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Zimmerman - good piano? #316347
10/07/05 08:03 PM
10/07/05 08:03 PM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 12
Minnesota
J
junk Offline OP
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junk  Offline OP
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J

Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 12
Minnesota
Hi, any thoughts if this is a good starter piano? Good value?

http://cgi.ebay.com/Zimmerman-studi...377QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

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Re: Zimmerman - good piano? #316348
10/07/05 10:18 PM
10/07/05 10:18 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,726
Portland, Oregon
Grandpianoman Offline
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Grandpianoman  Offline
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Portland, Oregon
Hi, I don't know if this will help, but according to the Pierce Piano Atlas, since 1992, all Zimmerman pianos were made by Bechstein in Germany.


GPman

Re: Zimmerman - good piano? #316349
10/08/05 01:07 AM
10/08/05 01:07 AM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,409
Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
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Not at that time.

The piano depicted belonged to the area of former East Germany.

Junk.

norbert shocked


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
Re: Zimmerman - good piano? #316350
10/08/05 03:04 AM
10/08/05 03:04 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,288
Cincinnati
mikhailoh Offline
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mikhailoh  Offline
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Cincinnati
I've NEVER heard Norbert call a piano junk before. Caveat emptor - big time.


Michael

====

He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'
Re: Zimmerman - good piano? #316351
10/08/05 09:02 AM
10/08/05 09:02 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 12
Minnesota
J
junk Offline OP
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junk  Offline OP
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J

Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 12
Minnesota
Quote
Originally posted by Norbert:
Not at that time.

The piano depicted belonged to the area of former East Germany.

Junk.

norbert shocked
The owner claims that it is about 13 years old. Isn't that after the E. Germany era?

Re: Zimmerman - good piano? #316352
10/08/05 09:41 AM
10/08/05 09:41 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 63
New Mexico
S
shannon7 Offline
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Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 63
New Mexico
Junk,
I'm somewhat afraid of making this large of a purchase from an auction site, or anywhere other than from a reputable dealer (it IS possible to find a decent used piano, that has been inspected, for a reasonable price from a dealer- you may have to just keep looking.) However, why keep looking at little-known pianos that may or may not be any good? Here's a Yamaha which appears to be a continental:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Yamaha-Upright-...3154QQcategoryZ43377QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Simply contact the seller for the serial #, which should tell you what model, what year, etc...Then have a technician inpect it (PLEASE have ANY used piano you buy from a private party inspected!) and if it is a decent purchase, then you can always arrange for shipping. Good luck with your search.


Don't MAKE me release my flying monkeys!
Re: Zimmerman - good piano? #316353
10/08/05 10:32 AM
10/08/05 10:32 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,288
Cincinnati
mikhailoh Offline
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mikhailoh  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2004
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Cincinnati
If it is, Junk.. it's not MUCH after it. I'd steer clear.


Michael

====

He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'
Re: Zimmerman - good piano? #316354
10/08/05 01:45 PM
10/08/05 01:45 PM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 438
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, U...
Colin Crawford Offline
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Colin Crawford  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 438
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, U...
In the UK we come across these things all the time. The piano pictured certainly looks like an East German model, and in my experience, people often think their pianos are younger than they are.

Communist-era East German instruments usually have the wording VEB-Piano-Union written on them somewhere, in the cae of Zimmerman, usually on a plastic badge in the centre of the frame at the "v" shaped casting where the overstringing break is. Ask if the piano has this label.

As for quality, I'd have to agree generally with Norbert, but I would rate them significantly higher than most cheap US-built spinets of the Kimball, WurliTzer and Baldwin ilk which dating from the '60s through the '80s. Points to watch are mainly concerned with the odd plastic components used in the actions which were built by the DDR Action Factory, Pianic. Renner actions were fitted to a few export models.

A quirk of all Communist built German pianos is that the sharps are of a narrower width than standard.

Sum up?
Not totally disastrous, but only buy if very cheap indeed.


G.Colin Crawford MPTA
[Linked Image]
Re: Zimmerman - good piano? #316355
10/08/05 03:43 PM
10/08/05 03:43 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,131
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Rich Galassini Offline
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Rich Galassini  Offline
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Philadelphia/South Jersey
Colin did not miss a trick - kudos on the thorough description.


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
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Re: Zimmerman - good piano? #316356
10/08/05 04:39 PM
10/08/05 04:39 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,409
Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
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Norbert  Offline
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Surrey, B.C.
People here don't realize that a lot of damage was done previously by unscrupulous dealers who imported East German pianos for years, marketing them conveniently as fine instruments "made in Germany"......

Few years ago I saw the new Bechstein owned Zimmermans at *Piano Fischer* in Stuttgart and they were fabulous.

Starting at about 10k up, they have nothing to do with Erich Honecker's earlier little tea room tinkatoy pianos from one of East Germany's previously most decrepit cities ........

norbert


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
Re: Zimmerman - good piano? #316357
10/08/05 09:30 PM
10/08/05 09:30 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 5
P
pianocrazed Offline
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pianocrazed  Offline
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P

Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 5
RUN don't walk away from that piano. several years ago i was hired by a fancy hotel to play piano for them. i was excited beyond belief to be associated with this place and needless to say i assumed that since the waiters and waitresses for the french restaurant were recruited from france (not to mention the other exotic details of this newly built european showplace) the pianos (yes plural) were going to be the finest german piano (think schimmel or bechstein or bosendorfer). well, it turns out that they were zimmermans. i did not know of this brand but since everything else was of such premium quality in this place i gave them the benefit of the doubt. i think i played two notes before i realized that this was perhaps the CHEAPEST piano on the planet. the thing was so flimsy that i was afraid to press the pedal becuase i thought it was going to fall off! those four years playing at that place were miserable. don't even get me started about the lack of tuning stability and humidity problems with those pieces of junk. i have not played a lower quality piano ever since. i would guess that those pianos have either fallen apart by now or have had serious work done to keep them going. my advice is this: BUY A YAMAHA. i have had 4 yamahas in my life (all perfect- no flaws, beautifully clear sound, solid as a rock tuning wise) and i have played on them in college practice rooms and on gigs. there is simply no better piano available. not even steinways (actually most steinways are a disaster but that is another post). do not buy the baloney that yamahas are for jazz and pop only. ANY piano can be voiced to sound appropriate for any style of music. buying a piano is like buying a car: what is the best car out today? toyota camry or honda accord (read: yamaha). would you even consider an american car? (read: steinway, baldwin or any of the countless other formerly american names (chickering, etc. that have been bastardized by chinese compaines who have bought the names and slapped them on ridiculously cheap pianos). the answer is no. go with the proven name: yamaha. hope this helps.

Re: Zimmerman - good piano? #316358
10/09/05 12:33 AM
10/09/05 12:33 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 63
New Mexico
S
shannon7 Offline
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shannon7  Offline
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S

Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 63
New Mexico
Junk,
I just looked at that Yamaha I linked you to, and it appears that somebody asked for the serial number. If it wasn't you, the dealer listed the photo of the number #1054366.


Don't MAKE me release my flying monkeys!
Re: Zimmerman - good piano? #316359
10/09/05 01:24 AM
10/09/05 01:24 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,726
Portland, Oregon
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Grandpianoman  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,726
Portland, Oregon
Hi, If the Zimmerman does not work out, you might want to try www.rickjonespianos.com
they seem to have a great track record here on the PWorld forum for prices and service.

GPman

Re: Zimmerman - good piano? #316360
10/09/05 05:08 AM
10/09/05 05:08 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 438
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, U...
Colin Crawford Offline
Full Member
Colin Crawford  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 438
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, U...
Thanks for the compliment Rich!

I suspect that Pianocrazed was presented with a Zimmermann grand to play. These were considerably less competent than the uprights, and could easily be categorised as junk.

They were fitted with nasty actions made by the Flemming company (formerly action suppliers to Blüthner in the immediate pre-war years) which were afflicted by hammer flanges which would loosen at the earliest opportunity and damper wires which couldn't be tightened in their flanges, allowing them to twist in their registers and foul against their neighbours.

They were styled very poorly with an austere appearance and a cheaply constructed fall made of steam-formed thin sheets of plywood. Various previously illustrious brand names were used including Niendorf and Hupfeld. As Norbert has written, some of these pianos were cynically marketed to the unwary as quality instruments from Germany, but don't forget that the East Germans desperately needed hard cash, so blame our Western marketing men.

The once proud (and thankfully proud once again) firm of Blüthner could also be placed in this category, although the amount of family control that Ingbert Blüthner -Haessler managed to retain ensured that they were protected from the worst of East German build quality. Where possible, export Blüthners were fitted with Renner equipment which at least solved a few problems.

I still reckon that a very cheap Zimmermann upright isn't a disaster!


G.Colin Crawford MPTA
[Linked Image]
Re: Zimmerman - good piano? #316361
10/09/05 05:20 AM
10/09/05 05:20 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 438
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, U...
Colin Crawford Offline
Full Member
Colin Crawford  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 438
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, U...
Just noticed the start price on that eBay Zimmermann!

When it doesn't sell, offer the vendor $350 for it and not a cent more.


G.Colin Crawford MPTA
[Linked Image]
Re: Zimmerman - good piano? [Re: junk] #2468742
10/10/15 10:53 PM
10/10/15 10:53 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 2
Chico, CA
T
TheFlyingTenor Offline
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T

Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 2
Chico, CA
Colin, this post was amazing!!!

I was asked to tune a Zimmerman baby grand this week - and not a Bechstein product. After repairing a split in the case which caused the forward hinge to be loose, I proceeded to "tune" the piano.

The pins were loose
The damper wires were loose
Hammer flanges were loose

The curved fallboard reminded me of the 1906 Josef Grund Viennese grand we're rebuilding at the moment, with a very elegant'esque and Germanic swooping fallboard.

My first thought was that this was a cheaply made Chinese piano approximately 30 years old, but with some poking around it appeared to be a cheaply made German piano. A tuner had written on the keys that it was tune 3 times in later 1990. The serial number, 408092, indicates that it was made between 1985 and 1990 (1985 = 357000, 1990 = 415600), putting Date of Manufacture at the end of the DDR or Eastern Germany.

In order to make it "piano" a full day or two would be required, and who knows what else I'd encounter. Therefore, based upon build quality, I suggested tapping in the tuning pins, tuning, and consider walking away from this PSO (Piano Shaped Object) as it does not really elicit musical tones.

They paid $1000 for it about 10 years ago.

Due to manufacturing techniques and materials, there are really no "bad" pianos coming into the U.S. that I'm aware of. Yes, Larry Fine says as much, but I honestly don't think something of the quality of this Zimmerman or say 12 year old Facolnes even exist here anymore.


Vincent Chambers
The Flying Tenor
Owner - Apollo Piano
Authorized Dealer for Yamaha - Hailun - Ritmuller
Re: Zimmerman - good piano? [Re: junk] #2468829
10/11/15 07:05 AM
10/11/15 07:05 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
France
O
Olek Offline
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O

Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 9,230
France
I did not read all, but the actual ZImmerman are very good, the ones made in east Germany where not, really

Too bad that the brand have not so good reputation, the ones made today are really well designed and build traditionally they replace the brand Euterpe, as Bechstein did buy Hoffman, and Euterpe when the Langlau factory did close.

I do not know the grands, but those are not cheap pianos anyway

The East German grands where very cheap pianos.



Last edited by Olek; 10/11/15 07:08 AM.

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Re: Zimmerman - good piano? [Re: junk] #2468931
10/11/15 12:20 PM
10/11/15 12:20 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,409
Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
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I'm sorry I called that piano "junk"

Any other words suggested - if it *is*?

Norbert


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
Re: Zimmerman - good piano? [Re: junk] #2468950
10/11/15 01:28 PM
10/11/15 01:28 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
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I think it's ironic that someone named "junk" asked about the quality of a certain make, especially since the consensus at the time seemed to be that it was!


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