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Best upright piano (Read 6928 times)

Offline jamesaknight

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Best upright piano
« on: February 28, 2015, 08:15:06 PM »
Interested on views regarding the best upright pianos on the market.

I've tried a Bechstein 124 Elegance which was exceptional compared to the other uprights in the showroom I visited. I actually preferred the sound to the Bechstein Concert 8, even though that is presumably considered the superior instrument.

What are the other brands/models that are worth considering?

(I've set myself the target of getting Grade 8 distinction before splashing out on a really nice piano, but half the fun is deciding what the prize is...)


Offline rachmforever

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Re: Best upright piano
«Reply #1 on: February 28, 2015, 08:46:23 PM »
I tried August Förster 125 G and Steingraeber & Söhne 138 actually their pianos are awesome. Anyway there aren't upright pianos by Fazioli it's little pity. Never tried Steinway upright pianos. But Ritmüller, Feurich or Brodmann are very well too I tried some of them even so Förster 125 G is best for me.

By the way price of Bechstein Concert 8 is a bit crazy. I didn't try it only saw some videos of it. But for that money you could be able to buy August Förster 190 grand piano lol  :D
Chopin etudes op.10 No 1,3,12 op.25 No 12
Schumann and Grieg piano concertos A minor
Beethoven sonatas No.17, No.14
Rachmaninoff prelude B minor
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Offline chopincat

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Re: Best upright piano
«Reply #2 on: February 28, 2015, 09:40:10 PM »
The Steinway 1098 is what I have. We bought it used, so it was a little cheaper. Still on the expensive side because it is a Steinway, but it's served me very well over the past 10 years.

Offline ksam

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Re: Best upright piano
«Reply #3 on: February 28, 2015, 09:48:53 PM »
I've been hunting for an upright myself. My favourite is Steingraeber, followed by Blüthner. The Bechsteins are too bright for me.

Offline rachmforever

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Re: Best upright piano
«Reply #4 on: February 28, 2015, 09:58:59 PM »
ye  :) I think Steingraeber is really awesome. He talked about Bechstein 124 Elegance, Steingraeber & Söhne 138 is more expensive but there are other cheaper models of it. Anyway it's still lots of money you could be able to buy grand piano. I mean I would never give so much money to upright.
Chopin etudes op.10 No 1,3,12 op.25 No 12
Schumann and Grieg piano concertos A minor
Beethoven sonatas No.17, No.14
Rachmaninoff prelude B minor
and more...
learning:

Offline jamesaknight

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Re: Best upright piano
«Reply #5 on: March 01, 2015, 03:24:01 PM »
Thanks for replies.

Yes, it's a space issue really. My place isn't really big enough for a grand piano, maybe a baby grand at a push, but think best option is to go for a top quality upright.

Guess it comes downs to personal taste - I quite liked the brightness of the BEchstein, but will try out some of those mentioned on this thread

Offline ksam

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Re: Best upright piano
«Reply #6 on: March 01, 2015, 03:37:28 PM »
Somebody gave me sound advice: If you'll be living in small quarters for the foreseeable future, pick the best upright you can afford.

Check out Gotrian. Sweet voice, smooth action.

Good luck on that Grade 8 Distinction!

Offline jamesaknight

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Re: Best upright piano
«Reply #7 on: March 01, 2015, 03:40:53 PM »
Cheers. Probably need it! Doing decent-ish renditions of Grade 6 pieces at the moment so a way off, but good to have a target.

Offline awesom_o

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Re: Best upright piano
«Reply #8 on: March 01, 2015, 05:23:56 PM »
Schimmel uprights are extremely good, if you like a bright sound. I haven't been overly impressed with the Steingraeber uprights, although I love their grands.

Likewise, I don't find the Schimmel grands to be particularly inspiring, but their uprights are just great.

Bechstein uprights are fantastic also... if you can get one slightly used for a good price, that would be ideal. Brand new, the price so high, I would likely opt for a Schimmel instead.

Steinway uprights are pretty good, but it's really their grands that they are famous for, and the uprights don't come cheap.

Offline chopinlover01

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Re: Best upright piano
«Reply #9 on: March 02, 2015, 12:16:44 AM »
I like the (extremely rare) uprights of Bosendorfer. The ones I've played had similar sounds to a 9 ft grand, and the one's I've seen go for sale typically go for around 5-8K new. A bit more on the expensive side but it's worth it IMO.
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Offline ksam

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Re: Best upright piano
«Reply #10 on: March 02, 2015, 02:08:15 AM »
Cheers. Probably need it! Doing decent-ish renditions of Grade 6 pieces at the moment so a way off, but good to have a target.

You'll be surprised how quickly things change with practice and a decent teacher! Oh, and the right choice of repertoire.

Offline jamesaknight

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Re: Best upright piano
«Reply #11 on: March 03, 2015, 09:21:11 AM »
Have quite a tough teacher who is very sparing with praise - I'm doing quite a bit of practice, but probably not doing it in the most time effective manner yet.

In terms of repertoire, what do you think is the correct balance?  A mixture of where you are now and the next step up - or is there any value in taking something quite a bit more demanding on? The worry there is you just hit a brick wall and don't have the basic technique to cope, but it's always good to have a challenge perhaps.

Offline ahinton

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Re: Best upright piano
«Reply #12 on: March 03, 2015, 10:44:50 AM »
I like the (extremely rare) uprights of Bosendorfer. The ones I've played had similar sounds to a 9 ft grand, and the one's I've seen go for sale typically go for around 5-8K new. A bit more on the expensive side but it's worth it IMO.
"Best upright piano" sounds to me almost like a contradiction in terms but then, as I've always described them for the most part as "downright pianos", I'm obviously biased against them as a breed. I've never encountered a Steingraeber one but I agree about Bösendorfer, having come across three of them and another worthy candidate is (or at least once was) Mason & Hamlin (although I don't know what their current ones are like).

Bösendorfer's catalogue may be visited at http://www.boesendorfer.com/catalogue/BSD_pk_de_en.pdf ; they make eight different sizes of grand and two uprights, of which I imagine the 130CL is the better; they rather quaintly (and, I think, appropriately!) call them "Pianinos", a name that, however, sadly belies the likely price.

Mason & Hamlin's may be viewed at http://masonhamlin.com/pianos/ where each model must be clicked on separately for information; they make five different sizes of grand and just the one upright, the Model 50 which can be seen at http://masonhamlin.com/pianos/model-50 .

Both of the Bösendorfer uprights are a little larger than the Mason & Hamlin one.

Whereas Bösendorfers are fairly readily available in Europe and elsewhere, Mason & Hamlins didn't used to be exported from US to the same extent and I don't know whether they are so today.

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Offline visitor

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Re: Best upright piano
«Reply #13 on: March 03, 2015, 11:13:13 AM »
Take a look at Fandrich and sons.  Too. Those things are freakin sweet.

Offline jamesaknight

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Re: Best upright piano
«Reply #14 on: March 03, 2015, 07:25:08 PM »
Thanks for the advice on this thread. Plenty of suggestions to try out.

Offline ksam

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Re: Best upright piano
«Reply #15 on: March 04, 2015, 02:53:04 AM »
Have quite a tough teacher who is very sparing with praise - I'm doing quite a bit of practice, but probably not doing it in the most time effective manner yet.

In terms of repertoire, what do you think is the correct balance?  A mixture of where you are now and the next step up - or is there any value in taking something quite a bit more demanding on? The worry there is you just hit a brick wall and don't have the basic technique to cope, but it's always good to have a challenge perhaps.

When I took lessons, I played a mixture of my exam pieces and pieces I enjoyed (plus daily scales). I too think it's good to add a challenging piece. After a certain stage, I don't think playing it compromises your technique. Afterall, each piece incorporates technical work. I skipped a few ABRSM grades but not to any detriment, I think. Now, if I were to continue playing on the Clavinova, there will be consequences.

Offline ksam

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Re: Best upright piano
«Reply #16 on: March 04, 2015, 03:16:46 AM »
A few of you are leery of uprights. Unfortunately, some of us live in tight quarters. What do you suggest we do? With respect to the pricier uprights, while the money could be put towards a grand, there will be a compromise in quality. I'm wrestling with these questions.

Offline jamesaknight

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Re: Best upright piano
«Reply #17 on: March 04, 2015, 10:33:23 AM »
When I took lessons, I played a mixture of my exam pieces and pieces I enjoyed (plus daily scales). I too think it's good to add a challenging piece. After a certain stage, I don't think playing it compromises your technique. Afterall, each piece incorporates technical work. I skipped a few ABRSM grades but not to any detriment, I think. Now, if I were to continue playing on the Clavinova, there will be consequences.

Yep - at the moment I'm doing pretty much as you suggest. I've started having a go at Chopin Waltz no 10, which is ABRSM Grade 8, although seems more straightforward than most of the other pieces at that level.

Offline ksam

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Re: Best upright piano
«Reply #18 on: March 04, 2015, 08:28:54 PM »
I met an ABRSM examiner recently. He told me that they hear many "straightforward" pieces and that the trick is to play them well.  ;) My Grade 8 teacher, who only had one year to turn my playing around, picked my programme on that basis.

Offline jamesaknight

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Re: Best upright piano
«Reply #19 on: March 07, 2015, 10:08:44 AM »
Sure - when I said 'straightforward', I meant I have been able to get quite close to it quite quickly from a purely technical perspective. Still a long way off playing it well

Offline ulymoon

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Re: Best upright piano
«Reply #20 on: March 20, 2015, 10:01:25 PM »
If you're interested in more features, then you should consider Yamaha YUS 5. It might not be the best but maybe you want to check it out. Features include:
1.Grand piano Key travel. and 2. Sostenuto pedal...etc.

Offline pianolive

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Re: Best upright piano
«Reply #21 on: March 21, 2015, 01:11:09 PM »


Offline alibat

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Re: Best upright piano
«Reply #23 on: April 17, 2015, 02:09:26 PM »
Have you considered an older piano?  Modern pianos are much smaller than the older uprights which generally have a much fuller sound.  Get the right one and you'll probably have a much better instrument.  Get someone who knows what they're looking for to check for condition and suitability for reconditioning (if required).  If the piano hasn't been reconditioned you may need to spend some money on this yourself but with the right piano it will be worth it.  I have a (very) old Grotain Steinweg, it's huge by upright standards, has a lovely full tone and good touch (I know I'm biased).  It had been in my family for 70 years when I got it .  Spent a couple of thousand (pounds, I'm in the UK) on it and it's perfect.  Better than any other upright piano I tried, and better than any baby grand.  None of the modern pianos ( from any make) I tried I liked as much.  My mum was a professional and it was her second piano after her grand so it had been well played over the years.

Offline anie

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Re: Best upright piano
«Reply #24 on: June 19, 2015, 06:25:20 PM »
I posted about this in another thread last night.

The Kayserburg AR-132 upright, 52", is made by the people who make the Ritmuller GH-series grands, all designed by Luthar Thomma and he has full control over the production of the pianos involved.  The Kayserburg AR series (not to be confused with the Kayserburgs sellingin Australia, which are not the AR series but appear to be the UH Ritmullers) is the high-end version of Thomma's line.

  There was an interesting 'shootout'-like event a couple of years ago when this piano was pitted against far more expensive European uprights, and the technicians invited and Larry Fine were to guess which was the most expensive  piano of the 4 judging from its sound and performance.

  80% chose the Kayserburg, which is about 1/3 the cost of the highest priced upright involved, and the other 20% chose it as second most expensive.  It was first reported in a pianoworld forum thread.   http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2021848/Re:_USA_Debut_of_Kayserburg_Ar.html#Post2021848

  If anyone wants to get an idea of the sound Kayserberg upright, a friend played some of the pianos at RKassman while visiting the San Francisco bay area one day shortly after I had bought a Ritmuller baby grand at that store last month after at first signing for the Kayserberg upright --  and I decided to use my cell phone to video some of her brief try of some different makes there and wound up with clips of 10 pianos. 

Cellphone audio is of course hardly ideal, but it'll give an idea. 
  #2 clip on the playlist I made is of the Kayserberg AR-132 upright.
  #10 clip is of the very high-end ($$$) Steingraeber upright.
  The playlist is at youtube at http://bit.ly/kassmanpianos

   It's one of the recommended vertical pianos in the pianobuyer.com staff recommendations section, at http://www.pianobuyer.com/spring15/44.html.


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