Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#289702 - 01/07/02 10:14 AM Story & Clark Prelude?
Monique Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/07/02
Posts: 11
Loc: Orlando
Hi, I just found this site, lots of useful info here! We are in the market for a new piano and have done some shopping around. Unfortunately our budget is very limited, about $2000-$2500. So far the only things we've looked at in this price range that interest me are a Story & Clark Prelude (continental style) and a Bergman console. (Also saw an interesting Winstin & Kent but have NEVER heard of this brand nor can I find any reference to it anywhere.) I have read Larry Fine's book and understand that both the Bergman and the Story & Clark are Chinese built, and have read enough reviews of the Chinese pianos to understand exactly what I should and should not expect in terms of quality/reliability at this price level. I have not had much luck in finding a good used piano in this area in my price range. Everything is either totally awful, looks like it took a real beating, or is out of my price range.

My question is, what experiences have others had with these two pianos? Both sounded about the same to me. I slightly preferred the "look" of the Bergman cabinet styling, but at the same time the Bergman cabinet also seemed much more poorly constructed than the Story & Clark. I'm planning to drag my husband back to look at the Story & Clark again this weekend. Sticker price was around $2900 -- I don't remember the exact amount since we looked at so many. This is a little above our budget but I'm confident we can negotiate down to within our range. Any ideas on what might be a fair price for this piano? Or are there other new pianos in this price range that would be a better option? Thanks.

Monique

Top
(ads 568) Hailun Pianos

piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#289703 - 01/07/02 10:26 AM Re: Story & Clark Prelude?
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14036
Loc: Louisiana
My suggestion would have been a used piano in this price range. Have you checked with the different piano techs in your area? Sometimes they'll take in a piano and do some minor repairs and then resell it. Or your tech may be a source of information about where a private seller may have a decent used piano. I found my last piano this way.

If you stick with new, I'm not familiar with what all is available at that price point. I'm sure others will chime in with some choices. IMHO, at this price point, I believe the dealer is more important than the brand of piano. The chances are more likely that the piano will have a few "bugs" that will crop up, and you want to make sure you have a good dealer to stand behind his product, even if it means spending another few dollars.

Good luck! \:\)
_________________________
www.coffee-room.com

Over 1,000,000 posts where pianists discuss everything. And nothing.

Top
#289704 - 01/07/02 04:40 PM Re: Story & Clark Prelude?
Paul Spitzer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/01
Posts: 97
Loc: Seattle
Jolly's points deserve seconding. I recently saw a new Story & Clark baby g. on a dealer's floor with a gaping end to end crack in the soundboard. Just as remarkable was the fact that this very marginal dealer had no idea there was problem. Apparently he had not heard the piano or looked inside. A strong retailer is a sound investment, but at your price a good used piano should not be too hard to locate.

Top
#289705 - 01/07/02 05:34 PM Re: Story & Clark Prelude?
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
That would have to be one of the Chinese built Story & Clark baby grands, right? Most of the ones I've seen were Korean built Samicks, which have a laminated board that won't crack.

I would look for a few other Chinese built brands as well, if you want new. I have had good luck with the Pearl River pianos. Others to look at would be Conn and Krakauer, if you can find them in your area.
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

Top
#289706 - 01/07/02 06:14 PM Re: Story & Clark Prelude?
shantinik Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/23/01
Posts: 4271
Loc: Olympia, WA
where are you?

Top
#289707 - 01/07/02 09:23 PM Re: Story & Clark Prelude?
Monique Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/07/02
Posts: 11
Loc: Orlando
Hi. Thanks for the responses posted so far. We're pretty strongly leaning toward purchasing new. Jolly and Paul, you make an excellent point about finding a reputable dealer. I have no experience with the dealers in my area (Orlando, FL), nor do I know of anyone else who does so I have no recommendations to go on, but I feel good about the Story & Clark dealer, which is one of the reasons I'm leaning toward that piano. They are a smallish dealer with no commissioned salespeople -- customers deal directly with the owners (one of whom is an experienced piano technician). This seems to be a plus based on what I've read. When I go back for another look I plan to ask some harder questions about service, etc. But so far I like what I've heard and/or read -- service is a priority, they want a continuing relationship with customers, they thoroughly examine, prep, and tune prior to delivery and after. Although I plan to get a more precise definition of what they mean by "thoroughly."

Larry, thanks for the tip about Pearl River. I think the Story & Clark dealer also had one or two of these in the showroom but I passed them by because I wasn't familiar with that name. I'll give them another look on my next visit.

In the meantime I'll keep checking back here for any more experiences and/or pricing info anyone can share about the Story & Clark Prelude console or the Bergmann console (or other comparables in the same price range -- $2000-$2500).

Thanks again.

Monique

Top
#289708 - 01/08/02 01:44 PM Re: Story & Clark Prelude?
EricL Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 140
Loc: Upstate NY
If your dealer is an authorized dealer of Pearl River pianos, you should definitely give them serious consideration. Of the following three Chinese made pianos: Story and Clark (Prelude), Bergmann, and Pearl River that I have tried, Pearl River is the only one that I would give a passing grade. The Story and Clark I played sounded terrible, and the Bergmann I had experience with used a laminated soundboard and its tone and action were very uneven. Given the limits of your budget, I believe the Pearl River is your best bet. I also know the Pearl River Piano Group stands by its warranty. (I don't have sufficient information to comment on the warranties of the other two, although I know Young Chang also stands by its warranty on their Young Chang and Pramberger lines of pianos. I just simply don't know whether this practice extends to the Bergmann line.) Knowing what exactly are covered in a warranty is important, but of equal importance is how a company handles warranty claims. A company that does not honor its warranty faithfully only means its warranty isn't really worth the cost of the piece of paper that it's on.

In any event, my opinion of these pianos should not worth more than a bucket of warm spit to you. Different pianos obviously have different appeals to different people. Every brand of pianos, regardless of the price range, has their followers and detractors. Because these pianos (especially the ones in the your price range) are not too consistent, you just need to take another serious and careful look at all these pianos to see which one is the least problematic and appeals to YOU the most.

Good luck.

Eric

[ January 08, 2002: Message edited by: EricL ]

Top
#289709 - 01/08/02 02:52 PM Re: Story & Clark Prelude?
AnneH Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/03/01
Posts: 38
Loc: Dallas, Texas
Monique,

I have to agree with both Larry and EricL that for the money you should take a look at the Pearl Rivers. When prepped properly they are a decent little piano. I have tried both the baby grand and upright and found them both better than anticipated. The only Story and Clark I found passable was a rebuild through a local tech. and I have yet to try a Bergmann.

This of course is purely my .02cents. I think EricL summed it up well:

 Quote:
In any event, my opinion of these pianos should not worth more than a bucket of warm spit to you. Different pianos obviously have different appeals to different people. Every brand of pianos, regardless of the price range, has their followers and detractors. Because these pianos (especially the ones in the your price range) are not too consistent, you just need to take another serious and careful look at all these pianos to see which one is the least problematic and appeals to YOU the most


Best of luck with your search. Keep us posted as to what you find!

Anne

Top
#289710 - 01/08/02 03:13 PM Re: Story & Clark Prelude?
Samejame Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 808
Loc: NL, Canada
Eric,

 Quote:
...and the Bergmann I had experience with used a laminated soundboard and its tone and action were very uneven.


So, what's wrong with a laminated soundboard? In your post to Monique, you make it sound like it's a disease or something. Yes the unevenness of tone and action might be a problem for some lower end brands, but neither have anything to do with the laminated soundboard. Unevenness of tone is usually corrected easily by a competent tech by voicing and tuning. Unevenness of action is usually attributed to an action that is not regulated. Both are common faults on lower end pianos where both manufacturers and dealers don't prepare their pianos enough. Both are easily corrected by a tech, and a lower end piano can turn out pretty decent once these faults have been corrected.

I own such an instrument - a Samick 121 cm upright - with a laminated soundboard - that's suits me just fine, thank you very much. The tone is even, with a full bass and even bright midrange and treble. It's tone is somewhere between a Yamaha U1 and a Kawai 48" upright.

If you are going to pass information on to others in an environment such as this forum, please make an effort to make those opinions learned and based on some degree of fact.

The jury is still out the last I heard on whether there is any merit to the claim that there is an appreciable effect on tone for a veneered soundboard vs a non laminated board in this level of piano. Keep in mind also that at least in the case of my Samick, the laminate is a very thin veneer on the inside and outside of what is otherwise the same material as non laminated boards - solid spruce. The sole purpose of the laminate is to reduce the risk of cracking. We're not talking plywood here!

I hope this serves to advise you.

Jamie
_________________________
"A cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing" Oscar Wilde.

Top
#289711 - 01/08/02 03:33 PM Re: Story & Clark Prelude?
Manitou Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/08/02
Posts: 1044
Loc: Colorado
*grin*
I like the last message. He who onws a Honda will defend it, naturally. My only point of contention for your laminated SB issue is this; why don't the very high-end builders use it?
_________________________
Manitou - Pianist - Technician

Top
#289712 - 01/08/02 04:30 PM Re: Story & Clark Prelude?
shantinik Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/23/01
Posts: 4271
Loc: Olympia, WA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Manitou:
*grin*
I like the last message. He who onws a Honda will defend it, naturally. My only point of contention for your laminated SB issue is this; why don't the very high-end builders use it?[/b]


Could just as well be "snobbery", inability to adapt to superior technology, and the cost of retooling.

Even if they found it superior, they'd have to launch a whole new advertising campaign to convince the customer of it. It's a lot easier, from a business perspective, to play defense.

The fact that the others haven't adopted it proves absolutely nothing.

Top
#289713 - 01/08/02 04:46 PM Re: Story & Clark Prelude?
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14036
Loc: Louisiana
Laminated vs. Solid Spruce. Are there any independent studies that have been done to show the differences in acoustical behavior?

There's got to be a reason why high end pianos all use solid spruce (even Samick's World Series).
_________________________
www.coffee-room.com

Over 1,000,000 posts where pianists discuss everything. And nothing.

Top
#289714 - 01/08/02 07:10 PM Re: Story & Clark Prelude?
shantinik Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/23/01
Posts: 4271
Loc: Olympia, WA
Well, it's even more complicated than that. The folks who promote laminate claim that the difference is not in the short-term, but in the long-term. I think we can all agree that there is a "long-term" tendency for spruce soundboards to crack. No one has had a laminated soundboard for 50-75 years. The laminate people would probably also say one cannot compare a spruce board of today with one of 75 years ago.

But then who wants to have a Young Chang or what-have-you for 50-75 years?

My point being that on both sides, it is probably a lot of hype.

Top
#289715 - 01/08/02 07:23 PM Re: Story & Clark Prelude?
T2 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/18/01
Posts: 341
Oh, no, I hear another religious war brewing. Doesn't Darrell Fandrich re-work one of the Samick grands? And doesn't he replace the soundboard right off the bat?

Top
#289716 - 01/08/02 10:24 PM Re: Story & Clark Prelude?
shantinik Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/23/01
Posts: 4271
Loc: Olympia, WA
 Quote:
Originally posted by T2:
Oh, no, I hear another religious war brewing. Doesn't Darrell Fandrich re-work one of the Samick grands? And doesn't he replace the soundboard right off the bat?[/b]


Won't be from me. I'd go with spruce 'cause I'm a traditionalist. All I'm saying is that I've seen no independent evidence either way, and both sides have an incentive to hype (read: lie).

And isn't it irrelevant, really? Who is going to keep a Young Chang or Samick around 75 years to find out?

Darrell actually keeps the laminated soundboard (he doesn't replace it), but he tapers it in various ways. Being a "Steinway Man" for 28 years, you'd think he'd replace it if he saw gain to be had from a non-laminated board, but obviously he doesn't. (or at least not enough to make a difference? or maybe he thinks Fandrichs will be around for 75 years?)

:rolleyes:

[ January 09, 2002: Message edited by: shantinik ]

Top
#289717 - 01/09/02 12:54 PM Re: Story & Clark Prelude?
EricL Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 140
Loc: Upstate NY
Well, I admit I am not a very good writer, but it appears that my statement

'the Bergmann I had experience with used a laminated soundboard and its tone and action were very uneven.'

has been grossly misinterpreted as

!

Wow! Is it me or is someone hopping mad because he read too much into my statement?

Before declaring me guilty of not getting the facts straight, spreading misinformation, denigrating pianos that use laminated soundboards, you may want to take a look at a post that I placed on another message board last February. An addendum to this post is that I have since had the opportunity to play several Samick pianos, both verticals and grands with and without laminated soundboards.

I hope you can see that the key elements of the above post and the one I placed on this forum are:
1. What I wrote were merely MY opinions and understandings of the specific pianos. These opinions should NOT be taken without skepticism.
2. Different people have different tastes, expectations, considerations, and preferences. My experience with these pianos does not necessarily extend to other people and so the original poster should form his or her own opinions after further scrutiny.

I mentioned laminated soundboard in my post to Monique because the veneers that covered the Bergmann soundboard prevented me from making a visual judgement on the quality of the spruce core. The only thing I could rely on was therefore the tone it produced.

I stand by my posts. You can interpret them any way you want. You can agree or disagree with the statements I made. You can be happy or displeased with what I said. That's your prerogative. Just don't put words in my mouth and accuse me of something that I didn't say.

Eric

[ January 09, 2002: Message edited by: EricL ]

Top
#289718 - 01/09/02 01:43 PM Re: Story & Clark Prelude?
ryan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 1995
Loc: Colorado
I have sometimes wondered if the primary purpose of the veneer is to cover up what is underneath....

Ryan

Top
#289719 - 01/09/02 01:48 PM Re: Story & Clark Prelude?
Samejame Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 808
Loc: NL, Canada
Eric,

Agreed that you did not say that in so many words, but it could be interpreted when lumped in with the rest of your sentence that the piano has a laminated board and it has action and tone problems. Seemed like you're pointing it out as a flaw to me. By the way, I was not meaning to come down on you for having an opinion, and I'm sorry that you seem offended by my pointing this out. If I offended I didn't mean to, so chill!

Manitou, Yes I own a Samick, but I'm not defending the manufacturer's manufacturing technique, nor am I condoning it. It was a used piano in good condition with great tone that met my needs and my budget. What it was made of was secondary to my needs.

Let's get back to Moniques original question. She's looking for lower priced piano she can live with. So was I. Pianos with laminated soundboards exist in this market. The fact that it is not found in some higher end pianos as someone else pointed out may have as much to do with traditional construction methods as well as reasons of acoustics. But in Monique's market, does it matter if the soundboard is a solid untapered, solid tapered, or laminated board, as long as it is decently constructed and has good tone and feel? No.

Yes, Samick et al make pianos in their top lines with tapered solid boards, probably for quality reasons, but more likely for competitive reasons, and they have Renner actions Kluge keyboard yadayadayada! BUT NOT IN MONIQUE'S PRICE RANGE!

I think the acoustical differences for this level of piano matters not. Good enough is good enough. And if a piano can use a laminated board and produce good tone, what's the problem?

Jamie

[ January 09, 2002: Message edited by: Samejame ]
_________________________
"A cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing" Oscar Wilde.

Top
#289720 - 01/09/02 02:38 PM Re: Story & Clark Prelude?
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
 Quote:
Originally posted by shantinik:

Darrell actually keeps the laminated soundboard (he doesn't replace it), but he tapers it in various ways. [/b]



You cannot taper a laminated soundboard. And you cannot taper *any* sounboard that's already installed in the piano.
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

Top
#289721 - 01/09/02 02:59 PM Re: Story & Clark Prelude?
shantinik Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/23/01
Posts: 4271
Loc: Olympia, WA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Larry:



You cannot taper a laminated soundboard. And you cannot taper *any* sounboard that's already installed in the piano.[/b]


You should go see him. He has it on display. (he disinstalls and then reinstalls.)

[ January 09, 2002: Message edited by: shantinik ]

Top
#289722 - 01/09/02 03:32 PM Re: Story & Clark Prelude?
freddie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/26/01
Posts: 185
Loc: Indiana
Jamie, I hear where your coming from. It's an "in between" piano for you anyway (from what I can gather from reading your posts on here). If it plays and sounds good who cares about the specs, your upgrading sometime in the future anyway.

I've played on alot of cheapo pianos that sucked, but the good ones I've played on were due to being well taken care of and well prepped . Sometimes I've played on them and couldn't believe the name on the fallboard.

Manitou (and the other techs here also), the good playing and sounding inexpensive pianos are a credit to the artistic talent of people like yourself. Instead of insulting the instrument, maybe we should complement the techs that make them playable and listenable. It's too bad the manufacturers are getting the most $$$$ out odf the whole deal, it should go to the techs.

Freddie
_________________________
"The best thing about being a bachelor is that you can get into bed from either side" - James Dean

Top

Moderator:  Ken Knapp, Piano World, Rickster 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
Download & Print Sheet Music Instantly
sheet music search
sheet music search

sheet music search
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
159 registered (accordeur, 36251, acappello, Adam Coleman, 49 invisible), 1821 Guests and 23 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
74217 Members
42 Forums
153528 Topics
2249926 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Why 88 keys?
by gsmonks
Today at 03:01 PM
Casio AP range advice please
by thamajor7
Today at 01:38 PM
Installing plain wire: no twists involved
by A443
Today at 01:12 PM
Disney - Mulan - Reflection (arr. by K. Landry)
by Gi Dy
Today at 12:32 PM
A good introduction to history of French classical music?
by BWV 846
Today at 10:50 AM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission