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Estonia Pianos
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Norbert Offline OP
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Wondering how many people here have ever based their choice on Piano Buyer?
Whole- Partly - Not at all?
Every answer good.
Let's share some....curious
Norbert

Last edited by Norbert; 01/10/19 04:43 PM.

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When my old Knabe started to fall apart, I was in the market for a another small grand. Nothing too expensive, but still likable and good sounding to my ears. My piano tuner recommended that I read "The Piano Book" by Larry Fine, which at the time was the fourth edition. In perusing the book, I came across a piano called Estonia. My mental picture of it was a white instrument with cheap plastic keys and a very tinny sound. What else could one expect from a previous member of the Soviet Union? But I read up on it, and my curiosity was piqued. I just had to try one. I found a 9 footer for sale an hour's drive from my home. Too big and too expensive, but it was the only one around. I drove all the way to the piano shop to try it out, and it was love at first sight. Now the hunt for a 168 started, but used Estonias were not easy to find in those days, and I finally gave up and set my sights on a Kawai. Then one late night, I was scrolling through the Pennysaver on the net, and the very last ad said: Used Estonia 168 grand for sale for $6000, firm. The next morning, the piano was mine, and we are still happy together.


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Yes. I am the 70s product of an all-Steinway school in what was an all-Steinway world (Baldwin and Yamaha were good too of course, so long as you were a jazzer!). Perri's fascinating book led me to Piano Buyer at a time later in life when Steinway (B and up) was still my only serious consideration. The discussions here, however, convinced me to search out brands that I would never have seriously considered. I found some wonderful pianos that otherwise would never have been on my radar.

Larry.

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Good for a framework if not familiar with market. Can't imagine going blindly based on their staff picks, and don't believe they would suggest it either. Have to get out there and feel and listen for yourself, hopefully armed with info to avoid red flag situations.

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I was influenced by quite a few things in my decision to
by my new piano. The was Piano world Forum, Piano Buyer , talking to the manufacturer by quite a few messages ,but also by reading
different dealer websites in Europe about brands and technical specifications for different models .
I also played many different pianos in shops around Vancouver .
I also played different models and compaired .
I would say Piano Buyer is an important beginning to find out more
about different brands and models for any potential piano one may
decide on buying .

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The Piano Buyer and The Piano Book are by far the best, most comprehensive, and most objective/fair minded books about buying a piano. That being said, I'm sure Larry Fine would not suggest buying a piano solely based on what one can read in those books. There are many good pianos at every price point so that personal preference should play a part in the selection.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
The Piano Buyer and The Piano Book are by far the best, most comprehensive, and most objective/fair minded books about buying a piano. That being said, I'm sure Larry Fine would not suggest buying a piano solely based on what one can read in those books. There are many good pianos at every price point so that personal preference should play a part in the selection.


I used both books to do extensive research first, then went and tried the different pianos.



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I have been diligently reading the Piano Buyer (and Piano Book) for the past 18 years. These resources were invaluable to me (and largely informed my final decisions) as I purchased a grand in 2002, a semi concert grand in 2006, a digital in 2013 and a new upright in 2018. Plus I've learned a tremendous amount about the history, unique characteristics and relative merits of all brands. Of course, once armed with the information provided in these books, one must ultimately make purchase decisions based on actually playing a specific instrument.


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As far as reference material, Larry Fine's "Piano Book" was central as it helped informed how to evaluate a piano. Not Piano Buyer.


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I used the Piano Book as a guide and ALWAYS peruse the pricing databases every Spring and Fall. I used the info to aid me in my negotiation for trade-in and trade-up. It’s my Kelley Blue Book so to speak.


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Before I worked for the Piano Buyer, I used the Piano Buyer/Piano Book to:

- learn about brands I'd never even heard of
- used the contact information in the brand profiles to contact distributors, get dealer names, and even product inventories
- read the information about evaluating a used piano when I was taking a basic piano technology course in college
- referred to the pricing information frequently, while shopping or dreaming about what I wish I could afford



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I’m not sure who pointed me towards Larry Fine’s book. But, before reading it, I was clueless what to look for in a piano to upgrade from my spinet that wasn’t cutting it anymore. I pretty much followed all his recommendations in starting my search for a grand piano. I was confounded by finding the piano of my dreams in the very first piano I looked at and played. But, it was the book that gave me confidence to buy after having a piano technician go over the piano. I adore my rebuilt Mason & Hamlin BB. And pretty much every pianist who has played it in my home has envied it too!! The book was really invaluable to me.


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I found Piano Buyer very helpful in my piano buying research.

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Norbert Offline OP
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Good replies! thumb
Without trying to be negative: did it also help to confuse some?
After all, the choice is still up to the buyer and it's never easy...
Norbert


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Norbert - for me reading the Piano Book caused some internal debates, but the pricing info and rating made the complexity of buying and negotiation much easier. When the owner, who was also my salesman saw me come into the store with a notebook, pricing lists, and my own piano pieces to play, I was treated as a customer who knows what’s going on. It was like going into the car dealership with all the invoice and typical dealer mark up, when shopping for a truck. Very unromantic but hey, my selected piano was given a final tuning right before I paid for it and was delivered the next morning.


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Originally Posted by Norbert
Without trying to be negative: did it also help to confuse some?After all, the choice is still up to the buyer and it's never easy...
I don't see how it could possibly confuse anyone. It's so clearly written. "The choice is up to the buyer" has nothing to do with the Piano Book causing confusion.

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It is more objective and less confusing than some of what is said on internet forums, to be sure. No, I'm not knocking internet forums.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Norbert
Without trying to be negative: did it also help to confuse some?After all, the choice is still up to the buyer and it's never easy...
I don't see how it could possibly confuse anyone. It's so clearly written. "The choice is up to the buyer" has nothing to do with the Piano Book causing confusion.

I think Norbert is just asking because one may like a piano
after playing it in a store and then read something negative
on Piano Buyer or vice versa. This may cause one to doubt
whether one is capable of choosing the right instrument .

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Larry's very first book came out just a year or so after I graduated from music school. I had dabbled with piano technology in college and was so excited to have just been hired by Cunningham Piano Company. Although I was surrounded by rebuilders at Cunningham, I learned a tremendous amount about available brands from The Piano Book and I used the book with clients to give them information as well.

I have tremendous respect for Larry and we began communicating soon after that first volume was published. I admire what he has done for the industry and I totally respect what he has accomplished.

I had the chance to interview him earlier this year while we were both at the National Piano Technicians convention: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HudRpC5BBsU


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Originally Posted by Lady Bird
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Norbert
Without trying to be negative: did it also help to confuse some?After all, the choice is still up to the buyer and it's never easy...
I don't see how it could possibly confuse anyone. It's so clearly written. "The choice is up to the buyer" has nothing to do with the Piano Book causing confusion.

I think Norbert is just asking because one may like a piano
after playing it in a store and then read something negative
on Piano Buyer or vice versa. This may cause one to doubt
whether one is capable of choosing the right instrument.
Although the earliest edition of the Piano Book may have contained some critical comments about the worst pianos that is not the case for probably at least the last ten years. As Fine explains, there are no really bad pianos at this point.

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