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#285821 - 04/08/06 07:43 PM Upright Piano Search Continues.....
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4974
Loc: boston north
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.

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

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#285822 - 04/08/06 07:56 PM Re: Upright Piano Search Continues.....
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17698
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
 Quote:
Originally posted by lilylady:
Would I love this 3" less tall piano as much as the Concert 8 I had tried?
[/b]
I'm not sure you gave an explicit answer to this question. Do you have a sense as to whether there's a huge difference in sound/quality between the two models? Or do you want to wait until you've had the chance to play them both side by side before deciding?

I enjoyed reading your post and hearing more about these sales events. I've never been to one but confess to intense curiosity.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#285823 - 04/08/06 10:17 PM Re: Upright Piano Search Continues.....
Rich D. Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/27/01
Posts: 1218
Loc: Rehoboth Beach De. USA
Lilylady,
I see your still in the hunt. To me there are few, if any uprights that match a C.Bechstein Concert 8 (maybe a Grotrian 132 or Bluthner 52"). If you were just listening to someone play the Concert 8 you would surely think the sound was coming from a grand. I've not played the C.Bechstein 124 but I'm sure it must sound wonderful as well. I did play the less expensive Bechstein 49.5" upright and was surprised how much I liked it. Too me the action had a similar feel, possible slightly lighter to the C.Bechstein Concert 8. It would be interesting to compare the Bechstein 49.5' with the C.Bechstein 124 side by side. I think I could be very happy with either.

Rich
_________________________
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"
Anonymous


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#285824 - 04/08/06 10:26 PM Re: Upright Piano Search Continues.....
RickG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 947
Loc: Texas
Great story, Roberta. Please keep us posted!
_________________________
RickG

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#285825 - 04/09/06 12:21 PM Re: Upright Piano Search Continues.....
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4974
Loc: boston north
Monica -
 Quote:
I'm not sure you gave an explicit answer to this question. Do you have a sense as to whether there's a huge difference in sound/quality between the two models? Or do you want to wait until you've had the chance to play them both side by side before deciding?
It was very hard to compare. Living room in private home with hardwood floors and not much furniture (14/18?) for the Concert 8, and then huge room, carpeted with many other instruments for this 124.

I really want to know just what your question is asking, as well.

From what I could compare, this particular 124 did not have what it takes to turn me into jelly, but that is not to say that another 124 wouldn't. The variables were too great. What I was hoping to learn was, given the C Bech characteristics, would a 124 give me what I needed for the small room where it will be located here. The Concert 8 in a private setting was more than what I need.

And I realize that each piano has its own personality.

My belief is that the 'character' of a particular piano should not have to be changed, but merely 'tweaked' into becoming the piano desired.

In short, my quest was not satisfied.

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

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#285826 - 04/09/06 12:33 PM Re: Upright Piano Search Continues.....
Wzkit Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 1005
Loc: Singapore
Just curious Roberta, have you managed to try any Sauter or Grotrain uprights lately?
_________________________
Sauter 185 Delta with accelerated action and burl walnut fallboard

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#285827 - 04/09/06 02:16 PM Re: Upright Piano Search Continues.....
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4974
Loc: boston north
Hi Wz...

I was trying to do a NYC tour to try out the Grotrian and Sauters, as well as comparing the 2 C Bechs side by side, and reviewing the Forster line at Altenburg's all at the same time.

Not only is there a consideration for my 'time' spent traveling, but the expense of the trip had me trying to do it all in one visit.

Are they all on my list?

You betcha!

As well, there should be a Steingraeber upright coming to the east coast soon.

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

Top
#285828 - 04/09/06 02:38 PM Re: Upright Piano Search Continues.....
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17698
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
 Quote:
Originally posted by lilylady:
I really want to know just what your question is asking, as well...

In short, my quest was not satisfied.

Roberta [/b]
That's essentially all I was asking. I couldn't tell from your first post whether the 124 was a serious finalist in your search, and your second post clarified that at least this particular one was not.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#285829 - 04/09/06 09:43 PM Re: Upright Piano Search Continues.....
Wzkit Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 1005
Loc: Singapore
 Quote:
Originally posted by lilylady:
Hi Wz...

I was trying to do a NYC tour to try out the Grotrian and Sauters, as well as comparing the 2 C Bechs side by side, and reviewing the Forster line at Altenburg's all at the same time.

Not only is there a consideration for my 'time' spent traveling, but the expense of the trip had me trying to do it all in one visit.

Are they all on my list?

You betcha!

As well, there should be a Steingraeber upright coming to the east coast soon.

Roberta [/b]
Good good, keep us updated! I think the Steingraeber should be a wonderful instrument (although its probably the most expensive upright in the Singapore market here). I played one myself...wonderfully rich and warm tone, action is medium weighted (lighter than Sauter, but heavier than Bechstein, for instance)
_________________________
Sauter 185 Delta with accelerated action and burl walnut fallboard

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#285830 - 04/10/06 08:56 AM Re: Upright Piano Search Continues.....
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4974
Loc: boston north
The Steingraeber might be the most expensive upright here as well!!!

Your note on the Sauter action has me concerned, as won't be able to own a heavy action piano. To date the M/H was the heaviest actioned upright. The one Sauter I did play, I hadn't noticed that it was though.

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

Top
#285831 - 04/10/06 10:30 AM Re: Upright Piano Search Continues.....
Wzkit Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 1005
Loc: Singapore
 Quote:
Originally posted by lilylady:
The Steingraeber might be the most expensive upright here as well!!!

Your note on the Sauter action has me concerned, as won't be able to own a heavy action piano. To date the M/H was the heaviest actioned upright. The one Sauter I did play, I hadn't noticed that it was though.

Roberta [/b]
Could be a matter of the individual piano as well as individual techniques.

I was worried about the heavy action of the Sauter, but as it is, my accelerated action Delta is just nice...with an action as smooth as butter, even exceeding the Shigeru Kawai.

Of the uprights, the M Line has a pretty light touch, IMO.
_________________________
Sauter 185 Delta with accelerated action and burl walnut fallboard

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