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New here, thanks in advance for your thoughts!

Have listened to/watched virtually every video on these, played them, and narrowed it down to:

1. Bluthner 4 (new): unique tone, lyrical, but will probably pass due to its somewhat harpsichord-ish tones.
2. Steinway B (used): if I can find a good one, can be a great piano. Familiar with all Steinway idiosyncrasies. Once owned a 1986 B.
3. Shigeru Kawai SK7 (used, but fairly new): okay, this one surprised me. Found one that's been voiced well. One of the most beautiful sounding pianos I've ever heard. 7'6".
4. Fazioli 212 (new): hands down, my favorite. But can't comfortably afford it now.

Really good Steinway Bs and Ds are like outstanding, authentic Szechuan food--tremendous color, will sometimes knock your socks off. Love the bass--no competition here. I can only describe the Faz as luscious, in every way. It's like you can bite into the tones in a very pleasing way, though the color palette isn't as broad as a Steinway. Faziolis are like 3 Michelin stars. And to me the SK7 is similar to the Faz in that its tone is also warmly beautiful, with an identity different than a Faz. Sushi Jiro.

Options:

1. Buy a B now, upgrade to the 212 later.
2. But the SK7 now, upgrade to the 212 later.
3. Wait until I can comfortably afford the 212 (a year or two?).

Currently own a Kawai CS10 hybrid which I bought due to living in a high-rise condo at the time.

What would you do?

Last edited by lingcod; 12/24/17 10:06 PM.
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Tough choice (that many of us would love to have). If you can live with the Kawai CS10 for a couple more years than that to me is the best approach. Then you only buy one piano. If you must buy one now I would buy the piano you love best within your current budget. That sounds like the SK7.

Remember buying a 7 foot piano are much easier than selling one. You'll almost for sure loss money on that approach besides taking the time and effort to sell your piano. Good luck.

Rich


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I'm primarily a Steinway guy but I love the Fazioli 212.

Kawias have a beautiful tone, especially the Shigerus, but it's not my preference. I mainly play Jazz.

The Yamaha C6X and more refined (expensive) CF6 might be an option. Although I'd prefer a good used B to either Yamaha, if you can find one.

But it sounds like you prefer the Faziol 212. Maybe you saw this already but I came across a 212 from '04 on Piano Mart. Seems a bit high.
https://www.pianomart.com/buy-a-piano/view?id=32972

The pricing on the newer B seems more in line.
https://www.pianomart.com/buy-a-piano/view?id=32115


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I don't think you would go wrong with any of those. Of course all other things being equal I would go for the Blüthner. That won't be any surprise to anyone here.

I did 10 years in Sichuan. The food is one of only 2 things I miss from there.


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I'm just curious why you like the Fazioli so much.

All of them I've played (and I mean all) sounded wonderful, but none of them involved me the way that Steinway, Bluthner and Bechstein do. I found it was a bit like playing the piano with a detached console (if such a thing exists). I guess I've played 8 or 10 in all in the last 15 years. There's no argument that they're as well if not better finished than any other piano I know.


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It sounds like the Fazioli is your choice. Great, they are excellent pianos. If you'd be ready in a year, I suggest wait the year. That's not very long, really.


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Originally Posted by PhilipInChina

I did 10 years in Sichuan. The food is one of only 2 things I miss from there.


I have to know.... What was the other?

lingcod,

All your choices are fine instruments and Dave Ferris added the premium Yamaha pianos. I agree that they deserve to be in the mix, unless you've already eliminated them.

Also, you never mentioned in your post that you have actually played all of these pianos. Am I misunderstanding that? Because if this is true, you need to go and play them in person. Hearing a piano on a video is not like playing and experiencing it in person.

I also agree with Fareham on the colors available from many Faz pianos I have played. Just my observation.

Good luck and keep us posted.


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Agree with Rich that you need you play each piano in person -maybe even on two different occasions - if you haven't already. You can't purchase something of this magnitude based on an internet opinion or video.

But fwiw, another fine piano you should consider and play is the Bosendorfer 214VC. Again, like the Kawai, gorgeous, lush sound but not my preferred tonal palette. Although if I played strictly Classical music, as opposed to Jazz, pretty certain my preference towards the Bosendorfer would differ.

In comparison to NY Steinways , I like the Fazioli for an entirely contrasting tonal character and touch.

For what I do now and if I were fortunate enough to be able to acquire a second piano with a "European sound", I would choose the Fazioli second behind the Hamburg Steinway. Again though, one guy's opinion. wink

Good luck with it all. smile


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If you have a chance to play a Schimmel K230 you should. Absolutely beautiful. IMHO.

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Originally Posted by lingcod
New here, thanks in advance for your thoughts!

Have listened to/watched virtually every video on these, played them, and narrowed it down to:

1. Bluthner 4 (new): unique tone, lyrical, but will probably pass due to its somewhat harpsichord-ish tones.
2. Steinway B (used): if I can find a good one, can be a great piano. Familiar with all Steinway idiosyncrasies. Once owned a 1986 B.
3. Shigeru Kawai SK7 (used, but fairly new): okay, this one surprised me. Found one that's been voiced well. One of the most beautiful sounding pianos I've ever heard. 7'6".
4. Fazioli 212 (new): hands down, my favorite. But can't comfortably afford it now.

Really good Steinway Bs and Ds are like outstanding, authentic Szechuan food--tremendous color, will sometimes knock your socks off. Love the bass--no competition here. I can only describe the Faz as luscious, in every way. It's like you can bite into the tones in a very pleasing way, though the color palette isn't as broad as a Steinway. Faziolis are like 3 Michelin stars. And to me the SK7 is similar to the Faz in that its tone is also warmly beautiful, with an identity different than a Faz. Sushi Jiro.

Options:

1. Buy a B now, upgrade to the 212 later.
2. But the SK7 now, upgrade to the 212 later.
3. Wait until I can comfortably afford the 212 (a year or two?).

Currently own a Kawai CS10 hybrid which I bought due to living in a high-rise condo at the time.

What would you do?


I would go for the piano that I would not think about upgrading in the future. From your description, it appears that you are deeply in love with F212.

Upgrading will more of less cost you money. A side effect of picking one "ok" piano before getting to your dream piano is that you may have lots of reluctance playing this "ok" piano while waiting.


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Appreciate all the input!

I did note in my post that I've played all four, though my skills are poor. Played as a kid and now decades later want to take it up again. I do, however, have an appreciation for really good sound and quality, especially for slow ballads where I think the character of the piano is really exposed.

Bluthner--do you guys hear the "harpsichord-y" dimensions that I hear? The model 4 that I played was better, but it still seemed to be present.

Rich D.--good point.

Dave--wasn't even aware of the CF series, probably because I've written off Yamaha in general. Besides its reputation for being bright, I can't put my finger on it; just doesn't seem to have the tonal breadth and depth. Aware of that Faz, definitely overpriced esp. for what it's been used for. There was a '97/'98 212 that just sold and was asking $45K. When I found out about it, immediately called only to be told it was sold two days prior.

Philip--curious why you would pick the Bluthner over the others? (Guess I should search for your posts here.)

As to why I love the Faz, a few reasons. First, its touch. The action is incredibly precise and sensitive, outstanding pp. Second, its tone. Absolutely in love with this. Very different, yet captivating, at least for me. Third, its beauty. The casework is matchless. That said, there is still something about the Steinway tonal breadth that is "right." I wonder, though, if it's because we're just all conditioned to hearing so much music performed on Steinways.

Btw, what do you guys think of a bigger 1960s C. Bechstein, like the E? Not sure about quality during that Baldwin era.

I may go to NAMM where I can hear/see the rest.


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Don't forget the larger Baldwins unless you only want new. Some SF-10s, Sd-10 etc are sweet,

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Rich, the women in Sichuan have a well deserved reputation for their beauty and charm.


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If the 212 is what floats your boat get it now. The price is always an upward moving target.

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Lingcod,

Be aware that the acoustics in your home (where the instrument will reside) can change the entire picture in the end. This also applies to each piano you play in its respective environment. Another person on this forum found this to be too true upon purchasing their dream piano. It wasn't quite the same in their acoustic environment. It is easy to be fooled unintentionally.

Just a thought to add to your decision making process (from experience).

Pwg


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Originally Posted by lingcod
Dave--wasn't even aware of the CF series, probably because I've written off Yamaha in general. Besides its reputation for being bright, I can't put my finger on it; just doesn't seem to have the tonal breadth and depth. Aware of that Faz, definitely overpriced esp. for what it's been used for. There was a '97/'98 212 that just sold and was asking $45K. When I found out about it, immediately called only to be told it was sold two days prior.

I may go to NAMM where I can hear/see the rest.



Yes the newer Yamahas are a different breed then in the past. And I've owned two - C7 & S6, Even the C6X sounds better then my '97 S6.

The last three years at NAMM, in that upstairs main piano room - the noise level has reached a new high. I think this will be my 29th year going. I'd be very surprised if you come away with anything significant with regard to an opinion because of the cacophony. That said, Kawai usually has a separate room where you can hear things better.

You need an appointment now , but the side room of the Marriott where Yamaha displays their premium pianos is a good place too. You might talk to someone at Keyboard Concepts about obtaining an appointment window , where you could also hear the Yamaha CF6 and Bosendorfer 214 VC.

I remember the days , not all that long ago, where most of the prominent makers had their own separate rooms. Things have changed dramatically (for the worse) at NAMM the last 3-5 years.

Check out the Steingraber C212 as long as you're there.

Yes I could see why the Fazioli 212 was immediately snatched up at that price. I am seeing many more used ones on the market then I did even five years ago. So to me, that means they are becoming more popular or mainstream. I sent you a PM regarding the Fazioli.


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I agree about your assessment of the smaller Bluthner's but the 238 is a different breed. But sounds like you have a piano in you love in your sights and would just go for the Fazioli. If this is your going to be your final piano then I definitely would choose this over a Yamaha or Kawai.

If you only have to wait 2 years to afford it then I would just go for it, maybe you can have one built special to your liking with only a deposit, probably take a year or so to build anyway.




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Sorry--the C. Bechstein E is a 1975, not one from the 60s. Thoughts?

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I have not read through everything but:

I would consider the Blüthner because I like the noise that they make.

You are talking about a 7' piano but mention a C Bechstein E. Unless things have changed the E is a 9' concert grand. C bechstein are remarkable pianos. I would rate them equally with Blüthner. Neither of them is a laser beam. They are wonderful in a home.


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Originally Posted by PhilipInChina
I have not read through everything but:

I would consider the Blüthner because I like the noise that they make.

You are talking about a 7' piano but mention a C Bechstein E. Unless things have changed the E is a 9' concert grand. C bechstein are remarkable pianos. I would rate them equally with Blüthner. Neither of them is a laser beam. They are wonderful in a home.


Yeah sorry, I know an E is 9'. I think I'm getting carried away. Also noted a couple of what seem to be nice Cs out there that aren't too old--about 10 years. It's possible that my ear is leaning toward the next bigger piano--7'6"-7'8" instead of 6'10"-ish, which still works in the room without going crazy at 9'.

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