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#293811 - 02/10/08 07:53 PM Looking for thoughts on Bluthner (A)?
drm Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/20/08
Posts: 37
Loc: CT
After looking at countless pianos & defining what we want, the leading contender is a Bluthner A 49" Upright. There is just something about the Bluthner sound I favored. It seemed like nice combination of clarity with warmth which I find very appealing. I know many would suggest a smaller grand instead, but we really want an upright for several reasons, including current and future space considerations (likelihood of moving). The primary player, at least for now, will be my son, but I can see additional use down the road.

Other pianos that I really enjoyed hearing were the August Forster 125 and the Schimmel C130. Between these two, though, I am not sure which I would prefer. The Bohemia 132 was also very nice, and appeared to be a great value. While I liked its tone, I just felt it lacked the finesse and warmth of the other main contenders.

I also looked at the Estonia 168 and 190 models as well as several other grands. While a grand really isn't a great option at the moment, the Estonia really stood out and I did like the comparisons with the uprights. The Bluthner really held its own (IMO) against the smaller Estonia (& most others I looked at), providing a level of clarity and richness I really liked. The Estonia 190, however, was exceptional in every way, and was my favorite of all the pianos we looked at. It certainly outmatched an upright. I only wish Estonia made an upright to see how it would compare.

At this point, I was hoping I might receive some feedback on the Bluthner A as well as the company itself. While I really like this model, I just question spending so much an upright. It seems conventional wisdom says buy a grand at this price point or a lower priced upright. Thank you.


PS - other pianos we looked at included Sculze Pollmann (stunning cabinetry), Young Chang, Kawai, Yamaha, Samick, Parmberger, Ritmueller & Steingraber (unbelieveable, but way outside of the budget).

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#293812 - 02/10/08 07:59 PM Re: Looking for thoughts on Bluthner (A)?
Dram Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/07/06
Posts: 84
Loc: MD
Not quite sure what the price points are for uprights, but if it's even close, i would opt for a grand. i don't care how great the tone of an upright, i think a grand is going to be a step up (both in sound and in action). If you're on a tight budget, I was very impressed with the Brodman's; great tone. Good luck!

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#293813 - 02/10/08 08:21 PM Re: Looking for thoughts on Bluthner (A)?
Carol I. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/26/06
Posts: 198
Loc: Michigan
Hi drm,

We have two pianos: an Estonia L-190 and a Bluthner B upright. We're delighted with them both and I can't say that I prefer one piano over the other. I like the Estonia's quick action - it has an advantage over the Bluthner just because it's a grand, but otherwise they're similar. I have a slight preference for the Bluthner's tone; the Estonia's bass is richer but the Bluthner's treble is pure and beautiful. I'm just so pleased we chose the Bluthner - no other upright we considered came close.

So I think you're on the right track - I wouldn't hesitate to recommend a Bluthner upright. I know we'll own ours forever. In fact, I'll confess that I've thought about replacing our Estonia with a Bluthner grand someday - if my piano playing ever improves enough to deserve it!

Good luck with your decision --

Carol
_________________________
Steinway D, No. 528716 (formerly CD-888)
Estonia L190, No. 6552
Bl├╝thner B, No. 150915
Yamaha Clavinova CLP-380
Roland Digital Harpsichord C-30

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#293814 - 02/10/08 10:23 PM Re: Looking for thoughts on Bluthner (A)?
terminaldegree Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 2623
Loc: western Wisconsin
I think everyone here would say that the Bluthner is a first-rate instrument in every respect. If it's anything like the couple of grands I tried, it also has a very distinct sound quality that some love and others don't.

As to the "point of diminishing returns" regarding upright pricing, I feel it's a very personal choice where the financial line is drawn between upright and grand. (Nowadays one can purchase a new bottom-of-the-line baby grand for under $5000)

My own personal point of diminishing returns regarding upright cost vs. quality vs. what I could get for a grand piano was about the price I paid for my Schimmel 130T. If you read some other recent threads, some dealers think we're crazy to even be considering a high-end upright, but I tend to disagree...

At least you are fortunate enough to live in a part of the country where you can try many of the finest uprights in production from throughout the world. You can expect (either publicly or privately) that some of their dealers should be along shortly to "educate" you as to their inventory... ;\) Have fun, visit a bunch of places, and take your time!
_________________________
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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#293815 - 02/10/08 10:38 PM Re: Looking for thoughts on Bluthner (A)?
drm Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/20/08
Posts: 37
Loc: CT
 Quote:
Originally posted by Carol I.:
Hi drm,

We have two pianos: an Estonia L-190 and a Bluthner B upright. We're delighted with them both and I can't say that I prefer one piano over the other. Carol [/b]
Hi Carol,

Thank you for the response. It's interesting to see that you have the same two pianos that I am so fond of. I find it reassuring that after looking at so many options that someone else came to a similar conclusion. Thank you again.

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#293816 - 02/10/08 11:19 PM Re: Looking for thoughts on Bluthner (A)?
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4977
Loc: boston north
drm,

The Bluthner uprights are wonderful pianos. You are lucky to have found one to play...took me over a year to find one in stock when I was searching!

The 48 in touch and tone would make any pianist want to sit and play/practice for hours. LL
_________________________
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

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#293817 - 02/11/08 07:53 AM Re: Looking for thoughts on Bluthner (A)?
AD Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/06
Posts: 193
The Bluthner model A is actually nicer tonally in some ways than it's larger sister, the 52" model B (which we bought). We had no space to accommodate a grand, although I looked, tried and compared everything I saw. Nor was I interested in dealerspin about resale values.
The B gives you the bass and volume of a small grand yet is still nicely balanced across they keyboard. However as I said, the A is very appealing in tone and I'm sure would have been fine for our tiled, open plan house.

Bluthner have been nothing less than excellent in every way.


Grands usually offer better touch and response, but I'd still want the sound I prefer.

If you get a chance, try a Bechstein Concert 8 (don't look at the price tag until after you play ;\) ). I've had the pleasure of playing quite a few Bechstein uprights in three dealers' showrooms in London, and for touch & tone they embarass many other makers' grands.
Naming no names.


Regards
_________________________
-----------
Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong,
And I am Marie of Romania.

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#293818 - 02/11/08 01:56 PM Re: Looking for thoughts on Bluthner (A)?
fong ll Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 92
Loc: Santa Clara
This is a interesting topic. Iwent threw the same process in looking. I (my son concert qaulaity pianoist) find the bluthner to be unbelievable in tone and it was a tuff decision with our choice of seiler grand. price maybe help.

recent try a bluthner I think 52inch and it is super piano, we trade upright seiler for seiler grand some time but will go in and play the piano at store carnes piano company in san jose where they have bluthner and seiler and a new one, shigeru, which my son really like too.

bluthner is very good maybe in my top two upright choice. bluthner and seiler upright.

blunther very hard to find I think too, so if you really like then you buy and be happy with choice.

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#293819 - 02/11/08 01:57 PM Re: Looking for thoughts on Bluthner (A)?
fong ll Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 92
Loc: Santa Clara
This is a interesting topic. Iwent threw the same process in looking. I (my son concert qaulaity pianoist) find the bluthner to be unbelievable in tone and it was a tuff decision with our choice of seiler grand. price maybe help.

recent try a bluthner I think 52inch and it is super piano, we trade upright seiler for seiler grand some time but will go in and play the piano at store carnes piano company in san jose where they have bluthner and seiler and a new one, shigeru, which my son really like too.

bluthner is very good maybe in my top two upright choice. bluthner and seiler upright.

blunther very hard to find I think too, so if you really like then you buy and be happy with choice.

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#293820 - 02/11/08 02:03 PM Re: Looking for thoughts on Bluthner (A)?
fong ll Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 92
Loc: Santa Clara
This is a interesting topic. Iwent threw the same process in looking. I (my son concert qaulaity pianoist) find the bluthner to be unbelievable in tone and it was a tuff decision with our choice of seiler grand. price maybe help.

recent try a bluthner I think 52inch and it is super piano, we trade upright seiler for seiler grand some time but will go in and play the piano at store carnes piano company in san jose where they have bluthner and seiler and a new one, shigeru, which my son really like too.

bluthner is very good maybe in my top two upright choice. bluthner and seiler upright.

blunther very hard to find I think too, so if you really like then you buy and be happy with choice.

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#293821 - 02/11/08 02:27 PM Re: Looking for thoughts on Bluthner (A)?
Scott McBain Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 125
Loc: San Jose / Fremont / Bay Area
Just picked up my first Bluthner upright piano, a model B, and have had many experts give it a test.

The results: The Bluthner is the most refined upright piano made! Very expensive. Very rare to find this quality upright in just any piano store. There are very few pianos in this realm.

I have the Seiler and it too is expensive and we do very well with the Seiler upright pianos.

A well respected music man (Bob Muse)and a very fine pianist, came in last month, and tried many pianos with the idea of trading his grand in for an upright. He played a Seiler 132 with SMR and said, "it was the finest upright piano in the world." He was in "AWE". He said he often reads and writes on the this forum. The Bluthner was not here when He was in the store last, hopefully he reads this and comes in and post his opinions on this forum.

Good luck in your quest for the holy piano.
_________________________
A McBain-Carnes Piano Company
San Jose, California
Authorized dealer for:
Seiler-Shigeru-Kawai-Wilh.Steinberg, Charles R. Walter
Pre-owned Too!
www.carnespianostore.com
1-408-248-9200

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#293822 - 02/11/08 04:39 PM Re: Looking for thoughts on Bluthner (A)?
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4977
Loc: boston north
Well, where the heck did my post go? This has happened several times this past week. UGH!

I'll try again.

Indeed, the Bluthner is a wonderful upright, and I highly suggest it.

As well, I found several other top of the line uprights that I considered. The following were in my final list.

Bluthner 48
Grotrian Concertino
Steingraeber
Sauter

Be aware that these pianos are not for those interested in something in the $10,000 range. Here in USA, they are very expensive. And they are rare. And you will not find them in the used market! It took me several months of hunting to even find some of these pianos, and I had to wait for others to get to someone in USA to even make arrangements to fly to and try.

(edit)

It looks like some things have changed in this past year and now I see that several of the above are in USA somewhere. Yeah!

And they worth traveling to try them if you are in that market.

All 4 above are recommended.

There are others that you can find in my past posts by going to the SEARCH feature above. Many mention nice pianos that are NOT extremely expensive, but not inexpensive, either.

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

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#293823 - 02/11/08 05:03 PM Re: Looking for thoughts on Bluthner (A)?
Steve Cohen Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10449
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since you are near NYC, you might want to go to Piano Row on W. 58th Street.

There you can, within a few yards, play Bluthner, Fazioli, Bechstein, and not far away, Bosendorfer.

The Bechstein Concert 8. It is considered by many to be the best upright piano made.
_________________________
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

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#293824 - 02/11/08 09:29 PM Re: Looking for thoughts on Bluthner (A)?
drm Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/20/08
Posts: 37
Loc: CT
I wanted to say thank you for all of the responses. It's nice to hear reassuring words and support for opting for a nicer upright.

While I am pretty muchg sold on the Bluthner sound, I will try to check out the Bechsteins. It looks like the Concert 8, however, is beyond my budget. Any thoughts on how the tone and clarity of the smaller Bechstein uprights compare to the Bluthner A?

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#293825 - 02/12/08 07:12 AM Re: Looking for thoughts on Bluthner (A)?
AD Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/06
Posts: 193
 Quote:
Any thoughts on how the tone and clarity of the smaller Bechstein uprights compare to the Bluthner A?
Yes, but adjectives are almost useless...
If the Bluthner is a warmish, full, rounded and quite clear ringing tone generally, with a medium to deepish touch, then the Bechstein is immediately a clear sound with a lovely lightish touch to the action. The clarity makes it a appear a thinner, colder sound in the treble, but still sweet. Very different but lovely, and I'm told, build quality is second to none - as the action demonstrates.

Don't forget Bosendorfer advertise they make an upright \:D . Rarer than rainfall in the Atacama.
_________________________
-----------
Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong,
And I am Marie of Romania.

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#293826 - 02/12/08 12:08 PM Re: Looking for thoughts on Bluthner (A)?
Steve Cohen Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10449
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
 Quote:
Originally posted by AD:
 Quote:
Any thoughts on how the tone and clarity of the smaller Bechstein uprights compare to the Bluthner A?
Yes, but adjectives are almost useless...
If the Bluthner is a warmish, full, rounded and quite clear ringing tone generally, with a medium to deepish touch, then the Bechstein is immediately a clear sound with a lovely lightish touch to the action. The clarity makes it a appear a thinner, colder sound in the treble, but still sweet. Very different but lovely, and I'm told, build quality is second to none - as the action demonstrates.

Don't forget Bosendorfer advertise they make an upright \:D . Rarer than rainfall in the Atacama. [/b]
Good decription of the differences.
_________________________
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

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#293827 - 02/12/08 03:16 PM Re: Looking for thoughts on Bluthner (A)?
eddie twang Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/08
Posts: 132
Loc: east yorks,england
the build quality of both bechstein and bluthner pianos is second to none(l have spent most of today re stringing a bechstein upright)but for me ,the bluthner is in a different league to a bechstein .if your interested l will tell you why.

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#293828 - 02/12/08 04:27 PM Re: Looking for thoughts on Bluthner (A)?
AD Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/06
Posts: 193
Mr twang,

I'm interested.

Regards
_________________________
-----------
Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong,
And I am Marie of Romania.

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#293829 - 02/12/08 06:06 PM Re: Looking for thoughts on Bluthner (A)?
Keith D Kerman Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/03
Posts: 3303
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
 Quote:
Originally posted by eddie twang:
the build quality of both bechstein and bluthner pianos is second to none(l have spent most of today re stringing a bechstein upright)but for me ,the bluthner is in a different league to a bechstein .if your interested l will tell you why. [/b]
I'm interested! Also, are you speaking of older or newer versions of these instruments?
_________________________
Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales of vintage and pre-owned Steinway and Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Charles R. Walter, Brodmann, Feurich
www.pianocraft.net
http://www.youtube.com/user/pianocraftchannel/videos

keith@pianocraft.net 888-840-5460

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#293830 - 02/13/08 02:14 AM Re: Looking for thoughts on Bluthner (A)?
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14116
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
 Quote:
the build quality of both bechstein and bluthner pianos is second to none(l have spent most of today re stringing a bechstein upright)but for me ,the bluthner is in a different league to a bechstein .if your interested l will tell you why.
Someone intimately familiar with current German pianos such as a German tech living in Germany would never claim that.

Not in today's world.

I am regularly communicating with five different techs/rebuilders in five different cities over there and none would ever sign such statement.

Germany is big place where a lot of real great pianos always have been and still are being produced.

It's a mixed but overall *fairly even* pot for most of them.

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

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#293831 - 02/14/08 03:19 PM Re: Looking for thoughts on Bluthner (A)?
eddie twang Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/08
Posts: 132
Loc: east yorks,england
today,new pianos are pretty much all the same.they will cast there frames(plates)using the same recipe for cast iron,in the same clinical envioroments to ensure every casting is identicall as the last one.the action and keys will be made by renner for the best european pianos ,bluthner,steinway(hamburg),bechstein etc.and no doubt there are factories in america,far east that make the action and keys and cast frames for a whole host of "different" piano firms !.if you want to have a true choice of instruments,that are as different to each other as chalk and cheese then compare pianos from the golden age..1890 1910.bluthners must be the most solidly constructed pianos,period!.they are a joy to work on and the quality of craftsmanship and materials is second to none,any pianist that has played a good example of a bluthner ,steinway,ibach,bosendorfer,lipp, erard,kaps etc from this period knows they have such a choice that just does not exist with the new pianos of today.

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#293832 - 02/15/08 01:59 PM Re: Looking for thoughts on Bluthner (A)?
eddie twang Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/08
Posts: 132
Loc: east yorks,england
l must apologise if l have caused any confusion.as you have probably realised l am talking about instruments from many years ago. sadly the glory days of piano manufacture have been and gone and if anyone tells you otherwise they are either salesmen trying to "talk the talk" or are techs who havent"done the time".l am in a fortunate position in that l have worked on most type of piano from the earliest square grands to brand new steinway concert grands,and everything in between!.you can see how the piano has evolved over the years.at one period the only question asked by a quality manufacturer was "how can l make my pianos better than all my rivals pianos?"..thats not whats asked today.you can see a decline in quality from the first world war up to the worst time ever,1960,1980..and as for pianos today?..no thanks!..l want something with heart and soul,made by the finest craftsmen,useing the best materials...

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#293833 - 02/15/08 02:46 PM Re: Looking for thoughts on Bluthner (A)?
Craigen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/05
Posts: 1815
Loc: West Coast
LF's adjusted list price for the A in polished ebony is $32k. Boy, you really gotta want to own an upright to pay those kind of bucks for one when there are several stellar grands on the market for less. If you have truly ruled out any and all grands the A is a superb instrument.
I am amazed that no one has recommend you compare the performance of a new S&S K52 model. Call Sty Hall and ask if they have a completely prepared K52 in stock and go play it.
_________________________
Piano Technician, member Piano Technicians Guild.

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