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Schimmel Action (vs. Steinway & Bosendorfer) #112793
02/21/08 10:09 PM
02/21/08 10:09 PM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4
South Carolina
H
hjeffsc Offline OP
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hjeffsc  Offline OP
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Joined: Feb 2008
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South Carolina
Further to my previous post on buying a piano---please give me your thoughts on the quality of Schimmel actions (for 213T) verses Steinway or Bosendorfer actions. Is it possible to get the responsiveness and the expression (especially at levels of pp)with the Schimmel?

Many thanks.

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Re: Schimmel Action (vs. Steinway & Bosendorfer) #112794
02/21/08 10:58 PM
02/21/08 10:58 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 4,755
Georgia, USA
terminaldegree Offline
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terminaldegree  Offline
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Georgia, USA
I find the action of the Schimmel grands to be pretty similar in feel to the Bosendorfer grands I've tried. The sound quality is of course different. The NY Steinway action has a markedly different feel to my fingers compared with the other two pianos you mention, not to mention an entirely different basic sound quality.

Simply playing a model 213T should adequately answer your questions about responsiveness, though there is something of a connection between one's perception of "heavy" and "light" and the relative brightness or volume of a given piano.

In my biased opinion, the actions of the two German pianos are "better" but the tonal variety of the Steinway is more diverse (in the hands of the right technician).


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: Schimmel Action (vs. Steinway & Bosendorfer) #112795
03/08/08 06:50 AM
03/08/08 06:50 AM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 8
australia
M
malcolm1 Offline
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malcolm1  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2008
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australia
Hi.
I've just spotted this question about schimmel, and although belated I hope you find my reply relavent.
Touch response and tone can be changed to a certain extent on any piano, it's a question of whether the technician can acheive the result you are looking for. The choice of piano for a professional pianist is usually a personal thing. A bit like choosing a mercedes over a BMW. If cost is also a factor, then Schimmel is a good choice. I am a bit bias as I am the head technician for Schimmel Australia. But out of all the pianos I have worked on in the last 35 years, Schimmel seems to be the most consistant in quality and craftsmenship.

regards Dave.

(Tuner/Tech 35 years)

Re: Schimmel Action (vs. Steinway & Bosendorfer) #112796
03/08/08 08:46 AM
03/08/08 08:46 AM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,290
Toronto
Starting Over Offline
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Starting Over  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2006
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Toronto
Here's my take on this. The Schimmel is a lovely piano and I came close to purchasing the 213T as an upgrade from my current piano. It has great bass and a crystalline treble, as you note in your other thread, and immaculate build quality. (I don't care much for the color of the plate but that's neither here nor there). The Schimmels have a very smooth and responsive action but it's not notably better than the Estonia 190, which is also Renner. In the end, my problem with the Schimmel was that it just isn't twice as good as the Estonia 190 for almost twice the price; it was a value issue for me. I have not tried the Bosendorfer CS series but the actions on the standard models are as good as they come (with prices to match). I don't know if the more affordable CS models have the same action design but I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't. In any case, it sounds like you weren't taken with the sound of the Bosies anyway. All this led me to the Steinway B, same as you, which is where I am stalled as I contemplate the price. The B is, imho, superior to the Schimmel in all ways, including the action. When properly prepped and regulated, the B is superb. I do believe the Steinway is worth the additional cost over the Schimmel. This is my opinion. Others will differ and may take some shots but I have reached this opinion after playing many samples over a period of time. As you noted, you won't get much movement on the price of the Steinway. I never got to really negotiating on the Schimmel which is required to get to end of job with this brand as prices vary widely.

As an aside, you may want to consider a re-built Steinway B as a way to save some money. There are many threads on this topic. My preference leans to Steinway factory rebuilts based on what I've seen but there are many rebuilders doing fine work, some posting here.

Good luck with your search.


Buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it.
Will Rogers

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Re: Schimmel Action (vs. Steinway & Bosendorfer) #112797
03/08/08 10:53 AM
03/08/08 10:53 AM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 3,993
Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
K
Keith D Kerman Online content
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Keith D Kerman  Online Content
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K

Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 3,993
Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
The Schimmel action is very good quality and well designed. They come nicely set up from the factory. With sufficient regulation, it will work quite well.

However, even if you had a new Steinway, Bosendorfer and Schimmel, all about the same size, side by side, and had a magic action that was made by any of the 3 makers and somehow fit perfectly into all 3 pianos, they would all have different levels of what you are calling "responsiveness and expression".

It is really the design of the piano's belly that has the most profound affect on a piano's tonal responsiveness and expressive capabilities. Of course, the action must be designed beautifully, crafted and regulated to a very high standard in order for the sound to be well controlled. However, the world's most perfect action will not get a piano that doesn't sing well inherantly to sing. It will not get a piano that has a soundboard that doesn't respond well softly to suddenly play softly. It will not get a piano that has a cap on its upper power range to suddenly not distort when it is played FF and above.

So the point is, that the 3 pianos that you are considering all have good actions. If you are finding some to be more responsive and expressive than others, there is an excellent chance the reason is the piano's sound that you are responding to rather than its action, even if it seems like it is the action.


Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales - vintage and used Steinway, Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Baldwin
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Re: Schimmel Action (vs. Steinway & Bosendorfer) #112798
03/08/08 12:00 PM
03/08/08 12:00 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,195
Axtremus Offline
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Axtremus  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,195
Quote
Originally posted by hjeffsc:

Further to my previous post on buying a piano---please give me your thoughts on the quality of Schimmel actions (for 213T) verses Steinway or Bosendorfer actions. Is it possible to get the responsiveness and the expression (especially at levels of pp)with the Schimmel?
All good, I don't see any clear superiority of any one's action versus the other two's.

I find it easier to doodle around in the pp level with Bösendorfer -- mostly because Bösendorfer pianos tend be softer on the whole anyway (i.e., a lot harder to get a typical Bösendorfer to play as loud as a similarly sized Steinway or Schimmel can even if I wanted to). Though the difference is more likely due to the sound body rather than the action (Keith covered that).

Just go with your personal preference, however subjective it may be. Good luck. smile

Re: Schimmel Action (vs. Steinway & Bosendorfer) #112799
03/08/08 12:32 PM
03/08/08 12:32 PM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,990
Haverhill, Massachusetts
J
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member
John Citron  Offline
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J

Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,990
Haverhill, Massachusetts
As an owner of the Vogel 177T I can say the Schimmel is extremely responsive and consistent. With my well regulated action, I am capable of playing extremely soft (you need to be relaxed too) as well as quite loud. The interesting thing about Schimmel is that they use the same action across the whole product line. The 177T shares the same action as their other instruments in the same size category. The 213T shares the same action as their Koncert series in the same size, etc.

The other thing too is I found that going from my Vogel to the 213T was no different than going from on car to another of the same manufacturer. Even though my action was that of the smaller instrument, the action felt the same to me on the 213T, and I was able to adjust to the new instrument very quickly without much difficulty.

A better way to put it is that the instrument felt at home in my hands like I had been playing it for the past 3 years. This is something that has always given me trouble with Mason and Hamlin and other equivelent tier pianos.

I agree with Keith that the overall volume of an instrument has to do with the design. Schimmels are a little brighter and clearer than the Bosie, and Steinway. They have an appealing clarity that I find superior to many pianos in their class. The Steinway of course has that overall American sound that can't be matched by anyother manufacturer.

So choose the piano that you like. They all have their own personalities that go well beyond their pedegrie especially in the class of instruments that you are looking in.

John


Current works in progress:

Beethoven Sonata Op. 10 No. 2 in F, Haydn Sonata Hoboken XVI:41, Bach French Suite No. 5 in G BWV 816

Current instruments: Schimmel-Vogel 177T grand, Roland LX-17 digital, and John Lyon unfretted Saxon clavichord.
Re: Schimmel Action (vs. Steinway & Bosendorfer) #112800
03/08/08 03:02 PM
03/08/08 03:02 PM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 129
Salt Lake City, Utah
B
Brian Bennett Offline
Full Member
Brian Bennett  Offline
Full Member
B

Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 129
Salt Lake City, Utah
And then there is the NWS series!

Give that one a try.

B


Schimmel 213 NWS, Yamaha MOTIF XS8, Roland RDX700, Roland Jupiter 6, Akai S3000XL sampler (just for fun)
Re: Schimmel Action (vs. Steinway & Bosendorfer) #112801
03/08/08 04:32 PM
03/08/08 04:32 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,789
Central TX
B
bitWrangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member
bitWrangler  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
B

Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,789
Central TX
Quote
Originally posted by Brian Bennett:
And then there is the NWS series!

Give that one a try.

B
Yes, when we looked at the Schimmels, we did notice a difference between the actions of their standard models and the NWS, with both my wife and daughter preferring the NWS by a wide margin (even I noticed a difference). Based on price, the NWS should be very competitive to the Bosie and Steinway.

Re: Schimmel Action (vs. Steinway & Bosendorfer) #112802
03/09/08 09:46 PM
03/09/08 09:46 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,433
Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
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Norbert  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,433
Surrey, B.C.
Grotrian-Steinweg is going to introduce a newly engineered action at the Frankfurt Messe this week.

Apparently the most even action ever designed,perfectly balanced without the possiblility of deviation by humidity changes - no weights in keys ever required again.

Will report more upon my return.

best to all of you - behave and don't fight too much....

Norbert smile :p wink


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
Re: Schimmel Action (vs. Steinway & Bosendorfer) #112803
03/10/08 02:28 AM
03/10/08 02:28 AM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,031
Belgium
S
schwammerl Offline
2000 Post Club Member
schwammerl  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
S

Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,031
Belgium
Quote
Will report more upon my return.

best to all of you - behave and don't fight too much....
Hey Norbert,

Same to you - behave yourself and don't drink too much beer in Germany ....just as to preserve a clear head when you will be writing those feedback reports.

We are waiting with impatiance!

schwammerl. smile eek wink

Re: Schimmel Action (vs. Steinway & Bosendorfer) #112804
03/10/08 09:17 AM
03/10/08 09:17 AM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,789
Central TX
B
bitWrangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member
bitWrangler  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
B

Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,789
Central TX
Quote
Originally posted by Norbert:
... perfectly balanced without the possiblility of deviation by humidity changes ...
There haven't been any Kawai engineer sightings in the Grotrian factory have there?


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