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Joined: May 2006
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Hey Everyone,

Thanks for the input (even YOU Norbert smile I tried a Concert 8 today at Robert Lowry's in Toronto (they recently got one in which was a surprise). It was a marvelous upright. One of the best I've ever played. But it is in no way worth three times the price of my Bechstein Academy A1. I've heard some say that the Concert 8 is comparable to a six foot grand. Certainly not a high end six foot like a C. Bech, Bosendorfer etc. IMO

They had a 5 year old Bosendorfer 185 for $200 less which sounded amazing and the Bechstein Academy A190 brand new was $5000 less than the Concert 8. Looks like I might have be making the jump to a grand.

I also played three 48" Maly designed Sauters (a Rondo and two Pure Nobles)at Remenyi in Toronto today and, IMO, they DID sound like 6' foot grands to my ears. I was blown away. The fullness of sound and tonal vibration was wonderful. They were also beautifully prepped (more thoroughly than the Concert 8 I think) And, although 3.5 inches shorter than the Concert 8, less than half the price.

I also played a six foot Sauter grand which was mediocre at best to my ears and fingers.

I'll definately check out 'piano row' when I get out to Manhattan this summer. Thanks for the info Jeff.

cheers,
Adrean


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Playing some of the German uprights can be disappointing.
Since this has become a big Norbert bashing thing for some, let me re-phrase:

Going to German manufacturers today and look at their entire product line of uprights in their showrooms can be disappointing. Disappointing because in many cases, there are second lines of pianos often carrying different names and being made elsewhere. Some of these 'house brands' are 100% Chinese made including such names as "Karl Lang" for Steinway, Hamburg and other pianos I 'house brand' type pianos I saw at Steingraeber - Bayreuth, Seiler - Kitzingen and some others. Perhaps one should not include these pianos among the traditional best these German manufucterers have built but they are now included as members of their family. Some manufacturers do not have any of these sub-lines and only build one type quality piano including Sauter, Grotrian, August Foerster,Feurich and Pfeiffer.

For those who think I am promoting the one or two Sauter upright we sell per year I shall add, we sell none at all of the others mentioned.

Apologies to all those who have not made same travels to same factories and/or wish to disagree with my own impressions during their own try-outs.

Norbert thumb



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Originally posted by Norbert:
For those who think I am promoting the one or two Sauter upright we sell per year I shall add, we sell none at all of the others mentioned.
Well, according to your signature you don't carry any of "the others mentioned", so you couldn't sell them. confused

And if you did carry any the other German makes mentioned in your last post, you would never have made your original post, which presented a negative view of German verticals except for Sauter and Grotrian. thumb

yawn yawn yawn yawn

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Norbert,

I always enjoy your posts, and I find them totally unobjectionable. You have a deep knowledge of the industry, and I appreciate that you share that here. You also strike me as a fine gentleman. I respect the views of those who are not enamored of you and believe they have every right to give their views about your posts. I respectfully disagree with them. I am guessing there are others who share my view.

Thanks for sharing. I hope you continue to do so.

Brad

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Norbert,

I always enjoy your posts, and I find them totally unobjectionable. You have a deep knowledge of the industry, and I appreciate that you share that here. You also strike me as a fine gentleman. I respect the views of those who are not enamored of you and believe they have every right to give their views about your posts. I respectfully disagree with them. I am guessing there are others who share my view.

Thanks for sharing. I hope you continue to do so.

Brad

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And if you did carry any the other German makes mentioned in your last post, you would never have made your original post, which presented a negative view of German verticals except for Sauter and Grotrian.
I just amended my post to Sauter, Grotrian, August Foerster, Feurich and Pfeiffer, the ONLY German manufacturers today who built 100% in Germany with 100% German made parts and components.

My view of the dissemination and obfuscation of quality in the differential quality products by some German makers today has been well known here for some time.

The 'negative' view in my comment would be that I strongly believe if the Germans venture outside their traditional top quality tradition,a tradition that has always done well for them - they will be beaten in their own game.

My critique was geared towards and hoped for to be of some value to those who realize that there is no future in a Mercedes-Chrysler type alliance in this day and age.

[Hey,Mercedes got their *** out right in time...]

Lest of all was I to 'promote any of my brands selling 1 or 2 uprights per year - Sauter, established since 1819 in Spaichingen must laugh their heads off!

Ulrich surely would say now "let's have another Schnapps, boys"...

Norbert laugh



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Originally posted by pianoloverus:
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Originally posted by Norbert:
[b] Playing some of the German uprights can be disappointing.

Years ago I did this in one of their factories and couldn't believe that one of their 48" Chinese made house stencils sounded even better.

No names mentioned, but will never forget that experience....

One of those who never did disappoint me were Sauters.
Unfortunatley we only sell very few due to price.

In Toronto I would certainly check out Merriam Music and see if he got any Grotrian uprights in.

[Disclaimer: we are Sauter and have been Grotrian dealers.]
Do you now think by including a "disclaimer" or saying "no names mentioned" it allows you to trash the competition and simultaneously plug the uprights you sell? All unrelated to the OP's question.

Pianoloverus(not in the piano business :rolleyes: despite Norbert's off the wall and knee slapping laugh claim otherwise) thumb [/b]
I repeat...Good question.


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To the OP:

On behalf of Bechstein I join Jeff Bauer (our next-door neighbor and a Steingraber dealer) to make the trip to Piano Row in NYC.

It is indeed "piano heaven".


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I repeat...Good question.
The *answer* was even much better!

Insider tip: don't just got to New York's famed Piano Row, great as it may be!

Instead of the next cruise, go and visit the manufacturers in Europe and see the vast array of their products in thei home showrooms there!

Norbert thumb



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"Insider tip: don't just got to New York's famed Piano Row, great as it may be!

Instead of the next cruise, go and visit the manufacturers in Europe and see the vast array of their products in thei home showrooms there!"


I will, when i can afford to. I am, after all, a professional pianist. Ironic how we're some of the LAST people to ever be able to buy the BEST pianos. Doing what you love doesn't always fill your wallet.

Adrean


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As Chris and others have pointed out, Markson's is certainly a good upright heaven for those of us this side of the pond.... but I agree it's a bit daunting what with instruments packed so close together that I was afraid of moving the stool to a comfortable distance for fear of dinging the finish on the very very expensive uprights behind and either side...

their bosie 130 was nice, but I don't think it compares to their Steingraebers which were truly awesome (almost as awesome as my Sauter wink )


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Genaa, you managed to find a stool?

I missed that!

I thought I could sit on the fallboard of one piano whilst playing the one opposite. laugh


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hehe yup i found a stool... getting onto it however was another matter entirely.... and then there was the dilemma of quite where to put the glass of water I foolishly accepted............still a great shop with some truly wonderful instruments and extremely friendly staff smile just wish it had a bit more room!


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Beethoven: Op 10 no 1
Schubert: Op 90 no 3
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Originally Posted by AJF
Hi,
Would anyone have any info/suggestions as to where I can find a C.Bechstein dealer or a Steingraeber dealer in the Toronto area?
Robert Lowry carries the full line of C.Bechstein grands but none of their uprights (except maybe an Academy A1 from time to time).
Any info would be greatly appreciated.
Adrean


A quick websearch turned up this for C. Bechstein:

http://cosmomusic.ca/pianos.php

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One thing to consider about the high-end uprights is that they have a limited use - even the best upright will not feel like a decent grand piano when playing, although sound wise the upright still may be better. Basically, the target audience for the expensive uprights is people/institutions who want a (concert) performance instrument, but do not have the space for a decent grand (I am not talking about the "baby grands" of 160cm length or less). This is also one reason why, for example, Steingraeber have cut down the number of upright models they produce (btw, Norbert, I would be surprised if Steingraeber offer a house brand / second line of foreign production; I think that what you are referring to is that they sell other instruments than their own in their shop, from what I can recall that included a Chinese with German sounding name (of which the boss seemed slightly embarrassed), Schimmel, Rhönisch, and Yamaha -- but I may be wrong, it has been over a year that I was there).

So: if you have the space, go for a grand, you will get more out of it in the long run.


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I should add: the "Karl Lang" piano (the name of which goes back to, iirc, the name of the piano dealership Pianohaus Lang in Munich which Steinway bought and now is the Steinway-Haus München) is very clearly identified as a non-Steinway piano; Fischer does the same with its house brand "Fischer" in Stuttgart and Munich -- after all, the dealerships need to cater to the full market. I don't see how that has any influence on the other, more expensive, pianos the companies sell.


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Originally Posted by mjs
Basically, the target audience for the expensive uprights is people/institutions who want a (concert) performance instrument, but do not have the space for a decent grand (I am not talking about the "baby grands" of 160cm length or less).


I guess that would be me then!

BTW, I can't remember what AJF ended up getting in the end. Anybody know?


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Originally Posted by Chris H.
Originally Posted by mjs
Basically, the target audience for the expensive uprights is people/institutions who want a (concert) performance instrument, but do not have the space for a decent grand (I am not talking about the "baby grands" of 160cm length or less).


I guess that would be me then!

BTW, I can't remember what AJF ended up getting in the end. Anybody know?


AJF has a Kawai.

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Oh yeah, I remember now. The Shigeru SK2.

Turns out AJF had room for a grand after all!


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Originally Posted by AJF
Hi,

Would anyone have any info/suggestions as to where I can find a C.Bechstein dealer or a Steingraeber dealer in the Toronto area?
Robert Lowry carries the full line of C.Bechstein grands but none of their uprights (except maybe an Academy A1 from time to time).
Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Adrean


AJF,

Know that you love your SK2 very much. But if you want a second piano :D, found yesterday that there is a new dealer for Steingraeber in Richmond Hill : http://www.mypianohouse.com/

Regards.


Kawai RX-3, UST-9.
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