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#2984055 05/26/20 08:15 AM
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As concert grands are 9 feet, and given that even fazioli makes a 9 feet grand, and even when fazioli sends pianos to competitions like the Chopin, they send their 9 feet grand, what's the point of their 10 feet grand? What's the target of this piano? Is there a significant sound difference or improvement? Has anyone experience with this piano?

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Unfortunately I have never seen it, but I mean it is obviously even bigger, better, nicer sounding, potentially louder, and more expensive than the 9 feet model. I guess the point is to be able to claim they product the biggest (and potentially best) piano in the world, and some (but not many) will definitely buy to have the absolute best of the best.
I can only guess why we don't often see the 308 too often - probably very few exists, there improvement compared to 9ft might be very marginal, and I can imagine that on a competition they want something that is similar to the other 9ft models, so there is no possible advantage for some of the competitors and differences in loudness.

But I would also love to hear first hand experiences on how the F308 plays.

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Another point may be, that 308 plays considerably different for the top competition player that usual 272-282 model of major brands. It's on average 35cm more... so that's a lot. Nonne will risk that on a competition. While there are different pianos, but the competitors are used to and know how concert grand behaves from different brands. 308 is a best they do not know. Little bit of freedom and it may be a disaster. Noone will risk their potential of going higher in competition only due to play on a fancy piano.

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Like the two posters above, I have never played one. Have seen a couple, one on stage at NAMM several years ago and another at Pianoforte Chicago. The model 278 is a lot easier to find in the US, and you see them in the occasional concert hall and international competition.


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I tuned one once. It was a nice piano, but I preferred the CFIIIs that I tuned the same day. I believe that beyond a certain point, differences in good quality concert grands depend more on individual tastes and the individual piano than on the make and design.

Design matters most in small pianos. If someone claims to have a great new design for a piano, I would rather judge it on a small piano than a concert grand, but concert grands appeal to those who cannot judge by anything except size.


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For a short time some years ago, Pierre had the 308 in his store. I believe it was right after it had come out. It was very nice but to be honest, I preferred the 278 that was his *rental /concert* piano. Actually he always call his 278 , Herbie's (Hancock) piano, since it goes most often with him.

Maybe because the 278 had more fine tuning done to it and was broken in more, I preferred it. That piano was quite a sight though ! It seemed to take up half of his showroom. shocked


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The thing I don't understand about the F308 is the 4th pedal. Their website says

"It is endowed with a fourth pedal invented by Fazioli. Located to the left of the three traditional pedals, it reduces the hammer-blow distance THUS reducing the volume without modifying the timbre, at the same time facilitating the performance of glissandos, pianissimos, rapid passages and legatos."

It sounds a lot like the "soft" pedal you would find on an inexpensive upright that doesn't a have true una corda pedal. Is that pedal really a selling point for a super-high-end piano?

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It's another tool to have.
The Steingraeber "Mozart Rail" is a twist on the same concept that also changes the key dip.


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Here is an interesting video I found. Only 26 views as of today, posted 2 weeks ago. At 10:50, he explains what he had to do to get used to the instrument.

Fazioli F308 Presentation, By Daniel Vnukowski
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTx3OxFd2-I

I wonder how the bass of this compares to the Bosendorfer 290 Imperial. A0 goes the full length on the F308, where as the Imperial has to accommodate the 9 extra notes, with 18 fewer cm.

I think the 4th pedal would be useful, esp. if the hammers were still fresh or newly voiced, since the una corda might not change the tone as much. I think the presenter also mentions it being much easier to trill ppp on with the 4th pedal down. I wish I had it on my grand, rather than that una corda. I get a lot of use out of it on my upright, since it's harder to play ppp with the action (damper springs?).


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I've had the fortune of being able to spend a good amount of time on both a F308 and Imperials, as well as the more common F278.

The bottom few notes are definitely better on the 308. Hearing an A0 like that is something every musician should experience smile I'd say the F308's bass is a little overpowered and the Imperial or F278 are a little easier to sit down at and just play. It's very fun to hit the low notes hard on the F308 but to the audience it sounds kind of like there's a huge subwoofer hooked up.

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From the Daniel Vnukowski video referenced above, there are a number of technical innovations in this piano that may not be available from other manufacturers. Stuart and a few others have the fourth, half-blow pedal. Fazioli (like Wayne Stuart) has modified his so you can play both the half-blow and the una corda at the same time for an intriguing effect. Like some other manufacturers, Fazioli has a way to adjust the touch by segment; in the 308 you just lift up the key slip and you can make the keys heavier or lighter, by segment. What the 308 has that may be unique is "magnetic balancing action." The touch is regulated entirely by magnetism. There are no weights in the keys. Given the considerable length of each key, compared even to a normal concert grand, Fazioli has had to do a lot of research to achieve the degree of comfort and control that Vnukowski explains (and displays) is available in this piano.

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I feel somewhat qualified to chime in here.

I have an F308 from 2008 in my living room, and I have had the pleasure of playing a few others, including the very first F308 ever built. I was told that there are about 120 in existence, a few years ago. I can't imagine more than a few being built every year.

The model was developed, I believe, for greater power originally. However, there are more important qualitative differences from F278, even though the two models have a lot of similarities.

The most important difference is the inharmonicity in the lowest octave. The fundamentals and low-order harmonics are clearer in F308, and maintain clarity down to the lowest note. The first time I played an F308, I was compelled to play Franck Prelude, Chorale and Fugue, because the pipe-organ-like clarity.

Comparing an F308 right next to an F278, I've found F308 to develop more harmonics in the middle range as you dig deeper, giving a wider gamut of colours.

Power isn't really an issue. The first-generation design (until the late 90's I believe) was often criticized in this respect, but the latest design (post early 2010s) lacks nothing in this respect.

The fourth pedal, which reduces the key dip and the blow distance, is extremely useful, I've found, in playing pianissimo very rapidly: imagine the opening of Ondine/Gaspard.

Fazioli experimented with the "magnetic balancing action" in the past I believe, but I recall they were by special-order, and very few pianos were shipped with them. Fazioli continues to experiment, and the pianos are constantly evolving. Laminated soundboard and solid metal flange rail are some of their latest innovations.

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Thanks for your first person account. May I assume that since your F308 doesn't have the magnetic balancing action, that you also don't have the ability to adjust the touch on the device behind the key slip? It wasn't clear from the video whether these two features were connected, but again, I assume that's the case if what you are adjusting is the positioning of the magnets.

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Lots of interesting comments in this thread. Now after reading your experiences i dream about fazioli making a 97 keys grand and comparing it with a bosendorfer imperial.

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Originally Posted by Ubu
Lots of interesting comments in this thread. Now after reading your experiences i dream about fazioli making a 97 keys grand and comparing it with a bosendorfer imperial.

I've made a suggestion of making a 92-key F308. There is certainly enough room for 4 extra keys and strings.

The earliest F308 had an extra string below A0, which wasn't struck by a hammer. Some Kawai had this feature as well once up on a time.


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