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Our Estonia L190 'Hidden Beauty' #20400
01/01/09 02:55 PM
01/01/09 02:55 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 64
Utah
wadslee Offline OP
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wadslee  Offline OP
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Joined: Nov 2008
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Utah
After auditioning over 20 performance pianos in our area, we chose the Estonia L190 ‘Hidden Beauty’ from Rick Baldassin Pianos in Salt Lake City. It was by far our favorite tone—warm, rich and full of color with a singing tone unlike anything we had ever heard before—it just sparkled! The touch was very good also, just not as perfect “out of the box” as a Shigeru. Rick, sensing that we wanted to further refine the action, offered to do an extensive multi-day concert prep on the piano. What an awesome experience that was! Now that he is finished, I can honestly say that ‘his’ Estonia is every bit as refined as the Shigeru, if not even more so. (and I still have an in-home voicing, regulation and tuning yet to go!) I realized through that experience just how much more could be done to further refine the instrument and that ultimately a piano is only as good as its technician. I chose the Estonia principally for its gorgeous tone and impeccable build quality. I also saw a unique opportunity with Rick, as an incredibly talented technician, to get a far greater value added service than I could anywhere else in my area.

Below are some pictures that detail the quest. Happy Holidays to everyone and a big “Thank You” for your candid PM’s and insightful posts.


[Linked Image]
The L190 on the showroom floor screaming “Take me home!”


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A pretty cool serial number too.


[Linked Image]
The refinement process begins in earnest. Rick slowly and methodically went through a long list of refinements, that included, among others, lifting and leveling the strings, seating the strings to the bridge, refining the travel shanks, aligning the hammers to the strings, aligning the jacks, wipers and back checks, fitting the hammers to the strings, leveling, spacing and squaring of the keys, refining the bed key frame and pedals in addition to many other components too many to mention—and all of this was done before the normal regulation procedure even started! After witnessing much of this first hand, I’m in complete awe. I never imagined there being so many components that could be fine tuned—all the way down to the smallest and seemingly inconsequential parts and screws. When alignments or spacing of components were off, even by as little as the thickness of a piece of paper, they were fine tuned to perfection.


[Linked Image]
Checking the hammers for “plumb.”


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Tweaking the hammer shanks with a heat gun.


[Linked Image]
Leveling the keys.


[Linked Image]
Leveling the keys again, once the action was back in the piano.


[Linked Image]
Leveling the strings


Estonia L190 - 6789 'Hidden Beauty'
Roland HP-203
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Re: Our Estonia L190 'Hidden Beauty' #20401
01/01/09 02:56 PM
01/01/09 02:56 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 64
Utah
wadslee Offline OP
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wadslee  Offline OP
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Utah
We closed on the piano in early December and decided to make it a Christmas surprise for the kids--the hardest part of the process was having to wait until Christmas Eve to get it. Meanwhile the kids wrote Santa a letter pleading for the "Hidden Beauty"--my oldest daughter even included a drawing of the fallboard logo just to make sure "Santa got it right." smile It was very cute. It was a painful couple of weeks, but well worth the wait.


[Linked Image]
"...When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer, With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick...""


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Estonia L190 - 6789 'Hidden Beauty'
Roland HP-203
Re: Our Estonia L190 'Hidden Beauty' #20402
01/01/09 02:56 PM
01/01/09 02:56 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 64
Utah
wadslee Offline OP
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wadslee  Offline OP
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Utah
"...Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; the stoockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there..."


[Linked Image]
A last and heartfelt plea to Santa never hurts: "If you leave a brand new Estonia L190 'Hidden Beauty' feel free to partake of these fine carrots, milk and cookies."


[Linked Image]
Sounds like a win-win to me. smile


[Linked Image]
Mrs. Claus just making sure everything is fine.


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The next morning. Wow! What a surprise!


[Linked Image]

We love our instrument! Thank you Dr. Indrek Laul, Rick Baldassin and everyone on PianoWorld. We couldn't be happier!


Estonia L190 - 6789 'Hidden Beauty'
Roland HP-203
Re: Our Estonia L190 'Hidden Beauty' #20403
01/01/09 03:03 PM
01/01/09 03:03 PM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 947
Texas
RickG Offline
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RickG  Offline
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Texas
What a great tread!! I love the pics and the scenery is magnificent !! Your home is beautiful as well. May you have many happy years with that piano.


RickG
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Re: Our Estonia L190 'Hidden Beauty' #20404
01/01/09 03:04 PM
01/01/09 03:04 PM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,031
Belgium
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schwammerl Offline
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Belgium
wadslee,

Thank you for sharing your buying experience with us.

A healthy and happy 2009 and many more joyful years to come with your new Estonia!

schwammerl.

Re: Our Estonia L190 'Hidden Beauty' #20405
01/01/09 03:37 PM
01/01/09 03:37 PM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 695
Pocatello, Idaho
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DanLaura Larson Offline
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Pocatello, Idaho
Wadslee,

That is a beauty of a piano. smile

What great service Rick gave you to make all those adjustments. I would hope a dealer would do that for one of their flagship pianos (Faziolis for Rick), but I think it's amazing that he went to so much work to sell a much less expensive piano and to make you happy. His great costumer service is certainly one of the reasons why we bought our piano from him. I hope he hasn't retired by the time we need to regulate it.

Dan


Dan and Laura Larson
Fazioli and Ibach grands
Larson Piano Studio
http://www.stoneformsart.com/
Re: Our Estonia L190 'Hidden Beauty' #20406
01/01/09 03:38 PM
01/01/09 03:38 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 10,913
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Steve Cohen Online content
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It is always amazing how a REALLY good regulation and voicing can improve a piano.

Rick is one of the best in the business. Given a decent piano, he can "optimize" it!

I am confident this piano will exceed your expectations.


Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.
Re: Our Estonia L190 'Hidden Beauty' #20407
01/01/09 04:06 PM
01/01/09 04:06 PM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 8,453
Horowitzian Offline
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A beautiful piano, beautiful pictures, and a beautiful home! thumb

I'm glad to see that you got such great prep of the piano, too. It makes all the difference, even in brands that are ostensibly prepped to a high level at the factory.


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
Re: Our Estonia L190 'Hidden Beauty' #20408
01/01/09 04:25 PM
01/01/09 04:25 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 3,546
US
sophial Offline
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Congrats on a lovely piano, home and family!

I hope you have many happy hours playing your new grand!


Sophia

Re: Our Estonia L190 'Hidden Beauty' #20409
01/01/09 04:35 PM
01/01/09 04:35 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,665
Danville, California
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Furtwangler Offline
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Danville, California
Wadslee

You made a great choice!

Congratulations and may your beautiful family enjoy your Estonia for generations.


Amateur Pianist and raconteur.
Re: Our Estonia L190 'Hidden Beauty' #20410
01/01/09 04:45 PM
01/01/09 04:45 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 11,981
Georgia, USA
Rickster Online content
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Hi Wadslee,

The pictures were outstanding! Thanks for sharing and congratulations on your beautiful piano.

What a great way to start the New Year! thumb

Best regards,

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Our Estonia L190 'Hidden Beauty' #20411
01/01/09 05:26 PM
01/01/09 05:26 PM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 316
Melbourne, (Suntree) Florida
Terry C. Offline
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Terry C.  Offline
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Posts: 316
Melbourne, (Suntree) Florida
Congrats! It's a beauty! Beautiful home as well!


Be well and happy,
Terry C. smile


Proud owner of a Rebuilt 1912 Feurich concert grand with the new Phoenix system.
5th generation piano makers
Gotta love that German Craftsmanship
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Re: Our Estonia L190 'Hidden Beauty' #20412
01/01/09 05:37 PM
01/01/09 05:37 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,862
Kansas
apple* Offline
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well told story.

congratulations. what a nice 'surprise'.


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)
Re: Our Estonia L190 'Hidden Beauty' #20413
01/01/09 05:58 PM
01/01/09 05:58 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,372
Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
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Congratulations!

Hidden Beauty had been one of our best selling pianos last year as well!

High and full respectful praise from my side also also for the Kawai Shigeru, a very fine piano indeed!

Norbert thumb


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
Re: Our Estonia L190 'Hidden Beauty' #20414
01/01/09 06:10 PM
01/01/09 06:10 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,271
Lexington, Kentucky
Monica K. Online blank

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Lexington, Kentucky
Congratulations, wadslee, on your new piano! And *thank you* for the wonderful photos. thumb Your daughters are adorable and your house spectacular. I love those tall rounded windows. I also really enjoyed getting to see what is involved in leveling the keys and strings.


Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica
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Re: Our Estonia L190 'Hidden Beauty' #20415
01/01/09 06:13 PM
01/01/09 06:13 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,683
San Francisco
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FogVilleLad Offline
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Rick Baldassin did the kind of prep that dealers should do. At Keith Kerman's shop, PianoCraft, it would be considered routine. Other dealers would be wise to notice that enthusiastic customers generate free buzz.

Re: Our Estonia L190 'Hidden Beauty' #20416
01/01/09 06:24 PM
01/01/09 06:24 PM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,729
Vancouver B.C. Canada
Rod Verhnjak Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by FogVilleLad:
Rick Baldassin did the kind of prep that dealers should do. At Keith Kerman's shop, PianoCraft, it would be considered routine. Other dealers would be wise to notice that enthusiastic customers generate free buzz.
Agreed, many do not, those that do will have happy clients.

Rick Baldassin is a great tech and runs a top notch operation.

Enjoy your piano smile


Verhnjak Pianos
Specializing in the Restoration, Refinishing & Maintenance
of Fine Heirloom Pianos

www.pianoman.ca
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Re: Our Estonia L190 'Hidden Beauty' #20417
01/01/09 07:05 PM
01/01/09 07:05 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,665
Danville, California
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Furtwangler Offline
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Danville, California
Wadslee

See if you agree with me - to me the most spectacular looking part of the Hidden Beauty is the inner rim. Is that gorgeous or what!!?

Of course, the whole thing is gorgeous, actually....


Amateur Pianist and raconteur.
Re: Our Estonia L190 'Hidden Beauty' #20418
01/02/09 01:06 AM
01/02/09 01:06 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 64
Utah
wadslee Offline OP
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wadslee  Offline OP
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Posts: 64
Utah
Thank you for the kind words.

Furtwangler,

I love the rim...it is indeed spectacular. But then again, I love the fallboard, the music desk, the plate and many other cosmetic elements as well. I'm constantly amazed by its 'beauty.' wink


Estonia L190 - 6789 'Hidden Beauty'
Roland HP-203
Re: Our Estonia L190 'Hidden Beauty' #20419
01/02/09 11:18 AM
01/02/09 11:18 AM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,328
Urbandale, Iowa
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Steve Chandler Offline
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Urbandale, Iowa
Hi Wadslee,

After all that prep how does it sound. Is the action refined? If you can remember the Shigeru well enough tell us how the finished product compares.

Re: Our Estonia L190 'Hidden Beauty' #20420
01/02/09 11:40 AM
01/02/09 11:40 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 851
Malaysia
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tanjinjack Offline
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Malaysia
Wonderful! Congrats on your new piano! smile

BTW, did the movers make a mistake? I thought the piano should be sent to Malaysia! laugh laugh

I really envy you having that piano. It must really sounds warm and nice. Anyway, may you enjoy the piano for many many years to come!

Re: Our Estonia L190 'Hidden Beauty' #20421
01/02/09 12:31 PM
01/02/09 12:31 PM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,031
Belgium
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schwammerl Offline
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Belgium
Quote
Rick Baldassin did the kind of prep that dealers should do . At Keith Kerman's shop, PianoCraft, it would be considered routine.
Should do? Does everyone agree?

The kind of preparation described here and earlier - http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/24759.html#000005 - takes a lot of time.

I won't tell any secrets if I tell you what wadslee communicated to me in a PM that the whole procedure takes:

* pre delivery: 11 hrs + another 6 to 10 hrs
* in home: an extra 3 - 4 hours

So in total 20 - 24 hrs prep work!?

Wadslee may indeed feel happy Rick Baldassin was prepared to do such a tremendous job but should we make that a realistic expectation for every potential buyer?

schwammerl.

Re: Our Estonia L190 'Hidden Beauty' #20422
01/02/09 01:24 PM
01/02/09 01:24 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 64
Utah
wadslee Offline OP
Full Member
wadslee  Offline OP
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Posts: 64
Utah
Steve Chandler,

The piano sounds amazing. The action has definately been refined. It's hard to put aural impressions into words. It's also hard since the perceived improvement is a cumulative effect of numerous small tweaks. (I wish I could just invite you over to play it smile ) The best way I can describe it is to say that the improvement is comparable to the difference in refinement between a Kawai RX and the Shigeru--the touch is perfectly even, the control at mp and below are much improved, the the bass is richer, etc.

I think it's important to state that Estonia pianos already come with a high level of in-factory refinements. I certainly don't want to convey to prospective Estonia buyers that the instrument is somewhat lacking or that it needs extensive prep work to make it worthwhile. That is not true at all. I guess, the point that I'm trying to make is that a quality dealer/technician can make a world of difference in the success of the instrument.


Estonia L190 - 6789 'Hidden Beauty'
Roland HP-203
Re: Our Estonia L190 'Hidden Beauty' #20423
01/02/09 01:34 PM
01/02/09 01:34 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,665
Danville, California
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Furtwangler Offline
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Joined: Feb 2007
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Danville, California
Wadslee

I am glad you clarified things by writing your last paragraph.

Otherwise, a reasonable person might begin to ask when reading this dissertation:

"If the dealer has to perform all those tasks, what in the world do they do at the factory??"


Amateur Pianist and raconteur.
Re: Our Estonia L190 'Hidden Beauty' #20424
01/02/09 02:44 PM
01/02/09 02:44 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 622
California
koiloco Offline
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California
Just beautiful.

Enjoy your 190.


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