Sorry for the delay in getting this written up. A number were wondering how we went with our purchase.
Well, as mentioned in another thread - the technique we used to choose our piano was to ignore the brand and price of the piano's, and play everything from the cheapest available right through to expensive 9' concert grands to get a good understanding of what we like both the feel and sound of.
From there we narrowed down the playing field and for our personal taste - settled on the Brodmann PEIII 187 Grand Piano.
I was reluctant to write a review immediately regarding the piano - as I tend to find that reviews done soon after a purchase are more based on hype and emotion as well as it doesn't give the reviewer enough time and experience to really get a good understanding on the piano. Even now - we've only had it for a few months - which IMO isn't a real good length of time for a review. For a piano - I think 5 years would be a more suitable time, but some have asked what I purchased and I think asking them to wait 5 years may be a little rough.
As such - I will call this a preliminary review. I'm hoping that these newer models will fair better than the 2007-2009 models that joe80 has experienced. We won't be using it as much as him but even so - I'm hoping our piano will stand the test of time. The Good
OK - straight up, we simply adore our grand piano. Aesthetically it is the nicest piano that we came across. We particularly enjoy the two tone image of the grand piano, plus the more darker wall-nut stain (as opposed to bright yellow pine stain) on the inside bell of the grand piano and the turned legs. I don't know why we didn't see more piano's that looked like this.
I apologise - I don't have a good image of our piano in our house yet, but here's a link to a picture of what the two tone looks like: Brodman PE III 187 Two Tone Photo
I'm sure some would prefer the more traditional all-black instead of the mahogany on the fall board but for us it adds nice character, and we had a choice between the two and went with this. Our decision to buy the piano was not based on looks - but we were glad that when we came down to the model we were going to purchase, that we had the option of the two-tone look.
I find the sound of the piano to be a pleasant compromise, balancing between the bright sound of Japanese style piano's (Yamaha / Kawai) and the more mellow tone of traditional European piano's. It doesn't tend to sway too far one way or the other for us but meets in the middle to our personal preferences just nicely.
We've found the touch and feel of the piano to be great. I am not a classically trained pianist (actually self-taught), however my wife is classically trained and a piano teacher. She has commented on how my playing has improved substantially as I've learned to use dynamic range far more than I ever had before. (In the past I had 2 ranges… Average, and loud
). Now I am playing with far more dynamic range - and find that I enjoy playing a lot of my music quite softly, and with "feel".
The action on the piano is also fast - certainly fast enough for me, and I consider myself quite capable of doing fast runs up and down the keys.
I love the soft-fall of the fall board feature. I kind of wish that we had the same option for the heavy lid - as I could imagine dropping it would be nasty - but we'll just have to be careful there…The Bad
Disclaimer: I am a critic with high expectations. Keep this in mind before going ahead - the below is what we found and our own personal thoughts on the matter where our expectations differed to what we found. Maybe we're expecting too much, I'm not sure - I just put this here for what it is...
Looking underneath we found some inconsistencies with some paint work on the metal. (In particular there are a few gold metal domes that have had what appears to be a 'touch up' of paint. Not something you notice unless your close and looking at it - but it just gave it a bit of a 'cheap' feeling to it when I noticed it).
We've also found that looking from the back (which we do see the back due to it being in a house and it's location) - there are some paint work areas underneath that haven't been finished off in our opinion. (Matt black instead of the gloss like the rest of the piano). Personally, we would have much preferred that any black paint was polished/glossy. I'm not sure if this is the standard for all piano's, or whether this is just a bit more of a short cut job to be expected from chinese built piano's. (I'd be interested to know if other people have the same type of matt/standard paint on the back of their's)
We've also found the seat to be rather squeaky. Again - not having a proper seat before - I'm not sure what to expect out of a seat but if I want to do some recordings of the piano - I'm probably going to have to get a different chair to sit at in order to not have squeaks coming through the paino. (Or maybe I need to adjust my posture so I don't lean on the seat - my wife keeps going on about my bad posture? )
Lastly one of the notes will sustain if we take our hand off the key slowly. From what I can tell, this occurs as the side of the damper can rest on one of the strings instead of falling between them evenly. I think this would be an easy fix for a piano tuner. (I actually think that I could probably just get my fingers and squeeze the end of the damper together to take off that 'edge' - but I'd prefer to leave it for a professional piano tuner). The issue doesn't occur if we play normally - only if I'm playing and very slowly take off the key anyway. The Ugly
We did find some disappointing things when it came down to quality control that I think justifies and 'ugly' category when spending this sort of cash on a professional series piano. Thankfully these are easily fixable, but it does leave me wondering if these are the things we've observed then what other care (or lack of) has been done in other areas we can't see.
Firstly there was polish left on the piano in various tight folds. (A couple of photo's shown below)
I don't know if this was lack of care of the shop we purchased it from, or whether this is lack of care at the factory. Thankfully something we're able to fix ourselves, but after spending so much money (at least to us) on a once in a lifetime purchase - it was a little disappointing to see the lack of detail go into quality control
Secondly we found that felt started flaking and falling off with the sustain pedals and ended up all over the carpet. This only happened within a week of playing!
Our piano tuner remarked that the wrong type of felt was used, and it was poorly implemented. He was able to fix this and completely replaced the felt with a different type that he says is more suitable for the purpose of a rod going through - as opposed to the felt that was used (which is more impact, not rubbing). (These are my words paraphrasing what I recall him saying passed on 2nd hand - so don't quote him exactly on this). Again we are very thankful that this was an easy issue to have fixed up, but it does again leave some questions in my mind wondering about quality control for the finer aspects. Since he's replaced the felt we haven't had an issue there.Summary
All in all, at this stage we are quite satisfied with our purchase (once we got the "uglies" sorted out). After going back and playing on other piano's we have been used to - we realise just how nice this piano really is to play and consider ourselves blessed. Given what we know now and in hindsight we would still make the same decision that we did but probably inspect it harder in the shop (polishing, paintwork from the rear/underneath, and now we also know felt on areas of movement such as the pedal rods).
We're hoping that as the future months and years continue that the piano holds up well we don't spot any more uglies (all these were found within a couple of weeks of purchase - we haven't noticed anything else since over the last few months). So, we're hoping that the quality stuff we've noticed is limited to the non-essential areas of the piano and that the main instrument 'under the hood' will hold up to be reliable, keeping the beautiful touch and sound that we're enjoying so much.
I would be very interested in hearing from any other Brodmann piano owners whether they had similar findings in regards to the paint, felt where the rods go, or otherwise. (Or any piano owners in general as to whether my critique is a bit hard, or spot on - especially in regards to the paint on the under/rear side of the piano).