Brodmann 121? Woodchester 117? Rieger-Kloss 118?

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Brodmann 121? Woodchester 117? Rieger-Kloss 118?

Post by evamar » 21 May 2015, 08:26

Hello there, I have been reading a lot of good reviews for Brodmann pianos, but I cannot find a dealer selling them, new or second hand.

If they are no longer made or they are not sold in the UK, could you please give me another name of similar quality.

I understand that they are made in China, which to be honest scares me a bit, but I know that their pianos have much improved, or at least some of them. The Brodmann seemed to be one of the good ones even being quite cheap, but there are so many Chinese pianos under so many names that I'm very lost.

I don't need a professional piano as I'm only learning as a hobby, but at the same time I would like to buy one that will last for many years in good condition if I take good care of it. I would like to buy only one piano and at the end of the day I can only play it for a couple hours a day not heavy use.

Around 120cm tall, around £3,500 or a bit more for a new piano or a very good second hand one, not grey market. I quite like a mellow sound, and medium action, if this helps.

On the other hand I've seen a 117 Woodchester, 15 years old, which is the oldest I would buy, and in good condition, the model with 3 decorative panels at the front I think it's called Concerto. I don't know much about this brand other than it is British made.

Also a Rieger-Kloss 118 Moderna, again 15 years old. I know these are the same as Bohemia, Czech Republic, and that they were bought by Bechstein and now are gone. They seem to have very good reviews if they have been properly prepared. £100 more than the Woodchester and in paper it seems quite interesting to me.

Any views? I of course will try them in person, just trying to decide if these models are in theory good enough for my needs as to deserve a day trip, as they are not local to me. Also an alternative to that elusive Brodmann piano.

Many thanks in advance.

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Re: Brodmann 121? Woodchester 117? Rieger-Kloss 118?

Post by chrisw » 21 May 2015, 12:44

Evamar,
Have you seen the advertisement at the bottom of the page containing your post which gives the email address of the Brodman distributor? I have come across one professional pianist who bought Brodman a number of years ago, letting it be known that he thought they were very good pianos. I don't know if this person still has the same opinion.

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Re: Brodmann 121? Woodchester 117? Rieger-Kloss 118?

Post by evamar » 21 May 2015, 18:55

chrisw wrote:Evamar,
Have you seen the advertisement at the bottom of the page containing your post which gives the email address of the Brodman distributor? I have come across one professional pianist who bought Brodman a number of years ago, letting it be known that he thought they were very good pianos. I don't know if this person still has the same opinion.
Hi Chrisw, thanks for your reply. I have seen it and actually some time ago I contacted Chris Venables about the Brodmanns, but it seems that they are no longer selling them as they have their own line of pianos seemingly based on the Brodmann, so it was a bit of a conflict to sell both. They estate that theirs are actually better than the Bordmanns but I haven't been able to find a single independent opinion about the Venables & Son pianos. He seems to be quite respected, though, and as per the YT videos they have posted these pianos sound quite good.

I basically need something good enough to take me to say grade 8 if I wanted to and be my only piano for life if I take normal care of it, i.e. annual tuning and occasional regulation/voicing. I just don't want a lemon! :roll:

If somebody can give me non biased view of the Venables & Son I would be grateful, they are also on my list as a possible new piano, but they are not very local to me.

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Re: Brodmann 121? Woodchester 117? Rieger-Kloss 118?

Post by chrisw » 21 May 2015, 20:16

I seem to recall this piano retailer helping out a member of this forum sometime ago so they are likely to be reliable people. Other than that try as many pianos as you can within your budget and select the one which you like the most. Maybe the weight and response of the action is important to you or the mellowness of sound ? A new or reconditioned piano will come with a guarantee and will last many years longer. My Kemble piano is 20 years old and shows very few signs of degradation.

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Re: Brodmann 121? Woodchester 117? Rieger-Kloss 118?

Post by chrisw » 21 May 2015, 20:37

Post Script.

Please see thread

Beginning to see the light Brodmann by poster joseph

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Re: Brodmann 121? Woodchester 117? Rieger-Kloss 118?

Post by Barrie Heaton » 21 May 2015, 20:45

I have a lot of Woodchesters on my round quite a few in Mormon churches they were poorly made at best, a lot seem to leave the factory only part regulated.

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Re: Brodmann 121? Woodchester 117? Rieger-Kloss 118? Venabl

Post by evamar » 22 May 2015, 07:59

Thanks for your replies.

Yes, I read that thread chrisw. It seems that Chris Venables was of great help, but it also looks like that particular piano was the lemon of a basket of peaches, all other reviews comment on how good they are with some proper work. Medium to medium-firm action and mellow sound, best for me... I wish I had the money to go over the £8K for a new good piano of one of those brands we all know...

Barrie Heaton, I remember trying a second hand Woodchester that I really liked, but it was too short for me. The seller said that it had to be properly prepared, though, he put several hours wok. But that work seems to pay off, the feeling was really nice, more than decent sound too. I just want a taller piano. Could you please let me know if, in your experience, once a Woodchester has gone through a decent regulation and tuning work, it would be a good option? At the end of the day it seems that all pianos do need work when new, I would be worried if they needed deep work every year, as that would be a lot of money, but I understand that with time they all will also need some regulation anyway as its part of their maintenance? Are Woodchesters any different from other pianos after proper regulation?

Any views on the Rieger-Kloss, where to buy a Brodmann, Venables & Sons or other pianos you think might fit my needs?

Many thanks for your help.

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Re: Brodmann 121? Woodchester 117? Rieger-Kloss 118?

Post by chrisw » 22 May 2015, 17:01

If I wished to limit my budget on a replacement upright, I would probably look at reconditioned Kawai or Yamaha, which are sold by quality retailers with a guarantee. I would also enquire the price of new Kembles and Cavendish. I am not sure if Woodchester are produced anymore. It is a few years since I saw them in a Manchester piano shop but wasn't very impressed.

A colleague recently bought a 30 year old reconditioned Yamaha U3 and it looks and plays like new. Do you have good piano retailers in your area ?

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Re: Brodmann 121? Woodchester 117? Rieger-Kloss 118?

Post by evamar » 22 May 2015, 20:42

Personally I quite dislike bright sounding pianos, they sound almost cruel to me, and apart of a couple Yamahas U3 I have tried all Yamahas sounded too bright for me. Just a matter of personal taste, many people like their sound. Also even if I find a mellow U3 it wouldn't fit in the lift, so it has to be discarded.

Yes, Kawais tend to have a very nice mellow sound which I quite like. But considering that I would need my "new" piano to last for at least 40 years (I don't really expect myself to last more than that anyway) I still would put my cut at 15 years unless a really great piano comes along. I see a lot of 60s-80s second hand pianos in the market that I simply think are too old to last in the long term if one only wants to buy one piano for life and not for say 5 years and then pass it to somebody else at a smaller loss than a new one. Also I do want a decent height around 120cm, so at least that also shortens the list.

I'll have a look at the Rieger-Kloss because I quite like the Petrof sound and am curious about it, but if I don't like it it's beginning to look as if a second hand K3 would be the thing for me. Or a Venables if I can find reviews from actual users to make me go to try it.

At the end it does come to personal taste, but it's very helpful that people from this forum help with all your technical knowledge. Thanks for that.

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Re: Brodmann 121? Woodchester 117? Rieger-Kloss 118?

Post by vernon » 22 May 2015, 22:24

If your budget is £3500 then please look at the Kawai k200.
It is in a different class to the others you mention and why one would pay over £900 for a fifteen year old Rieger,Woodchester or Kemble I don't know.
Try one and if it accords with your requirements you get the millenium action and the transferable warranty.
We have sold many and they area joy to service.
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Re: Brodmann 121? Woodchester 117? Rieger-Kloss 118? Venabl

Post by Barrie Heaton » 23 May 2015, 10:53

evamar wrote:Thanks for your replies.

Barrie Heaton, I remember trying a second hand Woodchester that I really liked, but it was too short for me. The seller said that it had to be properly prepared, though, he put several hours wok. But that work seems to pay off, the feeling was really nice, more than decent sound too. I just want a taller piano. Could you please let me know if, in your experience, once a Woodchester has gone through a decent regulation and tuning work, it would be a good option? At the end of the day it seems that all pianos do need work when new, I would be worried if they needed deep work every year, as that would be a lot of money, but I understand that with time they all will also need some regulation anyway as its part of their maintenance? Are Woodchesters any different from other pianos after proper regulation?
They take a lot of regulating and voiceing to make them half decent the bass sting where not the best when new. For me if I was advising one of my clients who was a half decent player... avoid unless if was a gift (free)

As Vernon at pointed out Kawai k200. is worth looking at they voice down very nicely not as stable on tuning at first as say a new Yamaha but once it has had a few tunings they are rock solid.

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Re: Brodmann 121? Woodchester 117? Rieger-Kloss 118?

Post by evamar » 25 May 2015, 22:12

I was hoping for something taller, but it certainly a K200 is an option, even if an entry piano. My concern is that with a new entry piano in 5 years or so I would be looking at upgrade and will lose quite a lot of money. That's why I would rather buy a second hand as my first acoustic so if an entry piano I can look at something better later on saving some money and not losing too much with the resale. Or if buying a taller second hand piano not too old and in good condition it might be all I'll need at the price of a new entry one.

What do you think about a 122 Wendl & Lung, 5 years old? I know they are the new Feurich, Chinese but they seem to have good reviews. Are these done to last?

Thanks and sorry for all the questions, buying an acoustic seems to be extremely hard to get right.

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Re: Brodmann 121? Woodchester 117? Rieger-Kloss 118?

Post by Barrie Heaton » 25 May 2015, 22:27

The 122 Wendl & Lung I have tuned are not bad at all bin a wile since I tuned a new one
I agree a good second-hand taller piano would be a better buy

One to look out for are second hand Zimmerman piano but no more than 5 years old they have a nice balance mellow tone when voiced down

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Re: Brodmann 121? Woodchester 117? Rieger-Kloss 118?

Post by vernon » 25 May 2015, 23:02

Wouldn't call a Kawai K200 an entry piano!
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Re: Brodmann 121? Woodchester 117? Rieger-Kloss 118?

Post by evamar » 26 May 2015, 10:04

vernon wrote:Wouldn't call a Kawai K200 an entry piano!
Well, just repeating what many people say, even sellers. I have tried them and I really like them, nice action and lovely sound, also I know that they are very stable and reliable and tuners do like them. But again I want to buy only one piano and it seems quite unanimous that we are talking really good from at the very least 120cm height due to longer strings and better action, and with good quality the taller the better. Also, the K200 is 114 tall, but with 5cm casters, so really just about 110cm.

I have always been told that smaller pianos can be entry or good for practice but not professional or even medium range as they will end up lacking action sensibility as one's skill improves, otherwise what is the point of the different models and heights? And of course the variation of quality is enormous depending on maker, age, condition... I would definitely go for a K200 or a K2 before a £1500 new 130cm piano, don't get me wrong.

But I would be looking for at least 120cm tall. I would only buy a smaller piano as second hand in good condition and with a view to resell without losing a lot of my money to end up buying a taller one. Or directly buying a good second hand piano over 120cm for the price of a new K200. I need my money to go as far as possible but at the same time I want to buy something that will last with normal maintenance and care from my part for about 40 years! After that I don't really care as I won't be here anyway.

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Re: Brodmann 121? Woodchester 117? Rieger-Kloss 118?

Post by evamar » 26 May 2015, 10:18

Barrie Heaton wrote:The 122 Wendl & Lung I have tuned are not bad at all bin a wile since I tuned a new one
I agree a good second-hand taller piano would be a better buy

One to look out for are second hand Zimmerman piano but no more than 5 years old they have a nice balance mellow tone when voiced down

Barrie
Thanks Barrie, just to check: Hailun, Wendl & Lung and Feurich (the new ones) are really the same pianos, aren't they? "Austrian" W&L are not being made anymore as they are now carrying the "German" Feurich name but I understand they are the same as Chinese Hailum. Just to keep my eyes open for a good deal if they really are the same thing.

I thought that Zimmermans are now made in China? 3rd or even 4th brand of Bechstein.
BTW, it was a recent surprise to learn that new Roslers are also now made in China for Petrof, so better to look for Weinbachs.

It really is very complicated to track down the brands. I'll keep an eye open for Zimmenmans too but all I've see so far are at least 25 years old and therefore discarded.

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Re: Brodmann 121? Woodchester 117? Rieger-Kloss 118?

Post by Barrie Heaton » 26 May 2015, 20:56

Even Renner have opened a factory in China but the bushing a green and are not meant for the western market

China has such a large output of pianos and they very very much form utter crap to very very good. The Japanese got a lot of bad press in the 50, 60 and early 70 on their pianos most of it well deserved

All second hand pianos come with problems some more than others it will pay you to get a tuner to write a report on it befor you buy

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Re: Brodmann 121? Woodchester 117? Rieger-Kloss 118?

Post by evamar » 26 May 2015, 21:28

Thanks, Barrie.

Yes, I'll get a piano technician to confirm the condition of the actual short listed piano/s, but there are so many pianos in the market that one needs some help regarding models and makers in order to reduce the list and check only the good ones. If the piano model was mediocre even as new, then there is no reason to waste time and money checking it out. That's were help from knowledgeable people around here is very much appreciated.

I'll check that W&L and get a technician if I like it to confirm the condition. For what you say and other reviews it seems to be a well made piano, which is a good start.

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Re: Brodmann 121? Woodchester 117? Rieger-Kloss 118?

Post by Colin Nicholson » 27 May 2015, 00:23

There are piano technicians, technicians, piano tuners and piano tuners ....(think about it).... not all delve into piano condition/ assessments/ appraisals/ comparisons.... so you may need to check first.... I know one who is basically just a 'tuner' .... nothing else.

About 90% of selecting a piano is down to the buyer's personal taste/ touch/ tone etc.... and myself might even miss parts out for a customer. A general overview is best. If a piano still sounds and plays good after 40 years or so, it is always worth its salt.... a name on a piano doesn't guarantee knowing previous ownership.... how was the piano serviced? how often tuned? .... previous invoices? things like that. Any piano in the world can malfunction - even when new.... so often word on the forum is a good start.
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Re: Brodmann 121? Woodchester 117? Rieger-Kloss 118?

Post by evamar » 27 May 2015, 06:54

Thanks, Colin. Yes. I'm checking that it is a piano technician, somebody who can actually check the condition and give me an estimate of how much would it be to bring it "back to life" if necessary. But first I'm trying it myself, no point in the expense if I'm not going to like it.

Of course everything is a matter of taste, in Spain we say "Para gustos, colores"... which would translate into something like "As many tastes as colours in the spectrum". And of course everybody thinks his/her taste is the best and that the rest of people are tasteless! :roll:
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Medium action, nice touch, mellow sound, hopefully over 118cm to keep it and less than 15 years old for me, nothing less as one wants to be happy when playing.

But it's good to be able to discard directly pianos that, according to people who actually understand, are not very well made. Especially considering cost and time of just viewing, not to mention getting somebody to check them. Once we know that the brand/model is decently made, then it's the time to check the actual piano.

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Re: Brodmann 121? Woodchester 117? Rieger-Kloss 118?

Post by Leona284 » 22 Jul 2015, 22:00

I have a stunning brodmann bu-125 upright piano. The tuning pins are very tight and it's causing problems with me selling it. It's a reluctant sale due to moving to a smaller home. If I could keep it I would! Any clues on how to loosen the pins so it can get a perfect pitch? Is the a special tool needed?

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Re: Brodmann 121? Woodchester 117? Rieger-Kloss 118?

Post by Colin Nicholson » 23 Jul 2015, 01:26

The tuning pins are meant to be tight..... and a medium or large star socket tuning lever must only be used to turn the pins.
Have you had it tuned by a piano tuner recently?
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