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Return of the Cabinet Grand
#2138257 08/24/13 11:28 AM
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Last NAMM, one of the German makers exhibited a vertical >54" tall. If I have my nomenclature correct, that constitutes a cabinet grand.

Is there a market for a new cabinet grand, depending upon price?


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Re: Return of the Cabinet Grand
Jolly #2138359 08/24/13 02:12 PM
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Are you referring to the Steingraeber 138? It's over 54.3" tall.

Or are you referring to the Bluthner Model S? The bloody thing is over 57.3" tall!

A dealer who has heard them told me they could certainly play loudly, but the bass overpowered the tenor and treble at times.

Another dealer who has played them said that they were capable of thunderous volume levels, and that their tonal balance needed some work. He also said their actions needed to be made a little more responsive. He couldn't be certain whether the tonal balance and action problems were inherent design problems, or could be solved by dealer preparation.

Have you heard or played one of these monsters? If so, what did you think of them?

Last edited by Almaviva; 08/24/13 02:23 PM.
Re: Return of the Cabinet Grand
Jolly #2138398 08/24/13 03:38 PM
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I had a passing look at both in London last year, mainly because the Steingraeber 138 is similar my Schiedmayer which is about 1" taller and 5" wider.

The Steingraeber had over 85 years advantage over the Schiedmayer but I wouldn't have said the tonal balance or action of either were lacking. Neither would I describe them as monsters.

My Schiedmayer is mahogany. It's in quite a small room but it does not look out of proportion thanks perhaps to a large oak door and a 10 foot high ceiling.

I must say the shiny black Blüthner S was a looming presence and I much preferred the 1936 figured mahogany baby grand Blüthner upstairs.

What would I buy if I wanted a new upright and had the budget? A Steingraeber 138, probably, but I'd put the Grotrian Concertino on my shortlist and go back to Blüthner too.


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Re: Return of the Cabinet Grand
Withindale #2138484 08/24/13 07:37 PM
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LOL. When I called those two pianos "monsters", I was referring to their size, not to their musical qualities. I have not played either one personally.

The Mammoth Piano VCG (Vertical Concert Grand) is 7'2" tall, but that's a custom-made instrument. The Bluthner Model S, at 57.3" tall, is the largest vertical piano currently made in a factory.

Does anyone know how large vertical pianos got between 1890 and 1930, which I believe was the heyday of these huge instruments?

Last edited by Almaviva; 08/25/13 07:19 PM. Reason: concision
Re: Return of the Cabinet Grand
Almaviva #2138623 08/25/13 02:55 AM
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When I found the Schiedmayer I was looking for one like this:

http://www.historische-daten.de/projekte/museum/kat1892/kat1892pic/7096pno.jpg

I have never seen one on the market.


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Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 140cm
Ibach, 1905 F-IV, 235cm
Re: Return of the Cabinet Grand
Jolly #2138635 08/25/13 03:55 AM
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Just a side comment on our own internal business.

Fifteen years ago, the console model of piano (a vertical model under 45") was the largest selling type of vertical piano in our company. That has changed.

We now sell more studio model pianos (any vertical 45" or over) than consoles. I have some ideas as to why, but I wonder if others are having the same experience.

Dealers, how do your vertical sales fall these days?


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Re: Return of the Cabinet Grand
Jolly #2138745 08/25/13 11:13 AM
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Because the guys who used to buy consoles are now digital buyers?


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Re: Return of the Cabinet Grand
Jolly #2138746 08/25/13 11:15 AM
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In the vein of the thread....

Sure would wish CW would come out with the much rumored big vertical...something that would give a k52 a run for its money...at a M&H price...or less...


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Re: Return of the Cabinet Grand
Jolly #2138961 08/25/13 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Jolly
Because the guys who used to buy consoles are now digital buyers?


No, I don't think that is it Jolly. I think there are less folks wanting to "match" furniture styles today than there were 15 years ago or so.

I think the instrument itself has become a bit more important. This is totally anecdotal and I would love to hear from other dealers.


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Re: Return of the Cabinet Grand
Jolly #2138976 08/25/13 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Jolly
In the vein of the thread....

Sure would wish CW would come out with the much rumored big vertical...something that would give a k52 a run for its money...at a M&H price...or less...




With the Walters production being way up from the past few years and the export to China in the last year doing well, I think we will once again see the production of the W50 come together. We can only hope!!


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Re: Return of the Cabinet Grand
Almaviva #2138990 08/25/13 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Almaviva
Are you referring to the Steingraeber 138? It's over 54.3" tall.

Or are you referring to the Bluthner Model S? The bloody thing is over 57.3" tall!

A dealer who has heard them told me they could certainly play loudly, but the bass overpowered the tenor and treble at times.

Another dealer who has played them said that they were capable of thunderous volume levels, and that their tonal balance needed some work. He also said their actions needed to be made a little more responsive. He couldn't be certain whether the tonal balance and action problems were inherent design problems, or could be solved by dealer preparation.

Have you heard or played one of these monsters? If so, what did you think of them?


That is remarkable since the only dealers who have them feel completely different about them then you have stated.

Some dealers try to win a competitive advantage by criticizing their competition or by planting negative seeds, it's regrettable but it happens.

I would encourage any piano lover seek out these larger uprights and audition them in person. I have had the opportunity to spend extended periods with a variety of larger uprights by a variety of premium makers, they have all been lovely.

Last edited by Alex Hernandez; 08/25/13 09:25 PM.



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Re: Return of the Cabinet Grand
Jolly #2139133 08/26/13 09:20 AM
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My wife is a fan of the big verticals.

I've been compiling a list of decent verticals that I feel have good value (there's that pesky value thing again) and there are some out there to choose from.

The Knabe 131, the 51" W. Hoffman, the big Hailun, the Brodmann AS, the biggest Perzina, maybe a Bohemia if one is still out there, a Yamaha U3 (used U5 if I run across one) and a Kawai K8.

Shucks, I'd even like to test drive this sucker:

http://hzmpiano.com/piano_detail.aspx?model=140CK

Am I leaving out any good, big verticals that are in the $9-$14K range?


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Re: Return of the Cabinet Grand
Jolly #2139135 08/26/13 09:25 AM
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Note that in my last post, with the exception of the Heintzman, none of those pianos topped 52".

Is there a market for a decent 54"-58" piano? Not a German made $30K vertical, but something from the Orient that would sell for less than $15K?


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Re: Return of the Cabinet Grand
Jolly #2139147 08/26/13 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Jolly
Note that in my last post, with the exception of the Heintzman, none of those pianos topped 52".

Is there a market for a decent 54"-58" piano? Not a German made $30K vertical, but something from the Orient that would sell for less than $15K?


I don't think so, but I'm speaking as a person more familiar with the US and Canada than elsewhere. To a typical American, having a "baby grand" has some sort of cachet that a tall upright just doesn't have (I don't necessarily agree with this). Entry-level small grands are readily available for less than $10k now, which has probably hurt the market for tall verticals here.


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Re: Return of the Cabinet Grand
terminaldegree #2139158 08/26/13 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Originally Posted by Jolly
Note that in my last post, with the exception of the Heintzman, none of those pianos topped 52".

Is there a market for a decent 54"-58" piano? Not a German made $30K vertical, but something from the Orient that would sell for less than $15K?


I don't think so, but I'm speaking as a person more familiar with the US and Canada than elsewhere. To a typical American, having a "baby grand" has some sort of cachet that a tall upright just doesn't have (I don't necessarily agree with this). Entry-level small grands are readily available for less than $10k now, which has probably hurt the market for tall verticals here.


I think you're right, but I'm thinking the target market would be somebody who is downsizing...they don't want as much living space to keep up, but they'd still like to have a good acoustic piano for their own playing enjoyment...when we talk about a 55" piano, we're talking 6 foot+, grand-type bass...drop something like a Fandrich action in a big vertical, and you'd have a lot of performance in a very small footprint.

Just thinking out loud...


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