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Joined: Mar 2011
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WingNL Offline OP
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Sorry I am opening a new topic again. Normally I would re-use my old one, but it doesn’t make much sense anymore. After all tips I’ve gotten, and all good ones, I came up with a shortlist.

Basically, I need to decide for either a small grand pia o, or a vertical, which are;

Baby grand:
- W Hoffmann, t161 (2000)
- seiler (1975)
- kawai k (1979)

The W Hoffmann being in the best condition, Kawai being ‘the worst’. But still plays really well. The finish is not so great any more.

The verticals
- Yamaha UX-10A (1994)
- Bechstein C 114(1978)
- Grotrian Steinweg G-114 (new)

While the Yamaha sounds the least attractive, it still is a fine instrument.

Now, my question is actually not wether I like them or if they are in good condition or not, they are all good specimens, well maintained and affordable, except for the Grotrian being 4k more than the others.Yamaha being the cheapest of them all.

So my different issue is now that I can get them all inside, which was an issue but that’s now known how to solve that.

Now is the question really what would be the wiser choice of getting an vertical (smaller) or a grand.

The pianos would both stand on more or less the same spot. The vertical is much smaller and would fit. Changing my room which I sometimes do, is pretty easy with this. I can still can reach all corners of the room. My thoughts on getting a vertical would be: It looks nice, doesn’t take too much space but will not have a superb action like a grand piano. Even tho these are pretty good ones.

So,...


A baby grand would take full space below my roof-window. Placement is hard, as I cannot move around that particular space anymore. Maybe there is 10-20 space around in total. Getting the lid up will be slightly challenging. Also, when it’s there, it’s there. I can’t change any position, and i really need some curtains to have the sun not burn the piano wink. But the sound, and the ones I like are really enjoyable to play. It’s so easy to control dynamics, which is not so easy on a vertical,... ( also tried a shigeru kawai, but I honestly enjoy these more,... but I am still a beginner).

I am not planning to move soon, or change rooms, but I am in a real dilemma here. I really have no clue what would be best in my case.

If I would pick a baby grand, I most likely pick the W hoffmann, if a vertical, All 3 are still an option, tho leaning least towards the Bechstein as it has really thin black keys. Grotrian sounds best but twice as expensive as the Yamaha. The store also has bigger ones, I tried most of them, but they didn’t do it for me. Hence why I picked these. (partly budget wise as well).


Anyways, which specific one will be least of my concern, but which type to get is, in my situation, is the hardest, and I can’t come to a decision.

Can you guys & girls give me some sound advice on what I should get? baby grand or a small vertical? commenting on which one is also fine, but not needed per se. All input welcome.

Thanks, <3


Picture of the space (Sorry, its a shitty picture and currently a little messy) https://imgshare.io/image/55fbf359-6ca5-4c41-9983-77e4ccbf45f4.pnf63y



For those more interest in the specifics, links to all pianos:

yamaha https://emilevanleenenpianos.nl/products/713_yamaha-ux-10a
bechstein https://emilevanleenenpianos.nl/products/685_bechstein
grotrian https://emilevanleenenpianos.nl/products/249-grotrian-steinweg-nieuw

babies:
kawai https://emilevanleenenpianos.nl/products/716_k-kawai
seiler https://emilevanleenenpianos.nl/products/650_seiler
w hoffmann https://emilevanleenenpianos.nl/products/689_w-hoffmann

Last edited by WingNL; 03/30/21 12:31 PM.

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If what you want is a grand, don't make excuses or you'll end up talking yourself into reason why it WON'T fit. I never understood why people did that. If you see it, like it, and want it, jump on it and figure out where to put it later.


How long have you been playing? You'll outgrow an upright no matter how well built it is. A grand you won't ever have to move away from unless you want more volume or a different finish. If you wanna buy twice, get you the upright!

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What are the dimensions of the room?

Regards,


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WingNL Offline OP
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The room is bigger, but its a divided room. So for the sake of simplicity, its only that part what you see where i can place it. On the other side what you. ant see is a studio desk.

https://pin.it/45nOSLa

its an older floor plan, but its the bottom part. 220x370.

I’m still a beginner. I can play a few parts, but I wouldn’t for sure call me a advanced player. I still need to learn more scales, arpeggios and properly play them

Last edited by WingNL; 03/30/21 04:44 PM.

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Originally Posted by itsfreakingmeout
If what you want is a grand, don't make excuses or you'll end up talking yourself into reason why it WON'T fit. I never understood why people did that. If you see it, like it, and want it, jump on it and figure out where to put it later.


How long have you been playing? You'll outgrow an upright no matter how well built it is. A grand you won't ever have to move away from unless you want more volume or a different finish. If you wanna buy twice, get you the upright!
[quote=itsfreakingmeout]


It feels wrong to buy a grand, as beginner. But you’re perhaps right,.. buying an upright twice,.. also not seeing that. I want to at least play it for around a 15 years.


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If you want a grand they obviously represent the highest potential a piano can reach, but that's with all things being equal, which they almost never are. I strongly disagree with the idea that one can "outgrow" an upright short of perhaps being a world class professional pianist. A modern high-end upright is better than any piano any of the classical greats ever played on, and 52" upright has a soundboard on par with ~5'10" grands, certainly well beyond most smaller baby grands. And the original primary downside of a much slower actions in uprights has all but been completely eliminated in most modern actions.

So, choose the piano you want, and looks and emotional appeal are a perfectly legitimate element to consider for why you love a piano, and don't let anyone tell you it's not, but if you find an upright where the cost and sound is better than a grand you're looking at, don't get the grand just because you think it's automatically better. Your fingers and ears probably aren't deceiving you about that upright.

I played a lot of pianos at my local store when I bought my recent upright. And it struck me how absolutely amazing the high end grands are. But it also struck me how noticeably better a lot of the high end uprights (K800, SE Seilers, Grotrians etc) than the lower level grands that cost a lot more.

Last edited by Sail26; 03/30/21 06:30 PM.

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If you feel committed to sticking with piano, then get a grand. If you’re not feeling you ‘need one’ yet, you probably will in a year or two. If you have the space, then having a grand will probably never make you unhappy, and it will certainly contribute to your advancement in learning. It all depends on how you feel about it. Only you can know what you truly desire. 😊❤️


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thanks for all the replies. I never am sure if I stick with an intrent. I have periods. Sometimes I play a hurdy gurdy, other time
guitar, but always coming back to pianos.

I think I decide to go for a W Hoffmann. They have Bechstein’s hammers, renner action, sounds good. I only want to know if its really the T type or another. I don’t want a laminated sound board. Then again, its from 2000, so laminating techniques are way way better now. Taylor Guitars also use them mostly, and they are top notch.

I can put the piano a little better in the corner and it’ll give some more space. I was looking mostly at the Sailer, but I just like the black finish more fancy for a grand.

Thanks all.

I have to do some final measurements. Saturday will make the final decision.


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Wishing you such good luck!! Let us know what you decide on! 😊


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Honestly, I have both... a grand and an upright. If you are looking for sound quality - you might get better sound out of an quality larger upright than a small baby grand. If you are looking for action - a grand is where it is at... most of the time. My upright has renner action. My grand does not. My upright is European and has warmer tones, my grand is American. I love both dearly and would be difficult to choose only one. I have been playing for 45 years, my partner is a professional pianist, so we would likely stick with the grand. HOWEVER, for a hobbyist, logistically and sound wise, you may well be more than satisfied with one of your upright selections. Which one feels best to you and sings? Go with that. I went through university on my upright... no regrets at all!

Last edited by neciebugs; 03/31/21 04:28 PM.

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Thanks! Good points. What I love anout these small grands is that they are not the all smallest ones. So the strings are like 160cm+ (sorry, im bad at the other unit system 😅). The grand which I probably going to prefer is the W Hoffmann, it is from 2000 with a renner action and Bechstein hammers. I yet have to play this one properly as it was a suggestion by the seller at last moment before I went out. So I can revert back by the Sailer. But that’s a detail, haha.

The verticals are short, except for the Yamaha (121cm). But the tones are sweeter on the others. They all are solid pianos as far as I can tell. I know many advice to get a bigger upright, but issue is really that the selection are more expensive, and they do not per se sound better to my ears, and even tho their actions are great, i can’t play that soft on an upright (tested) as on the tried grands.

The W Hoffmann is around 175cm. So its not the smallest.

So all good suggestions. I think if I put it more i to the corner, it may just create more space. So time to cut the card board and build a rough small grand 😃.

Who knows,.. I may be come back with a different one. But im happy i chose for now.


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Originally Posted by itsfreakingmeout
If what you want is a grand, don't make excuses or you'll end up talking yourself into reason why it WON'T fit. I never understood why people did that. If you see it, like it, and want it, jump on it and figure out where to put it later.


How long have you been playing? You'll outgrow an upright no matter how well built it is. A grand you won't ever have to move away from unless you want more volume or a different finish. If you wanna buy twice, get you the upright!
So you don't think a beginner will get to grade 8 ABRSM by using a good upright? If you do you are deluded, but no offence intended.
Ian


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Depending on the upright you buy, you’ll never outgrow it. On this Forum, there are a large group of advanced pianists that have and enjoy uprights.

If your long term piano plans include owning a grand, getting it sooner rather than later makes sense.

Just pick the piano you fall in love with. Whether you are a beginner or advanced, you deserve the best piano you can afford.


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I think a professional/well trained pianist can make each piano sound better than I can make the world’s greatest grand piano ;-. I would also never reach a high level as I am simply already some older and it’s a hobby, rather than anything professional.

I am mostly doubting between the space, and the dynamic reach of the action on an upright vs a grand.

I know that one can train to play the instrument better. Get bonded to really know the ins and outs of it. With the grand, I didn’t have to, it just worked how I expected it to work. Can also be a taste of instant gratification ;-)

I have to suffer some space, when taking a grand that I intended for some storage, or perhaps sitting area in my home studio. There are other creative ways to do that.

The vertical will be a no-brainer, and no sacrifices for space, whilst the grand is. Anyways, my brain is going in circles, haha. Saturday is decision day. Another two days of circular thinking smile


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Originally Posted by WingNL
I think a professional/well trained pianist can make each piano sound better than I can make the world’s greatest grand piano ;-. I would also never reach a high level as I am simply already some older and it’s a hobby, rather than anything professional.

I'm at the same place where you are, my friend. I'll never be a rock-star, or any kind of concert pianist, or ever play at a very high level. Just a meager piano enthusiast, hobbyist, amateur player and song writer. But I sure do have a lot of fun trying! smile

Plus, it keeps me out of trouble, off of drugs, alcohol, and out of the insane asylum. smile

Good luck, whether grand or vertical!

Grand or vertical, which shall it be
Sometimes it all seems to baffle me
Both have their strengths and weaknesses too
Which makes it harder to decide what to do

Nevertheless, we must decide, all on our own
And make the best decision possible, whether right or wrong
But if our choices just don't work out
We can try again, more experienced, no doubt smile

Rick


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Originally Posted by WingNL
I think a professional/well trained pianist can make each piano sound better than I can make the world’s greatest grand piano ;-. I would also never reach a high level as I am simply already some older and it’s a hobby, rather than anything professional.

I am mostly doubting between the space, and the dynamic reach of the action on an upright vs a grand.

I'm exactly where you are as well here. But just because I didn't start playing until my 60s and have no ambitions beyond enjoyment doesn't mean I don't want to have the nicest piano to play that I can reasonably afford and find room for.

Re the dynamics of an upright, if you are playing a largish upright in a normal room as opposed to a concert hall with hundreds of people in it you should find no practical limits in the choice of an upright. Try a K800 such as mine or other equivalent scale uprights and you'll find their dynamic range is significantly more than you need in a normal room and greater than many smaller grands, but a good large grand (if you have the money and space) is going to trump everything.

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I would go for the smaller new Grotrian upright. I think they sound beautiful and have a very nice action. To me large pianos are too loud for personal playing in a living room, but it really depends on what you like. I consider my K300 the max in terms of loudness. Grotrians are the best sounding uprights that I have ever heard.

I hope that a smaller Grotrian upright will be my next piano some day. But that would also depend on the quality of their silent system.

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Have you seen this Grotrian upright: https://emilevanleenenpianos.nl/products/249-grotrian-steinweg-nieuw ? It helps that the pianist is good. (click on video)

Last edited by pianogabe; 04/01/21 11:25 AM.
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I heard two of the smaller Grotrian uprights in London. Some of the nicest sounds I have heard from an upright. Wonderful richness AND clarity. And no nasal 'upright' tinge.

The same shop had the three Steingraebers, which might have been objectively 'better', and a Bosendorfer 130. But if you had told me I had to skip those for the Grotrians, I would have felt OK about it.

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Originally Posted by Rickster
Originally Posted by WingNL
I think a professional/well trained pianist can make each piano sound better than I can make the world’s greatest grand piano ;-. I would also never reach a high level as I am simply already some older and it’s a hobby, rather than anything professional.

I'm at the same place where you are, my friend. I'll never be a rock-star, or any kind of concert pianist, or ever play at a very high level. Just a meager piano enthusiast, hobbyist, amateur player and song writer. But I sure do have a lot of fun trying! smile

Plus, it keeps me out of trouble, off of drugs, alcohol, and out of the insane asylum. smile

Good luck, whether grand or vertical!

Grand or vertical, which shall it be
Sometimes it all seems to baffle me
Both have their strengths and weaknesses too
Which makes it harder to decide what to do

Nevertheless, we must decide, all on our own
And make the best decision possible, whether right or wrong
But if our choices just don't work out
We can try again, more experienced, no doubt smile

Rick

That sounds like a lit of fun. I am very curious about your ponders, who knows, maybe it van help me pull into another direction. You know, biases wink. I do feel, I don’t want to gamble with this money. Though, neither choice would probably be bad.


Originally Posted by gwing
Originally Posted by WingNL
I think a professional/well trained pianist can make each piano sound better than I can make the world’s greatest grand piano ;-. I would also never reach a high level as I am simply already some older and it’s a hobby, rather than anything professional.

I am mostly doubting between the space, and the dynamic reach of the action on an upright vs a grand.

I'm exactly where you are as well here. But just because I didn't start playing until my 60s and have no ambitions beyond enjoyment doesn't mean I don't want to have the nicest piano to play that I can reasonably afford and find room for.

Re the dynamics of an upright, if you are playing a largish upright in a normal room as opposed to a concert hall with hundreds of people in it you should find no practical limits in the choice of an upright. Try a K800 such as mine or other equivalent scale uprights and you'll find their dynamic range is significantly more than you need in a normal room and greater than many smaller grands, but a good large grand (if you have the money and space) is going to trump everything.

No age is too late when you want to just enjoy, right on there!

Regarding the upright or grand. Neither will be big ;-) so that’s a loose-loose for me. I think that my phrase was wrong to say dynamics,.. maybe. I want to be able to play very soft. This is significantly harder on an upright.

I cannot try a K800 around here. Tho, I was able to try a U3, but those ones were not in the best shapes, and didn’t really appeal to me. The UX-10A was a nicer fit. I think I preferred all the smaller verticals. Can be just coincidental (knowing the amount of different types, conditions, sizes and ages are very diverse).


Originally Posted by pianogabe
I would go for the smaller new Grotrian upright. I think they sound beautiful and have a very nice action. To me large pianos are too loud for personal playing in a living room, but it really depends on what you like. I consider my K300 the max in terms of loudness. Grotrians are the best sounding uprights that I have ever heard.

I hope that a smaller Grotrian upright will be my next piano some day. But that would also depend on the quality of their silent system.

I fortunately live in a house which looks like they are connected but they are not. So a fake villa ;-). That helps with the sound production, bleeding to our neighbours. But I can imagine the loudness, yes. The interesting thing is, that the grotrian has the nicer base sound like the Yamaha I’ve tried, and has its sweet but crisp top like the Bechstein I’ve tried. The one you’ve linked is the exact one I’ve tried at his place.

It most likely will be the grotrian, unless they can make the Bechstein play like that (hit the base strings harder, as it still needs work anyways). But the grand piano was very much balanced. Actually, all the three grands I’ve played, were very close to each other, less difference than the verticals. Feels like less compromise except,.. the space.

I want to try to have the grotrian head to head with the w hoffmann. Going to try the low volume playing and fast repetition. The highs and the lows, and feel of the keys.

Lets see how it goes :-) The grotrian does indeed aound very very nice. Especially for its size.


Originally Posted by Maestro Lennie
I heard two of the smaller Grotrian uprights in London. Some of the nicest sounds I have heard from an upright. Wonderful richness AND clarity. And no nasal 'upright' tinge.

The same shop had the three Steingraebers, which might have been objectively 'better', and a Bosendorfer 130. But if you had told me I had to skip those for the Grotrians, I would have felt OK about it.

Haven’t tried the others,.. but indeed what you mentioned, not nasal,... many others do, or very muffled sounding,. or warm,.. I don’t like too warm piano’s


Hmmm, another night to sleep on it 😅


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