My favorite piano - Tell us why!

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Postby Dr. John Zeigler - PEP Ed » Fri Feb 10, 2006 8:40 am

It's interesting that nobody so far as mentioned a Steinway as their favorite piano. Is that lack of experience with Steinways or does it reflect a real difference in the pianos? :)
All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom. - Albert Einstein
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Postby Beckywy » Fri Feb 10, 2006 8:57 am

I've played on Steinways before, but I still prefer the Bosendorfer.
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Postby Stretto » Fri Feb 10, 2006 10:12 am

Here is my uneducated, neive perspective about the only Steinway I have played. The local university I went to just in the last couple of years got a new Steinway, which I haven't played. However, the "old" Steinway they had when I went there was so different and "old", that outside of performance anxiety of course, I always felt I couldn't play well on it just because primarly the keys seemed so different. What I mean by different is the keys seemed "old" of course :laugh: , the keys seemed narrower, there seemed to be more space between the keys, the action of each key seemed not quite the same as the one next to it. Now, whether the keys were actually narrower and whether the keys had more space between each one may have merely been visual. But even visual appearance can "throw" a person off. Let's say compared to the Yamaha grands that the university had in the practice rooms and classrooms (of course those are the one's I hated because the action seemed too heavy :D ).

I have started using the university's hall for recitals and I was told I could just use the "old" Steinway for my recital so no one would have to meet me to unlock the cabinet for the new one. Next time perhaps I'll see if I can convince someone to let me use the new one.

Also there is a Steinway dealer that recently opened their business here. Maybe I'll have to go over and try some out. I haven't gone to piano dealers trying out pianos for years but the way everyone talks about various ones I'm not familiar with, my curiosity is up.

So that's my uneducated perspective on the Steinway. :D




Edited By Stretto on 1139588040
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Postby Cy Shuster » Fri Feb 10, 2006 3:52 pm

[quote="Stretto"][/quote]
I mentioned a Steinway...

They can vary a lot, even when new. The condition of older pianos is just like older cars: it varies a lot by how much use they get, and how much maintenance.

I love to visit dealers. They're usually less busy early in the week; try to avoid Thursday through Sunday (but Saturday morning might be good).

Most people play only one or two pianos their whole lives (while I do 4 a day!). It's great to get a perspective on the range of sounds and actions out there.

--Cy--
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Postby Dr. Bill Leland » Mon Feb 13, 2006 8:04 am

I'm sure Cy would agree that Steinway went through an extended period where they were turning out some really atrocious specimens. A Sherman Clay executive told me that 1983 was one of their absolutely worst years--just the year I had to go to NY and pick a new concert grand for the University. I had five pianos to choose from, all bad. One was so poorly put together that two of the black keys were in the wrong place--a D# and F# had been interchanged. Regulation, voicing and even basic construction were terribly sloppy. I finally chose the one that had the fewest problems, hoping we could work on it and made it play well, but it never came up to what should have been the Steinway level.

We also picked a 9' Boesendorfer which was gorgeous, and then my wife and I jumped at the offer to get one for our home at the same low bid price. We owned it for ten years, then sold it to a Community College in northern NM. Beautiful action and sound, and very easy to work on.

But it all depends on what you want and what you're used to. Boesendorfers tend to have a pure, linear kind of sound, as do Bechsteins and other European instruments, but they don't have the 'punch' that the American pianos do. Our concert world today (like most of our entertainment) demands a more and more shrill, explosive sound that I personally think has gotten way too raucous. So a lot of artists who came to play at NMSU didn't like the Boesendorfer. My own preference was to use it for Haydn, Mozart and other earlier music, and the Steinway for Liszt, Rachmaninoff and company.

We also have two Yamaha C7s at home. Yamahas have great workmanship, action and consistency, but they all tend to sound exactly alike. The tone is clear and bright but, to many, not 'warm'. But they hold up exeedingly well: ours were built in 1968 and 1974, respectively, and the soundboard crowns have never sagged a bit, even in the harsh, dry desert climate we have (I installed my third set of hammers a few years ago!).

The 'heavy' actions Stretto mentioned often happen when practice room grands sit unregulated for a long time. The key height settles, leaving you with less dip in the stroke, and the dampers often settle enough so that the back end of the key contacts them too soon, making you carry the damper through the whole stroke. A lot of pianos--of all makes--don't get the attention they need, so the regulation and voicing goes downhill and people sometimes think it's the original quality of the piano that's at fault.

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Postby pianoannie » Mon Feb 13, 2006 11:51 am

Cy Shuster wrote:Are you talking about a noise you hear when you first push down the pedal? That kind of "swish" can be caused by incorrect damper alignment on the strings, or wear of the damper felt over time.

If you slide back the music desk (or peek from the tail of the piano), you may be able to tell whether any part of the damper felt extends below the strings (check the V- or W-shaped dampers in the middle of the piano). If it is, that can cause the "swish", and your technician can pull the action and trim them.

Sometimes the damper felt gets hard with age, and that also causes noises as they move away from the strings.

--Cy--

Yes, it's a noise when I first depress the pedal. And yes, the V-shaped dampers definitely extend below the strings, about 1 1/2 to 2 mm in fact. Should they not? They've been that way since I bought the piano new 2 years ago. I mentioned the noise when my tuner came out the first time (a few days after I bought it), and that's when he told me it was the "characteristic steinway swish." He did mention being able to trim them, but I hated to have him start cutting on my brand new piano if it was just a sound I needed to get used to. But I still don't particularly care for that one aspect of my piano.

So, do you think it would be a good idea to have the dampers trimmed? Other than losing the "swish" are there any other results I might notice?
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Postby Dr. Bill Leland » Mon Feb 13, 2006 4:55 pm

Trimming dampers may be a good idea sometimes. But you're talking about a brand new piano. I think it would be a major mistake to start performing major surgery at this point, and once you trim you can't go back, unless you want to replace the dampers with new ones.

Steinways in particular tend to improve with time and servicing, the way violins do. Give it a year or so to season; the hammers will brighten up and the dampers are probably not fully settled yet. One of the problems Steinway has had in abundance is sending pianos out before they are fully ready (it's more cost effective that way). Give the piano time and regular tuning and servicing, and let it settle in for a good while.

Bill L.
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Postby 108-1121887355 » Mon Feb 13, 2006 6:09 pm

Dr. Bill,
Good to have your expertise again on this site.
I have a very old Steinway Studio that I am not always please with but cannot afford a new piano. It had major work in 1985 and 2004, but does not stay in tune well (in spite of a damp chaser which I agreed to in 04) which was supposed to help! Also have an on and off problem with a buzzing sound. Oh, well, the students do not often complain, but if someone were to drop a new piano in my livingroom, I would be VERY happy.

:D

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Postby Piano Wannabe » Sat May 06, 2006 5:53 pm

I sheepishly ask... is it ok to love a digital? i proceed in a whisper... i love my kawai cp175 because it sounds like a good piano, it has all 88 keys, it has hammer-action wooden keys that are touch sensitive, it records me, it makes cds from my recordings, it lets me play silently with a headset or as loud as I can stand without them. it make me appear to be good when i'm really being bad. i just love it and i think it loves me back. ssshhhh don't tell anybody... :cool:
I should really be playing.
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Postby Dr. John Zeigler - PEP Ed » Mon May 08, 2006 7:29 am

Piano Wannabe wrote:I sheepishly ask... is it ok to love a digital? i proceed in a whisper... i love my kawai cp175 because it sounds like a good piano, it has all 88 keys, it has hammer-action wooden keys that are touch sensitive, it records me, it makes cds from my recordings, it lets me play silently with a headset or as loud as I can stand without them. it make me appear to be good when i'm really being bad. i just love it and i think it loves me back. ssshhhh don't tell anybody... :cool:

Your listing of the reasons you love your digital piano is very reminiscent of some of the the reasons I would (and have) cite why I like good digital pianos. I'm don't know if either of us will persuade acoustic pianists that they should look into digitals, but I hope that your post will plant the seed that one can make real music on a digital.
All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom. - Albert Einstein
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Postby Cutie6_6 » Tue May 16, 2006 8:18 am

Hi, i just new to this forum. It is so amazing to have this forum. At least, i can read many opinion and gain some knowledge from all of you. I found out that most of the members here are from US. Too bad that i am from Asian. The most famous brand of piano just Kawai and Yamaha. Steinway and sons is too expensive brand for us... So, we seldom have change to play this kind of piano.
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Postby Dr. John Zeigler - PEP Ed » Tue May 16, 2006 9:01 am

Cutie6_6 wrote:Hi, i just new to this forum. It is so amazing to have this forum. At least, i can read many opinion and gain some knowledge from all of you. I found out that most of the members here are from US. Too bad that i am from Asian. The most famous brand of piano just Kawai and Yamaha. Steinway and sons is too expensive brand for us... So, we seldom have change to play this kind of piano.

Welcome to the Board. Although most of the members are form the U.S., we have members from all over the world. I'm sure you'll find people to talk with here. Kawai and Yamaha are fine piano brands.
All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom. - Albert Einstein
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Postby Stretto » Tue May 16, 2006 9:37 am

Welcome!

-Will look forward to participating on the forums with you!

I have a Kawaii (although not a grand :( ) but I love it!!!!!! I've had it 10+ years, it's probably on the low end of price range for new pianos, but not a single complaint. When I first began looking for pianos I was comparing Yamaha and Kawaii toward the end of my search.

Again welcome!

__

I just got to thinking, I believe my piano came with a lifetime warranty of some sort, does anyone know if all new pianos regardless of brand come with lifetime warranties?
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Postby Cutie6_6 » Tue May 16, 2006 7:55 pm

Since i started my piano lesson, my old piano was Robbin Super, a brand imported from England. The touching of this piano is hard if compare to Yamaha piano. But, the sounds of piano is brilliant. After that, i trade in my piano and change to a brand new grand piano...SOJIN. Now, it has 10 years old history. The sound is sharp and loud. But, i found out that some of the strings are rusty, i dont know how to handle this. I afraid that one day the strings will broken when i am playing the piano. Is that possible?

:p
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Postby Dr. Bill Leland » Wed May 17, 2006 9:07 am

Hello Cutie 6, and welcome to you.

Yes, strings can break sometimes, even when they're not rusty. But you should not have rust on strings. Do you know if the rust was there already when you bought the piano, or did it come later? Maybe you live in a very damp climate--are you in Taiwan, or perhaps Korea?

The Sojin piano was made by Daewoo of South Korea, but it is no longer being made. What kind of warranty did you get with the piano? Did you buy from a dealer, or from a private individual? It would be a good idea to have a good piano technician come at look at the strings, and also the rest of the piano.

Are you just a student or do you also teach? Please post again and tell us how you are doing.

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