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Seiler SE and ED series differences
#3013325 08/13/20 06:56 AM
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I know that Seiler’s SE series is manufactured entirely in Germany while the ED series is manufactured entirely in Indonesia. The SMP for the 208 model in the ED series is about half of the SMP for the 208 model in the SE series! Is the country of manufacturing really the only difference? Anyone know? If so, it would seem a little crazy to spend so much more money on the one from Germany.

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Re: Seiler SE and ED series differences
adamjh #3013411 08/13/20 11:41 AM
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Good point. This article from the PianoBuyer discusses both lines.
https://www.pianobuyer.com/brand/seiler/

Aside from country of origin, it appears the primary difference is hand built versus machine built (although no piano these days is totally hand built or machine built). While scale and specifications are theoretically the same in the two lines, I get the impression that some of the materials used are different and that overall build quality is not quite the same. Would be interesting to audition the two lines together side by side for comparison.


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Re: Seiler SE and ED series differences
adamjh #3013429 08/13/20 12:41 PM
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Play them and see what you think.

I have never seen the newer midline version of the 208, but have played several ED 186 models, and also the German SE ones in all larger sizes from 186 up. The ED 186 has a credible sonic resemblance to the SE 186. I don’t remember them feeling terribly similar. My experience is they seem related but not quite the same level.


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Re: Seiler SE and ED series differences
adamjh #3013431 08/13/20 12:51 PM
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The same goes for Wilhelm Grotrian as opposed to the regular Grotrians. Massive price difference.
Still one cannot test the longevity of the Asian made instruments which generally does not last as well as the European instruments.
Its just that we have proof with European and American instruments,that they do last. Apart from Kawai and Yamaha instruments a great deal of Asian made instruments have not been around that long.So we can not be sure.
Of course there is risk with any instrument.

Re: Seiler SE and ED series differences
terminaldegree #3013445 08/13/20 01:52 PM
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The German Seiler site does not use the SE and ED postfixes, but only call them Seiler and Johannes Seiler, respectively. The site does not list the 208 for the Joahnnes Seiler line (ED). It could be a glitch, or it could indicate that Seiler does not anticipate a European market for this model. Europeans tend to buy smaller models, and if you have the room for the 208, you (the European buyer) would have money for the German made Seiler would be my guess.

The German made Seiler, carries the certificate Made in Germany, which translates to that a minimum of 80 percent of all raw materials used in the making of their pianos or grand pianos originate from Germany, and in addition that at least 80 percent of the processing of these raw materials takes place within Germany itself.

Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Play them and see what you think.

Always a sound advice, and the only meaningful, final evaluation of a piano. Make sure that you evaluate other pianos in the same (and lower) price range you decide to go for. I have only played and listened to the German made Seiler pianos, and they have a nice sound (a few concerts), and played a few older models. They are not so common here, as the dealer that used to carry them now carries mainly C. Bechstein instead.

Best of luck.

Re: Seiler SE and ED series differences
adamjh #3013448 08/13/20 02:01 PM
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As originally conceived, the ED models are copies of existing SE models, same scale design, frame design, cabinet design, same soundboards, hammers, and so on. This is true of the ED126 = SE126, ED132 = SE132. In the grands, this is true of the SE168 = ED168, SE186 = ED186, same down to the wood species used in the rims. However, the scale design of the ED208 is not a copy of the scale design of the SE208.

Seiler owned additional German scale designs that, for whatever reasons, were easier to adapt for the Johannes Seiler as well as Eduard Seiler series. It is true that the ED208 will be made with the same material specs as the other ED grands, and therefore the same influence from the German Seilers.

For novices, the easiest way to think about scale designs would be to directly overlay the 2 pianos on top of each other. The scale design is the specific placement of the bridge, length (and thickness and tension) of the strings. It also determines the rim design and optimal places for wood frame struts if seen underneath.

Layed on top of each other, the ED186 will match the SE186. The strings and rim and plate all line up.

The ED208 is the same length, same construction principles & materials...but a different layout than the SE208. The specific materials and workmanship will match the ED-series. The rim on the ED208 is a different shape, and in fact has a thicker outer rim than the SE208. I wish the technical differences were easier to digest. It remains a great value proposition in a 7' grand. How do you like the performance?

Ultimately, more time is spent on each individual instrument in Germany vs. Indonesian production that embraces a balance of skilled hand work, CNC precision and efficiency. The craftsman in Germany do receive more training on not just their jobs, but on the total construction of the instrument to improve cohesion between the different stages of production. I don't know if that equates to 10%-15% better performance, but as is the truth in many aspects of life, a few people are willing to pay a high premium for the very best (and accept no substitutes) while most people appreciate getting very nearly the same performance for far, far less money.

I hope that is helpful and good luck in your search!


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Re: Seiler SE and ED series differences
adamjh #3013450 08/13/20 02:11 PM
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Skalj,

Because of difference in global distribution and Germany being physically central to much of the EU, the ED-series did not seem needed in Europe. The factory receives and preps the Indonesian-Assembled, Johannes Seiler models for distribution and it costs less to distribute the normal German production (mostly SE Seiler uprights) in and around Europe. This ultimately brings the cost of these lines closer together, making less room for the middle line. Just a little insight into global manufacturing and distribution.

Japanese Yamahas cost less in Japan and German Seilers cost less in Germany...hopefully not too big of a surprise.


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Re: Seiler SE and ED series differences
adamjh #3013464 08/13/20 03:18 PM
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I live within steps of Ottawa's Seiler dealer. I had never heard of the brand until I started searching for a grand piano for myself about 2 years ago. I didn't find anything special about their pianos when I tried them then, and found them rather expensive for what I could hear and feel. Needless to say I didn't know the distinction between SE and ED until much later. Anyway, I will try to go visit them sometime and try the pianos, if they have a comparable SE and ED side by side, and report on that pair.

Last edited by Soojin; 08/13/20 03:18 PM.

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Re: Seiler SE and ED series differences
adamjh #3013470 08/13/20 03:39 PM
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Sam Bennett

Thanks for taking the time to go into details about the 208 design differences and pointing out some of the business decisions behind the three lines. I confused the ED-series with Johannes Seiler line in my reply above.

Re: Seiler SE and ED series differences
adamjh #3013528 08/13/20 06:08 PM
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Sam,

Thanks for the great information! Very illuminating. It was just a little opaque to me what the meaningful difference between an ED and and SE of the same core model might be, but the difference in price was visible a mile away.

I have not familiarized myself with Seiler pianos. Upon sending an email to a high-end piano store I plan on visiting in the near future (to inquire what models they had in stock that I might be interested in), the salesperson responded by suggesting that, given my preferred maximum price range, I should particularly focus on a Seilier SE208 that they currently have. As Seilier has not really been on my radar before now (I have been hyperfocused on Mason and Hamlin and am just now starting to consider other possibilities) I didn't know anything about them and the info I could find didn't provide clear, cost-justifying differences between the ED and SE lines.

I'll let you know what I think once I've played it (and other makes).

Last edited by adamjh; 08/13/20 06:11 PM. Reason: bad grammar
Re: Seiler SE and ED series differences
adamjh #3013588 08/13/20 09:40 PM
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So, I went to try an SE-208 and an ED-186, the closest available comparable sizes at my neighbourhood Seiler dealer. The owner was keen to emphasize that all parts of the ED, including Renner action, were from Germany, but simply assembled in Indonesia.

From the brochure, some differences are: SE-208; ED-186.
- Price: $125K; $40K in CDN
- Pin block: 20 ply beech, delignit; beech.
- Tuning pins: nickel plated, cut threads, German road steel; Nickel plated from Germany
- Ribs: White spruce, pre-curved, notched to inner rim; German spruce

Below are some similarities: SE-208; ED-186.
- Soundboard: asymmetrically tapered and contoured german spruce with patented Seiler membrator system
- Strings: Rosleau Music Wire; same
- Duplex scale: Enhanced treble tone; same
- Hammers: Abel; same
- Keys: premium-grade German spruce; same
- Shaprs: ebony; same

I don't know much about the actual making of piano, but just comparing words like above, the difference doesn't seem much.

When played, SE-208 had a notably clearer yet richer overall sound compared to ED-186 (although it may well have to do with the size, too). I am not sure that the pianos were well maintained, though. The ED-186's middle C had a slightly lazy action. That said, the ED was also a fine piano, with a rather attractive price compared to the SE! I know I'd not pay three times the price for that difference - would probably choose another brand with that kind of amount...

One unrelated question - all the Yamaha grands that I had looked at, when you take out the cover to examine the wooden parts of the keys (just above the black/white keys - sorry don't know the name), it was tuned/arranged so that there was about 1mm difference in height between white and black keys. The Seiler's keys all had more or less the same height. are these two different, acceptable piano tuning techniques or sometime that's done specific to piano brands? (picture from the Internet to help with the explanation, I hope)

[img]https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Fmusic.casio.com%2Fassets%2Fimg%2Fghs%2Fpc%2Ftouch%2Fpop.png&imgrefurl=https%3A%2F%2Fmusic.casio.com%2Fen%2Fproducts%2Fdigital_pianos%2Fghs%2Ftouch%2F&tbnid=oB4sTktEd2SxcM&vet=10CAoQMyhsahcKEwiIn4eMipnrAhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQDg..i&docid=_rPZ0rWP_Tpu1M&w=990&h=600&q=piano%20keys%20wooden%20part&ved=0CAoQMyhsahcKEwiIn4eMipnrAhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQDg[/img]

Last edited by Soojin; 08/13/20 09:43 PM.

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Re: Seiler SE and ED series differences
adamjh #3013592 08/13/20 09:49 PM
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Can you please reorganize the following data so the differences between the two are clearer?

From the brochure, some differences are: SE-208; ED-186.
- Price: $125K; $40K in CDN
- Pin block: 20 ply beech, delignit; beech.
- Tuning pins: nickel plated, cut threads, German road steel; Nickel plated from Germany
- Ribs: White spruce, pre-curved, notched to inner rim; German spruce


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Re: Seiler SE and ED series differences
Carey #3013618 08/14/20 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Carey
Can you please reorganize the following data so the differences between the two are clearer?

Is this better? I'd normally use a table, but don't know how to do that here.

From the brochure, some differences are: SE-208; ED-186.
- Price: $125K in CDN for SE-208; $40K in CDN for ED-186.
- Pin block: 20 ply beech, delignit for SE-208; beech for ED-186.
- Tuning pins: nickel plated, cut threads, German road steel for SE-208; Nickel plated from Germany for ED-186.
- Ribs: White spruce, pre-curved, notched to inner rim for SE-208; German spruce for ED-186.

Last edited by Soojin; 08/14/20 12:21 AM.

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Re: Seiler SE and ED series differences
Soojin #3013625 08/14/20 01:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Soojin
Originally Posted by Carey
Can you please reorganize the following data so the differences between the two are clearer?

Is this better? I'd normally use a table, but don't know how to do that here.

From the brochure, some differences are: SE-208; ED-186.
- Price: $125K in CDN for SE-208; $40K in CDN for ED-186.
- Pin block: 20 ply beech, delignit for SE-208; beech for ED-186.
- Tuning pins: nickel plated, cut threads, German road steel for SE-208; Nickel plated from Germany for ED-186.
- Ribs: White spruce, pre-curved, notched to inner rim for SE-208; German spruce for ED-186.
Yes - thank you!! Seems the specs are much more detailed for the SE-208.


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Re: Seiler SE and ED series differences
Soojin #3013974 08/14/20 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Soojin
So, I went to try an SE-208 and an ED-186, the closest available comparable sizes at my neighbourhood Seiler dealer. The owner was keen to emphasize that all parts of the ED, including Renner action, were from Germany, but simply assembled in Indonesia . . . I don't know much about the actual making of piano, but just comparing words like above, the difference doesn't seem much.

. . . the ED was also a fine piano, with a rather attractive price compared to the SE! I know I'd not pay three times the price for that difference - would probably choose another brand with that kind of amount... [/img]

Thanks for your investigation, Soojin. Your conclusion is exactly what bothers me. It seems like the difference in materials and craftsmanship is not much at all, which wouldn't be an issue for me if the SE were concordantly closer in price to the ED.

Re: Seiler SE and ED series differences
adamjh #3014152 08/15/20 09:21 AM
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I’m not an expert but have looked at virtual tours of piano factories over the years. For both Yamaha and Kawai who make several different lines of pianos including a top of the line expensive models, the biggest difference between the lowest priced and highest priced models is the length of time and manual craftsmanship required. For Kawai the Shigeru requires the master craftsperson spends hours and hours voicing and regulating each Shigeru where this is not done or even possible for the GL or GX lines. Yamaha also does the same for their CF pianos, but there’s less time spent on voicing and fine regulation for the CX or GC lines. It is that fine extensive preparation that costs so much more.

If the buyer can hear and feel a dramatic difference and has the money to spend, it is worth the steep price. If that same buyer can’t tell much difference and/or doesn’t have the bigger budget, the more affordable lines are quite wonderful.

I’m in the second group. I can hear and feel the difference certainly but just don’t have the jack. That’s why I chose my Estonia.

Best Wishes!


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Re: Seiler SE and ED series differences
j&j #3014213 08/15/20 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by j&j
the biggest difference between the lowest priced and highest priced models is the length of time and manual craftsmanship required. For Kawai the Shigeru requires the master craftsperson spends hours and hours voicing and regulating each Shigeru where this is not done or even possible for the GL or GX lines. Yamaha also does the same for their CF pianos, but there’s less time spent on voicing and fine regulation for the CX or GC lines. It is that fine extensive preparation that costs so much more.

Well put, J & J. Very clear. If the craftmanship plays such a bit role, it also highlights the importance of continued voicing and regulating to achieve the ultimate experience after the purchase.

Can you explain what makes it "not even possible" for the Kawai GL or GX lines to be voiced and regulated to the point of resembling a Shigeru? Would you say it's the same for Yamaha CX and GC models, compared to CFX? Are there mechanisms or materials that prevent finer tuning after the piano leaves the factory?


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Re: Seiler SE and ED series differences
adamjh #3014222 08/15/20 12:12 PM
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Yamaha builds far fewer CF pianos per year than CXs or GCs. Kawai builds far fewer Shigerus than GLs and GXs. It takes much more time and effort for each concert class piano than it does to make their standard models. If demand was as high for Shigerus as it is for Kawai’s GX and GLs, the pianos would be on very long backorder. Estonia, for example only makes 200 to 300 pianos a year.


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Re: Seiler SE and ED series differences
j&j #3014223 08/15/20 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by j&j
If the buyer can hear and feel a dramatic difference and has the money to spend, it is worth the steep price. If that same buyer can’t tell much difference and/or doesn’t have the bigger budget, the more affordable lines are quite wonderful.

I’m in the second group. I can hear and feel the difference certainly but just don’t have the jack. That’s why I chose my Estonia.

Actually, Estonia is at the top of my list, as well. I will be auditioning an L190 the same weekend as the SE208. I just wish there was a M&H AA or BB nearby to try, as well.

Re: Seiler SE and ED series differences
adamjh #3014224 08/15/20 12:20 PM
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And before we get too far off topic I imagine that would explain much of the difference in price between the Seiler SE and ED lines.


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