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Grand piano rec's for my budget please (Read 6030 times)

Offline indianajo

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #50 on: September 15, 2015, 04:21:04 PM »
On replacing a 1980 action in a Steinway, I'd do a careful inspection before I paid $2000 for a name brand.  Actions wear out due to time used, not years particularly. 
How soft can you play the action, every note, without using the pedal? Every note has to be consistant for the low volume to be useful.  The 1982 Pratt,Read action in my Sohmer is excellent in this regard, I can go very soft, and that is not really a name brand.  Modern pianos I've played, some have failed this test.  Notes drop out and don't sound.
How fast can you play each individual note, using two hands and two fingers, as fast as you can go? Does it ever get behind? Many modern consoles fail this test IMHO.
Do any keys double strike when you play loud?  Do any stick down under any humidity conditions?
Nights in the garden of spain really tests and action, can you play that? 
As far as the strike depth, the softness of the bottom, the absolute force required to play it, you can tell what you want.  The S&S action might be just the ticket. Some performance Steinways have two actions, read the pianostreet article on that.  It's not that hard to Remove &Replace an action,  even I can do it now.   I had to fluff up one damper when I did it to achieve consistency again. 
Have fun shopping. 

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #51 on: September 15, 2015, 05:18:23 PM »
On replacing a 1980 action in a Steinway, I'd do a careful inspection before I paid $2000 for a name brand.  Actions wear out due to time used, not years particularly. 
How soft can you play the action, every note, without using the pedal? Every note has to be consistant for the low volume to be useful.  The 1982 Pratt,Read action in my Sohmer is excellent in this regard, I can go very soft, and that is not really a name brand.  Modern pianos I've played, some have failed this test.  Notes drop out and don't sound.
How fast can you play each individual note, using two hands and two fingers, as fast as you can go? Does it ever get behind? Many modern consoles fail this test IMHO.
Do any keys double strike when you play loud?  Do any stick down under any humidity conditions?
Nights in the garden of spain really tests and action, can you play that? 
As far as the strike depth, the softness of the bottom, the absolute force required to play it, you can tell what you want.  The S&S action might be just the ticket. Some performance Steinways have two actions, read the pianostreet article on that.  It's not that hard to Remove &Replace an action,  even I can do it now.   I had to fluff up one damper when I did it to achieve consistency again. 
Have fun shopping. 


Thanks indianajo! You give me so many things to think about, I really appreciate it. The 1980 S&S action in the piano right now is completely unused, it was rebuilt with a set of unused circa 1980 S&S branded actions.

So I have the option of swapping it out for a set of Hamburg actions, but that would cost the extra $2k.

Thanks for the testing tips, that helps a lot, I never quite know what to do except play a few scales and then run through a bit of different era repertoire. I don't know Nights in the Garden of Spain, I guess I can look it up. I have a few weeks before the Steinway will be ready to test.
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #52 on: September 15, 2015, 05:25:45 PM »
That A does sound as though it has awesome options for you and within budget. And Bechsteins can be great pianos too.

I agree that you want the action regulated well enough and or to be able to be regulated enough to be able to play FF and PP without the use of soft pedal if possible even at the same time.. Without struggling to do so. That's awesome dynamic range that takes into account both the action and the quality of the hammers and their voicing. Not to mention someone who can play with those kind of dynamics going on, hopefully between two hands without the use of a pedal. Introducing the soft pedal brings in a kind of tonal shift and not only that but if a piece calls for, or through your choice, calls for PP in the left hand and F in the right you don't want to be on the soft pedal to accomplish that IMO. A couple of my own compositions are this way and the action of my grand has deteriorated enough that this can no longer be accomplished evenly ( without a note dropping out here or there as mention in indianajo's reply). My pianos action is capable of it but should be rebuilt or replaced. It's a very old action with three adjustment screws that you don't see in today's pianos or I have not anyway. It's very good when properly regulated though. My piano is circa 1889 and when it's up to spec I absolutely love it. However, and people can laugh about digital all they want, but my Kawai digital is set up to play this way !! LOL. I set it up in Pianoteq Software

I think those are all good prices you have been quoted.
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline indianajo

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #53 on: September 15, 2015, 05:45:10 PM »
I can't play Nights in the Garden of Spain: I saw Bahrenboim do it on PBS last year.  He can repeat notes with one hand so fast, I would have to use two hands to do that. 
I did play Ernesto Lecuona's Malaguena when I tried out my Sohmer at the store in 1982.  That goes from almost the top note to almost the bottom note, so it really tests out the sound of all the notes with each other.  The failures were a 1982 Steinway 44 studio and a 1982 Everett (by Yamaha) 44 studio piano.   The Sohmer 39 had them licked with the great the sound at the player's bench.  Note Maleguena is in 5 sharps, so I still use it as a test after I tune a piano.  If the tuning is still off, parts of it sound awful.  Short wire (scale) (budget) pianos fail this test every time even if in tune. Many consoles go feebly "plink" on the top octave notes and can't do the FF crashing descending seven octave riff with any authority. 

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #54 on: September 16, 2015, 01:28:33 AM »
Okay "Nights" sounds WAY out of my league! The fastest repeats I can manage with one hand is in mvmt 4 of Barber's Excursions.

I'll just play every key from ppp to fff all the way down the keyboard, LOL. It'll be kind of annoying to do but at least thorough!

I pretty much never use the una corda, even on my upright. I try really hard to just get pp/ppp with touch. I add una corda when performing, but when practicing I prefer to avoid it as I'd prefer to be able to create that dynamic with my fingers alone. Well that's the goal anyhow!
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #55 on: September 16, 2015, 11:12:48 AM »
Speaking of 'Nights' this was the first video that popped up:



Oh what nostalgia! I was tickled to see Placido Domingo conducting. Ok don't laugh, as a 14 year old I had the biggest crush EVER on Placido, LMAO. Yeah I was some nerd, as a teenaged girl I was crushing on middle aged opera stars, hah! I'm still a big fan, so nice to see he's still conducting successfully!
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #56 on: September 19, 2015, 11:21:11 PM »
Oh gosh you guys. I think I found my piano.

Brand new RX-2GC, which I poo-poo'ed at first seeing it because it wasn't 6 foot+, but gosh. It was a beauty. Lovely action and beautiful tone. Big sound for its size - the showroom was about 2700 sqft and it filled the space. They also had a GX-3 and honestly, aside from the GX-3 having a slightly crisper action, I couldn't tell a difference. The GX-3 was actually too bright even for me.

Anyways, the RX-2 was wonderful. And the price! Omg! The store owner gave us a cash price of $17,495 + tax, includes: delivery, artisan padded bench, a tuning, and a voicing.

Gosh. I think this one is IT. I didn't think I'd fall for a 'smaller' grand, but it had really wonderful big sound, I was quite surprised.
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline pencilart3

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #57 on: September 19, 2015, 11:29:58 PM »
Yay glad to hear you found it. :D
You might have seen one of my videos without knowing it was that nut from the forum
youtube.com/noahjohnson1810

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #58 on: September 19, 2015, 11:45:45 PM »
Yay glad to hear you found it. :D

Thanks!!

I'm going to sleep on it, the store is closed tomorrow anyways, but I think this is The One! I definitely felt like I could play it forever.

And the 10 year warranty is a HUGE peace of mind for sure. Alas, no Steinway snob factor though, LMAO. Darnit.
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline iansinclair

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #59 on: September 20, 2015, 01:18:39 AM »
Do pay very close attention to that Steinway A.  I'm badly biased, as most folks around here know, (I have and love an 1898 Steinway A, which has been restrung and has newer ivories but otherwise is all original).  The early Steinway A's have a reputation for being almost unmatched in brilliance and evenness of tone over the full range; there are some who say that of all the Steinways the early A's are the most even of all, although they don't have quite the maximum power of a D.

The action could make a difference.  Not in tone quality -- that's the strings and the sounding board -- but in some aspects of playing.  Mine -- being the original -- is very fussy to adjust (on the rare occasions when it is needed) and the newer actions -- either Hamburg or New York -- are much easier to get really right.
Ian

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #60 on: September 20, 2015, 02:07:20 AM »
Do pay very close attention to that Steinway A.  I'm badly biased, as most folks around here know, (I have and love an 1898 Steinway A, which has been restrung and has newer ivories but otherwise is all original).  The early Steinway A's have a reputation for being almost unmatched in brilliance and evenness of tone over the full range; there are some who say that of all the Steinways the early A's are the most even of all, although they don't have quite the maximum power of a D.

The action could make a difference.  Not in tone quality -- that's the strings and the sounding board -- but in some aspects of playing.  Mine -- being the original -- is very fussy to adjust (on the rare occasions when it is needed) and the newer actions -- either Hamburg or New York -- are much easier to get really right.

It's really too bad the Steinway A isn't ready for me to try, and at this point I'm not sure how long till its ready.

The Kawai RX2 I saw today is the last of the old stock, and once its sold it'll only be the GX series avail and a big price jump. I really did love the piano and it's at a great price plus peace of mind. At this point in my life, the 'safety' of the warranty is a big deal, and vintage instruments do come with a big unknown and risk....

Well I will sleep on it, but my gut and head say the Kawai. Even though the romanticism of the Steinway brand is still VERY appealing, there are quite a few worries I have about an antique instrument. I also worry that $21-23k seems FAR too cheap for that Steinway A to have been actually rebuilt and not just refurbed.
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline pencilart3

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #61 on: September 20, 2015, 02:14:09 AM »
Kawai is a beast brand. I didn't know you picked a Kawai.
You might have seen one of my videos without knowing it was that nut from the forum
youtube.com/noahjohnson1810

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #62 on: September 20, 2015, 12:01:50 PM »
Kawai is a beast brand. I didn't know you picked a Kawai.

Well, haven't pulled the trigger yet, but tomorrow is my birthday and I really think we're going to go for it!!

The only buyer's remorse I can foresee is that it's not just plain bigger. But then, bigger can be overwhelming too. And the price difference is massive:

RX-2 (serial number indicates 2013-2014 manufacture) - $17,495

GX-2 - $26k

GX-3 - $38k !!!!


I can't say that an extra 4" is worth TWICE the price!! (The price difference is due to the new line costing a pile more due to current crappy Cdn $ exchange rates).

We can easily afford the $18k, but $38K is far too much right now. The RX-2 means we don't have to finance it in any way, which leave the door open for an upgrade down the line too, so it's a bit of a 'starter grand' for me in that way. It really does have the 'biggest' sound of any below-6'4" piano I've tried yet, and our room is a 10x20' open concept (cathedral ceiling) room. Also, I get the feeling for me, power isn't everything. I've played bigger pianos with much more power/bass (M&H BB, Yamaha C7), but the tone quality was just 'meh'. This RX2 had that lovely singing tone I want.

Barring lucking out into $100k+, I don't think a new S&S is ever in my lifetime, LOL. Perhaps a bigger Kawai pro grand in the future though, and if I want that then I can always trade in the RX2 towards a bigger Kawai in the future too.

So basically, this RX2 really hits my sweet spot when it comes to a balance between price and tone, though admittedly a bit of compromise in the perfect size. And without the risk that a vintage instrument would have.

Plus  tomorrow's my birthday! Who could ask for a better b-day present? We will be seeing if we can talk the dealer into throwing in a few more freebies though - like a more lux bench (it already has an artist's bench but a cushier fabric would be nice), piano lamp, a few more regulations/tunings,etc.
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #63 on: September 20, 2015, 07:29:21 PM »
 Happy Birthday Sandra! I don't have a lot to say otherwise, you answered all the questions about this piano I might have asked. It's about presence of a piano, if you sit at one and it feels alive to you, you play it and your music feels alive coming from it to you, you want to sit there and play and play, who can argue. Not me. So I will be quiet.
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #64 on: September 20, 2015, 08:56:35 PM »
Happy Birthday Sandra! I don't have a lot to say otherwise, you answered all the questions about this piano I might have asked. It's about presence of a piano, if you sit at one and it feels alive to you, you play it and your music feels alive coming from it to you, you want to sit there and play and play, who can argue. Not me. So I will be quiet.

Thank you!

I was such a snot going into the store, lol, I totally dismissed the RX2 as too small just by the size. The bigness of sound really surprised me tbh. As good or better than any grand in the 6-6'4" size I've tried yet. I think a big part of it is the way it's been set up - clearly this store's techs really know what they're doing. Also the Millenium 3 action is just incredible - butter smooth and so precise.

If we do want to upgrade it in the future I'd probably do it 5 years from now so that I can trade it in for a good value with half its manufacturer's warranty still avail (so more attractive for resale). And if I did move up it would be to a 7' size, I don't see much point upgrading for less than a foot difference.

At least with a new quality Kawai we know this piano will be a workhorse and won't fail us even if we play 8+ hours a day on it between me and my kids.
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #65 on: September 21, 2015, 11:14:44 AM »
There really isn't a whole lot of difference between 5'10" and 6' or even 6'2" in playability if it's a quality piano. In some model pianos you might get a slightly better bass or richer if you will, and in others you might might not. Depending on the bridge layout and the stringing you might get a slightly clearer high treble, or not. And that size should fill your entire house with sound no problem unless you live in a cathedral lol. 5'10" is a very respectable size piano, when I think of small it's when they get down under 5'7" and then there are some stand out pianos at 5'5", generally they start losing bass. At least in my experience. Many people love the Steinway M for instance, very capable pianos.

Yes, that action is supposed to be exciting, I'm glad to hear your experience supports the claims from other satisfied users. Much of it is carbon fiber, light responsive components with direct feel, just like fishing rods made of that material lol, compared with say bamboo or fiberglass or carbon fiber bike frames apposed to aluminum. I.E. it should have it's own little character that a lot of people are loving. Carbon fiber is noted for transmitting feel and vibration well, you should feel very in touch with the strings and or hammers compared with wood and not crack or come unglued if it takes a little pounding . Some people probably don't like it because it takes away from the organic feel of woods, it's all in ones view point. Not everyone wants to move on with technology, some want to keep the old organic feel, like owning a wood canoe vs kevlar.

Let us know the verdict !
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #66 on: September 21, 2015, 11:29:02 AM »
There really isn't a whole lot of difference between 5'10" and 6' or even 6'2" in playability if it's a quality piano. In some model pianos you might get a slightly better bass or richer if you will, and in others you might might not. Depending on the bridge layout and the stringing you might get a slightly clearer high treble, or not. And that size should fill your entire house with sound no problem unless you live in a cathedral lol. 5'10" is a very respectable size piano, when I think of small it's when they get down under 5'7" and then there are some stand out pianos at 5'5", generally they start losing bass. At least in my experience. Many people love the Steinway M for instance, very capable pianos.

Yes, that action is supposed to be exciting, I'm glad to hear your experience supports the claims from other satisfied users. Much of it is carbon fiber, light responsive components with direct feel, just like fishing rods made of that material lol, compared with say bamboo or fiberglass or carbon fiber bike frames apposed to aluminum. I.E. it should have it's own little character that a lot of people are loving. Carbon fiber is noted for transmitting feel and vibration well, you should feel very in touch with the strings and or hammers compared with wood and not crack or come unglued if it takes a little pounding . Some people probably don't like it because it takes away from the organic feel of woods, it's all in ones view point. Not everyone wants to move on with technology, some want to keep the old organic feel, like owning a wood canoe vs kevlar.

Let us know the verdict !

Excellent, thank you for confirming that a 5'10" can compete with a 6'2" in sound and bass and that it's not just my wishful thinking!

The shop had all these cutout models of different types of action,  it was really neat. My husband was in GADGET HEAVEN - especially when the owner pulled out the entire action of the RX2 to show us how it was inside. I told my husband if we buy this thing he's NOT allowed to constantly take it apart like Lego unless he wants to learn to be a piano tech first.....LOL. He was absolutely mesmerized by the high tech of it all though.

I did notice a very small difference in feel between the RX2 and the GX2. The GX series is supposed to have longer keys for better control/leverage, which accounts for the extra inch in length. Honestly, I'd say the difference was slight. Like maybe 10%. The GX was a tad crisper and quicker off the bat, so easier to play, but then I don't want a performance piano that's easy to play anyways. And I definitely wouldn't pay an extra $8k for it!

I honestly couldn't care if there's plastic in my piano, LOL. I love my Kawai upright (with ABS parts) just fine. I care about how it sounds, and the quicker more responsive and reliable the action, the better. I'm not particularly romanced by the traditional aspect. If high tech produces better action with the same quality of tone as a traditional build, all the better.....and less maintenance cost too. Of course who wouldn't want a status symbol like a S&S, but it's no positive for me if it requires a tech every month.

Oh so it turns out this one is cheaper because it's the Conservatory line, not the BLAK line.  The GX-2 was a BLAK. Afaik the differences are purely cosmetic, and I found the BLAK version was a tad bright even for me.
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #67 on: September 21, 2015, 03:44:06 PM »
An interesting update!

So today I was interviewing a new piano teacher who is also a concert pianist and a recording artist. Not super famous but very well reviewed and he tours regularly.

His piano is a 1964 Hamburg Steinway - I believe a B from eyeballing it, forgot to ask the model. Anyways, the holy grail of pianos, right? At least  on paper?

Shockingly - I didn't like it. GASP. I know I was totally shocked! The action was really light and fast, but it couldn't touch the precision of Kawai's, and I wasn't blown away by the tone too. Actually I thought it was FAR too much piano in that room - the room was a closed in studio space, probably 12 x 15 approx, and 8-9 foot ceilings. Too much reverb by far in that room for me. There were also a few weird keys that kept standing out unintentionally.....I presume it's as well regulated/maintained as it can be considering he's a professional concert pianist, and still - I wouldn't buy it.

Shocked, I'm really really really shocked. Pleasantly of course as it confirms that the Kawai is the right piano for me.
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #68 on: September 21, 2015, 05:51:32 PM »
Steinway's can be great pianos, they aren't always though. When I had a teacher decades ago she had a Steinway with the heaviest action of any piano I ever played. Just depends on your needs and desires and how much you want to spend to get it the way you desire it to be. I own a grand piano, have owned it for decades and I mostly play my digital with Pianoteq Software and very decent sound system these days. It works for me because I compose a lot of my own music and I don't have to even think of regulation or tunings ( Kawai incidentally) and can have many different grand piano sounds or even mixed orchestral sounds with any dynamic range I want to create within the software. So that is actually working for me, I find it very lively and very easy to adapt my creative side with it..  More so than a fixed acoustic that if I wanted different action or tone with I'd have to pay out thousands of dollars to come close. When inspiration hits, I just bring up a jazz piano, a vintage D, a Bechstein, something more spacious sounding, more small hall sounding etc at will, within a moments notice just because inspiration hit me. And sometimes it's the other way around, because I changed pianos a key I was working in all of a sudden feels more moody, changes my mood, my playing accordingly. It's indispensable to me really at this stage of my piano/musical evolution. It's just how it is.
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline pencilart3

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #69 on: September 21, 2015, 05:57:08 PM »
My teacher has a steinway and it's terrible IMO. I also played on a steinway at a recital hall and it sounded muffled and terrible. But then again, I played on one in a smaller recital place and it was bold, bright, soft, and clear, pretty much perfect. They seem to be pretty much hit and miss, for the 3 that I've played on.
You might have seen one of my videos without knowing it was that nut from the forum
youtube.com/noahjohnson1810

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #70 on: September 21, 2015, 06:40:03 PM »
It seems so far in all the Steinways I've tried, it's been just about 100% miss! In fact I'm starting to wonder if that Steinway D I so fondly remember playing as a teen was even that wonderful or if there's some rose tinted glasses going on...

The tone of my teacher's Steinway today was nothing that great either. In fact, I found it terribly twangy in the treble.

Interestingly enough, that teacher (the concert pianist one) just bought a new piano for his students to play in a recital hall (he's also an assoc prof at the music program at one of the universities) and he bought a Kawai KG7.

Oh we closed the deal on the RX-2 - it's MINE! Whooooooo!! We didn't get a reduction in the price (well we weren't expecting it, LOL, his was an excellent price we just wanted to push a little) but we did get an extra tuning and extra voicing. And I'm told I can go by the showroom to play anytime I like (since I need looooots of exposure playing for people and not freaking out with nerves).
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #71 on: September 21, 2015, 07:02:57 PM »
Yay !! Congratulations, enjoy ! Ya go take advantage of that open store front playing, what are doing hanging around here ? lol. That was an awesome deal I thought, pretty hard to pass it up.
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline iansinclair

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #72 on: September 21, 2015, 08:58:35 PM »
Happy birthday!
Ian

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #73 on: September 21, 2015, 10:21:01 PM »
Yay !! Congratulations, enjoy ! Ya go take advantage of that open store front playing, what are doing hanging around here ? lol. That was an awesome deal I thought, pretty hard to pass it up.

LOL well yk....kids, responsibilities.....alas can't just play all day. Darnit eh?

Plus they've all already heard my existing repertoire. Gotta learn a few more pieces first! ;) I'd like to think I can do better than hours of Yiruma, LOL.

Happy birthday!

Thank you!! :)
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #74 on: September 28, 2015, 07:30:28 PM »
My new piano is here! Whoohooo!!!

Huh the action felt heavier than my upright at first, but I got used to it within half an hour, so it's allll good. Boy it's making my ears ring though! I think I'll likely practice with the lid down most of the time, LOL.

Sounds pretty good in the space otherwise, not too much reverb, tone is quite pretty, nice and clear and singing - which is what I want. Kawai definitely has a sweet tone to it. There seems to be a few higher treble keys that aren't 'singing' as well as the rest but I'll have to see how it settles in after a few weeks and ask the tech to work on it.

Hah frankly I'm scared of playing super loud on this thing, LOL, might blow my eardrums off. It's really reverb-y from behind the keyboard!
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline pencilart3

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #75 on: September 28, 2015, 07:33:40 PM »
Cool! Sounds like everything went well. :)
You might have seen one of my videos without knowing it was that nut from the forum
youtube.com/noahjohnson1810

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #76 on: September 28, 2015, 07:43:17 PM »
Cool! Sounds like everything went well. :)

So far, yes! So shiny. The kids aren't allowed ANYWHERE near it with watches or drinks or, well, anything.

I've been polishing off fingerprints all afternoon, though I'm sure I won't care after a few weeks, LOL.
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline pencilart3

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #77 on: September 28, 2015, 09:44:41 PM »
I've been polishing off fingerprints all afternoon, though I'm sure I won't care after a few weeks, LOL

Yup, it's like anything new. So careful at first, then you're just like... meh...
You might have seen one of my videos without knowing it was that nut from the forum
youtube.com/noahjohnson1810

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #78 on: September 28, 2015, 11:15:50 PM »
Sandra, how do you have the piano facing ? My wife had a great idea we both liked, to position the grand so it came out from a corner of the room. Fine, except that left the open top semi facing a wall or skimming the wall to my right front. That clocked my ears so bad with bounce back it actually hurt. Another thing, does it have a low position to open it to ? Mine does, about maybe 12-18". That's perfect for my room, always has been, then turn the piano around so it projects out into the room and it's great. one more thing, tapestries help immensely. my wife had been doing cruel work in our early married years, like 35 years ago now, and we placed them along the walls as art. Great effect, nice looking and dampened out the sound a little bit. Right now I have it sitting in the ugliest position ever but it projects the whole length of the room.

The top down works on some pianos, mine is ok but I really like the top up on the low stick. It sounds best in that room that way. I can get a little tinny sound out of a couple of my notes with it down all the way and that goes away with it up that notch or I just don't hear it then.
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #79 on: September 29, 2015, 12:52:37 AM »
We have the piano at pretty much 45 degrees, opening out towards the longitudinal wall/open dining room space. I didn't really want it horizontal from a visual aspect. I guess it's possible there's enough bounceback that it's really loud to me, maybe I'll give it a week to see if I get used to it.

Yah there's 3 lid heights - full, about 18", and a really low one maybe 4". I'm  liking it on the 18" one too. I don't really like it closed, it really muffles the sound.

I don't really want to change the angle, as it looks good like it is, but I might try wall hangings if my ears are still echoing in a week or two.
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #80 on: September 29, 2015, 09:42:23 AM »
Just be careful, we get one set of ears and ear damage is real. slow deterioration accumulates over the years and one day the ringing doesn't go away.  I know, I listen to my ringing accompaniment 24/7, loudest in the left ear. Probably mostly industrial related but still.
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #81 on: September 29, 2015, 11:14:16 AM »
Just be careful, we get one set of ears and ear damage is real. slow deterioration accumulates over the years and one day the ringing doesn't go away.  I know, I listen to my ringing accompaniment 24/7, loudest in the left ear. Probably mostly industrial related but still.

Eek! Tinnitus is scary.

So what were your warning signs? Like was it REALLY loud in the room? Enough to give you a headache? Did you have ringing following a playing session, that sort of thing?

I don't think it's really bad but I hope I'll know if it's too much. The angle is fairly flat and I can't see how there could be much bounce-back off the longitudinal wall, it's just louder than the upright.
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline visitor

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #82 on: September 29, 2015, 12:26:16 PM »
i always had to deal with loud instruments (hours and hours of playing a large kawai grand in a small hard floor practice room), also when i am first learning a piece, i deliberate play very loud w  fast finger strokes and transfers to facilitate the mechanics and muscle memory during the keyboard geography orientation of the learning process (ie new piece, first few weeks/couple months).

i had issues even with lid completely closed (covered pinblock, i remove the music desk and set it ontop of the instrument), so i use foam ear plugs or over the ear mufflers ie

in school i used this or



or similar, it'll knock a decent number of decibels off the sound but as loud as i practice sometimes, especially in small rooms or extra loud piano, i can still hear what I need to until i back off the volume.

in other cases where i control things more i'll cover the instrument w/ a good cover, and place pillows over a rug to absorb more of the sound. a mattress on the wall helps too.

but i'm more practical, i don't really use my piano a showpiece of furniture   so don't really care what it looks like when it's not in use or display it. it stays fully covered and closed when not in use so doesn't look too much unlike a large table or something under there i suppose.   :-\

hopefully  there's a tip in there or two that you can use to protect your ears. the more you play the longer you do, the more it matters. i went too many years into music school before i wised up and had already done some damage before i started taking counter measures.

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #83 on: September 29, 2015, 03:20:07 PM »
Thanks visitor! I was thinking earplugs, but then won't it ruin your sensitivity to playing softly or really hearing the dynamics? Or do you only use them when playing forte?
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #84 on: September 29, 2015, 04:26:44 PM »
Eek! Tinnitus is scary.

So what were your warning signs? Like was it REALLY loud in the room? Enough to give you a headache? Did you have ringing following a playing session, that sort of thing?

I don't think it's really bad but I hope I'll know if it's too much. The angle is fairly flat and I can't see how there could be much bounce-back off the longitudinal wall, it's just louder than the upright.

At first the ringing comes and goes away. Next it will be generally away but come back like under stress etc instead of just in a noisy situation. Then work started to monitor my hearing so I got an annual report. Understand this is not all piano related in my case. Later in life with the piano in the position I think I mentioned in my other post ( out from a corner) when I hit notes loudly above middle c someplace it began to bounce back almost startling me and hurting my ears. That would never have occurred when I was younger,it seems I could bear any amount of noise. Now in 2015 blaring noise is really blaring noise, it's no longer defined noise. But I'm 65 years old, I've had all sorts of noise killing my ears for decades. I probably didn't help myself any when young and revving race car engines up ( no mufflers) inside a closed garage. Well the door was open but I mean inside walls. Not to mention racing with no ear protection. Back in the 60's and 70's we didn't even think of that stuff.
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #85 on: September 30, 2015, 01:31:18 AM »
Yes, I think it's good we're all more aware of hearing damage issues these days! Especially with kids.

I think it's not so bad but I will get some noise filtering earplugs for long practice sessions. I wouldn't use them all the time as then you can't really fine tune dynamics, but in those long grinding sessions where I'm trying to nail some technique or (ughhhh) memorize a piece, it wouldn't be a bad idea to use earplugs at least some of the time.
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #86 on: October 09, 2015, 03:36:11 PM »
I wanted to update my thread after having my RX2 for a few weeks now....

And - I LOVE MY PIANO! So so so much. In love, seriously. I also discovered that playing it with the music stand down makes a HUGE difference in what I hear. Wow I had no idea a simple thing like the music stand can affect and muffle so much of the sound. Acoustics are weird.

Adore it though, more then a great Steinway. Gosh I never thought I'd say that. I study with two different teachers, both own a Steinway, and I love my piano more than theirs. Actually I feel like my RX-2 plays really really similar to a tight well regulate Renner action, and that's probably because the technician at the dealer used to be a Steinway tech. I'll have to pick his brain when he comes to tune my piano.

Alas, my baby has its first scratch. *sniff* I have no idea how it happened either, and it makes me sad, but at least it's on the flat side so the side facing away from the audience. We're going to try a few car polishes as recommended by the dealer, hope it helps, on a hidden spot first of course. Oh well, the first scratch hurts the worst, just like a new car.
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline visitor

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #87 on: October 09, 2015, 03:48:20 PM »
I wanted to update my thread after having my RX2 for a few weeks now....

And - I LOVE MY PIANO! So so so much. In love, seriously. I also discovered that playing it with the music stand down makes a HUGE difference in what I hear. Wow I had no idea a simple thing like the music stand can affect and muffle so much of the sound. Acoustics are weird.


precisely. i performed in a masterclass where this was discussed and I have since then always done final/late prep rehearsal and practice and perform w/ the music desk completely removed, you are more directly connected to the sound it produces and it does affect your guiding of your playing.

if/when you play in public or for others, if someone is incharge of prepping the piano for you, ie openin the lid, etc. make sure to instruct them to remove the music desk

glad it's working out. i've always advocated the rx's as the poor mans shigeru, performance and build quality is superb and dollar for dollar present better value due to their scaling (the volume economics of the parent company in terms of total revenues they bring in through the high number of total kawai pianos they make and sell, the built in efficiency in mfg ensure you get a more finished product and a stronger value. they are sweet instruments and at the top of the rx range, there is little room for improvement (ie those semi concert grands, they are no shigeru but they are prob the finest mass produced instruments available).

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #88 on: October 09, 2015, 03:59:25 PM »
precisely. i performed in a masterclass where this was discussed and I have since then always done final/late prep rehearsal and practice and perform w/ the music desk completely removed, you are more directly connected to the sound it produces and it does affect your guiding of your playing.

if/when you play in public or for others, if someone is incharge of prepping the piano for you, ie openin the lid, etc. make sure to instruct them to remove the music desk

Does removing the desk make that much more of a difference then just laying it down? I guess I could try one of these days. I noticed if I left the music desk flat, and put a book on top, even that little thing changed the sound.

I do think that I can give a LOT of credit to how my piano was prepped though. I've played Kawai RX grands that felt like crap - so clearly the technician is a huge factor. I sure hope the dealer's tech is available for hire outside his dealer duties - I love how he prepped this piano and I don't want to use anyone else!

The volume too, btw, is working out great. Not too loud at all. LOL I had said I wanted to upgrade to a slightly bigger Shigeru someday, but I'm starting to think that the RX2 is the perfect volume for our space.
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #89 on: October 09, 2015, 04:26:48 PM »
I thought the RX2 would be a good fit for you in terms of size, from your description of your place/layout. Glad it's all working so well, now I WANT ONE ! No, I'm old enough to know better than to fall for that jolly green monster. But there is a Kawai dealer about 35 miles north of here and I'd be curious how the action is on a new one, assuming the shop has it regulated correctly. Assuming the shop is up and running for that matter, they had a roof cave in last winter, we had a tough winter followed by rain, guess they didn't clear it well enough before the rain hit..

For the record I prefer the sound of my grand with the desk on it and the tops enclosure for the desk fully open (I can slide the desk back and fully close the lid which I don't like the sound of, but it folds back on top of the top). Doesn't matter much if the music rest is up or down because mine is the old classical ornate kind with a lot of scroll work carved out of it, so in a sense it's open either way. But the desk itself does make a difference.
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #90 on: October 09, 2015, 07:08:39 PM »
I thought the RX2 would be a good fit for you in terms of size, from your description of your place/layout. Glad it's all working so well, now I WANT ONE ! No, I'm old enough to know better than to fall for that jolly green monster. But there is a Kawai dealer about 35 miles north of here and I'd be curious how the action is on a new one, assuming the shop has it regulated correctly. Assuming the shop is up and running for that matter, they had a roof cave in last winter, we had a tough winter followed by rain, guess they didn't clear it well enough before the rain hit..

For the record I prefer the sound of my grand with the desk on it and the tops enclosure for the desk fully open (I can slide the desk back and fully close the lid which I don't like the sound of, but it folds back on top of the top). Doesn't matter much if the music rest is up or down because mine is the old classical ornate kind with a lot of scroll work carved out of it, so in a sense it's open either way. But the desk itself does make a difference.

You should go try some pianos at the Kawai dealer and report back what you think, if you've never played the M3 action before. Just leave your checkbook at home. ;) I'm so not kidding when I say I like the M3 action better than the S&S Hamburg action or even the Renner. The M3 has that German precision but with just a tad deeper in the keys than an S&S (I do find S&S key depth a bit shallow) but it's also got quite a bit of 'liveness' to the key, makes it really responsive. Again, I'm not sure how much is the Kawai itself and how much I can credit to the technician.

I haven't played it with the music desk off totally yet, I'm a bit gunshy about putting anymore scratches into my baby!, but I like it very well with the music stand down and the lid up on the middle stick. Also, I find it mesmerizing to watch the hammers when I'm playing, LOL.
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #91 on: October 09, 2015, 08:02:49 PM »
You should go try some pianos at the Kawai dealer and report back what you think, if you've never played the M3 action before. Just leave your checkbook at home. ;) I'm so not kidding when I say I like the M3 action better than the S&S Hamburg action or even the Renner. The M3 has that German precision but with just a tad deeper in the keys than an S&S (I do find S&S key depth a bit shallow) but it's also got quite a bit of 'liveness' to the key, makes it really responsive. Again, I'm not sure how much is the Kawai itself and how much I can credit to the technician.

I haven't played it with the music desk off totally yet, I'm a bit gunshy about putting anymore scratches into my baby!, but I like it very well with the music stand down and the lid up on the middle stick. Also, I find it mesmerizing to watch the hammers when I'm playing, LOL.

Your enthusiasm alone makes a visit here worth the price of admission, if not the Kawai dealer lol ! But your comment above makes me chuckle, about watching the hammers. I remember doing that on my teachers Steinway years ago, actually watching the dampers lift. But the trick was this, in passages where she didn't want any pedal, did I trick her when I would lay in just a hint of pedal, the tiniest hint of pedal that helped me limp through legato ??? !!!! That over time became a signature technique of mine that I use to this day. But the piano has to be well regulated with very even dampers.It probably never tricked her, she was a sweet old lady but sharp as a tack. Maybe she just gave up on me using 0 pedal.
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #92 on: October 09, 2015, 08:21:50 PM »
Your enthusiasm alone makes a visit here worth the price of admission, if not the Kawai dealer lol ! But your comment above makes me chuckle, about watching the hammers. I remember doing that on my teachers Steinway years ago, actually watching the dampers lift. But the trick was this, in passages where she didn't want any pedal, did I trick her when I would lay in just a hint of pedal, the tiniest hint of pedal that helped me limp through legato ??? !!!! That over time became a signature technique of mine that I use to this day. But the piano has to be well regulated with very even dampers.It probably never tricked her, she was a sweet old lady but sharp as a tack. Maybe she just gave up on me using 0 pedal.

Hah that's funny. I've been killing myself contorting my arms and wrists trying to get my melody legatos perfect... my concert pianist teacher is like, what are you doing, just use the pedal!

Lol, so pedal isn't cheating, except maybe baroque I suppose. My teacher's a big fan of finding the easiest way to do things, can't say I disagree!
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #93 on: October 09, 2015, 08:43:46 PM »
Hah that's funny. I've been killing myself contorting my arms and wrists trying to get my melody legatos perfect... my concert pianist teacher is like, what are you doing, just use the pedal!

Lol, so pedal isn't cheating, except maybe baroque I suppose. My teacher's a big fan of finding the easiest way to do things, can't say I disagree!

I don't know if to go psssst or shuuush, lest the pianotstreet technique police arrest us and convict us for even talking this way, But I Agree With Your Teacher . You don't want to lay into the pedal but discreet use is just plain awesome. I call it feathering, if you do it right you won't get a whole of that sympathetic resonance you get with full pedal but a smoother legato.
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #94 on: October 09, 2015, 10:16:01 PM »
I don't know if to go psssst or shuuush, lest the pianotstreet technique police arrest us and convict us for even talking this way, But I Agree With Your Teacher . You don't want to lay into the pedal but discreet use is just plain awesome. I call it feathering, if you do it right you won't get a whole of that sympathetic resonance you get with full pedal but a smoother legato.

Oh dear....I didn't realize it was controversial! Shhh......

Of course muddling isn't the goal, but both my teachers encourage 'feathering' rather than overstraining physically. Makes sense. As my concert pianist teacher says, his hands are different from mine, and encourages me to find my own way in terms of fingering too. No "One Right Way" for him, thankfully - and so different from my childhood teacher!

In fact he tsks at me if I do anything unnatural, motion wise, when there's pedal to use. It's been quite a nice change switching over to the grand in terms of the range of possibilities with the pedal that wasn't at all possible on the upright.

Hah and now of course there's that sostenuto that's just begging to be tried out, though I haven't used it for anything yet besides just messing around.
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #95 on: October 09, 2015, 10:32:43 PM »
Oh dear....I didn't realize it was controversial! Shhh......

Of course muddling isn't the goal, but both my teachers encourage 'feathering' rather than overstraining physically. Makes sense. As my concert pianist teacher says, his hands are different from mine, and encourages me to find my own way in terms of fingering too. No "One Right Way" for him, thankfully - and so different from my childhood teacher!

In fact he tsks at me if I do anything unnatural, motion wise, when there's pedal to use. It's been quite a nice change switching over to the grand in terms of the range of possibilities with the pedal that wasn't at all possible on the upright.

Hah and now of course there's that sostenuto that's just begging to be tried out, though I haven't used it for anything yet besides just messing around.
All I can do is smile for you !
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline handz

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #96 on: October 09, 2015, 11:48:00 PM »
Hi, Im looking for new grand for myself too now.

If you want new it is a problem even $35k is quite nice budget.

from what I found so far:

Yamaha CX3 and up - still not heard them live but they should be very good, with 35k you can go for C5X which is a nice size, would check it out!

Kawai - lot of people still recommend RX line but this is now discontinuet and replaced by GX line - much improved, should have more "mellow European sound" and also longer keys providing more control - definitely woth checking, you can get GX5 for the $35k easily

Petrof - company from my country, quality handmade pianos with tradition, Im going to check their current line next week. For $35k you can get the Storm model which is 194cm (6 feet 4⅜ inches)

Essex designed by Steinway - made in china by Pearl river - thy only do 173cm model, but i read some nice comments about the sound and you can get it with silent piano system in the price from a good dealer - Im going to try it next week too. 

Boston designed by Steinway - better than Essex, made by Kawai - 178 model also fits into your budget if you find a good dealer, should be a decent piano, I touch it next week too.

Estonia - totally mythical piano in my country, not even have distibution here for some reason, so I cant try it, I would be really interested into their 190 model.

what may be also interesting:

Feurich - now made in china, somehow finished (voicing probably) in Austria I believe, their 178 model is for a really nice price, and it won few contests - Im checking it next week too.

Ritmuller - Made now by Pearl river as their exclusive piano line, designed by Lothar Thomma - who worked for many best piano brands... some people were quite excited with it, it also using some Renner parts etc - definitely worht checking out if you can

that is so far all I can think of from new pianos.

Then there are rebuilds which are mixed bag. I checked a lot of pianos last months and not liked any, maybe one, but it wasnt love, but if you love Steinway and you have $35 to spend you can get decent Steinway M / O from 50-60s after rebuild for sure in the USA I believe, as Steinway in Germany sell those for $42k from what I saw and they are of course more expensive than independent rebuilder...
In progress: <br />Scriabin: Preludes op 11 nr 6, 10, 17, 1<br />Rachmaninov: Prelude C# minor<br />Fibich: Poeme<br />Mussorgsky: Pictures at Exhibition Promenade, gnome

Offline pencilart3

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #97 on: October 10, 2015, 12:11:50 AM »
You might want to make a new topic for that handz.
You might have seen one of my videos without knowing it was that nut from the forum
youtube.com/noahjohnson1810

Offline handz

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #98 on: October 10, 2015, 03:31:07 PM »
You might want to make a new topic for that handz.

it was reply for this thread..did not noticed that OP already made purchase, I just saw first page and it was quite busy here so I thought it is still going on
In progress: <br />Scriabin: Preludes op 11 nr 6, 10, 17, 1<br />Rachmaninov: Prelude C# minor<br />Fibich: Poeme<br />Mussorgsky: Pictures at Exhibition Promenade, gnome

Offline sandracb

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Re: Grand piano rec's for my budget please
«Reply #99 on: October 10, 2015, 04:18:49 PM »
it was reply for this thread..did not noticed that OP already made purchase, I just saw first page and it was quite busy here so I thought it is still going on

Yah it kind of morphed into a thread about  my shopping experiences, and then how it's going with my new piano. It seems everyone in the Instruments forum do make their own thread about their own purchases, so you'll get better answers if you start your own thread. :)
Current repertoire:
ARCT program (Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rach, Barber, Mendelssohn), plus Schumann's Papillons, Scarlatti, and Czerny op 740

My pianos: Kawai BL-51 (50"), Kawai RX-2 Conservatory