Brodmann, coming to a solution

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Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by joseph » 26 Nov 2012, 14:11

I've posted about this enough for you all to be very bored by now....

After trying a few techs, I finally found Ferguson Hoey, who lives in Norwich and builds harpsichords, as well as restoring pianos.

He pointed out several things to me.

There is a wooden rail that supports the wippens, you know just above the capstans, and this was in the wrong position, and has been in the wrong position from day one, because, it has four slots for screws, and the final slot is actually just a hole, because in the factory they put the slot in the wrong place, filled it, and made it a hole, so it can't be adjusted to exactly where it should be.

The position of the jack is wrong, and clearly has been for some time

The hammers had kind of shifted to the left when it was moved, but they've been re-aligned now.

Basically, in some places on the piano I wasn't even getting escapement, so the note just wouldn't sound. He's taken it out and done a preliminary re-set of the action, but hasn't shifted the rail because that's quite a big job. The piano now functions pretty much as it should.

The next thing is to have the full regulation done, re-align the rail, voice the piano, and there should be no further problems mechanically. He said that the parts and the centerings are all fine (apart from one jack centre on the wippen) and that its just that things are in the wrong position. Some of the cost of that regulation should be borne by Brodmann, for making a dodgy action rail.

He DID say that the piano is decent, and the quality of the parts is fine (we're not talking doing back-flips here, just that its a decent action), but the set up has been sloppy and they have over looked some important things. Whether all Brodmanns are like that, or whether they have improved over the years, we simply don't know. I'm pretty certain that many of these issues these days will be sorted by Chris Venables when he puts them through his check-up. Mine didn't come from venables.

As for the tuning. Well, several tuners have tried and failed to tune the piano, and now it seems Ferguson has succeeded. There is a lot of muting felt, perhaps too much, and this is creating a lot of drag. The drag is making the piano very difficult to tune and could be contributing to the string breaking. He's also going to inspect the Capo D'astro, which could be faulty and needing to be polished or filed or whatever he said, I'm not sure. He mentioned that he had this problem on a Bosendorfer in the Wigmore Hall, that needed the top section restrung, and that Bosendorfer paid for it. Reluctantly.

Anyway, he is the first tuner/tech that didn't just wham bam thank you mam, and took the time to inspect and interpret the piano, and took a great deal of care to show me what was wrong, and assured me that I don't, as one quote put it, have to have the action re-built, as the quality of the parts is fine.

So, over all, his honest opinion of the piano (which is a 2007 model, and I don't know what the new ones are like) is that it's a decent well made piano, there's nothing wrong with it in terms of design etc, and the mechanism is good, but there are important issues with the finishing of the instrument. If they took the time to deal with these issues, or if the dealer takes the time, then the piano would be absolutely fine. Not a Kawai or a Yamaha, but fine.

Of course I'm not happy that these things had gone un-noticed, and being a pianist and not a technician, I wouldn't have known myself.

Also, the quality of the glue on the pedal box, is bad, because it has come adrift.

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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by NewAge » 26 Nov 2012, 22:45

Joseph,
The post certainly doesn't bore me. In fact I've just read back to your August post 'Durability of Action', just for a recap.
Glad to hear you now appear to have found the main reason for the problem. Some obvious questions though:
i) How do you stand re warranty?
ii) What are the reactions/comments from Brodmann and/or your dealer?
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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by Barrie Heaton » 26 Nov 2012, 23:59

joseph wrote: There is a wooden rail that supports the wippens, you know just above the capstans, and this was in the wrong position, and has been in the wrong position from day one, because, it has four slots for screws, and the final slot is actually just a hole, because in the factory they put the slot in the wrong place, filled it, and made it a hole, so it can't be adjusted to exactly where it should be.
This is common on a lot of Chinese pianos the spread moves because They tend to use an elongated hole, they don't use a locking rail like Kawai pianos, or a set hole like other makes or fixed rail like S&S .

A lot of makes uses the same action for different models. However, the keys are not the same so an adjustable spread is needed that is were problems start

The spread is the distance between the hammer centre pin and the whipen pin they creep closer giving problems with setoff and checking

So it may have been correct when it left the factory but as tuners have come along they have just re set the set off and the checking until no more room to ajust

Pleased to hear your getting you piano back

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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by joseph » 27 Nov 2012, 10:06

Just to add to the above....

He also mentioned that the string breakage could be to do with the quality of the wire. He said the tri-chords are strung with plated wire, which gives a brighter sound, and that the wire itself may not be of the highest quality. I'm not entirely sure what that means.

Anyway I emailed Brodmann about the wire, the position of the rail, and other things, and I have received no response. I'm going to go through the original dealer, too.

I hear that Brodmann are quick to respond when they are selling something, but slow to respond when there is a problem.

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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by Colin Nicholson » 27 Nov 2012, 14:23

Unless the Far East have their own treble string manufacturers, all pianos are strung in the treble with Roslau high tensile steel - 'Roslau' is the German manufacturers, and of the highest quality. Piano wire comes in 2 grades :-

1. Blue label = polished wire (uncoated)
2. Red label = plated wire

http://www.fletcher-newman.co.uk/catalo ... index.html

I use the blue label for odd string replacements, or if the customer prefers a slightly less grade (and price). After re-stringing a whole piano, by fingers are literally BLACK, which comes off the wire. This wire is fine, but later can give rise to 'pitting', small rust or corrosion spots due to humidity.

I restrung a Steinway Model A recently, and I recommended the Red label to the customer. It has like a 'plastic' looking coating on the wire, and is more protected from the elements.... hence my fingers were alot less dirty than the blue label.

I'm unaware of any brand being better than 'plated' wire ?? (Red label)
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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by joseph » 27 Nov 2012, 17:48

I can't honestly say I've knowingly compared the two types of wire, so I have no idea!

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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by joe » 27 Nov 2012, 18:35

Sounds like you have the right man for the job,have seen a few grands Fergus Hoey has reconditioned and the standard was 1st class,if the action is set-up properly and strings done correctly you should get another 10 years from the grand piano,cannot see you getting any joy with warranty,but you seem to be heading in the right direction,best of luck.

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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by Colin Nicholson » 27 Nov 2012, 20:19

I ordered some red label recently, and it was "two years out of date" !! (not from the UK by the way)

.... but still nice & shiny.... has a more silvery look to it than the standard polished wire. I can't tell the difference in sound quality, but I suppose, come back in 10-15 years time, and I reckon the plated wire will come out on top.
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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by vernon » 28 Nov 2012, 19:54

Why do sensible people buy pianos that dson't work properly
Our mission in life is to tune customers--not pianos.

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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by Barrie Heaton » 28 Nov 2012, 21:06

vernon wrote:Why do sensible people buy pianos that dson't work properly
So they can keep many different piano tuners in work :roll:


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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by Kemble King » 29 Nov 2012, 12:54

Brodmann warranty...best of luck with that.

A company is only as good as its back up service. Stick to you're guns with Brodmann. They would of been happy enough to take you're money at the beginning.

The technician has been fair with his findings and the dealer wouldn't of known about the action fault when retailing it.

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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by joseph » 29 Nov 2012, 14:40

vernon wrote:Why do sensible people buy pianos that dson't work properly
They work to start with! We're pianists, not techs. They sound nice and look shiny.

Anyway, it's not so much the piano is bad, it's not. It's that there are things about it that haven't been finished well. We're getting there with it, and the piano will be as it should be.

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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by joseph » 29 Nov 2012, 15:30

plus, even the best and most reliable pianos can develop a problem such as the capo bar not being quite right. I was told of a Bosendorfer that had that problem, as I mentioned before I think.

Someone else I know bought a Yamaha, decades ago, new, and it had the same problem, and he sent it back, and sometimes the odd Steinway can be a little less than reliable, so I guess sometimes you just get the odd one.

I haven't seen many Bluthners with broken strings etc, but perhaps the tension is lower. Besides, you're bound to get the odd one out of the 200thousand or so they've made that isn't so good.

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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by joseph » 29 Nov 2012, 20:12

*string breakage update*

Fergus came around tonight with a mirror and a torch.

We see that the Capo D'astro is grooved in several places - not just where the strings pass under it. The strings have been spaced while they are under tension, which in his opinion has weakened them.

His solution would be to de-string the top section, which are the highest twenty notes, burnish the capo d'astro and then restring the piano with new wire. This would eliminate the problem.

Also, the glue on the pedal box has dried, so it came adrift (you know when you need to put an encyclopoedia under the pedal lyre?), and there is a little wooden rod inside the piano, that pushes up the damper rail when you press the sustain pedal - well, this is completely adrift too, the glue has dried and there isn't a guide on it, so it could just fall out - although I haven't noticed a problem there while playing the piano, to be honest.

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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by joe » 14 Dec 2012, 17:42

Kemble King wrote:Brodmann warranty...best of luck with that.

A company is only as good as its back up service. Stick to you're guns with Brodmann. They would of been happy enough to take you're money at the beginning.

The technician has been fair with his findings and the dealer wouldn't of known about the action fault when retailing it.

Kind Regards

KK
Am i missing something here,was it not the retailer who sold the grand that took the money ? :roll: Do the company not have factory and technical seminars ? :| Suppose am "auld skool" if u canny fix it u shoudnae sell it,and the chap who was retailing was also wholesaling you KK did you have faults with the instruments you where retailing? :shock:

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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by Barrie Heaton » 15 Dec 2012, 12:29

joe wrote:
Kemble King wrote:Brodmann warranty...best of luck with that.

A company is only as good as its back up service. Stick to you're guns with Brodmann. They would of been happy enough to take you're money at the beginning.

The technician has been fair with his findings and the dealer wouldn't of known about the action fault when retailing it.

Kind Regards

KK
Am i missing something here,was it not the retailer who sold the grand that took the money ? :roll: Do the company not have factory and technical seminars ? :| Suppose am "auld skool" if u canny fix it u shoudnae sell it,and the chap who was retailing was also wholesaling you KK did you have faults with the instruments you where retailing? :shock:

The main fault the spread moving closer happens *manly when the piano is placed in a too dry environment and screws come lose or a dehumidifier is used to aggressively. There are pointers to this as Joseph said they the hammers had moved this happens when the piano is put on its side when moving if the flange screws are loose the piano has been moved a few times.

This could be deemed as neglect by the retailer, I am sure Joseph has not neglect the piano. However, moving the pianos to extreme environments will have a bad effect on the soundboard, hammers and in this case disastrous results in the screws The worst thing to do to a piano is move it to a Dry then damp to dry this combination can also make the tuning pins lose even in a modern laminated pianos plank.

The groves in the Vbar is not uncommon on all makes

Barrie



*they can leave the factory wrong but this is on very cheep makes and a pianist of Joseph slandered would have not given the piano a second look in the show room.
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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by joseph » 16 Dec 2012, 17:03

update:

I've called the dealer who sold me the piano and he's now in touch with Brodmann about getting the Capo sorted, the pedals sorted and other issues attended to, at the expense of Brodmann.

As far as regulation is concerned, well, I guess I can't expect Brodmann to pay for a full regulation on a piano that I've owned for five years, but to be honest, if I can get the other stuff sorted out I can perhaps live with paying for the action work myself.

The main issue I have here, is that this piano, in its current condition, is holding me back, and I notice when I play on other instruments that work, there is a notable drop in the quality of the sound I'm producing, because I'm compensating as if I was playing my own instrument. Of course, this wasn't a problem at college where I was surrounded by many different pianos and used something different every day, but when you have only one, it needs to be the best you can make it. It's seriously p---ing me off right now.

From next year I'm starting to save money, little by little, so we shall see what happens...

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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by joseph » 25 Feb 2013, 15:09

Well. Having thought I was coming to a solution:

Here are the steps I took, quick re-cap:

Contacted Edinburgh Piano Company who said it was Brodmann's fault, and that they'd had no luck with Brodmann on any other matter.

Contacted Brodmann, who said it was Edinburgh Piano Company's responsibility

Contacted Edinburgh Piano Company, who contacted Brodmann who said 'The piano is out of warranty now, it's no longer our responsibility' (Colin Taylor said this)

After more consulting with tuners etc, everyone is unanimous that this fault in the V-bar should not be happening on such a young piano and is the result of a pre-existing fault that should be covered under warranty, regardless of whether the piano is just out of warranty or not.


So, I contacted Christian Hoerferl directly, three weeks ago, who said he would reply the week after, and has currently not responded at all.

So I'm lumbered with an untunable piano because it needs restrung in the top end. I'm not going to go on having it tuned and single strings replaced every time.

Frankly I'm appalled at the conduct of Brodmann pianos. Does anybody know where I should turn next?

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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by joseph » 25 Feb 2013, 15:15

In fact I'm considering making a garden water feature out of the Brodmann and buying a Yamaha Avant Grand N1 instead.

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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by joe » 25 Feb 2013, 15:46

Would contact Trading Standards,and retailer who sold you the piano is liable not the maker because they took your money,would be looking for a full refund on the price you paid,you need a tuners report,all your receipts,and tuners receipts showing you have maintained instrument,go for it Joseph always been of the opinion if you cannot fix it you should never sell it.

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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by joe » 25 Feb 2013, 15:55

Sold a Yamaha C2 grand to a idiot years ago,he complained every day that it was not holding it tuning,i went to check it over and knew he had had been tinkering with the pins himself,he denied it,sent another tuner he said same thing and eventually Glenn Tonnar from Yamaha visited and agreed.What did Yamaha do ?,gave him his money back.Customer Service 1st Class,other firms could learn from the Japanese.

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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by joe » 25 Feb 2013, 15:55

Sold a Yamaha C2 grand to a idiot years ago,he complained every day that it was not holding it tuning,i went to check it over and knew he had had been tinkering with the pins himself,he denied it,sent another tuner he said same thing and eventually Glenn Tonnar from Yamaha visited and agreed.What did Yamaha do ?,gave him his money back.Customer Service 1st Class,other firms could learn from the Japanese.

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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by NewAge » 25 Feb 2013, 16:27

Joseph,
I've been following your problem saga since the start, and feel you have been dealt a particularly raw deal.
Given the amount of time, and indeed expertise that has taken place to identify the cause - apparently incorrectly positioned jack etc, notwithstanding the fact that the piano may be out of warranty I can't help thinking that the manufacturer should be far, far more pro-active and comprehensive on your case. If you had purchased a CheepoCheer piano or somewhat similar, I could readily understand the refusal to assist further. Not so with the make you purchased, who have over the last few years apparently established themselves as a piano manufacturer to be taken seriously with an alleged 'exceptional build quality'.
It would be interesting to hear comments from another Brodmann retailer, especially regarding their warranty experience. I was thinking particularly of Chris Venables Pianos, who by all accounts have an excellent reputation.
You may also wish to share your experience on the Piano World Forum (the general piano forum), which is a very active site, and could give valuable insight into warranty experience of others with a similar piano.
Keep focused on this. I feel it could eventually be in your interest. Good luck.
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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by joseph » 25 Feb 2013, 17:12

Well, It's true that I didn't purchase this piano from Chris Venables, and he seems to have a better service in place on his pianos and is, by all accounts, an excellent technician and retailer. Perhaps in the past 6 years the product has improved anyway.

The main point of my gripe is the Capo bar is cut, which is a fault on the frame. There is no way that the strings should be breaking the way they are at this point in the pianos life.

The second point is that the repetition springs were always digging into the underside of the whippen underlever (does anybody know what I'm talking about? I don't know if that's the right term), creating a creaking noise and rendering it very difficult to play pianissimo

The third thing is the incorrectly positioned jacks

and finally, the keybed of the piano is quite flimsy, so when you play fortissimo - and sometimes it is necessary to practise fortissimo, over an extended period, while your fingers are memorizing the repertoire - the keybed actually moves up and down, like it is made of some kind of soft material. I have never seen this problem on a Steinway or a Yamaha, and actually, it makes playing more difficult, because you need the keybed to be rigid.

I'd say that the piano was a good enough instrument for where I was back then, but now that I need to practise lots, and use it 9 or 10 hours a day, they should stop calling it a 'Professional Edition' and stick with the line that their pianos might be good enough for certain levels, but once you get to conservatoire level or above, they're really not able to withstand these pressures.

Professionally, I've just got a new agent, and teaching wise there is a chance of setting up a studio in London, which, if it works out, will be quite good and I could afford a new piano.

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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by Withindale » 25 Feb 2013, 17:15

This was written before Joseph's recent post. In view of that the solution might be a some form of replacement deal.

Ideally, Brodmann or will refund the money like Yamaha or arrange for the dealer replace the instrument. At present neither outcome seems likely. The legal route is likely to be protracted and uncertain.

My question is whether an agreed solution can be found between the parties, precisely what that solution is, and how much it would cost.

As I understand it the proposed solution is to burnish the capo bar and replace its strings. Is there an estimated cost for that?

Would it also be possible to burnish or reshape the capo bar without replacing the strings? What would the estimated cost of that be?

More importantly, perhaps, are these going to be long term solutions? Might not the grooves reappear all too soon if for some reason the capo bar is not hard enough?

Anyway, a specific proposal about the capo bar and any other issues would focus minds and crystallise the issue. If rejected there would be a better basis for the legal route in that all avenues had been explored.

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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by joseph » 25 Feb 2013, 17:40

exactly Withindale,

in the first instance I am trying to get them to pay for that repair to be done. It's not THAT pricey a repair, in the scheme of things.

However, I don't know if these grooves will return soon after, because I don't know the composition of the metal on the frame. I don't know if there's a fundamental flaw or if its just that the capo is too sharp.

It isn't possible to burnish the bar without removing the strings, and once the strings are off it's better to replace them with new ones.... besides... many of the originals have snapped.

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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by joseph » 25 Feb 2013, 17:42

actually, when re-stringing a piano, the cost involved isn't in the purchase of the strings, it's in the purchase of the time to replace the strings. I don't think piano wire is the most expensive thing, but a tech's time is very expensive. I guess it has to be, really, they have to earn a living.

Shame a piano teacher's time isn't.... not in Norwich anyway.

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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by Withindale » 25 Feb 2013, 19:27

joseph wrote:I don't know if these grooves will return soon after, because I don't know the composition of the metal on the frame. I don't know if there's a fundamental flaw or if its just that the capo is too sharp.
It would be helpful to get an answer to the specific question of the capo bar being too sharp. What did your tech say?

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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by Barrie Heaton » 25 Feb 2013, 20:04

joseph wrote: The main point of my gripe is the Capo bar is cut, which is a fault on the frame. There is no way that the strings should be breaking the way they are at this point in the pianos life.
the string need to be replace as they will be damaged at the point of contact Sound like the V bar is to steep Not enough metal in contact with the string that would explain grooving and string braking

joseph wrote: The second point is that the repetition springs were always digging into the underside of the whippen underlever (does anybody know what I'm talking about? I don't know if that's the right term), creating a creaking noise and rendering it very difficult to play pianissimo
Common on cheepo grands we're the (a) rep spring is set to strong (b) spring ends that come into contact with the rep leaver is to steep (c) cheep wood substitute. A good thick graphite pencil rub up and down in the grove to make nice and shiny and smooth ( some tuners use tallow, I hate it is as virdgrits can grow)
joseph wrote: The third thing is the incorrectly positioned jacks
Going off your previous post the whippen beam rail moving, that could be part your fault ( Damp to dry environment) and or other tuners missing it
joseph wrote:
and finally, the keybed of the piano is quite flimsy, so when you play fortissimo - and sometimes it is necessary to practise fortissimo, over an extended period, while your fingers are memorizing the repertoire - the keybed actually moves up and down, like it is made of some kind of soft material. I have never seen this problem on a Steinway or a Yamaha, and actually, it makes playing more difficult, because you need the keybed to be rigid.
Again this is Damp to dry environment problem its the keybed warping the key frame can be re adjusted to fix this problem, no big deal
joseph wrote: I'd say that the piano was a good enough instrument for where I was back then, but now that I need to practise lots, and use it 9 or 10 hours a day, they should stop calling it a 'Professional Edition' and stick with the line that their pianos might be good enough for certain levels, but once you get to conservatoire level or above, they're really not able to withstand these pressures.
[/quote][/quote]

And you pays your money..... However, 9 or 10 hours a day even the best can result in new key bushing in 2 years and lot of other problems

As to the V bar trading Standards is you next pot of call you will need a report to state this is a factory fault


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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by vernon » 25 Feb 2013, 20:46

1)In British Contract Law the retailer is the person responsible for the sale and it is to them that one applies, not the wholesaler. It is up to the retailer to negotiate any recompense with his supplier subsequently.
On a personal/business level, reputable retailers will respond favourably to any reasonable complaint for the sake of their good name.
Of course, there are many loonies out there who are looking for confrontation.
The gentleman posting here seems to have shown exemplary patience with his supplier if all the posts are to be relied upon.
Years ago we used to be a large general music shop dealing in all instruments.Any criticism of an instrument's performance would be met with an instant no-questions-asked replacement.If there was a real fault( not caused by Dad fiddling with the regulation of a flute or bassooon on Sunday afternoon) then the supplier would get it back . No problem or argument.
We recently had a MINOR fault with a piano sold by us 5 YEARS AGO, from Piano Warehouse in London.
(forgive the caps) I asked them for the replacement part so that I could fix it and they said they would replace the whole piano. Free. This was to an Island in the Outer Hebrides.This they did. Beat that for service in the cynical 2013s!!
I feel Brodmans could learn something here if the reports are correct
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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by joseph » 25 Feb 2013, 21:50

Barrie, I have a hygrometer in my room and it's currently not damp - in fact it may be a little dry - humidity is sitting at 40 percent.

I don't know what it was in the summer, but we had a very wet summer. So the flimsy keybed can be fixed? Interesting.

Yeah I figured that any piano under constant punishment will need rebushed eventually.

I was actually thinking, seriously, about getting an avantgrand and using the real grand for finishing work. I know that the mechanism of the avantgrand does need physical work on it, but at least the mechanism isn't responsible for the sound of the piano. Oh and the strings won't break.

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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by vernon » 25 Feb 2013, 22:03

On no piano should the keybed go up and down while playing. Come on as they say nowadays.
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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by Barrie Heaton » 26 Feb 2013, 00:00

joseph wrote:Barrie, I have a hygrometer in my room and it's currently not damp - in fact it may be a little dry - humidity is sitting at 40 percent.
Has the pianos not been in various homes over time did you not say that one of the homes was a tad damp or am I getting you mixed up with an different poster .

The worst thing is Dry to damp to dry screws come loose this of course manly effects the action the Vbar is something different

I will give you an example, Take Schimmel grands if you look at the key bed there are plastic discs that the key-frame adjusters sit on. They should be flush with the keybed. I have had clients who have move house and because of the long term increase of humidity the keybed has swelled leaving the disks sunken so when the client used the soft pedal the depth of touch increased making the action feel different. Ok these are above G8 players to detect that small change Now this increase was from adv 35% in winter to to 46% not a great amount but with the summer one being larger and over 18 months it had the above effect

Now if we take your problem if it had been in a dampish place to a dry place then the screws would work loose on the action. Now the like of S&S Yamaha and Kawai have things in place to stop action spread movement (jack in wrong place ).

However, on the knocking keybed all who do concert work know that you should also look for knocking keyframe if you are preping the action as pianos on stage are coming in from the cold wings of the stage or a van to under the bright drying lights of the stage, which not only mucks up the tuning, the felt it can alter the keybed just a tad and when you have two different woods that have to be flat with each other a bit of moisture can be a bugger but... its only a 15 min job at most to put right with 2 tools and sandpaper

Please don't get me wrong you asked why this was so the above posts from me are one expiation of why it may have happened

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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by joseph » 26 Feb 2013, 00:46

The piano has been in two locations: My flat in Dundee, my house in Norwich. The humidity in Dundee was higher, but I had a dehumidifier to regulate it. The humidity in Norwich is high in the summer but low in the winter.

I've honestly never heard that about keybeds before, you learn something new every day. The whole keyboard seems to move when I'm practising sometimes. Perhaps that's why....

again, it's something I used to never notice on the Bluthner, and I've subjected that Bluthner to a lot of hard work too.

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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by Barrie Heaton » 26 Feb 2013, 18:09

joseph wrote:
I've honestly never heard that about keybeds before, you learn something new every day. The whole keyboard seems to move when I'm practising sometimes. Perhaps that's why....

Ok is the movement up and down a flexing feeling or moving backwards after you have used the soft peddle.

A test Hold a key down so it bottoms out Hold it at the back end of the key with your left hand. With your right hand do a repeated tap down firmly on the key you are holding down, do the test along the keybed and listen see if you here a knocking sound.

Has the keybed problem been there all the time or just recently

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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by joe » 26 Feb 2013, 18:53

We could discuss the pitfalls of everything,climate,humidity,dry etc but the plain fact is the piano is not good enough for a pianist of Joseph abilities,and the faults he has highlighted are all too common on the cheaper renamed Chinese pianos alluding to be Austrian designed with a spattering of Bosendorfer flung in.Any potential piano buyer reading this tread BEWARE !!!,if buying new, buy the best you can afford,and from renowned well established retailers and do not always be swayed by price.Vernon comments regards replacing and refunding instruments is spot on and there are still retailers who offer this.STEINWAY,YAMAHA,BOSTON,ESSEX,KAWAI,KEMBLE,BLUTHNER,buy the quality not the cowboy brands from the cowboy dealers of which there are many,here a short list of good old fashioned piano firms,J.Reid London,Piano Warehouse London,Tyneside Pianos Newcastle,Makins Edinburgh,Smiths Paisley,Sheargolds London,Hendersons Londonderry,firms which have been around for years offering customers quality pianos.

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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by joseph » 26 Feb 2013, 19:29

let's not forget Bosendorfer, Fazioli and Grotrian, who are also making beautiful pianos.

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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by joe » 26 Feb 2013, 20:21

joseph wrote:let's not forget Bosendorfer, Fazioli and Grotrian, who are also making beautiful pianos.
Yes total quality could not agree more ?,forgot a few J.Samuels London,Piano Restorations London,Morley London and no doubt a few others,simple rule if it sounds German most likely not,if new.Ibach,forgot that one nice pianos.

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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by Barrie Heaton » 26 Feb 2013, 21:11

joe wrote:We could discuss the pitfalls of everything,climate,humidity,dry etc but the plain fact is the piano is not good enough for a pianist of Joseph abilities,and the faults he has highlighted are all too common on the cheaper renamed Chinese pianos alluding to be Austrian designed with a spattering of Bosendorfer flung in.Any potential piano buyer reading this tread BEWARE !!!,if buying new, buy the best you can afford,and from renowned well established retailers and do not always be swayed by price.Vernon comments regards replacing and refunding instruments is spot on and there are still retailers who offer this.STEINWAY,YAMAHA,BOSTON,ESSEX,KAWAI,KEMBLE,BLUTHNER,buy the quality not the cowboy brands from the cowboy dealers of which there are many,here a short list of good old fashioned piano firms,J.Reid London,Piano Warehouse London,Tyneside Pianos Newcastle,Makins Edinburgh,Smiths Paisley,Sheargolds London,Hendersons Londonderry,firms which have been around for years offering customers quality pianos.

Yes we could debate the pros and cons of climate which effect all makes till the cows come home and yes the piano would seem not up to Joseph abilities. However, as tuners we know that the cheep end of grands are not up to 5 to 10 hours of playing a day but that not the makers fault they are priced as a reasonable product for normal use and probably give many lots of pleasure. The way you are putting it is like asking a formula 1 racing driver to enter a Grandprix in a normal salon car and blame the manufacture when the car fails the driver.

Joseph by the sound of it, has got the best he could get on his budget, he has done the best he can to care for it and yes the piano has failed him badly, some of the faults are looking like they were there from day one and yes it would be nice if he got a refund or replacement but after 5 years... most of the problem will be classed a W&T by a court. We could also say its Joseph s tuners who also had a part to play but didn't .. just... £52.00 please see you in 6 months :!: I will slide the action out next time and look at them screws maybe.

What Joseph need besides a sponsor to buy a better made piano is a good detailed report he can send to the shop and TS if he wants a refund




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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by joseph » 26 Feb 2013, 22:12

I'm not blaming my tuners at all, none have them have ever done harm to the piano and most of them have put a good tuning on it - except for one or two who I'll not name on the forum. Besides, in fairness to all of the tuners, this piano isn't the easiest to tune - especially considering the capo problem.

Pianists can live with pianos that are below par, it's a part of our lives, and usually the below par pianos belong to us! Why?

i. We rarely have the money to buy the kind of instrument we need in an ideal situation

ii. We are practising and teaching so much, we rarely have the time to have the action taken away and serviced properly

iii. We often don't have quite enough money to pay for the necessary work, especially as concert fees are low just now, and people are just not paying for piano lessons - not rates which can sustain a living, when you consider the looooong school holidays. Besides, it's not just musicians who are suffering in the current economic climate.


My problem isn't that the action is a bit clapped out now, or that it needs a bit of voicing or re-centering - a piano five years old under the hands of a concert pianist is going to suffer to a degree. An expensive piano would suffer less, perhaps, and I believe Kawai make quite a durable product, and many techs have told me that the best of the expensive piano from a technicians view is Bluthner and Steinway, although I'm sure Bechstein, Bosendorfer, Fazioli are all built to withstand these things too.

In fact, a day or two of servicing will sort the action out for a while, and while it won't be perfect, it will be workable.

My problem is that I can't have the piano tuned until the strings are replaced, I can't have the strings replaced until the capo is fixed (if it is fixable), and I'm not wanting to/can't afford to pay the expense of that job. When the piano is tuned - and Norman used to make it stay in tune, actually, and regulated it very well - it sounds very good. There's no denying it is a good sounding piano with a decent touch, it's just that there is this problem, which is quite big, and is making the instrument a bit useless.

My problem is that it's holding me back, my playing isn't improving at the rate it should, and I notice that when I play on a new high quality instrument - all of a sudden I have a range of pianissimo and control that I never thought was possible, or I can play fortissimo and it makes sense, with the possibility of really phrasing and shaping the tone.

Yes, there is the issue that the piano just can't do all these things, and never will, because it's just not in that league. I was hoping that I might be able to keep it for my note bashing, and buy something really nice for finishing work, when I get my teaching in London sorted out.

The way forward might be to get a Yamaha Avantgrand for bashing, and a really good grand, and let the Brodmann go after the work is done.

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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by joe » 26 Feb 2013, 22:28

As one who is aware of piano pricing both as a former importer and exporter worldwide,the Brodmann Joseph bought was no bargain at the time of purchase,yes do agree there is a market for these overpriced Chinese pianos for the people who want a furniture piece for the drawing room, or for light playing use,but as you and i know if a decent player has one used frequently the ongoing maintenance after the first couple of years is never ending,tuning,re-regulating,sticky notes,and dampers etc.If there is any blame here its the OP for purchasing it,and secondly the retailers for not matching the customer needs,he would have been better off with Yamaha U3 or Kawai K6.The tuners he used are frequently used by the retailer to deflect the makers problems till pianos are out of warranty,there was a similar situation when they retailed Estonia pianos and gave up selling them too after 5 Years.And yes he should get Fergus Hoey to compile a detailed report and get down to the Trading Standards to deal with the retailer in the 1st instance,and then get in contact with Mr Taylor.

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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by joseph » 27 Feb 2013, 10:38

Joe, just to clarify on that a little:

Yes, perhaps a U3 or a K6 would have lasted me longer, but I need to practise on a grand. I bought the piano at the age of 26, having not long graduated from my Master's Degree and my only instrument wasn't really up to the job, not having a proper double escapement action. I trusted the retailer, who I think honestly thought the piano would have been up to the job. Most people who have bought pianos from him have been happy enough with their purchase. I do know a few of them. All retailers have their problems, and just yesterday a colleague told me of a retailer that she bought a Yamaha C1 from, and they didn't follow up on their promise to even send a tuner out. When she enquired, she was told to pay for it herself! At least EPC did send a tuner. Still, that was then, when the piano was fresh and still working....

Actually I didn't even know about uk-piano.org at that time. I didn't have the information that I have now, and I only have that information through hindsight, sadly. Rather expensive hindsight...

The tuner I used wasn't recommended to me by EPC - actually I was doing a recording in the Caird Hall and I wanted the best tuner I could find. Norman Motion was recommended to me by a concert pianist for whom Norman has prepared many instruments, so I actually booked him privately. There was no issue of EPC using Norman to cover up defects in the piano or anything. I don't use Norman Motion now, because I can't, what with him being a plane ride away, or a 7 hour car ride.

It's easy to say that I should have bought this or that, but I bought what I could afford, and figured, wrongly, that I'd get a decent number of years from it, ditch it and move on. Sadly I haven't had a decent number of years, and the piano has failed whilst still new.

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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by athomik » 27 Feb 2013, 20:45

I'm no legal expert, but this has been my experience (and my advice to customers involved in cases such as this):

I have worked in the music business as a service engineer (not just on pianos) for over 25 years. In my experience, dealers and manufacturers are keen to keep a customer happy (It helps with repeat business and protects their reputation and provides extra business by word of mouth - although the current economic climate around the World has put more emphasis on the costs involved).

If a warranty claim is investigated and found to be down to 'wear & tear' or misuse/accidental damage, you can be sure that in 99.9% of cases, that this is correct. If there is any doubt about the claim not being under warranty, the warranty will usually be honoured.

On the other hand, and I'm not talking about this specific case, you wouldn't believe what some customers have tried (and often managed) to get away with. Any company is in the business to make money. This means keeping customers happy, but it also means drawing a line as to how much you can afford to pay to sort out spurious or invalid claims. One thing applying to consumer rights, etc. is 'Fitness for use'. This means that if you buy a piano which is not designed for professional/intensive use and then find that, after a few years of professional/intensive use, it fails, it just means that it it wasn't designed for the purpose it was employed in. If anyone during the sales process convinced you that it was fit for that purpose, they are in the wrong. If you just thought you'd get a bargain and "It'll do", then you are at fault.

If there is a dispute, get a couple of independent assessments and then talk to Trading Standards. If you have a valid claim, they can help and they can often sway dealers/manufacturers to back down. If Trading Standards think it is not viable to pursue a warranty claim, it usually won't be worth anyone's time and money to carry on with the claim.

None of the above should be taken as gospel. As I said, get some professional opinions and talk to Trading Standards, if you think you have a case.

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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by chrisvenables » 28 Feb 2013, 10:17

Hello Joseph

I'm sorry to hear that you haven't had any success so far in resolving the problems with your piano.

I have been in touch with Brodmann and they are arranging for a very well respected technician to contact you to assess the problems first hand.

From what I have read here, it sounds like the action problems are a combination of wear and tear and fluctuations in temperature and humidity which Barrie has ably explained in detail.

Regarding the string breakage in the top two sections, I agree with you that this shouldn't happen on a piano that is just a few years old and I'm sure that Brodmann will take care of that issue for you. If they don't, then I will personally pay for this work to be done myself.

Just for your information, pianos which have the capo bar design, such as Steinway, Yamaha and the new Bosendorfer concert model, have a risk of string breakage in that area if the pianos are heavily played and tuned on a frequent basis as the strings are cutting into the V bar, which in turn, cuts into the strings. It is not uncommon for concert pianos, most of which which receive less use than yours, to have the grooves taken out of the bar and the top two sections restrung after ten years from new. Ditto new hammers, etc.

It would benefit the whole piano industry and improve customer satisfaction if, in the event of a problem, the customer's tuner/technician were to report problems not just to the customer but simultaneously to the retailer/manufacturer to avoid any misinterpretions and to expedite the repair.

Please email chris@chrisvenables.co.uk or phone me if you have any questions.

Best wishes.

Chris
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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by NewAge » 28 Feb 2013, 23:29

What an excellent, encouraging post from ChrisV.
:)
I was playing the piano in a zoo, when the elephant burst into tears. I said, "Don't you recognize the tune?" He replied, "No, I recognize the ivories!"

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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by joseph » 01 Mar 2013, 10:15

Thank you very much Chris, this is beyond your call of duty, I did not purchase the piano from you, as you know.

As I have said before, the action is something I can live with and deal with, because actually, I've played the piano so much.

The stringing is a different matter.

Thank you for your help.

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Re: Brodmann, coming to a solution

Post by vernon » 01 Mar 2013, 23:07

LOVELY POST FROM cHRIS v
Our mission in life is to tune customers--not pianos.

Any fool can make a piano-- it needs a tuner to put the music in it

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