Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.7 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
What's Hot!!
Mr. PianoWorld - the full interview
-------------------
European Tour for Piano Lovers
JOIN US FOR THE TOUR!
--------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Find a Professional
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Advertise on Piano World

(ad)
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Spring 2018
ad
Pierce Piano Atlas


Who's Online Now
59 registered members (cfrederi, CyberGene, bennevis, beeboss, Beemer, cathryn999, chen, David B, 15 invisible), 1,129 guests, and 6 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
East German pianos built 1960s - 1975 #1624178
02/20/11 09:36 AM
02/20/11 09:36 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 8
Spain
A
Aurelio Offline OP
Junior Member
Aurelio  Offline OP
Junior Member
A

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 8
Spain
I have the opportunity to look at an August Forster built in 1975. I understand that this was a bad time for them due to nationalization issues and the inability to get the parts they wanted. Are there specific things I can look for when trying to evaluate this piano? Is it possible that they actually used inferior wood to build the case and make the soundboard? The instrument is owned by a dealer - seems to be a trade-in they want to get rid of.

Piano & Music Gifts & Accessories (570)
Piano accessories and music gift items
Re: East German pianos built 1960s - 1975 [Re: Aurelio] #1624188
02/20/11 09:59 AM
02/20/11 09:59 AM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 714
BANNED
M
Mike Carr Offline
500 Post Club Member
Mike Carr  Offline
500 Post Club Member
M

Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 714
BANNED
Aurelio,

Well, since you've got the evidence in front of you, so to speak, and the wood isn't falling apart or splitting and the pinblock, sound board, or bridges aren't splitting or falling apart and you like the sound and touch and you've had a tech check it out . . . they can be a decent piano depending on the price . . .

The only problem may be the action built by Ibach, I believe, the ends of the keys were shorter than the current action and a few other things might cause problems, not insurmountable by a good tech . . . again you have the evidence at your fingertips . . . the few I've played from that era I liked . . .


Mike


smoke 'em if you got 'em
Re: East German pianos built 1960s - 1975 [Re: Aurelio] #1624197
02/20/11 10:15 AM
02/20/11 10:15 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,136
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Rich Galassini Offline
Platinum Subscriber
Rich Galassini  Offline
Platinum Subscriber

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,136
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Actually is sounds to me that the OP may not have even seen the piano, Mike.

To answer your question generally Aurelio, I have seen instruments from this time period made in East Germany and I was not impressed, but they were not sold as equals to today's examples of these instruments.

Unlike Mike, I have no experience with Forsters of this period. I would suggest not comparing this instrument to today's Forster, but consider it for what it possibly may be - a decent piano with a decent tone.

Of course, have a technician examine it for you. even the finest manufacturers can have issues after after forty or fifty years and it may need complete rebuilding due to use, wear, or simple age.

Please keep us posted and good luck!


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Subscribe to our YouTube channel for great content every week:
https://www.youtube.com/user/CunninghamPiano
Re: East German pianos built 1960s - 1975 [Re: Rich Galassini] #1624306
02/20/11 12:35 PM
02/20/11 12:35 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 714
BANNED
M
Mike Carr Offline
500 Post Club Member
Mike Carr  Offline
500 Post Club Member
M

Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 714
BANNED
You're probably right, Rich . . . I'm guessing, however, that Aurelio at least has access to the piano unless it's lurking behind a heavy mantilla and they're charging admission . . . which is more than you and I have . . .

Most folks asking questions here would like a fully comparitive study, and as much as I'd like to provide one, it's hard to make comparisions specific enough without the actual piano in front of you . . .

Obviously, you can offer opinions on the piano's external characteristics and the quality of the original design and components, keeping in mind that most unwanted developements occur as a result of time and mis-care rather than the manifestations of a socialist contagion . . .


Mike


smoke 'em if you got 'em
Re: East German pianos built 1960s - 1975 [Re: Aurelio] #1624380
02/20/11 01:41 PM
02/20/11 01:41 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,410
Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Norbert  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,410
Surrey, B.C.
Quote
Well, since you've got the evidence in front of you, so to speak, and the wood isn't falling apart or splitting and the pinblock, sound board, or bridges aren't splitting or falling apart and you like the sound and touch and you've had a tech check it out . . . they can be a decent piano depending on the price . . .


Amazing how long your knowledge of certain pianos which have long disappeared from the market place goes back....

Congratulations, Mr.amateur!

Norbert thumb


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
Re: East German pianos built 1960s - 1975 [Re: Norbert] #1624398
02/20/11 02:01 PM
02/20/11 02:01 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 8
Spain
A
Aurelio Offline OP
Junior Member
Aurelio  Offline OP
Junior Member
A

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 8
Spain
Thanks for the responses. I will try to see the piano next week and will be sure to notice if it is falling apart in any obvious way. I found the other active August Forster thread after I posted my question and that was worth reading. I can ask about the action.

I will report after I see it if there is anything interesting to say.

Re: East German pianos built 1960s - 1975 [Re: Aurelio] #1625410
02/21/11 06:07 PM
02/21/11 06:07 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,136
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Rich Galassini Offline
Platinum Subscriber
Rich Galassini  Offline
Platinum Subscriber

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,136
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Originally Posted by Aurelio
Thanks for the responses. I will try to see the piano next week and will be sure to notice if it is falling apart in any obvious way. I found the other active August Forster thread after I posted my question and that was worth reading. I can ask about the action.

I will report after I see it if there is anything interesting to say.


Good Luck Aurelio.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Subscribe to our YouTube channel for great content every week:
https://www.youtube.com/user/CunninghamPiano
Re: East German pianos built 1960s - 1975 [Re: Aurelio] #1625678
02/22/11 12:47 AM
02/22/11 12:47 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,919
Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Supply  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,919
Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Originally Posted by Aurelio
I will try to see the piano next week and will be sure to notice if it is falling apart in any obvious way.....


It is the not so obvious problems which are the issue. A layperson (non-piano technician) would be extremely challenged to adequately check out and assess the technical condition of the piano.

Re: East German pianos built 1960s - 1975 [Re: Aurelio] #1625746
02/22/11 06:02 AM
02/22/11 06:02 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 620
Germany
B
BerndAB Offline
500 Post Club Member
BerndAB  Offline
500 Post Club Member
B

Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 620
Germany
The risk to buy an east german built piano is decreased by a (probably) low price.

For an amateur it may be a little bit gambling to try to evaluate the technical status of an east german piano - but much more dangerous would be to go to buy an old Steinway or other preciously priced instruments - without a competent good technical advice: The money involved is much more..

Every piano buy should be preceded by an independent technical evaluation paid by the maybe-buyer.

My estimation is that Bluthner and August Forster both tried to build good instruments in these old and problematic communist days when the factories were named VEB (Volkseigener Betrieb, peoples' owned factory). I think they built instruments which were quite OK related to international standards of that time.

My suspicion would merely point to these lousy later times when (western) people of heavy financial interests tried to promote the (often too simple..) "Go East!" thoughts. In these later days the worst instruments were built IMHO, maybe some pianos built in Poland, Russia, Bulgaria or Romania. These things are thought often much worse than east german pianos.

From a TV movie about Bluthner I learned that it was nearly impossible for a person in the GDR to purchase a Bluthner piano because the pianos were sent to foreign countries to gain international money. On the foreign marekts the instruments must compete against the market of the 60ies and the 70ies.

I personally would be not so very suspicios related to the GDR times. I think that there was no "general era" which can be thought as negative only because the communists had ruled. Their wood was OK, cast iron was ok, strings and felts are spare parts, maybe-issues with the playing mechanism mostly can be corrected with material at state of the (actual) art.

There is one thing which should be watched: the playing mechanism of a quite complex type used by A.Forster. This may become an issue - a technician should evaluate this.

My neighbour Andy owns an August Forster concert grand built in the "evil" GDR times, late 60ies. A great instrument.

Every piano is an individuum. The status of the single instrument being for sale counts.


Pls excuse any bad english.

D 1877 satin black plain
Re: East German pianos built 1960s - 1975 [Re: Aurelio] #1625751
02/22/11 06:41 AM
02/22/11 06:41 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,136
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Rich Galassini Offline
Platinum Subscriber
Rich Galassini  Offline
Platinum Subscriber

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,136
Philadelphia/South Jersey
BerndAB,

I was hoping you could contribute to this thread. Thank you for your perspective and comment. I am sure this is helpful to the OP.


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Subscribe to our YouTube channel for great content every week:
https://www.youtube.com/user/CunninghamPiano
Re: East German pianos built 1960s - 1975 [Re: BerndAB] #1625786
02/22/11 08:16 AM
02/22/11 08:16 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 620
Germany
B
BerndAB Offline
500 Post Club Member
BerndAB  Offline
500 Post Club Member
B

Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 620
Germany
Originally Posted by BerndAB
The risk to buy an east german built piano is decreased by a (probably) low price.


..oops, sorry for self-citing.. An addition/correction: very often I found that old Bluthner grands were priced „not so very low“..

wink

Their (sometimes high) prices at dealers very often are justified: an elder Bluthner grand is really a special item. And especially the small Bluthner baby grands are sooo woooonderful instruments..

I cannot point out so often as I would like: the best mechanism I ever played was in a Bluthner baby grand from the GDR times, a 153cm model built around 1960. Meticulously prepared by an expert. Offered at a five figure price (Euro, i.e. USD x 1.30 ...)

I know the lady who bought this tiny Bluthie. I advised her to take big protecting measures that I would be unable to steal her the lovely Bluthie at night..

But I assume that the OP doesn’t talk about a Bluthner grand..

And THX Rich for your comment. Sometimes I might have heard a little bit useful in the german scene..

It's fun to be here (virtually). Thank you.

smile


Pls excuse any bad english.

D 1877 satin black plain
Re: East German pianos built 1960s - 1975 [Re: Mike Carr] #1626442
02/23/11 04:40 AM
02/23/11 04:40 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 457
Münster, Germany
G
Gregor Offline
Full Member
Gregor  Offline
Full Member
G

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 457
Münster, Germany
Originally Posted by Mike Carr


The only problem may be the action built by Ibach


Never heard of actions built by Ibach for DDR pianos?!? I heard that some DDR Försters allegedly had Renner actions, but I am not sure if that is true. Usually most DDR pianos had Pianic actions and these were really bad.

I made my apprenticeship from 1988 to 1991 and the shop where I learned the trade sold DDR Zimmermann and Blüthner uprights. The Zimmermanns were really poor and the Blüthners were not much better. But I can´t remember which actions the Blüthner pianos had in those days.

Gregor


piano tech - tuner - dealer
Münster, Germany
www.weldert.de
Re: East German pianos built 1960s - 1975 [Re: Gregor] #1626532
02/23/11 09:25 AM
02/23/11 09:25 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,263
Vancouver B. C. Canada
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Silverwood Pianos  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,263
Vancouver B. C. Canada
Originally Posted by Gregor

But I can´t remember which actions the Blüthner pianos had in those days.
Gregor


Most likely the Flemming action.


Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."
Re: East German pianos built 1960s - 1975 [Re: Aurelio] #1626549
02/23/11 09:59 AM
02/23/11 09:59 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 26,725
Oakland
B
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
BDB  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 26,725
Oakland
The high-quality East German pianos that made it to the US were generally a lot better than the comparable US pianos of the time.

Last edited by BDB; 02/23/11 10:00 AM.

Semipro Tech

Moderated by  Ken Knapp, Piano World 

(ad)
Sweetwater - Keyboards
Sweetwater
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Feeling disconnected while playing my recital
by Muove. 11/22/18 05:25 AM
What Acoustic Piano Should I Buy
by Reny27. 11/21/18 06:44 PM
U1 vs N1
by Porcelain. 11/21/18 05:27 PM
Is a Piano Hammer Hardness list possible?
by Chernobieff Piano. 11/21/18 04:38 PM
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Petrof
Forum Statistics
Forums40
Topics188,458
Posts2,763,346
Members91,546
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Please Support Our Advertisers
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

Sweetwater

PianoTeq Petrof
Piano Buyer Spring 2018
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2018 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.2