Subtitled "Attending A Piano Sales Event"
It has been a long time since I have posted about how my piano search is going.
That is because it came to a standstill.
And you might have thought that I had totally given up. But thanks to some wonderful 'piano search' posts that have been shared, you have kept my spirits up when I was almost ready to give it up.
Uppercrest uprights are few and far between here in USA. And I have been waiting for the arrival of a C. Bech 52" Concert 8 to try out 'next to' a C. Bech 49" 124, in the NYC area, to compare both, as well as also play the Grotrians and Sauters in the city and revisit the Forsters in NJ. You know, one visit to cover them all!
Yesterday, I unexpectedly found out that East Coast Piano from NJ/NY was holding one of their 'Sales Events' in a location 1/2 hour from here and lo and behold, they put a C. Bech 124, 49" upright on the truck at the last minute.
Whoa, a piano that I have been wanted to try for months, right here locally? I couldn't change my Sat internary fast enough. ;-)
Now, I have heard of fly in, fly out, college sales, etc, but had never attended any, so I was not sure what to expect with this 'Sales Event'...
But Dena, who had set up my original visit to a private home to test out the C Bech Concert 8, last June, made sure that this 124 C Bech was tuned (at 6AM this morning) so I had high anticipation. Would I love this 3" less tall piano as much as the Concert 8 I had tried? C Bechstein Concert 8
I cancelled an afternoon appt.
Wished that I had not gardened so hard the last few weeks to make my hands weak, wished that the carpal tunnel was not acting up, and wished I had at least touched my piano lately, as I drove to the hotel location.
Insert other thoughts here - just how many pianos might they bring to this kind of event? Can you play and hear anything? Are you pestered? Are you pressured?
As I walked into this large carpeted hotel conference room, my thought was, "Sure looks like a happening to me!"
The room seemed as big as many piano sales stores I have seen with at least as many pianos. Grands, uprights (100 instruments?) and people. Not crowded, not intimidating. A friendly atmosphere with plenty of sales people if you wanted help and demos, lots of activity, pianos being played. I experienced a happy atmosphere.
Now I realize this might not be thrilling to hear for all those BM (brick and mortar) wonderful establishments that I believe in supporting; but there sure is something behind the 'you gotta get it now, cause this is a quick event'.
Having done weekend antiques shows where sales doubled monthly store sales, I have witnessed the 'buy it now' syndrome. But I truly believe in and support local establishments. More on that later.
I carry on about today's adventure...
I was greeted and shown where the C Bech 124 was. I was focused. The piano already had a hold sign on it (brought up for a particular customer who put a downpayment earlier) but no problem for me, as I knew I would probably have to order a finish that I am interested in.
Playing to really listen closely was another trick. Lots of pianos were being played at once. But I can focus, and would wait while I heard some sales going on in my area; wait while someone had to show off how loud they could play; etc, etc.
And while I was there, this 124 sale was solidified. Not to buyer no. 1, but to another pianist who was thrilled to be having it delivered this week. I envy him.
I also tried a Bechstein A series upright. Clean and nice. I would recommend others to try them. They are a little less expensive than the C Bech line.
As another breather from the 124 sound, I also tried the grand A190. Barely had to play half a piece to be impressed with it and will highly recommend it. Now who here has posted about trying/owning this? Very nice! Crisp, clear, and a breeze to play with all the umph needed for both classical and pop.
At the end of the afternoon, I had a very nice, unpressured, round table discussion with the owner, Rick, Dena, and others. About the C Bech uprights, availability, my possible ordering, etc. Do we need more in USA? For sure. I still think the upper end uprights are lacking in local availabilities.
No decisions made today, but I was once again impressed with Bechstein Pianos.