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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:10 pm 
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techneut wrote:
Quote:
I've always held the Gaveau (partly) responsible for my flat dynamics, and this maybe proves at last I was right.


Yes, that´s indeed a certain proof! If I would be you and would have the 7500 Euro or whatever you mentioned to need for to get this Grotrian, I would buy it. (But, of course, I´m not you and you are not me. :wink: ) I don´t know the mechanique, but from the sound it´s clearly the better instrument (and it´s a wonderful instrument at all, I personally am really a fan of Grotrian-Steinwegs, and this old restored one has truely something like personality!). On the other hand we don´t know, how your Gaveau sounds after the revision, may be it´s better than the Grotrian then.
I had a Kawai GS 60 before I bought my Grotrian. I became more and more unsatisfied with it, because the strings became so unpure (they could not be tuned properly anymore). So, I also would have had to recruit the strings. But just in that time my piano technician told me of that offer of the old lady, who wanted to sell her Grotrian-Steinweg-grand, which I have now. So, I could sell my old Kawai and had to pay 3000 Euro in addition to what I got for my Kawai for to buy my Grotrian-Steinweg from that old lady. And I´m totally happy with it. (With my Grotrian, not with the old lady. :lol: ) It´s a marvellous instrument, very similar to a Steinway. The difference between a modern Steinway and a Grotrian-Steinweg is, that the tone of the Grotrian doesn´t sound as noble, but for this the Grotrian has a more sensitive and natural touch and sound. It´s nearer to the sound of the grand-pianos of 19th century, but the possibilities of differenciation of tone are the best of the world IMO (better than on some Steinways, which I have played).

Quote:
Though the camera should more pan to the left where most of the action is.


Yes, that´s a mistake I often make still, too, but on the other hand it´s also nice to have the whole keyboard in the picture (I´m always afraid to cut something off, because the perspective could become to narrow when paning more to the left).

Quote:
Camera drives me crazy ... after not even an hour of recording my SD card will be full and the battery empty. And I get no indication of either, it just switches off and deletes whatever track it was recording. This makes video recording a bit precarious.


Don´t you have an electricity cable for your camera? I never do record at home with the battery, though I have one, which is for 2 1/2 hours. But it´s much more comfortable to use directly the electrity cable, so you don´t have to care about changing the batteries. I have the impression, that your camera makes sharper pictures than my one somehow. I wonder what could be the reason.

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:13 am 
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Quote:
It's great, very light and smooth. I can suddenly differentiate between piano and pianissimo, which I never could on the Gaveau. Also the una corda sounds nice on this one, it never did on the Gaveau.
Hi Chris, for me, the action is paramount in a fine sounding instrument, almost equal to the sound. I am glad that you like the action on the Grotrian. At the end, I won't be surprised if that might be the deciding factor in your decision. You should be able to get at least 5-10 more dynamic shadings from ppp to fff over your other instrument. It will allow you to have complete dynamic control of a piece, and you'll notice that the piano will not be the limiting factor in a performance. You'll feel like you're playing better. However, Not all Renner actions are created equal, it really depends on the manufacturers specifications to Renner. Steinway, Grotrian, August Forster, etc. all vary in their touch.

The balance of tone/timbre will be a matter of your taste once the Gaveau is restored and then you can compare with certainty. It will not be an easy decision to make. This is certainly an anxious time wondering what the outcome might be.

In general, good test tracks are pieces with wide dynamic and frequency ranges. This is what I use to judge.
-Chopin Etude Op. 10, No. 1 in C: for timbre
-Chopin Nocturne Op. 9a in B-flat minor (first page): for tone, action
-also check for repeated fast notes.

For your favorite, Bach, you might want to zoom in on the quality of the middle register in the 2 pianos at the end. Don't make a hasty decision. Listen on several occasions under different weather conditions too. To really be objective, record individual forte notes in the bass, middle, and upper registers on both pianos and compare the overtones on a FFT (fast fourier transform) analysis in your editing software. This will also quantify the tone/timbre balance. At the end, it will be a matter of taste.

Quote:
Hehe, that's my daughter...
God Bless! I hope she takes after her father in music. Perhaps she might like to pursue dentistry some day...

Chris, David, and Andreas: you all present great information here.

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:56 am 
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Rachfan wrote:
Sounds like he has everything well in hand there.

Yes, I have 100% confidence in that.

I'm puzzled you say that a somewhat heavier action would give you more control than a very light action. I marvel at the control I suddenly seem to have now. I was warned that this one plays extremely light, but I have no problem with that, I love it. But yes it's all to easy to hit a note too hard and make it sound harsh.

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:55 am 
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88man wrote:
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Chris, David, and Andreas: you all present great information here.


I would like to give back the compliment. Also your information concerning recording technique is always great.

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:00 pm 
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Thanks all for your interest !
musicusblau wrote:
If I would be you and would have the 7500 Euro or whatever you mentioned to need for to get this Grotrian, I would buy it.

Indeed, I am afraid it may well have to come to that.

musicusblau wrote:
Don´t you have an electricity cable for your camera? I never do record at home with the battery, though I have one, which is for 2 1/2 hours.

Stupidly, there's no input jack for an external adapter. The batery doesn't even give me an hour of recording time. I'm severely disappointed in that crap battery, it's empty when you blink and then take hours to get recharged.

musicusblau wrote:
I have the impression, that your camera makes sharper pictures than my one somehow. I wonder what could be the reason.
I would have thought such an inexpensive camera could never compete with a real camcorder of maybe 5 times the price. I have of course chosen high definition recording, as opposed to VGA, which could explain both the higher quality and the short battery life.

88man wrote:
Hi Chris, for me, the action is paramount in a fine sounding instrument, almost equal to the sound. I am glad that you like the action on the Grotrian. At the end, I won't be surprised if that might be the deciding factor in your decision.

Quite probably. The new possibilities more than compensate for the change in tone (which I suppose will get better after a month of playing, and maybe another tuning).

88man wrote:
Listen on several occasions under different weather conditions too. To really be objective, record individual forte notes in the bass, middle, and upper registers on both pianos and compare the overtones on a FFT (fast fourier transform) analysis in your editing software. This will also quantify the tone/timbre balance. At the end, it will be a matter of taste.

I'm more of a gut man, and won't approach it so scientifically. That will make it even harder to decide (even though I got an A level for Fourier and Laplace transformations in a previous life :lol: )

88man wrote:
God Bless! I hope she takes after her father in music. Perhaps she might like to pursue dentistry some day...

Hehe no, she doesn't give a toss for classical music, except the odd bit that has featured in some movie, ad, or clip. A typical MTV kid, though her taste is not half as bad as that of some that age. No dentistry, she studies food sciences. Our son is studying to be a pathologist :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 3:33 pm 
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I second Andreas' return compliment to George above.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:06 pm 
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I second David's endorsement of Andreas' compliment to George :D

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:43 pm 
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well, I've got you all beat by about a thousand times. George knows what I'm talking about. :wink: :)

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 4:20 pm 
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Techneut wrote:
Quote:
Stupidly, there's no input jack for an external adapter. The batery doesn't even give me an hour of recording time. I'm severely disappointed in that crap battery, it's empty when you blink and then take hours to get recharged.


What about buying a second battery, which you could charge while you record with the other? So you could replace always directly the battery, if it´s empty.

Quote:
I would have thought such an inexpensive camera could never compete with a real camcorder of maybe 5 times the price. I have of course chosen high definition recording, as opposed to VGA, which could explain both the higher quality and the short battery life.


Could also be the quite bad insolation (illumination) in the corner of the living room, where my grand-piano stands. Mostly I record in the evening and I only have a stand lamp besides my piano. The lamp on the ceiling is broken, but it´s directly over the grand-piano. So, I haven´t repaired it until now, because I´m afraid to fall on my Grotrian or to let drop the lamp, which could cause a very expensive damage. (And I have to admit, I was too lazy until now to move the grand to the side, because it doesn´t stand on its rolls, but the rolls are on small coasters and it´s not possible to put it on its rolls, because there is a floor of tilings under it, which could break by the rolls. So, it´s a bit complicated to move the grand to the side. I think, I would need three or four men to lift it up and to carry it on the side. An additional man would have to replace the coasters, before the grand could be put on the floor again. :roll:

Quote:
I second David's endorsement of Andreas' compliment to George


A good way to say it directly! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 4:38 pm 
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musicusblau wrote:
What about buying a second battery, which you could charge while you record with the other? So you could replace always directly the battery, if it´s empty.

I thought of that. But they're ridiculously expensive. Sony accessory shop sells them at $49.99 !!! :evil: Can probably do better elsewhere.

musicusblau wrote:
(And I have to admit, I was too lazy until now to move the grand to the side, because it doesn´t stand on its rolls, but the rolls are on small coasters and it´s not possible to put it on its rolls, because there is a floor of tilings under it, which could break by the rolls. So, it´s a bit complicated to move the grand to the side. I think, I would need three or four men to lift it up and to carry it on the side. An additional man would have to replace the coasters, before the grand could be put on the floor again. :roll:

Bit of a problem there ! I'd just climb on top of it and get going :D

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 4:50 pm 
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Techneut wrote:
Quote:
Sony accessory shop sells them at $49.99 !!! :evil: Can probably do better elsewhere.


May be you can find a good offer on ebay?!

Quote:
I'd just climb on top of it and get going :D


Sorry, I don´t understand at hundred percent what you mean here with "it" and "get going". Do you think, I should climb on my Grotrian? I only can do the repair by climbing on a ladder. Okay, I will be brave and do it next time!

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:20 pm 
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Quote:
88man: Chris, David, and Andreas: you all present great information here.
musicusblau: I would like to give back the compliment. Also your information concerning recording technique is always great.
Rachfan: I second Andreas' return compliment to George above.
techneut: I second David's endorsement of Andreas' compliment to George.
Pianolady: well, I've got you all beat by about a thousand times. George knows what I'm talking about.
Matters like this are easily resolved among friends with a simple toast across the table. If we keep going our merry way, by the end of the evening we may just intoxicate ourselves into singing Verdi's Libiamo (Drinking Song). I just wish we could sit across one another at a much smaller table. Cheers to all of you! <"Ching"> :P

Chris, if you're intent on this camera, then Andreas has a point with the second battery. Yes, $50 is steep. If your camera battery has many charge cycles on it (over ~70) then it's not going to give you much recording time. I've replaced my Canon battery on my point and shoot after a few years. These Li-Ion packs lose charge capacity after a while. I've been lucky with ebatts.com before. Here's their Sony page: http://www.ebatts.com/sony_digital-camera_models.aspx

Honestly, there's no way you'll get an hour on battery power. Video mode uses a lot of power because the sensor is on all the time as opposed to the short burst in camera mode. If you're serious about video, my advice is to have a camera that allows for DC input to sustain an uninterrupted supply. With a 4-8GB card you'll be set for hours. This way your mind will be on the music, and not on the camera. It's hard enough as it is to worry the music, let alone the video, audio, angle, lighting, levels, running time, memory, battery, tripod, noises, etc. It can be a mood killer! :?

Quote:
techneut: I got an A level for Fourier and Laplace transformations in a previous life.
I am impressed but not surprised! 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:41 pm 
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88man wrote:
Matters like this are easily resolved among friends with a simple toast across the table. If we keep going our merry way, by the end of the evening we may just intoxicate ourselves into singing Verdi's Libiamo (Drinking Song). I just wish we could sit across one another at a much smaller table. Cheers to all of you! <"Ching"> :P


That would be so much fun! Wish we could do it....

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:57 pm 
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88man wrote:
Honestly, there's no way you'll get an hour on battery power. Video mode uses a lot of power because the sensor is on all the time as opposed to the short burst in camera mode.
That had never occurred to me yet ! :oops:

88man wrote:
If you're serious about video, my advice is to have a camera that allows for DC input to sustain an uninterrupted supply.
I had no choice in this camera, it was my employer's award for 20 years of service (how pathetic is that....) Anyway I guess I am not that serious about video.

88man wrote:
With a 4-8GB card you'll be set for hours.
Hm.... I have 16GB and it seems to fill up PDQ. I'll have to check how much it actually contains when it says it's full. Perhaps I've been ripped. Although it came in what looked like the original packing.

Anywa thanks for the tips !

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:54 pm 
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88man wrote:
Quote:
Matters like this are easily resolved among friends with a simple toast across the table. If we keep going our merry way, by the end of the evening we may just intoxicate ourselves into singing Verdi's Libiamo (Drinking Song). I just wish we could sit across one another at a much smaller table. Cheers to all of you! <"Ching"> :P


Cheers to you, George! Ein Prosit der netten Runde! (English=Cheers to the nice cycle of friends!) Image

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 2:42 am 
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Hi Chris, I am curious what European line you're using for the bass strings in your Gaveau?

I am wondering if I should restring my 1985 NY Steinway B?... A few bass notes could use some rejuvenation in their timbre, as they are becoming slightly flat. I already replaced the lowest F with Mapes (supplier to NY Steinways) last year. The improvement doesn't approach the rich bronze timbre of the neighboring strings which are still "original." There are certain notes such as low E-flat, F-sharp, G that have that "Killer Sound" - gutsy, deep, bronze timbre, harmonically rich, sustain. The piano is 25 years old and I am at the generational limit of the original strings. I am afraid that if I restring the entire bass section, I may lose that "killer sound" in the desirable areas for good... I am looking into Ari Isaac Profundo, HellerBass, Arledge, JD Grandt, and a few others as possible sources of bass strings.

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 4:09 pm 
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Hi George,
My bass strings will be hand-spun strings by Barth-Jan Kooij, a Dutch master string maker not unlike Ari Isaac I guess. This is what my technician uses by default, I did not really have a say in it (not have I tried to). As I've always loved the bass sound of my Gaveau I have a nagging fear that it may sound different. But I was assured the sound will only get better. I'll have to take his word for it. One has to trust these guys ! I am not going to agonize about my brand of strings :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 4:05 pm 
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Thanks, Chris. If the bridge is transferring the string vibration to the soundboard, etc. and you have decent number of plate resonances and modes of vibration as before, then yes, you should get MORE of the same.

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 3:42 pm 
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Just received these photos of the ongoing revision. It's starting to look real spiffing with the new pins and strings. Amusingly, the pins would not come out with the hydraulic winch alone. They had to be pushed from the underside too.


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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 4:40 am 
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Wow, no wonder it costs so much to have a piano refurbished!

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 10:36 pm 
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That really looks impressive, Chris. So, since also the pins are renewed, I think, you will not have any more problems with an instable tuning after a certain period of acclimatisation. I´m curious, how the new sound will be. I think, in summary the restauration can only be an improvement!

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 1:15 pm 
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Yes, I think that is what I should expect. I also hope that, as the adction will be serviced, it may play a bit lighter an easier, though in that respect it will never be like the Grotrian with its moderner, lighter action.

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 7:54 pm 
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Thanks for sharing the pics... looks like things are coming along beautifully. I'm with Andreas - I can't wait to hear the finished product!

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 8:01 pm 
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I'm just peeved that they have used gray felt instead of the original red. Makes it look a bit boring.
Hopefully all the shiny new metal will make up for it :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 8:13 pm 
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Yeah, I'm with you on that. But that darker gray does look quite sharp. :wink: The upside to gray felt is that I would think that dust wouldn't show up so badly on it. I'm always after the dust that gets on my grand's bright red felt, going after it with the vacuum cleaner all the time. :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:56 pm 
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Today I tried out my revised Gaveau and decided I want it back again. It sounds much clearer and more defined than before, without losing its distinctive character (which was what I was afraid of). Doesn't play quite as smooth as the Grotrian, but that is to be expected. It felt a bit spongy to start with, but I quickly got used to that again. If he can make the action a bit lighter still, and refresh the woodwork a bit, I guess I can be happy with this for many years to come.

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:36 pm 
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Got the Gaveau back today. The guys had a bit of trouble there... They let it slip in the van so it landed almost upside down. The youngest one had his shin grazed quite painfully. They were not happy bunnies, and neither was I. Luckily the damage seems to be limited, only one corner of the lid which I guess can be repaired without too much trouble. Could have been much worse. Always look on the bright side !

I'm glad to have it back though. It sure looks so much better in my room than that huge shiny black Grotrian. And it sounds much brighter than before.

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 4:48 pm 
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Hi Chris, sometimes one has to survive a little scare to enjoy the remainder of one's joy... I am glad that the big mystery of the sound has been solved. Congratulations, I hope you enjoy your "new" piano! I am curious as to what qualities of the sound are the same and what is different on the new piano in terms of tone, timbre, sustain, touch, dynamic control, etc. BTW, I didn't disappear, it's just that I getaway after work on weekends in the summer to the ocean.

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 12:14 am 
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Congratulations on getting your instrument back! I look forward to hearing some new recordings on it. :wink: I am glad that the piano wasn't too hard-hit in the fall... I would not have been happy about the incident either.

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 11:56 pm 
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Location: U.S.A.
Hi Chris,

Wow, that accident with the Gaveau on the truck must have been upsetting to say the very least--some damage plus a minor injury too. Sorry to hear that. Sounds though that the piano is in good shape except for the needed minor repair to the lid. We're very lucky here in my city, as there is a small moving company that specializes only in moving pianos, so they have a knack for those jobs. There are regular moving companies here too, but with them things can become more "iffy" in handling heavy grands.

As the piano settles in with your playing and more tunings, the sound will ripen over the months ahead. There will probably be a few glitches, but your technician will undoubtedly iron those out to your full satisfaction. I'm not surprised that you ultimately chose the Gaveau over the Grotrian loaner. If you really love an instrument, and you can express your musical intentions very well with it, then why change? Best of luck with you "new" piano. You must be excited!

David

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 Post subject: Re: Revision
PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:37 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 5:45 pm
Posts: 2815
Location: Germany
Techneut wrote:
Quote:
I'm glad to have it back though. It sure looks so much better in my room than that huge shiny black Grotrian. And it sounds much brighter than before.


Have my congratulations on your freshly restored Gaveau! I have listened to and commented on your newest Bartok-recordings and I only can acknowledge, that your restored Gaveau sounds much brighter and clearer than before. I also suppose, it got back more of its original Gaveau-sound. (It´s just a feeling, I´m no expert concerning instruments of Gaveau.) So, I think, your piano technician has done a good work and so it´s a good decision to take it back. An original restored Gaveau is rarer than a Grotrian, but the main argument for your choice is, that you feel happy with it. I also think, that your restored Gaveau has a very beautiful and original (individual) character of sound! You can be proud to have such an instrument.

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