six foot grand options

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Horace
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six foot grand options

Post by Horace » 07 Apr 2012, 18:56

I have been looking at buying a small grand. I have tried a number from restored to new (yamaha c3, an RX3, seiler 186, restored steinways, restored bechsteins).
I have also tried a 4 year old Schimmel k189 and a new Hoffmann T186 and these two are the front runners. I need to play both of these again but there is a large difference in price between the two (the new hoffmann being the cheapest by a margin).
They are both good pianos and I could happily live with both but I wouls welcome the hard headed views of the professionals on the pros and cons of each make to help with the decision. Thanks in anticipation.

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Re: six foot grand options

Post by Colin Nicholson » 08 Apr 2012, 10:36

My personal opinion.... I like the Kawai RX3 (and RX7 better!!)
All good names there, but cant really comment on 'restored' pianos - doesnt mean a thing here. Depends on the level of restoration, age of piano.... and have they had a complete restoration - ie new action (not just the old wooden parts refurbed); new wrest plank (a MUST if an old Bechstein) - and of course depends on the model, length of new bass strings/ tone quality/ touch ...... all a matter of personal taste. Also ask if they have photos of their restorations - I usually provide detailed 'before, during & after' photos of the big projects.
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Re: six foot grand options

Post by Horace » 08 Apr 2012, 14:26

thanks for the reply. I think I have decided against restored and really focussing on the pros and cons of the hoffmann and the schimmel and would welcome comments on those. Anyone any thoughts on what I should pay for a 4 year old Schimmel K189? It is very difficult to know what an appropriate price is as nearly new pianos seem very scarce.

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Re: six foot grand options

Post by Barrie Heaton » 08 Apr 2012, 16:52

Horace wrote:thanks for the reply. I think I have decided against restored and really focussing on the pros and cons of the hoffmann and the schimmel and would welcome comments on those. Anyone any thoughts on what I should pay for a 4 year old Schimmel K189? It is very difficult to know what an appropriate price is as nearly new pianos seem very scarce.
out of the box the W Hoffmann has the edge on tone in the Mid and the bass but the Schimmel has the vote for the top end. On the playing Action, the Schimmel out of the box is better then the W Hoffmann but that depend on the retailer it came form . However, spend some time on the action on W Hoffmann it becomes a very nice all round piano.

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Re: six foot grand options

Post by Horace » 08 Apr 2012, 20:35

Thanks Barrie that is the kind of objective assessment I was looking for. Would you say they are evenly matched but slightly different? It's hard to compare becuase I tried them some days apart but I definitely felt more power in the bass of the Hoffmann but I think there was a little bit more clarity in the top end of the Schimmel but that was less noticeable than the difference in the bass. Anyone any comments on the price differential they would expect?

the Hoffmann price is very good in my opinion and the dealer has a very good reputation (as does the dealer selling the Schimmel!)

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Re: six foot grand options

Post by Barrie Heaton » 09 Apr 2012, 11:28

They are both good makes I would visit them both again and play 3 tunes you like on both - also if you take some else with you who can play well and get them to play the same pieces same order and you stand back and make the comparison

and the end of the day we all can give our opinion but... you can line up 3 of each makes of piano and have six different pianos all sounding different and that is even more so on second-hand.

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Re: six foot grand options

Post by joseph » 09 Apr 2012, 11:42

I know that Schimmel is a beautifully made piano with fine quality parts, but for me it just doesn't seem to work. I don't know why but I've never played one that has really grabbed me. They sound a bit boring I think, and seem to me to take a lot of work to get up to a high standard.

The Hoffmann is getting rave reviews and is being stocked by Jeffrey Shackell amongst others, so that's quite high praise indeed.

Out of the pianos you've tried, my favourite would be the Yamaha C3 followed by the Kawai, perhaps equal. Then the Hoffmann, which I think is a fine piano, and has a different tonal flavour to the Japanese instruments.

I guess it really comes down to what you like. You might love the Schimmel and be happy with the price, in which case, buy it and enjoy it!

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Re: six foot grand options

Post by Model V » 09 Apr 2012, 19:58


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Re: six foot grand options

Post by MarkGoodwinPianos » 09 Apr 2012, 21:33

You also asked about pricing. Tell both dealers your situation, you are considering 2 different pianos from 2 different source. Ask them to let you know their bottom line based on a full settlement within 7 days. Depending on their stock levels and cash flow situation you might get a fare bit of movement or you might get no movement. If you get some movement it could suggest that there is even more room to push them a bit further.

Don't be shy. It's a lot of money, try to find out who is most desperate and you could snatch a bargain.
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Re: six foot grand options

Post by mdw » 09 Apr 2012, 22:18

Im sure you would get the lowest price that way, not sure about the best deal.

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Re: six foot grand options

Post by Horace » 10 Apr 2012, 07:35

thanks for all your responses. As regards price, the Hoffmann offer is extremely good and I don't think it can be beaten on price. My difficulty is that second hand Schimmel is a good few thousand more so its not just a straight fight on sound and touch. Before finding out the price of the hoffmann I thought it would be close on price but it isn't. Realistically I have to consider value as well. That's why I would be interested in the price diferential that people would feel comfortable with assuming all other things equal.

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Re: six foot grand options

Post by joseph » 10 Apr 2012, 10:07

In that case, go for the Hoffmann. Schimmel is nice but overpriced, Hoffmann is nice but well priced. Less money to loose on it should you need to sell it ( I know that's not the reason to buy a piano but it's a factor).

Failing that just get a steinway :piano;

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Re: six foot grand options

Post by rgreig » 10 Apr 2012, 21:43

You mention value, but do you mean resale value at some point in the future, or (perceived) value for money now? Is this a purchase to last 30 years?

I would have thought the Hoffman would be around 24k new? I am not sure what the Schimmel would be, but a friend of mine bought a new Schimmel C182 (i.e. not the Konzert series) for around that price very recently so I can only assume the K189 would be a fair bit more when new - 35k maybe? Has the example you are looking at been heavily used over the last four years?

One option to help value the Schimmel would be to call the Piano Auctions (www.pianoauctions.co.uk) to find out how much they think one would go for at auction.

I bought a new upright about a year ago, and in the end the choice came down to a Grotrian and a Bechstein. Although the sticker prices between the two were not hugely different, I was offered a great deal on the Grotrian and went for that after a lot of deliberation. After nearly a year, I am very pleased with my choice and I am glad I did not spend the extra on the Bechstein.

Maybe one question you could consider asking yourself is which one you would buy if they were the same price? If you aren't sure maybe you need to go back and play them some more?

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Re: six foot grand options

Post by mdw » 10 Apr 2012, 22:40

rgreig wrote:Maybe one question you could consider asking yourself is which one you would buy if they were the same price? If you aren't sure maybe you need to go back and play them some more?

Robert
Thats proably a wise way of doing it. The fantasy massive discount is always a bit dubious when theres only one or 2 dealers stocking it.

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Re: six foot grand options

Post by Horace » 10 Apr 2012, 23:01

I am going to play them some more. Which is a bit of a pain as the Hoffmann is miles away but I want to be sure. Its a lot of money which ever option. I don't intend to buy another grand in my lifetime so I'm not really thinking about resale value more value for money now.

I have played the Schimmel again today and sounds and feels better than I remembered the first time. I was tending towards the cheaper Hoffmann until today but up in the air again now. I will play the Hoffmann again before deciding.

On other (more US based forums) the Schimmel brand seems to get a better rating than on this forum where there have been a few negative posts about them being overpriced for what they are. It's all very subjective isn't it? I tried a Seiler and really wanted to like it (German, history, a few good recordings on Youtube etc) but it was pretty horrible but some people rave over them. Conversely I did like the Kawai RX3 a lot and thought I wouldn't. The C3 was pretty good too but not quite me.

The idea of picking the one you would buy if they were priced the same is a noble thought but, at the end of the day we all have to make sensible compromises based on price, value, quality etc. It's a bit of a selfish purchase really as i am the only one who plays and it takes up a fair bit of room! You could get a few decent family holidays out of the money - still, don't need a new kitchen for a while (say, 30 years)!! People would blow more on a car without thinking I suppose.

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Re: six foot grand options

Post by joe » 11 Apr 2012, 01:22

Have you had a chance to play the New Boston PE-models ? well worth a play before finally deciding,best of luck.

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Re: six foot grand options

Post by dancarney » 11 Apr 2012, 16:04

I hope the PE upgrades are huge. I've tuned three Bostons (pre-PE) and they have such a mushy-feeling wrest plank.
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Re: six foot grand options

Post by Gill the Piano » 11 Apr 2012, 17:36

...and a sterile soulless sound on the ones I tune.
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

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Re: six foot grand options

Post by dancarney » 11 Apr 2012, 17:40

Yes, I liken it to a 'dull thud' of a tone. Cheap feel to it...
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Re: six foot grand options

Post by joe » 11 Apr 2012, 17:52

dancarney wrote:I hope the PE upgrades are huge. I've tuned three Bostons (pre-PE) and they have such a mushy-feeling wrest plank.
Meant new GP-range of grand pianos they are a dwaddle to tune,and hold well.Kawais improvement is due to Steinway intervention in their manufacturing process back in 1992 and has taken them nearly 15 years to get it right,and if my opinion they have now. :oops:

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Re: six foot grand options

Post by joe » 11 Apr 2012, 17:56

Gill the Piano wrote:...and a sterile soulless sound on the ones I tune.
Tone is subjective,but the new range are nice to tune,do agree the older Boston and Kawais lacked tone.

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Re: six foot grand options

Post by dancarney » 11 Apr 2012, 20:14

joe wrote:
dancarney wrote:I hope the PE upgrades are huge. I've tuned three Bostons (pre-PE) and they have such a mushy-feeling wrest plank.
Meant new GP-range of grand pianos they are a dwaddle to tune,and hold well.Kawais improvement is due to Steinway intervention in their manufacturing process back in 1992 and has taken them nearly 15 years to get it right,and if my opinion they have now. :oops:
That's good to know!
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Re: six foot grand options

Post by joseph » 11 Apr 2012, 23:02

I think Bostons are OK, actions are alright, sound is nothing to write home about. The ones I have played (including some PE) lacked sustain. They're very American sounding pianos, and that tone suits some people but just not me. There's something about the sound of the Mason and Hamlin, Baldwin, American Steinway and the Boston, they're all cousins in a way. Actually the Kawai has that sound too. I guess we have that here with Bechstein, Bluthner and Bosendorfer. Hamburg Steinway stands in a different category from them all though.

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