Piano Forum logo

New instrument - what would be the best choice? (Read 1104 times)

Offline mistralx

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 15
New instrument - what would be the best choice?
« on: August 07, 2016, 12:01:29 PM »
Hello guys,

I am on of these people, who has comeback to the piano lessons after a long break (in my case it was 9 years).
Now, when I take lessons with a teacher and regularly practise, I think about changing my instrument.
I am from Poland and in my country there the most popular "practising" pianos are the instruments manufactured by a company which had it's headquarters in the Legnica City (before it was Ed. Seiler's factory, in 1947 it was transformed into "Legnica Factory of Pianos"). I just wanted to write this beacuse maybe some of you might know what instrument I am talking about.

So my instrument was produced by this company in the late 80' (or early 90') and being honest - I really don't like it. This piano doesn't sing - it screams. It is very loud (it is hard to play pianissimo for somebody who didn't attend ABRSM), the keyboard is ... how to say that... "heavy", you really have to use some strength to extract sound. If it's about the sound, it isn't warm... it's rather cold, rather worrisome.

I am looking for an instrument which:
-has warm sound (sings, doesn't scream)
-has "light" keyboard (you don't have to use many force)
-when I want to play pianissimo - I can do it, when I want to play fortissimo - I also can do it.

I know that every instrument is different and that I have to test each by myself but I just want to ask you guys for a little help - which producers should I take into consideration? Maybe you can recommend me some specific models?
I am interested only in acoustic instrument :)

If it's about my budget - it's 10 000 zł, so it would be about 2600$ (it isn't much that's why I would like to buy only used instrument).



Offline iansinclair

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1472
Re: New instrument - what would be the best choice?
«Reply #1 on: August 07, 2016, 03:12:37 PM »
I don't suppose you could stumble across a used Estonia?  They are very very good pianos indeed, and they might be available at a decent price in your area... the Soviet era instruments were good, but are pretty rare.  Then there was a gap -- no surprise -- but by the late 1990's the pianos being made were very good indeed, and still are.

Offline avanchnzel

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 44
Re: New instrument - what would be the best choice?
«Reply #2 on: August 07, 2016, 03:23:34 PM »
When it comes to a dissatisfaction with a current instrument, it may be one of two things:

1. You really need a new one.
2. Your technique is not advanced enough to be able to control the sound.

In beginning stages it's of course difficult to play pianissimo and sing a melody instead of screaming it. Over time you will learn how to extract the best sound from any piano after spending some time with it. I have played on pianos that either need a massive overhaul or simply belong on a rubbish heap, but as long there isn't any major issue with the action or tuning I can honestly do fine. I hate to sound arrogant or anything, but people have told me that they've never imagined their pianos could sound like that, and I'm only an amateur (starting to demand money though!).

If you really want a lighter keyboard, you can ask your piano tuner to make the action lighter. Some professional pianists purposely add weights to their keys as this trains finger strength. Finger strength is a great advantage in learning more difficult pieces, so I guess it all depends on what you want to achieve. If you intend on graduating to the concert stage, grand pianos have heavier action than uprights, and some brands have really heavy keys. You never know what you're going to get.

But if you're never going to play on a piano other than your own, by all means. 20th century French impressionist music in particular was composed for really light keys, so a more difficult one is an SOB to play on a heavy action (excuse my French). Anyway there are some companies that can customise your keyboard too, such as making the keys narrower for small hands. But all this will mean you might have some difficulty when you dawdle over to a relative's house and try a little ditty.

So here are two brands I know a bit about.

From my perspective, Yamaha uprights have really light keys. They're classic student pianos, but the sound isn't particularly warm. It's bright and it takes a lot of effort to mellow down the tone. If you test a few pianos you might find one that sings well.

What I find is that heavier keys actually make it easier to play pianissimo (but more difficult to play fortissimo!).

A direct rival of Yamaha is Kawai. The sound is much warmer. I am the humble owner of a Kawai upright grand (it's the tallest one, but I'm afraid it's beyond your budget). The keys are quite heavy but not as heavy as that of a concert grand. The pianissimo sound is great, and to play fortissimo I would actually rather the general sound be brighter than I can get it.

Hope this has helped, but always remember: the bigger the better. I'm not kidding.