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piano search
#2949332 02/20/20 01:29 AM
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N Artur Offline OP
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New at this. Would like your opinions. After not playing for 20 years I am searching for 6'4" up to 7 '6" grand piano. I have learned a ton but having trouble making final decisions.
I have found a 1916 Steinway B, 1894 Steinway C, new and 1990s Grotrian, 2005 and 2016 Shigeru Kawai and possibly new Estonia 190 and Stenway A III that needs rebuilding that I like. Not enough options close to me to try so have relied on videos, this forum and other readings.
Just finished The Grand Obsession which turned me to the beautiful sound of Grotrian.

Looking forward to your thoughts.

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Re: piano search
N Artur #2949342 02/20/20 02:47 AM
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Originally Posted by N Artur
New at this. Would like your opinions. After not playing for 20 years I am searching for 6'4" up to 7 '6" grand piano. I have learned a ton but having trouble making final decisions.
I have found a 1916 Steinway B, 1894 Steinway C, new and 1990s Grotrian, 2005 and 2016 Shigeru Kawai and possibly new Estonia 190 and Stenway A III that needs rebuilding that I like. Not enough options close to me to try so have relied on videos, this forum and other readings.
Just finished The Grand Obsession which turned me to the beautiful sound of Grotrian.

Looking forward to your thoughts.



N Arthur:

Welcome to Piano World.

I am not sure what opinions you would like, based on your post, but in theory, at least, you are looking at some good names.

The first rule of thumb that I am sure you must have learned is that you should never buy - or consider buying - a piano that you haven't played, and played extensively.

Secondly, not knowing what equipment was used, what the acoustics of the recording venue might have been, it's extremely difficult to judge a piano by listening to Youtube videos. Even if a video gives you some indication of the actual sound of the piano, live, a video will not give you any sense of the feel of the action, so important to any pianist. So, eventually, you are going to have to narrow down your search to something that "seems promising" and then go and actually try it.

Thirdly, a 1916 Steinway B, a 1894 Steinway C and a Steinway A III that needs rebuilding may all be possibly - or potentially - good pianos or they may be money pits. Without knowing their actual condition, one cannot give any but the most vague opinions let alone recommendations. These pianos and the other pianos you mentioned would have to be examined by a technician to determine their actual condition before writing a cheque (or check, if you prefer). I wouldn't think it necessary, on the other hand, to have a technician examine a piano sold new, from a reputable dealer.

I think that you have much to consider and some actual playing to do because, in the long run (at the end of the day - or whatever other cliché I might use), only you are going to know what you like and, after inspection, what you are happy to live with.

Best of luck in your search. After having read Grand Obsession, you know that the search may take some time. Best of luck in your search and enjoy it while you are at it; there are some fine instruments to experience while searching.

Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: piano search
N Artur #2949443 02/20/20 10:05 AM
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Thanks for you thoughts. I have researched the piano shops/rebuilders with very good reputations and at least narrowed down possibilities with them. I agree I need to start playing extensively. I have an opportunity at one place to play new Estonia, slightly older Shigeru and the well rebuilt Steinway C. My biggest obstacle is trusting my inclination when I have played very little but want to commit time to play a lot over the next 25 years. I want to love the instrument not second guess my decision. Hard to decide what tone quality and action I am looking for with little recent playing.
I think the C is nice. Anyone with thoughts on Grotrian vs Shigeru vs Estonia?
N Artur

Re: piano search
N Artur #2949446 02/20/20 10:11 AM
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Have a friend who plays at a high level? Teacher? Bring someone along, or even hire a tech for a day. I can understand your reservation and don't think it is misplaced.

Re: piano search
BruceD #2949453 02/20/20 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by N Artur
New at this. Would like your opinions. After not playing for 20 years I am searching for 6'4" up to 7 '6" grand piano. I have learned a ton but having trouble making final decisions.
I have found a 1916 Steinway B, 1894 Steinway C, new and 1990s Grotrian, 2005 and 2016 Shigeru Kawai and possibly new Estonia 190 and Stenway A III that needs rebuilding that I like. Not enough options close to me to try so have relied on videos, this forum and other readings.
Just finished The Grand Obsession which turned me to the beautiful sound of Grotrian.

Looking forward to your thoughts.



N Arthur:

Welcome to Piano World.

I am not sure what opinions you would like, based on your post, but in theory, at least, you are looking at some good names.

The first rule of thumb that I am sure you must have learned is that you should never buy - or consider buying - a piano that you haven't played, and played extensively.

Secondly, not knowing what equipment was used, what the acoustics of the recording venue might have been, it's extremely difficult to judge a piano by listening to Youtube videos. Even if a video gives you some indication of the actual sound of the piano, live, a video will not give you any sense of the feel of the action, so important to any pianist. So, eventually, you are going to have to narrow down your search to something that "seems promising" and then go and actually try it.

Thirdly, a 1916 Steinway B, a 1894 Steinway C and a Steinway A III that needs rebuilding may all be possibly - or potentially - good pianos or they may be money pits. Without knowing their actual condition, one cannot give any but the most vague opinions let alone recommendations. These pianos and the other pianos you mentioned would have to be examined by a technician to determine their actual condition before writing a cheque (or check, if you prefer). I wouldn't think it necessary, on the other hand, to have a technician examine a piano sold new, from a reputable dealer.

I think that you have much to consider and some actual playing to do because, in the long run (at the end of the day - or whatever other cliché I might use), only you are going to know what you like and, after inspection, what you are happy to live with.

Best of luck in your search. After having read Grand Obsession, you know that the search may take some time. Best of luck in your search and enjoy it while you are at it; there are some fine instruments to experience while searching.

Regards,

+1 thumb

You’re going to have to figure out which piano sounds best to you and which action is most comfortable. Bring your current repertoire with you and maybe bring a friend who can put the pianos through their paces, or have the sales person play different pieces so you can fully hear how it sounds. It’s good to have the salesperson play for you so that you can fully listen and not be distracted by focusing on your own playing. You mentioned quite a few pianos that could be really nice. Definitely try out the Estonia 190. I bought my Estonia because it “punches way above its weight class”. If you’re not a boxing fan that means IMHO it sounds and plays much better than other pianos in it’s price range. Again that’s my personal opinion. You may fall in love with something completely different. Take your time. Best Wishes.

Last edited by j&j; 02/20/20 10:41 AM.

J & J
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Re: piano search
N Artur #2949460 02/20/20 11:14 AM
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A Grotrian, a Shigeru Kawai, and an Estonia are going to sound and feel quite a bit different from each other. After playing them in person, your preferences should become rather clear. Hopefully you’ll like the touch and tone of one the most. At some point in time I’ve considered buying a Grotrian 192 or 208, a Shigeru SK-3 or SK-6, and an Estonia 190 or 210. I respect them all.


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Re: piano search
N Artur #2949462 02/20/20 11:23 AM
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BTW I don't know where in Illinois you are, but if you can drive to Chicago, Indianapolis, St. Louis, you should be able to visit some dealers and try out the models they have. I have come to believe that driving is an essential part of piano shopping, unfortunately! :P

Even if you end up buying elsewhere, or end up not buying any of the brands that those dealers might have available, the experience of playing a large number of brands, models and sizes makes such a huge difference when you get ready to actually decide on something.


Started piano June 1999.
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Re: piano search
ShiroKuro #2949501 02/20/20 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
BTW I don't know where in Illinois you are, but if you can drive to Chicago, Indianapolis, St. Louis, you should be able to visit some dealers and try out the models they have. I have come to believe that driving is an essential part of piano shopping, unfortunately! :P

Even if you end up buying elsewhere, or end up not buying any of the brands that those dealers might have available, the experience of playing a large number of brands, models and sizes makes such a huge difference when you get ready to actually decide on something.



+1 thumb Exactly right. One of the interesting thing about trying different pianos side by side is you can go back and forth vs driving between dealerships. Plus dealer prep can make a huge difference in the playing experience of the new pianos on the showroom floor. We can only hope dealer prep is consistent for pianos in a certain price category.


J & J
Estonia L190 Hidden Beauty
Casio Privia PX-330
I save far better than I play!
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Re: piano search
N Artur #2949508 02/20/20 01:53 PM
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You mention a new Grotrian as an option in your first post.

Pianobuyer SMP for a 7' 4" Grotrian is $ 118,354.

I will assume your budget is around $ 100k.

Please try as many pianos as possible yourself before making your decision.

Buying a piano is a long term process. It can take months.

Re: piano search
N Artur #2949525 02/20/20 03:08 PM
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If you're in Illinois, a good place to check out would be Cordogan's in the western Chicago suburbs. They have a good selection, they rebuild pianos so often have really interesting things. I bought my piano there and have been very happy with their service.


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Re: piano search
N Artur #2949748 02/21/20 09:04 AM
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Thanks for all the great suggestions. Looking for used Grotrian would be my price point not the 100k. Hard to find direct comparisons with European pianos side by side. I get some sense of European sound with good speakers but nothing like live sound and action. Any thoughts on 100 yo rebuilt grand and the future life of that piano? Will it last 50 years, can it be rebuilt by my grandchildren? Just battling decision new or barely used vs vintage still. Would love to play Grotrian vs Shigeru vs Steinway side by side but the only option appears to be in Portland.

Interesting conversation on the SK3 in CA for the gentleman looking for grand for the NY townhouse. I was hoping for closer to 7 ft but does seem to be a good deal.
Would love to hear more thoughts on Grotrian.

Re: piano search
N Artur #2950790 02/24/20 01:42 AM
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Any thoughts on C Bechstein grand from the 1980s, early 2000s and even the 1920s?


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