2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad) Piano Sight Reading
train piano sight reading with your iPhone or iPad
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
68 members (Anglagard44, AaronSF, brennbaer, clothearednincompo, CraiginNZ, 36251, andrea monza, AndyOnThePiano, 12 invisible), 630 guests, and 445 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 62
G
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
G
Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 62
Hello,

Close to a year ago a bought a 2001 Seiler 116 upright in like-new condition mechanically (has almost not been played so should have a lifetime of use ahead of it).
After maybe 250 hours of practice on it I'm convinced that it has amazing tone, unlike any other upright I've heard so far, I cannot imagine getting another upright that'll sound as good.
But, the touch is not quite as responsive as I'd like it to be.
I've had my piano technician regulate it and he has done things to even-out the touch and make it better at playing pianissimo, but i feels it's only like 80% of the way there.

I am now considering the option of trading it in 1:1 with a piano dealer at somewhat of a value loss on my end, in exchange for a 1980s or so U3/U3X or some variant of that Yamaha model. I know I won't get as good of a tone, but I may be willing to trade it if I can get a piano with good-enough tone and perfectly responsive touch in return.

Does it sounds like I'd be making a big mistake here? Perhaps another downside is the fact there are a lot of 1980s Yamaha U3s available compared to something a little more "boutique" like the Seiler 116.

Thoughts?

Cheers

Joined: May 2013
Posts: 2,900
Bronze Subscriber
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
Bronze Subscriber
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 2,900
I suspect you are over emphasizing the tone of the Seiler so you can justify a better touch whilst uncaring about the tone of a too old replacement. What exactly is wrong with the Seiler's touch? Did the technician agree with your opinion? How do you know that the Seiler's regulation is only 80% there? Before you bought the Seiler were you experienced with the actions of other pianos?
Ian


I'm all keyed up
2016 Blüthner Model A
Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 62
G
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
G
Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 62
Hi Ian,

-It's possible that you are right about overrating the Seiler's tone. All I remember is that before I bought it I went to a retailer's store and tried out all of their uprights. To my personal taste none compared in terms of the tone.
My technician did comments that if I do replace it, I might not be able to find as good of a tone for that price point.

-How do I know regulation is 80% there? It's just a feeling. But my technician also said that the regulation he performed brought it up to something like 75% of this action's potential and to get a much better responsiveness would require either a full day's work on the current action which would be very expensive, or replacing the action altogether which would be even more expensive. In my opinion he took it from "pretty bad" to "fairly good". Just not sure if fairly good is enough for my needs long term.

-Was I experienced with the actions of other pianos before the Seiler?
With 2 pianos extensively. I very cheap, old and unregulated Ukranian piano that my parents bought when I was a kid for very cheap. And my Teachers Yamaha upright which I believe is a U2 (maybe a U1)?
The tone of my teacher's piano does not compare to the Seiler but the action is just great and very fluid feeling.
Besides that only brief experience with actions of the pianos I tried at the retailer's store. Back then I also preferred their 1970s U3 over most others they had in stock.

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 227
W
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
W
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 227
GnGEmpire, I'm not sure what values of money we are talking here trading in the Seiler for a Yamaha (I'm assuming you will need to pay a price difference?) but depending on the price difference to change from the Seiler to the Yamaha, if the full day of action regulation is similar money then surely is this not worth considering?

I agree that the fluidity and responsiveness of the action is important however, I think you will eventually be disappointed in the tone of the Yamaha having moved from the Seiler. No matter how well it plays, if it doesn't sound nice then you're probably not going to want to sit down at it every day... we all know Yamaha's actions are synonymous for how well they perform at their price point but I can't imagine that the tone of a 1980s U3 is particularly inspiring. The Seiler, on the other hand... I think you know the answer.

I suppose my parting advice is to really think twice before trading in a well crafted premium German upright for a widely available U3, and especially one that is already 30 years old, because sooner or later that's going to need a lot of money spent on action regulation/replacement.


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

"Insurance broker by day, classically trained pianist by... well, when I'm not working!"
Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 541
M
500 Post Club Member
Online Content
500 Post Club Member
M
Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 541
If the work can be done, then figure out the different options (1 days' repairs vs full replacement) and consider that your trade-up.

You've already done well by finding excellent tone in a small upright and paying the used price for something nearly-new.

I'm in a somewhat similar situation with a car: I decided to get the paint worked on and possibly replace carpets rather than taking the plunge with a new model. A big repair bill this year, but better than Year 1 depreciation on a newer model, with all the hassles of buying.

I know that this Yamaha is not new and won't require new outlay of cash, but it seems that it brings other costs. Unless your teacher thinks that you need a Yamaha action to improve, perhaps it would make sense to spend the extra now to get the Seiler to its potential.

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,294
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,294
Hmmm, try a different tech.

A premium German Seiler (2001 was pre-Samick) for a much older U3?

The sound is comparing apples to oranges, but the touch is something a tech can deal with, even if you convince them to start replacing consumable parts (albeit that can get expensive quickly). On the other hand, the Seiler may have been abused and gone unserviced.

Be very careful with this one. You might regret your decision.


I do music stuffs
Yep, I have a YouTube channel!

Current:
1998 PETROF Model IV Chippendale
LEGO Grand Piano (IDEAS 031|21323)
YAMAHA PSR-520

Past:
2017 Charles Walter 1500 in semi-polish ebony
1991 Kawai 602-M Console in Oak
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 6,420
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 6,420
Hmm, I don't think I understand your thought process here... I also would think twice (three times even) before trading in a 20 y/o piano with tone that you like for a 40 y/o with tone that's not so good...

Also, regarding this:

Quote
my technician also said that the regulation he performed brought it up to something like 75% of this action's potential and to get a much better responsiveness would require either a full day's work on the current action which would be very expensive

How expensive could a full day's work be?? I would think this would be the way to go, rather then trading in the Seiler??

Having said that, Yamaha uprights are very nice pianos so I can understand the attraction. I owned a used Yamaha U1 for 9 years. IIRC it was maybe 20ish years old when I bought it. I had my piano tuner in about once every 5 months, and during the time I owned it, it continued to sound better and better. (I only sold it because we moved from Japan to the US, and they don't let you take pianos as carry on luggage.)

My current piano is a Yamaha grand, and the action/touch/feel of this piano was much, much better than any other piano I played that was within my budget. I think this piano is making me a better pianist....


So, yeah, I'm not being helpful to you anymore! whome


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 2,900
Bronze Subscriber
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
Bronze Subscriber
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 2,900
You said that the Seiler when you bought it had hardly been played. So just when did you realise that its 'touch' was not to your satisfaction? Your 250 hours would not have significantly affected the action so I don't understand how your technician advised that he needed a further day's work after he regulated it.

I tune and regulate my own piano so I'm sceptical about the work that is allegedly required.

Regulation brings the piano back to manufacturers specification provided that there has been no deterioration due to dampness, excessive wear or misuse.

As you are concerned about 'touch' the technician's additional work would not be involved in reshaping or voicing hammers and so they would be working on friction points ensuring not too much or too little.

I assume you did not ask the technician to 'lighten the touch'? Some pianists ask for a lighter touch even if the piano is brand new. This cannot be done without compromising the manufacturer's action specification and most certainly should never be done on a high quality German piano. A technician could for example move the hammer rest position closer to the strings, or/and make the dampers lift later on playing the keys, or/and reduce the spring tension on the dampers. All these are negative procedures and an attempt to correct an incorrect piano purchase.

If excessive friction is the problem then a technician can verify this on just a single note by unscrewing that part of the action from rail and performing a hammer swing test. Typically a hammer held with its head downward should, when swung, make around 5-7 swings.

With all that said my conclusion is only as good as the information that you have provided so if you have more information please feel free to let us know.
Ian


I'm all keyed up
2016 Blüthner Model A
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 1,574
Gold Subscriber
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 1,574
Keep the Seiler. Get a your tech to do a full day's work on the action or better yet have another tech examine the piano and let him or her provide another opinion on what may need to be done. Good luck.

Rich


Retired at the beach
Grotrian 192

Anton Rubinstein said about the piano: "You think it is one instrument? It is a hundred instruments!"
Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 62
G
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
G
Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 62
Hi ShiroKuro,

The thought process is that is the Seiler is already fulfilling 75-80% of it's actions potential and I'm still not satisfied with it. I'd imagine that on a Yamaha, 75-80% of the action's potential would be perfectly adequate. And there's also no guarantee that after spending more money on the Seiler getting it to 100% I'll be totally satisfied with it.

In comparison, if I can find a dealer who will 1:1 trade a used U3 for it and I happen to find the U3's touch perfect the way it is, then I'm more or less guaranteed to get something better for my needs at very little extra cost (besides paying the piano movers which should still be less than the worth of a full day's regulation to take the Seiler's action from 80% to 100% of it's potential.

Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 960
T
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 960
I also think you should get another tech's opinion before making a trade you might regret.

Also, maybe go play some other pianos so that you know what you're gaining or losing. Right now the "Yamaha with the perfect touch" is hypothetical. I grew up on a Yamaha (probably a U1) but recently I played another while helping someone look for a piano and I wasn't a big fan of the sound and also the touch was weirdly a little springy. I think you'll have a gut feeling whether it's a sound you might be okay with or whether there's no way it can come close to your lovely Seiler.

Another option: try to find another used European piano. I really liked my Petrof 125. Beautiful tone and good touch. You might be able to find a piano that has it all.


2001 Petrof 125 -> 2002 Petrof IV -> 1999 Bösendorfer 225
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 1,297
G
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 1,297
Originally Posted by GnGEmpire
Hi ShiroKuro,

The thought process is that is the Seiler is already fulfilling 75-80% of it's actions potential and I'm still not satisfied with it. I'd imagine that on a Yamaha, 75-80% of the action's potential would be perfectly adequate. And there's also no guarantee that after spending more money on the Seiler getting it to 100% I'll be totally satisfied with it.

In comparison, if I can find a dealer who will 1:1 trade a used U3 for it and I happen to find the U3's touch perfect the way it is, then I'm more or less guaranteed to get something better for my needs at very little extra cost (besides paying the piano movers which should still be less than the worth of a full day's regulation to take the Seiler's action from 80% to 100% of it's potential.

Well it isn't really like that. The 75-85% mathematical figures are just some pseudo analysis of something that isn't that quantifiable and if I remember correctly the earlier posts here are based just on one technicians estimate. Neither is it a given that you will find a U3 with that perfect touch, they do vary quite a bit from one example to another and the touch will probably (my UX3 did) change as the piano adapts to your humidity levels compared to where it was before. Still, you seem to have made your mind up, and if you have come to dislike the Seiler so much you might as well get rid of it rather than continue to be unhappy.

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,294
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,294
Also keep in mind that touch, sound, and room ambience all work together hand in hand.

You may love your piano teacher's Yamaha in their studio, but you might hate it if the piano is moved to your own home, for example!

Even moving furniture around a room can change the ambience, and therefore sound, and therefore the touch. Even moving your upright 18" from the wall can have an enormous difference in sound and touch. Have you tried this as an experiment? (Please try this and tell us what you think. Heck, try it 26" from the wall, as well.)

So, again, find another tech to work with your Seiler and go from there. You might fine a Yamaha in a store that you like the touch and hate the sound, then you get it home and hate the touch and sound. Then what?


I do music stuffs
Yep, I have a YouTube channel!

Current:
1998 PETROF Model IV Chippendale
LEGO Grand Piano (IDEAS 031|21323)
YAMAHA PSR-520

Past:
2017 Charles Walter 1500 in semi-polish ebony
1991 Kawai 602-M Console in Oak
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 6,420
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 6,420
Originally Posted by gwing
Originally Posted by GnGEmpire
Hi ShiroKuro,

The thought process is that is the Seiler is already fulfilling 75-80% of it's actions potential and I'm still not satisfied with it. I'd imagine that on a Yamaha, 75-80% of the action's potential would be perfectly adequate. And there's also no guarantee that after spending more money on the Seiler getting it to 100% I'll be totally satisfied with it.

In comparison, if I can find a dealer who will 1:1 trade a used U3 for it and I happen to find the U3's touch perfect the way it is, then I'm more or less guaranteed to get something better for my needs at very little extra cost (besides paying the piano movers which should still be less than the worth of a full day's regulation to take the Seiler's action from 80% to 100% of it's potential.

Well it isn't really like that. The 75-85% mathematical figures are just some pseudo analysis of something that isn't that quantifiable

I was coming here to make precisely this comment. The numbers are not helpful and I think you might just forget about them. The other thing to remember, which you wrote above, is this:
Quote
there's also no guarantee that after spending more money on the Seiler getting it to 100% I'll be totally satisfied with it.


Exactly. I would say you don't want to purchase any piano if it doesn't already feel and sound exactly the way you want.

I think maybe you want to rethink a few things... What is your total budget in terms of how much money you can spend right now on piano/instrument-related expenditures? Then think about the various expenses: buying a different piano vs. paying for additional work on the Seiler. Then maybe think about whether you could wait, save even more money and afford a more expensive instrument (and thus have more options) in the future....

Either way, good luck and keep us posted!


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 118
W
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
W
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 118
Originally Posted by GnGEmpire
I am now considering the option of trading it in 1:1 with a piano dealer at somewhat of a value loss on my end, in exchange for a 1980s or so U3/U3X or some variant of that Yamaha model.

Are you under severe time pressure, economically, or psychologically, to move forward quickly? I mean that as a serious question, I can relate to self-imposed pressure of wanting to move on to a different instrument sooner rather than later.

But if you have time, and the dealer you're talking about as to a trade isn't your one and only option in life, then I'd say: move on and wait.

You're better off selling your piano on the open market and use the cash to buy whatever you want. Even at full appreciation, you'd be selling an instrument at $30k retail in order to buy a new instrument at 15k retail. The idea that you can only afford a 40+ year old inferior instrument for what you have is just too depressing to be true, and seems to be the product of limited options on your end (hence my question).

For reference, I've talked to experienced West Coast dealers about trading in a Seiler upright and they've always told me that selling the piano myself will net me ca. 40% more cash as opposed to whatever they can honor. Dealers will give you sincere offers (for trade in value) but they have to factor in various things on their end such as floor room space, transportation, and service costs that all drop out when you sell directly. It's your time and your money of course.

Last edited by Windjammer; 02/22/21 04:27 PM.

"Ein Buch ist ein Spiegel, aus dem kein Apostel herausgucken kann, wenn ein Affe hineinguckt." Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-1799)

Moderated by  Ken Knapp, Piano World 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Couch to Concert Hall
Couch to Concert Hall
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Suggestions for a 3.5mm > 3.5mm Cable
by mmathew - 04/17/21 05:09 PM
Playing by ear v Reading sheet music
by LarryShone - 04/17/21 04:20 PM
Why do used Baldwins seemed to sell for less than...
by pianoloverus - 04/17/21 04:00 PM
Cesar Mariano - Brazilian jazz piano
by jjo - 04/17/21 03:57 PM
Did many of the great piano compositions start out...
by pianoloverus - 04/17/21 03:40 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums42
Topics206,354
Posts3,083,544
Members101,221
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers

Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


© copyright 1997 - 2021 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5