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Re: Grand for $15k - how much voicing can i expect? [Re: rhawke] #2796286 12/28/18 04:59 PM
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Thanks again for all the responses, I really appreciate all this input!

PianoWorksATL: So is voicing done entirely at the dealership or do you typically have to "voice to the final room"? Sorry for all these questions, until 3 weeks ago I didn't even know voicing existed. Our home with an almost square room and so far only hard surfaces will probably make the sound brighter? Would you in such situations typically do some minor voicing at the 2-3 month tuning?

oldMH: I had been to the Steinway dealer in River Oaks about a year ago on a Sunday but the sales person appeared not very knowledgeable ... i had a feeling he was there to sell "expensive furniture" to the 10 Million Dollar homes in River Oaks instead of finding a regular guy a piano ;-) But I guess I should not have written off a store simply based on one interaction. But if they still only carry new models as they did last time I was there, then nothing will be in my price range. I played the Boston and Essex and the Boston I liked but the Essex just didn't sound right to my ears ...

Houston Piano Company is an interesting place. They have lots of used pianos but many of them are out of tune. I played three Baldwin Model L from the 70ies and 80ies there and out of the three only one sounded ok to me. They have 3 different buildings with multiple rooms in each, with completely different acoustics in each which makes comparing acoustics very difficult. But they are the only dealer that has Brodmann and Ritmuller pianos in Houston.

Fort Bend Music Center I had been to the one above the furniture store. Not sure if I had the same sales person, but he sure was chatty. That's where I found the two Knabes that were completely out of tune, but I will go back there tomorrow to try them, now that they told me they tuned them. Do you think it is worth the drive to go by the other location out Missouri City?

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Re: Grand for $15k - how much voicing can i expect? [Re: rhawke] #2796306 12/28/18 06:31 PM
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The Steinway dealer has a collection of new and used pianos at the Selection Center (or whatever they call it) downtown. You can make an appointment to go there privately. They may have some rich clients but they also work with most of the artists who come to Houston and borrow C&A pianos so they seem to have figured out what they are doing. Much better than the previous Steinway dealer in Houston (which went bankrupt).

The Brodmann pianos are an interesting brand. Good looking. Well priced.

FBMC in Stafford is worth a look, only 20 minutes away on the freeway on a Saturday.

Re: Grand for $15k - how much voicing can i expect? [Re: rhawke] #2796470 12/29/18 10:54 AM
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Hello rhawke,

At the dealership, we voice to achieve something representative of the pianos's strengths, as well as for evenness. If we have several similar examples, like for one of our new brands, we may have one set up as bright and another as mellow to show some of the range and effect of voicing, but we don't always have that luxury.

Further, we accommodate voicing requests if it remains in a normal range, provided the customer's interest seems sincere and we feel confident in the request. Custom voicings require a commitment.

What is far more common is that a customer likes or generally prefers one of our pianos as presented, but may ask for a minor change prior to or after delivery. That's why the typical and good advice is to start with a piano you like.


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Re: Grand for $15k - how much voicing can i expect? [Re: rhawke] #2796529 12/29/18 02:21 PM
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Always beware of budget creep. People who populate piano forums are the world's worst at spending someone else's money. Because until you hit a certain (expensive) point, there is always a better piano out there. Once you hit expensive, it's more a matter of "different" and personal preference, than "better". Law of diminishing returns, and all that.

Never played a CE175, but I have a friend who services two of them in a piano bar. They've held up much better than he was expecting. I have seen the Ritt in person...One of the first Chinese pianos I ran into that could "sing". But it has to be in-tune to do so, at least IME. As for the Knabes, pianos can be different...I ran into a very nice 5'9" base level a few years ago and seriously thought about buying it. Just keep an open mind.

You might find a lot more piano for your money going the used route, with all the usual caveats.

Just a word or two of advice...If you need to be firm with your budget, be firm. Play pianos from $10k to $15K, narrow it down to what you like and then give your dealers the opportunity to tweak and tune the piano for you. Then make your decision.


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Re: Grand for $15k - how much voicing can i expect? [Re: rhawke] #2796662 12/30/18 02:11 AM
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Thanks PianoWorksATL. I wish the local Ritmuller dealer would do what you are talking about. After playing in more depth today on a GH188R, I noticed a few out of pitch notes and some minor metallic buzzing coming from the strings on 2-3 keys. When I asked about these, they told me "well this is because this piano has not been fully prepped yet. We like to do that in your home so that it is adjusted to your room conditions instead of prepping it fully here in the showroom. That's why we give you one free tuning after the piano has been delivered."

Jolly: The budget creep already happened ;-) My wife insisted to stay at 10,000 max but we quickly realized that this is difficult to achieve whereas opening it up to 15,000 at least gave us quite a lot of choices. So we said if it is a piano that just feels right, then we will go up to 15,000.

That being said, I played a 1989 Baldwin Model L at another dealer and he is very eager to sell it (according to him it's been sitting for a while due to cosmetics). I just started a new post on that particular piano, since it would go too far from the main purpose of this thread.

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...d-1989-baldwin-model-l-63-good-year.html

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