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Originally Posted by Brian Sweeney
I have a little knowledge of what a good tone is, played saxophone for many years but is it possible that I don't know what a good piano tone is?
If you read The Piano Buyer(see free link in left column) I think they have some information on how to evaluate tone. Even though it's quite subjective, there are certain qualities many if not all agree on. The Fazioli webstie used to have an excellent article and videos on what at least they considered were important tonal qualities but I cannot find it there now and it may no longer be available. I think they listed five qualities but the only ones I can remember are sustain(applies to the treble) and clarity(here people can differ in how important they find this), and maybe(?) dynamic range. If anyone can find this article/video I think it gives a terrific analysis of what good piano tone is.

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As terminal degree mentioned, you may well be hard pressed to find an older, smallish Steinway grand that sounds better than your U3, or one that sounds as good. The U3 can be a very nice sounding and playing piano.

I've played a few Steinways in the past, mostly bigger ones, and although most of them sounded good, they didn't sound much better than my older Yamaha C7 grand. However, like you, I was thrilled with the thought that "wow, I'm playing a Steinway"! smile

Of course, my backwoods, hillbilly, self-taught piano playing style ain't all that sophisticated. But I know what sounds good and plays good to me.

Good luck!

Rick


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You have to trust your ears.

If you feel it doesn't sound good, it doesn't.

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Originally Posted by Kenny Cheng
You have to trust your ears.

If you feel it doesn't sound good, it doesn't.

If this were my board, I'd lock the thread and pin this quote.

Your ears are there judge. Marketing wizards at whatever piano factory will try to make you doubt yourself.

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Originally Posted by Brian Sweeney
[...] Please don't tell me I'm not advanced enough or that there's other brands that are just as good, I'm stuck on the Steinway. Thanks in advance! Brian


There's nothing wrong with being enamored of the Steinway sound to the point of preferring it over the sound of other brands. It's a personal choice. That said, one has to try other brands to really make such a preference viable. What other brands/sound have you tried and eliminated?

Regards,


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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by Brian Sweeney
[...] Please don't tell me I'm not advanced enough or that there's other brands that are just as good, I'm stuck on the Steinway. Thanks in advance! Brian


There's nothing wrong with being enamored of the Steinway sound to the point of preferring it over the sound of other brands. It's a personal choice. That said, one has to try other brands to really make such a preference viable. What other brands/sound have you tried and eliminated?

Regards,

I agree ,it would even even help choosing the Steinways you really like .,if you are still determined to buy a Steinways. Perhaps you should try some Yamaha grands since you like your U3 so much .,depending on if you are determined to get a grand .
Otherwise look at some German tall uprights.

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Originally Posted by mcontraveos
Originally Posted by Kenny Cheng
You have to trust your ears.

If you feel it doesn't sound good, it doesn't.

If this were my board, I'd lock the thread and pin this quote.

Your ears are there judge. Marketing wizards at whatever piano factory will try to make you doubt yourself.
I don't think it's that simple. Unless someone is quite advanced and has a lot of experience playing and trying out pianos, the usual advice of using your ears and fingers to judge a piano, while good advice, only goes so far. That's one reason piano buyers have so many questions a a dealership or on PW. OTOH I do agree that if someone really dislikes a piano or finds it just blah it's probably not a good choice.

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My question to you is, if you prefer your Yamaha U3 to several Steinways that you have played, why are you stuck on the Steinway? You know, Steinways are good pianos but - and I KNOW you asked us not to say this - they're not the only ones.

If you prefer the Yamaha, it sounds to me like you prefer the more immediate response of the U3, and you prefer the kind of contained clarity of tone that the U3 has. A good U3 is a beautifully balanced piano with a fine sound, so there's nothing wrong with preferring Yamaha to Steinway. There's actually nothing wrong with having a preference even if it's for grandma's old no-name upright over a Steinway D. A preference is a preference and there's no accounting for taste.

Personally I don't want to buy a Steinway. Steinways have achieved an almost mythical status amongst pianists and customers, and that's largely due to their own exceptionally clever marketing. There was a time in the not-so-distant past when the only decent concert grand was indeed Steinway. After the other German manufacturers were destroyed in the second world war, and the English and French long since bowed out of the concert grand arena, and before the Japanese started making enough concert grands for them to gain a reputation, pretty much the only option was Steinway. Between about 1950 and 1980, you pretty much wouldn't want to have any other concert grand on stage than a good Steinway D since the quality at Blüthner and Bechstein was much lower, and Bösendorfer frankly didn't have enough pianos, and Fazioli hadn't yet entered the market, and there were no Chinese options.

Now the story is different, and Steinway is working very hard to retain its legendary status. They still make some beautiful pianos, with a wide ranging variance between each instrument. It might take you longer to find the Steinway that really speaks to you because of the variations between instruments, but if you've got the time and the money to look you may just find what you're looking for. If you don't find the piano you want from Steinways, you will find it from someone else.


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If you will only buy a Steinway but don't like how they sound, then yes you are crazy. wink

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Originally Posted by jarobi
If you will only buy a Steinway but don't like how they sound, then yes you are crazy. wink


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Originally Posted by jarobi
If you will only buy a Steinway but don't like how they sound, then yes you are crazy. wink

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Originally Posted by cmb13
Originally Posted by jarobi
If you will only buy a Steinway but don't like how they sound, then yes you are crazy. wink


Lol :like:

Yes it makes no sense to me either .

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It's a mental thing.

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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by Brian Sweeney
[...] Please don't tell me I'm not advanced enough or that there's other brands that are just as good, I'm stuck on the Steinway. Thanks in advance! Brian


There's nothing wrong with being enamored of the Steinway sound to the point of preferring it over the sound of other brands. It's a personal choice. That said, one has to try other brands to really make such a preference viable. What other brands/sound have you tried and eliminated?

Regards,


I've only played my U3 and three Steinways and liked the sound of my Yam the best but I'm suffering with carpal tunnel at the moment and it's not an easy piano to play. I also don't trust my judgement so I thought I'd hire some this great player to test them and I figure I can't go wrong with a Steinway. A lot of great players use/d them.

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Originally Posted by Brian Sweeney
I've only played my U3 and three Steinways and liked the sound of my Yam the best but I'm suffering with carpal tunnel at the moment and it's not an easy piano to play. I also don't trust my judgement so I thought I'd hire some this great player to test them and I figure I can't go wrong with a Steinway. A lot of great players use/d them.

I don't think you are crazy for wanting a Steinway that doesn't sound as good as your U3. You want a Steinway just because you want the name on the fall-board; you are not alone in this ideology.

But to think that merely having/owning a Steinway will make you a better player, just because you're playing a Steinway, well... that's a little far fetched. Still not crazy, just not reality.

On the other hand, having a very good sounding and playing piano, one that you really like, whether a Steinway, or the U3, will help to prompt and encourage you to play more, which in turn, will help you to become a better player. I don't think simply owning and playing a Steinway will miraculously make you an instantaneous prodigy or a better player, per-se.

Just my .02. smile

All the best.

Rick


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Brian - here's a thought. If you like your U3 and want a grand - have you tried a YAMAHA C3 grand - there are lots of them around, some better than others. And a well regulated and voiced C3 will be appreciably better than an average or poor top-tier piano.

I'm not sure what sort of age you are - so this may not be relevant ...

When I was 20, I "acquired" a fairly average, old, over-damper upright piano. Which I played extensively for 7 years and replaced it with a YAMAHA UX when I needed something better for a piano diploma (UX is more or less a U3 but with better strings/hammers). When I could afford a good (Schimmel) 6' grand, I upgraded - and I was then over age 50 well over 25 years later I'd outgrown the UX (and worn it out). I've since upgraded the Schimmel to my "dream" piano - which worked out to be a larger Grotrian.

Don't rush - there will always be pianos available, and your cash-flow will change (hopefully improve) over time.

Another thing - I bought both grands, I played every grand piano I could lay my hands on - even cheaper ones. That gave me a good idea of what I liked, and what I didn't.

And - to be honest, I still like the YAMAHA C3 (or a C7). My teacher has 2. If my funds were more limited, I'd have bought one rather than a rebuilt old Steinway.


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Originally Posted by Brian Sweeney
I've only played my U3 and three Steinways and liked the sound of my Yam the best but I'm suffering with carpal tunnel at the moment and it's not an easy piano to play. I also don't trust my judgement so I thought I'd hire some this great player to test them and I figure I can't go wrong with a Steinway. A lot of great players use/d them.


Have you had your U3 serviced with regulation and voicing lately? ("Lately" usually means "ever"!) Uprights need care, too.


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Originally Posted by Brian Sweeney
... but I'm suffering with carpal tunnel at the moment and it's not an easy piano to play. I also don't trust my judgement so I thought I'd hire some this great player to test them and I figure I can't go wrong with a Steinway. A lot of great players use/d them.

One thing to consider with your YAMAHA - are you sitting at the correct height - a lot of standard YAMAHA benches are too low, which puts more strain on the wrist and hands. I went back to a teacher a few years ago and she got me on an adjustable bench at full height - it was a bit unusual first sitting appreciably higher, but now, I notice pain if I play sitting on a standard bench.

A piano is a subjective item - what one person likes, someone else may dislike. And what suits a professional pianist may not be what you'd like. I'd go and play as many grands as you can - like I said earlier a C3 Yamaha - but also try RX-3 Kawai which I thought was a lighter touch - but only played one or 2 of them - so not sure they're all the same.

It would be best to have a potential piano assessed by a technician - and he/she could advise on whether the regulation could be adjusted finer for a lighter touch.


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Good advice above ! And by the way it's always a "mental thing" Human beings are subjective creatures especially when it comes to
music and emotion .But this is an exciting time ,choosing a new
piano is like an exciting vacation in a foreign land .So take your time.
Play as many brand pianos as you can and take notes .


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Originally Posted by Brian Sweeney
It's a mental thing.


In this case you must be patient and save more money to find a good Steinway, meanwhile keeping your daily practice minutes low and give chance to your hands to heal.

Because it seems that you might still miss having a Steinway even if you buy a good Yamaha C3 or similar grand with a very good action and tone.

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