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Originally Posted by Jethro
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
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.
You need to compare similar finishes i.e.
polished ebony to polished ebony for each maker. Otherwise, you are not comparing apples to apples.
I think the finest polished 6'2 SK is a fair comparison to the finest polished 6'0 Fazioli. If the price tag is any indication one could argue the Shigeru is not in the same class as a Fazioli, but I think there's very little to differentiate the two quality or musicality wise. Sure the look of the finish, the tone, the price tag, the prestige to own, maybe the touch are different from each other. But can someone objectively say one is "better" than the other. I'd say no. Many would say an Shigeru Kawai is just as much a world class instrument as a Fazioli though they are separated by a hundred thousand dollars plus. Blindfold a number of concert pianists and I'd bet just as with the Stradivarius study that some would have a hard time choosing one over the other. It would all just boil down to personal preferences.
I didn't say anything about the quality of the two pianos or which was better. I did say one has to compare apples to apples when comparing the prices.

Some veneers are MUCH more expensive than other veneers not only for Fazioli but for Steinway(with SMPs for their model A ranging from 110K to 174K) and many other makes. So comparing the most expensive SK veneer(they only make two non ebony finishes) with the most expensive Fazioli veneer is not reasonable. Since Shigeru makes sapele mahogany and pyramid mahogany finishes, you should compare those prices to the same Fazioli finishes if they make those. Fazioli will still be much more costly but not to the extent your figures indicated.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Jethro
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
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.
You need to compare similar finishes i.e.
polished ebony to polished ebony for each maker. Otherwise, you are not comparing apples to apples.
I think the finest polished 6'2 SK is a fair comparison to the finest polished 6'0 Fazioli. If the price tag is any indication one could argue the Shigeru is not in the same class as a Fazioli, but I think there's very little to differentiate the two quality or musicality wise. Sure the look of the finish, the tone, the price tag, the prestige to own, maybe the touch are different from each other. But can someone objectively say one is "better" than the other. I'd say no. Many would say an Shigeru Kawai is just as much a world class instrument as a Fazioli though they are separated by a hundred thousand dollars plus. Blindfold a number of concert pianists and I'd bet just as with the Stradivarius study that some would have a hard time choosing one over the other. It would all just boil down to personal preferences.
I didn't say anything about the quality of the two pianos or which was better. I did say one has to compare apples to apples when comparing the prices.

Some veneers are MUCH more expensive than other veneers not only for Fazioli but for Steinway(with SMPs for their model A ranging from 110K to 174K) and many other makes. So comparing the most expensive SK veneer(they only make two non ebony finishes) with the most expensive Fazioli veneer is not reasonable. Since Shigeru makes sapele mahogany and pyramid mahogany finishes, you should compare those prices to the same Fazioli finishes if they make those. Fazioli will still be much more costly but not to the extent your figures indicated.
Well I think you are missing my point. The color nor price to me matter very little whether one wants to say whether or not one piano is truly better than another. I bet if you asked 1000 concert pianists none of them would say the finish of the piano makes a difference. When I say compare apples to apples I am saying to compare pianos where the manufacturer is positioning that piano in the market. Kawai considers its Shigeru as one of the finest pianos in the market today and would wholeheartedly say, go ahead compare it to a Fazioli without blinking an eye.

Last edited by Jethro; 05/05/22 10:19 PM.
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I do not not think we should just compare different brands this way.The Fazioli was beautiful to look at, the sleekest grand I have ever seen.(it was in PE finish), I thought of one of those Italian sports cars you see (not so much around here 😀 unfortunately) The tone had such a clarity and the instrument was so sensitive.What you could accomplish with that tone..!
I liked the Shigeru's very much (we nearly bought one once), they were totally different pianos, coming from different worlds.If you woke me up at 2am and blindfolded me; I would be able to tell you the difference between those two. Although I agree the power of suggestion is quite something, I could never mistake the difference between those two.They are just so different.

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Originally Posted by tre corda
I do not not think we should just compare different brands this way.The Fazioli was beautiful to look at, the sleekest grand I have ever seen.(it was in PE finish), I thought of one of those Italian sports cars you see (not so much around here 😀 unfortunately) The tone had such a clarity and the instrument was so sensitive.What you could accomplish with that tone..!
I liked the Shigeru's very much as well but they were totally different puanos, coming from different worlds.If you woke me up at 2am and blindfolded me; I would be able to tell you the difference between those two. Although I agree the power of suggestion is quite something, I could never mistake the difference between those two.They are just so different.
I understand what you are saying tre. I love the look of Ferraris as well. I'm just bringing up this conversation in light of the question asked. "What makes one piano truly better?" I just don't think the finish qualifies at least for me, again there is some subjectivity to that comment. If you asked me the question what makes one piano more "beautiful" in appearance than another, absolutely I would say you have to look at the finish. Amber Heard is a beautiful woman, does that make her a truly better person than any other woman?

Last edited by Jethro; 05/05/22 10:33 PM.
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Jethro, one difference is that the one is just so unmistakably European with a clarity that you will either love or hate. Some may think of it as being "cold" while others may find it inspiring.Possibly the Shigeru would appeal to far more people because of its "warmth of tone"(perhaps I am using the wrong description), still its a very different tone.Anyway I hate praising the Fazioli because it is so expensive,and I could never hope to own one.(and I know few here could own such an instrument)


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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I think it goes without saying that ornamental/fancy edition pianos do not partake in the discussion of a better piano.

Better looking yes/maybe, just by bringing it up is insulting intelligence.


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I guess there's the issue of both design and materials.

More expensive pianos typically use more premium materials. For example, my Yamaha S7X uses more premium "European spruce", while the cheaper CX series uses Japanese spruce. How is European spruce better? Could a blindfolded person tell whether the piano they were listening to used European or Japanese spruce? I'm not sure. Hailun pianos probably use even more affordable woods in their pianos than the Yamaha CX series. Despite this, I was quite impressed with the Hailun 218.

On the other hand, a manufacturer could have a particular design including exact choice of woods, strings, hammers etc which just works really well. It is actually surprisingly difficult to try to replicate someone else's design and characteristics. So this is also partly what you are paying for when you buy from a certain manufacturer. A lot of research and development might have gone into designing a piano with that particular sound and that particular touch - so you have to pay for this as well.

Fazioli's higher prices presumably provide them more scope to "bin" pianos, soundboards etc which just don't seem to have worked out well. That is, more stringent quality control with a higher rejection rate.

Last edited by Sonepica; 05/05/22 11:38 PM.
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Just ask oneself ----- when the latest wasn't around --- did the audience still thoroughly enjoy the music?

Answer ----- yes, they did still thoroughly enjoy -- and that's because our technology was good enough already. We had got there already.

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Originally Posted by SouthPark
Just ask oneself ----- when the latest wasn't around --- did the audience still thoroughly enjoy the music?

Answer ----- yes, they did still thoroughly enjoy -- and that's because our technology was good enough already. We had got there already.

Well put aside your 4k tv and go back and watch an old tv, when tvs were not only very low resolution but blurry due crt convergence issues and low reception quality. It's astonishing that people used to watch movies like this. Although no one complained at the time, I can't imagine having to endure that now.

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Originally Posted by Jethro
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Jethro
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
You need to compare similar finishes i.e. polished ebony to polished ebony for each maker. Otherwise, you are not comparing apples to apples.
I think the finest polished 6'2 SK is a fair comparison to the finest polished 6'0 Fazioli. If the price tag is any indication one could argue the Shigeru is not in the same class as a Fazioli, but I think there's very little to differentiate the two quality or musicality wise. Sure the look of the finish, the tone, the price tag, the prestige to own, maybe the touch are different from each other. But can someone objectively say one is "better" than the other. I'd say no. Many would say an Shigeru Kawai is just as much a world class instrument as a Fazioli though they are separated by a hundred thousand dollars plus. Blindfold a number of concert pianists and I'd bet just as with the Stradivarius study that some would have a hard time choosing one over the other. It would all just boil down to personal preferences.
I didn't say anything about the quality of the two pianos or which was better. I did say one has to compare apples to apples when comparing the prices.

Some veneers are MUCH more expensive than other veneers not only for Fazioli but for Steinway(with SMPs for their model A ranging from 110K to 174K) and many other makes. So comparing the most expensive SK veneer(they only make two non ebony finishes) with the most expensive Fazioli veneer is not reasonable. Since Shigeru makes sapele mahogany and pyramid mahogany finishes, you should compare those prices to the same Fazioli finishes if they make those. Fazioli will still be much more costly but not to the extent your figures indicated.
Well I think you are missing my point. The color nor price to me matter very little whether one wants to say whether or not one piano is truly better than another. I bet if you asked 1000 concert pianists none of them would say the finish of the piano makes a difference. When I say compare apples to apples I am saying to compare pianos where the manufacturer is positioning that piano in the market. Kawai considers its Shigeru as one of the finest pianos in the market today and would wholeheartedly say, go ahead compare it to a Fazioli without blinking an eye.
Again, I said nothing about the quality of Shigeru vs. Fazioli so I don't know why you bring that up. And I certainly never said the finish of the piano make a difference in the sound or feel of the piano so I don't know why you mention that either.

My comment was on the price comparison you made. Since you weren't comparing the same finishes on the Shigeru and Fazioli and the wood finish can greatly affect the price, you weren't comparing apples to apples. You should, for example, compare the Shigeru polished ebony to the Fazioli polished ebony or the Shigeru pyramid mahogany to the Fazioli pyramid mahogany if they make that finish.

To get a valid price comparison you have to compare the prices of two pianos of the same or very similar size and the same finish.

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Originally Posted by Sonepica
Well put aside your 4k tv and go back and watch an old tv, when tvs were not only very low resolution but blurry due crt convergence issues and low reception quality. It's astonishing that people used to watch movies like this. Although no one complained at the time, I can't imagine having to endure that now.

I still enjoyed Doctor Who on black and white TV, and also on analog colour tv. Thoroughly enjoyed it. And this is even using just the rabbit ear antenna system, or the coil antenna system. The roof-mount yagi style antenna systems generally had things sorted. Some viewers had ghosting issues, and null spots, etc. But in general, yes ..... the bulk of the viewers got to enjoy their Doctor, Star Trek (the old generation) etc. Not just enjoy. But thoroughly enjoyed it all the same.

And true --- if we hypothetically take away your 4K tv and/or digital tv, and hypothetically assume that the analog transmissions are still around (hypothetically, even though we now it's pretty much all decommissioned in all or most places), then we go back to the situation of ..... having analog to use is certainly better than nothing.

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Originally Posted by Sonepica
It's astonishing that people used to watch movies like this. Although no one complained at the time, I can't imagine having to endure that now.

Let's put it this way. People endure lots of things. It's when you experience something harsh or know about what it is like to have absolutely nothing, or undergo serious hardship, that's when you can learn to be flexible, adaptable, tolerating. For example, if you suddenly find yourself in a war time ..... and suddenly have zero (or pretty much nothing) ..... and you only could just find a bit of grass or edible plant roots to eat ----- then you would most likely just eat it, and bear it, and tolerate it.

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I forgot to mention - it was just a hypothetical. It's just saying that - people can certainly thoroughly enjoy something (eg. music) - without needing the 'best' or 'better' gear/kit.

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Originally Posted by SouthPark
I forgot to mention - it was just a hypothetical. It's just saying that - people can certainly thoroughly enjoy something (eg. music) - without needing the 'best' or 'better' gear/kit.

Sure, but you could drop onto every forum on the internet and point out that the question they are discussing would seem unimportant if they were in wartime and struggling to find grass or edible plant roots to eat.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
To get a valid price comparison you have to compare the prices of two pianos of the same or very similar size and the same finish.

It's a relevant point. A significant portion of the cost of Fazioli pianos is the very high quality finishing, which doesn't affect the quality of the sound or action.

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For the last time ☺️
I’m not comparing by price or finish which are irrelevant but how they are positioned in the marketplace by the manufacturer.

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Originally Posted by Sonepica
I guess there's the issue of both design and materials.

How is European spruce better? Could a blindfolded person tell whether the piano they were listening to used European or Japanese spruce? I'm not sure.

That is exactly the point. The European spruce may not even cost higher or at least not significantly higher than the japanese one. And there are plenty of variety of spruce, from the Alps, Germany, Italy even Ukrain (before the war I guess), ...

Originally Posted by Sonepica
On the other hand, a manufacturer could have a particular design including exact choice of woods, strings, hammers etc which just works really well. It is actually surprisingly difficult to try to replicate someone else's design and characteristics. So this is also partly what you are paying for when you buy from a certain manufacturer. A lot of research and development might have gone into designing a piano with that particular sound and that particular touch - so you have to pay for this as well.

Some company do R&D but for many others it is just doing mostly like they used to with some occasional changes; S&S for example.

Originally Posted by Sonepica
Fazioli's higher prices presumably provide them more scope to "bin" pianos, soundboards etc which just don't seem to have worked out well. That is, more stringent quality control with a higher rejection rate.

The pricing strategy of companies, in particular for the high end and luxury goods is only loosely related to the cost of the product. Of course higher end products do cost more as they use more refined materials and more work, but the price is mainly driven by the market competition and the brand image. You end up paying proportionally way more margin than the marginal cost increase. And it is fairly usual that higher end products do carry much more margin than lower end products which are subject to a more stronger price selection (S&S even publish it in their annual report !). After all a luxury good is not luxury if it isnt expensive. The price is unrelated to the cost of production. Fazioli wants to build a top quality image and that also implies a top price. How much it costs to manufacture it is only marginally relevant.


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Originally Posted by tre corda
So you do admit that a Steinway from the turn of the century sounded different from one made today and there was a different tonal aesthetic (philosophy) from today.

No, I didn't say that, quite the opposite. There were basically no fundamental design changes between an 1886 Steinway B and a 2020 Steinway B and that's why I pointed out the article by Theodore Steinway. It's easy to make an 1886 Steinway B just as harsh, brilliant and metallic as a brand new one - and it may just well have exactly been the case, because the same density in hammer felts could be achieved 130 years ago. If I had a time machine to travel back to 1886 and would visit the Berlin showroom where my piano was sold (by Carl Bechstein's step brother), I am confident that it would sound and pretty much play like a modern one. It is known that hammers were a little lighter, about 1 gram less in the bass section, the hammer tails and back checks were shaped a little differently, but other than that, it's a Steinway, albeit 130 years old.

Case in point: In 2012, before I got the piano, it was in a repair shop that didn't know about these slight differences and they replaced the original hammers and shanks with modern Renner ones. And the sound of that piano back then was just as I had come to know the countless modern Steinways I've played over the years. The hammers were hard as concrete and produced a harsh and metallic sound. It's only thanks to my excellent technician, who spent countless hours working on the hammers that hey are now very elastic, resilient and produce a wonderful mellow sound, while retaining all the potential to start roaring like a lion when the music asks for it.

It takes an enormous amount of time, hard needle work and a lot of experience to bring the hammers into this state. This is not the default when a piano arrives in the showroom and unfortunately very few dealers have technicians who will take the time and spend a couple of days in a customer's home, which is why new instruments usually have this rather unpleasant harsh sound.

Quote
I agree of course the use of different materials and the piano being almost totally hand made at that time period would be to a large part to account for this.I find it interesting what you say about technicians and voicing.Of course you own a concert grand so it's almost out of the range of many piano owners here.Its almost a totally different creature to a Baby grand or even a 6ft grand.

I don't have a concert grand, it's a very old, ugly Steinway B and if I sold I'd probably not get more than 20k USD for it, even though I invested a lot more than that. I daresay that there are more owners of more expensive instruments in this forum. In my case it simply boils down to the fact that I know a substantial number of really outstanding concert technicians and I listened for their advice in order to bring the piano to where it is now. I now know that a technician can truly transform an instrument and I also know that many owners of high end expensive pianos don't really know about the potential of their piano.

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Originally Posted by Jethro
For the last time ☺️
I’m not comparing by price or finish which are irrelevant but how they are positioned in the marketplace by the manufacturer.

Jethro's awfully grumpy today. Perhaps he's just annoyed that his piano is only suitable for early classical.

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Originally Posted by Sonepica
Originally Posted by Jethro
For the last time ☺️
I’m not comparing by price or finish which are irrelevant but how they are positioned in the marketplace by the manufacturer.

Jethro's awfully grumpy today. Perhaps he's just annoyed that his piano is only suitable for early classical.
Ha, I'm not grumpy. And I'm fine with early classical.

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