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About european brand of pianos...

Posted By: pnbgnr8

About european brand of pianos... - 10/12/16 12:24 PM

Hi everyone.
Always appreciate the help from knowledgable people here.
I've had this digital piano for almost two years...thought I was pretty happy with it... But since we are living here in Germany, I am starting to have the itch already...I know its a dangerous path but every time when I turn the piano "ON" and hear the clicking sound...it just turns me off... I just wish it wasn't an electric machine... I know it is functional and what makes most sense for someone like us who move around every few years but it is just not making me want to play.
I am just exploring the thought of getting maybe an upright piano and since we are here in Europe, to take an advantage of purchasing an European brand piano that I can treasure for long long time... But I have no idea who are the good piano makers here in Europe... I am a novice player and so I don't need the top of the line most expensive piano but I do want to keep it for as long as I can... If any one can recommend me where to start...(brand name, model name, website to read and anything...) I would certainly be VERY appreciative. smile
If it helps...our budget will be up to $10k and I am not sure if I should go with silent version or not.(would it change anything for the piano? like touch or sound) I don't know anyone here and so I am not sure if I should consider looking at "used" pianos...
Thank you!
Posted By: johan d

Re: About european brand of pianos... - 10/12/16 12:29 PM

You are a novice (=beginner), and you are willing to spend 10.000$ (+-€) on a piano, am I right?
Posted By: pnbgnr8

Re: About european brand of pianos... - 10/12/16 12:59 PM

johan d,
grin Yes...the budget is up to 10k, if I can take good care of it, I can keep it for a really long time, I hope...
I am hoping to practice more and get better at it. I did take some lessons for about a year and now am doing it on my own...
Posted By: Steve Cohen

Re: About european brand of pianos... - 10/12/16 01:02 PM

I'd suggest you read Piano Buyer, free online.

It has ratings and profiles of all the European makes and models.
Posted By: pnbgnr8

Re: About european brand of pianos... - 10/12/16 01:21 PM

Steve Cohen,
Thank you!
I will read Piano Buyer. Its great its free!
Posted By: Almaviva

Re: About european brand of pianos... - 10/12/16 05:18 PM

There are some truly great upright pianos that are made entirely in Europe - Sauter, Steingraeber, C. Bechstein, Grotrian, August Forster, Bluthner, Bosendorfer, and Steinway. However, they are VERY expensive - no way could you buy a new one of those for $10,000. If you want one of those, consider a used model.

Some Wilhelm Schimmel and (possibly) Schimmel International uprights are available for $10,000 new. The Schimmel Konzert and Schimmel Classic verticals are very nice, but they cost a bit more than $10,000.

Some Schulze Pohlmann uprights are available for $10,000 new. The same could be said for some models from Irmler and W. Hoffmann, the medium-priced lines of Bluthner and Bechstein, respectively. The Schulze Pohlmann, Irmler and W. Hoffmann models are partially made in Asia and finished in Europe.

Seiler also sells some nice inexpensive uprights, but they are made in Indonesia to German designs. The German-made Seilers are very nice, but they cost a bit more than $10,000.

Ronisch and Hupfeld, two other piano lines in the Bluthner family, also offers some upright models for $10,000 or under. The Ronisch models are made entirely in Germany. Some of the Hupfeld models are made entirely in Europe; some of them are partially made in Indonesia and finished in Germany.


Posted By: Hendrik42

Re: About european brand of pianos... - 10/12/16 07:05 PM

pnbgnr8, whereabouts in Germany are you? There is a number of good stores with large selections of new and used pianos. For example, Pianohaus Dilger, a bit south of Hamburg has about 200 pianos under one roof. Worth a day trip.

If your are in or near one of the big cities, look for "piano", "klavier", "Pianohaus", "klaviergalerie" in Google/Apple maps and visit them all. It is quite entertaining.

Names have been mentioned above. August Foerster, Grotian-Steinweg, Steingraeber and Seiler I like very much. The Seiler Primus 116 for example sounds way larger than it is. Schimmel is quite popular, but a tad too bright for my taste.

The sensible person buys used, where possible. You get very good prices on pianos that are being sold because the kids stop playing or move out. The used market for acoustic pianos is quite healthy I'd say.

You can buy used from a Pianohaus, with warranty, or you can find yourself a piano technician and go hunting in "ebay Kleinanzeigen" (do not confuse with regular ebay), there are good deals there.
Posted By: huaidongxi

Re: About european brand of pianos... - 10/12/16 07:43 PM

if you want to enjoy one of the better european pianos, your budget could work for a used one, if you're patient and willing to look at a number of candidates (or enjoy beginner's luck and find one easily for that matter). start learning what you prefer in a piano by auditioning the different brands. in your budget, you might not have access to grotrian steinweg, steingraeber & sohne, forster, or boesendorfer (but if you're in a showroom or find a used one close to your budget, don't pass an opportunity to try them out) ; schimmels, bluethners, bechsteins are possible. in recent times, bechstein has made pianos at two different price levels. in new pianos, what you will probably find are asian made instruments with european designs, components, and names (if you're careful, if not, just the name and not the content), some of them given finishing and preparation in europe. example -- johannes seiler, made in Indonesia, ed. seiler, made in Deutschland. the new johannes seiler uprights are within your budget if you were in the u.s.

my own strong preference would be for a piano 125 cm or taller, with no age discrimination, understanding that a modest budget allows for many more possibilities for the best makers in older pianos. a good technician/restorer will take the time to explain why parts were replaced or not, and how they were chosen for a particular piano, and they are a source for used pianos from the top makers. a technician's consultation is usually essential before deciding on a used piano (a single owner instrument that has obviously been well maintained might be the exception). there is plenty of material on youtube with videos demonstrating the process of restoring vintage uprights, for your education, and the other most essential part is for you to go out and play lots of pianos. one advantage of uprights, it is very simple to see most of the action, the condition of the components and response, directly in front of you. have fun and good luck.
Posted By: Corvus

Re: About european brand of pianos... - 10/12/16 07:50 PM

Wilhelm Schimmel (previously Vogel) pianos are made at Schimmel's Polish factory. They are good pianos, but definitely more affordable than those made in Germany.

Take Hendrik's advice and visit some piano stores.

Also, just for fun (not to find a $10,000 piano!), take a tour of one of the German piano factories. It will really enhance your appreciation of German craftsmanship! I visited the Steingraeber factory last year, and it was a great experience.
Posted By: trandinhnamanh

Re: About european brand of pianos... - 10/13/16 12:21 AM

Try to find an used Pleyel P131, it may surprise you smile
Posted By: pnbgnr8

Re: About european brand of pianos... - 10/13/16 02:06 PM

Thank you all for very helpful insights!
I read the Piano Buyer and realized there are many famous European brand names with very long history...kind of sad to see some are forced to merge with other foreign bigger brands(hopefully they can keep producing same quality products...)
We are near Frankfurt area and actually visited one place...they have Schimmel model 116T we liked...(surprised someone said the sound is bright...to us it had depth more than kawai...I guess it all depend on your ears/preference) and it was right at 10k. (But we didn't know if it will keep long time...? construction-wise...) They had other used pianos but since we are not sure what to look at when it comes to buying a used piano, we didn't really consider them. (They have Steinway & Sons Upright, under rent to own program. I am not sure about the condition or the model year.)
I clearly need more time to look around and play on different type of pianos...the Schimmel, I really liked the sound but thought it had light keys. The sales person said that can be changed by putting little weight on each keys. I am not sure if this is the perfect solution tough... I probably need to look at others for little more weighty keys. It is hard to find the perfect sound and weight of the keys combination.
Really appreciate your help. Thank you!
Posted By: tend to rush

Re: About european brand of pianos... - 10/13/16 03:20 PM

Not sure I'd reccomend changing the weighting. Maybe others will chime in on that. Some reccomend spending more time playing it to see if you get used to it.
Posted By: Duke of Dunning

Re: About european brand of pianos... - 10/13/16 03:32 PM

I would add Petrof to my list of pianos to investigate. This Czech maker offers several vertical and grand models. While hard to find in the US these days, I would think they would be easy to find in Europe.
Posted By: Corvus

Re: About european brand of pianos... - 10/13/16 04:28 PM

Light keys (or light action) is something I have come to appreciate in a piano as it makes it easier for me to play rapid passages or baroque trills. When you are learning more difficult pieces, you might be grateful for light keys!

Posted By: Almaviva

Re: About european brand of pianos... - 10/13/16 05:24 PM

Originally Posted by Duke of Dunning
I would add Petrof to my list of pianos to investigate. This Czech maker offers several vertical and grand models. While hard to find in the US these days, I would think they would be easy to find in Europe.


Good point. I had initially overlooked Petrof when I had made up my list of recommendations because new Petrofs are so expensive in the U.S. However, unlike in the U.S., Petrof did not raise its European prices into the stratosphere. Thus pnbgnr8 might be able to find a Petrof upright in his price range.
Posted By: joe80

Re: About european brand of pianos... - 10/13/16 05:59 PM

The good European brands are most likely to be out of your price range if you are buying new, but a good piano doesn't always have to be a new piano - sometimes you can find a lightly used one around 30 years old or less and save yourself a lot of money. Be careful in that age range with Blüthner because 30 years ago they were still in the clutches of the DDR, and while the designs were good, and SOME of the pianos turned out beautifully, others didn't fare so well over the years.

Most of the good brands have been mentioned in this thread. I would say however, and this is purely my opinion - if you're going to consider a new Haessler or W. Hoffman piano you might want to also consider the Yamaha and Kawai models at the equivalent price because often you find that Yamaha and Kawai punch well above their weight in that price range. In the UK, a Yamaha YUS5 can be purchased for the same price as a not very large Haessler, and yes they have different tonal characteristics etc, but the Yamaha YUS5 is, in my own opinion, a better instrument than the equivalent priced Haessler. The Bechstein Academy uprights are a slightly different proposition - they are consistently beautiful throughout the range but they are priced a little or perhaps a lot higher than the Japanese instruments.

Petrof are European and priced just around the same level as the Yamaha YUS series, perhaps a little more. They are very highly praised here and both pianists and techs love them so I'd give Petrof serious consideration as well.

For 10,000 Euro you might get a nice grand.... but not new.
Posted By: Lakeviewsteve

Re: About european brand of pianos... - 10/13/16 07:21 PM

Bösendorfer's are great pianos and are hand made in Vienna, Austria. Here is a link to their upright

http://www.boesendorfer.com/en/models/model-120-cl

I got mine in Germany and the dealer let me rent it for 12 months and applied the rental to the purchase. I don't think $10,000 would cover the cost of a new one, but maybe a good used one?

Steve
Bösendorfer 170
Posted By: DiarmuidD

Re: About european brand of pianos... - 10/13/16 08:03 PM

For 10,000.00 euro you could get a very nice old Bluthner or Bechstein. Have it regulated and voiced and you might even be able to stretch (no pun intended) to a new set of strings within that price. It's what I would do. I'm also a fan of Yamaha. If you are patient you could find a not so old C5 or C6?
Posted By: LarryMan

Re: About european brand of pianos... - 10/15/16 11:43 AM

Hi freinds,
Just wantering if there are any recordings audio and/or video of the pianos brands and models specified above in order for someone interested to limit the runaround from piano store to piano store.

For my interest I would love to hear the sound from Seiler , Wilhelm Schimmel,Schulze Pohlmann upright piano to get an idea what they sound like.

I prefer warm sounding pianos which brands models you suggest to look for????

Thanks
Posted By: PhilipInChina

Re: About european brand of pianos... - 10/15/16 01:39 PM

Originally Posted by DiarmuidD
For 10,000.00 euro you could get a very nice old Bluthner or Bechstein. Have it regulated and voiced and you might even be able to stretch (no pun intended) to a new set of strings within that price. It's what I would do. I'm also a fan of Yamaha. If you are patient you could find a not so old C5 or C6?


A man after my own heart there.
Posted By: Retsacnal

Re: About european brand of pianos... - 10/16/16 02:50 AM

In addition to the above suggestions, keep in mind that there are German pianos that are not imported to the US, so they won't be listed in the Piano Buyer. For example, Pfeiffers are built in my "hometown" in Germany, are high quality, well-regarded, but are not imported into the US.

Here's a link to their second-hand inventory. Many are within your budget.

Something like the above could be a very nice "souvenir" of your time in Germany! smile
Posted By: huaidongxi

Re: About european brand of pianos... - 10/16/16 04:48 AM

hoechst interessant. danke sehr. the vintage instruments are quite beautiful to look at, and if they can command those prices, they must perform formidably as well.
Posted By: Gregor

Re: About european brand of pianos... - 10/16/16 08:48 AM

Originally Posted by pnbgnr8

We are near Frankfurt area


Visit this shop. He is a very trustworthy collegue and has a lot of excellent pianos. For under 10.000 you will find a lot of Schimmel, Seiler, Sauter, Feurich, Grotian, Ibach, Rönisch, Zimmermann, Yamaha....

www.klavierladen.de
Posted By: PhilipInChina

Re: About european brand of pianos... - 10/16/16 12:36 PM

Interesting that according to "Piano Buyer" all the top tier pianos are European, with all but 2 being German.
Posted By: Retsacnal

Re: About european brand of pianos... - 10/16/16 08:13 PM

If I understand the methodology correctly, they're grouped by their U.S. retail prices, which means that the the highest priced pianos come from Europe, and mostly Germany. But, I suppose there's something of a self-fulfilling prophesy there, because the implication is that Americans are willing to spend the most on European pianos, and mostly German.
Posted By: pnbgnr8

Re: About european brand of pianos... - 10/17/16 02:32 PM

Thank you all for your continuing inputs. Really appreciate it.
Over the weekend, we went back and changed our plan to rent to own to just to rent...at least, for now.
(they still get you for the rental minimum time is 9mo...but still) That way, we can spend little more time to look around. But at the store, I tried one of the August Foerster upright and fell in love with the touch and the sound! It is way out of our budget but we are hoping to find a nice used one...crossing my finger! Though the 116 model was nice but the 125 had such beautiful tone and I loved it very much. I do plan to keep trying other brand of pianos...we will see if anything can beat AF piano.
Yes it will definitely make a very memorable souvenir that we will enjoy year after year! (Hopefully, there will be a skilled tuner/technician wherever we end up...umm should I be worried???)

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