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Ritmuller Questions #2938642 01/25/20 11:27 PM
Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 2
G
Goose828 Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 2
I am looking to buy my first grand piano and have already learned so much from this site! I played semi-seriously as a kid, but it’s now been almost 20 years since I’ve had a piano in my home. I grew up playing on a reliable Yamaha upright, nothing fancy, and always wanted a grand but couldn’t afford one. I now have kids who may start playing in the next couple years, a living room that would fit up to about 5.5 feet, and a budget of about 10k (with some wiggle room if you ask me, none if you ask my husband 😬).

I’ve been to a few showrooms and initially liked the new Kawai GL-10. It’s a brand I’ve heard of, seemed like a popular first baby grand, and I liked the way it sounded and played. A couple showrooms later, I tried a Ritmuller GH160 that I also thought sounded really great, but I didn’t trust my judgement since I’ve been out of practice, had never heard of them, and it’s hard to compare when they aren’t right next to each other. After reading post after post about both pianos, I am definitely leaning towards the GH160 (and possibly GH148 due to budget). I also came across a used GH170 that’s about 10 years old that I’m seriously considering, given that it will fit!

Here are my questions:
1. Are all the GH*** pianos designed by Lothar Thomma? From what I understand, those started being produced about 10 years ago.
2. If yes, has there been much change with GH170 over the past 10 years?
3. What is your general opinion on Kawai GL vs Rit GH?
4. Would you go with a new GH160 or a used GH170 that’s ~4K less?! Or a GH148 that will probably be in the middle price wise?

One thing to point out is that I can’t seem to find a GH148 to try that’s nearby, but a couple places said they could order one. From what I’ve read, it’s definitely better to go with a floor model that I can try? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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Re: Ritmuller Questions [Re: Goose828] #2938741 01/26/20 10:05 AM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 5,263
terminaldegree Offline
5000 Post Club Member
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Posts: 5,263
Buy the actual piano you like, regardless of used or new, and record the serial number to be sure.

If a used piano is among your final two contenders for purchase, have it thoroughly inspected by a technician prior to purchase. The results of their report will either confirm your choice, scare you away, or be of use to negotiate the asking price lower.

With the better Chinese grand pianos, what I’m seeing (over the last decade) is, even though the models might not change, there seems to be incremental improvements in consistency of build quality, and/or incremental changes and updates to existing designs (using a different hammer supplier, for example).

With the smallest grand pianos, stepping up in size is typically not an insignificant change in tonal performance/balance and (within the same brand) action response. The Ritmüllers you’re considering present an interesting alternative to the GL-10, and I think is a fair comparison. I’d simply suggest going back and playing both, one more time. Ignore any negative dealer comments about the competing piano. Have you tried the used one yet?


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: Ritmuller Questions [Re: terminaldegree] #2938784 01/26/20 11:46 AM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,571
j&j Offline
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Offline
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Posts: 2,571
Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Buy the actual piano you like, regardless of used or new, and record the serial number to be sure.

If a used piano is among your final two contenders for purchase, have it thoroughly inspected by a technician prior to purchase. The results of their report will either confirm your choice, scare you away, or be of use to negotiate the asking price lower.

With the better Chinese grand pianos, what I’m seeing (over the last decade) is, even though the models might not change, there seems to be incremental improvements in consistency of build quality, and/or incremental changes and updates to existing designs (using a different hammer supplier, for example).

With the smallest grand pianos, stepping up in size is typically not an insignificant change in tonal performance/balance and (within the same brand) action response. The Ritmüllers you’re considering present an interesting alternative to the GL-10, and I think is a fair comparison. I’d simply suggest going back and playing both, one more time. Ignore any negative dealer comments about the competing piano. Have you tried the used one yet?


+1 thumb Excellent advice.


J & J
Estonia L190 Hidden Beauty
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Re: Ritmuller Questions [Re: terminaldegree] #2938790 01/26/20 12:04 PM
Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 2
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Goose828 Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 2
Thank you for your response! I have not tried the used one yet, as it is a bit of a drive away, but I am considering taking a trip to see it. Great advice about the technician, I will look one up nearby if I do make the trip!

Re: Ritmuller Questions [Re: Goose828] #2938829 01/26/20 01:33 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,571
j&j Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
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Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,571
It reminds me of sound advice I got when we had horses. “Before you buy any horse, get that horse checked by your veterinarian.”


J & J
Estonia L190 Hidden Beauty
Casio Privia PX-330
Pianos - the reason God made trees!
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