Piano World Home Page
Posted By: Brian Sweeney Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/03/19 04:02 AM
I've been playing for fourteen months and bought a used Yamaha U3 but I have a little bit of money saved and thought I'd buy a used Steinway M or S while I still have the money. I've played three Steinway grands from different periods and to my ears I felt that they didn't sound as good as my U3 upright. I have a little knowledge of what a good tone is, played saxophone for many years but is it possible that I don't know what a good piano tone is? Please don't tell me I'm not advanced enough or that there's other brands that are just as good, I'm stuck on the Steinway. Thanks in advance! Brian
Posted By: Lady Bird Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/03/19 04:37 AM
It is possible! Depending.............?
....
Posted By: backto_study_piano Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/03/19 05:09 AM
Either 1) you've become so used to the YAMAHA sound that you like it better than STEINWAY; or 2) the 3 Steinways weren't all that good - may not have been maintained, voiced or regulated well, or have been rebuilt not as well as they should.

You haven't said what part of the world you're in - there is a dramatic difference in sound between a Hamburg and a New York Steinway - I far preferred the Hamburg.

Also - check out some other brands - Steinway is just the best-known, you might find another brand suits you better - might even be cheaper.
Posted By: terminaldegree Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/03/19 05:25 AM
Originally Posted by Brian Sweeney
I've played three Steinway grands from different periods and to my ears I felt that they didn't sound as good as my U3 upright. I have a little knowledge of what a good tone is, played saxophone for many years but is it possible that I don't know what a good piano tone is?


I would suggest not making a purchase until you find one that sounds better than your U3. That can be tricky, as a good tall upright can have a better, more consistent tone than many small grand pianos.
Posted By: outo Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/03/19 05:47 AM
I do not especially like the sound of Steinways. A high end concert grand well prepared of course usually sounds ok, but sometimes even those hurt my ears (could be the pianists of course, I haven't got my hands on one). None of the Steinways I tried when shopping appealed to me. So no, you are probably not grazy. There are other grands out there with different sound so wait until you find something you like. Of course there's a lot one can do to the tone of a grand but each one still has a basic charachter. I have liked most Bösendorfers and now own an old Bluthner. They sound very different to Steinways. When you are shopping for yourself, your ears cannot be wrong as long as you remember that the acoustics in space and preparation/tuning account for much of the tone you hear as well.
Posted By: Iaroslav Vasiliev Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/03/19 06:08 AM
Steinway S is a tiny grand, therefore it lacks the bass, many people would in fact prefer high upright to a tiny grand because of this, me included.

Steinway M is probably on par with U3 in the bass, but it could really sound worse than U3 if it's too old or it was not properly maintained, or it was rebuilt badly. New Steinway M is way better than U3 in my opinion.
Posted By: outo Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/03/19 06:25 AM
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Steinway S is a tiny grand, therefore it lacks the bass, many people would in fact prefer high upright to a tiny grand because of this, me included.

Steinway M is probably on par with U3 in the bass, but it could really sound worse than U3 if it's too old or it was not properly maintained, or it was rebuilt badly. New Steinway M is way better than U3 in my opinion.


People seem to focus on bass register and string lenght a lot when buying pianos... I personally find the middle register sound much more important for a home piano.
Posted By: Iaroslav Vasiliev Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/03/19 08:11 AM
Originally Posted by outo
People seem to focus on bass register and string lenght a lot when buying pianos... I personally find the middle register sound much more important for a home piano.

It probably also depends on the music that an individual prefers. For, say, Mozart's music, the powerful bass is a harmful thing. For Rachmaninoff the powerful bass is essential.

But aside from the music I also like the bodily sensation of a deep powerful bass. When playing a forte bass chord on a big grand it kind of resonates inside the body. I feel a kind of sonic impact on my heart at that moment. I like this overwhelming feeling very much.

Posted By: outo Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/03/19 08:22 AM
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by outo
People seem to focus on bass register and string lenght a lot when buying pianos... I personally find the middle register sound much more important for a home piano.

It probably also depends on the music that an individual prefers. For, say, Mozart's music, the powerful bass is a harmful thing. For Rachmaninoff the powerful bass is essential.

Probably so. I hate Mozart, but not a fan of Rachmaninoff either.

Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev

But aside from the music I also like the bodily sensation of a deep powerful bass. When playing a forte chord on a big grand it kind of resonates inside the body. I feel a kind of sonic impact on my heart at that moment. I like this overwhelming feeling very much.


Interesting...my heart is bit sensitive and can get out of rhythm so I do not like such sensations. My ears also hurt easily with loud sounds.

Sounds and harmonies however can give my brain pleasant almost physical sensations. I look for a tone where I can clearly hear those, but is not too piercing for my ears.
Posted By: Iaroslav Vasiliev Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/03/19 08:33 AM
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
But aside from the music I also like the bodily sensation of a deep powerful bass. When playing a forte bass chord on a big grand it kind of resonates inside the body. I feel a kind of sonic impact on my heart at that moment. I like this overwhelming feeling very much.

And without a little bit of this feeling I would say that I don't find playing an instrument that engaging. Without a little bit of this feeling the music doesn't capture me that much.
Posted By: Iaroslav Vasiliev Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/03/19 08:44 AM
Originally Posted by outo
Sounds and harmonies however can give my brain pleasant almost physical sensations. I look for a tone where I can clearly hear those, but is not too piercing for my ears.

I don't like piercing sound, too. But I mostly associate piercing sound with excessively bright upper and middle register, like it was on old Yamahas. Low sounds don't irritate me.
Posted By: Retsacnal Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/03/19 08:54 AM
When I read the subject I was gonna respond, "yes, but don't let that stop you!" On a serious note, though, you say three things that bother me: as others have noted, if you don't prefer the Steinway to your Yamaha, then don't buy one. The other two things are probably actually two sides of the same coin: that you have a little saved up, and while you still have it. If buying any piano is going to wipe out your savings, then I would suggest skipping it. Keep playing your U3 until you find a piano that you not only like better, but can also afford.
Posted By: outo Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/03/19 09:03 AM
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by outo
Sounds and harmonies however can give my brain pleasant almost physical sensations. I look for a tone where I can clearly hear those, but is not too piercing for my ears.

I don't like piercing sound, too. But I mostly associate piercing sound with excessively bright upper and middle register, like it was on old Yamahas. Low sounds don't irritate me.


When I was shopping and played used Steinways, most had unpleasant uppertones, not as much as piercing, but not appealing. The person who was with me heard nothing, so I do not think the pianos were just ill prepared, it was my ears that are faulty to appreciate the Steinway tone wink

This has also happened in concerts where I sometimes almost wish I could go away because I hate the piano sound...and these are well liked pianists.

To be fair I once tried a (brand new) Bösendorfer that really hurt my ears. But among the few Bs I have tried this was the only one I did not like.
Posted By: Skjalg Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/03/19 09:22 AM
Originally Posted by backto_study_piano

You haven't said what part of the world you're in -

A previous post situates the OP an hour outside New York.

Originally Posted by Brian Sweeney

I've played three Steinway grands from different periods and to my ears I felt that they didn't sound as good as my U3 upright.
...
I have a little knowledge of what a good tone is, played saxophone for many years but is it possible that I don't know what a good piano tone is?
...
I'm stuck on the Steinway.

So, to reiterate:
You despartly want a smaller, NY Steinway grand for some reason, but you failed to find one you liked better than your Yamaha U3. Is that strange?
Taste is I subjective, and the smallest Steinway is small. Unless you give more details, the quality, production date, and price point, is all unknown to us.

When we, as in many of the piano buyers on this forum, evaluate a (grand) piano, the following criteria, at the top of my head, are often reflected upon (some overlap):

Price
Timeframe
Size
Looks
Sound (per register)
Suitability for repertoire
Touch and response
Control of dynamics
Features
Durability
Availability
Recognition
History of manufacturer
Sentimental value
Philosophy

All these criteria have a scale that we depending on our references evaluate against. These references can be other pianos we have played, performances we have heard, marketing, forums... and as such may or may not be relevant. Marketing is all about creating these references, so that we become confident in our buying decisions.

I have an acquaintance with a reasonable economy. He has a piano at home that in my opinion, fails on everything but price. You can hit it with a sledgehammer, but all you will ever get out is a mp. He likes it however, because that way he can play without disturbing anyone. His only criteria was sentimental value and lack of dynamics.to others these would count the other way around.

The piano that wins for us, is the one that scores the highest on our criteria list. The criteria have a threshold. Let us say you have a threshold for price at $20.100. It does not matter how good it is, you simply cannot buy; now. The now is important, because in one year from now, your price threshold might be $29.000. So all or most of the criteria may change threshold over time.

As I read you, the three Steinways you tried failed on your sound criterion, but passed other thresholds you might have had. This could sound odd if they had all beeen new grands, but apparently they were not.

I recall an interview with a Steinway artist, describing Steinway pianos as the best in the world (why not the universe while we are at it). The interviewer then quite cleverly followed up with which other brands he had played... and it turned out to be 2... some people do not hear the difference between two Steinways, and some people do not here the difference between two pianos of different brands.

I think if you want useful input, it helps to be a specific as possible on the criteria you value and why. List as much details as possible about the pianos you evaluate to prevent guesswork.

In order to develop a good understanding of good tone, you should go to as many piano venues as possible, with as many different pianos as you can find. It is time consuming to make a good buy, Do not rush it.
Posted By: Michael P Walsh Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/03/19 09:47 AM
You obviously were not that impressed with the 3 Steinways that you tried but have no intention of considering another make of piano. Why?
That's how the marketing game works. Right there.
Posted By: cmb13 Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/03/19 12:06 PM
It does take time to learn to play it in a manner that brings out the tone - at least it did for me. The advantages to a grand include a full, resonant bass, delicate pianissimo, wonderful mid tones and good balance. Can you produce these intricately at 14 months? I know in your opening statement you’d said please don’t tell me I’m not advanced enough, but in my case, at 5 years in, it took me a while to get it to sing properly.

On the other hand, I have played pianos that don’t impress me, including new Steinways. It also could have to do with regulation, voicing and tuning.
Posted By: Rank Piano Amateur Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/03/19 01:05 PM
My guess is that if you have a "little" saved up, you have not been trying out decent Steinways, as a little money won't buy a good Steinway. So it should not be a surprise that they don't sound good.

My advice (for what it's worth, which is nothing) is to trust your ears and save your money. If you like your current piano, why not just stick with it and enjoy it?
Posted By: Davdoc Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/03/19 01:32 PM
As others above have said very well, you definitely are not crazy. Tonal preference is highly subjective. It is very likely that you like Yamaha U3's tone better.

On the other hand although some would disagree, with broad generalization a grand's action is better than an upright's, given both are well regulated. There are innovations in uprights' actions to bring parity, but I haven't got a chance to try those (nor do I think they are widely available or easily accessible for many locations).

If you like your U3, stick with it.
Posted By: pianoloverus Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/03/19 01:39 PM
Definitely don't buy a piano you don't like even if you presently feel you don't know how to evaluate tone. If the Steinways you tried were out of tune or just very old they could easily sound poor to anyone. If you tell us more about the particular Steinways you tried, we might be able to give more specific advice.
Posted By: pianoloverus Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/03/19 01:54 PM
Originally Posted by cmb13
It does take time to learn to play it in a manner that brings out the tone - at least it did for me. The advantages to a grand include a full, resonant bass, delicate pianissimo, wonderful mid tones and good balance. Can you produce these intricately at 14 months? I know in your opening statement you’d said please don’t tell me I’m not advanced enough, but in my case, at 5 years in, it took me a while to get it to sing properly.
What you say is true if one is testing a piano with musical selections, but it is also possible to learn a lot about a piano's tone by just playing individual notes or chords. I usually play individual notes and actual music when trying out a piano.
Posted By: pianoloverus Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/03/19 02:11 PM
Originally Posted by Brian Sweeney
I have a little knowledge of what a good tone is, played saxophone for many years but is it possible that I don't know what a good piano tone is?
If you read The Piano Buyer(see free link in left column) I think they have some information on how to evaluate tone. Even though it's quite subjective, there are certain qualities many if not all agree on. The Fazioli webstie used to have an excellent article and videos on what at least they considered were important tonal qualities but I cannot find it there now and it may no longer be available. I think they listed five qualities but the only ones I can remember are sustain(applies to the treble) and clarity(here people can differ in how important they find this), and maybe(?) dynamic range. If anyone can find this article/video I think it gives a terrific analysis of what good piano tone is.
Posted By: Rickster Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/03/19 02:55 PM
As terminal degree mentioned, you may well be hard pressed to find an older, smallish Steinway grand that sounds better than your U3, or one that sounds as good. The U3 can be a very nice sounding and playing piano.

I've played a few Steinways in the past, mostly bigger ones, and although most of them sounded good, they didn't sound much better than my older Yamaha C7 grand. However, like you, I was thrilled with the thought that "wow, I'm playing a Steinway"! smile

Of course, my backwoods, hillbilly, self-taught piano playing style ain't all that sophisticated. But I know what sounds good and plays good to me.

Good luck!

Rick
Posted By: Kenny Cheng Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/03/19 02:59 PM
You have to trust your ears.

If you feel it doesn't sound good, it doesn't.
Posted By: mcontraveos Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/03/19 05:29 PM
Originally Posted by Kenny Cheng
You have to trust your ears.

If you feel it doesn't sound good, it doesn't.

If this were my board, I'd lock the thread and pin this quote.

Your ears are there judge. Marketing wizards at whatever piano factory will try to make you doubt yourself.
Posted By: BruceD Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/03/19 06:18 PM
Originally Posted by Brian Sweeney
[...] Please don't tell me I'm not advanced enough or that there's other brands that are just as good, I'm stuck on the Steinway. Thanks in advance! Brian


There's nothing wrong with being enamored of the Steinway sound to the point of preferring it over the sound of other brands. It's a personal choice. That said, one has to try other brands to really make such a preference viable. What other brands/sound have you tried and eliminated?

Regards,
Posted By: Lady Bird Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/03/19 07:11 PM
Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by Brian Sweeney
[...] Please don't tell me I'm not advanced enough or that there's other brands that are just as good, I'm stuck on the Steinway. Thanks in advance! Brian


There's nothing wrong with being enamored of the Steinway sound to the point of preferring it over the sound of other brands. It's a personal choice. That said, one has to try other brands to really make such a preference viable. What other brands/sound have you tried and eliminated?

Regards,

I agree ,it would even even help choosing the Steinways you really like .,if you are still determined to buy a Steinways. Perhaps you should try some Yamaha grands since you like your U3 so much .,depending on if you are determined to get a grand .
Otherwise look at some German tall uprights.
Posted By: pianoloverus Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/03/19 07:18 PM
Originally Posted by mcontraveos
Originally Posted by Kenny Cheng
You have to trust your ears.

If you feel it doesn't sound good, it doesn't.

If this were my board, I'd lock the thread and pin this quote.

Your ears are there judge. Marketing wizards at whatever piano factory will try to make you doubt yourself.
I don't think it's that simple. Unless someone is quite advanced and has a lot of experience playing and trying out pianos, the usual advice of using your ears and fingers to judge a piano, while good advice, only goes so far. That's one reason piano buyers have so many questions a a dealership or on PW. OTOH I do agree that if someone really dislikes a piano or finds it just blah it's probably not a good choice.
Posted By: Joseph Fleetwood Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/03/19 08:30 PM
My question to you is, if you prefer your Yamaha U3 to several Steinways that you have played, why are you stuck on the Steinway? You know, Steinways are good pianos but - and I KNOW you asked us not to say this - they're not the only ones.

If you prefer the Yamaha, it sounds to me like you prefer the more immediate response of the U3, and you prefer the kind of contained clarity of tone that the U3 has. A good U3 is a beautifully balanced piano with a fine sound, so there's nothing wrong with preferring Yamaha to Steinway. There's actually nothing wrong with having a preference even if it's for grandma's old no-name upright over a Steinway D. A preference is a preference and there's no accounting for taste.

Personally I don't want to buy a Steinway. Steinways have achieved an almost mythical status amongst pianists and customers, and that's largely due to their own exceptionally clever marketing. There was a time in the not-so-distant past when the only decent concert grand was indeed Steinway. After the other German manufacturers were destroyed in the second world war, and the English and French long since bowed out of the concert grand arena, and before the Japanese started making enough concert grands for them to gain a reputation, pretty much the only option was Steinway. Between about 1950 and 1980, you pretty much wouldn't want to have any other concert grand on stage than a good Steinway D since the quality at Blüthner and Bechstein was much lower, and Bösendorfer frankly didn't have enough pianos, and Fazioli hadn't yet entered the market, and there were no Chinese options.

Now the story is different, and Steinway is working very hard to retain its legendary status. They still make some beautiful pianos, with a wide ranging variance between each instrument. It might take you longer to find the Steinway that really speaks to you because of the variations between instruments, but if you've got the time and the money to look you may just find what you're looking for. If you don't find the piano you want from Steinways, you will find it from someone else.
Posted By: jarobi Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/03/19 08:43 PM
If you will only buy a Steinway but don't like how they sound, then yes you are crazy. wink
Posted By: cmb13 Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/03/19 09:39 PM
Originally Posted by jarobi
If you will only buy a Steinway but don't like how they sound, then yes you are crazy. wink


Lol :like:
Posted By: Retsacnal Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/03/19 10:33 PM
Originally Posted by jarobi
If you will only buy a Steinway but don't like how they sound, then yes you are crazy. wink

thumb
Posted By: Lady Bird Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/03/19 11:19 PM
Originally Posted by cmb13
Originally Posted by jarobi
If you will only buy a Steinway but don't like how they sound, then yes you are crazy. wink


Lol :like:

Yes it makes no sense to me either .
Posted By: Brian Sweeney Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/04/19 12:18 AM
It's a mental thing.
Posted By: Brian Sweeney Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/04/19 12:29 AM
Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by Brian Sweeney
[...] Please don't tell me I'm not advanced enough or that there's other brands that are just as good, I'm stuck on the Steinway. Thanks in advance! Brian


There's nothing wrong with being enamored of the Steinway sound to the point of preferring it over the sound of other brands. It's a personal choice. That said, one has to try other brands to really make such a preference viable. What other brands/sound have you tried and eliminated?

Regards,


I've only played my U3 and three Steinways and liked the sound of my Yam the best but I'm suffering with carpal tunnel at the moment and it's not an easy piano to play. I also don't trust my judgement so I thought I'd hire some this great player to test them and I figure I can't go wrong with a Steinway. A lot of great players use/d them.
Posted By: Rickster Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/04/19 01:35 AM
Originally Posted by Brian Sweeney
I've only played my U3 and three Steinways and liked the sound of my Yam the best but I'm suffering with carpal tunnel at the moment and it's not an easy piano to play. I also don't trust my judgement so I thought I'd hire some this great player to test them and I figure I can't go wrong with a Steinway. A lot of great players use/d them.

I don't think you are crazy for wanting a Steinway that doesn't sound as good as your U3. You want a Steinway just because you want the name on the fall-board; you are not alone in this ideology.

But to think that merely having/owning a Steinway will make you a better player, just because you're playing a Steinway, well... that's a little far fetched. Still not crazy, just not reality.

On the other hand, having a very good sounding and playing piano, one that you really like, whether a Steinway, or the U3, will help to prompt and encourage you to play more, which in turn, will help you to become a better player. I don't think simply owning and playing a Steinway will miraculously make you an instantaneous prodigy or a better player, per-se.

Just my .02. smile

All the best.

Rick
Posted By: backto_study_piano Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/04/19 03:57 AM
Brian - here's a thought. If you like your U3 and want a grand - have you tried a YAMAHA C3 grand - there are lots of them around, some better than others. And a well regulated and voiced C3 will be appreciably better than an average or poor top-tier piano.

I'm not sure what sort of age you are - so this may not be relevant ...

When I was 20, I "acquired" a fairly average, old, over-damper upright piano. Which I played extensively for 7 years and replaced it with a YAMAHA UX when I needed something better for a piano diploma (UX is more or less a U3 but with better strings/hammers). When I could afford a good (Schimmel) 6' grand, I upgraded - and I was then over age 50 well over 25 years later I'd outgrown the UX (and worn it out). I've since upgraded the Schimmel to my "dream" piano - which worked out to be a larger Grotrian.

Don't rush - there will always be pianos available, and your cash-flow will change (hopefully improve) over time.

Another thing - I bought both grands, I played every grand piano I could lay my hands on - even cheaper ones. That gave me a good idea of what I liked, and what I didn't.

And - to be honest, I still like the YAMAHA C3 (or a C7). My teacher has 2. If my funds were more limited, I'd have bought one rather than a rebuilt old Steinway.
Posted By: BDB Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/04/19 04:28 AM
Originally Posted by Brian Sweeney
I've only played my U3 and three Steinways and liked the sound of my Yam the best but I'm suffering with carpal tunnel at the moment and it's not an easy piano to play. I also don't trust my judgement so I thought I'd hire some this great player to test them and I figure I can't go wrong with a Steinway. A lot of great players use/d them.


Have you had your U3 serviced with regulation and voicing lately? ("Lately" usually means "ever"!) Uprights need care, too.
Posted By: backto_study_piano Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/04/19 06:39 AM
Originally Posted by Brian Sweeney
... but I'm suffering with carpal tunnel at the moment and it's not an easy piano to play. I also don't trust my judgement so I thought I'd hire some this great player to test them and I figure I can't go wrong with a Steinway. A lot of great players use/d them.

One thing to consider with your YAMAHA - are you sitting at the correct height - a lot of standard YAMAHA benches are too low, which puts more strain on the wrist and hands. I went back to a teacher a few years ago and she got me on an adjustable bench at full height - it was a bit unusual first sitting appreciably higher, but now, I notice pain if I play sitting on a standard bench.

A piano is a subjective item - what one person likes, someone else may dislike. And what suits a professional pianist may not be what you'd like. I'd go and play as many grands as you can - like I said earlier a C3 Yamaha - but also try RX-3 Kawai which I thought was a lighter touch - but only played one or 2 of them - so not sure they're all the same.

It would be best to have a potential piano assessed by a technician - and he/she could advise on whether the regulation could be adjusted finer for a lighter touch.
Posted By: Lady Bird Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/04/19 07:02 AM
Good advice above ! And by the way it's always a "mental thing" Human beings are subjective creatures especially when it comes to
music and emotion .But this is an exciting time ,choosing a new
piano is like an exciting vacation in a foreign land .So take your time.
Play as many brand pianos as you can and take notes .

Posted By: Hakki Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/04/19 07:42 AM
Originally Posted by Brian Sweeney
It's a mental thing.


In this case you must be patient and save more money to find a good Steinway, meanwhile keeping your daily practice minutes low and give chance to your hands to heal.

Because it seems that you might still miss having a Steinway even if you buy a good Yamaha C3 or similar grand with a very good action and tone.
Posted By: Snail Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/04/19 12:42 PM
I dont care much about steinway. Ok it's a good piano. But just one among others. Maybe because I am from Europe? I don't know. But when i was in America for the first time i realized the great admiration and worshiping existing there about Steinway. As it was more than a piano kind of a magical mystical object. Bosendorfer, steingraeber, bechstein , fazioli, sauter... didnt exist at all for the people there. WHATTT??!!! Hard to believe until you see it with your own eyes.
Posted By: GC13 Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/05/19 03:07 PM
It's going to be your piano, you're going to play it and listen to it, so you have to enjoy it. Therefore, bottom line is to trust your judgement. I am a Steinway owner (Model B -7'). I haven't found a piano I enjoy under 6 feet long in any brand b/c of the lack of bass, and I prefer 6'5"+ in size. I really enjoy my Steinway, BUT I do not enjoy all Steinway pianos. I enjoy them when they are built and prepared properly! Yamaha's tend to be more consistent overall than Steinway's. It appears that Steinway is doing a better job out of the factory these days, but in my opinion, it's all in the prep.

There is a lot of lure, mystic, and prestige attached to the Steinway name. But please don't let that cloud your judgement. You can probably find a nice Baldwin, Yamaha, Kawai, or Mason & Hamlin grand -- probably larger than an S&S S or M -- for much less money that you would enjoy more.

Maybe you should play more Steinway's including different sizes before you move on, just to solidify your preferences. Since you're in New York, maybe a trip to Steinway Hall, Faust Harrison, or Lindeblad (NJ) would be advantageous. In those showrooms, you could probably play a variety of Steinway pianos of all sizes and get a true feel for them and what you should be looking for before you completely pass judgement on them. Then you'll know what you really want.

But whatever you do -- DO NOT buy a Steinway just to own a Steinway! Really bad move!! It's not easy to sell / trade a piano with out loosing a lot of money in the short term!
Posted By: Brian Sweeney Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/13/19 06:01 PM
Thanks everyone for what's obviously great advice. Brian
Posted By: afoonah Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/13/19 06:52 PM
My 2¢ for free... We played the Steinways and I had the same feeling. I didn't see what the big deal was about. I liked our big Baldwin much more. They seemed to subtle or too brash for me. I didn't find my happy sound there. I TOTALLY assume that my ears are not appreciating what they have, but still, we like what we like. Fortunately I like inexpensive wine, too. wink
Posted By: PianoWorksATL Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/13/19 07:00 PM
I relish the opportunity to deprogram a customer and let them form a real, honest opinion about the pianos actually in front of them. For many pianists that are forming their first few experiences, their tastes may change, but it is even harder to change an opinion once formed. When your skill level is low, it's hard not to rely on others, but a few good tests are accessible even for beginners.

Test the piano for soft play. Will it play softly enough and is it very difficult to play softly? Then play through more of the dynamic range to hear now the sound changes. By design, pianos do this differently...does it give tonal change (color) and do you like the way that it changes? Finally, come back to the middle. Liking the tone when you play something simple is too often first, rather than the last test. Pianos really separate themselves at the edges (of the keyboard or of the dynamic range), and it is fair to presume your skill level will improve. When that happens (intermediate level, not virtuosity), the 3-Dimentional aspects of the piano become most important, not the simple song in the middle.

When customers accept this and use this type of method for evaluating, their confidence in their choice goes way, way up. At that point, people have a greater respect for the variety of choices available to them and may truly respect a brand even if it isn't their first choice.
Posted By: WhoDwaldi Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/13/19 07:02 PM
Originally Posted by Snail
I dont care much about steinway. Ok it's a good piano. But just one among others. Maybe because I am from Europe? I don't know. But when i was in America for the first time i realized the great admiration and worshiping existing there about Steinway. As it was more than a piano kind of a magical mystical object. Bosendorfer, steingraeber, bechstein , fazioli, sauter... didnt exist at all for the people there. WHATTT??!!! Hard to believe until you see it with your own eyes.


There's a fair amount of (justified) Mason & Hamlin worship in America, too. And a lot of the more open-minded adored Baldwin. But, Steinway and Yamaha seem to dominate.

I would love to get my hands on a Steingraeber or a Bechstein. Bosendorfers come thru my neck of the woods (for those with deep pockets). And we're up to our ears in Schimmels. 😁
Posted By: RMdP74 Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/13/19 07:33 PM
To me, Steinways are the most inconsistent pianos ever. Some are fabulous, some are not.
Posted By: afoonah Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/13/19 07:43 PM
Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL

Test the piano for soft play. Will it play softly enough and is it very difficult to play softly? Then play through more of the dynamic range to hear now the sound changes. By design, pianos do this differently...does it give tonal change (color) and do you like the way that it changes? Finally, come back to the middle. Liking the tone when you play something simple is too often first, rather than the last test. Pianos really separate themselves at the edges (of the keyboard or of the dynamic range), and it is fair to presume your skill level will improve. When that happens (intermediate level, not virtuosity), the 3-Dimentional aspects of the piano become most important, not the simple song in the middle.
.


What great advice
Posted By: backto_study_piano Re: Help me out, am I crazy? - 03/14/19 12:05 AM
Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
I relish the opportunity to deprogram a customer and let them form a real, honest opinion about the pianos actually in front of them. For many pianists that are forming their first few experiences, their tastes may change, but it is even harder to change an opinion once formed. When your skill level is low, it's hard not to rely on others, but a few good tests are accessible even for beginners.

Test the piano for soft play. Will it play softly enough and is it very difficult to play softly? Then play through more of the dynamic range to hear now the sound changes. By design, pianos do this differently...does it give tonal change (color) and do you like the way that it changes? Finally, come back to the middle. Liking the tone when you play something simple is too often first, rather than the last test. Pianos really separate themselves at the edges (of the keyboard or of the dynamic range), and it is fair to presume your skill level will improve. When that happens (intermediate level, not virtuosity), the 3-Dimentional aspects of the piano become most important, not the simple song in the middle.

When customers accept this and use this type of method for evaluating, their confidence in their choice goes way, way up. At that point, people have a greater respect for the variety of choices available to them and may truly respect a brand even if it isn't their first choice.

Agreed, great answer - been there, done that!!
© Piano World Piano & Digital Piano Forums