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#1953477 - 09/03/12 04:08 PM Your opinion needed.  
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scepticalforumguy Offline
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Hello all,

I am seriously thinking of upgrading my piano to a larger one. Currently I have two options in mind a Mason BB or a Shiguru 7'.

I am very happy with my current piano, but it is under 6', and want something with that extra length in the bass.

Nothing else is in the running; and nothing else (S&S, Grotrian, Bechstein etc) is in the ballpark for my quoted prices.

Given these parameters, what would you choose and why? I'm well aware that it is my choice, but hey, this is Piano World and I'm curious about what others think.


Recordings of my recent solo piano and piano/keyboard trio jazz standards.


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#1953482 - 09/03/12 04:21 PM Re: Your opinion needed. [Re: scepticalforumguy]  
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You're really going to have to play both and decide what you like more. With these two pianos, it's not like splitting hairs; they are quite different in sound and touch. I'm not really sure which I would choose. While I do love the new WNG action on the Masons, the last few I've played kind of sounded like crap, IMO... and I'm not talking about little ones, I'm talking about the BB and the CC-94. The latest Shigerus I've played sounded nice enough, but the touch on them was pretty mediocre. If pressed, I'd probably go with M&H to support US labor, but I'd definitely rip off the hammers and install a set of Ronsen (probably Bacon felt, but maybe Weickert). If I were to go with the Shigeru, at least with the ones I've played recently, they'd definitely get a complete friction treatment, and possibly an inertia adjustment.

#1953485 - 09/03/12 04:22 PM Re: Your opinion needed. [Re: scepticalforumguy]  
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I would choose the one I liked better. Tastes differ, even from sample to sample, so the specific piano is important. There are no differences between those choices that should override your taste.


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#1953499 - 09/03/12 04:44 PM Re: Your opinion needed. [Re: beethoven986]  
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Last edited by Dave Ferris; 09/03/12 05:44 PM. Reason: my opinion is irrelevant, best to make up your own mind..

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#1953522 - 09/03/12 06:02 PM Re: Your opinion needed. [Re: scepticalforumguy]  
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Hmmm,

I have played several examples of both and my choice might vary depending on the piano, but I am on a clear and consistent record on PW that I really enjoy Masons.

I would probably choose the BB, but your mileage may vary. Bottom line - choose what you love.

My 2 cents,


Rich Galassini
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#1953538 - 09/03/12 06:47 PM Re: Your opinion needed. [Re: scepticalforumguy]  
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Personally? The BB. Analytically? Its an interesting race. Both actions are different enough from the middle that an adjustment period is needed. I don't follow beethoven986's experience but I have seen that on the RX's - usually good but much, much wider in variation than the literature would lead you to believe. The sound of good BB's have rich memories for me, so I'll call it my sentimental favorite.

Now BB vs SK7...might be persuaded to go the other way. That has more to do with the model than the size, I think.

Any other variables like color to be considered? I vote for wood finish.

Just curious, and I know they are rare, but were you able to locate an Estonia L225 to try? I don't know your quotes, but I would guess it is in a similar range as your listed choices.


Sam Bennett
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#1953561 - 09/03/12 08:08 PM Re: Your opinion needed. [Re: scepticalforumguy]  
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Thanks all for the input so far.

Please continue to add any more comments or observations.

As for the Estonia, too big, and I haven't really been enamored with the 190 so I imagine I may have the same experience with the 225. If I were to go that size I'd probably also consider the C7 which I've always enjoyed somewhat, but 7' is really the limit for my tiny space.


Recordings of my recent solo piano and piano/keyboard trio jazz standards.


#1953586 - 09/03/12 08:59 PM Re: Your opinion needed. [Re: PianoWorksATL]  
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Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
I don't follow beethoven986's experience but I have seen that on the RX's - usually good but much, much wider in variation than the literature would lead you to believe.


I was pretty shocked because, in previous experiences, the Shigerus I've seen were more or less effortless to play. Two out of the three last Shigerus I've seen, though, I definitely felt were too heavy. Not an insurmountable problem (if it is viewed as a problem), just really annoying when you're not in a position to change it (i.e.: when it's not your piano).

As far as the RX is concerned, we're in agreement. That's my single biggest complaint with them.

#1953587 - 09/03/12 09:05 PM Re: Your opinion needed. [Re: scepticalforumguy]  
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Look at a C6. It is a nice piano.


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#1953599 - 09/03/12 09:43 PM Re: Your opinion needed. [Re: BDB]  
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Originally Posted by BDB
Look at a C6. It is a nice piano.


+1

#1953608 - 09/03/12 10:18 PM Re: Your opinion needed. [Re: scepticalforumguy]  
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Here is a C6 - try this with good speakers or headphones:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ta2G3PWJEmg




#1953610 - 09/03/12 10:21 PM Re: Your opinion needed. [Re: scepticalforumguy]  
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Here he is again.

And if you get one - you will play just like this:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRnNe_B4DOQ


#1953717 - 09/04/12 07:26 AM Re: Your opinion needed. [Re: scepticalforumguy]  
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You need to play examples of both pianos. They are very, very different sounds. I preferred the pedals on the **** to Mason - one of the best around. The Mason has a bigger and easier to control sound which I preferred, but the ***** is much better finished.

But make sure you purchase an example which you like, as they depend so much on the dealer preparation. There was a thread earlier today on an upgraded Yamaha about to be released - whether it could be worth checking that out.

And don't rush.

Last edited by backto_study_piano; 10/03/12 09:02 AM.

Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
#1953865 - 09/04/12 02:40 PM Re: Your opinion needed. [Re: backto_study_piano]  
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Originally Posted by backto_study_piano


And don't rush.


this is likely the best advice you are going to receive. I'm currently trying to wrap up my piano hunt and I started with the M&H BB near the top of my list after playing a number of BB and AAs in NYC a couple years back. The first time I played a BB recently, I really liked it - it really seemed to grab your attention. But the more I played it, the less I wanted to take it home. The closest to this in other pianos I played was the Schimmel K213 NWS. Both seemed to possess a similar raw power. On the other hand I've really warmed to the refinement of the SK series (and one comment above about the pedals is right on the mark).
So take your time. Play the pianos in question multiple times, with a wide variety of repertoire. Then pick the one that will satisfy you for the long haul. I'll apologize up front for the sexist analogy that just popped in to my head - some pianos are like super-models; sexy and immediately appealing; others may be more like the fresh faced 'girl next door'. Most of us can't afford the financial and emotional costs of trading in the super-model every couple years when you get bored - so it's best to find the piano that fits your playing for a longer run.

#1953878 - 09/04/12 03:08 PM Re: Your opinion needed. [Re: scepticalforumguy]  
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Hmm, yes the rushing part...
My current problem is two fold: I have a private buyer for my piano contingent upon whether I find something to replace it. But this person needs a piano ASAP which means I have to decide whether to sell right away.
Of course, if I do sell right away it doesn't mean I have to buy right away, but I'm not sure I'm able to easily replace what I have (and love for the most part, except for wanting a bigger bass). For the record, I own an SK2, so the sound is something that I really like anyways. The Masons are quite different, and I wonder about the 'super-model' analogy. I haven't played the BB in question yet to see if it is as you describe.
I've found that many pianos have been immediately appealing to me, but upon playing for more than 15 minutes I tend to tire of the sound profile, whereas with the SK it is the opposite. I've sometimes found the first 5-10 minutes I tend to feel a bit neutral, but then after that I absolutely enjoy the instrument.


Recordings of my recent solo piano and piano/keyboard trio jazz standards.


#1953892 - 09/04/12 03:47 PM Re: Your opinion needed. [Re: scepticalforumguy]  
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Don't rule out S6, I should of bought one myself...

#1953896 - 09/04/12 03:55 PM Re: Your opinion needed. [Re: Furtwangler]  
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Originally Posted by Furtwangler
Here is a C6 - try this with good speakers or headphones:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ta2G3PWJEmg





I noticed he recorded with a Zoom H4. I record with a Zoom H2 and notice the recorder seems to take out harsh tones and actually makes my piano sound better. Does this hide issues? Not sure. Mileage may vary.

#1953904 - 09/04/12 04:14 PM Re: Your opinion needed. [Re: Mark...]  
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Originally Posted by Mark...
Originally Posted by Furtwangler
Here is a C6 - try this with good speakers or headphones:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ta2G3PWJEmg





I noticed he recorded with a Zoom H4. I record with a Zoom H2 and notice the recorder seems to take out harsh tones and actually makes my piano sound better. Does this hide issues? Not sure. Mileage may vary.


I find it interesting that many seem to like the sound on this recording. I myself find it mostly too bright and at times bordering on harsh, with the exception of the bass. It's that kind of bass that I'd like that I'm currently not getting with the smaller piano. Fabulous player though!


Recordings of my recent solo piano and piano/keyboard trio jazz standards.


#1953906 - 09/04/12 04:18 PM Re: Your opinion needed. [Re: scepticalforumguy]  
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Forget youtube videos when judging a piano. You can only do it in person.

(While it might be possible to judge certain properties of the sound from a very high quality (!) recording, the action-sound connection and the presence of the sound in a room never will.)

Sceptical: Good luck with your search! Owning an SK-2 as well I can imagine what you are looking for - even if for me (and in my room) the bass of the small Shigeru still is more than satisfactory.


Shigeru Kawai SK-2, etc.
#1953984 - 09/04/12 06:53 PM Re: Your opinion needed. [Re: scepticalforumguy]  
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From what you say, for tuppence, sell the SK2 and get an SK7!


Ian Russell
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#1953986 - 09/04/12 07:07 PM Re: Your opinion needed. [Re: scepticalforumguy]  
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Here is a Youtube video of a fabulous SK7!

Er...oh never mind

#1953987 - 09/04/12 07:10 PM Re: Your opinion needed. [Re: scepticalforumguy]  
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I'm interested to know if you've tried any European pianos, which are the instruments that Koichi Kawai patterned his pianos after. For example, you might try a Bechstein, Grotrian or Sauter in the 190-200cm range to see how they compare. Another good instrument for you to experience would be the Estonia 190. After all, now that you have the luxury of starting over, why not compare everything?


Russell I. Kassman
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#1953990 - 09/04/12 07:23 PM Re: Your opinion needed. [Re: maurus]  
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Originally Posted by maurus
Forget youtube videos when judging a piano. You can only do it in person.


+1


David M. Boothe, CAS
#1953991 - 09/04/12 07:24 PM Re: Your opinion needed. [Re: scepticalforumguy]  
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Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy
Hmm, yes the rushing part...
My current problem is two fold: I have a private buyer for my piano contingent upon whether I find something to replace it. But this person needs a piano ASAP which means I have to decide whether to sell right away.
Of course, if I do sell right away it doesn't mean I have to buy right away, but I'm not sure I'm able to easily replace what I have (and love for the most part, except for wanting a bigger bass). For the record, I own an SK2, so the sound is something that I really like anyways. .....


tough decision as you are potentially jumping in to the unknown and you don't want to rush this decision. The SK2 is a wonderful instrument (and is still on my possible shortlist ) and giving up something you enjoy for something potentially better is a risk. I do understand your issue with the bass. It does a good job imitating a bigger piano - but when you listen carefully you can still hear that it suffers a little from being small. I'm likely ending up with an SK7 or Schimmel K213NWS where size will be on my side, and I don't have to rush as this piano will complement an existing S&S B.
Good luck and we'll be interested in your reactions to the BB (both the sound as well as the action).


#1954003 - 09/04/12 08:25 PM Re: Your opinion needed. [Re: scepticalforumguy]  
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Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy
My current problem is two fold: I have a private buyer for my piano contingent upon whether I find something to replace it. But this person needs a piano ASAP which means I have to decide whether to sell right away.
Of course, if I do sell right away it doesn't mean I have to buy right away, but I'm not sure I'm able to easily replace what I have (and love for the most part, except for wanting a bigger bass).
I'm guessing it's not easy to sell any expensive piano privately. If you've been offered a good price for your SK2 I think you should sell it. Some people take years to sell a piano, and where would you put two pianos if you can't fit the Estonia 225K in your home?

Are there dealers near you that carry both Mason and Shigerus? If so, there will always be at least one BB around to try and another one to replace it when the one(s) in the store gets sold.

#1954007 - 09/04/12 08:34 PM Re: Your opinion needed. [Re: master88er]  
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Originally Posted by master88er
I'm interested to know if you've tried any European pianos, which are the instruments that Koichi Kawai patterned his pianos after. For example, you might try a Bechstein, Grotrian or Sauter in the 190-200cm range to see how they compare. Another good instrument for you to experience would be the Estonia 190. After all, now that you have the luxury of starting over, why not compare everything?


I've played all the pianos you mention above at the 190 range, as well as Bluthner, Bose, Fazioli at the 190-260 range and find all the German ones quite nice, but not a replacement for the Shigeru. It's interesting if Kawai actually did model his piano after these (how is that possible? I can see copying one, but an amalgamation?) because it definitely has something European to the tone. But maybe that's me just dreaming.

A well known tech said to me very recently that he thought the Shigeru actually has an American sound. I'm not sure I'd agree, especially after auditioning the BB today, but it goes to show we all can hear different things from the same piano. I find that the American bass has a quite distinct quality that no others have matched, perhaps because it involves compromises elsewhere? Or clarity? In any case I think it's a great sound.



Recordings of my recent solo piano and piano/keyboard trio jazz standards.


#1954014 - 09/04/12 08:59 PM Re: Your opinion needed. [Re: scepticalforumguy]  
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Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy
I find it interesting that many seem to like the sound on this recording. I myself find it mostly too bright and at times bordering on harsh, with the exception of the bass.
I got the same impression.

Whether the video captures the sound of that piano accurately is a separate matter, but for my tastes there is not much appealing about the sound of the top 1/3 of the piano in that video. Especially considering it's a very expensive piano.

#1954035 - 09/04/12 10:20 PM Re: Your opinion needed. [Re: pianoloverus]  
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy
I find it interesting that many seem to like the sound on this recording. I myself find it mostly too bright and at times bordering on harsh, with the exception of the bass.
I got the same impression.

Whether the video captures the sound of that piano accurately is a separate matter, but for my tastes there is not much appealing about the sound of the top 1/3 of the piano in that video. Especially considering it's a very expensive piano.


I hope that nobody is offended by this but I have to wonder when older men (or anyone who has abused his or her hearing by attending loud popular music concerts) prefer(s) a sound like this if it is because they have lost some of the upper frequencies and prefer this more forward sound.

It reminds me of a pair of expensive (Thiel) loudpeakers I used to own. They were ear-splitting on most recordings because they were so revealing--to a flaw. But older men loved them because they needed that just to hear something more "normal."

Anyway, I don't think we all hear the same thing. So much depends on anatomy, to say nothing of indoctrination with previous instruments, recordings, dogma, propaganda, etc.

I wish I were not always drawn to the most expensive instruments. And yet even within that constraint, I have preferences. Even on youtube.

Last edited by dsch; 09/04/12 10:47 PM.
#1954040 - 09/04/12 10:43 PM Re: Your opinion needed. [Re: scepticalforumguy]  
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Actually I almost cannot hear at all above 100 kHz. I just like to look at the pretty pictures.

So I had my dog listen to the video, and he liked it. Gee, I guess he doesn't have good taste in music after all.

And yes - I am old.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUqY...51A9A&index=8&feature=plpp_video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24zM...p;list=PL206326BBF7151A9A&playnext=1

#1954115 - 09/05/12 04:18 AM Re: Your opinion needed. [Re: scepticalforumguy]  
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Originally Posted by scepticalforumguy
...
I've found that many pianos have been immediately appealing to me, but upon playing for more than 15 minutes I tend to tire of the sound profile, whereas with the SK it is the opposite. I've sometimes found the first 5-10 minutes I tend to feel a bit neutral, but then after that I absolutely enjoy the instrument.


Once I had my short-list, I made a point of visiting each piano with the aim of playing for 2 hours - reflective of a playing session at home. Some, I didn't make that long, and retired them from my list. I ended up with 4 pianos which, though in some cases quite different from each other I could happily keep playing.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).

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