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Anyone Own A High-end Piano? (Read 2641 times)

Offline jr11

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Anyone Own A High-end Piano?
« on: April 30, 2004, 01:25:22 AM »
I have come across many people who have played on Steinway/Bosendorfer/Seiler etc concert pianos in schools and churches, but never anyone who has actually parted with $80,000 or more on one for their own personal use. I'd love to have one to teach with, there is no way I could take on a mortgage like that, and my family certainly has other priorities. Has anyone taken the plunge? If so, was it a good idea, in retrospect?

Offline G.Fiore

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Re: Anyone Own A High-end Piano?
«Reply #1 on: April 30, 2004, 04:33:25 AM »
JR, since I sold my house and moved into my soon to be wife's house, I did take the plunge. As a tech, I've worked on a lot of high end pianos,and have always wanted and appreciated the best. I sold my 2000 Baldwin SF-10, and will take delivery of a 2004 Bösendorfer Model 214 grand in high polished ebony next week. They are more affordable than you think,especially when you're good friends with the dealer :)
George Fiore /aka Curry
 Piano Technician serving the central New Jersey area

Offline donjuan

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Re: Anyone Own A High-end Piano?
«Reply #2 on: April 30, 2004, 05:46:29 AM »
Quote
JR, since I sold my house and moved into my soon to be wife's house, I did take the plunge. As a tech, I've worked on a lot of high end pianos,and have always wanted and appreciated the best. I sold my 2000 Baldwin SF-10, and will take delivery of a 2004 Bösendorfer Model 214 grand in high polished ebony next week. They are more affordable than you think,especially when you're good friends with the dealer :)

how affordable?  I hope you mean affordable for many people, not just Bill Gates...
donjuan

Offline G.Fiore

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Re: Anyone Own A High-end Piano?
«Reply #3 on: April 30, 2004, 05:58:34 AM »
DJ, about $70.000 US after my trade.
George Fiore /aka Curry
 Piano Technician serving the central New Jersey area

Offline DarkWind

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Re: Anyone Own A High-end Piano?
«Reply #4 on: May 01, 2004, 06:15:41 AM »
I wouldn't know because I'm not in working condition yet, although I saving up to get a Steinway Upright. Besides, I think it's really a great to joy to have. Earlier today, I was playing this HUMONGOUS Steinway grand piano, about the length of almost two cars. It had the greatest sound, loud, lots of depth. But, about $126,000 down the drain if you're going to buy it :(. So beautiful, yet so far...

Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: Anyone Own A High-end Piano?
«Reply #5 on: May 04, 2004, 08:26:24 AM »
Best thing I ever did.  I got a 212 Fazioli last year, just before a contract ended, and I was out of work for 7 months!  I didn't care.  It's what I've always wanted, and it takes a crow bar to pry me off the thing ----- C'mon, Min!  r-r-r time to get r-r-r dinner!  

So much music, so little time........

Offline David_Waterhouse

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Re: Anyone Own A High-end Piano?
«Reply #6 on: May 06, 2004, 07:02:22 AM »
After owning a Yamaha C3 for some 15 years, I took the plunge and bought a brand-new Steinway B six weeks ago. The Yamaha was a good work-horse; but the Steinway is a thoroughbred: responsive and eager, if a little temperamental — or perhaps I should say highly-strung! Only after some six hours' work by a qualified Steinway technician, and two hours' further work to remove blemishes from the case, does it sound and look as it should. Now details I did not know were in my own playing are starting to come through, and I have the incentive to practise and to play again composers and works I had laid on one side for lack of a suitable instrument.

Offline Bosendorfer_214

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Re: Anyone Own A High-end Piano?
«Reply #7 on: May 08, 2004, 10:29:21 AM »
Got a Bosendorfer 214 in satin.  You name it, and I have played it.  My Bosendorfer is the finest piano that i have ever played. I just cant keep my hands off it.

Nick
Pianists are like firecrackers, they blow up sooner or later.

Offline peter_g_moll

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Re: Anyone Own A High-end Piano?
«Reply #8 on: May 10, 2004, 04:02:15 PM »
I bought a Boesendorfer 225 (7 feet 4 inches) three years ago, after a year's research in piano technology and acoustics, and visits to 40 dealers in two states.  It was by far the best instrument because it (a) had a highly responsive and even touch, (b) had excellent sustain in the high treble.  I tested this by playing a riff in the high treble and by timing specific notes to see how long they lasted; (c) had low bass notes with the same heavy "ring" as that of a 9-foot concert grand, and in this aspect beat the Steinway "B" right out of sight; (d) had a near-indetectable crossover from the tricords to the bicords in the bass, (e) was in perfect condition in the shop, for tuning, regulation and appearance.  

In the event I was not disappointed.  In addition to the fine sound -- which is very different from the Steinway sound -- it has great stability in tuning.  Hence I'm a satisfied customer.

There were a few other surprises as time went on.  (a) I found that the bass sounds very different from the Steinway bass.  A full chord (C-E-G-C say) starting on the second ledger line below the bass clef does not sound as clear.  No surprise -- playing thirds in that range usually produces a rumble because of the interference of the harmonics.  But on Boesendorfer instruments the rumble is stronger because the third harmonic --- an octave and a fifth above the tonic -- is quite strong.

(b) I was also surprised at how often I have occasion to use the very low notes below the usual piano's low A.  They add a nice touch in SOFT passages where they just need the slightest touch.

(c) Another pleasant surprise that came only later was that I am able to strike the G with my middle finger deep in, between the F# and G#, and strike the A between G# and A#.  This is absolutely crucial in an arpeggio run in the left hand in Beethoven's Op. 10 no. 2.  Whereas I can't do this with a Yamaha piano which I have and so that passage always comes out limping.  This is because the Boesendorfer's black keys are slighly thinner.  The Steinway's are likewise thin.

Was it worth the expense?  I would guess that there are pianos out there at half the price which would deliver all or nearly all of these characteristics.  But how to identify them?  Given my knowledge at the time I would not have been able to.  Hence I traded on the famous name.  Given my knowledge now, I'd be in a better position to canvass the second-hand market and the market in rebuilt instruments, as well as cheaper new pianos, to find one with excellent sound and touch.

I think my minimum standard would be a grand piano of at least 6 feet, preferably 7; a pleasing and even touch; and a long sustain in the upper "melody area".
Peter Moll

Offline David_Waterhouse

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Re: Anyone Own A High-end Piano?
«Reply #9 on: May 10, 2004, 08:00:04 PM »
I appreciated Peter Moll's comments on Bosendorfer. I grew up with Bechstein; but for two years had the pleasure of housing a Bosendorfer baby grand. Of course it did not have a big sound; but mechanically it was the most perfect piano I have ever played. If a passage came out sounding uneven, you knew it was your fault, not the piano's. Also, it did not require the fine adjustments which seem to be the norm with New York Steinways. Meanwhile, I am very happy with my Steinway B, which cost significantly less than an equivalent Bosendorfer.

David Waterhouse

Offline Babcock

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Re: Anyone Own A High-end Piano?
«Reply #10 on: June 06, 2004, 03:46:29 PM »
I have a New York Steinway D.  It is glorious, and is worth every penny.  It was from the Concert Division and has the CD number in addition to its regular serial number.  I am fortunate to have been in the right place at the right time to be able to acquire it.  These pianos are hard to find, especially ones that are in fine condition after having been retired from active duty.

Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: Anyone Own A High-end Piano?
«Reply #11 on: June 06, 2004, 08:32:45 PM »
Quote
I appreciated Peter Moll's comments on Bosendorfer. I grew up with Bechstein; but for two years had the pleasure of housing a Bosendorfer baby grand. Of course it did not have a big sound; but mechanically it was the most perfect piano I have ever played. If a passage came out sounding uneven, you knew it was your fault, not the piano's. Also, it did not require the fine adjustments which seem to be the norm with New York Steinways. Meanwhile, I am very happy with my Steinway B, which cost significantly less than an equivalent Bosendorfer.

David Waterhouse



So where do you live?  In our area, (Potland, Oregon, USA) Steinways are quite expensive (the dealers won't deal) , and you can get really good deals on equivalent Bosendorfers.
So much music, so little time........

Offline Babcock

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Re: Anyone Own A High-end Piano?
«Reply #12 on: June 06, 2004, 08:38:01 PM »
I live in Ontario, Canada.  The piano has lived almost its whole existence here, and likewise, pianos like this are difficult to come across.  Other  makes are easier to come by, but they aren't as sought after as Steinways are.

Offline David_Waterhouse

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Re: Anyone Own A High-end Piano?
«Reply #13 on: June 24, 2004, 05:46:39 AM »
I too live in Ontario: where I believe there are considerably more Steinways than Bösendorfers.