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Advice needed: make Schimmel sp182t silent?
#2869458 07/15/19 09:41 AM
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My mother has a Schimmel SP182t, which she enjoys very much. She is older now and has to move to an apartment where it is not possible to play a piano acoustically much. I have been playing the piano (digital) for more than 1 year now, and do not have much experience with acoustic pianos. So I would be grateful for advice.

The three options that I see for my mother: 1) install a silent system in the Schimmel, 2) sell the Schimmel and buy a hybrid (Novus?), 3) sell the Schimmel and buy a (second-hand?) nice silent piano to play acoustically on occasion.

We have tried out the Kawai Novus and it is nice. But all in all it may be that the price she will get selling the Schimmel is similar to that of a new Novus, and I am a bit hesitant to trade in the beautiful Schimmel for something that essentially is a digital instrument. Would it be a good idea to install a silent system in the 1998 Schimmel instead? Will the playability be similar to the Novus, or will it be less? If it is less, is there much advantage, playability-wise, of a hybrid like a Novus over a good silent piano (which was designed with this in mind, like a more recent Yamaha, or Kawai Aures)?

Any insights/advice would be much appreciated.


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Re: Advice needed: make Schimmel sp182t silent?
pianogabe #2869519 07/15/19 12:41 PM
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Is it possible for your mother to try a quality grand piano with an aftermarket silent system added?


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Re: Advice needed: make Schimmel sp182t silent?
pianogabe #2869546 07/15/19 02:16 PM
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If it were me, I’d take my Mom to try some nice silent piano options and see if she finds the action any different. I can’t tell any difference in sound or actions in the diskclaviers (sp). Then if she has room for her Schimmel, have a quality after-market silent system installed. If further downsizing is a possibility for your Mom, maybe trade for an upright with a silent system or a hybrid.
When I get ready for my assisted living quarters I may just trade my C3 for a Yamaha Motif synthesizer with killer headphones. All the best wishes You’re doing a wonderful service for your Mom.


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Re: Advice needed: make Schimmel sp182t silent?
pianogabe #2869563 07/15/19 03:06 PM
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I can imagine that the Schimmel sounds lovely. At least, with an aftermarket silent system, she’ll still be able to play out loud sometimes, which would be nice.

It’s funny, but I think I’m learning piano partly because I saw a picture of my old landlady playing the piano in an assisted living center. She seemed so happy at the keyboard, after finally escaping the hassle of managing real estate.


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Re: Advice needed: make Schimmel sp182t silent?
pianogabe #2869590 07/15/19 04:24 PM
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The new U1's have very" plasticty" keys which really is a.pity.I am sure my old 80's U1 that I sold never had these slippery keys.So if you do decide to sell the Schimmel and buy a Silent UI you need to let her try
these for herself.
Yes it is sad that she may have to sell her lovely piano.
It would be interesting to hear from someone who has
added an aftermarket silent system to any accoustic piano.
I agree with J$J you are doing great helping your mother in this way.Best wishes !

Re: Advice needed: make Schimmel sp182t silent?
pianogabe #2869705 07/16/19 02:59 AM
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Thanks for the advice, terminal degree, j&j, LarryK and Lady Bird. I don't think the piano store we visited had grands with aftermarket silent systems, but there must be ones on sale. We will check this out. It will be a tough choice, piano is her life, but my mom seems to be OK with parting with the Schimmel if a silent system is not a good option. The instrument can go to someone else to enjoy. It is just that I am a little worried about a digital-only replacement. One the one hand digital technology is fantastic, but on the other hand even I as a beginning pianist can appreciate the difference playing on the Yamaha piano of my teacher and my own Kawai CA58 (very nice VSTs and Pianoteq , headphones etc not withstanding...). It would be nice to have the option to play acoustically at least once in a while.


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Re: Advice needed: make Schimmel sp182t silent?
pianogabe #2869759 07/16/19 07:42 AM
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Can you accommodate the Schimmel in your home, and sell your digital piano and get a higher end digital for your mother? Just a random thought.


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Re: Advice needed: make Schimmel sp182t silent?
terminaldegree #2869763 07/16/19 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Can you accommodate the Schimmel in your home, and sell your digital piano and get a higher end digital for your mother? Just a random thought.

I think she would really like that.if at all possible.She could see it and play it when she visits.
She may also like a Silent Kawai or Yamaha? Do not rush her.Perhaps store her piano at your house till she
can make up her mind perhaps ?

Re: Advice needed: make Schimmel sp182t silent?
pianogabe #2869774 07/16/19 08:43 AM
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Yamaha dealers typically have one or two DiskClaviers in their showroom. That might be something for your Mom to at least try. From my adventures in Piano World, Ive come to recognize that I don’t have the most sensitive hearing or touch so there might be differences with a silent system that I can’t feel or hear.
For some PW people, putting a silent play system on their beloved piano would be nearly as unnerving as planting Paul Bunyon’s ax in the soundboard. For me, it would be a wonderful convenience added to my own beloved piano. If the time comes where she has to move and you don’t yet have a path forward, do as terminaldegree suggests and put her Schimmel at your house until the silent system is installed or just keep it there for her to play on visits. Best Wishes.


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Re: Advice needed: make Schimmel sp182t silent?
pianogabe #2869797 07/16/19 10:56 AM
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Yes moving it to my place is a possibility, but my housing situation is typically Dutch: in between two other houses, built in a row (there are many of us in a small country...). So I have essentially the same problem: I wouldn't be able to play it much acoustically.

There is no big hurry at the moment, so I think we first are going to try and find grand pianos with an aftermarket silent system to try out, and see if that is a reasonable option at all. I have heard from a salesman that silent systems only work well in pianos that are designed for it, but it may be that salesmen are biased to selling a new piano smile . Thanks for your ideas and advice!


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Re: Advice needed: make Schimmel sp182t silent?
pianogabe #2869895 07/16/19 05:09 PM
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Slightly OT so sorry. I’ve never yet been to the Netherlands which I hope to remedy in the near future. I’ve heard that the row houses became popular in the Netherlands many years ago because property taxes were determined by the property frontage on the street. This made long narrow houses with little to no property between the homes very popular. Here in the States that’s known as row housing in the city and shotguns in the south. Tax and maintenance benefits can’t be denied but it can be challenging for pianists finding room for their pianos


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Re: Advice needed: make Schimmel sp182t silent?
j&j #2869999 07/17/19 04:24 AM
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Originally Posted by j&j
property taxes were determined by the property frontage on the street. This made long narrow houses with little to no property between the homes very popular. Here in the States that’s known as row housing in the city and shotguns in the south. Tax and maintenance benefits can’t be denied but it can be challenging for pianists finding room for their pianos


Didn't know this, but just looked it up and this appears to be the case for houses in Amsterdam along the canals. These were and are houses for the wealthy. 'Normal' row houses appearently have their historical origins in housing courtyards designed for --and this is where story lines cross again-- the elderly. Most houses in the Netherlands now are row houses (unfortunately most not around a courtyard anymore) and I read they are also very common in UK and Ireland. Piano unfriendly indeed, space-wise but perhaps even more noise-wise. A new developent though is that we need to get rid of natural gas warming our houses, and a major operation will be to get thorough insulation everywhere, which is both energy-wise and piano-wise a good thing. Our house is already well-insulated to the outside. I think if I (acoustically) insulated shared walls with the neighbours I could play an acoustic piano without annoying people (though a Schimmel grand is pushing it). But first I should get to a decent playing level smile


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Re: Advice needed: make Schimmel sp182t silent?
Lady Bird #2870006 07/17/19 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Lady Bird
Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Can you accommodate the Schimmel in your home, and sell your digital piano and get a higher end digital for your mother? Just a random thought.

I think she would really like that.if at all possible.She could see it and play it when she visits.
She may also like a Silent Kawai or Yamaha? Do not rush her.Perhaps store her piano at your house till she
can make up her mind perhaps ?


I think you are right. I also agree with you on behalf of this.

Re: Advice needed: make Schimmel sp182t silent?
pianogabe #2870035 07/17/19 09:16 AM
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Is it possible to take the Mr. Rogers Neighborhood approach and speak with the neighbors, either mom's or yours about how important it is to mom to be able to play and times when they would be least bothered by the piano?


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Re: Advice needed: make Schimmel sp182t silent?
pianogabe #2870147 07/17/19 04:47 PM
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If you have to sell the Schimmel grand and there is no other way.Perhaps a European silent upright would be
more to your mom's taste.I do not know for instance even a 46" Schimmel with silent mode instead of a Yamaha or a Kawai. Of course she should try whatever
piano you decide.Just a thought !


Last edited by Lady Bird; 07/17/19 04:48 PM. Reason: Extra word
Re: Advice needed: make Schimmel sp182t silent?
pianogabe #2870203 07/18/19 01:51 AM
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@malkin, yes good point, but she plays a lot, so would still need some silent / reduced loudness option that has high quality because it would be the main mode of playing.

@Lady Bird: we saw a very beautiful sounding second-hand schimmel upright, but it had no silent option. Have been reading more about transacoustic pianos too, that might be something to try out. On paper this seems near-ideal because in addition to a silent option with headphones, you can also play over the soundboard and choose loudness level. In addition to real acoustic playing. Yamaha and Kawai has this option.


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Re: Advice needed: make Schimmel sp182t silent?
pianogabe #2870208 07/18/19 02:47 AM
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Originally Posted by pianogabe
@malkin, yes good point, but she plays a lot, so would still need some silent / reduced loudness option that has high quality because it would be the main mode of playing.

@Lady Bird: we saw a very beautiful sounding second-hand schimmel upright, but it had no silent option. Have been reading more about transacoustic pianos too, that might be something to try out. On paper this seems near-ideal because in addition to a silent option with headphones, you can also play over the soundboard and choose loudness level. In addition to real acoustic playing. Yamaha and Kawai has this option.


I was taken by the concept of the TransAcoustic pianos from Yamaha and they’re on my list for a long term instrument when I go to upgrade. They’re expensive, of course, but I can probably get away with buying one as long as I don’t mention the price to my wife. smile

Of course, the digital and analog sides will go out of tune with each other but it is easy enough to switch to the digital side and play through the soundboard until you receive a visit from the tuner. My understanding is that the digital side is used as a reference for tuning the analog side. I don’t know if this makes a tuner’s job more difficult than tuning a standard acoustic piano.

It is certainly nice to be able to reduce the sound level and play on the soundboard without having to deal with speakers and an amplifier. That’s a great feature, and one I would use a lot in my apartment.

I consider the ability to be able to practice silently and then play out when you have a piece down to be something that is almost magical. I don’t think people get annoyed by well played piano music as much as they get annoyed by endless repetitions of poorly played piano music.

Last edited by LarryK; 07/18/19 02:51 AM.

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Re: Advice needed: make Schimmel sp182t silent?
pianogabe #2870209 07/18/19 02:55 AM
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Originally Posted by pianogabe
Originally Posted by j&j
property taxes were determined by the property frontage on the street. This made long narrow houses with little to no property between the homes very popular. Here in the States that’s known as row housing in the city and shotguns in the south. Tax and maintenance benefits can’t be denied but it can be challenging for pianists finding room for their pianos


Didn't know this, but just looked it up and this appears to be the case for houses in Amsterdam along the canals. These were and are houses for the wealthy. 'Normal' row houses appearently have their historical origins in housing courtyards designed for --and this is where story lines cross again-- the elderly. Most houses in the Netherlands now are row houses (unfortunately most not around a courtyard anymore) and I read they are also very common in UK and Ireland. Piano unfriendly indeed, space-wise but perhaps even more noise-wise. A new developent though is that we need to get rid of natural gas warming our houses, and a major operation will be to get thorough insulation everywhere, which is both energy-wise and piano-wise a good thing. Our house is already well-insulated to the outside. I think if I (acoustically) insulated shared walls with the neighbours I could play an acoustic piano without annoying people (though a Schimmel grand is pushing it). But first I should get to a decent playing level smile

This is very interesting. We have a flat in an Amsterdam grachtenpand (canal house) and it also has a courtyard, but I didn't realize that courtyards were customary design features in a real grachtenpand. The problem in a grachtenpand (or at least in ours) is that the staircase is so steep (and spiral) that there is no way significant furniture can enter the flat except through a window.


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Re: Advice needed: make Schimmel sp182t silent?
Tyrone Slothrop #2870212 07/18/19 03:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by pianogabe
Originally Posted by j&j
property taxes were determined by the property frontage on the street. This made long narrow houses with little to no property between the homes very popular. Here in the States that’s known as row housing in the city and shotguns in the south. Tax and maintenance benefits can’t be denied but it can be challenging for pianists finding room for their pianos


Didn't know this, but just looked it up and this appears to be the case for houses in Amsterdam along the canals. These were and are houses for the wealthy. 'Normal' row houses appearently have their historical origins in housing courtyards designed for --and this is where story lines cross again-- the elderly. Most houses in the Netherlands now are row houses (unfortunately most not around a courtyard anymore) and I read they are also very common in UK and Ireland. Piano unfriendly indeed, space-wise but perhaps even more noise-wise. A new developent though is that we need to get rid of natural gas warming our houses, and a major operation will be to get thorough insulation everywhere, which is both energy-wise and piano-wise a good thing. Our house is already well-insulated to the outside. I think if I (acoustically) insulated shared walls with the neighbours I could play an acoustic piano without annoying people (though a Schimmel grand is pushing it). But first I should get to a decent playing level smile

This is very interesting. We have a flat in an Amsterdam grachtenpand (canal house) and it also has a courtyard, but I didn't realize that courtyards were customary design features in a real grachtenpand. The problem in a grachtenpand (or at least in ours) is that the staircase is so steep (and spiral) that there is no way significant furniture can enter the flat except through a window.


Moving furniture and boxes through a window is the typical way of moving into an apartment in Paris and I think it is the same for most of Europe.

A guy in my building had his grand moved in through the window but he’s on the second floor on the street side and I’m on the top floor on the back of the building with no easy access for a crane.

My neighbor, who has a spinet, told me that it cost the guy $7k to get the piano brought in with a crane. Funny that they couldn’t bring it up one flight of stairs or get it into the elevator. I don’t think it’s that expensive in Europe to move a piano by crane but I don’t know.

Last edited by LarryK; 07/18/19 03:08 AM.

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Re: Advice needed: make Schimmel sp182t silent?
pianogabe #2870251 07/18/19 08:56 AM
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I would need three brandies with a vodka chaser to watch my piano lifted by a crane and brought through a window! Wow! 😁🍹🍸🍹


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