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When I was seeking a new grand piano, I had hoped to find one which in style matched the other ultra-modern furnishings of my home. With the exceptions of offerings from Sauter and Bosendorfer (both being far beyond my price range) and Story&Clark (simply not good enough an instrument), no piano manufacturer offered such a choice. All of them only offer the same "classic" design, sometimes with additional traditional variants.
Why don't more of the manufacturers make at least one model in a tasteful, modern design like a Sauter?
There could possibly be a number of reasons why many piano manufacturers don't offer ultra-modern designs, some of which may be :
- designing outside the traditional flat box would not only mean a redesign of the case, it may also require a redesign of the scale of the instrument, depending on the materials used for the new case and its shape (I've seen images of transparent, acrylic pianos, but I have no idea how they sound.) - there would undoubtedly be a much smaller market for an ultra-modern design, so the design, depending upon how far from traditional it would have to go, might be a money-loser for a manufacturer, Seiler's offering notwithstanding. - most piano buyers are traditionalists when it comes to the appearance of their instrument. Some of us actually love the traditional design (reluctance to change?). I think that few of us would want an ultra-modern design because the majority of homes are either traditional or non-descript (!) in design. For the purchaser, the extra cost might not be justifiable. - some traditional "die-hards" might look askance at such an instrument, wondering: "Yes, but is it a real piano?"
Hey Jonathan, I've got an idea. Like you, I favor an ultra-contemporary look for my home. While I do think that a black grand that doesn't have 19th Century flourishes is timeless enough, there is something to be said for having your instrument reflect that it's the 21st Century. Steinway made a few subtle design changes to their newer grands--namely in the music desk, that brings it a bit more up to date.
If you're talking about your Estonia, maybe speak to them about having a custom music desk and legs carved to replace the ones you've got. I think these components would go a long way toward edging the instrument more toward a contemporary design without compromising the design or necessitating a six-figure purchase of a new instrument.
And Bruce, I can understand what you're saying about traditionalists, but I think that a design only retains its appeal so long. Consider those old grands from the turn of the century with all the elaborate carvings and "ice cream cone" turned legs. Every time I saw one of those or one with Chippendale legs, I immediately passed. I didn't even sit down to play it. If I went with a Steampunk home (which was a notion I playfully entertained), it would certainly be a lovely centerpiece. But amid the mid-century cubes and hexagons that won out, I think it would look ghastly, to say the least.
Last edited by Markarian; 11/19/1402:53 PM.
2012 NY Steinway Model B | Kawai MP11 | Nord Stage 3 Compact | Moog Matriarch | ASM Hydrasynth 49 | Sequential Circuits Prophet 10 Rev4 | Yamaha ModX 61
Some of the best makers have made modern art-case instruments with exorbitant price tags and not always, in my opinion, a very attractive result. Personally, I believe that the traditional, classic shape for grand pianos has a timeless elegance which enhances any interior.
It is all rather irrelevant. Jonathan wanted a contemporary styled piano at competitive prices. As far as I know, only the Yamaha CX line offers that in today's market. If there are others, I would be interested in knowing about them, as well.
1 April 2014: "We have completed building, and publicly exhibited a grand piano made almost entirely out of carbon fibre, which is almost ready to go into production. If any reader feels he wants to be the owner of one of the first grand pianos made almost entirely out of carbon fibre, we are ready to contract to supply and would be delighted to discuss terms."
Ian Russell Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 140cm Ibach, 1905 F-IV, 235cm
I think carbon fiber pianos are a myth. Someone come on here and prove they are more than just a trade-show curiosity. Gimme some recordings and a price tag.
That's precisely what inspired my comment above. Plenty of pics, no recordings. What gives?
If only there were a website you could visit to search for such things. What a shame it doesn't exist. If it did, you might find this video:
You call that a recording? That's possibly the worst promotional video for anything I've ever seen. I was talking about a professional audio recording with quality microphones, playing some real music - not bashing out a few pop chords on an out of tune piano with the background atmosphere of a county fair.