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Small Grands Vs. Uprights
#2868054 07/10/19 04:34 PM
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I didn't see an existing thread devoted precisely to what I'm going to suggest, so here goes:

In my experience, some large uprights that I have played, Yamaha U3, Kawai K500, Bechstein Konzert8, have had sounds that I liked at least as well as most small grands, e.g. 5'2', 5'1". Yes I have played a Steinway "S" that I liked, but they are... very expensive for their size, at least in my opinion.

OK - so to my second point. To me, the real distinguishing characteristic that moves me towards a grand from an upright is in the repetition capability of the actions. I know that Bechstein uses some sort of spring to accelerate the return of the hammer, and the one I play is very fast to repeat. Feurich (Vienna built on top of chinese belly and case (I believe)) has a similar action. One of the Fandrich's patented a design for one, and briefly manufactured it? And.... I don't know how many more.

It might be useful to compile a list here on PW of uprights that have superior repetition capabilities.

As a starter set, I offer:
- Bechstein: Konzert8
- Feurich : 133, 125, ...

I know the sound of the Konzert8 is exceptional.
From what I have read about the Feurich 133, it should be very nice too.

Good Day to all.


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")
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Re: Small Grands Vs. Uprights
Seeker #2868079 07/10/19 05:27 PM
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The Bechstein Concert 8s I tried were lovely. The action, nevertheless, did not feel similar to a grand. Unless space is very dear, I would prefer a grand, even a "lesser" one. For that money you should be able to get one that is adequate for anyone.

Last edited by dhull100; 07/10/19 05:28 PM.
Re: Small Grands Vs. Uprights
Seeker #2868081 07/10/19 05:29 PM
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Well I had grand piano for years and really loved it.Now
as I sure everyone knows I have a Sauter 130 with its
double repetition action .It is very good I find in rapid
and slow repetition, for example in the LH or RH of a slow movement by Mozart where no pedal would be
used.The same goes with rapid rapid repetition.(Chopin Grand Valse) I also tried a 130 Seiler both the ED and the German made Seiler and they both handled the repetition problem very well.
Is a Sauter 130 action the same as a small grand.I would say no not the same.Although very precise responding very well with the subtleties of pianism.
I love the tone of the Bechstein K8 but did not spend
enough time playing it to be able to talk about the details of action.

Re: Small Grands Vs. Uprights
Seeker #2868135 07/10/19 08:51 PM
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That's something you need to decide for yourself - what you love playing most.

In 1977, I chose a YAMAHA UX Upright over a small G1 or G2? can't remember Grand - but it was offered at the same price. I preferred the UX, the sound was considerably better, and I thought the action too.

Fast forward to when I went looking for a replacement about 12 years ago - I far preferred the KAWAI K8 Upright to their smallest, slightly dearer grand - I had to go to the G3 (GX3) to find something which I felt was better - for considerably more $$.

My financial situation changed, and I went further upmarket, but that's a different story.

I did play some lovely Uprights - a Schimmel particularly impressed me - as did their grands (I owned one for a few years as a transition instrument).
The Petrof uprights were far more convincing than their grands. I didn't like Steinway uprights though (Hamburg).


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: Small Grands Vs. Uprights
Lady Bird #2868136 07/10/19 08:52 PM
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Regarding the Sauter double repetition, there is a photo here:
https://www.sauter-pianos.de/spanish/technique/sound/double_repetition.html
It looks like there as an extra spring, more similar in looks to the one in the Feurich than the Bechstein.
I think - and no, I am not sure - that the working principle among the three is the same.

Regarding the difference in feel - my experience is that the uprights, even though they might repeat as quickly as a grand, do NOT feel the same. There is no little "bump" on the way to the bottom of the key, presumably because there is no slipping of the whippen jack in an upright action.

That said, the Bechstein repeats VERY quickly. I'd like to try a Sauter some time, but I haven't seen any around my home base.


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: Small Grands Vs. Uprights
Seeker #2868152 07/10/19 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Seeker
Regarding the Sauter double repetition, there is a photo here:
https://www.sauter-pianos.de/spanish/technique/sound/double_repetition.html
It looks like there as an extra spring, more similar in looks to the one in the Feurich than the Bechstein.
I think - and no, I am not sure - that the working principle among the three is the same.

Regarding the difference in feel - my experience is that the uprights, even though they might repeat as quickly as a grand, do NOT feel the same. There is no little "bump" on the way to the bottom of the key, presumably because there is no slipping of the whippen jack in an upright action.

That said, the Bechstein repeats VERY quickly. I'd like to try a Sauter some time, but I haven't seen any around my home base.

Do know how repetition action in the Bechstein K8 works ? Is it only the K8 model in Bechstein that has this repetition action?

Re: Small Grands Vs. Uprights
Seeker #2868166 07/10/19 10:52 PM
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I have heard a well known pianist play LA Campanella on a small street piano.The piano was a very ordinary
budget brand piano in France.The action coped very
well.The tone of the piano was not good enough
of course.So surprises everywhere !!!


Last edited by Lady Bird; 07/10/19 10:59 PM. Reason: Missing word
Re: Small Grands Vs. Uprights
Seeker #2868483 07/11/19 06:58 PM
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...a little more on the Fandrich upright action and pianos by Fandrich Sons can be found here: https://www.pianobuyer.com/brand/fandrich-sons/

According to what I read there, and this is very interesting to me: "In the late 1980s, Darrell Fandrich, RPT, an engineer, pianist, and piano technician, developed a vertical piano action designed to play like a grand, for which 10 patents were issued. In July 2013, a new patent application was filed in the U.S. (along with an application for future international patents) on an improved version of the action. The improvement features use of a grand-piano knuckle, and results in improved touch and repetition, and the feel of aftertouch at the bottom of the keystroke".

Frankly, I wish I lived closer to Stanwood, Washington than I do (all the way on the East Coast of the USA...), so I could visit the shop and try some of their pianos.

Del was instrumental (sorry for the pun) in helping me improve the tone of my own piano when, after asking me about my playing and even listening to some of my recordings made on my piano, he suggested replacing the bass strings with Hellerbass. The improvement in bass tone was substantial, and it's not like the strings that were on the piano were "dead"; they were less than 10 years old, no visible corrosion, etc. It's just that the Hellerbass strings, really do sound better.


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: Small Grands Vs. Uprights
Seeker #2868524 07/11/19 09:31 PM
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So to YOU is the Bechstein 8 the same as a grand ?
I did not really feel that it was although I not spend
enough time with.it (perhaps half an hour session )
Sauter when talking about double repetition action
just says it gives a SIMILAR feeling to a grand.It does
not claim to be exactly the same !
Sauter introduced the double repetition action a fairly long time ago.Of course it is possible that some Chinese piano just copied Sauter ? I do not know much about Bechstein 's repetition action except what
you say.
Yes when you depress the key of a grand slowly there
is a little bump which is not present in Sauter 130 pianos.The main problem in the upright to grand
occurs in quick repetition and when playing a grand
fast who notices" the little bump" If you play fluently? I
I do not believe that is a problem.
However I do not believe any upright can give you the
absolute same response as a grand not even this
Frandrich !

Re: Small Grands Vs. Uprights
Seeker #2868532 07/11/19 09:49 PM
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Regarding the difference in feel - my experience is that the uprights, even though they might repeat as quickly as a grand, do NOT feel the same. There is no little "bump" on the way to the bottom of the key, presumably because there is no slipping of the whippen jack in an upright action.

That just about says it, for me.


J. S. Bach Well-tempered Clavier, complete preludes and fugues (with significant MIDI analysis):

https://soundcloud.com/johnlgrant

https://www.youtube.com/user/dohgrant/playlists (slightly better sound quality)



Re: Small Grands Vs. Uprights
Seeker #2868541 07/11/19 10:23 PM
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When you play musically and accurately you do not think or even feels "little bumps"., that's not a problem.
But as you say of course they cannot be exactly the
same as a grand they just improve the repetition response that uprights have.
As far as a small grand or 130 upright it is just personal taste that counts.

Re: Small Grands Vs. Uprights
Seeker #2868548 07/11/19 11:18 PM
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Quote
It might be useful to compile a list here on PW of uprights that have superior repetition capabilities.


It's too bad the thread wasn't started with a more representative subject line. Perhaps it can be edited.



“Sometimes I can only groan, and suffer,
and pour out my despair at the piano.”

-Frederic Chopin
Re: Small Grands Vs. Uprights
Seeker #2868563 07/12/19 12:02 AM
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I very much agree ! Also it is not a competition which upright has the best repetition, perhaps Steingraeber
I do not know ,do not care !
I can understand why someone may choose a Kawai
or Yamaha 5' grand.,Usually the price of a small European grand however is greater than the 130
upright.
Sometimes this is I suppose is not so.

Last edited by Lady Bird; 07/12/19 12:03 AM. Reason: Missing word
Re: Small Grands Vs. Uprights
Seeker #2868588 07/12/19 03:02 AM
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I have not played one but the Steingraeber K 138 upright with SFM action is meant to be very good in terms of repetition and replicating a grand action. You can read more about the SFM action here: https://www.steingraeber.de/en/innovationen/sfm-upright-piano-action/

I would be very keen to try one of these pianos. I briefly tried Steingraeber grands many years ago and they were sublime instruments so can only assume their uprights are very good also.


Yamaha AvantGrand NU1X
Re: Small Grands Vs. Uprights
Seeker #2868661 07/12/19 09:08 AM
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I've been very interested in this very topic for some time, and have sought out pianos with these special actions. My experience so far:

Steingraeber's SFM action: more or less like a grand

Sauter's RR action: more or less like a grand

Feurich's KAMM action: good and fast, but not quite like a grand. I do suspect though that the piano I tried hadn't been properly regulated, I've heard others say that the KAMM action needs to be adjusted carefully.

Interested in trying: Seiler's magnetic action, the Fandrich action.

My own old/new Schimmel upright from 1992 doesn't have any of these actions, but is nevertheless surprisingly agile, responsive and smooth in the action. Not like the Sauter or Steingraeber, but better than most of the uprights I've tried. I've also found that some old German uprights can have an excellent action - perhaps they used lighter hammer parts back then?

Re: Small Grands Vs. Uprights
oivavoi #2868799 07/12/19 02:23 PM
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Glad that this is proving to be a useful thread.

@Retsecnal - I don't know how to change the thread title. Perhaps this is something our moderator could do. That said, the thread is actually about small grands vs. uprights with a focus on uprights that offer action performance equal to that (or better) than grands.

@LadyBird - regarding the after-touch bump: I **do** feel it in well regulated grands, and when it's not there I miss it. (In a grand this is often caused by the hammerline falling as a primary cause and can be corrected by raising it (yes, tech friends, of course there's more to it...)), in an upright, it's just not there. The Bechstein K8 doesn't have a jack slip under bump relying instead on an accelerator spring, and thought it is quite fast, it doesn't feel the same to me, and I have to play differently on it. If Fandrich's upright actions give us that good bump feeling, and perform adequately quickly, and require about the same amount of regulating maintenance, I can only wish that their designs would be licensed by more manufacturers including the high volume ones for institutional use, e.g., Yamaha and Kawai.

No - I do not own any stock in Fandrich & Sons nor are they compensating me in any way for what I have written here.


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: Small Grands Vs. Uprights
Seeker #2868857 07/12/19 07:03 PM
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The "bump"is not there when you are focused on playing music.(all those bumps) But I agree if you
are suggesting that the bump in someway gives
a grand piano response or the bump is part of what
creates a grand piano touch.
I have played on a number of different grands I had
a grand for many years. I too know what makes
a grand touch.There is no argument about grands
and uprights and I too feel the heading of this thread
is unfortunate.
To lump the Bechstein,and Sauter together with Feurich Vienna is also not fair.

Re: Small Grands Vs. Uprights
Seeker #2868882 07/12/19 11:20 PM
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To me, the upright that comparable the most to a grand (a very fine grand though) is the Steingaeber 138K with SMF action. Touch and tone are just PERFECT!

IMO, it's the finest upright in the world. I've had chance to play this model many times, in various versions, but it always get my heart and soul every time! IT IS the king of uprights.


Hamburg Steinway & Sons C-227
Yamaha Stagea Electone ELS-02X
Re: Small Grands Vs. Uprights
Seeker #2868893 07/13/19 01:25 AM
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We do not have them around here.Perhaps next year if we will go to Europe again.I may get a chance to try one .At $64,000 (SMP)far too much for me !
Besides I am devoted to my piano ! But these Steingraebers sound like quite piano.
I think 138 would be just too tall .It must be daunting
to have a 138 size upright though !
For me 130 is tall enough.But I believe you trandinhnamanh when you when you say it say it is a wonderful instrument.

Re: Small Grands Vs. Uprights
Seeker #2868897 07/13/19 02:34 AM
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Sorry about my English above .What I am trying to say
Is that they must be wonderful ! (It is late I need sleep )

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