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Estella Offline OP
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I just ordered a Sauter Masterclass 130 from the official dealer in Hong Kong. I was offered to choose from the two brand new ones in their inventory. But upon testing, these two both sound notably different from the one on display. Both are brighter, and not as sweet and mellow with nice singing tone, as the one on display. And even the two brand new ones sound different from each other too, with one much brighter than the other. The sales person says that the difference was because those are brand new and with time they will sound more like the one on display.
I wonder if that will be the case? Anyone has experience on this? Thank you so much!

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I would only take the display model and not the ones you don’t like as much.


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They probably are just slightly out of tune with each other.People sometimes do not realize a piano has unisons that are slightly out of tune and think it's the pianos tone.Its difficult to believe all these MC Sauter models floating around like this.It must be a different model, surely? Are there Bechstein Concert 8's floating around there too?

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My Sauter upright was pretty bright when it first arrived a few years ago, but now the sound is much more mellow and warmer. She sings so beautifully now I tear when my teacher plays a piece I love (I'm sure it's also because he plays well haha). If you don't wish to wait for a few years then take the display model.

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Is it common for new pianos to mellow after use? Understandable that the tone will change with settling and use, but I had always heard that typically new hammers are soft and will compact/groove with use, becoming brighter rather than mellower (and that the una corda becomes more effective/noticeable because of it).


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Originally Posted by Athdara
My Sauter upright was pretty bright when it first arrived a few years ago, but now the sound is much more mellow and warmer. She sings so beautifully now I tear when my teacher plays a piece I love (I'm sure it's also because he plays well haha). If you don't wish to wait for a few years then take the display model.

forgot to add: I did get it voiced once, about a year or two after it arrived so it'll be mellower, but back then, even after voicing, the sound was still.. a little stiff.

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Estella Offline OP
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Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It is certainly very helpful to know. May I ask which part of the world do you live? Do you generally have more humid or dry climate?

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Originally Posted by Estella
I just ordered a Sauter Masterclass 130 from the official dealer in Hong Kong. I was offered to choose from the two brand new ones in their inventory. But upon testing, these two both sound notably different from the one on display. Both are brighter, and not as sweet and mellow with nice singing tone, as the one on display. And even the two brand new ones sound different from each other too, with one much brighter than the other. The sales person says that the difference was because those are brand new and with time they will sound more like the one on display.
I wonder if that will be the case? Anyone has experience on this? Thank you so much!
I just looked online Why did you not order a Bosendorfer 130 or a Steinway 130 from the Hong Kong dealer.You may have been happier,or not?

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The dealer's room may be acoustically less reflective than the inventory room. Hard surfaces such as windows and hard floors accentuate brightness more than a room with carpet, furnishings and drapes etc.

Last edited by TBell; 05/15/22 12:34 AM. Reason: edit
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Estella Offline OP
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A Bosendorfer or Steinway upright is more than twice the price of Sauter MC130 in Hong Kong:)

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I imagine that the stock pianos have not yet been properly voiced and regulated. In any case, whichever you choose, the piano will need to be properly voiced for the space in which you are going to put it. I recently moved house and had to voice both my Sauters for their new positions. Different-sized rooms, differently shaped rooms, furnishings can all make a difference to the sound that you hear.


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Estella Offline OP
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I see. Thanks for the insight! The dealer tuned the new pianos before letting me to test and choose. They did mention that they will perform three more tuning during the first year after delivery. Would that make the piano sound warmer and mellower?

I am pretty sure they are the same model. The dealer has two on stock and the display has been there since 2018. Bernstein is sold at a different seller in HK.

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[quote=Estella]A Bosendorfer or Steinway upright is more than twice the price of Sauter MC130 in Hong Kong:)
[/quote Estrella]

Here in the US a Sauter MC130 is 64K while a Bosendorfer
130 is 89K in Brand Profiles.The dealer you bought from is Tom Lee Music who supplie Sauter, Yamaha, Bosendorfer and Steinway uprights and grands in a number of branches in Hong Kong.

I have tried a Sauter Delta here and I have heard someone playing a well tuned Sauter upright.Neither were really bright at all and had a definite tonal relationship with each other. I have also tried a Bluthner grand which was really a great deal brighter than what I expected from that instrument. I really believe the answer lies in voicing your room.Have drapes, bookshelves, puctures and a full length carpet for such a powerful instrument. Keep the piano away from corners of the room.Stand the piano 5 to 6 inches away from the wall.Best wishes I am sure it will work out well.Tre

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In western Europe, the Sauter MC 130 starts at 26k euros before negotiation, the Bosendorfer is 47k, the K132 is within the same range of price. One usually gets around 10% off that list price.

I havent played the MC but i did try several of the Sauter new uprights and indeed they are definitely on the bright side. Though it is different from the way a Yamaha can be bright. I would describe their sound as silvery which does bring some vivacity to the music. I would think the MC130 should be warmer though with the increased size, but it certainly must have a common character with the other uprights. The Bluthner upright can also have a certain brilliancy but they are more balanced and dont have the silvery character of the Sauter.

You can reduce the brightness by damping the room, but I would definitely pick the model which you like rather than the factory ones.


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All the speculation about how the pianos the OP doesn't prefer might change with voicing the piano, voicing the room, time(this normally makes the piano brighter, not mellower), etc. seem irrelevant. Why not just take the Sauter that he preferred that wasn't so bright?

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... and so say all of us.


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Originally Posted by Sidokar
I would describe their sound as silvery which does bring some vivacity to the music. I would think the MC130 should be warmer though with the increased size, but it certainly must have a common character with the other uprights.

The video below is fairly close to what I experienced when I played a 122 Sauter (dont remember exactly which model). What is bright can mean different things for different people. Some pianos lack harmonic complexity and are rather bland, others may have a somehow harsh sound which rings (potentially due to hammers), others have a treble that is unpleasant and overpresent.

The 122 Sauter has a good balance though definitely on the clear side; the bass and mid bass is less warm and less present than in a Bechstein and it is quite articulate. The sound is smooth without harshness and the treble integrates well with the rest of the range; it is just that overall it has this "silvery" character, with a clear tonal range which brings a lot of vivacity to the music.



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Estella Offline OP
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Thank you so much for all your suggestions and insights. They are so helpful. The floor model has been on display for four years at a place with busy traffic in HK, so it is indeed a bit tricky. I guess I will trust the quality of Sauter and credibility of the dealer, and take one of the factory models.

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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
I would only take the display model and not the ones you don’t like as much.

I agree. Buy a piano for what it is now, not for what it might become. The latter approach is risky.

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Hi Estella, I am quite sure it will be fine. Sauter is a quality piano. I had similar experience with my Seiler upright, you might even like a little brighter sound in the long run, use it and tune every 6 months to start with.

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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Is it common for new pianos to mellow after use? Understandable that the tone will change with settling and use, but I had always heard that typically new hammers are soft and will compact/groove with use, becoming brighter rather than mellower (and that the una corda becomes more effective/noticeable because of it).

No, pianos definitely don’t get mellower with additional playing time. Any salesperson who tells you that is lying.


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Originally Posted by Estella
Thank you so much for all your suggestions and insights. They are so helpful. The floor model has been on display for four years at a place with busy traffic in HK, so it is indeed a bit tricky. I guess I will trust the quality of Sauter and credibility of the dealer, and take one of the factory models.


If I were in this situation, I would have the dealer voice one of the pianos to sound like the floor model, with the understanding that I would purchase it after evaluating the results. It is not a matter of not trusting Sauter, it is a matter of knowing no two pianos of the same model are alike— and they cannot always be changed enough.


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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by Estella
Thank you so much for all your suggestions and insights. They are so helpful. The floor model has been on display for four years at a place with busy traffic in HK, so it is indeed a bit tricky. I guess I will trust the quality of Sauter and credibility of the dealer, and take one of the factory models.


If I were in this situation, I would have the dealer voice one of the pianos to sound like the floor model, with the understanding that I would purchase it after evaluating the results. It is not a matter of not trusting Sauter, it is a matter of knowing no two pianos of the same model are alike— and they cannot always be changed enough.
Exactly.

There is no guarantee that any piano can be voiced to one's liking or like some other piano of the same model. One should never buy a piano hoping it can be adjusted later to one's liking. Asking a dealer to voice a piano before purchase and without a promise to buy it is a very common request especially on high end pianos.

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(Adding to my last post)if the dealer cannot voice one of the other pianos to your liking, take the floor model. Doing anything else is IMO quite foolish.

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Originally Posted by TBell
The dealer's room may be acoustically less reflective than the inventory room. Hard surfaces such as windows and hard floors accentuate brightness more than a room with carpet, furnishings and drapes etc.
I was shocked on discovering how big a difference these can make.
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Why not just take the Sauter that he preferred that wasn't so bright?
Simplest solution.
Originally Posted by Starre
I had similar experience with my Seiler upright, you might even like a little brighter sound in the long run, use it and tune every 6 months to start with.
The brighter the piano, the better it must be tuned is a thumb rule that, in my experience, holds true. Out of tune notes and unisons really stand out. The brighter the piano, the less forgiving it is of imprecise play is another rule (say, chords or octaves with notes not struck perfectly together). Players who are able to refine their play to match the brightness of the piano are often rewarded with a crisp, clear, beautiful sound. If the acoustics of the room are bad, however, it will still sound painful to the ear.

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Originally Posted by MrSh4nkly
The brighter the piano, the less forgiving it is of imprecise play is another rule (say, chords or octaves with notes not struck perfectly together). Players who are able to refine their play to match the brightness of the piano are often rewarded with a crisp, clear, beautiful sound. If the acoustics of the room are bad, however, it will still sound painful to the ear.
No matter how "precisely" one plays one cannot change a bright piano's sound, and it will not be a "beautiful" sound unless one happens to like a brighter sound.

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Originally Posted by tre corda
They probably are just slightly out of tune with each other.
Not sure I understand. Out of tune internally (unisons,, octaves, or other intervals being out)? Or compared one piano vs the other?

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
No matter how "precisely" one plays one cannot change a bright piano's sound, and it will not be a "beautiful" sound unless one happens to like a brighter sound.
Yes, obviously. The point of the post is I believe bright pianos are less forgiving of bad tuning and technique. You may disagree, and that's just fine.

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It is so strange reading all of this, the Sauter I played and the one I listened to was not bright.It is usually Schimmel pianos are often considered bright yet my K132 is certainly not bright.
"Silvery" is what describes it and like the Sauter great clarity. I certainly say as well to me it's a better tone than some Bechstein models.Yet I hate a really bright piano and I have experienced quite a few of those as well but not in these brands.Choose the piano you love the sound of.

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Originally Posted by MrSh4nkly
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
No matter how "precisely" one plays one cannot change a bright piano's sound, and it will not be a "beautiful" sound unless one happens to like a brighter sound.
Yes, obviously. The point of the post is I believe bright pianos are less forgiving of bad tuning and technique. You may disagree, and that's just fine.
No, my comment was about what I quoted from your post where you said that if one had good technique one could make a bright piano sound beautiful.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by MrSh4nkly
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
No matter how "precisely" one plays one cannot change a bright piano's sound, and it will not be a "beautiful" sound unless one happens to like a brighter sound.
Yes, obviously. The point of the post is I believe bright pianos are less forgiving of bad tuning and technique. You may disagree, and that's just fine.
No, my comment was about what I quoted from your post where you said that if one had good technique one could make a bright piano sound beautiful.
Just give it up pianoloverus, he did not mean that! He was talking about tuning.Nothing is written in granite here.We get that later..

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Originally Posted by Estella
I just ordered a Sauter Masterclass 130 from the official dealer in Hong Kong. I was offered to choose from the two brand new ones in their inventory. But upon testing, these two both sound notably different from the one on display. Both are brighter, and not as sweet and mellow with nice singing tone, as the one on display. And even the two brand new ones sound different from each other too, with one much brighter than the other. The sales person says that the difference was because those are brand new and with time they will sound more like the one on display.
I wonder if that will be the case? Anyone has experience on this? Thank you so much!
Regarding what the sales person says: total nonsense.
I've been playing pianos for 65 years at this point.
Not a single one has, on its own, without voicing, grown more mellow in tone as the hammers wear from playing.
To the contrary - they ALWAYS get brighter.
Why? Because the felt in the hammer compacts from repeated blows - though if it were as simple as that, voicing would be easy and not an art, in itself.

You are going to be spending a lot of money.
If the room is in question, at the least, have the dealer put the pianos into the same room. Play them again. If they sound the same, your problem is solved, if not continue with my second suggestion.
I also second the suggestion that BEFORE BUYING you have the dealer voice the new piano to sound like the one that's been on the shop floor.

Personally, I would buy the floor model IF it sounds better assuming the warranty details were identical.


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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
No, my comment was about what I quoted from your post where you said that if one had good technique one could make a bright piano sound beautiful.
Stop twisting my words. I did not say one could "make" a bright piano sound beautiful. My comment was exactly this:
Quote
Players who are able to refine their play to match the brightness of the piano are often rewarded with a crisp, clear, beautiful sound.
It's a statement of opinion, not an absolute. Here's another opinion of mine I can't fail based on months of reading your hair-splitting posts: I believe the whole purpose of you being here is to find excuses to argue with people, and that you somehow, weirdly get off on this. I can't imagine enduring such a miserable existence but will let you have the last word since you're the type of person who always has to have it. In fact, I may just quit this forum so I don't have abide your incessant, Scrooge-like negativity.

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Originally Posted by Seeker
You are going to be spending a lot of money.
If the room is in question, at the least, have the dealer put the pianos into the same room.

Big +1 to this. Frankly, I can understand a dealer not wanting to go to the trouble of voicing a piano to the customer's taste for an audition (their loss), but they should at least be able to put two pianos side by side in the same room for you to try.


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Originally Posted by MrSh4nkly
Here's another opinion of mine I can't fail based on months of reading your hair-splitting posts: I believe the whole purpose of you being here is to find excuses to argue with people, and that you somehow, weirdly get off on this. I can't imagine enduring such a miserable existence but will let you have the last word since you're the type of person who always has to have it. In fact, I may just quit this forum so I don't have abide your incessant, Scrooge-like negativity.

Can we please desist from this sort of personal attack. I do not come to PW to read this sort of stuff, which is most unpleasant. Pianoloverus is perfectly entitled to his opinion, which in this case is I think helpful to the OP, without being insulted.

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Originally Posted by David-G
Can we please desist from this sort of personal attack. I do not come to PW to read this sort of stuff, which is most unpleasant. Pianoloverus is perfectly entitled to his opinion, which in this case is I think helpful to the OP, without being insulted.
As if twisting what I wrote isn't a personal attack. As if that isn't insulting. As if I'm not entitled to my opinion. You don't come here to read this sort of stuff? I don't come here to read inane posts from someone twisting my words and looking to pick a fight. You two, who have been here forever, complement each other's pretentious negativity greatly and thus should get a room. As for me, I'm out of here.

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Originally Posted by Estella
I see. Thanks for the insight! The dealer tuned the new pianos before letting me to test and choose. They did mention that they will perform three more tuning during the first year after delivery. Would that make the piano sound warmer and mellower?

No, repeated tuning will not make a piano sound warmer and mellower. To do that, voicing is required - and you should have that done BEFORE you buy the piano, not afterwards, to ensure that you are satisfied with it before you purchase.

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Mr Sha4nkly has repeatedly explained himself this kind of constant harassment can cause anyone to say anything eventually.People are only human.Are we really expected to be hounded to death because someone has been a member here for years.I think you should read the posts more clearly before you accuse Mr Sha4nkly!

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Originally Posted by Estella
I just ordered a Sauter Masterclass 130 from the official dealer in Hong Kong. I was offered to choose from the two brand new ones in their inventory. But upon testing, these two both sound notably different from the one on display. Both are brighter, and not as sweet and mellow with nice singing tone, as the one on display. And even the two brand new ones sound different from each other too, with one much brighter than the other. The sales person says that the difference was because those are brand new and with time they will sound more like the one on display.
I wonder if that will be the case? Anyone has experience on this? Thank you so much!

Having lived and worked for several years in Hong Kong I know Tom Lee Music well and used to call in 3-4 times/month just to get my regular 'fix' by playing an accoustic piano. At the time I had a oldish Clavinova purchased in Europe which Tom Lee Music took in part exchange for the then recently announced Yamaha PF 1000 which I still have (and still love).
I was tempted so many times there to purchase a 'real' piano and at least on one occasion almost succombed to the urge to open up the wallet after playing a superb C-Bechstein upright. One reason I didn't was due to the humidity there; I lived deep in the New Territories, travelling each day to Chek Lap Kok island to the newly opened international airport, and half expected at any time to be re-posted to an even more humid location in Asia.
All the pianos in Tom Lee Music whilst I was there were cruelly-treated workhorses and practically on every visit I saw children of all ages attempting to batter Fur-Elise to death by their heavy pounding, or by battering the keys to death on some other gorgeous grand piano.
In another piano store at Festival Walk it was there that I first set eyes on a Fazioli. That poor, new piano (with a mind-blowing price-tag in $HK) was tortured by kids too, especially at weekends and much to my surprise the sales personnel didn't appear to be at all concerned. On more than one occasion I reprimanded a child for playing 'crash' with the fallboard of an upright.
Another thing I do recall is that almost without exception all the pianos on display at both stores appeared to be well regulated and kept very well in tune. This, plus an air- conditioned environment made auditioning most pianos on display a pleasant experience.
I would suggest that the two new Sauters that they took from their inventory for you to try were hastily prepared or not regulated at all post delivery. That could well explain in part the difference you experienced in the tonalities. And were their stored pianos kept in a controlled air-conditioned environment? Perhaps not.
I was indeed eventually moved to a more humid region than Hong Kong, namely Singapore, so it hardly made sense to purchase an accoustic piano there either.
It was eventually on moving back to Europe, France that I started the hunt for my dream piano, which you may have already guessed was.......a Sauter, the experience of which I detailed in a post approx 14 years ago.
Interesting enough it was a 130 I auditioned in the showroom and I knew in an instant due to the high quality in general and exceptional touch and tone that this was the type of piano for me, but........the volume of the sound I found overpowering. I then spent some time with a 122cm model, which was a delight too, albeit with a more 'douce' acceptable volume to my ears.
Browsing the Sauter catalogue at home I became aware of the Masterclass series, which I was told they'd never had in store. Fortunately after negotiation one was just within my budget. I ordered the 122MC model sight-unseen, with the proviso that I would pay the balance after a post delivery preparation and subject to my complete satisfaction after auditioning in store.
Needless to say I was totally satisfied as these are truly remarkable pianos, plus I've found that the response from Spaichingen to any queries is first class.
A few months after my post delivery tunings, I had a Piano Dampp Chaser installed, and I suggest you may wish to do the same, especially located in Hong Kong.
I'm sure you will enjoy your wonderful piano!


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I see we have both been reported.What for? I have just been reading about MrSh4nkly's kindness to Starre about her piano.He always shows kindness to people.I felt I had to defend him in . I know what he experienced.

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How can you report a person for expressing sympathy for another poster? Please explain that to us.

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Please don’t get this thread locked everyone... Estella is just trying to simply get answers to his problem.

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Originally Posted by tre corda
I see we have both been reported.What for? I have just been reading about MrSh4nkly's kindness to Starre about her piano.He always shows kindness to people.I felt I had to defend him in . I know what he experienced.
I am male, not "her piano" smile.

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Originally Posted by Starre
Originally Posted by tre corda
I see we have both been reported.What for? I have just been reading about MrSh4nkly's kindness to Starre about her piano.He always shows kindness to people.I felt I had to defend him in . I know what he experienced.
I am male, not "her piano" smile.
Hard to tell, mostly assume by the user names.

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Originally Posted by MrSh4nkly
Originally Posted by David-G
Can we please desist from this sort of personal attack. I do not come to PW to read this sort of stuff, which is most unpleasant. Pianoloverus is perfectly entitled to his opinion, which in this case is I think helpful to the OP, without being insulted.
As if twisting what I wrote isn't a personal attack. As if that isn't insulting. As if I'm not entitled to my opinion. You don't come here to read this sort of stuff? I don't come here to read inane posts from someone twisting my words and looking to pick a fight. You two, who have been here forever, complement each other's pretentious negativity greatly and thus should get a room. As for me, I'm out of here.
MrSh4nkly
I realise the predicament and your stress here.We should never need to keep explaining over and over what we actually mean.(as if we do understand and we are being deliberately deceptive, which you were not)

I understood what you meant however. I would say David-D is generally always a kind person here.As for pianoloverus, well we all do have our problems.I hope you will not leave as I enjoy
reading your comments especially on Starres thread.Lets hope this "war in a teacup" just dissappears.

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As I have said over and over and over and over and over again...

It is possible to ignore when someone says something you don't like or something you do not agree with. It is even possible to scroll past such posts and move on. I know this is an innovative and novel concept but more people should try it.

And believe it or not, it is even possible, even preferable for people to not post condescending and unkind things.

For example...

Are we clear on this or should I type slower?


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Originally Posted by MrSh4nkly
Originally Posted by David-G
Can we please desist from this sort of personal attack. I do not come to PW to read this sort of stuff, which is most unpleasant. Pianoloverus is perfectly entitled to his opinion, which in this case is I think helpful to the OP, without being insulted.
As if twisting what I wrote isn't a personal attack. As if that isn't insulting. As if I'm not entitled to my opinion. You don't come here to read this sort of stuff? I don't come here to read inane posts from someone twisting my words and looking to pick a fight. You two, who have been here forever, complement each other's pretentious negativity greatly and thus should get a room. As for me, I'm out of here.
I DID NOT READ THIS WHEN I MADE MY POST FURTHER DOWN.So I was NOT CONSCIOUS of it.To report me for my benign post THEN is TOTALLY UNFAIR.
I do think it would be wise for Mr MrSh4nkly to apologize at least to David- G.

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I’d suggest that you insist on the floor model. That’s the one the sold you on the piano. The dealer can prep one of the others to take its place on the sales floor.


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Originally Posted by Retsacnal
I’d suggest that you insist on the floor model. That’s the one the sold you on the piano. The dealer can prep one of the others to take its place on the sales floor.
Yes, that's the safest for sure! 😃 It is what I would have done.

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Originally Posted by tre corda
Originally Posted by MrSh4nkly
Originally Posted by David-G
Can we please desist from this sort of personal attack. I do not come to PW to read this sort of stuff, which is most unpleasant. Pianoloverus is perfectly entitled to his opinion, which in this case is I think helpful to the OP, without being insulted.
As if twisting what I wrote isn't a personal attack. As if that isn't insulting. As if I'm not entitled to my opinion. You don't come here to read this sort of stuff? I don't come here to read inane posts from someone twisting my words and looking to pick a fight. You two, who have been here forever, complement each other's pretentious negativity greatly and thus should get a room. As for me, I'm out of here.
I DID NOT READ THIS WHEN I MADE MY POST FURTHER DOWN.So I was NOT CONSCIOUS of it.To report me for my benign post THEN is TOTALLY UNFAIR.
I do think it would be wise for Mr MrSh4nkly to apologize at least to David- G.
Originally Posted by tre corda
Originally Posted by Retsacnal
I’d suggest that you insist on the floor model. That’s the one the sold you on the piano. The dealer can prep one of the others to take its place on the sales floor.
Yes, that's the safest for sure! 😃 It is what I would have done.
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Originally Posted by Tweedpipe
[quote=Estella]A few months after my post delivery tunings, I had a Piano Dampp Chaser installed, and I suggest you may wish to do the same, especially located in Hong Kong.
I'm sure you will enjoy your wonderful piano!

I share same advice on Damp Chaser installation but as my experience we only need the de-humidifiers in the area with constant high humidity. Moreover Damp Chaser is seems not available in Asian countries (hope we can have a authorized supplier in Hong Kong).


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I like Kawai's idea of having a master artisan get scheduled after purchase to regulate, voice, and tune your new piano once placement in your home has been finalized.

https://shigerukawai.com/artisans/

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Originally Posted by nrighton
I like Kawai's idea of having a master artisan get scheduled to regulate, voice, and tune your new piano once placement in your home after purchase.

https://shigerukawai.com/artisans/
Pretty cool 😎

I went a piano store with SKs but didn’t play them, I wish I did 🙁

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Originally Posted by Estella
Thank you so much for all your suggestions and insights. They are so helpful. The floor model has been on display for four years at a place with busy traffic in HK, so it is indeed a bit tricky. I guess I will trust the quality of Sauter and credibility of the dealer, and take one of the factory models.

Has everyone read this?


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I've been a member here for a while now. Sometimes I post sometimes I don't. But I have seen quite a few threads over the years where these themes recur:

a) people are nasty to each other and someone like long suffering Ken has to issue reminders. Just be nice. It's not hard. And...

b) people ask if a piano they don't like the sound of will magically improve somehow. The answer to this key question has always been and always will be "NO. Do not buy a piano that you don't like the sound or feel of. The end."

There are ever such a lot of pianos in the world. In many cases there is more similarity than difference when comparing them, but the rule still holds: just keep looking if there is anything about the piano you don't like.

It's a bit like searching for a husband or wife: no one in their right mind chooses someone they don't fancy, in the hope that they will somehow grow nicer, better looking or taller.


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Originally Posted by AJB
It's a bit like searching for a husband or wife: no one in their right mind chooses someone they don't fancy, in the hope that they will somehow grow nicer, better looking or taller.

Nice reminder, AJB. I do have to wonder about the above though, I would bet more people in the world end up having to do exactly that, than don't!

To be perfectly honest, it's taking me some time to grok the dynamics here. I've been an internet native for decades, but am pretty new to this subforum, and it's got ita own unspoken rules, strong personalities, curmudgeons people know not to take at their literal word, and pet rivalries, as well as tropes regulars find tedious and taboo subjects.

I find myself constantly surprised and confused at what will set some.people off, who gets set off and who will jump in to respond/defend and why.

Guess I'm just getting old and thinking the world is becoming an increasingly strange place! As the kids used to say, I'll just yeet myself out of this thread ;D


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Originally Posted by AJB
It's a bit like searching for a husband or wife: no one in their right mind chooses someone they don't fancy, in the hope that they will somehow grow nicer, better looking or taller.

Nice analogy/metaphor, AJB! And, it's nice to hear from you. Don't think you've posted here in a while. I hope all is well with you.

Reading through this thread, which I'm surprised is not locked already, I have another analogy/metaphor that might be relevant, or not.

I was out yesterday, getting in my daily exercise/walk, on the country road where I live, and a neighbor's dog, an Australian shepherd, that is usually kept in their house, and rarely let out, happened to be out. It saw me about 50 yards away, and came running at me full speed, barking as loud as it could. The dog had barked at me before, but not come too close.

This time it came pretty close, and all I knew to do was stop and hold out my hand so it could smell of the back of my hand, and try to make friends with the dog. Things started out well, and the dog smelled of the back of my hand, and then I reached up slowly and gently patted the dog on the head. So far so good. But when I started to move my hand away from the dog's head, it reach up and bit me on the hand. Fortunately, it was just a pinch, and didn't break the skin or draw blood.

I usually carry a broom handle stick, without the broom, when I walk because of another neighbor's dog that doesn't like me and barks at me continuously, and sometimes gets pretty close and shows its teeth. But it never comes closer than the length of the broom stick, and I suspect it's bark is worse than it's bite (but I don't want to find out for sure:-). The Australian shepherd, on the other hand, well, I know now that it will bite, despite me trying to be friendly to it.

I said all that to say this... it's best to be friendly, but if that fails, just keep on walking and try not to let it discourage you.

I also agree that we should never buy a piano we don't like the sound of. And, it has been my experience that voicing the hammers of a piano can change the tone a bit, but not drastically, and what changes do occur doesn't usually last for long periods of time before it needs voicing again.

All the best!

Rick


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Hello Rickster. I have posted a few times in the past year. But I don't usually have much to add to the wisdom, prejudices and peccadillos of the other members here! I've probably bought my last acoustic piano anyway, as I finally realised that most brand analysis is a side show and that the pianist is what really makes the difference :-)


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When I was buying my own piano back in the Dark Ages before electricity ... (not really, just 2005), I fell in love with a floor model. So did the other person who was piano shopping with me. The owner (Cathy Harl) brought over two more of the same model from Germany so we had three of 'em lined up in a row. I wound up preferring the floor model and my buying partner took one of the brand spanking new ones. They all sounded the same, and different. The same, because they all had the signature sound and feel of the brand. Different because of slight differences in the hammers from voicing and wear, and idiosyncratic (and small) differences in tuning.

Now in this case (Grotrian) the factory tunes and voices the heck out of the instruments precisely because THEY DO NOT WANT big differences in sound and feel confusing customers. They want consistency. They do not send out un- or minimally prepped instruments. So I'm a bit surprised at the big differences in perceived sound in these Sauters.

I was comfortable with the "floor" model because a) it didn't sound all THAT different, and B) it was still relatively new and C) not a piano that had potentially been pounded on for eons in a "high traffic" area.

I would ask the dealer to prep the new models to your liking to make another comparison. Sometimes a second or third listen/feel helps deepen your perspective about the actual instrument. But I would also agree with AJB (hi there!) that pianos will not magically improve toward your preferred sound and feel. If the dealer cannot give it the voice you want, time will not solve that problem.

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Originally Posted by Rickster
I usually carry a broom handle stick, without the broom, when I walk because of another neighbor's dog that doesn't like me and barks at me continuously, and sometimes gets pretty close and shows its teeth. But it never comes closer than the length of the broom stick, and I suspect it's bark is worse than it's bite (but I don't want to find out for sure:-). The Australian shepherd, on the other hand, well, I know now that it will bite, despite me trying to be friendly to it.

I said all that to say this... it's best to be friendly, but if that fails, just keep on walking and try not to let it discourage you.


Actually with dogs which may be aggressive best is to stop and stand absolutely still. Never try to pad the dog, thats the best way to get a bite. The more you move the more you will excite it. Except for dogs that are trained to attack people (in case you venture in their territory), all the others will go away after a minute or two.


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Originally Posted by Sidokar
Originally Posted by Rickster
I usually carry a broom handle stick, without the broom, when I walk because of another neighbor's dog that doesn't like me and barks at me continuously, and sometimes gets pretty close and shows its teeth. But it never comes closer than the length of the broom stick, and I suspect it's bark is worse than it's bite (but I don't want to find out for sure:-). The Australian shepherd, on the other hand, well, I know now that it will bite, despite me trying to be friendly to it.

I said all that to say this... it's best to be friendly, but if that fails, just keep on walking and try not to let it discourage you.


Actually with dogs which may be aggressive best is to stop and stand absolutely still. Never try to pad the dog, thats the best way to get a bite. The more you move the more you will excite it. Except for dogs that are trained to attack people (in case you venture in their territory), all the others will go away after a minute or two.

Thanks for the advice! Will take heed to it.

Sorry for the OT, but sometimes it's a quick break, and then it helps get things back on track... smile

Rick


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Hi Piano Dad. Long time...etc. Best, Adrian


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Originally Posted by Sidokar
Originally Posted by Rickster
I usually carry a broom handle stick, without the broom, when I walk because of another neighbor's dog that doesn't like me and barks at me continuously, and sometimes gets pretty close and shows its teeth. But it never comes closer than the length of the broom stick, and I suspect it's bark is worse than it's bite (but I don't want to find out for sure:-). The Australian shepherd, on the other hand, well, I know now that it will bite, despite me trying to be friendly to it.

I said all that to say this... it's best to be friendly, but if that fails, just keep on walking and try not to let it discourage you.


Actually with dogs which may be aggressive best is to stop and stand absolutely still. Never try to pad the dog, thats the best way to get a bite. The more you move the more you will excite it. Except for dogs that are trained to attack people (in case you venture in their territory), all the others will go away after a minute or two.

Yes, however if after staying still for a bit (if things seem calmer and you want to go further) it's probably best to slowly lower the body and offer a hand (closed so as to protect the fingers) for sniffing. Then call it a day and slowly withdraw the hand rather than going for a stroke, do keep the hand below the dogs head both when approaching and withdrawing it. If/when you do go further and (slowly) try to stroke the dog it will likely feel much more comfortable if you stroke the top of its chest - that feels the wrong approach to humans but the dog can/will interpret a stroke (please not a pat) on the head as a signal of you asserting dominance and that may not end well.

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Originally Posted by gwing
Originally Posted by Sidokar
Originally Posted by Rickster
I usually carry a broom handle stick, without the broom, when I walk because of another neighbor's dog that doesn't like me and barks at me continuously, and sometimes gets pretty close and shows its teeth. But it never comes closer than the length of the broom stick, and I suspect it's bark is worse than it's bite (but I don't want to find out for sure:-). The Australian shepherd, on the other hand, well, I know now that it will bite, despite me trying to be friendly to it.

I said all that to say this... it's best to be friendly, but if that fails, just keep on walking and try not to let it discourage you.


Actually with dogs which may be aggressive best is to stop and stand absolutely still. Never try to pad the dog, thats the best way to get a bite. The more you move the more you will excite it. Except for dogs that are trained to attack people (in case you venture in their territory), all the others will go away after a minute or two.

Yes, however if after staying still for a bit (if things seem calmer and you want to go further) it's probably best to slowly lower the body and offer a hand (closed so as to protect the fingers) for sniffing. Then call it a day and slowly withdraw the hand rather than going for a stroke, do keep the hand below the dogs head both when approaching and withdrawing it. If/when you do go further and (slowly) try to stroke the dog it will likely feel much more comfortable if you stroke the top of its chest - that feels the wrong approach to humans but the dog can/will interpret a stroke (please not a pat) on the head as a signal of you asserting dominance and that may not end well.

Good advice also, gwing. However, as much as I like dogs, I don't think I want to give it a second go with that particular animal, which I do not encounter often. That said, the thought did cross my mind, "bite me once, (while trying to be friendly) shame on the dog; bite me twice, shame on me". Or something like that?

But, hey, I'm a firm believer in second chances, depending on the circumstances. smile

Lots of wisdom to be gained here on PW, on a broad variety of subjects! smile

Edit to add: it has also been my experience that pianos become brighter over time, with lots of playing, rather the mellower...

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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
No, pianos definitely don’t get mellower with additional playing time. Any salesperson who tells you that is lying.

Originally Posted by Seeker
Regarding what the sales person says: total nonsense.
I've been playing pianos for 65 years at this point.
Not a single one has, on its own, without voicing, grown more mellow in tone as the hammers wear from playing.
To the contrary - they ALWAYS get brighter.
Why? Because the felt in the hammer compacts from repeated blows - though if it were as simple as that, voicing would be easy and not an art, in itself.

Originally Posted by David-G
No, repeated tuning will not make a piano sound warmer and mellower. To do that, voicing is required - and you should have that done BEFORE you buy the piano, not afterwards, to ensure that you are satisfied with it before you purchase.


Thanks all, this is what I had suspected.

I was wondering that maybe, if the factory ships with some kind of lacquered process on the hammers, perhaps that wears down after a while (but sooner than the grooving of the hammer). That kind of hypothetical is the only thing that would make sense to me.


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Originally Posted by Athdara
Originally Posted by Athdara
My Sauter upright was pretty bright when it first arrived a few years ago, but now the sound is much more mellow and warmer. She sings so beautifully now I tear when my teacher plays a piece I love (I'm sure it's also because he plays well haha). If you don't wish to wait for a few years then take the display model.

forgot to add: I did get it voiced once, about a year or two after it arrived so it'll be mellower, but back then, even after voicing, the sound was still.. a little stiff.

I have sneaky feeling Estella may be wise in choosing one of the new pianos. Athdara's posts speak for themselves. Last year a member from Singapore said a Fazioli imported for Angela Hewitt had much improved after two or three years. I can't remember his exact words but resonance and suppleness come to mind. From memory it hadn't been voiced.

If you fancy a new piano would you opt for a four year old floor model from a heavily trafficked store in Hong Kong?


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Originally Posted by Withindale
If you fancy a new piano would you opt for a four year old floor model from a heavily trafficked store in Hong Kong?
As long as the piano is in good cosmetic condition(if not ask the dealer to touch up the finish) I would certainly choose that piano over one whose tone I didn't like with the hope that the tone could be adjusted to my liking after I pay for it.

Neither choosing the four year old piano in a heavily trafficked store or choosing a piano whose tone one doesn't like is an ideal choice. That's why many posters recommended the OP ask the dealer to voice the piano more to her liking before committing to purchase.

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Originally Posted by Withindale
Originally Posted by Athdara
Originally Posted by Athdara
My Sauter upright was pretty bright when it first arrived a few years ago, but now the sound is much more mellow and warmer. She sings so beautifully now I tear when my teacher plays a piece I love (I'm sure it's also because he plays well haha). If you don't wish to wait for a few years then take the display model.

forgot to add: I did get it voiced once, about a year or two after it arrived so it'll be mellower, but back then, even after voicing, the sound was still.. a little stiff.

I have sneaky feeling Estella may be wise in choosing one of the new pianos. Athdara's posts speak for themselves. Last year a member from Singapore said a Fazioli imported for Angela Hewitt had much improved after two or three years. I can't remember his exact words but resonance and suppleness come to mind. From memory it hadn't been voiced.

If you fancy a new piano would you opt for a four year old floor model from a heavily trafficked store in Hong Kong?
Actually, I would, provided the floor model was in "as new" condition.
Why?
I would already know how that piano sounds and feels. Whatever settling in necessary to acclimate to Hong Kong's temperatures and humidity would already have been accomplished. The piano would have been voiced, and, yes, to a certain extent, the action MIGHT have been "worn in" past the initial factory setting.

With the other two pianos, there's just no way to know how they will develop as they ripen with age. As stated previously, de minimus, they should be auditioned in the same room as the floor sample, and, if at all possible voiced to match the floor sample. Only then, if the new one equaled (or bettered) the floor sample would I buy the new one.

I bought a Young-Chang 208cm with a Weber stencil on it in the early 1990's that had been a floor model used for in store recitals. Of course students played/pounded on it while it was on display. It was a terrific piano. I went through the first hammers and a second (Abel Natural Selects, Medium Weight) before selling it to someone who loves it to this day. Finish was perfect when I bought it, yes, a little bit of hammer wear, but it stayed stable throughout its life with me.

So, yes, not only would I buy a floor sample, I did.

Beyond that, the usual caveats, and the obligatory YMMV :-)


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Originally Posted by Withindale
Originally Posted by Athdara
Originally Posted by Athdara
My Sauter upright was pretty bright when it first arrived a few years ago, but now the sound is much more mellow and warmer. She sings so beautifully now I tear when my teacher plays a piece I love (I'm sure it's also because he plays well haha). If you don't wish to wait for a few years then take the display model.

forgot to add: I did get it voiced once, about a year or two after it arrived so it'll be mellower, but back then, even after voicing, the sound was still.. a little stiff.

I have sneaky feeling Estella may be wise in choosing one of the new pianos. Athdara's posts speak for themselves. Last year a member from Singapore said a Fazioli imported for Angela Hewitt had much improved after two or three years. I can't remember his exact words but resonance and suppleness come to mind. From memory it hadn't been voiced.

If you fancy a new piano would you opt for a four year old floor model from a heavily trafficked store in Hong Kong?
I do not know where Estrella and Athdara live, but Pandora was distracted and opened a box..Athdara says she now loves her piano. That is what she wrote.We do not have to question her or be suspicious about that.This whole thread is not only about Estrella buying a Sauter MC (which it seems she never tried) it is about people and thier perceptions.

We have not tried any of these Sauter pianos so we really do not know how they sound!!! Being a new piano the piano will be adjusting to its environment.It sounds awfully humid in Hong Kong,.nevertheless any new piano needs to adjust.The strings need to stretch, and as I said before some people do not notice how out of tune a piano is.They are just dissatisfied with the tone and they cannot perceive what the problem is.(oh its so bright) There must have been great expectations about buying a Sauter MC yet none of us really know what the problem is. Saying all of this I would only buy a piano I have played a number of times.I would suggest exchanging the piano for the floor model is perhaps the only solution.Unless there REALLY are 2 Masterclass models in the store.Please try before you buy.

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Yes its quite possible that Angela Hewitt does enjoy playing her new Fazioli piano now more than she used to.

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Originally Posted by Wzkit1
While I can certainly empathise with view of clean, almost sterile sound, my own experience suggests the Fazioli tone may be a bit more malleable commonly perceived. Case in point was a Fazioli 278 brought in for Angela Hewitt's recital a few years back. Fresh out of the crate, the sound was certainly clean and neutral- rather close to the sound in Goran Filipec's video above, and frankly not to my tastes. But after a year, the sound had blossomed - a slightly mellower attack that still possessed the trademark Fazioli clarity, coupled with the appearance of more complex overtones. Either way, the result was closer to my preference.

Here is the direct quote from the post I mentioned. After a year, "the sound had blossomed", "a slightly mellower attack", "more complex overtones".


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Originally Posted by Withindale
Originally Posted by Wzkit1
While I can certainly empathise with view of clean, almost sterile sound, my own experience suggests the Fazioli tone may be a bit more malleable commonly perceived. Case in point was a Fazioli 278 brought in for Angela Hewitt's recital a few years back. Fresh out of the crate, the sound was certainly clean and neutral- rather close to the sound in Goran Filipec's video above, and frankly not to my tastes. But after a year, the sound had blossomed - a slightly mellower attack that still possessed the trademark Fazioli clarity, coupled with the appearance of more complex overtones. Either way, the result was closer to my preference.

Here is the direct quote from the post I mentioned. After a year, "the sound had blossomed", "a slightly mellower attack", "more complex overtones".
Yes thank you Withindale, perfectly understandable too!

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I think Angela Hewitt probably liked her new Fazioli a lot from the beginning. I also can't imagine that the personal piano of top pianist didn't get some or even considerable voicing over a period of a few years. Even small amounts of voicing at each tuning, which is very typical, could improve the sound of the piano.

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Originally Posted by Starre
Hi Estella, I am quite sure it will be fine. Sauter is a quality piano. I had similar experience with my Seiler upright, you might even like a little brighter sound in the long run, use it and tune every 6 months to start with.
Nice to hear Starre 🙂

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Originally Posted by Withindale
I have sneaky feeling Estella may be wise in choosing one of the new pianos. Athdara's posts speak for themselves. Last year a member from Singapore said a Fazioli imported for Angela Hewitt had much improved after two or three years. I can't remember his exact words but resonance and suppleness come to mind. From memory it hadn't been voiced.

That memher was me. That Fazioli had not been voiced, but the dealer - an excellent master tech - had it regulated in such a way that significantly changed the tone of the instrument. This was not the first time i had witnessed him altering the tone through regulation - he did that with both my Bosendorfer and Sauter, as well as my Steinways.

Being an owner of a Sauter Delta myself, one scenario i can imagine where the piano got mellower over time is if the instrument was consistently exposed to the much higher humidity that is prevalent here (>70pct). The humidity not only has an effect on the soundboard (resonance) but possibily on the hammers as well (softer and thus mellower/muffled in general). Of course, almost all pianos respond to higher humidity in general, but i notice the change was more pronoumced on my Sauter, than say my Bosendorfer.


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Originally Posted by Wzkit1
Originally Posted by Withindale
I have sneaky feeling Estella may be wise in choosing one of the new pianos. Athdara's posts speak for themselves. Last year a member from Singapore said a Fazioli imported for Angela Hewitt had much improved after two or three years. I can't remember his exact words but resonance and suppleness come to mind. From memory it hadn't been voiced.

That memher was me. That Fazioli had not been voiced, but the dealer - an excellent master tech - had it regulated in such a way that significantly changed the tone of the instrument. This was not the first time i had witnessed him altering the tone through regulation - he did that with both my Bosendorfer and Sauter, as well as my Steinways.
I find it hard to believe that the Fazioli hadn't been voiced, probably to a considerable extent, at the factory.

How can regulating affect voicing? I can understand how voicing can affect regulation but not the other way around.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Wzkit1
Originally Posted by Withindale
I have sneaky feeling Estella may be wise in choosing one of the new pianos. Athdara's posts speak for themselves. Last year a member from Singapore said a Fazioli imported for Angela Hewitt had much improved after two or three years. I can't remember his exact words but resonance and suppleness come to mind. From memory it hadn't been voiced.

That memher was me. That Fazioli had not been voiced, but the dealer - an excellent master tech - had it regulated in such a way that significantly changed the tone of the instrument. This was not the first time i had witnessed him altering the tone through regulation - he did that with both my Bosendorfer and Sauter, as well as my Steinways.
I find it hard to believe that the Fazioli hadn't been voiced, probably to a considerable extent, at the factory.

How can regulating affect voicing? I can understand how voicing can affect regulation but not the other way around.

Of course the Fazioli had been meticulously voiced at the factory, but not after it was delivered. I know that that it had been regulated, as the touch felt considerably lighter (perhaps with a shallower key depth as well), even as it sounded mellower with more overtones. While i'm not in a position to explain the technical details of how this was done, i had seen him do this on my other instruments, and seeing/hearing is believing.


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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
How can regulating affect voicing? I can understand how voicing can affect regulation but not the other way around.

Presumably, regulating an action can affect a number of ways the hammer could interact with the strings. The touchweight and be increased or reduced, the hammers can be shifted over to strike the strings more straight/leveled, the entire keybed can be shimmed to one side or other (or front/back), things like that?


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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
How can regulating affect voicing? I can understand how voicing can affect regulation but not the other way around.

Presumably, regulating an action can affect a number of ways the hammer could interact with the strings. The touchweight and be increased or reduced, the hammers can be shifted over to strike the strings more straight/leveled, the entire keybed can be shimmed to one side or other (or front/back), things like that?
Possibly, but I don't think changing the touch weight would change the tone, and one would assume things like adjusting how the hammers hit the string would have been done to the nth degree at the Fazioli factory. Perhaps some techs can comment on whether and how regulation can change the tone assuming the piano has been extremely well regulated at the factory.

In my previous post I should have said I can understand how voicing can affect TOUCH(not regulation).

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I've experienced that regulation affects touch, which affects how the pianist responds, which can change the tone. Or conversely, my tech is going to voice down my hammers to change my touch perception. Unintuitive, but this is something I've recently seen after getting the new action and hammers!


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Originally Posted by twocats
I've experienced that regulation affects touch, which affects how the pianist responds, which can change the tone. Or conversely, my tech is going to voice down my hammers to change my touch perception. Unintuitive, but this is something I've recently seen after getting the new action and hammers!
It's fairly easy to understand how voicing can affect touch. For example, I assume you mean that voicing down your hammers will make the perception of touch slightly heavier. But IMO no one has so far explained how regulating can affect tone. Obviously regulating can affect touch but how does touch affect tone?

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
IMO no one has so far explained how regulating can affect tone. Obviously regulating can affect touch but how does touch affect tone?

That's a fair question. My piano was way out when I regulated it sometime ago using, among other guides, Roger Jolly's Complete Grand Regulation. To my ear it improved the tone.

I am no authority but Roger Jolly says, "Setting what we call let-off at its best place is crucial to allow the pianist to use every shade of tone and every bit of power the instrument can produce."


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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
How can regulating affect voicing? I can understand how voicing can affect regulation but not the other way around.

Presumably, regulating an action can affect a number of ways the hammer could interact with the strings. The touchweight and be increased or reduced, the hammers can be shifted over to strike the strings more straight/leveled, the entire keybed can be shimmed to one side or other (or front/back), things like that?
Possibly, but I don't think changing the touch weight would change the tone, and one would assume things like adjusting how the hammers hit the string would have been done to the nth degree at the Fazioli factory. Perhaps some techs can comment on whether and how regulation can change the tone assuming the piano has been extremely well regulated at the factory.

In my previous post I should have said I can understand how voicing can affect TOUCH(not regulation).
Sauter uprights have a gorgeous tone, thier grands as well so do Fazioli.

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Originally Posted by Withindale
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
IMO no one has so far explained how regulating can affect tone. Obviously regulating can affect touch but how does touch affect tone?

That's a fair question. My piano was way out when I regulated it sometime ago using, among other guides, Roger Jolly's Complete Grand Regulation. To my ear it improved the tone.

I am no authority but Roger Jolly says, "Setting what we call let-off at its best place is crucial to allow the pianist to use every shade of tone and every bit of power the instrument can produce."
To me that quote sounds like what he suggests allows greater control of the tone which I wouldn't equate with changing the tone.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Obviously regulating can affect touch but how does touch affect tone?

I think it can change the way the hammers attack. Makes sense if you think about the physics, if the hammers have a greater distance to move, you get more momentum and a brighter sound. I definitely noticed that I am responding to the touch/sound (I'm now finally believing my tech that they are intertwined) by playing differently.

I could have sworn that my tech had voiced a couple of times and he said nope, just continued to improve the regulation.

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Originally Posted by twocats
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Obviously regulating can affect touch but how does touch affect tone?
I think it can change the way the hammers attack. Makes sense if you think about the physics, if the hammers have a greater distance to move, you get more momentum and a brighter sound. I definitely noticed that I am responding to the touch/sound (I'm now finally believing my tech that they are intertwined) by playing differently.
I think what determines the quality and loudness of the tone is the speed of the hammer on impact and nothing else. So I'm not at all sure what you say is correct. IOW if one plays at the same dynamic level(same hammer speed at impact) I don't think the tone would change even if the hammer traveled a different distance. If one plays at a louder dynamic level then the tone on most good pianos get dsomewhat brighter but that's not comparing apples to apples.

If the piano is out of regulation and the piano's hammers are not striking the strings properly then fixing that could, I assume. improve the tone. But I think the topic is really about taking a piano that's properly regulated and somehow adjusting the regulation and thereby changing the tone.

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Here is a old link to someone who bought a Sauter at a bargain price in Australia.About 15 posts down a there is a cell phone recording of the tone of the Sauter.It not only demonstrates what I think is the usual tone of a Sauter upright but how a good tall grand can sound like a small, and in some cases a medium sized grand.
If you listen about 1/3 or a 1/4 way through, you can hear someone playing the beautiful slow movement of a Chopin concerto
https://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/1501555/2.html

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Withindale
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
IMO no one has so far explained how regulating can affect tone. Obviously regulating can affect touch but how does touch affect tone?

That's a fair question. My piano was way out when I regulated it sometime ago using, among other guides, Roger Jolly's Complete Grand Regulation. To my ear it improved the tone.

I am no authority but Roger Jolly says, "Setting what we call let-off at its best place is crucial to allow the pianist to use every shade of tone and every bit of power the instrument can produce."
To me that quote sounds like what he suggests allows greater control of the tone which I wouldn't equate with changing the tone.


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I'm instinctively in the camp that finds it hard to believe that Angela Hewitt's Fazioli would get no voicing over a period years difficult to believe. As much as she plays, I would assume that without attention it would brighten. Of course, I could be wrong.

So, I'm curious if it's said somewhere explicitly that it's never been voiced? Or is that an assumption because it's not mentioned anywhere?


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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Withindale
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
IMO no one has so far explained how regulating can affect tone. Obviously regulating can affect touch but how does touch affect tone?

That's a fair question. My piano was way out when I regulated it sometime ago using, among other guides, Roger Jolly's Complete Grand Regulation. To my ear it improved the tone.

I am no authority but Roger Jolly says, "Setting what we call let-off at its best place is crucial to allow the pianist to use every shade of tone and every bit of power the instrument can produce."
To me that quote sounds like what he suggests allows greater control of the tone which I wouldn't equate with changing the tone.
The tone of a piano depends not only on the tone of each note but also on how notes sound when played together. Soundboards do not have an even response to each note played at the same speed. Concert technicians have to deal with that somehow. They talk about cycles of regulation, tuning and voicing.


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Originally Posted by Retsacnal
I'm instinctively in the camp that finds it hard to believe that Angela Hewitt's Fazioli would get no voicing over a period years difficult to believe. As much as she plays, I would assume that without attention it would brighten. Of course, I could be wrong.
So, I'm curious if it's said somewhere explicitly that it's never been voiced? Or is that an assumption because it's not mentioned anywhere?
It's already been established that it got extensive voicing at the factory so any claim that it hadn't been voiced seems to make little sense even if her tech didn't voice it after she owned it( which I agree is highly unlikely). And even if the piano didn't brighten that doesn't mean a major artist wouldn't want her tech to do some voicing on the piano to even out or adjust the tone.

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Originally Posted by Retsacnal
I'm instinctively in the camp that finds it hard to believe that Angela Hewitt's Fazioli would get no voicing over a period years difficult to believe. As much as she plays, I would assume that without attention it would brighten. Of course, I could be wrong.

So, I'm curious if it's said somewhere explicitly that it's never been voiced? Or is that an assumption because it's not mentioned anywhere?

The Fazioli in question was brought into Singapore for Angela Hewitt to play. In his posts Wzkit1 says the dealer has not voiced it since then. His point is that the tone of the piano had improved in the year since he first played it.

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Talking about hammer speed at impact, that reminds me of something I've wondered about. If the speed impacts tone, then tone and volume would seem to inextricably linked. But then I wonder how a better pianist is able to extract a variety of tonal colors. So then I wonder if, for example, acceleration may factor into the equation too. That may sound odd, since to a large extent the hammer is accelerating from stopped until it hits the string, in a very short range, but the acceleration is not necessarily linear. The hammers can move from stopped to maximum speed almost instantly (smash them), or they can start moving relatively slowly, but with increased pressure, making the acceleration more progressive. In other words, the hammer could contact the string (1) while traveling at a relatively constant speed, (2) at the same speed but while accelerating, or even (3) at the same speed while decelerating. Given the space, and controls, these are necessarily very slight differences, but could certainly be distinguished behaviors that very advanced pianists do subconsciously.

Anyway, just some thoughts conjecture on how various colors might be produced.

Right or wrong, I'd be curious to hear how advanced pianists produce more colors.


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Originally Posted by tre corda
Here is a old link to someone who bought a Sauter at a bargain price in Australia.About 15 posts down a there is a cell phone recording of the tone of the Sauter.It not only demonstrates what I think is the usual tone of a Sauter upright but how a good tall grand can sound like a small, and in some cases a medium sized grand.
If you listen about 1/3 or a 1/4 way through, you can hear someone playing the beautiful slow movement of a Chopin concerto
https://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/1501555/2.html

Errata, obviously I meant a good tall upright can sound like a small or even a medium sized grand. People often say ALL 130 uprights sound this way.That is not true.

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Try this. Painters mix colours to achieve tones. Pianists mix tones to achieve colours.


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Some higher end DPs now calculate acceleration as part of the tone generation too. I don't know WHAT they do if they detect x acceleration, but my guess is that DPs measure velocity at some point(s) prior to the termination of hammer travel. Because of that, acceleration actually impacts the final velocity at the time of strike. So it makes sense that the acceleration value may be used to modify the the final strike velocity at the point of hammer impact (and perhaps the timing of the hammer delay setting) but that there isn't anything like a separate sample or filter/affect applied to "accelerating" versus "decelerating" hammer strike. I think in the end, the terminal velocity at instant of strike is the only value that ultimately matters.

To Retsacnal's conjecture, my wandering mind wonders whether the acceleration may matter if the hammer felt isn't perfectly compacted (IOW, there isn't truly a single "point" in the hammer's strike, but rather a "range," at which point acceleration value may very well affect the tone)?


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Originally Posted by Retsacnal
Talking about hammer speed at impact, that reminds me of something I've wondered about. If the speed impacts tone, then tone and volume would seem to inextricably linked. But then I wonder how a better pianist is able to extract a variety of tonal colors. So then I wonder if, for example, acceleration may factor into the equation too. That may sound odd, since to a large extent the hammer is accelerating from stopped until it hits the string, in a very short range, but the acceleration is not necessarily linear. The hammers can move from stopped to maximum speed almost instantly (smash them), or they can start moving relatively slowly, but with increased pressure, making the acceleration more progressive. In other words, the hammer could contact the string (1) while traveling at a relatively constant speed, (2) at the same speed but while accelerating, or even (3) at the same speed while decelerating. Given the space, and controls, these are necessarily very slight differences, but could certainly be distinguished behaviors that very advanced pianists do subconsciously.

Anyway, just some thoughts conjecture on how various colors might be produced.

Right or wrong, I'd be curious to hear how advanced pianists produce more colors.
I think speed affects volume and volume affects tone on a good piano(louder volume produces a brighter tone).

In terms of different colors, on a single note played and held I think a pianist can only affect volume i.e. they cannot change tonal color without changing volume. But since music is more complex than a single note good pianists create different colors by their voicing, articulation, pedaling, etc.

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Fast repeated notes have a different timbre to slow repeated notes.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think what determines the quality and loudness of the tone is the speed of the hammer on impact and nothing else.

Yeah but that speed could change depending on the regulation. Whatever the case, I thought my tech had voiced when he hadn't, and my piano sounded sweeter after regulation.


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On the mechanics, escapement means the hammer is in free flight when it hits the strings. Decelerating in fact, but the strings would not "know" that.

A note can be stronger or weaker than its neighbour. Hammers travelling at the same speed produce different volumes from adjacent notes (due to non linear response of the soundboard and the piano). Technicians probably make small adjustments for that.

In other words, what twocats has just said.

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Originally Posted by twocats
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think what determines the quality and loudness of the tone is the speed of the hammer on impact and nothing else.
Yeah but that speed could change depending on the regulation. Whatever the case, I thought my tech had voiced when he hadn't, and my piano sounded sweeter after regulation.
If the speed changes then the volume changes. The relevant question is about if regulation can change the tone if a note is played at the same volume before and after regulation.

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We need to distinguish between the speed of the finger and the speed of the hammer. The pianist controls the one and the technician the other.


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Originally Posted by Withindale
We need to distinguish between the speed of the finger and the speed of the hammer. The pianist controls the one and the technician the other.
The speed of the hammer at impact is what controls the sound. Of course, the speed of the finger controls the speed of the hammer.

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Obviously.


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I would imagine that besides the velocity of the initial blow, speed and distance with which the hammer leaves the string after the initial blow may also matter. Of course, the technician can also adjust factors like damper heights, which i can also imagine having an effect on overtonea. Basically, tone colour is a result of a complex interplay between different factors, of which the initial attack (that is most affected by voicing) is only one of many moving parta affecting tone colour.


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Originally Posted by Wzkit1
I would imagine that besides the velocity of the initial blow, speed and distance with which the hammer leaves the string after the initial blow may also matter. Of course, the technician can also adjust factors like damper heights, which i can also imagine having an effect on overtonea. Basically, tone colour is a result of a complex interplay between different factors, of which the initial attack (that is most affected by voicing) is only one of many moving parta affecting tone colour.
The velocity of the hammer on impact effects volume which effects tone(louder= brighter) but it's not at all clear to me that the distance which the hammer leaves the string affects anything and would require a reason to convince me. Nor do I see a reason why damper heights would affect anything without further explanation.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
If the speed changes then the volume changes. The relevant question is about if regulation can change the tone if a note is played at the same volume before and after regulation.

Well, one thing I recently learned is that I'm automatically adjusting my playing to the voicing and regulation. Since the hammers were too loud, I was playing so lightly to try to get pp that the keyd weren't bottoming out. It was because my piano wasn't capable of playing very softly in my space. Now (until my tech can come back in July and voice the new hammers down) I've got towels stuffed under the soundboard, and I'm automatically digging in more. When my tech stated his theory that the hammers had to be more quiet, I was in doubt, but then after he left I realized I could close the lid to do a test.

I think regulation and voicing and pianist touch response are all intertwined. You can't really isolate any of them.

To the OP, I think you should get the display piano. My tech said that at the Bösendorfer factory there are several voicers who each have their own ideas of what they like, and thus each piano comes out with its own character. A company like Yamaha would want utmost consistency but a small company like Sauter may have a similar situation as Bösendorfer. And from my own experience, I would never buy I piano I didn't already love. That will likely lead to regret.

Last edited by twocats; 05/18/22 01:23 PM.

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Originally Posted by twocats
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
If the speed changes then the volume changes. The relevant question is about if regulation can change the tone if a note is played at the same volume before and after regulation.

Well, one thing I recently learned is that I'm automatically adjusting my playing to the voicing and regulation. Since the hammers were too loud, I was playing so lightly to try to get pp that the keyd weren't bottoming out. It was because my piano wasn't capable of playing very softly in my space. Now (until my tech can come back in July and voice the new hammers down) I've got towels stuffed under the soundboard, and I'm automatically digging in more. When my tech stated his theory that the hammers had to be more quiet, I was in doubt, but then after he left I realized I could close the lid to do a test.

I think regulation and voicing and pianist touch response are all intertwined. You can't really isolate any of them.
In your first paragraph you described a simple and common voicing problem. When the hammers are voiced down you will be probably be able to play more softly. This would be a clear example of isolating voicing from regulation.

You're discussing how loud the piano is and how easy or hard it is to play softly but my comment was about the tonal quality at some specific fixed volume. My post was not about touch response by which I;m guessing you mean how easy or difficult it is to control the piano or how light or heavy the action feels. It is also possible to make a regulation adjustment that can make it easier to play softly but that is different from changing the piano's tone.

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My general thoughts...regulation changes will affect tone control. Voicing changes will affect tone itself. Tone is a common variable in both.

But voicing is a relatively small part of overall piano tone. The biggest contributors to a piano's tone are with the overall build of the piano itself. Such as the case, the rim, soundboard, strings, etc.

Volume and tonal quality are essentially paired on a given piano. Dynamic 1 yields tone 1, dynamic 2 - tone 2, etc etc. That's on the most basic level. Then you can do other stuff to tone from there, but all that stuff is locked in, in a strict, mechanical way.

Different pianos do different things to their tone at different dynamics. Some keep a relatively more pure and fundamental harmonic profile across the dynamic range (Bosendorfer), others have more higher harmonic resonance that also increases with dynamics (Steinway). Pianists will generally have preferences, and play pianos in somewhat different ways according to the piano's tonal profile.

The piano does not care if you're jumping up and down and waving your hands or whatever, when it comes to making sounds. Maybe the audience does care (as this adds showmanship), and maybe the musician finds all of this beneficial in order to express the music more fully and naturally.

But all the piano cares about is the hammer hitting the string. This could be done by a machine that simply applies force to the key(s) over time. A robot could give a stunning aural performance if it had the right inputs. The various techniques you see pianists doing are to help them create the fluidity of motion etc needed to play the piano as they're hoping to do -- e.g. like making certain gestures in the hands, arms, or body to feel the crescendo or the rhythm. And indeed some of this is part of pianistic technique that is needed to achieve a certain effect by the musician (it's hard to get dynamics, articulations, etc etc all just right, and pianists develop all kinds of techniques to help them do just this).

But breaking it down on a basic level, the pianist is affecting volume and tone together as a pair with the keystroke. It would be impossible for a piano player, through keystroke alone, to achieve, for instance...Dynamic 1/tone 1, OR dynamic 1/tone 2...on the same piano with the same setup. That's assuming fixed variables for everything else like pedaling and length of time playing the note.

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Originally Posted by chromaticvortex
My general thoughts...regulation changes will affect tone control. Voicing changes will affect tone itself. Tone is a common variable in both. Tone control is not the same as tone although I'm not sure if you're saying that.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by chromaticvortex
My general thoughts...regulation changes will affect tone control. Voicing changes will affect tone itself. Tone is a common variable in both. Tone control is not the same as tone although I'm not sure if you're saying that.

No, I'm not saying that. Regulation will not affect the tone at all, unless you factor in tonal control via the pianist. In other words, it will only change the tone insofar as the player is able to have more control over the underlying tone, with different regulation.

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In an ideal world each note of a piano would sound exactly the same before and after regulation. That is if you played it with equal force in exactly the same way. What's more the volume of each note would gradually reduce, note by note, as you played them up the scale. The piano technician would have easy life.

Pianos are not as even as that ideal. Soundboards are all over the map in their response to different frequencies, some notes are stronger, others weaker. Achieving the best tonal balance is no easy task.

When Roger Jolly, the concert technician I mentioned, when he says let off of each note needs adjusting in the piano, he is talking about making subtle changes in the force-distance relationship that determines the speed of each hammer when it hits the strings.

Pianists do not have to worry about all that stuff behinc the fall board, if the tone is better the technician has done a good job.


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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by MrSh4nkly
The brighter the piano, the less forgiving it is of imprecise play is another rule (say, chords or octaves with notes not struck perfectly together). Players who are able to refine their play to match the brightness of the piano are often rewarded with a crisp, clear, beautiful sound. If the acoustics of the room are bad, however, it will still sound painful to the ear.
No matter how "precisely" one plays one cannot change a bright piano's sound, and it will not be a "beautiful" sound unless one happens to like a brighter sound.
We do not know how bright Estrellas piano is at all! WE do know that Athedra however now loves the sound of her piano.We do not know what bright means to these people.We do not have a clue how they really do sound.There are sometimes reports of European pianos being bright.There have been reports of August Forster 125 being bright.The Sauter and the CBechstein's and the Bluthner I have tried all within a spectrum of "brightness" There is quite a range.Some Schimmel's are said to be bright.As I have said before my Konzert 136 is not bright.It must of course lie along that spectrum though.It is very similar to some Bechsteins and Sauters I have played, also not dissimilar to the recording of the Sauter in the link I provided above.
So yes the poster quoted here in THIS post probably does have a beautiful sounding piano.I have no idea at all why we have wondered so far from the original post? Why is it SO IMPORTANT to suggest that these members do not have pianos that produce a beautiful tone?

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Originally Posted by chromaticvortex
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by chromaticvortex
My general thoughts...regulation changes will affect tone control. Voicing changes will affect tone itself. Tone is a common variable in both. Tone control is not the same as tone although I'm not sure if you're saying that.
No, I'm not saying that. Regulation will not affect the tone at all, unless you factor in tonal control via the pianist. In other words, it will only change the tone insofar as the player is able to have more control over the underlying tone, with different regulation.
Good. There have been some posters on this thread claiming that regulation affects the tone but I don't think they've given any explanation of how that could be true.

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Originally Posted by tre corda
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by MrSh4nkly
The brighter the piano, the less forgiving it is of imprecise play is another rule (say, chords or octaves with notes not struck perfectly together). Players who are able to refine their play to match the brightness of the piano are often rewarded with a crisp, clear, beautiful sound. If the acoustics of the room are bad, however, it will still sound painful to the ear.
No matter how "precisely" one plays one cannot change a bright piano's sound, and it will not be a "beautiful" sound unless one happens to like a brighter sound.
We do not know how bright Estrellas piano is at all! WE do know that Athedra however now loves the sound of her piano.We do not know what bright means to these people.We do not have a clue how they really do sound.There are sometimes reports of European pianos being bright.There have been reports of August Forster 125 being bright.The Sauter and the CBechstein's and the Bluthner I have tried all within a spectrum of "brightness" There is quite a range.Some Schimmel's are said to be bright.As I have said before my Konzert 136 is not bright.It must of course lie along that spectrum though.It is very similar to some Bechsteins and Sauters I have played, also not dissimilar to the recording of the Sauter in the link I provided above.
So yes the poster quoted here in THIS post probably does have a beautiful sounding piano.I have no idea at all why we have wondered so far from the original post? Why is it SO IMPORTANT to suggest that these members do not have pianos that produce a beautiful tone?
I don't think anything in your lengthy post has anything to do with my post your quoted.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by tre corda
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by MrSh4nkly
The brighter the piano, the less forgiving it is of imprecise play is another rule (say, chords or octaves with notes not struck perfectly together). Players who are able to refine their play to match the brightness of the piano are often rewarded with a crisp, clear, beautiful sound. If the acoustics of the room are bad, however, it will still sound painful to the ear.
No matter how "precisely" one plays one cannot change a bright piano's sound, and it will not be a "beautiful" sound unless one happens to like a brighter sound.
We do not know how bright Estrellas piano is at all! WE do know that Athedra however now loves the sound of her piano.We do not know what bright means to these people.We do not have a clue how they really do sound.There are sometimes reports of European pianos being bright.There have been reports of August Forster 125 being bright.The Sauter and the CBechstein's and the Bluthner I have tried all within a spectrum of "brightness" There is quite a range.Some Schimmel's are said to be bright.As I have said before my Konzert 136 is not bright.It must of course lie along that spectrum though.It is very similar to some Bechsteins and Sauters I have played, also not dissimilar to the recording of the Sauter in the link I provided above.
So yes the poster quoted here in THIS post probably does have a beautiful sounding piano.I have no idea at all why we have wondered so far from the original post? Why is it SO IMPORTANT to suggest that these members do not have pianos that produce a beautiful tone?
I don't think anything in your lengthy post has anything to do with my post your quoted.
Perhaps you mean your POSTS? "What is written is written"

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Originally Posted by tre corda
Originally Posted by Withindale
Originally Posted by Wzkit1
While I can certainly empathise with view of clean, almost sterile sound, my own experience suggests the Fazioli tone may be a bit more malleable commonly perceived. Case in point was a Fazioli 278 brought in for Angela Hewitt's recital a few years back. Fresh out of the crate, the sound was certainly clean and neutral- rather close to the sound in Goran Filipec's video above, and frankly not to my tastes. But after a year, the sound had blossomed - a slightly mellower attack that still possessed the trademark Fazioli clarity, coupled with the appearance of more complex overtones. Either way, the result was closer to my preference.

Here is the direct quote from the post I mentioned. After a year, "the sound had blossomed", "a slightly mellower attack", "more complex overtones".
Yes thank you Withindale, perfectly understandable too!
Angela Hewitt said the piano "blossomed and has a slightly mellower tone:"

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think Angela Hewitt probably liked her new Fazioli a lot from the beginning. I also can't imagine that the personal piano of top pianist didn't get some or even considerable voicing over a period of a few years. Even small amounts of voicing at each tuning, which is very typical, could improve the sound of the piano.
Perhaps we should believe what Angela Hewitt said.Not everyone prefers Steinway pianos over others.Of course they are great pianos but Fazioli is a very strong contender.

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Bright/mellow muddies the waters sometimes because people describe tonal quality using different language. Some people only use bright in a negative or neutral way. Brilliant is often used for a more complimentary effect.

What’s relevant is that tone only changes (during playing) with volume (ruling out pedal etc), and does so in a fixed way. Volume is determined by force of the hammer. Regulation only affects the action behavior.

So does regulation affect the dynamics? It very well could, depending on the pianist. And with dynamics, tone is also subsequently affected.

But does regulation affect anything essential about the core tonal quality of the piano? No. Most of that is determined already by the piano itself. To some degree, the voicing as well.

This is kind of rehashing what I said before. I can see where different sides are coming from. One case I can think of where regulation would affect tone obviously is if something were really wrong with the action and you could hear it. But that would probably amount to minor repairs rather than just regulation.

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Originally Posted by tre corda
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think Angela Hewitt probably liked her new Fazioli a lot from the beginning. I also can't imagine that the personal piano of top pianist didn't get some or even considerable voicing over a period of a few years. Even small amounts of voicing at each tuning, which is very typical, could improve the sound of the piano.
Perhaps we should believe what Angela Hewitt said.Not everyone prefers Steinway pianos over others.Of course they are great pianos but Fazioli is a very strong contender.
Did she say it never had any voicing, even at the factory? Is that what you're claiming is true? That's inconceivable to me. If you think that's true please post the article that says that.

Do you really think a pianist at that level didn't have her tech do any voicing? Not inconceivable, but extremely unlikely. Techs taking care of a piano like that would normally do at least some touch up voicing when they come to tune the piano.

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Originally Posted by chromaticvortex
Bright/mellow muddies the waters sometimes because people describe tonal quality using different language. Some people only use bright in a negative or neutral way. Brilliant is often used for a more complimentary effect.

What’s relevant is that tone only changes (during playing) with volume (ruling out pedal etc), and does so in a fixed way. Volume is determined by force of the hammer. Regulation only affects the action behavior.

So does regulation affect the dynamics? It very well could, depending on the pianist. And with dynamics, tone is also subsequently affected.

But does regulation affect anything essential about the core tonal quality of the piano? No. Most of that is determined already by the piano itself. To some degree, the voicing as well.

This is kind of rehashing what I said before. I can see where different sides are coming from. One case I can think of where regulation would affect tone obviously is if something were really wrong with the action and you could hear it. But that would probably amount to minor repairs rather than just regulation.
When regarding tone, bright and mellow is something that is real, yet mellow is not always what is desired nor is brightness, somewhere between bright and mellow is perhaps ideal.No! tone is not two dimensional.You should know since you have a Bosendorfer.Angella Hewitt's "mellow" would be interesting to know.

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Originally Posted by tre corda
Originally Posted by chromaticvortex
Bright/mellow muddies the waters sometimes because people describe tonal quality using different language. Some people only use bright in a negative or neutral way. Brilliant is often used for a more complimentary effect.

What’s relevant is that tone only changes (during playing) with volume (ruling out pedal etc), and does so in a fixed way. Volume is determined by force of the hammer. Regulation only affects the action behavior.

So does regulation affect the dynamics? It very well could, depending on the pianist. And with dynamics, tone is also subsequently affected.

But does regulation affect anything essential about the core tonal quality of the piano? No. Most of that is determined already by the piano itself. To some degree, the voicing as well.

This is kind of rehashing what I said before. I can see where different sides are coming from. One case I can think of where regulation would affect tone obviously is if something were really wrong with the action and you could hear it. But that would probably amount to minor repairs rather than just regulation.
When regarding tone, bright and mellow is something that is real, yet mellow is not always what is desired nor is brightness, somewhere between bright and mellow is perhaps ideal.No! tone is not two dimensional.You should know since you have a Bosendorfer.Angella Hewitt's "mellow" would be interesting to know.

Indeed…with my piano, I was sure it sounded mellow overall at the shop, but I think this was mainly compared to other pianos. It can be made to sound bright, especially in the upper register at high dynamics…but can easily give a mellow tone as well when played with less volume. It also has very interesting resonances. Beautiful sound to my ears, I wouldn’t say it’s the absolute mellowest of pianos (which wouldn’t be ideal anyway) but is very warm overall. Maybe somewhere in the middle and able to do both ends of the spectrum effectively.

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When you change the hammer line and or set off the same blow will produce a different sound.

No one has explained how a pianist knows how to adjust the blow to achieve the same volume as before or why that would be necessary.

There is no point in discussions when people asking the questions do not want to understand the implications of their own arguments.

Last edited by Withindale; 05/19/22 03:52 AM.

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Originally Posted by Withindale
When you change the hammer line and or set off the same blow will produce a different sound.

No one has explained how a pianist knows how to adjust the blow to achieve the same volume as before or why that would be necessary.

There is no point in discussions when people asking the questions do not want to understand the implications of their own arguments.

This post should have read:

When you change the hammer line and or set off the same blow will produce a different sound.

No one has explained how a pianist knows to adjust the blow to achieve the same volume as before or why that would be necessary.

There is no point in discussions when people asking the questions do not want to understand the implications of their own arguments.


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Originally Posted by chromaticvortex
Bright/mellow muddies the waters sometimes because people describe tonal quality using different language. Some people only use bright in a negative or neutral way. Brilliant is often used for a more complimentary effect.

What’s relevant is that tone only changes (during playing) with volume (ruling out pedal etc), and does so in a fixed way. Volume is determined by force of the hammer. Regulation only affects the action behavior.

So does regulation affect the dynamics? It very well could, depending on the pianist. And with dynamics, tone is also subsequently affected.

But does regulation affect anything essential about the core tonal quality of the piano? No. Most of that is determined already by the piano itself. To some degree, the voicing as well.

This is kind of rehashing what I said before. I can see where different sides are coming from. One case I can think of where regulation would affect tone obviously is if something were really wrong with the action and you could hear it. But that would probably amount to minor repairs rather than just regulation.
I think I agree with every sentence you wrote. A good explanation IMO.

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So do I. Regulation adjusts the dynamics and the tone produced, not the core tonal quality. Well put.


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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
I would only take the display model and not the ones you don’t like as much.

Absolutely, new pianos “settle in” on the display floor. It takes a new piano takes a few weeks to a few months to stabilize after being removed from the crate or box. Don’t take a chance. Get the piano on display and write down the serial number. Make sure that serial number is delivered. You’ll be much happier. Best wishes!


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Check the piano's serial number with the factory Find out when it was delivered to the dealer, also date of manufacture.Do we know if Sauter has changed management or the CEO or anything else recently?

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The OP has not been back for five days. Her last post indicates she made her decision:

I guess I will trust the quality of Sauter and credibility of the dealer, and take one of the factory models.


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Yes but what does a factory model mean,.going to Germany to choose one? The MC130 is a factory model, or not? It's on the Sauter catologue,as far as I can see.

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Originally Posted by tre corda
Yes but what does a factory model mean,.going to Germany to choose one? The MC130 is a factory model, or not? It's on the Sauter catologue,as far as I can see.

She did not clarify what she meant. I just doubt she will return to read any additional advice.


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Perhaps a new MC130 piano directly from Sauter?

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Originally Posted by tre corda
Perhaps a new MC130 piano directly from Sauter?

Very reasonable assumption.


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Originally Posted by Estella
I just ordered a Sauter Masterclass 130 from the official dealer in Hong Kong. I was offered to choose from the two brand new ones in their inventory. But upon testing, these two both sound notably different from the one on display. Both are brighter, and not as sweet and mellow with nice singing tone, as the one on display. And even the two brand new ones sound different from each other too, with one much brighter than the other.

In view of the discussions about tone in this thread, Estella might be interested in this Sally Phillips' Piano Buyer article on Voicing and Tone - https://www.pianobuyer.com/article/voicing-and-tone/

It explains why a piano needs to be tuned and its keys and action regulated before being voiced. Those procedures themselves clear up many tonal problems.

Sally also mentions larger pianos in smaller rooms. She says the concern that they will be too loud can be alleviated by regulation and judicious voicing. A way to deal will some pianos on the brighter side?

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Originally Posted by tre corda
Yes but what does a factory model mean,.going to Germany to choose one? The MC130 is a factory model, or not? It's on the Sauter catologue,as far as I can see.


I assumed that she meant one of the other two shown to her (but I could be wrong, of course).


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Junior Member
S
Joined: Jun 2022
Posts: 17
Hi Estella,

I am a new member here and just come across your post. What a coincidence we are both from Hong Kong. Congratulations to your new Sauter piano! Have you eventually decided which one to choose from? It seems to me the Sauter brand is carried by Tom Lee music HK. For the past year, I was also searching for my dream piano and for numerous occasions paying visits to Tom Lee showrooms, testing all their pianos. Sometimes I do feel a bit embarrassed just playing around and no purchase in front of the salesperson, but it’s truly great joy playing with all these beautiful instruments. Cheers smile


Shigeru Kawai SK2L, Kawai RX1
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