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Hello,

As I wrote in another thread, from watching @Gamma1734's superb review video(s), last Saturday I fell in love with VSL's Blüthner 1895.

It'll be out of my reach yet for some time to come for hardware- and financial reasons, but anyway:

For further inspiration, I'd so much love to hear angles, experiences, tips perhaps from all who have and play this virtual piano, with the usual questions such as the real-world distinctions between the standard and full versions, and the necessity (or not) of using the latter.

My personal focus would be on subtle to no ambience and subtle to no reverb. To illustrate: I'm a huge fan of VI Labs' work (Ravenscroft 275 and Modern U) for exactly those reasons; I love the raw just-the-piano in-your-face presentation in top refined authentic quality. I use Modern U with zero room and zero reverb.

All Blüthner fans unite! It'll be lovely to read from you about the VSL Blüthner 1895, thank you!

Cheers and happy authentic playing,

HZ


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VSL's Blüthner 1895 (IMO) is one of the most realistic sounding sample libraries available. Its authenticity is very similar to VI labs Modern U giving the illusion you're sitting behind a real acoustic piano.

I love the resonance that the aliquot stringing provides in the upper resisters. The bass is bit on the weak side, I guess that's because it's such an old piano. Perhaps piano makers back then didn't know how to create the lush and powerful bass we're accustomed to now.

Overall, if you want the feeling that you're playing a real piano, and you're satisfied with the tone, the 1895 is a great choice. I had moved the sample files off of my SSD to save space, but I just recently moved them back because I sold a few other VSL offerings. I think I'll boot-up the 1895 today and enjoy some wood and steel vibrations. smile

Here is a hymn I arranged using the VSL Blüthner 1895.



God Bless,
David


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Hello,

Lovely @David B, thank you!

So your VI collection is 'candidly' expanding as well 🙂. (Which is to say I wasn't aware yet that you own this Blüthner VI).

Maybe the less string bass is due to age, maybe also due to the shorter length of this piano and thus the bass strings. In any case, great that VSL apparently has conserved this 'as found'.

Cheers and happy playing,

HZ

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The Blüthner definitely has a distinctive sound, and it would sound odd for some repertoire, whereas the Bösendorfer Imperial (BI) works across the full range.

I find the hardware demands of the Blüthner to be significantly less than the BI for example and have not had any crackles with it yet. I bought the full version, I find I like the ribbon mic and the mid2 mic across the VSL range which means buying the full versions.

I've not done any Timbre shift, smooth attack is on 25%. I copied my velocity curve over from the VC280 and that works just fine.

I like the Blüthner so much, that I am having to be disciplined at the moment to make myself practise pieces which don't work well with it and switch to a different VST. I just want to keep playing the Blüthner. Like David, I really like the resonance of the aliquot string which is nicely captured by this virtual piano.

One of the nice things about having virtual piano meet-ups, is you get to here so many different pianos. I've consistently enjoyed hearing a Blüthner being played more than any other and it is its distinctive sound which I really enjoy. I think it is one of those pianos you are going to love or hate. No middle ground on this one.

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I forgot to mention, the Blüthner does have a smaller dynamic range.

I think prior to the player update by VSL which added the velocity curve editor and smooth attack option, I would not have enjoyed the Blüthner. These options help my clumsy fingers have something close to the finesse needed to produce the sound I'm looking for. I only rarely used the Bösendorfer Imperial before the update to the player for these reasons.

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Hello,

Great 'report' and tips @KevinM, thank you!

I'm ever so more tempted now towards the Blüthner, but the time isn't ripe for me yet. But I have put it on top of the (ultra short) list for a next companion to the Modern U.

As I was (blissfully?) unaware of the specific qualities of this VI before @Gamma1734's review last Saturday, this is all a very interesting surprise to me.

For what repertoire do you have to 'discipline' yourself to divert to another VI?

Cheers and happy playing,

HZ

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Beethoven Bagetelles and Bach inventions. I would also imagine there is lots of Mozart, Bach, Haydn, Beethoven that would not work well with the Blüthner. But I am also certain there is plenty they composed that would work well.

In comparison though, there is probably only a little Schumann, Mendelssohn or Chopin that would not work well with the Blüthner.

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This instrument has a lovely sound indeed. I stumbled upon a video with András Schiff where he discuss performance on a similar instrument (actually a little older), a Blüthner from 1859. Very interesting:


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I dusted off my 1895. I don't remember the last time I played it, but playing it today reminds me why I haven't sold it. smile

The settings I'm using actually include 6 mics and some added reverb. I feel that with this sample library more is actually better. More mics seem to compensate for the diminished sound this antique piano produces. I came up with this preset today. Here is a hymn I arranged that showcases the boldness of this piano along with the beautiful aliquot resonance.



God bless,
David


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I own the standard version of BLÜTHNER 1895. If you send me midi file of your performance I could render you an audio file of it so you will have better idea what to expect. : )

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Hello,

Thank you for your kind offer, @Engelm!

I don't record, I just play. Following severe burnout from anything computer related, I only do what is absolutely necessary to be able to play. I have set things up so that I only need to operate my PC's power button, not even see Windows/keyboard/mouse, to play. This is the only way the relaxing illusion of playing a musical instrument isn't destroyed for me. When sitting at the piano, the computer is metres away, out of my line of sight.

Also, I believe that a MIDI file is only valid for replay with the exact VI and settings that it was recorded with. The connection between the actual playing and the sound the player produces while doing so is vital.

What I would be interested in, is: How did you decide between standard and full, is standard enough for you, or are you planning to get the extension to full, and if so why?

Cheers and happy playing,

HZ

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Hello,

@David B, since you have these three little piano cleaning/conditioning bottles, dusting off the 1895 will have been a breeze 😉.

Thank you for this new video including impressions of your settings. Nice one.

Cheers and happy dusting,

HZ

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Hello,

@johanibraaten, Thank you for posting that video. Very interesting indeed!

The notion of matching different instruments with different types/origines of music is also right up Gamma1734's street, he strongly believes in that as well. As it seems, quite a few people on this forum do, actually.

Interestingly enough, when you think of it, it is super logical to seek those matches for superb musicality. At the same time, I am not automatically inclined to think that way when pianos are concerned, for it is a dream to have and maintain even one fine piano at some point in the/my future. Let alone a collection. So now I'll have to expand my dreams to an even larger villa or small castle with a *huge* piano recital space 😋. Well, a guy (or gal, for that matter) should always keep dreaming, shouldn't he/she?

As for the Blüthner in that video, what a superb long beauty that is 💛! I quickly noticed the parallel strings, which he later in the video points out. I believe the real-world Ravenscroft 275 has that same configuration. Also, at a special recital I attended last October there was a Chris Maene concert grand (a recently built Belgian piano) with the same purely parallel string configuration. After the recital I played it for a bit, and it had a superb clear yet full bodied and utterly well defined sound (and played super light and fluently). The philosophy being that parallel strings sympathetically excite eachother less (of which those aliquot strings are the exact opposite), therefore not so much muddying up eachother's fundamental sound than crossed strings may do. It definitely was an absolute joy to hear.

Cheers and happy historical distinctions,

HZ

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I think that the Chris Maene straigth strung line of pianos was first developed as a commission by Barenboim. He has a CD done with that first piano:

https://www.amazon.com/My-New-Piano...xAC&usg=AOvVaw0WGqfWOQtY3gjZYErV-nMc

Although Barenboim is not my first (or second...) choice of pianist, the tone of the piano is in fact very clear...

Btw, I think that the ravenscroft 275 has a common construction of crossed strings.

Last edited by vagfilm; 06/15/21 08:04 AM.
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Hello,

@vagfilm, Yes I see now that I was mistaken about the Ravenscroft, it does have the crossed strings configuration. I could have looked that up before writing, in any case thank you for noting this!

And thanks for the interesting fact about the straight-stringed Chris Maene line. Wikipedia mentiones this (these articles are only available in Dutch, unfortunately).

https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Maene

https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Maene_Straight_Strung_Concert_Grand

Cheers and happy learning,

HZ

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Hello,

Too late to edit this into the above post:

https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Maene_Straight_Strung_Concert_Grand

Looking at the image in this article, with the purple felt and all, yes that was the instrument I was lucky to meet and play for five or ten minutes right after that recital.

What a joy!

Cheers and happy learning,

HZ

PS I just found this (in English) as well:

https://www.chrismaene.be/nl/the-straight-strung-grand-piano/

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The booklet of the CD has a nice text by Barenboim about the commission for the piano.

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Hello,

Originally Posted by vagfilm
The booklet of the CD has a nice text by Barenboim about the commission for the piano.

I tried the link but it didn't seem to work...

Cheers and happy learning,

HZ

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The Amazon link? Just google "barenboim on my new piano" it's a deutsche gramophone cd, if I am not mistaken.

Btw, have you seen my new thread on VSTs blind testing?

Last edited by vagfilm; 06/15/21 09:36 AM.
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Originally Posted by HZPiano
Hello,

As I wrote in another thread, from watching @Gamma1734's superb review video(s), last Saturday I fell in love with VSL's Blüthner 1895.

It'll be out of my reach yet for some time to come for hardware- and financial reasons, but anyway:

For further inspiration, I'd so much love to hear angles, experiences, tips perhaps from all who have and play this virtual piano, with the usual questions such as the real-world distinctions between the standard and full versions, and the necessity (or not) of using the latter.

My personal focus would be on subtle to no ambience and subtle to no reverb. To illustrate: I'm a huge fan of VI Labs' work (Ravenscroft 275 and Modern U) for exactly those reasons; I love the raw just-the-piano in-your-face presentation in top refined authentic quality. I use Modern U with zero room and zero reverb.

All Blüthner fans unite! It'll be lovely to read from you about the VSL Blüthner 1895, thank you!

Cheers and happy authentic playing,

HZ


I've also been watching Gamma's video a lot lately and intend to buy the Blüthner before the current promotional pricing ends. Currently the only VST I use on a regular basis is Synthogy American Concert D, but I have high hopes for the Blüthner's more mellow tone to give me another option. I wonder if I will need to learn some Thierot (spelling?) pieces to get the full effect, like Gamma. Anyway, I'm glad you posted this thread because I'm enjoying all the discussion regarding the Blüthner.

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