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Re: Pianos today vs those from "the golden era"
iObsessed #2975824 05/06/20 03:07 PM
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I do not think Yamaha or Kawai pianos were made to "live "
that long.

Re: Pianos today vs those from "the golden era"
iObsessed #2975940 05/06/20 07:31 PM
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In other words, they are not built to the standards of premium pianos of the 1920’s?


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Re: Pianos today vs those from "the golden era"
iObsessed #2975999 05/06/20 10:25 PM
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A Beethoven concerto with a Pleyel concert grand from "the golden era":

Beethoven concerto no.4 - Pleyel concert grand "Modèle 1"


Hamburg Steinway & Sons C-227
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Re: Pianos today vs those from "the golden era"
iObsessed #2976008 05/06/20 11:02 PM
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Period pianos or fortepianos are a different thing from vintage pianos. Vintage pianos are modern pianos in design. There may have been improvements in design or manufacturing processes since the 1920’s, but a piano from the 1920’s is the same instrument as a current model piano.


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Re: Pianos today vs those from "the golden era"
iObsessed #2976064 05/07/20 04:52 AM
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The Pleyel Modèle 1 is a well famous vintage concert grand. It's not a period piano or fortepiano.


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Re: Pianos today vs those from "the golden era"
Sweelinck #2976065 05/07/20 04:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
In other words, they are not built to the standards of premium pianos of the 1920’s?

I doubt if they really had standards for pianos in those days.

I think the BSI was the worlds first standards body and they were only founded in 1901, and it probably took 50 years for those original engineering standards to trickle down to the piano industry.

Re: Pianos today vs those from "the golden era"
iObsessed #2976096 05/07/20 07:29 AM
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You are using a different definition of standard. A standard of quality can just be an overall quality level to be competitive in the marketplace based on the quality targets of other vendors. This is a very different meaning than referring to say the IEEE 802.11 wireless networking standard.


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Re: Pianos today vs those from "the golden era"
trandinhnamanh #2976098 05/07/20 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by trandinhnamanh
The Pleyel Modèle 1 is a well famous vintage concert grand. It's not a period piano or fortepiano.
Mea culpa. I was not able to get the video to open before and was making an incorrect assumption about that model piano.


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Re: Pianos today vs those from "the golden era"
Sweelinck #2976103 05/07/20 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
You are using a different definition of standard. A standard of quality can just be an overall quality level to be competitive in the marketplace based on the quality targets of other vendors. This is a very different meaning than referring to say the IEEE 802.11 wireless networking standard.

Ok, but if you are now defining standard to be "an overall quality level to be competitive in the marketplace based on the quality targets of other vendors" rather than some absolute quality standard then Yamaha and Kawai pianos are built to the same standard as those pianos from 1920 as they are all built to be competitive in their marketplaces. More realistically the marketplace for Yamahas and Kawais is not the same as for the great surviving pianos of old, their comparative marketplace would be those of Steinway,Bosendorfer et al.

Re: Pianos today vs those from "the golden era"
iObsessed #2976119 05/07/20 08:15 AM
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I’m not changing my definition. I was using a typical idiomatic usage common at least in the US. It refers to standard of quality not an engineering standard. It is like saying that a Mercedes is built to a higher standard than a Ford (I’m assuming that is true). Many Pianos of the 1920’s can have a 120-year lifespan. Hammers, dampers, and strings may need replacing during that time. I don’t think many Yamahas from the 1960’s even get refurbished in that way.


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Re: Pianos today vs those from "the golden era"
Sweelinck #2976131 05/07/20 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
I’m not changing my definition. I was using a typical idiomatic usage common at least in the US. It refers to standard of quality not an engineering standard.

I know, I was just feeling a bit mischievous. And I do like terms clarified so there is no ambiguity. Sorry.

Originally Posted by Sweelinck
It is like saying that a Mercedes is built to a higher standard than a Ford (I’m assuming that is true). Many Pianos of the 1920’s can have a 120-year lifespan. Hammers, dampers, and strings may need replacing during that time. I don’t think many Yamahas from the 1960’s even get refurbished in that way.

But saying that not many Yamahas from the 1960s get refurbished that way wouldn't, even if true, establish the relative quality/standard of those pianos. I'd suggest it is a question of availability and economics i.e. firstly are you forced to refurbish an old one because there are no new ones and secondly a question of economics i.e. can you get a new or more recent Yamaha or Kawai etc. for less than it would cost to restore an old one to the same condition and performance.

Like for like, for mid range pianos manufactured in quantity, for the same sort of price relative to wages, I tend to think that today's pianos are vastly better than they were 'back in the day'. But I'd still love one of the old ones really well restored.

Re: Pianos today vs those from "the golden era"
Lady Bird #2976139 05/07/20 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Lady Bird
I do not think Yamaha or Kawai pianos were made to "live "
that long.
I suppose like many pianos at thier level they can be restored but that costs
money.......
Thier soundboards I think last well, but eventually there may be other problems.The same goes for thier grands. After 50 years(more actually ) my old Kawai 500 grand (all wood action) grand is still being used as a practice piano in a dealership for students.
I have been told that at the time that Kawai was made Kawai was in direct competition with Yamaha and the piano was an excellant model.This was told to me by two technicians who are very well known in Vancouver. The one technician was recommended by the BCRMT and other is the past concert technician in Vancouver who prepped the Hamburg Steinway that arrived in Vancouver ,a year or two ago.(and has since serviced my piano)

This grand needed string replacements , and after towards the end the key resistance became heavy and needed frequent regulation. It had traveled across the equator then functioned here as
a teaching piano for another 18years at least.
We thought about restoration, but felt it may not be worth as there could be more problems as it
aged.
Any piano shows its age after 50 years.
So it all depends on how that piano will suit you then. Is it worth restoring or not ?
Perhaps the more special Japanese uprights like the Yamaha YUS5 or the Kawai K800 may be worth restoring and of course the Kawai Shigeru and the Yamaha equivalent.
Very, very ,few items such as mechanical pianos, clocks will be totally untouched through time.
My first piano was a tall (perhaps 48" or taller) pre-war Seiler, what I remember about that piano
was a beautiful tone, a boomimg bass, an excellent sustain.It is similar to my Sauter of today.
The only problem with the piano was a very soft key resistance.As a music student I needed
something with bit more key resistance if I was really going to develope., I also later would definitely
have also needed a grand.
The Kawai was chosen instead of a Yamaha because it was (as an individual piano) thought to be a
better instrument.It's dark mellow tone intrigued my teacher as it did me(and others) for many years.

If we could have afforded a German or American grand I know my father would have bought that.
European pianos were available.
All I can say is that while I appreciate that you have a very nice vintage piano Sweelinck, there are also many very nice sounding modern pianos out there.
People do the best they can to find what suits them, be that a modern U3 or a beautiful sounding American made Baldwin grand from the late 70's.

Last edited by Lady Bird; 05/07/20 09:05 AM. Reason: Missing word
Re: Pianos today vs those from "the golden era"
iObsessed #2976152 05/07/20 09:36 AM
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I would not hesitate for a minute to buy a Yamaha or Kawai piano if the instrument suited me.

I don’t know why this thread is contentious, or people have to pick apart every word in a posting. My point was that vintage pianos usually have a different style of tone than current pianos. This is usually obvious to people who own vintage pianos. Neither is inherently superior, but different people have different subjective tastes and preferences. There really was no reason I should have needed more than one posting to express that.


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Re: Pianos today vs those from "the golden era"
Sweelinck #2976193 05/07/20 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
I would not hesitate for a minute to buy a Yamaha or Kawai piano if the instrument suited me.

I don’t know why this thread is contentious, or people have to pick apart every word in a posting.

You're on an internet forum and sometimes we have too much time on our hands. Reason enough, don't take it personally.

Originally Posted by Sweelinck
My point was that vintage pianos usually have a different style of tone than current pianos. This is usually obvious to people who own vintage pianos. Neither is inherently superior, but different people have different subjective tastes and preferences. There really was no reason I should have needed more than one posting to express that.

Re: Pianos today vs those from "the golden era"
Sweelinck #2976241 05/07/20 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
I would not hesitate for a minute to buy a Yamaha or Kawai piano if the instrument suited me.

I don’t know why this thread is contentious, or people have to pick apart every word in a posting. My point was that vintage pianos usually have a different style of tone than current pianos. This is usually obvious to people who own vintage pianos. Neither is inherently superior, but different people have different subjective tastes and preferences. There really was no reason I should have needed more than one posting to express that.
I am sorry I was not trying to be contentious. I do understand what you are saying.That was why I
mentioned the a vintage Seiler.I should have also mentioned I once had an old Broadwood upright
which had a lovely tone.These pianos are are different and I can understand a real affection for that tone !

Last edited by Lady Bird; 05/07/20 12:45 PM. Reason: Missing word
Re: Pianos today vs those from "the golden era"
iObsessed #2976463 05/08/20 02:05 AM
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I noticed in a few videos I've listened to that pianos made before the 1920s tend to kinda have a percussive "plunkey" sound to them, even when restored. At least to my ears. Modern Pianos usually have less attack to them and just sound out a tone without it sounding too much like a hammer actually hit a string to make that sound. Older pianos than even that (1800s) start to sound like haprsichords the further I go back. Steinway's I've listened seem to mostly sound modern most of the time. Maybe it's the quality of the rebuild? I've been comparing videos of older Chickering grands with newer ones built after the 30s lately.

I'm just now developing the ear for these kinds of things, so I might not be hearing things as they really are or should be.

Re: Pianos today vs those from "the golden era"
iObsessed #2976468 05/08/20 02:20 AM
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My 1903 M & H does not have a ‘plunky’ Sound. Neither did my Stieff 1900.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
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Re: Pianos today vs those from "the golden era"
dogperson #2976703 05/08/20 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
My 1903 M & H does not have a ‘plunky’ Sound. Neither did my Stieff 1900.
This is why I wish I could play more different instruments in person. They may sound one way through my earphones but may sound much better in person. I don't know how old it was, but I once played a rebuilt M&H concert grand at Reeder's that was very nice. A few rebuilt S&S uprights from the late 1800s were very nice as well. Actually have a recording of two of them.

Re: Pianos today vs those from "the golden era"
iObsessed #2976704 05/08/20 03:10 PM
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I've been reading the responses to this thread, especially your experiences with specific examples of different makes of pianos, and I remembered one historical fact. A century ago, there were thousands of piano makers in the US, and I'm sure there are about as many in Europe as well. The Great Depression, the two world wars, and numerous business restructurings whittled down the field. Now, there are only 3 in the US and a few more in Europe. Do you feel that market competition back then incentivized piano makers to improve quality, even in "lesser pianos" such as baby grands and uprights?

Re: Pianos today vs those from "the golden era"
iObsessed #2976737 05/08/20 05:50 PM
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Some old pianos still sound great .,A great deal depends on affects of humidity, and if the piano was
looked after well. There are several treasure's out there !

Last edited by Lady Bird; 05/08/20 05:50 PM. Reason: Spelling
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