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Brodmann, Essex, Ritmuller, Hailun?
#3003327 07/16/20 12:05 PM
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I've trolled the forum and couldn't find as much input on Brodmann or Ritmuller.

Background Blurb (you can skip). I'm an intermediate player, and we have some young kids that bang on things. I got my hands on a Wurlitzer Spinet that's been fun to play. I've had to learn to work on it because I couldn't find anybody who would touch on it. It's been fun tuning, fixing and doing other work to play with the piano... BUT it's a spinet so it will never be great and I can't get the action to be uniform (unless somebody has some guidance for me there). I'd love to buy a good used American made piano or something similar but it seems that sort of thing is drying up. I'd love a Charles Walter... BUT I don't want to get something super great and the kids bang it up and feel bad. I'd like to have something more fun to play that we could upgrade again if they took a real interest in piano as a reward.

Question: Unless I see something good with a warmer tone come up on the used market, what are people's impressions of Brodmann, Ritmuller, Hailun and Essex? I tried an Essex and I honestly loved the feel and tone of it. Is Ritmuller better or comparable (same factory etc)? I just don't want a logo that says 'Designed by _____' on it. That feels insincere. Some people seem to love Hailun (and some despise) but there is no dealer close to me. I'd have to take a trip to try it out. There is a Brodmann dealer, and they sound nice but have no idea if they are good.

If there are others I ought to consider, or specific used pianos that are common enough for me to keep an eye out for I'm open to those as well. Thank you everybody.

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Re: Brodmann, Essex, Ritmuller, Hailun?
Spinet Dr #3003334 07/16/20 12:21 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

You might start here:

https://www.pianobuyer.com/brand-profiles/

Re: Brodmann, Essex, Ritmuller, Hailun?
Spinet Dr #3003348 07/16/20 01:01 PM
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I think there have been a lot of threads on PW about the pianos you're interested in. I rarely search PW but some have said the PW search function is difficult to use and that a google search is much more efficient.

The Piano Buyer link suggested by Hakki is always a very good source for information.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 07/16/20 01:03 PM.
Re: Brodmann, Essex, Ritmuller, Hailun?
pianoloverus #3003819 07/17/20 11:39 PM
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I'll try out a google search. The brand-profiles is very helpful and is partly how I landed on those. Thank you for your help.

Re: Brodmann, Essex, Ritmuller, Hailun?
Spinet Dr #3003930 07/18/20 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Spinet Dr
I tried an Essex and I honestly loved the feel and tone of it. Is Ritmuller better or comparable (same factory etc)? I just don't want a logo that says 'Designed by _____' on it. That feels insincere.
If there are others I ought to consider, or specific used pianos that are common enough for me to keep an eye out for I'm open to those as well.

I think the Essex and Ritmuller products are worth comparing. They will each have their own marketing and features, but as long as you concentrate on touch, tone, appearance, price, and dealer experience (in whatever order matters to you most), you won't go wrong. Given that you're an intermediate level player, do spend enough time playing the pianos, uninterrupted, to find the right one - lower priced pianos (even better ones, like those you're considering) are not perfectly consistent, and get varying amounts of dealer preparation based on a variety of factors... For example, I like the Hailun HU-5P. But that doesn't mean I love every single one I've touched, just most of them.

Originally Posted by Spinet Dr
The brand-profiles is very helpful and is partly how I landed on those. Thank you for your help.

Then you may want to add Perzina to that list, if there happens to be a dealer anywhere nearby. I've also liked them in this price category, though they aren't as "flavor of the month" on the forum.


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Re: Brodmann, Essex, Ritmuller, Hailun?
terminaldegree #3004511 07/19/20 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Then you may want to add Perzina to that list, if there happens to be a dealer anywhere nearby. I've also liked them in this price category, though they aren't as "flavor of the month" on the forum.

I'll add Perzina to the list to try. Thank you for the input. Do you ave a Perzina? Have you found them to last well?


The dealer who would have been selling Ritmuller says they don't carry them because he didn't see that much of an increase in quality over the standard Pearl River pianos. He sells Brodmann for that price point. This is the closest dealer. The Hailun seller is about 8 hours away. The Perzina dealer is about 6 hours away. I haven't gotten a chance to sit down at the Brodmann yet.

Thank you again for your suggestions and insight.

Re: Brodmann, Essex, Ritmuller, Hailun?
Spinet Dr #3004525 07/19/20 11:17 PM
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At my last location, I was friends with one of their dealers, and played their uprights often in the store. A colleague of mine bought one and seems to enjoy it. I get to try them at dealers and trade shows probably a couple times a year. But no, I’ve never owned one.

But, 6-8 hours is an awfully long distance to drive to go piano shopping, especially with a modest budget. You’re likely to lose some purchasing power to the delivery fees.


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Re: Brodmann, Essex, Ritmuller, Hailun?
Spinet Dr #3004532 07/19/20 11:48 PM
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I have played a smaller, probably 5’3” pearl river baby grand built in mid/late 90s. It was a pretty decent piano for the price with the tone and touch that are very close to Yamaha grand of similar size and age.

Re: Brodmann, Essex, Ritmuller, Hailun?
terminaldegree #3004669 07/20/20 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
But, 6-8 hours is an awfully long distance to drive to go piano shopping, especially with a modest budget. You’re likely to lose some purchasing power to the delivery fees.

It is, but I'm going slow. I'll be in those cities at one point or another in the next few months and it appears some dealers are willing to send pianos across the country if it will still make them money. But you're right, it will still be paid for one way or another!

Until then I'll keep poking and fixing my spinet. I ought to practice more than I piano shop anyway.

Re: Brodmann, Essex, Ritmuller, Hailun?
Spinet Dr #3006746 07/25/20 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Spinet Dr
Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Then you may want to add Perzina to that list, if there happens to be a dealer anywhere nearby. I've also liked them in this price category, though they aren't as "flavor of the month" on the forum.

I'll add Perzina to the list to try. Thank you for the input. Do you ave a Perzina? Have you found them to last well?


The dealer who would have been selling Ritmuller says they don't carry them because he didn't see that much of an increase in quality over the standard Pearl River pianos. He sells Brodmann for that price point. This is the closest dealer. The Hailun seller is about 8 hours away. The Perzina dealer is about 6 hours away. I haven't gotten a chance to sit down at the Brodmann yet.

Thank you again for your suggestions and insight.

I have a Perzina. This one:

https://dfwpianogallery.com/shop/perzina-gp-130/

No problems. Followed Rick Clark's recommended break-in tuning schedule (brownie points to anybody who knows who Rick Clark is, that goes back to RMMP) and it's a very stable piano. For the money, the Hailun is the best value, IMO. The Rittmuller is worth looking at, as is the Brodmann.

You didn't mention budget, but another piano you don't see a lot, but really worth a look:

https://www.pianoexperts.com/portfolio-posts/wkv132md/

I also own an earlier version of this piano:

https://kawaius.com/product/k-300/

I do like the Kawai series, but the Perzina will dust it. Even the K-500, which I like even more than the 300.

And there is always the ubiquitous Yamaha U-1.

As for driving...Do yourself a favor, and drive. I drove 320 miles to buy the Perzina. I drove 180 miles to buy the Kawai. I drove 220 miles to buy a Nordiska grand. If I could have gotten the wife on a plane, I would have flown to Philadelphia (1300 miles) to look at a grand.

Driving a few miles and using up a few hours, is nothing compared to something you possibly could have all of your life...


TNCR. Over 20 years. Over 2,000,000 posts. And a new site...

https://nodebb.the-new-coffee-room.club

Where pianists and others talk about everything. And nothing.

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