Non-Musician needs some advice

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acorn99
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Non-Musician needs some advice

Post by acorn99 » 24 Sep 2013, 11:30

Hi All,

I am certainly not in any way musical, my wife however is and I would consider her first instrument to be the violin. She teaches in her spare time and would like a piano for our spare room and set it up as a music room.

We have two small children also and we would like them to learn the piano at some stage so the piano we are going to purchase will be required to stand the test of time (and children).

I was looking on various auction sites for digital but after a few informative discussions with people I have decided to go for a real piano from a dealer rather than buying second hand from an auction site. We have been offered a Offenberg ??? for quite a good price £2,000.00 we have tried it out and the sound quality is excellent and playing action is as good as anything else in the showroom.

Can anyone tell me anything about the Offenberg as I have read some disturbing articles regarding these pianos, in a nut shell the origin is uncertain some say they are from the same factory in china that produce Stienmyer ?, an introductory basic piano. I would like some advice on the quality of this piano and whether or not I am being ripped off.
Please advise as I haven’t a clue but my wife does, she likes the feel and sound of this piano so is this enough to make a purchase of this kind? What else would be available for under £2,000?
Many thanks for reading
Kenny Ken

Withindale
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Re: Non-Musician needs some advice

Post by Withindale » 24 Sep 2013, 19:13

Maybe be best to take your time and play lots of instruments until you are sure you've found the best one for you.

Some months ago our tuner suggested I visit our local dealer to compare the touch of modern instruments with my own. I tried most of the new and used pianos in the store including the Chinese ones, some of which were quite good. In the end I would have chosen either a used Yamaha at £3000 plus or a little used Knight at £2000 minus. In terms of value for money and tone there was no contest between the two.

By the way I have no affiliation to Suffolk Pianos but they were very helpful. I'd certainly try out a similar selection to theirs, and Yamaha's and Kawai's as well, before making up my mind. That is until I happened to come upon the right one.

Good luck.

acorn99
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Re: Non-Musician needs some advice

Post by acorn99 » 25 Sep 2013, 11:25

Thank you Withindale for your response,

I was concerned about the quality of Chinese Piano's compared to other types; the Offenberg looks the part and has a beautiful tone and action. The piano I referred to in my post was from a reputable dealer and my wife played several pianos for over an hour. She was very happy with the Offenburg even in comparison to the Yamaha's.

We are being offered this piano for under 2k with free delivery tuning and a 10 year guarantee for all moving parts.

I suppose what I am asking is how good is an Offenberg piano if that make actually exists or is this a generic piano mass produced in China, and will it last 10 to 20 years.

Kenny Ken

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Re: Non-Musician needs some advice

Post by Withindale » 25 Sep 2013, 17:03

Hello Kenny

I hope someone else will advise you on Offenburg and other Chinese pianos because I really know nothing much about them. I know they have made great strides and good ones are, by definition, the best value for money today in terms of "bang per buck" (possibly not the best term for a piano).

My impression was that the ones I tried were not particularly well regulated but you do say your wife liked the action of the Offenburg she played. That's the important thing because pianos can vary a lot from one to another.

The reason I mentioned the Knight is that I know it's a good, well made piano and I still remember that it was very pleasant to play.

My advice would still have to be to visit three or four other dealers and then come back to the Offenburg.

Good luck, again, with your choice.

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Re: Non-Musician needs some advice

Post by vernonk » 25 Sep 2013, 19:54

Never heard of an Offenberg.
However,as each piano is different, if your wife accords with the touch tone and overall ambience , then go for it.
I would put the price well under the £2k mark which doesn't contradict my previous ignorance of Offenberg.
If it's anything to do with Steinmayer I would go for it as for me they are the most sound entry instruments.

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Re: Non-Musician needs some advice

Post by acorn99 » 26 Sep 2013, 11:35

vernonk wrote:Never heard of an Offenberg.
However,as each piano is different, if your wife accords with the touch tone and overall ambience , then go for it.
I would put the price well under the £2k mark which doesn't contradict my previous ignorance of Offenberg.
If it's anything to do with Steinmayer I would go for it as for me they are the most sound entry instruments.
Thank you Vernonk for the advice.
Regards Kenny Ken

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Re: Non-Musician needs some advice

Post by acorn99 » 26 Sep 2013, 11:39

Withindale wrote:Hello Kenny

I hope someone else will advise you on Offenburg and other Chinese pianos because I really know nothing much about them. I know they have made great strides and good ones are, by definition, the best value for money today in terms of "bang per buck" (possibly not the best term for a piano).

My impression was that the ones I tried were not particularly well regulated but you do say your wife liked the action of the Offenburg she played. That's the important thing because pianos can vary a lot from one to another.

The reason I mentioned the Knight is that I know it's a good, well made piano and I still remember that it was very pleasant to play.

My advice would still have to be to visit three or four other dealers and then come back to the Offenburg.

Good luck, again, with your choice.
Thank you again for taking the time to respond to my post. I will take your advice and check out a few other dealers and look out for the Knight.
Kind Regards
Kenny Ken

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Colin Nicholson
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Re: Non-Musician needs some advice

Post by Colin Nicholson » 27 Sep 2013, 09:36

I went to assess/repair a Weber grand yesterday.... dated about 1923 with dual legs. The people said .... "nice looking piano, so we bought it for the kids to learn on"

.... aah! .... well, in fact it turned out to be a pain in the neck!

First problem was that 5 keys were completely jammed and wouldnt move down, even with a sledge hammer. When I removed the action's 10 screws and lifted the action away, most of the bushing cloth under the keys had "curled" ---- sort of double backed on itself... I had to remove the bushing cloths on one side to free the keys. However in doing so, inadvertently - when I put the action back, most of the screws would not tighten up any more, and some just spun round & round.... so now (a new problem - not connected to the original fault) - the hammers blocked up against the strings/ hammer bubbling etc.... I explained that the screw holes needed a plugging/ gluing with maple pegs, then the holes drilled & re-tapped.... they decided to leave that and not bother.

They also declined having the keys taken away and rebushed.
They also declined having the action bracket screw holes re-plugged etc etc....

They seemed more interested in just "getting the piano going" for their kids.

All the action parts were loose aswell/ dampers ringing on/ nasty tinny sound from some of the strings...... but a "nice looking piano" !

I later discovered 2 chrome clips for a dampp chaser (the chaser was removed) - and the clips were mounted on the key slip rail!!.... also, many broken jack loops, and some poor repairs done with thin thread and fishing wire.

I think if they had paid someone to look at the piano first/ check it over/ do an assessment.... they could have saved their money, and saved nearly £2K .... I didnt attempt to tune it on this visit.

Most important that you get a tuner to check over a piano especially if young kids are to learn on it..... or start with a digital, and upgrade later.

Have a look at the Kawai range of piano.

Colin
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Re: Non-Musician needs some advice

Post by Withindale » 27 Sep 2013, 15:17

Colin

Are you in the right thread? The OP and his wife are interested in the quality and longevity of current Chinese pianos.

I mentioned a used Knight as an example for comparison. They are no longer in business thanks in part to competition from Asia. The best Knight years were 1960 - 85, I understand.

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Re: Non-Musician needs some advice

Post by Colin Nicholson » 01 Oct 2013, 00:39

yeh, I think I wandered off the beaten track! apologies.....
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Re: Non-Musician needs some advice

Post by dboyce » 07 Oct 2013, 01:34

Offenberg is not listed in Supplement No 2 of the Musicians Piano Atlas, which does catch things up with Chinese manufacturers etc. Made-up names are appearing on Chinese pianos faster than the books can keep up with! (Supp. No 2 was 2007 and six years is quite a long time in terms of Chinese piano developments!) But of course the practice of "badging" itself is nothing new in the piano world. I don't know why a dealer should be at all coy about what factory a piano came out of. If it's a decent piano, he should stand by it!

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