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#283085 - 10/22/08 11:29 AM Schimmel 130 or Yamaha YUS5 to replace a Steinway M
HenryTD Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/18/08
Posts: 44
Loc: Suburb of Philadelphia
I've posted before on my search for a really fine upright, and some of you contributed your thoughts, especially to the thread on the Schimmel 124:

http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/23921.html#000000

I tried this Schimmel 124 when in New England, and the character of the sound wasn't what I want, especially in the bass.

I'm now trying to decide between a new Yamaha YUS5, after playing one in New England, and a used Schimmel 130 that's maybe 5 years old that I haven't seen yet. The Schimmel is coming into a dealer on trade for a grand (although that deal is still unconsummated). I have a hold on a YUS5SG that I can audition on about November 1st relatively near by (the big Yamaha dealer in Philadelphia area won't stock the YUS series...guess why).

I did play a 12 year old Schimmel 130 in Paramus, NJ, and it was great. It's probably still available.

I'm asking for advice from those who know the Steinway M and it's qualities, and also have experience with the high end uprights that I'm considering (terminaldegree are you listening?). Unfortunately I cannot put these pianos side by side and compare them.

If I felt it prudent financially I'd just spend maybe $7,000 more and get a Sauter 130 ("130 Basic" available only in US - see posts). It's the best sounding upright I've ever played. I think I would do that if I could get close to $15,000 for my M. The best offer yet is $9,000, but that's because this buyer would totally rebuild it. That goes against the grain, however, since this 1938 Steinway is in excellent condition (see my ad on PianoWorld). Someone can get probably 5, 10 or 20 years, or more, without having to invest in a new pin block, and it's always going to be worth $9,000 to a rebuilder. In fact, that number will probably keep growing.

I love this forum. It's addictive! Thanks in advance for your opinions.

Henry
_________________________
As my emotions flow through my fingers, the piano responds and lifts my spirit when nothing else can.

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#283086 - 10/22/08 11:35 AM Re: Schimmel 130 or Yamaha YUS5 to replace a Steinway M
verania5 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/08
Posts: 386
Loc: Michigan
Hmm, since the Steinway M is a grand piano it is rather difficult to compare with uprights. I'm curious why you want to replace a grand with an upright. Are you downsizing?
_________________________
Steinway M & Yamaha P120

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#283087 - 10/22/08 12:12 PM Re: Schimmel 130 or Yamaha YUS5 to replace a Steinway M
Norbert Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 13963
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
 Quote:
If I felt it prudent financially I'd just spend maybe $7,000 more and get a Sauter 130 ("130 Basic" available only in US - see posts).
The Sauter would easily be a superior piano including al ot of other grands right up to 6' size.

Have your dealer write the factory - you can get that model anywhere if you can wait......

best wishes

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

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#283088 - 10/22/08 12:32 PM Re: Schimmel 130 or Yamaha YUS5 to replace a Steinway M
HenryTD Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/18/08
Posts: 44
Loc: Suburb of Philadelphia
Verania5: Yes, we're downsizing, and the grand is too big for what will be our new living room.

Norbert: I've actually played the Sauter "130 Basic" since it's at a local piano dealer. I love it! It's prudent financially to get the Sauter only if I can realize close to $15,000 for the Steinway M.

Thank you both for replying.

Henry
_________________________
As my emotions flow through my fingers, the piano responds and lifts my spirit when nothing else can.

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#283089 - 10/22/08 04:34 PM Re: Schimmel 130 or Yamaha YUS5 to replace a Steinway M
terminaldegree Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 2554
Loc: western Wisconsin
Hi Henry,

The sound and action feel of a good Steinway M is among the best for a grand of its' size (with the exception of the bottom 5-6 notes in my experience, an issue with all the short grands). I enjoy playing and teaching on the one I have at school, though there are some teflon parts still lurking around the action.

I must say I enjoy playing my Schimmel 130 at home just as much, though the comparison is unfair (1983-vintage steinway with institutional use vs. 2.5 years of use on the upright with very regular maintenance in a nicely controlled environment).

During my upright search, my second favorite piano to the Schimmel overall was a Yamaha U5 (in my price range). I have not had a chance to play the YUS5 for comparison. The actions both felt nice, though different from each other. The Schimmel had an individual sound quality that I found interesting, and a lot of dynamic power through all registers of the keyboard.

Here's the thread from back when I was searching:

http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?/topic/1/14201.html

Since then I've had the chance to play a Schulze-Pollman P6 here in Wisconsin, and thought it was a very nice instrument, worthy of being added to the extensive list of pianos in "second place". I've also had the chance to play a Bechstein Concert 8 (best-sounding upright ever IMHO), and a comparable "Academy series" Bechstein upright to my Schimmel 130 (I like my piano better, and it's a better deal). Haven't played a Sauter yet.

I think it comes down to finding a particularly good upright that you like initially and hiring a technician who is very skilled at voicing and regulation to keep it at its' full potential at all times. Otherwise, I could see how one could develop buyers' remorse after trading in your Steinway M...

If you're still looking around the holiday time and want another pianist along (so you can just listen), PM me-- I may be in the S. PA/Baltimore/DC area for a few weeks. It's always fun to look at high-end pianos...
_________________________
Pianist, teacher, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Casio px-200, Bechstein A190 #192939 @ home
Steinway A #585209, B #416809 @ work
Schimmel 130T #339100, on loan

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#283090 - 10/22/08 05:48 PM Re: Schimmel 130 or Yamaha YUS5 to replace a Steinway M
Genaa Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/05/08
Posts: 326
Loc: Winchester, UK
Not had a chance to play any Schimmels on my search as nobody within travelling distance had any in stock and would only obtain one if pre-ordered, but I have played a range of Yamaha uprights including the YUS5, YUS3, U3, U5 and SU7 (which I believe may not be available in the US as everyone 'your side' of the pond refers to the YUS5 as the topline Yammie.. The Yamaha are very nice instruments, with a fine responsive action, but to my mind they lack any particularly distinctive characteristic in terms of their tone (which can be seen as a negative or positive depending on your view point).

I would guess that the Schimmel would have perhaps more of a distinct character to it. If the toss up is between a new Yamaha YUS5 and a considerably older Schimmel, then I would likely take the Yamaha unless I really liked something about the older piano....that said 5 years old is nothing ;\) both are very good choices, neither of which I think you would regret.
_________________________
Sauter Masterclass 130
----------------------
Currently working on:
Bach: French Suite no. 4
Beethoven: Op 10 no 1
Schubert: Op 90 no 3
Debussy: La Cathedrale Engloutie, Golliwog's Cakewalk, 'Clear the Room'
Balakirev / Glinka: The Lark

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#283091 - 10/22/08 05:50 PM Re: Schimmel 130 or Yamaha YUS5 to replace a Steinway M
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4680
Loc: San Francisco
Private sales can be time consuming. If you're not already doing so, you might want to consider using suburban newspapers in communities such as Bryn Mawr and Bala Cynwyd. I think that classifieds on Craigslist are still free and eBay's fees were not exorbitant, the last time that I sold there (be sure to include a Reserve Price.)

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#283092 - 10/22/08 05:51 PM Re: Schimmel 130 or Yamaha YUS5 to replace a Steinway M
Tweedpipe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/08
Posts: 414
HenryTD,

You were asking advice from those who know the Steinway M and it's qualities, and also have experience with the high end uprights that you are considering.

Although admittedly I've never lived with a new Steinway M, having tried one for a short time I feel I am reasonably well placed to pass judgment on this model compared to a high-end upright.

I had gone along to a local dealer to discuss the availability and pricing of a Piano Life Saver (Dampp-Chaser) for my recently acquired Sauter. Prior to leaving, on noticing there was a new (European) Steinway M in the showroom I asked if I could try it. (I'd previously established a good relationship with the salesperson during my recent piano search and they replied of course I could go ahead and play as long as I wished).

Incidently I note that Verania5 states that since the Steinway M is a grand piano it is rather difficult to compare with uprights. Shape and footprint apart, I beg to differ.

The Steinway M model was certainly a pleasure to play on, and I naturally found myself comparing touch, sound and especially workmanship with my Sauter Masterclass, and imho I must confess that it was an even match.
You may be interested to read my Sauter buying experience, which included trial of the Yamaha YUS5 that you also have under consideration.

http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/24071.html#000000

I wish you luck with the sale of your current Model M, and hope you can realize close to the sum you require, and ultimately end up with a magnificent upright - as I indeed did.
_________________________
Dear Noah,
We could have sworn you said the ark wasn't leaving till 5.
Yours sincerely,
The Unicorns



------------------------------


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#283093 - 10/22/08 06:25 PM Re: Schimmel 130 or Yamaha YUS5 to replace a Steinway M
verania5 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/08
Posts: 386
Loc: Michigan
It would appear I need to audition a Sauter and Schimmel and hear it for myself. I have owned two Yamaha uprights and my current Steinway grand and I have never found an upright to equal the grand in touch and tone - this should be a most interesting experiment. Now where can I find one in Michigan?
_________________________
Steinway M & Yamaha P120

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#283094 - 10/22/08 07:17 PM Re: Schimmel 130 or Yamaha YUS5 to replace a Steinway M
terminaldegree Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 2554
Loc: western Wisconsin
Henry,

I forgot to mention in the original post-- the low bass lacks for nothing on the 130, though the "break" has been a little less than ideal on mine (will have the tech try some things with it next time out). FWIW, I recall the Yamaha was pretty good in the lowest registers too, though again the basic sound quality was different.
_________________________
Pianist, teacher, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Casio px-200, Bechstein A190 #192939 @ home
Steinway A #585209, B #416809 @ work
Schimmel 130T #339100, on loan

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#283095 - 10/24/08 07:26 PM Re: Schimmel 130 or Yamaha YUS5 to replace a Steinway M
HenryTD Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/18/08
Posts: 44
Loc: Suburb of Philadelphia
Terminaldegree:

What you say about the Steinway M is right on the money and your comparison to the Schimmel 130 is very encouraging (the one I'm considering is only a few years old). Re your followup post, yes, spine-rattling bass is important to me.

I enjoyed reading your posts on the thread you quoted on your original search for a fine upright, and the updated comparison of your Schimmel to the Bechstein uprights. Like for you, the Concert 8 is out of reach.

Fortunately I have an excellent technician on call, and would plan to use him as long as he's available, possibly even if I buy a Sauter from Cunningham, although of course Cunningham's technicians are also excellent. Let's stay in touch regarding a joint "piano auditioning" adventure at holiday time, although part of me says to end this time-and-energy-consuming pursuit and get on with my life!

Genaa:

I think I hear you and others saying that the Yamaha YUS5 is a safer, more conservative choice, both from a reliability and preservation of value point of view, and that they are consistent in quality. So that should be my choice unless the Schimmel has a special tone quality or other irresistible appeal that grabs me (kind of the way the Sauter "130 Basic" has). That's sensible advice, and I think that's where I am right now.

FogVilleLad:

I'll look at the cost of an ad in the Main Line Times. I may try Craigs List. Ebay is just too scary for something as expensive as a piano. I agree completely that private selling is time consuming. I think the secret may be to not over-estimate the value.

Tweedpipe:

Indeed I have read the thread you pointed to (I'm the one that miss-interpreted your title about a "new M-Line" as possibly referring to the modified Sauter 130 that's based on the M-line that's being offered in the US - glad we straightened that out!). I've also read your earlier threads. Bottom line: as mentioned above, playing the Sauter "130 Basic" (see www.sauterforum.com Oct 6 post on M-line vs. 130 Basic) clearly comes the closest to matching the pleasure I get from playing my Steinway. Your comparison of the new Steinway M with your M-line Masterclass encourages me to keep reaching for the Sauter. [I've now deleted the comment about the Phillies tickets, but if you saw it, yes, someone did take me up on the patriotic asking price].

Verania5:

Schimmel and Sauter dealers are hard to find. Sounds like you need an excuse to take a trip to SoCal or NYC for some "professional advancement" purpose, with a side trip to some exotic piano emporiums! Or maybe Miami. I'm going to be there in a week or so... I'll see if that city has dealers that carry German pianos with names that begin with S. [edit: not Sauter dealer I could find, but Piano & Art Galeria in Coral Gables carries Schimmel pianos].

Thanks again to all who are helping me with this pursuit. It's been a great help.

Henry
_________________________
As my emotions flow through my fingers, the piano responds and lifts my spirit when nothing else can.

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