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#2054350 - 03/26/13 01:16 AM Re: Are Brodmann Pianos a True Value? [Re: Almaviva]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2464
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: Almaviva
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted By: Almaviva
I know all about the high prices of good grand pianos, Marty - unfortunately. eek That is why the Brodmann is a possible alternative to pricier, more prestigious instruments.


Let me slip in another reminder to check out the Cunningham in Philadelphia. It might surprise you!


We plan to, Marty.


Just remember, pics or it didn't happen... wink
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#2054407 - 03/26/13 06:13 AM Re: Are Brodmann Pianos a True Value? [Re: Almaviva]
joe80 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1437
No, I understood what you meant. I was a 13 year old pre-conservatoire student once! Now, I use my piano for concert preparation, heavy practice loads and teaching.

If the Brodmann had been around when I was 13, it would have been an ideal solution - I had a Challen upright at that stage, from 1953 (at it was 1993 I was using it), and it stood up OK. I actually still have that piano but I don't use it.

When you start talking about a piano needing to last 60 years, it gets quite difficult. It's tempting to think of a piano as lasting forever and being passed from generation to generation, but a quick look around this forum will show you some of the pianos that are passed from generation to generation - and the condition they are in! After that length of time ANY piano will need extensive rebuilding - ESPECIALLY a piano that has belonged to a pianist. In fact, if an adult concert pianist buys a piano that is going to be practised on for 9 hours a day, you can expect that after about 7 to 10 years (10 at a push) the hammers will need replaced, as a matter of course, and other things will need done. After 60 years the piano will need a factory rebuild. So will the pianist.

If you are on a budget, buy the Brodmann, and perhaps you could buy it from a showroom who would be willing to give you cashback on an upgrade later on, should it be required. After all, at the age of 13 you don't know if your daughter will be a concert pianist, musician, or not (with all the talent in the world, you don't know, even if you have a fair idea).

The Brodmann will certainly take her through conservatoire, but in her professional life she may choose to buy something else a bit more expensive. This is quite normal unless you buy her a Steinway B, which she'd probably just keep having serviced.

It's true, a chinese piano probably won't last 60 years. But then, if you go to Steinways and buy a 60 or 70 year old 'heirloom' piano, you'll find that it has a new soundboard, new action, new strings, new pinblock - in fact the only part of the original piano there will be the case and the frame. So it's not REALLY a 60 year old piano. It is, musically speaking, a new piano.

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#2054425 - 03/26/13 07:16 AM Re: Are Brodmann Pianos a True Value? [Re: Norbert]
Almaviva Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Originally Posted By: Norbert
Quote:
If you're talking about a 60 year service life I don't think any Chinese built piano is what you're looking for. Just from the side of practicallity, in order to make any kind of guess what a piano will be like in 60 years, you need a manufacturer that's been building pianos for a while.


Meaning only the Euros and U.S. made pianos?

Norbert frown





Musicpassion & Norbert,

What about Japanese pianos - specifically, the Shigeru Kawai and Yamaha CF lines? They are expensive, but would they be sturdy enough for a 60-year service life?

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#2054431 - 03/26/13 08:00 AM Re: Are Brodmann Pianos a True Value? [Re: Almaviva]
pianopaws Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/18/13
Posts: 71
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Just my perspective, as a pianist and teacher who still has my childhood piano: when I was around 13, my parents bought me the Baldwin vertical that I still use today. It has held up well for over 20 years of practicing and teaching. However, I am currently shopping around for a new piano. Why? Because as much as I love my Baldwin, I now prefer pianos with a heavier action and a more mellow sound than the one I have now. I am a more mature player now than when I was 13, and more knowledgeable about pianos, so my preferences have changed.

So, to sum up, I don't think you necessarily need a piano that will be used for 60 years. Most pianists upgrade their pianos anyway, and who knows what your niece's needs will be 20 years from now? Just a thought. Good luck with your search.
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#2054450 - 03/26/13 09:08 AM Re: Are Brodmann Pianos a True Value? [Re: pianopaws]
Almaviva Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Originally Posted By: pianopaws
Just my perspective, as a pianist and teacher who still has my childhood piano: when I was around 13, my parents bought me the Baldwin vertical that I still use today. It has held up well for over 20 years of practicing and teaching. However, I am currently shopping around for a new piano. Why? Because as much as I love my Baldwin, I now prefer pianos with a heavier action and a more mellow sound than the one I have now. I am a more mature player now than when I was 13, and more knowledgeable about pianos, so my preferences have changed.

So, to sum up, I don't think you necessarily need a piano that will be used for 60 years. Most pianists upgrade their pianos anyway, and who knows what your niece's needs will be 20 years from now? Just a thought. Good luck with your search.


You have a point, pianopaws. I'll take it into consideration.

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#2054514 - 03/26/13 11:26 AM Re: Are Brodmann Pianos a True Value? [Re: Almaviva]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4441
Loc: San Jose, CA
It's encouraging to read the observations of people who have kept a closer eye on the Broadmann marque in recent years, as it sounds like some of the quality issues have been getting some attention--- even the humble and unseen, but all-important felts and bushings. It's true that the (relatively) low price was attractive, and the upscale list of components sounded good. There were some reports from happy buyers. Yet, when I looked at and played several of them a few years back, I found them disappointing in build quality, touch, and tone. Squeaky pedals, creaking lids and cabinet panels, careless fit-and-finish never make a good impression. The loose, wimpy action and raw, in-your-face sound were not something I would have liked to have in my house.

But, the rooms were rather small and low-ceilinged, and the models had admittedly had little setting-up (and the grands were short, to fit in the short rooms). With more careful prep and maintenance, a more favorable room, and looking at models a little higher up the food chain ---which you would think the maker may have made their best effort for--- they may very well have shown off their fine parts list to better advantage. And with more care at the factory before they let them out the door in the first place (let's face it, that's all some of them are ever going to get)... well, that's all to the good.

Learning that the Shout-House nightclub in San Diego had found them impossible to actually destroy (check the threads; it's quite a story) did make an impression. There's that old story that goes, "When we first got married, the floor looked like the top of the piano. After raising three kids, the top of the piano looks like the floor." I don't know about their actually lasting for 60 years of useful life as a musical instrument. If you get 30 or 40 out of a good piano before it starts to need some serious work, count your lucky stars. Like the rest of us, after age 60 we spend a lot more on doctors and have a lot less to show for it, though bare existence does count for something.

A parts list is one part of a piano's story, and it's important--- silk purse, sow's ear; everyone knows this. The skill in putting the good pieces together into a good instrument is another. And the skill in keeping them together has made many a plastic surgeon's name and fortune.

I can't say if that adds up to a reasonable choice. If the buyer's expectations are reasonable and realistic, it may be so. If you buy a piano because you like the way it plays and sounds, and don't buy it only because you like its price tag, you may come out ok. There's certainly a market segment out there which is looking for a pretty decent piano but is not looking for a second mortgage to pay for it. It is nice to think that the improved Broadmann models may offer them a brighter hope.
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Clef


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#2054522 - 03/26/13 11:44 AM Re: Are Brodmann Pianos a True Value? [Re: Almaviva]
joe80 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1437
Jeff. I couldn't agree more.

When I bought the Brodmann I did so for the following reasons:

1. I was using a 1910 Bluthner that I couldn't afford to have rebuilt, so I needed a new piano with a modern action (mine has the Bluthner patent action)

2. I liked the touch and tone of the Brodmann, and the price seemed good.

But yes, after a while, fit and finish seemed to suffer, and then the parts.

It's true that my Brodmann is put through more hours playing than many other people's pianos, but I'm thinking now that I wish I'd bought something a bit more sturdy, and I'm now starting to budget for an upgrade. I'll tell you what I want when I've bought it!

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#2054530 - 03/26/13 12:00 PM Re: Are Brodmann Pianos a True Value? [Re: Almaviva]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14261
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Joe80:

Your above post is thumb!!

Quote:
What about Japanese pianos - specifically, the Shigeru Kawai and Yamaha CF lines? They are expensive, but would they be sturdy enough for a 60-year service life?


One thing we need to understand and discuss is what is being meant by "lasting" or being "sturdy enough"

IMHO most pianos "will" do this unless the expectation is to find a heap of sawdust or collpased metal few years down the line... grin

In the real world, it's its retaining beauty of sound and the overall functionality by which an instrument will be most likely judged over time.

Not necessarily in that order.

Functionality again may last longer than 'tone' so it's a mixed field with no clear answers. re the Japanese, there's few if any 60 years old of their pianos around to make valid judgements.

Japanese pianos have certainly proven to be very good in "functionality" but not always in the "beauty of tone" department.

Which has lead many to believe they are not actually worth rebuilding after only 30-40 years....

So what is it?

To me, the whole discussion is somewhat similar to "how long will my next car last" and "how much am I going to invest upfront to get exactly what specific benefit"

The higher the cost - the higher the odds.

If initial investment is no object, the answer doesn't matter.

If it "does" everything changes and some of the different options on market today are starting to make more sense.

Perhaps a well built Chinese piano does make sense after all, or a medium priced high end piano - if available and can be found? whome

Luckily many new options do exist on market today that didn't only few years ago.

This IMHO greatly enriches the choice for consumers rather than takes away from it.

And yes, while some may see a threat to themsleves in the market place - others see opportunity.

Concerning both manufacturers and consumers.

In case of doubt one can always order a Sauter from us: glad to repeat same/similar scenario...

Norbert help


Edited by Norbert (03/26/13 12:22 PM)
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Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
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#2054898 - 03/27/13 12:11 AM Re: Are Brodmann Pianos a True Value? [Re: Norbert]
musicpassion Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 1148
Loc: California, USA
Originally Posted By: Norbert
Quote:
If you're talking about a 60 year service life I don't think any Chinese built piano is what you're looking for. Just from the side of practicallity, in order to make any kind of guess what a piano will be like in 60 years, you need a manufacturer that's been building pianos for a while.


Meaning only the Euros and U.S. made pianos?

Norbert frown


Not necessarily, although certainly US and Euro have some venerable, veteran builders. It should be noted that Yamaha has been making pianos since around 1900. However I haven't encountered any truly aged Yamaha pianos. I am aware that some feel they don't age well, but that wasn't an opinion I stated. I do feel that less expensive, consumer grade pianos aren't usually good restoration candidates.
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Pianist and Piano Teacher

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#2054903 - 03/27/13 12:19 AM Re: Are Brodmann Pianos a True Value? [Re: Almaviva]
musicpassion Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 1148
Loc: California, USA
Originally Posted By: Almaviva
Musicpassion & Norbert, What about Japanese pianos - specifically, the Shigeru Kawai and Yamaha CF lines? They are expensive, but would they be sturdy enough for a 60-year service life?


In my opinion Shigeru pianos are absolutely top tier pianos that should have a long service life. I don't have any experience with the Yamaha CF, so I won't comment on that.

My point was simply that if you want to know what a 60 (or 80 or 100) year old Mason and Hamlin feels like, it's easy. I've played many of them. Some of them have endured well. Same thing with Steinway or Baldwin. The Euro builders have certainly been around that long also, but can be somewhat harder to find.

The earlier Kawai and Yamaha pianos I've encountered are from the 1970s, although as I noted in the other post Japan has been building pianos a lot longer than that.
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#2054904 - 03/27/13 12:23 AM Re: Are Brodmann Pianos a True Value? [Re: Jeff Clef]
musicpassion Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 1148
Loc: California, USA
Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef
There's certainly a market segment out there which is looking for a pretty decent piano but is not looking for a second mortgage to pay for it. It is nice to think that the improved Broadmann models may offer them a brighter hope.


Right - and I think that's the market segment which benefits from options such as Brodmann.
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Pianist and Piano Teacher

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#2054907 - 03/27/13 12:29 AM Re: Are Brodmann Pianos a True Value? [Re: Almaviva]
Furtwangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 1542
Loc: Danville, California
Which is just about everybody, actually.

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#2055088 - 03/27/13 12:59 PM Re: Are Brodmann Pianos a True Value? [Re: Almaviva]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14261
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
From our observation, the market is shifting down from higher to lower prices - in every segment.

If a product offers as much for 20 k as somebody else's for 30 with major differences no longer immediately detectedible - we see the market responding.

Same is true in other price groups, quality is in demand but it must be "value priced"

Demanded by seemingly every segment of buyer.

Perhaps the absolute top tier pianos may be an expection in selected cases.

But have no doubt it will catch up there very quickly too - at time of resale the truth will come out.

Recently had a 'like new' 6 years old 80k piano [on consignment] we couldn't sell for half the price.

Had to return to owner...

Please let others say it ain't so.

Norbert


Edited by Norbert (03/27/13 01:06 PM)
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#2055196 - 03/27/13 04:28 PM Re: Are Brodmann Pianos a True Value? [Re: Norbert]
Almaviva Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
For curiosity's sake, Norbert, what was the brand & size of that 6-year-old piano that you tried to sell for $80,000?

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#2055329 - 03/27/13 08:42 PM Re: Are Brodmann Pianos a True Value? [Re: Norbert]
musicpassion Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 1148
Loc: California, USA
Originally Posted By: Norbert
From our observation, the market is shifting down from higher to lower prices - in every segment.


Wouldn't this align with what happened to the American piano industry during and after the Great Depression? Our great recession certainly isn't the scope of what happened in the 1930s, but it did influence the piano market.
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Pianist and Piano Teacher

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#2055485 - 03/28/13 05:38 AM Re: Are Brodmann Pianos a True Value? [Re: Almaviva]
joe80 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1437
As far as selling your current instrument on, in the UK it seems as though there are only two that hold their value reasonably well: Steinway and Yamaha. Kawai performs OK but isn't as popular as Yamaha.

The depreciation on the expensive german pianos such as Bluthner, Bechstein, Sauter, Schimmel and Grotrian is pretty heavy. Shackell pianos had a nearly new Bechstein B a few years back (maybe 2 years ago?), which retails new for £80,000, and he sold it for £30,000 or maybe a bit less. He had a Bechstein L from 2009 sold recently for £25k I think, and it retails new at £64k.

All of these instruments are fine pianos but the second hand market wants Steinways, or Yamahas. It's just a fact of the market at the moment. It means though, that if you keep your eyes peeled and you have the capital, there could be some real bargains out there.

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#2055525 - 03/28/13 08:46 AM Re: Are Brodmann Pianos a True Value? [Re: Almaviva]
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2789
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
Originally Posted By: Almaviva
For curiosity's sake, Norbert, what was the brand & size of that 6-year-old piano that you tried to sell for $80,000?

He said he couldn't sell it for half that, i.e. $40K. My guess would be a Steinway B.

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#2056922 - 03/30/13 02:55 PM Re: Are Brodmann Pianos a True Value? [Re: Norbert]
Almaviva Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Originally Posted By: Norbert
From our observation, the market is shifting down from higher to lower prices - in every segment.

If a product offers as much for 20 k as somebody else's for 30 with major differences no longer immediately detectedible - we see the market responding.

Same is true in other price groups, quality is in demand but it must be "value priced"

Demanded by seemingly every segment of buyer.

Perhaps the absolute top tier pianos may be an expection in selected cases.

But have no doubt it will catch up there very quickly too - at time of resale the truth will come out.

Recently had a 'like new' 6 years old 80k piano [on consignment] we couldn't sell for half the price.

Had to return to owner...

Please let others say it ain't so.

Norbert


Norbert,

For curiosity's sake, what was the name and brand of that 6-year-old grand that was worth $80,000 but you couldn't sell for $40,000?

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