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#291442 - 06/27/07 03:35 AM Schimmel vs Yamaha
wentium Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/26/07
Posts: 14
Loc: Orange County, CA
I was looking for a decent used Yamaha and came upon a Schimmel which I'm totally not familiar with, but immediately fell in love with.

The Yamaha is a 50" UX-2 made in ~1985, and the store is asking for $3500.

Whereas, the Schimmel is a beautiful 48" white lacquer Crown series, made in ~1995, and the store is asking for $4200.

Even though the Schimmel is shorter, but it sounds a lot deeper than the Yamaha. As for the Yamaha, the sound is very bright (typical Yamaha) and more pure and stable.

I like them both; depending on the type of music. I really can't decide. Just when I was going to go with the Schimmel, the store owner told me that I'm better of with the Yamaha if I were to eventually get back into playing piano again. The Schimmel is more for prestige; it'd make a nice piece of furniture in your house, it's not for a pianist.

On the other hand, I once heard that a piano would get brighter as it ages. So, if you have a loud Yamaha to begin with, it will get louder and louder as it ages. Is that really true?

I'd like to hear your thoughts on this.

-tia

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#291443 - 06/27/07 06:48 AM Re: Schimmel vs Yamaha
xyz2004slc Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/05
Posts: 353
I've been looking for a new piano too, so I'll contribute.

If I were you, I would get the Schimmel. I think that any piano that is musical is a pianist's piano, and I don't think that beauty of a piano makes it exclusive from being a pianistic or tonally magnificent piano.

The Yamaha does get louder and louder and brighter and brighter. But I think that problem can be alleviated with voicing. I think that the Yamaha in question can also be toned down. At my local dealers, it's the trend not to voice second hand pianos for sale (or any pianos for that matter), so the used Yamahas sound like hammers (the real ones, not the piano ones) hitting a rusted steel block (I exaggerate). But it certainly can be a great piano--just get the dealer to voice it before you buy.

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#291444 - 06/27/07 07:12 AM Re: Schimmel vs Yamaha
jollyroger Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/23/05
Posts: 849
Loc: Houston, TX
".......it'd make a nice piece of furniture in your house, it's not for a pianist."

To say a Schimmel is but a piece of furniture and not for a pianist is disingenuous. And yes, pianos tend to brighten with time, but as xyz pointed out, this can be corrected by a good tech with standard voicing. If you tend to play more jazz, then you may want to lean towards the Yamaha. If classical is your thing, then the Schimmel may fit the bill. While not a rule of thumb, this is just an observation - not an absolute.

Read the "Forward" in Larry Fine's Piano Book. Kieth Jarrett mentions that he has numerous pianos, depending on the type of music he's playing. While not generally an option for most of us, it does make the point that certain pianos can lend themselves to certain genres of music.

Good luck.
Roger
_________________________
Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence.
Estonia 190 - Serial # 6561

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#291445 - 06/27/07 08:22 AM Re: Schimmel vs Yamaha
terminaldegree Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 3164
Loc: western Wisconsin
As has been already noted, the salesperson is feeding you a line of bull----.

Ask that both pianos be tuned and appropriately voiced/regulated [at least with regard to the more glaring, less subjective issues] if you are truly serious about buying one or the other.

Both pianos, though on the bright side of the tonal palette, have notably different sound quality. I would also wager [see my signature] that the actions both feel different-- both are good, but these are subjective matters of personal preference that should influence your choice.

Best of luck in your search!
_________________________
Pianist, teacher, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer

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#291446 - 06/27/07 08:22 AM Re: Schimmel vs Yamaha
Rich Galassini Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9797
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
 Quote:
the store owner told me that I'm better of with the Yamaha if I were to eventually get back into playing piano again. The Schimmel is more for prestige; it'd make a nice piece of furniture in your house, it's not for a pianist.
[/b]

This comment makes absolutely no sense to me. I am hoping that you misunderstood the store owner, because this is simply untrue. My only thought is that he may have been trying to tell you what you wanted to hear in order to make a decision - any decision.

Again, I hope he simply miscommunicated his thoughts. (Everything being equal - get the Schimmel)

Good Luck,
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
www.cunninghampiano.com

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#291447 - 06/27/07 09:16 AM Re: Schimmel vs Yamaha
jarjar Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/21/06
Posts: 112
Loc: Malaysia
I think schimmel is a very good piano, even better than yamaha in my opinion.
_________________________
Kawai k8-as

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#291448 - 06/27/07 10:10 AM Re: Schimmel vs Yamaha
Anonymous
Unregistered


Schimmel is a world class piano. Check out Larry Fine's book or call a music department university professor and ask what they think of Schimmel. Schimmel is NOT ONLY a beautiful piece of furniture but is a high quality instrument. I don't know how Larry Fine rates it, but it has to be in the top 2 categories. I would buy a Schimmel any day....

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#291449 - 06/27/07 10:16 AM Re: Schimmel vs Yamaha
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17906
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
 Quote:
Originally posted by wentium:
I was looking for a decent used Yamaha and came upon a Schimmel which I'm totally not familiar with, but immediately fell in love with.
[/b]
All that matters is this first sentence of yours. The piano you fall in love with is the piano you should buy, assuming that a technician's inspection confirms that the piano is in good condition.

Other factors that come into play is that the Schimmel is 10 years younger than the Yamaha. The fact that it is white should also work to your advantage; most dealers have a hard time selling white pianos, which makes your dealer's subtle discouragement of the Schimmel quite puzzling. I wouldn't be afraid to make him a strong counteroffer.

Good luck, and let us know how it turns out.
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#291450 - 06/27/07 11:06 AM Re: Schimmel vs Yamaha
Starting Over Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 1290
Loc: Toronto
Gotta admit, I'd have a problem with white as well but that's just my opinion...

Color aside, the Schimmel's the way to go if you want the better piano imho. From my experience with Schimmel, they are definitely not just pretty furniture, although, in many cases, they are that as well.

Bonus!
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#291451 - 06/27/07 12:52 PM Re: Schimmel vs Yamaha
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7186
Loc: So. California
I had just written this long dissertation on the advantages of the Schimmel (which I believe in), plus the advantages of the Schimmel price (which is a better deal) --- but then I saw the reference to a WHITE PIANO.

Sorry but, I don't care if it's a Steinway D...apologies in advance to those of you with white pianos.
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My Jazz Blog
Hamburg Steinway O, Nord Electro 4 HP


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#291452 - 06/27/07 12:59 PM Re: Schimmel vs Yamaha
Anonymous
Unregistered


I think a pink Schimmel would be cute.
You could spray paint it..

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#291453 - 06/27/07 01:01 PM Re: Schimmel vs Yamaha
Sir Lurksalot Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 1271
I read somewhere that Schimmel pianos don't have quite as high a reputation in Europe as they have here. The writer said that their reputation in Europe is similar to Yamaha's reputation in America.

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#291454 - 06/27/07 01:29 PM Re: Schimmel vs Yamaha
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7186
Loc: So. California
 Quote:
Originally posted by Sir Lurksalot:
I read somewhere that Schimmel pianos don't have quite as high a reputation in Europe as they have here. The writer said that their reputation in Europe is similar to Yamaha's reputation in America. [/b]
But Fine sets us straight on that, doesn't he? Since Chinese Stencils exist in Europe too, I wonder if this has all changed. I also wonder how they would compare against a Yamaha/Kawai in Europe. They're all sold there.

The comparisons are made against handbuilt pianos since Schimmel is manufactured in volume like Yamaha. On the other hand it is cheaper than the handbuilts so the comparison is perhaps apples to oranges.
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#291455 - 06/27/07 01:33 PM Re: Schimmel vs Yamaha
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7186
Loc: So. California
 Quote:
Originally posted by karenabcde:
I think a pink Schimmel would be cute.
You could spray paint it.. [/b]
I'm so conservative when it comes to piano colors. For some reason, a color other than black or wood makes me think less seriously of the instrument.

Would you buy a pink Steinway S, Karen? Even at a slight discount?
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#291456 - 06/27/07 03:02 PM Re: Schimmel vs Yamaha
Jeff Bauer Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/03
Posts: 1724
Loc: Los Angeles
Wentium -

Schimmel uses a Polyester finish, not lacquer. Maybe it's a miscommunication of some sort along the line.. however, if it actually is a lacquer finish, then this piano was refinished. Unusual for a piano that is only 12 years old.

The person you spoke with may have been giving you good advice to go with the Yamaha, feeling it was a better instrument. Not because Yamaha is a better brand of piano, but because that particular Yamaha is better than that particular Schimmel.

A 1995 Schimmel 48" in excellent condition should sell for more than $4,200.. yes, even if it's white.

If you are considering the Schimmel (or the Yamaha for that matter), I would strongly suggest you have a tech look at the piano. There are a number of reasons why it's priced this way, none of which you are currently aware of, and unless you have an unbiased source evaluate the instrument, you may never find out.

Good luck!
_________________________
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Yamaha | Schimmel | Bösendorfer | Knabe | Seiler | Restored Steinway

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#291457 - 06/27/07 03:14 PM Re: Schimmel vs Yamaha
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18884
Loc: Victoria, BC
 Quote:
Originally posted by jazzwee:
I had just written this long dissertation on the advantages of the Schimmel (which I believe in), plus the advantages of the Schimmel price (which is a better deal) --- but then I saw the reference to a WHITE PIANO.

Sorry but, I don't care if it's a Steinway D...apologies in advance to those of you with white pianos. [/b]
With further apologies ... with an erasable black magic marker, the Schimmel could be your home music/message centre, too!

Cheers!
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#291458 - 06/27/07 03:20 PM Re: Schimmel vs Yamaha
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
$4200 for a 48" 1995 Schimmel is a great deal
Don't have my book with me but that Schimmel retails for 15K+ It is an upgrade from a Yamaha uprt. though Yamahas are great pianos. It puzzles me why the salesman wants to sell you the Yamaha except for the fact that the Yamaha is a replenishable item (gray market) or he made a mistake when he quoted you the price of the Schimmel. It could be some shortcoming with the piano or simply the fact it is white.(leader piano?)
Beware, I have seen a couple Asia /Korean made Schimmels /counterfeit years ago The cabinets look somewhat the same with the grand style lid prop. with the Schimmel stencil If its too good a deal from a retail dealer than their has to be catch. They are piano professionals and are not stupid as to fair market value.

I have sold 500-700 Gray market japanese pianos(Yamaha and Kawai) I've never even heard of a UX-2 Iv'e had UX-1 and UX-3 s though the UX-2 might very well exist.
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#291459 - 06/27/07 03:21 PM Re: Schimmel vs Yamaha
jazzpianist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/28/07
Posts: 143
Loc: London
I have a twenty year old Schimmel 118T at home and a fairly new (about a year and a half) Yamaha U5 at work, so I've pretty good experience of both makes. Personally I think that they're both superb in their own way: both, as has been said in this thread, on the bright side - but I like that. The Schimmel's action is heavier than the Yamaha's (I can't remember whether it was lighter when I got it brand new all those years ago, and of course I was very young then and enjoyed playing loudly all the time!) and you may find the same difference.

It's possibly interesting that I happily compare my small(ish) Schimmel with the much larger Yamaha. The Schimmel really does not seem to lose out because of it's size, and certainly I think I prefer the 118 to the similarly sized Yamahas.

Recent experience with a brand new Schimmel 121 suggests to me that that in this generation of upright instruments I prefer Yamaha, but of course you're talking about older instruments so this is not really relevant.

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#291460 - 06/27/07 03:24 PM Re: Schimmel vs Yamaha
Anonymous
Unregistered


Jazzwee-
(I don't know how to highlight!)
Would I buy a pink Steinway? Well.....if I could pay $5000 for a brand new 2007 M ....and I could refinish it for me for another $5000..-$10,000......

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#291461 - 06/27/07 03:29 PM Re: Schimmel vs Yamaha
wentium Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/26/07
Posts: 14
Loc: Orange County, CA
"The person you spoke with may have been giving you good advice to go with the Yamaha, feeling it was a better instrument. Not because Yamaha is a better brand of piano, but because that particular Yamaha is better than that particular Schimmel."

Yes, especially that the Schimmel is of higher price. I felt that the sales person wants me to get what's appropriate for me rather than buying into the name of Schimmel. Let me clarify that the sales person did not say that the Schimmel is an awful piano. After all, it does cost $700 more than the Yamaha. He just thinks that if I were to get serious about playing and would play it everyday, I should go with the Yamaha. The Schimmel would have much higher WOW factor (as a piece of furniture) and would be excellent for entertaining guests etc.

Having say that the Yamaha does seem to have stronger and more stable base, even though the Schimmel sounds deeper overall.

As for the color, I know that black is more serious. Personally, I actually wouldn't mind (or even prefer) a white one for a change. It's different, rare, but not over the top (no pink... sorry, Karenabcde). The sales is also totally unwilling to bulge about the price. He doesn't think that he would have trouble selling a white Schimmel at all.

I'm just worry about the re-sell value..... \:\(

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#291462 - 06/27/07 03:35 PM Re: Schimmel vs Yamaha
wentium Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/26/07
Posts: 14
Loc: Orange County, CA
PianoBroker, how do I know if it's a fake. I have the serial number - 302.633.

The lid is substantially heavier than the Yamaha. It's solid wood. I checked the inside, the paddings (I don't know what you call those) look like it's in good condition - not much use. And, the store has a 10 year warannty policy.

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#291463 - 06/27/07 03:36 PM Re: Schimmel vs Yamaha
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
$4200 as for resale value on a newer 121 Schimmel is an easy sell even if white
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#291464 - 06/27/07 04:10 PM Re: Schimmel vs Yamaha
hv Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/18/04
Posts: 1242
Loc: Cape Cod
There's a Schimmel about that size in a small concert venue not far from me which always amazes me every time I hear it. It's in a red-brown wood and sounds so rich and crisp. I can't think of any other piano I've heard in that size range that sounds so good to me. I don't usually bother to record concerts done on uprights but I think I'll make an exception next time and post a little something.

Bottom line is if that Schimmel looks and sounds great to you, and it checks out, go for it.

Howard

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#291465 - 06/27/07 04:13 PM Re: Schimmel vs Yamaha
wentium Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/26/07
Posts: 14
Loc: Orange County, CA
Oh... I forgot to mention that I was told that the smaller Schimmel (48") actually has longer "strings" (what do you call those??) than the bigger Yamaha (50"). The reason being that the Schimmel has a greater degree of angling the "strings"; thus making them longer and hence producing deeper sound.

Then, what exactly is the measurement - 48", 50", 52"? The vertical height of the exterior casing?

-------------
-wentium

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#291466 - 06/27/07 04:42 PM Re: Schimmel vs Yamaha
jazzwee Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 7186
Loc: So. California
If I play on a white piano, do I also have to dress like Liberace? \:D

Slap! Slap! (to my face) Pay attention to the sound of the piano! Forget the color...

How about this for an argument? White doesn't show the dirt as much and doesn't need a carwash as often.

Sorry Wentium. I vented. Now I'm ok with a white piano. \:D
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My Jazz Blog
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#291467 - 06/27/07 05:05 PM Re: Schimmel vs Yamaha
Rich Galassini Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9797
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
 Quote:
I think a pink Schimmel would be cute.
You could spray paint it..
My daughter asked me (when she was seven) if I could bring home a pink piano. I told her nobody made pink pianos and she said right back, "But Mr. Michael (head finisher at Cunningham) could make ANY piano pink, Daddy."

Thanks alot Mike - thank goodness she outgrew that one. \:\)
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
www.cunninghampiano.com

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#291468 - 06/27/07 05:29 PM Re: Schimmel vs Yamaha
paukenspieler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/18/07
Posts: 28
Loc: Silverdale, WA
My vote is for the Schimmel. It is a highly-regarded instrument, and my guess is that you fell in love with it for a reason. And I'll bet it looks great in white.

I once "babysat" a friend's Kawai grand in my home for about a year. It felt and sounded wonderful, and I was sad to see it go. Its color? Baby blue. My friend had bought it from a business that was redecorating their piano bar. He paid very little, because he was in the right place at the right time. In case you are curious, they weren't redecorating because of not liking the color of the piano--a runaway car had crashed into the place, so they had to rebuild anyway!

Spending all that time with a really nice-sounding baby blue piano left me in a frame of mind where I would probably expect the next piano I see in that color to be good as well!

After all that, white seems reasonably normal in comparison.

paukenspieler

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#291469 - 06/27/07 06:05 PM Re: Schimmel vs Yamaha
mdsdurango Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/04
Posts: 1755
Loc: Durango Colorado
Even if all votes are in and the majority vote for the Schimmel you should still have an independent technician take a look at both pianos.
They are in the same store, have the tech inspect both and give you his opinion. Go back and read Jeff Bauer's post. He gives good advice.
Both are quality, production built pianos. If the tech gives a thumbs up on either, make your choice and stick to it.

Mike
_________________________
WHAT???????
Yamaha S6, U5C, P120
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#291470 - 06/27/07 07:55 PM Re: Schimmel vs Yamaha
terminaldegree Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 3164
Loc: western Wisconsin
Agreed with Jeff's advice as well regarding having a tech inspect it-- it's a lot of money and both instruments are used.

You should pay less attention to the name on the fallboard [and what others say except an independent tech] and focus on the sound and feel of the piano.

What I'm writing below is in the interest of providing accurate information, and not necessarily to influence your decision--
[both are potentially nice pianos]

It is being suggested by a couple of people here that both makes are high-production/mass-produced instruments. Having recently toured the Schimmel factory, I can say that isn't the case in Germany. There were only two parts of the process where hand labor wasn't being used extensively: trimming the rim assemblies and cutting the bridges [CNC machine]. Everything else moved quite slowly and carefully. A couple of examples on my tour: one man cut the keyboards in the factory, and I seem to recall only one or two women doing the initial upright action regulations; only one man was stringing the grand pianos during my tour. You don't see an "assembly line" of 20 people hurriedly doing the same task in Braunschweig. Based on my memory of a NY Steinway factory tour in 1999, I would say things moved at an even more relaxed pace at Schimmel... though the layouts of the respective factories are so markedly different it may be hard to tell!
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#291471 - 06/28/07 01:40 AM Re: Schimmel vs Yamaha
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
The Schimmel s/n is of 1991 It just aged 4 years in 2 days. At this rate it will be an antique in about a month Still a good buy!
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