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1975 Horugel? #1179520
04/13/09 10:57 AM
04/13/09 10:57 AM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 2
N
northstarsls Offline OP
Junior Member
northstarsls  Offline OP
Junior Member
N
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 2
Hi Everyone,
I came across a 6'1" Horugel "perfect condition" which when I emailed the lady she wrote me this:

It is a very rare find and I have trouble facing parting with it. Our family is the original owner and it has only moved twice since purchased 34 years ago. It is in exquisite condition. It is a German piano and has only been touched be very qualified professionals including be moved by top piano movers. The price is in no way negotiable as it is appraised at over $30,000.

I have not seen the piano yet, and if I do like it of course I will take a piano technician to check it out. What I don't know is what was Horugel before they were made by Samick? The Piano Book only mentions Horugel under Samick, as do the forum posts. Could this piano possibly be worth that much money, or do you think she didn't put her glasses on and read an extra "0"? More importantly does this have the potential to be a great piano without having to get lucky?

Thanks for your thoughts.
Brandon

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Re: 1975 Horugel? [Re: northstarsls] #1179539
04/13/09 12:01 PM
04/13/09 12:01 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,169
Olympia, WA
rysowers Offline
3000 Post Club Member
rysowers  Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,169
Olympia, WA
The only Horugel pianos I have seen are Korean. They can be reasonably good if they've been well cared for and get proper servicing.

The Pierce Piano Atlas lists serial numbers for the German Horugel's only up to 1952. It also looks like Samick started making them in the mid 70's so it seems like a sure bet to be a Samick product.

Sounds like the sellers head is in the clouds. Maybe she paid way to much for it from an unscrupulous seller. I can't tell you how many times people have told me their Nordiska piano was made in Europe, or their Essex piano was made by Steinway. People often hear what they want to hear, and an occasional salesman may capitalize on that.

You'll probably have to pass this one up! If you try to break the news to her she's probably just going to be mad at YOU. People can have a tendency to punish the messenger.


Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net
Re: 1975 Horugel? [Re: northstarsls] #1179540
04/13/09 12:02 PM
04/13/09 12:02 PM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 3,890
Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
K
Keith D Kerman Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Keith D Kerman  Offline
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K
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 3,890
Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
The nickname in the piano business for a Horugel is a Horrible. One of the worst pianos ever. This lady is at best deluded regarding what she has. I think it is possible that when she bought it she was told it was German and that has stuck with her.
$30,000 for this piano is about the equivalent of buying a 1975 Yugo for $30,000, except I somehow suspect the Yugo has more value in the way that some people like pink flamingo lawn ornaments.

Who is the piano for? Are you able to get to some shops and try some pianos? You can get a lot of good help on this site if you describe what you are looking for and who the user will be.


Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
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Re: 1975 Horugel? [Re: Keith D Kerman] #1179580
04/13/09 01:03 PM
04/13/09 01:03 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 2
N
northstarsls Offline OP
Junior Member
northstarsls  Offline OP
Junior Member
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Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 2
I should have mentioned she’s only asking 5k for it, but it seems like I suspected, definitely not a great “deal”.

The piano is for me, I’m currently remodeling my house and we will have a large front living room to fill up. I have played most my life, but by no stretch am I an avid pianist. Mostly I am looking for a functional art piece (don’t bash me too bad) but don’t want to get a piece of junk. We haven’t seriously started looking as our house isn’t ready for it yet, but we are trying to stay in the 3-6k range.

Thanks for the replies,
Brandon


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Re: 1975 Horugel? [Re: northstarsls] #1179590
04/13/09 01:24 PM
04/13/09 01:24 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,346
North Hollywood CA.
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member
pianobroker  Offline
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Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,346
North Hollywood CA.
It's interesting I haven't crossed paths with any Horugels in the past 5 years or so. Thank God!Assessing value on one of these can be a rude awakening to the sellers. On the west coast most were of Schafer & Sons stencil. Somebody told me most of them were in Mexico,church basements or your local land fill.
I'd be curious as for the appraisors credentials.What a steal appraised at 30K but selling for 5K confused


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Re: 1975 Horugel? [Re: pianobroker] #1179595
04/13/09 01:30 PM
04/13/09 01:30 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,604
Marty Flinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Marty Flinn  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,604
Step away from this consideration. These pianos from that era were below standard. You can do much better.


Co-Author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Buying A Piano. A "must read" before you shop.
Work for west coast dealer for Yamaha, Schimmel, Bosendorfer, Wm. Knabe.
Re: 1975 Horugel? [Re: Keith D Kerman] #1179620
04/13/09 02:27 PM
04/13/09 02:27 PM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 5,531
Olympia, Washington
D
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member
Del  Offline
5000 Post Club Member
D
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 5,531
Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted by Keith D Kerman

The nickname in the piano business for a Horugel is a Horrible. One of the worst pianos ever. This lady is at best deluded regarding what she has. I think it is possible that when she bought it she was told it was German and that has stuck with her.
$30,000 for this piano is about the equivalent of buying a 1975 Yugo for $30,000, except I somehow suspect the Yugo has more value in the way that some people like pink flamingo lawn ornaments.


Saying this could be taken as an insult to Yugo! Otherwise, I agree.

A client of mine purchased one of these PSOs (against my advise) back in the 1970s. I tuned it shortly after she bought it and a couple of days later I received a phone call from her claiming that “the bass didn’t work.” I couldn’t figure out what could have happened to make the bass not work so I grabbed my tool bag and went to look at the thing.

She was right, the bass didn’t work. You could hear a relatively weak and out of tune tone but nothing that sounded like a piano tone. It seems that instead of string downbearing there had been a substantial amount of string upbearing and the bridge—along with top layer of the laminated soundboard—had pulled loose and was floating about two or three millimeters above the rest of the soundboard.

The “technician” I talked with assured me that the recommended “fix” for this little problem was to unhook the bass strings to provide access to the area, drill several holes through the soundboard and into the bridge body, coat the area with Titebond glue and, with soundboard buttons in place, pull it all back down with some screws coming up from the bottom. Once it was all dry I was to hook up the bass strings and retune the piano. The string upbearing was, apparently, ok.

Truth be told, it probably wouldn’t have sounded any worse than it had before the bridge pulled loose. But this time the client did follow my advice and returned the Horrible Horugel to the dealer and bought something more closely resembling a real piano.

After the well-deserved reputation of these pianos grew to the point that sales dropped off precipitously these same pianos started showing up under the Stegler brand. The piano was the same, only the name had been changed to protect the guilty.

ddf


Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon
Re: 1975 Horugel? [Re: Marty Flinn] #1179622
04/13/09 02:31 PM
04/13/09 02:31 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 88
Ohio
W
wesquire Offline
Full Member
wesquire  Offline
Full Member
W
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 88
Ohio
Brandon,
The Horugel grands were new to Samick in the mid-late 1970's and were a "learning experience" for them. I was in retail at that time and their selling point was a low price. They became very problematic for the dealers who took the line. Wood, build and design were all problems that often showed up after only a few months. Most Asian pianos had a rough start in their early days, some survived while others did not. It was a very interesting period in our piano history.

KEEP LOOKING



Retired industry professional.
Re: 1975 Horugel? [Re: wesquire] #1179642
04/13/09 02:54 PM
04/13/09 02:54 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,169
Olympia, WA
rysowers Offline
3000 Post Club Member
rysowers  Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,169
Olympia, WA
Well I guess my experience with them has been better than what others have experienced. I have 2 clients with them and they seem OK and are meeting their needs. Of course, 2 pianos is not a good sampling and mine could be anomalies. I do live in a very mild climate that is easy on pianos.

As we say, "sometimes the best piano companies accidentally make a lemon, and the worst companies accidentally make a good one!"

As always have a reputable tech check it out before you buy.

As Bob Pierce used to say "If you don't know your pianos, know your piano man!"

http://www.pianova.net/pages/usedpianoproblems.htm


Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net
Re: 1975 Horugel? [Re: rysowers] #1179654
04/13/09 03:17 PM
04/13/09 03:17 PM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 5,531
Olympia, Washington
D
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member
Del  Offline
5000 Post Club Member
D
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 5,531
Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted by rysowers
Well I guess my experience with them has been better than what others have experienced. I have 2 clients with them and they seem OK and are meeting their needs. Of course, 2 pianos is not a good sampling and mine could be anomalies. I do live in a very mild climate that is easy on pianos.

As we say, "sometimes the best piano companies accidentally make a lemon, and the worst companies accidentally make a good one!"


OK. To be fair, I serviced a couple of Horugals that were less bad than others. Still, for $5K one should be able to find a piano without such a colorful history. Were it me considering this purchase I'd want to drop one of those 0s.

ddf


Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon
Re: 1975 Horugel? [Re: Keith D Kerman] #2062450
04/10/13 04:33 PM
04/10/13 04:33 PM
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 3
8
88reasons Offline
Junior Member
88reasons  Offline
Junior Member
8
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 3
Hi, I bought a Horugel and think it's really an amazing instrument. Samick Musical Instruments made the piano after acquiring the name from the German maker. Here is a link to Samick history http://samick.co.kr/eng/about/company_2.php?playNum=1

Features on my Horugel make it very unique. Treble strings are individually hitched, it has a 19 ply Falcon Wood European Beach. Longer playing surface on the key-tops by about a 1/2" longer. All and all the piano is really well made as I have found all grand pianos that were made in South Korea. I found a specification sheet in the bench that was very informative

Have fun

Re: 1975 Horugel? [Re: northstarsls] #2062461
04/10/13 04:56 PM
04/10/13 04:56 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 11,893
Georgia, USA
Rickster Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Rickster  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 11,893
Georgia, USA
Congratulations!

Hey, as long as you like it, that is all that matters! smile

I owned a little-known brand baby grand piano (made in Japan in the later 1980's) for a few years, and enjoyed the heck out of it... and played the heck out of it.

Of course my current grand piano is head and shoulders better, and then some. One of the joys of learning to play the piano is upgrading to a better one at some point. smile

Welcome to Piano World, by-the-way...

All the best!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: 1975 Horugel? [Re: northstarsls] #2062558
04/10/13 08:22 PM
04/10/13 08:22 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,793
San Jose, CA
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Jeff Clef  Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,793
San Jose, CA
"...I'd be curious as for the appraisors credentials.What a steal appraised at 30K but..."

I didn't really want to add to the basketful of bad news. This writer did capture my very thought. I wonder how a frank conversation with that appraiser would go.

Only once have I seen and played one of these travesties, masquerading under a once-honorable name. A small grand, in a church fellowship hall. It was nothing to jump up and down about, either in appearance, touch, or sound, but it did play. It was thickly coated with a very glossy plastic varnish--- apparently recent--- and sounded about like it looked.

But, they had a truly lovely, full-sized concert Baltimore Knabe grand in the sanctuary, which really only needed a little work (and a decent piano lamp).

One could overlook the sins of the Horugel, in the circumstances.


Clef

Re: 1975 Horugel? [Re: northstarsls] #2062617
04/10/13 10:18 PM
04/10/13 10:18 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 4,675
Seattle, WA USA
E
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Ed McMorrow, RPT  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 4,675
Seattle, WA USA
I tried to help the first importer of these pianos to the USA back on the 1970's. One problem with some of them was the agraffe string holes were straight bored for 2.5mm or so. The bass strings in particular would buzz at the agraffe in some of these. It took me a couple of months to realize the issue. We tried replacing strings and that would work for about three weeks.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
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Re: 1975 Horugel? [Re: northstarsls] #2062622
04/10/13 10:31 PM
04/10/13 10:31 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,665
Danville, California
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Furtwangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Furtwangler  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,665
Danville, California
I once had a Horugel but I traded up to a Belarus.




Not.


Amateur Pianist and raconteur.

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