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Joined: Sep 2009
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Hi all

Returning here after a hiatus as I am back in the market. Been lurking for a little while so forgive me. I am an intermediate player and aiming for advanced ultimately.

I currently have a console sized Wagner upright. I purchased this maybe 5 years ago. At that time I had already been playing for quite some years so had a decent ear and knew what sound I wanted. Now as I progress I find it lacks the dynamic range that I now need.

Thus I am seeking a piano that will serve me from intermediate (to advanced hopefully). I was hoping to get a grand piano as I know ultimately they have the best action for dynamic playing etc. I recognize however good uprights can surpass poor grand pianos.

My goal was to get a used grand for 10k Canadian approx (8k USD). 5.5ft minimum maybe up to 6ft. I would trade in my Wagner. I recognize the COVID effect on inventory. I want to buy at a store to get short term finance. Due to poor inventory they pointed me to a new Pearl River GP160 which is a 5'3" grand at 12k Canadian (9.5k USD).

I am seeking warm mellow sound. Think this piano would work? Or am I better waiting for a used grand around same price, maybe get a Yamaha which I am guessing will be higher quality?

Thanks.

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Honestly, I would wait a bit to see what else comes up. I’m not knocking Pearl River, but if it was a Ritmuller Premium grand, I’d say go for it. I think you can do better with a little more time and searching. I’m confused, are you in Canada or Ireland?


Lisa

Playing RCM 7-8 repertoire
Cunningham Studio Grand & Yamaha CLP645

"I tell my piano the things I used to tell you." - Frederic Chopin
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Thanks for the reply. Actually now I am in Canada! How would I know if it is Ritmuller version, and what do you even mean by that?

As I said, its been a while since I have been on here, profile updated

Last edited by PoleStar; 04/17/21 03:11 PM.
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Originally Posted by PoleStar
How would I know if it is Ritmuller version, and what do you even mean by that?

Here......
https://www.pianobuyer.com/brand/pearl-river/

The piano will say "Ritmuller" on the fallboard, and Ritmullers are built using higher quality components than the basic Pearl River grands.


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Thanks. What are your thoughts though if I want an intermediate to advanced grand to last for at least a few years: new like this or hold out until better inventory and buy used at same price range?

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You've stated that you want a piano with greater dynamic range (than your Wagner piano) and a warm mellow sound.

What were your impressions of the GP160 when you played it at the dealer? Did it adequately address your needs? If not, I would encourage you to hold out until better inventory is available and buy used at the same price range.

While the new GP160 will come with a 10 year warranty, at $9.5 USD the price isn't all that exceptional.

When I was growing up our home pianos were mediocre to fair at best. When I got to college and grad school the majority of pianos that were available for me to practice on were mediocre to average. The only decent pianos I played were in my teachers' studios or in recital halls, and those were rarely available for practice.

My point is that it is possible to progress from an intermediate to advanced player regardless of the instruments available for you for practice. Of course, a really good instrument will probably help you develop much faster. smile


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I have played that size pearl river once. It was a decent piano, not unlike the sound and the touch of Yamaha of that size such as gc1 or gb1k, meaning I would not classify the one I played as mellow sounding. You should play one to decide for yourself, but in a mean time it would be a good idea to play as many pianos as you could before deciding.

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One of the members of our Piano Buddies group has a newish "Cristofori" baby grand piano around 5', (maybe 5'3"?). However, as with many older piano brands/names, it is made in China with a Cristofori decal on the fallboard.

The piano looks nice, and sounds and plays okay, and the owner has it tuned and serviced regularly by a qualified piano tech. But I would not call it mellow sounding, and I know what mellow sounds like.

I'm not saying all Chinese made pianos sound the same, but the ones I've played sound and play similar, which does not mean bad; just similar. I'm sure there are some more mellow sounding ones out there, and the Ritmuler brand may be one of those brands. I don't remember ever playing a Pearl River, but I like the sound of the name itself; I may have played one, and it just don't remember it.

Also, FWIW, I'm in the camp that believes all pianos sound and play slightly different, even among the same brands and sizes.

Also, (part II:-) I'm with Carey, although a newer/nicer/better piano will inspire and encourage you to play more, I'm not so sure the piano alone will take you to a higher level of playing, without the hard work and practice involved in getting there; although a newer/nicer/better piano will likely be more enjoyable as you make your journey toward piano virtuosoism. smile

Wishing you all the best with your piano search! smile

Rick


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Thanks for all the opinions, tips and advice!

PS I think I should clarify, I recognize I can advance on the piano I have, however the action on my upright is such that the dynamic range is quite narrow, and I need something that I enjoy more.

I am also open to getting a better upright also, but figure that given my ultimate is to get a grand, why not get one now and switch to the different action now.

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Originally Posted by PoleStar
I recognize I can advance on the piano I have, however the action on my upright is such that the dynamic range is quite narrow, and I need something that I enjoy more.

That has everything to do with regulation, it has nothing to do with an inherent inadequacy of the piano itself. When was the last time your piano action was fully regulated?

Last edited by EinLudov; 04/18/21 12:47 PM.

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