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Worst brand of piano (Read 55742 times)

Offline nanabush

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Worst brand of piano
« on: August 04, 2006, 12:56:11 AM »
My vote goes to Young Chang, which sucks @$$... I can't make a poll b/cuz I dont know enuf types of pianos.
Interested in discussing:

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Offline bernhard

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #1 on: August 04, 2006, 01:39:03 AM »
Amongst the uprights, the worst I played was Chalen.

Amongst the grands, Bechsteins were always a pain.

Mind you I have not played that many different brands (e.g. I´ve never played on a young Chang).

Best wishes,
Bernhard.
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Offline faustsaccomplice

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #2 on: August 04, 2006, 07:39:29 PM »
Bechsteins are usually first rate instruments...up there with the best. 

There are so many horrible pianos out there...anyone ever run into a Hundai? 

Offline xhunterjx

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #3 on: August 04, 2006, 09:54:57 PM »
Pearl River pianos are better suited for fire wood.

Offline arensky

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #4 on: August 04, 2006, 10:09:48 PM »
I used to have a steady club gig and there was this shiny beautiful looking baby grand there, it was a Tokai. Never seen or heard of one since, and I hope I never do! Makes a Pearl River seem like a Hamburg Steinway or Sauter (my preferred brands).

Young Changs aren't so bad imo; I like their tone. The actions on the first ones that came top the USA were pretty horrible. I had another steady gig, this one on a Young Chang, and I had to pull certain keys back up after about every 20 times that I depressed them. I assumed that this was the proximity of the piano to the ocean (about 500 ft.) but other pianists and some tuner/techs have told me it was the piano, which held tune very well btw. I've heard that they've worked the bugs out of their action. Haven't played one in quite a while though.

Wurlitzer (or whoever owns them or the name now) has been making some rather crap pianos over the past six years or so, played two that were just awful.
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Offline Waldszenen

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #5 on: August 06, 2006, 12:11:54 PM »
Anything made in China

and Kawai, of the "major" brands (though apparently the Shigeru line can get very good... I wouldn't know)
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Offline kriskicksass

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #6 on: August 13, 2006, 04:27:13 PM »
I hate Kawai pianos with a passion.

Offline zheer

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #7 on: August 13, 2006, 07:15:11 PM »
  Yamaha accustics are possibly the worst type of piano i,ve played on and believe me i've played on a number of them, ironicaly though i do own a yamaha clavinova electronic and its not bad at all. :-\
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Offline pianistimo

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #8 on: August 14, 2006, 12:11:36 AM »
arensky's right about wurlitzer, too.  i grew up with one and the day it left the house i celebrated.  it was good at the time, i guess, being a beginner.

once, in a mission near camarillo, played a piano with 12 pedals.  i can't remember the name of the piano - but practically all the pedals were broken - and my husband was supposed to sing.  some of the notes stuck down on the keyboard, too, and i literally had to retrieve them each time i played them.  that was the ultimate worst piano.

nowdays i have more of a semblance of self-worth as a pianist.  i would simply say - this piano is crap.  let him sing a capella.

Offline jolly

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #9 on: August 31, 2006, 02:57:20 AM »
A good piano is where you find it.

There are very few "bad" pianos made nowadays - prep them correctly and most will give at least decent service in a home environment.
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Offline shmainpiano

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #10 on: September 02, 2006, 12:10:57 PM »
The Young Chang piano sells not so good in China though they had been in China for years. The iron frame is vacuum-founded but the workers are not so proficient(the number of the professional technician is limited compared with the speed of their development). So the touch and the soundis not so good. The Pearl River company is the biggest state-owned piano company in China and produce the largest quantity in the market.Maybe they produce too much and too fast, so their pianos have no characteristics.they are for public.


Offline c18cont

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #11 on: January 18, 2007, 09:03:57 PM »
Would that we were as passionate about our playing...

Regards,  John Cont

Offline soliloquy

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #12 on: January 20, 2007, 06:49:46 AM »
Ahaha.  Wurlitzer.  The joke of the piano.  My grandmother's apartment building has a balcony/entertainment room upstairs with a seemingly old upright Wurlitzer.  It is far and away more a toy to amuse myself with and laugh at than a piano.  It sounds like one of Cage's "prepared pianos" but, sadly, is not.  It has the WORST sound (metallic and dull) with absolutely NO dynamics.  The top registers have absolutely zero resonance, and the bottom... oh... I'd say... 6 keys all sound identical; like metallic, dull piano-farts.  If you can ever find one, definitely grab it.  You will never cease to be amused at how awful it is.  Debussy is especially hilarious on the Wurlitzer.

Offline iumonito

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #13 on: January 20, 2007, 07:32:08 AM »
Wow, this thread is getting the worst out of some people.  Bernhard, sorry, but if you mean you don't like Bechsteins, I have to say you loose points in my esteem meter (not that you should care, I have in good steem anyway, but c'mon, Bechsteins are world class pianos).

One question is what pianos get to dreadful faster, and I would say the old Asian-made uprights and mini grands have a great lead there.

The other is what pianos cannot be made fine no matter what you do to them.  I would put 90% of uprights there anyway, because I don't like them in general, but hey, if you can't afford a 7 footer and you can learn on an upright, by all means.  I destroyed a poor Daneman during my teens when I fantasized about playing lots of Rachmaninov, loud Brahms and loads of Liszt.  Had I been infatuated with Haydn and Scarlatti that piano would still be in great shape.  :)

I have played absolutely delightful Wurlitzers.  A 7 footer comes to mind that was much better than and Steinway B I have played (save James Tocco's B, which did not sound or feel like a B at all).

Among pianos that are supposed to be good, my least favorite is the Stainway L.  What a sorry instrument, IMO.  Certainly I would take one, though, if my other option was a Casio Privia.  :)

I have played many a lovely Young Chang too.

I am surprised Samick has gotten no flak.  They are generally pretty dreadful.
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Offline jolly

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #14 on: January 24, 2007, 04:53:26 PM »
A few years ago, some Russian pianos were imported into the U.S.

Most are very bad.
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Offline pianowelsh

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #15 on: January 26, 2007, 07:39:22 PM »
I think my issue is more with piano technitions that the pianos themselves. BUT I have played a VERY VERY bad Daneman, Chalen, Taylor and Wright and some BAD broadwoods too... School Kembles bring me out in a cold sweat!!!   Ive never played on a really bad Yamaha OR bechstein.. but I dont say that they dont exist..all piano manufacturers are fallible.

Offline johnnyb

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #16 on: February 19, 2007, 10:27:40 PM »
There was a piano for sale in the Ballymena Guardian in the seventies which was described as follows:
" Piano for sale, would suit deaf person"
Unfortunately it didn't specify the make, otherwise it might just have won this contest!

Offline c18cont

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #17 on: February 20, 2007, 03:14:20 PM »
I guess I will add to my replying at this point....,

When you have NO piano,..and no access to one, it becomes very hard to refuse any piano that is in good condition, and for which the price is right...Just be sure the price IS indeed, right, and go for the best you can...These threads serve well in that regard....for most readers and contributors.

Regards,   John Cont

Offline radmila

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #18 on: February 21, 2007, 06:49:42 AM »
Is anybody familiar with Petrofs? I like their uprights. But grands are weird...

Offline Kassaa

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #19 on: February 21, 2007, 11:14:24 AM »
Is anybody familiar with Petrofs? I like their uprights. But grands are weird...

Got one in my room, sound is pretty good, only it has rather heavy action. It's a perfect practice-grand.
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Offline jeremyjchilds

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #20 on: March 02, 2007, 02:17:21 PM »
I recently tuned some Petrof's

Thew have some unique character "wierdness"

The tunings went okay, provided that I told myself that each note was an adventure....

When tuned properly, they definitely sound beautiful


Oh, and the worst piano is any small american Drop action (Spinet) around 30  yrs old.
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Offline richard black

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #21 on: March 07, 2007, 11:10:11 PM »
Worst piano I've ever played, to my ears, was an 'Offenbach' (actually Daewoo). Probably only about 5 years old at the time (it, not me!). The sound died in about 2 seconds flat. Appalling thing.

Worst instrument I've seen in a room where I've been expected to perform was probably a nice instrument once: an unrestored 1848 (give or take) Pleyel, about one and a half semitones flat. And that was just the start.

And as a personal note, though clearly they don't qualify as 'worst' in an objective sense in a world inhabited by Daewoo, Young Chang and others, I can't find anything to like about modern Yamahas except the quality of the exterior finish.
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Offline invictious

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #22 on: March 10, 2007, 11:16:48 AM »
Hyundai cars are pretty bad.
Some low end Toyotas are pretty bad.
Oh wait...

oh.
damn.
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Offline prongated

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #23 on: March 10, 2007, 12:17:39 PM »
...I have a 2001 Sonata...it can probably outrun your...8)

*ahem* Alex Steinbach gets my vote as the worst brand new piano you can buy. Cheap sounding, action feels cheap too. For this kind of money, a second-hand Kawai or Yamaha [if not brand new] is an infinitely better investment.

Offline ihazapiano

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #24 on: March 20, 2007, 12:11:31 AM »
Is anybody familiar with Petrofs? I like their uprights. But grands are weird...

recently got 16 yr old upright Petrof for my daughter - lovely tone in all ranges. Yes quite heavy action but feels lovely to play. ;D ;D ;D

Offline alzado

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #25 on: April 13, 2007, 06:39:35 PM »
iumonito writes that Bernhardt is "down in respect" because he does not like a particular brand of piano.

Just who are you to make such a statement?   

Why would ANYONE care who is either up or down in your respect?

Have you even PLAYED a Bechstein in your life?  I suspect you are just spinning hot air.

Offline andric_s

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #26 on: April 13, 2007, 10:08:47 PM »
ooh, yeah, I had a steady gig on a horrific Young Chang, too! ::)  Sticking keys, sticking damper pedal, stiff action.  When shopping for pianos, all the young changs seemed stiff and clunky to me... not just the ones in disrepair.

Samick is another clunker...  or I thought so for years.   I tried a number of them when shopping for a piano, and was familiar with one from college.  but recently I've had some gigs on a delightful Samick upright.  And I played a baby grand that was passable, too. ;D

Offline melismatic

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #27 on: June 05, 2007, 12:41:23 AM »
Pearl River pianos are better suited for fire wood.

Offline tradge

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #28 on: June 07, 2007, 11:00:33 PM »
I once had a John Spencer & co upright piano. It was by far the most DREADFUL instrument I've ever played, it sounded *** hideous!

Offline gerry

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #29 on: July 19, 2007, 08:00:34 PM »
This thread reminded me of my student days when we would go out on paid gigs in the community (rotary clubs, etc.). Many of the pianos were so bad we dubbed them "PSO's" or "piano-shaped objects".

Bye the way, when it comes to brandnames, is there anything to the coincidence between bad automobiles and bad pianos??

gerry b
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Offline jlh

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #30 on: July 23, 2007, 07:05:57 AM »
This thread reminded me of my student days when we would go out on paid gigs in the community (rotary clubs, etc.). Many of the pianos were so bad we dubbed them "PSO's" or "piano-shaped objects".

I've been known to call them "POS's" myself on occasion... 8)
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Offline gerry

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #31 on: July 23, 2007, 09:56:48 AM »
how about PSPOS's...
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Offline enderw20

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #32 on: June 05, 2008, 06:57:55 PM »
Although its still one of the top brands it seems like Steinway is riding on its good name and their production quality dosen't match their older models.

I Think Pearl River makes every piano it produces a different way, I've played some that sound like crap but I've played the same identical models that you couldn't tell the difference from a Yamaha. I think they are getting better each year.

Offline rachfan

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #33 on: June 06, 2008, 01:47:13 AM »
I never liked Young Chang pianos--I used to call them Young Clangs.  But I haven't tried one recently, so don't know if I'm missing anything.

The most dreadful "piano" ever produced was the promotional Whitney console made by Kimball.  The workmanship was so shoddy that the piano could not even be tuned properly. 
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Offline kyliec

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #34 on: June 06, 2008, 03:14:25 AM »
i would second all the votes for Steinbach....my family has one and after only 3 or 4 years it is cactus...keys that stick, boingy, tinny notes, horrible.

for the kawai detractors, let me just say that my kawai 125cm upright is great - 6 years and good as new. better than some of the smaller grands i have tried.
Kylie

Offline aewanko

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #35 on: June 06, 2008, 09:16:33 AM »
The worst was a Trebel piano, our local brand. I played it on my classmates house and the acoustics of the piano were horrible. The pedals, almost non-functional. The action was stiff and could have been firewood instead. And it bears the name "Schoenberg" too. How sad.
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Offline communist

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #36 on: June 07, 2008, 05:15:34 PM »
KIMBALL
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Offline rasteen

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #37 on: June 08, 2008, 02:34:30 AM »
The worst piano I have played was a Samick; it was 9 ft, glossy finish, but had the worst tone, action...even pedals that i have ever encountered. It sounded like it was plastic.
Ron Steen
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Offline slobone

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #38 on: June 22, 2008, 09:23:35 AM »
This thread reminded me of my student days when we would go out on paid gigs in the community (rotary clubs, etc.). Many of the pianos were so bad we dubbed them "PSO's" or "piano-shaped objects".

I read that term in a great article that was in the New Yorker years ago, about Julliard piano students. Several of them spent the summer touring small towns in Latin America on a State-Department funded program.

Needless to say, they encountered many PSO's. It seems like it was actually a good experience for a young artist, to learn how to do emergency tuning and repairs. When certain notes were just impossible, they basically had to rewrite the piece on the fly to avoid them.

Offline gerry

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #39 on: July 08, 2008, 06:38:01 AM »
My "trial by fire" in this regard was participating in a USO show - 54 performances of a musical in as many on-base service clubs throughout France and Germany. Most of these poor instruments had been beaten to death by the troops over the years. We were lucky if pedals worked or that 3/4 of the keys were operational. Yes it is good training to try to attempt repairs in 1/2 hour and perform effectively.
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Offline rob_the_dude

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #40 on: July 10, 2008, 09:46:21 AM »
I'm sorry, but what exactly is wrong with Kawai pianos ???The shigeru is often voted as the best grand around and the EX's are always used in piano competitions.

For me the worst uprights are WELMAR pianos (the compnay has now gone bust!) and a poor grand is a GROTIAN STEINMEG

Offline richard black

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #41 on: July 10, 2008, 08:38:24 PM »
Quote
For me the worst uprights are WELMAR pianos (the compnay has now gone bust!) and a poor grand is a GROTIAN STEINMEG

I think you mean Steinweg!

Both Welmar and GS made/make very good pianos, almost invariably. Unfortunately, both firms suffered from the 'it's not a Steinway' syndrome, by which I mean that people who know enough about pianos to recognise the Steinway name, but not much more than that, tend to write them off as cheap tat and not look after them properly, so they often end up sounding a lot worse than they should. I play quite a few Welmars and they are really tough old birds: a 30-year-old Welmar will still play nicely which is more than you can say for a lot of 30-year-old Yamahas, and I'm prepared to put money on most of the cheap Korean and Chinese pianos of the last 10-20 years being sawdust before they reach 30.

I will admit that GS grands are in some ways a little eccentric - they often feel rather odd under the fingers and the voicing seems to be quite individual sometimes, but they are well designed and made and really very rewarding instruments when you get used to them.

I agree that Kawai pianos are not half bad, especially recently. Some from 20 or more years ago were not that impressive. They were never in any meaningful sense 'the worst' by a long way, though.
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Offline enderw20

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #42 on: July 11, 2008, 01:25:42 AM »
I think you mean Steinweg!

Both Welmar and GS made/make very good pianos, almost invariably. Unfortunately, both firms suffered from the 'it's not a Steinway' syndrome, by which I mean that people who know enough about pianos to recognise the Steinway name, but not much more than that, tend to write them off as cheap tat and not look after them properly, so they often end up sounding a lot worse than they should. I play quite a few Welmars and they are really tough old birds: a 30-year-old Welmar will still play nicely which is more than you can say for a lot of 30-year-old Yamahas, and I'm prepared to put money on most of the cheap Korean and Chinese pianos of the last 10-20 years being sawdust before they reach 30.

I will admit that GS grands are in some ways a little eccentric - they often feel rather odd under the fingers and the voicing seems to be quite individual sometimes, but they are well designed and made and really very rewarding instruments when you get used to them.

I agree that Kawai pianos are not half bad, especially recently. Some from 20 or more years ago were not that impressive. They were never in any meaningful sense 'the worst' by a long way, though.

What brands do you consider to be "cheap chinese" piano's? Just curious as i own a pearl river, not that I'm arguing with you.

Offline m

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #43 on: July 17, 2008, 10:03:13 AM »
I have one of those rebranded Chinese junkie baby grands. It is terribly out of tune to the point it is hard to recognize what note you play. Most of the top register strings are broken (at least twelve or so), the mechanics are terribly unregualted and very much uneven. The left pedal way overlaps the strings to the point some notes don't pla at all. The whole pedal system is crooked and out of any regulation, whatsoever. The tone is quite unpleasant and for the space is little too much, having that harsh timbre, associated with cheap Chinese pianos. Preparing for the next tour I am hesitant to do anything with it... in any case, after pounding 8-12 hours a day this poor creature will be in the same condition in a matter of a few days after the most careful tuning and regulation. Considering what kind of complete pain in the @$$ I am, as far as those things go, why would I care?
All I can tell, I am quite happy--at least I have a piano with some intact keys...

On the other hand, whenever I play a concert I always ask for three rehearsals--first, a technical one, where I take my own tools and voice and adjust the instrument myself, followed by dress rehearsal, and then followed by another technical one.

Best, M

Offline richard black

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #44 on: July 18, 2008, 09:09:37 AM »
Quote
What brands do you consider to be "cheap chinese" pianos? Just curious as i own a pearl river, not that I'm arguing with you

I'm not aware of any Chinese brands that _aren't_ cheap! Sooner or later, I dare say (if indeed it hasn't happened already) some Chinese outfit will start making decent quality instruments: there's obviously no reason why it can't be done. Just look at hi-fi: a few years ago 'Chinese' was synonymous with 'badly built and likely to be unreliable'. Now the Chinese-made stuff is as smart both inside and out as anything from the West. Of course pianos are lot harder to build and rely heavily on wood, which is a material you can't hurry if you want to do things well, but the principle's the same.
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Offline rob_the_dude

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #45 on: July 22, 2008, 03:09:50 PM »
OOPS! New it was something along the Stein--- (insert letters here) line!

I see what you mean about Welmars lasting. My High Schools full of the things and it goes without saying that many students/teachers consider a Welmar upright to be better than the Steinweg grand.

One question: Was Steinweg making pianos before Steinway? Cos if not, why did they choose that name and vice-versa?

Offline joyfulmusic

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #46 on: July 31, 2008, 02:44:22 PM »
Definately agreeing with Wurlitzer for the nomination for worst pianos.  Makes my teeth jar just to have to listen to it when a student is playing it.

I once had to play a "Jordan Marsh" piano.  For those who don't know that used to be a department store.  I actually had to pretend i was playing the piano in my mind.

Young Changs twang and twang.

I have been annoyed by more Steinways than I can count.  People just don't get that you have to have a good technician working it regularly for it to be a good piano.  when they are not well cared for it's not pretty.


Offline hanrhee

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #47 on: August 10, 2008, 06:49:23 AM »
I live in a condominium and there's a white Wurlitzer grand piano.
The low register have not much punch and sound dull.

Offline brianedward

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #48 on: March 31, 2009, 06:30:21 AM »
My vote currently goes to lyrica brand pianos. That's right, lyrica. I'm sure you've never heard of them,and for that you should consider yourself lucky. UMKC (university of missouri kansas city) recently bought or leased 5 brand new lyrica brand pianos for it's non piano performance practice rooms. Besides the fact that they look cheap, i counted at least 15 notes that repeatedly hit the string after only hitting the key once. I only tested two of them, and they both had the same problem. What a disappointment. I was even more upset that they replaced my favorite practice room pianos with these pieces of crap. The old bad pianos didn't get replaced, only the ones that were the most acceptable to play on. Thanks UMKC! Also, the grand pianos are constantly out of tune and have perpetual broken notes or strings, so if you're considering going there, make sure the scholarship is worth it. By the way, most of the teachers are good, just so i don't make it sound like the worst school ever. If you're considering going, i would be happy to answer questions about the school.

Offline silverchair87

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Re: Worst brand of piano
«Reply #49 on: May 05, 2009, 08:14:00 PM »
I hate Kawai pianos with a passion.

I have a kawai upright piano and I love it! I tried loads of different pianos (including various yamaha models among others) before buying it. I bought it just over 2 years ago and it has a lovely sound and feel. It feels great to play and really is fantastic. I'm obviously hoping it doesn't go down hill in the near future, but we'll see!

Before I got the kawai, I had a WW2 era German piano with a name I cannot even remember. It had a nice sound but wouldn't tune to concert pitch which was quite a pain when practicing my singing!

Obviously there are certain brands that are more reliable than others, but I've played on horrible steinways, welmars, bechsteins and many other horrible pianos with very reputable labels on them...

Basically, what I'm trying to say is that you need to try before you buy. 

I'd love to be able to get a grand, but I have neither the space or the money for 1 unfortunately :(