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The best piano is the one you have at your disposition.


My grand piano is a Yamaha C2 SG.
My other Yamaha is an XMAX 300.
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Your thread’s title and what you wrote are different: very best piano or very best piano brand. I’ll answer the second question.

I’ve owned a Baldwin grand and I own verticals made by Bohemia (Rieger-Kloss on the fallboard but the tone is the very distinctive Bohemia), Ibach, and Steinway. And have owned and had regular access to a number of other pianos.

A couple of times I had access to Weber pianos and was really impressed. First, an old vertical at the Hattie Weber Museum in Davis, CA (no relation). And then a Korean-built Weber grand in a coffee house in Sebastopol, CA. Finally, recently I saved one from going to the dump, an 1895, high on the mountains overlooking Santa Barbara, that was built when Weber’s son was still head of the company, and am restoring it.

What I like about this brand is that it was founded by an immigrant from Europe and was a top American brand, but then is now stewarded and manufactured as still the top brand of the Korean manufacturer. It hasn’t been taken merely as a brand name to exploit as a lower priced offering, but they’re actually honoring the legacy. So it’s people from three continents keeping a lineage alive.


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charleslang - that was the whole point/joke
Get your attention
Then ask my real question - What was the 'best' piano you ever played!

Did you not read the very 1st line of my original post?


brdwyguy

Last edited by brdwyguy; 08/24/21 03:43 PM.

1961-1964: Lester or Emerson Upright
1969-1992: Westbrook Spinet
1991-2021: Schomacker Model A (1912) "Schoowie"
2021-Present: Steinway Model A (1912) "Amalia"

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Originally Posted by brdwyguy
charleslang - that was the whole point/joke
Get your attention
Then ask my real question - What was the 'best' piano you ever played!

Did you not read the very 1st line of my original post?

brdwyguy

Oh I didn’t follow you there. I think they’re both interesting questions.

For me, my relationship with pianos has changed greatly over the years and so it’s complicated to rank my “wow” moments of fifteen years ago with more recent experiences. I learned with a white-keys anchored perception, as an adult, but over the years have managed to get away from that more and more, by transposing endlessly, to where I finally feel it like a harp.

I’ve played a couple of concert grands but not in the last ten years. For the last several years I played three hours every Tuesday in a restaurant on a 45 inch Steinway and that got me really used to the intimacy of being with it. My little meditative corner. Moving up to a 50” Weber lately has been quite an experience. I definitely view the bass as better but I have this feeling like going bigger and grand is a more diffused sound and the action is heavier or has more inertia.

I guess really my situation is that I’ve tried these various piano types but I would need to approach them with new ears and hands now in order to gain an impression.


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Originally Posted by littlefinger
When did you get a chance to play a Rubenstein? Their site was eccentric to say the least, and currently appears to be nonexistant. Googling the name "Rubenstein" brings sparse results about the piano maker. I did find a Piano Buyer article from 2012 that mentions Rubenstein, and how he built pianos in terms of "years per piano" rather than "pianos per year". How such an operation could possibly be profitable is beyond me.

It was at a couple conventions back around 2006 / 2007. (One was a PTG convention in southern CA, the other was NAMM, was able to go when I was working for a local piano store tuning pianos.)


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Originally Posted by Sir Lurksalot
Originally Posted by OE1FEU
Would you mind telling us what the actual point of such a generic survey could be?

I can't think of any reason that makes it insightful in one way or another other than getting a list of brand names thrown at us.

Some people just like to converse about great pianos, kinda like "what's the best meal you ever had?" Nothing wrong with that. It's a topic that appears here every year or two.
Exactly.

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UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE

I recently went to Freeburg Pianos to play some incoming pianos.

Seriously. . . If I could have traded in my Steinway A for this Piano I would have but at $80k. . not possible

https://freeburgpianos.com/used-pianos-for-sale/masonhamlin-model-bb/

I fell in love with the awesome instrument - a Concert Pianist traded it in because they wanted a 'CC'
It was only a year old
Great feel and amazing tone - and the dynamics were incredible - it went wherever I asked it to go.

It was only a year old.

I even played a brand new M&H CC and they had a demo of the 9' M&H VX both extraordinary
yet I still liked the BB.

This will forever be the piano that got away - because of stupid finances.
Maybe I will hit the lottery?

brdwyguy


1961-1964: Lester or Emerson Upright
1969-1992: Westbrook Spinet
1991-2021: Schomacker Model A (1912) "Schoowie"
2021-Present: Steinway Model A (1912) "Amalia"

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I've said this a few times on the forum in differing posts but the best piano I have ever played, the one that I connected with most, was a Yamaha CF6 in the Yamaha Music London showroom. The tone was pure and gorgeous, the action silky smooth and the piano just did everything I asked it to without effort. My playing never sounded so good...!

Boy, if only I had the spare £85,000 lying around at the time to buy it...

On a separate note, I've also played some very good Steingraeber-Phoenix pianos at Hurstwood Farm which is owned/run by Richard Dain, a name I am sure many of you are familiar with.


Current: Yamaha AvantGrand NU1X
Previous: Venables & Son Academy-168, Kawai K-15 E and Yamaha Clavinova CVP-208

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There have been a few "wow" moments in my life when I tried pianos, and a common trait I can think of is that there was, more or less, some surprise component to it. That is, I was not expecting it. For example:

1) When my parents were looking for a grand piano for me, while my experience up to that point was solely on our upright, and in the Yamaha showroom I was quite blown away by the Yamaha C6 (but we ended up getting a C5 because of space concern).

2) In a music expo in Taiwan, my first encounter with a Bosendorfer Imperial which, in all aspects, blew away the Bosendorfer 225 (or 213, not exactly sure) that my university's then best performance venue had.

3) In an impromptu trip to Yamaha's Tokyo flagship showroom, an apparently meticulously prepped Yamaha CF4.

4) Also another impromptu trip to Steinway's (new) NY showroom, a Hamburg model C (although at this point, I had accumulated a bit more mileage that I was not as wow-y as before).

On the other hand, I am perfectly happy with what we have at home. Wide and different enough palettes to use.


1969 Hamburg Steinway B, rebuilt by PianoCraft in 2017
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Different Pianos for different purposes.
Same goes for any music gear.

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Originally Posted by Davdoc
On the other hand, I am perfectly happy with what we have at home. Wide and different enough palettes to use.
If I owned your three pianos, I'd be perfectly happy too. grin


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Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by Davdoc
On the other hand, I am perfectly happy with what we have at home. Wide and different enough palettes to use.
If I owned your three pianos, I'd be perfectly happy too. grin

Your 3 are fantastic instruments too!


1969 Hamburg Steinway B, rebuilt by PianoCraft in 2017
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Well over 40 years ago, when I tuned for a Baldwin dealer, I tuned an SF10 - the 7 footer - effectively a Baldwin C&A - for a concert. Remember being totally knocked out.

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Originally Posted by Jim of Seattle
In college I was playing some compositions of a classmate for a concert. The piano was a Bosendorfer. Before the concert, my teacher came up to me and said "Jim, you better try out that piano before the concert so you'll have a feel for it". I blew him off, thinking "How different could it be? I've played hundreds of different pianos in my lifetime".

Then when it was my turn, I got up there in front of the audience and started the first piece. One bar in and I immediately thought "Oh [censored], no wonder he told me to try the piano out first". It didn't feel like any piano I'd ever played, and apart from the fact that I completely hated these pieces I was playing, it was a pleasure to experience what felt to me like a completely different instrument.

I had a similar experience playing a jury in college - no chance to play the thing first. Began to play on presumably one of the best teaching studio instruments in the school - prepped to the nth degree. My jury-terror was (at least somewhat) overcome by my enjoyment and curiosity about what I could do with it.

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Originally Posted by Davdoc
Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by Davdoc
On the other hand, I am perfectly happy with what we have at home. Wide and different enough palettes to use.
If I owned your three pianos, I'd be perfectly happy too. grin

Your 3 are fantastic instruments too!

True. We're both very fortunate. thumb


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Well I had chance to play a Fazioli 212 yesterday and yes it was really impressive.It was slightly out of tune, but still the tone was beautiful.I could play very softly and then open up the tone to real power.It was also very different to any other grand that size I have played.

When it comes to the best brand I would have to play a great deal more 7ft pianos..However it certainly must be somewhere near the top.


My piano's voice is my voice to God and the great unknown universe, and to those I love.In other words a hymn.That is all, but that is enough.Life goes on, despite pain and fear.Music is beautiful,life is beautiful.


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Oh the cheapest Fazioli SMP price $116,856 for a 5'6" piano! 😨

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Originally Posted by williambonard
On a separate note, I've also played some very good Steingraeber-Phoenix pianos at Hurstwood Farm which is owned/run by Richard Dain, a name I am sure many of you are familiar with.

You are right, William, Steingraeber and Steingraeber-Phoenix E272 pianos should be on the list of best pianos.

After Udo Steingraeber visited Hurstwood Park to hear Richard Dain's Bosendorfer Imperial with his newly designed agraffes, they agreed on an acoustic modification to the Steingraeber bodies for Hurstwood Park. This results in greater clarity and purity of tone.

The Steingraeber-Phoenix C212 is a phenomenal instrument.


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C Bechstein B. That probably doesn't count. though, because of your criteria I could not have taken it home. It also caused me a lot of trouble.


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