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#216477 04/07/06 10:48 PM
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Wzkit Offline OP
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Chris and Monica - Yes, that's the cost of delivery down here in land-scarce Singapore (approx S$150-200 (US$90-125) per floor, where more than 85% of the population lives in high rise apartments. Because of this, and the lack of space, privately owned grand pianos are quite rare here, and uprights are WAY more popular. Where you can find grand pianos in homes, they are usually in landed property, and seldom larger than 6 feet. I have heard of stories of two Steinway Bs in a 20th story penthouse, that had to be transported there by crane (at a cost of at least S$5K-10K (or US$3-6K), but obviously such cases are rare. So the situation is quite different from America, where landed property is obviously more common, and thus grand pianos sell much better. Isn't it true that the US market is the largest market for 7 foot grands?

Catlady - Alvin told me much about you! I'm glad that you have decided to carry Sauter. Based on your experience, how would you describe the Delta's character, especially compared with the other high end brands that you carry? I'm personally curious about Grotrain, August Forster and C Bechstein, which I have heard marvellous things about, but I never had a chance to try them before I bought my Delta. By the way, Alvin had nice things to say about the new Grotrain!


Sauter 185 Delta with accelerated action and burl walnut fallboard
#216478 04/08/06 01:28 AM
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Congratulations Wzkit on your new Delta. laugh After your piano is tuned and regulated, please post a recording of it in the member's recordings forum. We would love to hear you play the new piano.

John


Current works in progress:

Beethoven Sonata Op. 10 No. 2 in F, Haydn Sonata Hoboken XVI:41, Bach French Suite No. 5 in G BWV 816

Current instruments: Schimmel-Vogel 177T grand, Roland LX-17 digital, and John Lyon unfretted Saxon clavichord.
#216479 04/08/06 05:37 AM
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Wzkit Offline OP
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Quote
Originally posted by John Citron:
Congratulations Wzkit on your new Delta. laugh After your piano is tuned and regulated, please post a recording of it in the member's recordings forum. We would love to hear you play the new piano.

John
Definitely! As I get acquainted with my Delta, it amazes me with its subtle power...never "in your face" like a Yamaha, more like you can feel the depth of tone even in the softest pianissimos - and the action is such that you can go very very soft indeed. The rumble of the bass is somewhat absorbed by my acoustic tiling and the 1 inch thick rug underneath the piano, but one can still feel its presence, despite all that.

Indeed the piano sounds somewhat different from the time I first encountered it at the factory. A day after it was delivered, the piano sounds warmer, a little less "sparkling" compared to yesterday, and definitely when compared to when I first heard it at the factory. A large part of this probably has to do with the higher humidity levels here. Also, I'm bearing in mind that the piano is not yet broken in, and that it has yet to reach its full potential. If things work out, I'll probably do a recording within the next 2 weeks, once the first tuning, regulation and voicing is complete


Sauter 185 Delta with accelerated action and burl walnut fallboard
#216480 04/08/06 07:06 AM
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That's great Wzkit. I'm definitely looking forward to your recording (as I'm thinking back to your Liszt Consolation).

I know what you mean about the Yamahas. That's my feeling about them as well. The Vogel (though not as big) I have is sweeter, and like your Delta there's that depth within each note that is produced.

In regards to the humidity. Have you ever considered a Dampp-Chaser? This unit will help stabilize the humidity within the piano, and keep it in tune longer. I have one where I live because depending upon the time of year, we go from one extreme to the other.

John


Current works in progress:

Beethoven Sonata Op. 10 No. 2 in F, Haydn Sonata Hoboken XVI:41, Bach French Suite No. 5 in G BWV 816

Current instruments: Schimmel-Vogel 177T grand, Roland LX-17 digital, and John Lyon unfretted Saxon clavichord.
#216481 04/08/06 09:44 AM
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Wzkit Offline OP
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Quote
Originally posted by John Citron:
That's great Wzkit. I'm definitely looking forward to your recording (as I'm thinking back to your Liszt Consolation).
That will definitely be the first piece I'll record (since it is also the easiest in my repertoire). Do bear in mind though, that it will sound quite different fromt hat original recording on the Ibach

Quote

In regards to the humidity. Have you ever considered a Dampp-Chaser? This unit will help stabilize the humidity within the piano, and keep it in tune longer. I have one where I live because depending upon the time of year, we go from one extreme to the other.
John
No, I have been advised not to use a Damp-Chaser. In Singapore, because we only suffer from high levels of humidity (>90% RH throughout the year), only the heater is installed inside the piano. However, in some cases, there has been damage to the piano. Instead, I have placed a dehumidifier next to the keyboard, with the result that I have been to maintain a RH of 62% (according to the hygrometer installed in my Delta).


Sauter 185 Delta with accelerated action and burl walnut fallboard
#216482 04/09/06 07:17 PM
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Hi Wzkit -
I too am a new Sauter Delta owner as you know. Congratulations and wishing you great pleasure from your new piano!


Michael
#216483 04/09/06 09:32 PM
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Wzkit Offline OP
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Any chance you will post your pics?
I will as soon as I figure out how to get the pics onto my PC!


Sauter 185 Delta with accelerated action and burl walnut fallboard
#216484 04/09/06 10:29 PM
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Congrats to you, Wzkit! Someday, I hope to play a Sauter and hear for myself what all of you have been talking about. Look forward to the pics!


RickG
#216485 04/10/06 02:54 AM
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Congratulations. I've had mine for about 2 years now. I love my Delta!
smile

#216486 04/10/06 02:59 AM
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Wzkit Offline OP
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Thanks all! Katie, how has your Delta aged? How has the sound/touch changed in the past 2 years?
Mine is still settling in and has become noticeably warmer in the past 2 days since it was delivered! With the accelerated action, the ability to play softly on this piano is quite unrivalled, IMO.


Sauter 185 Delta with accelerated action and burl walnut fallboard
#216487 04/10/06 10:32 AM
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Wzkit,
My Delta was a pretty warm thing when I got it. I especially liked it's bass. I've had it assessed & tuned regularly (by a concert tech); he's waiting for the word from me when I want some voicing done. I rather like it's treble sound now (at time of purchase, I was comparing the wonderful treble of the 6'3" Estonia to the 6'1" Delta). I think you'll find that your piano will go through quite a few changes in the immediate short term b/c it has to get used to it's new environment. I believe dealers & techs recommend waiting a few weeks for it's initial tuning (best check though). Compared with the first grand I owned, the key bed (I think this is what it's called) on the Delta remained absolutely flat ... hence I could really appreciate it's touch. And yes, the ability to express dynamics can be well appreciated with this piano. A good technician can fine tune these things to your liking too! A Delta was a pricey piano purchase for me; it's very well made. Liike other nice grands it should receive good care throughout it's life. Find yourself an experienced technician who too will appreciate your piano! My technician loves mine.
Have fun smile

#216488 04/10/06 10:52 AM
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Wzkit Offline OP
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Katie,
I take it then that your Delta is pretty much brighter now than when you first got it, but still a beautiful sound? Durability is one of my key concerns, as my experience with Yamahas has not been that good, even with voicing once a year, I was not able to produce a true pianissimo after just 3-4 years of use. But I'm quite confident that with regular maintainence, my Delta should be able to maintain its very wide dynamic range.

I take it that the "breaking in" of the hammers will result in a more powerful sound, but not cause a loss in the ability to produce a true pianissimo? I say this because my Delta right now has the most haunting tone I can imagine - perfect for Debussy. The only thing I would like adjusted is for the 2 treble octaves just above the middle C to be voiced just a little stronger, if possible. Otherwise its wonderful.

By the way, how would you describe the touch of your Delta? Similar to a Bosendorfer, i.e light and somewhat "fluffy", or springy? Mine is an "accelerated action" model (the last of its kind apparently), with a different feel from the standard action, somewhat bouncier, and really really smooth.


Sauter 185 Delta with accelerated action and burl walnut fallboard
#216489 04/10/06 12:40 PM
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Well I'm not a tech or a professional ( they can play every day x 6 hrs so I hear) pianist so ...
No I wouldn't say my Delta is "much brighter". To my ears the treble (in the range you specify) sounds slightly sweeter and could sing more (if this makes sense). I think the piano overall has mellowed so it feels comfortable where it is (to be honest).
It's my understanding that with any decent new piano, there is a breaking in period where the hammer material becomes more compressed with playing (help techies! is this how y'all describe it?), yet this process commences at the factory (& I know lots has been written here on this subject).
After my piano's regulation, its touch has been consistent. I'm not a great player (just a grade 8-9 RCM student); I spent a good part of last year learning one specific piece ... to my hands I've been able to assess just how consistent it's touch has been with through my (ha!) mastery of certain dynamics in this piece. My technician did make a few adjustments to a couple keys in the midsection during it's last tuning, but overall I was quite pleased with the piano's touch. It's my understanding that a good technician (and esp. the concert techies) can modify a decent piano's touch to meet the needs of the particular player. Of course the player needs to be able to accurately describe exactly what he/she want done to the piano. That's where good comminication skills and rapport with one's tuner comes in.
I've heard someone play Claire de Lune on my Delta ... yes ... I felt goosebumps. I have a "live" room for my Delta with high angular irregular cornered ceilings, hardwood underneath the piano-scattered persians alongside it, nothing on the walls, 2 sets of mid-wt. drapes and a large wall quilt. This may add to the effect of such music. If you have the PW CD, you can hear a recording of my Delta doing a 1737 Fiocco piece ( Go Here & Scroll to the Clip) ) . Ha! I best check the script notes .. I'm pretty sure this was my Delta. But the piece was previously recorded on a 5'6" Estonia prior to Axtremus getting it for submission. The extra 7" and the precise touch made a world of difference when I recorded it. IMO, this piece sounds a bit "haunting". Note: My skills suck.
I don't remember the "accelerated action" terminology (I'm scratching my head b/c I thought this was something design wise with Sauter uprights, but I could be wrong .... Norbert where are you sweetie?); yet, I'd only describe my Delta's touch as accurate and consistent, similar to the well regulated NY Steinways, Estonias & Petrofs I played back way back when. My teacher (a former concert player) saids my piano is "just right" for her tastes (she was playing Scarlatti, Schubert and Gershwin that day).
You'll learn much as you begin to enjoy your new Sauter. I was told to play it lots in the first year in order to break it in well. I think this is good advice.

#216490 04/10/06 07:26 PM
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62% is too high, I'm afraid. 50% would be better. If you ever see condensation in the mornings on any metal surface (check the tuning pins), humidity is too high! Steinway may void your warranty if a piano is kept other than 40% to 60% relative humidity. Your dehumidifier should work fine in your situation, if you can get it to work harder. The only issue is that it shuts off when the water tank is full (such as when you are on vacation). Most of them can be hooked up directly to a drain.

Dampp-Chaser has been in business for almost 60 years. Their products have evolved greatly over that time, but many urban myths and legends still circulate. The earliest versions had no electronics: it was a small heater bar that was on all the time (25W, and silver in color). Many of the damage stories still being told pertain to this old unit.

The current system is as reliable as any solid-state electronics, and is much less likely to damage your piano than humidity swings will.

I'm glad you have a separate hygrometer, and are not just relying on the dial of the dehumidifier.

It's important to try to control humidity right from the beginning with a new piano. Humidity control cannot repair damage that has already happened; it can only prevent damage.

For more info:
http://www.dampp-chaser.com

--Cy--


Cy Shuster, RPT
www.shusterpiano.com
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Director, PTG Norfolk 2016 Technical Institute
http://convention.ptg.org
#216491 04/10/06 10:16 PM
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Wizz,

A couple comments about my Delta, hopefully to excite you about your future with the Sauter.

First, mine sounded great on delivery, but has really improved with just a couple years of regular maintenance and especially some careful voicing by my excellent tech -- not that I didn't like the voice of my piano, but rather that he was able to 'even out' the tone across all the registers. As good as my piano was, there was a little uneveness in that some notes ping'd a little louder than others. Like any good instrument, careful attention and maintenance will pay dividends in the long run.

Second, my Delta really stays in tune. It is remarkably stable. It lost it a bit with some recent weather change, but drifted back into nice tune when the front passed. My tech has commented more than once that the piano stays in tune relative to itself. It needed to be tuned 'up' to A440 after several months, but day by day it sounds great.

Third, you wanted to know my impressions about tone/sound/voice. I would say that I have a fairly non-flowery vocabulary (me talk like caveman), so sorry for being unable to put my thoughts into appropriate words. What a immediately liked about the Sauter while also looking at Yamaha (bright and loud), Schimmel (pure but thin), Young Chang (interesting but a little dull), Estonia (soft and silky pure), Bosie (lush) and Steinway (pure) is that Loonie for Loonie the Sauter gave me an even, pure, non-muddy, ringing tone with sharp but not bright attack, thundering bass and singing treble. The action (mine is the older version) was smooth and responsive. When I play a complex chord the feeling of the chord comes through, yet one can still hear each note -- not true of many others I played.

Have fun with your new baby!!

Cheers,

J


John, Eh

"Remember, wherever you go, there you are" -- Buckaroo Bonzai
#216492 04/11/06 02:46 AM
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Wzkit Offline OP
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Cy Shuster: Thanks for the heads up. I think 62% is pretty dry for our climate, considering that the normal levels of humidity in Singapore are around 90-95%. I haven't seen any condensation on my tuning pins so far. That said, I will ask my dealer aboout a DC system - they aren't popular in Singapore apparently, only in the US. Heaters are the norm here.

Beandoc and Katie: Glad to know that your Delta has aged well and is remarkably stable. This has certainly boosted my confidence in my own instrument! There are a couple of notes that stick out at the moment, which I hope to get corrected after the first tuning, voicing and regulation(that will be on Apr 18, and should take the whole day). I'm lucky to have a very very good technician, possibly one of the best in Singapore. And that's saying a lot, because good technicians are extremely difficult to find in Singapore. My technician, who is also my dealer, has over the past 15 years apprenticed on and off at the Sauter factory in Spaichingen. Hamiltonian, who visited my dealer last October, can attest to the quality of his work.

Its interesting to hear how my Delta is finding its own sound at the moment. When I first encountered it in the factory in Spaichingen, it struck me with its amazing power. Immediately after it was delivered, the sound was noticeably softer and warmer, with the powerful bass resonance tamed somewhat (largely because of the acoustic dampening, but also I suspect some voicing down at the factory) but the treble still retaining its crystal clarity. Over the past few days, the sound has become noticeably warmer, perhaps due to the higher humidity here, but I expect the tone to really open up over the next few months and acquire a more singing character (not that it isn't now, but has yet to reach its full bloom). What continues to amaze me is its wonderful action - the ability to play softly on this piano is quite unrivalled in my experience. With the warm sound, and wide range of colours attainable through the use of the una corda, this piano is currently excellent for Debussy. Hopefully, it will only get better and even more versatile, with time!


Sauter 185 Delta with accelerated action and burl walnut fallboard
#216493 04/15/06 03:04 PM
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Wzkit Offline OP
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Just wondering, Sauter owners aside, for those amongst you who had a chance to try a Sauter Delta, how would you describe the piano's characteristics, as compared to other high end German brands (like Bluthner, Grotrain, Steingraeber, Ibach).

Very curious to know what others think of this make/model!


Sauter 185 Delta with accelerated action and burl walnut fallboard
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