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#14648 - 10/04/08 03:27 PM It’s a new Sauter M-Line (WITH PHOTOS)
Tweedpipe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/08
Posts: 428
Some may recall that I posted earlier this year ‘Sorry tale of a grand’ - a tale of woe during the search for my perfect grand piano.

Well, after much domestic discussion and soul-searching, I finally decided it would be an upright, but not *any* upright. It had to be one that could at least closely compete with some of the fine grand pianos I had previously auditioned.

For the next few months I was again breathing and dreaming pianos. And loving every minute of it.
Some of the models I auditioned were as follows:
Yamaha YUS 5
Kawai K-3 and K-6
S&S V-125
Sauter 122 Vista; 122 Resonance; 130 Competence.
Schimmel C116 and C120
Seiler 132
Bechstein Classic 118 and 124
August Forster 125

I had made a few mistakes whilst shopping for a grand, and these experiences certainly helped this time around now that I was in the market for an upright. What also simplified the task was that I had virtually ruled out the possibility of buying a used instrument, as I wanted it as perfect as possible.
I had practically no dealer persuasion during my piano search. In the many stores I visited, I made it absolutely clear that I was interested in a particular model and wished to try it for a short while without disruption. And this worked to my advantage, as I was able to give all my attention to the appreciation of the touch, sound, and the visual appeal of each instrument.

Please note these are my subjective opinions only, and I appreciate other buyers could well prefer other makes & models for whatever reasons.

I had set a flexible budget of approx 15000 euros, and on paper prior to the search had a personal preference either for a Schimmel or a Bechstein.
I tried the Steinway early on in the search, and knew it was way beyond budget, but I thought would provide a significant benchmark against which to judge my market. The V-125 is a fine instrument, and the first I tried was particularly well prepared – I loved it.
More than half way through my search I tried the Schimmels and the Seiler in the same store. Both were well prepared, and although very enjoyable to play, didn’t make me jump for joy.
I especially made a round trip of 5 hrs to the dealer who had an August Forster, and although pleasant, it didn’t have my name on it. There was another V125 Steinway there which I played briefly, and spent some time looking over the cabinet in detail, and the construction in general.

The next store were agents for Yamaha, Kawai, Bechstein and Sauter.
Both the Classic 118 and 124 Bechsteins were very pleasing. I recalled playing a new Bechstein for the first time in Bangkok about 5 years ago, and thinking at the time “ If I ever have an upright it will be like this”. Now I’m not sure exactly what model that was - it may even have been a Concert 8. If that was the case it’s not surprising that I relish the memory!
The Classic 124 was somewhat over my budget, but I liked the sound and the touch. Had it made me stop in amazement, I may have considered it. I continued taking careful notes on the quality of workmanship on all pianos of interest.

Which brings us to Sauter. All three in the store I found incredible. These were pianos that at last thrilled me. The superb sustain, rich bass, and pure, sparkling treble. Exactly the kind of sound and precision touch that I’d been searching for.

After another session with the Bechstein, and with a YUS 5 and K-6, I returned to the Sauter 130 again. After ½ hour or so, I became aware of my slight right-side tinnitus problem. The power of this piano was awesome. It is BIG in sound, which to most prospective buyers would be a plus point, not a concern.
Again I hastened back to the Vista and 122 Resonance, and reveled in the delightful Sauter tone, this time with subdued power. I could detect a slight difference in touch between the Vista and the Resonance, this being the double repetition action of the latter. (This particular Resonance 122 was finished in a very pleasing polished dark steel blue).

I needed to spend more time detailing the build and finish of these pianos. I knew from the moment I touched the keyboards that these pianos were manufactured to a very high standard – like the Steinway. But I wanted to convince myself further. I wanted more proof.
I requested that the upper and lower panels be removed for me to inspect further, and again I went around making mental notes. The result being that in my view the quality was first class.
For the record, I’ve never worked in the piano industry, but have for over 45 years been employed in a quality control and aftermarket role for a company who’s name (and especially initials) are synonymous the world over as the pinnacle of excellence. And the person who just whispered Cocoa Cola can go to the back of the classroom.........

I finally closed and arranged my notebook in an inside pocket. I wouldn’t be needing that again. I’d decided it *had* to be a Sauter. But which? Their brochure gave details of a top-of-the-range Master Class model, and my immediate thoughts were if quality could possibly be any better than what I’d just observed, they must truly be outstanding.
The salesman advised me they had never had one in stock to display. They were normally special order only.
That started a few mental alarm bells ringing. I’d learnt from this forum that buying a piano without actually playing it was a definite no-no.
Although now having tried several Sauters, I was convinced of the sound workmanship and near faultless product.
I was told that delivery on an M-Class model could be from 3-4 months. This was acceptable. So without more hesitation, after negotiation I ordered the 122M. (The 130M although a little over budget, was tempting, but with my slight hearing deficiency would not have been a wise choice).
I was asked how I wanted it voiced, to which I replied, “Pardon?” (But no - seriously my hearing is not that bad)!
Popular factory-voiced options I learnt were ‘Modern’ or ‘Classic’. I preferred the more mellow voicing of the Competence that was on display, and was told it was ‘Classic’ voicing. (The Vista had the ‘Modern’, which I judged as being somewhat brighter).
Like the Ford Model T, one can get the M-Class model in any colour – so long as it’s black! That happened to be my choice anyway.

The next few months seemed to stand still, until I was finally contacted and advised that the piano had been received, prepared, and ready for delivery.
I returned to the store to view and trial the new 122M. After some time playing and minutely checking for details, I was totally satisfied. It certainly succeeded in reaching my extremely high expectations, and I immediately felt connected with this fine piano.
Delivery pictures follow:











Since then my digital Clavinova has been relegated to the second division, although still useful late some evenings as the Sauter M-Class models have no mute/practice pedal. There is however a sostenuto pedal, which I’m sure will intrigue me for many months if not years to come.
So, I’m perfectly happy with this purchase - zero buyers remorse. In fact I’ve been an infrequent forum visitor, as this Sauter has really given me the motivation to play, admire, and play again. After all isn’t that what it’s all about?
And with the fall-board raised, what a pleasure to see on the lower right side the double repetition action motif – RR. I like to think my 122M is the pinnacle of excellence too!





_________________________
Dear Noah,
We could have sworn you said the ark wasn't leaving till 5.
Yours sincerely,
The Unicorns



------------------------------


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#14649 - 10/04/08 03:42 PM Re: It’s a new Sauter M-Line (WITH PHOTOS)
koiloco Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/16/08
Posts: 622
Loc: California
great looking piano in a lovely home .

Enjoy

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#14650 - 10/04/08 03:52 PM Re: It’s a new Sauter M-Line (WITH PHOTOS)
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4977
Loc: boston north
I have never seen a shiny bench before! ...
It matches the shiny piano!

May you enjoy many hours of playing.

I am happy to see that your top is open.

Sauter uprights are wonderful pianos.

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

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#14651 - 10/04/08 03:54 PM Re: It’s a new Sauter M-Line (WITH PHOTOS)
Catlady Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/03
Posts: 448
Loc: Arlington,VA
Is your dog happy with the choice?
Congratulations on bringing home another best friend.

Happy playing!
Cathy
_________________________
Cathy Harl - former piano dealer and tech.
Currently making and designing jewelry.

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#14652 - 10/04/08 04:31 PM Re: It’s a new Sauter M-Line (WITH PHOTOS)
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14138
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Can I come and visit?

This is even nicer than my own Vista at home.....

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

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#14653 - 10/04/08 06:17 PM Re: It’s a new Sauter M-Line (WITH PHOTOS)
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19372
Loc: New York City
 Quote:
Originally posted by lilylady:
I am happy to see that your top is open.
[/b]
I thought that's what Hannibal Lecter said in one of his movies (after Silence of the Lambs)
where he sliced off the top of one of his victims head and started frying his brains(I'm not making this up).

Gorgeous piano!

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#14654 - 10/04/08 06:27 PM Re: It’s a new Sauter M-Line (WITH PHOTOS)
turandot Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7199
Loc: torrance, CA
Tweedpipe,

You are so lucky. I am so envious.

I really enjoyed your report, especially the photos. Enjoyed seeing your home, enjoyed seeing that neat delivery van, enjoyed seeing a moving crew that didn't look like they had just finished an oil change. Nice dolly too! \:D

I'd buy a new Sauter sight unseen in a heartbeat (if I could afford it).
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#14655 - 10/04/08 07:33 PM Re: It’s a new Sauter M-Line (WITH PHOTOS)
HenryTD Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/18/08
Posts: 44
Loc: Suburb of Philadelphia
Tweedpipe:

Congratulations! Your experience with the Sauter M-class upright is very interesting. I know what you mean when you say their sound is thrilling, because just two days ago I played a Sauter for the first time, and it immediately went to the top of my list of fine uprights that are priced "within reason."

But today when I returned to the store I discovered that the M-class uprights I was looking at were NOT THE SAME as the ones described on the Sauter website. I'm not sure if what you got was the "Master Class" 122 described here:

http://www.sauter-pianos.de/english/pianos/m-line/m-line-122.html

or whether it's a European version of what I was looking at. From the heading of your post, I initially thought that maybe you'd bought the modified version that I was looking at, but upon re-reading it more carefully, now I'm not sure.

I've played two of these new Sauter M class pianos at Cunningham Piano in Philadelphia, and they are everything that you say they are. Their tone is mesmirizing, and they are beautiful to boot.

They haven't been in the country very long, and the store co-owner (Rich Galassini, a familiar name on this forum) said he was told they were top-of-the-line "M" class pianos. But I noticed they didn't have the hygrometer, and the markings on the outside were different from the "Master Class" 122 and 130 pianos described on the Sauter website. So Rich called the Sauter rep, and we learned that apparently with the falling value of the dollar vs the Euro, Sauter decided to create a version of the Master Class pianos that could be sold for a bit less by removing some of the frills, such as the hygrometer, and some of the decoration. The exact specification of the changes may have a few other things, and Rich should have that info shortly. (Since we dont' have an official model name for them, I'll refer to them as the M-122 and the M-130.) Another difference is that the "M-122" I played does not have a sustenuto pedal (it's a mute), and I don't recall there being a lock on either of them. I don't remember what the middle peddle of the M-130 was. The M-130 was in need of a touch-up tuning, so I mostly played the M-122.

As to which voicing category they are in (classic or modern), the subject never came up, since I hadn't seen this thread yet. I'd guess that the M-122 may be the "modern" voicing alternative.

Pricing is of course a case by case affair, but the good news is that the M-122 is within my reach. I haven't asked yet for specifics on the M-130. As expected, the larger model has a slightly fuller bass sound, but the wonderful tone in the mid-section and treble was about equal in both. And the workmanship and finishing on both are exquisite (polished ebony).

The third Sauter that Cunningham Piano has is the Design Series "Cura" 51" upright in satin Cherry, which also sounded fabulous. It invokes the simplicity of Shaker furniture, but with a contemporary feel. Some will probably go bonkers over this piano (it was out of my budget range).

By the way, all of the above are just my observations, and hopefully someone who really knows what's going on here will correct anything I've gotten wrong (Rich has no idea I'm posting my thoughts on this). Unless someone beats me to it, I'll report more when I get the information. In addition, I'll be updating the thread I started a couple of weeks ago which generally deals with my search for a very fine upright (it's the one with Schimmel C124 in the title).

Henry
_________________________
As my emotions flow through my fingers, the piano responds and lifts my spirit when nothing else can.

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#14656 - 10/04/08 07:56 PM Re: It’s a new Sauter M-Line (WITH PHOTOS)
turandot Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7199
Loc: torrance, CA
Dang! Another Cunningham's thread hijack! \:D

I guess if Rich is enlightened enough to sell Sauters he can't be all bad. Time to bring in Hugh Sung for a taste test faceoff between an Omega and a house Cunningham! \:D
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#14657 - 10/04/08 08:15 PM Re: It’s a new Sauter M-Line (WITH PHOTOS)
SophieM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/08
Posts: 353
Loc: New York City
Beautiful piano and beautiful home! Your delivery guys even stopped to pose for a picture! Enjoy! \:\)

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#14658 - 10/04/08 10:34 PM Re: It’s a new Sauter M-Line (WITH PHOTOS)
RickG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 947
Loc: Texas
Very interesting thread. Thanks for the copious notes. Enjoy the piano!!
_________________________
RickG

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#14659 - 10/04/08 11:51 PM Re: It’s a new Sauter M-Line (WITH PHOTOS)
Terry C. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 316
Loc: Melbourne, (Suntree) Florida
congratulations, its beautiful!
_________________________
Proud owner of a Rebuilt 1912 Feurich concert grand with the new Phoenix system.
5th generation piano makers
Gotta love that German Craftsmanship
http://www.flickr.com/photos/Feurich_Fanatic/

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#14660 - 10/05/08 02:26 AM Re: It’s a new Sauter M-Line (WITH PHOTOS)
tanjinjack Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/08
Posts: 851
Loc: Malaysia
Beautiful piano in a beautiful house!

Congrats on your new Sauter!

Your dog sure likes it.. \:\)

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#14661 - 10/05/08 06:59 AM Re: It’s a new Sauter M-Line (WITH PHOTOS)
Wim Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/25/04
Posts: 196
Loc: Belgium
Congrats on your new piano. You will find it difficult to stop playing and do something else !

Wim

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#14662 - 10/05/08 07:30 AM Re: It’s a new Sauter M-Line (WITH PHOTOS)
Barbara G Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 495
Loc: N. Texas
Thanks for the great info and the great pictures. You trully have a lovely home and a wonderful piano. Now I really want to try a Sauter piano.
_________________________
Master of Music, School Teacher, Church Musician- See "Our Adventure to a New grand" thread... http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/18212.html

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#14663 - 10/05/08 09:57 AM Re: It’s a new Sauter M-Line (WITH PHOTOS)
Tweedpipe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/08
Posts: 428
Many thanks to you all for the comments and best wishes.

Lilylady – the bench top when received was covered with a thin temporary plastic covering (hence the shine), which within days split and has now been removed. This incidently was not a Sauter product, but was negotiated (along with 2 in-house tunings) with the price of the piano.

Catlady – The dog has been shown many times an off-limit area around the piano, which I’d like to think he’s understood. If ever he did any damage to it, no matter how small – he’d risk being on the BBQ menu the same day.......... ;\)

HenryTD – I can indeed confirm that mine is the Master Class 122 that is described on the Sauter website.
Particular features of my 122 (and the Master130) are middle sostenuto pedal, double-repetition action, RR logo on fallboard, fallboard damper, C. Sauter signature on keyboard front plate, locking keyboard cover, fitted hygrometer, beautifully finished exotic wood inner body and hammer rests, and walnut hammerheads.
The following photos indicate some of these features:-







Whoof! Is this ok for the keep-out area?



Sauter paperwork received with the piano. Individual certificate for the Val di Fiemme soundboard / Handbook / 2 keys / Polishing cloth.
_________________________
Dear Noah,
We could have sworn you said the ark wasn't leaving till 5.
Yours sincerely,
The Unicorns



------------------------------


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#14664 - 10/05/08 10:17 AM Re: It’s a new Sauter M-Line (WITH PHOTOS)
Genaa Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/05/08
Posts: 326
Loc: Winchester, UK
Beautiful beautiful beautiful \:\) I really cannot wait for mine to arrive now hehe! The MP3 you sent me has made me even more anxious to get my paws on my M-line \:\)

Enjoy your wonderful piano Tweedpipe \:\)

Tell me something - the prop for the lid - how does that work? Is it attached to the inside front panelling?
_________________________
Sauter Masterclass 130
----------------------
Currently working on:
Bach: French Suite no. 4
Beethoven: Op 10 no 1
Schubert: Op 90 no 3
Debussy: La Cathedrale Engloutie, Golliwog's Cakewalk, 'Clear the Room'
Balakirev / Glinka: The Lark

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#14665 - 10/05/08 11:00 AM Re: It’s a new Sauter M-Line (WITH PHOTOS)
Wzkit Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 1005
Loc: Singapore
Congratulations from one Sauter owner to another! I notice more Sauter purchases being announced in this forum recently, and more surprising, that Cunningham pianos has decided to take up the line. Surely this must be a recognition of Sauter's uncompromising quality.

How's it settling in to its new home? When will you put up MP3s? \:\)
_________________________
Sauter 185 Delta with accelerated action and burl walnut fallboard

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#14666 - 10/05/08 11:16 AM Re: It’s a new Sauter M-Line (WITH PHOTOS)
Davinci Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/08/08
Posts: 131
Tweedpipe,

My heart's pounding looking at your piano. :3hearts: An exquisite choice and aesthetically beautiful, Congratulations.

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#14667 - 10/05/08 11:56 AM Re: It’s a new Sauter M-Line (WITH PHOTOS)
HenryTD Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/18/08
Posts: 44
Loc: Suburb of Philadelphia
Wzkit:

As I understand it, Cunningham's flirtation with Sauter is an experiment, although when you google Sauter Pianos (at least from the local area) there is a left-column sponsored link to Cunningham Pianos, so I guess it's serious, if not fully committed.

Henry
_________________________
As my emotions flow through my fingers, the piano responds and lifts my spirit when nothing else can.

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#14668 - 10/05/08 12:21 PM Re: It’s a new Sauter M-Line (WITH PHOTOS)
Catlady Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/03
Posts: 448
Loc: Arlington,VA
Hi All -
The M-22 and M-30 with the simpler cabinetry , no hygrometer and less shiny plates have been available in Europe for quite some time. There's no special name for them. There is a dealer on the West coast that has some and I had recently asked about getting some here in the states as a "regular" thing. Guess Ulrich listened!
Hope this helps,
Cathy
_________________________
Cathy Harl - former piano dealer and tech.
Currently making and designing jewelry.

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#14669 - 10/05/08 01:49 PM Re: It’s a new Sauter M-Line (WITH PHOTOS)
Robert 45 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/18/06
Posts: 1243
Loc: Auckland New Zealand
Congratulations on your magnificent new piano!
Those revealing photos of your new piano certainly endorse the superb quality of a Sauter piano.
May it give a lifetime of musical enrichment.

Kind regards,

Robert.

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#14670 - 10/05/08 03:31 PM Re: It’s a new Sauter M-Line (WITH PHOTOS)
Tweedpipe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/08
Posts: 428
 Quote:
Originally posted by Wzkit:
Congratulations from one Sauter owner to another! I notice more Sauter purchases being announced in this forum recently, and more surprising, that Cunningham pianos has decided to take up the line. Surely this must be a recognition of Sauter's uncompromising quality.

How's it settling in to its new home? When will you put up MP3s? \:\) [/b]
Wzkit,
I also followed your 185 Delta experience closely, and feel privileged to be in a similar select owners 'club'.
Mine is settling in well, with the second tuning planned for Nov, by which time the (underfloor) heating will be up and running - I've just put down a thick carpet to afford necessary protection.
I will at some time post an MP3 recording but currently have no host site.

Incidentally I spent 2003-05 in Singapore, so well know your need for a DampChaser there, especially for a piano as superb as yours.....
_________________________
Dear Noah,
We could have sworn you said the ark wasn't leaving till 5.
Yours sincerely,
The Unicorns



------------------------------


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#14671 - 10/05/08 03:41 PM Re: It’s a new Sauter M-Line (WITH PHOTOS)
Tweedpipe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/08
Posts: 428
 Quote:
Originally posted by Genaa:


Tell me something - the prop for the lid - how does that work? Is it attached to the inside front panelling? [/b]
Genaa,
You guessed right. The lid prop is attached to the inside front panel. When in use the lid is open approx 2 1/2 inches, which adequately deflects the sound upwards/outwards. Of course if so desired the lid can be folded completely backwards, increasing the exit area.
_________________________
Dear Noah,
We could have sworn you said the ark wasn't leaving till 5.
Yours sincerely,
The Unicorns



------------------------------


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#14672 - 10/05/08 04:11 PM Re: It’s a new Sauter M-Line (WITH PHOTOS)
DanLaura Larson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/01/08
Posts: 695
Loc: Pocatello, Idaho
What a beautiful, amazing instrument!

Dan
_________________________
Dan and Laura Larson
Fazioli and Ibach grands
Larson Piano Studio
http://www.stoneformsart.com/

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#14673 - 10/05/08 04:47 PM Re: It’s a new Sauter M-Line (WITH PHOTOS)
Tweedpipe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/08
Posts: 428
One photo I missed out earlier.
Shows the C.Sauter autograph on keyboard front plate.

_________________________
Dear Noah,
We could have sworn you said the ark wasn't leaving till 5.
Yours sincerely,
The Unicorns



------------------------------


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#14674 - 10/05/08 11:10 PM Re: It’s a new Sauter M-Line (WITH PHOTOS)
panche23 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/28/07
Posts: 51
Loc: Arizona/Calif
What a beauty...oh yeah, and not a bad piano...

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#14675 - 10/06/08 03:52 AM Re: It’s a new Sauter M-Line (WITH PHOTOS)
bkkmd Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/06/06
Posts: 304
Loc: Bangkok, Thailand
Congratulation on the Sauter. A couple of months ago I was in Geneva and a store there had several C. Bechstein, Grotrian and Sauter uprights on display. Personally I much prefer Sauter and Grotrian over Bechstein. I am a little bias toward Grotrian but certainly if I have to pick an upright, I would be very very happy with a Sauter.

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#14676 - 10/06/08 08:28 AM Re: It’s a new Sauter M-Line (WITH PHOTOS)
Tweedpipe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/08
Posts: 428
 Quote:
Originally posted by SophieM:
Beautiful piano and beautiful home! Your delivery guys even stopped to pose for a picture! Enjoy! \:\) [/b]
SophieM,
On reflection you're right, from the many delivery photos seen on this forum I can't recall another where the removal team have stopped and posed for a picture. They certainly weren't requested to do this; it may have been professional pride, or perhaps with the idea that this might improve their chances of being treated to tea and cookies afterwards - which we were only too pleased to provide.
Incidentally, one of the removal guys was also the successful salesman, which may be a common trend here to employ them in a dual role.
_________________________
Dear Noah,
We could have sworn you said the ark wasn't leaving till 5.
Yours sincerely,
The Unicorns



------------------------------


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#14677 - 10/06/08 08:35 AM Re: It’s a new Sauter M-Line (WITH PHOTOS)
Tweedpipe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/08
Posts: 428
 Quote:
Originally posted by SophieM:
Beautiful piano and beautiful home! Your delivery guys even stopped to pose for a picture! Enjoy! \:\) [/b]
SophieM,
On reflection you're right, from the many piano delivery photos seen on this forum I can't recall another where the removal team have stopped and posed for a picture. They certainly weren't requested to do this; it may have been professional pride, or perhaps with the idea that this might improve their chances of being treated to tea and cookies afterwards - which we were only too pleased to provide.
Incidentally, one of the removal guys was also the successful salesman, which may be a common trend here to employ them in a dual role.
_________________________
Dear Noah,
We could have sworn you said the ark wasn't leaving till 5.
Yours sincerely,
The Unicorns



------------------------------


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