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Ibach Pianos

Posted By: Clavierman

Ibach Pianos - 10/02/07 02:05 AM

In researching pianos, this name came up as a top tier piano to consider. I can find very little information about it, and can see that it has only one dealer in the US (a dealer in Las Vegas) and a network of interior decorators that market this line.

Does anybody know anything about Ibach as a current contender for consideration, and should such an obscure piano even be considered in light of its thin market?

Also, any clue as to how these pianos might be priced in reference to the prices listed in Larry Fine's supplement? Is this a near-retail-price line like Steinway, or is it a line that typically gets discounted substantially?

I asked a rep in Las Vegas whether Ibach is considered their top line, and she immediately mentioned Schimmel as a very nice piano too (implying, I think, a degree of parity).

Hmmmm. . . .
Posted By: Craigen

Re: Ibach Pianos - 10/02/07 02:31 AM

Traditional distribution of Ibach pianos was discontinued several years ago in the U.S.

LF says the current plan is to have a design center in Las Vegas that will prep, show, and deliver new Ibach's, then reward dealers who referred the buyer with a commission.

The new Ibach pianos are to be 100% German according to LF.

Prices shown in LF's 2006-2007 Supplement seem pricey to me for a brand being re-introduced to a soft market.

I was never impressed with the marque in any of its incarnations.
Posted By: Benecs

Re: Ibach Pianos - 10/02/07 03:26 AM

Ibach are beautiful pianos. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Ibach is the only german Piano brand, that is still made by the family and they only produce a few instruments a year.
I might be wrong but I can tell you for sure, my piano teacher has an Ibach upright from the 70's and it's a great piano.

Best regards,
Posted By: turandot

Re: Ibach Pianos - 10/02/07 03:53 AM

from Benecs
Ibach are beautiful pianos.
If you follow European used piano websites like Besbrode, it seems that vintage Ibachs have a strong following, and can command pretty good prices. I'm assuming that you are in Europe, Benecs. Perhaps you or someone like AJB could comment on Ibach's European reputation.

If you are shopping pianos in the US, Ibachs new or used are scarce. A used one might pop up on pianomart occasionally, but that's about it.

The Ibachs that are being offered through Resource West in Las Vegas may be very nice indeed, but would be an especially risky proposition in terms of future resale value, since the marque has never had a strong presence here, and a distribution scheme that works through interior decorators is not likely to change that.

Seiler, Schimmel, and Sauter are all much better known here, but their used prices show a huge depreciation hit, even when the piano is just two or three years old. Trying to resell a Wilhelm Steinberg, a Haessler, or an Ibach IMO would be very difficult.

Of course none of this matters if a knowledgeable player is absolutely certain that Ibach is the one.
Posted By: kenny

Re: Ibach Pianos - 10/02/07 04:17 AM

How odd that an expensive limited production German piano would be marketed to interior decorators.
Aren't decorators and their clients mostly interested in how things LOOK?

I'd imagine you can buy a piano that *looks* similar to the unwashed masses for a fifth or even a tenth the price.
Big black thing, three legs, 88 keys, etc.

For the clients who want an expensive status symbol that everyone recognized they'd go with Steinway.

The only people willing to spend the big bucks for a piano with low name-recognition would be musicians with money, or a home equity line of credit. :t:

Selling Ibachs through decorators doesn't make sense.
Posted By: Starting Over

Re: Ibach Pianos - 10/02/07 04:51 AM

Clavierman, Remenyi House of Music, the Steinway dealer in Toronto is an Ibach dealer. I have seen Ibach pianos there but have not tried one. Toronto is not that far from NY so it may be worth calling them to see what they have in stock. Closer than Las Vegas.

Check out the Ibach blurb on the Remenyi web site . It mentions that they work with designers, architects and painters and specialize in one of a kind limited art case pianos.
Posted By: piqué

Re: Ibach Pianos - 10/02/07 05:25 AM

i just played an ibach for the first time last week. there's a spectacular one in a showroom in new york. it was definitely the best piano in that store (beethoven pianos). i believe it was from the 1980s, all original.

absolutely gorgeous. i met with some other pianophiles while in the city, and they were all talking about this piano.

there are several german makes that have low production and are family owned. grotrian, sauter, and steingraeber come to mind, off the top of my head.

if you are buying for love, then don't worry about resale value. if you are concerned about resale, it really limits your options, musically.
Posted By: Norbert

Re: Ibach Pianos - 10/02/07 07:40 AM

there are several german makes that have low production and are family owned. grotrian, sauter, and steingraeber come to mind, off the top of my head.
Pique is right, these are companies very much worth visiting or checking out.

Another one that has always blown my mind is this one near Stuttgart:


Norbert thumb thumb
Posted By: JohnEB

Re: Ibach Pianos - 10/02/07 11:15 AM

I played an Ibach upright a couple of years ago - yes it had a beautiful tone and feel, and yes it was in a beautiful case, but it was very tall and somehow I couldn't see the incredible art casing fitting into my home. Also it cost about EUR 20,000, which is a bit much for an upright (at least for me).
Posted By: mjs

Re: Ibach Pianos - 10/02/07 11:18 AM

As a matter of fact, almost all German piano manufacturers (apart from Steinway Hamburg and Bechstein - those are the two with the highest production numbers - and Wilhelm Steinberg, I think) are family owned. One marque not to forget is Blüthner (which is owned by the Blüthner-Hässler family), and the same also applies to August Förster (owned by the Förster family).

Ibach instruments (apart from uprights, which can be found at some dealers here) are extremely difficult to find in Germany. I have not succeeded in locating a new Ibach grand anywhere so far. Production numbers for grands must very low - supposedly they are very nice instruments, but also not cheap.

Posted By: FogVilleLad

Re: Ibach Pianos - 10/02/07 12:53 PM

Wzkit uploaded his rendition of a Ravel pavanne here. He's playing a '70's Ibach - 7'3", I think. It's a school piano and may not have been in the best possible shape. Worth a listen, tho.
Posted By: AD

Re: Ibach Pianos - 10/02/07 03:32 PM

I've played (new) a medium sized grand, an L132 upright and a K125 upright.
Also played a very old Ibach that was near to being firewood.

My opinion is that if Schimmel are in Fines tier 2, Ibach ought to be near the top of tier one.

I nearly bought the big upright, it's bass was better than the Bluthner B or Bechstein 8, but liked the Bluthner overall for balance. At this level of quality piano however, it's very much down to a personal choice for tone.

The Ibach grand (215cm? cherry finish?) in Jacques Samuel was in good company as they also had available a few Fazioli(& 2 used), a few Grotrian, a couple of Bechstein and lots of Kawai. Out of the three top class makes Bechstein, Fazioli and Ibach, I preferred the Ibach.

Posted By: fmelliott

Re: Ibach Pianos - 10/02/07 04:16 PM

Ibach is an interesting company. I own a CA.1913 grand. It has a beautiful sound most suitable for a home or chamber venue. Mine does not seem to be crafted for huge projection.

I, too, have wondered why Ibach is not well known. My opinion is that the company is very happy and secure with its current production. Their facilities and distribution network handle only so much and no more. It is my understanding that most of their instruments are pre ordered. They are very nearly a custom maker. Gearing up for the production necessary to be a player in the U.S. would mean enlarging existing facilities or building a new factory. That is quite a financial challenge.The designer sales is likely to be a way to satisfy Americans who say that Ibach is unavailable. If you want one, you can get one.

I love my Ibach with its pure base and singing treble.
Posted By: Benecs

Re: Ibach Pianos - 10/03/07 04:06 AM

Ok, I have to correct myself:

Ibach (1794) is the oldest independent family owned piano company.

They have a high reputation in europe, not as high as Bechstein, Steinway, Blüthner or Bösendorfer, but people who have played these pianos know, that they are incredible.
Posted By: Norbert

Re: Ibach Pianos - 10/03/07 06:17 AM

Some of the best German pianos seem like some of their beers: for local consumption only.... wink

Norbert laugh
Posted By: Wzkit

Re: Ibach Pianos - 10/03/07 07:46 PM

They certainly are fine pianos worth a try. I enjoyed making my recordings on those 7 footers, only that the touch was slightly too heavy for my liking, due to lack of maintainence. Do check the recordings that FogVillelad had pointed out.. The incredibly rich, pure and singing treble is the great strength of the Ibach. But for the bass, I'd still take a Sauter anytime.

Either way, both have their strengths. I would say Ibach is, as FM Elliot mentioned, especially suited for a chamber setting. Sauter is somewhat more powerful, and a similar sized instrument (the 7 foot Omega) would easily fill a medium sized hall.
Posted By: FogVilleLad

Re: Ibach Pianos - 10/03/07 09:32 PM

Wzkit, I'm listening now to your rendition of the Pavanne.... When my technique improves, it'll be one of the first pieces to learn.

The section which begins c.2:35 and goes to c.3:30 really lets that lovely treble shine thru.

I continue to wonder if the bass strings on that Ibach were not nearing the end of their musical life and would love to hear one with a fresh set.
Posted By: Barbara G

Re: Ibach Pianos - 10/04/07 01:36 AM

We wondered about Ibach also before buying our Feurich grand which also is a family owned German brand. I have noticed that some used Ibach will come up for sale every few months on Ebay and such. Currently an old rebuilt is there as it has been for months. Another such brand is Pfeifer and the company has a web site.
Posted By: fmelliott

Re: Ibach Pianos - 10/04/07 12:22 PM

Web site for Ibach:


Information is available in English and German. You will find detailed information on the company and a host of beautiful posters which were commissioned by Ibach for their advertising in the early part of the 20th century. There is a marvelous film of factory work in the teens. You will see men packing a piano into a truck and disappearing down the road in a cloud of smoke.I think the old fellow who wound the strings on my 1913 grand is pictured. The wood is stacked for seasoning in log like stacks. They essentially reassembled the tree after it was sawn into planks. You can communicate with Ibach via email and their website is superb, as are their pianos.
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