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Incoming! - my new August Forster 215
#2986398 06/01/20 12:23 AM
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After 5 months of waiting, my new August Forster 215 is about to arrive! - it was either the last or one of the last 215's to leave the factory before the Covid shutdown and they were kind enough to even send me a photo of it before it was completed.

I'd looked at a 2006 AF215 here in California and knew that this was the piano for me, but also wanted new. I previously had owned a Schimmel cc213 for 15 years and I've learned more about my own personal preferences regarding touch and tone.

Since 2006, I discovered that they had made a few changes to the AF215 along the way:

1/ Duplex scaling (2013)
2/ Full-size "Stage: casters - they are large with brakes on all three wheels (the 2006 had smaller wheels)
3/ 2 anchor plates for legs (previously 1 plate, one bolt).
4/ Lighter inner rim inlay.
5/ "Made in Germary" fallboard inlay
6/ BVD "Made in Germany" certification.
7/ New "Note" emblem on plate.

Some interesting facts I discovered common to all AF215's

1/ 68.9" speaking length for string #1, this required a floating soundboard on the flat side of the tail.
2/ Heavier than a Steinway D (990 lbs) at 1025 lbs(!) - about the same as a MH BB 7'
3/ AF makes one 215 per month on special order only.

Not sure when they started using Italian soundboards (Ciresa in Val di Fiemme), but I found it interesting - Bechstein, Blüthner, Fazioli & Sauter use them as well.

I'll be sure to post photos!

Blue

Last edited by blue_view_laguna; 06/01/20 12:27 AM.

August Förster 215
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Re: Incoming! - my new August Forster 215
blueviewlaguna. #2986428 06/01/20 02:38 AM
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Originally Posted by blue_view_laguna
After 5 months of waiting, my new August Forster 215 is about to arrive![...]I'll be sure to post photos!

Blue

We are going to hold you to that; you read it here folks!

This is news that we can all appreciate and excitement in which we all can share.

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: Incoming! - my new August Forster 215
blueviewlaguna. #2986435 06/01/20 03:26 AM
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Cool. What turned your head about this model?

Re: Incoming! - my new August Forster 215
blueviewlaguna. #2986512 06/01/20 08:04 AM
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Congratulations! An exciting time. When will it arrive?

Re: Incoming! - my new August Forster 215
blueviewlaguna. #2986536 06/01/20 09:11 AM
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Congratulations on your new piano!

Re: Incoming! - my new August Forster 215
blueviewlaguna. #2986655 06/01/20 02:16 PM
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Congrats on the new beast!
I definitely remember my first time playing an AF215.


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Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: Incoming! - my new August Forster 215
blueviewlaguna. #2986755 06/01/20 05:05 PM
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A most hearty congratulations on your incoming AF 215...from one owner to another. I love mine. I'm sure the new ones are even better than my 2002 model! They are fantastic instruments. Like you, I fell in love with the 215 as soon as I played it. What drew you to the 215 over other pianos?


August Förster 215
Re: Incoming! - my new August Forster 215
AaronSF #2986780 06/01/20 06:15 PM
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The bass extension of the AF215 compared to my cc213 Schimmel 7' took me by surprise - the same bass clarity was achieved 1/2 octave lower in an instrument only 2" longer. I suspect its due to the speaking length of the AF strings being 9.65" longer (ref #1) along with the unique floating soundboard of the AF.

A gorgeous lush tone combined with sparkling treble clarity that is not too bright for my tastes.Sustain is remarkable.

The particular way AF regulates the Renner action is ideal for my particular technique - incredibly consistent up/down weights with minimal lead weights on the outer portion of the keys that contribute to inertia and fatigue.

Non-existent bass break, my particular cc213 had challenges in this area.

Only 40 employees build a handful of these pianos almost entirely by hand, I have to admit (being in manufacturing of high-volume consumer products) this had a special appeal to me.

In all, over the 15 years I had my Schimmel I'd developed a strong sense of what I wanted in my next piano - when I played the 2006 AF215, it was local, I knew they were rare and I'd been curious about the 215 for 15 years so I tried it on a whim. I was not prepared to buy it much less a new one! - once played (and played for me by the professional pianist that was selling it) - I was smitten.

Blue

Last edited by blue_view_laguna; 06/01/20 06:17 PM.

August Förster 215
Re: Incoming! - my new August Forster 215
blueviewlaguna. #2986783 06/01/20 06:27 PM
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Had you looked at other models and found them falling short, or aiming in a different direction? Or was this just a 'love at first sight' that ruled out any neuroses about shopping around?

Re: Incoming! - my new August Forster 215
Maestro Lennie #2986802 06/01/20 07:11 PM
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Some of the models I tested

Estonia 225 - bright yet pleasingly rounded tone, bass and projection good but not at the AF215 level. Tenor sounded a bit "wiry" (metallic). A good choice, but not on AF's level in my opinion.
Steinway B - I want to like this model, but have played 4 and found projection, bass and overall presence lacking. High degree of variability between instruments. Sold at MSRP so not a great value either.
Schimmel K230 - sounded like my Schimmel cc213 with better bass extension. Schimmels are now too bright and thin sounding now for my tastes, heavy action.
Seiler 208 - I was very interested to play this model, competent but not inspiring to me.
Steinway D - NY, well prepared example. Too large and expensive. Bass is a bit too bright with lots of overtones, my tastes trend towards a burnished rounded bass that still has "bite" but less brassy sounding. Lives up to it's reputation!
Yamaha CF6 - A terrific piano for those that like the Yamaha sound, I don't (I grew up on a C2).
Baldwin SD10 - Too large and not available new but was interesting to try. A terrific value on the used market - reminded me of the 1920's Baldwin R in the treble and mid section that our family had. Action not well regulated.
Blüthner Model 4 - Besides the AF215, my choice - AF had superior touch and bass extension.

Last edited by blue_view_laguna; 06/01/20 07:20 PM.

August Förster 215
Re: Incoming! - my new August Forster 215
blueviewlaguna. #2986829 06/01/20 08:33 PM
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Very very exciting. One day I hope to upgrade to my forever piano. If that never happens I love my Schimmel and I would be ok with it.


When you play, never mind who listens to you. R.Schumann.

Casio GP-400
Schimmel SP-182T
Re: Incoming! - my new August Forster 215
blueviewlaguna. #2986846 06/01/20 09:58 PM
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Congratulations on your wonderfull piano.Wishing you many wonderfull moments making music.

Re: Incoming! - my new August Forster 215
blueviewlaguna. #2986857 06/01/20 11:12 PM
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Thanks all for the warm wishes! - I'm expecting my 215 to arrive by 6/13.

I ended up adding a whole house dehumidifier and humidifier to my HVAC system to keep a 45-50% RH range. I don't want to subject it to the wide humidity swings that my previous Schimmel 213 went through. When dry (30% RH) the Schimmel's hammers would become very percussive and when wet (60% RH) it lost some of the high frequency harmonics.


August Förster 215
Re: Incoming! - my new August Forster 215
blueviewlaguna. #2986954 06/02/20 09:12 AM
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Congratulations on your new August Forester 215! I’m glad you detailed all the specifications on why you chose that particular brand and size. I myself would have been over the moon with your previous Schimmel Classic. I had tried two Schimmel Konzert series 7’ grand’s years ago and only had a Schimmel C169 to try last October. I was disappointed in the Schimmel Classic but couldn’t tell if it was the smaller size or because it wasn’t Schimmel’s top line. I picked my Estonia for its clear singing voice but it might have been really cool to try an August Forester.

Be sure to include pictures and be sure to tell us if your brand new beauty is even better than you thought it would be, since I guess you haven’t ever played your new baby yet. Congratulations!! Best Wishes!

Last edited by j&j; 06/02/20 09:12 AM.

J & J
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Re: Incoming! - my new August Forster 215
blueviewlaguna. #2987123 06/02/20 05:20 PM
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Congratulations! I'm looking forward to seeing the pictures and reading on your comments after taking delivery. So exciting when there is a new piano delivery, especially when we get a chance to see one of the rarer models.


Shigeru Kawai SK-7
Mason and Hamlin BB
Re: Incoming! - my new August Forster 215
blueviewlaguna. #2987136 06/02/20 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by blue_view_laguna
The bass extension of the AF215 compared to my cc213 Schimmel 7' took me by surprise - the same bass clarity was achieved 1/2 octave lower in an instrument only 2" longer. I suspect its due to the speaking length of the AF strings being 9.65" longer (ref #1) along with the unique floating soundboard of the AF.

A gorgeous lush tone combined with sparkling treble clarity that is not too bright for my tastes.Sustain is remarkable.

The particular way AF regulates the Renner action is ideal for my particular technique - incredibly consistent up/down weights with minimal lead weights on the outer portion of the keys that contribute to inertia and fatigue.

Non-existent bass break, my particular cc213 had challenges in this area.

Only 40 employees build a handful of these pianos almost entirely by hand, I have to admit (being in manufacturing of high-volume consumer products) this had a special appeal to me.

In all, over the 15 years I had my Schimmel I'd developed a strong sense of what I wanted in my next piano - when I played the 2006 AF215, it was local, I knew they were rare and I'd been curious about the 215 for 15 years so I tried it on a whim. I was not prepared to buy it much less a new one! - once played (and played for me by the professional pianist that was selling it) - I was smitten.

Blue

Yes to all the above. It sums up my experiences with the AF 215 very well. When I was piano hunting the AF 215 was on my list as a curiosity because one of the dealers I was visiting had one in his show room. I, like you, enjoyed the Estonia 225 a lot, found the several Steinway Bs I played uneven and disappointing for the prices asked, played some nice Blüthners in the same showroom as the AF 215, but was really blown away when I started playing the AF 215. Like you I love the Renner action. Front key weights are minimal because the first 2/3ds of the action has wippin-assist springs, I discovered. They help to drastically reduce key inertia and obviate the need for inertia-inducing key leads. I also noticed the non-existant break in sound consistency between the wound strings and treble. I love the bright but not harsh treble that, with the super long sustain, make singing treble notes easy to produce. The bass is a dream; I can produce bass tones from ppp to fff, and all without having to do cartwheels.
And, like you, I was attracted to the fact that these pianos are truly hand built in small numbers.

Congratulations, again, on a most excellent purchase!


August Förster 215
Re: Incoming! - my new August Forster 215
AaronSF #2987253 06/03/20 02:32 AM
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Originally Posted by AaronSF
Originally Posted by blue_view_laguna
The bass extension of the AF215 compared to my cc213 Schimmel 7' took me by surprise - the same bass clarity was achieved 1/2 octave lower in an instrument only 2" longer. I suspect its due to the speaking length of the AF strings being 9.65" longer (ref #1) along with the unique floating soundboard of the AF.

A gorgeous lush tone combined with sparkling treble clarity that is not too bright for my tastes.Sustain is remarkable.

The particular way AF regulates the Renner action is ideal for my particular technique - incredibly consistent up/down weights with minimal lead weights on the outer portion of the keys that contribute to inertia and fatigue.

Non-existent bass break, my particular cc213 had challenges in this area.

Only 40 employees build a handful of these pianos almost entirely by hand, I have to admit (being in manufacturing of high-volume consumer products) this had a special appeal to me.

In all, over the 15 years I had my Schimmel I'd developed a strong sense of what I wanted in my next piano - when I played the 2006 AF215, it was local, I knew they were rare and I'd been curious about the 215 for 15 years so I tried it on a whim. I was not prepared to buy it much less a new one! - once played (and played for me by the professional pianist that was selling it) - I was smitten.

Blue

Yes to all the above. It sums up my experiences with the AF 215 very well. When I was piano hunting the AF 215 was on my list as a curiosity because one of the dealers I was visiting had one in his show room. I, like you, enjoyed the Estonia 225 a lot, found the several Steinway Bs I played uneven and disappointing for the prices asked, played some nice Blüthners in the same showroom as the AF 215, but was really blown away when I started playing the AF 215. Like you I love the Renner action. Front key weights are minimal because the first 2/3ds of the action has wippin-assist springs, I discovered. They help to drastically reduce key inertia and obviate the need for inertia-inducing key leads. I also noticed the non-existant break in sound consistency between the wound strings and treble. I love the bright but not harsh treble that, with the super long sustain, make singing treble notes easy to produce. The bass is a dream; I can produce bass tones from ppp to fff, and all without having to do cartwheels.
And, like you, I was attracted to the fact that these pianos are truly hand built in small numbers.

Congratulations, again, on a most excellent purchase!

Hi Aaron, I enjoyed reading your posts when researching the AF215 online and it's a pleasure to meet now online as fellow AF215 owners! I just received an update today that delivery is this Sunday (6/8).


August Förster 215
Re: Incoming! - my new August Forster 215
blueviewlaguna. #2987256 06/03/20 02:46 AM
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Edit: Monday 6/8


August Förster 215
Re: Incoming! - my new August Forster 215
blueviewlaguna. #2987261 06/03/20 03:15 AM
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Originally Posted by blue_view_laguna
Thanks all for the warm wishes! - I'm expecting my 215 to arrive by 6/13.

I ended up adding a whole house dehumidifier and humidifier to my HVAC system to keep a 45-50% RH range. I don't want to subject it to the wide humidity swings that my previous Schimmel 213 went through. When dry (30% RH) the Schimmel's hammers would become very percussive and when wet (60% RH) it lost some of the high frequency harmonics.

Congratulations!

Also, whole-house is definitely the way to go for humidity control.



Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see
~Mark Twain
Re: Incoming! - my new August Forster 215
blueviewlaguna. #2987428 06/03/20 01:32 PM
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Glad to hear delivery is coming a little sooner than expected. Will the 215 be delivered directly to you or to a dealer where it can be prepped before delivery to you? If it's coming directly to you, I'm sure you have a technician ready to do the prep work. It will almost certainly require some voicing, as almost every new piano does, after you play it in a bit (2-4 weeks). I don't know how well they are prepped in the factory...it varies from maker to maker. Very exciting!


August Förster 215
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