Not being able to check out any Bohemia uprights here in Minnesota, would it be worth a trip to Chicago to compare before I settle for something locally? Is it that good? Any big issues with buying out of state if I like one? Will having it delivered and prepped cost the difference for the Schimmel?

And Lastly, if I'm going to let my budget creep up, what else should I be checking out? It has to be an upright. No room for anything bigger.

Ok that was very long winded for my first post here. I promise to economize now that you know me. Thanks in advance for your wisdom.

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#238959 - 01/10/07 08:18 PM Re: Bohemia- Worth the trip? Other Ideas?
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10680
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
You are unnecessarily confusing yourself by comparing pianos with very different prices. Try comparing pianos that are similar in selling price. Go for the one that performs the best. Don't forget to try out the next size larger. Since the labor costs are nearly identical, the bang-for-the-buck is really good.

Bohemia makes a good piano in your price range. However, Chicago is far from Minn., and it will cost you in shipping.

I would say that, if you find a piano locally in your price range, that your are comfortable and satisfied with, I would forgo the trip. However, if there is still some nagging doubts, get a reliable weather forcast and head to Chicago!
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

#238960 - 01/10/07 08:43 PM Re: Bohemia- Worth the trip? Other Ideas?
mikhailoh Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 4288
Loc: Cincinnati
Hie thee to Madison, WI, Rdub. GeorgeK just bought one there.


He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'

#238961 - 01/10/07 11:21 PM Re: Bohemia- Worth the trip? Other Ideas?
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012

Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17949
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Welcome to the forum, rdubs!

I haven't played many uprights so can't comment on the specific models you're considering, but I can offer a few general comments:

1.) It is not at all unusual for a piano shopper to double or triple his or her initial budget when shopping. And I have never heard of anybody regretting that they did so.

2.) Soooooo.... if it is the Schimmel that sings to you, and you can swing it financially, I'd say "go for it!" Especially since you say it was the "hands down winner" in all the important respects. This is a long-term purchase, so the extra few thousand amortized over the life of the piano really amounts to very little. And it's worth it, imo, to sit down and play at a piano that makes your heart sing. \:\)

3.) I wouldn't hesitate to buy out of state to get the right piano. (I did, myself.) Just make sure to get it all worked out what the procedure would be if there are any warranty issues. And realize that you will probably have to pay out of pocket to cover the non-warranty issues that most local dealers will cover out of courtesy, e.g., squeaking pedals, buzzing notes, etc.

Good luck and keep us posted. And come join us in the Adult Beginners Forum. We're a bunch of people who also "really enjoy playing really poorly every day." \:D
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#238962 - 01/11/07 06:45 AM Re: Bohemia- Worth the trip? Other Ideas?
mikhailoh Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 4288
Loc: Cincinnati
Monica is right about the Adult Beginners! I personally started at Wretched, progressed on to Pathetic and am now seeking to achieve Mediocrity! (Hey - we can't all be Horowitz, you know? \:D )

AB is a really gfreat place for new pianists.


He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'

#238963 - 01/11/07 10:03 AM Re: Bohemia- Worth the trip? Other Ideas?
George K Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/20/04
Posts: 999
Loc: The Midwest

Farleys House of Pianos is a Bohemia dealer. They are located in Madison. They are pleasant to deal with, and you can take the time you want to purchase (lord knows, I did!). I did not examine many of the Bohemia uprights, but Horace (who may still be here) has one. PM him and ask. Should you go to Farley's say "Hi" to Tim and Kay from me.

I bought from Farley's because when I retire, they'll be local to me, so service/etc will not be an issue. Had I planned on staying in Chicago, I would have looked differently.

(Taking Delivery 1 Week from RIGHT NOW!)

#238964 - 01/11/07 10:56 AM Re: Bohemia- Worth the trip? Other Ideas?
rdubs Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/10/07
Posts: 2
Loc: Saint Paul, MN
Thanks George! I'll certainly check them out. Closer than Chicago and they look like a great dealer. If I go, I'll give them your greeting.

And Congrats on your new piano! Very exciting.

#238965 - 01/11/07 11:11 AM Re: Bohemia- Worth the trip? Other Ideas?
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10647
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
You might also want to check out the Schulze Pollmann uprights if they are available within a reasonable radius. At an even higher end give the Grotrians a try. I have never heard anyone here say a bad word about their uprights. Even if they are out of the budget, there is some mileage in finding out what those pianos are like.

BTW: this line is priceless!

So I've committed to practicing and I'm really enjoying playing really poorly each day.
:D \:D


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