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Considering reputable piano with no prep/tuning pre-delivery #1280366
10/04/09 06:20 AM
10/04/09 06:20 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 41
Australia
J
Jibbers Offline OP
Full Member
Jibbers  Offline OP
Full Member
J

Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 41
Australia
I have been lurking on (reading) this forum for some years but not posted much. Finally something that triggers a (long) post! Would appreciate some thoughts.

My grand piano search has been ongoing on and off for 2 years. Today I auditioned two brand new grand pianos both from the same reputable German brand.

The same two pianos were on the same showroom 1.5 years ago when I visited then. At that time the dealer would only open the keyboard part for me to look at. The protective materials (bubbles, tapes etc.) were all over the piano and on the pedals, unremoved. The dealer would not open the lid for me.

I thought that was all very strange. After that visit, I was concerned about buying from this dealer. I emailed the manufacturer through their website to see if there was/is another authorised dealer in this country, there wasn't/isn't.

Today, the situation with the protective material is unchanged - all intact. However this time the dealer opened the lid so I could hear the piano properly. This was on a full stick but not on a half stick - because the protection on the stick was not removed.

Both pianos were likely to be untuned and unprepped from what I could hear and feel. I quite liked one of them regardless, so I asked about pre and post delivery prep and tunings. The dealer told me there will only be 1 post-delivery tuning.

From the way the pianos are presented on the showroom and the conversations I had with the dealer, I get the feeling that the piano would not be prepped and tuned pre-delivery, and I am somewhat concerned about what the dealer's tech would do to the piano at that post-delivery tuning.

I am still shopping around, and will over the next couple of months audition a few other brands (inter-state / overseas) that I haven't played. I am hoping to make a decision once I have auditioned the remaining brands. Concerns over dealer service is something I would take into consideration in my deliberations, hence the questions below.

* If I decide this piano is the one I like most, should I be concerned about buying a grand piano which is not prepped and not tuned properly?

* Is the lack of dealer preparation something that could be remedied by work that a tech engaged by myself could do?

Because there is generally one dealer per brand in the whole country here, I am not comfortable mentioning the brand publicly (which may have some bearing on how good the factory prep may generally be?), since the identity of the dealer could otherwise be easily identified.

Would appreciate some thoughts/advice. Thank you.

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Re: Considering reputable piano with no prep/tuning pre-delivery [Re: Jibbers] #1280402
10/04/09 07:51 AM
10/04/09 07:51 AM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,031
Belgium
S
schwammerl Offline
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schwammerl  Offline
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S

Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,031
Belgium
Jibbers,

If what you suspect - that the piano was even not tuned, let alone prepped (regulated/voiced) - over the past 1.5 years it was in the dealer's showroom, all I would instinctly say is that the dealer is probably less reputable than the brand he represents.

If it hasn't had multiple tunings so far - should have got at least 10 or more - you might expect it to be quite unstable and needing multiple tunings (e.g. 4 or more) the first year after delivery.

Even a reputable German piano will need some voicing & regulation work to be done. So you will have to find out if in Australia you can have a competent tech at hand in your neighbourhood and what that person would charge for e.g. a 6 - 8 hrs job.

Once you are clear about the above and you would decide to buy from that dealer, you could perhaps include these estimated tuning/prepping costs into your negotiation process with the dealer.

schwammerl.

Re: Considering reputable piano with no prep/tuning pre-delivery [Re: Jibbers] #1280403
10/04/09 08:07 AM
10/04/09 08:07 AM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,178
Minnesota
Marty in Minnesota Offline

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Marty in Minnesota  Offline

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1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,178
Minnesota
Hi Jibbers,

Congratulations on becoming "active" at PW. Let me share some thoughts as a pianist since I am not a technician.

It all seems to be very odd. There have been many members from Australia, who have described their shopping experiences, and this situation has never been mentioned. Have you found this to be common in your shopping?

What you describe would be akin to shopping for an "out of the box" instrument. You play a sample of a particular instrument, and then you receive an "identical" piano, with all of it's factory applied shipping materials still intact. Tuning and action regulation doesn't begin until you have received the piano. Though, the consensus here is that this is not necessarily the best way to proceed, there have been others for whom it has worked out successfuly. Usually it is used for entry-mid level uprights.

Though there is an instrument which you like, it is a very good idea to follow your instinct and to try other brands at other shops. Yours has been a long search and it seems that you already have gained some experience. Since the piano is basically in the same presentation status as when you saw it 1.5 years ago, I immediately wonder when it was actually manufactured? That could make a huge difference as many companies have made considerable changes and improvements in the last few years.

You always have the option of selecting your own tuner/technician for your tuning and prep work. If you go that route, you should be able to negotiate an additional reduction in the sales cost.

By not reveiling the brand of instrument, it limits the responses of others. There is a wealth of experience here to offer insights. Knowing the brand and model would be of help to assist you. With the serial number, the manufacturing date could be identified.

By letting everyone know the name of the dealership, you might find responses from others who have experience with the store. Consider that you are making an important purchase. You have the right to do your research and learn the opinions of others. I don't see any reason to try to cover-up for the dealer. If the dealership would be nervous about having his/her store mentioned at PW, expecially if only asking for opinions, I would give second thoughts to working with that store.

If this is an instrument from one of the great builders, my choice would be to play/audition it in it's "full glory", rather than, to try to guess the "potential."

I hope my ramblings have helped.

Good luck in your search and do keep us informed. Yours is a very interesting situation.







Marty in Minnesota
Re: Considering reputable piano with no prep/tuning pre-delivery [Re: Marty in Minnesota] #1280754
10/04/09 08:02 PM
10/04/09 08:02 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,604
Marty Flinn Offline
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Marty Flinn  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,604
Seems odd dealer behavior from my perspective. German pianos, by definition, are expensive to floor. A dealer should want to sell it as quickly as he can. Top tier buyers are often players and will always want to see, hear, and play the piano at its fully prepared goodness.


Co-Author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Buying A Piano. A "must read" before you shop.
Work for west coast dealer for Yamaha, Schimmel, Bosendorfer, Wm. Knabe.
Re: Considering reputable piano with no prep/tuning pre-delivery [Re: Marty Flinn] #1280778
10/04/09 08:28 PM
10/04/09 08:28 PM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,751
Auckland New Zealand
R
Robert 45 Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Robert 45  Offline
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R

Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,751
Auckland New Zealand
I would shop elsewhere and try other brands. The dealer's attitude seems weird.
One complimentary tuning will not make much difference to a new piano which has languished without prep or tuning on the showroom floor for 18 months.

Good luck anyway!

Robert.

Re: Considering reputable piano with no prep/tuning pre-delivery [Re: Robert 45] #1280788
10/04/09 08:42 PM
10/04/09 08:42 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,862
Kansas
apple* Offline
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Kansas
an excellent technician could advise you..

he may know something about the dealer
he may be able to assess whether the piano is preppable with ease.

that said, it seems unlikely that you could rely on the dealer in the future. having a dealer's support can be very valuable.


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, ├Ľun (apple in Estonian)
Re: Considering reputable piano with no prep/tuning pre-delivery [Re: apple*] #1280830
10/04/09 10:32 PM
10/04/09 10:32 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 852
San Francisco
P
Peter Sumner- Piano Technician Offline
500 Post Club Member
Peter Sumner- Piano Technician  Offline
500 Post Club Member
P

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 852
San Francisco
I do international house calls!!!

Any quality piano is prepable (a new word?)
I really good prep for a domestic instrument can be completed in a working day...
The fact that this instrument has been inoperable for a considerable time...in most senses of the word, you might want to allow more time in case the tech has to re invent the wheel...regulation wise.

There must be some techs familiar with this brand in Australia....there must be a national guild or group that can help you??


Peter Sumner
Concert Piano Technician


Re: Considering reputable piano with no prep/tuning pre-delivery [Re: apple*] #1280835
10/04/09 10:44 PM
10/04/09 10:44 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 41
Australia
J
Jibbers Offline OP
Full Member
Jibbers  Offline OP
Full Member
J

Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 41
Australia
Thanks everyone for your advices.

This is the only dealer I have visited that has all the expensive pianos wrapped in protective material. Even the uprights are wrapped in bubbles. It is certainly not a situation commonly found in Australia.

My thought is to leave this piano alone until I have auditioned the other brands, but will speak to a reliable tech in the interim for some advice.


Re: Considering reputable piano with no prep/tuning pre-delivery [Re: Jibbers] #1280844
10/04/09 11:03 PM
10/04/09 11:03 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 852
San Francisco
P
Peter Sumner- Piano Technician Offline
500 Post Club Member
Peter Sumner- Piano Technician  Offline
500 Post Club Member
P

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 852
San Francisco
Is this dealer Greek?


Peter Sumner
Concert Piano Technician


Re: Considering reputable piano with no prep/tuning pre-delivery [Re: Peter Sumner- Piano Technician] #1280920
10/05/09 02:26 AM
10/05/09 02:26 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 41
Australia
J
Jibbers Offline OP
Full Member
Jibbers  Offline OP
Full Member
J

Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 41
Australia
No the dealer is not Greek smile

This brand seems to be fairly new in this market (as are a few other high end European/American brands).

I am not sure if there are techs locally who may be familiar with this German brand. I will definitely ask around to see if anyone is familiar and could give me a good estimate for the work involved.

Re: Considering reputable piano with no prep/tuning pre-delivery [Re: Jibbers] #1280933
10/05/09 03:09 AM
10/05/09 03:09 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,683
San Francisco
F
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member
FogVilleLad  Offline
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F

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,683
San Francisco
This dealer is suffering from a serious case of weird.

Ordinarily I'd post that dealers main value, post sale, is as a conduit to the distributor, if warranty issue arise and that finding a good tech is more important. In this case I'd be wondering about the reliability of this dealer, in the unlikely case that a warranty issue does arise.


Re: Considering reputable piano with no prep/tuning pre-delivery [Re: FogVilleLad] #1281036
10/05/09 07:36 AM
10/05/09 07:36 AM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,757
England/Switzerland
AJB Offline
3000 Post Club Member
AJB  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,757
England/Switzerland
I am thinking "Is it really a German brand" or a ChInese made piano with some German bits and a German sounding name sold by an outfit with a marketing presence in Germany?

If it is a tier 1 or 2 German piano, then 18 months sat in protective packaging at a dealer will have done it very little harm.

I am also wondering if the dealer is taking you seriously at the moment. If he doe snot believe that you are truly in the market he may not be willing to treat you as a serious customer just yet.

Are all of his pianos unprepared and untuned? Or does he have some floor stock that is properly playable.

I would not take much notice of the 1 tuning after delivery stuff. If you like the piano then it is up to you to negotiate a deal. That will include:

1 I am serious about buying, but before I can consider this piano I must play it tuned and prepped in your shop.

2 if I buy it, then I will want you to tune it twice in my home and have a qualified technician regulate it properly within the first year.

I think it is extremely difficult to draw any meaningful conclusion about the dealer without knowing a bit more, including about the impression you have given him to position you on the scale from window shopper to serious potential buyer.

I am not sure what you have really got to lose by identifying the brand. After all the dealer is highly unlikely to refuse to deal with you is he, even if by some miracle he works out who "jibbers" is.

Kind regards

Adrian



Currently playing 2017 C212 with carbon fibre soundboard, WNG action. Working on Bach, Beethoven, Grieg mainly.
Re: Considering reputable piano with no prep/tuning pre-delivery [Re: AJB] #1281040
10/05/09 07:45 AM
10/05/09 07:45 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 25,624
New York City
pianoloverus Online content
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If the piano has not been tuned or prepped by the dealer I think it would be very hard to judge its tone accurately.

Are you particularly enamored with the sound anyway? Is the maker very prestigious and the price very good?

I have never heard of a dealer having pianos with protective coverings still on them on the showroom floor. Just in terms of appearance, it makes no sense. I would ask him why this is the case and how he expects a customer to evaluate a piano that is out of tune?

Last edited by pianoloverus; 10/05/09 07:52 AM.
Re: Considering reputable piano with no prep/tuning pre-deli [Re: pianoloverus] #1281056
10/05/09 08:31 AM
10/05/09 08:31 AM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 11,040
Williamsburg, VA
Piano*Dad Offline
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I wonder what we would see if we could venture into this dealer's living room .....

Plastic seat covers on the sofa and on the ottoman (no socked foot should ever touch it!). An antimacassar on every chair. Bubble wrap on each pillow. grin

I have never experienced this in any reputable establishment. A dealer may not want children banging on the Boesendorfer or the Fazioli, but you should never have to make an appointment merely to get the piano unwrapped! Seriously, I have walked into dealerships and played their finest pianos without requiring a gold invitation card. How odd to keep pianos in that condition.

Re: Considering reputable piano with no prep/tuning pre-deli [Re: Piano*Dad] #1281067
10/05/09 08:55 AM
10/05/09 08:55 AM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,611
Pennsylvania
Ken Knapp Online content

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Ken Knapp  Online Content

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Pennsylvania
I hate to say it, but the impression I get from your post is that this dealer is not the place to buy a piano.

Ken


Ken

Hammond Organ Technician
Piano Torturer
Re: Considering reputable piano with no prep/tuning pre-deli [Re: Ken Knapp] #1281097
10/05/09 09:57 AM
10/05/09 09:57 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,885
San Jose, CA
Jeff Clef Offline
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San Jose, CA
"Plastic seat covers on the sofa..."

Exactly my mental picture. And don't forget plastic runners on the carpet and dusty plastic dust-wrap on the lampshades. If we ventured further than his living room, I just don't like to think...

"...the impression I get from your post is that this dealer is not the place to buy a piano."

The impression I get is, run don't walk.

However, if you have some photos of the showroom you'd care to post, in the interest of guilty pleasure...

Last edited by Jeff Clef; 10/05/09 09:58 AM.

Clef

Re: Considering reputable piano with no prep/tuning pre-deli [Re: Jeff Clef] #1281123
10/05/09 10:41 AM
10/05/09 10:41 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 25,624
New York City
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Maybe the bubble wrap is supposed to be there...some new contemporary art case design?


Moderated by  Ken Knapp, Piano World 

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