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Re: Estonia L190 main drawback... from an Estonia owner
#214431 12/29/06 05:50 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Robert 45:

Changes in tone colour depend partly on the inherent tonal subtleties of the piano but more on the speed at which the hammer strikes the string as well as the use of the pedals. This is dependent on the skill and musicality of the player. Often I have heard the comment that a certain pianist could make a lesser quality piano sound like a beautiful Steinway.

Best wishes to all for 2007.

Robert.
You are confusing musicality with instrument quality here. Take that same player and put them on a superb piano and the relative differences between the pianos will be apparent if you A/B'ed them side by side with the same player playing the same piece.

Re: Estonia L190 main drawback... from an Estonia owner
#214432 02/03/07 11:33 AM
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Originally posted by John Perkins:

From ppp to fff, the Estonia's tone is still somewhat more same-y, whereas the Bosendorfers I've played have had a real ability to change their stripes at many discreet different dynamic levels, not just, say, three.
This issue was resolved by Ori when he revoiced my piano this week. Ori was not the dealer I bought the piano from, by the way. See http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?/topic/1/16994.html

Re: Estonia L190 main drawback... from an Estonia owner
#214433 02/03/07 09:01 PM
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The pianos you have compared are larger and 2-5 times more expensive. I hope they would give you a little more for all the dough.


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Re: Estonia L190 main drawback... from an Estonia owner
#214434 02/03/07 09:04 PM
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Originally posted by Craigen:
The pianos you have compared are larger and 2-5 times more expensive. I hope they would give you a little more for all the dough.
Agree that those pianos are in a different league. But the Estonia is a good enough piano that it shouldn't have a severely limited tone color range. If you see the other post I mention just above, you will find that the original dealer had voiced the piano down too far. Ori was kind enough, even though he didn't sell me the piano, to spend a lot of time rectifying this for me this week.

Re: Estonia L190 main drawback... from an Estonia owner
John Perkins #3047267 11/18/20 04:19 PM
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Pianos are not unlike the people who make them. Tonality grows out of a culture and Estonian is mild or at least "highly tempered" [compare that to certain others... laugh ]
By same token you can make the bull madder by treating him a certain way. As has been pointed out, in pianos it's called "voicing" Of course, how long the "madness" lasts is a bit of a different question. Nothing wrong with simply being who you are. smirk
Norbert

Last edited by Norbert; 11/18/20 04:24 PM.

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Re: Estonia L190 main drawback... from an Estonia owner
John Perkins #3047271 11/18/20 04:31 PM
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Let's not forget - or, rather, let's notice - that the OP was posting his assessments of the limitations of his Estonia 13 years ago, in 2006. Much has advanced in the production of Estonia pianos since then so reviving this thread might not be totally relevant to current comparisons.

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: Estonia L190 main drawback... from an Estonia owner
John Perkins #3047304 11/18/20 05:44 PM
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Nice to see You back, Norbert!


~Lucubrate


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“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.“ ~Epictetus
Re: Estonia L190 main drawback... from an Estonia owner
Lucubrate #3047305 11/18/20 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Lucubrate
Nice to see You back, Norbert!


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Re: Estonia L190 main drawback... from an Estonia owner
John Perkins #3047313 11/18/20 06:22 PM
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Yes, I agree, good to see Norbert.

Re: Estonia L190 main drawback... from an Estonia owner
John Perkins #3047317 11/18/20 06:30 PM
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welcome back Norbert, and welcome back 14 year old thread! I do find it interesting to see old threads resurrected and I wonder how John Perkins felt about his piano 5 or 10 years later. Does he still have it I wonder?

Re: Estonia L190 main drawback... from an Estonia owner
John Perkins #3047621 11/20/20 08:46 AM
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Welcome back Norbert! I missed you. Yeah I had to check the date on this thread. To the main point, but then as an Estonia owner it must be cheerleading and my annoying tendency to constantly bring my piano into the discussion but I just don’t notice any missing dynamic range or color on my L190. I did directly compare it to a Bosendorfer 214VC and the Bosendorfer was exquisite in every way, BUT significantly more expensive and bigger, so hardly a fair comparison. Plus getting dynamic range and color depends directly on the player’s skills. I certainly will never be able to play my L190 to its performance limits and I don’t have the skill to bring out all the color and capabilities of the Bosendorfer. Without ever meaning to “show me up” when the dealer, a skilled pianist, played the Estonia I knew exactly what it’s capable of doing.
And the Estonia’s action is butter smooth, fast, and easy to control. I’m still ecstatic. I hope the OP found what he wanted for his forever piano.


J & J
Estonia L190 Hidden Beauty
Casio Privia PX-330
My piano’s voice is beautiful!
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Re: Estonia L190 main drawback... from an Estonia owner
John Perkins #3047729 11/20/20 02:34 PM
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Since this old thread was revived, and because refinements have been referenced but not named...beginning in 2010, the L190's soundboard design, especially in how it connects to the rim in the treble region, was significantly changed. The direct result was more available power in the treble, and in particular more balance. Prior to that, the L190, IMO, was a bit bass heavy.

This change carried from the middle register up. With added dynamic range, it made it easier to cultivate more tonal change.

Another stair step in the evolution of the L190 came ~2014 when the design of the L210 changed production in both the L225 and L190 as a direct result. Changes to the frame, soundboard, ribs & bridges translated to another measurable leap in overall performance, improving flatness of sustain, available power, and IMO, improvement of tonal color in the lower dynamic ranges.

Along the way, refinements in the action lightened the overall touch from firm to medium, and again, IMO, made it easier to access the full dynamic range.

For sure, preparation of the piano is key to achieving its full potential. Per most dealer requests, the factory likes to ship the piano on the bright side, leaving us to shape it for our best presentation. We just received a new L190 early this month, and I must say it is one of the best prepared from the factory...or at least closest to our liking. wink


Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Hailun
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Re: Estonia L190 main drawback... from an Estonia owner
PianoWorksATL #3047741 11/20/20 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
Since this old thread was revived, and because refinements have been referenced but not named...beginning in 2010, the L190's soundboard design, especially in how it connects to the rim in the treble region, was significantly changed. The direct result was more available power in the treble, and in particular more balance. Prior to that, the L190, IMO, was a bit bass heavy.

This change carried from the middle register up. With added dynamic range, it made it easier to cultivate more tonal change.

Another stair step in the evolution of the L190 came ~2014 when the design of the L210 changed production in both the L225 and L190 as a direct result. Changes to the frame, soundboard, ribs & bridges translated to another measurable leap in overall performance, improving flatness of sustain, available power, and IMO, improvement of tonal color in the lower dynamic ranges.

Along the way, refinements in the action lightened the overall touch from firm to medium, and again, IMO, made it easier to access the full dynamic range.

For sure, preparation of the piano is key to achieving its full potential. Per most dealer requests, the factory likes to ship the piano on the bright side, leaving us to shape it for our best presentation. We just received a new L190 early this month, and I must say it is one of the best prepared from the factory...or at least closest to our liking. wink

Thank you so much for the update. From reading the old Estonia posts I was thinking I must be under the spell of the Estonia cult of piano personality. smile


J & J
Estonia L190 Hidden Beauty
Casio Privia PX-330
My piano’s voice is beautiful!
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Re: Estonia L190 main drawback... from an Estonia owner
John Perkins #3047756 11/20/20 03:55 PM
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Greetings,
I would be very interested in hearing the OP bring us up to date on the "maturing" of his Estonia. Has his opinion changed in the last decade? As to the suggestion that it takes 5 years for a piano to fully develop, I have questions...

The Steinway factory doesn't keep their concert pianos in the CD department for much longer than 5 years, so I wonder why they would get rid of a concert piano just as it was reaching its full potential? something is illogical, here. I was told by a factory supervisor that the pianos lose something after the first five or six years so they like to keep the inventory fresh. Yes, there are several older pianos kept for particular customers but in the majority, the pianos are relatively new. I have watched hundreds of pianos go from store delivery to 10 years of use, or more, and have not found that they improved simply by aging. The hammers will always develop more attack, but I haven't found the sustain and power to noticeably increase with age. The hammer is in so much control of the sound, and it certainly changes in response to use, but I can't point my finger to the actual sounding structure improving.

An argument can be made that with time, the wood of a piano gradually resolves the pressures and strains placed upon it by the string tension, and this resolution more completely entrains all the vibrating parts, making the piano more responsive. However, I have not seen this in practice. What I see over the first five years, (or two semesters in the university practice rooms) is the decrease of compliance in the action, which, once re-regulated, increases the power a pianist can deliver to the strings, and a hardening of the hammers, which increases the loudness. If the hammers were hard to begin with,( perhaps with only shallow voicing at the crown), the sound will move quickly to strident. If the hammers are overly soft, the piano will never develop much of a powerful voice. If the hammers are voiced for resilient shoulders, and a graduated firmness of felt between strike point and core, playing time will create a malleable, controllable, tone and still provide the brilliance and power at FFF.

I think it is this last hammer condition that will produce change and improvement over the initial years of a piano's life far in excess of simply aging the structure.
Regards,

Re: Estonia L190 main drawback... from an Estonia owner
John Perkins #3047777 11/20/20 05:30 PM
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Very nice explanation of a piano’s prime years. The only thing I can think is concert use and experienced player’s use at home are dramatically different in wear and tear and maintenance and tuning frequency. I practice every day but it would probably take me 15 years to put the wear and tear seen in less than 5 years of the average concert grand use.

Maybe the OP bought a piano more suited to his taste or learned to just enjoy what he had.


J & J
Estonia L190 Hidden Beauty
Casio Privia PX-330
My piano’s voice is beautiful!
[Linked Image]
Re: Estonia L190 main drawback... from an Estonia owner
John Perkins #3047811 11/20/20 06:37 PM
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Hello Ed,

There are some long-time Estonia owners here that have commented in the past and might comment here even if the OP is no longer checking these forums.

My comments were meant to offer some specifics to the generalities of refinements within the L190. FWIW, earlier Estonia grands from even the early days of Dr. Laul's involvement were quite good. In the 4rd edition of Larry Fine's "The Piano Book" published ~2001, Mr. Fine rated that era of Estonia pianos above Yamaha's C-series and Kawai's RX-series...distinctions that could not have happened if the pianos were not already strong in the overall objective criteria for performance. That wouldn't happen if the piano did not display significant color in performance.

Specifically, Estonia received 4.5/5 stars for performance, same as Yamaha's S-series, Schimmel, Seiler & Sauter to name a few. At the time, they were noticeably behind these esteemed makes in quality control & certainly in market awareness.

So, there was certainly a lot of tonal color available in the Estonia 190. If the OP's piano wasn't equating to some of the more expensive piano's he was comparing to, then it is certainly to a matter of degrees or to do with the individual piano.

With a C&A Steinway, there are also significant economics involved, not purely questions of "maturity" vs. any degradation in performance. Retail vs. discounted for use...etc. In the past, when Steinway had a C&A leasing program to dealers, a lot of pressure was put to sell before they reached 10...and again, accounting & economics seems to play a factor. I believe they still have the largest C&A inventory of any maker (and certainly the largest relative any other company's annual production), so their C&A strategy does include more market exposure than other makes.

I routinely observe premium instruments that do improve with use and good service, finally reaching their peak a few years after new, then riding quite a long plateau before time and wear takes its toll. We know that most pianos are underserviced, but the best ones respond positively even after a period of relative neglect and can reclaim most if not all of their potential.

Intense use (moreso than frequent use) inflicts wear & tear on a performance instrument. Proper service is able to compensate for that wear & tear and prolong the performance life. I think your comments about the hammer prep and maintenance are right on point. Past the first 5-10 years, an area of potential degradation in a 9' instrument can be the string terminations - wear on the Capo, agraffes, bridge cap, and any settling to change the down bearing - can limit peak performance. Sometimes, we'll see a relatively young piano with a healthy soundboard, rim, strings & hammers, but with lackluster performance...we look to these string terminations to find the solution. Whether the cause was QC or settling due to age is mixed, but this approach can bring a seemingly dull or diminished piano back to peak performance.

There are always interconnected systems creating multivariable unknowns. We muddle through somehow.


Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
www.PianoWorks.com
www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta
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