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Joined: Feb 2015
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Why is it so difficult to find an uright with a proper music desk instead of that flip down ledge found on most uprights?

I know that I am not the only who dislikes, in my case detests, those flimsy, cheap looking flip down ledges. I have read PW threads
going back several years when this topic would be raised periodically. In my quest for an upright, a proper, full music desk is
tops on my list.

I have passed over several really lovely sounding pianos due to the lack of a music desk. I know, I know, I'm limiting myself
but it's a must.....so far I have looked at several Kawais (ST-1, K-400) dealer didn't have the K-800, Yamaha YUS-5 (very nice, but not in my budget), Yamaha P22 (hurt my ears when playing it), Bostons (UP-120S, UP-118S) and a Bluthner model D (lovely, but not in my budget)

Does anyone know if the Kawai K-700 is available in Canada? Are the Essex EUP-123S, or EUP-116 series worth a look?

I do have a personal preference, but before I write a cheque are there any other uprights to consider, remember it must have a proper music desk.

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Maybe this is what you need?

https://www.etsy.com/listing/656182386


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That's what attracted me to the Charles Walter 1500 Studio in the very beginning of my research once I had my max height determined. The entire front is the music desk.

Hard to find the front being a music desk these days. Even the highest tier uprights often have those flip down things to hold music. In my case, that is much too low for me, as well. And when you try to write on scores, the books flops around. And if you work with single sheets of paper like I usually do most of the time, it doesn't work at all!


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1998 PETROF Model IV Chippendale
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YAMAHA PSR-520

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2017 Charles Walter 1500 in semi-polish ebony
1991 Kawai 602-M Console in Oak
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How about a Baldwin B252 Concert Vertical.


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Top of the line Kawai K800 upright has a full music desk.

I agree about the lack of music desks in current offerings, it’s annoying because I won’t buy a piano without a full music desk - so it knocks a lot of pianos out of the running.


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I'm with you, TD—I detest those flimsy little shelves that appear even on high-end pianos. I always thought the old double-fold "Boston fallboards" that disappear under a full-width music desk with a swing-out front panel (think of an old Ivers & Pond or Poole) were the best idea for an upright—I'll never understand why they went out of style. The new Mason & Hamlin 50 has a full-width music desk. I haven't played one by many have a high regard for them.


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The Yamaha YUS5 has an excellent music desk. I know, it is out of your price range.

Last edited by LarryK; 03/03/21 05:54 PM.
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The K500 just has one of those flip out ones. But it's very large and not at all flimsy. Given the extra space and no-slip service I think it works better than the music desk style holder. The real downside for me is you can only use it when the key cover is up. Forces me to keep my piano tidy.

Last edited by Sail26; 03/03/21 06:10 PM.

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For a while, I had a Baldwin Hamilton 243, they had the music desk that goes along the enter width of the keyboard! That was such a great design!

Sorry, Tone Deaf, I know this doesn't help you! But I agree, those wimpy flip down desks are quite frustrating!


Started piano June 1999.
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Originally Posted by Tone Deaf
Why is it so difficult to find an uright with a proper music desk instead of that flip down ledge found on most uprights?
.so far I have looked at several Kawais (ST-1, K-400) dealer didn't have the K-800, Yamaha YUS-5 (very nice, but not in my budget), Yamaha P22 (hurt my ears when playing it), Bostons (UP-120S, UP-118S) and a Bluthner model D (lovely, but not in my budget)

Does anyone know if the Kawai K-700 is available in Canada? Are the Essex EUP-123S, or EUP-116 series worth a look?

The Kawai K-700 is not imported into North America. Insufficient demand, high price. What is the problem with the K-400? It's a 48" upright with the grand piano style fallboard and music desk.

All of the Kawai K series have a long music rack that is covered in artificial suede. They work much better than most of this type. But if this cabinet style isn't what you want, then the other pianos you mentioned seemed to have what you want. The 46" tall Kawai ST-1 cabinet was specially designed with this in mind - the music rack is the full width of the piano.


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Don't know if this will work for you, but a while back I built a super wide music desk. I hate flipping pages, so always made photocopies of sheet music and taped them together. However, once a piece exceeded 8 pages, it was still too wide. What to do then?

Finally I thought of using a tablet and a foot pedal, and have never looked back. Most of my music I find online and download as PDFs. For those only in my books, I cut out the pages, scan, and save as PDFs. Now instead of a shelf full of books, I just have a tablet and a thin foot pedal. I no longer care how many pages a piece has, and use the foot pedal to turn pages. I no longer need a piano light, and I can take all my music with me anytime. In fact, when I play my grand piano, I remove the music desk and just prop my tablet up in front of the tuning pins. Love the way my piano sounds without a music desk blocking the sound.

Finally, my PDFs are all stored in Dropbox, so if I lose my tablet or my house burns down, I don't lose any sheet music. Not sure if you want to go this route, but I highly recommend it.

Last edited by Emery Wang; 03/03/21 07:32 PM.

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It's not just about the score you are playing. I leave a pencil and artist eraser on my music desk. Closing the fallboard (hinged slider in my case) is not impeded by it. I often keep blank music staff paper on the far left when I'm playing to take down any interesting ideas that come up in improvisation. I always consider one of the benefits of an upright is a full width music desk-- pianos are also for composing and arranging, not just performance.

Using scores printed on single sheets from say IMSLP is another challenge.

On the other hand, I'm sure many would say they would rather put the money saved by having the middle pedal activate a practice rail and having a flip down music rest into the quality of tone and action.

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Originally Posted by Emery Wang
Don't know if this will work for you, but a while back I built a super wide music desk. I hate flipping pages, so always made photocopies of sheet music and taped them together. However, once a piece exceeded 8 pages, it was still too wide. What to do then?

Finally I thought of using a tablet and a foot pedal, and have never looked back. Most of my music I find online and download as PDFs. For those only in my books, I cut out the pages, scan, and save as PDFs. Now instead of a shelf full of books, I just have a tablet and a thin foot pedal. I no longer care how many pages a piece has, and use the foot pedal to turn pages. I no longer need a piano light, and I can take all my music with me anytime. In fact, when I play my grand piano, I remove the music desk and just prop my tablet up in front of the tuning pins. Love the way my piano sounds without a music desk blocking the sound.

Finally, my PDFs are all stored in Dropbox, so if I lose my tablet or my house burns down, I don't lose any sheet music. Not sure if you want to go this route, but I highly recommend it.

This is totally what I want to do but I can't find a large enough tablet for cheap yet. The dream would be the largest e-ink reader money can buy, but I'd settle for LCD.


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My Yamaha WX7 (1989) has a dream music desk...I can leave a half dozen books on it if I want and easily spread four pages across it. I wonder if any of their high end models have it these days? It boggles my mind why they don't, I would find it very hard to switch back to the flip down thingy if I ever get a different upright.

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Originally Posted by SuzyUpright
My Yamaha WX7 (1989) has a dream music desk...I can leave a half dozen books on it if I want and easily spread four pages across it. I wonder if any of their high end models have it these days? It boggles my mind why they don't, I would find it very hard to switch back to the flip down thingy if I ever get a different upright.

If I am not mistaken, the desk on the old WX7 is the same one that is on the current models of the YUS5. It's a terrific music desk and I don't want a flip down thingy either. The YUS5 also has a slow close lid.

I think the answer to why they don't put it on more models is cost. It has to be more expensive than the flip down model.

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Originally Posted by LarryK
Originally Posted by SuzyUpright
My Yamaha WX7 (1989) has a dream music desk...I can leave a half dozen books on it if I want and easily spread four pages across it. I wonder if any of their high end models have it these days? It boggles my mind why they don't, I would find it very hard to switch back to the flip down thingy if I ever get a different upright.

If I am not mistaken, the desk on the old WX7 is the same one that is on the current models of the YUS5. It's a terrific music desk and I don't want a flip down thingy either. The YUS5 also has a slow close lid.

I think the answer to why they don't put it on more models is cost. It has to be more expensive than the flip down model.
I think it has to do more with design/aesthetic than anything else...people might think that the desks we prefer are simply too "institutional"? We may never know.


I do music stuffs
Yep, I have a YouTube channel!

Current:
1998 PETROF Model IV Chippendale
LEGO Grand Piano (IDEAS 031|21323)
YAMAHA PSR-520

Past:
2017 Charles Walter 1500 in semi-polish ebony
1991 Kawai 602-M Console in Oak
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Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
Originally Posted by LarryK
Originally Posted by SuzyUpright
My Yamaha WX7 (1989) has a dream music desk...I can leave a half dozen books on it if I want and easily spread four pages across it. I wonder if any of their high end models have it these days? It boggles my mind why they don't, I would find it very hard to switch back to the flip down thingy if I ever get a different upright.

If I am not mistaken, the desk on the old WX7 is the same one that is on the current models of the YUS5. It's a terrific music desk and I don't want a flip down thingy either. The YUS5 also has a slow close lid.

I think the answer to why they don't put it on more models is cost. It has to be more expensive than the flip down model.
I think it has to do more with design/aesthetic than anything else...people might think that the desks we prefer are simply too "institutional"? We may never know.

Hmm, one narrow strip of wood with a couple of hinges, attached by a few screws, is cheaper than a glued up panel with a ledge, hinges, and a mechanism that allows it to be pulled out or pushed in.

Plus, the YUS5 has a hole cut in the case of the piano behind the music desk so the sound comes out there.

I don’t think my music desk looks institutional at all.

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Originally Posted by Groove On
Top of the line Kawai K800 upright has a full music desk.

I agree about the lack of music desks in current offerings, it’s annoying because I won’t buy a piano without a full music desk - so it knocks a lot of pianos out of the running.

This drives me crazy, too, I don't understand what designers are thinking.


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Originally Posted by LarryK
Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
I think it has to do more with design/aesthetic than anything else...people might think that the desks we prefer are simply too "institutional"? We may never know.

Hmm, one narrow strip of wood with a couple of hinges, attached by a few screws, is cheaper than a glued up panel with a ledge, hinges, and a mechanism that allows it to be pulled out or pushed in.
I guess I am thinking how the front of the piano itself is the desk, so the only thing to do is glue a simple strip of wood to keep music from sliding off. I wasn't thinking about anything fancier than that.

https://www.walterpiano.com/pianos/studio-pianos/


I do music stuffs
Yep, I have a YouTube channel!

Current:
1998 PETROF Model IV Chippendale
LEGO Grand Piano (IDEAS 031|21323)
YAMAHA PSR-520

Past:
2017 Charles Walter 1500 in semi-polish ebony
1991 Kawai 602-M Console in Oak
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