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Originally Posted by dogperson
Determining ‘best’ is a very subjective decision and the criteria might not be easily described. Difficulty in providing a concrete list does not negate the personal opinion of ‘best’

If they can't provide a list, then don't. It will just be up to the individual or committee to decide on what they want. And then just go with it. And if feasible or possible - can maybe change their mind later, and switch to something else that they think is more fitting - in their opinion.

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So here we are trying to explain why one Kawai (SK) is better than another (GX).

Like I said in the very beginning of this exercise in justification, if you don't understand you need to play/listen more.


When you play, never mind who listens to you. R.Schumann.

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What makes truly better one piano?

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What piano makes one truly better? (In my opinion, just about any acoustic piano.)


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Originally Posted by BDB
What piano makes one truly better? (In my opinion, just about any acoustic piano.)
True BDB, any piano is better than none.So be thankful for what you have.Some childten have none yet long to learn to play.

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Originally Posted by Learux
So here we are trying to explain why one Kawai (SK) is better than another (GX).
Like I said in the very beginning of this exercise in justification, if you don't understand you need to play/listen more.

It's 'better' to first define/state the feature(s) being compared. If you put both pianos in a relatively small room etc ...... will it matter? Or the comparison is to be done under particular conditions etc.

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Originally Posted by SouthPark
Originally Posted by Learux
So here we are trying to explain why one Kawai (SK) is better than another (GX).
Like I said in the very beginning of this exercise in justification, if you don't understand you need to play/listen more.

It's 'better' to first define/state the feature(s) being compared. If you put both pianos in a relatively small room etc ...... will it matter? Or the comparison is to be done under particular conditions etc.


Person, you just had a fairly successful attempt at trolling.

I am done with you.


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100 years old out of tune console piano Everything wrong with it
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Originally Posted by Withindale
My advice to Emery would be to find out how Signor Fabbrini transforms Hamburg Ds and do the like to his Petrof.

Thoughts on Hearing Maurizio Pollini’s Hamburg Steinway-Fabbrini in Concert


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There are no doubt really excellent better instruments, that Fazoli I played was one.Still if one considers the two top tiers of performance pianos.They are just out of reach for most buyers, so the third tier is a good choice.If I remember there are Petrof, Estonia, Shigeru, Schimmel Konzert..(cannot remember them all) Still I think I would prefer one of these to that new Delta I played where I felt so uncomfortable playing.I have played another larger model Sauter which was really awesome.There was also some amazing Steinway grands (some not that good), really top pianos like the Fazioli or a CBechstein that I once played.There was a 9 year old used Grotrian 125 Classic which was truly awfull! The treble seemed to stick out as a bright sound.The dealer tried to sell it in this condition for a ridiculously high price, just because the name on the fallboard.😳 The case seemed a grayish polished ebony.Quite frankly the much cheaper Chinese made, newer William Grotrian next to it sounded better.There are examples where the top names are used just to manipulate potential customers.When I looked inside the instrument the hammers in the treble looked rather worn???
I have played two very good Schimmel Classic model grands.The newer one was an excellent instrument. Unfortunatly I have never had the chance to try any of the Schimmel Konzert pianos.(nor have had a chance to try an Estonia)

Of course there are a lot of older pianos around which are real gems like the Steinway, Baldwins, Mason &Hamlins.The tone of new pianos cannot be related to some 19th century instruments or turn of the century pianos.The aesthetic ideal sound was very different I think to modern pianos.This is why people talk about the tone as being something so special when it comes to these pianos.

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Originally Posted by tre corda
Of course there are a lot of older pianos around which are real gems like the Steinway, Baldwins, Mason &Hamlins.The tone of new pianos cannot be related to some 19th century instruments or turn of the century pianos.The aesthetic ideal sound was very different I think to modern pianos.This is why people talk about the tone as being something so special when it comes to these pianos.

I dont think they engineered these pianos to have a specific sound. It was what it was. They did not have the technology to analyse and predict certain behavior. They just used what they had and if they liked it, they continued using it. The main difference with modern pianos is that we have tighter tolerances and use different materials from various origin.


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Originally Posted by Learux
Originally Posted by SouthPark
Originally Posted by Learux
So here we are trying to explain why one Kawai (SK) is better than another (GX).
Like I said in the very beginning of this exercise in justification, if you don't understand you need to play/listen more.

It's 'better' to first define/state the feature(s) being compared. If you put both pianos in a relatively small room etc ...... will it matter? Or the comparison is to be done under particular conditions etc.


Person, you just had a fairly successful attempt at trolling.

I am done with you.

It's one thing to sit down and play and notice the difference. To Learux's credit, I agree, the difference in quality should be apparent (and it has been to me and others when they go up or down the tiers for a given brand of pianos -- generally it's noticeable even with used ones if they're well-maintained...for brands with only one tier, it's similarly clear going up or down in size, making jump from upright to grand, etc.).

But to SouthPark's credit, I think it's worth actually identifying what makes one model different (and thus better or worse) than the other. Because pianos are in some ways just the sum of the parts, and in other ways not.

The third variable (aside from the person playing and the piano itself) is how the piano is set up. What if you have identical models that are just set up "better" versus "worse?" (which might even be subjective here, because people have different preferences as musicians).

What if you have one superior model set up expertly and one inferior model not set up so well? It blurs the lines a bit, accentuating the disparities in quality (when considering the importance of prepping). With maybe not too much work put in, a cheaper piano can be made to play and sound quite a bit better than before? And a top-notch one can seem deceptively mediocre without detailed and thorough prep work?

Then again, prepping is part of production from the factory on new pianos, right? Generally, they're set up to a more generic standard in inverse proportion to the degree that hand-fitting is done?

That's why handmade pianos in particular all sound a bit different. Each piano is an individual. It can be altered somewhat, but the idea is for them to be "made" or "born" a certain way and to not need modification -- just upkeep in the form of tuning and maintenance. You can make fine-tunings and tweaks, but shouldn't have to. Ideally you'll pick the one you love just as is.

I'm not a technician so I don't know all that much about it. I'm just kind of rambling here, don't mind me.

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Originally Posted by Jethro
So there's no real difference there either. The only true difference is the character of the tone. Either you like it or you don't. You can find a $250,000 Fazioli and find the tone of a $89,000 Shigeru more liking to your tastes. Is there a difference in the quality of their tones. NO! They're just different, but both equally fine examples of really exquisite sounding and playing grand pianos.

A 90k Shigeru as compared to a 250k Fazioli (Is there even one?) definitely is in a different size class and therefore not a good comparison at all.

One should only compare models from different makers within the same class of size i.e. Steinway D, Yamaha CFX, Shigeru SK-EX, Bechstein D 282, Bösendorfer 280VC, Fazioli 278 for concert size grands.

And then the "taste" you refer to is equally dependent on the technician in charge of the piano. A good technician can virtually transform the character of a piano, whereas a mediocre technician can basically take away any character from a generally wonderful piano. I have seen and played a concert grand that was so badly prepared in every regard that I'd never have considered it in a line up. The very same piano was then given a new set of hammers and subsequently was prepared by a really outstanding technician with the result that it's one of the best pianos I've ever played.

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Originally Posted by tre corda
Of course there are a lot of older pianos around which are real gems like the Steinway, Baldwins, Mason &Hamlins.The tone of new pianos cannot be related to some 19th century instruments or turn of the century pianos.The aesthetic ideal sound was very different I think to modern pianos.This is why people talk about the tone as being something so special when it comes to these pianos.
Virtually all of those instruments are either rebuilt(so the tone and touch are completely dependent on the quality and goal of the rebuilder) or in extremely poor condition. Either way I don't think we cannot tell much about how they sounded when originally built unless, perhaps, the rebuilder attempts an historically accurate rebuild. We can tell something from recordings but up until a certain point in the 20th century recordings were not very good at reproducing the actual sound.

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Originally Posted by tre corda
Of course there are a lot of older pianos around which are real gems like the Steinway, Baldwins, Mason &Hamlins.The tone of new pianos cannot be related to some 19th century instruments or turn of the century pianos.The aesthetic ideal sound was very different I think to modern pianos.This is why people talk about the tone as being something so special when it comes to these pianos.

I disagree.

There is a lengthy article by Theodore Steinway in the 1886/7 edition of the German language publication "Zeitschrift für den Instrumentenbau" and while it's a Steinway promotional article, it also contains a summary of what Steinway has done to building grands and basically concludes that 1885 marks the year where a Steinway was piano that has reached its final state of evolution:

https://daten.digitale-sammlungen.d....174.98.30&id=00004232&seite=270
https://daten.digitale-sammlungen.d....174.98.30&id=00004232&seite=323

And it's true, because the iron cast frame of an 1886 Steinway B is virtually identical to a 2020 Steinway B in terms of scaling and all the aspects that make this piano what it has been for the past 135 years. There were slight changes, but in principal an old Steinway is a modern one in every regard.

What has changed is the choice of material i.e. the Apalachian Red Spruce used in my piano was extinct by 1915 and the boxwood that was used for the bridges was later replaced by maple of the same rigidity. None of these changes had fundamental effects on the piano's sound aesthetics, they were of practical nature.

It's easily possible to prepare a fresh Hamburg Steinway in such a way that it reflects the tonal aesthetics of the turn of the century. Mind you, it's quite an effort, because it involves many hours of changing the characteristics of the hammer, which are slightly heavier than they were 100 years ago and definitely are a lot harder when they leave the factory. Very few technicians actually take the time of needling down a hammer in a way that makes it as elastic and resilient as a tennis ball, but it's possible and well worth the effort.

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Originally Posted by OE1FEU
Originally Posted by Jethro
So there's no real difference there either. The only true difference is the character of the tone. Either you like it or you don't. You can find a $250,000 Fazioli and find the tone of a $89,000 Shigeru more liking to your tastes. Is there a difference in the quality of their tones. NO! They're just different, but both equally fine examples of really exquisite sounding and playing grand pianos.

A 90k Shigeru as compared to a 250k Fazioli (Is there even one?) definitely is in a different size class and therefore not a good comparison at all.

One should only compare models from different makers within the same class of size i.e. Steinway D, Yamaha CFX, Shigeru SK-EX, Bechstein D 282, Bösendorfer 280VC, Fazioli 278 for concert size grands.

And then the "taste" you refer to is equally dependent on the technician in charge of the piano. A good technician can virtually transform the character of a piano, whereas a mediocre technician can basically take away any character from a generally wonderful piano. I have seen and played a concert grand that was so badly prepared in every regard that I'd never have considered it in a line up. The very same piano was then given a new set of hammers and subsequently was prepared by a really outstanding technician with the result that it's one of the best pianos I've ever played.
I took a wild guess at those numbers but it turns out I wasn't too far off the mark. The most fancy polished 6'2 SK 3 has an SMP of $88,295 and the most fancy polished Fazioli 6'0 has an SMP of $217,000. I agree though if one wants to make a comparison at least try to compare apples to apples.

BTW a 7'6 Fazioli could set you back with an eye popping SMP of $268,500.

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Originally Posted by Sidokar
Originally Posted by tre corda
Of course there are a lot of older pianos around which are real gems like the Steinway, Baldwins, Mason &Hamlins.The tone of new pianos cannot be related to some 19th century instruments or turn of the century pianos.The aesthetic ideal sound was very different I think to modern pianos.This is why people talk about the tone as being something so special when it comes to these pianos.

I dont think they engineered these pianos to have a specific sound. It was what it was. They did not have the technology to analyse and predict certain behavior. They just used what they had and if they liked it, they continued using it. The main difference with modern pianos is that we have tighter tolerances and use different materials from variouord s origin.
I never used the word "engineered"The pianos of Beethoven and the forte piano was closely related to the music.Later in the 19th early there was a "higher than life" perception when it came to art and music.i am sure this was reflected in the music as it was in the tonal aspects of the pianos being made.
Of course by the end of the 19th and turn of the the early 20th century there were different tonal parameters that piano makers wanted to achieve.Today all pianos ( "G R A N D S" and uprights) have very different tonal features.All piano makers have been affected by both the tone of Steinway and Japanese pianos in the 20th and 21st century.So we have ended up with a typical "plush" sound which has a tendency towards brightness but in "different degrees,"the best or better" of these still have a real creative tone which pianists, both professional, students and amateurs enjoy.Apart from the use of different materials and technologies, in the three upper tiers the master technicians and piano makers still have important roles to play in defining the tone of the modern piano.

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Originally Posted by Jethro
I took a wild guess at those numbers but it turns out I wasn't too far off the mark. The most fancy polished 6'2 SK 3 has an SMP of $88,295 and the most fancy polished Fazioli 6'0 has an SMP of $217,000. I agree though if one wants to make a comparison at least try to compare apples to apples.

BTW a 7'6 Fazioli could set you back with an eye popping SMP of $268,500.

Hmm...both of those are far, far higher than what I was quoted in Feb/Mar....

Oh you're looking at the exotic wood veneer or art-case ones, aren't you? I love me some expensive pianos, but find it really hard to pay that much more for a finish laugh


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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by Jethro
I took a wild guess at those numbers but it turns out I wasn't too far off the mark. The most fancy polished 6'2 SK 3 has an SMP of $88,295 and the most fancy polished Fazioli 6'0 has an SMP of $217,000. I agree though if one wants to make a comparison at least try to compare apples to apples.

BTW a 7'6 Fazioli could set you back with an eye popping SMP of $268,500.

Hmm...both of those are far, far higher than what I was quoted in Feb/Mar....

Oh you're looking at the exotic wood veneer or art-case ones, aren't you? I love me some expensive pianos, but find it really hard to pay that much more for a finish laugh
Depends on the color apparently. A 6 footer can run between $138,000 to 217,000 the only difference being the color choice. Which begs the question. Which one is better? I could have bought an SK2 and had money left over to buy a car with that price difference.

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Originally Posted by Jethro
Depends on the color apparently. A 6 footer can run between $138,000 to 217,000 the only difference being the color choice. Which begs the question. Which one is better? I could have bought an SK2 and had money left over to buy a car with that price difference.

A few years ago my parents were buying a BBQ (like a Weber grill, nothing special). The place they went had standalone grilles as well as full constructions for luxury homes/mansions. They said they "had to significantly increase their prices" on their highest end models. Inflation? No. Cost of materials/supplies? No. The price on the top end built-in backyard BBQ island was low enough that their customers came in, saying "Oh, that's all it costs? Isn't there a higher end version we can look at?" They nearly doubled the price....and customers were happy that they were getting something befitting of their home (I guess??)


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