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#2042618 - 03/04/13 12:33 AM Help Us Decide: Baby Grand Sub 5 ft. - Perzina, Yamaha, etc  
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newwest Offline
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Hey all - been enjoying the search function and lurking around for a bit. I'll get right to it. My wife and I are both composers and are shopping for a petite baby grand to squeeze in our dining room. We originally found a Koehler and Campbell 1979 with some unique features and tone, but have decided to up the ante a bit (possibly) to get a pricier $10k piano.

We like the sound and feel of the Yamaha GB1 for the money, but I recently tried a new Perzina T152 and the sound is phenomenal. It blew me away. I was impressed by the craftsmanship and components (sympathetic resonators, sand cast plate, white spruce soundboard - yes I got the full pitch!!!) but do realize it's Chinese made - something that obviously has a negative stigma! (Don't really understand how Indonesia is any better!)

I've been unable to figure out why there's so little info about these baby grands as far as reviews, opinions etc. I wonder if the quality of these pianos will hold up over time and if they are in fact constructed with more care and quality than the Yamaha GB1 like the salesman said.

What I can say is I'm pretty sure I like the sound better - so rich and pure! But will it sound so rich and pure 6 months, 1 year, 3 years, etc from now?

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated! At this point we are set on a sub 5 foot baby grand, not a nicer upright, but the Perzina sounded like a piano that had an extra foot or two to me! Eager for any opinions here. Thanks so much for your time.

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#2042623 - 03/04/13 12:47 AM Re: Help Us Decide: Baby Grand Sub 5 ft. - Perzina, Yamaha, etc [Re: newwest]  
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rlinkt Offline
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I do not think there is an easy answer to your question. These new breed of pianos from China haven't been around that long for people to know how they will age. Also, my sense is that this forum is mostly serious piano enthusiasts who have more hands on experience with higher end pianos. Many discussions around Chinese pianos turn into something not too useful.

For what its worth, I have a Ritmuller GH170R, which I have had for 7 months. The piano is a joy to listen to. Of course I am a biased observer. There are a couple of other owners of the same piano on this forum, who have had them for longer. Both of them were very happy with their pianos when I had talked to them. Based on this very small and biased sample, the information that I have seems to indicate that these Chinese pianos are doing just fine until at least 3 years :-)

Last edited by rlinkt; 03/04/13 01:20 AM.
#2042628 - 03/04/13 01:19 AM Re: Help Us Decide: Baby Grand Sub 5 ft. - Perzina, Yamaha, etc [Re: newwest]  
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Steven Y. A. Offline
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I have tried several Perzina grands at various size. Very impressive for the cost, and the finish is pretty amazing.

Last edited by Steven Y. A.; 03/04/13 01:19 AM.

PLEYEL P124
#2042632 - 03/04/13 01:24 AM Re: Help Us Decide: Baby Grand Sub 5 ft. - Perzina, Yamaha, etc [Re: newwest]  
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newwest Offline
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Thanks guys. Would love to hear "dirt" on these pianos. The saleperson(s) were very nice, but very "salesy," but in the end the piano speaks for itself. Huge, clear sound - perhaps even better than the low end Yamaha imho, but I'm slightly worried about quality and pricepoint. The Pearl River is about half the cost. Obviously I prefer the sound to the Perzina in a big way, but are the components really that better? Thanks again - no easy answers indeed, but I'd love to hear any more thoughts. Thanks so much!!!

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#2042635 - 03/04/13 01:41 AM Re: Help Us Decide: Baby Grand Sub 5 ft. - Perzina, Yamaha, etc [Re: newwest]  
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Steven Y. A. Offline
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http://www.pianobuyer.com/fall12/176.html

Quote:
A new line of Perzina grand pianos was introduced in 2011, designed and manufactured by Perzina in cooperation with a major European manufacturer. All contain solid Austrian white spruce soundboards, duplex scaling, and Renner AA or Abel hammers, among other high-quality components. A Perzina action is standard, with Detoa and Renner actions optionally available at additional cost. All models come with a slow-close fallboard, and most come with an adjustable artist bench.
The company's European headquarters says it ships many European materials to Yantai, including Degen copper-wound strings, Röslau strings, Delignit pinblocks, Renner hammers, English felts, European veneers, and Austrian white spruce soundboards. New machinery is from Germany, Japan, and Italy. According to the company, all the piano designs are the original German scales. The Renner actions used by Perzina are ordered complete from Germany, not assembled from parts.


PLEYEL P124
#2042636 - 03/04/13 01:42 AM Re: Help Us Decide: Baby Grand Sub 5 ft. - Perzina, Yamaha, etc [Re: newwest]  
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Swarth Offline
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Another small piano with a big sound is the new Weber series. You might want to compare if you have a dealer nearby.


Quid est veritas et mendacium, cum orbis terrarum.
#2042639 - 03/04/13 01:49 AM Re: Help Us Decide: Baby Grand Sub 5 ft. - Perzina, Yamaha, etc [Re: newwest]  
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DanS Offline
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I tried a Perzina last week but wasn't too impressed. The finish was very nice, but I didn't like the sound or the responsiveness. Have you consider a used Baldwin, or maybe a used Kawai RX1? I realize the RX1 is a 5'5", but it might be worth looking into.

#2042650 - 03/04/13 02:12 AM Re: Help Us Decide: Baby Grand Sub 5 ft. - Perzina, Yamaha, etc [Re: newwest]  
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Peter K. Mose Offline
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Can't understand why a dining room could not accommodate a normal sized grand. Five-and-a-half to six feet will serve you better sonically than a mini-grand.

#2042803 - 03/04/13 12:15 PM Re: Help Us Decide: Baby Grand Sub 5 ft. - Perzina, Yamaha, etc [Re: newwest]  
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Bosendorff Offline
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Newwest,

You might find other interesting brands to test reading the pages below.

http://www.pianobuyer.com/fall09/w1.html

http://www.pianobuyer.com/fall09/w2.html

#2042858 - 03/04/13 02:38 PM Re: Help Us Decide: Baby Grand Sub 5 ft. - Perzina, Yamaha, etc [Re: Bosendorff]  
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newwest Offline
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Thanks everybody. I'm going to another shop today to test some more. I must admit I've fallen for the Perzina, but am concerned as there is so little info from 3rd party on their grands.

And our dining room is so small - we really are squeezing it in, and the smaller the piano the more it will work... Thanks again!

#2042987 - 03/04/13 07:26 PM Re: Help Us Decide: Baby Grand Sub 5 ft. - Perzina, Yamaha, etc [Re: Swarth]  
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Originally Posted by Swarth
Another small piano with a big sound is the new Weber series. You might want to compare if you have a dealer nearby.
Several makers have invested in improving their small pianos to be more musical. I don't know if I've played that model of Perzina, but they showed several newer designs at NAMM that were nice.

Here is a video we recently made of the Hailun 151 . Headphones show what good prep will do for these nice instruments. We sold one last week to a piano Ph.D student who wanted to put a grand in her back bedroom. I'm amazed when industry people don't take these hungry piano brands more seriously.


Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
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www.PianoWorks.com
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#2043308 - 03/05/13 11:46 AM Re: Help Us Decide: Baby Grand Sub 5 ft. - Perzina, Yamaha, etc [Re: newwest]  
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newwest Offline
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Thanks - not sure who deals in Hailun here in LA. But I tried the Ritmuller yesterday and was impressed. I'd say it's still between Yamaha and Perzina now though. Perzina seems like more of a risk, but high risk, high reward?!

#2043598 - 03/05/13 10:18 PM Re: Help Us Decide: Baby Grand Sub 5 ft. - Perzina, Yamaha, etc [Re: newwest]  
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Bosendorff Offline
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Make sure you like the sustain, dynamic control and timbre of the pianos you test - and happy shopping !

#2043716 - 03/06/13 03:08 AM Re: Help Us Decide: Baby Grand Sub 5 ft. - Perzina, Yamaha, etc [Re: newwest]  
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Kurtmen Offline
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Quote
We like the sound and feel of the Yamaha GB1 for the money, but I recently tried a new Perzina T152 and the sound is phenomenal. It blew me away. I was impressed by the craftsmanship and components (sympathetic resonators, sand cast plate, white spruce soundboard - yes I got the full pitch!!!) but do realize it's Chinese made - something that obviously has a negative stigma! (Don't really understand how Indonesia is any better!)


There is no doubt that a less known piano brand can musically outperform Yamaha's most entry level piano. The only downside I can find is re-sale value.

You like the piano for the right reasons sound and feel. All though respectfully... I'm assuming that you didn't focus in the touch of the piano as much as the sound.

In terms of the features you mentioned; I think you should know that they are of very little value.

The casting method of the plate doesn't play a role in defining the quality of these instruments. Specially entry level pianos.
The plate is a neutral component and has no contribution to sound.

""Sympathetic resonators"" Sorry I'm not aware of any component within the piano with such name. Probably the salesperson referred to the aliquots of the duplex scale. This component is not a factor or sign of quality. As a side note many high-end pianos don't use them but also they can be problematic.

White Spruce... The soundboard is actually a system. The performance of the system and its acoustic properties are based on its design. Factors such as stiffness (rib positioning, thickness and density) bridge's placement and design, string coupling etc; are more important contributors than the spruce species.
Additionally soundboards can be bleached for simple aesthetics .

Off course no consumer is expected to know all this, but since you asked at least you'll know those features are not relevant.

Buy the piano you enjoyed playing that is the most important thing. smile






Last edited by Kurtmen; 03/06/13 03:23 AM.

San Mateo Piano
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#2043849 - 03/06/13 11:04 AM Re: Help Us Decide: Baby Grand Sub 5 ft. - Perzina, Yamaha, etc [Re: newwest]  
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Originally Posted by newwest
Thanks - not sure who deals in Hailun here in LA. But I tried the Ritmuller yesterday and was impressed. I'd say it's still between Yamaha and Perzina now though. Perzina seems like more of a risk, but high risk, high reward?!


Past Perfect Pianos in North Hollywood carries Hailun. (818) 255-3145.

Can I ask where you played a Ritmuller?

Kurt


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will never need a friend.

Rumi
#2043857 - 03/06/13 11:22 AM Re: Help Us Decide: Baby Grand Sub 5 ft. - Perzina, Yamaha, etc [Re: newwest]  
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Kurtmen,
You say "The plate is a neutral component and has no contribution to the sound".
Wow, have you ever heard a piano that has the capo bar hardened so much that it is effectively like high-carbon tool steel?

You will find the occasional Steinway that for whatever reason either in the casting or case-hardening process ended up with the capo rock hard. The tone is metallic and highly plagued with false beats.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
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#2043919 - 03/06/13 01:45 PM Re: Help Us Decide: Baby Grand Sub 5 ft. - Perzina, Yamaha, etc [Re: newwest]  
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I agree with Kurtmen that features are often swirled around in a pot and out comes a touted recipe, however this began with the customer liking the flavor and then asking about what is in it. Also, customers receiving and repeating features is often like the telephone game...even if the salesperson said, "Duplex scaling increases sympathetic resonance", it can come back like "the piano has sympathetic resonators."

The GB1 has none of the features included in the Perzina and yet many of them are included in Yamaha's higher series makes the "features" argument more valid, not less.


Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
www.PianoWorks.com
www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta
#2043945 - 03/06/13 02:42 PM Re: Help Us Decide: Baby Grand Sub 5 ft. - Perzina, Yamaha, etc [Re: PianoWorksATL]  
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DanS Offline
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Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
Here is a video we recently made of the Hailun 151 . Headphones show what good prep will do for these nice instruments. We sold one last week to a piano Ph.D student who wanted to put a grand in her back bedroom. I'm amazed when industry people don't take these hungry piano brands more seriously.


Nice sounding audio. Just curious, what mics, preamp and signal processing were used?

#2043951 - 03/06/13 02:48 PM Re: Help Us Decide: Baby Grand Sub 5 ft. - Perzina, Yamaha, etc [Re: newwest]  
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If you're in southern California you live in one of the most competitive piano markets in the country. You should be able to find pretty much any brand you desire and get it at a very competitive price. I've heard good things about Hailun and Brodmann as well as Ritmuller and Perzina. These four are among the best of the Chinese made grands. There are other fine brands (someone mentioned Weber) that I'm not remembering at this moment. I was never particularly impressed with Pearl River, but it seems you've already played those and come to a similar conclusion.

I will add that length is very important to piano sound. You may think that you don't have the space for a longer instrument, but the only way to know is to borrow the floor templates from a dealer and see if they'll fit. A 5' piano generally doesn't sound very good and adding just 6" can make a significant difference. However, in my experience the next 4"-6" adds just as much. A RX2 at 5'10" has much better bass than a GE30 at 5'6". Just remember to think about how much space you need to sit at the instrument when working with the templates.

#2043955 - 03/06/13 02:57 PM Re: Help Us Decide: Baby Grand Sub 5 ft. - Perzina, Yamaha, etc [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]  
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Kurtmen Offline
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Quote
You say "The plate is a neutral component and has no contribution to the sound".
Wow, have you ever heard a piano that has the capo bar hardened so much that it is effectively like high-carbon tool steel?

You will find the occasional Steinway that for whatever reason either in the casting or case-hardening process ended up with the capo rock hard. The tone is metallic and highly plagued with false beats


Ed I think we are not in the same page here for many reasons. You are missing the nuances of the thread. The Perzina salesman is aware that he is competing with Yamaha. He had inferred that a wet sand-cast plate will make the piano superior to a piano with a vacuum cast plate or at least he used it as a relevant feature.

The situation you described is a malfunction or defect. As matter of fact a wet sand cast plate is more likely to have this particular problem since the cooling rate is faster and therefore there is more crystallization. Because of this very same reason a wet-sand cast plate requires a lot more finishing work to polish out the imperfections. It is just a matter of quality cotrol and proper execution of all procedures.


Lastly the cast iron piano frame is not a “strength critical” component. It is a “stiffness critical” component as most engineering applications are. This tension of the strings is only 30-40000 lbs. which does not stress the cast iron very much. The stiffness, or rigidity, or elastic modulus (different terms for the same parameter) which is a constant physical parameter and not affected by strength, is unaffected by any casting method.

Now I understand that a component can have a malfunction. However if we have two plates in good condition built with two different casting methods:

Can you please explain how one method makes the sound better than the other?

Would you please also elaborate in how the plate contributes to the sound of the piano?


Thank you I look forward to specific answers to my questions.

Last edited by Kurtmen; 03/06/13 09:50 PM.

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#2043958 - 03/06/13 03:00 PM Re: Help Us Decide: Baby Grand Sub 5 ft. - Perzina, Yamaha, etc [Re: DanS]  
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Originally Posted by DanS
Nice sounding audio. Just curious, what mics, preamp and signal processing were used?
Thank you. I have time and money invested in my process, but I'll say that the equipment and software is very inexpensive, and the signal is flat EQ as is every one of our demos.


Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
www.PianoWorks.com
www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta
#2043965 - 03/06/13 03:15 PM Re: Help Us Decide: Baby Grand Sub 5 ft. - Perzina, Yamaha, etc [Re: PianoWorksATL]  
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DanS Offline
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Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
Originally Posted by DanS
Nice sounding audio. Just curious, what mics, preamp and signal processing were used?
Thank you. I have time and money invested in my process, but I'll say that the equipment and software is very inexpensive, and the signal is flat EQ as is every one of our demos.


You're welcome! It really is amazing what you can do these days for a fraction of the price of 10 or 15 years ago.

What about compression and/or noise reduction?

#2044009 - 03/06/13 04:39 PM Re: Help Us Decide: Baby Grand Sub 5 ft. - Perzina, Yamaha, etc [Re: DanS]  
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Originally Posted by DanS
What about compression and/or noise reduction?
The only compression is what YouTube does. The audio is mixed into the video before exporting, but usually only the video is compressed down to 720p. I record at 44.1kHz and 24 bit. I rarely use simple noise reduction, but not for that video recorded using this technique. It's as pure, simple and versatile as I can make it for now. All my regards to misters Trial and Error.


Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
www.PianoWorks.com
www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta
#2044068 - 03/06/13 07:27 PM Re: Help Us Decide: Baby Grand Sub 5 ft. - Perzina, Yamaha, etc [Re: newwest]  
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I sometimes wish people would judge pianos more like restaurants. It would perhaps go like this:

"Well, this is great restaurant, the food is real delicious. But since it hasn't been around for long I wouldn't dare to eat there."

Isn't it funny that sometimes the exact opposite seems to be the case: everybody running out to see what the fuzz about the new place around the corner is all about?

By the way, some other makers argue same. They don't take a manufacturer serious unless been around for at least 200 years.....

Want names?

Norbert wink

Last edited by Norbert; 03/06/13 07:29 PM.

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#2044071 - 03/06/13 07:35 PM Re: Help Us Decide: Baby Grand Sub 5 ft. - Perzina, Yamaha, etc [Re: Norbert]  
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Originally Posted by Norbert
I sometimes wish people would judge pianos more like restaurants. It would perhaps go like this:

"Well, this is great restaurant, the food is real delicious. But since it hasn't been around for long I wouldn't dare to eat there."
The analogy might make sense if the price of dinner cost the same as a piano... but it doesn't.

#2044076 - 03/06/13 07:43 PM Re: Help Us Decide: Baby Grand Sub 5 ft. - Perzina, Yamaha, etc [Re: pianoloverus]  
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Norbert
I sometimes wish people would judge pianos more like restaurants. It would perhaps go like this:

"Well, this is great restaurant, the food is real delicious. But since it hasn't been around for long I wouldn't dare to eat there."
The analogy might make sense if the price of dinner cost the same as a piano... but it doesn't.


Or if the dinner was designed to last as long.


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