Quality used upright advice

General discussion about piano makes, problems with pianos, or just seeking advice.

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Jerome
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Re: Quality used upright advice

Post by Jerome » 16 Mar 2011, 00:10

An enjoyable tour... imho Bechstein and Grotrian are much closer to each other than
either is to a Bluthner, so I think your final preference is quite consistent. Will be interested to learn your eventual choice!

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MarkGoodwinPianos
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Re: Quality used upright advice

Post by MarkGoodwinPianos » 18 Mar 2011, 13:00

The upshot of all this is that I am now down to a straight choice between the Bechstein and the Grotrian. My next step is to go back to the dealer with the Grotrian and spend some more time playing it before making a decision. It is significantly less expensive than the Bechstein which is an additional dimension to the decision.
How exciting! Are you going to buy as soon as you've made a decision?
It's a shame you can't have both pianos next to each other in the same room for a direct comparison. If I was a dealer trying to sell the Bechstein upright I'd gladly ship it to the Grotrian dealer's showroom so that you can make a fair comparison. But I'm sure that isn't possible or practical in this case.

All the best and thanks for keeping us updated
:)
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email markgoodwinpianos@gmail.com with any Yamaha, Kawai, Bechstein or Steinway questions :)

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Re: Quality used upright advice

Post by rgreig » 18 Mar 2011, 20:09

Mark,

Yes I plan on making a decision (and buying my choice!) very quickly after playing the Grotrian again. Unfortunately I can't go back to the dealer this weekend due to other commitments so I think it will be next weekend before I can try the Grotrian again.

I think I have tried all the models I wanted to - Bosendorfer 130, Steinway K, Steingraeber 130, Schimmel K132, Bluthner B, Sauter MasterClass 130, Bechstein Concert 8 and Grotrian Concertino. I have narrowed that down to two models and I don't think there are any other factors to consider. The only thing that could possibly happen is a nearly new Concert 8 becoming available but I reckon that is pretty unlikely. If anyone thinks I have missed a plausible model then do let me know - I am willing and able to travel.

You are right that not having both pianos side by side is not ideal, but I don't think I could get that even in London. I have made notes, and I am playing the same pieces at each dealer so those points of reference do help to an extent.

Robert

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Re: Quality used upright advice

Post by rgreig » 26 Mar 2011, 20:37

It is with much excitement that I can reveal that I bought the Grotrian today.

I went back to the dealer this morning and played the instrument for quite a while. The bass really is powerful and it has a clarity in the upper register that is lyrical. It was equally effective with the Gershwin preludes as it was with the Ravel Sonatine.

Had I been comparing the Bechstein and Grotrian at list price it would have been a harder decision. But the dealer with the Grotrian gave me a fantastic deal and I realised that could not really justify the extra on the Bechstein (the difference would have bought me a new Kawai K8).

It is being delivered a week on Tuesday - I have asked the dealer to voice down the upper register a fraction - and I am looking forward to it immensely.

Thanks to everyone for the advice and opinions. It has been an interesting experience finding this piano and during the search my parameters have changed quite a lot.

Robert

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NewAge
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Re: Quality used upright advice

Post by NewAge » 26 Mar 2011, 22:07

RGrieg,
I'm pleased you have eventually found your ideal piano. Your patience was worth it, an excellent choice.

For what it's worth, a few years ago I was shopping for my ideal grand piano. I tried a great many different names and models, and had almost pulled the trigger on a deal-of-a-lifetime, heavily discounted new August Forster - just after announcement of their financial difficulties.
Two days later I made an appointment to visit a chateau some 100 miles away where a dealer/collector had amassed literally several hundred grand pianos, and also hundreds of uprights. I couldn't believe my eyes, pianos had been purchased by the hundreds over the years just like some people collect stamps- except stamps are usually stored very carefully! Of the 10 grand pianos that were presentable, prepared, and immediately for sale (including four S&S) there was just one that absolutely 'blew me away'. A Grotrian Steinweg. The owner wouldn't budge on the listed price, and as there were some external nicks and blemishes, and heavy oxidation on some components, we verbally agreed would be refinished together with anything else to make the piano look 'as good as new'.
Long story short. After many abortive attempts to get progress reports, and frustration after umpteen delivery date promises, I cancelled the deal. That very same day the piano arrived! I reluctantly allowed it to be set-up, but disaster! It didn't feel or sound anything like the piano I had initially auditioned. It may even have been another piano as I hadn't noted the serial number. The deal was cancelled once and for all.
But I still have delightful memories of that one first Grotrian that spoke to me.
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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MarkGoodwinPianos
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Re: Quality used upright advice

Post by MarkGoodwinPianos » 28 Mar 2011, 08:35

Well done Robert and thanks for popping in to complete the story.
:)
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email markgoodwinpianos@gmail.com with any Yamaha, Kawai, Bechstein or Steinway questions :)

joe
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Re: Quality used upright advice

Post by joe » 28 Mar 2011, 14:14

Congratulation Robert,the Grotrian-Steinweg range of pianos allude to quality have one of there 7foot 6 grands and their entry level upright,they improve with age, take a year or two to settle.

piano heads
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Re: Quality used upright advice

Post by piano heads » 29 Mar 2011, 16:19

Hi Robert,where did you buy Grotrian-Steinweg got a client looking for a new quality German upright at a keen price?.

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Re: Quality used upright advice

Post by rgreig » 29 Mar 2011, 19:15

Piano Heads, I have sent you a private message with the details. I am not sure on forum etiquette for this, so I would not want to risk upsetting anyone who might view it as advertising.

Robert

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Re: Quality used upright advice

Post by piano heads » 30 Mar 2011, 17:08

Thanks for info Robert,your post was one of the most genuine threads on the forum,and the etiquette you have shown should be a lesson to others.I am a semi retired piano-trader and use the name PIANO HEADS as am not looking to promote myself or website via this medium,hats off to you sir.

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Re: Quality used upright advice

Post by nellyholly » 09 Jun 2011, 21:45

Hi Robert, I am in the same position as you, wanting to buy a quality upright piano. Out of interest, what did you end up buying? Thanks

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Re: Quality used upright advice

Post by rgreig » 11 Jun 2011, 15:37

Out of interest, what did you end up buying?
I bought a (new) Grotrian Concertino.

Robert

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Re: Quality used upright advice

Post by NewAge » 04 Sep 2011, 22:13

rgreig wrote:It is with much excitement that I can reveal that I bought the Grotrian today.

I went back to the dealer this morning and played the instrument for quite a while. The bass really is powerful and it has a clarity in the upper register that is lyrical. It was equally effective with the Gershwin preludes as it was with the Ravel Sonatine.

Had I been comparing the Bechstein and Grotrian at list price it would have been a harder decision. But the dealer with the Grotrian gave me a fantastic deal and I realised that could not really justify the extra on the Bechstein (the difference would have bought me a new Kawai K8).

It is being delivered a week on Tuesday - I have asked the dealer to voice down the upper register a fraction - and I am looking forward to it immensely.

Thanks to everyone for the advice and opinions. It has been an interesting experience finding this piano and during the search my parameters have changed quite a lot. Robert

Robert,
Now a few months on, how do you feel about your Grotrian Steinweg, and how is it settling? Is it living up to your expectations of one of the very best high-grade uprights?
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!"

rgreig
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Re: Quality used upright advice

Post by rgreig » 08 Sep 2011, 21:52

NewAge wrote: Robert,
Now a few months on, how do you feel about your Grotrian Steinweg, and how is it settling? Is it living up to your expectations of one of the very best high-grade uprights?
Funnily enough, it is being tuned tomorrow (second tuning). It is taking a while to settle down (I have no idea however whether it is taking longer than other new pianos) in the sense it is going quite badly out of tune quite rapidly.

I am however enjoying it. The action is very good - it is responsive and precise which makes a big difference when accompanying (say) Beethoven violin sonatas. I am genuinely surprised how much of a difference the action has made to my playing.

The only issue, which I'm going to get the tuner to look at tomorrow, is that the last few notes that are damped are a bit dull, and the F (the last note that is damped) occasionally fails to sound at all.

Robert

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Re: Quality used upright advice

Post by rocklandpiano » 06 Feb 2013, 11:22

You may prioritise the deep bass, fuller lower-mid tone range and practice pedal (celeste rail) of a tall upright piano whilst maintaining good living space - where others may prefer the appearance, touch, pedals and upper register tonality of the baby grand.
Remember, it is personal, subjective and only you know what's best for you. best advice on buying an upright piano.

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Re: Quality used upright advice

Post by rocklandpiano » 12 Feb 2013, 11:15

You might also consider a decent digital piano.
Many of them have wheighted keys, a fine piano sound, and you can practice with headphones on.
Yamaha makes a particularly good one for about a thousand, and the Casio Privia series has a decent piano sound (although the keys don't quite have the response of the Yamaha or Kawaii) and they are quite a bit less expensive.
The other nice thing about the digital pianos is that you don't have to have them tuned every four to six months, and they are truly portable.
I have two Privias. I keep one at school and have one at home to parctice with. I also have a Yamaha PSR 6700, but never liked the fact that the keys aren't weighted.

http://rocklandpianotuning.com/

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