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Originally Posted by OE1FEU

I am sorry, but: SERIOUSLY?

Please tell us about your experience with other, non-Steinway, perfectly prepared 7 foot grands and above as a comparison, because otherwise this may just sound like a marketing ploy by a rogue Steinway employee.

If we weren't a seriously laid-back company, I - as a Bechstein employee - would take some serious offense at discarding other brands with a brush stroke as wide as that. Thank god, we focus on the quality of our instruments, not about declaring one brand as the only one worth playing and owning.

OP: My suggestion would be to find a classically trained pianist, which shouldn't be too difficult in NYC, and have her/him explore the space where your future piano will reside. She/He will have suggestions about size, sound projection that will narrow it down. But I would seriously question any opinion that has only one brand to offer.

If you want a seriously good car at the best possible standards, no one will ever tell you that only Mercedes is the way to go and that Audi, Porsche, Ford, BMW, Maserati, VW, Aston Martin are brands just not worth considering. And if they did, you'd discard their opinion as not really trustworthy.



I am amused you cherry picked that statement and glossed over the next line

"Everyone perceives things differently, so your ears and touch may prefer something else."

Glad you are proud of your favorite brand too as you clearly work for them. How about you help out OP and answer his question of budget to expect as I was doing with my preferred brand.

What budget should he plan for if he were to look at Bechsteins?

Last edited by ineedpiano; 02/17/20 06:10 PM.
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Thank you to you all. Lots of consider. If anyone has further advice, I would appreciate it. This process is quite different than other instruments I have purchased.

OE1FEU - the car analogy is an interesting one to me because it is also a large piece of machinery that people seem to romanticize, and you can waste a lot of money on a car based upon those romantic tales that are divorced from the engineering reality. That is the situation I am trying to avoid when purchasing a piano.

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Originally Posted by ineedpiano

I am amused you cherry picked that statement and glossed over the next line


How very polite of you.

But as soon as you introduce paradigms into an argument, it's reason enough to discard anything that comes after that. Your statement:

"In my eyes, Steinways are the only way to go for pianos, if you have the budget for it. The feel and sound is by far the most balanced across the range."

is rigorously absolute, which is why I asked for your experience with other comparable instruments.

I have given my recommendation and it stands as it is, because I am not a Bechstein sales guy.

That was my suggestion:

"My suggestion would be to find a classically trained pianist, which shouldn't be too difficult in NYC, and have her/him explore the space where your future piano will reside. She/He will have suggestions about size, sound projection that will narrow it down. But I would seriously question any opinion that has only one brand to offer."

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Originally Posted by OE1FEU
But as soon as you introduce paradigms into an argument, it's reason enough to discard anything that comes after that. Your statement:

"In my eyes, Steinways are the only way to go for pianos, if you have the budget for it. The feel and sound is by far the most balanced across the range."

is rigorously absolute, which is why I asked for your experience with other comparable instruments.
If you put the "in my eyes" in bold it's not absolute,it's just an opinion.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Op, you are getting great advice! I still think there's no reason to fill up the space with the biggest piano you can fit...
If that's true then it would mean that only those who have dedicated piano rooms should consider 7' pianos. The OPs room, even it is serving as a family room(don't think so), is far larger than most people's living rooms containing sofas, bookcases, etc. where their pianos frequently reside.


We don't need to argue about the perfect size, and you're misconstruing my comments, which were made based on my understanding of the OP (who has two children who are taking lessons and who himself may or may not start playing regularly) and not meant to apply to some other, hypothetical piano shopper.

I also may not be grasping the room well, I thought OP said there were two rooms on the parlor level, and one is a bedroom?? I can go back and find that post, but in any case, the totality of information lies not merely in the numerical description of length and width, but depends on what else is in the room, what else it's used for etc.

In any case, I think it's helpful to ... tone down the enthusiasm we tend to favor on this forum with regard to getting the biggest possible piano for the space. The OP does not need to be told that the only option is a 7-foot brand new Steinway.


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Originally Posted by Pleasehelp
the car analogy is an interesting one to me because it is also a large piece of machinery that people seem to romanticize, and you can waste a lot of money on a car based upon those romantic tales that are divorced from the engineering reality. That is the situation I am trying to avoid when purchasing a piano.


This sounds very reasonable to me.

I listed some brands that you could consider and that would be great options. I still think you can't go wrong with any one of those (Yamaha, Kawai, Boston, Steinway if you are so inclined). I will leave others to make recommendations about other models (Mason & Hamlin, Seiler etc.) And as for the size of the piano, anything over 6 feet will be great, 7 feet would be great if it fits with the layout and existing furniture, but you don't need to limit yourself to only the larger grands.

Truth be told, I'm sure we all just want to live vicariously through you and would love to see you buy the biggest, most top tier piano available! whome

Last edited by ShiroKuro; 02/17/20 07:10 PM.

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Based upon some of these posts, I think that I've done a poor job describing the applicable room, so I'll try again.

The piano would be ideally be located in a corner of the parlor floor of a traditional NYC townhouse, which is approximately 20X60, with approximately 12 foot ceilings. The parlor floor floor contains living spaces and a small bathroom. It does not contain bedrooms, a kitchen, etc. It's probably easiest to just visualize a long rectangle you could cut in 2/3 and 1/3 (using large doors) with hardwood floors (covered with some floor rugs), some rather ordinary furniture, some fireplaces, a dining table and a stairway to one side in the middle. Nothing particularly exciting about it and not the floor where people would typically watch TV, do homework, etc.

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Originally Posted by tend to rush
Originally Posted by PhilipInChina
The floor template will work. Alternatively you can mock something up with a table, boxes etc. to give an idea in 3 dimensions.


If using a template only, it's important at least to visualize a big, three dimensional object over the template. Based on a template, I thought I could accommodate just over six feet. Bought a 5' 7" and realized, on delivery, that anything larger would never have worked.

One of the things you do with the template is put three people at the templates outline of the legs and move the template about waist high around the area where you think you’re going to put it. Holding the template waist high gives a sense of three dimensions.


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Originally Posted by ineedpiano
Originally Posted by Furtwangler


Those prices are outdated


Care to share latest prices to help OP get a feel for cost of pianos?

If one has that kind of budget the "world is your oyster"
He could try Shigeru, Kawai GX, Estonia , Yamaha CX or SX , Mason & Hamlin or any wonderful European piano ,it does not have to be Steinways !

Last edited by Lady Bird; 02/17/20 09:35 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Originally Posted by Pleasehelp
Based upon some of these posts, I think that I've done a poor job describing the applicable room, so I'll try again.

The piano would be ideally be located in a corner of the parlor floor of a traditional NYC townhouse, which is approximately 20X60, with approximately 12 foot ceilings. The parlor floor floor contains living spaces and a small bathroom. It does not contain bedrooms, a kitchen, etc. It's probably easiest to just visualize a long rectangle you could cut in 2/3 and 1/3 (using large doors) with hardwood floors (covered with some floor rugs), some rather ordinary furniture, some fireplaces, a dining table and a stairway to one side in the middle. Nothing particularly exciting about it and not the floor where people would typically watch TV, do homework, etc.


Right then. I obviously don’t know how to read! whome

So yeah, you need a pretty big piano in that kind of space. laugh


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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
So yeah, you need a pretty big piano in that kind of space. laugh
Not "need" but "can have if you want one".

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Originally Posted by ineedpiano
To give one point of reference for appropriate budget -

This is for Steinways. ** These might be outdated prices, but it should give you an idea of the ranges you will be looking at
https://bradfieldpiano.com/steinway-piano-cost/

Model S: The smallest of Steinway grand pianos produced in the Queens factory, the Model S measures 5′ 1″ and ranges from $65,600 to $71,600. The Model S piano is recommended when space considerations are a primary focus.
Model M: This medium-sized model is historically one of Steinway’s most popular models for home use. The Model M measures 5′ 7″ and ranges from $63,100 to $69,400.
Model O: Measuring 5′ 10 3⁄4″, the Model O ranges from $71,100 to $78,100.
Model A: Slightly larger than the Model O, the Model A measures 6′ 2″ and ranges from $81,800 to $89,900. The Model O and Model A are recommended for larger home spaces, as well as for schools and piano instructors.
Model B: Measuring 6′ 10 1⁄2″, the Model B Steinway grand piano is a popular choice for serious pianists and piano technicians. The Model B is recommended for smaller recital halls and recording studios. The Model B ranges from $92,400 to $101,700.
Model D: Measuring 8′ 11 3⁄4″, the Model D Steinway grand piano is designed for the concert stage and is overwhelmingly chosen by concert pianists. The flagship Model D ranges from $148,700 to $163,600.


In my eyes, Steinways are the only way to go for pianos, if you have the budget for it. The feel and sound is by far the most balanced across the range. Everyone perceives things differently, so your ears and touch may prefer something else. For Steinway you really will be getting value for the price as they often retain their value as well.

Wasting money would be spending the same amount as you would to get a Steinway on a brand that is not Steinway, Yamaha, Bosendorfer, or Fazioli

I am not familiar with costs for the other top brands, but a quick search can help you solve that.

Here is a link to a video to display different sounds of the brands - interesting listen
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2GYYV8JSqM

Waisting money if you do not get a Steinways -- Really try a Bösendorfer, a Sauter ,a Bluthner or Bechstein.,
How about a Shigeru or an August Förster to name a few. If you are just are interested in Steinways
that would a waste of musical possibilities ,money and time.
If get a Steinways, then you get a Steinways and that is all you get !

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ineedpiano,
I presume you sell Steinway pianos? Otherwise it is just a "keeping up with the Jones's" thing with you ?

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Originally Posted by Pleasehelp
you can waste a lot of money on a car based upon those romantic tales that are divorced from the engineering reality. That is the situation I am trying to avoid when purchasing a piano.


This is an interesting criteria.

My suggestion is to go visit a Steinway dealership, and look at their Low (Essex, made in China), Mid (Boston, made in Japan), and High (Steinway & Sons, made in US and Europe) lines. After listening to their sales pitch about each line of pianos, you can adjust your budget accordingly. If you feel that High was too much money, you can visit a Yamaha or a Kawai dealership and try the selection there.

If your budget is actually 20K, Hailun is a Chinese brand that is rather well regarded as quality. Even though their prices have gone up recently, they are the current high value proposition. People WILL turn up their noses at it, but they make nice pianos.

Based on the given information though, I get the sense that this piano isn't for you personally, but you are helping someone else buy it. If so, I would quote him a price for a Steinway model B, and a Yamaha model C6X, and see which one he picks. I'm sure he has heard of these pianos. And if he suggests something else (like Bosendorfer), give him a price for that. All the prices are in pianobuyer.com as SMP (Suggested Max Price).

And don't worry about exploring all the other brands, unless you plan to visit dozens of dealers trying out Bluthners, Bosendorfers, Steingraeber, etc. They are all amazing, wonderful pianos, but an average American would have never heard of them.

Best of luck!

Last edited by redfish1901; 02/17/20 11:33 PM.
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PS: Since car analogy came up, here is mine:

Hand Made Pianos (Steinway, Boesondorfer, Bluthner, Steingarber, Grotrian, etc etc): Exotic cars. Are they worth it? Of course, they are. You get extreme performance for extreme $$$,$$$. But most people don't have $$$,$$$.

Kawai GX / Yamaha CX: Lexus / Acura of pianos: Reliable, practical, but oh-so-common and "boring". And no, there no German equivalents here because Germans only make hand made pianos now. (They have cheaper models made in China, but their quality factor is still unknown).

Estonia, Petrof: Sorta like Chevy Corvette -- exotic at an affordable price.

Upper end Chinese (Hailun, Kayserberg, etc): Sorta like Hyundais 20 years ago. High value, no established reputation.

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Originally Posted by redfish1901
Originally Posted by Pleasehelp
you can waste a lot of money on a car based upon those romantic tales that are divorced from the engineering reality. That is the situation I am trying to avoid when purchasing a piano.


This is an interesting criteria.

My suggestion is to go visit a Steinway dealership, and look at their Low (Essex, made in China), Mid (Boston, made in Japan), and High (Steinway & Sons, made in US and Europe) lines. After listening to their sales pitch about each line of pianos, you can adjust your budget accordingly. If you feel that High was too much money, you can visit a Yamaha or a Kawai dealership and try the selection there.

If your budget is actually 20K, Hailun is a Chinese brand that is rather well regarded as quality. Even though their prices have gone up recently, they are the current high value proposition. People WILL turn up their noses at it, but they make nice pianos.

Based on the given information though, I get the sense that this piano isn't for you personally, but you are helping someone else buy it. If so, I would quote him a price for a Steinway model B, and a Yamaha model C6X, and see which one he picks. I'm sure he has heard of these pianos. And if he suggests something else (like Bosendorfer), give him a price for that. All the prices are in pianobuyer.com as SMP (Suggested Max Price).

And don't worry about exploring all the other brands, unless you plan to visit dozens of dealers trying out Bluthners, Bosendorfers, Steingraeber, etc. They are all amazing, wonderful pianos, but an average American would have never heard of them.

Best of luck!

I agree perhaps a Steinways M -- for furniture and fashion !

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I too have been window shopping for pianos in NYC and Boston. I have my own thoughts on my own search and a reflection on my own personal history with my family piano. Currently we live in a 600 sq ft apartment in Manhattan and also spend vacations in a 1400 sq ft apartment in Boston. We soon will move to a 900 sq ft Manhattan apartment (hence the search).

1) Room size matters. I inherited my childhood piano growing up, a Steinway M which is about 5’ 7”. It was a great size for my parent’s small 900 square ft apartment growing up but now it lives in our 1400 sq ft apartment in a 16’ x 26’ living room with 10 ft ceilings. We live a spartan life (probably like the OP) with no TV or sofa or frankly any furniture besides bean bags and kids toys. In my opinion, while the M sounds worlds better in this space versus my parents apartment, it looks too small, I am positive a 6 foot or maybe a 7 foot would be the right size. How I wish I could trade in for a model B one day. Now I just need to find another 100k beneath the bean bags...

2) There is some correlation between cost and sound. I have been going to piano stores checking out hybrids, verticals and have been comparing grands to get a sense of the hybrids action and sound. My personal feeling is that quality enveloping sound does not come cheap and there does not appear to be much replacement for actual piano size. I haven’t yet found any hybrid, even the 17k n3x hybrid that comes close to delivering rich sound to a 26 x 16 room.

3) as for cars, I totally agree with the Op, I am a car geek and love debating about cars but I am not owning anything other than a Subaru or a used Honda. Not that it is a good justification, but I’ve learn to splurge on a few things to have a larger allocation for the things that I love and have the appreciation to enjoy. I would not enjoy the extraneous touch displays in the new Audi A6, but I sure do enjoy the sound of a beautiful grand piano, and enjoy the talents of my own ability to play.

4) I look forward to hearing what you decide to buy! Add me to the list of folks who are living vicariously through you!

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