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10K Uprights: Used Steinway K-52, New Seiler Konsole, Or? #336204
12/05/04 09:49 AM
12/05/04 09:49 AM
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Eden Prairie, MN
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Torchygirl Offline OP
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I am looking at buying an upright piano for my 9-year-old (who's getting pretty good) and myself (if only I had a mom around to make ME practice too).

I am looking to get the best piano that I can for around 10K (give or take a couple K). I could buy a mid-80's Steinway K-52 for around 10K, or pay around 12K? for a new Seiler Konsole. Or I could keep looking.

I'd love insights on where to go from here, or opinions from experienced piano people. Family is getting sick of my shopping around and says "Buy already!"

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Re: 10K Uprights: Used Steinway K-52, New Seiler Konsole, Or? #336205
12/05/04 10:12 AM
12/05/04 10:12 AM
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El Cajon, California
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Steve Ramirez Offline
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Short answer: Buy the Seiler, shun the Steinway.

It's strange that you should mention these particular pianos because Steinway verticals are the most widely reviled pianos I can think of and Seiler draws consistent praise from those few who own and service them.

But for $12K you have a lot of great verticals to choose from besides the Seiler.

Re: 10K Uprights: Used Steinway K-52, New Seiler Konsole, Or? #336206
12/05/04 10:34 AM
12/05/04 10:34 AM
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Eden Prairie, MN
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Torchygirl Offline OP
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>>But for $12K you have a lot of great verticals to choose from besides the Seiler.

Steve, talk about leaving me hanging!!! I am a know nothing, can you fill me in a bit?

I thought Larry Fine put vertical Steinway in the top bracket. They're reviled?

Karen

Re: 10K Uprights: Used Steinway K-52, New Seiler Konsole, Or? #336207
12/05/04 11:17 AM
12/05/04 11:17 AM
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El Cajon, California
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Steve Ramirez Offline
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The Steinway verticals have a reputation for being inherently difficult to tune because of their design. To paraphrase a recent comment in this forum from a tech: "They give you the least reward for making your greatest efforts."

German made verticals such as the Seiler are highly regarded. German manufacturers do not stint on the materials, design or craftsmanship of their verticals because verticals are not considered a second-best product by many European consumers who may not have space in their homes for a grand piano. They also cost a lot compared to verticals made in other parts of the world, but many manufacturers have budget models in their product line that will provide a fine instrument with a somewhat plain finish.

But there are also fine verticals made by Yamaha and Kawai in Japan, Charles R. Walter in the US, Schulze Pollmann in Italy, Bohemia and and Petrof in the Czech Republic and many others. I'm sorry that family members are pressuring you to "buy already" but if you haven't heard of some of these makes then you still have some shopping to do.

Re: 10K Uprights: Used Steinway K-52, New Seiler Konsole, Or? #336208
12/05/04 11:49 AM
12/05/04 11:49 AM
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Kentucky/Tennessee
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If you like the Steinway K-52, you may also like the Mason & Hamlin model 50 vertical.
It is much better built (in my opinion) than the K-52 Steinway.

And 12K may very well get you a **new** Mason Hamlin instead of a 10 year-old Steinway.

Of course, I would choose a new Seiler upright over a 10 year-old K-52 Steinway too.

-AKindWord


I'm awake! I'm awake!
Re: 10K Uprights: Used Steinway K-52, New Seiler Konsole, Or? #336209
12/05/04 12:25 PM
12/05/04 12:25 PM
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enlitened Offline
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Just an opinion but in your budget, you may want to try the Yamaha U5 if there is a dealer near. You can probably get a brand new one and stay in your budget, or the Kawai try the tall Kawai if possible.

The U5 is such a grat piano because it has a fantastic sound AND a full sustanuto pedal, the front panel has an adjustable feature that opens to hear the sound a bit better. Also 52 inches tall. World calss piano.

The Seiler also is a beautiful piano. Have you had a tech check the K52? If it is in great shape $10K is a fair price considering new ones sell around $23K these days.


independent piano salesman selling most major piano brands from time to time around the country.
Re: 10K Uprights: Used Steinway K-52, New Seiler Konsole, Or? #336210
12/05/04 12:52 PM
12/05/04 12:52 PM
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New York
Jeffrey Offline
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Look at the Schulze Pollman 126. If you use the search function you can see past reviews of them. Should be well under your budget - nice European tone, much better made than the mass-produced Japanese pianos for a better price.

Just so you know: enlitened is a piano dealer or sales weasel who won't identify himself openly and honestly. His opinions about Japanese pianos are usually only given by dealers for those pianos, and then usually in dishonest fashion as he is doing.

Re: 10K Uprights: Used Steinway K-52, New Seiler Konsole, Or? #336211
12/05/04 12:57 PM
12/05/04 12:57 PM
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Kentucky/Tennessee
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Posted by enlitened:

"The U5 is such a grat piano because it has a fantastic sound AND a full sustanuto pedal, the front panel has an adjustable feature that opens to hear the sound a bit better. Also 52 inches tall. World calss piano."

World class piano? A Yamaha upright?

You can't be serious.

-AKindWord


I'm awake! I'm awake!
Re: 10K Uprights: Used Steinway K-52, New Seiler Konsole, Or? #336212
12/05/04 12:59 PM
12/05/04 12:59 PM
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Kentucky/Tennessee
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Oops! I cross-posted with Jeffrey!

So THAT'S why he called a Yamaha U5 'world class'.


-AKindWord


I'm awake! I'm awake!
Re: 10K Uprights: Used Steinway K-52, New Seiler Konsole, Or? #336213
12/05/04 01:05 PM
12/05/04 01:05 PM
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Axtremus Offline
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Steve Ramirez wrote: "But there are also fine verticals made by Yamaha and Kawai in Japan, Charles R. Walter in the US, Schulze Pollmann in Italy, Bohemia and and Petrof in the Czech Republic and many others."
Worth repeating. There are plenty of good options beside Steinway and Seiler. From Yamaha, there are the U3 and U5; from Kawai, there are the K-60 and K-80, Charles Walter has only the 45" size but enjoy good reputation here, then the Schulze Pollman 126, Petrof 131 -- lots of good options, and ANY of these is sufficient to support a student's piano education needs up to college level.

Oh... you didn't say what model/size of Seiler it is. (Is there only one size for Seiler console?)

But regardless of what make/model, if you're seriously considering to buy a used piano, do hire an independent piano technician to examine it for you first before you buy -- just like you'd hire an independent mechanic to check out a used car for you before you buy. You don't know if a used piano has been abused or maintained or damaged in the past. A trained technician can spot potential problems that us mere mortals cannot.

Good luck. smile

Re: 10K Uprights: Used Steinway K-52, New Seiler Konsole, Or? #336214
12/05/04 02:35 PM
12/05/04 02:35 PM
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Eden Prairie, MN
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Torchygirl Offline OP
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Thank you all for your posts. I'm trying the Seiler out in a couple of days (it's hitching a ride from Kansas to Minneapolis area with another delivery, no dealers around here).

Any more opinions are welcome...I like to be good and confused before I make my decision!(LOL) Will have to see about finding local dealers for some of the other brands.

Karen

Re: 10K Uprights: Used Steinway K-52, New Seiler Konsole, Or? #336215
12/05/04 05:40 PM
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A kind word,plenty of established venues use the U3 or the U5. I think New York's Metropoloitan Opera is a "world class" organization. The have a couple U5s.


independent piano salesman selling most major piano brands from time to time around the country.
Re: 10K Uprights: Used Steinway K-52, New Seiler Konsole, Or? #336216
12/05/04 08:40 PM
12/05/04 08:40 PM
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San Juan Capistrano, CA
Penny Offline
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As practice pianos?

Yamaha is a good, mass-manufactured piano. But it's not in the same class we're talking here. For $12k, Torchygirl can get a lot of nice hand-crafted pianos (that term being relative, as some of the building process is automated and some of it isn't; suffice it to say we're talking about piano companies that take their time and build WAY fewer pianos a year than Yamaha).

Torchygirl, I haven't played a lot of uprights, but I am familiar with the Seiler upright, and I liked it a lot, especially when it's outfitted with the magnatized action (magnets are used to control the repetition of the key similar in effect as a grand piano's action).

The list of other pianos to play in the price range might be beginning to sound familiar:

Mason & Hamlin
Charles Walter
Petrof
Schulze Pollmann
Pleyel (not sure if this one was mentioned earlier, but it's also very nice)
Schimmel
Bohemia

The smallest Grotrians and Sauters may also fit in this budget, though I would urger you to go taller, not shorter.

If you're willing to consider used, you can add Bluthner, Sauter, Grotrian, Bechstein to your list -- all of which would be better (IMO) than a used Steinway K.

penny

Re: 10K Uprights: Used Steinway K-52, New Seiler Konsole, Or? #336217
12/05/04 08:56 PM
12/05/04 08:56 PM
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The Steinway K is a fine piano. Much better than the 45-46" model. You aren't likely to find a used BlŘthner, Sauter, Grotrian, nor Bechstein upright in most parts of the US.


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Re: 10K Uprights: Used Steinway K-52, New Seiler Konsole, Or? #336218
12/05/04 09:10 PM
12/05/04 09:10 PM
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Penny Offline
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Very true (about the German used uprights), but doesn't hurt to keep one's eye out.

penny

Re: 10K Uprights: Used Steinway K-52, New Seiler Konsole, Or? #336219
12/05/04 09:50 PM
12/05/04 09:50 PM
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Axtremus Offline
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Penny wrote: "Yamaha is a good, mass-manufactured piano. But it's not in the same class we're talking here. For $12k, Torchygirl can get a lot of nice hand-crafted pianos (that term being relative, as some of the building process is automated and some of it isn't; suffice it to say we're talking about piano companies that take their time and build WAY fewer pianos a year than Yamaha)."
You speak of "mass-production" as if it is decidedly a bad thing and decidedly "not in the same class" or "not as nice" as pianos produced in smaller number and involve more manual labor. Respectfully, I disagree with your generalization. A good piano is a good piano regardless of how many that model is produced and regardless of how much manual labor is involved. And, IMO, the Yamaha U-series are good pianos.

And for AKindWord -- I wouldn't hesitate to label Yamaha uprights "World Class" at all. If anything, more people around the world have experienced Yamaha uprights, by many folds, than all the obscure European uprights put together. IMO, it's just ridiculous to call something "world class" when most of the world has never heard it. (And just in case you're wondering -- I'll add this: I also consider McDonald's Big Macs "World Class." They taste good, they are consistent the world over, and they beat many burgers sold by mom-and-pop restaurants and burger stands who charge more for less beef. They've probably sold more than 100 billion Big Mac's by now, compared to a few thousands by most mom-and-pop operations. That's "world class." wink )

Re: 10K Uprights: Used Steinway K-52, New Seiler Konsole, Or? #336220
12/05/04 11:00 PM
12/05/04 11:00 PM
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Seiler is my competition , but their uprights - from 45" up - smoke any Steinway any place, any time.

Unless it's a 'Hamburg', of course...... wink

norbert


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Re: 10K Uprights: Used Steinway K-52, New Seiler Konsole, Or? #336221
12/06/04 05:09 AM
12/06/04 05:09 AM
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Kentucky/Tennessee
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Posted by Axtremus:
"And for AKindWord -- I wouldn't hesitate to label Yamaha uprights "World Class" at all. If anything, more people around the world have experienced Yamaha uprights, by many folds, than all the obscure European uprights put together. IMO, it's just ridiculous to call something "world class" when most of the world has never heard it. (And just in case you're wondering -- I'll add this: I also consider McDonald's Big Macs "World Class." They taste good, they are consistent the world over, and they beat many burgers sold by mom-and-pop restaurants and burger stands who charge more for less beef. They've probably sold more than 100 billion Big Mac's by now, compared to a few thousands by most mom-and-pop operations. That's "world class."

I would have to very respectfully disagree with these statements.

The dictionary defines "world-class" as: "Ranking among the foremost in the world; of an international standard of excellence; of the highest order

It does not say an international standard of acceptable quality. It says an international standard of excellence.

It says, Ranking foremost in the world. Of the highest order.

This does not apply to Yamaha or any other mass produced pianos. And it certainly doesn't apply to Mc Donalds. Here in Tennessee there are **plenty** of old-fashioned mom and pop burger cafes that blows Mc Donald's away any day. Further, you might want to stop and question why it might be that McDonald's can be so generous with their meat.

I would submit that Yamaha is world famous, but it's not world class.

Just my humble little opinion. smile

-AKindWord


I'm awake! I'm awake!
Re: 10K Uprights: Used Steinway K-52, New Seiler Konsole, Or? #336222
12/06/04 06:47 AM
12/06/04 06:47 AM
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Torchygirl Offline OP
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Oooh, Axtremus, you had me right there with you until you brought up the BM's (interesting acronym). Pianos I am a know nothing, food, on the other hand, I've had a great deal of experience with. I have to say you undermined your argument with that one! (Lotsa smiles goin' on here.) Have to agree with AKindWord re "world class" definition, and concern about McDonald's meat for that matter.

Karen

(If you visit NYC, try Bouley...haven't been there in a while but the three best meals I ever had were prepared by David Bouley and co., used to have prix-fixe meal at lunch that was a steal).

Re: 10K Uprights: Used Steinway K-52, New Seiler Konsole, Or? #336223
12/06/04 06:54 AM
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(Torchygirl -- my apology for going off this tangent on your thread.)

AKindWord:

Well, "of the highest order" may be debatable, but Yamaha does set the "international standard" because most parts of the world compare all other uprights they play to Yamaha -- that's the common reference. For the European uprights, if most of the world has never experienced them, it makes no sense to call it "international standard." Furthermore, if something is not produced in sufficient number (i.e., "mass-produced"), then there won't be enough to let the world experience it and there goes its chance of setting "international standard" -- the world cannot compare with something they have not experienced.

You can certainly like love Ole Buddy's burger in Tennessee better than Big Mac and I can certainly like Beef Master's burger in my area better than Big Mac. But if I travel to Singapore or India or China and tell them Beef Master sets the world standard for burgers, they'd not know of what I speak. It would not make sense to them until I compare Beef Master to McDonald's Big Mac or Wendy's Classic or Burger King's Whopper or Hard-Rock Cafe's burger or Out Back Steak House's burger -- only these internal franchises have any chance at setting an international standard. I'd react the same way if the Chinese try to tell me Master Zhang's beef patty with Hoisin sauce in ShanXi kicks butt and sets the "world standard." Old Buddy, Beef Master, and Master Zhang just don't have the foot print to set "international standard." (And, belief it or not, for every mom-and-pop restaurant that can manage to produce a burger better than the Big Mac, I estimate there are five to ten that cannot make a burger as good as the Big Mac, and they'd still charge more than the Big Mac.)

Coming back to the world of upright pianos, only those making enough pianos have any chance at setting "world standard" -- that pretty much means the Japanese, the Koreans, and the Chinese. Kimball and Baldwin were there once, but no longer. Of those with enough pianos canvassing the world to set a common reference for "international standard," Yamaha's U-series very likely rank the "foremost" and "set the international standard of excellence." You can say Bechstein uprights are better, but that doesn't make them the measuring sticks. Yamaha uprights are the measuring sticks most people reference when they compare. There are longer sticks and there are shorter sticks the world may or may not know about, but Yamaha makes the longest sticks that most of the world knows about.

I guess that's where our opinion differ: You take the longest stick you have heard of and call that "world class." I take the longest stick I belief most of the world knows about and call that "world class." smile

Re: 10K Uprights: Used Steinway K-52, New Seiler Konsole, Or? #336224
12/06/04 06:58 AM
12/06/04 06:58 AM
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BTW, there is only one size for the Seiler Konsole: 122 cm = 48 in +/-. Their Konzert is 132 cm = 52" +/-, but several K more expensive.

So far, I have been able to locate a dealer with Schulze Pollman and CR Walter locally. I think I also saw Petrov. I would love to try out some of the others just to educate my ear and fingers more...any ideas of dealers in the midwest (near Minneapolis best)?

Karen

Re: 10K Uprights: Used Steinway K-52, New Seiler Konsole, Or? #336225
12/06/04 07:11 AM
12/06/04 07:11 AM
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Tho I adored my ancient K-52 and loved the overpriced new ones, my friend's U3 Yamaha (and that is way below your budget) is very nice. I've played it maybe 20 times.. It is always perfectly in tune, even and responsive. It does every thing an upright should... (not to detract for any other piano's performance)

You could then save the leftover money for your next grand.


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, ├Ľun (apple in Estonian)
Re: 10K Uprights: Used Steinway K-52, New Seiler Konsole, Or? #336226
12/06/04 07:21 AM
12/06/04 07:21 AM
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Axtremus Offline
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Originally posted by Torchygirl:
Oooh, Axtremus, you had me right there with you until you brought up the BM's (interesting acronym). Pianos I am a know nothing, food, on the other hand, I've had a great deal of experience with. I have to say you undermined your argument with that one! (Lotsa smiles goin' on here.) Have to agree with AKindWord re "world class" definition, and concern about McDonald's meat for that matter.

Karen

(If you visit NYC, try Bouley...haven't been there in a while but the three best meals I ever had were prepared by David Bouley and co., used to have prix-fixe meal at lunch that was a steal).
Karen,

That's OK. I just don't think I should throw a term like "world class" around without stating the criteria to qualify. We certainly don't have to agree on the criteria, but that sure beats talking "world class" in the dark without knowing that we fundamentally disagree on the underlying criteria for "world class."

If you reference Penny's list of pianos, with the exception of Mason and Hamlin, Pleyel, and Bohenia uprights, I'd very comfortably compare Yamaha U-series favorably to the uprights bearing all the other names she listed. That is my honest opinion based on the pianos I've played. (And there will be disagreement as there always are here.) The reason Mason and Hamlin upright is excepted because I think it plays better than the rest. The Pleyel and Bohemia uprights are excepted because I have never played them.

As for Grotrian and Bechstein uprights that Penny also mentioned, I have not played them either -- and they very likely fall in a completely different PRICE class altogether. wink

As for whether bringing up the Big Mac undermined my own argument -- perhaps. But having sampled burgers from various cafes, restaurants, burgerstands, and other franchises, I think my estimate of only 1 in 5 of these cafes/restaurants/burgerstands/franchises make a better burger than the Big Mac is a good one. That's kind of the way I think of Yamaha U-series -- if you take a look at the whole picture, it's quite probable that the U-series are better than 95% of all uprights produced. You can certainly turn your nose up at the U-series and pursue the top 0.5%, but I think being in the top 5%-ile is pretty darn good. smile

Good luck with your piano quest. smile

(p.s. Thanks for the tip. I'll keep an eye out for Bouley's. Do you know what street/intersection it's at?)

Re: 10K Uprights: Used Steinway K-52, New Seiler Konsole, Or? #336227
12/06/04 07:23 AM
12/06/04 07:23 AM
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Well Apple, first I have to save for the house addition so that I have room for a grand. 8^) (Why did I buy that dining room table anyway???)

I have tried Yamahas, and IMHO (very very humble here) thought they sounded a bit brassy maybe? I might not be using the right word. I think I might prefer a warmer tone. I have no idea which models I've tried so maybe I should got back and give them another go.

Karen

Re: 10K Uprights: Used Steinway K-52, New Seiler Konsole, Or? #336228
12/06/04 07:29 AM
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OFF TOPIC ALERT!!!

Here is link to Bouley...I know that he's gone through a couple of restaurants lately, but his latest incarnation is supposed to be a return to the one I love.

http://www.bouley.net/hires/menus.html

Sorry sorry sorry if I am breaking any rules here.

Karen

Re: 10K Uprights: Used Steinway K-52, New Seiler Konsole, Or? #336229
12/06/04 07:33 AM
12/06/04 07:33 AM
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Kansas
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Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,862
Kansas
Karen.... my opinion again... just as a player who loves trying pianos..

the Charles Walter consoles are incredible.


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, ├Ľun (apple in Estonian)
Re: 10K Uprights: Used Steinway K-52, New Seiler Konsole, Or? #336230
12/06/04 07:42 AM
12/06/04 07:42 AM
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 299
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enlitened Offline
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enlitened  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 299
Funny how people like Horowitz, are quoted saying things like " My concert piano has a rich bright sound"

Adjectives like bright, warm, dark,are in the "ear" of the beholder.

Enjoy your piano hunt!


independent piano salesman selling most major piano brands from time to time around the country.
Re: 10K Uprights: Used Steinway K-52, New Seiler Konsole, Or? #336231
12/06/04 11:47 AM
12/06/04 11:47 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 11
Eden Prairie, MN
T
Torchygirl Offline OP
Junior Member
Torchygirl  Offline OP
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T

Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 11
Eden Prairie, MN
I just went out and tried the Schulze Pollman and Charles Walter. While the SP looked beautiful, I actually liked the tone of the Charles Walter better (just like you Apple!). The tech said that he could adjust the tone for brightness to get a more personalized sound?!

Guess I'm still eager to try the Seiler!

Thanks everyone for all your comments!

Karen

Re: 10K Uprights: Used Steinway K-52, New Seiler Konsole, Or? #336232
12/06/04 01:00 PM
12/06/04 01:00 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,862
Kansas
apple* Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
apple*  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,862
Kansas
What's nice about the Walters is that the keys are weighted nicely and play like a grand.


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, ├Ľun (apple in Estonian)
Re: 10K Uprights: Used Steinway K-52, New Seiler Konsole, Or? #336233
12/06/04 03:10 PM
12/06/04 03:10 PM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 2,299
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Christopher James Quinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Christopher James Quinn  Offline
2000 Post Club Member
C

Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 2,299
Quote
Originally posted by Torchygirl:
OFF TOPIC ALERT!!!

Here is link to Bouley...I know that he's gone through a couple of restaurants lately, but his latest incarnation is supposed to be a return to the one I love.

http://www.bouley.net/hires/menus.html

Sorry sorry sorry if I am breaking any rules here.

Karen
Bouley is ~400 feet from my job. He rides a Ducati last I saw.

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