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how far downward will steinway dealers go from the m.s.l.p. for Boston uprights ? those seem to be around $ 11 k. to $ 15 k. for the 118, 126, 132 PE models. are they actually cheaper to the consumer than the comparable kawai verticals (as hypothesized in the original post) ? does steinway try to market its boston uprights much in europe ?

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I have recently bought a Kawai k600 as (sostenuto pedal version). I can share my impressionas during the year long journey in choosing the piano.

My main requirement was to find an upright piano (I don't have space for a grand) as close as possible to a grand in terms of control. I am advanced pianist, currently preparing for a diploma.
I tried the whole Yamaha upright range (from U1 to SU7), the C. Bechstein 124cm, a Grotrian Steinweg 124, a couple of Bosendorfer, a Kawai k 500 and k 600, and others. The Bechstein and Grotrian were second hand in excellent conditions and costed about as much as a new K600.

For me the k600 had the closest control on the touch to a grand. I believe that's because of longer keys and of the Millenium IIi action. I found the low and high registers to be nice, but the middle one lacking a bit of colour. The Bechstein for me had the best sound and I loved the middle register of the Grotrian. But I didn't feel in complete control of the sound. As for me a good control was the main requirement, I wouldn't replace my 10k Kawai with the 40k Bosendorfer. But, I also reckon German pianos had in general a more colourful sound.

Last edited by fedbcc; 10/13/19 05:42 PM.
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Originally Posted by fedbcc
I have recently bought a Kawai k600 as (sostenuto pedal version). I can share my impressionas during the year long journey in choosing the piano.

My main requirement was to find an upright piano (I don't have space for a grand) as close as possible to a grand in terms of control. I am advanced pianist, currently preparing for a diploma.
I tried the whole Yamaha upright range (from U1 to SU7), the C. Bechstein 124cm, a Grotrian Steinweg 124, a couple of Bosendorfer, a Kawai k 500 and k 600, and others. The Bechstein and Grotrian were second hand in excellent conditions and costed about as much as a new K600.

For me the k600 had the closest control on the touch to a grand. I believe that's because of longer keys and of the Millenium IIi action. I found the low and high registers to be nice, but the middle one lacking a bit of colour. The Bechstein for me had the best sound and I loved the middle register of the Grotrian. But I didn't feel in complete control of the sound. As for me a good control was the main requirement, I wouldn't replace my 10k Kawai with the 40k Bosendorfer. But, I also reckon German pianos had in general a more colourful sound.
Thank you for sharing your experience - and welcome to Piano World !!!!!!


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Originally Posted by fedbcc
I have recently bought a Kawai k600 as (sostenuto pedal version). I can share my impressionas during the year long journey in choosing the piano.

My main requirement was to find an upright piano (I don't have space for a grand) as close as possible to a grand in terms of control. I am advanced pianist, currently preparing for a diploma.
I tried the whole Yamaha upright range (from U1 to SU7), the C. Bechstein 124cm, a Grotrian Steinweg 124, a couple of Bosendorfer, a Kawai k 500 and k 600, and others. The Bechstein and Grotrian were second hand in excellent conditions and costed about as much as a new K600.

For me the k600 had the closest control on the touch to a grand. I believe that's because of longer keys and of the Millenium IIi action. I found the low and high registers to be nice, but the middle one lacking a bit of colour. The Bechstein for me had the best sound and I loved the middle register of the Grotrian. But I didn't feel in complete control of the sound. As for me a good control was the main requirement, I wouldn't replace my 10k Kawai with the 40k Bosendorfer. But, I also reckon German pianos had in general a more colourful sound.

May I ask what was your oppinion on the Bechstein's action? Did it feel like you had control near the fallboard? I'm not aware how long are the key sticks in those uprights, and I also find their sound to be amongst the best that you could get in an upright.


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The concert 8 sound and action are fantastic in my opinion, but it was beyond my budget. The 124cm had a good action, but I think I prefer the kawai's. But the Bechstein uprights have an amazing sound indeed.

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Originally Posted by fedbcc
The concert 8 sound and action are fantastic in my opinion, but it was beyond my budget. The 124cm had a good action, but I think I prefer the kawai's. But the Bechstein uprights have an amazing sound indeed.


Thank you very much for your reports. Very helpful.

I wonder, if the sound of the Kawai could be altered by intensive voicing giving it more color.

Any expert comment by one of the resident tuners?

Thanks

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Voicing can only do so much.

If you are buying a piano with the intent of voicing it to your liking, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.


When you play, never mind who listens to you. R.Schumann.

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Thank you Learux, but this is a major disappointment and bad news. After reading many posts here I was under the impression, that prepping and voicing are enormously powerful tools.

Thaks again

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Prepping and voicing are important tools, but they are not going to fundamentally change the character of a piano in most cases, unless done to an extreme level (which risks markedly changing the behavior of a piano that you ostensibly liked in the first place...and is sometimes not reversible).

Voicing for "more color" or "more sustain", etc. might be possible by the very best of technicians, but the effects tend to be subtle, if at all possible. Some pianos just can't do more than they were built to do.


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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Prepping and voicing are important tools, but they are not going to fundamentally change the character of a piano in most cases, unless done to an extreme level (which risks markedly changing the behavior of a piano that you ostensibly liked in the first place...and is sometimes not reversible).

Voicing for "more color" or "more sustain", etc. might be possible by the very best of technicians, but the effects tend to be subtle, if at all possible. Some pianos just can't do more than they were built to do.


Would it be correct to assume that, in general, "Those European Uprights" have a lower tension design, whereas the Kawai uprights have a higher tension design? You'd have to go to the Boston if you want a Kawai-built piano with a lower tension design.

How might the tension impact the character or dynamic range of a piano?

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I don’t know, I’m not a piano designer. Tension is often related to the size of the piano. Concert grands have higher tension scales than medium sized grands, within the same brands. I assume the same is true of vertical pianos.

Taking the one concept as a primary determinant of whether the tone of a piano is “good” or not is the realm of the marketing department. The marketing department also tends to know almost nothing about piano design...

I tend to try and judge whether a piano is good or not, based on its performance as a finished product, and totally ignore the marketing... and sometimes, the forum hype!


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Originally Posted by navindra
Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Prepping and voicing are important tools, but they are not going to fundamentally change the character of a piano in most cases, unless done to an extreme level (which risks markedly changing the behavior of a piano that you ostensibly liked in the first place...and is sometimes not reversible).

Voicing for "more color" or "more sustain", etc. might be possible by the very best of technicians, but the effects tend to be subtle, if at all possible. Some pianos just can't do more than they were built to do.


Would it be correct to assume that, in general, "Those European Uprights" have a lower tension design, whereas the Kawai uprights have a higher tension design? You'd have to go to the Boston if you want a Kawai-built piano with a lower tension design.

How might the tension impact the character or dynamic range of a piano?


I’m certainly no expert but from what I’ve read the scale design of the pianos directly impact the sound and colour. I believe the Boston’s have a different scale design than the Kawai’s manufactured in the same Kawai factory.


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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
I don’t know, I’m not a piano designer. Tension is often related to the size of the piano. Concert grands have higher tension scales than medium sized grands, within the same brands. I assume the same is true of vertical pianos.

Taking the one concept as a primary determinant of whether the tone of a piano is “good” or not is the realm of the marketing department. The marketing department also tends to know almost nothing about piano design...

I tend to try and judge whether a piano is good or not, based on its performance as a finished product, and totally ignore the marketing... and sometimes, the forum hype!


I don't know if it's marketing or not, but as I've auditioned upright pianos, I have felt a difference in sound and character between pianos that follow European designs and Kawai/Yamaha. I was trying to understand what might account for the sound/character differences. In addition to the different materials (which seems to be squarely in the realm of marketing... I have no idea why I would care about a Renner hammer or ebony sharps, for example, or why I would care about all-spruce versus solid-spruce), the scale design (lower or higher tension) tended to differ as well, even in pianos of comparable size.

All the factors do come into play, obviously, but I find the different scale designs to be an interesting consideration.

Originally Posted by j&j
I’m certainly no expert but from what I’ve read the scale design of the pianos directly impact the sound and colour. I believe the Boston’s have a different scale design than the Kawai’s manufactured in the same Kawai factory.


Right...

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Originally Posted by navindra
I don't know if it's marketing or not, but as I've auditioned upright pianos, I have felt a difference in sound and character between pianos that follow European designs and Kawai/Yamaha. I was trying to understand what might account for the sound/character differences. In addition to the different materials (which seems to be squarely in the realm of marketing... I have no idea why I would care about a Renner hammer or ebony sharps, for example, or why I would care about all-spruce versus solid-spruce), the scale design (lower or higher tension) tended to differ as well, even in pianos of comparable size.

All the factors do come into play, obviously, but I find the different scale designs to be an interesting consideration.
Why wouldn't you care about a Renner hammer and/or other materials?" What about the different types of actions on various pianos? All of these things contribute to the overall feel and sound of a given piano - in addition to scale design.


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Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by navindra
I don't know if it's marketing or not, but as I've auditioned upright pianos, I have felt a difference in sound and character between pianos that follow European designs and Kawai/Yamaha. I was trying to understand what might account for the sound/character differences. In addition to the different materials (which seems to be squarely in the realm of marketing... I have no idea why I would care about a Renner hammer or ebony sharps, for example, or why I would care about all-spruce versus solid-spruce), the scale design (lower or higher tension) tended to differ as well, even in pianos of comparable size.

All the factors do come into play, obviously, but I find the different scale designs to be an interesting consideration.
Why wouldn't you care about a Renner hammer and/or other materials?" What about the different types of actions on various pianos? All of these things contribute to the overall feel and sound of a given piano - in addition to scale design.



Sure, I might certainly care if I knew what a Renner was... but from what I've read, at least in Kawai's convincing marketing literature, Kawai/Yamaha materials are already top notch. The fact that Kawai hammers aren't "Renner hammers" doesn't really mean anything to my uncultured self. And on the contrary, Kawai certainly makes a good case for their innovative action design.... yet in practice, I've found all-wood actions can be very pleasing as well.

Given all things being comparable from a materials and factory perspective, the scale design differences appear to be the standout factor. My impression is that scale design has a massive impact on sound characteristics, dynamic range/control, and musicality.

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Yes Navidra. The scale design is each manufacturer's "recipe" for their instruments. Pianos basically have the same parts, strings, harp, soundboard etc., but it's how it's all put together and developed that makes each brand. It is like giving different bakers the same ingredients to bake a cake and yet some of the baker's cakes taste better than others.

Growing up in NY we had Baldwin and Steinway as the known top brands. As years went on Yamaha and Kawai came up as top notch brands. In later years Young Chang was known as a Yamaha clone for less money.

I never heard of most of these European brands. As our world gets smaller due to online commerce and forums, such as this, we're exposed to so much more. I love all the information that is here. I've learned so much through all the discussions that take place.

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Originally Posted by RayR3004
Yes Navidra. The scale design is each manufacturer's "recipe" for their instruments. Pianos basically have the same parts, strings, harp, soundboard etc., but it's how it's all put together and developed that makes each brand. It is like giving different bakers the same ingredients to bake a cake and yet some of the baker's cakes taste better than others.

Growing up in NY we had Baldwin and Steinway as the known top brands. As years went on Yamaha and Kawai came up as top notch brands. In later years Young Chang was known as a Yamaha clone for less money.

I never heard of most of these European brands. As our world gets smaller due to online commerce and forums, such as this, we're exposed to so much more. I love all the information that is here. I've learned so much through all the discussions that take place.
I basically agree with everything you say - except that all "parts" are not created equal (strings, harp, soundboard, action, etc. etc.). smile


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Yes. True Carey. The "spices" are not as pure as others. smile

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Originally Posted by RayR3004

I never heard of most of these European brands.


Then time to learn. Remember that European brands and makers are at the heart of piano history and the standard that manufacturers elsewhere spent many, many years trying to match.

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