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#319572 - 12/20/08 02:04 AM Essex -EUP-123E The good, the bad, the ugly??  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 25
Jason G Offline
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Jason G  Offline
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Cleveland Ohio
I was in a local dealer re-eying the grey market Yamaha's again, sorry! Then the dealer turned me on to a new Essex 123, which when I heard it played sounded fantastic to my ears. I compared it to a U1 / U3 / 52 Kawai and a few Kohler & Campbell consoles. It had a sound that was much richer than the others, I would compare it to drinking a fine Cabernet (smooth) vs. a cheap Merlot.

- What does the cognoscenti know about these Chinese made Steinway's?
- Good or bad?
- What should one of these cost me, assuming I get a great deal?

This is probably way over my original budget, but I am drawn to this one for some odd reason.

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#319573 - 12/20/08 02:33 AM Re: Essex -EUP-123E The good, the bad, the ugly??  
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turandot Offline
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turandot  Offline
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torrance, CA
Hi Jason,

Start here.
http://bluebookofpianos.com/essex.htm

Whatever you can chop off this obviously works to your advantage.

Most Steinway dealer are willing to deal on Essex. How sweet a deal depends on the policies and financial cirucumstances of the particular dealer.

Though their humble origins are a little out of kilter with the Steinway mystique, in my experience these pianos are fun to play. I prefer their sound to that of the higher-priced Boston's, but that's a personal thing.


Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier
#319574 - 12/20/08 06:26 PM Re: Essex -EUP-123E The good, the bad, the ugly??  
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Jason G Offline
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Jason G  Offline
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Cleveland Ohio
More specifically is this piano worth $4500? I have untrained ears to say the least and I I have never played yet. So it is very hard for me to determine a quality instrument from a POS import. I know that Steinway is considered by many to be the best, if it has been designed by then and the manufacturing outsourced is it still a quality instrument. To me it sounded better then the other instruments around it, but then again I have untrained ears.

#319575 - 12/20/08 07:16 PM Re: Essex -EUP-123E The good, the bad, the ugly??  
Joined: Jun 2007
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Pianomadam Offline
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Southern United States
we get that a lot, Jason. I've had many families choose the EUP-123E over the Kawai K3, Yamaha U1, etc... It comes down to the sound and the touch.

You may want to play the pianos you narrow down to all on the same day. have them all prepped by the respective dealer and tell them you are making a decision on the day that you choose (give them a few days to get a tuner in there). That should give you the fairest comparison.

Good luck in your exciting journey!


PianoMadam

Family of Steinway-Designed Pianos (Steinway & Sons, Boston, Essex) Dealer
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#319576 - 12/21/08 12:54 AM Re: Essex -EUP-123E The good, the bad, the ugly??  
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terminaldegree Offline
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terminaldegree  Offline
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Georgia, USA
Pianomadam has good advice here-- it's exactly what I did on the final day of my search.


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
#319577 - 12/22/08 04:53 AM Re: Essex -EUP-123E The good, the bad, the ugly??  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 383
eightyeight_keys Offline
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eightyeight_keys  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 383
Melbourne, Australia
Quote
Originally posted by Jason G:
I was in a local dealer re-eying the grey market Yamaha's again, sorry! Then the dealer turned me on to a new Essex 123, which when I heard it played sounded fantastic to my ears. I compared it to a U1 / U3 / 52 Kawai and a few Kohler & Campbell consoles. It had a sound that was much richer than the others, I would compare it to drinking a fine Cabernet (smooth) vs. a cheap Merlot.

- What does the cognoscenti know about these Chinese made Steinway's?
- Good or bad?
- What should one of these cost me, assuming I get a great deal?

This is probably way over my original budget, but I am drawn to this one for some odd reason.
Yes I know exactly what you mean J! The Yamahas seam to lack tonal brilliance and the Kawais are a bit quieter, even though very tonal and warm. I was draw to the Essex, but as you know I have a few issues with it after taking delivery. Maybe a good voicing and check up with a good tech should solve the problems I have. Maybe the one you heard had good voicing? Mine is too bright and reverberates too much. But it is a very nice looking piano with a BIG sound.


Kawai RX6G Grand
Bernstien/Hailun Europa BH - 1EP Upright
Roland HP-335 Digital Piano
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Roland E09W Interactive Arranger
#319578 - 12/22/08 12:26 PM Re: Essex -EUP-123E The good, the bad, the ugly??  
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 456
Gregor Offline
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Münster, Germany
At the risk of making myself unpopular, I have to admit that I don´t like these Essex very much. I did not check them thoroughly enough to have a well-founded opinion but I just played the 123, the 116 and a 161 grand. I can´t say anything about the quality of craftmanship but the sound didn´t inspire me. Amazingly I liked the 116 upright more than the 123, although I usualy like bigger uprights more than smaller uprights. I think they are too expensive for Chinese made pianos with a sound like that. They are not bad but not good enough to be sold for that price.

That´s my individual opinion and I don´t want to talk bad about Essex. And for the sake of clarity I should mention that I might be biased as I sell Wendl & Lung pianos which I like much more than Essex. Hmm, I guess that´s what one calls bias :p

Gregor


piano tech - tuner - dealer
Münster, Germany
www.weldert.de
#319579 - 12/22/08 12:38 PM Re: Essex -EUP-123E The good, the bad, the ugly??  
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 476
FormerFF Offline
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Roswell, GA, USA
For those of us who are absolute beginners, the advice of "trust your fingers and ears" doesn't work. When looking for our first piano, I found that I could make any acoustic piano sound bad. Jason may be having that same problem. While I could listen to the salesperson play, I always wondered if his playing was affected by his/her feelings towards that particular piano or by what he/she would most like to sell.


Piano self teaching on and off from 2002-2008. Took piano instruction from Nov 2008- Feb 2011. Took guitar instruction Feb 2011-Jul 2013. Can't play either. Living, breathing proof some people aren't cut out to make music.
#319580 - 12/23/08 11:14 AM Re: Essex -EUP-123E The good, the bad, the ugly??  
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jman37 Offline
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Tampa, fl
Listen to pianomadam, she has it correct imo.

You will see which dealer is most eager to earn your busines through prepping the piano to its potential.

I dont think you can go wrong by purchasing a Steinway designed piano. I do, however like the larger sized Kohler & Campbells, I think they are very nice pianos, especially for the money.

Good Luck!


On the mountain of the lord it will be provided.
#319581 - 12/23/08 02:42 PM Re: Essex -EUP-123E The good, the bad, the ugly??  
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windsound Offline
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windsound  Offline
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IL
EUP-123E is not worth $4500, somewhere a little bit lower than $4000.

#319582 - 12/23/08 02:44 PM Re: Essex -EUP-123E The good, the bad, the ugly??  
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Posts: 177
windsound Offline
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IL
EUP-123E is not a piano at the level of Kawai K3 or Yamaha U1 at all and that is why it is much cheaper.

#319583 - 12/23/08 03:23 PM Re: Essex -EUP-123E The good, the bad, the ugly??  
Joined: Jun 2007
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Pianomadam Offline
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Southern United States
Speaking from experience I've had several families (with excellent and advanced players making the decision) make a DIRECT comparison with the pianos you aforementioned, windsound, and come to the opposite conclusion. Oh, and we do sell the Essex for more than the K3's at our competitor's store. Now, prices differ across the country so your situation could be different. Cheers.


PianoMadam

Family of Steinway-Designed Pianos (Steinway & Sons, Boston, Essex) Dealer
#319584 - 12/23/08 03:33 PM Re: Essex -EUP-123E The good, the bad, the ugly??  
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windsound Offline
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Speaking from a consumer's common sense, saying a Essex is better than a Yamaha or Kawai is similar to saying a Yamaha or Kawai is better than a Steinway.

#319585 - 12/23/08 11:09 PM Re: Essex -EUP-123E The good, the bad, the ugly??  
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POTUS Offline
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POTUS  Offline
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I looked at an EUP-123E today and the dealer quoted me $4,500. I still had the feeling there was a little more wiggle room on price. If so, I'm close to pulling the trigger on my first piano.

#319586 - 12/24/08 01:35 AM Re: Essex -EUP-123E The good, the bad, the ugly??  
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Posts: 25
Jason G Offline
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Jason G  Offline
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Cleveland Ohio
Yea, my dealer is about the $4500 range as well. I maybe a novice, but as an audiophile at heart and the owner of quite a few sophisticated pieces of equipment to accurately reproduce sound. I can say that at least at this specific dealer, the Essex had very little problem in a direct comparison to a U1 / U3 and a 50' Kawai (Don't know the model number off hand). I felt it was hands down a better sounding instrument. I will give you the variable that they may have been preped differently but there was a tech, who had just tuned one of the Yammies, right before it was played. So I know it was in tune. That's my story and I am sticking to it. smile

#319587 - 12/24/08 11:31 AM Re: Essex -EUP-123E The good, the bad, the ugly??  
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jman37 Offline
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jman37  Offline
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Tampa, fl
I know every dealer is different, but the one I deal with in the Tampa area gives my students a 10% discount just because they are my students! (dont think I'm too special they do this for all the teachers referalls)

I would possibly suggest this to get the best price. I do also understand that Steinway dealers are different in that the prices quoted actually mean something unlike many other dealers.


On the mountain of the lord it will be provided.
#319588 - 12/28/08 08:54 AM Re: Essex -EUP-123E The good, the bad, the ugly??  
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POTUS Offline
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POTUS  Offline
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As a follow up, I ended up buying one for $4,350. I really liked the way it sounded in the store (much less bright than the other brands considered), so hopefully it'll sound similar once in my house.

#319589 - 12/29/08 04:06 AM Re: Essex -EUP-123E The good, the bad, the ugly??  
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jman37 Offline
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jman37  Offline
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Tampa, fl
Congratulations,

It will most certainly sound wonderful in your home. Room acoustics make a difference, but most home settings are more than adequate, just as long as you dont have 12 foot ceilings Glass doors, and tile floor, lol

anyway, many of my students have purchased the Essex and all have been very happy with them.


On the mountain of the lord it will be provided.
#319590 - 12/29/08 02:43 PM Re: Essex -EUP-123E The good, the bad, the ugly??  
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 12
wendybird Offline
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wendybird  Offline
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I bought an Essex (after doing very little research; shame on me) and was very unhappy with the sound when it arrived in my home. After months of having the Steinway dealer send people to re-tune the piano, he finally sent me his top technician who spent many hours voicing it. The difference was amazing. It's now a piano I can play with pleasure. My advice is to make sure your dealer is going to do the proper prep on the piano, as mine had not.


Wendy
#319591 - 12/29/08 06:44 PM Re: Essex -EUP-123E The good, the bad, the ugly??  
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paulmarcus Offline
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paulmarcus  Offline
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I am a tuner and have played many and tuned a handful of Essex pianos. I must admit I am very impressed with the tone and feel especially for the price. Granted the pianos are not built by Steinway but rather designed by and inspected by Steinway. Whatever they're doing they're doing it right for getting a piano to sound that good for so little money.

I agree with Wendy in that any piano can sound horrible after delivery if it hasn't been massaged correctly by the right tech. On another thread someone was commenting that they liked the 6' Fandrich & Sons better than the 9' Bosendorfer at the piano show. Albeit, he admitted that the Bosendorfer had just been delivered and not tuned yet.

Again, I don't how Steinway does it but their Essex sounds incredible for what you'd pay. But I guess that's really up to you to decide. Stop looking at the name... blind fold yourself and play each one, then decide.


Marcus
#319592 - 01/01/09 01:08 AM Re: Essex -EUP-123E The good, the bad, the ugly??  
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eightyeight_keys Offline
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eightyeight_keys  Offline
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Melbourne, Australia
Quote
Originally posted by windsound:
EUP-123E is not worth $4500, somewhere a little bit lower than $4000.
The price is excactly what I paid here in Australia though the recomended "retail" was $3,000AU more! Nicely finished piano, great size so the music rest does NOT get in the way of playing hands (like other smaller uprights), with a good bass, but an overall sound that is NOT to my liking in my music room. frown


Kawai RX6G Grand
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#319593 - 01/01/09 01:17 AM Re: Essex -EUP-123E The good, the bad, the ugly??  
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eightyeight_keys Offline
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eightyeight_keys  Offline
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Melbourne, Australia
Quote
Originally posted by paulmarcus:
I am a tuner and have played many and tuned a handful of Essex pianos. I must admit I am very impressed with the tone and feel especially for the price. Granted the pianos are not built by Steinway but rather designed by and inspected by Steinway. Whatever they're doing they're doing it right for getting a piano to sound that good for so little money.

I agree with Wendy in that any piano can sound horrible after delivery if it hasn't been massaged correctly by the right tech. On another thread someone was commenting that they liked the 6' Fandrich & Sons better than the 9' Bosendorfer at the piano show. Albeit, he admitted that the Bosendorfer had just been delivered and not tuned yet.

Again, I don't how Steinway does it but their Essex sounds incredible for what you'd pay. But I guess that's really up to you to decide. Stop looking at the name... blind fold yourself and play each one, then decide.
I agree with Wendy and paulmarcus, the Essex is indeed an amazing instrument for its price, it is loud (mine was so loud that it was harsh and I could hear high overtones in many notes), full, upfront, good bass, good touch and the finish is amazing. I love the look of it. And the size is perfect for an upright. This is why I bought it. If I had not changed my mind to buy a Kawai grand, I would have persisted and got a REALLY GOOD Tech to come voice it, as I think there is an issue with the new hammers. After all - it is new, and possible not prepped properly. I am not in any way criticising this piano in any of my postings, just voicing my concerns. I would love to see a well voiced EUP123! I would certainly consider it if I was in the market for another upright - but only after careful voicing and prep work.
Best wishes to all piano lovers! smile


Kawai RX6G Grand
Bernstien/Hailun Europa BH - 1EP Upright
Roland HP-335 Digital Piano
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