any idea of the phoenix piano in hurtswood farm?

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jordan2
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any idea of the phoenix piano in hurtswood farm?

Post by jordan2 » 22 Mar 2011, 20:32

Hi, I was turned down by the bluthner owner and I have to search piano with a budget 15k-20k for a baby grand (5'8) around again for my parents. For myself, I am still interested in Steinway and will visit shackell next week to see if I like those in stock.

Just curious to know if any of the technician or pianist here has ever played the phoenix piano designed by hurtswood farm owner, Mr. Dain? Putting the residual value things aside, how was the sound quality and the action in general?

Any advice would be very welcomed. If you have any sensitive criticism, please feel free to send me a message (as I don't want to ruin any dealer's reputations either here). But I appreciate open and genuine discussion on phoenix pianos made with carbon composite sound board.

Thanks!

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NewAge
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Re: any idea of the phoenix piano in hurtswood farm?

Post by NewAge » 23 Mar 2011, 00:17

There were a few comments a short while back near the end of this link.
http://www.piano-tuners.org/piano-forum ... nix#p40207

It sounds like a piano that would be nice to audition and to draw ones own conclusions.
I'd be interested to hear how your search goes. :)
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Re: any idea of the phoenix piano in hurtswood farm?

Post by piano heads » 23 Mar 2011, 17:30

Phoenix pianos would not touch with a barge pole.

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MarkGoodwinPianos
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Re: any idea of the phoenix piano in hurtswood farm?

Post by MarkGoodwinPianos » 23 Mar 2011, 17:31

piano heads wrote:Phoenix pianos would not touch with a barge pole.
How come?
What's the story?
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Re: any idea of the phoenix piano in hurtswood farm?

Post by piano heads » 23 Mar 2011, 18:18

Read New Age post and follow link.

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Re: any idea of the phoenix piano in hurtswood farm?

Post by rgreig » 23 Mar 2011, 22:04

jordan2,

I was also interested in trying out the Phoenix pianos at Hurstwood farm (I had asked the questions about it on the linked thread earlier).

However I am afraid they didn't bother to reply to my email asking for more information (fairly basic questions, nothing silly) so I did not ever go to visit. I can only assume the piano trade is so brisk in Kent that they have a bulging order book and don't need to respond to inquiries from potential customers.

I, and I am sure many others, would be very interested in your impressions of them if you do go to try them.

Irrespective of that, having given it some more consideration and pondered the comments received when I asked the question, I would say that even if it sounds good today it would still be a gamble and risky if resale value is a consideration for you. I say that as someone who is not a technician or an expert in the field. (Alternatively, maybe in 20 years every piano will have carbon fibre soundboards and you will have a priceless example of one of the first - but from what I read people also thought that laminated soundboards would be brilliant too).

Robert

jordan2
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Re: any idea of the phoenix piano in hurtswood farm?

Post by jordan2 » 24 Mar 2011, 20:05

Hi, Actually the owner of the farm, Richard Dain was very nice to me. He booked a local farm guest room and a free dinner for me. I suggest you call them directly and I am pretty sure you will be better treated.

I will keep you guys updated once i come back from Hurstwood.
I look forward to be stunned be their painos, hopefully.

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Re: any idea of the phoenix piano in hurtswood farm?

Post by Colin Nicholson » 25 Mar 2011, 02:10

It would be interesting to know a bit more about those agraffes with pulley wheels on? Do they improve the downbearing/ quality of the sound, or are they just to assist in the smooth operation of the tension of the string during tuning?
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Re: any idea of the phoenix piano in hurtswood farm?

Post by MarkGoodwinPianos » 25 Mar 2011, 10:04

piano heads wrote:Phoenix pianos would not touch with a barge pole.
This is not helpful. You need to substantiate your claims otherwise it's just hot air.
Please elaborate. Have you ever been to view the pianos?
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Re: any idea of the phoenix piano in hurtswood farm?

Post by rgreig » 25 Mar 2011, 19:57

The Phoenix system is available on Steingraeber models as well as the pianos built/designed (not sure which) at Hurstwood.

I found this page which gives a summary of some tests done in the USA of the system (admittedly by a dealer, so perhaps take with a pinch of salt): http://www.uniquepianosinc.com/blog/pos ... m-testing/

Steingraeber also have more details on their website: http://steingraeberpianos.com/news/phoenix.html

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Re: any idea of the phoenix piano in hurtswood farm?

Post by Bob Pierce » 25 Mar 2011, 23:00

I agree with Pianoheads, they are not a great instrument. I have seen them at Frankfurt Music fair and at the Steingraber factory and they are just dreadful.
Carbon cannot replace wood.

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Re: any idea of the phoenix piano in hurtswood farm?

Post by Johnkie » 26 Mar 2011, 00:29

Its all well and good expecting modern technology to make inroads into most things these days, but I can't see carbon fiber replacing quality tight grained spruce - If it was better I'd have expected the main players in the piano industry to have changed their manufacturing methods. Remember all the hype that went with "new technology" associated with Lindner ..... and Yamaha once tried using an egg shaped "soundboard" and transducer instead of a traditional speaker in their organs .... If it aint broken .... don't fix it!! What next carbon fiber fiddles, cellos, guitars ? Nah ... keep it for bulletproof vests and aircraft components. :wink:
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Re: any idea of the phoenix piano in hurtswood farm?

Post by Feg » 26 Mar 2011, 00:37

Johnkie wrote:What next carbon fiber fiddles, cellos, guitars ?
Already here, and have been for some time!

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Re: any idea of the phoenix piano in hurtswood farm?

Post by Johnkie » 26 Mar 2011, 01:02

Well I never realised that ! I suppose I've just never noticed the Strads and Steinways using it in the symphony orchestras :wink: There again Feg, at my age, I should wear glasses more :lol: I suppose I should have said "instruments as used by top classical musicians". I stand corrected though :shock:
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Re: any idea of the phoenix piano in hurtswood farm?

Post by Bob Pierce » 26 Mar 2011, 09:56

The I.M.I.T. plan to visit the Steingraber factory later on this year if any of the techs fancy the trip.
I understand that the carbon fibre action people will be at the PTA convention this year if any one wants to see this great leap forward in technology!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Keep it wood I say, and that goes for action beam rails as well for all you Yam types :D :D

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Re: any idea of the phoenix piano in hurtswood farm?

Post by Barrie Heaton » 26 Mar 2011, 11:16

Bob Pierce wrote: Keep it wood I say, and that goes for action beam rails as well for all you Yam types :D :D
S&S have the best system for Beam rails in grands and you don't have to bother with spread measurements if the screws come lose on the stands

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Re: any idea of the phoenix piano in hurtswood farm?

Post by jordan2 » 27 Mar 2011, 01:44

Barrie, s&s means steinway and sons or steingrabe?
How do you think of the carbon reaction or soundboard?

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Re: any idea of the phoenix piano in hurtswood farm?

Post by rgreig » 27 Mar 2011, 11:38

As far as actions go, have Kawai not been using carbon fibre for quite some time now? See http://www.kawaius.com/main_links/acous ... _fiber.pdf

Does anyone know how the Phoenix carbon fibre action differs from the Kawai?

I think it is commendable that a British firm is attempting to innovate using modern materials. Even if it turns out that it is not completely successful for some reason I am sure a lot of other ideas and approaches can be in turn generated from this work.

These pianos may sounds quite different from what we have come to expect but I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing. Whenever I hear "authentic" performances on radio 3 involving a fortepiano I always reach for the off switch since the instruments sound dreadful to me. Maybe there can be a similar improvement made on what we have today - or a reduction in the price of the best sounding instruments.

Robert

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Re: any idea of the phoenix piano in hurtswood farm?

Post by Barrie Heaton » 27 Mar 2011, 13:49

jordan2 wrote:Barrie, s&s means steinway and sons or steingrabe?
How do you think of the carbon reaction or soundboard?
Steinway and sons

No seen a carbon soundboard time will tell on that one. As to the carbon action parts we learnt back in the 70s you can give yourself a lot of problems mixing plastics with wood. But we have learnt a lot and the modem mixture seem to work so far but again its a time factor will they last as long a wood and can they be fixed on site without replacement that is one big advantage with wood


To-date I have have had no modern plastic parts fail c2000 +

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