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Choosing a 7ft grand in London

Posted By: awesome10

Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/06/19 01:23 PM

I am looking for a 7ft(6' 11'' to 7' 5'') grand piano (brand new) in London , somewhere around 25000-45000 pounds ( a very broad range). I am basically surveying these pianos for a charity which is interested in buying one (Most probably they will reclaim the VAT ). Because of the nature of the purchase, several dealers are also offering some sort of an institutional discount ranging from 10%-20%.

The options I am considering are (approximate prices in pounds)

Irmler F230E - 24,000
Irmler F210E - 19,000 (worst case)
Boston GP215- 28,960
Haessler/Ronisch GP210 - 36,000
C Bechstein Academy A208 - 38,400
C Bechstein Academy A228 - 42,000
W.Hoffmann P206 - 36,000

I am also looking at the Yamaha C6X , C7X , the Kawai GX-6 ,GX-7 and the Schimmel C213.

Out of all these pianos , I have only tried out the A228 , A208 , GP215 and the smaller models of the other ones (most shops don't stock pianos above 6' 11'' it seems).

A couple of questions
a) The Kawai GX-6 and the Boston GP215 are very similarly priced , and considering the fact that Kawai manufactures the Boston range , which one would be better among these two? I could not find a GX-6/7 to try , but the GP-215 I played at the Steinway Hall was very well prepped ....
b)Are the Irmler Europe Range pianos good? I tried the smaller models and found them to be better than the Essex series , comparable to the Bostons. However there seems to be some uncertainity regarding where the parts are built and the part quality. The salesperson told me they are finished in Leipzig .......
c)How well are the Haessler/Ronisch pianos built? The Bluthner factory owned store showed me a similar sized Bluthner Model (with the Aliquot strings and way more expensive). He said the construction would be similar , with a thinner rim , different materials etc. , but the entire piano would be built in Germany (along with some BVK certification which Bechstein seems to be missing).
d)The Bechstein dealer has the A228 on display, and since the prices have gone up , he is willing to sell it for the older list price as the piano has been sitting in stock for 8 months. Are C. Bechstein Academy pianos worth the premium? I felt it was prepped really nice , and was really responsive as compared to the A208 they had in their practice room . I still do not understand where they cut the corners as compared to the C. Bechstein Concert range ....
e)Should a person buy a piano without trying it out first?
f) Are German pianos (slightly more expensive than their Asian counterparts) really worth the markup in price with regards to general build quality? I am not considering any piano from any brand's flagship ranges , and the piano will be used very roughly ( as one great piano tech told me , we would be better off buying a tank instead of a piano). Someone even gave the analogy of buying a Toyota vs a Merc ( even though Toyota's last a million miles......)
g)The Bluthner(irmler/Haessler/Ronisch), Steinway(Boston) and the Yamaha dealerships in London are all directly owned by the companies themselves. Is that beneficial in any manner?

My current rating look something like A228 > GP210 > A208 >C213>GP215>F230E>C7X>GX7>P206>F210E>C6X>GX6

I'll post more queries later. Any help/suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
Posted By: Hakki

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/06/19 03:06 PM

If the Shigeru Kawai is not out of your price range I would give it a try too.
Posted By: awesome10

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/06/19 03:18 PM

Originally Posted by Hakki
If the Shigeru Kawai is not out of your price range I would give it a try too.


I'd love too , but it is way out of my budget, around 60,000.
Posted By: PianoWorksATL

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/06/19 04:08 PM

My advice is that you are looking at generally excellent pianos. Given that you describe the piano's future use as rough, the biggest factor in the piano's future among these choices is maintenance. If there is adequate budget for future maintenance planned, then keep on your present course and select the one you like the most. If some of the purchase money should be dedicated to the next 10 years of maintenance, then keep that in mind as you qualify your choices.

I wouldn't worry too much about the BVK certificate which was primarily developed to counter rampant marketing abuses in the Chinese domestic market...crazy claims and trademark infringements even in trade shows like Music China Shanghai. IMO and outside of China, there is some gamesmanship going on between the supporters of the BVK. I am supportive of their initiative, but the details can become a source of FUD in higher end markets.

Surviving European makers are competing truly on quality and protection of their brands. I don't see significant risks being taken even in their second lines, though transparency is probably wishful thinking. Even more than most products, piano making suffers from complexities of design, construction and supply where an expert's judgment is usually superior to the public's understanding. For some key elements of supply, piano makers have to make changes not for cost, but for continuity. With only a few exceptions, these are very small businesses that have to work together.

So is there still a difference? Yes. But where is that distance close and where is it measurable as it relates to your purchase? In raw materials, high end European makers tend to be the most selective simply because they can be with small overall production demands. In assembly of rims...strung backs, the gap is extremely small and I would argue that the best from Asia surpassed most historical brands except at the very elite level. For example, a Brodmann of today has an objectively better made strung back than the typical Baldwin artist grand of similar size when made in USA.

Where is there still a gap? The supply of highly skilled labor that can integrate and execute good designs is a challenge for every maker. When it comes to larger grands, the numbers produced are small in every factory, so the effect of a few properly trained, experienced and watchful eyes during production is significant to the final result.
Posted By: awesome10

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/06/19 04:12 PM

Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
My advice is that you are looking at generally excellent pianos. Given that you describe the piano's future use as rough, the biggest factor in the piano's future among these choices is maintenance. If there is adequate budget for future maintenance planned, then keep on your present course and select the one you like the most. If some of the purchase money should be dedicated to the next 10 years of maintenance, then keep that in mind as you qualify your choices.

I wouldn't worry too much about the BVK certificate which was primarily developed to counter rampant marketing abuses in the Chinese domestic market...crazy claims and trademark infringements even in trade shows like Music China Shanghai. IMO and outside of China, there is some gamesmanship going on between the supporters of the BVK. I am supportive of their initiative, but the details can become a source of FUD in higher end markets.

Surviving European makers are competing truly on quality and protection of their brands. I don't see significant risks being taken even in their second lines, though transparency is probably wishful thinking. Even more than most products, piano making suffers from complexities of design, construction and supply where an expert's judgment is usually superior to the public's understanding. For some key elements of supply, piano makers have to make changes not for cost, but for continuity. With only a few exceptions, these are very small businesses that have to work together.

So is there still a difference? Yes. But where is that distance close and where is it measurable as it relates to your purchase? In raw materials, high end European makers tend to be the most selective simply because they can be with small overall production demands. In assembly of rims...strung backs, the gap is extremely small and I would argue that the best from Asia surpassed most historical brands except at the very elite level. For example, a Brodmann of today has an objectively better made strung back than the typical Baldwin artist grand of similar size when made in USA.

Where is there still a gap? The supply of highly skilled labor that can integrate and execute good designs is a challenge for every maker. When it comes to larger grands, the numbers produced are small in every factory, so the effect of a few properly trained, experienced and watchful eyes during production is significant to the final result.


Thanks for the advice ..... but I am still confused what to buy ...
Posted By: joe80

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/06/19 04:19 PM

The BVK certificate isn't something I'd worry about at all by the way. It's something of a smoke screen in the industry, and is dependent on how much of the piano's economic cost was German.

The Haessler/Ronisch pianos are similar to Blüthner but not the same as Blüthner. The major differences are that they don't have aliquot scaling, they don't have the cylindrically crowned soundboard (don't ask me what that actually means, I just know they don't have it), and there are other things in the manufacture which streamline the costs to make an instrument roughly half the price of a Blüthner but still offering a good quality German piano. £36,000 seems a pretty good price for a 7' Haessler, but it depends if you like the piano. A lot of the differences between Blüthner and Haessler will be to do with the time it takes to do certain things, the time spent on finishing the piano off.

I wouldn't bother with either of the Irmler pianos, I've never liked them much myself and frankly they aren't so good at standing up to a beating. If you're going with Blüthner family I'd start with Haessler, or I'd source a rebuilt Blüthner from Blüthner's themselves if you want that brand.

Boston vs Kawai, I'll just say it depends on the individual piano. Yes, the Bostons at Steinway London are very well prepared, beautiful pianos. They are expensive compared with Kawai, and they're probably at the pinnacle of what you can expect from a Boston instrument. I like them very much, but some people are against paying the premium for the connection to Steinways. Personally I think if you like the piano and can afford it, then go for it.

Both Yamaha and Kawai make some beautiful instruments in their regular series of piano, the CX and the GX respectively. I think Kawai, Boston and Yamaha are equals in terms of quality and virtually price as well, and really it depends on preference. If you have a well prepared and well maintained piano from either of these makes you can't go far wrong.

I don't know much about the C. Bechstein Academy pianos. I know they're built half in the Czech republic or all in the Czech republic, and that doesn't put me off at all. They're very highly regarded, as are the W.Hoffman pianos. I imagine that you're looking at similar quality with a different sound when it comes to Hoffman vs Bechstein Academy.

What kind of sound are you looking for?
Posted By: awesome10

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/06/19 04:19 PM

Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
My advice is that you are looking at generally excellent pianos. Given that you describe the piano's future use as rough, the biggest factor in the piano's future among these choices is maintenance. If there is adequate budget for future maintenance planned, then keep on your present course and select the one you like the most. If some of the purchase money should be dedicated to the next 10 years of maintenance, then keep that in mind as you qualify your choices.

I wouldn't worry too much about the BVK certificate which was primarily developed to counter rampant marketing abuses in the Chinese domestic market...crazy claims and trademark infringements even in trade shows like Music China Shanghai. IMO and outside of China, there is some gamesmanship going on between the supporters of the BVK. I am supportive of their initiative, but the details can become a source of FUD in higher end markets.

Surviving European makers are competing truly on quality and protection of their brands. I don't see significant risks being taken even in their second lines, though transparency is probably wishful thinking. Even more than most products, piano making suffers from complexities of design, construction and supply where an expert's judgment is usually superior to the public's understanding. For some key elements of supply, piano makers have to make changes not for cost, but for continuity. With only a few exceptions, these are very small businesses that have to work together.

So is there still a difference? Yes. But where is that distance close and where is it measurable as it relates to your purchase? In raw materials, high end European makers tend to be the most selective simply because they can be with small overall production demands. In assembly of rims...strung backs, the gap is extremely small and I would argue that the best from Asia surpassed most historical brands except at the very elite level. For example, a Brodmann of today has an objectively better made strung back than the typical Baldwin artist grand of similar size when made in USA.

Where is there still a gap? The supply of highly skilled labor that can integrate and execute good designs is a challenge for every maker. When it comes to larger grands, the numbers produced are small in every factory, so the effect of a few properly trained, experienced and watchful eyes during production is significant to the final result.


I would especially like your opinion regarding the purchase of pianos which I have not tried since multiple Piano World threads advice not to go along that route ....
Posted By: PianoWorksATL

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/06/19 04:26 PM

My point is you are looking at good, "safe" choices, so long as you have a good maintenance plan. If your preference of performance among a few finalists is close, the support services and planning offered by the seller would be a deciding factor for me.

For example, if were down to the performance of the GP210 vs A208, size & price comparable...I'd go with the better availability of support services.
Posted By: awesome10

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/06/19 04:27 PM

Originally Posted by joe80
The BVK certificate isn't something I'd worry about at all by the way. It's something of a smoke screen in the industry, and is dependent on how much of the piano's economic cost was German.

The Haessler/Ronisch pianos are similar to Blüthner but not the same as Blüthner. The major differences are that they don't have aliquot scaling, they don't have the cylindrically crowned soundboard (don't ask me what that actually means, I just know they don't have it), and there are other things in the manufacture which streamline the costs to make an instrument roughly half the price of a Blüthner but still offering a good quality German piano. £36,000 seems a pretty good price for a 7' Haessler, but it depends if you like the piano. A lot of the differences between Blüthner and Haessler will be to do with the time it takes to do certain things, the time spent on finishing the piano off.

I wouldn't bother with either of the Irmler pianos, I've never liked them much myself and frankly they aren't so good at standing up to a beating. If you're going with Blüthner family I'd start with Haessler, or I'd source a rebuilt Blüthner from Blüthner's themselves if you want that brand.

Boston vs Kawai, I'll just say it depends on the individual piano. Yes, the Bostons at Steinway London are very well prepared, beautiful pianos. They are expensive compared with Kawai, and they're probably at the pinnacle of what you can expect from a Boston instrument. I like them very much, but some people are against paying the premium for the connection to Steinways. Personally I think if you like the piano and can afford it, then go for it.

Both Yamaha and Kawai make some beautiful instruments in their regular series of piano, the CX and the GX respectively. I think Kawai, Boston and Yamaha are equals in terms of quality and virtually price as well, and really it depends on preference. If you have a well prepared and well maintained piano from either of these makes you can't go far wrong.

I don't know much about the C. Bechstein Academy pianos. I know they're built half in the Czech republic or all in the Czech republic, and that doesn't put me off at all. They're very highly regarded, as are the W.Hoffman pianos. I imagine that you're looking at similar quality with a different sound when it comes to Hoffman vs Bechstein Academy.

What kind of sound are you looking for?


The Haessler was originally for 41-42 ish, the dealer very kindly agreed to discount the piano. I agree it sounds like a good deal for a 'completely made in Germany piano'.

What I was told by the piano dealer was that the C Bechstein Academy pianos are 100% made in Germany , and the Czech parts are limited to the W. Hoffmanns. There was some discussion regarding the manufacturing of pianos more 'optimally' using machines , but they sort of assured me that they were completely German made pianos ( At that price , it better be fully German....)

I am looking for something with a European sound .......
Posted By: awesome10

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/06/19 04:34 PM

Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
My point is you are looking at good, "safe" choices, so long as you have a good maintenance plan. If your preference of performance among a few finalists is close, the support services and planning offered by the seller would be a deciding factor for me.

For example, if were down to the performance of the GP210 vs A208, size & price comparable...I'd go with the better availability of support services.

The support is not much of an issue , all the piano stores are within walking distance ( at max 1.6 miles).
Posted By: Hakki

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/06/19 07:15 PM

You might also want to check Estonia.
Posted By: awesome10

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/06/19 07:27 PM

Originally Posted by Hakki
You might also want to check Estonia.

I did , but the only one seems to be a 90s model which has been rebuilt ....
Posted By: OE1FEU

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/06/19 07:43 PM

Originally Posted by joe80

I don't know much about the C. Bechstein Academy pianos. I know they're built half in the Czech republic or all in the Czech republic, and that doesn't put me off at all. They're very highly regarded, as are the W.Hoffman pianos. I imagine that you're looking at similar quality with a different sound when it comes to Hoffman vs Bechstein Academy.


Please don't spread misinformation.

If it says Bechstein on the fallboard of a modern instrument it was designed and manufactured in Germany. If it has W. Hoffmann on the fallboard, it was built in the Czech Republic, designed in Germany.
Posted By: AaronSF

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/06/19 11:12 PM

You should at least try an August Förster 215 at Peregrin's Pianos. Here's a link to their website:

August Förster at Peregrin's Pianos

I have one, it is a superb instrument, and it is probably in your price range.

Listen to this video of the proprietor of Peregirn's Pianos playing Brahms's "Paganini Variations" to get an idea of what the instrument sounds like:

Brahms's "Paganini Variations" on an August Förster 215
Posted By: awesome10

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/06/19 11:32 PM

Originally Posted by AaronSF
You should at least try an August Förster 215 at Peregrin's Pianos. Here's a link to their website:

August Förster at Peregrin's Pianos

I have one, it is a superb instrument, and it is probably in your price range.

Listen to this video of the proprietor of Peregirn's Pianos playing Brahms's "Paganini Variations" to get an idea of what the instrument sounds like:

Brahms's "Paganini Variations" on an August Förster 215

I did. The August Forster is undoubtedly a great instrument , but around 52,000 pounds. I think I am gravitating towards the A 228 since the dealer has it in stock ...... ( and 10,000 cheaper than the August and slightly larger )
Posted By: Chernobieff Piano

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/07/19 12:17 AM

The Schimmel by far is the best quality and i've seen them new at a very low price. Awesome piano.
-chris
Posted By: backto_study_piano

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/07/19 01:31 AM

You mention "Ronisch" - my Mum bought an new Ronisch upright in the mid '90s, and was very unstable - needed tuning at least 4 times a year to be reasonably OK, then when about 15 yrs old, the hammers started delaminating. I'd avoid them - though, maybe they've improved?
Posted By: One Ohm

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/07/19 01:38 AM

From your list I would go with a Yamaha C7X if it is in budget. And the statement that the Kawai, Boston and Yamaha CX series are equal quality is not at all true. The Yamaha CX and especially the SX series are much better. Just play them and you will know.
Posted By: Norbert

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/07/19 03:07 AM

The BVK certificate is one of the very few criteria buyers can check against recurring claims made by dealers and manufacturers in todays world. Its exactly why it was created in the first place this, in an increasingly confusing market.
To dismiss it as irrelevant or not worth “to worry about” is certainly one’s own decision during the buying process. In my book, honesty and transparency about products one is about to buy, still go a long way.
Norbert
Posted By: sroreilly

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/07/19 05:16 AM

Originally Posted by AaronSF
You should at least try an August Förster 215 at Peregrin's Pianos. Here's a link to their website:

August Förster at Peregrin's Pianos

I have one, it is a superb instrument, and it is probably in your price range.

Listen to this video of the proprietor of Peregirn's Pianos playing Brahms's "Paganini Variations" to get an idea of what the instrument sounds like:

Brahms's "Paganini Variations" on an August Förster 215



As someone who love august forster pianos, there is a few unison on that piano that are way out... it's pretty bothersome.

If I were choosing from just the pianos listed, I would probably gravitate towards the Haessler, even though the design appears quite different(more conventional in design) from a Bluthner, it is still made in the same factory by very skilled workers. However, since this is for an organization, it might be safer to look at the Yamaha Cx series... maybe even the sx? If many different players were to play an instrument I would think anyone would be happy to hear there is a Yamaha of said caliber available.
Posted By: OE1FEU

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/07/19 05:50 AM

Originally Posted by Chernobieff Piano
The Schimmel by far is the best quality and i've seen them new at a very low price. Awesome piano.
-chris


What a powerful - and completely unsubstantiated statement. How so you define "best quality" and how does Schimmel excel as compared to other manufacturers?
Posted By: awesome10

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/07/19 08:55 AM

Originally Posted by backto_study_piano
You mention "Ronisch" - my Mum bought an new Ronisch upright in the mid '90s, and was very unstable - needed tuning at least 4 times a year to be reasonably OK, then when about 15 yrs old, the hammers started delaminating. I'd avoid them - though, maybe they've improved?

I think that was the pre-Bluthner era ... Bluthner sells the Haesslers and the Ronisch pianos for exactly the same price and the same cabinetry from what I was told , the only difference being the name,
Posted By: awesome10

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/07/19 08:57 AM

I noticed something ...none of you recommend me to go for the A228 which is already there with my dealer . In most other cases I will have to place an order ( unable to go to the factories due to time constraints) .
Posted By: awesome10

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/07/19 09:04 AM

Originally Posted by OE1FEU
Originally Posted by Chernobieff Piano
The Schimmel by far is the best quality and i've seen them new at a very low price. Awesome piano.
-chris


What a powerful - and completely unsubstantiated statement. How so you define "best quality" and how does Schimmel excel as compared to other manufacturers?

The Konzert Schimmel's might be nice , but over here in London after trying out the Schimmel C189 and the similarly sized Bechstein A190 , I would be inclined to stick with the A190 .. though I can't be sure this would be true for a larger piano.
Posted By: awesome10

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/07/19 01:24 PM

Hi everyone.

I went to Peregrine'sonce again (as suggested by one poster) , and am now thinking of stretching the budget a bit to accomodate the August Forster/Schimmel Konzert or even a Yamaha S6X/S7X. How do these brands (especially the semi concert grand models) compare with the other ones I am looking at? (I do know that Larry Fine classifies August Forster as Renowned and Schimmel Konzert as Distinguished , as compared to the Haessler/Bechstein Academy/Yamaha SX series which are Notable Performance Grade).

Another problem is that my August Forster/Schimmel dealer is not willing to negotiate the prices , though I must say they appear to be quite reasonably priced as compared to other brands like Bosendorfer or Bechstein.
Posted By: OE1FEU

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/07/19 02:47 PM

Originally Posted by awesome10
I noticed something ...none of you recommend me to go for the A228 which is already there with my dealer . In most other cases I will have to place an order ( unable to go to the factories due to time constraints) .


Unless one has consciously played a recent Bechstein and taken a look under the hood, very few people are aware of Bechstein's complete redesign of their concert and academy series with a capo bar and a duplex scale. There is kind of an assumption that the traditional Bechstein sound with its clarity still lacks richness in colours and harmonics in the treble section.

If I had to replace my 1887 Steinway B with a modern instrument, it would either be an A228 or C234. Both pianos have an action that simply blew me away and I found something similarly responsive and precise only in a Yamaha CFX. The Bechsteins, together with the Fazioli 228 are a lot closer to a real, full-size concert grand than a Steinway C or a Yamaha C7 in my opinion.
Posted By: One Ohm

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/07/19 03:12 PM

The Yamaha SX series are among the best pianos being produced these days both in quality, action, and in sound. The S7X is amazing and it should not be compared to the older C7s, since it has an entirely different tone and origin. I'm sure the S6X is also wonderful, but I have not played one yet. The CX pianos are also great pianos and any accomplished player would likely be happy playing one due to the consistency of tone and action. With Yamaha purchase of Bosendorfer, I think they are creating the best new pianos available - both under the Yamaha name and the Bosendorfer brand. For your purpose, it removes a lot of uncertainty to go with a brand like Yamaha. Just my opinion. If choosing a piano for yourself, then the options can lean more towards personal preference and the appeal of something unique.
Posted By: awesome10

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/07/19 03:34 PM

Peregrines has a wonderful K230T which came in this morning for around 53000 , its a Konzert series model. I loved it , and considering the price , a steal.
Posted By: awesome10

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/07/19 04:08 PM

So now I think everything boils down to the A228 vs the K230 ... the Schimmel is 10,000 pounds (12,000 dollars) more but seems to be a much better piano ..... In this situation what would you recommend?
Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/07/19 04:37 PM

Originally Posted by awesome10
So now I think everything boils down to the A228 vs the K230 ... the Schimmel is 10,000 pounds (12,000 dollars) more but seems to be a much better piano ..... In this situation what would you recommend?
This is something only you can decide. Only you can decide how much difference you hear/feel between the pianos and only you can evaluate how much the extra cost will mean to you.

I do think you should only choose among pianos you can play before purchase unless you can work out some arrangement with a dealer that doesn't commit you to a piano they special order.
Posted By: Skjalg

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/07/19 04:59 PM

If your choice is beteween a Schimmel K230 and the A228, I would go with the former, since I prefer the tone more. It also has a very nice key surface.The Schimmel K230 and K219 are wonderful instruments. Very robust, and keep their tuning very well.

The new design of C. Bechstein Concert is, in my opinion, a significant improvement over the previous sound. I have tried the new A(previously M/P), B, C and D with the new felt, and all are wonderful, albeit costly. Over the Academy line I prefer other makes in the same price range.

My personal taste would however be the August Förster 215 mentioned by AronSF. This instrument is built like a tank, and should suit the purpose very well. It has a warm, mellow sound that is pure joy to play on, and listen to. The new AF 215 is in fact 219cm long,




Posted By: awesome10

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/07/19 05:10 PM

Originally Posted by Skjalg
If your choice is beteween a Schimmel K230 and the A228, I would go with the former, since I prefer the tone more. It also has a very nice key surface.The Schimmel K230 and K219 are wonderful instruments. Very robust, and keep their tuning very well.

The new design of C. Bechstein Concert is, in my opinion, a significant improvement over the previous sound. I have tried the new A(previously M/P), B, C and D with the new felt, and all are wonderful, albeit costly. Over the Academy line I prefer other makes in the same price range.

My personal taste would however be the August Förster 215 mentioned by AronSF. This instrument is built like a tank, and should suit the purpose very well. It has a warm, mellow sound that is pure joy to play on, and listen to. The new AF 215 is in fact 219cm long,





Thanks. The issue is that both the K230 and the A228 are in stock and on display , so I know exactly what I am buying. Unfortunately this is not the case with the AF 215 . The dealer had one in a practice room , but it was no match for the brand new Schimmel . Looks like I need to plan a trip to Germany , eh?
Posted By: terminaldegree

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/07/19 05:46 PM

Nah, just pick the floor model you prefer, taking touch, tone, appearance, price, and dealer service into account...in whatever order that matters to you.

I have played recent examples of Bechstein 228s and Schimmel 230s (I own a K230 now, and had an Academy series Bechstein, two pianos ago) and I would go based on personal preference. Both are really nice, and no two pianos are exactly the same.
Posted By: Skjalg

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/07/19 05:58 PM

53 000 £ for the K230 seems like a good price. I was offered a K219 for 50000 £ that I seriously considered for a while. However, that was before I had tried a new August Förster, and before something came up and I had to postpone the buy for a few more years :-(

As far as I know, August Förster is only open to visit if you have decided to buy something, but since Peregrine retails both Schimmel and August Förster, you might pursuade the shop to visit both factories with you. From what I have enquired AF would normally have 3-4 215 to choose from.

The simple path would of course be to pick the K230 since you liked it. Some of us have probably tried too many models and makes, so it is mostly a question of how much time you are willing to spend. You could end up with the K230 either way, or not :-).
Posted By: almo82

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/07/19 06:13 PM

If you are thinking about buying from Peregrine’s- i would recommend you ask to see the pianos in the practice rooms.

They have A forester (don’t remember which model) and a Schimmel Konzert in the other. Both rooms are comparable to a typical living room in size.

The difference is that the practice rooms will give you a better feel for what the piano will sound like when at your house than the show room.
Posted By: Skjalg

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/07/19 06:18 PM

He tried the AF 215 in the practice room, and it was no match for the K230 apparently. It is not for a home, but a charity.
Posted By: AaronSF

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/07/19 06:19 PM

Originally Posted by awesome10
Originally Posted by AaronSF
You should at least try an August Förster 215 at Peregrin's Pianos. Here's a link to their website:

August Förster at Peregrin's Pianos

I have one, it is a superb instrument, and it is probably in your price range.

Listen to this video of the proprietor of Peregirn's Pianos playing Brahms's "Paganini Variations" to get an idea of what the instrument sounds like:

Brahms's "Paganini Variations" on an August Förster 215

I did. The August Forster is undoubtedly a great instrument , but around 52,000 pounds. I think I am gravitating towards the A 228 since the dealer has it in stock ...... ( and 10,000 cheaper than the August and slightly larger )


I think, then, it may be hard to beat the A228 you're looking at. I really like Bechsteins a lot. I'm sure it's a great piano. So if no one else on this forum is encouraging you about the A228, I am.

I'm sure the K230 is also a fine piano, being from their Konzert series, though I am not as fond of the Schimmel sound as others on this forum are.
Posted By: OE1FEU

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/07/19 07:46 PM

Originally Posted by awesome10
Peregrines has a wonderful K230T which came in this morning for around 53000 , its a Konzert series model. I loved it , and considering the price , a steal.


Would that be the actual instrument you'd get or would they order a new 230 for you?
Posted By: awesome10

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/07/19 08:02 PM

Originally Posted by OE1FEU
Originally Posted by awesome10
Peregrines has a wonderful K230T which came in this morning for around 53000 , its a Konzert series model. I loved it , and considering the price , a steal.


Would that be the actual instrument you'd get or would they order a new 230 for you?

They are selling the display instrument . The new one (built to order/from the factory stock) is 10,000 pounds more.
Posted By: awesome10

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/07/19 08:03 PM

Originally Posted by AaronSF
Originally Posted by awesome10
Originally Posted by AaronSF
You should at least try an August Förster 215 at Peregrin's Pianos. Here's a link to their website:

August Förster at Peregrin's Pianos

I have one, it is a superb instrument, and it is probably in your price range.

Listen to this video of the proprietor of Peregirn's Pianos playing Brahms's "Paganini Variations" to get an idea of what the instrument sounds like:

Brahms's "Paganini Variations" on an August Förster 215

I did. The August Forster is undoubtedly a great instrument , but around 52,000 pounds. I think I am gravitating towards the A 228 since the dealer has it in stock ...... ( and 10,000 cheaper than the August and slightly larger )


I think, then, it may be hard to beat the A228 you're looking at. I really like Bechsteins a lot. I'm sure it's a great piano. So if no one else on this forum is encouraging you about the A228, I am.

I'm sure the K230 is also a fine piano, being from their Konzert series, though I am not as fond of the Schimmel sound as others on this forum are.

I understand your sentiment , but this is an academy series model , not the concert series ......
Posted By: awesome10

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/07/19 08:05 PM

Originally Posted by almo82
If you are thinking about buying from Peregrine’s- i would recommend you ask to see the pianos in the practice rooms.

They have A forester (don’t remember which model) and a Schimmel Konzert in the other. Both rooms are comparable to a typical living room in size.

The difference is that the practice rooms will give you a better feel for what the piano will sound like when at your house than the show room.

As Skalj pointed out , I tried the AF 215 and the K 189 in the practice rooms. .

The hall where it will be used has a height of more than 5 metres .....
Posted By: awesome10

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/07/19 08:15 PM

Originally Posted by OE1FEU
Originally Posted by awesome10
I noticed something ...none of you recommend me to go for the A228 which is already there with my dealer . In most other cases I will have to place an order ( unable to go to the factories due to time constraints) .


Unless one has consciously played a recent Bechstein and taken a look under the hood, very few people are aware of Bechstein's complete redesign of their concert and academy series with a capo bar and a duplex scale. There is kind of an assumption that the traditional Bechstein sound with its clarity still lacks richness in colours and harmonics in the treble section.

If I had to replace my 1887 Steinway B with a modern instrument, it would either be an A228 or C234. Both pianos have an action that simply blew me away and I found something similarly responsive and precise only in a Yamaha CFX. The Bechsteins, together with the Fazioli 228 are a lot closer to a real, full-size concert grand than a Steinway C or a Yamaha C7 in my opinion.


It looks and plays really well , but I got really vague responses regarding the Bechstein Academy. The action is apparently not a proper Renner , the rim is thinner than the Concert series . There must be some difference when the A228 is around 50% of the C234's price. The Konzert series apparently also has a very wide tail it seems , which I was told has better projection capabilities.

Another thing .... what is this 'Triplex' scaling on the Schimmel's? Should their be both front and rear aliquots for the strings?
Posted By: awesome10

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/07/19 08:19 PM

Another thing , after reclaiming the VAT , the piano(Schimmel K230T) will cost less than 45,000 pounds (according to the final quotation , and also including basement delivery and a concert stool)
Posted By: OE1FEU

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/07/19 08:45 PM

Originally Posted by awesome10

It looks and plays really well , but I got really vague responses regarding the Bechstein Academy. The action is apparently not a proper Renner , the rim is thinner than the Concert series . There must be some difference when the A228 is around 50% of the C234's price. The Konzert series apparently also has a very wide tail it seems , which I was told has better projection capabilities.


Actions of both the concert and academy series are not "proper Renners" by definition. At the German factory site the actions provided by this external supplier will be disassembled and rebuilt according to Bechstein parameters and tolerances. In that regard concert and academy are pretty much identical. Same with Steinway Renner actions, BTW.

Academy models are built to meet every conceivable standard of being pounded on all day in an academy, whereas the concert series is what you are looking for in an instrument that fills a hall and can be recorded for posterity.
Posted By: Skjalg

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/07/19 08:53 PM

For those of you who are not that familiar with the Bechstein hammer philosophy, you might want to read this article published as a PDF on the Bechstein home page:
OPTIMIZING THE SOUND
Posted By: awesome10

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/07/19 09:00 PM

Originally Posted by Skjalg
For those of you who are not that familiar with the Bechstein hammer philosophy, you might want to read this article published as a PDF on the Bechstein home page:
OPTIMIZING THE SOUND

Thanks.

Does the Schimmel use Abels?
Posted By: terminaldegree

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/07/19 09:11 PM

Hi Awesome10,

It doesn't matter if the piano uses Abel hammers or has a "dodecahedrex" duplex scale. All that matters is if you like the tonal quality and sustain through the various dynamics. Everything else is marketing.
Posted By: Skjalg

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/07/19 09:11 PM

Schimmel uses Renner hammers.
The August Förster 215 can be ordered with Renner or Abel hammers. Default is Renner I believe.
Posted By: awesome10

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/07/19 09:21 PM

Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Hi Awesome10,

It doesn't matter if the piano uses Abel hammers or has a "dodecahedrex" duplex scale. All that matters is if you like the tonal quality and sustain through the various dynamics. Everything else is marketing.



Thanks for the reassurance.
Posted By: Skjalg

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/08/19 08:09 AM

Originally Posted by Skjalg
Schimmel uses Renner hammers.
The August Förster 215 can be ordered with Renner or Abel hammers. Default is Renner I believe.

My mistake regarding the AF215. It comes with Abel hammers. The 190 comes with Renner.

Apparently the August Förster has a mineral plastic (Ivolan) on their top model upright, and their concert model; the 134 K and their 275 respectively. It can be ordered at a premium on other models. I have tried the same key top on Steingraeber & Söhne and Phoenix, and found it extremely pleasing. The Schimmel Konzert series has a similar mineral key top that I also enjoyed, as well as the Yamaha CF’s.

If you are genuinely interested in grand pianos in general, I would recommend a trip down to Hurstwood Farm Piano Studios near Sevenoaks in Kent. I am not aware of their current prices, but it should be treat either way.
Posted By: joe80

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/08/19 08:19 AM

Originally Posted by OE1FEU
Originally Posted by joe80

I don't know much about the C. Bechstein Academy pianos. I know they're built half in the Czech republic or all in the Czech republic, and that doesn't put me off at all. They're very highly regarded, as are the W.Hoffman pianos. I imagine that you're looking at similar quality with a different sound when it comes to Hoffman vs Bechstein Academy.


Please don't spread misinformation.

If it says Bechstein on the fallboard of a modern instrument it was designed and manufactured in Germany. If it has W. Hoffmann on the fallboard, it was built in the Czech Republic, designed in Germany.


oops sorry i made a mistake.

talking of czech pianos there's also Petrof.
Posted By: backto_study_piano

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/08/19 08:33 AM

Originally Posted by joe80
Originally Posted by OE1FEU
[quote=joe80]
I don't know much about the C. Bechstein Academy pianos. I know they're built half in the Czech republic or all in the Czech republic, and that doesn't put me off at all. They're very highly regarded, as are the W.Hoffman pianos. I imagine that you're looking at similar quality with a different sound when it comes to Hoffman vs Bechstein Academy.
...

talking of czech pianos there's also Petrof.

I'd pass on Petrof - they're not in the same class as others mentioned - better than they used to be, but still not there.
Posted By: awesome10

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/08/19 09:15 AM

Originally Posted by backto_study_piano
Originally Posted by joe80
Originally Posted by OE1FEU
[quote=joe80]
I don't know much about the C. Bechstein Academy pianos. I know they're built half in the Czech republic or all in the Czech republic, and that doesn't put me off at all. They're very highly regarded, as are the W.Hoffman pianos. I imagine that you're looking at similar quality with a different sound when it comes to Hoffman vs Bechstein Academy.
...

talking of czech pianos there's also Petrof.

I'd pass on Petrof - they're not in the same class as others mentioned - better than they used to be, but still not there.

I think their Ant. Petrof models are nice , though way out of my budget.
Posted By: awesome10

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/09/19 03:23 PM

Just curious .... if we get the VAT rebate on the pianos (which works out to around 16.7% of the selling price) does it reduce the value of the piano lost by depreciation to some extent?
Posted By: Skjalg

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/09/19 03:45 PM

As far as I know, VAT in England is 20%.
So if you pay 120£ for a commodity, it would be 120/1.20 =100£ without VAT.

If the original sales price was 150£, but discounted with 30£ to 120£, the price you would pay without VAT would be (150-30)/1.20 = 100£.

By the way, I saw that Hurstwood Farm had a summer sale with 25% off on some models...
Posted By: awesome10

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/09/19 04:05 PM

Originally Posted by Skjalg
As far as I know, VAT in England is 20%.
So if you pay 120£ for a commodity, it would be 120/1.20 =100£ without VAT.

If the original sales price was 150£, but discounted with 30£ to 120£, the price you would pay without VAT would be (150-30)/1.20 = 100£.

By the way, I saw that Hurstwood Farm had a summer sale with 25% off on some models...

5/6 = 83.333 ..... making it a reduction of 16.67%
Posted By: awesome10

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/09/19 04:08 PM

Could you please send me a link? The only pianos in stock seem to be 7 feet+ Steingraber's that are way out of my budget.
Posted By: Skjalg

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/09/19 04:14 PM

It was announced on their Facebook page yesterday:
https://www.facebook.com/732819870158079/posts/2150542825052436?s=100012999733024&sfns=mo

If you mail them I am sure they will provide you with a list. You could also state your budget and ask if they have anything including floor models that would fit the bill.
Posted By: awesome10

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/09/19 05:39 PM

Originally Posted by Skjalg
It was announced on their Facebook page yesterday:
https://www.facebook.com/732819870158079/posts/2150542825052436?s=100012999733024&sfns=mo

If you mail them I am sure they will provide you with a list. You could also state your budget and ask if they have anything including floor models that would fit the bill.

Thanks Skjalg.

Does anyone over here have an idea of how Phoenix's Carbon fibre soundboard feels like? I might pay them a visit next week ....
Posted By: Skjalg

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/09/19 05:56 PM

I wrote a few lines about it on my way home from a family holiday in London a while back.
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...piano-display-in-london.html#Post2716948
Posted By: awesome10

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/11/19 11:16 PM

How are the modern day Bluthners? I am also getting a good deal on a Bluthner Model 6 and 4 (ex display) .....

Are there some issues with a Bluthner that make it necessary to have a specific tuner?

I am also looking at rebuilt Bluthners and Bechsteins(pre 1910) as a couple of such 7 foot instruments are under £20,000 ....
https://www.robertspianos.com/pianos-for-sale/


Are there some issues one must be aware while looking at such vintage instruments?

Also , a local piano dealer has a very beautiful (ornate music desk , a bit of inlay) Bechstein model (circa 1905) redone by 1066 pianos(of Cambridge) around 6 months ago for around 14,000 .
Posted By: AaronSF

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/12/19 12:01 AM

I know you said you're advising a charity on this purchase (hence no VAT). I believe you said it will be in a small hall. I don't recall if you said how much play you expect the piano will get and who will be playing it. And is the case condition very important?

Rebuilt pianos can be great, but it really depends on who did the rebuilding and how completely it has been rebuilt. Old pianos often have action parts that are no longer made (so the action can be meticulously rebuilt wippen by wippen, but it may not be possible to find a modern wippen that can fit in these old pianos, even with moving the action rails). Old Bechsteins didn't use capstan screws but their own "rocker" to do what a capstan does...much harder to regulate.

Blüthner had a "patented" action that was very different from what you find in most pianos. I don't know how rebuilders work on these when they encounter them or how technicians/tuners deal with them. The old Blüthner aliquot string was suspended above the other strings; never having tuned one I am not sure what issues that might bring up.

And then older European pianos generally have 2 pedals (no sostenuto pedal) which might be an issue for some pianists. While most old European instruments from the turn of the last century had 88 keys, some have only 85.

Personally, I'd rather have a newer instrument that doesn't present any headaches for future technicians.
Posted By: johnstaf

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/12/19 05:15 AM

Originally Posted by AaronSF

Rebuilt pianos can be great, but it really depends on who did the rebuilding and how completely it has been rebuilt. Old pianos often have action parts that are no longer made (so the action can be meticulously rebuilt wippen by wippen, but it may not be possible to find a modern wippen that can fit in these old pianos, even with moving the action rails). Old Bechsteins didn't use capstan screws but their own "rocker" to do what a capstan does...much harder to regulate.



One of the generic Renner wippens fits the old Bechsteins perfectly. Replacing the rockers with capstans is not a big deal, provided it's done by someone who understands what they are doing.
Posted By: johnstaf

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/12/19 05:21 AM

Originally Posted by awesome10
How are the modern day Bluthners? I am also getting a good deal on a Bluthner Model 6 and 4 (ex display) .....

Are there some issues with a Bluthner that make it necessary to have a specific tuner?



Modern Blüthners are amazing. They have four notes per string in the treble, but I can't imagine a tuner being unable to deal with this. Some block the fourth string and tune normally. Then they tune these strings afterwards.
Posted By: awesome10

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/12/19 08:57 AM

Originally Posted by AaronSF
I know you said you're advising a charity on this purchase (hence no VAT). I believe you said it will be in a small hall. I don't recall if you said how much play you expect the piano will get and who will be playing it. And is the case condition very important?

Rebuilt pianos can be great, but it really depends on who did the rebuilding and how completely it has been rebuilt. Old pianos often have action parts that are no longer made (so the action can be meticulously rebuilt wippen by wippen, but it may not be possible to find a modern wippen that can fit in these old pianos, even with moving the action rails). Old Bechsteins didn't use capstan screws but their own "rocker" to do what a capstan does...much harder to regulate.

Blüthner had a "patented" action that was very different from what you find in most pianos. I don't know how rebuilders work on these when they encounter them or how technicians/tuners deal with them. The old Blüthner aliquot string was suspended above the other strings; never having tuned one I am not sure what issues that might bring up.

And then older European pianos generally have 2 pedals (no sostenuto pedal) which might be an issue for some pianists. While most old European instruments from the turn of the last century had 88 keys, some have only 85.

Personally, I'd rather have a newer instrument that doesn't present any headaches for future technicians.


The hall is small , but not very small ( a height of 5-6 metres , carpet area of around 220 square metres). Regarding the case , the visual condition is not very important.

The piano is generally going to be used for chapel services and other events( including some minor concerts).

Regarding the Bluthner , the reason why I raised the question was that the Bluthner technician told me that there were a handful of people in the country who could properly regulate the action (the old Bluthner action before the new Aliquot patent).
Posted By: backto_study_piano

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/12/19 09:15 AM

To be honest, I can't see how a charity would look on a 114 year old piano as being an alternative to a new one - unless one of them is very well versed in pianos.

It could also be more difficult for them to insure - a 2019 piano is a 2019 piano, but to get an insurance company to insure a 1905 piano could be very difficult - at least to get it insured for the amount which was paid, particularly as time goes by.

Is there a different treatment of VAT for used vs new?
Posted By: joe80

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/12/19 09:31 AM

For a venue, I wouldn't go for any restored piano unless it had extensive rebuilding work done, meaning the installation of a new soundboard, and a new tuning plank, and, for a venue, a new action. Anything less than that isn't going to be reliable enough. A 6'3 rebuilt Blüthner from Blüthners London would be a good choice because of the restoration work done on the piano. The patent action Blüthners are beautiful to play on, and when they are properly regulated they have none of the repetition problems that people say they do. There is a difference in feel in that the sound happens higher up the key travel, but it's really nothing that you can't adjust to very quickly. The only reason I'd avoid one for a venue is the fact that there are very few technicians can make a good job at regulating them.

Regarding the insurance, it's easy enough to get a note from the rebuilder or showroom to say how much you paid for the piano, and just insure it for that amount. That's what I did with my piano.

In the UK the VAT is 20 percent whether buying new or used, and the only difference would be buying from somewhere that doesn't pay VAT, and since most piano dealers have a turnover of more than £70,000 a year, there will be VAT on all instruments bought through a dealer.

A new Blüthner model 6, is 6'3, and if it fits within your budget would be a good choice. The 6'3 Blüthner is used for concerts by Blüthner themselves in the Landsdowne Club which seats about 200 people and fills the room well. The 6'11 model 4 would give you a different character in the bass, but not necessarily better or louder. There is no reason why any competent tuner couldn't regulate and tune a new Blüthner piano. The Blüthner 6'3, for whatever reason, sounds like a larger piano when comparing it to 6' pianos from other makes. That's also true of the Bösendorfer 185 and the Steinway model A, but these pianos cost a lot more than your budget, so I'm guessing the Blüthner you are looking at has a few years on it, because the retail price new is £69,000.

A rebuilt piano is a particular flavour. Yes they are beautiful, but there are differences in the tone. The differences may be perceived as superior by some and inferior by others, so it's not a 'safe' bet compared with a new instrument. When choosing for a venue you want to go for something that as many pianists as possible will feel comfortable playing.
Posted By: awesome10

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/12/19 10:11 AM

Originally Posted by joe80
For a venue, I wouldn't go for any restored piano unless it had extensive rebuilding work done, meaning the installation of a new soundboard, and a new tuning plank, and, for a venue, a new action. Anything less than that isn't going to be reliable enough. A 6'3 rebuilt Blüthner from Blüthners London would be a good choice because of the restoration work done on the piano. The patent action Blüthners are beautiful to play on, and when they are properly regulated they have none of the repetition problems that people say they do. There is a difference in feel in that the sound happens higher up the key travel, but it's really nothing that you can't adjust to very quickly. The only reason I'd avoid one for a venue is the fact that there are very few technicians can make a good job at regulating them.

Regarding the insurance, it's easy enough to get a note from the rebuilder or showroom to say how much you paid for the piano, and just insure it for that amount. That's what I did with my piano.

In the UK the VAT is 20 percent whether buying new or used, and the only difference would be buying from somewhere that doesn't pay VAT, and since most piano dealers have a turnover of more than £70,000 a year, there will be VAT on all instruments bought through a dealer.

A new Blüthner model 6, is 6'3, and if it fits within your budget would be a good choice. The 6'3 Blüthner is used for concerts by Blüthner themselves in the Landsdowne Club which seats about 200 people and fills the room well. The 6'11 model 4 would give you a different character in the bass, but not necessarily better or louder. There is no reason why any competent tuner couldn't regulate and tune a new Blüthner piano. The Blüthner 6'3, for whatever reason, sounds like a larger piano when comparing it to 6' pianos from other makes. That's also true of the Bösendorfer 185 and the Steinway model A, but these pianos cost a lot more than your budget, so I'm guessing the Blüthner you are looking at has a few years on it, because the retail price new is £69,000.

A rebuilt piano is a particular flavour. Yes they are beautiful, but there are differences in the tone. The differences may be perceived as superior by some and inferior by others, so it's not a 'safe' bet compared with a new instrument. When choosing for a venue you want to go for something that as many pianists as possible will feel comfortable playing.


I'll discard the idea of a restored piano then.

Regarding the VAT , Steinway doesn't charge VAT on buying pre-owned models (which is an absolutely ridiculous idea considering their non-negotiable pricing) . A new model B is around 88,000 including the VAT , and a 2016 model B is for around 79,000. The absurd part is that even if someone got the 2016 model , the piano is VAT-free since it was preowned.

The Bluthners I am looking at are around 8-9 years ood but fully regulated. The Model 2 , is however new but Bluthner is giving a good deal on it. The Bluthner store is very different from the Steinway Hall , no arrogant sales pitches , no saying that a Boston is better than other Kawai's (including Shigeru's) ........

It also seems Steinway has a Satin model for certain models(around 3-5k less expensive) which they are unwilling to sell for any public venue ........
Posted By: awesome10

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/12/19 10:17 AM

Even regarding the Schimmel K232/ Phoenix D232 I am looking at , they are around 4-6 years old .

The Schimmel seems to very well maintained (only used for some short term hires and primarily display) , and will be re -polyestered before sale. It also seems to have some sort of re-enforced legs ( with a steel bar running through the legs).

I am planning to go and have a look at the Phoenix. One thing I am unable to comprehend - why is a Phoenix much cheaper than a similarly sized Steingraeber?
Posted By: Skjalg

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/12/19 11:28 AM

Quote
am planning to go and have a look at the Phoenix. One thing I am unable to comprehend - why is a Phoenix much cheaper than a similarly sized Steingraeber?

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet :-)

Phoenix is mostly constructed in Polen, but with some assembly in England.
Steingraeber is constructed in Germany.

Other than that, the reason is the same as why Steinway is more expensive than most others. Name recognition. Marketing. Perceived value. Some small things that make you want the one more than the other. I think all German manufacturers make wonderful pianos and in theory, they should cost about the same. They all sound different. They all have their strong suits. In the end, that is why you should try as many pianos as possible, as you are more likely to find something that meets your requirements functionally, as well as financially.

Posted By: sroreilly

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/12/19 06:07 PM

Originally Posted by awesome10


The Bluthners I am looking at are around 8-9 years ood but fully regulated. The Model 2 , is however new but Bluthner is giving a good deal on it. ..


Bluthner Model 2s are divine instruments.
Posted By: joe80

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/12/19 07:27 PM

A decade old Blüthner that has been looked after by Blüthner's should still be pretty excellent, if the servicing has been done right. If you're happy with the price and the funding checks out, then you can't go wrong really.
Posted By: OE1FEU

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/12/19 07:46 PM

Originally Posted by joe80
A decade old Blüthner that has been looked after by Blüthner's should still be pretty excellent, if the servicing has been done right. If you're happy with the price and the funding checks out, then you can't go wrong really.


What is your experience with those instruments in terms of longevity, i.e. when they are in heavy use and there is little budget for regular maintenance?
Posted By: joe80

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/12/19 08:03 PM

They're very strong, they retain their tone for a long time, and they need no more regulation and voicing than any other make. The tuning is incredibly stable as well.
Posted By: Miguel Rey

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/13/19 01:01 AM

Originally Posted by Skjalg
Quote
am planning to go and have a look at the Phoenix. One thing I am unable to comprehend - why is a Phoenix much cheaper than a similarly sized Steingraeber?

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet :-)

Phoenix is mostly constructed in Polen, but with some assembly in England.
Steingraeber is constructed in Germany.

Other than that, the reason is the same as why Steinway is more expensive than most others. Name recognition. Marketing. Perceived value. Some small things that make you want the one more than the other. I think all German manufacturers make wonderful pianos and in theory, they should cost about the same. They all sound different. They all have their strong suits. In the end, that is why you should try as many pianos as possible, as you are more likely to find something that meets your requirements functionally, as well as financially.



Phoenix is now having the assembly done in Germany at Steingraeber as opposed to Poland... Of course like pianos new or restored you will want to go over it with a "fine tooth comb" with a technician for any defects or imperfections.
Posted By: awesome10

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/14/19 09:56 PM

I was looking for a Shigeru , and seem to have found one which fits into the budget. How do Shigeru's compare with the Kawai GX and Yamaha CX, SX and CF ranges? I have tried all makea except for the Shigeru , where I will pay a visit to the store next week.
Posted By: sroreilly

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/15/19 04:57 AM

Shigeru's are comparable to Yamaha's CF lines and better than the SX if we are talking in objective terms like materials used, etc.

Yamaha worst to best = CX, SX, CF

Kaway worst to Best = GX , shigeru
Posted By: Skjalg

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/15/19 05:34 AM

A map of the different brands in the marketplace can be found here:
https://www.pianobuyer.com/article/a-map-of-the-market-for-new-pianos-ratings/

Be aware that the map can be a bit confusing compared with your own evaluation notes. It is not a A is better than B comparison per se. With the exception of the Fazioli, history seems to play an important role.

The Shigeru Kawai is an awesome line of pianos, and where I live, good value for money amongst high end pianos. I have tried quite a few Shigeru Kawais over the years, mosttly SK3s which seems to be a favourite for many homes, but also the SK5, SK6 and SK7 which might be what you will be looking at.

I have found them to be surprisingly individual in how they sounds, and as always, I favour some more than others. Compared to Yamaha CF and. SX, they come at a surprisingly good value in Norway.

You might want to have a look in this thread, regarding a presentation of the top of the line Shigeru EX:

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...higeru-kawai-ex-concert-grand-piano.html

Have you tried the Phoenix yet?
Posted By: awesome10

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/15/19 08:56 AM

Originally Posted by Skjalg
A map of the different brands in the marketplace can be found here:
https://www.pianobuyer.com/article/a-map-of-the-market-for-new-pianos-ratings/

Be aware that the map can be a bit confusing compared with your own evaluation notes. It is not a A is better than B comparison per se. With the exception of the Fazioli, history seems to play an important role.

The Shigeru Kawai is an awesome line of pianos, and where I live, good value for money amongst high end pianos. I have tried quite a few Shigeru Kawais over the years, mosttly SK3s which seems to be a favourite for many homes, but also the SK5, SK6 and SK7 which might be what you will be looking at.

I have found them to be surprisingly individual in how they sounds, and as always, I favour some more than others. Compared to Yamaha CF and. SX, they come at a surprisingly good value in Norway.

You might want to have a look in this thread, regarding a presentation of the top of the line Shigeru EX:

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...higeru-kawai-ex-concert-grand-piano.html

Have you tried the Phoenix yet?


Thanks a lot Skjalg. Your insights are proving to be really helpful.

No , I have been unable to try the Phoenix yet , but intend to do so in the near future..

Edit: I was having a discussion with someone regarding C Bechstein Concert pianos and Shigerus. I was told that Bechstein Concerts are slightly more expensive (I can attest to that) but generally have a much better and consistent voice quality and construction. Is there any element of truth in it?

Posted By: awesome10

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/15/19 04:30 PM

How would a restored Steinway Model D/Bluthner Concert Grand at Sherwood Phoenix suit my needs?

http://www.sherwoodphoenix.co.uk/product-category/pianos/all-used-pianos/page/2/
Posted By: Skjalg

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/15/19 08:20 PM

You have a reasonable budget to work with.

Joe80 gave a good advice further up in the thread:
Quote
For a venue, I wouldn't go for any restored piano unless it had extensive rebuilding work done, meaning the installation of a new soundboard, and a new tuning plank, and, for a venue, a new action. Anything less than that isn't going to be reliable enough.

to which you responded
Quote
I'll discard the idea of a restored piano then.


You can find pianos that are fairly new, and very gently played, that are sold due to the original owner passed away. I have seen a few such cases on the market. An example was a 1 year old Shigeru Kawai asking 50% - 60% of the new price. But you must be prepared to wait. I have also seen a Steinway D, hardly used, at 60% of new price. But these cases are rare, and you would normally not be the first to here about the deal, unless you are very specific and vocal about what you want. About a year ago a friend observed a 79 year old lady that walked into the Steinway shop and bought one just like that. She had always desired one, and for whatever reason, that day she could afford one.

I play twice a year on an old Steinway D, with chipped ivory, legs have been broken, and generally not in very good condition. However, it is still decent to play on.

I’m no expert, but personally I would rather go for something that are a few years old, that for whatever reason came on the market at a favourable price within your budget.
Posted By: PhilipInChina

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/15/19 08:31 PM

I can personally recommend a 9' Bluthner!
Posted By: awesome10

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/15/19 10:23 PM

Originally Posted by PhilipInChina
I can personally recommend a 9' Bluthner!

A new model 1 or an old pre war Bluthner with the old patent action?
Posted By: OE1FEU

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/16/19 10:32 AM

Originally Posted by awesome10

Edit: I was having a discussion with someone regarding C Bechstein Concert pianos and Shigerus. I was told that Bechstein Concerts are slightly more expensive (I can attest to that) but generally have a much better and consistent voice quality and construction. Is there any element of truth in it?



https://www.bechstein.com/fileadmin...CB_Academy_Katalog_Produkt_EN_Screen.pdf

is Bechstein's explanation of the difference between those two lines of instruments. However, it's not quite up to date in the sense that now both Concert and Academy series instruments feature hammerheads from Bechstein's own production line.

Also, you will find that they differ in the sizes they come in, i.e. A228 vs. C234 and there is no full concert grand in the Academy series.
Posted By: AJB

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/16/19 11:26 AM

If you want to try a 7ft Phoenix, with Carbon Fibre soundboard, you are welcome to try mine. It is well prepped. I bought CF because my music room is an unpredictable environment. If you want to hop on a train out of Cannon Street or London Bridge to Paddock Wood station, (50 mins) I will pick you up. Send me a PM if you want.

I've had all sorts of pianos, including Boston, S&S, Bosie. They all have pro's and cons. My Phoenix was bought new and is about 2 years old. It's been very stable.
Posted By: awesome10

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/16/19 12:44 PM

AJB , thanks a lot for the offer. I'll think about it and let you know.
Posted By: joe80

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/17/19 10:12 AM

Don't buy a restored Steinway from that dealer you posted, it won't suit your needs. The Blüthner concert grands never used a patent action, they were always an erard-type.

Usually I'm all for rebuilt and restored pianos, but in this case I would say you are best to go for as new as possible. Please note I'm talking only in relation to the UK market. The US is a different kettle of fish all together.

I'm thinking in terms of you finding the piano that is going to be acceptable to as many pianists as play it. If it's your own personal piano it's a different matter, but for a venue you have to find something that everyone will like, or at least that everyone will not hate. That's why I suggested staying with Yamaha and Kawai, but of course if you can find a recently made Blüthner for a price that fits, that's also good too.

I don't know much about the Phoenix pianos other than what I've read online, so I don't have an opinion on them. Certainly the concept is intriguing, and on videos they sound very good, but I've never played one. It's on my list of things to do.
Posted By: AJB

Re: Choosing a 7ft grand in London - 06/17/19 10:03 PM

The advantage of the Phoenix for venues is that they are very stable. Halls tend to have heat and humidity all over the place. That pretty much mirrors my home environment and so I find the stability very useful. I also went for stainless steel strings. You can't actually tell the the piano has lots of CF from casual observation. I have had a lot of pianos and frankly I find the CF pretty much indistinguishable from spruce.

The one thing I would say is that the 7ft Phoenix is a much more powerful piano than most of that size. Mine has maple veneer inside the case and lid and it looks very beautiful. The WNG action is very good indeed, but there have been variations over the last few years so you MUST play one. Regarding looks, that said I had a Fazioli for a short while when I owned a studio and very little rivalled the build quality and beauty of that, but way outside of your budget.

Phoenix v Steingreaber? Steingreaber is better built and more cosmetically perfect. Big price difference though and you will be hard pressed to tell the difference in a blindfolded test.

When I was playing seriously for study ( I was not very good sadly) I mainly learnt on Yamaha pianos at a music school. They appear to be indestructible. They do have a sound signature that suits certain rep especially I find.

If the piano is being used mainly for church services. no one will be critical really, whatever it sounds like or whatever you choose. If it is also being used for recitals by good pianists as well, then that stability is very important, unless you have someone doing a really good maintenance programme several times a year. Halls always save money on heating, so typically you get big temp and humidity swings. I used to do lots of church services when I lived in Guildford as primary wedding and event pianist / second string organist. Church pianos are almost always dreadful. Choose wisely and good luck.
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