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Schimmel versus W. Schimmel #2825853
03/12/19 11:28 AM
03/12/19 11:28 AM
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RMdP74 Offline OP
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Hi all

I am looking into getting a W. Schimmel (either W180 or W203). They are both very new (1 or 2 years old, respectively). They look and play very nicely and I love the tone. I am just a bit hesitant about getting a W. Schimmel instead of a real German Schimmel. The piano store guy said that they are equally high quality pianos, but the W. Schimmel is assembled in Poland, where the lower working wages/benefits make the piano cheaper than the Schimmels made in Germany. He is asking for $17.5K for the W180 and $19.8K for the W203. Anybody here with experience with a W. Schimmel? Is it worth paying that price?

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Re: Schimmel versus W. Schimmel [Re: RMdP74] #2825864
03/12/19 11:52 AM
03/12/19 11:52 AM
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I don't have experience with W. Schimmel, but I do have some experience with Schimmel, and they are high quality pianos, not quite in the same league as C. Bechstein, Blüthner, or Hamburg Steinway, but they are good pianos and in this country priced accordingly somewhere below the other prestige German makes, but above Yamaha. They're probably around the same price range as Shigeru Kawai which is one of my favourite makes.

With regard to the W. Schimmel, there are a two reasons why Schimmel would opt to produce a second line of pianos in a different factory. Firstly, it offers them a chance to reduce labour costs, and secondly it offers the customer a high quality piano at a reasonable price. What it has never done for any maker, is offer the customer a piano of equally high quality to the company's flagship product, so I think it's important to get that straight now. This is true for Haessler and Blüthner, which are actually both produced in the same factory just outside Leipzig, it's also true for C. Bechstein and C. Bechstein Academy (formerly Bechstein B series), and it's true for Yamaha's CX series vs their higher priced CF and SX series.

The other thing to get sorted out in your mind is that just because it's a lower quality piano than the flagship product, doesn't not mean it's a low quality piano, so the dealer is most probably right when they say it's a high quality piano, but it's not equal to the flagship Schimmel. This wouldn't put me off buying one if I could afford it and I liked the piano. Sometimes people will go for the second line of pianos because they want a longer piano than they could otherwise afford, other people simply don't see the point in paying for the flagship product when the second line is more than good enough for them.

I wouldn't worry about which factory the piano was made in, before that I'd worry that the piano was technically sound, and that I liked the touch and tone. At this stage I wouldn't worry about things like resale value since speculating about that is generally pie in the sky, and many of us have known for years that even Steinway doesn't hold its value quite as well as the company would have you believe.

I can't comment on the prices since it seems that prices in the USA are vastly different to those in Europe. Even digital pianos over there seem to be verging on twice the price of the same instruments over here.

I hope that there might be some sense in what I've written. Schimmel is generally a good company with a good pedigree, and it's regarded as a solid and reliable piano in Europe, so I'm virtually certain the company wouldn't put their name to a piano that was in any way trash.

Re: Schimmel versus W. Schimmel [Re: RMdP74] #2825892
03/12/19 01:14 PM
03/12/19 01:14 PM
Joined: Dec 2018
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Fountain Valley
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RMdP74. What area are you in? Who is the dealer you're visiting? I'm curious.


Sales Associate

Keyboard Concepts Fountain Valley

“Without music, life would be a mistake” ― Friedrich Nietzsche.
Re: Schimmel versus W. Schimmel [Re: RMdP74] #2825942
03/12/19 03:16 PM
03/12/19 03:16 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
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France
Cosi Offline
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Wilhelm Schimmel : assembled in Poland with Chinese parts : cast iron plate (like almost every European brands, even on higher models), action ("Cape Design action" and not Renner action) etc. and European parts : soundboard, sometimes Renner hammerheads...

The problem with this kind of "budget" series is perhaps the durability...


Last edited by Cosi; 03/12/19 03:20 PM.
Re: Schimmel versus W. Schimmel [Re: Cosi] #2825955
03/12/19 03:41 PM
03/12/19 03:41 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 9,388
Phoenix, Arizona
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Originally Posted by Cosi
Wilhelm Schimmel : assembled in Poland with Chinese parts : cast iron plate (like almost every European brands, even on higher models), action ("Cape Design action" and not Renner action) etc. and European parts : soundboard, sometimes Renner hammerheads...

The problem with this kind of "budget" series is perhaps the durability...

Where are you getting your info regarding the W.S. piano's "Cape Design action?" Pianobuyer claims that the action is "full Renner."


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
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Re: Schimmel versus W. Schimmel [Re: RMdP74] #2825964
03/12/19 03:59 PM
03/12/19 03:59 PM
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France
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From highly qualified technicians who regularly discuss about these kind of things since years (European brands's transparency about their products etc.) on another forum in my country. Schimmel pianos are everywhere here, they know their stuff...You can't have Renner actions on every budget pianos...Same thing for C.Bechstein "Academy" series, they have "Silverline" actions and not Renner ones...That doesn't mean these chinese actions are bad, but perhaps not so reliable.

Last edited by Cosi; 03/12/19 04:06 PM.
Re: Schimmel versus W. Schimmel [Re: Cosi] #2825971
03/12/19 04:26 PM
03/12/19 04:26 PM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 13
Fountain Valley
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Originally Posted by Cosi
From highly qualified technicians who regularly discuss about these kind of things since years (European brands's transparency about their products etc.) on another forum in my country. Schimmel pianos are everywhere here, they know their stuff...You can't have Renner actions on every budget pianos...Same thing for C.Bechstein "Academy" series, they have "Silverline" actions and not Renner ones...That doesn't mean these chinese actions are bad, but perhaps not so reliable.

Do you have any proof? Otherwise it's just a "hearsay" statement; your opinion only. I mean no offense, I genuinely would love to see the evidence and learn more about the W.Schimmels.

Do you have any links on these forums? or especially on Wilhelm Schimmels? It would be greatly appreciated.


Sales Associate

Keyboard Concepts Fountain Valley

“Without music, life would be a mistake” ― Friedrich Nietzsche.
Re: Schimmel versus W. Schimmel [Re: RMdP74] #2825988
03/12/19 05:09 PM
03/12/19 05:09 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
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France
Cosi Offline
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France
Fourteenth post. This technician ("Gro192") is in contact with some factories in Germany (Grotrian-Steinweg, Bechstein etc.) and elsewhere. They discuss about these problems for years...anyway, I have no other real "proofs" about this...

https://www.pianomajeur.net/forum/v...55702&hilit=Wilhelm+Schimmel#p355702

Last edited by Cosi; 03/12/19 05:17 PM.
Re: Schimmel versus W. Schimmel [Re: Cosi] #2825991
03/12/19 05:16 PM
03/12/19 05:16 PM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 13
Fountain Valley
Zed Gong Offline
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Zed Gong  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2018
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Fountain Valley
Originally Posted by Cosi
Fourteenth post. This technician is in contact with some factories in Germany (Grotrian-Steinweg, Bechstein etc.) and elsewhere. They discuss about these problems for years...anyway, I have no real "proofs" about this...

https://www.pianomajeur.net/forum/v...55702&hilit=Wilhelm+Schimmel#p355702

I appreciate the resource, I'll look into that, thank you.


Sales Associate

Keyboard Concepts Fountain Valley

“Without music, life would be a mistake” ― Friedrich Nietzsche.
Re: Schimmel versus W. Schimmel [Re: RMdP74] #2825994
03/12/19 05:22 PM
03/12/19 05:22 PM
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Posts: 44
France
Cosi Offline
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France
Also read the last post of the topic on page 2, these people don't make these things up.

Re: Schimmel versus W. Schimmel [Re: Cosi] #2826016
03/12/19 06:24 PM
03/12/19 06:24 PM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 2,422
North Vancouver
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Lady Bird Offline
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North Vancouver
Originally Posted by Cosi
From highly qualified technicians who regularly discuss about these kind of things since years (European brands's transparency about their products etc.) on another forum in my country. Schimmel pianos are everywhere here, they know their stuff...You can't have Renner actions on every budget pianos...Same thing for C.Bechstein "Academy" series, they have "Silverline" actions and not Renner ones...That doesn't mean these chinese actions are bad, but perhaps not so reliable.

I would not call an Academy series of C Bechstein a budget piano .
They have a number of Bechsteins in a dealer downtown. Even the Academy uprights and grands are highly priced .It would be good if
someone on the forum, perhaps from Piano Buyer could tell us what
type of action the Academy series uses .

Re: Schimmel versus W. Schimmel [Re: RMdP74] #2826161
03/13/19 03:35 AM
03/13/19 03:35 AM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 44
France
Cosi Offline
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Cosi  Offline
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Piano Buyer source (sorry but which is not always reliable by the way)

https://www.pianobuyer.com/Resources/Piano-Brands-Profiles/Detail/ArticleId/51/Brand/BECHSTEIN-C

"The company uses its own Silver Line action in the Academy series and, in the regular series, its Gold Line action, which is made to slightly stricter tolerances. As part of its global strategy, the company uses multiple suppliers for nearly all parts; parts for the Gold Line action come from Renner in Germany, while Silver Line parts are sourced from several countries, including China. Both actions appear to be well made, and both are of the Renner design, with the smooth, responsive touch characteristic of that design."

You're right, they are not "budget" pianos, please forgive me, english is not my native language, but you got the point.

Last edited by Cosi; 03/13/19 03:43 AM.
Re: Schimmel versus W. Schimmel [Re: Cosi] #2826188
03/13/19 06:32 AM
03/13/19 06:32 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 466
Münster, Germany
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Gregor Offline
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Münster, Germany
Originally Posted by Cosi
Fourteenth post. This technician ("Gro192") is in contact with some factories in Germany (Grotrian-Steinweg, Bechstein etc.) and elsewhere. They discuss about these problems for years...anyway, I have no other real "proofs" about this...

https://www.pianomajeur.net/forum/v...55702&hilit=Wilhelm+Schimmel#p355702


I have no idea about the truth of the origin of the Wilhelm Schimmel parts. But any internet forum is not allways a good source for reliable information. For example: the technician Gro192 in that forum is talking about Friedrich Grotrian as "international assembly". This is a rumor that persists for a long time. In 2013 I attended a voicing and regulation class at the Grotrian factory. I worked on a Friedrich Grotrian upright which was assembled in Braunschweig with German parts. Only the cabinet came from Belgium. They save costs by not lacquering the cabinet. Instead of lacquer they use powder coating. They reduce costs by a more simple back post construction and a soundboard which is not first class (but second grade, from Strunz). The action is complete Renner. Even many technicians don´t believe that these Friedrich Grotrians are 100 % German pianos and the people at the factory are some sort of nerved by these rumors.

Ok, this is the status from the year 2013 (before Grotrian was taken over by the Chinese company Parsons) and to be honest I have no idea if that has changed. But it´s a good example of wrong rumors in this industry.


piano tech - tuner - dealer
Münster, Germany
www.weldert.de
Re: Schimmel versus W. Schimmel [Re: RMdP74] #2826243
03/13/19 10:29 AM
03/13/19 10:29 AM
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My first acoustic was a Wm Schimmel W180 of the same year as your used one. I loved the treble but I just didn't feel the piano had enough "presence' ie. overtones and harmonic complexity and I traded up after 6 months. Here's some basic facts:
1. Piano is the same design as their earlier 182 from
the early 2000's when they only had one model in each size. The length is 182cm, why they call it w180 I have no idea.
2. The scale is very different from their current K and C lines. I could have afforded either, but clearly preferred sound of the made in Poland model. Couldn't feel a difference in actions to the K and C lines. Couldn't really hear much difference between the w180 and w203, which was a surprise.
3. Clearly had Renner marked on the action (the Schimmel company would never put a false name any partl). Just have the dealer pull the action which takes 5 minutes and check it yourself (still have a tech evaluate it).
4. I got 19.5k on my trade in, so your price sounds fair.
5. The lid on the w180 is MDF not wood as the original 182 was, so it's noticeably heavier.
I would have no hesitancy buying the used w180 if the tech ok's it. The key factor is if you like the sound.

Last edited by Sanfrancisco; 03/13/19 10:38 AM.
Re: Schimmel versus W. Schimmel [Re: Sanfrancisco] #2826262
03/13/19 11:10 AM
03/13/19 11:10 AM
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RMdP74 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Sanfrancisco
My first acoustic was a Wm Schimmel W180 of the same year as your used one. I loved the treble but I just didn't feel the piano had enough "presence' ie. overtones and harmonic complexity and I traded up after 6 months. Here's some basic facts:
1. Piano is the same design as their earlier 182 from
the early 2000's when they only had one model in each size. The length is 182cm, why they call it w180 I have no idea.
2. The scale is very different from their current K and C lines. I could have afforded either, but clearly preferred sound of the made in Poland model. Couldn't feel a difference in actions to the K and C lines. Couldn't really hear much difference between the w180 and w203, which was a surprise.
3. Clearly had Renner marked on the action (the Schimmel company would never put a false name any partl). Just have the dealer pull the action which takes 5 minutes and check it yourself (still have a tech evaluate it).
4. I got 19.5k on my trade in, so your price sounds fair.
5. The lid on the w180 is MDF not wood as the original 182 was, so it's noticeably heavier.
I would have no hesitancy buying the used w180 if the tech ok's it. The key factor is if you like the sound.


Thanks SanFrancisco. What did you trade in for? A bigger Wm Schimmel or a different piano?

Re: Schimmel versus W. Schimmel [Re: RMdP74] #2826278
03/13/19 11:54 AM
03/13/19 11:54 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 3,780
Atlanta, GA
PianoWorksATL Online content
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CAPE is a term from Schimmel's scale designs, not action assembly. Computer Aided Piano Engineering - CAPE. Can't speak confidently about current specs, but the Konzert Schimmel's had "Full Renner" and the Vogel line (predecessor to the W.Schimmel) had "Renner Parts" - but that was when Renner only had German parts. It's comforting to get to the origin of different parts suppliers, but for anything less than a maker's top line, the line that specifications are subject to change is more about continuous supply than risking reliability to be cheaper. We get obsessed over European or American makers that do this but don't even blink when Japanese makers do this, FWIW. Pricing pressure is continuous for all pianos, but IMO, the middle (upper level mass produced vs. 2nd tier premium makes)

There is a difference between the W.Schimmel 180 and the original Schimmel SP182 in terms of overall quality and performance - but that piano was introduced when Schimmel was raising their quality from very good to premium back in the early 1990's and by the early 2000's, the finished product was at the same level as the current Konzert series. The development of the Konzert series grand pianos was a concerted effort to raise the level of design, which they did, making the previous designs available for the new lower lines that were created.

And a final note from me is that I do miss the Vogel V177 that did get replaced by the W180. The 182 scale design is better balanced and more suited to modern tastes, but the V177 was such a lovely, lyrical instrument and extremely well suited for a studio or living room. There were occasional flaws in assembly, but it had a unique voice that others will never know.


Sam Bennett
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Re: Schimmel versus W. Schimmel [Re: PianoWorksATL] #2826294
03/13/19 12:34 PM
03/13/19 12:34 PM
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Posts: 9,388
Phoenix, Arizona
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Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
CAPE is a term from Schimmel's scale designs, not action assembly. Computer Aided Piano Engineering - CAPE. Can't speak confidently about current specs, but the Konzert Schimmel's had "Full Renner" and the Vogel line (predecessor to the W.Schimmel) had "Renner Parts" - but that was when Renner only had German parts. It's comforting to get to the origin of different parts suppliers, but for anything less than a maker's top line, the line that specifications are subject to change is more about continuous supply than risking reliability to be cheaper. We get obsessed over European or American makers that do this but don't even blink when Japanese makers do this, FWIW. Pricing pressure is continuous for all pianos, but IMO, the middle (upper level mass produced vs. 2nd tier premium makes)

There is a difference between the W.Schimmel 180 and the original Schimmel SP182 in terms of overall quality and performance - but that piano was introduced when Schimmel was raising their quality from very good to premium back in the early 1990's and by the early 2000's, the finished product was at the same level as the current Konzert series. The development of the Konzert series grand pianos was a concerted effort to raise the level of design, which they did, making the previous designs available for the new lower lines that were created.

And a final note from me is that I do miss the Vogel V177 that did get replaced by the W180. The 182 scale design is better balanced and more suited to modern tastes, but the V177 was such a lovely, lyrical instrument and extremely well suited for a studio or living room. There were occasional flaws in assembly, but it had a unique voice that others will never know.

Thank you, Sam. This is excellent information.


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
Re: Schimmel versus W. Schimmel [Re: RMdP74] #2826323
03/13/19 01:11 PM
03/13/19 01:11 PM
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Francisco. What did you trade in for? A bigger Wm Schimmel or a different piano? quote

I had a dealer bring in a W206 and I208 to try with the idea of trading up. Surprisingly I really couldn't hear any noticeable difference with the W180. On the way out I tried an Estonia 210 and was blown away. Of course this is entirely based on personal sound preferences. I would characterize the W180 as just a little too pure "European" for me, but maybe not for you! Sam's evaluation was right on, the W is certainly a quality piano.


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