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Grand Piano... Might as well get one...

Discussion in 'Piano' started by swesterhus, Sep 21, 2003.

  1. swesterhus

    swesterhus Guest

    Hi all.

    I will be involved in finding a used grand piano for a really nice newly buildt space in the year to come.
    I was wondering if anybody had any suggestions concerning different makes and quality under the $10000 mark?

    Any suggestions and sources of info welcome! :w:


    Stian Westerhus
  2. Marik

    Marik Guest

    10 grands is tough for a piano. I assume you gonna use it for recording--generally, less than 7 footer will not sound good--just not enough dynamic range and bass response. The top brands, which are good for recording, would be Steinway (of course), Bechstein, Boesendorfer, and some Mason & Hamlin--but also, it depends on condition. Look around. If you have a year, you might find a sweet deal.
    With lower priced, I would suggest Petroff, or Schimmel, but once again, all depends on condition. Try to find a 9 footer (concert grand). Remember one thing--you absolutely cannot buy it without somebody, preferably concert pianist, as well as a good tech, would look at that first. Try to record it, and see how it sounds. Also, very important is tuning, good voicing etc., so find a very good piano tech. Little tip--try to become friends with your tech--you will need this guy quite often--before every session. Another tip--stay away from modern production of Yamaha, Samick, etc. Look inside of the piano--if you see plastic parts--DO NOT.
  3. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    Jun 23, 2003
    You might find a decent Baldwin for less than 15K and great deals in the 10K neighborhood can sometimes be found. Try contacting those piano technicians or piano tuners and have them help with your search. They've seen the pianos before and may know the history. I would respectfully disagree with Marik in that I believe Yamaha still makes a great piano, just make sure its in the C5 class or above. Some of their older pianos are incredible! Their problem (IMHO)was quality control. They produced some mediocre ones and let them out of the factory. Also - stay away from the Steinway entry level piano, Boston and EVERYTHING made in Korea, you're just asking for trouble.
  4. swesterhus

    swesterhus Guest

    Hey, thanks for the tips guys.

    Yeah, I've tried a couple of the mid/low range Yamaha grands, but I really didn't like them. Live they can sound allright, but recordingwise they sounded worse than old GM sounds...
    Anyway, Good tips always come in handy, specially when what you really want to do is get some investors and buy that Bosendorfer.
  5. synthnut

    synthnut Guest

    I've done some work on a Yamaha C3 (6'1")and it recorded very well..It's not a more mellow Steinway type tone, but for a Bruce Hornsby type tone it sounds great !!...Very bright and resonant ...Jim
  6. Marik

    Marik Guest

    Some Yamahas are great--esp. older ones. Once, in Russia, in Kiev, I was giving a concert in the House of Scientists. They had an old Yamaha there, which was absolutely superb. Don't forget that one of the greatest pianist of our century S. Richter had a Yamaha as a piano of choice. Don't miss any opportunity to check a piano. Sometimes you will be surprised--the old, well taken care of Baldwin might sound better than brand new Steinway... On the other hand, once again, playing in Russia, for my recital I choosed well taken care of "Moskva" over Bechstein. Look around, listen to the sound.
  7. I have a Boston (made by Steinway) 7'-2" semi concert grand that I think sounds wonderfully warm and rich.
    But you ain't gonna touch it for 10 grand.
    Like someone else said, don't get anything less than a 7 footer.
    Maybe a "grey market" Yamaha could be in your price range.
    Your room is going to be a MAJOR player in how well it sounds too.
  8. white swan

    white swan Guest

    Many of the "seven footers" are actually about 6'10"or 6'11". I wouldn't reject a piano just because it was a little shy of seven feet (like a Steinway B).

    But it is hard to imagine getting any brand name seven-footer (and don't even fantasize about 9 feet) for $10,000, unless it is going to need at least another $10,000 worth of work.

    At least in my area, used Steinways of almost any size (in decent condition) will cost a minimum of $20,000, with seven footers costing quite a bit more.
  9. Will Russell

    Will Russell Guest

    The problem with springing for a piano is of course, which one? I have considered getting a piano many times but I never do because invariably i run into players who "only play Steinways" or "Can't stand Mason-Hamlins" or whatever. Most of my piano tuning, refurbishers and piano sales friends recommend Yamahas because they have a clean and neutral sound, easy to manupulate sonically, and most play well. I've seen them in lots of studios.
  10. white swan

    white swan Guest


    I think you'll find at least as many pianists that dislike Yamaha as any other brand. I've never heard them described as neutral. Bright and cutting, yes. Neutral, no.

    The reason they are in so many studios is probably twofold:

    1) They are less expensive than the premium brands, but better sound and build quality than most of the budget brands (like Kawai, Young Chang, Samick, Kimball, etc.)

    2) The brightness is good for rock, R&B, smooth jazz, etc. (helps cut through other instruments). But for most not a first choice for classical or solo jazz though, where the beauty of the sound is a high priority.

    Usually the only pianists who will "only play Brand X" are classical artists with endorsement contracts. 99% of the pianists you will meet in real life will judge each individual instrument on its own merits, as every piano will play and sound differently no matter what brand is stencilled onto the fallboard.

    If you are buying a piano, have a couple of respected pros try it out (as well as a good tech check out the mechanics). Chances are if a couple of top local pros fall in love with it, most others will find it at the very least playable.

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