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I recently purchased my second grand piano, and after spending time on this engaging site, I'm already thinking of my next piano. I'm very happy with my recent vintage Yamaha purchase, but now I have an idea how many superb pianos are out there. Have you found your dream piano, or is there an elusive one still waiting. I purchased "Grand Obsession" on Ebay. Youch! As with boats, no one is ever satisfied. Do you wish you didn't have this obsession?


Marriage is like a card game, you start with two hearts and a diamond, later you wish you had a club and a spade!
Yamaha G7 Yamaha CVP75 digital, Allen 3500 theater organ
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Keep in mind, I'm kinda new here and don't mean to bother you with so many posts. but my part time job is a radio talk show host. I have to come up with new topics every weekday. I'm also addicted to keyboard music, so forgive me.
I'm so very glad to have found this website.

Last edited by thetandyman; 06/14/12 11:49 PM.

Marriage is like a card game, you start with two hearts and a diamond, later you wish you had a club and a spade!
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Originally Posted by thetandyman
. . . As with boats, no one is ever satisfied. Do you wish you didn't have this obsession?


The issue you raise, let's call it "dissatisfaction," is one I wish were discussed more on PW. Anyone hunting for the ideal piano is likely to get dissatisfied with whatever they have as soon as they play something better. And yet, is our level of satisfaction with the instrument we're playing not way more important than how perfect the instrument is?

When I was young, I was poor, but found myself in a position to borrow money and buy a new U1 Yamaha for $2,800. (You read that right. This was the early Kamakura period--mid 12th century.) I was thrilled. It was by far the best piano I'd ever owned.

I just retired and for the first time got a grand (a new 5'8" C2)--still a Yamaha but one that's a vastly better instrument than that nice ol' U1. Once again, I find myself with by far the best piano I've ever owned. Once again I'm thrilled, but I can't honestly say I'm more thrilled than I was when I got that new U1 many years ago. And while I am thrilled, I'm guessing that if I were locked in a room with a good Steinway D for a week, I'd come back to my new Yamaha finding it at best boring and at worst depressing.

So our level of satisfaction with our piano isn't about how good the piano is. Rather it's about how the piano rates against whatever yardstick we use to compare it to. The Ferrari owner can look with jealousy at the Lamborghini tooling down the road, while the 16-year-old can hardly sleep he's so excited knowing that tomorrow morning he get's his first car--a 15-year-old Chevy with a few dents.

The near total disconnect between satisfaction with one's instrument and how good the instrument is in the abstract sense is surprisingly (to me, anyway) a topic of almost no interest to most people posting on PW. They want the best or the best the can afford or the biggest they can fit into the space, etc. They seem to have little interest in the fact that how happy it will make them is determined far more by relatively than by actual quality. A mystery. . .

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Yes!


"Imagine it in all its primatic colorings, its counterpart in our souls - our souls that are great pianos whose strings, of honey and of steel, the divisions of the rainbow set twanging, loosing on the air great novels of adventure!" - William Carlos Williams
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"Play the music, not the instrument" - anonymous

i know, i know.. easier said than done for us piano fanatics.

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I am satisfied with my pianos. Pianos are like boats in that one of the happiest days of your life is the day that you get it, but differs in that the day you get rid of it is not one!


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If you want satisfaction get one really good piano..


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yes, that's why buy cheapest grand piano possible to cut the losses.

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Interesting analogy .... my neighbor had an old ugly boat ... he was an excellent angler ... we would routinely out catch the guys in beautiful boats that cost 20 times as much ... the difference was that he had forty years of fishing experience over the guys in the new boats


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Most people are constrained by cost, so unless one has 100K to spend there will always be pianos that one would prefer to own if one is familiar with the most expensive makes. A piano purchase is usually a compromise. One should try to find the best piano that fits one's budget.

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If the piano doesn't float your boat, you are sunk.

Unless you have near-endless funds to blow on floor space and pianos.

Originally Posted by thetandyman
As with boats, no one is ever satisfied. Do you wish you didn't have this obsession?


Sadly, pianos are another of life's endless pastures where the grass always sounds greener elsewhere. While I understand it, I think there are three things someone needs to do to get a "perfect" piano for 40+ years...

a) Style. It should be what you want: paint and wood. It should also match your personal home/environment style, which means you need to be mature and settled in what you have and want. The style of a piano is actually the least important quality since a flamboyant piano can be an art piece or a regular black-satin grand can fade into a room so nicely. Grand pianos generally are accepted when dull or ostentatious since they are so... GRAND.

b) Sound. This is the most important quality when buying. It's what sounds good to you. Again, you need maturity when doing this. I'd recommend against buying an expensive piano until a person has lots-n-lots of practice and playing behind them. With experience comes that maturity needed to be able to settle for a piano. Part of sound also is reliant on the action and the owner/player/user coming to an acceptable balance which is pleasant to the owner (and others).

c) Use. It has to be something you want to use all the time and play on. The piano will become something akin to a second YOU through continued playing to the point that you won't want another piano.

It's like choosing a wife (or husband): get the body, make sure she says the right things, and then go at it every chance you get. And make sure you are mature enough to dig in and have fun without roaming and wasting mind-hours thinking about what you could have had.

Last edited by Rusty Fortysome; 06/15/12 08:17 AM.

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Yes.

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I bought a new Steinway L in 1990 back when they were more affordable and I was never dissatisfied with it but I sold it ten years later to pay off the mortgage.

Then, about 10 years after that when I realized I could not live without a piano for another minute, is when I learned how picky I really was. Nothing I could afford came anywhere near that to which I had become accustomed.

It's more difficult now, for sure. Everything is twice as much except for my salary. I don't want to make any costly mistakes.

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These posts amaze me with the thought that went into them, I'm proud to be included in a website with such eloquent posters. Thanks!


Marriage is like a card game, you start with two hearts and a diamond, later you wish you had a club and a spade!
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This seems to be a more prevalent phenomenon in the world of digital pianos, where technology keeps changing, so that the make/model you buy today can quickly be superseded by the next "step up." Acoustic pianos are wonderful machines, but generally they are not nearly the victims of the common technological obsolescence (planned or otherwise) one sees in autos or electronics.

Put another way, once people do careful shopping and acquire the best piano (by their standards) that they can afford, there aren't the same environmental drivers of buyers' remorse one sees with other types of purchases.

So get the best instrument you can, and then worry about playing it better!

Last edited by ClsscLib; 06/15/12 12:21 PM.

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Another piano is really out of the question for me right now, with too many other things going on. This situation makes it more fun for me to 'shop' because I can love so many so many of them without having to choose.



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Interesting post for PW. The joy of buying and owning my piano comes (mostly) from playing it, being able to play it well, and enjoying listening to the music I'm able to make on my piano. When I went to buy the C3, I actually found 3 or 4 pianos that I really loved and 2 that I much prefer to the one I bought. Unfortunately, they were either MUCH more expensive or MUCH bigger and MUCH more expensive. I would have to postpone retirement another 20 years or get a second job (which cuts out my practice time) to justify buying such an expensive instrument to my family.

I absolutely love playing and practicing on my C3 and that is the whole point of buying and owning a piano. I consider myself extremely fortunate that I have a beautiful, new grand (paid for in cash) and that I can play it, enjoy it, and continue to take music classes and/or lessons. A Steinway or Bosendorfer concert grand in my livingroom would be truly lovely, but I'd have to hire a professional pianist to really play it as a concert grand of that caliber deserves.

BTW: I don't drive well enough and don't have access to the racetrack to really put a Lamborghini through it's paces either. I'm still buying lottery tickets.


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"Are Pianos like boats, are you never satisfied?"

As a dealer let me say...."G-d I hope not!"

grin


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The better the instrument, the better my playing has become.

Yes, it would have been easier to collect stamps or coins!

I'm up to 6 (four acoustic and 2 digital). Some people retain an attorney - I retain a piano tuner!

Don't let me win a big mega-bucks lottery - I would go crazy!


1904 Henry F. Miller Concert Grand * 2002 Estonia 190 Satin Bubinga * 2008 Schulze-Pohlman vertical 125 polished cherrywood peacock design * 2008 Schoenhut minature grand (49 keys) * 2008 Roland Digital Harpsichord, 2010 Roland FP-4 (88 key slab).
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One thing is for sure… pianos are a lot of fun! Even more fun if you can play a little (or a lot smile ). It always intrigues me when someone hears me play and tells me that I play well, when I know that is not the case; I like to think I'm at the early stages of the learning curve. smile

Anyway, the shopping for pianos part can be a lot of fun too. It can be exciting and frustration all at the same time. The thought of a better piano being out there somewhere is true… there is always a better piano to be had; however, they can be incredibly expensive.

I will have to say though, that even though there is always a better piano to be had, I am very satisfied with the three acoustic pianos that I have currently. They are nice instruments and I have no excuse not to practice, practice and practice some more. smile

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
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