Author Topic: Old pianos  (Read 15878 times)

Wowbagger

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Re: Old pianos
« Reply #100 on: April 16, 2018, 11:57:53 am »
Arising out of the above, the February 9th visit has now been moved to 13th March, then 3rd April, 17th April and now he finds he's short-staffed and has pushed it onto 22nd May. I have let him know that I am extremely pissed off, not least because the piano's dampers still aren't as they should be (some of them allow notes to continue just a fraction of a second too long) and there are one or two slightly "tinny" notes in a piano which otherwise has a beautifully mellow tone. Also, the terms of the 5 year guarantee are that it is tuned not less than every 6 months, by a tuner recommended by them, with a first tuning recommended at 3 months. When he came in November, which was about 7 weeks after it was delivered, it didn't need tuning, and it's not badly out of tune now - apparently Blüthner pianos have excellent stability - but it comes to something when the man himself finds he can't meet the terms of his own guarantee. He has also griped that it is a very long way to come - well, the distance between Oxford & Southend hasn't become any greater since he sold the bloody thing to me. His website boasts of a customer near Lands End. I wonder what sort of after-sales service that guy got?

He has given me dispensation to get another tuner in, so I will contact Val Hodgson, who last tuned my Bechstein before it went to Maidstone.

The conclusion I have drawn is that Roberts Pianos of Oxford sell wonderful pianos but that they are really shit at after sales service.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

hellymedic

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Re: Old pianos
« Reply #101 on: April 16, 2018, 08:48:43 pm »
We're just back from Welsh Wales but David perused the Piano Auctions website last night. There was an auction on April 12. Seems there was WIDE disparity 'twixt valuation and hammer price for some items, though some were spot on.

Wowbagger

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Re: Old pianos
« Reply #102 on: August 01, 2018, 10:19:35 am »
Eventually Marcus Roberts arrived in late June and did some work to improve the damping.

We have another appointment set up for tomorrow. I had an email from him dated 26th June to say that he has 'put that in the diary and we look forward to seeing you then" but nothing since. I asked Jan whether she thought that I should send him a reminder / ask what time he's coming but she said "No. Let him fail to keep the appointment."
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Wowbagger

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Re: Old pianos
« Reply #103 on: August 01, 2018, 10:41:59 am »
Good grief! An email to say he will be here between 9 and 11!
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Wowbagger

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Re: Old pianos
« Reply #104 on: August 02, 2018, 04:20:37 pm »
And he's been and gone. I reckon the piano is pretty much perfect now. There was glue and some new damper felts. It really is a pleasure to play, without the occasional steel drum/ waa-waa guitar after-tones on a few of the notes around middle C. It has taken 10 months...
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Old pianos
« Reply #105 on: August 02, 2018, 04:59:02 pm »
Sounds like you're on the home straight now, thankfully!

We had 18 months of unhappiness before our Kawai arrived, nearly two years ago. Being new, it hasn't settled completely yet.

Wowbagger

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Re: Old pianos
« Reply #106 on: August 03, 2018, 11:53:08 pm »
My limited experience of Kawais is that they are very good pianos.

I have been celebrating my piano now being pretty much as it should be by playing Bach. Lots of Bach.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

road-runner

  • is in Slovakia.
Re: Old pianos
« Reply #107 on: August 26, 2018, 08:08:35 pm »
Slipping a bit further away from the topic title, specifically the word old, Mrs. road-runner and I have had a day in Vienna, window shopping pianos.

Bösendorfer has its factory and showroom in Vienna, run by a pleasant Dutch chap who apologised about the Yamaha pianos in the showroom - there because Yamaha has bought Bösendorfer. First impressions: Mrs. road-runner likes the feel of them but I didn't like the sound as they sounded too metallic, as if the strings are too bright and brittle. To me it left them sounding a bit lacking in warm lower tones which, for home use, would not be ideal. These are of excellent quality build and perhaps the tone is just right for use with other instruments in a larger hall.





We then visited a general piano shop with numerous marques for sale. The piano that stood out for both of above all the others was the Steinway. Just a beautiful, rich sound but at a beatifully rich price.

The Blüthner showroom displays the company's three brands: Blüthner, Hessler and Irmler brands. The piano that is a winner for us is the (18,000 euros, new) Irmler F160E mini-grand, pictured last, below. I am under the impression that better quality uprights are usually better sounding than the shortest of grand pianos. This Irmler surprised me as it proved to be an exception to my understanding. Blüthner pianos are quieter than Bösendorfers and the mellower tone with an impressively full bass made us realise that this little would be a good choice for a home piano where a lounge is a room and not a small concert hall. We could not buy it as we first need to find a home that is not in a block of flats but we now have a piano that others need to beat to win us over.




Wowbagger

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Re: Old pianos
« Reply #108 on: August 26, 2018, 08:28:32 pm »
We have a part of a day planned for Bösendorfer.

The guy from whom I bought my Blüthner was of the opinion that the Blüthner brand hadn't yet recovered from the period during which it was under the Nazis and then behind the Iron Curtain. Why Bechstein weren't subject to the same strictures I don't know. Were they in W. Berlin?
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Wowbagger

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Re: Old pianos
« Reply #109 on: August 30, 2018, 06:31:05 pm »
We went to the Blüthner showrooms in Baker Street yesterday and I tried out a number of pianos valued somewhere in excess of £250000. The best was a 9' 2" concert grand, which was priced at £127,995. There were two of these. Wonderful things, with a really rich, growly bass, but a bit big for our music room, I fear. We also saw the record card of the original sale of our piano, in 1936, for £189, to someone in Brentwood.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Wowbagger

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Re: Old pianos
« Reply #110 on: September 05, 2018, 05:30:41 pm »
We spent an hour or so at Bösendorfer this morning. It was wonderful! I spent the entire time on an Imperial Grand - what an instrument that is! Unfortunately the room in Roadrunner’s first photo, above, was off limits for us as the tuner was having trouble with a recalcitrant grand piano, so I couldn’t try the white one - the “Beethoven” model that Mrs. RR was playing.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Wowbagger

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Re: Old pianos
« Reply #111 on: September 06, 2018, 09:11:57 am »
Small linguistic fact: the German word for grand piano is a Flugel - wing. More to do with the general shape than aerodynamics, I’d wager.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Re: Old pianos
« Reply #112 on: September 06, 2018, 09:26:24 am »
Anything will fly if you get it going fast enough.

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Re: Old pianos
« Reply #113 on: September 06, 2018, 09:39:48 am »
It's the landing that's tricky
Duct tape is magic and should be worshipped

road-runner

  • is in Slovakia.
Re: Old pianos
« Reply #114 on: September 06, 2018, 09:47:01 am »
Small linguistic fact: the German word for grand piano is a Flugel - wing. More to do with the general shape than aerodynamics, I’d wager.

That is interesting. I was wondering why Slovaks call them wing pianos, albeit using the Slovak word for wing (krídlo) instead of flügel.

Wowbagger

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Re: Old pianos
« Reply #115 on: September 07, 2018, 01:39:21 pm »
Apparently, flying pianos first took off (!) on the Hindenburg. Blüthner made a special with an aluminium frame. It cut the weight down by 100kg or something.
Jan and I spent a happy time at the Klaviergalerie, only a short team ride from our accommodation. I played an 1868 Blüthner there, a Steinway D274 (their top concert grand) and several others. Of all the modern pianos I have played, I very much like the Feurichs, another Viennese brand, although quite a lot of their models are manufactured in China.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Oscar's dad

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Re: Old pianos
« Reply #116 on: September 07, 2018, 03:36:27 pm »
We spent an hour or so at Bösendorfer this morning. It was wonderful! I spent the entire time on an Imperial Grand - what an instrument that is! Unfortunately the room in Roadrunner’s first photo, above, was off limits for us as the tuner was having trouble with a recalcitrant grand piano, so I couldn’t try the white one - the “Beethoven” model that Mrs. RR was playing.

Wow, I think the next wonderful piano you need to try is the one belonging to The Compasses, Littley Green.  An evening early in January next year would be most convenient, I'll be in touch nearer the time to firm up details  :thumbsup:

Wowbagger

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Re: Old pianos
« Reply #117 on: September 07, 2018, 04:48:53 pm »
We spent an hour or so at Bösendorfer this morning. It was wonderful! I spent the entire time on an Imperial Grand - what an instrument that is! Unfortunately the room in Roadrunner’s first photo, above, was off limits for us as the tuner was having trouble with a recalcitrant grand piano, so I couldn’t try the white one - the “Beethoven” model that Mrs. RR was playing.

Wow, I think the next wonderful piano you need to try is the one belonging to The Compasses, Littley Green.  An evening early in January next year would be most convenient, I'll be in touch nearer the time to firm up details  :thumbsup:

I played that quite a few years ago whilst there with Del & Peli. As pub pianos go, it was very good. It’s a Bechstein - one of the smaller uprights, probably a model 9 or 10. There was a copy of the Mozart A major sonata (K331) on the stand - the first movement sounds as though it inspired the nursery rhyme “Rock-a-bye Baby”, so quite appropriate for a Mid-Essex camping night. The last movement is the famed Rondo alla Turka, which of course “everyone” knows.

Just in case they don’t, https://youtu.be/quxTnEEETbo.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Oscar's dad

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Re: Old pianos
« Reply #118 on: September 08, 2018, 08:26:48 am »
You’re hired!

Wowbagger

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Re: Old pianos
« Reply #119 on: March 10, 2019, 01:57:44 pm »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHFpZxUoFkk&feature=push-sd&attr_tag=zhOAuFmZPvIlZ70t%3A6

Not that old as pianos go, but that's the smaller version of the one I played in Vienna. Absolutely wonderful pianos.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Old pianos
« Reply #120 on: March 20, 2019, 01:29:35 am »
Just home from evening at RFH with Sir Andras Schiff playing Brahms and Schumann on an 1860 straight strung Blüthner.

Wonderful sound!

ETA Image

Re: Old pianos
« Reply #121 on: March 20, 2019, 07:03:47 am »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHFpZxUoFkk&feature=push-sd&attr_tag=zhOAuFmZPvIlZ70t%3A6

Not that old as pianos go, but that's the smaller version of the one I played in Vienna. Absolutely wonderful pianos.

Thanks WoW. I don't know much about pianos and how they work (bar a hammer hits a string)  and that was really interesting.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Wowbagger

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Re: Old pianos
« Reply #122 on: March 23, 2019, 07:43:49 am »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHFpZxUoFkk&feature=push-sd&attr_tag=zhOAuFmZPvIlZ70t%3A6

Not that old as pianos go, but that's the smaller version of the one I played in Vienna. Absolutely wonderful pianos.

Thanks WoW. I don't know much about pianos and how they work (bar a hammer hits a string)  and that was really interesting.

Take a look at loads of Marcus Roberts' videos. It was the informative videos which persuaded me to buy from him. Pity he didn't make a video about the crap after sales service... ;)

In fairness, eventually he did put the problems right in my piano, but it look far longer than it ought have done. His remedy should have been to take it back to Oxford as soon as the problem presented itself and lend me one of similar quality while he fixed it. It took two of them two full-day visits some months apart until I was properly happy with it. I found out afterwards that his second-in-command had suffered a brain haemorrhage whilst on a flight back from S. Africa and of course in a small (8 people) company that makes a lot of difference. Happily the guy survived to tell the tale but the docs reckon he was pretty lucky to pull through.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Old pianos
« Reply #123 on: March 26, 2019, 12:48:16 pm »
'Things move slowly in the piano trade' was what we were told during our 2015 Summer of Discontent.

We suffered much financial loss and interminable waits as we shuttled between multiple supposedly reputable piano dealers between February 2015 and September 2016.

CrazyEnglishTriathlete

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Re: Old pianos
« Reply #124 on: March 26, 2019, 08:29:10 pm »
Have just discovered this thread.  I have a faithful servant of a Yamaha Digital Piano which has served well for my stress relieving improvisations for the last 15 years or so, but its action is more tired than I am after 32 years of working in big accountancy/consultancy firms. 

Inspired by CET Junior passing his grade 8 bassoon exam, I am now retaking lessons with the idea of taking grade 8 piano later this year.  I've been playing pieces at or above this level but with a rubbish technique, not helped by a worn out piano.  So I'm contemplating a replacement, so am interested in recommendations.  (Although the ability to practice with headphones on to minimise disruption to family who also have to schedule drum, bassoon, recorder, and cello practices is a huge advantage).  For my rock, blues and prog improvisations there's a Korg synthesiser and Yamaha thingy upstairs on a very Jon-Lord like double stand - so the piano can be lovingly restricted to classical music, although I play more from the second half of c19 and first half of c20 than from c18 and before.

The grade 8 won't be a one-off.  I might be a few years off retirement, but I want to take playing more seriously whilst I still have all my faculties and my hands go vaguely in the direction the brain wants them to. 

With all that in mind, suggestions for a replacement will be welcome.  Thank you in advance.
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