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Impressions of Fazioli F278 #2704590
01/13/18 01:20 PM
01/13/18 01:20 PM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 98
Singapore
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Wzkit1 Offline OP
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Singapore
Had the opportunity to play and record the Fazioli 278 concert grand at the local dealer today. This particular piano had (to my ears) a rather different character from other F278s I had tried previously, both locally and in the US and UK. The first Faziolis I had played around 2006 certainly seemed on the aggressive side, with a treble tone that was clear, but clinical to my ears, with an extremely powerful bass to boot.

However the 278 I played today was far from aggressive. Although it certainly is a bright and clear instrument, there seemed to be a greater complexity to the treble tone than the earlier specimens, with very good balance between attack and sustain. Though I usually have a stronger preference for a darker tone (which explains why I replaced my Sauter hammers), the treble of this piano very much appealed to me. More importantly, it was far from aggressive, almost delicate in character, with a far more subtle bass than what I had encountered earlier. Needless to say, the action was allowed for a fine degree of control.

I have to admit that I am generally attracted to a darker, thicker and warmer tone in general (I was particularly impressed with the richness and resonance of the Bosendorfer 280VC), but the clarity and sustain of this particular Fazioli was very appealing in the more lyrical repertoire that I typically play. I can easily see how the clarity of this instrument would also be well suited for the classical repertoire, and perhaps Bach and Scarlatti as well.

Two recordings of the F278 here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXEAOdNJNtY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qU7AHkGzPOA


Sauter Delta 185, Bosendorfer 225, Ibach F III 215


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Re: Impressions of Fazioli F278 [Re: Wzkit1] #2704616
01/13/18 02:58 PM
01/13/18 02:58 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,521
Jersey Shore
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Mark... Offline
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Mark...  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,521
Jersey Shore
Never played a Fazioli. Maybe some day, since I find clarity my most important attribute of a piano's sound.

Re: Impressions of Fazioli F278 [Re: Wzkit1] #2704634
01/13/18 03:56 PM
01/13/18 03:56 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,037
Glendale, Ca.
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Dave Ferris Offline
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Dave Ferris  Offline
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Glendale, Ca.
I love Fazioli pianos ! Thanks for posting.

Hopefully Sam won't mind me posting this new video of his 2000 278. Good recording too. Excellent job Sam !
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kT9Ls6BqVI

Maybe someday here as well. The 228 is my favorite for a smaller home situation.


https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D
Yamaha CP4, CP5
Re: Impressions of Fazioli F278 [Re: Dave Ferris] #2704699
01/13/18 09:52 PM
01/13/18 09:52 PM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 98
Singapore
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Wzkit1 Offline OP
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Singapore
Thanks for posting Dave. The 2000 F278 is beautiful but at the same time quite different from the 278 I tried yesterday. Although the pianist's playing is very fine and nuanced, and the piano fully responding to his touch, one can still hear the power of this pre owned Fazioli, especially in the bass (evident in the Rachmaninoff). The tonal of the treble also is quite different - I would argue somewhat on the cleaner and purer side of the tonal spectrum, and much closer to the earliest Faziolis I tried from 2006. I had played a F278 from a similar vintage that sounded quite similar.


Sauter Delta 185, Bosendorfer 225, Ibach F III 215


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Re: Impressions of Fazioli F278 [Re: Wzkit1] #2704802
01/14/18 12:41 PM
01/14/18 12:41 PM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 954
Miguel Rey Offline
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Miguel Rey  Offline
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Nice playing and I like the recording, even though not professional the position of the mic away from the piano gives some realism of how the piano actually sounds.




Re: Impressions of Fazioli F278 [Re: Dave Ferris] #2704805
01/14/18 12:50 PM
01/14/18 12:50 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,107
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Rich Galassini Offline
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Rich Galassini  Offline
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Joined: May 2001
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Philadelphia/South Jersey
Originally Posted by Dave Ferris
I love Fazioli pianos ! Thanks for posting.

Hopefully Sam won't mind me posting this new video of his 2000 278. Good recording too. Excellent job Sam !
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kT9Ls6BqVI

Maybe someday here as well. The 228 is my favorite for a smaller home situation.


Sam always does a nice job recording. smile

I think this Faz is what the piano has become known for, Dave. I have played one or two of them that are prepared differently than this. Frankly, this piano has too much "ping" for me, unless it were on a stage or in some other large space. I personally much prefer the pastel shades and colors that other pianos can give me. Having said that, playing an instrument in a large hall is a different thing entirely and we cannot expect brilliance that will speak beyond the mezzanine while maintaining a stellar ppp that satisfies the player sitting at the instrument. It is not impossible to have both, but it is rare.

My 2 cents,


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
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Re: Impressions of Fazioli F278 [Re: Wzkit1] #2704807
01/14/18 12:52 PM
01/14/18 12:52 PM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 3,907
Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
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Keith D Kerman Online content
3000 Post Club Member
Keith D Kerman  Online Content
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Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 3,907
Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
I am a big fan of Faziolis. Beautiful pianos that sound and play as intended by an extremely knowledgeable manufacturer with real integrity.


Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales - vintage and used Steinway, Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Baldwin
www.pianocraft.net
check out http://sitkadoc.com/
www.twitter.com/pianocraft https://www.youtube.com/user/pianocraftchannel

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Re: Impressions of Fazioli F278 [Re: Dave Ferris] #2704843
01/14/18 02:46 PM
01/14/18 02:46 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 3,582
Atlanta, GA
PianoWorksATL Online content
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PianoWorksATL  Online Content
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Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 3,582
Atlanta, GA
Originally Posted by Dave Ferris
Hopefully Sam won't mind me posting this new video of his 2000 278. Good recording too. Excellent job Sam !
Hi Dave, I'm not upset, but that video is unlisted because it's only a draft...and half of a video that I hope to complete and share here later this month. I'm still making mistakes in Final Cut Pro + trying to learn new mics...there was an interesting comparison video shared here not that long ago of a Bösendorfer 290, Yamaha CFX & Hamburg Steinway D. We briefly had a pre-owned Bösendorfer 290 at the same time as this pre-owned Fazioli F278, so I could not pass up the opportunity to try.

This is the video I prefer to share of the same Fazioli but recorded in our showroom instead of our hall and with different mics. I feel I can share this one, because as of this weekend, it is sold. smile

Both are raw audio in part because I want the fidelity of what I can capture, and in part because I don't really know any audio engineering tricks. grin I think I'm most satisfied in my attempt to capture the full dynamic range. It's so naturally tempting to adjust the volume though the video because the real dynamic change is so wide.

Sorry if I've hijacked this thread. Whether or not it comes though in my ability to record, this piano is quite powerful and balanced as one would expect of this maker's reputation. It is a brilliant instrument, but never at the expense of color. I try to describe the piano as dynamically agile, so layering voices is easy for the adept performer.

Luca Fazioli shared with me that they have since changed hammers as part of refining their designs and ideal sound, and I think the newer hammers are voiced to a more intense brilliance at the factory than these ever were. I remember watching the documentary of the Fazioli prepared for an international competition, and the thoughts of their technician reflected their love for a greater variety of voicing setups even when they cater to an audience of performers that increasingly want intense brilliance. Very fine instruments with a perfectly balanced action. This one was virtually effortless to play once freshly serviced.


Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
www.PianoWorks.com
www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta
Re: Impressions of Fazioli F278 [Re: Wzkit1] #2704940
01/14/18 08:35 PM
01/14/18 08:35 PM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 98
Singapore
W
Wzkit1 Offline OP
Full Member
Wzkit1  Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 98
Singapore
Sam, no issues at all with 'hijacking'. If anything, the video of your (already sold) Fazioli has achieved my objectiive of sparking a discussion on how the Fazioli sound has changed.
Your comments on the changing of hammers over the years for more intense brilliamce is interesting. If anything, i perceived this particular F278 to be more complex tonally - although complexity and brilliance are not mutually exclusive, perhaps complimentary.
Hammers aside, are you aware of any changes to soundboard, scale design or even thee ideal Fazioli tone over the years?


Sauter Delta 185, Bosendorfer 225, Ibach F III 215


Re: Impressions of Fazioli F278 [Re: Wzkit1] #2705175
01/15/18 03:44 PM
01/15/18 03:44 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 3,582
Atlanta, GA
PianoWorksATL Online content
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PianoWorksATL  Online Content
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Atlanta, GA
I am not versed in the design progression of that model or when the hammer change occurred.
Originally Posted by Wzkit1
If anything, i perceived this particular F278 to be more complex tonally - although complexity and brilliance are not mutually exclusive, perhaps complimentary.
The more brilliant the tone, the more risk that the complexity will become uncontrolled and therefore unpleasant. Which harmonics add and which harm? That's a subjective rabbit hole.

I had to look up some definitions before writing. I think of purity in terms of consonances (octave, 4ths, 5ths) and complexity in terms imperfect consonances (3rds, 6ths, minor 3rds, 12ths). You can achieve a very full sound emphasizing the consonances in different ways. After that, designers, manufacturers and concert techs are doing their best to manage the harmonic dissonances that are ever present.

I think this Fazioli derived richness and complexity from carefully cultivated harmonics. In the spectrum of pure to complex, it was somewhere in the middle. The musical voices remain transparent because the soundboard and bridge design is so well executed that the notes to not bleed or get lost. As we discussed with the buyers that were also fans of other instruments including Bösendorfer, Mason & Hamlin, Steinway...this Fazioli rewarded good play and punished mistakes. There is no where to hide like there often is in a Steinway.

I like to demonstrate this to customers from time to time by simply doing a test of dissonance. I'll play middle B & C together and listen as they decay. How strongly is each note held? Does the pulsing dissonance remain strong or recede quickly into a more agreeable tone? The fidelity of each individual note in this scenario can be revealing especially when you re-listen to chords played in the 2nd and 3rd octaves. Do they immediately blend into a chord sound or can you really pick out 3 tones? It won't tell what you prefer, but it will help you rethink how you listen to each instrument to discover your preferences, and you will see some objective differences of pianos that have better fidelity, flatter sustain, and sometimes other strengths or weaknesses.


Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
www.PianoWorks.com
www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta
Re: Impressions of Fazioli F278 [Re: Wzkit1] #2705184
01/15/18 04:11 PM
01/15/18 04:11 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,392
Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
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Norbert  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,392
Surrey, B.C.
From my own experience, all makes depend to a very large degree on the the prep they received and the expertise and time spent by a top tech. Fact is also that many if not most stores do not employ "top techs" who in most cases do much better to work for themselves.
I know of several cases where excellent techs had to eventually quit their job as only a [surprisingly] small amount of time was given to them for each and every piano in the showroom. With many high end pianos among them....
As a result, we can easily be frustrated with the impression given by a top rated instrument and vice versa. Even a not so highly rated piano can and will go up in touch and sound hugely and it's not always a matter of spending top bucks. [have said this many times before here with the result of being constantly accused of flogging my own makes...]
There's no exception with Fazioli. They are fabulously made pianos without doubt but this in itself is no guarantor it will be the piano of your own choice. Great variations do exist and were always observed by those who played them on the various shows. Again, this is true for almost every other piano as well. But when expectations are in the sky, things can only fall from there.
Call it the "psychology of sound"
IMHO a big part of perceiving what a musical instrument is all about.
Or seems to....
Norbert

Last edited by Norbert; 01/15/18 04:12 PM.

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Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
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Re: Impressions of Fazioli F278 [Re: Rich Galassini] #2706061
01/18/18 11:59 AM
01/18/18 11:59 AM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 98
Singapore
W
Wzkit1 Offline OP
Full Member
Wzkit1  Offline OP
Full Member
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Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 98
Singapore
Originally Posted by Rich Galassini
Originally Posted by Dave Ferris
I love Fazioli pianos ! Thanks for posting.

Hopefully Sam won't mind me posting this new video of his 2000 278. Good recording too. Excellent job Sam !
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kT9Ls6BqVI

Maybe someday here as well. The 228 is my favorite for a smaller home situation.


Sam always does a nice job recording. smile

I think this Faz is what the piano has become known for, Dave. I have played one or two of them that are prepared differently than this. Frankly, this piano has too much "ping" for me, unless it were on a stage or in some other large space. I personally much prefer the pastel shades and colors that other pianos can give me. Having said that, playing an instrument in a large hall is a different thing entirely and we cannot expect brilliance that will speak beyond the mezzanine while maintaining a stellar ppp that satisfies the player sitting at the instrument. It is not impossible to have both, but it is rare.

My 2 cents,

I would tend to agree with this To my ears, the bright yet complex 'ping' of this tone sounds very appealing for the very ceilings and large floor area of this particular showroom (located in an industrial property). The brighter attack allows for the sound to project easily to the back of the hall. The only one thing that i would have liked was to have more power in the bass, which wasn't weak by any means, but needed to be pushed somewhat harder before its strength became appareng.

However i would be less sure about this brightness in a much smaller room, like a ttpical living room. I could imagine this to be overpowering. Of course, the piano could be easily voiced down, but i wonder how much of the inherent beauty associated with the brightness could be lost in the process. Some Faziolis i heard have responded beautifully to voicing down, with a beautifully rounded tone, but perhaps at the expense of power and overall dynamic range. Indeed, a number of people mentioned that a mellower and more complex tone of a Steinway or Bosendorfer would be more suited to my style of playing.

Last edited by Wzkit1; 01/18/18 12:05 PM.

Sauter Delta 185, Bosendorfer 225, Ibach F III 215



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