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Are Americans the only ones that are hung up over vintage pianos?? (Read 1794 times)

Offline onesurfer1

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Are Americans the only country/people that have a lot of people that say that vintage is better than new pianos (usually on on Steinway, M&H, and sometimes Baldwin).  Do Germans make a big deal about vintage Bechsteins being better than the new ones?? 

Why do i see so much on restored/vintage Steinways vs New/er ones???
Shouldn't scale designs improve over the decades?  Wouldn't you want a new Ferrari vs a 100 yr old restored Ferrari if they looked exactly the same???

If i was offered a 1965 fully restored (AMERICAN) Steinway vs a 2015 one of the same model...isn't it a no-brainer?  The new one of course!....right?

If it's simply that the older ones  (...say pre-WWII) sound unique compared to the newer ones...then i can understand the preference.  But I believe the "designs and craftsmanship must be better as time goes by...unless, like Baldwin, it goes into bankruptcy and then Gibson buys them out and builds new pianos with brand new designs that have nothing to do with the originals, builds them in China and puts a Baldwin sticker on it...that's different.  I get that.  (hopefully they'll start making the Artist Grands again w excellent craftsmanship...whether in China or India...who cares as long as it's made well).

Anyway, what's all this commotion about vintage vs new?  Is this only on American pianos?  Is this just a preference on sound/tone?   "I DON'T GET IT."

Offline philolog

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Re: Are Americans the only ones that are hung up over vintage pianos??
«Reply #1 on: November 03, 2015, 12:32:33 PM »
For me, "sound and tone" were the determining factors in buying my restored Steinway A, and they would still be the most important qualities I would look for in another piano. Of course design and reliability in a mechanical sense are important, but I don't think you'll be spending much time admiring the physical workings of the instrument while you play, other than appreciating the action.

In my opinion, it's a sad fact of current piano design that many new instruments possess an unpleasant, schizophrenic personality------ often beautiful in the lower to mid-dynamic range, appalling as they increase in volume, with an unpleasant "glassy" or metallic "surface" that renders many newer CDs unlistenable. Of course that doesn't apply to all new pianos, a fact for which I'm grateful.

Anyway, if you're in the market for a piano I can only advise you to trust yourself and follow your heart and your instincts. Don't dismiss either the new or the old because of the piano's age. 

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Are Americans the only ones that are hung up over vintage pianos??
«Reply #2 on: November 03, 2015, 01:57:04 PM »
Are Americans the only country/people that have a lot of people that say that vintage is better than new pianos (usually on on Steinway, M&H, and sometimes Baldwin).  Do Germans make a big deal about vintage Bechsteins being better than the new ones?? 

Why do i see so much on restored/vintage Steinways vs New/er ones???
Shouldn't scale designs improve over the decades?  Wouldn't you want a new Ferrari vs a 100 yr old restored Ferrari if they looked exactly the same???

If i was offered a 1965 fully restored (AMERICAN) Steinway vs a 2015 one of the same model...isn't it a no-brainer?  The new one of course!....right?

If it's simply that the older ones  (...say pre-WWII) sound unique compared to the newer ones...then i can understand the preference.  But I believe the "designs and craftsmanship must be better as time goes by...unless, like Baldwin, it goes into bankruptcy and then Gibson buys them out and builds new pianos with brand new designs that have nothing to do with the originals, builds them in China and puts a Baldwin sticker on it...that's different.  I get that.  (hopefully they'll start making the Artist Grands again w excellent craftsmanship...whether in China or India...who cares as long as it's made well).

Anyway, what's all this commotion about vintage vs new?  Is this only on American pianos?  Is this just a preference on sound/tone?   "I DON'T GET IT."

You who has no age ,gender or location listed, are you in the market for a piano ?
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: Are Americans the only ones that are hung up over vintage pianos??
«Reply #3 on: November 03, 2015, 06:42:43 PM »
I very much doubt that liking vintage pianos is a strictly American -- by which I presume you mean USA, and are not including Canada or Mexico -- trait.

And if someone would be so kind as to buy me a nice brand new Steinway D to replace my vintage A, I'd be delighted.  So would any chap, I imagine.

I don't know anyone who's about to do that, though.

That said, I expect there may be a reason which is not so obvious for the apparent liking: finding a vintage piano in North America which is in decent shape is not all that hard to do.  Thus the liking may be much more a matter of availability than it is of a genuine preference.  This availability is a simple product of history and, in general, better conditions for the instruments.
Ian

Offline hardy_practice

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Re: Are Americans the only ones that are hung up over vintage pianos??
«Reply #4 on: November 03, 2015, 06:52:29 PM »
Gould preferred vintage - annoyed the hell out of Steinway.
B Mus, PGCE, DipABRSM

Offline outin

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Re: Are Americans the only ones that are hung up over vintage pianos??
«Reply #5 on: November 04, 2015, 03:17:38 AM »
I am not American and I love older pianos for several reasons. One reason for the better sound may be that the wood used 50-100 years ago for quality pianos was different than what they have today for an average piano and aged in a special way.

So it has just been proven that it is not true :)

Offline onesurfer1

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Re: Are Americans the only ones that are hung up over vintage pianos??
«Reply #6 on: November 05, 2015, 10:17:27 AM »
I very much doubt that liking vintage pianos is a strictly American -- by which I presume you mean USA, and are not including Canada or Mexico -- trait.

And if someone would be so kind as to buy me a nice brand new Steinway D to replace my vintage A, I'd be delighted.  So would any chap, I imagine...........

Yes, I meant USA and am not including Canada nor MExico when I wrote "American"...shame on me, bad habit many have.

I tried a rebuilt Model A3 the other day and was going to Steinway Showroom to compare it with the new ones.  Is that wrong...I mean, should I just play the rebuilt A3 and see if I love it or not in its own right?   Or should i compare it to a new one?  Do you love your vintage A better than...let's say a newer 2000 Schimmel 6' (assuming you liked the sound and touch of the Schimmel?)  My concern is that the newer will be more reliable...i dunno...i think it would be fun to have "Steinway" in my living room vs a 1994 Mason Hamlin A (saw one for sale and in my budget...and i love M&H sound perhaps a tad more than the Steinway).  But i am a label ***, and a clothing label ***. 

Offline visitor

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Re: Are Americans the only ones that are hung up over vintage pianos??
«Reply #7 on: November 05, 2015, 11:24:20 AM »
Yes, I meant USA and am not including Canada nor MExico when I wrote "American"...shame on me, bad habit many have.

I tried a rebuilt Model A3 the other day and was going to Steinway Showroom to compare it with the new ones.  Is that wrong...I mean, should I just play the rebuilt A3 and see if I love it or not in its own right?   Or should i compare it to a new one?  Do you love your vintage A better than...let's say a newer 2000 Schimmel 6' (assuming you liked the sound and touch of the Schimmel?)  My concern is that the newer will be more reliable...i dunno...i think it would be fun to have "Steinway" in my living room vs a 1994 Mason Hamlin A (saw one for sale and in my budget...and i love M&H sound perhaps a tad more than the Steinway).  But i am a label ***, and a clothing label ***. 
Im with you on the mason and hamlin. I heart hammy.
M&H>S&S
Shots fired. Yes i said that (this is to say for similar pianos in similar original condition new and used.  Once a restorstion happebds there are too many moving parts to it. I have played restored steiny that arw marvelous and i feel better than newer models of both, and i have played refinished hammy that gad its soul removed and was more like a really bad kimball.

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Are Americans the only ones that are hung up over vintage pianos??
«Reply #8 on: November 05, 2015, 12:28:35 PM »
Yes, I meant USA and am not including Canada nor MExico when I wrote "American"...shame on me, bad habit many have.

I tried a rebuilt Model A3 the other day and was going to Steinway Showroom to compare it with the new ones.  Is that wrong...I mean, should I just play the rebuilt A3 and see if I love it or not in its own right?   Or should i compare it to a new one?  Do you love your vintage A better than...let's say a newer 2000 Schimmel 6' (assuming you liked the sound and touch of the Schimmel?)  My concern is that the newer will be more reliable...i dunno...i think it would be fun to have "Steinway" in my living room vs a 1994 Mason Hamlin A (saw one for sale and in my budget...and i love M&H sound perhaps a tad more than the Steinway).  But i am a label ***, and a clothing label ***. 

This is why in my other posting I asked if you were looking to buy a piano . There isn't anything inherently wrong with any of what you did. In the end I bet you buy something within your budget that suits your wants and desires as best as that budget can allow !
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: Are Americans the only ones that are hung up over vintage pianos??
«Reply #9 on: November 05, 2015, 04:33:08 PM »
Totally in agreement with hfmadopter.  Basically, if one is planning on buying a piano -- particularly one in the higher end -- one should play a variety of instruments offered and pick the one which you feel most comfortable with and the sound of which you like best.  Pianos -- like people -- have personalities, and it's better to be with the one you love!

On reliability, though -- a "vintage" piano is not necessarily any worse than a new one.  They aren't like cars that way.  My vintage Steinway A -- an 1898 model -- has the original action and is perfectly reliable (though a bit of a pain to maintain, but that's a design issue rather than an age issue).  On the other hand a ten year old piano, top end, which has been abused may be practically worthless.
Ian

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Are Americans the only ones that are hung up over vintage pianos??
«Reply #10 on: November 05, 2015, 05:42:18 PM »
New pianos have shiny everything ! But that doesn't make for a better piano, it makes for a shiny one. Ya know , it looks new ? So what.
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.