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Purchasing a New Piano-HELP!

Discussion in 'The Piano' started by Anonymous, Jul 16, 2006.

  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    I am hard pressed in deciding which brand and type of piano I should purchase. I'm caught between a trap that says: buy the upright for space and sacrifice the sound, or sacrifice the space and have the sound produced by a baby or "adult" grand. The dimensions for my room are 12 by 14, and we are willing to pay $7,000, possibly more once we get money from FEMA. I had my eye on a terrific sounding German brand-upright. I know, that doesn't help much, but I know for sure it wasn't Bozendorffer; it had a weird name and was written in such fine script, it was illegible. I believe it had a Renner action and was only for $5,500. But being the person I am, I would rather prefer to have a grand, but within the $7,000 price range-seems impossible :(
    Help me.
     
  2. jesus_loves_u

    jesus_loves_u New Member

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    If i were you i'd just go on Ebay and buy a yamaha grand piano for like 3000 bucks, but of course i'm not you so i can't =(
     
  3. rachmaninoff

    rachmaninoff New Member Piano Society Artist

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    but on ebay there are lots of piano's who are in bad condition!
     
  4. jesus_loves_u

    jesus_loves_u New Member

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    thats why you take time to look for one
     
  5. lol_nl

    lol_nl New Member

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    Whatever you do, DON'T buy it at Ebay. The pianos may be cheap, but are less quality. Depends on the previous owner of course, but most pianos at homes are not very good treaten and when you want to recover some of the "damage", it will costs more than buying one of the same quality at the shop.

    Go to many piano "shops", and just try some pianos. I cannot decide for you, but I must say that a grand has overall much better quality than an upright, but if you are willing to pay just $7000,-, I would recommend a better quality upright, which is probably very suitable in a normal home. For 7000 US dollars you can get a very good upright, but a bad quality grand probably, so I would say that if I were you, I would buy a good quality upright.
    If you can find a very good grand for 7000 US Dollars, buy it. Just a warning that most, but not all grands at that prize are not much better than uprights of good quality.

    Good luck choosing your piano!
     
  6. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Thanks for the help. If I do find a good quality grand, do you think it would be muzzled by the 12 by 14 room?
     
  7. lol_nl

    lol_nl New Member

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    12 by 14 what? Meters? Feet? Miles :p ? Kilometres 8) ? Milimeters :lol: ?

    It just depends on how you want the room to be. It would fit with no problem at all in the room if it was empty (let's assume that you are talking about meters). But if you want a lot more to be in the room, e.g. a bed, a tv, stereo, sofa, couple of tables, etc., it would be a problem.
    It all depends on how you want your room.
     
  8. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    I wish it were meters, but this is my bedroom and is only 12 by 14 feet.
     
  9. lol_nl

    lol_nl New Member

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    About 3 feet is one metre, right? So your bedroom is 4 by 3 metres. Well I think my bedroom is about the same size, and I don't think a grand would fit in here. I have a grand at home but I have it in the living room. I don't know how your bedroom is like, how full, how much stuff you've got there, but my bedroom is full. Is your bedroom already full, or is it still empty? Just depends on how much size there is in your room.

    The smallest grand would be about 150 cm by 140 cm. Don't know if that fits.
     
  10. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    The position of the piano is up to me. I've been told what I can throw out and what I have to keep--I have to have a dresser and a desk (if the piano is not a grand). My parents tell me I can sleep under the grand, assuming we can afford it. So, I'm guesing the dresser is 5 feet wide and 3 feet deep, that leaves a big amount of space.
     
  11. lol_nl

    lol_nl New Member

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    In that case, I don't think a grand should be a problem concerning space. Buy one if you find a good one :). Good luck!
     
  12. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Which piano to buy

    Hello Macadeus,


    What I am going to recommend may well raise a few eyebrows on this subject; I am basing this suggestion on the alternatives for a $7000 USD investment, and the usable value received in exchange for the money. Of course a new grand at least 6' or 7' is more desirable -- but let's be practical, people! The items on the floor consist of a cheezy no-name grand piano, a used grand piano of dubious maintenance history, a good new grand piano that the person cannot afford, an upright piano that will never have the right touch nor ability to play pianissimo, much less fff.


    Given the amount of money you have to spend, and the space considerations of your bedroom, may I suggest looking into a GOOD QUALITY electronic digital grand piano in the interim? Please read on:




    Find a Yamaha dealership, and try out their Clavinova model CLP-175 digital piano. Yes, yes, I know -- we all have preconceptions of what cheesy contraptions that come to mind when we hear the words "digital piano".

    The product I am recommending you consider is a valid musical instrument -- for the amount of money and floor space you have at your disposal.

    The CLP-175 has wooden keys with a weighted hammer action -- I have seen an in-store display of a cutaway version of their action. There are metal rods attached to the action of each note, and each rod uses gravity and inertia to modulate the action of the key's note. These hammer actions do nothing to contribute to the sound of the piano; they are present only to assist in the touch.

    An electronic digital piano does not require semiannual tuning. Its intonation is independent of heat, humidity and other environmental changes.

    This particular piano is roughly shaped in the form of a small grand piano, but has a big sound. It even has adjustable reverb. Moreover, when it comes time to making a recording of your music, you can do so WITHOUT a microphone(!) and the associated ambient room noise. Simply plug the instrument's outputs into a suitable recording device and you are on your way.


    The Yamaha CLP-175 retails (as of this date of writing) at $6595 USD; they can be obtained for $6000 or slightly higher, plus sales tax.

    Now consider the cost of the smallest Yamaha grand -- a measly 4'11", the smallest size they make can be obtained for about $9000 USD. The action of the 4'11" is about what you'd expect for the bottom of the line grand piano. Larger pianos cost thousands more. Please stay away from pianos of Chinese and Korean origin for the time being, as they have quality and longevity problems.


    The CLP-175 contains sounds sampled from Yamaha's $150,000 model CFIII 9' concert grand. Will it fool the listener into thinking he's listening/playing a 9' grand? Of course not. But the sound, feel and musicality of a $6000 electronic grand Yamaha beats the pants off any new grand costing 50% more.

    In addition, the weight of the CLP-175 is about 1/4th that of a grand piano.


    Come to think of it, I am beginning to sound like a Yamaha salesman. I apologize for rambling, but for the money -- go for a NEW instrument (with warranty), and you will be far happier in the next 5 to 10 years. Unless you have a certified piano technician (who is NOT associated with a given dealership) you run the risk of buying someone else's maintenance nightmare of a piano.


    Sincerely,

    Joe <jcfeli>
     
  13. MindenBlues

    MindenBlues New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Why must it always be a NEW grand?
    Can't understand. Why not buy an really good OLD grand for that price, don't care if it is 100 years old. You play on ebony and ivory and no plastic stuff. Anytime, if you have more money, let it acoustically restore. You can't believe how happy I am after I they have acoustically restaured my 70 years old Steinway lady. The restauration costs were 10.000 Euro (new action and intonation, new strings, soundboard restauration) but now I have a sound not like a new one, in my opinion even a better sound. Ok, maybe I am not objective enough... But I got compliments about the piano sound, also here at PianoSociety.

    Also, my suggestion short and sweet: Buy an really old good quality grand, the longest your room can contain, and if you have enough money anytime, let it restore. That way you have a life long friend, still your grand children will have. The cheapest way to fulfill an Steinway (or Bechstein, substitute it after your wishes) dream...
     
  14. robert

    robert New Member Piano Society Artist

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    jcfeli, you forgot one thing. You can play in headphones and not disturb other people.

    I definitely think that Olaf (Mindenblues) has a very valid point here. I have been thinking of a Yamaha grand I liked some time ago (the buy is postponed at the moment) but Olaf told me to consider an older really good grand and make a restauration instead. I really like the thought of having a Steinway (Bösendorfer etc.).

    I have played the Yamaha digital grand CLP-175 as well and too beliefs that the touch and feel is really good while I am not totally satisfied with the sound for the following reasons:

    - It is only the piano grand 1 sound that really works for me. I would have liked if they spent more money on the piano sound rather than provide another 31 pretty poor sounds together with the 300-400 general midi sounds. Also, they only use 24 MB for the piano sound (they boast about it in the marketing that this is much while it is in the computing world of today very little, most sampling computer banks have like 2 GB and 8 samples per key etc. I cannot understand why they do not build in a reall computer instead).

    - The sound in the highest octave is not loud enough and I kept pushing the keys very hard to produce something I like. Also, on the last 5-6 keys, you hear a bit weird phase turning sound which is typical when each keys is not sampled but they stretch the last sample.

    - What bothers me most is the dynamics. When I hit the keys with all my power, I want it to pay off but it does not. I want to hear the very sharp smashing sound when the hammers hit the strings with power and the samples does not reproduce this sound good enough.

    - The sound is not good when you use the line out. You cannot use the iAFC effects from the room (the condensator mics on the backside is not in use) which makes the sound a bit "too small". Difficult to explain this but try it out and you will see what I mean.

    But now I sound almost too negative. It is really good and perhaps the best digital grand on the market with the price of about 5-6000 Euro. I can feel really inspired but the Yamaha gt2 which costs about 7000 Euro is much better. Here you only get 1 piano sound and they have put all power at that. They have taken out the keyboard from their most expensive grand and put optical sensors to each keys so the keyboard really feels perfect. But the sound is too weak here as well. A bit better but the same thing happends here. It does not really handle the dynamics well enough.

    Something that actually pisses me off is that they have deliberately taken out the midi omni mode 1 option from the yamaha gt2. If they had not, you could have used an external computer with samples of Steinway, Bösendorfer etc., control it by midi and from the soundcard of the computer line the sound back into the grand's line input (which is have). But, the problem is that you cannot turn off the internal sound in the gt2 which means that you will have a mix of the both which is not acceptable. If omni mode 1 have been implemented, you would have been able to switch off the internal sound and have a solution that would work forever...but yamaha wants you to buy their new models instead. It is likely possible to open the chassi up and see if the amplifier is a separate card (very likely) and turn a small switch between the sound card and the amplifier...but one do not really feel like do such things with a new grand like that.
     
  15. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Restoring a used piano.

    Hello Robert,

    You have made many valid points in your suggestion to consider purchasing an old grand and having it restored.

    In your opinion, is it possible to acquire a really good old grand AND have it fully restored within the $7500 USD / 6500-7000 euro budget? I believe a full restoration, rather than simply refurbishing a grand instrument, would entail replacing the soundboard if cracked or damaged, plus the following items: removing and refinishing the frame; re-stringing; new action and hammers; reworking the trapwork if needed, plus refinishing the case and lid.


    Cheers,

    Joe <jcfeli>
     
  16. robert

    robert New Member Piano Society Artist

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    No it is perhaps not realistic depending what we refer to as a really good grand. You need to be very lucky to find one at all into such a budget. So probably not possible in my opinion.
     
  17. MindenBlues

    MindenBlues New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I agree with Robert, you will for you budget get probably an old good grand, but not restaured.
    I played in a shop on a 100 year old Steinway Model B (some say, The holy grail), what was completely restaured. Restauration costs: about 10.000 Euro acoustical restauration (new strings, new Renner action, soundboard restauration, new pins), and further 10.000 Euro optical restauration !!!
    If you have small budget, I would postpone any restauration.

    Only for me I have decided not to do any optical restauration - old pianos have shellac, what is unbelievable expensive to restaure. In my opinion one can and should see that the piano is something one works on. I am proud on the traces of usage. Why not show the signs of some 1000 and more hours of practising?
     
  18. r590

    r590 New Member

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    Sleeping under the grand? :D That's a new idea. I have tried the clavanova digital grand, and while the touch was very nice, I didn't quite like the sound as much as a real piano. It sounds good at first listen, but after you listen to it a while, you wish they would have used a larger sample library. I think you can be quite happy if you find a good upright. There is this one upright I play on that sounds better than some old grands.
     
  19. robert

    robert New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Joe (and others too of course),

    I was at a Yamaha shop yesterday and played the CLP-150, CLP-280, the CLP-175 and the GT2 and must change my stand-point a bit in this issue. Both the CLP-280 and CLP-175 sounds really good and the feel is genuine. The last time I played the CLP-175, it was stuck into a corner and there were a lot noice in the store so I think my view was distorted because of this. 280/175 have wooden keys (I would avoid the plastic which feels a bit heavy at the bottom of each stroke and some things gets problematic as fast repeats on same key etc.) where the CLP-280 is an upright and CLP-175 the grand. Also, they sounds a lot better than the cheaper CLP-150 which probably has to do with the iAFC system and the larger loudspeakers but perhaps also the samplings have been upgraded? But the GT2 has the best touch of them all. Incredible feel and not very strange as they have taken out the keys, hammers, etc. from their largest grand. It is just a pity that they do not replace the sound of it. According to my view, it must be upgraded.
     
  20. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Which would you buy?

    Hello Robert,

    I read your posting about the various Yamaha products on which you played at the local piano / keyboard vendor's facility. I agree with you that the touch of the wooden keyboard Clavinovas in the high end of the Yamaha line is very good, but that the sound does leave something to be desired.

    * * * * * *

    Let's pose a hypothetical question to you regarding the purchase of a NEW instrument: Given you had no more than 6000 or 7000 euros to spend, and you had the choice of a Yamaha electronic piano (CLP-175 or GT2) that was on sale for no more than 6000 or 7000 euros, versus a new upright of your choice (again no more than 7000 euros on sale) -- knowing that this was going to be the instrument in your home and that you would be living with it as a practice instrument for several years ...

    ... would you go electronic or buy a new 7000 euro upright -- and no cheating, by wishing for a 15000 euro Steinway or Bechstein upright somehow miraculously on sale for 7000?

    Joe

    (Hint: For my money, I would go for the instrument with the better touch, because the "sound" of a new 7000 euro upright does not surpass the electronic Yamaha in the way that the latter's touch surpasses the touch of every new upright of comparable price.)
     

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