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Estonia Fans Out There? #9063
07/30/03 01:00 AM
07/30/03 01:00 AM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 91
SF Bay Area
S
SF Don Offline OP
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SF Bay Area
Hello Everyone,

Well I experienced and fell in love with Estonia Grands today. IMO, their grands seem to represent an excellent value at the $20-25K pricepoint. Both the 5-6 and 6-3 produced wonderfully warm, rich, resonant tones while the keyboard action was smooth, well-balanced, and allowed for nice control.

I initially started my search for a new grand focusing on Yamaha(C) and then Boston. Then after reading much of the commentary here (and selectively reading The Piano Book), was encouraged to expand my choices and even play pianos beyond my price reach. Thanks everyone for the great advice! I also played Yamaha S Series, Steinway, Bosendorfer (my favorite dream piano so far...what incredible action, seemed to anticipate my next moves much like a BMW), and Petrof (brighter than I thought it would sound). Still haven't made it to Kawai (RX) and feel I should still give it a try before I make a final decision, but Estonia seems to be the leader for my personal tastes and needs.

Please feel free to share your options on Estonia (good and bad). The 5-6 produced very impressive sound for a piano its size. In fact, it really took me some time discern the sound quality differences between the 5-6 and 6-3. The difference still seems slight for a $4,000 price difference, while room space is not a limiting factor. So I need to think through size and finish (black polish or satin). The dealer I went to only had polish, which was gorgeous. The satin I hear is impecable, much like a Bosendorfer, sprayed on, not rubbed.

Thanks for sharing and any additional guidance!

Don

Piano & Music Gifts & Accessories (570)
Piano accessories and music gift items, digital piano dolly, music theme party goods
Re: Estonia Fans Out There? #9064
07/30/03 01:15 AM
07/30/03 01:15 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 75
San Francisco Bay Area
Chopstix Offline
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Posts: 75
San Francisco Bay Area
Don,

I remember your first post, and I'm glad you expanded your search and tried out the Estonia and other brands. Where did you play the Estonia 5'6"? Colton Piano carries Estonia and Petrof, but for a while they didn't have many Estonias.

Keep us posted on your search!


keep two fingers on the keyboard at all times
Re: Estonia Fans Out There? #9065
07/30/03 01:42 AM
07/30/03 01:42 AM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,743
Los Angeles
Jeff Bauer Offline
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Jeff Bauer  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,743
Los Angeles
I have only played them at NAMM.

Everything at NAMM sounds and plays nice, these were no exception. I have never seen one outside of the trade show, however.

If you can fit a 6'3", Schimmel has a new one out that plays nicely. Give it a shot as well.


Jeff Bauer | Keyboard Concepts

Yamaha | Schimmel | Bösendorfer | Knabe | Restored Steinway

My soundcloud page
Re: Estonia Fans Out There? #9066
07/30/03 08:46 AM
07/30/03 08:46 AM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 70
Belmont, MA
D
deborah_dup1 Offline
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Belmont, MA
I found a huge difference between the 5'6" and the 6'3". To me, the smaller one had very little power -- I couldn't get much sound out of either the bass or the treble. The larger one was much nicer, but it still didn't have enough bass for my taste.

Deborah

Re: Estonia Fans Out There? #9067
07/30/03 08:48 AM
07/30/03 08:48 AM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,426
B
byebye Offline
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Posts: 1,426
Don,

I've played an Estonia 190 outside of a trade show, namely my living room!

I enjoy playing it every day. While the Steinway B in my studio is louder, with a bigger bass, the action seems crude and the tone crass in comparison with the Estonia. The tone is big enough for Liszt, but not stunning like the Steinway. Late Beethoven sounds much more elegant on the Estonia--and Scarlatti...my technician stopped dead in his tracks when I repeated the A section as an echo, softly with the una corda. I'm at the studio right now so I could practice on the Steinway or the Estonia today. I'll choose the Estonia, except when it gets close to my recital, which will be on a Steinway D.

The dealer had the Estonia 190 and 168 side-by-side and I liked the 190 much better.

As for the finish: I bought the black glossy. It's the cheapest. I find upon close examination that there are little imperfections which I would not expect to find on an Asian piano. Perhaps this is due to the labor intensive production. On the other hand, the finish has a real depth to it, unlike the Asian pianos, which look rather "plastic."

Re: Estonia Fans Out There? #9068
07/30/03 09:06 AM
07/30/03 09:06 AM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 161
Raleigh
John Ruggero Offline
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John Ruggero  Offline
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Posts: 161
Raleigh
I agree that while the 168 is quite a good instrument for its size, there is quite a big difference between it and the 193. Keep in mind that with the larger the piano, not only do you get more volume but you also get improved clarity. Also, touch and tone a very related. The more sound you get for your efforts, the easier the piano feels to play, even if the touch weights are the same. I think for the price difference, the 193 is worth the upgrade.
Also concerning the finish, the satin finish is a blown on polyester finsh. It achieves the satin look my having a texture to it. If you looked at it under a magnifying glass you would notice that it is bumpy looking. Think about it, what makes a surface reflect light is how smooth it is. Estonias satin finish is a bit duller looking than the boesendorfer CS finish which is actually dubbed a semi polish.


John Ruggero
Ruggero Piano
Raleigh, NC
A technician based, distributer of fine pianos including Boesendorfer,Fazioli, Mason and Hamlin, Schimmel, Charles R. Walter, Estonia, and Falcone
www.ruggeropiano.com
Re: Estonia Fans Out There? #9069
07/30/03 09:49 AM
07/30/03 09:49 AM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,678
Okemos, MI
gryphon Offline
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gryphon  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,678
Okemos, MI
Max loves my 190.

[Linked Image]


"If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to."
MSU - the university of Michigan!
Wheels
Re: Estonia Fans Out There? #9070
07/30/03 11:36 AM
07/30/03 11:36 AM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 91
SF Bay Area
S
SF Don Offline OP
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SF Don  Offline OP
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Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 91
SF Bay Area
Hello Everyone,

Thanks very much for the additional feedback! This exchange of information has proved invaluable.

Let me respond to some of the comments/questions above:

- I played the Estonias at Colton Piano in Walnut Creek. The San Francisco location only had Petrof, while WC also both brands and many others.

- The 5-6 and 6-3 were in different locations in the same room. Perhaps my inability initially to discern little sound difference was that the 5-6 was placed against the corner walls of the room, while the 6-3 was in the middle of the room. Perhaps the 5-6 was reflecting sound back to me off the corner walls. In the end, I was able to discern more depth and fullness in the 6-3. I'm returning to play these pianos again on Saturday, but requesting they be placed side by side in the middle of the room.

- The polish finish did look like it had a beautiful richness to it compared to other pianos I have recently seen. I haven't seen satin finish in person, but the Estonia rep (not the dealer) who I spoke to seemed to infer that they use the same process as Bosendorfer.

- As far as the tone, IMO it is definitely is a warmer, darker, tone with texture, less brightness and power than a Petrof, but this happens to be exactly the tone which "resonates" best with me.

In the end, I'm learning that selection of a piano is very personal. If I can use the analogy of car purchasing, many auto brands make excellent products, but do you prefer the handling characteristics of a BMW, Mercedes or Lexus better?

I'll keep everyone posted, but please continue to provide any additional commentary.

Thanks, again!

Don

Re: Estonia Fans Out There? #9071
07/30/03 12:39 PM
07/30/03 12:39 PM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 109
E
enescu Offline
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Joined: May 2003
Posts: 109
Hello Don.
My impression does not count that much since I'm a beginner in everything related to pianos, but this is it:
I tried a 190 that was out of box with very little adjustments done and just a rough fast tune.
The sound was sweet and powerful enough. I found it less powerful than a Petrof 5'10", but it might have been acoustics only. I also liked the shorter Estonia that seemed a bit clearer to my ears. This shorter one was played more than the newly arrived 190 and it was placed in a corner.
The 190 had a bit of a nazal tone in the lower trebble and higher bass, where one sould expect the brake. I did not feel any brake in the tone, though.
The action was very smooth and equal, throughout, unlike the Petrof's that gave me the feeling of playing different pianos on different segments of the keyboard.
One more thing, the new 190 Estonia had legs of a different tone than the rest of it's body. It was a walnut piano.
I hope this helps.

Re: Estonia Fans Out There? #9072
07/30/03 04:25 PM
07/30/03 04:25 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,017
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Steve Cohen Offline
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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,017
Maryland/DC/No. VA
I would add the Pramberger JP208 to my list. I think it may win you over. It is in the price range and of competetive quailty. The tone quality that the additional length produces might well be preferred.


Piano Industry Consultant

Contributing Editor & Consultant - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Family Owned and Operated Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.
Re: Estonia Fans Out There? #9073
07/30/03 04:41 PM
07/30/03 04:41 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 915
Boston
C
Chris W1 Offline
500 Post Club Member
Chris W1  Offline
500 Post Club Member
C

Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 915
Boston
Steve, I noticed your signature has shrunk a little bit over the past weeks, but I don't see you acknowleging that you sell products from Mr. Young, or Mr. Chang?

Without giving my own opinions about the Estonia 190 and the top tier, I will volunteer that the recent winner of the International Boston Piano Amateur competition, held just last month, recently acquired an Estonia 6'3".

Chris


Amateur At Large
Re: Estonia Fans Out There? #9074
07/30/03 05:39 PM
07/30/03 05:39 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 11
Alexandria, VA
2
2thmover Offline
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2thmover  Offline
Junior Member
2

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 11
Alexandria, VA
I played the 168 and 190 side by side. I felt the 190 sounded much bigger than the 168 and I preferred the wood detail on the inner case of the ebony polish. Once home, the 190 has proven to be a complete joy to play and amazing to hear. I haven't noticed a lack of power in the bass as others have noted. Money well spent IMHO.


I play for my own amazement!
Re: Estonia Fans Out There? #9075
07/30/03 07:32 PM
07/30/03 07:32 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 171
San Antonio
Ansonflex Offline
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Ansonflex  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 171
San Antonio
I also played the Estonia 168 and Estonia 190 side by side. I noticed a big difference in sound projection, tone quality and bass between them, with the 190 being superior. In my opinion the 190 is definitely worth the extra few thousand dollars. I really liked the polished mahagony. You can criticize it for its lack of power only if you compare it to Tier 1 pianos. Overall I thought it was a very well-balanced piano that is one of the best Tier 2 pianos (on par or better than Schimmel, Petrof, Plyel, Charles R Walter etc). Good Luck with your shopping!!

Ansonflex cool


"Vision is the ability to see the possibilities behind the impossible" CEO Palmolive Colgate
Re: Estonia Fans Out There? #9076
07/30/03 08:22 PM
07/30/03 08:22 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,416
Washington D.C. Metro
Cindysphinx Offline
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Cindysphinx  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,416
Washington D.C. Metro
Hi, Don,

It sounds like we're in about the same place in the purchase process -- I like Estonias as well, and I'm just trying to figure out whether the extra money for the 190 is worth it.

6'3" is a bit bigger than I had wanted, although I think the room can handle it -- maybe. I can definitely feel and hear the difference between the pianos -- although both are a substantial improvement from what I have now. But the smaller piano might be easier to resell should it ever come to that.

Oh, I'm so confused! Maybe I'll just do whatever you do. ;-)

Cindy -- who has a very, very hard time spending money and often chickens out

Re: Estonia Fans Out There? #9077
07/30/03 09:22 PM
07/30/03 09:22 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 3,789
Plainfield, IL
Matt G. Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Matt G.  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 3,789
Plainfield, IL
Well, I really like my Estonia 190, but then again, I know it's not the piano for everyone. (Not that there is such a beast!) I have the "satin" finish, which, as you note, is a sprayed-on finish. It's certainly different from the traditional hand-rubbed satin finish, but I find it does quite nicely. It reminds me of some of the low-lustre paint finishes available (not flat!); a little bit of sheen, but no discernable reflections. It's not great at hiding greasy fingerprints ( mad ), but dust is nowhere near as noticeable as with a glossy finish.

While I think the 168 is remarkable for its size, I didn't think the bass had quite enough resonance for my taste, and the mid/upper treble seemed a bit strident to me. But, as I firmly believe, predilection for tonal qualities is highly subjective, and I wouldn't expect my taste to coincide with anyone else's.

Oh, and Cindy, if you need someone to spend your money, I'm your man! wink


Sacred cows make the best hamburger. - Clemens
Re: Estonia Fans Out There? #9078
07/30/03 10:06 PM
07/30/03 10:06 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 508
NYC
lucy in the sky_dup1 Offline
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lucy in the sky_dup1  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 508
NYC
Dear Don and Cindy,

I took delivery of an Estonia 190 about a year ago. I am very sensitive to inharmonicity, and in my piano, it is minimal. The sectional blending is beautiful, and the bass is lively and warm. The only trouble I've had with it was with one key that was more strident than the surrounding keys, but a tuner voiced it to perfection.


Lucy

Member, Red Piano Club
Member, 100 post club

Email: femmedada@aol.com
Re: Estonia Fans Out There? #9079
07/30/03 11:13 PM
07/30/03 11:13 PM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 105
Vancouver Island
kssmusic Offline
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kssmusic  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 105
Vancouver Island
I had the pleasure two years ago of shopping for a piano for my school music program. Our budget, nearly all fund raising and donations - bless this community, allowed us to try some decent pianos, but none compared to the 9ft Estonia we encountered at the end of our search. My students and I work with this piano daily, and I can't describe the difference in the students' attitude toward their work, and the pride they take in ownership of such a magnificent piano.

How very unfortunate that it had to be stored in my living room for a year while a new fine arts facility was being built to house it wink My wife was very sad when it was moved to school.

You can see half of it at
http://members.shaw.ca/kssmusic/piano.html
(more pics at various spots on the site if you care to browse)

Re: Estonia Fans Out There? #9080
07/31/03 12:03 AM
07/31/03 12:03 AM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 200
Albany, OR
Ringer Offline
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Ringer  Offline
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Posts: 200
Albany, OR
The Estonia 190 that I purchased has given me nothing but joy. The sound and the tone continually amaze me and they are both superb.

My tech has had to do the usual voicing touch-ups as the hammers and the capo d'astro bar wear unevenly, but the piano holds its tune beautifully and I have never noticed bad breaks or any sound problem that wasn't easily fixable. I'll admit it's not my teachers fully restored 1909 Steinway A or a new M&H, but then again I didn't have to play in cotton ball hammers! :p


"I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates who said, `I drank what?'"

Ringer
Re: Estonia Fans Out There? #9081
07/31/03 12:23 AM
07/31/03 12:23 AM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 91
SF Bay Area
S
SF Don Offline OP
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SF Don  Offline OP
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Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 91
SF Bay Area
Thanks for the additional replies! I'm going to play the 5'6" and 6'3" side by side before making a final decision.

Any 5'6" Estonia owners out there???

And good luck, Cindy! Keep us posted.

Don

Re: Estonia Fans Out There? #9082
07/31/03 01:49 AM
07/31/03 01:49 AM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,520
Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
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Norbert  Offline
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Posts: 15,520
Surrey, B.C.
As the Western Canadian importers for the Estonia grands, we have sold an astoundingly large number of these exceptional instruments all over Canada.

To very serious pianists by the way, if I may add.

One of the most typical observations we made was that many of our professional customers were totally baffled by the earlier 5'4 which is now the 5'6" model.

Baffled, because apart from the very bass section,they liked THIS PARTICULAR size as much OR EVEN BETTER than its larger brother the 6'3"!

Go play.....then go figure!

[Best of all, go ... sorry can't really tell you.....am identified and presumably totally - biased - dealer!! laugh ]

norbert


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
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