NAMM 2008 - Your impressions

Posted by: Jeff Bauer

NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/21/08 03:02 PM

Those of you who attended NAMM, what were some of your impressions?

Here are some questions, but don't limit your responses to just these.

1) What brands of pianos were your favorite to play?
2) Was there any brand or model that caught you by surprise, either in a good or bad way?
3) Did you notice any changes from last year?
4) Did you attend any of the special events/marketing/training seminars, and did you take anything away from them?
Posted by: Jeff Bauer

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/21/08 03:39 PM

1) I played many pianos, perhaps more intently than usual, the standard higher end pianos impressed me (Schimmel, Bosendorfer, Bechstein, Seiler, Mason Hamlin, Grotiran, Estonia, etc..).

The new 230 by Schimmel was a VERY interesting animal. It was a little uncharacteristic of the typical Schimmel sound/feel. It was a little lighter feeling, warmer in tone without sacrificing brightness. They certainly did something right there.

Petrof has got something going on with the Passat and the Storm. I never really took to that brand much as a player, but I was very impressed with these.

I didn't bother to sit and play the Yamaha grands, as they haven't changed any models, also due to having a store full of these and limited time. However, the new Cable Nelson baby grands (4'11" and 5'3") are really nice playing & sounding pianos.

2) I was pretty surprised by the continued increase in quality with the various Chinese pianos available. Hailun was, in my opinion, the most remarkable of the bunch. When I look at these, and ask myself 'would I buy this for my own use'?, I was surprised at my own answer.

Baldwin's weren't my cup of tea as an instrument, but they are doing some pretty cool cabinets; Particularly that heavy metal design.

The new bösendorfer 280 is something to behold. No words can describe my appreciation for the creation of such a wonderful piano.

3) This is more of a self serving question, because the last couple years I was at NAMM I was rushed and spent little time there. I noticed There were some absences, and booth changes.

Petrof no longer with Geneva (they had their own room). Steigerman was a no show. Couldn't find Steingraeber. There was a more consolidated showing of private label pianos (or so it seemed). I didn't find the Geneva booth (I didn't specifically look for it, but I walked through a very large portion of the show).

4) I did not attend any of these because I didn't budget any time for it.

Looking forward to reading the impressions from others.
Posted by: Stephen Lacefield

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/21/08 11:01 PM

1.We played them all. I think the consensus from our crew is

1. Fazioli
2. Shigeru Kawai EX (Full Disclosure: we sell Shigeru Kawai)
3. Bose

2. Baldwin was better than expected. CW did not live up to expectations.
3. The mood from piano dealers seemed more optimistic
4. We always do training seminars... very good as usual.

Geneva, from what I heard was at a nearby hotel. Not sure which one. They could of done a much better job of getting the word out. Doesn't look good.
Posted by: Alex Hernandez

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/22/08 02:20 AM

I really liked the Mason & Hamlin instruments, they were better or equal to every piano at the show.

I also think that the Shigeru and the Fazioli are very close in touch and feel, I prefer the aesthetic of the Italian though.
Posted by: Piano World

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/22/08 08:20 AM

I don't feel qualified to compare pianos because:
1. I can't play that well
2. I only have a digital piano at home, so any real piano sounds/feels good to me :-)

I did notice there weren't as many displays in the bigger 3rd floor room as last year, and there didn't seem to be as much traffic.

The manufacturers I spoke with all indicated they felt they were having a good show (Kawai, Bosendorfer, Mason & Hamlin / Piano Disc, Estonia, Grotrian, Schimmel).

On the flip side, the accessory vendors I spoke with indicated it was an off year.

I had a chat with Kyle Kirkland and Dana Messina of Steinway. Nice to know they like our forums (feel it helps the business by getting more people involved in music).

I used the opportunity to talk to Kyle about our experience with their factory tour, he promised we would have a better experience next time, and could bring more people.

Lloyd Meyer of Renner USA showed me the new web site they are working on. They've done a really nice job with it, clean and easy to use. Has some nice interactive displays, and lots of information.
I believe he said it was going to launch in about a week.

Thanks to Pique' (of Grand Obsession fame) I had a nice long interview with Swati Pandey, a reporter for the LA Times.
She also interviewed Pique', and came to our SoCA party at Steve Miller\'s house.

I tried to convince her she should play piano, she had the perfect fingers for it (long and slender).

I'm hoping she is going to write a nice positive article about our piano community, and the piano business in general. Hopefully will see article in next Sundays' LA Times.

At one point she asked about piano for people who don't really play. I mentioned Piano Disc (because we'd just walked by the display to get out to the sunny deck where we interviewed).

So... when we went back in we stopped at the Piano Disc display, and who should be playing in the big HD display? Our own Jeffrey Biegel...



Speaking of pictures, if you have some to share, I know our members would love to see what goes on inside the NAMM show. Please Upload them to our server, so they don't disappear later.

I didn't talk to the MI exhibitors, but they seem to have the usual sea of people crowding the aisles.

Thanks to the new PWPF polo shirts I wore during the show, a lot of people spotted me and came up to say hello. I always enjoy meeting members I've not met before, and running into members I've already met.

All in all I had a good show, making some new contacts for advertising on PW, playing with the toys, and just generally enjoying myself.

The weather was perfect (it was 12 degrees when I got back to CT late Sunday night), it was nice to be around real people (I usually work alone from a home-office), and the party Saturday night was the perfect way to end the week.
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/22/08 08:27 AM

Did anybody get a sense of how the new M&H B model is doing?

I'm glad to hear that the Steinway people said nice things about PW... er, especially after we've given them ample reasons NOT to like us.

Yes, more pics, please!
Posted by: whippen boy

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/22/08 01:07 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano World:
The weather was perfect
See, I told you not to worry! \:D

I know there were some bad storms recently, but I had a feeling they would clear out by the time NAMM happened.

I'm glad you got a chance to shake some of those New England icicles off! \:D
Posted by: Jeff Bauer

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/22/08 01:08 PM

There were a lot of things I missed, simply because I didn't have the time (or in some cases energy).

I didn't play any Mason & Hamlins this year, however in the past I have always been impressed with their pianos.

Stephen, what did you think of that artcase Fazioli? Crazy! Looked like something Superman landed in when he came to earth. When I was at the Fazioli booth, Eldar Djangerov - I enjoyed listening to him play the 9'.
Posted by: ejsauter

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/22/08 02:10 PM

I went as well.

Being my first time, I really don't have a basis of comparison. I really enjoyed having an opportunity to view and lightly play a Faz. The art case was too way out for my taste but am sure would find a good home.

I posted a couple small clips of Bram Wignand performing stride on Youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6K8nPSU8jQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9H58y4h5bJo

I thought the pianodisc display was really cool. Although I have a problem with player systems from a philosophic standpoint, another side me believes that anything that gets people involved in music is a very good thing.

Excellent experience overall. My teeth are still aching from all the piano candy!
Posted by: Piano World

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/22/08 03:44 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by ejsauter:
I went as well.

Being my first time, I really don't have a basis of comparison. I really enjoyed having an opportunity to view and lightly play a Faz. The art case was too way out for my taste but am sure would find a good home.

I posted a couple small clips of Bram Wignand performing stride on Youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6K8nPSU8jQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9H58y4h5bJo

I thought the pianodisc display was really cool. Although I have a problem with player systems from a philosophic standpoint, another side me believes that anything that gets people involved in music is a very good thing.

Excellent experience overall. My teeth are still aching from all the piano candy! [/b]
Thanks for posting the clips.

I watched him playing while I was there, amazing!
His technique is flawless, and he makes it look easy.
Posted by: Norbert

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/22/08 07:35 PM

Sorry having missed all of this: couldn't go this year!

One question for those who may have had a chance:

1] some comments on the Grotrian grands, especially the 'Charis' model, a piano which had impressed many who tried it last year, including Larry Fine

2] did Sauter have their 9' concert grand on display again? [last year's model was apparently used by one pianist at Carnegie Hall later]

Curious.

Thank you,

Norbert
Posted by: ejsauter

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/22/08 08:15 PM

Norbert, I didn't notice the Grotrian, although they were right next to Sauter.

The Sauter 275 (9') was there and was the same one performed on at Carnegie Hall by Gil Sullivan. It was actually shuffled between the NAMM hall and the hotel for receptions at night.

It was prepped by Peter Clark and Gene Nelson. It was simply amazing to play and listen to. It is the one in the Youtube clip I posted. I agree with Frank, Bram made it look extremely easy (sorry I missed you). I think I finally understand what my piano teacher keeps saying about tension or more importantly, the lack thereof for great playing.
Posted by: piqué

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/22/08 08:26 PM

norbert, unfortunately grotrian didn't have the charis there. i was very disappointed, as i've never played one. i think burkhard said it was sold and that is why it was missing.

my impressions of NAMM--a candy store, wonderful to hear so much piano music all at once. also overwhelmingly noisy at times. i spent most of my time on the third floor where the european pianos were--grotrian, sauter, estonia, fazioli, etc. it was a good space for them because it was quiet enough to hear yourself playing, most of the time.

also, the ptg booth was there and it was fun hanging out with them.
Posted by: 88Key_PianoPlayer

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/23/08 01:28 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano World[/b]:
I don't feel qualified to compare pianos because:
1. I can't play that well
2. I only[/b] have a digital[/b] piano at home


You mean to say... the person who operates the most well-known Piano[/b] Forum website in the world[/b] ONLY[/b] owns a DIGITAL[/b] piano???

:rolleyes: :rolleyes:
Posted by: Piano World

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/23/08 08:00 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by 88Key_PianoPlayer:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano World[/b]:
I don't feel qualified to compare pianos because:
1. I can't play that well
2. I only[/b] have a digital[/b] piano at home


You mean to say... the person who operates the most well-known Piano[/b] Forum website in the world[/b] ONLY[/b] owns a DIGITAL[/b] piano???

:rolleyes: [/b]
Yup,

Owning and hosting Piano World is very rewarding, just not with money \:\(

My piano (and the PW office)...

Posted by: Wzkit

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/23/08 10:34 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by ejsauter:
Norbert, I didn't notice the Grotrian, although they were right next to Sauter.

The Sauter 275 (9') was there and was the same one performed on at Carnegie Hall by Gil Sullivan. It was actually shuffled between the NAMM hall and the hotel for receptions at night.

It was prepped by Peter Clark and Gene Nelson. It was simply amazing to play and listen to. It is the one in the Youtube clip I posted. I agree with Frank, Bram made it look extremely easy (sorry I missed you). I think I finally understand what my piano teacher keeps saying about tension or more importantly, the lack thereof for great playing. [/b]
Could you direct me to the Youtube link?
Posted by: birchy

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/23/08 11:59 AM

Maybe some of you dealers should start a fund to get Frank an acoustic piano, especially considering how much he does for you.

(this is a sincere comment)

PS and since we want the "relationship" to be healthy, don't pick it out for him.... ;\)
Posted by: Norbert

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/23/08 12:14 PM

In defense of Frank:

We happen to have the almost identical set up in our garage, both for my kids and myself.

Blues lovers have a few tricks up their sleeve that many others in this world might not quite understand.... ;\)

[Thankfully, it doesn't take away for playing our upright Sauter family piano, a piano which is being stroked on a daily equally as well.]

Norbert
Posted by: ejsauter

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/23/08 12:16 PM

wzkit, I sent you a PM.
Posted by: Norbert

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/23/08 12:17 PM

pique, ejsauter:

Thank you very much, I'm amazed that Grotrian didn't have the Charis there!

Maybe their production for that piano is running hot enough.....

Norbert ;\)
Posted by: Piano World

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/23/08 12:44 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by birchy:
Maybe some of you dealers should start a fund to get Frank an acoustic piano, especially considering how much he does for you.

(this is a sincere comment)

PS and since we want the "relationship" to be healthy, don't pick it out for him.... ;\) [/b]
Thanks for the kind thought birchy, but right now I'd rather continue to play my digital, and have any donations go to the Justme & Family fund...
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/20827.html

(I'll find a way to own a "real" piano before I die :-)
Posted by: birchy

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/23/08 12:52 PM

You're a Tier 1 guy, Frank.
Posted by: turandot

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/23/08 01:41 PM

(off-topic..but I think we are already there anyway)

I had a related problem, A while back I only[/b] had an acoustic. You know, that's the temperamental cousin from the old country that needs a lot of TLC from tuners, techs, and the like to avoid sore throats and a sour disposition..... the one that gets cranky at certain times of year when the seasons change.... The one that can sing with only one voice, and balks mightily at the notion of being recorded without its ambient noise and acoustic reflections and deflections included in the recording.... The one that refuses to be quiet enough to let others nearby be tuned to a different channel.

I was so bummed for so long. Friends, relatives, even casual acquaintances all tried to bring me out of my funk, but nothing worked until I got my digital. \:\)
Posted by: Piano Peddler

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/24/08 12:32 AM

Posted by: doremi

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/24/08 01:35 AM

Now that we have arrived at the off-topic phase of this thread, did anyone see the guy who shall not be named at NAMM?
Posted by: pianobroker

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/24/08 02:03 AM

I go to Kansas city,MO.every year for the ALS
(Lou Geriug disease)walkathon and also support one of the best jazz scenes in the U.S. The Majestic(seen Braum many times)Jardines,Mutual Musicians Foundation (Jazz jam till dawn)American Jazz museum Jazz everywhere! Alot of talent in this town both young and old.
No,I don't work for the chamber of commerce and their "Barbque is incredible. Hows that for an off-topic post.
Posted by: pianobroker

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/24/08 02:38 AM

Pretty quiet on the piano front compared to the first floor (MI products)It's always a treat to play the various piano manufacture's best of the best. Rather than critique what I considered
as hum drum I'll tell you what I considered impressionable for either value or sound. Grotrian,Sauter,Hailun,Heintzman. I thought that Charles Walter's hand rubbed satin finishes were a nice change from everyone elses polyester specimens. Bosendorfer's exotic veneer work was exceptional.I'm glad to see many of the traditional manufactures are getting more radical with their soundboard,harp,case fabrications. We were doing red,black,silver soundboards and plates years ago on custom rebuilds. On the whole a pretty mellow show.
Posted by: Piano Peddler

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/24/08 02:43 AM

Posted by: turandot

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/24/08 02:54 AM

Broker,

Did you (or anyone else really) venture over to GIC. I heard they were stationed at a hotel nearby. Not to be nosy, but I'm wondering what they might be rolling out this year.
Posted by: pianobroker

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/24/08 03:09 AM

Turandot
Nope not me! I didn't even make it to see Steingraber with the new LX player system. I've already heard the protoype and even sold a few already(player systems that is). They were at the Courtyard hotel by John Wayne airport.Inconvienient! Many are setting a trend like Steinway not choosing to be a part of the Namm show. I guess exposure is not important to them. Big mistake in my opinion.
Most didn't even know they were at the show but not at the show. Oh yeah, you were asking about GIC, sorry got carried away.No idea !
Posted by: FogVilleLad

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/24/08 03:25 AM

pianobroker,[/b] Eldar Djangerov, the young piano phenom that Jeff Bauer heard playing the 9' Fazioli, is based in Kansas City. His family emigrated from Kyrgyzstan, I think. The father had a big collection of jazz records.
Posted by: VGrantano

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/24/08 07:49 AM

G.I.C. Was NOT at the show this year. They were NOT at a hotel, nearby!!!
Posted by: Piano World

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/24/08 08:46 AM

Lots of pictures from the 2008 NAMM show, here:
http://www.thenammshow.com/gallery
Posted by: SSB

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/24/08 09:22 AM

I would have loved to have been at NAMM - I probably would have been ejected for licking a Fazioli or something though.
Posted by: mjs

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/24/08 10:37 AM

SSB - alternative for you (much closer and open to the general public) is the Musikmesse in Frankfurt in March. I assume that all major manufactures who do business in Europe or who want to do business here are present there.
Posted by: SSB

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/24/08 10:42 AM

You mean I might get my Fazioli licking-fix after all? ;\)

Will see whether Mrs SSB fancies a trip to Frankfurt in March. "Really, a big music exhibition? What a coincidence!" \:D
Posted by: TX-Dennis

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/24/08 10:21 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano World:

My piano (and the PW office)...

[/b]
I like the ingenious way you've got there of keeping the pedals from sliding around all over the floor. Why didn't I think of that?
Posted by: Frank

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/25/08 10:28 PM

pianobroker,

Quote:

Rather than critique what I considered
as hum drum I'll tell you what I considered impressionable for either value or sound. Grotrian,Sauter,Hailun,Heintzman.

I have to assume we are in the Value catagory but very kind words none the less.

I was at the Sat.night Pianos Travelers party for a couple of hours with Arnold P.

Never met you at our booth so hope you were well looked after.
Posted by: pianobroker

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/26/08 12:20 AM

I worked with Arnold P. back in the days of "Whats a Pearl River."
Posted by: Piano World

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/26/08 12:35 PM

Finally getting around to posting some random NAMM 2008 pictures...

The crowd heading for the show...


Was it something I said?


Our own Jeffrey Biegel giving the PianoDisc a good workout



Rich Galassini of Cunningham Piano, and Perri Knize - Author of Grand Obsession. Notice Rich is working his Blackberry, while the author is working her pen :-)



Rick Jones giving the Estonia Concert Grand a workout


Amazing stride pianist


The Renner booth


View from one of the balconies at the show


-- CONTINUED NEXT POST --
Posted by: Piano World

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/26/08 12:36 PM

See Other Pictures Previous Post Above


Assorted Piano Displays...












Posted by: Zormpas

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/26/08 08:10 PM

Is there going to be a post NAMM picture contest this year?
Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/26/08 09:34 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Zormpas:
Is there going to be a post NAMM picture contest this year? [/b]
As a consultant to Bechstein, I advised that they donate that really nice Model C at the NYC selection center as a prize in the Best Picture Contest, but alas, it was sold! \:D \:D
Posted by: Zormpas

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/27/08 01:23 AM

Most excellent! As I have an absolute *killer* picture for any possible contest, I appreciate your looking out for me! \:D
Posted by: U S A P T

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/27/08 01:59 AM

I didn't make it to NAMM this year, but always tried to memorialize the ones that were the challenges to wrap and transport. . .

Posted by: lilylady

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/27/08 08:29 AM

THanks for sharing the pics, Frank.

What the heck is that PL? From the wood inlay it reminds me of one that in Steinway Hall last summer. The leg vines are a little over the top though!
Posted by: U S A P T

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/27/08 09:08 AM

A little?
Posted by: lilylady

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/27/08 04:18 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by USAPT:
A little? [/b]
HA!

I was expecting...

Only the legs?

:p

So...who claims the glory?
Posted by: Bernard

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/27/08 06:49 PM

I love the beer stand next to the Sauter. \:D
Posted by: weazer

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/28/08 04:12 PM

The Sauter and Mason & Hamlin booths were my top two favorites. The Mason B was quite impressive for its size.
Posted by: Norbert

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/28/08 04:40 PM

Always knew Sauter is the *most German* of all German pianos.

They even place a bottle of premium lager besides them...

http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/SauterNamm.jpg

Norbert ;\)
Posted by: Gene Nelson

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/28/08 04:59 PM

I was wondering if anyone had played the Mason & Hamlin BB with the composite WNG action parts.
It was light and fast and very even, had a unique feel to it - I was impressed.
Posted by: Robert H

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/28/08 05:59 PM

Hi all,...

For those who visited the Mason & Hamlin booth and played the piano,... Will you please share if you know what improvements have been made in the 2008 M&H pianos over the 2007 pianos? (Any kind of improvements whether it's major/minor, technical/cosmetic, etc,...)

Having just bought a 2006 A I found myself wishing for a slow close fallboard that can be locked (my son will be having his 5th birthday party in a few months and our piano room has no door!),... and another thing which is just a very minor cosmetic gripe is to have a bench with the proper Mason & Hamlin 'H' in the decal,...

Gene,... what do you mean by composite? Is it ABS Carbon ala Kawai Millenium III or other non-wood materials?

Regards,

Robert
Posted by: bitWrangler

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/28/08 06:06 PM

Did Yamaha and Bosendorfer have a joint presence this year (I know the timing would make it tight, so I would not expect anything fancy, basically just having a Yamaha rep in the Bosie area)? What was the general scuttlebutt around NAMM about the deal?
Posted by: weazer

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/28/08 06:43 PM

I played both actions and I have to lean toward the original myself. M&H claimed that they had about half and half on the responses they collected.

Yamaha and Bosie were separated. I don't know if there were any reps in each other’s booths.
Posted by: Gene Nelson

Re: NAMM 2008 - Your impressions - 01/28/08 08:17 PM

I believe they are carbon and glass fibers - cannot recall exactly.
Light weight and very well designed.