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Hi guys, I have played Yamaha and Kawai pianos and I keep coming back to Brodmann. I am currently looking at a PE 187. I see posts on piano world going way back with people asking opinions about Brodmann pianos. So did any of you purchase? Are you still happy? How is everything holding up? Any regrets?

This is a serious lifetime purchase for me and I'd really love and deeply appreciate your input. Thanks smile
Not giving anything away but when I say lifetime purchase I prob mean (hopefully) 30-40 years before I am carted off to the nursing home....

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As a former Brodmann owner, and bear in mind I bought the piano 9 years ago and since then there have reportedly been improvements to the pianos, I would ask yourself what kind of use the piano is going to get.

If you are an occasional player, not engaging in heavy practice or teaching work, then yes, the piano will probably be fine and last a good long time before it requires any major work. How long is too difficult to say, but it's too difficult to say for any piano, and depends on the maintenance and the atmospheric conditions in which it is being kept. Hopefully 10 years anyway, and after 10 years of good maintenance and good humidity and moderate playing, it is still going strong, it will probably last another few years before you start needing to think about replacing any parts if at all.

However, if you're looking for a piano to get you through conservatoire training, or you are a going to practice a lot (3 to 5 hours a day, maybe more), and/or you have a rigorous teaching schedule, I'd encourage you to reconsider your options. As I've said, I don't know what the modern Brodmann pianos are like, and 10 years is a long time in Chinese manufacturing R and D, so someone else could chip in here. On my own Brodmann, the key bushings wore out in less than 2 years, and the action started to fail in less than 5 years (I had it regulated annually, and it was kept in good relative humidity), and the capo bar went in 5 years, causing string breakage. However, that doesn't mean that all Brodmanns are like that and it certainly doesn't mean that the present crop of instruments is like that. Best bet is to hope that some technicians who have serviced these pianos over the past ten years chip in and tell you what's good and bad about them.

For heavy work I'd recommend a minimum of a Yamaha C3 or Kawai RX3, oh and I believe that the Feurich/Hailun pianos are also proving themselves to be good in adverse situations over long periods of time, so you might want to look at something like a Feurich/Hailun 178. I use both names because they are virtually identical pianos sold under both names.


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That's a very helpful post Joe, although a bit disappointing to Mcnuffles,I suspect. It may also cause a few dealers here to offer stories of their more positive experiences, explanations of how much better Brodmann actions are now, or information about the 10 year warranty. We'll see...

Before you posted, I had thought Brodmann used a Renner action, but your post made me look and apparently that's only on their AS series or the PE228, and those retail for double the price of the PE line.

May I ask if you were playing several hours every day, and what happened to your piano when those items started to fail? Brodmann claims a 10 year warranty. Did they pay to have a a tech come out and replace the bushings, did they replace the action, and was the capo bar something they could fix?



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Originally Posted by Toddler2
Did they pay to have a a tech come out and replace the bushings, did they replace the action, and was the capo bar something they could fix?]


I could be wrong, but I don't think key bushings, hammers or other general "wear" parts are covered under a manufacturer's warranty. I think the only things covered are catastrophic failures on cast-iron plates, sound-boards, etc...

And, even if they are, breakage and wearing out are two different things. For example, is wearing out an action due to heavy playing considered a defect in materials or workmanship? Sounds like a good argument for the manufacturer to not replace these normal wear parts under warranty.

For consumers interested in buying an expensive new acoustic piano, I'd read the manufacturer's warranty really well, and ask questions before purchase.

Just my .02.

Rick


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That's a good point on breaking vs wearing out. Still, 2 to 5 years ...
Also, Joe may take exception to you implying his playing wears out actions and induces vomiting

Originally Posted by Rickster
breakage and wearing out are two different things. For example, is wearing out an action due to heaving playing considered a defect in materials or workmanship? Sounds like a good argument for the manufacturer to not replace these normal wear parts under warranty.
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A piano should have very little wear if used by a pro pianist for10 years. At least in the general mechanics. Regulations and refilling of hammers excluded.

2 to 5 years is not a piano. It is a piece of furniture shaped to resemble a piano.

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Originally Posted by Toddler2
Also, Joe may take exception to you implying his playing wears out actions and induces vomiting

Not sure where this came from... especially the vomiting part. Didn't I call it puke (as we say here in the south)? grin

Joe knows me better than that. smile

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I don't take exception to anything Rickster said, but I think he meant heavy playing rather than heaving LOL!

In the UK, the warranty on the Brodmann was only 5 years, and the manufacturer at that time, the representative in the UK who is no longer with Brodmann, was incredibly unhelpful when it came to honouring the warranty, as was the dealer (who has now ceased trading it has to be said).

In the end, when I bought my current piano, I sold the Brodmann, and a very good friend who is a technician did a lot of sterling work on the Brodmann preparing it for sale, making good the capo bar, doing a thorough regulation and knocking on of the keys (I'm not sure what that is.....), voicing, tuning, and some re-centering, and it is now with a very happy owner who is an occasional player.

I was practising a lot on the piano and it just couldn't cope.

But as I said, that's ONE Brodmann out of however many there have been made. I know one other pianist who has a Brodmann the same age as mine, and he's trying to sell it because he's not happy with the action, but I don't know if his piano has developed problems or is just not quite what he wants anymore.


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Hi Joe,
Glad you caught that I was joking about his typo smile

Heavy playing or not, 2 to 5 years isn't very long. You are indicating a sampling size of 2 with both having action issues. I agree it's not a reasonable sample size, but one of the concerns I always have with wooden products from China is that importing high quality wood is expensive. It offsets a lot of China's labor savings. On something like a piano action, there's a fair bit of wasted wood, so the cost increase for high quality wood is significant. My son's drums are made in China, but use wood imported from the US and Africa. Chinese craftsmen can be very skilled, so maybe Renner actions just use higher quality wood? Either way, I wouldn't consider a Brodmann a lifetime pianos based on what you're saying.


McNuffles, in my PM, I had asked the age of the Brodmann you were looking at. How old is it, and how much are they asking for it? Is it more than $10k?




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Hi everyone thanks for your thoughts. I appreciate them. The Brodmann that I am looking at is the PE 187. It's new and it's selling in Australia for about 19,000 AUD. I am doing a performing dip and I teach a few students a week too. The reason why I keep coming back to the Brodmann pianos is the action. I have chronic tendinosis. I have played so so many pianos the past 3 weeks.
When I play a piano that I have found an action I like (they are always now second hand pianos where is action is relaxed a bit) I have had major flare ups afterwards. I had played the Brodmann pianos initially and went back again yesterday played for a hour an no flare up. The action really suits me.
It's actually a beautiful looking piano, but I am not buying a piece of furniture. With my hand (well arm) problems by Rach playing days are over. Technical work I find difficult (the most technically demanding work I am doing is the Bach e minor Toccata, the final fugue is killing me!).
This is my one chance in a lifetime buy to a good piano. If I buy the Brodmann my resale options are going to be limited. I can't afford to stuff it up from so many angles.
Thanks everyone
I guess, if the piano dealer in Melbourne is reading this he will be having a chuckle smile

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Hi Mcnuffles,

To be honest, I wasn't originally a fan of the PE187 on first impression - it was probably a combination of the disproportionate amount of hype surrounding the brand on this forum (I've been left wanting more than once when comparing a piano against the flowery prose bestowed upon it by dealers who sell them), a less than thorough amount of dealer prep, and placement in an environment with inadequate maintenance and humidity control.

The last two NAMM shows, I've really come to like this model an awful lot for the price, and it seems particularly strong among the Brodmann model lineup. I don't have any long-term ownership data, but oftentimes the quality of the dealer (and the distributor for a given country) is critical to the after-sales support experience. If you love the piano and the dealer has a strong reputation, it's certainly worth considering for purchase.


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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Hi Mcnuffles,To be honest, I wasn't originally a fan of the PE187 on first impression - it was probably a combination of the disproportionate amount of hype surrounding the brand on this forum (I've been left wanting more than once when comparing a piano against the flowery prose bestowed upon it by dealers who sell them),...
Hype? What hype?? grin

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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
If you love the piano and the dealer has a strong reputation, it's certainly worth considering for purchase.


Seems like a lot of people like it's tone and it's action when new.
But the question is, is it worth considering as a 40 year purchase?


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We almost bought a Brodmann upright a few months back. We really like the action and the warm sound, but in the end decided against it because of the unclear warranty and annoying salesperson. At first the salesperson said it's 10 years transferable manufacture warranty. Then I heard from another shop (who also selling Brodmanns, but 500 miles away) that Vienna Brodmann filed for bankruptcy 2 yrs ago, so warranty would be honor by the seller. Then another dealer said that Brodmann has ceased production of their pianos, so procuring parts maybe a problem in the future. Since this dealer tried to sell us another brand, this may be untrue but simply scare tactic. Anyway, I went back to the original dealer with this information, but they kept on giving me the runaround. In the end, they said they didn't know and I would need to call their distributor to find out. Furthermore, the salesperson told me I should not ask too many questions, nobody knew what the future hold, if I liked the piano I should bought and enjoyed it now, blah blah blah. Needless to day, I was not very happy and decided to buy from the competitor.

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Originally Posted by Chu Bun
Then another dealer said that Brodmann has ceased production of their pianos...


Untrue. They had a very healthy display of almost their whole lineup at the NAMM show this year.


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Hi Mcnuffles,

If you really like the sound and action of the piano, I would say go for it. A sample of two pianos with problems doesn't say much about the quality of a whole brand or even model.

On the other hand, if you ever choose to buy another grand piano in a store, you could ask them to regulate the action to make it feel lighter/closer to your preference. On my baby grand, a slight hammer mass reduction made a big difference and techs say this also makes the action parts last longer.

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Since Brodmann is a fairly readily available piano where you are, Mcnuffles, I wouldn't pull the trigger just yet.

I take on board what Terminaldegree is saying, because (s)he has a lot of experience with pianos in a performing and teaching context, and has a lot of valuable advice regarding most instruments available new today.

I think that on my own Brodmann, a lot of the issues were to do with the way that the action was designed. When it went in for the servicing before I sold it, the technician who serviced it said that while it wasn't the best action he'd worked on, it was far from bad, and the problems were more down to rushed workmanship in the first place. My own example had a bit of a lacklustre treble, although the rest of the piano was good sounding. Of course it sounded excellent when it was new, and it had a good touch, and that's what attracted me to it in the first place, but there were things about it that quickly showed up as substandard. But that was 9 years ago, and my friend's piano was bought 9 years ago, and things have moved on, and it's true, two pianos is not a fair sized sample. For instance, I've played more than a couple of chronic Steinways, a couple of duff Bösendorfers, at least one brand new incredibly weak Blüthner, and even a Fazioli that just annoyed me more than anything else - and these are the cream of the crop. It happens.

The warranty is sometimes unclear, but you need to talk to your dealer about it should you decide to buy the piano. I can't honestly say if the piano will be fine for you or not, because I can't see the piano in the flesh, and even if I could, I couldn't predict its performance over the long term. The dealer back-up and prep is really important on every piano - regardless of which tier it sits in - and you should always buy from a dealer you trust.

I'm a bit worried about your tendonitis. What has caused it? Is it from playing? Are there other issues causing it? You should really consider looking into the issue more. Start by talking to laguna_greg on here - he's an expert in the treatment of RSI, and have a look at the Taubman approach to piano playing which has proved invaluable to many people suffering the same thing.

A lot of pianos can come across as having a stiff or heavy action, and a lot of the time it's something simple. I've played a few Yamahas for instance, in the past, that start out as feeling pretty heavy but over time turn out to be smooth and light, and a technician told me once that on Yamaha, the capstans were rough to start with and polished down after a few months of playing (true or not? I don't know, someone else here can verify). Mostly, it's rough regulation. Sometimes it can even be the room a piano is in, or the tuning of a piano, can all contribute to the perceived touch of the instrument. Of course neither the room nor the tuning have any influence on the actual touch weight, but it affects how we hear the piano, and how we respond to it.

Good luck and keep us posted. The Brodmann may well be fine, it's good that you are giving it serious consideration, and it's also good that you are looking for the cons as well as the pros, it means that you are carefully weighing up your options.


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Given this:
Originally Posted by Mcnuffles
This is a serious lifetime purchase for me and I'd really love and deeply appreciate your input. Thanks smile
Not giving anything away but when I say lifetime purchase I prob mean (hopefully) 30-40 years before I am carted off to the nursing home....


I find it hard to believe anyone is actually saying buying a Brodmann is a reasonable idea based the information in this thread. We have zero positive long term outcomes from anyone. I should add, I'm impressed the dealer who sell these are not jumping in and telling stories about happy customers. Kudos to them for respecting the OP's request.

Mcnuffles,
You mention tendinosis. (Ok, I think you said tendinitis, but it's probably tendinosis)
How big are your hands? Span thumb to pinky when stretched open...
Todd


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Toddler,
Exactly how many "long term outcomes " are you basing that supposition upon?


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100% of the data currently provided after over 600 views of this thread. That's 2. Not bad in my line of work.

If we accept a 10% failure rate in 10 years, which is high in my opinion, we now need 18 positive experiences of 10 years or more.

Even if we only take Joe's experience and discount his reporting of his friend's experience, we still need 9 positive outcomes. Do you see any?

Todd


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