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#2215998 01/17/14 02:03 AM
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I'm wondering how many of you prefer another piano manufacturer over a Steinway and why?

I'd especially appreciate comments about the Baldwin brand.

Also Bechstein.

Bech



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Sorry, nothing in particular to say about those two brands, but....

The best pianos I've ever found were a couple of Bosendorfers. To begin with, the basic sound was jewel-like. But even more so:

-- The action was indescribably perfect, the best of both worlds: So light that it was 'easy,' but somehow at the same time firm enough to give good feel and control.

-- The dynamic control was out of this world, especially in the soft range. Gradations of softness were seemingly infinite, with no worry of getting 'nothing' if you hit the key too softly.

These pianos couldn't get quite as brilliant as most other concert grands, but besides that, I'd have to say they were beyond perfect.

I don't think Bosendorfers are uniformly so great, but these two pianos were.

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Originally Posted by Mark_C
[...]
I don't think Bosendorfers are uniformly so great, but these two pianos were.


It's all in the prep!

Regards,


BruceD
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I prefer


“My Way” to a Steinway

Doffing my hat to a Bosendorfer

Cooing “Oo-la-la” to a Yamaha

Downing a beer to a Bechstein

Where does all this rubbish talk come from? ...
And to top it all, nobody has mentioned
the grandest of them all ...
My favourite ... the Grotrian Steinweg.

Ask a silly question ... regards btb

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C Bechstein is different (better) than Bechstein, so pay attention to that.

C Bechstein is notable for its enormous dynamic range, from very quiet to very loud. Also, the treble has a beautiful, sustained 'bell-like' sound, so pay attention to that.

Older Baldwins are nice, an easy action and a good sound. New ones are made in China by different people. They might be good still, but I haven't heard one yet.

Check out the section in PianoBuyer Guide on high-end pianos to get an idea of what is available.


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Baldwin: Excellent from roughly 1900 into the 1980's. Then they went through the old bankruptcy and moving to China ups and downs, like many other companies.


-- J.S.

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All other things being equal (i.e. concert grands, prepped to be at their best), I prefer quite a few other piano manufacturers to Steinway (as I wrote in my lengthy post in Piano Forum yesterday).

For me, Steinway has a 'generic' sound, with 'built-in' color, but little individuality. The Bösendorfer Imperial has an unmistakably 'old-world' woody tone, which encourages me to explore tonal possibilities to see how far I can go, while the Fazioli F278/F308 has a pure sound with strong fundamentals, an open canvas on which you can paint whatever colors you want: it will only sound as good as you make it.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
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I was not aware there was another Bechstein apart from C. Bechstein. I've only encountered the latter. Are you sure it's not like Steinway and Steinway & Sons, or are those two different brands too?

Anyway, I prefer Steinways a lot more than any other brand.

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Originally Posted by Liszt_BG
I was not aware there was another Bechstein apart from C. Bechstein. I've only encountered the latter. Are you sure it's not like Steinway and Steinway & Sons, or are those two different brands too?



I'm also curious about this crazy

Of course older Bechsteins sound different then the modern Bechsteins that now place C Bechstein on their fall board. I'm for vintage anything especially Bechs and Steinway. If I had a choice I'd opt for perfectly rebuilt early/mid 1900's Steinway or Bechstein over anything they produce today.

I will say that I do love the Steinway sound if voiced to my liking, they are very versatile instruments in that regard. Don't care much for Baldwins personally. In this order I'd probably choose and someone else was paying: 9'range would be Steinway, Bosendorfer then Bechstein. 7' range Bechstein, Bosendorfer, Steinway. Anything below 6'8" most likely a Mason Hamlin.





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Yes, Bechstein and C. Bechstein are different. Bechstein is to C. Bechstein what Boston is to Steinway, more or less.

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Originally Posted by Liszt_BG
I was not aware there was another Bechstein apart from C. Bechstein. I've only encountered the latter. Are you sure it's not like Steinway and Steinway & Sons, or are those two different brands too?

Anyway, I prefer Steinways a lot more than any other brand.


Steinway is the same as Steinway & Sons.

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As for what I love, well, if the piano is well prepped and of sufficiently high quality, I love the piano I'm in front of.

I've had the pleasure of playing well-prepped pianos in showrooms all over, in the U.S. and Europe. I'm constantly "shopping" for pianos.

I would say that I've swooned for the following pianos in the last year:

Grotrian-Steinweg
C. Bechstein
Bösendorfer
Fazioli
Schimmel
Blüthner
Sauter
Steinway (Hamburg)
Steinway (New York)

I've been less than impressed with the "off brands" of the top names. Not that I don't like them (they're all arguably moderately better than the piano I have), but they all kind of muddle together and seem to still command at least a moderate premium due to their affiliation with their primary brand. For example, I liked, but did not LOVE the Bechsteins as much as I loved the C. Bechsteins. I had them right next to each other, in the same size, and spent an hour just going between them. I did not feel as if the "non-C" Bechstein was worth the premium it commanded given that it felt like it was not markedly better than any other quality mid-to-high-range instrument.


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Well, I've never played a Boston or a Bechstein (no C.), I'm only familiar with the high range of those brands. I've played a beautiful ~1870 Bechstein though, alas with a cracked soundboard and not well prepped at all, but still nice experience.

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Originally Posted by Liszt_BG
Well, I've never played a Boston or a Bechstein (no C.), I'm only familiar with the high range of those brands. I've played a beautiful ~1870 Bechstein though, alas with a cracked soundboard and not well prepped at all, but still nice experience.


I think until somewhat recently, Bechstein was Bechstein. When they came up with their "Academy" series, they then had, effectively, two "brands" because the Academy series is identified on the piano not as "Bechstein Academy" but simply as "Bechstein". This meant you now had to call the established flagship models "C. Bechstein" if you wanted to be precise about it. Which, given the price differential, you do.

(I think things are further confused by the fact that Bechstein implies that the "C" stands for "Concert Series", as opposed to its "Academy Series" but it seems to me that it more likely is simply the first initial of Carl Bechstein, and it's simply convenient that now the "C" seems to mean "Concert". And that's got to be simply for the American market because I'm pretty sure concert is spelled with a "K" in German: Konzert.)

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Originally Posted by Liszt_BG
I was not aware there was another Bechstein apart from C. Bechstein. I've only encountered the latter. Are you sure it's not like Steinway and Steinway & Sons, or are those two different brands too?

Just so you know, you could have dispelled your doubts by going to the Bechstein home page and reading the descriptions of their two different model lines.


Bechstein and C. Bechstein are from the same company. PianoBuyer hasa pricing list if you want to get a feel for the cost of the two different models.


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Originally Posted by phantomFive
[...] PianoBuyer has a pricing list if you want to get a feel for the cost of the two different models.


... which shows that the
- C. Bechstein 234 at 186,000.00 is almost twice the price of the
- Bechstein 228 at 89,00.00.

Similarly,
- a Boston (designed by Steinway, built by Kawai) 7' 1" is around $50,000.00,
- a Steinway B is close to $90.000.00.

Regards,


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Originally Posted by TwoSnowflakes
Yes, Bechstein and C. Bechstein are different. Bechstein is to C. Bechstein what Boston is to Steinway, more or less.


The difference from Boston and Steinway is a big one and I have never heard of that same correlation in referred to Bechstein and their Academy series Bechstein. Bechstein does make a piano called Hoffman and another one called Zimmerman and that would be the correct correlation for Steinway & Boston.




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Those with limited live experience with upper-level grands may well prefer the "Steinway sound" because so much of our listening to recordings has conditioned us to that sound. The large majority of piano recordings are made on Steinways, not to mention the fact that engineering in the recording studio may also affect what we hear and are conditioned to like from that listening experience.

Playing on an upper-level grand other than Steinway can be quite a revealing and surprising experience.

Regards,


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Originally Posted by Miguel Rey
Originally Posted by TwoSnowflakes
Yes, Bechstein and C. Bechstein are different. Bechstein is to C. Bechstein what Boston is to Steinway, more or less.


The difference from Boston and Steinway is a big one and I have never heard of that same correlation in referred to Bechstein and their Academy series Bechstein. Bechstein does make a piano called Hoffman and another one called Zimmerman and that would be the correct correlation for Steinway & Boston.


You're probably right. I didn't think it through and/or mean it to be a strict analogy, only that they are distinct lines owned by the same company and one is intended to be better in quality than the other. You're right that Bechstein has the other, differently named brands. They could easily have just used a third non-Bechstein word for the Academy series, in other words, but didn't. I didn't like the Zimmerman AT ALL, by the way.

Edited to add: I wonder if they used "Bechstein" and "C.Bechstein" on the fallboard interchangeably until the debut of the distinct "Academy" series. I know that both the C. Bechstein line AS WELL AS the Academy line are distinct from what, until then, had been simply "Bechstein" pianos built prior to the redesign. They tried to go both up AND down in quality from what was simply one thing prior to that point, and separate into two lines. I just don't know when exactly that redesign was, but it was recent; much more recent than your 1905 piano. What does it say on the fallboard?

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Originally Posted by BruceD
Those with limited live experience with upper-level grands may well prefer the "Steinway sound" because so much of our listening to recordings has conditioned us to that sound. The large majority of piano recordings are made on Steinways, not to mention the fact that engineering in the recording studio may also affect what we hear and are conditioned to like from that listening experience.

Playing on an upper-level grand other than Steinway can be quite a revealing and surprising experience.

Regards,


That's the truth, right there.

So much so that I actually kind of wish it weren't, because it really causes me agita that the pool of pianos I love playing is now so big and which one I prefer really depends on what side of the bed I got up from that morning. If I just liked Steinway, the task would be so much simpler: I'd just wait for the right time to buy one, and get it.

Of course the bigger issue is that I'd actually need to justify getting any of them, which requires I be a far better player than I am now, plus the financial wherewithal to buy it.

I can think of far worse problems than someone who is having difficulty choosing among the world of top tier pianos.

Oh, woe is me. I can't decide between that Ferrari, Lamborghini or the Rolls.

(And then to complete this analogy (I'm chock full of them today), I'd then end up insulting it by driving it at 5mph, because even if I were to buy that C. Bechstein, I'd not suddenly turn into Rubinstein.)

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