Schimmel K189

Posted by: Joey Calderazzo

Schimmel K189 - 03/13/13 12:27 AM

Hey Everyone,
My 1st post but I have been lurking for 3 months.Around Christmas I decided it was time to retire my Steinway upright(17 years) for a grand.I wanted to find something for about 25k and did so.I found a Steinway M (1917) that was about to be rebuilt.I jumped on it. Over the last 3 months i decided to educate myself more...YES i did this totally ass backwards.I live in Durham,NC I went to our local dealers.I played a lot of pianos that I have not played so much..I am a jazz pianist and its what I do for a living,so its pretty rare to play Bluthners,Bechsteins,Schimmels..ect...I normally get Steinway Ds..some I love and most I fight with for an hour and a half and then move on to the next city.I am a huge fan of Steinway but I did come to love most of the European pianos.I must admit this took time cause it really is a different sound for me.

Well I really did love the Faziol's I played and the dealer here sells them.If money was not an object I would have gotten one....one day for sure..
So on Saturday my Steinway M arrived and the rebuild was great..The piano looked amazing.The action needed some more fine tuning but it was great.The problem is,its too small..It is powerful for a little piano,but there is little to no color.I was very disappointed but determined.So I went back to Ruggero piano and started going back to the pianos that caught my ear..I wanted to stay under 6 and a half feet so...So my contenders were Mason AA..Becstein 190..Schimmel K 189
I played them for hours over the last few months but didnt want to pay extra..the plan would be to upgrade in a year or so..
The Mason was nice and warm but after playing the German pianos,the Mason was the 1st to go..I loved the Bechstein,the action was amazing and the tone was warm and clear..There was just something about the Schimmel..So I traded in the Steinway and they delivering the Schimmel in 2 days..
Dealing with Richard (the owner) was an absolute pleasure.In this process,we became friends.
this is getting long,but I wanted to thank everyone for all the info I learned here!!
all the best,Joey
Posted by: Steven Y. A.

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/13/13 12:35 AM

Congratulations! Schimmel has a unique "airy" treble, and the best action (my favorite action). It was my close friend's favorite piano as well, his comment was among all the brands he has heard, Schimmel has the unique tone of "happiness", which he would love to sit back and hear someone playing it all day.
Posted by: PianoWorksATL

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/13/13 12:38 AM

Congrats! Bigger really helps and the Ruggero family does everything well.
Posted by: Ed McMorrow, RPT

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/13/13 12:45 AM

Most of the Schimmels I have played/serviced were well made.

The tone color does not change much with dynamics-which I find boring.

Also they tend to be loud and louder, no real soft playing possible.

Don't mean to rain on your parade-I am glad you are happy with your new piano and I wish you well.
Posted by: Joey Calderazzo

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/13/13 12:59 AM

No rain Ed..I am sure you are aware of the C and K lines of Schimmel(Kbeing the top of the line).

I was able to play soft and loud no problems..Maybe the C series is a bit different that way,but I never even tried them..

I will know a lot more in the near future..
Posted by: Elkayem

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/13/13 01:09 AM

Welcome and congrats on the new Schimmel! And can't resist saying... love your music! I've been keeping an ear out since I first heard you with Michael Brecker in Boston in 1990.
Posted by: Rich Galassini

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/13/13 05:29 PM

Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
Most of the Schimmels I have played/serviced were well made.

The tone color does not change much with dynamics-which I find boring.

Also they tend to be loud and louder, no real soft playing possible.

Don't mean to rain on your parade-I am glad you are happy with your new piano and I wish you well.


Ed,

I understand your post, but I would suggest some work that would get rid of most of the initial attack (string noise). The front duplexes tend to whine and working them does a lot of good.

Some well placed hammer work (alignment and sugar coating) helps a whole lot as well, IMHO.

My 2 cents,
Posted by: AJF

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/13/13 11:04 PM

Originally Posted By: Joey Calderazzo
Hey Everyone,
My 1st post but I have been lurking for 3 months.Around Christmas I decided it was time to retire my Steinway upright(17 years) for a grand.I wanted to find something for about 25k and did so.I found a Steinway M (1917) that was about to be rebuilt.I jumped on it. Over the last 3 months i decided to educate myself more...YES i did this totally ass backwards.I live in Durham,NC I went to our local dealers.I played a lot of pianos that I have not played so much..I am a jazz pianist and its what I do for a living,so its pretty rare to play Bluthners,Bechsteins,Schimmels..ect...I normally get Steinway Ds..some I love and most I fight with for an hour and a half and then move on to the next city.I am a huge fan of Steinway but I did come to love most of the European pianos.I must admit this took time cause it really is a different sound for me.

Well I really did love the Faziol's I played and the dealer here sells them.If money was not an object I would have gotten one....one day for sure..
So on Saturday my Steinway M arrived and the rebuild was great..The piano looked amazing.The action needed some more fine tuning but it was great.The problem is,its too small..It is powerful for a little piano,but there is little to no color.I was very disappointed but determined.So I went back to Ruggero piano and started going back to the pianos that caught my ear..I wanted to stay under 6 and a half feet so...So my contenders were Mason AA..Becstein 190..Schimmel K 189
I played them for hours over the last few months but didnt want to pay extra..the plan would be to upgrade in a year or so..
The Mason was nice and warm but after playing the German pianos,the Mason was the 1st to go..I loved the Bechstein,the action was amazing and the tone was warm and clear..There was just something about the Schimmel..So I traded in the Steinway and they delivering the Schimmel in 2 days..
Dealing with Richard (the owner) was an absolute pleasure.In this process,we became friends.
this is getting long,but I wanted to thank everyone for all the info I learned here!!
all the best,Joey


Congrats on a great instrument.
I gotta ask, are you THE Joey Calderazzo?
If so you're one of my greatest musical heroes. If not, well I like you anyway:)
Posted by: Joey Calderazzo

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/13/13 11:48 PM

hey Adrean,
lol..yeah its me..not too many with that name i dont think..
I have been hanging around here and decided to join the other day..
see you around,Joey
Posted by: AJF

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/14/13 12:56 AM

Well it's an honor to have you here. I met you an number of years ago at the Top O' the Senator in Toronto when you were playing in Brantford's quartet. I was just starting out then and you were really kind and supportive. Thanks for that.
Ps. Bri's Dance on Haiku is still one of my all time favorite solo piano tracks. (Ok I'm gonna stop gushing now:)
Cheers,
Adrean
Posted by: Norbert

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/14/13 01:52 AM

Quote:
Most of the Schimmels I have played/serviced were well made. The tone color does not change much with dynamics-which I find boring.


The statement fails to differentiate between the several different lines of "Schimmel".

For example, the Classic and Konzert series are so different, they may as well be made by different makers.

While the statement may be perhaps partially true for the one series, it definitely does not for the other.

Small detail worth mentioning especially since OP bought the formidable K 189....

Congrats to a great, dynamically awesome piano!

Norbert thumb
Posted by: Joey Calderazzo

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/14/13 02:21 AM

ha,thanks Norbert..i was thinking of buying a clavinova after reading that post!!!
Its all good..I did some research and feel that the K series is very good...and Richard Ruggero was a huge help in this process..it was a tough choice between the Schimmel and the Bechstein A 190 but I think I made a good choice..I think I will be very happy..and then I will most likely buy a Fazioli in the next 5 years..I played the 6 foot Fazioli the other day and it really blew me away..I would get bigger but it was amazing ..
Posted by: mickangel33

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/14/13 05:49 AM

I have played a grand schimmel one time, it was a great pleasure. One of the best !
Posted by: Joey Calderazzo

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/14/13 11:50 AM

Today is the day!!!
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/14/13 12:16 PM

Just remember to keep breathing!
Posted by: Daverino

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/14/13 01:07 PM

Remember to post pics!
Posted by: Konzert Patrick

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/14/13 05:13 PM

Welcome to the wonderful world of Schimmel pianos....

Congrats!

Enjoy it smile
Posted by: Strings & Wood

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/14/13 10:23 PM

Welcome to the forum. I am a member of the Schimmel fan club. And, after an enjoyable hour of youtube, I can now say, I am a fan of Mr. Calderazzo. Denver on your touring schedule?
Posted by: Joey Calderazzo

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/14/13 11:51 PM

well the piano arrived and I am thrilled..everyone is sleeping but I am playing very quietly!!!.
Honestly I never knew pianos could sound like this..As I told Richard,I LOVE Steinways cause it was what I was used to.Its basically the only piano I play on the road. Every now and then I get a great one and its heaven but most of the time I am just avoiding the bad octaves..I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am to be able to play the entire piano..It sounds really good to amazing through out the entire keyboard..
I have always been a huge fan of the tenor area in Steinways and was somewhat concerned about not having that at home..well after a few hours I can say I am fine..Its really nice to HEAR everything I am playing so clearly.. I almost feel a little naked!! I do plan on doing some recording with this piano so we will see..Joey
Posted by: Swarth

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/15/13 03:04 PM

What a pleasure to have you here and add your vast experience to our threads. You bought a great piano and you should enjoy it until you find your "dream". The Schimmel and Fazioli seem to have a similar sound. To me it's a more "fundamental" sound, very pure and clean. Certainly different than a Steinway D. I was wondering if you noticed a difference overall of NY Steinways vs. Hamburgs as you have probably played many of both.
Posted by: Joey Calderazzo

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/15/13 03:20 PM

Hey Swarth,
yes there is a big difference..in some cases Hamburgs are closer to other European pianos than NY Steinways..I have played the Schimmel all day and already I am starting to get a sound on it..
The thing I love about Steinway is that 3 dimensional sound.I love the middle of those(B and Ds mostly)..
But I can honestly say I love the sound of the Schimmel and I agree its almost like a baby Fazioli..
I dont miss anything
Posted by: Alain

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/16/13 08:16 PM

Great to see so many passionate and expert opinions on Schimmel smile

I tried lately RX3, C3, Estonia 190 and a Schimmel SP189T not the newer K series but it was the sound and touch that are the most appealing to me so far.

Do you know if they did some drastic improvements between the SP189T and the newer 189K? I saw that there is not a C series of the 189 so my hopes are that the craftsmanship on this older series is comparable?
Posted by: SBP

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/16/13 08:47 PM

Congrats, m'man! I think I've heard of you before. Nice to sorta meet ya!
Posted by: Joey Calderazzo

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/16/13 09:46 PM

Alain,I have no idea about the older models..Honestly I dont ever recall playing a Schimmel in my career. I am so in love with this piano.Since Thursday I think i have played it for 12 hours..Everything sounds so good on it..The action is really great.
I really dont know too much about pianos,I am learning.I do know what I like..I thought the Estonia was really good,but not like the Bechstein A or the Schimmel K..
I am curious to try the shigeru K..But I could not be happier(unless it was free!!!)
Posted by: Alain

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/16/13 10:59 PM

Joey,
What's very exciting is that a jazz player like you endorse this piano for all type of playing. Listening to some store "experts", you'd think that those pianos are really made for classical music (i.e. sound better with classical pieces, whatever it means).
Being French therefore snob and vain, I almost want to believe this kind of things but you made my choice so much simpler. Merci beaucoup!
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/16/13 11:04 PM

I've never thought of classifying a Schimmel to a type of music. Hmmm? I like them very much and the clarity will work in any genus of music.
Posted by: Joey Calderazzo

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/16/13 11:20 PM

yeah Marty,
Thats kinda what I think.I started out on classical music and switched to jazz when I was 15.I did go back to it in my early twenties .I took lessons with a guy in between touring with Michael Brecker.It was very hard to do both,due to the amount of practice it takes to play classical music.Jazz is hard enough as well..Yesterday i did pull out some things and stumbled through them..Ravel,Brahms,Chopin..The piano really shines..
It works for jazz as well. I like it well the sound "pops" out of the piano.It did it on the Bechstein and on the Schimmel.
I played a Bosie that I did not like as much,(well at all) for jazz..
I am so used to Steinways that this is really a great change..Everything sounds so crisp and clear/clean and warm...This piano also has a very good dynamic range,I think thats why I like it for Jazz..
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/16/13 11:28 PM

Well, the Bosey has quite a unique voice. I don't think it would work for jazz either. It really doesn't work for anything earlier than the Romantics. That is, the contemporary pianos.

How about a jazzy Brahm's album? You could pull it off!
Posted by: Furtwangler

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/16/13 11:56 PM

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Well, the Bosey has quite a unique voice. I don't think it would work for jazz either. It really doesn't work for anything earlier than the Romantics. That is, the contemporary pianos.

How about a jazzy Brahm's album? You could pull it off!


Yeah, all that stuff Oscar Peterson played on a "Bosey" wasn't very good.
Posted by: Joey Calderazzo

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/17/13 12:08 AM

Well,I am not such a fan of Oscars stuff on the Bosey..He plays great but I could have used a bit more grit from the piano.
I do think they sound elegant,and I have performed on them and enjoyed them..BUT it would not be in my top 3 pics for concert or home..thats just me...hmmm so what would be my top 3 then..
Fazioli
Hamburg Steinway
My Schimmel!!!!!!
lol
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/17/13 12:20 AM

Joey - I can tell that you are really into the clarity thing.

Good Man !!!

(I agree with you about Oscar and his piano.)
Posted by: Norbert

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/17/13 01:56 AM

Clear or not, Bosis are known for *romantic* sound.

Like "romantic Boogie"...




Norbert wink
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/17/13 10:02 AM

Joey - I don't know if you have discovered this thread, but I'm sure you will enjoy it.

Shimmering Schimmel
Posted by: Mark...

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/17/13 10:20 AM

Joey at work...

Posted by: malkin

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/17/13 06:04 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark...
Joey at work...


It's a dirty job, but someone's gotta do it.
Nice!

Thanks Mark...
Posted by: SBP

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/17/13 07:10 PM

It is interesting how certain brands can be classified by what genre(s) sound best on them. I never really thought about it that way. I know certain brands are mellower and warmer, others are bright and crisp, etc., but never really about genre-suitability. I guess when you have a focused repertoire, it becomes more important (ie: Most classical pianists probably want to stay clear of Yamahas, Jazz pianists don't really want Bluthners, etc.). I always just played whatever on whatever I was playing on, be it a Fazioli grand or a Wurlitzer spinet.

For compromises, I've always found Kawai's to be fairly versatile. They have the crisp sound that's good for jazz, and the sustain...I'll let this sum it up.
http://youtu.be/g7-5io1muSQ?t=21s
Basically. I can hit a chord with the sustain down, and it'll keep ringing and ringing for at least a good minute. I have no clue how long a "long sustain" should be, but I'd say a minute's pretty dang long for an upright.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/17/13 07:25 PM

Originally Posted By: SBP
It is interesting how certain brands can be classified by what genre(s) sound best on them. I never really thought about it that way. I know certain brands are mellower and warmer, others are bright and crisp, etc., but never really about genre-suitability. I guess when you have a focused repertoire, it becomes more important (ie: Most classical pianists probably want to stay clear of Yamahas, Jazz pianists don't really want Bluthners, etc.). I always just played whatever on whatever I was playing on, be it a Fazioli grand or a Wurlitzer spinet.

For compromises, I've always found Kawai's to be fairly versatile. They have the crisp sound that's good for jazz, and the sustain...I'll let this sum it up.
http://youtu.be/g7-5io1muSQ?t=21s
Basically. I can hit a chord with the sustain down, and it'll keep ringing and ringing for at least a good minute. I have no clue how long a "long sustain" should be, but I'd say a minute's pretty dang long for an upright.
From everything I've read Yamahas are not as bright as in the past. Their concert model is absolutely magnificent and is probably the second most popular piano for classical concerts. It is certainly not what one would call overly bright.

"Crisp" and "good sustain" would normally be considered opposites. Sustain is normally a consideration in the treble, and when listening for this the pedal should not be down.
Posted by: Joey Calderazzo

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/17/13 07:59 PM

I enjoy playing all pianos that are prepared properly..I always try and find the strengths of a piano and let the music come out accordingly..I have liked playing Yamahas just because they are consistent..Playing different pianos every night can really suck..Steinways have been by far the most INconsistent piano.But when they are good,they are great. I have done shows in Europe on Bluthners,Bechsteins,Bosies,Schimmels,Kawais,Faziolis..
I do like the Yamaha C7 and love the CFX..For me I really want a good action..I am able to get "my sound" out of most pianos
but I need the action to be even and responsive..Once you use a monitor,the sound of the piano is changed..Although I do have my own monitor system,so I full control of the volume.I only use when the band is loud.(so i use it often)!!!
I would be thrilled to play my Schimmel every night ,although we would need a bigger one
Posted by: AJF

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/17/13 08:58 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark...
Joey at work...



Hey I've played that piano! (Just not THAT good:)
Posted by: Alain

Re: Schimmel K189 - 03/17/13 09:44 PM

I am just realizing how much it must be challenging for a pianist to "adapt" to a new instrument each time he performs and delivers his sound and what people are expecting of him/her. I mean a saxophonist will have his Selmer, a guitarist his guitars or a drummer his particular setup, a guy at keyboard will rent the same exact synthesizers, etc.
Posted by: Dave Ferris

Re: Schimmel K189 - 04/09/13 05:09 PM

I played a new Schimmel K189 today at Keyboard Concepts in Van Nuys. The Schimmels I've been played in past years, I've been fairly underwhelmed, not my tonal cup of tea. But this was different....simply WOW !

Clarity in all registers, super responsive action/touch to sound, very reminiscent of a Fazioli. Sounded much bigger then a 6'3" piano. I played a Bosendorfer 225 right down the aisle and while the larger scale of the 225 was obvious, the basic clairty and singing tone of the Schimmel, to my ears, was on par with the 225.

KC is one of the biggest Yamaha dealers in the country, and I'm a huge Yamaha fan having owned a C7e & S6 before my D. I played every Yamaha CX model they had from the C3 up to the C7, and as nice as they were, the Schimmel had, for me, a superior, more complex tone and added sustain. And I had never felt that way in the past when playing older Schimmels next to a C7 or C5/6/3.

Basically there was nothing I didn't like about the K189...and this was with minimum prep too. Simply a smokin' piano !

edit with added thought:
Originally Posted By: Norbert
Quote:
Most of the Schimmels I have played/serviced were well made. The tone color does not change much with dynamics-which I find boring.


The statement fails to differentiate between the several different lines of "Schimmel".

For example, the Classic and Konzert series are so different, they may as well be made by different makers.

While the statement may be perhaps partially true for the one series, it definitely does not for the other.


They had the Classic 189 right next to the Konzert and there was no comparison. Playing just one Fm7b5 sus chord voiced with a minor 10th in the LH in the middle register on both pianos immediately told the story... wink It was indeed like playing two different brands of piano as opposed to models.
Posted by: Joey Calderazzo

Re: Schimmel K189 - 04/09/13 07:32 PM

Hey Dave,You and I have similar tastes.The clarity in all registers is one of the biggest plus' for me.I also agree that is sounds bigger than a 6'3" piano. Its funny you wrote that cause I have spent a lot of time playing pianos this week.I was in NYC doing a few shows and played lots of great pianos at Faust Harrison and Allegro.Faust had one of the best Steinway A's I have ever played,but it felt and sounded smaller than my K189..it was also clearer..
I think Faust has the best rebuilt Steinways I have ever played.But honestly after playing so many great pianos by different companies,I am not sure I would want a Steinway.If I was to get one it would be a D..I LOVED the C Bechstein 234,and when I jumped to the Steinway B I felt underwhelmed..And their B's were great,I just liked the clarity and evenness of the Bechstein.
I also loved the Bosie 225,really nice piano.
I also went to Steinway Hall..I played 2 D's that i liked a lot..Everything else was just ok..I really found that the Schimmel K189 seems like a lot more piano than the A,and its half the price!!!! what the heck..and the best A's and B's I played were at Faust/Harrison not Steinway Hall.(pretty Sad)...on my way to Europe now for 2 weeks to play duo with my buddy Branford..see ya,Joey