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Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal
#2831184 03/25/19 09:47 AM
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Here is the original thread http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2829189/1/semi-concert-grand-blind-test.html

Here are the videos in the same order as those of the original thread. I had a very fascinating experience of the videos sounding different to me than the recordings without video even though I had all of the information and was part of the recording session, piano prep etc etc.

There were some interesting and insightful observations in the first thread and again, thank you all for participating. I will be very interested to learn about listener's experience as to whether their perceptions changed with seeing the video as opposed to just listening, as mind did.

Piano 1 - Steingraeber D-232 Piano 2 - Estonia 225 Piano 3 Bosendorfer 225





Keith D Kerman
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Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal
Keith D Kerman #2831191 03/25/19 10:03 AM
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I imagine Estonia must feel pretty good about this.

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal
Keith D Kerman #2831192 03/25/19 10:25 AM
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K:
Interesting.
I guessed 1 & 2 but hadn't a clue about 3, which I liked best !
Satisfying, somehow, as I've always loved that particular model, some more than others, of course, but I've always regarded the 225 as one of the best pianos.
What is the vintage of the 225 ?
This test was fun.
Thanks so much.
K

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal
Keith D Kerman #2831199 03/25/19 10:47 AM
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Hey, I got 2 out of 3. Where do I collect the prize piano? smile

#3 was my favorite, and I liked #1 better than #2.


Last edited by redfish1901; 03/25/19 10:49 AM.
Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal
Keith D Kerman #2831203 03/25/19 11:17 AM
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Very interesting outcome. The Steingraeber is not really a surprise. I was not expecting the Bösendorfer although it matches my expectation that No 3 would probably do better (quite a lot I suppose) with a different repertoire. I was pleasantly surprised by the Estonia bass but could not care about the tenor and treble.

Thanks a lot for doing this and of course also to the pianist that put down a very solid performance, not once but three times (and with a very constant tempo as the performances match almost to the second).

Last edited by WimPiano; 03/25/19 11:20 AM.
Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal
tend to rush #2831207 03/25/19 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by tend to rush
I imagine Estonia must feel pretty good about this.
Particularly given the significant price differential between the Estonia 225 and the other two instruments. smile
Regarding the artist, Hai Jin…….."Jin is a D.M.A. candidate at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and she is the assistant conductor of the Maryland Lyric Opera. She is an active concert pianist, chamber musician and orchestral soloist and is a member of the Sassmannshaus Piano Trio. She has performed across the U.S. and Asia."

Last edited by Carey; 03/25/19 11:31 AM.

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Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal
Keith D Kerman #2831211 03/25/19 11:32 AM
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Even with my eyes closed, the video recordings sound different from the audio ones, especially the Steingraeber. The video recording sounds somewhat muted compared to the audio. I wonder whether the addition of video makes it necessary to do more compression in order to transmit the data. Or is it just my ears deceiving me?

Great pianos, prep, and performances!


"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP
Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal
jazzyprof #2831217 03/25/19 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by jazzyprof
Even with my eyes closed, the video recordings sound different from the audio ones, especially the Steingraeber. The video recording sounds somewhat muted compared to the audio. I wonder whether the addition of video makes it necessary to do more compression in order to transmit the data. Or is it just my ears deceiving me?

Great pianos, prep, and performances!


The Steingraeber take on the video is different than the one from the recording. The Bose might be as well. Pianist's preference. Also, I had to transfer the recordings without video slightly differently than the videos since you cannot directly upload a recording to YouTube and the Videos were not yet ready.


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
Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal
tend to rush #2831221 03/25/19 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by tend to rush
I imagine Estonia must feel pretty good about this.


I have to agree. Listening to the Estonia 225 was a real eye opener to me. It certainly should be on everyone's list to try when shopping for a piano of this size.

Rich


Retired at the beach

Anton Rubinstein said about the piano: "You think it is one instrument? It is a hundred instruments!"
Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal
Keith D Kerman #2831235 03/25/19 12:28 PM
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Thank you so much Keith, this was fun. So my favorite was the Bosendorfer! Of course.
The reality is I’ll never get a Bösendorfer and I will never play as well as the pianist in those videos. But it is fun to dream.


J & J
Estonia L190 Hidden Beauty
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I don’t play well but I play far better than I sing.
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Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal
Keith D Kerman #2831236 03/25/19 12:30 PM
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Just accounting for first choices among those who voted in the initial thread:

Steingräber = 9 votes
Estonia = 9 votes
Bösendorfer = 6 votes

Most interesting results!

Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal
Karl Watson #2831317 03/25/19 03:58 PM
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I'm happy my suspicion about #2 being the Estonia was correct,
Originally Posted by Karl Watson
K:
Interesting.
I guessed 1 & 2 but hadn't a clue about 3, which I liked best !
Satisfying, somehow, as I've always loved that particular model, some more than others, of course, but I've always regarded the 225 as one of the best pianos.
What is the vintage of the 225 ?
This test was fun.
Thanks so much.
K



That bosie looks like an 80s bosie to me. I never guessed a Bosie would be one of the three, but, in wanting to be right I used the pianocraft lineup to decide there was probably a Steinway, an Estonia, and Steingraber. I was right about the Estonia sound, at least!

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal
Keith D Kerman #2831338 03/25/19 04:52 PM
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My favourite turned out to be the Bosie also. I didn't have the courage to actually guess though wink The only thing I was confident of was that there were no Yamaha's or Fazioli's in the mix. Easy to say now of course...

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal
Keith D Kerman #2831353 03/25/19 05:16 PM
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I favored #2; interesting that it is Estonia. The Steingraeber is different (more mellow) than the examples of the brand that I have heard on other vids. I like mellow, but I think--musically--the Estonia is probably easier to play (from the tone perspective).

Which goes to show that every piano must be considered as an individual. 😁


WhoDwaldi
Howard (by Kawai) 5' 10"
Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal
Keith D Kerman #2831354 03/25/19 05:17 PM
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Very interesting, and thanks for this. I preferred the Bosendorfer and Estonia, which is a surprise to me. Never played a Steingraeber.

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal
Keith D Kerman #2831368 03/25/19 05:58 PM
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Keith,

Just wanted to thank you for taking the time to put this together for us. Most educational as well as entertaining.


1926 Hamburg Steinway R (home, rebuilt in 2015)
1986 Hamburg Steinway C (church, "loaner")
1902 New York Steinway D (church, rebuild pending)
Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal
Rich D. #2831369 03/25/19 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Rich D.
Originally Posted by tend to rush
I imagine Estonia must feel pretty good about this.


I have to agree. Listening to the Estonia 225 was a real eye opener to me. It certainly should be on everyone's list to try when shopping for a piano of this size.

Rich


Keith thank you so much for all the work you put into this very enlightening project. Jin's playing of "The Maiden...no4" was so instructional. Here's an interesting point: Comparing the Estonia 225 to my 210 on the same few measures of The Maiden, the scaling on the 210 is very different. The 210 is more focused with I feel a better treble/bass balance.
I'm usually very methodical with big decisions but I bought the 210 in an out of town showroom (with a plane to catch) after playing it for the first time for only 1/2 hour! The owner drove me in his car at breakneck speed to the airport. The only other major decision I've made at that quickly was when I first met my wife.....

Last edited by Sanfrancisco; 03/25/19 06:07 PM.
Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal
Keith D Kerman #2831406 03/25/19 08:28 PM
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I wonder if the performer had any insights on the instruments?

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal
Keith D Kerman #2831543 03/26/19 09:15 AM
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Keith, this has indeed been very interesting. Some comments if I may.

This is high level voicing at its best, the result of a collaboration between a pianist and technician where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. It is informed by the perspective of each, and moves towards a common goal. This can be an immensely satisfying partnership for both pianist and technician.

The best voicers are more than a master of technique and the range of choices available to them. I think they must also be aestheticians, whereby they search for the beauty that lies within an instrument (sometimes hidden), have the ear to know when it is beginning to emerge, and then bring it towards its best voice. And so the collaboration with the artist begins.

I hear an overarching tonal aesthetic that is common to the three instruments. Certainly a desire for a brilliant and clear treble is one of them. That said, I believe the individuality of each instrument has been respected within the work, and they do sound different to my ear. Each has a different set of strengths.

Of the three, I think the Steingraeber is the better piano, but not the best voiced. I much favor the bass and tenor, but find the treble overly bright, even brittle in a few places, and somewhat discontinuous with the rest of the piano. To my ear, the Bosendorfer sounds the most of a piece, but lacks excitement. The Estonia is a revelation in how good it sounds, "better than it has any right to be."

I hope my comments do not come across as negative, as I greatly respect the quality of the work you have done. These are deliberate choices on the part of the technician and the artist here. They are not right or wrong. And the ears of piano voicers can be as different as those of musicians. I say the world is a better place when we have this variety.





.


fine grand piano custom rebuilding, piano technician and tuner
Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal
Keith D Kerman #2831570 03/26/19 10:37 AM
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Keith:
Despite such wonders as the RCA Horowitz Barber Sonata and Cortot's Chopin recordings which sound so beautiful to me, in their very different ways, I believe a smaller sound is always easier to record, more microphone-friendly, just as it is in the vocal world.
Bosendorfers typically record very nicely and I stand by my preference for this particular recording (#3).
In a large concert hall, I think that I'd still want to play or hear a fine D.
Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY

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