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Re: The search begins ...
hogfan #2348216 11/10/14 02:48 PM
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Hey........I'm here to help. To spend your money that is! Actually, all of the pianos you've played are exceptional in my book. I think your piano quest is definitely a vicarious fantasy most of us will enjoy following. I like your interpretations as well, keep em coming please.........blob.


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Re: The search begins ...
hogfan #2348319 11/10/14 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by hogfan
Carbonblob, they are not off the list. When I played the Shigeru's, it was pre-budget expansion and mostly just for fun, so I wasn't really that focused on it. I need to go back and play them again -- I agree with you, I loved the 7' Shigeru. Thanks for reminding me that I need to try them again!

Gotta love that "pre-budget expansion"! Ours expanded by a factor of 2 from the beginning of our acoustic piano search to the end.

Looking back on it 6 months later, it was the best move we ever made.


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Re: The search begins ...
hogfan #2348374 11/10/14 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by hogfan
Carbonblob, they are not off the list. When I played the Shigeru's, it was pre-budget expansion and mostly just for fun, so I wasn't really that focused on it. I need to go back and play them again -- I agree with you, I loved the 7' Shigeru. Thanks for reminding me that I need to try them again!
I also love the Shigeru pianos I've played. Of course with the budget you're now considering whatever piano you choose will be excellent. At that budget it's a matter of finding what speaks to you the most.


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Re: The search begins ...
hogfan #2348608 11/11/14 01:34 PM
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I am gonna follow your thread closely because I live not too far from where you live and I hope I will follow your path in a couple of years. It depends on whether my piano skills improve so much that I feel I deserve a grand, though.


Started my piano journey on Aug 13th, 2014.
Re: The search begins ...
hogfan #2348614 11/11/14 01:54 PM
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Hey BrianDX,

Now that you've done the math, I applied the formula to my experience. My factor was just a bit north of yours!

I started out with a budget for a 20-30 year old piano and wound up with............

Like you, best money I've ever spent. It's probably the one and only purchase I use daily, for hours on end. I hear it all the time on this site; I can't believe this is sitting here, I can't stop staring at it!

Soon Hogfan, soon............blob


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Re: The search begins ...
DancerJ #2348624 11/11/14 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by DancerJ
I am gonna follow your thread closely because I live not too far from where you live and I hope I will follow your path in a couple of years. It depends on whether my piano skills improve so much that I feel I deserve a grand, though.

Hi DancerJ.

Initially my wife and I thought the same way; that we didn't "deserve" such a nice instrument. As it turns out, our grand has only increased our passion for this pastime, as well as helped us improve our skills.

There are many good reasons to hold off getting your ultimate grand. Not deserving one is not a good reason IMHO.

Best of luck! smile


Yamaha C2X | Yamaha M500-F
Groucho Marx: "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."
Curriculum: Faber Developing Artist (Book 3)
Current: German Dance in D Major (Haydn) (OF); Melody (Schumann) (OF)
Re: The search begins ...
hogfan #2348673 11/11/14 03:59 PM
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BrianDX +1


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Re: The search begins ...
Carbonblob #2349656 11/13/14 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonblob
I like your interpretations as well, keep em coming please.........blob.


Carbonblob, thanks so much for the encouragement! These pianos all sound so distinctive to me, but it's so frustrating to try to put into words what I'm hearing, without having it sound trite or cliched. The translation from music to language is a tough one. In fact, I had just about decided to abandon this thread -- I went back and re-read my previous posts and thought, "Man, I sound like a complete idiot." I'm glad to know that at least ONE other PW person didn't think so! smile


Re: The search begins ...
hogfan #2349664 11/13/14 03:07 PM
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No, you aren't crazy!!! We all hear pianos differently. And one sound will please someone while not doing much for someone else. A piano search really should be about finding that one piano that you can't live without.

I expanded my piano allowance twice during my search. The hope is not to break the bank. But, once looking and playing pianos you know you don't want to settle for something less than your dream.

When I played the piano I eventually bought, I knew it was something special within seconds of sitting down to it. I'd never played a piano that so much wanted to be played. I find it very "forgiving". It will do just about anything if you have the skill and talent. But, it also makes a beginner sound good. I look at it every single day and think how lucky I am to have it.

You'll know it when you find it!!! So, keep the posts coming. Nothing is more exciting than being along for the ride as someone looks for their dream.


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Re: The search begins ...
BrianDX #2349666 11/13/14 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by BrianDX
Originally Posted by DancerJ
I am gonna follow your thread closely because I live not too far from where you live and I hope I will follow your path in a couple of years. It depends on whether my piano skills improve so much that I feel I deserve a grand, though.

Hi DancerJ.

Initially my wife and I thought the same way; that we didn't "deserve" such a nice instrument. As it turns out, our grand has only increased our passion for this pastime, as well as helped us improve our skills.

There are many good reasons to hold off getting your ultimate grand. Not deserving one is not a good reason IMHO.

Best of luck! smile



I couldn't agree more with Brian DX. I, too, questioned whether I "deserved" a nice grand piano, when I haven't played seriously in almost twenty years. Wouldn't a good quality used upright do just as well, at least until I get my hands "back in shape" (whatever that means)?

But I've been amazed at just how much these pianos have inspired me to want to play, and to improve my piano playing. That Steingraeber made me want to go away and spend eight hours a day practicing, just so that I could begin to scratch the surface of what a piano like that is capable of. The Baldwin, I could have happily sat and played for ten hours straight -- every single day of my life. Even the best upright never makes me feel like that.

Besides, are we any less "deserving" of a fine piano than the many, many non-pianists out there who purchase grand pianos strictly to use as fancy pieces of furniture? I often find myself thinking of the many lovely grand pianos that are destined to live lonely lives, tucked away in the homes of wealthy folks who don't play, untouched, unloved, and weighed down by family photos and Christmas decorations. Isn't it our DUTY, no matter how mediocre our piano playing may be at the moment, to rescue one or two of these poor souls before it's too late? laugh

Postpone nothing.

Re: The search begins ...
dynamobt #2349834 11/13/14 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by dynamobt
When I played the piano I eventually bought, I knew it was something special within seconds of sitting down to it. I'd never played a piano that so much wanted to be played. I find it very "forgiving". It will do just about anything if you have the skill and talent. But, it also makes a beginner sound good. I look at it every single day and think how lucky I am to have it.


Interesting ... I think you've captured exactly what I loved about the Baldwin SD-6. It feels like such a generous piano -- like it wants to forgive my mistakes and make me sound like I'm a much better player than I really am. The Steingraeber, on the other hand, felt very unforgiving -- as if it is built to capture every nuance and subtlety so well, that it just can't help but highlight and magnify every poorly played note, as well. I felt that I would learn so much from that piano -- but that it would frustrate the heck out of me, too. Ah well ... I vow that one day my playing will be worthy of that Steingraeber semi-concert grand ... hopefully at the same time that I come into some serious money. smile

Thanks, too, Dynamobt, for the encouragement -- it's much appreciated!

Re: The search begins ...
hogfan #2349938 11/14/14 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by hogfan


I, too, questioned whether I "deserved" a nice grand piano,


We all deserve the absolute nicest best most fabulous grand pianos we can lay our hands on! Because as you've noticed a great piano makes you want to play it–they contain that sort of power and magic. So if the point is to play the piano and if finance and desire are more or less within range of each other in my opinion there's false economy in going down the "don't deserve it" road.

My piano search, which went on for about 18 months, ended with a Steingraeber Phoenix 205. I've found exactly what you mention about the brand ... it doesn't play itself and it's not always "kind." But it is honest in the extreme and when I get it right the Steingraeber produces sound that I just wouldn't have otherwise thought or dreamed possible. There's a softness, a clarity, and a sweetness to the sound that hard to describe but you know it when you hear it. At least as I hear it from my piano.

As a instrument to grow with and into and as an instrument that brings out unique personal sound possibilities I couldn't recommend it more. It's an amazing beast. But, again, it's not always the most "tactful" of instruments. And then all of that said, the Baldwin you describe sounds utterly magical.

An anecdote about Estonia is I live an hour north (by train) of London. Depending on scheduling and time of year, it can be less expensive to fly to Estonia to Tallinn that it can be to take the train to London. So at one point going to the Estonia factory in Tallinn was in the air ... But that's a longer story and I ended up not going (after finding my 205). Here's the last of a series of blog posts I wrote about finding what for me turned out to be the "one" (piano).

http://www.polishookstudio.com/2013/12/on-picking-piano-part-5.html

Enjoy the process of looking for the right instrument. It's unique and unbelievably rewarding!

Re: The search begins ...
hogfan #2349966 11/14/14 06:59 AM
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Was it really that long ago, I was in your shoes?

Enjoy the experience. Enjoy all the different instruments.

Funny how one or another piano sticks in your mind.

For me, while at PC, I was asked something like, well, of all the pianos you have played today, what sound did you like the best? It was a 'sold' MH! This while I was playing a beautiful upright Steingraeber (thought I was going to purchase an upright at that point - space issues)

So from then on, it seemed like everything had to compare to THAT MH! Seems like the Baldwin is your yard stick!

The other biggie that stuck in my mind was a Grotrian Charris. At least I think that is what it was called.

Haven't seen Grotrians mentioned yet. See if you can find one.

I did end up with an MH 6/2. It is nice, and was in my budget.

One other thing to consider...new pianos need time to break in, and regulations, and voicing. And as you noted, time spent on it (the Baldwin)

You will find many beautiful pianos. And then that special one that says it's yours!


"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."
Re: The search begins ...
lilylady #2349993 11/14/14 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by lilylady
Was it really that long ago, I was in your shoes?

Enjoy the experience. Enjoy all the different instruments.


No, lilylady, it feels like it was three months ago.

Great to see you here!


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Re: The search begins ...
hogfan #2350093 11/14/14 12:54 PM
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If we love playing the piano, I believe that there is no better "investment" that we could make in acquiring a good piano. At the time I purchased my grand piano, I was a little apprehensive about outlaying a significant sum of money on my piano when retirement was looming. I remember a friend telling me that buying the grand piano was my retirement. Now, every day, when I see and play my piano I am reminded of the wisdom of those words.

Hogfan, I hope that you can find a beautiful piano which will be an affirmation not only of your passion for playing the piano, but also of your personal happiness and return to good health.

Kind regards,

Robert.

Last edited by Robert 45; 11/14/14 12:57 PM.
Re: The search begins ...
hogfan #2350171 11/14/14 03:40 PM
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hey Hogfan,

By what I'm reading, nobody here thinks you're an idiot! Your passionate observations seemingly cause many to pause and reflect not only our journey but; why this piano?

Reading many posts on the subject I've arrived at this conclusion: More often than not, the piano we eventually fall for was never on the list. With 1,514 views (at last count) you can rest assured, you're making for a good read..............blob


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Re: The search begins ...
Mark Polishook #2351651 11/17/14 09:09 PM
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Thanks to everyone who's replied for the encouragement! I AM having fun chronicling my piano search, and maybe it will even prove useful to someone else down the line ...

Originally Posted by Mark Polishook
My piano search, which went on for about 18 months, ended with a Steingraeber Phoenix 205. I've found exactly what you mention about the brand ... it doesn't play itself and it's not always "kind." But it is honest in the extreme and when I get it right the Steingraeber produces sound that I just wouldn't have otherwise thought or dreamed possible. There's a softness, a clarity, and a sweetness to the sound that hard to describe but you know it when you hear it. At least as I hear it from my piano.

As a instrument to grow with and into and as an instrument that brings out unique personal sound possibilities I couldn't recommend it more. It's an amazing beast. But, again, it's not always the most "tactful" of instruments. And then all of that said, the Baldwin you describe sounds utterly magical.


Mark, I enjoyed your post on your own piano search -- and lucky you, coming home with a Steingraeber! Your description is spot on with my own experience -- I described it to my fiancé as "brutally honest". I actually did not like the Steingraeber at all the first time I played it. I felt that it was fighting me the whole time, the tone sounded cold, and the action felt weirdly "alive", like it was vibrating or pulsating, it was so responsive. Very, very weird and intimidating. But the more I played it, the more I discovered the "softness, clarity, and sweetness" that you mentioned. One day, perhaps, when I'm ready ...

But yes, the Baldwin called to me in a way that no other piano I've played thus far has done. I played it for just a couple of minutes -- then stopped, threw my arms around the piano, and said, "I'll take it!" All in jest, I thought, as I was only in the market for an upright at that point, and besides, that particular Baldwin belonged to another customer.

But then there are the practicalities: Do I really WANT a nine-foot behemoth in my house? Wouldn't a smaller piano be a wiser choice? Do I have the space (both physical and acoustic) for it? In any event, while it's quite early in my search, of course, the Baldwin SD-6 does seem to have become my "yardstick". Who could ever have predicted such a thing??

Lilylady, the Grotrian Charis is VERY high on my list of must-try pianos. Hopefully I'll get to play one on my upcoming trip to Piano Row -- I have high hopes, as I love the sound that I've heard on recordings of Grotrian pianos. It seems to have the same warm, rich tone that I love in the Baldwin -- and in a much more manageable size!



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