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Estonia Pianos
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Joined: Nov 2010
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Hi,
I'm really having a hard time deciding between an Estonia 168 and a 190 .

the 168 is lovely - it's just that the bass doesn't have the sonority of the 190.
however, the 168 being a smaller piano, perhaps it's less likely to disturb the neighbors, and maybe it's better suited for a 13+ by 22+ room (which opens into another room).
on the other hand, I've heard that the larger piano doesn't mean more volume - rather, it means more richness and depth.
what are your views and experiences with these two pianos? thanks much!!

Last edited by Venus Harmony; 11/21/10 11:23 AM.
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Any piano you get by Estonia will be lovely. I played a 190 this summer and loved it. You are right in saying that a bigger piano doesn't necessarily mean more volume, though it doesn't necessarily mean more richness and depth (Have you heard a 9' Pearl River?! :)). You'll need to decide if the better sound quality of the 190 is worth the added expense. If it was me, I'd get the 190.

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Either Estonia is a fine instrument. Dr. Laul lives here in the USA and I can tell you that he has a 5'6" in his home.

The 6'3" does have a little bigger sound, but I cannot say anyone is going wrong with the 5'6". I personally quite enjoy that piano.

Good Luck in your choice - you really can't make a bad decision. smile


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i now have a huge home. i used to have a pretty small one. i have a 168 and it is totally enough piano for either space. I think the 190 would give you a more perfect tone.

I have lived in freestanding homes, (not apartment).. and one cannot hear the piano from outside... except just a tiny bit.


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Well, he could ultimately choose to not get one. Wouldn't that be a bad decision? I think so smile

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My 190 is in a smallish room that opens into two other rooms (dining room and foyer). It gets fairly loud in the room and the piano can be heard outside the house, but not excessively so (unless I open the windows). If I was in an apartment it would be an entirely different story. In a freestanding home, unless your walls are made of paper, I wouldn't worry about disturbing the neighbors.


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Hi Venus, I posted this a while back, and it speaks to your question:

I am probably one of the few who have actually had both the 168 and 190 in my home. To make a long story short, like you, the Estonias were clearly the best piano value in terms of buying a fine instrument without having to go broke with the purchase.

I was originally planning on buying a Chinese made grand for less than 10K, but after delving into the market, I found many nice pianos ($8K, 13K,18k,going up the "tiers" but none that "grabbed" me...until I played the Estonias.

I would have been quite happy with the 168. At the shop, there was a 168, 168 hidden beauty, and a 190. I think my wife wanted the hidden beauty, but now in that price range, it wasn't much more to "go for it" and get the 190. I felt the touch was a little better and the sound more powerful, esp in the bass. Of course in the big showroom the bigger piano should shine a little more...

After delivery of the 190, it seemed a little big for our living room, I had a touch of "buyers remorse" feel that maybe I bought too much piano...but it did sound great. Unfortunately due to a quirk in the casting of the plate, it resonated to middle C!. I wasn't correctable locally, and eventually it was sent back to Estonia for repair...Dr. Laul spoke to me personally and sent me out a brand new 168 loaner that was delivered when mine was picked up. Hence I have had both models in my home.

Estonia eventually decided to just send me a brand new 190! This speaks to standing behind your product. I actually kind of lucked out since I now have a 2009 vs a 2006 model (at the 2006 price) and have basically gotten a couple years of "free piano mileage". Also, I feel the new piano is a superior instrument. Alls well that ends well...


I found the loaner L168 to be a wonderful piano, with a charming sound, perhaps more so in the treble than the 190. I really wished knew someone in the market at the time because it ended up being a good deal for someone, being virtually new but discounted as used. When the 168 was replaced by the new 190, it was apparent to me that the bigger piano was indeed superior. Also, over time the 190 seems to fit the room very nicely, and doesn't seem big at all.

You can't go wrong with either model. You definately have room for the bigger one. A lot depends on what you like to play as well. I gravitate towards big orchestral pieces, like Beethoven sonatas, Rachmaninov preludes, etc. so I like some power and "rumble". However if you lean towards a lot of Bach, Mozart, light jazz, and ragtime, the L168 may fit the bill very well.

Financially I feel a grand piano is no different than other big purchases such as a house or car. Few go out and pay cash. You finance so you can enjoy it NOW. Looking at the numbers, what would be the difference in the monthly payment?

Finally, I do take pride in having the bigger piano (its a man thing I guess), and I am quick to point out that "its not a baby"...I feel the L190 is superior to the L168 (but not by too too much). I decided this will be my piano for life and I can always make more money.
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THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR GREAT RESPONSES.
SO I'M IN AN APARTMENT -- DOES THAT CHANGE YOUR RESPONSE OR IT REALLY DOESN'T MAKE MUCH OF A DIFFERENCE - PARTICULARLY IF THE 190 IS VOICED DOWN???

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you could play a fairly loud stereo, approximating the volume of the piano and listen from your neighbors' apartments...

if you have the ability to play softly, there is nothing to worry about. I used to play while my children were sleeping babies and developed a 'soft playing' skill.



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The real question is: Do you actually like your neighbors? cool

Seriously, both are great instruments. Get the one you like the best and don't worry about anything else.


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As apple said, many people play their stereos louder than your piano will be. If you can afford the L190, get it. You certainly have the room and it is no louder.


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I have a 168 in my small house, and it is so powerful that I always play with the lid closed and the frond lid folded back. A local piano store had the 190, so, of course, I had to go and try it. There were two 190's side by side, and they were both lovely. But what blew them both away, was the smaller 168 next to them. So again, you have to try each individual piano to see what is right for you.


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Venus:

Much here depends on:

1] the acoustics in your apartment
2] your own style of playing

If you play a lot of bass, the 190 gives you more, not hugely more but still *more*

If you mostly play within the middle octaves [as most pianists do..] the 168 is a wonderful choice.

Either piano will rock ya!

Norbert wink



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re Stanza :
After delivery of the 190, it seemed a little big for our living room, I had a touch of "buyers remorse" feel that maybe I bought too much piano...but it did sound great


how big was the room that you felt the 190 was too much piano?
thanks!

Last edited by Venus Harmony; 11/17/10 01:12 AM.
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If an Estonia 190 is too loud for the neighbours, then a small upright is also too loud for the neighbours. It is simply having a piano that is or is not a problem. You should get the piano with the sound and feel that you like best, and that you can afford to buy.


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My living room is only 12' x 14' but it opens widely to the foyer on one side and I have french doors that can open to a large family room on an adjacent wall.


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We have a L190, but the dealer only had two L190's to choose from. They now have a L168, and it sounds every bit as nice, but isn't as nice as the bigger model in the bass for sure. I think it depends upon which one sounds better to you. They both have similar loudness when played at the dealer, IMHO.

Any way you go, I think you'll be happy, as we are.


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I started out with a 168 and upgraded to a 190. They are both beautiful pianos. But if you can afford it, go for the 190. Volume is not a concern. The depth of the bass and midrange is. Just my 2 cents, for what it's worth. Good luck.


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Seems like a pattern- both are great.

Rick Baldassin came and tuned & did some minor voicing for us today on our Estonia. I love a freshly-tuned piano...


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