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Choosing a piano bench #2848820 05/16/19 12:11 PM
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John_C Offline OP
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Hi folks,

I wasn't sure what specific forum to place my question but this one looks to be as good as any.

Can anyone provide some guidance on selecting a quality piano bench?

I have a cheap one from Amazon that just isn't cutting it. The foam padding is very thin and the thing groans and squeaks as I play, driving me crazy. It's also non-adjustable and I feel cramped and uncomfortable when seated at my piano. I'm six feet tall and would like a taller seating position (around 21 - 22 inches I'm guessing) so I guess that means I should look at buying an adjustable bench.

Can anyone make some recommendations or provide some guidance on purchasing a bench?


John_C - Colorado Springs
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Re: Choosing a piano bench [Re: John_C] #2848822 05/16/19 12:17 PM
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WhoDwaldi Offline
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In the long run, I think it's best to bite the bullet (an initially very expensive one) and buy an artist bench--the kind with knobs to adjust the height.

Everybody will recommend Jansen.
http://www.pianosupplies.com/pianos/JansenArtist.html


WhoDwaldi
Howard (by Kawai) 5' 10"
Re: Choosing a piano bench [Re: John_C] #2848823 05/16/19 12:22 PM
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I haven't found any middle ground between the $700 Jansen benches (which are the standard) and the cheap $100 artist benches that you find on Amazon (which are basically cheap copies of the Jansen).

Re: Choosing a piano bench [Re: John_C] #2848834 05/16/19 12:33 PM
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Music Me Offline
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I have to agree with the previous posters. This is a clear example of you get what you pay for. I purchased a Jansen imitation artist bench and it squeaks and moves no matter how much I tighten the bolts. I will be giving myself a Jansen as this years Christmas gift from me to me! I would suggest you save your money and get a Jansen.

Last edited by Music Me; 05/16/19 12:34 PM.

Barbara
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Re: Choosing a piano bench [Re: John_C] #2848836 05/16/19 12:37 PM
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BruceD Offline
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As well as a Jansen adjustable artist bench, I have one of these adjustable chairs. It adjusts much more easily and quickly than my Jansen (which I keep at a constant height) and I have had this chair for 20 years and it still functions well without any creaks or groans. I don't think I paid more than $150.00 for it. You should be able to find one or order one at a piano store if not online.

Using a latch system, It adjusts from 18" to 22" in small increments. Conservatories and music schools use them, I've noticed.

[Linked Image]

Regards,

Last edited by BruceD; 05/16/19 12:40 PM.

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Re: Choosing a piano bench [Re: BruceD] #2848842 05/16/19 12:50 PM
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WeakLeftHand Offline
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Originally Posted by BruceD
As well as a Jansen adjustable artist bench, I have one of these adjustable chairs. It adjusts much more easily and quickly than my Jansen (which I keep at a constant height) and I have had this chair for 20 years and it still functions well without any creaks or groans. I don't think I paid more than $150.00 for it. You should be able to find one or order one at a piano store if not online.

Using a latch system, It adjusts from 18" to 22" in small increments. Conservatories and music schools use them, I've noticed.

[Linked Image]

Regards,


These chairs are so comfortable I don't know why benches are still the standard. I'm sure there's a good reason but I just don't know what it is.

Last edited by WeakLeftHand; 05/16/19 12:51 PM.
Re: Choosing a piano bench [Re: John_C] #2848846 05/16/19 01:13 PM
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I got to sit in one of the chair-benches at Sam Smith's place during his piano party a couple of months ago. And, as others have said, it looked rather odd, but was indeed surprisingly comfortable.

I too have one of the cheap inexpensive ( smile ) adjustable artist benches with my Yamaha C7. It too squeaked and squawked and wiggled around. I adjusted it to the height I liked best and had the metal frame welded in place at a welding shop. (I removed the padded seat and the wooden frame so just the metal frame was exposed when welding) No more squeaking and squawking, and it is stable and fairly comfortable, although non-adjustable. But it is at just the right height for my back-woods, hillbilly piano playing. smile

My mantra? Anything man-made can be fixed, adjusted or replaced. smile

Rick

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Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Choosing a piano bench [Re: John_C] #2848848 05/16/19 01:16 PM
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I ended up lucking out and finding a Concerto II artist bench on Craigslist for $80 and it's fabulous. It's SO much better than the CPS Imports bench I have that was $100 on Amazon. I'm converted, LOL, totally see why these and the Jensen are so expensive.


Lisa

Currently working on RCM 7 repertoire
Kawai UST-9, Yamaha CLP565GP, Kawai KDP110

"Sometimes I can only groan, and suffer, and pour out my despair at the piano!" - Frederic Chopin
Re: Choosing a piano bench [Re: John_C] #2848857 05/16/19 01:36 PM
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Dr. Rogers Offline
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A (somewhat beat-up) Jansen bench came with my concert grand when I bought it last year. Now I don't know how I ever managed with cheap benches - I love the Jansen.

On a related note, have any of you ever had the leather replaced on a Jansen? As I said, mine's a little beaten up and has a few tears in the leather.


Austin Rogers, PhD
Music Teacher in Austin, TX
Baldwin SD-10 Concert Grand "Kuroneko", Baldwin Upright, Yamaha P-255
Re: Choosing a piano bench [Re: John_C] #2848866 05/16/19 01:52 PM
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I have one of these:

https://www.thomannmusic.com/andexinger_andexinger_486s_mit_lederbezug.htm


It does not squeal and looks quite nice.

I also have an artist bench. The folded leather can make noises if you shift around.

Re: Choosing a piano bench [Re: WeakLeftHand] #2848869 05/16/19 01:54 PM
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WhoDwaldi Offline
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Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Originally Posted by BruceD
As well as a Jansen adjustable artist bench, I have one of these adjustable chairs. It adjusts much more easily and quickly than my Jansen (which I keep at a constant height) and I have had this chair for 20 years and it still functions well without any creaks or groans. I don't think I paid more than $150.00 for it. You should be able to find one or order one at a piano store if not online.

Using a latch system, It adjusts from 18" to 22" in small increments. Conservatories and music schools use them, I've noticed.

[Linked Image]

Regards,


These chairs are so comfortable I don't know why benches are still the standard. I'm sure there's a good reason but I just don't know what it is.


We had those at the conservatoire, eons ago, in a blond or yellow finish that matched nothing, so they went with everything. They had a solid, shorter back and a seat that sloped forward, which did help the player's back. As those chairs got heavy use, they would squeak, squawk, and malfunction. An old Steinway brochure showed their "baby" grand with a non-adjustable version (in matching ebony) called a "recital chair."


WhoDwaldi
Howard (by Kawai) 5' 10"
Re: Choosing a piano bench [Re: sroreilly] #2848870 05/16/19 01:55 PM
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Chrispy Online Content
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Originally Posted by sroreilly
I have one of these:

https://www.thomannmusic.com/andexinger_andexinger_486s_mit_lederbezug.htm

It does not squeal and looks quite nice.


+1 on the Andexinger. I think it fits nicely in that spot between crappy bench from Amazon and super expensive Jansen.

I have the Liftomatic https://www.thomannmusic.com/andexinger_klavierbank_liftomatic_02.htm

In fact, I like it better than the Jansen because the hydraulic is so much faster to set and I have to change my bench constantly as my son also plays. I've not sat on a Hidaru, but it's hard to imagine it's worth another $500.


I also notice that there's a new contender for hydraulic benches that's sold in the US. No experience with it, but it's good to see it. It has a poor review on Musicians Friend however.

https://www.guitarcenter.com/Musici...op-Rosewood-Matt-Finish-1347291691366.gc

Last edited by Chrispy; 05/16/19 01:59 PM.

Now learning: Chopin C# minor Nocturne (posth) and C minor Prelude (big chords)
Instruments: Yamaha N1X, Kawai ES110, Roland GO:PIANO
Re: Choosing a piano bench [Re: Dr. Rogers] #2848884 05/16/19 02:19 PM
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Jansen will recondition a bench if shipped to them. (...not sure if a tech has to do this for you). Reconditioning involves putting the mechanism into working order as well as reupholstering.


Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")
Re: Choosing a piano bench [Re: John_C] #2849077 05/17/19 12:48 AM
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backto_study_piano Offline
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My Grotrian came with an adjustable bench - not a genuine as they don't make them. I suspect it wasn't a expensive as a Jansen (over $2000 here), and I think the sticker said made in Japan. It did start squeaking after a while - but I just tightened all the bolts and screws, lubricated the adjuster thread and it's fine now.

If you went to your piano store and tried all the benches they've got you should find one comfortable.

It looks like you're playing a Digital - sometimes the height of them is a bit different, so measure it before you go.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: Choosing a piano bench [Re: John_C] #2849457 05/18/19 01:07 AM
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PhilipInChina Offline
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l got 2 artists ' benches as part of the deal on my Bluthner. Unknown brand but made very well in England. they are dovetailed hardwood and very heavy. Mass is important especially on a polished floor.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: Choosing a piano bench [Re: John_C] #2849766 05/18/19 09:22 PM
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I bought a relatively cheap adjustable then modified it. I don't like sitting on leather, so I removed the hinged seat lid and took it over to the local fabric store. They helped me pick the right kind of foam about 2" thick and some comfortable black fabric. I stretched the fabric over the foam and stapled it to the bottom of the lid.


Yamaha P90, Kawai GL-10
Re: Choosing a piano bench [Re: MarkL] #2849787 05/19/19 12:10 AM
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Originally Posted by MarkL
I bought a relatively cheap adjustable then modified it. I don't like sitting on leather, so I removed the hinged seat lid and took it over to the local fabric store. They helped me pick the right kind of foam about 2" thick and some comfortable black fabric. I stretched the fabric over the foam and stapled it to the bottom of the lid.

I don't like sitting on leather either - well, OK if I'm in long trousers which isn't often here other than winter.

I have a sheepskin draped over my relatively cheap adjustable bench - sort-of like this:

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR4DSs2X00LJ38_o1Bhn-PEFIakG02--bhKOe9AGuvfpVHyXkUi5Q

Good in summer as well as winter.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: Choosing a piano bench [Re: John_C] #2850013 05/19/19 12:57 PM
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The woolie on the bench looks nice. I'm not sure about sliding around though.

As for sitting on leather (or plastic or wood for that matter), I'm afraid that the occasional glimpses of my rather ancient thighs would be quite a horrifying distraction to both performer and listener, so I generally only play while fully clothed.


Learner
Re: Choosing a piano bench [Re: John_C] #2850022 05/19/19 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by malkin
The woolie on the bench looks nice. I'm not sure about sliding around though.

As for sitting on leather (or plastic or wood for that matter), I'm afraid that the occasional glimpses of my rather ancient thighs would be quite a horrifying distraction to both performer and listener, so I generally only play while fully clothed.


Malkin, your comment reminds me of a post I made on PW a few years ago about a certain piano dealer who made an advertisement video of him playing one of his pianos buck-naked (as we say here in the south smile ).

Of course, you could only see the back side of him and very little anatomy at that. Puts a whole new light on the song, "By the light of the bare skin silvery moon". But another member didn't like my comments and reported it to the moderators.

Moral of the story? The bench doesn't have to be comfortable to bare skin, just clothed skin, at least on Piano World. smile

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Choosing a piano bench [Re: Rickster] #2850054 05/19/19 02:48 PM
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If I recall correctly Friedrich Gulda tried giving concerts in the nude. Don't know how much of a success it was.


John Shelton
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