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Hunting for piano for my son #2899358
10/11/19 06:53 PM
10/11/19 06:53 PM
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ZibiPL Offline OP
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Hello to everyone,
that's my first post, and as hundreds of others before- just registered to ask for some advice from people that know.

My son is 16 years old. He started to play about 10 months ago ( I was totally surprised, he went crazy about Chopin ), I bought digital Casio A-470 for him, he played more and more, so finally I found him a teacher and now it appears that Casio is not enough and acoustic piano is needed.
Budget is kind of tight so I am looking for an used instrument.

I came across an Kawai upright BS-10 from 1987 for about 2000 Eur - is it good price for that one assuming that technician will confirm that it is OK?

I came across other instrument that stole my attention - it was Shimmel "baby grand" ( if that is a proper name for small 150 cm grand). I have heard before that very small grands are not very good in bass reproduction ( short strings ) but that one played a LOT better than 10 upright pianos there, so I couldn't forget that one even that I am not looking for grand and it is almost double the budget - it just sits in my mind whenever I think about piano for my son..

Is there any way to get some more info about that instrument? Where to look? It is about 142 cm wide and 150 cm long, it has Schimmel Braunschweig logo and serial number 69620. Have no idea about the year and how much it can be worth in very good condition?

Thank You in advance for help.

Last edited by ZibiPL; 10/11/19 07:03 PM.
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Re: Hunting for piano for my son [Re: ZibiPL] #2899365
10/11/19 07:21 PM
10/11/19 07:21 PM
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Re: Hunting for piano for my son [Re: ZibiPL] #2899376
10/11/19 08:17 PM
10/11/19 08:17 PM
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The following serial number chart indicates that the piano was probably built in 1963.

http://www.schimmel-pianos.de/home/consultation/serial-number-and-age.html?L=1

To that end, a newer used upright will probably be more than adequate for your son at this stage of his development. The asking price for the 1987 Kawai seems fair - assuming the piano is in good condition. Do you know if any work has been done on it?


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Re: Hunting for piano for my son [Re: Carey] #2899447
10/12/19 09:26 AM
10/12/19 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Carey
The following serial number chart indicates that the piano was probably built in 1963.

http://www.schimmel-pianos.de/home/consultation/serial-number-and-age.html?L=1

To that end, a newer used upright will probably be more than adequate for your son at this stage of his development. The asking price for the 1987 Kawai seems fair - assuming the piano is in good condition. Do you know if any work has been done on it?


I do agree with Carey - who always gives good advice. I would think a 32 year old upright would be overall the better piano for your son than a 52 year old small grand. I do love Schimmel pianos, but I think the Kawai would be far more suitable. Best of Luck! Congratulations to you and your son. Any kid that goes crazy for Chopin is cool!😎


J & J
Yamaha C3 PE
Casio Privia PX-330
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Re: Hunting for piano for my son [Re: ZibiPL] #2899450
10/12/19 09:39 AM
10/12/19 09:39 AM
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Williamsburg, VA
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But ZibiPL says the small grand played a LOT better than the 10 uprights. That matters.

If you're not going to go hungry by acquiring the Schimmel, I would be inclined in that direction. And you may have some negotiating leverage on the price, given the piano's age. Get a tech to examine it to make sure the piano isn't on its proverbial last legs. You'll also feel more comfortable that the dealer isn't a lyre (can't believe I said that).

This is not necessarily a purchase for the ages. It's one to give the young fellow a good practice instrument for the next few years. For my money, if the action of the grand is in decent condition, that would move me in its direction. I just don't generally like upright actions unless we're talking about a top shelf Grotrian, Bechstein, or Bluthner (etc.).

Re: Hunting for piano for my son [Re: ZibiPL] #2899603
10/12/19 07:44 PM
10/12/19 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by ZibiPL

...

My son is 16 years old. He started to play about 10 months ago ( I was totally surprised, he went crazy about Chopin ), I bought digital Casio A-470 for him, he played more and more, so finally I found him a teacher and now it appears that Casio is not enough and acoustic piano is needed.
Budget is kind of tight so I am looking for an used instrument.

...


There is a discussion going on about this very topic over at the Adult Beginners Forum. see http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2899260/myths-7-8-are-up.html#Post2899260 made by a piano teacher. I would be quite surprised if only 10 months in this AP 470 isn't good enough, but as the thread I reference says, there are some teachers out there with quite out of date views on digital pianos. Don't go stretching a budget just on one teachers say so.

I had a Casio AP 460 when I first restarted after a long break - I had learnt 5 ish years as a child to ABRSM Grade 3, and I bought this to see me onward from there. I admit I was super picky and found some limitations with it, related to pivot length of the keys, so I part exchanged it for a Kawai CA67 digital piano and I have that still 2 years into my restart. The action is fabulous - better than my fathers acoustic upright that I originally learnt on which now resides at my daughters house. I am hankering after an acoustic grand - but I will not purchase that for at least another year. Even then I expect to do the majority of my practice on my Kawai CA67, just for the ability to be silent and use headphones. I don't expect to take more exams - but my teacher rates me at around ABRSM Grade 6 now. The reason for wanting the acoustic is related to the feeling of the sound - nothing to do with the action.

Re: Hunting for piano for my son [Re: ZibiPL] #2899755
10/13/19 12:52 PM
10/13/19 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by ZibiPL
Hello to everyone,
that's my first post, and as hundreds of others before- just registered to ask for some advice from people that know.

My son is 16 years old. He started to play about 10 months ago ( I was totally surprised, he went crazy about Chopin ), I bought digital Casio A-470 for him, he played more and more, so finally I found him a teacher and now it appears that Casio is not enough and acoustic piano is needed.
Budget is kind of tight so I am looking for an used instrument.

I came across an Kawai upright BS-10 from 1987 for about 2000 Eur - is it good price for that one assuming that technician will confirm that it is OK?

I came across other instrument that stole my attention - it was Shimmel "baby grand" ( if that is a proper name for small 150 cm grand). I have heard before that very small grands are not very good in bass reproduction ( short strings ) but that one played a LOT better than 10 upright pianos there, so I couldn't forget that one even that I am not looking for grand and it is almost double the budget - it just sits in my mind whenever I think about piano for my son..

Is there any way to get some more info about that instrument? Where to look? It is about 142 cm wide and 150 cm long, it has Schimmel Braunschweig logo and serial number 69620. Have no idea about the year and how much it can be worth in very good condition?

Thank You in advance for help.


The one Schimmel 150 I have heard had an interesting scale design, but sounded fantastic, especially considering its size. I believe Rich G. has also mentioned the Schimmel 150 (which they stopped making some time ago) as being a great small grand.

Re: Hunting for piano for my son [Re: ZibiPL] #2899792
10/13/19 02:27 PM
10/13/19 02:27 PM
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ZibiPL Offline OP
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Thank You all for Your comments.

Kawai upright was in private house and out of tune since few years, have no idea what was done before.
Shimmel baby was in very strange place on a farm where was very big old barn with at least fifty or sixty keyboard instruments, some of these very old, for example I have seen few instruments where You need to push the pedal to pump air to get sound from keyboard. There were some Grotrian uprights, some Yamaha, Malmsjo and other brands, even one Steinway tall upright piano ( not for sale ). It was not official dealer place, rather kind of passionate lair with his precious pieces smile

Yesterday we were in another place to look for instrument, this time more official shop with Yamaha dealership and some used pianos and uprights. We tested some Yamahas U1( one was Miki U1)from late seventies, some other brands like Eterna and Samick and it surprised me that my son finally told me that Samick Su-118 from 1988 was the best within 2000-2500 $ budget, better than old U1-s.
We were about to leave when I found another small piano with face turned to the wall, it appeared to be ...another Shimmel - it was a lot smaller and more delicate than known to everyone U1 format, I didn't expected anything special but when we played it - it was totally crazy - smallest piano around (112cm) made so powerful bass we couldn't believe! It was that one:
http://grzegorzrychlik.pl/pianino-schimmel-empire/
This upright is too expensive for me ( maybe I need to reconsider budget ) but is also more expensive than Shimmel baby which played I think a little ( repeat: a little ) better than this small upright. I still can't believe in that sound, it was complete not just in bass but in all registers.
So far we have three candidates:
1. Samick SU-118 upright - within a budget and in great condition, ready to pick up and with warranty from dealer ( cheapest option )- that was the one picked by my son
2. Shimmel baby - after some renewal, out of budget, about 3200 $ and technical check will be needed. No idea about warranties so far
3. Shimmel Upright Empire model - in great condition and warranty ( the same reputable dealer as Samick ), totally out of budget like nr 2

I plan to visit another place shortly and that I hope will do to choose something finally.
If in this third place Shimmel will be the best I will go to mental hospital straight away smile
The best thing is that my son has the same thoughts about these two Shimmels

We started to take into consideration grand baby also because my son has lessons on Yamaha G3, but I have no idea what space is needed for that kind of instrument to sound properly.
Can I put this baby in the room like 3,5 x 5 meters and 2,5 meters height? If that is not enough grand will be out of reach than.

Re: Hunting for piano for my son [Re: ZibiPL] #2899827
10/13/19 03:44 PM
10/13/19 03:44 PM
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Re the size of your room, I think it could certainly hold a small or medium sized baby grand just in terms of the dimensions. Without knowing about what else is in the room, it's hard to say how it would sound, but it will probably be just fine.

For comparison, I have a Yahama C2 (5'8", so 173 cm I think) in a room of similar size to yours (11 feet by 18, so that's very close to your 3.5 x 5 meter room, right?) In this room, I have two chairs (but no sofa, so not a lot of furniture), curtains and an area rug. The piano sounds amazing and I absolutely love the size. But, if this room were my main living room, it wouldn't work because there's not enough room for a sofa and TV etc in there with the piano. We are fortunate to have a separate family room that's our main living room.

Oh, also, when we were still piano shopping, we used a paper floor template and it looked like we could fit a C3 (same size as G3, 6'2" or so) but now that I have the C2 in there, I feel like anything larger would be too big.

Which is all to say, you could easily fit a 5 foot or 5 foot 3 inch grand piano in your room.

Good luck!!


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Re: Hunting for piano for my son [Re: ZibiPL] #2900085
10/14/19 11:29 AM
10/14/19 11:29 AM
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Southwest
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Generally speaking piano dealers have paper or material piano outlines to help you determine which grand you can fit and will loan it to you for determining the best place and direction to face in the room. We used the Yamaha templet when we moved. It made picking the final location SO much easier.


J & J
Yamaha C3 PE
Casio Privia PX-330
Pianos - the reason God made trees!
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Re: Hunting for piano for my son [Re: ZibiPL] #2900136
10/14/19 01:17 PM
10/14/19 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by ZibiPL
My son is 16 years old. He started to play about 10 months ago ( I was totally surprised, he went crazy about Chopin ), I bought digital Casio A-470 for him, he played more and more, so finally I found him a teacher and now it appears that Casio is not enough and acoustic piano is needed.
Budget is kind of tight so I am looking for an used instrument.


"now it appears that Casio is not enough and an acoustic piano is needed." Who decided this, the teacher? I'm not sure how a very nice digital piano such as the AP-470 can be not good enough.(especially for a 16 year-old after just 10 months of training!) It sounds to me like either... a: the teacher simply doesn't like DP's, or b: perhaps your son is just wanting a change? Anyhow, it just struck me as kinda odd. If either you, the teacher, or your son, thinks that the AP-470 is not enough of a "real" instrument, then what will be gained from buying a new piano?

I'm a formally-trained/accomplished pianist who prefers classical music over all other... and I have just this past week ordered a Casio PX-870, and I already know that it will be more than adequate for my playing, indefinitely. Just saying.

Re: Hunting for piano for my son [Re: ZibiPL] #2900307
10/15/19 06:02 AM
10/15/19 06:02 AM
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Hello camperbc

It is the teacher suggestion to change for acoustic instrument. I agree that Casio was great digital piano with nice rich samples. I am not the player so it will be hard for me to explain but the problem appeared when playing very fast two nieighbour keys one after another repeatedly- the keys didn't move back fast enough to do it properly.
My son is playing Yamaha G3 at the teacher's house and there is no such problem.
On acoustic uprights that we already tested it was also easier to do however not so easy as on grand piano ( that's why I am also considering Shimmel baby grand except for the best sound of course ).

Re: Hunting for piano for my son [Re: ZibiPL] #2900377
10/15/19 10:18 AM
10/15/19 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by ZibiPL
Hello camperbc

It is the teacher suggestion to change for acoustic instrument. I agree that Casio was great digital piano with nice rich samples. I am not the player so it will be hard for me to explain but the problem appeared when playing very fast two nieighbour keys one after another repeatedly- the keys didn't move back fast enough to do it properly.
My son is playing Yamaha G3 at the teacher's house and there is no such problem.
On acoustic uprights that we already tested it was also easier to do however not so easy as on grand piano ( that's why I am also considering Shimmel baby grand except for the best sound of course ).


OK, well to me at least, this just doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. I have never experienced any issues while performing fast fingerwork on any keyboard I have ever played, and I'm fairly confident that if this were an actual problem with digital pianos, I most likely would have experienced this too somewhere down the line. But while playing particularly fast passages of classical music on even the most basic, cheapest keyboards, I have still never come across anything like this. Even with my ancient (30+ year-old) relic of a Casiotone CT680 portable keyboard, I have always been able to perform the very quickest of finger work without there ever being an issue of the keys not being able to keep up. All I can suggest is that your piano may be defective, however unlikely this seems. My new PX-870 is to be delivered to our home any day now; once it arrives I will be testing this, but I am certain that I won't be able to replicate the issue you describe.

Perhaps other members will chime in here, but this is a new one to me, and as I say, I'm confident that my new DP's keys will have no trouble at all keeping up with whatever I throw at it. After all, the whole idea of a digital piano is that they do a pretty fantastic job of mimicking a real piano. Even lower-end DP's/portable keyboards do a decent job of replicating the real deal.

Anyway ZibiPL, I wish you luck in your search for a new piano.

Last edited by camperbc; 10/15/19 10:22 AM.
Re: Hunting for piano for my son [Re: camperbc] #2900424
10/15/19 12:07 PM
10/15/19 12:07 PM
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camperbc - since this was posted on the Piano Forum vs the Digital Piano Forum, we would expect most of the members reading this are pretty hard core acoustic fan boys or girls. I have and have played both. I’ve even tried the Yamaha hybrids. I do like be the big bad Yamaha synths. I noodled around on one at Guitar Center and I had fun. I grew up playing an acoustic upright. I fell in love with acoustic grands playing recitals. I took group and private lessons and University classes in recent years and all were done on different quality digitals. I had an acoustic grand at home. Nearly no one else except the professor and the teacher had access to acoustic pianos other than signing up for a tiny practice room with an old upright.
I always preferred practicing on my acoustic small and later medium grand. It strengthened my fingers and hands far more than the heavy action setting on my Casio. I had a lot more confidence for finals and individual tests. I secretly felt I could play nearly any piano put in front of me.
It’s hard to explain but I have to play much more precisely on an acoustic. It’s harder to hide mistakes on an acoustic piano. This is just my humble 2 cents, to really understand and fully develop your skills playing the instrument, you just gotta have an acoustic.


J & J
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Re: Hunting for piano for my son [Re: j&j] #2900438
10/15/19 12:40 PM
10/15/19 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by j&j
... It’s hard to explain but I have to play much more precisely on an acoustic. It’s harder to hide mistakes on an acoustic piano. This is just my humble 2 cents, to really understand and fully develop your skills playing the instrument, you just gotta have an acoustic.


This has not been my personal experience, but OK then. I have to add, though, that even after playing acoustics for a great many years, (and I absolutely LOVE to play a concert grand) I also LOVE to play even just a modest little keyboard. I have certainly never felt that "to really understand and fully develop your skills playing the instrument, you just gotta have an acoustic". Not for this guy. I guess everyone's different.

Re: Hunting for piano for my son [Re: camperbc] #2900439
10/15/19 12:45 PM
10/15/19 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by camperbc
Originally Posted by j&j
... It’s hard to explain but I have to play much more precisely on an acoustic. It’s harder to hide mistakes on an acoustic piano. This is just my humble 2 cents, to really understand and fully develop your skills playing the instrument, you just gotta have an acoustic.


This has not been my personal experience, but OK then. I have to add, though, that even after playing acoustics for a great many years, (and I absolutely LOVE to play a concert grand) I also LOVE to play even just a modest little keyboard. I have certainly never felt that "to really understand and fully develop your skills playing the instrument, you just gotta have an acoustic". Not for this guy. I guess everyone's different.

Morodiene even made a video on this myth.


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Re: Hunting for piano for my son [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2900443
10/15/19 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by camperbc
Originally Posted by j&j
... It’s hard to explain but I have to play much more precisely on an acoustic. It’s harder to hide mistakes on an acoustic piano. This is just my humble 2 cents, to really understand and fully develop your skills playing the instrument, you just gotta have an acoustic.


This has not been my personal experience, but OK then. I have to add, though, that even after playing acoustics for a great many years, (and I absolutely LOVE to play a concert grand) I also LOVE to play even just a modest little keyboard. I have certainly never felt that "to really understand and fully develop your skills playing the instrument, you just gotta have an acoustic". Not for this guy. I guess everyone's different.

Morodiene even made a video on this myth.


Yes, this! Glad to see I'm not the only one thinking clearly.

Re: Hunting for piano for my son [Re: ZibiPL] #2900446
10/15/19 01:13 PM
10/15/19 01:13 PM
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I didn’t exactly say Myth # 8. Practicing on a digital doesn’t harm your technique, but I think a piano student needs to have some experience during their learning, playing an acoustic. Even with great improvement in the action of digitals, you don’t feel the bump, you don’t feel the hammer strike, or the string vibration. On an acoustic piano you have to learn to adjust your playing to the acoustic’s regulation and voicing. It’s similar to going from electric guitar to acoustic guitar. Unplugged. Simple and clean. The player and the piano. No speakers, volume controls, no background, no MIDI, just the player and the piano.


J & J
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Casio Privia PX-330
Pianos - the reason God made trees!
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Re: Hunting for piano for my son [Re: ZibiPL] #2900450
10/15/19 01:22 PM
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Hey, how come when I went to add a little smiley face to my cheeky response, it didn't show up ? I assumed that it was just a matter of clicking on it and it gets added to the message... didn't work for me... hmmm, without the smiley face, now I just look like another smart@$$!

Re: Hunting for piano for my son [Re: camperbc] #2900452
10/15/19 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by camperbc
[...]
This has not been my personal experience, but OK then. I have to add, though, that even after playing acoustics for a great many years, (and I absolutely LOVE to play a concert grand) I also LOVE to play even just a modest little keyboard. I have certainly never felt that "to really understand and fully develop your skills playing the instrument, you just gotta have an acoustic". Not for this guy. I guess everyone's different.


Having virtually no experience with playing digitals, I wonder if the difference of opinion regarding experiences playing on acoustic or digital pianos/keyboards may have something to do with the repertoire that one works on.

Regards,


BruceD
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