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#8956 - 03/16/08 09:12 AM Brodmann, what can atually make them different
rickms63 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/25/07
Posts: 59
I have not been able to find the answer to this question else where. Folks are differentiating Broadmann pianos made in China from the hundreds of other manufacturers out there. What is it that could be different in the way Brodmann is building pianos that could make them different in terms of quality and sound?

I'm not really debating whether they are indeed better but just what it could be that would differentiate them from other manufacturers. I assume since they are being built in China the job pool is the same as other companies. Also given that the price point is similar to other Pianos can their materials and production methods be so much difference.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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#8957 - 03/16/08 09:44 AM Re: Brodmann, what can atually make them different
Rich Galassini Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9223
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
rick,

I am careful not to paint an entire nation with one brushstroke, especially in this situation. The Brodmann is among the better built Chinese pianos. They definitely go the extra mile in parts and execution, but they are not alone among Chinese makers doing this.

It is also true that many of the Chinese makers have a goal of producing a piano that is functional. A few have the goal of making an artistic instrument. Brodmann is one of them.

(It does not hurt that they tell a darn nice story to go along with the piano)

My 2 cents,
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
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#8958 - 03/16/08 09:52 AM Re: Brodmann, what can atually make them different
turandot Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7192
Loc: torrance, CA
In its promotional materials Brodmann cites the sourcing of many of its parts: hammers from Abel, soundboard from Strunz, action from Langer (Schwander), pinblock from Burkel, etc. They also cite strict QC standards (no one cites loose standards). You can read about their components here.
http://www.brodmann-pianos.at/piano_quality.html

Brodmann has built its own factory for grand production in China. As far as I know, they do not build for any other 'makers'. That would make their grands unique to them whereas their verticals are built at a factory that also produces pianos for other 'makers'.

I'm a layman and certainly no expert at all on piano construction, but I can notice in a Brodmann grand certain elements that seem attractive to me. The rims are quite thick. The finish work and fit on the cases seems very nice. Perhaps a professional here could speak to the details of Brodmann's design and execution of the belly. I cannot.

Tone and touch you have to judge for yourself, but the Brodmanns I've played (only three or four) seemed to have a more delicate refined tone than most Chinese grands and be capable of a wider range of expression. The actions on those I played were not uniformly good, but all were good enough and seemed tight to me.

I'm not trying to make a case here for Brodmann grands. In citing the upgraded components, I'm doing just that...citing them....not saying that they are better than what could be produced in China itself. I've played some Chinese grands with Mongolian spruce soundboards and Chinese-made actions that seemed very nice to me as well.

You commented about a similar pricepoint of Brodmanns and other Chinese pianos. In my experience that is not the case. Where I live Brodmanns have significantly higher selling prices than similar-sized pianos from other factories in China. Maybe that's because they are hot items on the market. Maybe it's because of their wholesale cost. Since you can't tell anything from an MSRP, I really don't know.
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#8959 - 03/16/08 01:20 PM Re: Brodmann, what can atually make them different
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14138
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
 Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I have not been able to find the answer to this question else where. Folks are differentiating Broadmann pianos made in China from the hundreds of other manufacturers out there. What is it that could be different in the way Brodmann is building pianos that could make them different in terms of quality and sound?
Designs directly taken from famous makes/models, excellent component and parts selection, foreign (Austrian) control over every manufacturing detail,unrelenting ambition and know how at top level and, yes - some ´little secrets here and there.

Keep guessing...

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

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#8960 - 03/16/08 10:49 PM Re: Brodmann, what can atually make them different
swampwiz Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/07/07
Posts: 561
Loc: Louisiana, USA
It seems that the Brodmann business plan to leverage the low wage level of China to do the less craftsman tasks, while keeping the high craftsman tasks via the conventional component manufacturers that use expensive labor, and then make it all work with modern computer technology and a strong quality control. Perzina also has the plan.

It would seem that this plan is currently working at the desired price point. So long as the piano can be a high Tier 3 product - which folks like Norbert say it really should be (if not higher!) - and the price is not as high as the Tier 2 products, it will be a market winner. I really doubt that the general public will ever consider the Brodmann to as good as the better Eastern Europeans (certainly not the Western Europeans), nor the great American brands like Steinway, Walters, and Baldwin, but if Brodmann can be seen as better than Yahama and Kawai RX, then it will do well. Certainly, doing things like sand casting the plates and using high quality actions and hammers gives Brodmann the chance to make a better product than the standard grade Japanese (and certainly better than the other Asians.)

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#8961 - 03/17/08 03:18 AM Re: Brodmann, what can atually make them different
Rod Verhnjak Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 3659
Loc: Vancouver B.C. Canada
[QUOTE]Originally posted by turandot:
[QB] In its promotional materials Brodmann cites the sourcing of many of its parts: hammers from Abel, soundboard from Strunz, action from Langer (Schwander.....
_________________________________________________

Charles Walter and I were talking two weeks ago about his past ownership of the Langer action company. He sold it to a company in China and the equipment was moved to China.
He thought they were not currently making any actions.

Have they resumed manufacturing action parts?
_________________________
Verhnjak Pianos
Specializing in the Restoration, Refinishing & Maintenance
of Fine Heirloom Pianos

Exclusive Dealer For Charles R. Walter Pianos
www.pianoman.ca
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#8962 - 03/17/08 03:37 AM Re: Brodmann, what can atually make them different
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
 Quote:
Originally posted by Rod Verhnjak:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by turandot:
[QB] In its promotional materials Brodmann cites the sourcing of many of its parts: hammers from Abel, soundboard from Strunz, action from Langer (Schwander.....
_________________________________________________

Charles Walter and I were talking two weeks ago about his past ownership of the Langer action company. He sold it to a company in China and the equipment was moved to China.
He thought they were not currently making any actions.

Have they resumed manufacturing action parts? [/b]
The Brodmann promotional materials use Steinway/Boston weasel language saying that the action is designed by Langer (UK).

I think we can all take our own conclusions about where they are actually manufactured...

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#8963 - 03/17/08 04:32 AM Re: Brodmann, what can atually make them different
schwammerl Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/06
Posts: 2012
Loc: Belgium
 Quote:
Charles Walter and I were talking two weeks ago about his past ownership of the Langer action company. He sold it to a company in China and the equipment was moved to China.
He thought they were not currently making any actions.

Have they resumed manufacturing action parts?
According to the link below there was more 'history' to follow after first Kimball sold Herrburger Brooks to the Honkong 'Harmony Pianos Company' and Herrburger went into administrative receivership in 1998:
 Quote:
The 12th of April 1999 was the first day for a new company born from the ashes of Herrburger Brooks. The new company is called Langer Ltd. and was formed by David Martin and two other former directors of the old Herrburger Brooks. They have moved into smaller premises but have kept the machinery and fifty members of the old work force. They will continue to make actions and keys, but will no longer be making hammers.
http://www.uk-piano.org/herrburgerbrooks/index.html

 Quote:
The Brodmann promotional materials use Steinway/Boston weasel language saying that the action is designed by Langer (UK).
This may be 'weasel language' indeed however Brodmann literary says on it's website:
 Quote:
As a result of this cooperation, all Brodmann piano actions are marked with the label – “BRODMANN Vienna Action designed in partnership with Langer U.K.”
I could also interpret this as Brodmann giving design instructions to Langer for the manufacturing of these actions (as many piano manufacturers do with Renner), instead of merely 'designed by Langer'.

It is a fact that the upcoming announced 'Vienna Edition' line wil have Renner actions.

Only insiders can shed light on this if anyone is interested.

schwammerl.

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#8964 - 03/17/08 06:34 AM Re: Brodmann, what can atually make them different
Rich Galassini Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9223
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
This may be 'weasel language' indeed however
 Quote:
Brodmann literary says on it's website:

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
As a result of this cooperation, all Brodmann piano actions are marked with the label – “BRODMANN Vienna Action designed in partnership with Langer U.K.”
[/b]

This may be a mistake. Langer UK has not existed for about 5 years now. (I am going by memory and may be off by a year or two).

However, there IS a Langer UK, ltd. that makes specialty foot care products. Maybe THEY are in partnership with Brodmann. That might make for very "foot friendly" pedal assemblies. ;\)

(Tongue planted firmly in cheek) ;\)
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
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#8965 - 03/17/08 01:05 PM Re: Brodmann, what can atually make them different
Rod Verhnjak Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 3659
Loc: Vancouver B.C. Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by schwammerl:
[QB] [QUOTE] Charles Walter and I were talking two weeks ago about his past ownership of the Langer action company. He sold it to a company in China and the equipment was moved to China.
He thought they were not currently making any actions.

Have they resumed manufacturing action parts?
According to the link below there was more 'history' to follow after first Kimball sold Herrburger Brooks to the Honkong 'Harmony Pianos Company' and Herrburger went into administrative receivership in 1998:
 Quote:
The 12th of April 1999 was the first day for a new company born from the ashes of Herrburger Brooks. The new company is called Langer Ltd. and was formed by David Martin and two other former directors of the old Herrburger Brooks. They have moved into smaller premises but have kept the machinery and fifty members of the old work force. They will continue to make actions and keys, but will no longer be making hammers.
http://www.uk-piano.org/herrburgerbrooks/index.html

________________________________________________

The Walter Piano Company had ownership after the dates mentioned above. The info above is not current. The Walters were involved after David Martin and the Walters sold the company around 3 1/2 years ago.

The info on the UK web site was copywriten in 2003
_________________________
Verhnjak Pianos
Specializing in the Restoration, Refinishing & Maintenance
of Fine Heirloom Pianos

Exclusive Dealer For Charles R. Walter Pianos
www.pianoman.ca
Verhnjak Pianos Facebook


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#8966 - 03/21/08 10:45 AM Re: Brodmann, what can atually make them different
swiftfootedperseus Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 3
Loc: Albuquerque, NM USA
Recently my Petrof (Mark IV 5'8") was sent to Chicago for some soundboard repairs. Because I had expressed an interest in the Brodmann, my excellent and patient piano dealer set-up my Petrof beside a Brodmann (187 6'2) so that I could compare the two.

Honestly, I loved my Petrof; but after spending three hours playing both pianos--feverishly back and forth--it became pretty evident that the Brodmann was exhibiting both a refinement and clarity of tone that I wasn't hearing in my Petrof.

So, to finally address your question--now that I'm the proud owner of the Brodmann, the most notable construction difference (that I can see)is that the rim is significantly thicker than the Petrof's--I would speculate that this difference, combined with the the combined effect of all the components may be part of what gives it its amazing tonal quality.

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#8967 - 03/21/08 02:02 PM Re: Brodmann, what can atually make them different
Rod Verhnjak Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 3659
Loc: Vancouver B.C. Canada
Hmmm, Interesting first post.

Welcome.
_________________________
Verhnjak Pianos
Specializing in the Restoration, Refinishing & Maintenance
of Fine Heirloom Pianos

Exclusive Dealer For Charles R. Walter Pianos
www.pianoman.ca
Verhnjak Pianos Facebook


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#8968 - 03/21/08 02:05 PM Re: Brodmann, what can atually make them different
Robert 45 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/18/06
Posts: 1227
Loc: Auckland New Zealand
The Brodmann enterprise seems like a recipe for success.I have been told by a local dealer that these pianos are "assembled" in China rather than "made" there. The ingredients or components have a European origin and there is also that Bosendorfer know how in the mix.
They look lovely pianos but I have not played enough of them to make a personal assessment.
Certainly they will be keen competition in the "affordable" piano market and I applaud this initiative. Remember, however, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

Happy Easter to all.

Robert

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#8969 - 03/21/08 02:32 PM Re: Brodmann, what can atually make them different
ftp Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/10/05
Posts: 2365
Loc: Philadelphia
 Quote:
Originally posted by Robert 45:
The Brodmann enterprise seems like a recipe for success.I have been told by a local dealer that these pianos are "assembled" in China rather than "made" there. The ingredients or components have a European origin and there is also that Bosendorfer know how in the mix.
They look lovely pianos but I have not played enough of them to make a personal assessment.
Certainly they will be keen competition in the "affordable" piano market and I applaud this initiative. Remember, however, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

Happy Easter to all.

Robert [/b]
Based on what people comment on PW Brodmann does seem to be differentiating themselves in a positive way. I can't, however, seem to find any reference on their website as to where the factory is located. Is it spelled out anywhere?

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#8970 - 03/21/08 06:41 PM Re: Brodmann, what can atually make them different
schwammerl Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/06
Posts: 2012
Loc: Belgium
From fathertopianist,

 Quote:
I can't, however, seem to find any reference on their website as to where the factory is located. Is it spelled out anywhere?
I will limit myself to comments on the manufacturing of the grands.

Reference to manufacturing in China is most clearly described in the article (press release) I found on their website; the partner they are talking about is 'Parson Piano factory, Yichang - China':

http://www.brodmann-pianos.at/fileadmin/user_upload/pianist_06magazine.pdf

However Brodmann also recently announced the building of a completely new factory in China; whether this factory is fully owned by them or in some kind of partnership is not clear from the website:

http://www.brodmann-pianos.at/top_left.html

Brodmann now also have production facilities in Vienna, Austria. They announced the introduction of their 'Vienna Edition' line of pianos in fall 2008:

http://www.brodmann-pianos.at/index.php?id=brodmann_pianos

schwammerl.

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#8971 - 03/21/08 11:38 PM Re: Brodmann, what can atually make them different
turandot Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7192
Loc: torrance, CA
 Quote:
The Brodmann enterprise seems like a recipe for success.I have been told by a local dealer that these pianos are "assembled" in China rather than "made" there. The ingredients or components have a European origin and there is also that Bosendorfer know how in the mix.
They look lovely pianos but I have not played enough of them to make a personal assessment.
Certainly they will be keen competition in the "affordable" piano market and I applaud this initiative. Remember, however, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
Robert, Happy Easter to you too.

I don't know if there is any meaningful difference between "made in" and "assembled in".
Brodmann cites an American pinblock and says it is made in USA. So that would indicate pinblocks shipped from USA to China.

Brodmann cites a Langer action which is produced as a joint venture in cooperation with Langer UK. That, strictly speaking, does not mean that the particular Langer action employed is made in UK. It could very well be made in China. There would be nothing wrong with that. Brodmann cites Strunz soundboards of German tonewood. I suppose the finished soundboards are shipped from Germany, but there is the possibility that Strunz planks are shipped to China and formed, fitted, and finished there under Strunz supervision. Certainly there would be nothing wrong with that either. Finally Brodmann cites Roslau wire and on certain models Abel hammers. But that is standard fare on many Chinese pianos. You can read all this stuff in Brodmann quality standards.
http://www.brodmann-pianos.at/index.php?id=piano_quality

Now even with all that, most of the piano parts are sourced in China. Plate, rim, bridges, ribs, pins, case parts, pedals, and hardware. Also, most of the experts here say that the place where the piano belly is put together is the place where the piano is made. Again, I'm not denigrating Brodmann or Chinese manufacture in any way. I think it's absolutely terrific that China keeps rolling out better and better pianos, with or without European upgrades.

Here's what Gary Egger, A North American rep for Brodmann, had to say here in a post last month.

from Gary Egger
 Quote:
In 2006/2007 Brodmann sourced pianos from three manufacturers.
We had our full line of professional series pianos (Grands and Uprights) from our main final assembly location which is Parsons in China. We also had a few of our exotic Viennese instruments available at the 2007 NAMM show which were all sold out immediately and we took orders for more. At the 2006 and 2007 trade show we also had a German Brodmann upright available made in the Wilhelm Steinberg factory which were also completely sold out. During 2007 there was a period of time where the focus was to purchase Bosendorfer and this very much slowed down the production of the Brodmann pianos from Vienna with the idea that if Bosendorfer was indeed purchased, that facility would be incorporated into the facility at Bosendorfer.
For 2008 Brodmann has a very solid focus of producing Grand and Upright pianos in Vienna in our own facility (I have been there and yes it does exist). This will not be a high level of production
What is unique about Brodmann is that while European manufacturers are scrambling for a foothold in China, Brodmann (up to now a Chinese manufacturer) is going to build in Europe. This is without parallel in the piano industry. Maybe they'll use planks from top-tier old growth Mongolian spruce (from the north side of the mountain) for the soundboards on their European grands. Just kidding! \:D
_________________________
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The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#8972 - 03/22/08 01:36 AM Re: Brodmann, what can atually make them different
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14138
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
 Quote:
What is unique about Brodmann is that while European manufacturers are scrambling for a foothold in China, Brodmann (up to now a Chinese manufacturer) is going to build in Europe.
This is very true and this is where I sincerely believe the difference lies.

Operating a company from established and "active" European headquarters is different than someone in China simply building according to someone else's spec's and design ideals.

Brodmann's rapid success and recognition as a serious musical intrument maker has become evident considering that some of our recent customers for this piano include some local Piano Festival winners as well as Mr. Edward Parker from Burnaby B.C. the area's by far most respected and high profile piano teacher.

Mr. Parker's choice for a 7' Brodmann was of particular significance considering his new piano replaced his own, not-too-old premium model 6'10 grand, a make not normally suspected to be on the common out and replacement roll......

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

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#8973 - 03/22/08 02:07 AM Re: Brodmann, what can atually make them different
turandot Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7192
Loc: torrance, CA
[off topic]

Hi Norbert,

I'm sure many members (well at least one) would enjoy a thread about your impressions of the Frankfurt Messe and sense of what the trends are.

[end of off topic]
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#8974 - 03/22/08 05:08 PM Re: Brodmann, what can atually make them different
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14138
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
 Quote:
I'm sure many members (well at least one) would enjoy a thread about your impressions of the Frankfurt Messe and sense of what the trends are.
turandot:

If it's only 'one', I may as well sent you a private pm directly....

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

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#8975 - 03/22/08 06:21 PM Re: Brodmann, what can atually make them different
turandot Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7192
Loc: torrance, CA
 Quote:
If it's only 'one', I may as well sent you a private pm directly....
There are legions really. But they're all too bashful to ask openly. \:\)
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#8976 - 03/22/08 08:05 PM Re: Brodmann, what can atually make them different
Furtwangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 1529
Loc: Danville, California
I am waiting in eager, eager anticipation.

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#8977 - 03/22/08 10:38 PM Re: Brodmann, what can atually make them different
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14138
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
o.k. here's a hinting question: who do you think had the most "buzz" during the show?

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

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#8978 - 03/22/08 10:39 PM Re: Brodmann, what can atually make them different
Furtwangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 1529
Loc: Danville, California
Bosendorfer

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#8979 - 03/22/08 10:44 PM Re: Brodmann, what can atually make them different
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14138
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Bosendorfer who?

Nobody on the show by that name...

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

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#8980 - 03/22/08 11:05 PM Re: Brodmann, what can atually make them different
Furtwangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 1529
Loc: Danville, California
OK - I give up. Furtwangler maybe? Oh, he is no longer with us.

Not by any remote chance another Austrian firm?

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#8981 - 03/22/08 11:44 PM Re: Brodmann, what can atually make them different
Rod Verhnjak Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 3659
Loc: Vancouver B.C. Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by Norbert:
o.k. here's a hinting question: who do you think had the most "buzz" during the show?

Norbert ;\) [/b]
_________________________________________________

Any piano that has a buzz generally has a problem. \:D
_________________________
Verhnjak Pianos
Specializing in the Restoration, Refinishing & Maintenance
of Fine Heirloom Pianos

Exclusive Dealer For Charles R. Walter Pianos
www.pianoman.ca
Verhnjak Pianos Facebook


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#8982 - 03/23/08 12:21 AM Re: Brodmann, what can atually make them different
turandot Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7192
Loc: torrance, CA
Anton Petrof from China?
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#8983 - 03/23/08 12:50 AM Re: Brodmann, what can atually make them different
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14138
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
No,Christian the man from Bluethner....

http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/IMG_0377.jpg

Who would be able to compete with these looks anyways....

Both man and[/b] beast!!

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

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#8984 - 03/23/08 02:19 AM Re: Brodmann, what can atually make them different
Alex Hernandez Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/02
Posts: 1967
Norbert,

Did you get a chance to play our pianos?

I'm sorry I didn't make it there to see you personally, you are a hoot!

I find your cryptic innuendo very entertaining, if not a little bit dangerous. \:\)

*careful, this beast bites back*

It brings to mind old conversations and promises as well.

Haha! just having a bit of fun, happy easter Norbert.
_________________________


Blüthner USA, LLC

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#8985 - 03/23/08 09:55 AM Re: Brodmann, what can atually make them different
rickms63 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/25/07
Posts: 59
Help, this thread has been hijacked!

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