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#2896723 - 12/19/17 06:27 AM The Great Piano Pushback
ElmerJFudd Offline
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http://mmrmagazine.com/5936-the-great-pi...u-s-market.html

"Adaptation and a solid expertise of your field have always been the keys to the longevity of a career or independent store, and after 50 years in the business of selling pianos, Joe DeFio is a walking encyclopedia.

“I’ve seen it all. Pretty much every job in the industry that could be done, I’ve done. The only thing I don’t do is teach or tune,” he says.

After leaving the army, DeFio cleverly got a job at an employment agency to scout out all the jobs in the area. When he spotted an opening for a piano salesman, he jumped on it. At 21, he started to learn the piano and organ business, and today at 71, he’s still hooked.

Originally from Syracuse, New York, DeFio moved to Kansas City to work with a chain of P&O stores owned by Jenkins Music, later working for the Hammond Organ Company and other manufacturers.

Now executive vice president for Vienna International, DeFio answers his phone seven days a week and uses his expertise to help navigate the company. Since he started working with Vienna International, his work with the company has been instrumental in elevating Hailun from almost unknown in the United States to an in-demand, award-winning brand. In 2012, for instance, MMR readers selected Hailun Pianos for the “Piano Line of the Year” Dealers’ Choice Award, and the brand has been adding up awards ever since.

Most recently, DeFio’s mission has been to push to get acoustic pianos back into MI stores; namely, Hailun and Petrof, both lines that Vienna International sells. His mission is to address all the changes that the market has undergone recently, and make selling acoustic pianos work for those dealers.

“Over the past six or seven years, things have changed drastically,” he explains.

With a rise in digital pianos and a fall in acoustic pianos on the market, tackling the piano industry hasn’t exactly been a simple ordeal.

If anything, DeFio says that he has been pushing for a full-on reversal of how piano stores have been developed in both minor and major market areas.

Over five decades dealing with all aspects of the keyboard business, he’s witnessed first-hand the dramatic changes in the music industry, such as the demise of the once popular accordion business, the collapse of the home organ and the spinet piano, and the crash in used piano prices.

“Originally, most piano departments were in full-line stores selling musical instruments, stereos, etc,” Defio says. “They were doing so well with the piano divisions that some of those locations turned into all-piano stores. The way things are going, however, I see a reversal of that. Now at Vienna we are going to concentrate on new small startups (many are piano techs), and MI stores to have small acoustic piano departments, helped in every step by our expertise in marketing the instruments to consumers, using our business model to sell pianos for our dealers not to them.”

Years ago DeFio saw big changes coming, and started to map out what the future would hold for the market and planning out what Vienna International should do to be successful in that highly competitive and shrinking market.

“Many cities, even ones that have very large populations, are down to one or two piano stores. They’re the only outlets for new pianos in these cities. The choices for consumers are very limited and dictated by a few very large manufacturers . More outlets in more areas will provide choices for people and, in addition, MI dealers and tech dealers will add to their revenue stream, a win-win situation!” DeFio explains.

The industry has also changed as a result of online shopping, with sites like Amazon being a new go-to for people who need instruments – thus taking away business from local stores. While pianos don’t seem like an instrument that customers would buy on a whim (“buying a piano can be very iffy if you don’t play it” DeFio notes), but there are still people out there who are making those major purchases online because they can’t find new pianos anywhere near where they live.

The current situation makes it even more vital for pianos to get back into musical instrument stores – and Vienna International has the advantage of size on their side. DeFio describes Vienna International as an efficient, hands-on company in which everyone performs many roles. Because they are a relatively small company without a large, cumbersome corporate hierarchy, they can initiate changes and carry out plans much faster than most other distributors can.

“Anybody can try to do what we’re doing now, but we’ve got great products and a five-year head-start on the concept, we address the new norm with our ears to the ground and we are already proficient in dealing with smaller outlets,” DeFio says.

Paired with a heavy social media presence, DeFio is dedicated to making pianos accessible to the end user in more places across North America and the world. This has already started as Vienna International has just been awarded the Hailun distribution rights for Europe and Africa (a formal announcement will be forthcoming).

“It’s going to get harder before it gets easier,” he says. But if anyone can handle the ebb and flow of the market, it’s this piano guru."
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KC Island
#2896726 - 12/19/17 06:36 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: ElmerJFudd]
Lou_NC Offline
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Registered: 07/19/17
Posts: 19
Loc: Raleigh, NC
Not to hijack this great post and thread, but..........what ever happened to Piano and ORGAN stores? When I started playing organ back in the 70's, every piano store sold organs too. My mom even learned to play organ as I was taking lessons on our trusty Wurlitzer (with built-in "Orbit" synthesizer).

No knock against pianos, but I strongly prefer organ (playing both manuals AND pedals), to me it's a far more "complete" instrument to play as a solo musician.

Lou

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#2896730 - 12/19/17 06:49 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: ElmerJFudd]
Wastrel Offline
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Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
Over five decades dealing with all aspects of the keyboard business, he’s witnessed first-hand the dramatic changes in the music industry, such as the demise of the once popular accordion business, the collapse of the home organ and the spinet piano, and the crash in used piano prices.


Umm...yeah. Moving on.
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#2896731 - 12/19/17 06:52 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Lou_NC]
AnotherScott Online   content
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I don't think there are any companies making home console style "do it all" organs anymore. I think that market ended up being largely addressed by arranger keyboards. At least in the U.S. Elsewhere, I think the Yamaha Electones are still a thing...
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#2896733 - 12/19/17 06:55 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Lou_NC]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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Trends in music making, right? As the public's taste changes so do the sales opportunities (and lack thereof). There was an article recently about manufacturers like Gibson and Fender lamenting the decrease in electric guitar sales. But obviously access to these instruments isn't the factor as you can get a guitar anywhere. But acoustic pianos - it has always been a high end sales experience - more like buying a luxury car than a musical instrument. Getting them into MI stores is probably a very good idea for the manufacturers (not so great for the mom and pop piano dealers that have survived - although they find themselves carrying digital options these days as well). Price is a factor too - the markup and profit margin will probably need to fall more in line with the other instruments MI dealers carry.

On the preference of organ over piano - they don't sound anything alike... the technique is different, the repertoire written for them is different - both now have a very long heritage of virtuosic players and pieces in many styles of play. There's room in the world for both, one need not choose and there are many who play both well. But at the same time, there are aspects of play on both that someone who spends more time on the other would find challenging when jumping back and forth.
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#2896748 - 12/19/17 08:05 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: ElmerJFudd]
Joe Muscara Offline
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Good for him/them. I hope it works out as it would be great to see. Houston is lucky as we have a few piano dealers including a Steinway Piano Gallery and a Kawai Piano Gallery, as well as a few other general dealers. But I would love to see more acoustic pianos in more places, here and in other towns and cities.
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#2896752 - 12/19/17 08:14 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Joe Muscara]
Wastrel Offline
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Originally Posted By: Joe BrokeIt
Good for him/them. I hope it works out as it would be great to see. Houston is lucky as we have a few piano dealers including a Steinway Piano Gallery and a Kawai Piano Gallery, as well as a few other general dealers. But I would love to see more acoustic pianos in more places, here and in other towns and cities.

I think that all of us keyboard players who grew up in the piano/organ in every living room era would love to see it - nostalgically - but at the same time, I think that anyone tempted to invest in the idea should take a cold hard look at the practicality of turning back the clock. I just don't see it happening. Particularly at today's price point for a decent acoustic piano.
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#2896755 - 12/19/17 08:32 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Wastrel]
Jazzmammal Offline
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Loc: Redondo Beach, CA
It could work if he speaks Chinese...

Not joking here, there are articles about new piano sales doing well in Asia and there is a lot of Asian immigration.

Bob

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#2896758 - 12/19/17 08:40 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Jazzmammal]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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This is true from what I read. Inexpensive acoustic uprights are in reach of the new middle class in China. Spurred interest by the success of Lang Lang... they are having their Van Cliburn moment. Many goods out of China are in their next stage of higher quality. I would not be surprised to see a Chinese piano brand someday rival Kawai or Yamaha. At the same time I've been pleasantly surprised by Petrof on more than one occasion.
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#2896760 - 12/19/17 08:56 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: ElmerJFudd]
cphollis Offline
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I think there's been a generational shift in attitudes towards piano and learning musical instruments in general.

When I was growing up, almost every home had some sort of piano in it, almost a totem of middle-class success.

Kids like me learned multiple instruments (recorder, trumpet, percussion, trombone, etc.) but learned one well (e.g. piano, guitar).

Maybe that movie is playing again in China.
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#2896764 - 12/19/17 09:05 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: ElmerJFudd]
GRollins Offline
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Registered: 09/01/17
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There's a simple, practical reality that gets overlooked: People these days move too much to own a piano.

My maternal grandmother bought a house in the 1930s or so and lived in that same house until she moved into a care facility towards the end of her life. She did not own a piano. She did not own an organ (though she loved the thought of someday learning to play one). That was a span of sixty years or more. She would have been an ideal candidate for an organ because the instrument would never have to be moved. I tried to talk her into attempting her dream of playing organ, but the price was a problem.

Skip forward a single generation. My mother lived in at least nine places that I can identify off the top of my head--probably more that will come to me later.

I've lived in at least ten.

Pianos and organs aren't (excepting a full grand piano) so much of a big item as they are a heavy item. Add fragility, plus the expense to buy and maintain such an instrument, and people just aren't up for it at this point in history. Ain't practical. Not going to happen.

However...I started a thread here a couple of months ago in which I predicted a change in music if the economy tanks. One corollary point that I did not make at that time is that people will quit moving as often if their incomes are threatened. Something like that could lead to a resurgence in acoustic piano and organ sales. So, in that sense, I would say that there is a possibility--if the purchase price barrier can be overcome.

Grey
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#2896768 - 12/19/17 09:25 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: cphollis]
BluMunk Offline
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Meh. While there will always be room for a few boutique dealers, piano as a home instrument is dead.

Why? Fewer and fewer people own their own homes. No one has the room, or the inclination to invest in a massive instrument when they're in a rental, particularly if they don't view the specific rental as a long-term living arrangement.

I'm 37 and am one year into home ownership. There's no way I would have been able to have even an upright in any of my previous housing arrangements, either because of stairs, shared living space, and shared walls. Never mind the added complications/expenses that would have been involved every time I moved (which averages out to about once every two years since 2001). Even now, my house is way too small for a piano, unless my partner and I decided that all of my practicing, playing, and noodling would take place in the small open livingroom/kitchen that is our ground floor, and she would not be able to watch TV, listen to anything else, or do work without listening to the piano every night.

Digital pianos didn't kill acoustic pianos; changing demographics, home life, and housing costs killed acoustic pianos.

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#2896769 - 12/19/17 09:26 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: BluMunk]
BluMunk Offline
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Beat to the punch by GRollins!

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#2896779 - 12/19/17 09:57 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: BluMunk]
MathOfInsects Offline
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The parlor piano died when Baldwin started using their factory to make coffins during WWII.
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#2896782 - 12/19/17 10:08 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: MathOfInsects]
cphollis Offline
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Agree with the demographic shift to smaller living spaces and more frequent residence moving. Any acoustic piano is a big, heavy instrument.
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#2896786 - 12/19/17 10:30 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: BluMunk]
tarkus Offline
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Good points all.
I grew up with an early 20th century Kranich & Bach player piano, baby grand. My siblings and I destroyed that piano because we were stupid kids and my parents were fed-up with shananigans, yet the big piano remained.
About 15 years ago my sisters decided to have the piano restored. An estimate to restore it to its early 20th century glory tipped into $10K and up!! (it had real ivory keys and yes there is a huge difference in ivory to synthetic!).
It also had a pneumatic/electric system to engage the piano roll and player system. All the hoses and rubber tubes (no doubt natural rubber) were completely rotted or brittle.
I suggested that it was too far gone to be restored as a player piano and the action was so heavy it discouraged most people from playing. The soundboard was warped but not cracked, but no guarantee it would survive. With age and without proper humidity and temperature control, the old family piano gave up the ghost. Levers, springs, and myriad internal functions needed to be replaced. It was unplayable.
I suggested to my sibs to keep the case, but completely gut the thing and sell the parts to a collector for refurb use.
The furniture was serviceable and I drew up plans to place amplification and speakers where the soundboard was located.
Either a pair of tens or twelves would have resided under the hood. A nice gilded grill or grate (easily fabricated from an antique fireplace screen) would have made it look purposeful or "steampunk" for the period. Pre-amp, amplifier, pedal controls (original pedal tree and brass pedals could have been retrofitted) would have worked.
The keyboard would be replaced with a quality digital piano or controller board. I estimated my cost around $3000 including the refinishing of the wood. This would have been a great DIY, but my sisters wanted nothing to do with it.
They hired a guy to do a rebuild. He gutted the piano and installed new keys and action. We were told it needed to acclimate before it was playable. Within a week 1/3 rd of the keys didn't work, it went out of tune and the pedals became unresponsive. They spent $7k!!!
The piano was recently sold in an estate sale for a few hundred bucks!

I have no desire to become a real piano owner but if I was able to do my modernization, I wouldn't have parted with that old baby for nothing!

Occasionally I'll come across a rescued piano. The owners learn the hard way that each piano has its own peculiarities in response to climate. A friend of mine recently asked if I would like to tune his piano (NO WAY!) since he couldn't afford it anymore.

I see many used upright and spinet pianos for sale, but no takers, for many of the reasons others have stated above.

Once I do finally plant the flag on a permanent residence for my retirement, I will build a console for my keyboards in homage to a forgotten era. No x-stands, no ultimate stands, no a-frames. An organ console of my design to house the boards,the amps, the speakers and cables. Heck, I'll even build a wing on it to house the theremin.
Now I need a house with a garage to build the thing!


Edited by tarkus (12/19/17 10:34 AM)

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#2896788 - 12/19/17 10:38 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: cphollis]
burningbusch Offline
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Home ownership in the USA has been between 63% and 66% since the mid 1960s. We had a jump up to 69% prior to the economic recession (triggered by housing) in the mid 2000s. We are currently at 64%. In the 1950s it was 55%. Average time of staying in a home is ~13 years.

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/RHORUSQ156N

Acoustic instruments are difficult in the home. If you're going to practice for two hours, everyone else in the household needs to accommodate as it will be heard throughout the house. Grand pianos were designed to fill much larger spaces than a living room. Digital offers the ability to turn down the volume or to use headphones. They are simply more practical.

My CL is filled with new and used acoustic pianos, all varieties and price points.

Busch.

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#2896789 - 12/19/17 10:38 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: tarkus]
Stokely Offline
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Loc: Florida
I had an interesting conversation with my piano tuner, who is really awesome at what he does and is ultra-knowledgeable about pianos. Unfortunately he pointed out my acoustic has a terminal soundboard issue (cost more than the worth to fix). He sees the writing on the wall about digitals for sure, and figures there's a chance he won't be in business much longer (or at least he'll need to supplement with something else.)

Part of the problem is that people tend to move more than they used to, because our jobs change more than they used to among other reasons--that's my reason that I'd be getting a digital despite loving acoustic pianos. I also can't afford a nice acoustic, and don't know enough about used ones to tell a lemon from a great deal. I can buy a *really* nice used digital from Guitar center for the price of an ok spinet/console and know exactly what I'm getting, and can take it back locally within 30 days if there is a problem...it's hard to compete with that.



Edited by Stokely (12/19/17 10:39 AM)

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#2896792 - 12/19/17 10:47 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Stokely]
tarkus Offline
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Technology fills the void. Years from now the majority of Keyboards will not be physical per se. You will hit a smart phone app and a projection of a keyboard configuration could be applied anywhere in any config. They are already doing it with virtual controllers.

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#2896793 - 12/19/17 10:52 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Stokely]
Outkaster Offline
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There is two things here. It’s not moving alone. Music in an undervalued commodity and disposable mostly due to technology taking over. Kids don’t play outside hardly and no one has pianos at home. I-pads, games and smart phones are what kids are into. They could give a shit about an acoustic piano. We are musicians so we can’t look at it like the general population does.

My buddy is one of the top tuners in the area and tells me plain and simple…people don’t want pianos. He gave a free Yamaha U1 because I customer didn’t want it. There are three manufactures of pianos now in the states now. He told me they collectively are producing less than 1000 instruments a year. That is amazing compared to even 25 years ago. He found an upright Steinway in good shape for free a couple years ago but I didn’t have room for it.
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#2896794 - 12/19/17 11:04 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Stokely]
burningbusch Offline
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According to NAMM data, here are the 10-year unit trends:

Grand Pianos: -61%
Vertical Pianos: -41%
Total Acoustic Pianos: -49%
Digital (home) Pianos: +24%
Total Pianos: -1%

Home Organs: -76%
Institutional Organs: -69%
Total Organs: -74%
You have to understand the home organ market was dead before this -74% drop. In 2007 ~6,000 home organs were sold in the USA. That is now down to ~1,500 units. In contrast, the acoustic piano market is ~28,000 units sold USA.

Keyboard Synthesizers: +26%
Digital Pianos/Pro Organs (slab pianos/clonewheels): -58%

Busch.

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#2896802 - 12/19/17 11:26 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Outkaster]
synthizen2 Offline
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Loc: USA
At this point in the game, if you are living in a house and expect to be living there for quite a while (or the rest of your life), you have the space, and you want a grand piano... with some patience and research, you should NOW be able to get a decent grand piano for your home, for FREE! (You just need to pay for a hauling/moving service, that's all).
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#2896807 - 12/19/17 11:44 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: burningbusch]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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Good points generally...
A P45 can be had for $399.99 and if your kid sticks with it great. You can upgrade to something nicer later. Obviously the same is true for adult hobbyists. This is an incredible development. They're cheap, portable, take up little space, and you can practice in silence. No maintenance costs.

And at the same time there is a high end digital piano like the Yamaha N3X or forth coming Novus 10 and everything in between these extreme price points.

On the other hand, a well made and maintained acoustic sounds great. It's resonant and immersive with natural overtones that tech struggles to reproduce in the room for the player and listener. And generally speaking the quality of build and playability of acoustic actions is still generally better than most digital pianos. But this will not always be the case - Kawai, Yamaha, and Casio are actively working on bridging this divide. Amp+Speaker systems in digitals still lag behind string, harp and sound board. I'm not sure when and how they will tackle this, but they are working on it.

And obviously a crowd like us can appreciate there is nothing like sitting at a grand piano, but most are out of reach. That's why I was fortunate to find musical joy in a rebuilt 1920 Chickering. I hope to get the Steinway someday (like our buddy Dave Ferris). It's not looking good right now, but who knows once I get out from under a mortgage and put my kid through college.

It's true, you can easily get your hands on acoustics from 100-50 years ago, but don't expect they won't need some work, depending on how well you expect them to sound and play. Holding tune, felt replacement, some voicing work goes a long way. On an old grand with a good brand name you intend to keep, you can go all out with new tuning block, sound board, strings, felts, just about everything can be replaced.
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#2896811 - 12/19/17 11:56 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: ElmerJFudd]
Outkaster Offline
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Registered: 02/25/06
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Loc: Rochester, NY
Yeah but we aren't the crowd is my point. You used to see pianos and organs in a ton of homes. Now not so much and even from people that can afford them.
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#2896812 - 12/19/17 12:06 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Outkaster]
Stokely Offline
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Registered: 12/15/12
Posts: 2019
Loc: Florida
Originally Posted By: Outkaster
There is two things here. It’s not moving alone. Music in an undervalued commodity and disposable mostly due to technology taking over. Kids don’t play outside hardly and no one has pianos at home. I-pads, games and smart phones are what kids are into. They could give a shit about an acoustic piano. We are musicians so we can’t look at it like the general population does.


While this is definitely true--I have to pry my kids off their devices at every turn if I want them to do anything else, including eat--I will say I'm pretty amazed at how many kids are into band starting in middle school. Doesn't help with pianos much, but I was astounded at two things when the 6th grade beginners had their xmas concert: 1) how many of the tykes there were and 2) how good they sounded, especially considering they had just picked up a very complex instrument a few months ago!

On the down side, you could throw in the "bands must play tracks to meet audience needs" issue. The public at large doesn't seem to value performance vs having tracks play or a DJ spin tunes (which takes skill mind you, but it's a different skill)

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#2896817 - 12/19/17 12:15 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: ElmerJFudd]
MathOfInsects Offline
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Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
A P45 can be had for $399.99 and if your kid sticks with it great. You can upgrade to something nicer later. Obviously the same is true for adult hobbyists. This is an incredible development. They're cheap, portable, take up little space, and you can practice in silence. No maintenance costs.


And more important--it will sound far better than a piano that costs ten times as much.

The old wisdom used to be, if you're not going to spend $5K, buy digital. I would not be surprised if that number is $7500 now.
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#2896836 - 12/19/17 01:37 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: ElmerJFudd]
Dave Ferris Offline
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Loc: Glendale, Ca.
Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
And obviously a crowd like us can appreciate there is nothing like sitting at a grand piano, but most are out of reach. That's why I was fortunate to find musical joy in a rebuilt 1920 Chickering. I hope to get the Steinway someday (like our buddy Dave Ferris).
It's true, you can easily get your hands on acoustics from 100-50 years ago, but don't expect they won't need some work, depending on how well you expect them to sound and play. Holding tune, felt replacement, some voicing work goes a long way. On an old grand with a good brand name you intend to keep, you can go all out with new tuning block, sound board, strings, felts, just about everything can be replaced.


There's no way I could have acquired my piano without two factors - trading/selling up and a once in a lifetime deal from a private party that fell into financial trouble and had to sell at 9 months out.

Regarding re-built or re-conditioned--- I would trust something from the Steinway Factory in Astoria or Klavierhaus in NYC. Maybe from a few dealers I've heard YouTube examples of on Piano World. Other then that, it's hugely a crap shoot.

Astronomical new pricing aside ( my piano has shot up just under 50% in 11 years !!) , I agree the housing situation, along with the living logistics within a multiple member family household, are a huge deterrent to owning a grand.

I'm very fortunate we had the dough, at the time, and were able to convert the 400 sq. ft. space of the garage to a very cool space for the piano.

Before that , while my wife was working at home, we had a hard time co-existing with the Yamaha S6 in the living room and her in the middle bedroom office. We could close off the living room with two doors but still, in an 1750 sq. ft. house, you're still gonna hear a 7' piano.
_________________________
https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D
Yamaha CP4, CP5







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#2896839 - 12/19/17 02:27 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Outkaster]
JazzPiano88 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/16/15
Posts: 419
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Outkaster
There is two things here. It’s not moving alone. Music in an undervalued commodity and disposable mostly due to technology taking over. Kids don’t play outside hardly and no one has pianos at home. I-pads, games and smart phones are what kids are into. They could give a shit about an acoustic piano. We are musicians so we can’t look at it like the general population does.

All true. Back in the good ole days, the piano was both a source of music for the home and a source of entertainment.

So there is no reason anymore to have a 300-1000lb behemoth in your home unless you are, or aspire to be, a pianist. The vast majority get their music and entertainment from other sources.

It's kind of sad (from the perspective of a pianist), but there's no going back.
_________________________
J a z z P i a n o 8 8

Yamaha C7D | Montage8 | CP300 | CP4
Hammond SK1-73 | DSI OB-6

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#2896846 - 12/19/17 02:50 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: JazzPiano88]
burningbusch Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 10/22/00
Posts: 8047
Loc: Ghost Planet
Originally Posted By: JazzPiano88

All true. Back in the good ole days, the piano was both a source of music for the home and a source of entertainment.


Prior to radio, it was a major source of entertainment in the home. There was usually someone who could play well enough to accompany others singing. Player pianos were extremely popular as well. I believe this continued through the radio days but by the time TV came along, the role of the piano in the home changed.

According to this, peak piano sales in USA was ~1910 at 360,000. Remember the population was less than 100 million.

http://www.bluebookofpianos.com/uspiano.htm

Busch.

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#2896849 - 12/19/17 03:02 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: burningbusch]
Rally Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 30
Originally Posted By: burningbusch
Originally Posted By: JazzPiano88

All true. Back in the good ole days, the piano was both a source of music for the home and a source of entertainment.


Prior to radio, it was a major source of entertainment in the home. There was usually someone who could play well enough to accompany others singing. Player pianos were extremely popular as well. I believe this continued through the radio days but by the time TV came along, the role of the piano in the home changed.

According to this, peak piano sales in USA was ~1910 at 360,000. Remember the population was less than 100 million.

http://www.bluebookofpianos.com/uspiano.htm

Busch.



The item I find interesting from the Blue Book is the column for grand pianos. It seems to be the upright that has suffered the most, grands have for the most part remained steady and some of the later years increased sales year over year. With uprights at one time outselling grands 10 to 1 there is no denying what has happened to the industry.


Edited by Rally (12/19/17 03:03 PM)

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#2896860 - 12/19/17 03:59 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: ElmerJFudd]
slowtraveler Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/07/13
Posts: 400
Loc: Boston, MA
Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
“Many cities, even ones that have very large populations, are down to one or two piano stores. They’re the only outlets for new pianos in these cities. The choices for consumers are very limited and dictated by a few very large manufacturers . More outlets in more areas will provide choices for people and, in addition, MI dealers and tech dealers will add to their revenue stream, a win-win situation!” DeFio explains.

The solution to lack of demand is... more supply! Genius. Evidently, that's an insight one can only acquire after 50 years of experience in selling pianos.

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#2896861 - 12/19/17 04:07 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: slowtraveler]
Wastrel Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 05/13/09
Posts: 2693
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: slowtraveler
Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
“Many cities, even ones that have very large populations, are down to one or two piano stores. They’re the only outlets for new pianos in these cities. The choices for consumers are very limited and dictated by a few very large manufacturers . More outlets in more areas will provide choices for people and, in addition, MI dealers and tech dealers will add to their revenue stream, a win-win situation!” DeFio explains.

The solution to lack of demand is... more supply! Genius. Evidently, that's an insight one can only acquire after 50 years of experience in selling pianos.

That was my take on it as well. He's probably a nice old guy who spent a long career rising to prominence in an industry that has for the most part dried up and blown away. I'm sure it's tough to give up the dream or acknowledge that his hard-won expertise really isn't all that relevant anymore.
Whoa. Now I'm bumming myself out...
_________________________
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.”
-Mark Twain

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#2896868 - 12/19/17 04:35 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Wastrel]
CowboyNQ Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 06/14/15
Posts: 1009
Loc: Adelaide, Australia
We were touring through a town in regional Australia (pop 28,000) earlier this year.

Our guitarist needed some strings so we wandered into the CBD to find a music store. Happened upon a small piano shop - packed full of pianos of all shapes, sizes and prices.

I asked the proprietor how much business he would be getting selling pianos in such a small town. He told me he was struggling to keep up with demand, and was servicing cities 400Km away interstate out of his little shop.

Interestingly he told me his main business was not coming from home owners but from schools, orchestras, churches, etc.

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#2896869 - 12/19/17 04:39 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Wastrel]
slowtraveler Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/07/13
Posts: 400
Loc: Boston, MA
Originally Posted By: Wastrel
He's probably a nice old guy who spent a long career rising to prominence in an industry that has for the most part dried up and blown away. I'm sure it's tough to give up the dream or acknowledge that his hard-won expertise really isn't all that relevant anymore.
Whoa. Now I'm bumming myself out...

I know, right? I get that feeling every time I have to stifle myself to keep from telling an anecdote that begins, "Back in the days of analog videotape..."



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#2896870 - 12/19/17 04:39 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: slowtraveler]
ElmerJFudd Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 11/30/14
Posts: 6510
Loc: USA, greater NY area
Originally Posted By: slowtraveler
Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
“Many cities, even ones that have very large populations, are down to one or two piano stores. They’re the only outlets for new pianos in these cities. The choices for consumers are very limited and dictated by a few very large manufacturers . More outlets in more areas will provide choices for people and, in addition, MI dealers and tech dealers will add to their revenue stream, a win-win situation!” DeFio explains.

The solution to lack of demand is... more supply! Genius. Evidently, that's an insight one can only acquire after 50 years of experience in selling pianos.


I don't think he means more supply, but rather out of sight out of mind. If you walk into a, typical big box MI there's plenty of digitals to choose from. No acoustics. Not even ones priced comparably to a Clavinova. You need to go to a specialty shop, an authorized Kawai or Yamaha authorized dealer. That's a different buying experience. Would having a Czech or China built acoustic on MI showroom floors change sales figures? Hard to say until they try I guess.
_________________________
Live: Yamaha S90ES, Roland VR-700
Home: Rebuilt 1910 Chickering 5'2", Fender Rhodes MKI 88k

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#2896875 - 12/19/17 05:00 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: ElmerJFudd]
slowtraveler Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/07/13
Posts: 400
Loc: Boston, MA
Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
I don't think he means more supply, but rather out of sight out of mind. If you walk into a, typical big box MI there's plenty of digitals to choose from. No acoustics. Not even ones priced comparably to a Clavinova. You need to go to a specialty shop, an authorized Kawai or Yamaha authorized dealer. That's a different buying experience. Would having a Czech or China built acoustic on MI showroom floors change sales figures? Hard to say until they try I guess.

Maybe. You would think a guy who's been in the business for 50 years might realize how unlikely it is, though. Every market trend, all the economic pressures on the MI retail business, every piece of available information about consumer preferences, suggests that "if you display it, they will come" is a really dumb bet.


Edited by slowtraveler (12/19/17 05:02 PM)
Edit Reason: deleted unwarranted snark

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#2896880 - 12/19/17 05:22 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: MathOfInsects]
JCRoswell Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 176
Loc: Atlanta, Georgia
MOI has a good point about the quality. Part of the reason, I think, is that digital pianos sound pretty darned good now. When I was growing up in the 70s and 80s there wasn't even such a beast. And when they did come on the scene they didn't sound all that great. Now they sound pretty authentic for not much money.

As I teacher I generally recommend my students start with a digital piano. It just has so many advantages with the most obvious being price. (More money available to pay me for lessons. laugh) Yes, if they advance to a certain point then an acoustic piano is worth the investment, but by then you know your kid is serious.

And how many people have I met that had a piano in their home that no one could play and was just a piece of furniture? Gad, that makes me so sad that there's a nice piano basically in solitary confinement with no one to love it. I'd rather see no piano than to have one assume the role of coffee table.
_________________________
Live rig: Roland FA-08, Yamaha MOTIF ES 6, laptop for supplemental sounds.

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#2896885 - 12/19/17 05:35 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: JCRoswell]
JWhllr Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/30/15
Posts: 151
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
I work in a music shop in Melbourne, Australia, started out as a mum and dad first instrument etc shop, big home organ market, accordions etc. That transitioned into arranger keyboards and home electronic organs fell off the map. Now we're a full range shop, everything from a P45 to a Kronos to a CVP709. We specialise in secondhand Japanese Yamaha uprights and new Kawai uprights and business is steady on the acoustic piano front. We do have some schools that buy pianos from us, but mostly it's the local home market that we sell to. There is a large Asian community of piano owners and piano teachers in our area, so a lot of our business comes from word of mouth through that community. The threshold for high end digital vs acoustic is around about $5-6k. Above that, acoustic is an option, below that, digital. Brilliant condition 70s/80s Yamaha U3 and UX3 (and varients) are generally the most popular acoustics we do and we're fielding multiple enquiries about them every week.
_________________________
Viscount Legend, Leslie 142, Nord Stage 3 HA88, Rhodes MK1 1977, Wurlitzer 200, Fender Deluxe Reverb, Moog Sub 37, Dave Smith Rev2, Juno 106

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#2896889 - 12/19/17 05:57 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: JWhllr]
cphollis Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 2600
Loc: Massachussets, Florida
Yeah, well it was an article of faith when I pulled the trigger on a high-end AP a few years ago, fully realizing there would be ZERO resale interest down the road.

It's for me. It's not an investment.
_________________________
Life is too short to be playing bad music.

Keys: NP2, NS3C
Home: Bosie 200, Yam AG N3
Amps: FA 12acs, RCF TT08as, QSC K.2s, EVOX J8, SSv3
Stuff: Stay stands, Key Largo, Vent II, X-Air 18

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#2896898 - 12/19/17 07:19 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: JCRoswell]
Tom Williams Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 01/04/14
Posts: 1016
Loc: West Virginia
Originally Posted By: JCRoswell
As I teacher I generally recommend my students start with a digital piano.[...] Yes, if they advance to a certain point then an acoustic piano is worth the investment, but by then you know your kid is serious.

A loud amen to the above.

I often frustrate piano teachers by recommending that their students' parents get a digital piano. I can think of no upright that I would choose over a sub-$1000 digital piano at this point.

And egad, my new PX-5S (a 5-year-old product) inspires me every time I turn it on.
_________________________
-Tom Williams
<First name><At>AirNetworking<dot>com
PC361, PX-5S, AX-Synth AX-Edge
M-Audio Keystation 88, Axiom 61

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#2896910 - 12/19/17 10:41 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: ElmerJFudd]
Mills Dude Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/02/15
Posts: 112
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
Inexpensive acoustic uprights are in reach of the new middle class in China. Many goods out of China are in their next stage of higher quality. I would not be surprised to see a Chinese piano brand someday rival Kawai or Yamaha.

Originally Posted By: cphollis
When I was growing up, almost every home had some sort of piano in it, almost a totem of middle-class success. ... Maybe that movie is playing again in China.


Been spending 50% of my time in China for the last few years, even have a Chinese girlfriend with 2 kids. In many ways this is correct. Often I think about how China reminds me of the USA 30-40 years ago, in some ways they are far ahead. The middle class is new and exploding, like the post-war boom years in the USA. Along with that comes disposable income and the desire for "totems" coupled with some of that "asian" drive for success that can be seen in Chinese Americans, albeit to a lesser degree as the ones who left China tend to be more affluent or educated.

Just down the road from my office is Shenzhen Book City, with 2 MI shops, both selling acoustic pianos (grands and uprights) along with digitals and other instruments. I don't see much business being transacted there and the prices are sky high for Yamaha acoustics, but they do get a decent amount of foot traffic and have survived the 2+ years I've been here.

There's a multi-level mall, Shenzhen Musical Instrument City, full of acoustic instruments some digital pianos and cheap Yamaha arrangers, mostly geared to the home/student market. I have no idea where to buy professional level keyboards/synths here.

I don't remember any of the Chinese brand pianos, but I've played a few. Don't really like them, but it's not much different than the generation of lesser quality brands and spinets that graced American homes during they heyday.

However, I still think an acoustic is out of reach for much of the middle class here, making digitals appealing. There's also the issue of space. Chinese people don't live in houses like in the USA, they live in multi-rise apartment buildings. Housing in a city like Shenzhen, and all across China, is becoming expensive. Smaller apartments, 400-500 sq ft. are the norm.

With that said, just last Sunday I was invited to dinner at my girlfriends sons Kung Fu coach apartment. There in the living room was an upright, don't remember the brand and needed a tune. Nobody in the house played, but they were very happy to have me play. Much happier when I play a few well-know classical pieces. They didn't care much about the jazz!

So, I'm not sure about the Van Cliburn moment happening in China, but there seems to be a up-tick in getting their kids into piano lessons along with a market for instruments. However, the children there seem to have as much, if not more "screen time" than the kids in the USA.

Even if the Chinese brand of pianos become competitive, will there even be a market in which to compete?
_________________________
Mills Dude -- Lefty Hack

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#2896929 - 12/20/17 04:09 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Mills Dude]
BuckW Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/20/17
Posts: 283
If you want a family piano to hopefully entice a kid why wouldn't you want a digital piano? More sounds, splits, layering, boilerplate sequencing, drum accompaniment. Wouldn't we have all liked to grow up with such in our home?

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#2896933 - 12/20/17 05:24 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Mills Dude]
Synthoid Offline
10k Club

Registered: 12/04/03
Posts: 10581
Loc: Pennsylvania, USA
Originally Posted By: Mills Dude
I don't remember any of the Chinese brand pianos, but I've played a few.





I've played one of these. Just OK... I though the action was a bit soft.
_________________________
To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself, incredible and inconceivable.
-- Aaron Copland

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#2896937 - 12/20/17 06:06 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Rally]
teashea Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/24/17
Posts: 198
Hammon B3's (and their cousins) are struggling to get sold. People ask $3000 but I don't see many confirmed sales. There are a bunch of them that go for free for maybe just go to the dump. Digital organs are so good now, that apart from the "feel" of a B3 (ie nostalgia and emotional attachment), there is little or no reason to have one.

There is an exception for the very top tier of players like Mitch Towne, Joey DeFranscesco, Pat Bianchi etc, who can appreciate the use of a real B3, that is only a handful. For everyone else, a digital organ is going to sound just as good.

For me, I am very interested in B3's - from a distance. I admire the mechanical and design aspects and enjoy learning about how they work - or don't. However, I have zero interest in owning own and would not take one for free.

As the old guys die off, B3's will fade even faster. There are very few younger players who care anything for a real B3. Look at the members of the B3 groups on Facebook - there are zero young members. The B3 restorers who offer their organs are sucking air - they sell very few. It costs more to restore a B3 than they can be sold for.

The clones have won overwhelmingly.
_________________________
Thomas Shea
Nebraska

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#2896942 - 12/20/17 06:57 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: teashea]
tarkus Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 2133
Loc: MIAMI, Fl
I recall in the 1980s and early 90s that the Digital Piano and Sampled Piano were far from perfect. Digital sounded like a DX7 bell piano and sampled pianos sounded ok at middle C. Even the multi sampled zones were not very good. Panchromatic ambiance of an AP could not be faithfully reproduced. I was studying analog synthesis in college as an elective. My teacher used to work for Korg and other companies on the programming and performance aspects. We used to speculate as to when the acoustic piano would be faithfully replicated by digital.
My brother bought a clavinova grand (you put the discs in it) and it had some digital voices available to pair up with the acoustic piano. Very cool for its time. It just seemed that nobody was getting it right.
25 to 30 years later technology has surpassed expectations.
While I agree the acoustic piano similar to the parlor organ was a status symbol from the 1950's until the 1990s.
In my condo community one of the old folks heard I played and asked how I got the piano in the apartment. When I told him I had a synths and workstations he was like "wow... times have changed".
Most of the "old folks" were entering the workforce when Bob Moog split the music atom and 70s rock was acidic to their ears.

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#2896943 - 12/20/17 06:58 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: BuckW]
ElmerJFudd Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 11/30/14
Posts: 6510
Loc: USA, greater NY area
The benefits of the digital piano are there, no doubt. But as mentioned earlier, there are some shortcomings, especially in "affordable" models. Actions are not of the same quality and the amp and speakers they include just can't compare to the sound of a harp, string and sound board.

Also, digital pianos are great in performances that include a PA system - modern mixed band settings. But they are pretty bad for acoustic performances with an unmic'd singer or choir - traditional classical settings where the music is meant to be made acoustically. Same for traditional jazz duo, combo settings. A grand, baby grand, full height studio upright just sounds right.
_________________________
Live: Yamaha S90ES, Roland VR-700
Home: Rebuilt 1910 Chickering 5'2", Fender Rhodes MKI 88k

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#2896963 - 12/20/17 08:24 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: ElmerJFudd]
Joe Muscara Offline
Triple Secret Banninated
20k Club

Registered: 02/21/05
Posts: 20005
Loc: Heaven, Hell, or Houston
There's a whole market for the modern version of player pianos. My wife works with a woman who owns one of these, and where she lives and all that takes into consideration space for the piano. If you get marketing from Steinway at all or subscribe to their YT channel, they are pushing their Spirio system. One skill piano techs need nowadays is the ability to install these kinds of systems.

Maybe this is why grands are selling steady or even slightly increasing. The other non-player reason is that if you're going to buy it as furniture or art, you're going to buy the grand. I've spoken with sales people who told the buyer, "don't forget the first tuning is free," and the buyer replied, "don't worry about it, no one is going to play it." Sad for the piano, but I figure if it helps keep the industry going, so be it. Also, maybe one of us can get it at a good price in a few years.

Another place I see pianos is hospital lobbies. I also see them in various "elder care" facilities.

The acoustic piano isn't dead. It's not everywhere I want it to be, nor everywhere they used to be, but they're out there.
_________________________
We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams — Willy Wonka

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M0eMkcc91E

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#2896970 - 12/20/17 08:38 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Joe Muscara]
Wastrel Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 05/13/09
Posts: 2693
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: Joe BrokeIt
Another place I see pianos is hospital lobbies. I also see them in various "elder care" facilities.

Typically with a small plaque affixed saying "Donated by..."
_________________________
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.”
-Mark Twain

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#2896976 - 12/20/17 09:06 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Wastrel]
Rusty Mike Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 10/05/10
Posts: 872
Loc: Central NJ
I think that, as a consumer, the acoustic piano represents a bit of a conundrum. They tend to be a "once in a lifetime" purchase due to their high cost. They each have a sound profile, and once they are in your home, your ability to change that sound profile is rather limited. And once you've bought it, your kind of stuck with it unless you want to take a loss.

The electronic instruments, as stated above, can make more than one sound, and quite often more than one type of acoustic piano sound. You can dial in what pleases your ear and playing style. If I want a brighter piano sound on my Roland RD-800, I turn a knob or press a button. Agreed, we are not 100% there yet with true emulation, but we are pretty darn close. And, if we want to move on to something else, and electronic instrument can be sold more quickly.

I've had a bit of a love/dislike relationship with my Pramberger PS-157 since I bought it 6 years ago. I love the ambience it brings, and the feel of the keys, but I'm not always happy with the sound. It's simply not dark and warm enough for me. I have it tuned at least once a year, and it's been voiced three times to kill some of the brightness. I tend to like it more right after the voicing, but it won't keep that warmer tone for long.

I guess I had a different set of ears when I bought it. I enjoy playing it, but I'm not inspired by it.

The point of it is that I simply have to live with it. I'm not willing to trade up to something else, as the cost would be significant. And if I do get to that point, there are always plenty of nice looking pianos on Craigslist to consider before going to a store. And it's really the glut of available for-sale-by-owner pianos that will keep me out of a store.

Of course, for someone looking for a nice piece of furniture, none of this matters.
_________________________
Mike from Central NJ
Tools: Ten fingers, two feet, middle-age brain, questionable judgement and taste
Toys: More gear than I could afford when I had talent and did this for a living

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#2896996 - 12/20/17 11:24 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Rusty Mike]
JazzPiano88 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/16/15
Posts: 419
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Rusty Mike
I think that, as a consumer, the acoustic piano represents a bit of a conundrum. They tend to be a "once in a lifetime" purchase due to their high cost. They each have a sound profile, and once they are in your home, your ability to change that sound profile is rather limited. And once you've bought it, your kind of stuck with it unless you want to take a loss.

The nice thing about buying a used grand is that you can pick out a superb instrument that most people are assuredly going to be happy with for less than the price of a new car (assuming most new cars cost > $20k).
Mine may or may not be a once in a lifetime purchase. I'm really smitten by the Yamaha CX series and could easily do something I regret when I visit the showroom again smile.
_________________________
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Yamaha C7D | Montage8 | CP300 | CP4
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#2897000 - 12/20/17 11:37 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: teashea]
Outkaster Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 02/25/06
Posts: 6316
Loc: Rochester, NY
Originally Posted By: teashea
Hammon B3's (and their cousins) are struggling to get sold. People ask $3000 but I don't see many confirmed sales. There are a bunch of them that go for free for maybe just go to the dump. Digital organs are so good now, that apart from the "feel" of a B3 (ie nostalgia and emotional attachment), there is little or no reason to have one.

There is an exception for the very top tier of players like Mitch Towne, Joey DeFranscesco, Pat Bianchi etc, who can appreciate the use of a real B3, that is only a handful. For everyone else, a digital organ is going to sound just as good.

For me, I am very interested in B3's - from a distance. I admire the mechanical and design aspects and enjoy learning about how they work - or don't. However, I have zero interest in owning own and would not take one for free.

As the old guys die off, B3's will fade even faster. There are very few younger players who care anything for a real B3. Look at the members of the B3 groups on Facebook - there are zero young members. The B3 restorers who offer their organs are sucking air - they sell very few. It costs more to restore a B3 than they can be sold for.

The clones have won overwhelmingly.


That's just not correct? First of all spell Hammond correctly. I have been on music message boards since they practically started and I don't one person that wouldn't want a B-3. They don't go to the dumps also except in a few cases. When that happened it was because the military threw out a bunch of model G's from NCO clubs. Or people didn't know what they had other times. and that's not often. When you start making generalized statements be careful unless you have the background some of us have here. How do you know what they cost to repair? Are you a tech? Clones haven't won that's why their called clones.


Edited by Outkaster (12/20/17 08:20 PM)
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#2897006 - 12/20/17 12:14 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Outkaster]
MathOfInsects Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

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Originally Posted By: Outkaster
Originally Posted By: teashea
Hammon B3's (and their cousins) are struggling to get sold. People ask $3000 but I don't see many confirmed sales. There are a bunch of them that go for free for maybe just go to the dump. Digital organs are so good now, that apart from the "feel" of a B3 (ie nostalgia and emotional attachment), there is little or no reason to have one.

There is an exception for the very top tier of players like Mitch Towne, Joey DeFranscesco, Pat Bianchi etc, who can appreciate the use of a real B3, that is only a handful. For everyone else, a digital organ is going to sound just as good.

For me, I am very interested in B3's - from a distance. I admire the mechanical and design aspects and enjoy learning about how they work - or don't. However, I have zero interest in owning own and would not take one for free.

As the old guys die off, B3's will fade even faster. There are very few younger players who care anything for a real B3. Look at the members of the B3 groups on Facebook - there are zero young members. The B3 restorers who offer their organs are sucking air - they sell very few. It costs more to restore a B3 than they can be sold for.

The clones have won overwhelmingly.


That's just not correct?


Got to agree, this doesn't really ring true to me.
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#2897007 - 12/20/17 12:15 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Wastrel]
MathOfInsects Offline
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Originally Posted By: Wastrel
Originally Posted By: Joe BrokeIt
Another place I see pianos is hospital lobbies. I also see them in various "elder care" facilities.

Typically with a small plaque affixed saying "Donated by..."


The residents or the piano?
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#2897038 - 12/20/17 03:43 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: MathOfInsects]
Wastrel Offline
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Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
The parlor piano died when Baldwin started using their factory to make coffins during WWII.

I'd heard they had a reputation for stiff action.
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#2897062 - 12/20/17 06:09 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Wastrel]
Ledbetter Offline
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Registered: 09/26/14
Posts: 296
Loc: California
I bought my K. Kawai 6' from a doctor who spent the day with his church's choir master in L.A. Picking the best one he could find. It's from the late 70's, but plays like new. The dampers still have that crisp "new" sound. In his fifties, he planned to learn for the first time, and sold it when he and his wife moved into retirement housing.

I expect that the slowdown in new piano sales is related to the number of fine pianos available on the used market. They are a once for n a lifetime purchase and if taken care of, this one will outlive me, I'm sure. I already feel like I'm taking care of it for the next owner.
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#2897068 - 12/20/17 07:11 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Ledbetter]
BuckW Offline
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Registered: 06/20/17
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We all get a little stiff once we quit breathing.

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#2897105 - 12/21/17 04:16 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Wastrel]
Synthoid Offline
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Originally Posted By: Wastrel
Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
The parlor piano died when Baldwin started using their factory to make coffins during WWII.

I'd heard they had a reputation for stiff action.


People were just dying to get a job with Baldwin.
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#2897110 - 12/21/17 04:47 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Synthoid]
PianoMan51 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Synthoid
Originally Posted By: Wastrel
Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
The parlor piano died when Baldwin started using their factory to make coffins during WWII.

I'd heard they had a reputation for stiff action.


People were just dying to get a job with Baldwin.


Can we shut the lid on this kind of talk, and just bury it?

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#2897119 - 12/21/17 06:06 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: PianoMan51]
Strays Dave Offline
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Registered: 01/06/16
Posts: 118

I don't understand the obsession with acoustic pianos over digital pianos - if the digital piano is high quality. I keep making the point (when this issue comes up) that acoustic pianos are virtually never kept tuned often enough. And not keeping them tuned gives us that "mushy" (technical term) piano sound we've all heard so many times.

If you're puzzled about what that "mushy" sound is, compare virtually any acoustic piano with a digital. I expect digitals will get incrementally better over time. Two years ago I paid $5K for a Yamaha F01 - it was new but the model life was 7-8 years old. I bought it because it sounded like an authentic piano to my ears.

I play a lot of jazz piano, in addition to other styles. Those chord voicing with minor 2nds and diminished triads clustered against contrasting diminished triads (i.e. jazz piano chord voicings) sound as intended. Can't do that on most acoustic pianos - they sound like mush.
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#2897121 - 12/21/17 06:19 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: PianoMan51]
Synthoid Offline
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Loc: Pennsylvania, USA
Originally Posted By: PianoMan51

Can we shut the lid on this kind of talk, and just bury it?


Not until I get my new slab piano. laugh
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#2897126 - 12/21/17 06:47 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Strays Dave]
Joe Muscara Offline
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Originally Posted By: Strays Dave

I don't understand the obsession with acoustic pianos over digital pianos - if the digital piano is high quality.
That's a big if. I've heard that some digitals are really close to replicating the full experience of an acoustic, such as the Casio Grand Hybrids, but I have not played them. Meanwhile, I love my Kawai grand. It's a drag when it starts to go out of tune, but even then, I love it.
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#2897129 - 12/21/17 06:59 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Joe Muscara]
Stokely Offline
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It's a bit weird for me to be saying this, as I'm hardly a "pianist" and grew up playing synths mostly...but there's something to the real deal that I think we will be poorer for missing. The wood and the way it resonates etc. Plus I guess I think it's good to experience the original along with the thing that is copying it. Hammond B3 (which sadly I haven't been able to play much)...Rhodes...tube amps vs modelers....analog modular synths etc etc. Not saying it's bad to use the "copies" (heck I'm all software at home, even for guitar) but if I had the time, space and money I'd love to have the real things, even if the copies are WAY more convenient for playing out and recording, and might sound just as good (especially on a recording).

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#2897131 - 12/21/17 07:34 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Strays Dave]
Reezekeys Offline
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Originally Posted By: Strays Dave
I don't understand the obsession with acoustic pianos over digital pianos - if the digital piano is high quality. I keep making the point (when this issue comes up) that acoustic pianos are virtually never kept tuned often enough. And not keeping them tuned gives us that "mushy" (technical term) piano sound we've all heard so many times.

The ever-ending debate. Nobody I know is "obsessed" with acoustics vs digital but as someone who happily plays a plastic 61-key controller hooked to a laptop playing a good digital representation of a piano, I'll still claim there's nothing like the real thing. Whether a real piano is in or out of tune is a user-controllable factor. Anyone that acquires an acoustic knows that it requires occasional tuning, unlike the digital – this isn't some "gotcha." If anyone is truly obsessed with acoustics it's probably because they feel that the experience of playing one, where a big soundboard is in front of you radiating into a room and enveloping you in sound, is inherently superior to speaker cones beaming sound from a few point sources. I guess it's a matter of opinion, but I would be surprised to hear anyone claim they prefer the raw sound of a sampled Bosendorfer through even the highest quality speakers versus the sound you'd hear in a nice room playing the real thing.

Of course all this goes out the window when you're talking about doing gigs. Or if you can't afford the 5-figure price tags where decent grand pianos start. Or don't have the greatest acoustic environment. All pretty significant items – so I'm very happy to have my digital representation of a piano. And digitals seem to be getting better all the time. The new "grands" with multiple channels going to different speakers built into the case, haptic feedback on the keys, etc., are moving us ever closer to the ideal – though those models aren't cheap and can't be shlepped to your local jazz jam at the Italian restaurant. I'm old enough to remember moving Wurlies, Rhodes & CP70s to gigs, so I'm quite happy with what even a modest (and relatively inexpensive) amount of tech can do these days.

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#2897133 - 12/21/17 07:34 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Strays Dave]
JazzPiano88 Offline
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Registered: 11/16/15
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Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Strays Dave

I don't understand the obsession with acoustic pianos over digital pianos - if the digital piano is high quality. I keep making the point (when this issue comes up) that acoustic pianos are virtually never kept tuned often enough. And not keeping them tuned gives us that "mushy" (technical term) piano sound we've all heard so many times.

If you're puzzled about what that "mushy" sound is, compare virtually any acoustic piano with a digital. I expect digitals will get incrementally better over time. Two years ago I paid $5K for a Yamaha F01 - it was new but the model life was 7-8 years old. I bought it because it sounded like an authentic piano to my ears.

I play a lot of jazz piano, in addition to other styles. Those chord voicing with minor 2nds and diminished triads clustered against contrasting diminished triads (i.e. jazz piano chord voicings) sound as intended. Can't do that on most acoustic pianos - they sound like mush.

In the population of acoustic pianos you are right, a majority I'm sure sound like mush.
But for a serious pianist who owns and maintains an acoustic grand, it usually isn't going to sound like mush. We strive to make the piano "sing". A good example of what we strive for our instrument to sound like can be heard here:


Version with much batter audio (Fast forward to 4:22):
Keith Jarrett NPR Piano Jazz
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#2897135 - 12/21/17 07:37 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Strays Dave]
Dave Ferris Offline
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Edited by Dave Ferris (12/22/17 04:11 AM)
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#2897145 - 12/21/17 08:14 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Dave Ferris]
tarkus Offline
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Nothing like a quality piano.
I almost bought a Yamaha upright grand - brand spankin new - just because of the quality.
After playing my family piano since i was a toddler, it was the only action I knew. When I went to college, they had a piano room with two steinway grands and one bosendorfer that was used for concerts. What a leap from the shitty kranich & bach to the steinway and then to the bosendorfer.
Kinda like driving a datsun B210 hatchback for a dozen years and then being handed the keys to a Rolls Royce

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#2897147 - 12/21/17 08:23 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: MathOfInsects]
synthizen2 Offline
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Registered: 08/19/04
Posts: 852
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
Originally Posted By: Outkaster
Originally Posted By: teashea
Hammon B3's (and their cousins) are struggling to get sold. People ask $3000 but I don't see many confirmed sales. There are a bunch of them that go for free for maybe just go to the dump. Digital organs are so good now, that apart from the "feel" of a B3 (ie nostalgia and emotional attachment), there is little or no reason to have one.

There is an exception for the very top tier of players like Mitch Towne, Joey DeFranscesco, Pat Bianchi etc, who can appreciate the use of a real B3, that is only a handful. For everyone else, a digital organ is going to sound just as good.

For me, I am very interested in B3's - from a distance. I admire the mechanical and design aspects and enjoy learning about how they work - or don't. However, I have zero interest in owning own and would not take one for free.

As the old guys die off, B3's will fade even faster. There are very few younger players who care anything for a real B3. Look at the members of the B3 groups on Facebook - there are zero young members. The B3 restorers who offer their organs are sucking air - they sell very few. It costs more to restore a B3 than they can be sold for.

The clones have won overwhelmingly.


That's just not correct?


Got to agree, this doesn't really ring true to me.


It has a ring of truth in it, to me.

I'll tell you my story...

When I first became a gigging keyboardist in the early 80s (from a piano background), what was generally available to me (and what other gigging keyboardists were into buying at the time) did not include Hammonds, or really any kind of organ. Those were just not in vogue at the time. Many keyboard-playing friends and associates (who were gigging longer than me, like back in the 70s) were already selling off their B3's and going for analog polysynths, the DX7, or the first round of organ clones like the CX3, etc.

There are many keyboardists in this forum who have a longer keyboard-player background than me, and they already had been playing the Hammond for years.

For me, starting out, it was just about "finding some organ patch on a synth" and using that for certain songs. I knew nothing about drawbar registrations, leslie, percussion, vibrato, or any of that stuff.

Later on I learned all of that, and became better at organ technique... but only by using synths or clones. I simply didn't have a Hammond background, never owned one, didn't know how to work one 'properly' (i.e. Joey Francesco style) - and as a consequence - never really wanted one, because I didn't have a "grounding" in it like many here. My real grounding was in polysynths, samplers, and DPs during the 1980s.

So, from a simple "post-70s gigging keyboardist" mentality, I can see this guy's point. He may not be correct about classic Hammonds hitting the dumps... but he is correct insofar as achieving realistic Hammond sound in digital form. After all, Hammond themselves do make digital clones, don't they?

"If it's not a Hammond, it's a clone" -- does this logic apply to digital Hammonds?
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#2897151 - 12/21/17 08:50 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: synthizen2]
Outkaster Offline
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OK well you might be the minority. People shouldn't come in making blanket statements that aren't that educated on the subject.
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#2897155 - 12/21/17 09:07 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: JCRoswell]
synthizen2 Offline
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Registered: 08/19/04
Posts: 852
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Reezekeys
Of course all this goes out the window when you're talking about doing gigs.

This is true.

Originally Posted By: JCRoswell
And how many people have I met that had a piano in their home that no one could play and was just a piece of furniture?

This is true.

Hey, I think we're on to something here. idea


Edited by synthizen2 (12/21/17 09:07 AM)
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#2897158 - 12/21/17 09:19 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: synthizen2]
MathOfInsects Offline
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So to summarize, the home piano either is or is not dead and organ use is either up or down or the same.
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#2897160 - 12/21/17 09:21 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: synthizen2]
LX88 Offline
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Registered: 10/16/10
Posts: 1937
I recently picked up a 56 inch tall Bush and Lane upright from 1924.

I had been looking for one of these. I wanted the additional string length in the bass register, and Bush and Lane pianos have a great reputation among certain knowledgeable techs -if they have been well maintained. This one has particularly nice strings and soundboard.

This piano does need a bit of attention in the action , and the hammers need to be voiced. I called a few techs in my area.

None of them seemed to be particularly interested in anything about this instrument EXCEPT how much money would be gained by them. I wanted to speak to someone who knows something about how unique this instrument is, or at least display some interest in it. That was my qualification.

So one of the factors in acquiring acoustic instruments regards who is going to help maintain it.

At this point I am looking for a good tuning program and I plan to experiment with tuning it myself because I don't want any of my resources to go to some of the people I have spoken to so far.

BTW if any of you have any info on mid 20's Bush and Lane or any knowledge about the Wessel Nickel and Gross action from this period , PM me.

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#2897165 - 12/21/17 09:54 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: LX88]
Dave Ferris Offline
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.


Edited by Dave Ferris (12/22/17 04:12 AM)
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#2897166 - 12/21/17 09:55 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Dave Ferris]
burningbusch Offline
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Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
Originally Posted By: Strays Dave

I don't understand the obsession with acoustic pianos over digital pianos - if the digital piano is high quality.

I play a lot of jazz piano, in addition to other styles. Those chord voicing with minor 2nds and diminished triads clustered against contrasting diminished triads (i.e. jazz piano chord voicings) sound as intended. Can't do that on most acoustic pianos - they sound like mush.


Are you serious ?! You can't be.

I play a little "jazz piano " from time to time myself. And have been known to play thick and more intricate chord voicings.

On a digital, most everything sounds sterile and not real. In fact I almost always have to go check a voicing on my piano out in the studio after "finding " something new on the CP5 in the office. Sometimes the transfer or transition holds up but I'd say a good half the time it doesn't.

The richness of body, thickness of tone, the resonance, the sustain, the overall feel and player connection of a good acoustic vs a digital -- it's two separate worlds altogether that aren't even comparable.

Your statement leads me to believe you've never experienced a piano of higher quality before. I simply can't believe, especially after listening to you play, you'd make a blanket statement like that if you have.

I've never met a serious jazz, classical player, or even a more discerning rock guy that would prefer a digital over a good piano. But maybe they're out there. confused idk

There's no obsession over digital vs acoustic here. I'm in the camp of most that feels digitals have their place -- especially for a working musician or when space or noise in the home are an issue. In fact almost everyone I know with a good, or great piano owns a digital --primarily for work but also maybe the convenience factor if they want to make a quick recording.

I'm also very sensitive to the simple fact that many are not in the financial position to acquire an instrument that can compete satisfactorily with a higher quality digital piano. I have to add though -- I know or have heard of players that didn't have any money but yet made extreme sacrifices in their lifestyle to come into the possession of a functional instrument so they could practice and further their Art.

Joe , when your piano goes out of tune, you get it tuned. idea smile thu


Have to agree with all this Dave. There is a laundry list of issues with digital pianos. There is no question we're dealing with a compromised sound, in some cases just plain faulty. I have a Yamaha N3. I guess it's one of the best examples of a digital piano.

We use these things because they're pragmatic. The only place I feel good about using a software piano is when tracking, in a mix with other instruments--I find I'm no longer distracted by the flaws.

Busch.

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#2897170 - 12/21/17 10:03 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Dave Ferris]
cphollis Offline
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Good digital hybrids vs. good acoustic pianos?

I have a very good digital hybrid in one location (Yamaha AvantGrand N3) and a very good grand piano in another (Bosie 200). As you might expect, it's not even a close contest, except perhaps in the bang-for-buck category.

Make no mistake, the Yammie brings serious game. Much more fun to play than any pure digital (e.g. Nord), and many lower-end acoustic pianos. You can occasionally lose yourself and think you're playing a real grand. And it never goes out of tune.

But the experience on a better acoustic grand is simply not comparable. True, not everyone has the inclination or the means. But if you do ... there is no direct substitute.

Even if I have to tune it once in a while.
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#2897173 - 12/21/17 10:11 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: cphollis]
Iconoclast Offline
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Registered: 09/12/11
Posts: 531
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: cphollis
Good digital hybrids vs. good acoustic pianos?

I have a very good digital hybrid in one location (Yamaha AvantGrand N3) and a very good grand piano in another (Bosie 200). As you might expect, it's not even a close contest, except perhaps in the bang-for-buck category.

Make no mistake, the Yammie brings serious game. Much more fun to play than any pure digital (e.g. Nord), and many lower-end acoustic pianos. You can occasionally lose yourself and think you're playing a real grand. And it never goes out of tune.

But the experience on a better acoustic grand is simply not comparable. True, not everyone has the inclination or the means. But if you do ... there is no direct substitute.

Even if I have to tune it once in a while.


Amen to that. I have a Kurz Forte and a Nord Stage 3, both fantastic stage pianos. I'm lucky enough to have a stand alone studio at my house with great speakers that I can play them through.

In the house I have a Yamaha Grand that I inherited when my Mother passed away.

I have often pondered over the difference in playing the two. Undeniably the dynamic range of the real piano and the way you can feel the instrument rumble makes it much more satisfying when you're really playing good. I really love it when no one's home and I get a chance to lay into that piano.

Ironically, I've tried to record the acoustic Grand and it always sounds like crap recorded.

Which reminds me...I really need to get the Grand tuned!


Edited by Iconoclast (12/21/17 10:12 AM)
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#2897175 - 12/21/17 10:14 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: burningbusch]
Dave Ferris Offline
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Registered: 03/05/07
Posts: 6007
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
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Edited by Dave Ferris (12/22/17 04:12 AM)
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#2897177 - 12/21/17 10:17 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Dave Ferris]
MathOfInsects Offline
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Registered: 02/04/15
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Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
I play a little "jazz piano " from time to time myself.


roll roll roll

Understatement of the year award. smile
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#2897178 - 12/21/17 10:18 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: MathOfInsects]
Dave Ferris Offline
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Registered: 03/05/07
Posts: 6007
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
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Edited by Dave Ferris (12/22/17 04:13 AM)
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#2897180 - 12/21/17 10:24 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Iconoclast]
burningbusch Offline
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Let me add, the reason I think using a soft piano in a mix often works is because recording an acoustic piano necessarily compromises the sound. The multi-dimensional sound of the acoustic piano is reduced to stereo (or mono), is compressed and EQ to "fit" the mix. In the end the soloed track often bears little resemblance to the source.

Busch.

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#2897181 - 12/21/17 10:27 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: LX88]
GRollins Offline
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Registered: 09/01/17
Posts: 1203
1) Start with a real acoustic piano. Learn to play it. Get used to it. Hear the nuances. It's in your blood.

2) Start playing out, as in with a band, not classical recitals where there's already a piano in the hall.

3) The physical size and weight of the real acoustic are problematic. As soon as they're available, switch to an electronic representation of an acoustic, even though it's really not even close.

4) The electronic versions get closer. Everyone cheers. Buy another and another and another and another because they're closer and closer to the real thing.

5) BUT...it's an asymptotic approach. Diminishing returns. Let's assume for the moment that there's some objective way to truly assign a rating to the electronic copy and it's...call it 95% of the real thing. "Close enough."

6) The electronic version still weighs 30-50 pounds or so and is still kinda fragile and is still awkward to fit in the van.

7) New technology comes out that gives you a "virtual piano" with a holographic keyboard that's projected in air, weighs nothing, etc. It uses cordless MIDI 5.3 technology to hook up to everything else, but is essentially based on the same sound engine so it's still only 95% of a real piano. The next round of tech gives you a true virtual reality piano that even looks like one as long as you're within the virtual reality bubble...but it's still less than the real thing.

Years pass...

At some point a young lad or lass opens the door of a dusty room after their grandparents (depicted above) have died at age 274 years young and in the late afternoon sun slanting through the window, spies the last real piano on Earth. They know what it is because they've seen the holos, but they've never seen the real thing. They know how to play so, out of curiosity and boredom, they decide to give it a try...

...and discover the missing 5%...

...but there are no piano factories left on Earth to spread the joy and wonderment he (or she) feels at playing and hearing a real piano in a real room playing real music--the full 100% experience.

Grey
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#2897185 - 12/21/17 10:46 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: GRollins]
stoken6 Offline
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+1 on the above. I have an average acoustic (baby grand, 4ft 3in - too small!) and one of the best keyboards for piano (Nord Stage 2 - you can debate its ranking against the competition). The acoustic wins every time in terms of FSC (finger-soul connection).

Although... we live in a semi-detached house and we have room for it, without disturbing the neighbours. An older, downsized me would love a Yamaha N1 for the convenience and the action. I'm not enough of an organist to tune in to the subtleties, but I imagine the same applies to Hammond (tonewheel) vs clones.

Cheers, Mike.
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#2897205 - 12/21/17 12:01 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Dave Ferris]
Joe Muscara Offline
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Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
Joe , when your piano goes out of tune, you get it tuned. idea smile thu
Well, duh. rolleyes It's not an immediate thing, though. In fact, around here it's a bit of a pain. It's currently 78° but this weekend the highs will be in the 50s. With each change of direction of the wind, the humidity goes with it and the piano shifts. Right now, the tuning sounds mostly fine, but when the temp and humidity drop this weekend, it will sound wonky again.

The joys of living in an older house...
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#2897239 - 12/21/17 02:01 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Joe Muscara]
Dave Ferris Offline
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.


Edited by Dave Ferris (12/22/17 04:13 AM)
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#2897242 - 12/21/17 02:10 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Dave Ferris]
Joe Muscara Offline
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It's not too horrible most of the time, but when we change from A/C to heat or vice versa I notice it.
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#2897261 - 12/21/17 04:59 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Joe Muscara]
Markay Online   content
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Registered: 01/28/12
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Nothing beats an acoustic piano. But buying a piano is a discretionary purchase that a shrinking number of people choose to make, and of those that may have the inclination, an ever increasing number do not have the room to accommodate an AP in their home.

Here since the 80's the vast majority of new housing has been medium or high density apartments where there is limited space for an upright let alone a grand. And then there is the noise issue. Many are built with thin prefab concrete panels or breeze block internal walls to save money and noise transference from everyday living is often an issue, an AP is often out of the question even if there were room for it.

Amongst the downsizing boomer friends of mine only one has kept his grand, but they live in a huge luxury apartment, the number of which would be in the hundreds in a total of about a million apartments in this city.

Increasing the number of piano retailers is not going to solve these issues.

In my case, through a stroke of luck, my grandchild will be learning the piano on a grand whether he likes or not. His maternal grandmother is a past professional player and teacher of many years standing. And she takes no prisoners, so his musical education is not open to debate. Hope he has inherited her talent.
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#2897267 - 12/21/17 06:00 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: GRollins]
Iconoclast Offline
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Registered: 09/12/11
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Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: GRollins
1) Start with a real acoustic piano. Learn to play it. Get used to it. Hear the nuances. It's in your blood.

2) Start playing out, as in with a band, not classical recitals where there's already a piano in the hall.

3) The physical size and weight of the real acoustic are problematic. As soon as they're available, switch to an electronic representation of an acoustic, even though it's really not even close.

4) The electronic versions get closer. Everyone cheers. Buy another and another and another and another because they're closer and closer to the real thing.

5) BUT...it's an asymptotic approach. Diminishing returns. Let's assume for the moment that there's some objective way to truly assign a rating to the electronic copy and it's...call it 95% of the real thing. "Close enough."

6) The electronic version still weighs 30-50 pounds or so and is still kinda fragile and is still awkward to fit in the van.

7) New technology comes out that gives you a "virtual piano" with a holographic keyboard that's projected in air, weighs nothing, etc. It uses cordless MIDI 5.3 technology to hook up to everything else, but is essentially based on the same sound engine so it's still only 95% of a real piano. The next round of tech gives you a true virtual reality piano that even looks like one as long as you're within the virtual reality bubble...but it's still less than the real thing.

Years pass...

At some point a young lad or lass opens the door of a dusty room after their grandparents (depicted above) have died at age 274 years young and in the late afternoon sun slanting through the window, spies the last real piano on Earth. They know what it is because they've seen the holos, but they've never seen the real thing. They know how to play so, out of curiosity and boredom, they decide to give it a try...

...and discover the missing 5%...

...but there are no piano factories left on Earth to spread the joy and wonderment he (or she) feels at playing and hearing a real piano in a real room playing real music--the full 100% experience.

Grey


Sounds like a Concept Album. The pianists version of 2112?
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#2897269 - 12/21/17 06:15 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Iconoclast]
EscapeRocks Online   content
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If I could bring my 1973 Steinway "L" to my gigs, I would!

As good as the digital and VST have become, when I sit down at the real thing, it's pure joy and no real competition.
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#2897271 - 12/21/17 07:08 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Iconoclast]
GRollins Offline
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Originally Posted By: Iconoclast
Sounds like a Concept Album. The pianists version of 2112?


More like a concept for a story. I'm an author. I'm considering writing something along those lines.

We've made a lot of concessions in the name of convenience. There's a loss involved at every stage. People don't care because it's "close enough" and it's portable. Consider, for instance, the difference between a Walkman or its distant offspring, the iPod and a good stereo--one's portable and sounds "good enough" but the other is better. But there's still a chance that a time will come when people slow down and realize the concessions that were made in the name of convenience. It might just matter to someone.

I hope.

Grey
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#2897273 - 12/21/17 07:18 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: GRollins]
Joe Muscara Offline
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I see all this talk about not having space for a piano, or living in a dwelling where the noise is a problem. Then I thought, "what about drummers?" Then I thought, some of them might have rehearsal spaces. Or putting the kit out in the garage for practice is viable. idk
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#2897274 - 12/21/17 07:29 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Joe Muscara]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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Acoustic piano does need temp and humidity control.
So the garage and basement isn't the place for a quality acoustic piano.
It needs to be where humans dwell. And beyond that a the water pan with heat bars and wicking cloth (damp chaser) help a lot with keeping tune and avoiding sound board cracks, even wood parts in the action and elsewhere moving optimally.

Digitals can be noisy too, even with headphones and especially in a second floor apartment where the neighbors downstairs hear thump thump thump from the action through the floor.
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#2897275 - 12/21/17 07:40 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: ElmerJFudd]
DulceLabs.com Offline
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Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
the neighbors downstairs hear thump thump thump from the action through the floor.


Let's hope they know it's a pianist causing the noise. blush

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#2897278 - 12/21/17 07:49 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: DulceLabs.com]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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smile

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#2897293 - 12/21/17 08:44 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: ElmerJFudd]
burningbusch Offline
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With one of my high school bands my setup was a Minimoog and acoustic piano (I had to sell my M3/Leslie to buy the Moog). The piano lived in my bedroom, and in order to get it out and down the narrow hall, it had to be flipped on end. Once lowered, we put on the dollies and took it out to the van. Reversed this process to get it back into my bedroom. It was a spinet so maybe 300-400lbs. Not a big deal, you did what was required. I worked part-time in a music store delivering pianos/organs, so this is something we did all the time. Today kids are such wusses, don't they know keyboards are supposed to be monstrously heavy?

Busch

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#2897294 - 12/21/17 08:47 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: ElmerJFudd]
MoodyBluesKeys Offline
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If I could combine the bottom two octaves of my PC3X with the upper notes of the 5' 8" Howard Grand - that would really be the best sound (or if I had a 9' Baldwin from the USA days or Bosendorfer). And the Howard does look nicer in the Living Room, even when not being played.

There really is no comparison, even though the acoustic does get out of tune. The feel is different, the sound is different.

But, the Howard is NOT going to be moved out of the Living Room and hauled to a gig. Most of the time, neither is the PC3X. The older I get, the lighter and smaller the rig needs to be.

Time may come that I need the $4400 I paid for the Howard, but it has been nice to have. Also glad to have the digitals.
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#2897321 - 12/22/17 05:45 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: MoodyBluesKeys]
Outkaster Offline
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Well a digital piano will never be able to "be" an acoustic piano. I go to a famous music school here locally were there are Julliard and Eastman graduates teaching. The school requires people to have a piano in their home when kids are learning. I still think it's a great idea to get the right perspective on the instrument.
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#2897327 - 12/22/17 06:10 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Outkaster]
Strays Dave Offline
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Registered: 01/06/16
Posts: 118
I made the comment about wondering about the "obsession with acoustic pianos". Later, the old line occurred to me: talking about music is like dancing about architecture. We discussed the sound of acoustic/digital pianos without specific examples of sound.

I have 2 examples here. The acoustic piano here is badly out of tune, maybe more than your average piano, but it illustrates my point. The digital piano here is a new model I'd not heard of - the Korg Air (around $1400 reported street price).

I once read a post comment where someone said he'd prefer the worst most out-of-tune acoustic piano to the best digital piano - really ?

Demo of Korg Air



Out of tune piano
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#2897334 - 12/22/17 06:38 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: ElmerJFudd]
Synthoid Offline
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Well that was cringe-worthy.


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#2897354 - 12/22/17 08:21 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Synthoid]
Jazzmammal Offline
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Registered: 08/17/12
Posts: 1904
Loc: Redondo Beach, CA
Here's the thing. The guy playing the G1 almost certainly learned to play on an acoustic since about the age of 6. He's developed his touch and finger control on an acoustic. That allows him to control the digital to get the best sound out of it.

If someone were to ask him what he thinks of the feel of the keys of the G1 and how does it compare overall to a good grand what does anyone here think he would say?

I know what he would say. Zip, zero, not close, not EVEN close, fuggettaboutit, you're kidding right?

Bob

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#2897376 - 12/22/17 10:35 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Jazzmammal]
Strays Dave Offline
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Registered: 01/06/16
Posts: 118
Originally Posted By: Jazzmammal
Here's the thing. The guy playing the G1 almost certainly learned to play on an acoustic since about the age of 6. He's developed his touch and finger control on an acoustic. That allows him to control the digital to get the best sound out of it.

If someone were to ask him what he thinks of the feel of the keys of the G1 and how does it compare overall to a good grand what does anyone here think he would say?

I know what he would say. Zip, zero, not close, not EVEN close, fuggettaboutit, you're kidding right?

Bob


If I had the means I'd probably say the same thing. Having the means, means having the space adequate to accommodate a grand piano. Also, the means to pay for a good grand piano. And the means and motivation to have it tuned 2-4 times per year (if I were going to own a good grand piano in this scenario, tunings would only be an inconvenience to my time - not my wallet).

Someone posted Keith Jarrett. I was just listening to "Jasmine" with Keith and Charlie Haden yesterday. I love Keith's playing. Keith is in the category of being a musical prince. He can pay for and insist that a piano is tuned and maintained to his exacting taste. He has a practice studio over his garage. But the cost of this (doing it the way it deserves to be done) is prohibitive to many of us.
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#2897395 - 12/22/17 11:46 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Strays Dave]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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Great shared experiences- there's clearly a place, time and reason for both. Perhaps digital pianos greatest achievement has been bringing the joy of piano keyboard playing to everyone, even on the tightest budget. Even in the acoustic piano's hey day when it was the only option it was still a pastime for more affluent households. But if all things align - space, money, desire, etc. a fine acoustic instrument is tremendously resonant, expressive, beautiful to the senses in every way.
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#2897411 - 12/22/17 12:40 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: ElmerJFudd]
GRollins Offline
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Registered: 09/01/17
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Hell, I'd love to have a grand, but it's not going to happen. Given that I didn't make enough to buy anything I'd want even when I was working, I'm certainly not going to get there now that I'm retired.

Plus there's the fact that I'd have to acquire a cat to dust the thing the way I and someone (Gov. Ag?) were talking about in another thread. Now, if I could convince one of my raccoons to do the job, that might change the equation...

Grey
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#2897423 - 12/22/17 01:36 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: GRollins]
GRollins Offline
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Okay, let's be realistic...I could find the physical space for a Voyager XL more readily than a grand piano.

(I say this having just come upstairs after practicing for twenty minutes or so and banging my knees on the Hammond bench about once every 30 seconds.)

Grey
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#2897527 - 12/23/17 04:32 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: GRollins]
BuckW Offline
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Registered: 06/20/17
Posts: 283
Aside from a grand piano setting off one of a mansion's extra rooms, this thread could just as well have been about "the great Hammond organ pushback" or "the great modular synth pushback".

The value proposition just isn't there anymore and that toothpaste isn't going back into the tube.

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#2897544 - 12/23/17 06:11 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: BuckW]
GRollins Offline
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Registered: 09/01/17
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I suppose every Christmas has its Scrooge.

Grey
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#2897562 - 12/23/17 07:57 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: BuckW]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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Originally Posted By: BuckW
Aside from a grand piano setting off one of a mansion's extra rooms, this thread could just as well have been about "the great Hammond organ pushback" or "the great modular synth pushback".

The value proposition just isn't there anymore and that toothpaste isn't going back into the tube.


A fine musical instrument, like a work of art, has little to do with a value proposition. Of course there will always be collectors who snatch things up in hopes of increasing value for resale, an investment. But the pianist wants the Steinway D to play. And in this case - it is priceless.
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#2897563 - 12/23/17 08:00 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: GRollins]
Donsta Offline
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Registered: 03/16/16
Posts: 171
I am fortunate that where I work I have access to a number of Steinway, Kawai, and Yamaha grand pianos. Most of them are wonderful and I love being able to play on them. A couple of them are atrocious and I hate using them.

I don't have the money for a fine grand piano in my home and quite frankly I'd rather have a good digital piano than a bad acoustic one. Some of my colleagues disagree with me.
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#2897567 - 12/23/17 08:20 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Donsta]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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Registered: 11/30/14
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Without a doubt if life situation dictates the choice being a good digital vs. piece of crap acoustic - then it's a good digital in a heartbeat! Most fine acoustic sales these days are institutions I would imagine - and if you have access to play them, you're a lucky fellow.
like
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#2897588 - 12/23/17 10:08 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: BuckW]
slowtraveler Offline
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Registered: 03/07/13
Posts: 400
Loc: Boston, MA
Originally Posted By: BuckW
The value proposition just isn't there anymore and that toothpaste isn't going back into the tube.

It depends which particular tube you're talking about, I think. The casual/student home market, for sure. That tube's been empty for years, squeezed dry by a secular decline in demand, as well as by the availability of excellent substitute goods in the form of digital keyboards and used acoustics.

In other market segments (institutional, professional and semi-pro, high-end luxury), I believe demand is much more stable. Which, I would assume, is exactly why the remaining bricks-and-mortar piano retailers are fewer in number, and concentrated towards the high end of the market. Can you hear me now, Mr. DeFio?

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#2897596 - 12/23/17 10:40 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: ElmerJFudd]
Reezekeys Offline
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Loc: NYC area
Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
A fine musical instrument, like a work of art, has little to do with a value proposition. Of course there will always be collectors who snatch things up in hopes of increasing value for resale, an investment. But the pianist wants the Steinway D to play. And in this case - it is priceless.

In two weeks I'm playing at a club near me that touts its "historic" piano, a Steinway that was at the Village Gate in NYC (for those who don't know, this was a famous NY jazz venue for years, where pretty much everybody played). There's a poster on an easel with a list of the pianists who've played it. It's a very impressive list, a who's who of jazz piano. You might be shocked (NOT) to hear that the piano is in questionable condition. For my gig there I'll bring my Roland A800 pro, laptop and QSC speakers. They should take this piano, put it in a corner, surround it with a velvet rope and display it as a historical artifact. I'm there to make music.

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#2897622 - 12/23/17 12:55 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Reezekeys]
Dave Ferris Offline
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A couple years back I played a concert in the smaller hall at Cal State Northridge. It wasn't Trio but Quintet with two horns. Still, I soloed on every tune extensively.

They had a Steinway D there, maybe 25 years old I was told. This piano felt like the action had never been regulated in the life of the piano. It was as responsive as trying to drive a semi in a mall parking structure.

Also it had no sustain or singing characteristics in the mid to higher registers that are so common to Ds. The sound literally vanished in the air. On that stage, in that room, it was truly a "dead" sounding piano.

I felt bad about my playing that night and really felt I would been more inspired on my CP5, going through my RCF TT08As, which I was still using at the time.

I've played the D in the main concert hall in the past and that one is excellent, simply because they spend the $$$ to keep it in top shape.
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#2897643 - 12/23/17 02:05 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Dave Ferris]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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Registered: 11/30/14
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That's it really in a nutshell, Dave. An acoustic instrument requires care and maintenance. It's not fair to compare even a Steinway D to your CP5 and an amp if the D is 25 years old and being left to rot, right?
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#2897681 - 12/24/17 12:42 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: ElmerJFudd]
Jazzmammal Offline
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Registered: 08/17/12
Posts: 1904
Loc: Redondo Beach, CA
That's why in my comment I specifically said a good grand and of course all the comments are correct concerning finances, lifestyle, having space, not having to move every few years, etc.

My comment was simply a comparison of the best digital to a good grand.

Years ago I did a gig in a lounge that had an almost new Yamaha 5'2 grand. Since the band did many different styles including organ blues and fusion I brought my Kurz PC2X for organ, EP's and the scat voices. I started the gig playing the Yamaha then used the Kurz for the other stuff. On a whim for a piano tune I slid from the Yamaha's bench to my Kurz through my two Barbettas. At the time that was a very good rig. The Yamaha made the Kurz sound like a kazoo. To say it wasn't even close does a disservice to being close to anything and I played less than one chorus on the Kurz and slid back to the Yamaha because I really couldn't stand it. It was a joke yet at that time the PC2 was considered one of the best digitals around, it was used in all sorts of live concerts by the biggest names and sounded great. Of course that was going through a megabuck PA direct from a megabuck pro mixing board being run by a pro soundman. Using my Barbettas sitting right next to a Yamaha grand was painful beyond belief.

Bob

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#2897687 - 12/24/17 04:34 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Jazzmammal]
BuckW Offline
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Registered: 06/20/17
Posts: 283
For me the biggest attraction of a grand is the bass for which you need at least a 7 footer.

I once had an ancient herringbone Homberg Steinway, 7 foot. I had to sell it to feed my kids.

I'd rather have a great digital piano and great speakers for bass than any baby grand.


Edited by BuckW (12/24/17 04:36 AM)

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#2897724 - 12/24/17 09:21 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: BuckW]
MathOfInsects Offline
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Registered: 02/04/15
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Loc: California
Originally Posted By: BuckW
For me the biggest attraction of a grand is the bass for which you need at least a 7 footer.

I once had an ancient herringbone Homberg Steinway, 7 foot. I had to sell it to feed my kids.

I'd rather have a great digital piano and great speakers for bass than any baby grand.


My 6'4" Mason & Hamlin grand has bass massive enough to knock a skyscraper over.
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#2897731 - 12/24/17 10:22 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: MathOfInsects]
Dave Ferris Offline
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Registered: 03/05/07
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Generally speaking a "baby grand" size is under 6'.

Yes, especially if your Mason AA is an older one, those are fabulous pianos. I'm not as crazy about the new ones I've played.

The older M&H BB was one of the best pianos ever made.
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#2897733 - 12/24/17 10:24 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Dave Ferris]
MathOfInsects Offline
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Yes, the older incarnation, not the reboot.

Massive sound, so complex too.
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#2897735 - 12/24/17 10:31 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: MathOfInsects]
Dave Ferris Offline
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Fwiw- If and when you would ever decide to get it re-built or restored - new strings , hammers, etc. -- a piano like that would be one of the few that would be worth it.

This might be the only guy on the West Coast I'd trust a re-build on one. Here's some pictures of a restored M&H BB. Although loving elephants as much as I do, I don't think I'd want the ivory keys. wink
http://www.erwinspiano.com/pianosforsale/1929-mason-hamlin-bb-7-grand-piano/


Edited by Dave Ferris (12/24/17 10:39 AM)
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#2897822 - 12/25/17 07:12 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Reezekeys]
Joe Muscara Offline
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Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
Although loving elephants as much as I do, I don't think I'd want the ivory keys. wink
http://www.erwinspiano.com/pianosforsale/1929-mason-hamlin-bb-7-grand-piano/
Since they're original and the animals have been dead for nearly 100 years, that wouldn't bother me. My previous piano was a 1924 and it had ivory keys. The only issue for me was if I was going to do major work on the piano, what I would do about the keys. Fortunately, they were in pretty good shape so I could have left them as is, with the two or three minor chips they had. I definitely wouldn't be trying to get new ivory.

Originally Posted By: Reezekeys
akers. They should take this piano,put it in a corner, surround it with a velvet rope and display it as a historical artifact and have it rebuilt.
Fixed it for you. In fact, with all the great players that have played it, they might be able to get the funds to have Steinway themselves redo the thing.

SIR PAUL MCCARTNEY CALLS ON STEINWAY & SONS TO RESTORE SOME MOTOWN MAGIC

Story after work was done and piano was returned to Detroit

I just don't get the comments in this thread that act like "that's a bad piano, it's junk" as opposed to, "gee, it would be cool if they could have it fixed."
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#2897832 - 12/25/17 07:36 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Joe Muscara]
Reezekeys Offline
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Originally Posted By: Joe BrokeIt
Originally Posted By: Reezekeys
akers. They should take this piano,put it in a corner, surround it with a velvet rope and display it as a historical artifact and have it rebuilt.
Fixed it for you. In fact, with all the great players that have played it, they might be able to get the funds to have Steinway themselves redo the thing

"Get the funds" how exactly? This is a small restaurant. Not a jazz club or any kind of music club. Sure, it would be nice. I only played it once, a while ago, so maybe they've had more work done – I'll find out soon. Because hope springs eternal, I'll show up a little early, leave my gear in my trunk, and check it out. Then decide whether to set up my stuff or not. Since this is one of my 2 or 3-times-a-year gig with one of the best jazz drummers on the planet, I'll need to get a really good hit from it to keep my stuff in the car. To get back to your point - rebuilding a piano is pretty expensive. Who's to say this one wasn't a dog to begin with, notwithstanding the name? It was in the Village Gate for years, being pounded on every night! If I was a philanthropist looking to pay for a piano restoration I would search for one that's seen a lot less abuse. The list of pianists that played it is very impressive though, maybe I'll post a pic of the plaque they display with the names!

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#2897833 - 12/25/17 07:40 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Joe Muscara]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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A rebuilt is also the more affordable alternative to new. And with a little research and leg work you might find the one for you - with the character and soul in its history that resonates with you like its 230 some odd strings. Like getting your hands on a Rhodes, Wurly or otherwise times 10.

Obviously this isn't about modern gigging - digital stuff is portable and capable of every timbre., Always in tune and doesn't require micing. Right tool for the right job. But for acoustic performance in a parlour (or classical concert hall, etc.) playing un-amplified with other acoustic instruments - also right tool for the right job. 60s/70s stuff sounds great on the real electro mechanicals - but hauling and caring for them is both a luxury and a pain.

It's funny how the technology debate is so prevalent in keyboard instruments - and how much size and weight plays a part. The brass, woodwind and string guys aren't phased as much by it all. Players of these little case and carry instruments would still give their left nut for the right Selmer Conn Stradivarius etc.
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#2897859 - 12/25/17 09:06 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: ElmerJFudd]
Dave Ferris Offline
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Registered: 03/05/07
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Loc: Glendale, Ca.
Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
It's funny how the technology debate is so prevalent in keyboard instruments - and how much size and weight plays a part. The brass, woodwind and string guys aren't phased as much by it all. Players of these little case and carry instruments would still give their left nut for the right Selmer Conn Stradivarius etc.



When I might complain about the state of a piano or having to schlep my keyboard to play and I get a rolleyes from the horn players. I say - hey how would you feel if you couldn't use your ax on gigs ? You are forced to contend with an electronic replication of your vintage Selmer ? Or the horn they give you is leaking air through the pads ? Or as a drummer you are forced to play with electronic pads ? That usually quiets them down real quick. wink
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#2897863 - 12/25/17 09:41 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Dave Ferris]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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Registered: 11/30/14
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Indeed indeed. Tech changes the gig for the keys player at a very rapid rate. The controller keyboard to computer has trickled down to even community and HS musical theatre. I'm about to install this for an upcoming gig.
https://www.mtishows.com/marketplace/resource/performance/keyboard-patch-solutionstm

I've yet to use a laptop for live playing. And this doesn't appear to be MainStage or Cantabile whch I know some folks here swear by. But whatever, I'll see how it goes. Apparently there will be a second keyboard player and we'll both be usb midi'd up to the laptop. I'll either bring the S90ES or see what the school has for keyboards and if I can live with the action on any. Tech changes - gig changes. this ain't Oklahoma! or Damn Yankees but the score still calls for real brass, reed, violin, and percussion - even guitars, but me and the other keyboard guy will be playing the computer. smile
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#2897895 - 12/25/17 03:47 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: ElmerJFudd]
BuckW Offline
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Registered: 06/20/17
Posts: 283
Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
A rebuilt is also the more affordable alternative to new. And with a little research and leg work you might find the one for you - with the character and soul in its history that resonates with you like its 230 some odd strings. Like getting your hands on a Rhodes, Wurly or otherwise times 10.

Obviously this isn't about modern gigging - digital stuff is portable and capable of every timbre., Always in tune and doesn't require micing. Right tool for the right job. But for acoustic performance in a parlour (or classical concert hall, etc.) playing un-amplified with other acoustic instruments - also right tool for the right job. 60s/70s stuff sounds great on the real electro mechanicals - but hauling and caring for them is both a luxury and a pain.

It's funny how the technology debate is so prevalent in keyboard instruments - and how much size and weight plays a part. The brass, woodwind and string guys aren't phased as much by it all. Players of these little case and carry instruments would still give their left nut for the right Selmer Conn Stradivarius etc.


And yet many people are equally reluctant to part with their left nut. They just look at you like you said something crazy if you even bring it up.

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#2897902 - 12/25/17 04:44 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: BuckW]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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Then it has to be the right. One hangs too low anyway. wink
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#2897909 - 12/25/17 05:06 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Reezekeys]
Joe Muscara Offline
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Originally Posted By: Reezekeys
Originally Posted By: Joe BrokeIt
Originally Posted By: Reezekeys
akers. They should take this piano,put it in a corner, surround it with a velvet rope and display it as a historical artifact and have it rebuilt.
Fixed it for you. In fact, with all the great players that have played it, they might be able to get the funds to have Steinway themselves redo the thing

"Get the funds" how exactly? This is a small restaurant. Not a jazz club or any kind of music club. Sure, it would be nice. I only played it once, a while ago, so maybe they've had more work done – I'll find out soon. Because hope springs eternal, I'll show up a little early, leave my gear in my trunk, and check it out. Then decide whether to set up my stuff or not. Since this is one of my 2 or 3-times-a-year gig with one of the best jazz drummers on the planet, I'll need to get a really good hit from it to keep my stuff in the car. To get back to your point - rebuilding a piano is pretty expensive. Who's to say this one wasn't a dog to begin with, notwithstanding the name? It was in the Village Gate for years, being pounded on every night! If I was a philanthropist looking to pay for a piano restoration I would search for one that's seen a lot less abuse. The list of pianists that played it is very impressive though, maybe I'll post a pic of the plaque they display with the names!
I'm just an optimist. Wouldn't you love to see them fix the thing up and keep it up? Even from here, where I'll probably never be there to play it, I would.

I understand there are lots of reasons to fix up and not fix up pianos. Sadly, if it doesn't say "Steinway" on it, the piano's chances drop to close to nothing, even if it could be a great one. With the Steinway name and its history, maybe someone would take a shot at it. Or, maybe there's a crowdfunding opportunity there. It might get the word out to some one or several people who would be willing to get it into shape. idk

Again, I'm an optimist. smile

Please do share that plaque. I'd love to see it.
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#2897916 - 12/25/17 05:19 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Joe Muscara]
cphollis Offline
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Registered: 10/05/13
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Man, I seriously investigated the aged piano rebuilding thing a few years ago. Like, serious research.

It's a serious crap shoot -- not only on the outcome, but whether other folks will reward you for your investment. I wisely decided to go for a sure thing on my home AP. No regrets.

I found a few great rebuilding dudes, but they rightly get paid for their labor and talent. It was up to me whether or not I thought it was worth it or not.

Totally sketchy resale market. Not going there.

I'd rather invest in rehabbing real estate smile
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#2897956 - 12/26/17 04:33 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Reezekeys]
Al Quinn Offline
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Registered: 08/13/14
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Loc: Center Moriches, NY
Originally Posted By: Reezekeys
Since this is one of my 2 or 3-times-a-year gig with one of the best jazz drummers on the planet, I'll need to get a really good hit from it to keep my stuff in the car.

Rob, where are you playing and when? Perhaps I can make it. Who's the drummer?
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#2897958 - 12/26/17 04:47 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Al Quinn]
BuckW Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/20/17
Posts: 283
The problem with Steinway is the rebuild cost seems to go up more than commensurately.

What's the tallest decent upright and can it get a powerful bass sound on a par with the larger grands?

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#2897959 - 12/26/17 04:58 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: BuckW]
Joe Muscara Offline
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Originally Posted By: BuckW
What's the tallest decent upright and can it get a powerful bass sound on a par with the larger grands?


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#2897975 - 12/26/17 06:32 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Joe Muscara]
Al Quinn Offline
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Loc: Center Moriches, NY
For me digital vs. acoustic really depends on context.

In an acoustic context, like yesterday's Xmas gathering at my house with the extended family, my well-maintained/in tune 6'1" Yamaha C3 conservatory grand was ear candy for all. I played and also listened to others play. The sound was so beautiful and most everyone said how much of a treat it was. My CP4 and TT08As were in the closet with no chance of getting out. In this context the difference is night and day.

I rehearse and jam with an acoustic jazz septet at the bass player's house. He has an acceptably in tune and playable old Story and Clark spinet piano. Here the mediocre acoustic is preferable to the CP4/TT08As rig. The trumpet player once asked why I don't bring my portable rig (because to him it sounds much better). I told him that I can express myself better on the mediocre spinet; that while I agree my portable rig sounds better, I enjoy playing the acoustic more and believe I play better on the acoustic.

I've played gigs where the venue had an incredible Steinway grand but provided a crappy monitor. The most extreme example was a club in NYC where the piano was provided by the Steinway company to the venue for free. It's an incredible instrument. But the monitor was a tiny Mackie on a microphone stand. Although it sounded great to the audience, it sounded like crap to me. I hated it and would have much preferred my CP4/TT08As rig.

Then there's the venue that has a beautiful, well-maintained piano with a good monitor system (e.g., The Iridium, The Blue Note, and The Katherine Hepburn Theater come to mind). Although this is excellent and likely as good as an amplified experience gets, for me it's not as good as a pure acoustic experience. Much of he beauty of the instrument is lost even in this context.

Then there's the gig in a small to medium sized room with a nice acoustic grand that's not amplified. This is best experience but these gigs are few and far between and require that the other players have a good sense of balance: the too loud drummer can really mess this up. Surprisingly, for me most of these have been library gigs. Seems like a silly venue but it actually turns out to be a very enjoyable context (i.e., well maintained / in tune / quality grand piano, no amplification, attentive and appreciative audience).
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#2898013 - 12/26/17 09:54 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Al Quinn]
Reezekeys Offline
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As Al said, it's all in the context. Once you're in a gigging situation where you have to mic the piano or where you need the help of a monitor speaker to hear yourself, all bets are off. Playing with a loud drummer, or even a dynamically sensitive drummer that happens to play loudly due to the demands of the music, makes it hard to enjoy the experience that playing a good acoustic piano should be. IMO, having a good digital rig – i.e., one that you're happy playing – where you can control the sound to best match what's happening on the stage, is the better option when compared to fighting a bad acoustic piano or a bad setting for an acoustic piano.

Al, I'm afraid my gig is pretty far from you - Westport Connecticut. It's January 11 (Thursday). Adam Nussbaum is playing drums. I'm happy to post more info if anyone else here is in the vicinity. Hey – you'll get to see the piano that was in the Village Gate!! :-)

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#2898019 - 12/26/17 10:58 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Reezekeys]
Theo Verelst Offline
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Registered: 02/27/10
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It's not like most digital with available amping can respond and sound like a decent acoustic. So there's that. Maybe some setups or special samples can sound better than an acoustic piano on the same PA. Generally, I perceive it's a lot of work to get a good digital setup to sound alright for advanced piano playing, even on good monitoring in a controlled space, while a decent piano in normal acoustics is usually alright with me. Can't keep up with a Rock band, and that's hard to mike.

T.

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#2898098 - 12/27/17 12:58 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: ElmerJFudd]
Markay Online   content
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Registered: 01/28/12
Posts: 3135
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
Indeed indeed. Tech changes the gig for the keys player at a very rapid rate. The controller keyboard to computer has trickled down to even community and HS musical theatre. I'm about to install this for an upcoming gig.
https://www.mtishows.com/marketplace/resource/performance/keyboard-patch-solutionstm

I've yet to use a laptop for live playing. And this doesn't appear to be MainStage or Cantabile whch I know some folks here swear by. But whatever, I'll see how it goes. Apparently there will be a second keyboard player and we'll both be usb midi'd up to the laptop. I'll either bring the S90ES or see what the school has for keyboards and if I can live with the action on any. Tech changes - gig changes. this ain't Oklahoma! or Damn Yankees but the score still calls for real brass, reed, violin, and percussion - even guitars, but me and the other keyboard guy will be playing the computer. smile


From brief scan of their site it is a stand alone software that replicates the Kurz performance patches for Broadway shows.

You download the show inside the app but only after you have obtained performance rights from the publisher, and use expires after the last performance specified in the performance rights license.

MainStage and similar do not support limited run times for concerts. So a stand alone app like RMS is essential to limit use for a specified time and only to those with performance rights.
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#2898100 - 12/27/17 01:37 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: ElmerJFudd]
zephonic Offline
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Registered: 10/06/05
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Loc: Redondo Beach, CA
Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
This is true from what I read. Inexpensive acoustic uprights are in reach of the new middle class in China. Spurred interest by the success of Lang Lang... they are having their Van Cliburn moment. Many goods out of China are in their next stage of higher quality. I would not be surprised to see a Chinese piano brand someday rival Kawai or Yamaha. At the same time I've been pleasantly surprised by Petrof on more than one occasion.


I have heard from some techs that modern Chinese pianos are mechanically excellent, and a better value than older, pre-owned Japanese pianos.
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#2898111 - 12/27/17 05:04 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Reezekeys]
Al Quinn Offline
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Registered: 08/13/14
Posts: 1206
Loc: Center Moriches, NY
Originally Posted By: Reezekeys
Al, I'm afraid my gig is pretty far from you - Westport Connecticut. It's January 11 (Thursday). Adam Nussbaum is playing drums. I'm happy to post more info if anyone else here is in the vicinity. Hey – you'll get to see the piano that was in the Village Gate!! :-)

Have a great gig Rob. It looks like you'll be about 2 hours from me and that's without the inevitable traffic. So, unfortunately I won't make it. Sounds like a great gig - enjoy. Would love some video or audio if possible. I saw Adam play a few times with some no name jazz pianists: Kirkland and Calderazzo lol! That was with the Michael Breaker band many moons ago and everyone was incredible.
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#2898114 - 12/27/17 05:21 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: zephonic]
Outkaster Offline
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Registered: 02/25/06
Posts: 6316
Loc: Rochester, NY
Originally Posted By: zephonic
Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
This is true from what I read. Inexpensive acoustic uprights are in reach of the new middle class in China. Spurred interest by the success of Lang Lang... they are having their Van Cliburn moment. Many goods out of China are in their next stage of higher quality. I would not be surprised to see a Chinese piano brand someday rival Kawai or Yamaha. At the same time I've been pleasantly surprised by Petrof on more than one occasion.


I have heard from some techs that modern Chinese pianos are mechanically excellent, and a better value than older, pre-owned Japanese pianos.


My friend who is a tuner said most are terrible and not well made. I am not surprised. I value his opinion. It may be that there are higher end models?
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#2898309 - 12/28/17 09:32 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Outkaster]
Joe Muscara Offline
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Registered: 02/21/05
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Originally Posted By: Outkaster
Originally Posted By: zephonic
I have heard from some techs that modern Chinese pianos are mechanically excellent, and a better value than older, pre-owned Japanese pianos.


My friend who is a tuner said most are terrible and not well made. I am not surprised. I value his opinion. It may be that there are higher end models?
I've heard similar to Zeph. I think *some* of the Chinese pianos have improved in recent years. Like anything else, you can't just say "Chinese [pianos in this case] are great" or "Chinese [things] are crap." It can depend on the brand. Overall, I think they've been improving.

I don't know him, but I suspect your tech may be talking about older Chinese pianos. Frankly, some of these guys get pretty stuck in the past. I had a tech here once to look at my old Kranich & Bach, and I almost threw him out. Even though he's certified on Yamaha, at one point he started doing that "asian accent" thing when talking about Asian pianos. rolleyes mad I'm not saying your guy is like that.


Edited by Joe BrokeIt (12/28/17 09:33 AM)
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#2898315 - 12/28/17 09:47 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Joe Muscara]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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Registered: 11/30/14
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Loc: USA, greater NY area
Chinese products have and will continue to improve and eventually they will have brand names associated with quality. Took Japan a while and yet now they've Toyota to Yamaha and everything in between.
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#2898385 - 12/28/17 03:29 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: ElmerJFudd]
BuckW Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/20/17
Posts: 283
Japan had Deming to show them the way.

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#2898391 - 12/28/17 04:09 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: ElmerJFudd]
cphollis Offline
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Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 2600
Loc: Massachussets, Florida
Where the better Chinese pianos do well is bang-for-buck, at least in my opinion. Especially if you're prioritizing a nice piece of furniture vs. musical qualities.

Been there, done that, never going back. A reasonable choice of home AP grand didn't work out, but led me to my Bosie, so not all bad, right?
_________________________
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#2901652 - 01/12/18 11:45 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Joe Muscara]
Reezekeys Offline
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Registered: 02/07/11
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Loc: NYC area
Quote:
Originally Posted By: Joe BrokeIt
Originally Posted By: Reezekeys
Originally Posted By: Joe BrokeIt
[quote=Reezekeys]They should take this piano,put it in a corner, surround it with a velvet rope and display it as a historical artifact and have it rebuilt.

Fixed it for you. In fact, with all the great players that have played it, they might be able to get the funds to have Steinway themselves redo the thing

"Get the funds" how exactly? This is a small restaurant. Not a jazz club or any kind of music club. Sure, it would be nice. I only played it once, a while ago, so maybe they've had more work done – I'll find out soon. Because hope springs eternal, I'll show up a little early, leave my gear in my trunk, and check it out. Then decide whether to set up my stuff or not. Since this is one of my 2 or 3-times-a-year gig with one of the best jazz drummers on the planet, I'll need to get a really good hit from it to keep my stuff in the car. To get back to your point - rebuilding a piano is pretty expensive. Who's to say this one wasn't a dog to begin with, notwithstanding the name? It was in the Village Gate for years, being pounded on every night! If I was a philanthropist looking to pay for a piano restoration I would search for one that's seen a lot less abuse. The list of pianists that played it is very impressive though, maybe I'll post a pic of the plaque they display with the names!

I'm just an optimist. Wouldn't you love to see them fix the thing up and keep it up? Even from here, where I'll probably never be there to play it, I would.

I understand there are lots of reasons to fix up and not fix up pianos. Sadly, if it doesn't say "Steinway" on it, the piano's chances drop to close to nothing, even if it could be a great one. With the Steinway name and its history, maybe someone would take a shot at it. Or, maybe there's a crowdfunding opportunity there. It might get the word out to some one or several people who would be willing to get it into shape. idk

Again, I'm an optimist. smile

Please do share that plaque. I'd love to see it.

Quoting a lot up there for context in returning to this somewhat old thread. Last night was the gig I talked about. Below is the plaque with the list of names of the pianists that played this piano. They framed it under glass and put it on the wall, which made taking a picture difficult but it should be readable. I actually know every name there except one: Allen Botschinsky. And "Patti Brown" is a typo – her name is Patti Bown. As it happened I did not get to the club early so didn't check out the piano – I just brought my gear in and set it up in a rather imperfect way (one of my two QSCs was on the piano itself, at ear level – not great for me at all, but there was very little space to work with).

Joe, you'll be happy to know that there are plans for the piano to be completely rebuilt. The restaurant is not involved. There is a local "jazz society" that's raising funds for this. I wish them the best. A 1937 piano that was probably used 360+ days/year for over 50 years might not be the best candidate for a rebuild, but of course I know nothing about this subject.

[edit - the elevator just got to the top floor and I realized that the Village Gate wasn't around in 1937! If it was the only piano used for the whole run of the club, it got used 360+ days a year for 30 years, not 50 (the club opened in 1958)! I still feel sorry for the poor thing!]

The kicker to all this? Here's what they do now, when a band that uses drums plays there: they put a mic on the piano and plug said mic into an old guitar amp! I didn't get the brand but could see it under the piano; it looked like a typical (and well-worn) 2x 12" amp. Now for another conundrum, perhaps the subject of another thread: let's say you wanted to (rightly) ditch the mic and play acoustically. Let's say we're in the future, the piano was rebuilt and sounds spectacular. Well then, you'd only need to compete with the sounds of the TV sets and loud conversation in the bar area next to the dining room! Sorry, I'll be staying with the laptop rig.



Edited by Reezekeys (01/12/18 02:27 PM)

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#2901690 - 01/12/18 04:05 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Reezekeys]
ElmerJFudd Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 11/30/14
Posts: 6510
Loc: USA, greater NY area
Very cool for you to come back to the thread and share this.
like
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Live: Yamaha S90ES, Roland VR-700
Home: Rebuilt 1910 Chickering 5'2", Fender Rhodes MKI 88k

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#2901698 - 01/12/18 04:56 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: ElmerJFudd]
p19978 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 149
Loc: KY
All you have to do is play an Eastman guitar to know that the Chinese can, and do, build quality instruments.

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#2901834 - 01/13/18 11:39 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Joe Muscara]
Outkaster Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 02/25/06
Posts: 6316
Loc: Rochester, NY
Originally Posted By: Joe BrokeIt
Originally Posted By: Outkaster
Originally Posted By: zephonic
I have heard from some techs that modern Chinese pianos are mechanically excellent, and a better value than older, pre-owned Japanese pianos.


My friend who is a tuner said most are terrible and not well made. I am not surprised. I value his opinion. It may be that there are higher end models?
I've heard similar to Zeph. I think *some* of the Chinese pianos have improved in recent years. Like anything else, you can't just say "Chinese [pianos in this case] are great" or "Chinese [things] are crap." It can depend on the brand. Overall, I think they've been improving.

I don't know him, but I suspect your tech may be talking about older Chinese pianos. Frankly, some of these guys get pretty stuck in the past. I had a tech here once to look at my old Kranich & Bach, and I almost threw him out. Even though he's certified on Yamaha, at one point he started doing that "asian accent" thing when talking about Asian pianos. rolleyes mad I'm not saying your guy is like that.


Yeah it could be. he is going to do a couple tunings for me at some point Joe, I will ask them again. I really need to get a good acoustic. I had to turn down a Steinway upright some years back. I didn't have anywhere to put it...
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#2901843 - 01/13/18 12:14 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Outkaster]
Dave Ferris Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 03/05/07
Posts: 6007
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
The Fazioli often get a bad rep for being too bright or clinical sounding. Often individual recordings can be not flattering, along with less then ideal room acoustics and probably most important -- lack of good prep by a good tech well skilled in working on the Fazioli.

Here's a new video of a pre-owned F278 from 2000. It's at Piano Works in Atlanta. An excellent recording by the owner, Sam Bennett. Along with outstanding playing. A spectacular sounding piano !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kT9Ls6BqVI


For the home, the 228 is my favorite model. A friend has one in his home and it sounds glorious !
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2005 NY Steinway D
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#2901847 - 01/13/18 12:43 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Al Quinn]
I-missRichardTee Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 7057
Loc: S. Ca. USA
Originally Posted By: Al Quinn
For me digital vs. acoustic really depends on context.

In an acoustic context, like yesterday's Xmas gathering at my house with the extended family, my well-maintained/in tune 6'1" Yamaha C3 conservatory grand was ear candy for all. I played and also listened to others play. The sound was so beautiful and most everyone said how much of a treat it was. My CP4 and TT08As were in the closet with no chance of getting out. In this context the difference is night and day.

I rehearse and jam with an acoustic jazz septet at the bass player's house. He has an acceptably in tune and playable old Story and Clark spinet piano. Here the mediocre acoustic is preferable to the CP4/TT08As rig. The trumpet player once asked why I don't bring my portable rig (because to him it sounds much better). I told him that I can express myself better on the mediocre spinet; that while I agree my portable rig sounds better, I enjoy playing the acoustic more and believe I play better on the acoustic.

I've played gigs where the venue had an incredible Steinway grand but provided a crappy monitor. The most extreme example was a club in NYC where the piano was provided by the Steinway company to the venue for free. It's an incredible instrument. But the monitor was a tiny Mackie on a microphone stand. Although it sounded great to the audience, it sounded like crap to me. I hated it and would have much preferred my CP4/TT08As rig.

Then there's the venue that has a beautiful, well-maintained piano with a good monitor system (e.g., The Iridium, The Blue Note, and The Katherine Hepburn Theater come to mind). Although this is excellent and likely as good as an amplified experience gets, for me it's not as good as a pure acoustic experience. Much of he beauty of the instrument is lost even in this context.

Then there's the gig in a small to medium sized room with a nice acoustic grand that's not amplified. This is best experience but these gigs are few and far between and require that the other players have a good sense of balance: the too loud drummer can really mess this up. Surprisingly, for me most of these have been library gigs. Seems like a silly venue but it actually turns out to be a very enjoyable context (i.e., well maintained / in tune / quality grand piano, no amplification, attentive and appreciative audience).


All of this is golden.. I loved every word.

In those rare instances of good piano in a library.. tell the drummer to play brushes and snare ONLY... or to stay home.

I played a 7.5 hour gig on an awful DP ( Tyros ) and the drummer brought a snare with his brushes... no cymbals, no bass drum, just the snare drum with brushes. Let me tell you, I was pleasantly surprised how much I liked it.
Of course the drummer has to be acceptably talented.
_________________________
"Live and let live", at least for me, has always has been a meaningless platitude, that is, until Now. Live and LET LIVE.

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#2901865 - 01/13/18 03:14 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Reezekeys]
Joe Muscara Offline
Triple Secret Banninated
20k Club

Registered: 02/21/05
Posts: 20005
Loc: Heaven, Hell, or Houston
Originally Posted By: Reezekeys

Quoting a lot up there for context in returning to this somewhat old thread. Last night was the gig I talked about. Below is the plaque with the list of names of the pianists that played this piano. They framed it under glass and put it on the wall, which made taking a picture difficult but it should be readable. I actually know every name there except one: Allen Botschinsky. And "Patti Brown" is a typo – her name is Patti Bown. As it happened I did not get to the club early so didn't check out the piano – I just brought my gear in and set it up in a rather imperfect way (one of my two QSCs was on the piano itself, at ear level – not great for me at all, but there was very little space to work with).

Joe, you'll be happy to know that there are plans for the piano to be completely rebuilt. The restaurant is not involved. There is a local "jazz society" that's raising funds for this. I wish them the best. A 1937 piano that was probably used 360+ days/year for over 50 years might not be the best candidate for a rebuild, but of course I know nothing about this subject.

[edit - the elevator just got to the top floor and I realized that the Village Gate wasn't around in 1937! If it was the only piano used for the whole run of the club, it got used 360+ days a year for 30 years, not 50 (the club opened in 1958)! I still feel sorry for the poor thing!]

The kicker to all this? Here's what they do now, when a band that uses drums plays there: they put a mic on the piano and plug said mic into an old guitar amp! I didn't get the brand but could see it under the piano; it looked like a typical (and well-worn) 2x 12" amp. Now for another conundrum, perhaps the subject of another thread: let's say you wanted to (rightly) ditch the mic and play acoustically. Let's say we're in the future, the piano was rebuilt and sounds spectacular. Well then, you'd only need to compete with the sounds of the TV sets and loud conversation in the bar area next to the dining room! Sorry, I'll be staying with the laptop rig.

Thanks for the report! I hope it turns out to be an excellent rebuild and you decide that you will play it every chance you get.
_________________________
We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams — Willy Wonka

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M0eMkcc91E

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#2901869 - 01/13/18 03:44 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Joe Muscara]
Reezekeys Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 02/07/11
Posts: 2977
Loc: NYC area
I will always appreciate playing a good acoustic piano in the right setting – no matter how infrequently I get to do it. Actually, the more infrequent, the more I appreciate it!

I'm also glad that I have a digital rig that I'm happy playing, since the unfortunate fact is that, imo, many things have to come together to make for a satisfying time playing a gig on acoustic piano with a band that includes drums (and on this particular night electric guitar as well).

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#2901871 - 01/13/18 03:58 PM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Reezekeys]
cphollis Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 2600
Loc: Massachussets, Florida
My take is that real acoustic pianos are like fine Scotches. Nuanced, charismatic, quirky. In the right setting, totally amazing.

And totally worth the $$$.

I would never, ever consider playing a real AP live. I just wouldn't trust the setup. Bad tuning, bad action, bad miking -- just too much that can go wrong.

Better to bring my digitals.

A friend who does sound for a local church was asking about this. I said "go for a digital hybrid", e.g. AvantGrand or similar. All of the fun, none of the hassle.
_________________________
Life is too short to be playing bad music.

Keys: NP2, NS3C
Home: Bosie 200, Yam AG N3
Amps: FA 12acs, RCF TT08as, QSC K.2s, EVOX J8, SSv3
Stuff: Stay stands, Key Largo, Vent II, X-Air 18

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#2901915 - 01/14/18 05:05 AM Re: The Great Piano Pushback [Re: Outkaster]
BuckW Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/20/17
Posts: 283
Originally Posted By: Outkaster
Originally Posted By: Joe BrokeIt
Originally Posted By: Outkaster
[quote=zephonic]I have heard from some techs that modern Chinese pianos are mechanically excellent, and a better value than older, pre-owned Japanese pianos.


My friend who is a tuner said most are terrible and not well made. I am not surprised. I value his opinion. It may be that there are higher end models?
I've heard similar to Zeph. I think *some* of the Chinese pianos have improved in recent years. Like anything else, you can't just say "Chinese [pianos in this case] are great" or "Chinese [things] are crap." It can depend on the brand. Overall, I think they've been improving.

I don't know him, but I suspect your tech may be talking about older Chinese pianos. Frankly, some of these guys get pretty stuck in the past. I had a tech here once to look at my old Kranich & Bach, and I almost threw him out. Even though he's certified on Yamaha, at one point he started doing that "asian accent" thing when talking about Asian pianos. rolleyes mad I'm not saying your guy is like that.


Yeah it could be. he is going to do a couple tunings for me at some point Joe, I will ask them again. I really need to get a good acoustic. I had to turn down a Steinway upright some years back. I didn't have anywhere to put it... [/quote]

You mean turn down a gift? I'd make room for a tall Steinway upright. Whatever I've got can go first.

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