2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad) Piano Sight Reading
train piano sight reading with your iPhone or iPad
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
57 members (Carey, 8ude, Alex Hutor, anotherscott, Damien PG, c++, chopinetto, 36251, 8 invisible), 547 guests, and 444 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 4 of 5 1 2 3 4 5
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 234
L
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
L
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 234
My taste/opinion:

#3 Steingraeber 212
#1 Estonia 225 (dull hammers but overtones...)
#2 Steinway B rebuilt, perhaps new Baldwin? (not the best tuning...)

Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 476
D
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
D
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 476
Great thread Keith, thanks for going to all the work of arranging these recordings and posting this. All of the pianos sound lovely, I particularly like the tenor and bass in No.3. Also the pianist plays beautifully in all three recordings.

Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 71
R
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
R
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 71
Originally Posted by noyes
I would also like to ask, can most of you determine how much you like a piano within the first 10 to 15 seconds of listening to it, or as the more you listen your preference may change? And what is your piano background?


Don't take the responses in this thread too seriously. The gold standard of audio testing is the ABX test. Which is, you are given two sound sources A and B, of different instruments, amplifiers, whatever is being tested. Then you are given the X recording. X is either A or B, but you don't know which. Your only job is to say if X is also A or B.

*Everyone* falls apart on this. You can go to forums and read books worth of people opining about different amplifiers, tubes, and so on, yet they utterly fail at ABX. Same with things most people would agree make real effects, such as compression levels (mp3 vs whatever). Even when people do notice differences, it is variable, and will get different results on different days. I'm not saying people would confuse a xylophone with a trumpet, but we are profoundly affected by brand, expectations, and so on. As other's have pointed out, a significant # of string players swear by Amati, Strad, and so on, but absolutely cannot pick them out when listening blind. Suddenly, just not knowing the name makes all those amazing and obvious qualities just vanish! Heck, wine experts failed at distinguishing red from white wine (there are nuances to that test that are worth knowing if you are seriously testing wines, but still, shocking result).

And then, of course, this is not blind at all. we all get to read the responses. I see some people say 1 is warm, 3 is bright. So, what am I going to hear? I'm going to be strongly biased in that direction, unless I'm a contrarian, in which case I might go with the opposite.

I'm not bashing the thread, it's fun, but it ain't telling us much about pianos or the aural skills of the listeners. It may be you have the best ears here, or the worst. Who knows?

Anyway, my guess is it is the same piano, 3 different players. Not because I believe that, but I don't not believe it either, and I know we *want* to hear differences, and claim to hear profound differences, even when there is none. I recognize OP said "3 different" pianos, but meh, misdirection is the heart and soul of experimentation.

Last edited by RogerRL; 03/22/19 11:11 AM.

Shigaru Kawai SK-2, Kawai MP11SE
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 2,182
W
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
W
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 2,182
Originally Posted by RogerRL
I'm not saying people would confuse a xylophone with a trumpet

LOL

Originally Posted by RogerRL
but we are profoundly affected by brand, expectations, and so on.

Agreed

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,569
S
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,569
This is fun! I'm listening to about a minute at a time of each of the three. First off let me say they all sound like wonderful instruments, but I do hear differences between them. I also think I hear subtle differences in the performance based on how the piano responds to the pianist.
#1 has the roundest tone, perhaps the hammers are just a bit softer, but it seems getting sparkle out of the high end takes just a bit more effort, but getting a lush warm lyrical sound is what this piano specializes in. If I had to guess this sounds a bit like an Estonia to me.
#2 is less warm (but still gorgeous) like a recording engineer EQ'd some of the low mids out (I'm not saying they did, but that's how I would describe the timbre). This sounds more like a concert voicing (designed to project into a large space) except that the instrument was left with plenty of subtlety. It wouldn't surprise me if this was a Steinway.
#3 is between the two. One might say best of both worlds, except that it's not as good at lush or sparkle as the other two.

Kudos to the pianist for a fine performance, I really hard a difference in the filigree at the end between #1 and #2. What I didn't hear were some real thundering fortissimos. It seemed #2 and #3 could really jump out of the box if called upon, #1 less so, but given six months of 2 hours a day of practice #1 could become the best of the bunch.

Those are my thoughts and guesses. If I had to state a preference #2, then #1 then #3.

Last edited by Steve Chandler; 03/22/19 11:24 AM. Reason: correct typo

Steve Chandler
composer/amateur pianist

stevechandler-music.com
http://www.soundcloud.com/pantonality
http://www.youtube.com/pantonality
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 56
N
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
N
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 56
Originally Posted by RogerRL
Originally Posted by noyes
I would also like to ask, can most of you determine how much you like a piano within the first 10 to 15 seconds of listening to it, or as the more you listen your preference may change? And what is your piano background?


Don't take the responses in this thread too seriously. The gold standard of audio testing is the ABX test. Which is, you are given two sound sources A and B, of different instruments, amplifiers, whatever is being tested. Then you are given the X recording. X is either A or B, but you don't know which. Your only job is to say if X is also A or B.

*Everyone* falls apart on this. You can go to forums and read books worth of people opining about different amplifiers, tubes, and so on, yet they utterly fail at ABX. Same with things most people would agree make real effects, such as compression levels (mp3 vs whatever). Even when people do notice differences, it is variable, and will get different results on different days. I'm not saying people would confuse a xylophone with a trumpet, but we are profoundly affected by brand, expectations, and so on. As other's have pointed out, a significant # of string players swear by Amati, Strad, and so on, but absolutely cannot pick them out when listening blind. Suddenly, just not knowing the name makes all those amazing and obvious qualities just vanish! Heck, wine experts failed at distinguishing red from white wine (there are nuances to that test that are worth knowing if you are seriously testing wines, but still, shocking result).

And then, of course, this is not blind at all. we all get to read the responses. I see some people say 1 is warm, 3 is bright. So, what am I going to hear? I'm going to be strongly biased in that direction, unless I'm a contrarian, in which case I might go with the opposite.

I'm not bashing the thread, it's fun, but it ain't telling us much about pianos or the aural skills of the listeners. It may be you have the best ears here, or the worst. Who knows?

Anyway, my guess is it is the same piano, 3 different players. Not because I believe that, but I don't not believe it either, and I know we *want* to hear differences, and claim to hear profound differences, even when there is none. I recognize OP said "3 different" pianos, but meh, misdirection is the heart and soul of experimentation.


RogerRL, thanks for sharing these thoughts. By the way the xylophone to trumpet comparison is the funniest thing I've read in a while.

Some years ago someone posted a number of (8 or 10) recordings of Si Mi Chiamano Mimi, sang by different sopranos while all names removed. I replied with comments on each and a ranking of personal preference, turned out my top two picks (which I had a harder time discerning) were two different recordings of the same soprano Freni. Of course it is much easier to recognize a vocal voice than piano sound, but still I was glad I passed some kind of ABCDEXX test and wasn't one of those wine experts when making opera comments.

Speaking of pianos, the interesting thing is I find my preferences always change. Not that I can't hear the difference, I still feel I hear the same sound every time, but this time I like A, next time I may like B. Even within a same 4~5 minutes recording, I may not like the sound in the beginning but half way into it I start to like it. This is particularly frustrating when purchasing a piano. People always say "there's no right or wrong, just pick the one you like the most." Heck, that's the whole point, I wish I knew which one I like the most!

Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 67
T
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
T
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 67
This was an interesting experiment. I agree with Roger's post, but it doesn't take away from the fun, as long as you recognize the biases that you (we all!) bring to the table.

I thought they all sounded beautiful in different ways - to me the differences in tone were quire apparent when going back and forth between them. I'm of the camp that my preferences change as much as the weather. I dearly love my C. Bechstein, but sometimes I wish I had access to the creme-brulee-like richness of a Steinway. Vive la diference!

I won't even hazard a guess as to the makes or models....but in the spirit of going a different route, let me pose another alternative....they are all the same make and model, just different pianos!

One things is clear....the playing was lovely, and the pianos were set up beautifully. Kudos to performer and technician!


Steve
1990 C. Bechstein M-180
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 3,799
Silver Level
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
Silver Level
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 3,799
Agree, and I wonder if the order were different, whether we would experience them differently. Regardless, I'd go with 1/3 or 3/1 then 2. But I'm sure they're all excellent.


Steinway A3
Boston 118 PE

YouTube

Working On
Chopin Nocturne E min
Bach Inventions

"You Can Never Have Too Many Dream Pianos" -Thad Carhart
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 203
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 203
The limits of youtube audio probably erase/mask 90% of the audible differences (and 100% of the tactile differences!). Not my choice of music to demonstrate differences.

That being said all sound ok for mid-sized pianos.

#1 is the most substantial sounding piano and has more depth in the sound. A wild guess would be a Steinway or perhaps European instrument.

#2 is thinner, lighter and brighter. Some would say feminine or delicate. Nice sound. Maybe a Yamaha or other Asian piano.

#3 is not so pleasant. Rather muddy and definitely shallower. Baldwin? Kawai?

Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,847
E
5000 Post Club Member
Offline
5000 Post Club Member
E
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,847
I have seen enough recording studio work to have learned that a piano that doesn't sound/feel that great can be recorded to sound quite good. The super sensitive microphones, wide choice of added reverb, dynamic compression and frequency EQ allow for a multitude of "adulterants" to the original sound.

So as much fun as this is, it ain't real!


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: toneman1@me.com
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 4,021
4000 Post Club Member
Online Content
4000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 4,021
If you are able to listen to the recordings with better equipment, then finer distinctions are possible. Additionally, YouTube's compression really is very mild unless you're data stream is limited - they focus more on video compression. Music played on the radio or streamed from services are the big offenders of badly compressed audio. I have a fast connection, a modest Bravo Audio headphone amp and a very nice set of AKG K712 cans for critical listening. I have a reasonably good quality external computer speaker system from Bose for general listening.

I've come back and listened to these a second time, and my preferences are still the same order, 1, 3, 2...but I found more about 2 that I did like this time, and found that it was only a few aspects of the tone that bothered me while appreciating more of the whole. They are far closer for me the second time around, but the more gradual tonal change of recording one is probably why I prefer it more than any other aspect of the tone. 2 appeals to me in the different registers more, but less so in how the tone changes at greater dynamic levels.

It's fun to talk about even if the words used are rarely exact enough.


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
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 4,328
K
4000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
4000 Post Club Member
K
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 4,328
Thanks again all for participating! I will say that there have been some impressively insightful comments and observations.

I especially appreciate those who recognized the quality of the playing.

I am waiting on the videos for the recordings to be done and then I will link them.


Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales - vintage and used Steinway, Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Baldwin
www.pianocraft.net
check out www.sitkadoc.com/ and www.vimeo.com/203188875
www.youtube.com/user/pianocraftchannel

keith@pianocraft.net 888-840-5460
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,068
R
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
R
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,068
I think it is fair so say that all pianos are in fine shape, with excellent voicing and tuning. So, I think we should give kudos to Keith for that. I think that 1 and 3 sound a bit better than 2, but honestly, who wouldn't be more than thrilled to own a piano that sounded as good as any of them.
There is something about the attack portion of piano 1's sound that I tend to associate with Steinway, but boy could I be wrong. I also suspect that if a different brand of hammers was installed in any of the 3 pianos, then the subtle differences in their sound could be changed quite substantially for the better or worse.

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,168
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,168
I'd choose 3, then 1, then 2.

To my ears 3 has the best balance of brightness and subtlety, 1 is a tad too brilliant for me, and 2 is too much of a sameness throughout the range, too "mellow" if you will.

But really, these are very personal discriminations I'm making. I think all these pianos sound terrific.


August Förster 215
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 1,145
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 1,145
From favorite to lesser favorite, I'd say 3, 2, 1.
With 1, I liked the treble better than the bass; with 2, it was the other way round.
3 seems to be the best package.

But: I only listened to the first three minutes of each recording.
And I'd probably fail the ABX test.


My grand piano is a Yamaha C2 SG.
My other Yamaha is an XMAX 300.
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 24,956
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 24,956
I simply could not choose. Perhaps I was just so engrossed and charmed by the performance(s) that any discrepancies that might have been there were not discernible to these aging ears.

Exquisite playing!

However, the listening exercise which I followed with the score has tempted me to work on this. I'll never play it as well as the pianist in these (this) recording(s).

Regards,

Last edited by BruceD; 03/24/19 06:37 PM.

BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 1,174
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 1,174
From a musician appreciation perspective nice recordings and performance. From a technicians view I heard the same voicing problems in all three, the forte blows don't maintain the same character as the soft blows, and the tenor section often had hammers/strings out of phase, and the registers are not in balance with each other.
But, none of that took away from the enjoyable music!
Thank you for the hard work in putting this all together!


Chernobieff Piano Restorations
"Where Tone is Key"
Lenoir City, Tennessee U.S.A
www.chernobieffpiano.com
grandpianoman@protonmail.com
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 4,328
K
4000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
4000 Post Club Member
K
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 4,328
Originally Posted by Chernobieff Piano
From a technicians view I heard the same voicing problems in all three, the forte blows don't maintain the same character as the soft blows,


Thanks for your opinion. I consider it a voicing problem ( maybe the most serious as it severely limits the expression available to a pianist ) when forte and soft blows have the same character.


Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales - vintage and used Steinway, Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Baldwin
www.pianocraft.net
check out www.sitkadoc.com/ and www.vimeo.com/203188875
www.youtube.com/user/pianocraftchannel

keith@pianocraft.net 888-840-5460
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 228
R
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
R
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 228
Originally Posted by Keith D Kerman

Thanks for your opinion. I consider it a voicing problem ( maybe the most serious as it severely limits the expression available to a pianist ) when forte and soft blows have the same character.


As a new piano owner, I didn't know there was not actually consensus about this. For what it's worth, I am on the same camp as Keith. "Color" for me is when the note is struck hard, the tone character _changes_, not just get louder. Hopefully in a pleasant way smile

I've been re-listening to the 2015 Chopin Competition, and the Steinway and the Yamaha has clearly more "color". The Kawai sounded very nice, but it lacked that "color". I want the piano to be big and angry in ff, and soft and gentle in pp, and a broad range in between.

Each to his/her own, I guess.

Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 6,164

Platinum Supporter until Feb 18  2015
6000 Post Club Member
Offline

Platinum Supporter until Feb 18  2015
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 6,164
I only listened on my laptop, but FWIW, I could hear subtle differences in the character of each piano, and also even changes within the same recordings at different dynamic levels and parts of the piece. I say "character," but not "quality," because they all sounded nice, as did the playing.


“If it sounds good, it IS good.”
― Duke Ellington
!
Page 4 of 5 1 2 3 4 5

Moderated by  Ken Knapp, Piano World 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Couch to Concert Hall
Couch to Concert Hall
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
New Yamaha CX series vs Boston
by GraceTuraco - 04/20/21 09:15 PM
Thinking of buying a 2007 Yamaha G2 5'7" Grand
by Teresa100 - 04/20/21 07:52 PM
Estonia L190 Bass Scale
by mbd - 04/20/21 07:52 PM
A closer look at the Feurich 'Vienna' 123 model
by oswaldpeters - 04/20/21 04:22 PM
generic name for Mellotron
by TheophilusCarter - 04/20/21 03:24 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums42
Topics206,431
Posts3,084,688
Members101,254
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers

Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | MapleStreetMusicShop.com - Our store in Cornish Maine


© copyright 1997 - 2021 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5