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Thank you, joe80. We are looking for a piano with fine tone and touch but can also withstand decades of heavy-duty use - conservatory training, daily practice, concert preparation, the works. Your experience and the guardedly optimistic comments of several other forum contributors will be in the back of our minds when we come to a purchase decision.

One over-enthusiastic salesman I spoke to described the Brodmann PE 187 as "a Sauter for the price of a Samick", a statement obviously contradicted by your experience. We are not wealthy, and we like a bargain as well as anyone else, but we realize this is a long-term purchase.

I'll keep you posted.

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If you want a piano that will last a long time, and you are on a budget, go for the time honoured makes Yamaha, Kawai, Boston.

Or, if you know someone that can help you, look for something on the second hand market. As long as you have a good technician you could make a good purchase.

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Originally Posted by Almaviva
One over-enthusiastic salesman I spoke to described the Brodmann PE 187 as "a Sauter for the price of a Samick", a statement obviously contradicted by your experience. We are not wealthy, and we like a bargain as well as anyone else, but we realize this is a long-term purchase.

In the world of pianos, Brodmann's are still very much the new kids on the block. For the long haul, it might be safer to purchase a lightly used (and well maintained) "Tier One-ish" brand with an established track record for durability.


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Originally Posted by joe80
If you want a piano that will last a long time, and you are on a budget, go for the time honoured makes Yamaha, Kawai, Boston.


Time honored perhaps - and usually durable over time with proper maintenance - but still fairly expensive when purchased new. Guess it depends on one's definition of "being on a budget." grin


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Originally Posted by joe80
Sadly, my piano has developed some problems a few years (4 to 5 years) down the line - the strings are breaking under the capo like nobody's business, and the action is not resilient to heavy practice loads. The keyboard bushings wore out after a little over a year. The quality of the action parts is not high, the bushings are not great and some of the glues used in my particular piano are atrocious.
Are any of the above considered warranty issues?

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Not trying to be direspectful to others or those who have made different experience, our own experience has been very different.

To claim that Brodmanns are 'like Sauters' is of course nonsense. In fact I would dare to say very few pianos out there are similar to this quite exceptional make.

At same time the Brodmanns we have sold have, to best of our knowledge, stood the test of time very well.

Among our customers and owners are several "heavy duty kids" getting ready for their study at Julliard or similar institution. So far - so good.

Those pianos which needed some attention had smaller type problems related to pedal assembly, replacing a string here or there or similar. Small stuff and done with no cost to customer.

And not one single case did we have to do extensive jobs as rebushing, refelting or similar.

The Abel hammers appear to be the right choice for the piano with owners telling us how pleased they are with tone of the piano even after many years of heavy use.

Considering the price range, there are IMHO few if any pianos that seem to offer better quality let alone "value"

Once the budget goes up, things of course will change.

Now the problem is, once you start looking at higher or "much higher" prices, other tempting choices will quickly introduce themselves.

At which time another top contender, this time perhaps from the "High Quality" tier of pianos, may be discovered as a new attractive and suddenly "attainable" possiblity. wink

So, it's really endless....

Norbert

Last edited by Norbert; 03/24/13 09:21 PM.

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In my similar search (which took four frigging years!), here's what I considered:

Yamaha C3-C7 (loved the action but could not convince myself on the tone)
Kawai RX2-RX6 with various predecessors to the RX series (2 blak was meh, bigger ones were ok)
Fully restored M&H AA (tone was more metallic than what I longed for)
Estonia L190 (did not fall in loved)
Wilh. Steinberg AC188 (liked a lot, could have been a contender)
Feurich 5'8", partially restored 9' (liked but didn't fall in love)
Falcone 7'4" From Boston, needed some action work and regulation, possibly new hammers. Strong contender.
Petrof 6'4" liked but something was missing
Schimmel K and C, liked but something was missing
Pleyel 6'3" didn't care for it
Sauter 6'1" Exquisite case but I wasn't moved
Steinways used from M to B, most of them were junky
Brodman P187 OK for the price
Baldwin M and L, I liked the Ls I played but not enough to pull the trigger
Seiler 6'1" and 6'10" my favorites but too pricey new
Steingrabers I confess I was too intimidated to even touch these

And what did I end up with? Well, some big hints are that I narrowed the search down to these four things: 1. Euro or 2.American, 3. used (since I am very tight) and 4. Big.

Also I spend nearly double what I had originally budgeted. It wasn't the thundering bass that sold me, although I liked that very much. It was the magical, creamy, rounded singing tone in the mid-treble range that made me just melt.

There are deals out there. Especially if you have cash. Don't settle until you are sure about what you want and what you don't want. The search was maddening, irritating, frustrating, lengthy, and no fun at all. But it's a process you have to go through if you want to be satisfied in the end.




Last edited by dsch; 03/24/13 09:25 PM.
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Originally Posted by dsch

And what did I end up with?



Your profile says Steinway, so I'm going to go with that. Probably a used B.

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Quote
Also I spend nearly double what I had originally budgeted.


Aha, here we go....

Norbert wink


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Your profile says Steinway, so I'm going to go with that. Probably a used B.

Yes, I got a used B. We paid cash. Little brother paid for half. He was incredibly generous. But as we have lost both of our parents (one very recently) and none of us have kids, he considered it to be a way to keep the musical line going. Plus he wants me to be happy. He did the negotiating. I am not sure I could have gotten the same deal without him.

It wasn't until the B was actually in my house that he understood why I was so darned picky. Then it all became perfectly clear.

I was one of the lucky ones in that the instrument sounds way better in my house than it did in the showroom.

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Originally Posted by joe80
If you want a piano that will last a long time, and you are on a budget, go for the time honoured makes Yamaha, Kawai, Boston.


Time honored? Kawai and Yamaha have been around yes, but both brands have lower line models that are made to be inexpensive ( and they change). These will not hold up well under "more than casual" play by design.

Boston has only been around since 1993 and their new models since 2011? Again, choose carefully. Not all Boston pianos are equal, particularly when you include uprights.

For more information, go to www.pianobuyer.com and go to pg. 44. This graph is a good indicator of general relative quality in the piano market. It isn't a bible. Let your preferences guide you - and use it as a helpful tool.

My 2 cents,


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[/quote]Are any of the above considered warranty issues? [/quote]

I'm having the piano inspected by a technician to file a report to Brodmann, in consultation with Brodmann UK.

Yamaha, Kawai and Boston are expensive pianos to buy new, but deals can be had on Yamaha and Kawai. Not so much on Boston. In the UK, Bostons sell new for the retail price and not much less.

When I say time-honoured, well, they've been imported here for 50 years, which is longer than most people's career. Some of the old ones were really quite bad, but from the 80s onwards the pianos were good, and I've seen and played some older well-serviced examples that are great sounding pianos. The converse is also true of course.

We had Yamaha C3s as our practice pianos in conservatoire, along with Steinway As and Bs. The C3s got about 10 years of exceptionally heavy playing before they were re-strung in the top, rebushed and sold on to some very happy music students for a fraction of the new cost. Ten years in a music college piano department is like 70 years in a domestic situation on the action and strings. Soundboards are a different matter.

So I would say that they could be considered time-honoured.

The Brodmanns of today may be better than the ones of 2007, and the ones of next year better and so on. I'm not trying to rubbish the brand, and after all, I picked mine because of it's tone, which is, when all said and done, excellent. But the durability of my particular piano (note: my particular piano), has been disappointing. Perhaps if I'd picked the one next to it, it would have been better, but I don't know.

The dealer in Scotland told me that he had to repair the pedal assembly of every Brodmann that came through his shop at that time. However, with Chris Venables taking over the distribution in the UK, I think quality control will be forced upwards, which is good for the brand and the customers.



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Norbert,

You've been very helpful with your replies to my forum query. I looked at your company's website, and was very impressed. Planning on opening a branch in Richmond, Virginia any time soon? grin

I am curious about your product mix, though. I am not in the piano business, but I am a businessman. Enlighten me, please.

You carry one "highest quality performance-grade" and one "high quality performance-grade " piano line - Sauter and Estonia, respectively. Excellent choices, by the way, and I completely understand why you chose them.

However, you carry THREE "upper level consumer-grade" piano lines - Brodmann, Hailun and Rittmuller. Why the redundancy at the bottom end of your product mix?

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<<Why the redundancy at the bottom of your product mix?>>

To provide the widest selection of cabinetry, finishes, and quality choices for the consumer, of course! Most dealerships try to carry a broad range of selections for the market they are selling in, and it is the introductory and mid-level piano that most people are looking for.

Very reasonable. Darn good business sense, if you asked me!

Most likely he sells 15 or 20 of his entry-mid selection to one of the upper-end selections in the normal course of business. And, people looking at the high-end will quite often be ready to purchase based on their research before they walk in the door. He'll want several, to provide a range of choices, but the showroom will have a much larger selection of those entry-mid level for the customers to play, enjoy, match to their home furnishings, and take home!

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Any piano that is subjected to heavy use will be adversely affected and degrade at a much faster rate.

Also, as a servicing technician I can assure you there are often cases of abuse where the piano ought not to be blamed.

The interesting thing about Brodmann is that they are chosen not only for their price but also for their performance by people who will play for hours a day! In the past, this did not seem to happen because the lower priced pianos never were good enough to attract experienced players.

I feel this has forced the company to make sure that the pianos will retain their appeal because they are being chosen by discerning pianists. A few years ago, the 10 year warranty on Brodmann pianos was changed to be transferable.

Having serviced and sold the Brodmann pianos since 2007, I can think of minor issues that used to come up especially for the experienced players that do not arise any longer. To me this shows that the company has listened to feedback and made adjustments accordingly. The finishes are also now much more perfect than in the past.

Almaviva, no-one here is going to say that a Brodmann is built like a tank such as an Estonia is. But every one I have seen is holding up as well as any Asian piano when not abused and you may find that the price to performance ratio make it an unbeatable choice.

Thanks,

Nick




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Well, that's a promising sign. Korean pianos are now better than they were 30 years ago, and according to some they are on a par with the Japanese. Chinese pianos still have a bit to go yet, but if Brodmann can get their build quality and choice of felts for the bushings etc up to scratch, then they will be a better choice for the pianist. Yes, they'll cost more, but that's OK.

In the UK Brodmann is a 5 year non transferable warranty.

I am interested to see the Brodmann artist series grands, and see exactly how they measure up next to more expensive counterparts.


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Also, I'd be happy to trust Nick's judgement of a piano, because he deals in premium brands as well, so he is fully aware of the requirements of a premium piano. His tunings from his videos sound good, and the Brodmanns he has in his showroom are a little different to mine - notably the finish on the soundboard and inner rim are different , it looks more finished.

Are the action parts different, nick?

as for my issue of breaking strings, well, that's an unfortunate thing to happen to my piano. I'm not sure if it has happened to other Brodmanns but it's being looked into.

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Originally Posted by joe80
Also, I'd be happy to trust Nick's judgement of a piano, because he deals in premium brands as well, so he is fully aware of the requirements of a premium piano. His tunings from his videos sound good, and the Brodmanns he has in his showroom are a little different to mine - notably the finish on the soundboard and inner rim are different , it looks more finished.

Are the action parts different, nick?

as for my issue of breaking strings, well, that's an unfortunate thing to happen to my piano. I'm not sure if it has happened to other Brodmanns but it's being looked into.


For the record, the Shout House Brodmanns break bass strings on a regular basis; even the redesigned, lower-tension replacements made for us by Schaff. But, these pianos are probably the most-abused pianos on the planet, as well as being played for several hours every night. They're CE-175's.


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Originally Posted by OperaTenor
[For the record, the Shout House Brodmanns break bass strings on a regular basis; even the redesigned, lower-tension replacements made for us by Schaff. But, these pianos are probably the most-abused pianos on the planet, as well as being played for several hours every night. They're CE-175's.


The OP stated "We are looking for a piano with fine tone and touch but can also withstand decades of heavy-duty use - conservatory training, daily practice, concert preparation, the works.

It seems to me that they want a piano that will hold up to use like that described at Stout House.


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Originally Posted by Steve Cohen
The OP stated "We are looking for a piano with fine tone and touch but can also withstand decades of heavy-duty use - conservatory training, daily practice, concert preparation, the works.

It seems to me that they want a piano that will hold up to use like that described at Stout House.

LOL- Only if the young piano student invites lots of friends, armed with potent beverages, to dance on her piano.


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