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Has anyone played a Bosendorfer 290 Imperial???? #1609376
01/31/11 10:34 AM
01/31/11 10:34 AM
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KB7 Offline OP
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Hello. I just want some quick answers for this question. Have any of you played a Bosendorfer Imperial 290? What does the action feel like? Is it light or heavy? Also,does it have good sustain??? I have not heard one good Bosendorfer recording. Would the action be lighter than a Bluthner? I love a very,very fast action. Please,only respond if you have played the Bosendorfer Imperial 290 9'6";not a smaller model. Thanks!

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Re: Has anyone played a Bosendorfer 290 Imperial???? [Re: KB7] #1609381
01/31/11 10:43 AM
01/31/11 10:43 AM
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RonaldSteinway Offline
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I played. It is like Yamaha or Fazioli (not like Steinway), very easy to play.

Re: Has anyone played a Bosendorfer 290 Imperial???? [Re: KB7] #1609389
01/31/11 10:58 AM
01/31/11 10:58 AM
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Georgia, USA
terminaldegree Offline
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We have one downstairs in our larger concert hall.
The action feels nothing like the NY Steinways we have in the same hall...it's really difficult to codify as "lighter" or "heavier", as it's a more complicated/refined sensation than that. Haven't played a Bluthner model 1, but I thought the model 4 I tried at Faust Harrison a few years ago was really light by comparison with just about anything the same size.

The Bosie also sounds nothing like the NY Steinways. It's clarity is remarkable, and the profundity of the bass just resonates through the hall (not in a "shouty" way...but I have to be careful with the balance between hands in certain repertoire). Having the choice of two different tonal palettes is a nice thing, because you can choose the piano to suit the repertoire, type of playing (concerto/solo/chamber), or pianist.

I'm sure there are many notable commercial recordings of Bosendorfers out there of high quality. I'll plug a lesser-known one with a former teacher: the Naxos recording of the Schumann violin sonatas with Ilya Kaler and Boris Slutsky. I feel it compares pretty well with the Argerich/Kramer recording of same... though I am biased.



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Re: Has anyone played a Bosendorfer 290 Imperial???? [Re: KB7] #1609421
01/31/11 11:46 AM
01/31/11 11:46 AM
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Germany
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BerndAB Offline
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Germany
Even if it was "forbiden" by the OP I would like to state that I had the chance to compare directly a Steinway B-211 with a Bosie 280 concert grand (the thing with "only" four blacked white keys instead of nine of the Impie one).

Both pianos have fast and very convenient actions. No big difference. (It was in a very experienced, good old pianoshop, Faust Pianos, Wuppertal, Germany, Bechstein specialist). The Steinway was a good one, everything was OK with the piano. ..

..

..but..

..

The poor B (hobbyist's as-said "dream machine", "The Mother Goodess of Sounds") had no chance against the Bosie. Such an unfair comparison..

The big Bosie blew it simply away.

A growling but fully clear bass that would have been incredible to me - if I would not have known an old Steinie concert grand of similar (or a bit better..) capacity.

As the soundboard of the Bosie-290 is bigger than in a 280 grand I would expect that a Bosie Impie could eventually outperform my beloved Mr. "Ol' Joe" Centennial. Never had the chance until now to test it.

Actions? never mind. Can be set up, can be regulated, adjusted to the pianist's needs and wishes, mostly. May cost a small amount of money - and needs a very good "piano doctor".. By far not every tuner is able to do this, you have to find an expert. Then nearly everything ist possible regd. actions.

BUT: Sound is the thing that counts.
:-)


(The experts also can do a lot to the sound - but... it's much more costy than action regulation and weighing.. And no "sound doctor" can strech the soundboard surface.)

Sorry for having been OT to the OP.
:P


Pls excuse any bad english.

D 1877 satin black plain
Re: Has anyone played a Bosendorfer 290 Imperial???? [Re: KB7] #1609442
01/31/11 12:17 PM
01/31/11 12:17 PM
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KB7 Offline OP
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Thanks for all the help everyone! It's okay BerndAB;Your reply was very helpful. People can respond If they've played the Bosendorfer 280,also. I just don't want to hear from anyone of models any smaller. Thanks

Re: Has anyone played a Bosendorfer 290 Imperial???? [Re: KB7] #1609499
01/31/11 01:19 PM
01/31/11 01:19 PM
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liszt85 Offline
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There are people here who own imperials. wink


Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)
Re: Has anyone played a Bosendorfer 290 Imperial???? [Re: KB7] #1609514
01/31/11 01:35 PM
01/31/11 01:35 PM
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MGAB Offline
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During our piano search, I did play an Imperial as well as other smaller models of Bosendorfers. Personally I like powerful pianos that can effortlessly fill my room. So the smaller Bosendorfers were totally not to my liking; some of them sounded quite muddy and dull to me.

But the Imperial is another story. It's very clear and strong. With little effort you can fill the room with resonance - not ear piercingly loud, but vibrations - even when you play softly.

I too agree with RonaldSteinway that it feels like a Yamaha and Fazioli. But that can be adjusted.

It sounds warmer than a Yamaha. But the Yamaha has a slightly purer treble, I find.

Re: Has anyone played a Bosendorfer 290 Imperial???? [Re: KB7] #1609600
01/31/11 03:37 PM
01/31/11 03:37 PM
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Atlanta, GA
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What type of music do you like? I can probably refer a recording of a 290 to you. (You might have to pick up the CD on Amazon).

Being honest, most players will admit their observations of a piano's touch is greatly influenced from its tonal response. "Easy to play" is not an objective standard, but it does describe it in a nutshell.

BerndAB, if it had 4 extra notes (and was a concert grand) then it would have been the predecessor to the current 280, the model 275.


Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
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Re: Has anyone played a Bosendorfer 290 Imperial???? [Re: KB7] #1609617
01/31/11 03:54 PM
01/31/11 03:54 PM
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I've probably played between 15 and 20 Imperials... possibly more, including a rare Boesendorfer-Moor Imperial, which has two manuals, one with CEUS, and another retrofitted with the Phoenix system. To answer your question, each one was unique, so it is impossible to make a generalization. New models that I played at the factory tended to have heavier touch than I preferred, but nearly any action can be modified to perform a certain way... case-in-point is the Baldwin SD-10 we just did a touch-weight correction on at the shop. It now plays like a Ferrari, but last week it was a Mack truck.

Older Imperials I've seen tended to have a lighter touch. There are plenty of good Boesendorfer recordings; Schiff's recordings of the Schubert sonatas come to mind.

Re: Has anyone played a Bosendorfer 290 Imperial???? [Re: KB7] #1609687
01/31/11 05:10 PM
01/31/11 05:10 PM
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Posts: 6,408
Vught, The Netherlands
Dave Horne Offline
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Vught, The Netherlands
I have not heard one good Bosendorfer recording.

I find that an incredible statement.

One of the finest CDs musically and sonically is George Shearing's My Ship. He's playing a Bösendorfer. (You can use Google to learn which model.)

I played all the models that Bösendorfer markets when I was in Vienna a few years ago.

Have any of you played a Bosendorfer Imperial 290? What does the action feel like? Is it light or heavy? Also,does it have good sustain???

Yes, I played the 290. The action responded exactly how I expected to. As a matter of fact every Bösendorfer I played in their showroom was absolutely first rate. They are all prepped very well. Yes, it has good sustain. I don't remember the heaviness or lightness of the actions, I just remembered that if I wanted to own an acoustic grand, every single piano in that showroom would have made me very happy.

Bösendorfer has earned its reputation over the years as having excellent pianos and I'm sure that is no doubt due to the excellent prep work.





website | mp3 files | Yamaha AvantGrand N3 | Roland RD 2000 | Sennheiser HD 598 headphones
Re: Has anyone played a Bosendorfer 290 Imperial???? [Re: KB7] #1609703
01/31/11 05:30 PM
01/31/11 05:30 PM
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Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
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A competitor.

To make it short:

"One of the best there is"

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Re: Has anyone played a Bosendorfer 290 Imperial???? [Re: Dave Horne] #1609718
01/31/11 05:41 PM
01/31/11 05:41 PM
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Northern California
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I own a 290 (about 2 years old) and played several 290's, a couple 280's and several smaller Bosendorfers before purchasing my 290. I also played many other top tier pianos during my search. I have some difficulty characterizing actions as heavy or light but one of the attributes that drew me to the Bosendorfer was the smoothness/fluidity of the action. That is probably not a very helpful or technical description, but I found only the Bosendorfer and Faziolis to have such fluid actions. I say this without intending to denigrate other great pianos that I love.

As to the sustain, it is excellent in my view. A bit longer in my view than Steinway and a bit shorter than Steingraeber and Fazioli. I know this can vary dramatically from one piano to the next of the same brand, but this is my opinion from playing several of these brands. Hope this helps.

Re: Has anyone played a Bosendorfer 290 Imperial???? [Re: KB7] #1609923
01/31/11 10:42 PM
01/31/11 10:42 PM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 11
North Canton, OH
zman58 Offline
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I played one years back at a North Carolina dealer. A used one that was in excellent shape. The instrument is incredible. So easy to handle and extremely fast and responsive action. Incredible dynamic range and key control. Very different than a Steinway which tends to have more of a heavy action. The additional keys on the bottom are crystal clear in tone--just amazing bass response with beautifully responsive upper end. It makes your bones vibrate when you sit and play it--gives you goose bumps, truly amazing.

Overall a very powerful and responsive instrument. I thought it played similar to the Yamaha C series, but it was even more refined--if you can imagine that because the Yamaha C series are incredible instruments.


Cheers,
zman58
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Re: Has anyone played a Bosendorfer 290 Imperial???? [Re: KB7] #1609953
01/31/11 11:29 PM
01/31/11 11:29 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 4,676
Georgia, USA
terminaldegree Offline
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I have to disagree about the comparison in sound or feel with a C series Yamaha...and I don't mean that in a prejorative way.

...though the statement elicited memories of a famous line from a vice-presidential debate in the late 80's- "you're no Jack Kennedy"!

No wonder my students don't get the jokes anymore...


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: Has anyone played a Bosendorfer 290 Imperial???? [Re: terminaldegree] #1610029
02/01/11 02:42 AM
02/01/11 02:42 AM
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Oregon
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sleepingcats Offline
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Oregon
I had lessons on an Imperial for about 4-5 weeks. I had to stop because I couldn't afford the lessons anymore.

The touch was so heavenly smooth, but I wouldn't say it was really light, but maybe just right? To me it didn't feel like a Steinway (had lessons on a Steinway for a couple of months as well before that teacher moved her studio further away). I've played some Bluthners at a dealer, and found them to be heavier than I liked, so the Imperial was definitely lighter. The Imperial owner had his piano tuned every month, and I had the pleasure of watching & listening to a student play David Lanz's "Dark Horse" being played on it. Amazing sound!



"Cats make purrfect friends"
Re: Has anyone played a Bosendorfer 290 Imperial???? [Re: KB7] #1610063
02/01/11 05:21 AM
02/01/11 05:21 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,408
Vught, The Netherlands
Dave Horne Offline
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Renner supplies actions to both Steinway and Bösendorfer.


website | mp3 files | Yamaha AvantGrand N3 | Roland RD 2000 | Sennheiser HD 598 headphones
Re: Has anyone played a Bosendorfer 290 Imperial???? [Re: KB7] #1610079
02/01/11 06:59 AM
02/01/11 06:59 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,187
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Rich Galassini Online content
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I have played, sold, consulted on restoration, prep., and customization of many Imperials over the past 25 years.

One comment from a pianist from I.U. some years back still resonates with me. After auditioning a fully prepped Imperial he said, "This is not a piano. It is at once an orchestra, a choir, a solo violinist, and a flute."

He liked the piano, I think.

My 2 cents,


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
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Re: Has anyone played a Bosendorfer 290 Imperial???? [Re: KB7] #1610107
02/01/11 08:46 AM
02/01/11 08:46 AM
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I have played numerous Imperials, mostly at Cunningham Piano Company. They are incredible. I felt very little, sitting at such huge and glorious pianos, but could not believe the wonderful sound I was producing! They made me feel like a pianist in a way nothing else has. It was awe-inspiring to play such spectacular pianos. They can whisper, they can roar, with every note so spectacularly defined it defied the imagination. I am sure that owning such a piano would put a high premium on playing the music correctly--you will hear your wrong notes! If you think about it, here is a small individual person sitting at a 9'6" marvel, and making music just by touching a key. . . .incredible!

For recordings, Wolfgang Sawallisch recorded a magnificent Trout Quintet on a Bosendorfer--I have the CD. It should be findable, given the internet resources of today.

Re: Has anyone played a Bosendorfer 290 Imperial???? [Re: KB7] #1610135
02/01/11 09:45 AM
02/01/11 09:45 AM
Joined: Oct 2005
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England/Switzerland
AJB Offline
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I bought one and owned it briefly. For me it was a mistake and I instantly regretted it. Size isn't everything and for what I like to play I prefer the Steinway sound. I also very much preferred the Fazioli sound and touch (had one in a studio for a while).

To me the extra keys are a distracting irrelevance too. It was beautifully finished though. Touch was extremely similar to the D I have now. Pretty similar action I suspect (though I am no expert on the technicalities).


Currently playing 2017 C212 with carbon fibre soundboard, WNG action. Working on Bach, Beethoven, Grieg mainly.
Re: Has anyone played a Bosendorfer 290 Imperial???? [Re: KB7] #1672897
05/07/11 04:04 AM
05/07/11 04:04 AM
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Arachnodactyly Offline
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Please correct me if I am wrong

All actions have limitations and strong points

This applies to RENNER in the earlier and later period

Any Bosendorfer in the hands of an experience technician can be made to suit most artist. However since this is entirely subjective without scientific qualification this thread is going no where

Yes I do play and own a Imperial with 02 actions

Just as a matter of interest how many imperial owners are on this board ?



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