Which newer pianos are warm but not overly expensive please?

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Trills Hills
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Which newer pianos are warm but not overly expensive please?

Post by Trills Hills » 25 Jun 2011, 11:11

Hello,

I'm wanting to play the piano again. I used to play, mostly my interest is composition, but I find it helps the creative process a great deal to play on the right piano for me. I don't know precisely the type, but years ago I recall playing on some lovely old Bechsteins grands. So warm, just lovely, and that's the sound and feel I want. I have been looking on Ebay waiting for a bargain to come up, someone clearing a house or something, and researching things a bit. The ones I see seem to be from around 1908/10. Now I'm quite confused!! Someone else recommended Bluthner to me. However, in both cases I'm now concerned even if i get a 'bargain' it will be a dud, or require extensive work in the near future. I don't know whether something having all it's original bits is a good thing, or means nothing has ever been done and pretty soon a whole load of work would need doing. So now I'm wondering if there are some newer pianos around that would produce a similarly warm and rich tone but not cost a lot? Asking a lot I know....does anyone have any suggestions please?

Many thanks

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NewAge
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Re: Which newer pianos are warm but not overly expensive ple

Post by NewAge » 25 Jun 2011, 12:42

Would you be considering an upright or a grand? And how do you define "not overly expensive?" (i.e what is your budget).
One thing's for sure, a piano of the age that you describe (1908/10) even if at first sight appears to play quite well, will almost certainly need a lot of costly work done to make it a pleasure to play and listen to'.

If you consider buying a piano on Ebay, always try it first and always get the expert advise of a tuner/tech.
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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Colin Nicholson
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Re: Which newer pianos are warm but not overly expensive ple

Post by Colin Nicholson » 25 Jun 2011, 16:43

A warm tone in a piano is a personal thing; you will probably need to play a few pianos to get an idea. However a warm tone does not mean a good piano! The tone may be able to be adjusted, depending on the condition of the hammers & strings.
Make sure you ask plenty questions about the piano such as:-

1. Is the piano over-damped or under-damped?
2. Is it straight or over-strung?
3. How often has it been tuned?
4. Is it tuned to Concert Pitch?
5. How often has it been regulated/ serviced?
6. Are all the notes working?
7. Condition of hammers and strings?
8. Is the piano full or 3/4 iron frame

1 & 2 & 8 above in bold are the better of the two designs. If the seller (or yourself) do not understand any of these questions above.... then seek a piano tuner/ tech person to check it over for you.... and be expected to put your hand in your pocket if you get a bargain!! If you are expecting to pay no more than, say, £100...... then the above advice will probably be of no use.

How much is "not alot" ????
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Re: Which newer pianos are warm but not overly expensive ple

Post by Trills Hills » 26 Jun 2011, 09:38

Thank-you both for your advice, that's really helpful.
Looking on EBay some people seem to be practically giving away pianos, both Grand and Upright, so I was hoping that spending say about £1000 would get my something reasonable. Now though, I'm questioning why some of the pianos which I see on there, which cost a lot lot more in a piano shop, are on there so cheap, so I think I've refined my cost expectations to now hoping I could get something decent for £3000. That's my max unfortunately, and really, if I could spend £1000, then that would be better for me financially!! But....I am a realist, and realise maybe I'll have to settle for an upright. I don't like the way uprights are so in your face though. My preference would be something of the boudoir grand size. Haven't seen anything come up near to where I live yet unfortunately. I'm up the A10 about 30 mins past Ely if you know of any suitable pianos around here?!!

I've seen an 1889 boudoir Bechstein for sale in a shop, which would involve a day trip to try out. It says it's been restrung, had new felts and the frame re-guilded. It does look beautiful. What would be the effect of re-stringing a Bechstein on the sound? It's up for about £3k. Does this sound good to you? I'm considering going to look at it. What kind of things should I consider with this piano? I don't know the model yet. Do you think it would withstand modern heating (although i intend to have it in a room i don't have the radiator on due to other instruments). I've noticed that many pianos of this sort of age get total refurbs including new soundboard, but then cost much much more. Would I be buying a money pit, regardless of how beautiful it looks? Is there such a thing as a warm modern piano for <£3k?

Many thanks

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Re: Which newer pianos are warm but not overly expensive ple

Post by Colin Nicholson » 26 Jun 2011, 14:35

I would never dream of comparing Ebay to a music shop! Ebay is an anagram for 'BARGAIN' ....and that's all you would get, unless you were lucky. If you have that kind of money to spend.... rule out Ebay now. Music shops have alot of overheads/ bills/ wages etc.... and usually most come with experienced technicians. I would seriously consider contacting a tuner to view this Bechstein grand, and checking it over.

A colleague of mine just returned from Glasgow yesterday (with his family) to see a miniature steam train.... the ones you sit on!! After that, they went in his house and there stood a 1890's Bechstein model B grand. He was in raptures about it (compared to his Model 10 upright), it had been recently re-strung, complete action refurb., and he said the sound was fantastic. Now.... this doesn't mean that your Bechstein has had the same level of work done to it? £3K is pretty good, but is that a private deal?

I have a friend I visit in Harlow, about once every 2 years.... so I am not due down south just yet, or I could have met up with you.... I am about a 3 hr drive away.
For the piano you are looking for, I would get it checked over. "Felts" mean nothing!! I saw a piano once that said "felts replaced" ...... and to my horror, only the middle 'used' section of back check felts & leathers were replcaed!!.... leaving the outer octaves un-touched. No new hammers, no re-centring.... just the very basics!!
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Re: Which newer pianos are warm but not overly expensive ple

Post by rgreig » 26 Jun 2011, 19:32

If you haven't looked at it already, I would take a look at the past sales at the Conway Hall piano auctions:

http://www.pianoauctions.co.uk/past_sal ... 16-06-2011

Although you clearly cannot tell the condition of a piano from the descriptions it does generally say if the piano has been rebuilt and will give you some idea of the ballpark price.

Robert

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Re: Which newer pianos are warm but not overly expensive ple

Post by NewAge » 26 Jun 2011, 20:52

Also check out the links on the l/h side: Pianos for sale by General Public, and also Piano Shops. Yamaha's are always popular and tend to sell relatively easily, but don't overlook some of the other makes listed - Ronisch, Knight, Kemble, Steinberg (Gerh?) - or Steinberg Wilh. if you should find one.
Play as many as possible in order to broaden your appreciation of what may be a 'warm' sound or otherwise, and don't be tempted to buy in a hurry. When you eventually find the 'right' piano it's a great feeling. As already stated, best be guided by a technician prior to making your final decision.
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: Which newer pianos are warm but not overly expensive ple

Post by Trills Hills » 26 Jun 2011, 22:22

NewAge wrote:Also check out the links on the l/h side: Pianos for sale by General Public, and also Piano Shops. Yamaha's are always popular and tend to sell relatively easily, but don't overlook some of the other makes listed - Ronisch, Knight, Kemble, Steinberg (Gerh?) - or Steinberg Wilh. if you should find one.
Play as many as possible in order to broaden your appreciation of what may be a 'warm' sound or otherwise, and don't be tempted to buy in a hurry. When you eventually find the 'right' piano it's a great feeling. As already stated, best be guided by a technician prior to making your final decision.
Thank-you, you're right I should try out some others and be more patient...
rgreig wrote:If you haven't looked at it already, I would take a look at the past sales at the Conway Hall piano auctions:

http://www.pianoauctions.co.uk/past_sal ... 16-06-2011

Although you clearly cannot tell the condition of a piano from the descriptions it does generally say if the piano has been rebuilt and will give you some idea of the ballpark price.

Robert
Good link, thanks, I hadn't looked there no.
Colin Nicholson wrote:I would never dream of comparing Ebay to a music shop! Ebay is an anagram for 'BARGAIN' ....and that's all you would get, unless you were lucky. If you have that kind of money to spend.... rule out Ebay now. Music shops have alot of overheads/ bills/ wages etc.... and usually most come with experienced technicians. I would seriously consider contacting a tuner to view this Bechstein grand, and checking it over.

A colleague of mine just returned from Glasgow yesterday (with his family) to see a miniature steam train.... the ones you sit on!! After that, they went in his house and there stood a 1890's Bechstein model B grand. He was in raptures about it (compared to his Model 10 upright), it had been recently re-strung, complete action refurb., and he said the sound was fantastic. Now.... this doesn't mean that your Bechstein has had the same level of work done to it? £3K is pretty good, but is that a private deal?

I have a friend I visit in Harlow, about once every 2 years.... so I am not due down south just yet, or I could have met up with you.... I am about a 3 hr drive away.
For the piano you are looking for, I would get it checked over. "Felts" mean nothing!! I saw a piano once that said "felts replaced" ...... and to my horror, only the middle 'used' section of back check felts & leathers were replaced!!.... leaving the outer octaves un-touched. No new hammers, no re-centring.... just the very basics!!
Thank-you for your reply. I wasn't really comparing Ebay and a shop, just saying that the vast difference in price made alarm bells go off, as the difference would have to mean more than overheads etc when you're talking about a piano going for 5 - 10% of a shop price....I'm assuming there must be a reason...like the piano needs a lot doing or has some problem. Glad to hear your friend liked an 1890 Bechstein. I don't believe this one has had a full refurb, only restring. Perhaps I'll see if I can locate a technician near to it to take a look for me. I'm just waiting for them to answer some questions about it.

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