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Originally Posted by Rich Galassini
Originally Posted by trandinhnamanh
Put Hamburg C-227 and Bosendorfer 225 to your list, and just follow your heart. BTW, to me, Fazioli 228 is far much better than Yamaha S7X. It's a work of art, like Hamburg Steinway and Bosendorfer.

If anyone has been on PW long enough you have heard me say that my personal favorite model of piano in the world is the Bösendorfer 225. I did not bring that up because that was not the OP’s question.

But if I were to add a suggestion, that would be it.

Wouldn't the Bosendorfer 280 be superior, assuming one had the extra money and the space?

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Originally Posted by Sonepica
Originally Posted by Rich Galassini
Originally Posted by trandinhnamanh
Put Hamburg C-227 and Bosendorfer 225 to your list, and just follow your heart. BTW, to me, Fazioli 228 is far much better than Yamaha S7X. It's a work of art, like Hamburg Steinway and Bosendorfer.

If anyone has been on PW long enough you have heard me say that my personal favorite model of piano in the world is the Bösendorfer 225. I did not bring that up because that was not the OP’s question.

But if I were to add a suggestion, that would be it.

Wouldn't the Bosendorfer 280 be superior, assuming one had the extra money and the space?
Only if you are going to use it accompanying an orchestra on the stage of a big convert hall. For any other purpose 225 is as good as good can be.

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Originally Posted by Ubu
Originally Posted by Sonepica
Originally Posted by Rich Galassini
Originally Posted by trandinhnamanh
Put Hamburg C-227 and Bosendorfer 225 to your list, and just follow your heart. BTW, to me, Fazioli 228 is far much better than Yamaha S7X. It's a work of art, like Hamburg Steinway and Bosendorfer.

If anyone has been on PW long enough you have heard me say that my personal favorite model of piano in the world is the Bösendorfer 225. I did not bring that up because that was not the OP’s question.

But if I were to add a suggestion, that would be it.

Wouldn't the Bosendorfer 280 be superior, assuming one had the extra money and the space?
Only if you are going to use it accompanying an orchestra on the stage of a big convert hall. For any other purpose 225 is as good as good can be.

But a concert grand would have a clearer bass and less inharmonicity, right?

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Originally Posted by Sonepica
Seriously, how much better are the Faziolis than the new Yamahas? Are they a lot better? Or just subjectively different? Would it be worth waiting to save up the difference? Or is the Yamaha S7X as good as anything out there (as James Pavel Shawcross asserts)?

Also, future question - buy Fazioli 228 now, or keep saving for Fazioli 278?

I feel like if I was going to save for my ultimate piano purchase, it would be a pity to get the 228 as the 278 would blow it away in the bass. But also a bit concerned about having such a large, loud concert grand in a small apartment if a career opportunity came up in Hong Kong or Singapore.

If you plan to get Fazioli, 228 or even 278, then you can pick virtually any premium piano you want, I think they are in the same price range. Hamburg Steiway, Bösdendorfer, smaller German manufacturers, even Yamaha CF range. I know one internationally successful pianist who has 278 and 228 Faziolis home, and he is totally in love with them. I actually get to play them next month, it stars align perfectly and Covid doesn't ruin plans (it has so far). I have heard Fazioli 278s in concert several times and they are beautiful instruments.

If you think that S7X can compete with these, it might be too much to asked from Yamaha. I bet there are several premium pianos that you would not particularly like, and would rate as good as S7X, but would it be on the level of best of them? I doubt it. But then again, this kind of investment requires the travel to try them out.

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Sonepica,

It would appear to me that you have quite an intent on finding the biggest (ergo longest) piano you can find. Yes, as a general rule of thumb, a bigger and longer piano is going to have a fuller sounder and more satisfying base but I would not get too hung up on length at this point until you have actually played something.

Going back to what I had earlier alluded to about my day playing Steinways and Yamahas, to give you a fuller flavour, that very day I went to Steinways in London with the intent of sitting down at a Model D and having my socks blown off. At the time having not played a brand new Model D for some time, it seemed undisputed to me that this piano would blow my socks off. So, when in fact it didn't, naturally I was quite disappointed.

Yes, the Model D had a strong bass and a full tone but that alone was not satisfying. I played two Model Ds that day and both of them didn't work for me. The tone wasn't quite where I wanted and I wasn't getting a silky response to the action like I felt I should (and deserved for £140k...). Likewise, I played a Model B and Model A and whilst neither of those pianos worked for me either, the Model A was the one that spoke with me most. And the shocking part? The Model A is only 6' 1" and not 9' like the Model D!

Similarly, with the CF6, I sat down at this piano not expected to be 'wowed' because at the time in my mind I was thinking "well, if what is supposedly one of the world's finest pianos leaves me disappointed and unfulfilled, then what is a Yamaha going to do?". As I mentioned previously, I absolutely fell in love with this piano. It did everything I asked it to. For only 7' I recall the bass being incredibly powerful and if I'm really honest, I didn't think the bass of the CF6 was particularly compromised over the Model D despite the two foot length difference.

Who knows, perhaps the CF6 was setup better on the day? If I'm honest, I don't really count myself as a die-hard Steinway fan. I've been reading and posting on this forum for years now and there are a lot of people that think Steinway is the be all and end all. I could probably pick a good few other pianos I'd rather play than Steinway, starting with the CF6. And for what it's worth, Steingraeber would be very closely followed by the CF6!

I suppose the point of my (now, rather lengthy) post is that you shouldn't get hung up on the size and length - especially if you are looking at putting a concert grand in a small flat (an 'apartment' for you people out there across the pond!). A 9' concert grand is a big piano. It's designed to cut through orchestral layers and project in concert halls, not fill up the space of someone's living room. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have a concert grand at home and it is eventually my intention to purchase somewhere where I can have a small 'studio' at the back of the garden with purpose-built space for a concert grand.

There are plenty of other pianos out there smaller than a concert grand that should provide you with what you need. Look at a Steingraeber C-212, a Bösendorfer 214 VC or a Yamaha CF6.

My parting advice: play everything and anything - not just concert grands - and keep your mind open.


Current: Yamaha AvantGrand NU1X
Previous: Venables & Son Academy-168, Kawai K-15 E and Yamaha Clavinova CVP-208

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Originally Posted by williambonard
Sonepica,

It would appear to me that you have quite an intent on finding the biggest (ergo longest) piano you can find. Yes, as a general rule of thumb, a bigger and longer piano is going to have a fuller sounder and more satisfying base but I would not get too hung up on length at this point until you have actually played something.

Going back to what I had earlier alluded to about my day playing Steinways and Yamahas, to give you a fuller flavour, that very day I went to Steinways in London with the intent of sitting down at a Model D and having my socks blown off. At the time having not played a brand new Model D for some time, it seemed undisputed to me that this piano would blow my socks off. So, when in fact it didn't, naturally I was quite disappointed.

Yes, the Model D had a strong bass and a full tone but that alone was not satisfying. I played two Model Ds that day and both of them didn't work for me. The tone wasn't quite where I wanted and I wasn't getting a silky response to the action like I felt I should (and deserved for £140k...). Likewise, I played a Model B and Model A and whilst neither of those pianos worked for me either, the Model A was the one that spoke with me most. And the shocking part? The Model A is only 6' 1" and not 9' like the Model D!

Similarly, with the CF6, I sat down at this piano not expected to be 'wowed' because at the time in my mind I was thinking "well, if what is supposedly one of the world's finest pianos leaves me disappointed and unfulfilled, then what is a Yamaha going to do?". As I mentioned previously, I absolutely fell in love with this piano. It did everything I asked it to. For only 7' I recall the bass being incredibly powerful and if I'm really honest, I didn't think the bass of the CF6 was particularly compromised over the Model D despite the two foot length difference.

Who knows, perhaps the CF6 was setup better on the day? If I'm honest, I don't really count myself as a die-hard Steinway fan. I've been reading and posting on this forum for years now and there are a lot of people that think Steinway is the be all and end all. I could probably pick a good few other pianos I'd rather play than Steinway, starting with the CF6. And for what it's worth, Steingraeber would be very closely followed by the CF6!

I suppose the point of my (now, rather lengthy) post is that you shouldn't get hung up on the size and length - especially if you are looking at putting a concert grand in a small flat (an 'apartment' for you people out there across the pond!). A 9' concert grand is a big piano. It's designed to cut through orchestral layers and project in concert halls, not fill up the space of someone's living room. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have a concert grand at home and it is eventually my intention to purchase somewhere where I can have a small 'studio' at the back of the garden with purpose-built space for a concert grand.

There are plenty of other pianos out there smaller than a concert grand that should provide you with what you need. Look at a Steingraeber C-212, a Bösendorfer 214 VC or a Yamaha CF6.

My parting advice: play everything and anything - not just concert grands - and keep your mind open.

Thanks for the long reply. I've played the C6X and S6X and found the base simply did not give me what I'm after. I would never consider these pianos over the C7X/S7X. I've played the Bosendorfer 214 and found it to be a beautiful piano yet with the same problem all smaller pianos have. Definitely wouldn't consider it. So for me, I would definitely not consider a piano smaller than the 225-230 range. I played Fazioli and Sauter concert grands at a dealer the other day and their superiority over smaller instruments was instantly apparent to me. When a store employee came over and asked me if I needed help (perhaps really asking if I could afford those pianos), I retreated over to a Shigeru Kawai SK-5 and found it completely unimpressive due to it's smaller size.

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Hi Sonepica, I’m sure that dealer would be happy to offload the Fazioli 278 for a good price. They’ve wanted to get in a new one with the latest updates for a while now. PM me for more details if you’re curious.

By the way, I preferred the Bosendorfer 214VC over the S7x, and the Sauter Omega over any of the Faziolis. They would have been the same instrument s that you tried!

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Originally Posted by Sonepica
Originally Posted by williambonard
Sonepica,

It would appear to me that you have quite an intent on finding the biggest (ergo longest) piano you can find. Yes, as a general rule of thumb, a bigger and longer piano is going to have a fuller sounder and more satisfying base but I would not get too hung up on length at this point until you have actually played something.

Going back to what I had earlier alluded to about my day playing Steinways and Yamahas, to give you a fuller flavour, that very day I went to Steinways in London with the intent of sitting down at a Model D and having my socks blown off. At the time having not played a brand new Model D for some time, it seemed undisputed to me that this piano would blow my socks off. So, when in fact it didn't, naturally I was quite disappointed.

Yes, the Model D had a strong bass and a full tone but that alone was not satisfying. I played two Model Ds that day and both of them didn't work for me. The tone wasn't quite where I wanted and I wasn't getting a silky response to the action like I felt I should (and deserved for £140k...). Likewise, I played a Model B and Model A and whilst neither of those pianos worked for me either, the Model A was the one that spoke with me most. And the shocking part? The Model A is only 6' 1" and not 9' like the Model D!

Similarly, with the CF6, I sat down at this piano not expected to be 'wowed' because at the time in my mind I was thinking "well, if what is supposedly one of the world's finest pianos leaves me disappointed and unfulfilled, then what is a Yamaha going to do?". As I mentioned previously, I absolutely fell in love with this piano. It did everything I asked it to. For only 7' I recall the bass being incredibly powerful and if I'm really honest, I didn't think the bass of the CF6 was particularly compromised over the Model D despite the two foot length difference.

Who knows, perhaps the CF6 was setup better on the day? If I'm honest, I don't really count myself as a die-hard Steinway fan. I've been reading and posting on this forum for years now and there are a lot of people that think Steinway is the be all and end all. I could probably pick a good few other pianos I'd rather play than Steinway, starting with the CF6. And for what it's worth, Steingraeber would be very closely followed by the CF6!

I suppose the point of my (now, rather lengthy) post is that you shouldn't get hung up on the size and length - especially if you are looking at putting a concert grand in a small flat (an 'apartment' for you people out there across the pond!). A 9' concert grand is a big piano. It's designed to cut through orchestral layers and project in concert halls, not fill up the space of someone's living room. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have a concert grand at home and it is eventually my intention to purchase somewhere where I can have a small 'studio' at the back of the garden with purpose-built space for a concert grand.

There are plenty of other pianos out there smaller than a concert grand that should provide you with what you need. Look at a Steingraeber C-212, a Bösendorfer 214 VC or a Yamaha CF6.

My parting advice: play everything and anything - not just concert grands - and keep your mind open.

Thanks for the long reply. I've played the C6X and S6X and found the base simply did not give me what I'm after. I would never consider these pianos over the C7X/S7X. I've played the Bosendorfer 214 and found it to be a beautiful piano yet with the same problem all smaller pianos have. Definitely wouldn't consider it. So for me, I would definitely not consider a piano smaller than the 225-230 range. I played Fazioli and Sauter concert grands at a dealer the other day and their superiority over smaller instruments was instantly apparent to me. When a store employee came over and asked me if I needed help (perhaps really asking if I could afford those pianos), I retreated over to a Shigeru Kawai SK-5 and found it completely unimpressive due to it's smaller size.

Sonepica,

No worries at all. For the record, I fully sympathise with where you're coming from as one of the top things I look for in a piano is a good quality bass and I appreciate that the best basses come from the longest pianos (generally speaking). In my opinion, I still think there is a noticeable difference between the Yamaha SX and CF series of pianos so if you get the chance I'd urge you try try one - it's all good learning at the end of the day!

Given your inclination towards concert grands, have you tried the CFX?


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Originally Posted by Sonepica
But a concert grand would have a clearer bass and less inharmonicity, right?

Well, yes. However, I have had clients who have chosen the Bösendorfer 225 over a number of other concert grands. You see, the 225 has 4 extra notes in the bass and these notes do several things:

1) They create "under tones". These are much like overtones, but these extra bass notes do sympathetically vibrate with their own partials. Play a big chord on a 225 with the sustain pedal down and this is evident.
2) They create a wider piano, and therefore a bigger soundboard and an elongated scale because of how cross stringing can work on this model.
3) They bring the termination point on the bass bridge in the standard tessitura of the piano closer to the "sweet spot" of the transferal of vibration into the soundboard, so it is used more efficiently.

I love the balance it offers, the ability to "rattle windows", but also the ability to whisper on this piano. This leads me to questions for you.

1) What will you be using the piano for?
2) How large is the space you will place the piano in?
3) What do you play?


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I agree that you should try the Bösendorfer 225 (any model, really). Equally fine piano to any of its size. As a thought experiment, you might reframe your ideals toward balance of the instrument across registers more than too much emphasis on bass. Any of these shouldn’t disappoint unless you are really hyper focused on your idea of bass, whatever that is. Bösendorfers I have tried have a pure fundamental bass; of course the pianist can change the color of it. Try and see!

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Originally Posted by williambonard
Originally Posted by Sonepica
Originally Posted by williambonard
Sonepica,

It would appear to me that you have quite an intent on finding the biggest (ergo longest) piano you can find. Yes, as a general rule of thumb, a bigger and longer piano is going to have a fuller sounder and more satisfying base but I would not get too hung up on length at this point until you have actually played something.

Going back to what I had earlier alluded to about my day playing Steinways and Yamahas, to give you a fuller flavour, that very day I went to Steinways in London with the intent of sitting down at a Model D and having my socks blown off. At the time having not played a brand new Model D for some time, it seemed undisputed to me that this piano would blow my socks off. So, when in fact it didn't, naturally I was quite disappointed.

Yes, the Model D had a strong bass and a full tone but that alone was not satisfying. I played two Model Ds that day and both of them didn't work for me. The tone wasn't quite where I wanted and I wasn't getting a silky response to the action like I felt I should (and deserved for £140k...). Likewise, I played a Model B and Model A and whilst neither of those pianos worked for me either, the Model A was the one that spoke with me most. And the shocking part? The Model A is only 6' 1" and not 9' like the Model D!

Similarly, with the CF6, I sat down at this piano not expected to be 'wowed' because at the time in my mind I was thinking "well, if what is supposedly one of the world's finest pianos leaves me disappointed and unfulfilled, then what is a Yamaha going to do?". As I mentioned previously, I absolutely fell in love with this piano. It did everything I asked it to. For only 7' I recall the bass being incredibly powerful and if I'm really honest, I didn't think the bass of the CF6 was particularly compromised over the Model D despite the two foot length difference.

Who knows, perhaps the CF6 was setup better on the day? If I'm honest, I don't really count myself as a die-hard Steinway fan. I've been reading and posting on this forum for years now and there are a lot of people that think Steinway is the be all and end all. I could probably pick a good few other pianos I'd rather play than Steinway, starting with the CF6. And for what it's worth, Steingraeber would be very closely followed by the CF6!

I suppose the point of my (now, rather lengthy) post is that you shouldn't get hung up on the size and length - especially if you are looking at putting a concert grand in a small flat (an 'apartment' for you people out there across the pond!). A 9' concert grand is a big piano. It's designed to cut through orchestral layers and project in concert halls, not fill up the space of someone's living room. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have a concert grand at home and it is eventually my intention to purchase somewhere where I can have a small 'studio' at the back of the garden with purpose-built space for a concert grand.

There are plenty of other pianos out there smaller than a concert grand that should provide you with what you need. Look at a Steingraeber C-212, a Bösendorfer 214 VC or a Yamaha CF6.

My parting advice: play everything and anything - not just concert grands - and keep your mind open.

Thanks for the long reply. I've played the C6X and S6X and found the base simply did not give me what I'm after. I would never consider these pianos over the C7X/S7X. I've played the Bosendorfer 214 and found it to be a beautiful piano yet with the same problem all smaller pianos have. Definitely wouldn't consider it. So for me, I would definitely not consider a piano smaller than the 225-230 range. I played Fazioli and Sauter concert grands at a dealer the other day and their superiority over smaller instruments was instantly apparent to me. When a store employee came over and asked me if I needed help (perhaps really asking if I could afford those pianos), I retreated over to a Shigeru Kawai SK-5 and found it completely unimpressive due to it's smaller size.

Sonepica,

No worries at all. For the record, I fully sympathise with where you're coming from as one of the top things I look for in a piano is a good quality bass and I appreciate that the best basses come from the longest pianos (generally speaking). In my opinion, I still think there is a noticeable difference between the Yamaha SX and CF series of pianos so if you get the chance I'd urge you try try one - it's all good learning at the end of the day!

Given your inclination towards concert grands, have you tried the CFX?

I'm not sure there's a CFX in Sydney, certainly not at the two Yamaha dealers I've been to.

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Originally Posted by Rich Galassini
Originally Posted by Sonepica
But a concert grand would have a clearer bass and less inharmonicity, right?

Well, yes. However, I have had clients who have chosen the Bösendorfer 225 over a number of other concert grands. You see, the 225 has 4 extra notes in the bass and these notes do several things:

1) They create "under tones". These are much like overtones, but these extra bass notes do sympathetically vibrate with their own partials. Play a big chord on a 225 with the sustain pedal down and this is evident.
2) They create a wider piano, and therefore a bigger soundboard and an elongated scale because of how cross stringing can work on this model.
3) They bring the termination point on the bass bridge in the standard tessitura of the piano closer to the "sweet spot" of the transferal of vibration into the soundboard, so it is used more efficiently.

I love the balance it offers, the ability to "rattle windows", but also the ability to whisper on this piano. This leads me to questions for you.

1) What will you be using the piano for?
2) How large is the space you will place the piano in?
3) What do you play?

1) Just playing/practicing to myself at home.
2) If I stay in Sydney I could find a house with a reasonably sized living room to put it it. But I'm considering a move to Hong Kong or Singapore in the future to take advantage of the low taxes in these countries (15% to 17% vs 45% in Australia). In this case, I would be using the piano in a relatively small apartment. Especially in Hong Kong.
3) Rachmaninoff, Scriabin and Medtner (piano concertos / sonatas). A little Chopin and late Beethoven.

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Originally Posted by parnassus
Hi Sonepica, I’m sure that dealer would be happy to offload the Fazioli 278 for a good price. They’ve wanted to get in a new one with the latest updates for a while now. PM me for more details if you’re curious.

By the way, I preferred the Bosendorfer 214VC over the S7x, and the Sauter Omega over any of the Faziolis. They would have been the same instrument s that you tried!

You were probably playing the S6X at that dealer, I think the only S7X in Australia is at the Yamaha showroom in Melbourne. I agree the 214 has a more beautiful sound everywhere except the bass. But if you're going to pay the huge price premium you don't want the large compromises brought by a smaller piano. Also, I tend to play Russian music which requires a lot of power and brilliance which I don't think you can get out of those smaller Bosendorfers. But they certainly make the gentle melodies sound sweet.

If you have an idea of what that dealer charges for their Faziolis after discounting (I'm assuming that dealer may be the only Fazioli dealer in Australia), I'd be interested in finding out too. Although if I'm spending a lot of money on my ultimate piano I think I'd rather have one of the updated ones as well, unless that piano is fantastically discounted. I'll PM you.

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Sonepica,

Since you seem to love pianos with big sound (me too!), why bother with smaller pianos? It sounds to me that space is not a concern and the budget is quite high. After you buy a smaller piano, you might wish for a bigger one anyway.

I'd suggest sticking with concert grands. There is no substitute.

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Originally Posted by redfish1901
Sonepica,

Since you seem to love pianos with big sound (me too!), why bother with smaller pianos? It sounds to me that space is not a concern and the budget is quite high. After you buy a smaller piano, you might wish for a bigger one anyway.

I'd suggest sticking with concert grands. There is no substitute.

Finally, someone on this forum talking some sense! smile

I think it's a good idea to focus on used concert grands. I've heard people say that because the market for concert grands is small, you can get them at very good prices. I like the thought of being able to trade out the piano for a different one with no new depreciation loss if I decide I'd rather have a different brand.

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Interesting thread especially for me who is also based in Australia.

Although you can find a house with a large enough living room, are you prepared to treat it acoustically? I have a 180cm Kawai grand piano and when I play it the whole street can hear and the volume hurts my ears after prolonged practice. I wish I have bought a smaller Estonia grand piano.

Given your skill level, I think you deserve the very best you could afford. All things equal I would bias European mades over a Yamaha given classical music is of western tradition.

What sort of prices are you getting for the Yamaha and the Fazoili? In Australia the prices are very inflated due to the lack of competition.

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Originally Posted by willpianist
Interesting thread especially for me who is also based in Australia.

Although you can find a house with a large enough living room, are you prepared to treat it acoustically? I have a 180cm Kawai grand piano and when I play it the whole street can hear and the volume hurts my ears after prolonged practice. I wish I have bought a smaller Estonia grand piano.

Given your skill level, I think you deserve the very best you could afford. All things equal I would bias European mades over a Yamaha given classical music is of western tradition.

What sort of prices are you getting for the Yamaha and the Fazoili? In Australia the prices are very inflated due to the lack of competition.

If you PM me I can tell you my conception of Yamaha prices in Sydney. I haven't queried the Fazioli dealer on prices but parnassus above has some info. Yes, I've also noticed that prices in the US seem much more reasonable (although this is true of many things, not only pianos). The US also has a fantastic supply of very reasonably priced used top-tier pianos like Bosendorfers. I wonder if Hong Kong / Singapore have more reasonable prices.

Does anyone have any opinions on that Bluthner 280 I mentioned in my original post?

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There are three (!) Bosendorfer 280s on Gumtree at the moment... perhaps worth doing some due diligence on those?

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Originally Posted by TTWK
There are three (!) Bosendorfer 280s on Gumtree at the moment... perhaps worth doing some due diligence on those?

They are all ancient pianos, mostly from the 1800s if I remember correctly. If I buy used, I'm looking for something around 10 years old.

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Perhaps one thing to consider with regard to Bluthner is the pain of tuning the aliquot stringing... my piano technician hates working on Bluthner grands.

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