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Tried Bechstein, Bluthner, Bosendorfer and Fazioli today #2213035
01/11/14 07:54 PM
01/11/14 07:54 PM
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So I finally went to a local store here and tried Bechstien, Bluthner, Bosendorfer, Grotrian and Fazioli today. Conclusion:

1)Bechstien: the sound was too bright. It almost felt that I am playing a Yamaha

2)Bluthner: it has a very sweet and different sound.I can see how some people might like it.

3)Grotrian: Best action

4)Bosendorfer: this one was my favorite. I liked the tune.

4)Fazioli: never buy one. at least not at that price.

None of these pianos are even close to my vintage Steinway.They lack the colors of the Steinway sound.There is something about Steinway sound that feels right. Nothing compares to Steinway.

PS I have a 6'4.5" Steinway, all of these pianos that I tried are similar sizes.

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Re: Tried Bechstein, Bluthner, Bosendorfer and Fazioli today [Re: Reno] #2213054
01/11/14 08:34 PM
01/11/14 08:34 PM
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Since I have recently tried all of these pianos, some as recent as today, I'll throw my thoughts out there just for the fun of it:

1) Bechstien: I know what you mean about the brightness, but I feel there is a 'purity' to the C. Bechstein tone which is different to Yamaha (difficult to explain in words, but I hear a difference!) I played a particularly mellow voiced C. Bechstein in Berlin recently and it was really something special, but others I have played have been a bit shrill.

2) Bluethner: I played several of these at the London showroom last summer, and a couple in Edinburgh. I felt they lacked dynamic range compared to other top tier instruments I've tried, and the actions were a bit too heavy for my taste. Definitely not for me, but many people regard them highly so I must be missing something.

3) Grotrian: I've only ever played one, but similar to the Bluethners, I thought it lacked dynamic range and the action was too heavy and not responding in the way I would like.

4) Bosendorfer: I've played I think 8 of these altogether over the last 6 months or so, in different locations, in sizes varying from 170 to 225cm. I've consistently been blown away by the responsive action, dynamic range and rich tone. Some were voiced better than others, and had a more 'singing' tone. Definitely my favourite.

5) Fazioli: pricing is an issue which varies by region. In London, for example, I have been quoted a lower price for a Fazioli than a comparatively sized Steinway or Boesendorfer. I've only played one, and not for long, and it certainly was a beautiful piano with a 'pure' tone and responsive action.

None of the vintage/rebuilt (NY and Hamburg) or new (Hamburg) Steinways I have played have had the dynamic/tonal range of the Boesendorfers I have played (I have visited rival dealerships one after the other to try to make the comparisons as freshly as possible.)

If I was to place all the above pianos in order of personal preference, adding one more, it would be: Boesendorfer/Shigeru Kawai tied first, C. Bechstein, Fazioli, Steinway, Bluethner, Grotrian.

I'm glad that your conclusion is that you are happy with the piano you have. But just out of curiosity, I'm wondering why you 'finally' got around to checking out these other options now and not before you picked your Steinway?

Last edited by pogmoger; 01/11/14 08:38 PM.
Re: Tried Bechstein, Bluthner, Bosendorfer and Fazioli today [Re: Reno] #2213111
01/11/14 10:33 PM
01/11/14 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by onlysteinway
So I finally went to a local store here and tried Bechstien, Bluthner, Bosendorfer, Grotrian and Fazioli today. Conclusion:

1)Bechstien: the sound was too bright. It almost felt that I am playing a Yamaha

2)Bluthner: it has a very sweet and different sound.I can see how some people might like it.

3)Grotrian: Best action

4)Bosendorfer: this one was my favorite. I liked the tune.

4)Fazioli: never buy one. at least not at that price.

None of these pianos are even close to my vintage Steinway.They lack the colors of the Steinway sound.There is something about Steinway sound that feels right. Nothing compares to Steinway.

PS I have a 6'4.5" Steinway, all of these pianos that I tried are similar sizes.


Keep in mind, i believe everyone gets used to the sound of their own piano and the sound of the repertoire they play on their pianos.

Re: Tried Bechstein, Bluthner, Bosendorfer and Fazioli today [Re: Reno] #2213123
01/11/14 11:08 PM
01/11/14 11:08 PM
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I wonder how much Steinway is paying you to be a walking advertisement for them!


Beethoven - Op.49 No.1 (sonata 19)
Czerny - Op.299 Nos. 5,7 (School of Velocity)
Liszt - S.172 No.2 (Consolation No.2)

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Re: Tried Bechstein, Bluthner, Bosendorfer and Fazioli today [Re: Dwscamel] #2213126
01/11/14 11:12 PM
01/11/14 11:12 PM
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Rochester MN
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Originally Posted by Dwscamel
I wonder how much Steinway is paying you to be a walking advertisement for them!

Well, that's a rude way to frame a false accusation.


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
Re: Tried Bechstein, Bluthner, Bosendorfer and Fazioli today [Re: Dwscamel] #2213127
01/11/14 11:13 PM
01/11/14 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Dwscamel
I wonder how much Steinway is paying you to be a walking advertisement for them!

Just because someone likes Steinways and says so openly with his reasons does not instantly translate to advertising for Steinways. And plus, I'm pretty sure he paid Steinway an arm and a leg for his piano and was so impressed with his Steinway that he says this.

Re: Tried Bechstein, Bluthner, Bosendorfer and Fazioli today [Re: Dwscamel] #2213143
01/12/14 12:00 AM
01/12/14 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Dwscamel
I wonder how much Steinway is paying you to be a walking advertisement for them!


OP has a vintage Steinway. Unless it was rebuilt at Steinway in NY, they certainly do not want people advertising their love of them.


Keith D Kerman
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Re: Tried Bechstein, Bluthner, Bosendorfer and Fazioli today [Re: Reno] #2213147
01/12/14 12:14 AM
01/12/14 12:14 AM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 7,439
Rochester MN
Minnesota Marty Offline

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Keith, I don't think that S&S minds when anyone says they love their Steinway! They certainly don't need paid sock puppets as was implied by another member.


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
Re: Tried Bechstein, Bluthner, Bosendorfer and Fazioli today [Re: Dwscamel] #2213156
01/12/14 12:39 AM
01/12/14 12:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Dwscamel
I wonder how much Steinway is paying you to be a walking advertisement for them!


This is a strange comment. People naturally want to express their view of what they like, and what they dislike for various reasons.

Some people like to say other brands are not as good as what they own because it makes them feel better about their purchase. (selfish)

Some people may truly want to inform people of their view and information for because they think it may help a future buyer. (unselfish)

Sometimes a combination of both - That's me smile hahaha

I love BMW, they way they drive is fantastic. I'm sure as heck not getting paid - but BMW, if you are reading this, kindly send me a PM and I will shoot you back my address so you can send me a check smile hahahaha

We must understand CONTEXT. This is a forum, where opinions are the main drive, not FACT. Especially when it comes to musical instrument, there is alot of "personal taste". So if you understand the context, you may not be offended if you disagree with the OPINION.

Re: Tried Bechstein, Bluthner, Bosendorfer and Fazioli today [Re: Reno] #2213202
01/12/14 03:25 AM
01/12/14 03:25 AM
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Originally Posted by onlysteinway

4)Fazioli: never buy one. at least not at that price.


Wow...that's a comprehensive review! confused


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: Tried Bechstein, Bluthner, Bosendorfer and Fazioli today [Re: Reno] #2213327
01/12/14 12:03 PM
01/12/14 12:03 PM
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The disadvantage with Bluthner pianos is that the factory themselves don't set them up well. They come from the factory needing a lot of preparation, and many dealers take them in and just leave them as they are. They are wonderful pianos, absolutely beautiful, rich and full sounding with a wide dynamic range, but the preparation on them - and I'm talking about within the UK dealer network - is sloppy. It leaves them feeling heavy, and sounding limited in dynamic range. Actually Bluthners have a light action, so this feeling of heaviness is down to incorrect prep. A correctly prepared Bluthner is one of the finest pianos available.

Bosendorfer on the other hand, are one of the best for preparation. The actions are of the highest quality and they are so well-prepared in house that they're almost ready to go from the minute they leave the factory.

Fazioli, too, many I've played here have been pretty rubbish, but in Italy where they've been prepared to the nth degree, they are stunning.

It's the same with all pianos really. A Chinese piano well-prepared is going to play better than an wrongly set up Bluthner.

Re: Tried Bechstein, Bluthner, Bosendorfer and Fazioli today [Re: joe80] #2213361
01/12/14 01:13 PM
01/12/14 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by joe80
It's the same with all pianos really. A Chinese piano well-prepared is going to play better than an wrongly set up Bluthner.

But some pianos will just not have the tier-1 design and will hence feel bad action-wise playing certain demanding repertoire no matter how well they are prepped.

Re: Tried Bechstein, Bluthner, Bosendorfer and Fazioli today [Re: Reno] #2213364
01/12/14 01:24 PM
01/12/14 01:24 PM
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Most pianists will not notice much difference between a well-prepped action on a "tier-1" piano and a well-prepped action on a "tier-3" piano, no matter what the repertoire.


Semipro Tech
Re: Tried Bechstein, Bluthner, Bosendorfer and Fazioli today [Re: pogmoger] #2213424
01/12/14 03:34 PM
01/12/14 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Grandman
Keep in mind, i believe everyone gets used to the sound of their own piano and the sound of the repertoire they play on their pianos.


I believe Grandman has reached the right conclusion.

Whenever I rent a car for a very short period, I feel that the steering is weird, pedals are weird, and I'm just glad to get back into my own car.

When I rent a car for a longer period, after a few days all that 'weirdness' goes away, and when I get back into my own car, I think to myself: "I can't believe I used to my car was normal." Then after a few hours, it is normal again.

When it comes to pianos, most people judge the next piano by what they are used to, and most don't give each piano a good enough chance.

All the pianos mentioned by "onlysteinway" are tier 1 pianos, and we shouldn't say of any one of them "Never buy one." The price of a Fazioli is very close to the cost of a Hamburg Steinway.

Originally Posted by pogmoger
Since I have recently tried all of these pianos, some as recent as today, I'll throw my thoughts out there just for the fun of it:


I thought pogmoger's review was much more qualified.

I also do believe that it takes more time to understand a Fazioli than it does most pianos. The quick smooth action combined with the great power might "blow people away" initially, but the Fazioli's real strength is its incredible ability to play pianissimo.

Next time you have a chance, I encourage you to give it a try!

Thanks,

Manuel B
www.showcasepianos.com


Manuel Bernaschek
Showcase Pianos

Exclusive dealer in BC, Canada for FAZIOLI, C.Bechstein, Grotrian, W. Hoffmann, Seiler, Knabe

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Re: Tried Bechstein, Bluthner, Bosendorfer and Fazioli today [Re: Reno] #2213441
01/12/14 03:57 PM
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Don't forget Steingraebers!!
They could overcome easily all brands mentioned...

Re: Tried Bechstein, Bluthner, Bosendorfer and Fazioli today [Re: Reno] #2213445
01/12/14 04:03 PM
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I totally agree about Fazioli, and the same applies to Bluthner and Bosendorfer: the set up needs to be right but the pianist also needs to understand the piano. In fact the same applies to every make.

You're right about a pianist not being able to tell the difference between a tier one and consumer grade action - there often isn't that much difference if good felt has been used. But the difference is in the sound of the pianos. There are huge differences in quality there!

Re: Tried Bechstein, Bluthner, Bosendorfer and Fazioli today [Re: Reno] #2213447
01/12/14 04:09 PM
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In the past year I also auditioned the Bechstein, Boesendorfer, Fazioli, and Steinway (many sizes of each), here on piano row. No Grotian or Bluethner though.

Completely concur w/ the OP's finding on the Bechstein. Actually I was surprised how bright it was--true, not shrill, but seriously lacking depth, and action was actually inferior IMHO to the adjacent Yamaha CX series.

Fazioli was rather clinical--better overall than the Bechstein (slightly "rounder") but I too would never fork over that much $ for one.

Boesendorfers blew me away. No comparison. Rich, dark, yet somehow still "clean" (hard to describe), perfectly balanced action ... Even the smallest example was impressive. Didn't want to leave without one. But expensive when compared to Steinway.

Steinway--worth the hype IMO--especially when you compare the prices to the other contenders. The rich overtones are not marketing BS--this piano is the opposite of clinical sounding. The ones I tried had a heavy action--but I actually prefer this. Steinway will likely fetch my dollar when I am able to upgrade from my Yamaha. Which might be never.

(Guessing the pianos in Steinway Hall do not suffer from under-prep as some mention in other places...)

Re: Tried Bechstein, Bluthner, Bosendorfer and Fazioli today [Re: Reno] #2213492
01/12/14 05:22 PM
01/12/14 05:22 PM
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I should add a disclaimer to my 'review' above. The comments I've made are really just yesterday's impressions based on thinking back to numerous visits to many different piano stores. It's a completely unscientific ranking that I put together really as a conversation point and nothing more. It is also unintentionally biased, because with some of the brands I have played many different instruments (Boesendorfer and Steinway) whereas others I haven't had the same opportunity, and I'm basing my impressions on only one piano (Grotian, Fazioli.)

I'll never have the opportunity to play all of these instruments, equally well prepped and side by side to really compare them closely enough to develop a fair ranking. But who cares? I've narrowed it down to a top 2 and I'm more than very satisfied with both of these.

Joe, I've played some really beautiful older Blüthners with a really light, yet very controllable touch. I don't know what it is with the newer one's I've tried, but I don't 'connect' with them in the same way as I do with other piano brands. Probably bad prep like you say.

Steingraebers - now if these were more easily available to me where I live, I'd love to explore them some more, because my initial impression (based on a single 170cm grand) was very positive. If I still lived in the UK, this would be a strong contender. As it is, I can get a Shigeru or Bösendorfer locally, and I'm at the point where I want to stop obsessing over every little detail and difference and just buy a piano! smile

Re: Tried Bechstein, Bluthner, Bosendorfer and Fazioli today [Re: Reno] #2213578
01/12/14 07:39 PM
01/12/14 07:39 PM
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Since Allegro Pianos represent several of the brands mentioned in this thread, and since I personally prepare all of our high end pianos... it allowed me the unique experience of working on and playing hundreds of these usually 'hard to find - limited production instrument'.

I learned that there is much to love about each and every brand although the general characteristics of the brands can greatly differ...and although they can excel in different uses, playing styles and acoustical environments regardless of the effects of tuning/voicing.


I learned much more while discussing with the owners, designers and/or production managers of such companies their idea of the 'right' piano.
Inquiring as to the why's and how's of the designs/build process thought me that the resulting tone and touch reflected their intentions and philosophy.


But most of all, I learned about the characteristics of such pianos by interacting with thousands of customers, advanced players and novices alike.
Being able to play and listen to such pianos side by side brought customers to opine... allowing me the benefit of a 'collective vocabulary' describing tone and touch.


...And what did I learn from this?

That pianos excel in different uses and purposes, and that no piano must cater to all tastes.
Even at the highest level pianos are a bit like ice cream...with some preferring chocolate chip flavor while others pistachio.

Still, there are several distinct tonal groups in piano making and some manufacturers value qualities such as power, refinement, intimacy and clarity on a different scale than others.

I believe that if one understands the intentions of the manufacturers he will be much quicker to adapt and benefit the most from the playing experience.
Approaching a Bluthner as if it was a Steinway will bring very different results than approaching a Bluthner the way it was meant to be played.








Ori Bukai - Owner/Founder of Allegro Pianos - NY and CT.

One can usually play at our showroom:

Bluthner, Steingraeber, Estonia, August Forster, Haessler, Kawai, Steinway, Bosendorfer and more.

www.allegropianos.com
Re: Tried Bechstein, Bluthner, Bosendorfer and Fazioli today [Re: Reno] #2213602
01/12/14 08:39 PM
01/12/14 08:39 PM
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Thank you for your post Mr. Bukai . You have brought some reason to this discussion.

Most people need confirmation that the piano that they bought is the "Worlds Best"

One of my favorite lines from musical theatre is Mame when she says " Life is a banquet and most poor S. O. B. are starving to death "

The same is true of the world of pianos/. It is a banquet .

P.S. You have become my second favorite poster. If you could beat Jean Claude with humor , you would be first





























Re: Tried Bechstein, Bluthner, Bosendorfer and Fazioli today [Re: Reno] #2213636
01/12/14 09:52 PM
01/12/14 09:52 PM
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Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
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Quote

Most people need confirmation that the piano that they bought is the "Worlds Best"


It often is or 'should be'.

Pianos placed in one's living room no longer compete with all the others out there but are to provide harmony and fulfillment for the musical and creative sense of the owner.

"Best car" and "best whatever" is for children to discuss..

Norbert smile

Last edited by Norbert; 01/12/14 09:53 PM.

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Re: Tried Bechstein, Bluthner, Bosendorfer and Fazioli today [Re: Reno] #2213738
01/13/14 12:27 AM
01/13/14 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by onlysteinway
So I finally went to a local store here and tried Bechstien, Bluthner, Bosendorfer, Grotrian and Fazioli today. Conclusion:

1)Bechstien: the sound was too bright. It almost felt that I am playing a Yamaha

2)Bluthner: it has a very sweet and different sound.I can see how some people might like it.

3)Grotrian: Best action

4)Bosendorfer: this one was my favorite. I liked the tune.

4)Fazioli: never buy one. at least not at that price.

None of these pianos are even close to my vintage Steinway.They lack the colors of the Steinway sound.There is something about Steinway sound that feels right. Nothing compares to Steinway.

PS I have a 6'4.5" Steinway, all of these pianos that I tried are similar sizes.


What's your level of playing? Are you an amateur or professional?
Without knowing that, who really cares what you think. Not trying to be mean, just frank.
My 4 year old niece likes Chicken McNuggets better than black truffle infused gnocchi with lobster. No one is asking her to write reviews for Zagats...



Pianist, Composer
Disclaimer: Shigeru Kawai Artist
Re: Tried Bechstein, Bluthner, Bosendorfer and Fazioli today [Re: Dwscamel] #2213740
01/13/14 12:32 AM
01/13/14 12:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Dwscamel
I wonder how much Steinway is paying you to be a walking advertisement for them!


I'm assuming you're just making a light hearted joke?
That's how I took it. And everyone who jumped on your post so indignantly--they're the punch line smile



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Re: Tried Bechstein, Bluthner, Bosendorfer and Fazioli today [Re: AJF] #2213800
01/13/14 04:22 AM
01/13/14 04:22 AM
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Originally Posted by AJF

My 4 year old niece likes Chicken McNuggets better than black truffle infused gnocchi with lobster. No one is asking her to write reviews for Zagats...


This made me LOL. Agree with your and Ori's statements.
One should not take himself to serious or make oneself a benchmark for others.

I should add something like that to my posts as a footnote though mentioning my humble small piano is perhaps enough of a warning wink


Schimmel 116 S
ABF Recitals: XXXIV - XXXVIII & Schumann Recital .....
Re: Tried Bechstein, Bluthner, Bosendorfer and Fazioli today [Re: Reno] #2213814
01/13/14 06:35 AM
01/13/14 06:35 AM
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Posts: 22
Western Cape, South Africa
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Red Autumn Offline
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Red Autumn  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2011
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Western Cape, South Africa
???

I don't know why I even submit a contribution to this thread.

All I can say is - kindly desist and go and practice. On your respective pianos.

Re: Tried Bechstein, Bluthner, Bosendorfer and Fazioli today [Re: Red Autumn] #2213819
01/13/14 07:11 AM
01/13/14 07:11 AM
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Posts: 211
Norway
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Originally Posted by Red Autumn

I don't know why I even submit a contribution to this thread.

All I can say is - kindly desist and go and practice. On your respective pianos.

I'm not sure why you did either. If I wanted to discuss piano practice, I'd go to one of the other more relevant message boards. The 'Piano Forum' as far as I can tell is for discussing instruments, manufacturers and the differences between these. Sometimes things get a bit fiery, but I thought this thread had quite a lot of useful observations and contributions compared to some others.

There is a growing trend for people here to go beyond criticising each other's differing views on different piano brands, to complaining about why anyone even bothers to discuss these things in the first place. The clue is in the title of the message board.

Or maybe I should go over to Pianist Corner and tell people to stop discussing Chopin editions when they should be talking about NY vs Hamburg Steinways!? grin

Last edited by pogmoger; 01/13/14 07:33 AM.
Re: Tried Bechstein, Bluthner, Bosendorfer and Fazioli today [Re: WimPiano] #2213821
01/13/14 07:24 AM
01/13/14 07:24 AM
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Posts: 211
Norway
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Norway
Originally Posted by wimpiano

One should not take himself to serious or make oneself a benchmark for others.

I agree, Wim! I actually appreciate it when people disagree with me, or question my views. That's why I visit these message boards: I'm open to finding out more about this subject rather than defending my current opinion.

Right now, I'd really love to try some more Blüthners and reassess my views of these.

Re: Tried Bechstein, Bluthner, Bosendorfer and Fazioli today [Re: Reno] #2213860
01/13/14 09:20 AM
01/13/14 09:20 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 3,460
Bulgaria
PhilipInChina Online content
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PhilipInChina  Online Content
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Posts: 3,460
Bulgaria
Why are Fazioli so expensive?


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: Tried Bechstein, Bluthner, Bosendorfer and Fazioli today [Re: Reno] #2213868
01/13/14 09:44 AM
01/13/14 09:44 AM
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Posts: 2,147
The Netherlands
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WimPiano Offline
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The Netherlands
Two reasons:
1. People are willing to pay that because they think (and I don't have any reason to believe they are not right) that it is a fantastic instrument of the highest (musical and constructional) quality.
2. They are very expensive to create.

Last edited by wimpiano; 01/13/14 09:45 AM.

Schimmel 116 S
ABF Recitals: XXXIV - XXXVIII & Schumann Recital .....
Re: Tried Bechstein, Bluthner, Bosendorfer and Fazioli today [Re: AJF] #2213888
01/13/14 10:37 AM
01/13/14 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by AJF
Originally Posted by onlysteinway
So I finally went to a local store here and tried Bechstien, Bluthner, Bosendorfer, Grotrian and Fazioli today. Conclusion:

1)Bechstien: the sound was too bright. It almost felt that I am playing a Yamaha

2)Bluthner: it has a very sweet and different sound.I can see how some people might like it.

3)Grotrian: Best action

4)Bosendorfer: this one was my favorite. I liked the tune.

4)Fazioli: never buy one. at least not at that price.

None of these pianos are even close to my vintage Steinway.They lack the colors of the Steinway sound.There is something about Steinway sound that feels right. Nothing compares to Steinway.

PS I have a 6'4.5" Steinway, all of these pianos that I tried are similar sizes.


What's your level of playing? Are you an amateur or professional?
Without knowing that, who really cares what you think. Not trying to be mean, just frank.
My 4 year old niece likes Chicken McNuggets better than black truffle infused gnocchi with lobster. No one is asking her to write reviews for Zagats...


AJF. Will you marry me? That is the funniest thing I've read on here in ages LOL!

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