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Joined: Dec 2004
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Well, since I made so many threads about it, I thought I better give an update!

I tried websites all over the place to find a good adjustable bench within my budget. CPS Imports (which is rec'ed by a lot of people I know) is on back order until at least Feb. 2022, Vanda King benches is sold out, as was almost every other website I checked. Amazon does not have the bench I want in stock. I also emailed Frank (the owner of PW, who runs pianosuplpies.com) but he never responded.

Brandon from JansenPianosBenches dot com was very responsive, answering all of my email questions promptly. So long story short, I ordered from him.

The good news: the bench was delivered in a very timely fashion. My husband put it together for me and he said it looks to be well-made, good quality wood etc. The bench was exactly as I expected it, and IMO it looks quite nice.

The not-so good news: the bench shipped to me from Jim Laabs, which is another piano supplies site that doesn't have the greatest reputation. This is only "not-so good" because it is just an example of a complete lack of transparency.

Some of you will recall the other criticism of JansenPianoBenches, which is that many people feel their name is dishonest, since they are not directly associated with Jansen Benches. I actually emailed PLJansen (the official Jansen maker) and asked about their relationship with JansenPianoBenches. The PLJansen rep said JPB is an authorized dealer of Jansen Benches and didn't say anything beyond that. Note that Frank is also an authorized dealer or Jansens, as are many other retailers. Also note that you cannot order a Jansens bench directly from pljansen.com. So whether JPB is being unethical with their name, I do not have an opinion. Their website says they've been selling jansen benches online since 1996, so maybe they started their site before a lot of others and if so, it doesn't seem shady to me...

But with all the details, the waters are pretty muddy here... Esp., as I said, it was disappointing to learn that the bench was shipping from Jim Laabs only after the package was shipped. I would rather know about those kinds of relationships before hand.

But, back to the bench itself.

The seat seems to be good (I got the vinyl since the leather ones sometimes get bad reviews as being bonded leather which actually doesn't last long).

It went together really well, no problems with construction etc. -- the criticism of Jim Laabs is that they were selling some poorly designed benches in the past. This bench does not seem to be that way.

The mechanism is the less complicated (i.e. less sturdy) kind (see below) if the comparison point is a Jansen's artist bench. But this is miles above the quality of my old adjustable bench.

It's a little tight to adjust it, but that's not a problem for me.

And it feels very sturdy (it probably weights clse to 30 lbs). So, I'm happy with it. But check back in 2 years and lets see how it holds up!

Oh, last detail. I added furniture slides on the legs so that it won't tear up my carpet. If you were using it on a hard wood floor, the legs have little... plastic y things so I don't think you'd need to add anything.

Ok, now for photos!


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Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Well, since I made so many threads about it, I thought I better give an update!

I tried websites all over the place to find a good adjustable bench within my budget. CPS Imports (which is rec'ed by a lot of people I know) is on back order until at least Feb. 2022, Vanda King benches is sold out, as was almost every other website I checked. Amazon does not have the bench I want in stock. I also emailed Frank (the owner of PW, who runs pianosuplpies.com) but he never responded.

Brandon from JansenPianosBenches dot com was very responsive, answering all of my email questions promptly. So long story short, I ordered from him.

The good news: the bench was delivered in a very timely fashion. My husband put it together for me and he said it looks to be well-made, good quality wood etc. The bench was exactly as I expected it, and IMO it looks quite nice.

The not-so good news: the bench shipped to me from Jim Laabs, which is another piano supplies site that doesn't have the greatest reputation. This is only "not-so good" because it is just an example of a complete lack of transparency.

Some of you will recall the other criticism of JansenPianoBenches, which is that many people feel their name is dishonest, since they are not directly associated with Jansen Benches. I actually emailed PLJansen (the official Jansen maker) and asked about their relationship with JansenPianoBenches. The PLJansen rep said JPB is an authorized dealer of Jansen Benches and didn't say anything beyond that. Note that Frank is also an authorized dealer or Jansens, as are many other retailers. Also note that you cannot order a Jansens bench directly from pljansen.com. So whether JPB is being unethical with their name, I do not have an opinion. Their website says they've been selling jansen benches online since 1996, so maybe they started their site before a lot of others and if so, it doesn't seem shady to me...

But with all the details, the waters are pretty muddy here... Esp., as I said, it was disappointing to learn that the bench was shipping from Jim Laabs only after the package was shipped. I would rather know about those kinds of relationships before hand.

But, back to the bench itself.

The seat seems to be good (I got the vinyl since the leather ones sometimes get bad reviews as being bonded leather which actually doesn't last long).

It went together really well, no problems with construction etc. -- the criticism of Jim Laabs is that they were selling some poorly designed benches in the past. This bench does not seem to be that way.

The mechanism is the less complicated (i.e. less sturdy) kind (see below) if the comparison point is a Jansen's artist bench. But this is miles above the quality of my old adjustable bench.

It's a little tight to adjust it, but that's not a problem for me.

And it feels very sturdy (it probably weights clse to 30 lbs). So, I'm happy with it. But check back in 2 years and lets see how it holds up!

Oh, last detail. I added furniture slides on the legs so that it won't tear up my carpet. If you were using it on a hard wood floor, the legs have little... plastic y things so I don't think you'd need to add anything.

Ok, now for photos!


[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

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Nice looking bench, Dr. ShiroKuro! Congratulations!

And, it looks great with your Yamaha C2 and your music room!

As for all the "hands in the mix", I think that happens a lot in business, and most people are probably not as inquisitive and detailed as you are (meant to be a compliment smile ).

Enjoy your new adjustable piano bench!

Rick


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The thing I have discovered about having an adjustable bench at home is - I never adjust it. I host Piano Buddies at my house a lot, and it is rare for anyone to ask for an adjustment. I use an adjustable chair, but I also have an adjustable bench for people that don't like the chair.

So having the highest quality adjustable mechanism in a home bench is not really all that important, in my opinion. Unless you have two people at home changing it every day. You set it, and as long as it doesn't rock, you're good.

Sam

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Thanks Rick!!

Originally Posted by Sam S
having the highest quality adjustable mechanism in a home bench is not really all that important, in my opinion.

that was my thinking. But the mechanism on my old ($90) adjustable bench, which I never adjusted, was rickety. Since I had it raised up as high as it would go, that made the rickety-ness very pronounced. Also it was just super uncomfortable.

This one seems much better; ETA: both in terms of comfort and also sturdiness.

Fingers crossed that I'm right over the long run!

Last edited by ShiroKuro; 10/22/21 02:58 PM.

Started piano June 1999.
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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Thanks Rick!!

Originally Posted by Sam S
having the highest quality adjustable mechanism in a home bench is not really all that important, in my opinion.

that was my thinking. But the mechanism on my old ($90) adjustable bench, which I never adjusted, was rickety. Since I had it raised up as high as it would go, that made the rickety-ness very pronounced. Also it was just super uncomfortable.

This one seems much better; ETA: both in terms of comfort and also sturdiness.

Fingers crossed that I'm right over the long run!

I like good quality as much as anyone, and without making myself look like a cheapskate, the piano bench I use with my Yamaha C7 was a basic (cheap:-) adjustable bench, and the adjustable mechanism was not that well engineered/built. That said, the real-wood spade legs, and the padded vinyl seat didn't look too bad, and matched the legs on my C7.

But, yea, the mechanism was not real stable and wobbled, squeaked and squawked. So, working at a technical college (at the time), I adjusted the bench like I wanted it, locked the mechanism in place with vice-grips, and removed the mechanism from the wood frame and seat, and took it to the welding instructor who got one of his students to weld the steel mechanism in place (as a lab project).

And, eureka!, no more wiggle, wobble, squeaks and squawks. Only problem was, now it is no longer adjustable, but still sufficient.

That said, (part II smile ) your new adjustable bench looks a whole lot nicer than the one I have, Dr. ShiroKuro!

Congratulations again! smile

Rick


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I have the same bench—the second one. The first one remained mechanically sound, but the cover deteriorated badly after three years or so. I had also gotten it from Jimlaab, and they didn’t want to hear about it. But I did like the bench—it was comfortable and sturdy and easily adjustable, to say nothing about the price being right, so I ordered another one. So far, so good. I had not heard anything re jimlaab . If I had, I might have been more cautious. However, that being said, the price of two benches was still quite a bit less than a Jansen.

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Rickster, wow! If my new bench ends up rickety, I know who to call!

Hmm, I will not be pleased if this bench, or its vinyl cover, only lasts three years.

I guess I should add that it seems that this bench is not the same as the benches for sale on the Jim Laabs site, because the serial number on the box my bench came in is not the same as any of the serial numbers of the benches on the Laabs website. But again, it's actually not clear whether it is the same or not, and the similarity in looks/design and product names makes you wonder.

Interestingly enough, JPB doesn't list serial numbers on their website.

Originally Posted by Rickster
As for all the "hands in the mix", I think that happens a lot in business, and most people are probably not as inquisitive and detailed as you are

Yes, I think you're right (on both accounts!) Perhaps I shouldn't care so much, but when I'm buying something that's this expensive, and I can't easily (and cheaply) return it, I would prefer to know more about what I'm getting. Ironically enough, I read the worst info about Jim Laabs *after* I had already placed my order (that was a mistake!) so it made me nervous.

As much as I have misgivings about Amazon, at least you know there's a big customer service dept. ready to take care of you, and I've never felt cheated by something I ordered from Amazon. Reading about Jim Laabs, I was worried that might happen this time.

So far, it has not. So, that's all to the good.

This reminds me of an article I once read about mattresses, something along the lines of how the mattresses for Sealy, Serta and Tempur-Pedic were all made by the same manufacturer, and were basically all the same.

Maybe there's nothing wrong with that (Boston, anyone??) but if customers are led to believe that these products are not the same when they are actually identical, well, it seems dishonest.

I guess it's the same reason people didn't look favorably on JPB for using the Jansen name in the site...

Anyway, at the end of the day, if this is a good bench, then I will be happy, and I will happily recommend the seller to others.

But again, I need a little time with it before I can tell how well it holds up.

Last edited by ShiroKuro; 10/22/21 07:16 PM.

Started piano June 1999.
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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
As much as I have misgivings about Amazon, at least you know there's a big customer service dept. ready to take care of you, and I've never felt cheated by something I ordered from Amazon. Reading about Jim Laabs, I was worried that might happen this time.

You are right about Amazon. I feel confident purchasing from them.

Not to drift too far OT, a few years ago I ordered an expensive wheelchair from Amazon for my late wife, before she got really sick. I unboxed the wheelchair and assembled it, but my late wife never got to use it. I contacted Amazon and told them my situation, and they told me to box the wheelchair back up and they emailed me a UPS (or FedEx?) call-tag, and they came by to pick up the wheelchair and refunded my money, and I didn't even have to pay any return shipping. Sorry, just thought I'd mention that.

As for Jim Laabs, I think they have been in business a long time. I've actually contacted them before about a piano they had listed for sale on their website, but never purchased anything from them. However, it is likely much safer buying a piano bench online than a piano... smile

As for the "hands in the mix", I've purchased items on eBay, and it came in an Amazon package...

Rick


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Your bench looks very much like my bench, but maybe all mechanically adjustable benches look alike? There is absolutely no manufacturer's ID on my bench, so no idea who made it. It came with the piano when I purchased it in 2015.

The bench has been excellent. Sturdy, no squeaks, no wear on the seat. I'm happy with it.


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I keep mine very lightly lubricated.


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Originally Posted by PhilipInChina
I keep mine very lightly lubricated.

With what? DW40? Or maybe a silicon spray?


Started piano June 1999.
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Congratulations ShiroKuro! I love my Jansen bench, which came with my piano. The delivery guys put it together for me, thank heavens. I got it adjusted and don’t change the height. I too put small sliders on the feet which makes it considerably easier to move because the bench is heavy. I think your bench is lovely with your grand piano.

Last edited by j&j; 10/24/21 07:17 AM.

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Silicon.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"

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