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7-foot Grands (Read 9840 times)

Offline dinosaurtales

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7-foot Grands
« on: December 17, 2001, 08:58:49 AM »
I am currently looking for a 7-foot grand to replace my Baldwin acrosonic upright.  I have been looking at Steinway model B's, Bosendorfer's 7 foot and the 225, and maybe others.  I have just begun my search, but it's already confusing (you'd think after a lifetime of playing I'd know more about pianos, eh?)  Any opinions regarding whether the extra keys/soundboard on the Bosendorfer is worth it?  Any opinions about whether the Bosendorfer is worth the extra money over the Steinway?  Any other brands I should consider?  New vs, Used?  I am from Portland, Oregon, USA, and we have  a few dealers, and there are a lot of names I have never even seen on pianos!
So much music, so little time........

Offline martin_s

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #1 on: December 17, 2001, 06:23:23 PM »
I would buy a new (or rather new) Steinway B and save myself some money on maintainance costs. Steinways tend to do the job very well and above all their hammers stay reasonably fresh much longer before they need to be worked at or replaced. Steinways and Bösendorfers have got totally different kind of hammers. Different kind of felt, different size and all that. The hammers used by Bösendorfer are quite superior in fact, as they allow a much wider range of dynamics if they are maintained in the right way. But if you just let them go, well, you get something that sounds like Jerry Lee Lewis or so...

Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #2 on: January 27, 2002, 06:35:16 AM »
I had fun today.  Went to a couple of piano stores and played a few grands.  One of them was an August Forster, which I found very interesting.  Loved the bass, but a tad bright.  Played a Steinway B, which is always fun.  Also played a Bosendorfer CS 214 - really fun.  Any comments about August Forster, or does anybody know about Steingraeber & Sohne?  
So much music, so little time........

Offline Ckarrlozs

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #3 on: January 29, 2002, 02:24:06 AM »
Steinways in good shape are always fun to play on, and they always will.
As martin_s pointed out, Bösendorfer are exceptional instruments and at the same time require more maintenance and care as they tend to sound bright quite quickly. They have indeed a very different tone quality that you might like or not. I agree with martin_s in that they have an amazing palette of sonorities. Forget about the extra bass notes! You won't find many pieces that make use of them anyway.
I have practiced on a few Förster uprights, most of them from the 40 or 50's. Excellent instruments, nice sound but kinda muddy... I have played once on a Steingraeber & Sohne 215 in Finland (Europe). It was nice and plain, kind of muddy at the bottom and a little poor in the middle, but ok to play on.
As you can see, I don't seem to have been impressed with either instrument.
Well... the fact is a Steinway is always a good investment! Beware of NY B's though as they don't seem to be as good as the Hambourg ones. The difference is mostly sound-related. I was in Canada last year and a piano technician that once had worked for Glenn Gould told me that. I could actually verify that "in situ" as they had quite a few NY B's.

Look around for 2nd hand B's, specially the ones that have been "lying around" at rich people houses without being played almost at all. You might be able to find a jewel somewhere with a nice fancy casing! (who knows?)

My bottom line is: Steinway if you want an amazing all-round instrument. Bösendorfers are a little more tricky, expensive, but if you like the sound go for it!

You might want to look at Fazioli instruments... even more expensive, handcrafted, but I doubt they can beat the Steinways or the Bösendorfers.

GOOD LUCK!

P.S.: Don't get me wrong about all these geman names you might see on pianos. There are (were?) in fact a huge number of almost unknown german piano manufacturers that make (made?) great instruments. Most of them have a nice sound. But nothing you want to have a long period of time maybe, as they don't seem to be as rich and polyvalent as Steinway's.

Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #4 on: January 29, 2002, 07:52:22 AM »
I think I know what you mean.  I can already tell where this is going.....   The Bosendorfer was fascinating.  Absolutely incredible to play - the notes just "fell" to my fingers which is saying a lot for me!  But you are right about the sound.  Pretty, but not a big, powerful bass (which is half the reason to get a big piano in the first place, at least, to me) and the high treble notes were almost crystaliine in sound, like tinkling or clinking glass.  Really cool, actually, although I wondered if I woiuld get irritated by it eventually.  It worked great for the passage I had for it (from Gottshalk's Grand Tarantella), so it sounded great there, but I wonder how I would feel about Rachmaninov - maybe not "nasty" enough.  I am having a blast, though trying them all out.  I refuse to make a choice till I've played every one at least once.  But I bet I come "home" to the Steinway.  Interesting about the Hamburg ones, though.  You are the second person to say the same thing - how would I go about getting my hands on one - so to speak?
So much music, so little time........

Offline martin_s

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #5 on: January 29, 2002, 10:21:15 AM »
Interesting with the Forster piano. I actually own a 6' Forster from 1937. It is a beautiful instrument (nice legs, hehe, no kidding, chippendale model...), very rich in tone and it turns out to be very high quality too. I had it completely refurbished though. New strings, hammers, the lot. A Forster might be a good choice if you don't want a Steinway, but only if you find either a new Forster or a pre-war instrument.
In the end I would go for the Steinway though, a Hamburg A or B.

Offline Pianorak

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #6 on: January 29, 2002, 07:45:18 PM »
I too have fond memories of August Forster - although it was "only" an upright. I now have a new Hamburg Steinway Model O with which I am more than happy. However, there are Steinways and Steinways. Being "handcrafted" each one has its own distinct character. In fact, it took me quite some time to find the one I really wanted. In the end  it turned out to be love at first sight.
I may be wrong on this: but I believe American Steinways are not available in Europe and Hamburg ones are not available in the US. Please do correct me if I am wrong; I'd be interested to know.  My all-time favourite for ages was quite an ancient  7 ' Boesendorfer. However, I am less keen on the present generation.

Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #7 on: January 30, 2002, 05:08:34 AM »
Hm.  According to Larry Fine's Piano Book, my local Steinway dealer can order a Hamburg piano.  I will be checking out this dealer this weekend, so I'll try to find out. i won't be surprised if they discourage the idea - probably harder to get, plus they will be pushing the New York ones they have in stock.  BUT,,  I have heard the Hamburg's-are-better line several times just this week, both on this board and elsewhere, so I am determined to find out!  I'll fill you all in when I find out.  

I also appreciate the input on the Forster.  I will probably have to travel a bit to play one, but I'm determined to do it.  The 6 footer I played had an incredible bass.  I have to ponder whether I liked the feel, but I''m used to Steinways, so I'm trying not to be ethno-centric, (at least until it's time to buy!!!)
So much music, so little time........

Offline Ckarrlozs

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #8 on: January 31, 2002, 05:27:15 AM »
You can definitely get Hambourg instruments in America, but I can see perfectly why resellers would be reluctant to the idea of importing instruments from Germany. Besides, as Pianorak points out, Steinways and Steinways are not the same! So you should be able to try before you buy. Travelling to a bigger town might allow you to find a shop with Hambourg instruments in stock...?

I have seen myself Hambourg D's and B's in Canada. But so far, I haven't seen any american Steinway in Europe. But they are somewhere for sure!

Offline Richter

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #9 on: February 08, 2002, 03:28:02 AM »
I recently looked into buying a Hamburg Steinway through a U.S. Steinway dealership.  The local Steinway dealer here in San Francisco, CA  informed me she could get a Hamburg instrument with 3-4 months' notice.  The price was actually considerably lower than I expected--only $7000 more than the list price in Germany, plus US tax--which, considering that that included shipping and duty, seemed reasonable.  The price for a model C (7'5", a size not made in New York) was $70,000 US. (The Steinway office in Hamburg quoted me a price of DM 137,000 for the same piano, which came out to about $63000 US.)  This is therefore comparable to or even less than a new Boesendorfer 225. Of course, when you factor in tax and the travel costs for flying to Germany to select the piano, you're talking real money.

Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #10 on: February 24, 2002, 07:20:38 AM »
;D
Boy! did I have fun today!  Played a couple of Bluthners - a model 4 (6'10") and a model 2 (7'8").  What a blast!  Kind of thing that makes me wish I was a better pianist (we're not worthy!  we're not worthy!)  They both felt fantastic, and the model 2 was very clean sounding, but the sound was more "complex" than the Bosendorfer.  Kind of a cross between the Steinway (round sound) and the Bosendorfer (nice, but somewhat thin to me).   Any feelings out there about Bluthners?

Also, I asked about the Hamburg Steinways at our Steinway dealer.  They would order one, but definitely will make it less attractive than just getting a New York one they stock.  He told me that the spec for both pianos used to be quite different, but is darned near the same on modern pianos.  I have no way of knowing at this point.  Should I do more research, or does someone out there happen to know?  I sure like the Steinways, too.  These are the tough decisions in life,eh?
So much music, so little time........

Offline franklin

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #11 on: March 03, 2002, 08:07:39 PM »
Has anyone ever heard of Petrof?  i just got one and i love it!

Offline Ckarrlozs

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #12 on: March 03, 2002, 11:33:46 PM »
What kind of instrument? a grand? Petrof are made in the Tcheck Republic and are quite common in Europe.

Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #13 on: March 04, 2002, 02:10:26 AM »
I've heard of Petrof, but never played one.  What size is yours?  Did you compare it to other kinds, or did you know you wanted a Petrof from the start?
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Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #14 on: April 14, 2002, 06:58:23 AM »
Anyone out there own or know about Steingraeber and Sohne grands?  There is one coming in soon that I will play, but I don't have much information to go on.  Are they good pianos?  
So much music, so little time........

Offline aerislanne

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #15 on: April 14, 2002, 07:14:50 AM »
I play a Petrof!

High-gloss ebony finish, 5'8 grand piano. My house is too crowded for anything else, and I'm just a student. It's beautiful, small, but I personally love the sound quality and the way it plays. The keys a stiffer than my teacher's Yamaha, but control is fine. It strengthens my fingers, I guess!

I bought it maybe 5 years ago, in 5th grade. Back then, I bought it because I loved the way it looked -- it was simply elegant.  I've developed an appreciation for it though,  I love the sound. I played on the other pianos at the show where I bought my baby, but I preferred the Petrof to all the others-- my father hated it, he liked the brighter sounding Yamaha. Debussy sounds fantastic on it, I think :) It's a nice, mellow sound, but it's got the flexibility to play fast and furious too. I know it sounds different from other pianos I hear, and I may be just a bit biased... but I think I have the best sounding piano :)

Anyway,  I have never tried a Bosendorfer and I've never heard of a "Forster" or "Bluther". The only pianos I have experience with are a few grand Steinways, Kawais, Yamahas, and Nordiskas I tried in a piano shop, and Kimball, Everett,  Yamaha, Nordiska and Kawai uprights. And I must say, Petrof is a good piano -- I heard it has a reputation for cheap prices, but I don't feel that it affects the quality. I know good pianos are super expensive,  but the Petrof is a good deal, I think.
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Offline tony

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #16 on: April 18, 2002, 07:44:00 AM »
I've recently bought a1975 Steinway B (the walnut case was an unexpected and very much welcomed plus), but was looking at German pianos.  Was particullarly attracted to the Sauter, Beckstein, Bluthner;  however, the particular Steinway I have was just so lovely and there was no argueing with it's musical value.  I have a graduate degree in organ, and although I haven't played in many years, I still remember accompanying singers on the many Boesendoerfers on the campus.  Some were splendid, others mediocre as could be.  It is currently rather stylish for Americans to bash the Steinways, but they are well worth considering.  It does take a bit of courage to simply say "this what I love and I'm getting it."  Many of our friends swear by their Mercedes, but we love our old Jaguars and would never consider anything else ever again.  I think that's what the Steinway is like.  Find something you love and take it home.  The current politically correct position is to deningrate American pianos.  There may be less musical merit in it than polictical correctness.  My experience is that people frequently bad-mouth things they wish for and can't have.  (I happen to be a shrink -- so sorry for that intrustion).  By the way, seems to me the Germay Steinway is very nice, but it's just about preference for tonal style, the Hamburg being considerably darker than the New York Steinway.  To say the German piano is perfect and the New York piano is sh*t is like saying French furniture is perfect and Chippendale is garbage.  It's all a matter of personal preference.  Look and listen for a while, then decide what you really, really love.  Have loads of fun shopping.

Offline franklin

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #17 on: April 21, 2002, 04:32:06 AM »
The petrof i got is  6'4".  i had an upright petrof before and loved that one too.  I looked around a lot before i got it, mainly for the fun of it because, pianos are expensive and im only 16.  I am surprised at the quality of the petrof because it is so much cheaper than other pianos.

Offline ClassicalPiano2002

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #18 on: May 28, 2002, 10:25:40 PM »
i say you buy one of each :-)

how much are you looking to spend ? if i may ask?

and aerislanne you bought a piano in the 5th grade?
whoa how much did it cost?

Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #19 on: May 29, 2002, 05:35:50 AM »
Well, I am willing to spend some bucks, let's just say that.  So far I have just looked at new ones.  I have yet to investigate the used market, which may be tougher to ferret out.  I figure there's no point in cheaping out - after all, I already own a cheap piano!  I am going to guess that arisianne's PARENTS bought hers.  I was in no position to buy anything bigger than a bicycle when I was ten!
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Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #20 on: June 20, 2002, 08:37:41 AM »
;D
Time to report another weekend of fun!  Played several Faziolis - 2 6'11"'s, 1 7'6", and a 9'
Very nice, Very consistent, Great sound, Great feel. Lotsa fun.  
So much music, so little time........

Offline martin_s

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #21 on: June 20, 2002, 12:53:28 PM »
Yeah, Faziolis can indeed be lotsa fun! I have only played (performed on, in concert or similar) three Faz. instruments properly though. One is absolutely horrible! Achtung! (Katarina church, Stockholm, Sweden, possibly the heaviest touch I have ever come across. And stone-age sound. Yuk!)
But the other two, both concert grands, were really beautiful pianos and very playable.
Somewhat Bosensteinwayahas, sort of, if that makes any sense.

Offline STS

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #22 on: June 27, 2002, 06:05:03 PM »
Having played New York and Hamburg Steinway, I can say that the workmanship on both pianos is identical.  When it comes to the durability, and ruggedness, the New York Steinway does better slightly.  The materials are a bit more sturdier on the New York piano.  Plus, the tolerances are equal in both pianos.  The Hamburg, is a little more finicky and requires more attention.  I'd have to say that the Hamburg Steinway is a little less crude in the plate decal finishing and the overall plate surface.  The asthetics of the Hamburg are bit better than the New York.  But consider that 90 percent prefer Steinway, and slightly more prefer the New York tone over the Hamburg.  And many of those New York partisans are European.  

I think the New York has a superior bass to the Hamburg with a tone better suited for passionate pieces.  The Hamburg has a cleaner, more fundamental tone more along the lines of Bechstein or Bosendorfer.  I think the Hamburg Steinway is a Steinway that more resonant than its European competitors, but less so than the New York.  

I love both pianos immensely and would choose them over any other make.  The choice is very personal.  


Offline ClassicalPiano2002

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #23 on: June 27, 2002, 06:23:29 PM »
a 9 foot grand????? i dont think ive ever seen one of those before. I hope you have alotta room for one of those...

Ya know what i want for a piano.. i want a glass one.. wouldn't that be cool?

Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #24 on: September 02, 2002, 12:52:44 AM »
These are the hard decisions in life.......  Played an August Forster 215 yesterday.  It was next to a Bluthner model 2.  Boy those two pianos couldn't be more different - I liked both of them a lot - the Forster was newer, out of the box, so its action was more precise. The Bluthner was a little mushier feeling to me.  But the Bluthner's sound was much more open and dark compared to the Forster.  Maybe the Forster just has to be played more.  I still liked the Fazioli best of all, but the price will probably kill it for me.  Same thing with the Steinway - exept it doesn't even look good!  They just want too much money for what you get with them.
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Offline MzrtMusic

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #25 on: September 02, 2002, 08:05:36 AM »
Well, I have a 6'1 Young Chang piano, and I just love it!!! I shopped for almost 6 months, and in 6 different states in person, and many more on the phone and internet... It was quite a lot of fun! Anyway... I played the Petrof's... My teacher really likes them. He has a piano that's about 100 years old, and he really likes the touch and sound of the older pianos. He said that the Petrof's were made in the Czech Republic, but they still used the old paino making methods, just like 100 years ago. So, if you are looking for the older touch, and you want a new piano, then go for the Petrof. I just adore my piano, but it's certaintly not a $70,000 piano! I've played a couple of 9 foot Bosendorfers, and I really liked them!!! My dad always told me that when he was a kid, he was in a piano store in southern Indiana killing some time on a vacation, and the stor wasn't very busy, so a salesman took him back to a room, and let him play on a 17? foot Bosendorfer. So, if you had the room, you could always get one of those!!!! ;D Anyway... I really can't say about the Steinways... Most of the ones that I play are at colleges, and they are kinda old and beat up... You know. So, that's my bit of advice... Good luck!

Love,

Sarah
My heart is full of many things...there are moments when I feel that speech is nothing after all.
-- Ludwig Van Beethoven

Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #26 on: September 02, 2002, 08:19:29 AM »
17 feet!!!   That would definitely dominate my living room!  I have played a couple of Bosendorfers, but not the model I would actually buy - I am still waiting for one to come in.  But I already have a short list of good ones - the Forster, Bluthner, Fazioli.  What sizes does Petrof make?  I'll look up a dealer around here.  Thanks for the tip!

Min
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Offline Desperado

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #27 on: December 04, 2002, 10:24:13 AM »
Steinways are always great, but the  really recent ones and brand new ones especially are krap. that's right i called a stienway crap.  I played enough of them and on enough hampburg's to hear it.  the best modern NY steinways were coming out of the factory in the late 70's and early 80's. Not sure why and all of this is subjective, but the quality and "newness" of these along with a maturing sound allow for all sorts of color to eminate from the instrument. the newer ones sound somewhat forced or artificial.  this is not to say the the newer ones won't  sound better in about 20 years or so. but why wait that long to enjoy one?

Offline aerislanne

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #28 on: December 19, 2002, 08:28:18 AM »
Yes, my father bought it for me :D 15K. Not bad. It was something of a spur-of-the-moment purchase... then we sold our old Everett upright to make room for it. 17 feet! That's insane. My piano teacher swears by the 1940s 9' Steinways though. He plays a rather icky Yamaha... the abuse it's gone through is amazing (coffee spilled on the sound board, plants kept on it, etc etc.)
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Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #29 on: December 30, 2002, 07:00:13 AM »
Anybody know anything about Grotrians?  I know their history and all, but what are they like to play?  I am going to travel a bit to look at a used one.  The Piano Book rates them quite highly, and they are more reasonably priced than their competitors.  I was wondering if anyone knew why.

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Offline nilsjohan

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #30 on: December 30, 2002, 12:14:51 PM »
I have a Grotrian Steinweg upright which is one of the best uprights I have ever played. It has a wonderful tone with a great dynamic range and feels very nice to play. Some piano technicians I know says the Grotrian uprights are often better than the Steinways.
However, since we are talking about grands, I had a Grotrian grand (my first grand piano, now replaced by a Bechstein) which was quite terrible in all aspects. In fact, all Grotrian grands I have seen are the same but has been in quite bad condition so I am maybe unfair...
Has anyone played a relatively new Grotrian grand or an old one in good condition? It doesn't seem to be something you are stumbling on in every corner.

Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #31 on: December 30, 2002, 07:05:06 PM »
Hm.  Now you are creeping me out.  It's a piano I amcurious about, and there's a used one out of town - 2 years old.  I have a horrible feeling he paid full price or more for it, so he'll take a bath on anything I am willing to offer him, but I wanted to play it in case I liked them more than the others on my list.
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Offline G.Fiore

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #32 on: January 02, 2003, 05:49:36 AM »
Happy New Year to all! I have a 2 year old Baldwin SF-10.(7ft).I have prepped it to it's full potential, and many have sung praises of it's powerful tone :) and liquid smooth Renner action.
George Fiore /aka Curry
 Piano Technician serving the central New Jersey area

Offline rachfan

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #33 on: January 05, 2003, 05:46:16 AM »
G. Fiore took the words out of my mouth.  I own a Baldwin Model L (6' 3") grand and love it.  A couple of years ago I tried a couple of Baldwin SF10s (7') and was very impressed indeed.  In fact, if I had a room big enough and wanted a larger grand, the Baldwin SF10 would be my first choice.  The larger Baldwin grands are very well prepped at the factory, not just by the dealers.  They offer a wonderful sound, high quality materials, durability, tuning stability, and are less expensive than the Steinway B, since Baldwin produces a higher output, thus having a greater economy of scale and more flexibility in pricing.  I would encourage you to try the SF10 and see what you think.
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Offline G.Fiore

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #34 on: January 05, 2003, 05:58:33 AM »
Hi Rachfan,Due to the Gibson takeover production is not high,3 pianos per day,the SF and SD grands are by special order now,and are still less than Steinway but not much.I glad you like your L,it is a very good instrument.It's ashame people dislike Baldwin grands, mostly due to their not being properly prepped.When I do a concert prep for a customer the are usually surprised,and can't believe it's the same instrument.Like Steinway a Baldwin has to be prepped in order to realize it's full potential. :D
George Fiore /aka Curry
 Piano Technician serving the central New Jersey area

Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #35 on: January 05, 2003, 06:05:31 AM »
Hey, G.Fiori!  When I started my search I looked at  an SF-10, but didn't like it- it felt heavy, and sounded brittle and bright.  I have little or no confidence in the abilities of the folks at the store I saw it in.  Are you suggesting that I take a second look, and find someone like yourself who knows now do dealwith them?  I am in Portland, Oregon.
So much music, so little time........

Offline G.Fiore

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #36 on: January 05, 2003, 06:19:39 AM »
Hi Dino,I would take another look.I don't no of the dealers in your area.Like I said ,they need a very detailed prep like Steinway to be customized to the clients liking.With proper voicing the SF-10 will usually have a very wide tonal palette with a lot of power and a lush sound,at home with the Baroque to the late Romantics.Good luck in your search! :D
George Fiore /aka Curry
 Piano Technician serving the central New Jersey area

Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #37 on: March 11, 2003, 06:45:13 AM »
Holy Mackerel! The Fazioli wins!  It's due to be delivered at the end of the month!  I am numb.  It hasn't soaked in yet.  My poor little Baldwin upright will have to go away.  That part will be sad.
So much music, so little time........

Offline tosca1

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Re: 7-foot Grands
«Reply #38 on: March 11, 2003, 06:37:08 PM »
Congratulations Mindy on chosing a beautiful, hand-crafted piano that will surely give you endless enjoyment!  It is  an act of faith investing in a top quality piano which will give you a special beauty in your life.  You have obviously chosen carefully and I have followed the discussion about the pros and cons of the various instruments you have tried with great interest.  
Best wishes,

Robert.