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which piano would you buy....
#1416761 04/13/10 10:34 PM
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First, I am a beginner. I don't know anything about anything. But I often know a good thing when I see it. Now, Bluethner is offering me some pretty nice deals on some of their pianos. But I have this practical side of me warring with my wants.

Here is a list of the possible choices. First, I would like to confirm that these prices are in fact good ones (keep in mind they are in euro, though that doesn't matter much unless you are paying with dollars, which I am not) If you had a choice in pianos, which would you choose, if you wanted to remain practical but get a reliable, good quality instrument that would last for years to come:

A pretty little Haessler 124cm/49" upright for around 8000
The smaller Bluethner C (117cm 46") upright for around 11000
The bigger Bluethner A (124cm 49") for around 13500

The Irmler europe grand professional 160 for about 11000

Or if one really wants to cut into the savings, the Haessler grand 175 for around 21000
Or the Bluethner Modell 11 (smallest) grand for around 27000.

I really wonder is the Haessler or the Bluethner really all THAT much better in reliability that it makes it worth spending so much more on a small grand. I know all about the brand names, but I don't want to pay for the brand name. It's gotta be worth it. Also, is a grand really really that much better than an upright to warrant spending the extra money? For instance, what if one compromised with a model A (the biggest) Bluethner upright. Or maybe the 124s in the other models are really fine and will deliver everything one needs.

And yes, I have tried them out. They all sound beautiful. Yes, I do notice a difference between the grands and the uprights, enough to where I reconsidered. But I can't help but think would I really be getting value for my money with a grand as opposed to an upright? I don't notice much difference between the 124 Haessler and the 124 Bluethner, but then maybe that is my inexperience. They both sound pretty. I admittedly did not try out the Haessler or Bluethner grands. The price was beyond what I planned. But then I thought about the discount they are giving. Maybe these are really exceptional prices? Enough to say bye bye to savings? I just don't know what to do.

Re: which piano would you buy....
tnew #1416941 04/14/10 08:44 AM
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Hi tnew,

You're asking some tough questions. "Is a grand really really that much better than an upright to warrant spending the extra money?" In the end it depends on you. Yes, all other things being equal, the grand is better than the upright, and I would wager that most of the people with grands on this forum thought it was worth the extra money. Of course, we're not exactly a representative sample. wink

What role does piano play in your life? Are you a casual player, i.e., someone who plays a few songs or pieces once or twice a week? A professional musician or with professional aspirations? A piano-obsessed amateur who couldn't imagine life without piano? The more you play, and the more important piano is to you, the more you'll be wanting a grand, I think.

As to the three upright choices, I'd go with one of the 49" choices. The difference in cost between the shorter and taller Bluthner isn't large enough to warrant going for the shorter model, imo.

Re: which piano would you buy....
tnew #1416952 04/14/10 08:53 AM
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The "deals" do seem sweet, but from the US, the prices that European members pay for European pianos usually do seem sweet. Our offered pirces in the US factor in the weak dollar/Euro exchange rate, the shipping costs to our market, and the cost of the maker's international marketing effort as well. To compare the prices of these Bluthner models relative to each other, you could look at pianobuyer prices beginning here with Bluthner

http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/f43fcbf9#/f43fcbf9/220

and scrolling forward to check out Irmler and Haessler,

The question of whether the price difference is worth it is a complex one. The most prestigious Euro makers prefer to utilize the cost savings available from today's piano technology and international labor sourcing in sub-brands, leaving their original labor-intensive handworked recipe for the prestige brand untouched (in theory). This allows them to maintain their tradition while at the same time remaining price competitive. across a wide spectrum. In terms of price/value, the presstige models which are not built to a pricepoint are subject to the law of diminishing returns. That bothers some people and is of no concern to others.

The grand-vertical question is a complex one as well, but generally speaking, people who buy a grand do not regret that choice after purchase, whereas many who buy the vertical instead carry forward the unfulfilled desire to have a grand.

If you're a beginner, obviously any and all of these pianos is more than enough to get you going. The question is: "How far will you go?".

If you have a comfortable amount of floor space and a budget that won't be strained, you might want to split the difference, focus on the home-built Haessler 175, and compare it to the similarly-sized grands of Bluthner's competitors to see where your own taste and sense of value leads you.



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Re: which piano would you buy....
turandot #1417260 04/14/10 03:34 PM
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I'd kill for a Bluethner A. Seriously. No questions asked. Just give me a name.

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Re: which piano would you buy....
Biff Baxter #1417347 04/14/10 05:07 PM
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Only you can really decide. One can't measure the "difference" between pianos on a precise numerical scale.

If I had a paino budget for the smallest Bluethner grand I would spend it on a less expensive but high quality and bigger grand. But that's just what I would do.

Re: which piano would you buy....
pianoloverus #1417470 04/14/10 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus


If I had a paino budget for the smallest Bluethner grand I would spend it on a less expensive but high quality and bigger grand.


Heh heh.
I've played a few pianos myself that should have been referred to as "painos". eek

Re: which piano would you buy....
turandot #1417553 04/14/10 11:28 PM
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I'm still feeling dizzy from looking at the pianobuyer US prices for these pianos. I think I am stable now. Wait...still fanning myself...ok. 3 times higher in the US...That's a bit unfair.

Thankyou turandot for that information. The mention of unfulfilled desire for a grand would likely be the case for me.

Everyones' comments have been very helpful. I am thinking budget Irmler professional E 160 or 175, Bluethner A (because I thought it sounded very similar to a grand), or if they are willing to give an even bigger discount, then maybe the Haessler 175 grand.

From the sounds of it, the Irmler professional grand is a good piano, especially for the price. I guess I will have to ask the sales clerk to play some more on each. I am a bit embarrassed to play my little ditties in such a shop.

As to what kind of piano player I am...I guess I am not a piano player yet. I am a learner. My son is a soon to be learner as well. But playing piano was for a long time an unfulfilled desire. When most very young kids were hating their lessons, I would have gushed over the opportunity to have lessons, let alone a piano. So I do sit at the piano every day and enjoy it. I have no ambitions to quite my engineering day job, nor do I expect to be playing at parties and such. Though my son might want more out of it. Who knows.

Re: which piano would you buy....
tnew #1417585 04/15/10 12:14 AM
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I wrote my response before reading the others. I'm probably saying the same things, but a little differently ...

This was a very good, easy to read post, thank-you. But I wanted to call your particular attention to what you said here, "But I can't help but think would I really be getting value for my money with a grand as opposed to an upright? I don't notice much difference between the 124 Haessler and the 124 Bluethner, but then maybe that is my inexperience. They both sound pretty."

Your questions are good and often asked. I'm going to give you a different answer, one to think about as you mull over your decision. You say you are a beginning piano student. Then a few questions: Do you enjoy it? Do you work hard enough at it that the sound and feel of the piano are going to matter to you? Have you decided what you will be able to play in a year's time, in five years' time, by the time you've paid off the piano, or recovered whatever you pay for it? Do you have the talent to pull off what you want and will it give you satisfaction, happiness to be able to play these things? Look at what you are doing from the standpoint of commitment to being a piano student, nay a pianist.

Once you have decided where you fit into this puzzle, and may I say you have presented some very fine choices as I have the deepest respect for the Bluthner organization and product lines; all of their pianos will sound and play like pianos. I can't make the same claim for all makers, sorry.

Now with all that, and that Irmler Europe F160 E Professional might be a divine little piano for Chopin, you will have to decide whether it will be a financial decision or a musical one.

In a follow up post, you said this, "As to what kind of piano player I am...I guess I am not a piano player yet. I am a learner. My son is a soon to be learner as well. But playing piano was for a long time an unfulfilled desire. When most very young kids were hating their lessons, I would have gushed over the opportunity to have lessons, let alone a piano. So I do sit at the piano every day and enjoy it. I have no ambitions to quite my engineering day job, nor do I expect to be playing at parties and such. Though my son might want more out of it. Who knows."

It is my strongly held opinion that given the times we are living through, it may just as well be best for some of us to be more engaged in pursuing pianism than doing anything else; pianism as making a determined commitment to study the piano and its music with the goals of being able to play certain music within a certain time. It sounds like this is you, and you have a son you would like to catch the fire.

We need more today actually of amateurs and semi-professionals who would agree to appear as entertainers playing the piano, to give concerts in people's homes, or wherever it happens to be. There needs to be strata between the audience and the pianist savants. I feel the same about everything by the way, from cooking to golf, fine arts, the theatre, motion pictures, every class of artistic expression, so that more people get actively involved in these more enriching avenues of life.

During my last trips to Europe I was aware that there was a certain sub-culture of amateur musicians, and that includes pianists. I would think that's another area of interest I would pursue were I there.

Best,

Re: which piano would you buy....
David Burton #1417692 04/15/10 05:42 AM
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Thank you David for your sound advice. I love your questions. They really get to the root of the motives. Regarding your questions:

Do you enjoy it? Do you work hard enough at it that the sound and feel of the piano are going to matter to you? Have you decided what you will be able to play in a year's time, in five years' time, by the time you've paid off the piano, or recovered whatever you pay for it? Do you have the talent to pull off what you want and will it give you satisfaction, happiness to be able to play these things?

Yes to all. No worries there.

Regarding your comment that we need a greater number of stratum between the amateurs and professionals, I agree. While it is great to appreciate another's work, being able to create even modest works of ones' own lends a wonderful sense of independence. I love the arts, and am also a painter of sorts. The artist side wants to get the most beautiful instrument. The logical (dare I say engineer) side works out all of the cost benefit calculations to find the most feasible solution. I really did do the calculations too. That sounds a bit weird now that I'm typing it.

Sooo, I am leaning more to the cheaper Irmler or the Haessler 175 as a compromise.



Re: which piano would you buy....
tnew #1418709 04/16/10 07:51 PM
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Tnew - as piano aficionados, we have to remember to spend at least as much time and effort practicing and learning our instrument as we do researching, calculating, and comparing the finer points of our new pianos. David is right, for those of us learning and playing, we need to share our love of pianos, playing pianos, and enjoying the beautiful music these instruments can make. Growing up, we would play the piano when almost anyone visited our home. If we went over to someone's house with a piano, my mother would politely ask if the hostess wanted us to play some songs for the family. That's not the tradition here anymore.

So, best of luck in your pursuit of a fine instrument and yours and your sons pursuit of piano virtuosity. I hope you and your son grow closer with the shared interest.


J & J
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Re: which piano would you buy....
tnew #1423989 04/25/10 01:46 PM
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The shop discounted the Haessler to 7000. Apparently Bluethner will credit the entire amount? towards an upgrade if done within 5 years. I liked that idea since I could not fully appreciate the higher end pianos at this point anyway.

The piano was delivered last week, and I really do love it. It seems easier to play than the digital piano (yamaha clavinova) or maybe that is my imagination? It also looks and sounds beautiful. The tuner will come in a couple of weeks to get it into shape,though it sounded great upon delivery.

Thanks for all of the advice!

Re: which piano would you buy....
tnew #1424064 04/25/10 05:27 PM
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Congratulations,

You got yourself a very fine instrument. thumb

Any pictures?


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Re: which piano would you buy....
Rod Verhnjak #1424076 04/25/10 05:48 PM
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Like others have stated, I love the threads where people bring us through their piano purchase procedure and it culminates in a happy purchase.
As Rod mentioned, all we need now would be a picture to tie things up nicely.

Congratulations.

Re: which piano would you buy....
tnew #1424228 04/25/10 10:21 PM
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A not so great picture of the piano with my cat, Mouse.

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Re: which piano would you buy....
tnew #1424361 04/26/10 06:32 AM
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I love it, a cat named mouse!

Oh, the piano is nice too. smile

You might try to take a picture with the fallboard open, and from a higher angle so we see the piano as it sits within the room.

Welcome to the club here. Now that the piano is acquired, look into the other forums where we chat and swap experiences.




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