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#1307455 - 11/17/09 09:06 PM Kawai RX3 vs Brodmann PE 187  
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jickyhan Offline
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Greetings! I am the newbie and this is my first post to the forum.

I am looking for a good grand piano for my fiancee who is a professional piano teacher for classical music. I would like to know what's your advice about Kawai RX3 and Brodmann PE 187 as these two are about the same price in my country which is equivalent to 31K US dollar.

Thanks in advance!

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#1307457 - 11/17/09 09:10 PM Re: Kawai RX3 vs Brodmann PE 187 [Re: jickyhan]  
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Louis H. Bousquet Offline
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I am going to say go with the Kawai, but thats bias on my part. You are going to get a very solid piano with the RX3 and Kawai has a great customer support base. I don't know much about Broadman but I absoloutely loved the RX3 I played on. If you could find one, you might want to consider the RX3 Blak edition, but it will only be sold depending on which continent you live on. I say go for the Kawai, but go for the piano that speaks to you the most and an action you really like to is also important.


Louis Bousquet
#1307470 - 11/17/09 09:38 PM Re: Kawai RX3 vs Brodmann PE 187 [Re: Louis H. Bousquet]  
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Which country are you writing from and where exactly are you located?

These pianos may be comparable in quality but the Brodmann 187 should be much more reasonable than the Kawai RX3.

This is exactly what gives the piano such appeal and edge in the marketplace today.

Please let us know...

Norbert



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#1307473 - 11/17/09 09:45 PM Re: Kawai RX3 vs Brodmann PE 187 [Re: Norbert]  
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...and you might want to get her to play the pianos (and others?) to see which one she prefers. Personally, I'd go for the Kawai RX3 if it is priced equivalent to the Brodmann. BUT, I'd also bet you could get both pianos far less than the price you suggested here. And, like Norbert said, the Brodmann shouldn't cost as much as the RX3.


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#1307514 - 11/17/09 10:50 PM Re: Kawai RX3 vs Brodmann PE 187 [Re: scepticalforumguy]  
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I would suggest picking the piano she likes best, particularly if the price of both instruments is somewhat similar.

If you like both instruments equally, I would probably opt for the Kawai RX, as these pianos have an established reputation for durability (assuming she will be teaching on this piano in addition to personal practicing).


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#1307522 - 11/17/09 11:16 PM Re: Kawai RX3 vs Brodmann PE 187 [Re: scepticalforumguy]  
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My fiancee has played Brodmann once and she like it. I will take her to play the Kawai RX3 this weekend.

The price I have posted above is including local tax and it is equivalent to 28K before tax. I am writing from New Zealand. In here, only one exclusively dealer are selling Brodmann, same story to Kawai.

I've been told Kawai RX3 is made in Japan and Brodmann PE 187 is assembled in china? Will it be any quality difference? I want the piano to be used for a long time (50 year+) with proper maintenance.

#1307593 - 11/18/09 03:09 AM Re: Kawai RX3 vs Brodmann PE 187 [Re: jickyhan]  
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Originally Posted by jickyhan

I've been told Kawai RX3 is made in Japan and Brodmann PE 187 is assembled in china? Will it be any quality difference? I want the piano to be used for a long time (50 year+) with proper maintenance.


Brodmann is a Chinese piano with European components. "Assembled" in China is somewhat misleading. I would just say it's made in China. smile
You are looking at 2 very different pianos with opposite company history. Kawai is a very well established piano company with decades of track records. Brodmann is still quite new as a company despite of the company's intentional or unintentional reference to its European heritage. If you do believe in statistic then you would have a higher chance with the RX-3 lasting for a while in comparison to the Brodmann of which the longevity factor is still unknown because the brand has not been around long enough to provide statistical records to judge from.
The Brodmann devotees on PW will argue otherwise pointing out the solid construction and quality of Brodmann pianos but won't be able to assure anything about longevity without a proven product history. The Brodmann skepticals, including myself, on the other hand can not say for sure if Brodmann pianos will not last either. At this point, it's just unknown and only time will tell.

Do your research, understand the risks and potentials. Buy something that you can enjoy many years to come without worry. If budget is a concern, then save up some more then buy later.

Good luck.

#1307627 - 11/18/09 07:04 AM Re: Kawai RX3 vs Brodmann PE 187 [Re: koiloco]  
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Originally Posted by koiloco
Originally Posted by jickyhan

I've been told Kawai RX3 is made in Japan and Brodmann PE 187 is assembled in china? Will it be any quality difference? I want the piano to be used for a long time (50 year+) with proper maintenance.


Brodmann is a Chinese piano with European components. "Assembled" in China is somewhat misleading. I would just say it's made in China. smile
You are looking at 2 very different pianos with opposite company history. Kawai is a very well established piano company with decades of track records. Brodmann is still quite new as a company despite of the company's intentional or unintentional reference to its European heritage. If you do believe in statistic then you would have a higher chance with the RX-3 lasting for a while in comparison to the Brodmann of which the longevity factor is still unknown because the brand has not been around long enough to provide statistical records to judge from.
The Brodmann devotees on PW will argue otherwise pointing out the solid construction and quality of Brodmann pianos but won't be able to assure anything about longevity without a proven product history. The Brodmann skepticals, including myself, on the other hand can not say for sure if Brodmann pianos will not last either. At this point, it's just unknown and only time will tell.

Do your research, understand the risks and potentials. Buy something that you can enjoy many years to come without worry. If budget is a concern, then save up some more then buy later.

Good luck.


jickyhan - I think 50 years+ is a little over-optimistic for a teaching piano even if it is only used as a teaching piano in the first 20 years. Mid range pianos such as Kawai and Brodmann, because of their relatively low 'new cost v. rebuild' ratio, fall into the Asian philosophy of 'don't rebuild, but replace'.
Regarding pricing (and apologies to the dealer who is quoting you the equivalent of US$31,000 for a 187), there is usually a hefty premium paid for a Kawai RX3 to a Brodmann 187.

koiloco - don't get me wrong, I think the RX3 is a great piano. However, using your reasoning that it is a safer bet to go with the company with the 'statistics and track record':

Kawai - 1.Yes decades of excellent manufacturing track record.
2.Their plastic action components do not have decades of excellent track record (as yet).

Brodmann - 1. No decades of excellent manufacturing track record (as yet).
2. Components come from companies that have decades of excellent track record. German Roslau strings, German Strunz soundboards, American pinblocks (Berkel), Langer actions.

Brodmann offer a 10 year guarantee - in my experience, if something goes wrong with a piano, even signs of unreasonable wear and tear, it is obvious within the first 5 years, let alone 10.


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#1307632 - 11/18/09 07:51 AM Re: Kawai RX3 vs Brodmann PE 187 [Re: ChrisVenables]  
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If you are looking for this piano to last you 50+ years, let alone doubling as a teaching piano may be living on a prayer-Bon Jovi The piano will need replacing and unless you are willing to fork over that same amount of cash again, maybe you should look at some used Kawais and Yamahas, if even only 2 years old. Atleast with that you won't have that showroom floor price. Pianos aren't so dissimilar to cars in the sense that once you take them off the lot they go down in price, but not near as much a car would. (please allow exceptions like brand types and sales)


Louis Bousquet
#1307638 - 11/18/09 08:09 AM Re: Kawai RX3 vs Brodmann PE 187 [Re: Louis H. Bousquet]  
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Both pianos are great but they are different.

All you need to choose are ears and fingers.

Projections of lifespan are difficult. Both pianos are very well constructed.

Have a technician inspect the Brodmann and you'll find out more. There are some important details in the construction that show these guys are really serious!


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#1307643 - 11/18/09 08:27 AM Re: Kawai RX3 vs Brodmann PE 187 [Re: Nick Mauel]  
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Have a tech inspect the Kawai. There are some important details in the construction that show these guys are really really serious!!

#1307670 - 11/18/09 09:37 AM Re: Kawai RX3 vs Brodmann PE 187 [Re: pianoloverus]  
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i don't think there was any suggestion that kawais aren't well made instruments? just that, as the newcomer brodmann has more to prove in that department, and an inspection by a tech would help provide some of that proof. no?


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#1307677 - 11/18/09 09:53 AM Re: Kawai RX3 vs Brodmann PE 187 [Re: djtoast]  
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Originally Posted by djtoast
i don't think there was any suggestion that kawais aren't well made instruments? just that, as the newcomer brodmann has more to prove in that department, and an inspection by a tech would help provide some of that proof. no?


Well......no.

While both pianos are well made, without a track record, longevity cannot be accurately determined by examining the finished product.


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#1307699 - 11/18/09 10:25 AM Re: Kawai RX3 vs Brodmann PE 187 [Re: Steve Cohen]  
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If the 'track record' theory was always applied, nothing new could ever enter the market.

For those that doubt, I say look closer. Soundboard quality and construction, rim, pinblock, action, etc.

One of my favorite quotes from the Fine supplement is "Buy what you can see with your eyes and hear with your ears."


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#1307706 - 11/18/09 10:51 AM Re: Kawai RX3 vs Brodmann PE 187 [Re: Nick Mauel]  
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Originally Posted by Nick Mauel
If the 'track record' theory was always applied, nothing new could ever enter the market.


Agreed, but usually the "upstarts" are priced at a substantial enough discount to their perceived competitors to justify taking a little risk (regarding longevity) by the purchaser. It appears this is not the case for the original poster.



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#1307747 - 11/18/09 11:56 AM Re: Kawai RX3 vs Brodmann PE 187 [Re: terminaldegree]  
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In the "battle of the brands" one should not introduce those concerns which are either not founded on evidence [any here tech to prove one piano will outlast the other?] or are just opinions.

In Europe there is a widespread opinion [prejudice?] that oriental pianos, regardless of make, won't last anywhere comparable to their own.

On the other hand, when there I have played some pretty shabby pre & post war pianos which didn't exactly stand the test of time either.

I'm with Larry Fine here: don't buy on fear mongering but what "you can see with your eyes and hear with your ears."

And can afford.....

Good luck and respect to all!

Norbert

Last edited by Norbert; 11/18/09 11:57 AM.

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#1307835 - 11/18/09 02:42 PM Re: Kawai RX3 vs Brodmann PE 187 [Re: ChrisVenables]  
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Originally Posted by ChrisVenables
[quote=koiloco][quote=jickyhan]

Brodmann - 1. No decades of excellent manufacturing track record (as yet).
2. Components come from companies that have decades of excellent track record. German Roslau strings, German Strunz soundboards, American pinblocks (Berkel), Langer actions.


I am not a piano tech but I don't think it's as simple as getting good components and assembling them together and voila!!!

And Chris, picking out the "plastic" component in Kawai pianos as your counter example is indeed quite interesting. You must use this often with your customers when they bring up Kawai pianos in your store. smile

#1307941 - 11/18/09 05:34 PM Re: Kawai RX3 vs Brodmann PE 187 [Re: jickyhan]  
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jickyhan,

One thing you probably should also consider is that the Brodmanns need some more pre sales dealer preparation (regulation & voicing) than the Kawais (knowing also the Japanese brands benefit from some).

So you should check what the Brodmann dealer has to offer in this department (pre sales prep). If he isn't good at this you will probably have to rely, post delivery, on an independent tech, which then could cost you some extra money.

schwammerl.

#1307992 - 11/18/09 06:38 PM Re: Kawai RX3 vs Brodmann PE 187 [Re: koiloco]  
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Quote
Koiloco
I am not a piano tech but I don't think it's as simple as getting good components and assembling them together and voila!!!


For sure this is true. Brodmann sells its suppliers by name and nationality, but has nothing to say about which factories in China it has entrusted with the manufacture of its pianos. Since Brodmann owns Langer, it might just as well say that it's a Brodmann action. After all, it's as good as Brodmann wants it to be. Even if the action were Renner, what would that really mean? Are all Renner actions designed for specific maker customers and installed by those makers equally pleasing? Of course not.

In any of these X versus Y threads that pit a new contender against an established brand, the new contender has much to gain and little to lose. Just by being in the conversation (e.g. Diapason magazine test), it scores points. Then if it doesn't embarrass itself, it scores some more. If it is truly competitive in the short-term (new sample to new sample), then it is supposed that it is a long-term keeper despite the fact that its manufacturing plant and parts sourcers could be changed at the drop of a hat.

What's in it for the established brand? Hard to think of anything.


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#1307994 - 11/18/09 06:41 PM Re: Kawai RX3 vs Brodmann PE 187 [Re: turandot]  
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Good Point. I would also like to say that your dog is really cute.


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#1308059 - 11/18/09 08:51 PM Re: Kawai RX3 vs Brodmann PE 187 [Re: Louis H. Bousquet]  
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Thanks for all the replies and here are some addition info:

We are going to buy/hire another two upright piano placed side by side for practice and teaching. The grand piano will be mainly for performance or small concert.

The two upright piano we are looking at now is Kawai K series and Samick 118.

Thanks again for any suggestion! :-)

#1308590 - 11/19/09 03:24 PM Re: Kawai RX3 vs Brodmann PE 187 [Re: turandot]  
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Originally Posted by turandot
Quote
Koiloco
I am not a piano tech but I don't think it's as simple as getting good components and assembling them together and voila!!!


For sure this is true. Brodmann sells its suppliers by name and nationality, but has nothing to say about which factories in China it has entrusted with the manufacture of its pianos. Since Brodmann owns Langer, it might just as well say that it's a Brodmann action. After all, it's as good as Brodmann wants it to be.



Koiloco: Voici! Sorry to hear you're not a piano tech,(I don't blame you, the money's not great and some of the customers can be picky).

Good components assembled by an unskilled workforce and/or antiquated machinery and yes, you'd have a piano right at the bottom of Mr Fine's very very long list. But piano manufacturing has been revolutionised by the creation of the Asian 'piano superfactories'and the use of CNC machinery. With many of the old established manufacturers depending on their skilled craftsmen to compensate for their lack of investment in modern production techniques and machinery, the result was spiralling prices putting a good new piano out of reach for most prospective purchasers. The new manufacturing techniques and computer controlled machinery do mean that with the right designs, production almost robotic in some cases, overseen by a handful of QC staff, good quality components are assembled together - and yes - voila!! You've made a great piano!

BTW, thanks for the sales tip re the plastic parts - I'll try out your suggestion with my next customer. smile

William:

The modernisation and globalisation of piano production means that for many successful new brands, and some not so new, factory-naming now takes a back seat. Design and components are what matter, as long as you have the right machinery and QC. (Brodmann's team of ex Bosendorfer management and technicians is formidable.) Steinway don't boast that their Essex range is made by Pearl River and/or Young Chang, (they seem to have no problem changing production at the drop of a hat),nor that Boston is made by Kawai (imagine Boston completely removing the 'Designed by Steinway' tag and replacing it with 'Built by Kawai'), or Schimmell/Vogel/May Berlin, etc etc. (I'm stopping before I get to Venables).

Regarding buying the Langer name, sure, as Brodmann bought Langer, they could rename it Brodmann, but I expect other piano makes (can't really call them 'makers' any more) using their actions may object to having Brodmann displayed on their action rails. Likewise in the 60/70s Steinway didn't rename themselves CBS Pianos, nor in the 80s and 90s Birmingham Brothers, nor in the 2000s Selmer & Co. wink

Going back to the question of design, take a close look at the Brodmann 187 - especially if it's next to an S & S model A..


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#1308762 - 11/19/09 08:02 PM Re: Kawai RX3 vs Brodmann PE 187 [Re: ChrisVenables]  
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Okie, Voila it is. I'll take your words for it. smile

#1308919 - 11/19/09 11:59 PM Re: Kawai RX3 vs Brodmann PE 187 [Re: koiloco]  
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Hi Chris,

Thanks for your input - I found your explanations to be helpful and informative.

It sounds like you are noticing many of the special details in the construction of the Brodmann pianos as I have, and are enjoying them along with customers who appreciate such a fine piano at an attainable price.


Nick's Piano Showroom
Naples, Fort Myers, & Sarasota, FL
New Estonia, Mason & Hamlin, Baldwin, Brodmann & Ritmuller
239-206-4541 direct line
www.nickspiano.com

Concert Piano Technician, Dealer, and Pianist
#1308960 - 11/20/09 01:35 AM Re: Kawai RX3 vs Brodmann PE 187 [Re: Nick Mauel]  
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Originally Posted by Nick Mauel
Hi Chris,

Thanks for your input - I found your explanations to be helpful and informative.

It sounds like you are noticing many of the special details in the construction of the Brodmann pianos as I have, and are enjoying them along with customers who appreciate such a fine piano at an attainable price.


Indeed! laugh

I suppose that Chris has noticed many of those special details since he now has top billing on the Brodmann webpage as exclusive distributor for Brodmann in England and Wales.

Quote
The modernisation and globalisation of piano production means that for many successful new brands, and some not so new, factory-naming now takes a back seat. Design and components are what matter, as long as you have the right machinery and QC. (Brodmann's team of ex Bosendorfer management and technicians is formidable.


Chris,

I suppose that you are right , but what's on the back seat for the manufacturer may be on the front seat for the customer. Continuous production over a length of time in the same owned factory is still worth something, and sizzle components like Ciresa, Renner, and Bolduc on Korean brands have never brought Yamaha to its knees. There's something reassuring to the buyer about a company that judges its own components of sufficient merit to not require upgrading.

I have absolutely nothing against the Prodmann Professional Line pianos as they sound and play, but I don't think you can take down Yamaha and Kawai with a bunch of mix and match components built into an OEM contract with this or that factory. Got to admit though that a group of ex-Bosie folks replicating Steinway scale designs is a nice touch. smile


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The fate of the modern wartime soldier
#1309057 - 11/20/09 08:54 AM Re: Kawai RX3 vs Brodmann PE 187 [Re: ChrisVenables]  
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Originally Posted by ChrisVenables
But piano manufacturing has been revolutionised by the creation of the Asian 'piano superfactories'and the use of CNC machinery.

With many of the old established manufacturers depending on their skilled craftsmen to compensate for their lack of investment in modern production techniques and machinery.....


You gotta be kidding, right? Guess, where most of the CNC machinery has been developed and built before it's been shipped to China?

On my visit to Grotrian Steinweg this past summer, I was literally ASTONISHED at the amount of state-of-the-art high-tech that these guys use. The painting/lacquering chamber alone sports a hypermodern recycling system that collects excess paint in a basin in the floor while capturing harmful fumes in an equally modern filter system, thus protecting the environment and the workers. They had bought it just a little bit ago and pointed out that it cost them in the six figures to have it installed. This is just the beginning of a factory tour that sported impressive machinery that help the "oldfashioned" piano builders increase precision in pursuing what they are after - a top-notch piano. Companies like Grotrian have it all, traditional craftsmen and state-of-the-art technology. In my view, the best of the two worlds.

By juxtaposing the "oldfashioned" makers who "lack" modern equipment against the "revolutionized" factories in Asia, you create a myth that is absolutely not true.

#1309093 - 11/20/09 09:57 AM Re: Kawai RX3 vs Brodmann PE 187 [Re: SeilerFan]  
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turandot Offline
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turandot  Offline
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Seilerfan,

Not trying to be a Pollyanna, but isn't it possible that both you and Chris are correct?

If you were to compare Bose Eric's photos of the Sauter plant in Spaichingen on the Sauter thread with his photos of the Förster and Feurich plants on the Förster, Steingraeber, Feurich thread, you would find evidence of Chris's contention (Förster and Feurich) and evidence of your contention (Sauter).

It's really a matter of degree with Schimmel probably be the most heavily invested in automation and makers such as Feurich and Förster the least.

One question that needs to be asked is the level of experience operating the machinery. Putting aside the question of where the equipment may have been manufactured, who has the most experience in applying it to piano manufacture? From all evidence that would appear to be the Asian makers. As one example, think of the introduction of CNC into Bechstein production. It came by way of an arrangement with Samick, a Korean maker who was already experienced in utilizing it.


Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier
#1309111 - 11/20/09 10:42 AM Re: Kawai RX3 vs Brodmann PE 187 [Re: SeilerFan]  
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ChrisVenables Offline
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ChrisVenables  Offline
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Hampshire, England
SeilerFan -


High tech piano manufacturing machinery? Would it be Toyo Japan?

I'm as disappointed as you that so many of the great old names are going or gone and I'm not out to create any myth. I'm happy to go on record that in addition to the 'superfactories' there are some not so super-factories in the east which I would not want to endorse. Grotrian may have invested in new plant, but some of the others sadly didn't or left it too late.


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#1309240 - 11/20/09 01:49 PM Re: Kawai RX3 vs Brodmann PE 187 [Re: Nick Mauel]  
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Steve Chandler Offline
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Steve Chandler  Offline
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Urbandale, Iowa
Originally Posted by Nick Mauel

It sounds like you are noticing many of the special details in the construction of the Brodmann pianos as I have, and are enjoying them along with customers who appreciate such a fine piano at an attainable price.

And isn't this really the crux of this whole thread. The Brodmann is the same price as the Kawai. An RX3 for $28K US is only a little more than one would expect to pay in the US. I don't believe you would find a Brodmann for that high a price in the US.

Regarding the argument that Kawai's ABS Styran/carbon compsite parts have not stood the test of time, Kawai has used ABS Styran (without the infused carbon) for decades. I believe it's safe to say that ABS Styran has stood the test of time. The carbon infusion only makes the material stronger, but since that poster doesn't sell Kawai their only choice is to be creative with FUD (fear uncertainty and doubt).

It seems to me the OP is in a position to negotiate. Let the two dealers know that it's a competitive situation and relative pricing. If the Brodmann dealer comes down then the situation might become more of a toss-up. As it stands my choice would be the Kawai. However, it's really a matter of what your ears and fingers tell you.

#1309370 - 11/20/09 05:34 PM Re: Kawai RX3 vs Brodmann PE 187 [Re: Steve Chandler]  
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Kurtmen Offline
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San Mateo, CA
We carried Brodmann for a short time. This is accurate information.
This particular piano was offered to us for half the cost of a RX3; I assumed these should affect the final price to the consumer. In fact this price comparison was used as a selling point by the Brodmann’s sales representative at the time (2007).

Besides the price inequity the difference in performance is to be considered.
A noticeable tonal characteristic I disliked about the Broadmann 187; is the lack of ability to make gradual changes in tonal quality. The changes in tone across the dynamic range were not consistent.

Also the bass registers had power but not clarity and the disproportion between low registers, mid and upper range was obvious. The amount of overtones was excessive at the bass registers and not enough harmonic content at the mid and upper registers; in my opinion the piano needed more attack and had very narrow voice at the mid and upper sections.

As usual (The Tylenol) of the piano industry was recommended; (VOICING). Off course!

What happened now is that by voicing the piano the tonal-dislocation was even more obvious. IMO the reason behind the tonal limitation of these pianos is not in how the piano has been voiced; but it has to do with the type of hammers, (soundboard and treble’s bridge) and overall scale design.
Soundboard and bridge is something I want to emphasize; IF indeed the soundboards were built in Germany and shipped to China (which I think is true) the bridges are made and attached in China, I want to say that the quality, designed and craftsmanship of these bridges miffed the tone of Brodmann’s (FACT).
That’s why voicing does not change the fundamental characteristics of the tone.

Comparing actions…well simply is unnecessary. Starting with something as simple as the fact that I removed the fallboard on the Broadmann and took a glance at the let-off buttons and they were all slightly crooked. I’ve never seen a new RX3 were the left-off buttons didn’t have perfect separation to each other or the buttons weren’t attached perfectly straight on the screw.

In reality Broadmann’s are average entry-level to mid range pianos. I think the marketing it is the best part of it. What I always found contradictory is the amount of prepping requested by the manufacturer in relation with the “very much inherited European craftsmanship of Brodmann). They gave us a list of I don’t know how many points to be check (long). Not a single brand we carry had requested this amount of prepping.

I personally consider unfair and wrong by some experienced professionals in this forum to compare a Broadmann to a solid mid-range piano such as Yamaha C series, Boston or Kawai RX.


Last edited by Kurtmen; 11/20/09 05:53 PM.

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