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Re: Why don't Charles Walter grand pianos sell? [Re: Almaviva] #2219399
01/23/14 11:06 AM
01/23/14 11:06 AM
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tdv Offline
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I know that this thread is a few months old, but I did not see it before. FWIW a while back I actually drove to the Charles Walter showroom to play their grands. I can only say that if I had had the money and space in my living room, I would have loved to have taken home the 175 they had in the showroom. True, it is not as bright and powerful as many brands, but in my home I am only interested in quality of sound and touch, and the 175 had both - at least according to my tastes. I liked the CW 175 better than the CW 190s or any other grand (they had a number of brands) that they had in the showroom.

P.S. There are grands that I have never played that I would like to play for comparison, particularly the Sauters. Also some grands that I have played are as good or better, but they cost a heck of a lot more.


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Re: Why don't Charles Walter grand pianos sell? [Re: Almaviva] #2219442
01/23/14 12:22 PM
01/23/14 12:22 PM
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Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
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Quote
There are grands that I have never played that I would like to play for comparison, particularly the Sauters. Also some grands that I have played are as good or better, but they cost a heck of a lot more.


Sauters will keep you speechless, this certainly is a piano in its own class. [tier 1]

Others, like Estonia are also very much worth trying out.
In fact, their 5'6 studio is a particularly good instrument.

Norbert


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
Re: Why don't Charles Walter grand pianos sell? [Re: Norbert] #2219480
01/23/14 01:27 PM
01/23/14 01:27 PM
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Karl Watson Offline
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Norbert:

You just said the magic word when mentioning the smallest Estonia. In the near term, I will enter retirement and will have to purchase a small grand. This is not my idea of paradise but it's all our prospective retirement digs will allow.

I have the smaller Chas. Walter as well as the smallest Estonia at the head of a very short list. I might consider a rebuild of a vintage American/Canadian piano. One thinks of a small Mason or possibly Baldwin or Heintzman. I'd love to find an M or an S but I've quite literally NEVER played a Steinway of those sizes that I liked. Of course, statistically speaking, they MUST exist.

Tried to PM you on this but you've reached your limit there.

Would you care to "weigh in" on this matter ? One values your wisdom and candor highly.

Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY


Re: Why don't Charles Walter grand pianos sell? [Re: Almaviva] #2219788
01/24/14 12:16 AM
01/24/14 12:16 AM
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I don't understand how 5'6 vs say, 6'0 can be a deciding factor based on room space. 6 inches is a deal breaker? I get 9'0 vs 6'0 but you can seriously tell me you have a space chosen that CAN accommodate 5'6 but not 6'0. Maybe I'm wrong but I just can't picture it.
I can tell you that the difference in *playability* between a 5'6 and a 6'0 is pretty huge. The sound, touch and dynamic range are all markedly better on a larger piano. I really think that pianos measuring 5'6 and below are intended for the furniture buying crowd, not pianists (save maybe the best designed tier 1 models like Steingraeber for instance).
Just my opinion of course.

Last edited by AJF; 01/24/14 12:18 AM.


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Re: Why don't Charles Walter grand pianos sell? [Re: AJF] #2219829
01/24/14 02:15 AM
01/24/14 02:15 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 3,735
Kuwait
PhilipInChina Online content
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At what stages does the extra length matter? I don't doubt a 9' is better than a 5' but what about a 7' as opposed to a 6'6"?

Originally Posted by AJF
I don't understand how 5'6 vs say, 6'0 can be a deciding factor based on room space. 6 inches is a deal breaker? I get 9'0 vs 6'0 but you can seriously tell me you have a space chosen that CAN accommodate 5'6 but not 6'0. Maybe I'm wrong but I just can't picture it.
I can tell you that the difference in *playability* between a 5'6 and a 6'0 is pretty huge. The sound, touch and dynamic range are all markedly better on a larger piano. I really think that pianos measuring 5'6 and below are intended for the furniture buying crowd, not pianists (save maybe the best designed tier 1 models like Steingraeber for instance).
Just my opinion of course.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: Why don't Charles Walter grand pianos sell? [Re: Almaviva] #2219907
01/24/14 08:22 AM
01/24/14 08:22 AM
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San Jose, CA
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"...I don't understand how 5'6 vs say, 6'0 can be a deciding factor based on room space. 6 inches is a deal breaker? I get 9'0 vs 6'0 but you can seriously tell me you have a space chosen that CAN accommodate 5'6 but not 6'0. Maybe I'm wrong but I just can't picture it..."

I didn't know it when I bought my piano, but if it were another six inches long, the sofa would have to go--- and it's a short little 'love seat;' the big sofa already went.

In a perfect world, I might have knocked out a wall, gaining not only room for a longer piano, but also room to accommodate a better layout for recording--- mainly a matter of the placement of speakers. But in our highly imperfect world, the Association would never stand for such a thing.

Anyway, inches do matter, and real estate developers know it down to the tiniest fraction.


Clef

Re: Why don't Charles Walter grand pianos sell? [Re: Jeff Clef] #2219933
01/24/14 09:11 AM
01/24/14 09:11 AM
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Dear Friends:

Very interesting, these last comments. I fully sympathise with AJFs sentiments regarding the difference between pianos of 6 & 56. My experience confirms that this extra bit is crucial in pianos of this size. For many years Ive played a piano of 64 which provided everything and more that one could possibly want or need in a home instrument.

But, most unfortunately, Ive been forced to confront the realities so well explained in Jeff Clefs last. Decorators most certainly DO count every miserable inch and it is precisely this count and amount that is forcing my search into such an uncomfortable straight-jacket.

Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY

Re: Why don't Charles Walter grand pianos sell? [Re: PhilipInChina] #2219983
01/24/14 10:46 AM
01/24/14 10:46 AM
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Urbandale, Iowa
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Steve Chandler Offline
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Originally Posted by PhilipInChina
At what stages does the extra length matter? I don't doubt a 9' is better than a 5' but what about a 7' as opposed to a 6'6"?

Originally Posted by AJF
I don't understand how 5'6 vs say, 6'0 can be a deciding factor based on room space. 6 inches is a deal breaker? I get 9'0 vs 6'0 but you can seriously tell me you have a space chosen that CAN accommodate 5'6 but not 6'0. Maybe I'm wrong but I just can't picture it.
I can tell you that the difference in *playability* between a 5'6 and a 6'0 is pretty huge. The sound, touch and dynamic range are all markedly better on a larger piano. I really think that pianos measuring 5'6 and below are intended for the furniture buying crowd, not pianists (save maybe the best designed tier 1 models like Steingraeber for instance).
Just my opinion of course.

Phillip you ask a great question. I remember trying various Kawai grands 5 or 6 years ago. The GE30 5'5" still had a bit of tubbiness in the bass. That's the inharmonicity caused by thicker windings on shorter bass strings. Interestingly, none of the many RX2s had any of it and they're just 5 inches longer. I've played the Estonia 168 and it doesn't have the tubbiness associated with shorter strings but it also doesn't have the dynamic range of the 190. Having more recently played the Estonia 210 and 225 they have the bigger sound and dynamic range of a 7' piano. The most important aspect of the increased dynamic range is the ability to play quietly, something most longer pianos will provide due to longer keys and better leverage.

To review, it's really about a continuum of sound. As the length of a piano approaches 6' they're able to design out the inharmonicity and restricted dynamic range of shorter strings. As one approaches 7' the dynamic range improves at the quiet end as well as even more powerful bass. There are also compromises regarding the tenor break in shorter pianos. Play and listen and you'll hear what I'm talking about.

Re: Why don't Charles Walter grand pianos sell? [Re: Almaviva] #2220010
01/24/14 11:58 AM
01/24/14 11:58 AM
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Vancouver B.C. Canada
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Sounds to me the Charles Walter 175 is a good fit for many of the issues brought up by some here. It was designed for the exact issues raised.
The Walter is very sleek, designed with a smooth tenor/bass break and has the same action with long keys as the Charles Walter 190.

This is a shot I took of a Walter 190 & 175 the thinner rim is the 175. Although the outer rim is thinner the rims for both are made from maple. Many thicker rims utilized today by other manufactures are not. The inner rim it a robust as the 190.

You see some makes today that look as wide as they are long. crazy



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Re: Why don't Charles Walter grand pianos sell? [Re: AJF] #2220043
01/24/14 12:51 PM
01/24/14 12:51 PM
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California
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Originally Posted by AJF
I really think that pianos measuring 5'6 and below are intended for the furniture buying crowd, not pianists (save maybe the best designed tier 1 models like Steingraeber for instance).
Just my opinion of course.

Second the vote for Steingraeber here. Their small grand piano sounds really nice.


Poetry is rhythm
Re: Why don't Charles Walter grand pianos sell? [Re: phantomFive] #2220223
01/24/14 06:25 PM
01/24/14 06:25 PM
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Toronto
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AJF Offline
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Originally Posted by phantomFive
Originally Posted by AJF
I really think that pianos measuring 5'6 and below are intended for the furniture buying crowd, not pianists (save maybe the best designed tier 1 models like Steingraeber for instance).
Just my opinion of course.

Second the vote for Steingraeber here. Their small grand piano sounds really nice.


Yeah. And they're also the same price as a small house! smile



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Re: Why don't Charles Walter grand pianos sell? [Re: Almaviva] #2220230
01/24/14 06:55 PM
01/24/14 06:55 PM
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Posts: 15,431
Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
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I can tell you that the difference in *playability* between a 5'6 and a 6'0 is pretty huge. The sound, touch and dynamic range are all markedly better on a larger piano. I


This may be true for many others but in the case of Estonia our experience is decidedly different.

Other dealers don't like me saying this but their 5'6 studio often competes head on with their larger 6'2.
It certainly can become a toss.

It often depends on exact "model-by-model" comparison of existing pianos on same floor: we had several concert pianist level buyers walk out with the smaller one - not a surprise any longer..

Many liked the 5'6 'just as much' and even more liked it "much more" than some of the larger models offered by the competition.

Of course there are situations where the 6'2 Estonia is clearly superior but it depends on each case. It's not black and white.

Similar situation perhaps like Steingraeber but a whole lot less $$ [didn't want to use the c...word..]

Norbert wink

Last edited by Norbert; 01/24/14 07:04 PM.

www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
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