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Topic: adjustable benches -- is the brand name worth 2x+ the cost ?  (Read 2434 times)

Offline huaidongxi

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wish to thank again all those who offered guidance and experience in response to my questions about the proper seat height and arm/wrist position at the keyboard.  presently following the advice to get an adjustable bench (tax refund getting spent in advance as usual).

first impressions, in the good old u.s.a. there do not seem to be as many sources for benches as the eastern side of the Atlantic.  reminded me of decent wine glass manufacturers.  here, there seems one prestige brand, made in Wisconsin, Jansen.  there are probably a legion of Asian factories, but there seems little distinction between the products other than the importers.  some are under the American brand name Frederick, others get listed as 'CPS imports', or various generic sounding names.  the Asian products are usually one third to one half the price of the comparable(by superficial appearance and materials) Jansen models.  there is one other premium priced brand imported from Europe, Hidrau Model (HM), but it has the minimalist/industrial style that would not be quite compatible with our 1921 vintage instrument and petite bungalow of nearly identical age, and the cushion doesn't look very comfy.

please share any positive or negative history either with Jansen 'artist benches' (i.e. adjustable) or their Asian-made counterparts, and if you've experienced significant differences if you've used both for meaningful durations.  thanks again to all who take the time to read or respond.

Offline kawai_cs

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Re: adjustable benches -- is the brand name worth 2x+ the cost ?
Reply #1 on: March 25, 2016, 11:27:38 PM
I have Jansen adjustable bench and am really happy with it.  It is very very comfortable and my legs never go numb. This happened to me every time I used the cheap bench that came with my piano. The only thing I worried about at the beginning was that the range to adjust it was not really wide. At that time I liked to sit really high on my bench and the height that I wanted was not available. I used the highest setting and then the bench got completely stuck but it just needed some lube to fix it. I got used to the highest setting of the bench and it is ok. Not sure if grand pianos have the keyboard a little further down than digitals because it would then explain the height range of this bench.
The other disadvantage of this bench is that my cat loves to scratch it so I have to cover it all the time when not in use ;)
I got it at half price in some kind of sale but it was still pricey, yes. But worth it.
Chopin, 10-8 | Chopin, 25-12 | Haydn, HOB XVI:20

Offline lhorwinkle

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Re: adjustable benches -- is the brand name worth 2x+ the cost ?
Reply #2 on: March 29, 2016, 07:55:36 AM
Jansen makes a nice product, but the price is prohibitive. I have a standard-issue bench. It's now 35 years old, and is still comfortable.

There is no "right" brand. But there is a "right" bench ... one that suits you (and you back and your butt).

Height matters. Width matters. Depth matters. Padding matters. Surface material matters. But brand does not.

Offline escott

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Having the best bench you can afford is, um, foundational.

I have a Jansen and love it.  Yes, it's more expensive, but compared to a piano, lessons, etc., it's just not THAT much more expensive than other benches.

I hate having to play on benches that aren't as good.

Offline lhorwinkle

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Mine is a standard issue bench. It's a duet bench, which I find more comfortable than standard width.
It's not adjustable, but it's height is just right for me. And it's comfortable.

I've touched up the scratches and gouges in the finish, and I replaced the vinyl cover about ten years ago. I had to repair a loose corner bolt last year. Not bad for a 36-year-old no-name bench, eh?

I agree that brand doesn't matter, and that Jansens are just too expensive. Not that they're bad. But for me they're just not worth the extra cost.

I, too was thinking about buying one of those Frederick benches. And I probably will if this bench ever needs replacement.

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