Bluthner...your thoughts please

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Pheonix
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Bluthner...your thoughts please

Post by Pheonix » 15 Jul 2007, 14:56

Hello,

I am shortly to try some Bluthner Grand Pianos (new) they have been highly reccomended to me and I am interested if anyone here has played a modern Bluthner and what they thought...

I seem to remember that the older Bluthners tended to be slightly wooley or a little soft but I am reliably informed that they are totally different to how they used to be...is this your experience. They seem very well made, beautifully in fact and the heritage/pedigree is certainly there...

Really any thoughts good or bad would be interesting, maybe some personal issues that you feel Bluthers may have, the good points the bad points...I am interested in all your comments...

Thanks

Pheonix

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Openwood
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Post by Openwood » 16 Jul 2007, 00:12

The thing is, piano tastes are SO subjective; all that matters is that you get the sound you want from your own instrument. Is Bluthner 'better' than make x or y? Dunno - it all depends on what you think a piano should sound like in the first place, innit?

For what it's worth, the majority of music professionals I've met have had Yamahas at home. Provided they are properly set-up I think a C-series Yamaha is difficult to beat in terms of value for money.

A new Bluthner is eye-wateringly expensive but if you like that 'warm European sound' and you have the money go and buy one. Personally I'm not struck with them, but who cares what I think?

For me, on a teacher's salary, a Yamaha C3 has proved very satisfactory. By the time I'm 50 I want a Steinway B but at the moment I ain't in a position to be that chosey.

It doesn't really matter what anyone else thinks about Bluthner - go and play as many different pianos as you can and buy the one you like best.*

*Unless it's a Petrof.

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Post by Pheonix » 16 Jul 2007, 09:00

Thanks I appreciate that I have to try many different Pianos and pick the one that (a) I like and (b) note the serial number, i.e buy the Piano I played...

To be completely truthful, I didnt think the Bluthner were overly expensive in comparison with some of the other brands, Steinway Boesendorfer Steingreaber etc.... True, Yamahas come in very reasonably and are in all probability very good Pianos, its all a matter of choice and at this stage of the game I have not ruled anything out.

I suppose I am hoping that someone may have played a newer Bluthner and will share their thoughts...

I'm still hoping...

Pheonix

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Post by PianoGuy » 16 Jul 2007, 11:00

They are generally excellent if you like that sort of thing. Personally I like the smaller C upright than the flagship B. If you're off to Blüthners' place in Davies Street, try the Haesslers which offer near- Blüthner quality at a much lower price.

Don't be tempted by an Irmler though. Pearl-River or Polish built offerings depending on model at 50% too much money.

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Post by Pheonix » 16 Jul 2007, 11:38

Thanks for that I will try both when I go to try the Bluthners...

Pheonix

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Post by Openwood » 17 Jul 2007, 00:12

I used to accompany a choir on a Bluthner Model 4. It was in a medium-size hall and the choir I accompanied constantly complained they couldn't hear it, even with the lid fully up. Perhaps it was a great piano installed in the wrong location (or perhaps my accompaniment skills are rubbish). Anyway, in the end it was replaced by a Yamaha C7 - sex on 3 legs and a bass end to die for.

My taste in pianos is always out of sync with everyone else on this forum though! Most people here rave about Bluthners so I expect I'm the one who's got it all wrong. They also love Kembles, which I think are beige made audible.

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Post by Pheonix » 17 Jul 2007, 17:40

Thanks for the above..

I tried a couple of Pianos today actually..A Yamaha C7 and Schimmel 213...

The yamaha had a huge amount of power and good tone, maybe a little too clear tonally and the top was just the teensiest bit tinny but very nice...The keyboard ivorite was fair but the sharps (a wood composite) were very rough to the touch especially the fronts which I felt was dissapointing...

The Schimmel (second hand) had a great tone and was in pretty good shape but once again the Keyboard was dissapointing, this one was entirely made of plastic, cast plastic for the sharps YUK it felt disgusting...Sorry Schimmel fans...

Neither of these were cheap Pianos and the one area that we touch i.e. the keyboard really should have more attention paid to it. Surely the keys should encorage the hands not repel them...I swear it was a choce between sandpaper (Yamaha) or a 70's organ keyboard (schimmel)...not good for the money...

Oh well still have Steinway B and D's to try, maybe some Bosendorfers and finally Bluthners all of which I am looking forward to...the search continues

Cheers

Pheonix

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Post by Openwood » 18 Jul 2007, 00:24

Oh well still have Steinway B and D's to try, maybe some Bosendorfers and finally Bluthners
Blimey O' Reilly! If you're in the market for a Steinway D I can't see the point in trying anything else - I bow out at this point, knowing when I am out-classed!!

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Post by PianoGuy » 18 Jul 2007, 07:21

Yeah!

Forget the rest.

Save yourself the time and effort. Nip round to Jeff Shackell's and buy a B. If you're a really flash so-and-so with even more money and space to spare, buy a D.

You know it makes sense!

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Post by Pheonix » 18 Jul 2007, 08:09

I almost object to being referred to as a "Flash so and so" :shock:

I wouldn't describe myself as that, I am in the happy posistion that I have the funds...its a once in a lifetime oppertunity..so why not? I am not some rich twit... :roll:

I have an appointment with Jeff Shackell, seems like a real nice guy and is hugely respected...and opinions like that are hard earned...

Cheers

Pheonix

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Post by Barrie Heaton » 18 Jul 2007, 09:43

Pheonix wrote:
The yamaha had a huge amount of power and good tone, maybe a little too clear tonally and the top was just the teensiest bit tinny but very nice...The keyboard ivorite was fair but the sharps (a wood composite) were very rough to the touch especially the fronts which I felt was dissapointing...

Pheonix
Yamaha are now putting ivorite on more models they are taking note some times. The sharps which are like 80g sandpaper was because many complained about the sharps being too smooth - I have smoothed them off for clients Yamaha can't win.

You are doing the grand tour and the best time of the year which is the best way to do it. I would finish the tour then go back to the piano that imprest you the most, book yourself in for a day on it - they will be happy for you to do that. as you say it is a once in a life time buy have fun wile doing it

Barrie,
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Post by andyaeola » 18 Jul 2007, 09:53

If I had your choice, i.e. anything I wanted, I'd be looking at Stuart & Sons 290, Steinway & Sons D, and Bluthner 1.

The latter two are so very different in tone.
The Bluthner is a bargain to buy new - if you like it.

The Stuart is my favourite piano, but the most expensive.


Regards

Andy

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Post by Pheonix » 18 Jul 2007, 12:04

Oh yes the Stuart 290...that really is some Piano but way Way WAY beyond my budget though some here might presume otherwise :lol:

I think the Steinway D is probably a little big soundwise as the room is only 70m2 so a B is more likely. The same could be said of the Bluthner 1 or for that matter a Bosendorfer Imperial if thats your thing. I feel that a Bluthner 2 or 4 is more the size and price range, subject to some serious haggling and haggle I will...lets face it, these huge Pianos aren't walking of the showroom floors and the market seems a little slow, thanks to the current and uncertain economic climate and Mr "B" (insert Blair or Brown as you prefer).

I feel, maybe wrongly, that given the aforementioned consumer drop off that deals are always do-able, far better to keep stock moving than have it stagnate on the showroom floor but I could be wrong. So I have every intention of trying very throroughly before I buy and sweating it out. But I also appreciate that Pianos are very easy to buy and buggers to sell so that stands in my favour I hope..

To the vast majority, the Piano market comes under a heading of Luxury Items and these areas of the consumer market are always the first to feel the pinch...Maybe thats being a little mercenarie but "Sales is ard" at the moment and I have every intention of making my pennies go a long way. If as I suspect I will be spending well over£00,000....I was going to put a figure but I know you know how expensive these Pianos are, then the deals will be there to be dealt. Buying Pianos is very much like buying cars or even Horses for that matter, they all want to sell you their product and in economic climates like this sales need to be as attractive to the buyer as possible...maybe I'm wrong but no doubt I will soon find out.

I have only found one dealer for Stuart Pianos, Hurstwood farm in Kent, apart from that they seem as rare as Hens Teeth but it would be nice to see some...hell even to see one would be nice...I gather they are phenonmenal.

So watch this space, I am as Barrie says, doing the "Grand Tour" sadly not in a Rolls (which I suspect a few people would expect :lol: ) but a humble Land Rover ( a proper one and not a four wheel drive shopping cart) and I am probably though quite by luck doing it at the right time of year...People are away on their Hols, we are facing a general election and certain uncertainty in the city which affects us all so we shall see.

There you go, sorry this is so long.

Pheonix

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Post by Openwood » 18 Jul 2007, 13:16

Don't get me wrong, Phoenix - I am insanely jealous but all power to your elbow, mate! I'm just used to being in the mind-set of buying the best I can afford rather than simply buying the best! It's great that you not only have the funds to buy a superb piano but also that you are going to such lengths to get what you want. Respect!

Jeffery Shackell prepared the C7 I was talking about earlier and he is without question the complete and utter Dog's; Consumate professional.

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Post by Pheonix » 18 Jul 2007, 13:24

OH NO NO NO Openwood, I didnt get you wrong, I hope you didnt think I did, I really did appreciate your comments on how fortunate I was...I only have me, no family, no real commitmments and only my dogs and ample room. I did appreciate your comments about "Go for it" re the Steinway D so please don't think for a moment I was misinterpretating your meaning...Thats the problem with the written word...it lacks intonation so no offence taken and none given I hope...

Cheers

Pheonix

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Post by Jerome » 18 Jul 2007, 22:23


They are generally excellent if you like that sort of thing. Personally I like the smaller C upright than the flagship B. If you're off to Blüthners' place in Davies Street, try the Haesslers which offer near- Blüthner quality at a much lower price.

Do you mean A rather than C? The C is rather small and (IMHO) not that impressive.

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Post by PianoGuy » 18 Jul 2007, 22:43

Well I for one don't give two hoots who I call a flash so-and-so!! :lol: I'm very glad that you can afford such a dream instrument. Bravo!

I am sure you'll be impressed by Mr. Shackell, but more so by his pianos.

As for esoterica like the Bozo Imperial? Well I've always tried to love them, but never found one that I've liked, and the Stuart is too close to the Collen-Broadwood concept for me to be comfortable with it, except in the case of the Stuart, it works. Somehow though, the Stuart isn't quite a piano. It's kind-of *more* than a piano; almost a different instrument altogether. It's almost to a conventional piano what an iron-framed Pleyel harpsichord is to a Ruckers Flemish job. Rather magnificent, but also rather excessive.

The B is the best conveniently sized piano in the world. The Yamaha S6 is a great runner up. I'd forget the rest.

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Post by PianoGuy » 18 Jul 2007, 22:47

Jerome wrote:
Do you mean A rather than C? The C is rather small and (IMHO) not that impressive.
Beg pardon Jerome! You are absolutely correct! The one I like is the mid-sized and confusingly monikered A. The small C is as you say, not that impressive!

Oh, and Mr. P!

Bear in mind that the S&S B (provided it's a Hamburg one of course) holds its value better than any other piano on the market. This may or may not be a consideration, but it's deffo worth knowing! A glance at the past prices achieved at the recent piano auctions will show that Steinways always get the cash, but Bosies, Bluthners, Steingraebers et al all depreciate hugely, so if you're considering one it's not a wise move to buy new. Yamahas are regularly so mercilessly discounted that retail prices are a mockery anyway, and in many cases so is the standard of preparation that they receive at the dealer's.

The dilemma will arise if you find that your dream piano turns out to be a new Imperial or suchlike. Do you follow your heart and buy it knowing that you'll lose 2/3 of your investment if you have to sell or follow your head and buy a B even if it's not quite what you like?

At these levels there are no really bad pianos, but there are some really bad investments.

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Post by Pheonix » 18 Jul 2007, 23:06

Well ok I capitulate, if I'm going to be called anything then " A flash so and so" will have to be it...and I appreciate your "Bravos" :D

Am looking forward to meeting Mr Shackell, he is well regarded by many and has a reputation that just gets more and more respect, I am not sure if he realises what high esteem he is held in, but I have heard so much about him both on the net and from others with personal experience of him that I have great hopes.

As for the Stuart Pianos, well Pianoguy, you spoke with great technical knowledge and spoke a lot about something which I know nothing about. I had heard that the Stuart Pianos had a very distinctive sound, but having never heard one I cannot comment, I am sorry to say that my knowledge is limited to either I like that and not this, I doubt I could tell you why...thats being honest, maybe a lamb to the veritable slaughter...I do however have Mr. Schakell to guide me and another friend of mine a far better pianist than I to offer support and some technical advice.

As for the Bosendorfer, well I have had no luck at all, lots of poor secondhand ones, nothing really stomping for the huge amount of cashola they were asking for them. I did consider the Piano auctions, but read a thread here about them that did the maths for me and made a lot of sense so kind discounted that as a non starter.

The bottom line is that I will, god willing find what I like, maybe it will be the best Piano maybe not, so long as it sings to me when I play it that'll be the one.

Thanks for your thoughts and opinions...think I might change my screen name to "Flash"

Cheers

Pheonix

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