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"When I started looking for a vertical piano I set out to get a good one. First, I read Larry Fine's book cover to cover. Then I went to 15 piano shops in the San Francisco Bay Area and played about 50 pianos from 14 different piano manufacturers. I also used the Internet to ask questions of registered piano technicians on their opinions of the tuning stability, manufacturing quality, serviceability and general opinions of the pianos I had played. Finally, I retained a consultant, the president of the local piano technician's guild, to supplement my musician's-ear approach to evaluating pianos. He told me not to make a decision before going to see Darrell Fandrich's pianos. By far the single most important factor, however, was my own ears. I played many vertical pianos that were over $20,000 that were uneven across the scale. I played many others that, despite the illustrious name on the fallboard, had part but not all of the tonal qualities I was seeking. Basically, at a premium price I could find brightness and tonal clarity or I could find warmth and richness. But I couldn't find both these qualities in one instrument. Until I visited Darrell Fandrich. I chose the 49" Wilhelm Steinberg vertical piano outfitted with the Fandrich & Sons action. I found this piano to have a superb action, very smooth scale and a sound that integrated the best of the European clarity and American warmth that I had been seeking. I didn't make this decision on price, but I was pleased that the piano that really made my heart sing was less than half the price of what the instruments I was comparing it to sell for. I was also very impressed with the 6'11" Fandrich & Sons grand. I have played many, many Steinway B series grands over the years. (In fact, it has also been 20+ years since I played a really good New York Steinway.) But the Fandrich & Sons grand had it. It had the same kind of singing lyricism as a really good New York Steinway prepped right. I was thrilled. And to think that this piano sells for $26,000! If I had the room in my house for a grand I would have taken the piano home with me right then. My advice to other piano shoppers is that Fandrich & Sons pianos are targeted at a particular segment of piano buying population; Those that:
1. Have good enough ears to recognize a really good instrument when they see it
2. Are driven more by musical considerations than those of status aka 'fallboard fixation'
3. Are not sufficiently wealthy to eliminate price from being an issue to which they pay attention
If you find yourself in the same category as I then you owe it to yourself to try out Fandrich & Sons pianos and let your ears be the judge. I flew all the way from San Francisco and am delighted I did."
-- Terry Tippie
Contact information available upon request.
"My quest for the ultimate in tone and touch in a piano ended when I played the Fandrich Grand Piano! It rivals the world's great pianos at about half the price. The bass is powerful and dark, yet clear; the treble has a singing quality rich in upper harmonics. The action was smooth, even and responsive. This piano is for the connoisseur who is unconcerned about the brand name attached to the instrument."
-- Olivaire Watler
Visitor who traveled from the Cayman Islands to try our grands.
"What do I think about my new piano? Words like speechless, stunning, and a variety of expletive laden superlatives fail to convey my feelings. As a musician in the trenches, I have played a lot of pianos, and in shopping for a piano I tried several dozen. Not only does this piano exceed anything I have ever played--upright or grand below 5'10"--for responsiveness of action and tone, it just about makes up for every dog actioned, no crown, untuneable factory second piece of unburnt firewood ever foisted upon me as the source of my income for the evening. What a piano! My oh my oh my, what a piano!"
-- Andrew Whaley
Regarding his Wilh. Steinberg IQ28 with the Fandrich Vertical Action.
"When I first walked into this store, I thought I was walking into just any ordinary piano shop. Then I sat down and played one of the pianos. I was astounded by the tone, the touch, the action--beautiful, sensitive, responsive. Their pianos feel and sound so good that I want to just keep playing. I really love these pianos."
-- Aaron Parks
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