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5 ft 3 (160 cm) grand - too many compromises?
#2350644 11/15/14 04:33 PM
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I am considering buying a Ritmüller GH160R. But after reading a lot of old threads here on PW about small grands, I am getting second thoughts.

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1340531/Re:_Why_a_large_upright_over_a.html#Post1340531 (and similar posts made by Del and others)

Although even the GH148R got praise for it's bass in

http://www.pianobuyer.com/fall10/96.html

and I guess the GH160R would be even better, there are still a lot of posts about the compromises made in a 5 ft 3 (160 cm) grand.

I am upgrading from a 47" (120 cm) Nordiska upright. I don't even know if the 160 cm Ritmüller is a clear, unambiguous upgrade in bass, in treble, in tone etc.

Is the 160 cm too much of a compromise? And if so, where is the sweet spot for a "shortish" grand for the living room? I guess you could just say "as long as possible". But reading posts from Del and others, it seems that it is a case of diminishing returns after a certain point. Also, there is quite a difference in price...


Nordiska 120CA (Dongbei) upright from about 2004, Kawai MP11 digital piano, Sennheiser HD 600 headphones.
Re: 5 ft 3 (160 cm) grand - too many compromises?
pinkfloydhomer #2350655 11/15/14 04:59 PM
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It depends on the design of that particular small grand. Some sound quite good, some sound quite bad, you have to find the individual piano that has the sound you want in the space you have available.

I don't know the Ritmuller pianos at all incidentally, but I have played good and bad examples of baby grands.

Re: 5 ft 3 (160 cm) grand - too many compromises?
pinkfloydhomer #2350663 11/15/14 05:25 PM
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From this page.

...For the new models, Thomma created new rims, plates, and stringing scales. The rims all have rather wide, flat-nosed tails, a shape that allows the bass bridge to be placed farther from the rim. In addition, the tails of the bass strings, between the back bridge pins and the hitch pins, are longer. This arrangement permits the bass bridge to vibrate more freely, among other things giving the bass sound greater clarity. Although this phenomenon was amply demonstrated by all three pianos, it was especially noticeable on the 5' 3" model, which lacked the "muddy" bass often characteristic of small grands. ...

Of course, we would all own a Bosendorfer, a Steinway and/or a Fazioli if we had the budget. I'm not saying the GH160 is incredible, but depending on your budget it could be amongst the best candidates, especially as you mentioned elsewhere you're looking for a dark and more "classical" sound. As always, don't buy one before trying it for yourself.

Re: 5 ft 3 (160 cm) grand - too many compromises?
pinkfloydhomer #2350669 11/15/14 05:37 PM
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Traditionally, 6 feet has been the "minimum" for a lot of people. That said, there are a variety of shorter pianos, and some are better than others. Some of the newer designs have been well received. Ultimately, though, it's your ear that needs to be pleased.



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Re: 5 ft 3 (160 cm) grand - too many compromises?
pinkfloydhomer #2350679 11/15/14 06:22 PM
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pinkfloydhomer - Have you considered going "up" a size? I have a GH170R. You woudn't think that roughly 10 centimeters larger would make such a sonic difference, but it does. I tried several GH160Rs (different finishes), but they didn't sound as good as the GH170R! Strangely enough, my dealer had a GH188R as well, but I still preferred the GH170R. The GH170R is considered "parlor-sized" rather than being in the baby-grand category. If you're not absolutely "space-constrained" you might want to try it and other brands like the Hailun 178. They generally would run a couple of grand more. Good Luck in your search! grin


I'm Craig, I'm retired, It's Saturday every day!
Alfred's Masterwork Classics Vol 3 and Vol 4
YDP-160, GH-170R
Alfred 1 Graduate
Re: 5 ft 3 (160 cm) grand - too many compromises?
pinkfloydhomer #2350681 11/15/14 06:26 PM
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The trade off between length and cost is a completely personal decision. Only you can decide where your sweet spot is. In most cases, the quality of the piano at a given length and not just the length is an important consideration.

And remember that review in the PB is only one person's opinion even though that person is well qualified since they are a RPT. The reviews in the older Piano Book were often based on the opinions of many qualified people.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 11/15/14 06:27 PM.
Re: 5 ft 3 (160 cm) grand - too many compromises?
pinkfloydhomer #2350682 11/15/14 06:27 PM
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The Ritmüller GH160 is a very nice piano with Duplex scale, IMHO quite superior to many other pianos by same size.
Smaller grands often have pretty harsh trebles: the 5'3 Rit definitely has "not"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkNGRbEWT4o

However, agreeing with Emissary: if can afford the 5'7 GH 170, go for it.
It's a truly beautiful, almost stunning sounding piano.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JikZbTZCbRc

Norbert

Last edited by Norbert; 11/15/14 06:31 PM.

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604-951-8642
Re: 5 ft 3 (160 cm) grand - too many compromises?
Retsacnal #2350687 11/15/14 06:34 PM
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Traditionally, around 5 feet has been the maximum for a lot more people than those for whom 6 feet has been the minimum.


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Re: 5 ft 3 (160 cm) grand - too many compromises?
pinkfloydhomer #2350729 11/15/14 07:44 PM
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The point of diminishing returns is usually around 7-9 feet. Some people prefer the 7 foot sound better than the 9 foot sound (although the bass in a 9 foot piano is almost always better).

The bass is where a 5 foot piano is really going to suffer. In some pianos of that size, it sounds bad all the way up to middle-C. Pay attention to that and see if it's something you can live with.

If you can't hear the weak bass, then don't buy a piano until you can. Once you can hear it, then you'll really appreciate what you're getting.


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Re: 5 ft 3 (160 cm) grand - too many compromises?
phantomFive #2350843 11/16/14 01:02 AM
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Originally Posted by phantomFive
The point of diminishing returns is usually around 7-9 feet. Some people prefer the 7 foot sound better than the 9 foot sound (although the bass in a 9 foot piano is almost always better).

The bass is where a 5 foot piano is really going to suffer. In some pianos of that size, it sounds bad all the way up to middle-C. Pay attention to that and see if it's something you can live with.

If you can't hear the weak bass, then don't buy a piano until you can. Once you can hear it, then you'll really appreciate what you're getting.


Sadly, once you've developed "golden ears", everything is now a compromise between the size of your wallet and the size of your room!


I'm Craig, I'm retired, It's Saturday every day!
Alfred's Masterwork Classics Vol 3 and Vol 4
YDP-160, GH-170R
Alfred 1 Graduate
Re: 5 ft 3 (160 cm) grand - too many compromises?
pinkfloydhomer #2350884 11/16/14 04:01 AM
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What I want to know is this: Would a Ritmüller GH160R be a clear upgrade from my current Nordiska 120CA upright, or would the Nordiska actually be better in some respects?

If the GH160R is too much of a compromise, I would seriously consider the GH170R (or even the GH188R, I don't have room for any longer than that), although the price I am offered in Denmark is very high.

But... The prices I have been offered are not very compelling.

By the same dealer, I've been offered the Kawai GE-30 for $15600. The SMP in pianobuer.com is $22190.
The prices he is offering on the Ritmüllers is GH160R $12600, GH170R $16800, GH188R $21000. The SMP in pianobuyer.com for GH160R is $13190, GH170R is $15590, GH188R $18990.

If seems to me that even the GH188R should cost less than the GE-30. He is offering me the GH170R for more than the GE-30. If he could offer me the GH188R for less than his offer on the GE-30, I would probably take the GH188R, or at least the GH170R. But I don't want to be or feel ripped off.

http://www.pianobuyer.com/fall14/228.html
http://www.pianobuyer.com/fall14/238.html


Nordiska 120CA (Dongbei) upright from about 2004, Kawai MP11 digital piano, Sennheiser HD 600 headphones.
Re: 5 ft 3 (160 cm) grand - too many compromises?
pinkfloydhomer #2350901 11/16/14 05:06 AM
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http://www.pianova.com/en/products/list/grand-piano/ritmueller/gh160r - keep shopping?

PS $12,500 for a GH188 in Germany (before negotiation and carriage to Denmark) - ask your dealer to sharpen his pencil!

Last edited by Withindale; 11/16/14 06:43 AM.

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Re: 5 ft 3 (160 cm) grand - too many compromises?
Withindale #2350929 11/16/14 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Withindale
http://www.pianova.com/en/products/list/grand-piano/ritmueller/gh160r - keep shopping?

PS $12,500 for a GH188 in Germany (before negotiation and carriage to Denmark) - ask your dealer to sharpen his pencil!


Thanks, I wrote the above dealer about the GH160R about his best price and shipping to Denmark. I am still awaiting his response.

Where do you see $12500 for GH188R in Germany?


Nordiska 120CA (Dongbei) upright from about 2004, Kawai MP11 digital piano, Sennheiser HD 600 headphones.
Re: 5 ft 3 (160 cm) grand - too many compromises?
pinkfloydhomer #2350932 11/16/14 07:47 AM
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Googled for Ritmueller Flugel. Several came up. Model designations vary. Good luck.


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Ibach, 1905 F-IV, 235cm
Re: 5 ft 3 (160 cm) grand - too many compromises?
Withindale #2351090 11/16/14 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Withindale
Googled for Ritmueller Flugel. Several came up. Model designations vary. Good luck.


I've done that a million times, can't find GH188R at $12500.

And yes, there are older models called Ritmüller 188 or Ritmüller GP 188 etc. Those are not the same. I am looking for the GH-XXXR line of pianos.


Nordiska 120CA (Dongbei) upright from about 2004, Kawai MP11 digital piano, Sennheiser HD 600 headphones.
Re: 5 ft 3 (160 cm) grand - too many compromises?
pinkfloydhomer #2351097 11/16/14 04:32 PM
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Pinkfloydhomer, would you be so kind kind as to spell out the differences between a GH188A and a GH188R?


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Ibach, 1905 F-IV, 235cm
Re: 5 ft 3 (160 cm) grand - too many compromises?
Withindale #2351112 11/16/14 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Withindale
Pinkfloydhomer, would you be so kind kind as to spell out the differences between a GH188A and a GH188R?


I, too, have bumped into many different variations on these Ritmüller names. I think most of the "variations" are older models. On every current official Ritmüller site and in pianobuyer.com, only the GH188R and 148, 160, 170, 212, 275 versions are mentioned.

I wouldn't assume that GH188A is the same model. Most search results on this name results in Kayserburg GH188A.

I guess you are hinting at this page http://www.piano-dubbel.de/Klaviere/Fluegel-neu-gebraucht/Ritmueller-Fluegel

1) I wouldn't assume that it is the same piano
2) There seem to be some confusion in the text by the GH188A, the paragraph mentions the Salon 160 at the same time.

But I did find these other pages

http://salaomusical.co.ao/es/pesquisa/?bxMrc=51&/ritmuller
http://www.musiccentar.com/i-7437/ritmuller-gh-170r-grand-piano

Hopefully I can negotiate a more reasonable price from my local dealer.


Nordiska 120CA (Dongbei) upright from about 2004, Kawai MP11 digital piano, Sennheiser HD 600 headphones.
Re: 5 ft 3 (160 cm) grand - too many compromises?
pinkfloydhomer #2351145 11/16/14 06:28 PM
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pinkfloydhomer - Stick to your guns and insist on obtaining a GHXXXR model. I've noticed that in other parts of the world, Ritmuller pianos without the R designation are often Pearl River models that have a Ritmuller sticker slapped on them. The same goes for some Kayersburg models as well. Here in the US, the Kayersburg line has just a few models available and are very high-priced, relative to their corresponding Ritmuller and Pearl River models. The prices your dealer are quoting seem very high to me. I don't know why your dealer seems to be giving a bigger discount off the SMB for the Kawai GE-30. You would think he could match that same discount to the Ritmullers. They'd still be a little pricey, but a bit more reasonable.

One of these days, I'm going to figure out how to put the umlaut over the "u" in Ritmuller!!!! grin


I'm Craig, I'm retired, It's Saturday every day!
Alfred's Masterwork Classics Vol 3 and Vol 4
YDP-160, GH-170R
Alfred 1 Graduate
Re: 5 ft 3 (160 cm) grand - too many compromises?
pinkfloydhomer #2351273 11/17/14 03:48 AM
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Ritmüller ;-)

I just hold the U down until it gives me the options of û ü ù ú ū

Re: 5 ft 3 (160 cm) grand - too many compromises?
pinkfloydhomer #2351274 11/17/14 03:48 AM
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the last option obviously doesn't fit with the forum's format smile

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