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Topic: OT: Should I buy a Zimmermann Z2 or a Yamaha U1

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  1. #1

    OT: Should I buy a Zimmermann Z2 or a Yamaha U1

    Hi

    My wife has decreed that there will be a piano, and a real one.
    So off we scooted to our local piano dealers this morning and admired all the wonderful shapes, colours and prices.

    Our choice seems to have come down to a either a:
    Yamaha U1 £5000 black
    Zimmerman Z2 £6000 blue-grey (!)

    Despite the colour of the Zimmerman I just loved the sound and feel. But, and here's the rub, the Yamaha was in a corner of the showroom, with walls on two sides, and under a lowish ceiling, and just didn't sound as nice as the Zimmermann. The Zimmermann was in the middle of the showroom (albeit hemmed in by dozens of other pianos).

    So, for those of you who know about piano's (not just samples), what are your opinions ?

    Were my ears decieved by the location of the piano's ?
    Are Zimmerman's considered better instruments ?
    Does it justify £1000 more, and living with a a blue instrument in our library ?

    Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: OT: Should I buy a Zimmermann Z2 or a Yamaha U1

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Buchan
    Hi

    My wife has decreed that there will be a piano, and a real one.
    So off we scooted to our local piano dealers this morning and admired all the wonderful shapes, colours and prices.

    Our choice seems to have come down to a either a:
    Yamaha U1 £5000 black
    Zimmerman Z2 £6000 blue-grey (!)

    Despite the colour of the Zimmerman I just loved the sound and feel. But, and here's the rub, the Yamaha was in a corner of the showroom, with walls on two sides, and under a lowish ceiling, and just didn't sound as nice as the Zimmermann. The Zimmermann was in the middle of the showroom (albeit hemmed in by dozens of other pianos).

    So, for those of you who know about piano's (not just samples), what are your opinions ?

    Were my ears decieved by the location of the piano's ?
    Are Zimmerman's considered better instruments ?
    Does it justify £1000 more, and living with a a blue instrument in our library ?

    Thanks for any advice.
    I would really REALLY think about getting to more than one piano showroom. If your choice of pianos is "one" of any flavor, then you're not going to get the best instrument. For an investment of that magnitude, you would be doing yourself a tremendous favor to play several of each model you're considering.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    5,755

    Re: OT: Should I buy a Zimmermann Z2 or a Yamaha U1

    PS...if you buy a blue piano, you will hate yourself...unless you are absolutely in love with the color, and want it above all else. Shop around.

  4. #4

    Re: OT: Should I buy a Zimmermann Z2 or a Yamaha U1

    Hi Drew. I have a U1 and I really like it. (Never heard of Zimmerman pianos.) I have always thought the Yamaha uprights offer tremendous value for the price. They are very durable and hold their tuning well. I think the U1s really vary sound-wise. The one I have I particularly like (it is quite an old one, not sure what year) but I have played quite a few and sometimes they are thin and unlovely sounding. Best of luck...there's nothing better than a real piano!

  5. #5

    Re: OT: Should I buy a Zimmermann Z2 or a Yamaha U1

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce A. Richardson
    PS...if you buy a blue piano, you will hate yourself...unless you are absolutely in love with the color, and want it above all else. Shop around.
    A good horse doesn't have any color.....
    Worra
    SampleTekk

    Arf, arf, arf...

  6. #6

    Re: OT: Should I buy a Zimmermann Z2 or a Yamaha U1

    My piano tuner told me once that Yamaha uprights where far in superior quality tone wise and in the ability to hold the tuning, than any other upright.

    But then again. I've never heard of Zimmermann and maybe they've got something good going on.

    You also have to think of resale value as when you want to upgrade the Yamaha won't really loose any of it's value.

    Just a thought.

    Ars

  7. #7

    Re: OT: Should I buy a Zimmermann Z2 or a Yamaha U1

    That's pretty pricey for a U1. If you were to go for a used one you'd save a bundle.
    I recently bought a used U2 (predecessor of the current U3...52" vs. 48" for the U1) and couldn't be happier: Great sound, great action.

    (If you've got kids around, you might keep in mind---the Yamaha Black loves fingerprints.)

  8. #8

    Re: OT: Should I buy a Zimmermann Z2 or a Yamaha U1

    Zimmermann's are Bechstein's according to their web site ... The Bechstein names rings a bell with me, from threads I've read here, but I honestly don't know much about them.

    But this particular blue one did sound lovely. They had about 60 pianos in the shop, and of all them it was the blue one that sounded the lovliest to me. Its not that blue, sort of a grey-ish dark blue ... but I do wonder if I'd grow to hate it despite the lovely sound.

    (Bit embarrassed to be talking about the colour to be honest).


    But from your feedback, I reckon I ought to try out some other Yamaha's though, 'cause this one didn't sound that great. I really wonder if its position in in the room had anything to do with.

    Thanks for your views everyone.

  9. #9

    Re: OT: Should I buy a Zimmermann Z2 or a Yamaha U1

    Drew,

    Zimmerman is Bechstein's second brand. You can get some info about it on Bechstein's site. Here's a link: http://www.bechstein.de/engl/EInstru...EInstrugo.html . Before the wall came down, Zimmermans were made in East Germany and were considered to be junk. I'm guessing that they still are assenbled in the Eastern sector, tho being taken over by Bechstein should guarantee the quality of their components and assembly. Bluthner does something similar with their Irmler line, which is assembled in Poland.

    There are two other things to consider, both of which have already been mentioned. One is the price. Many people here in the states use Larry Fine's Supplement as a price guide for starting negotitions. The current supplement lists a base U1 price of c.$9000. Nobody pays retail, and Asian pricing stratey allows for steep discounts. If you don't get at least 25% off a Yammy, you're paying too much.

    The second thing, which Bruce R. mentioned, is to listen to a number of pianos. Kemble's big vertical was well reviewed by Diapason some years back. The company received an investment by Yamaha---I don't know the details, but it's worth finding a shop which stocks them.

    In general, even tho we all begin with a budget, it's best to listen to as many pianos as you can---even ones that you know are out of your price range. As you listen, you and your wife will develop a sense of the tone that appeals to you. Then zoom in on pianos in your price range, looking for the one whose tone comes closest to what you two find appealing.

    And never, ever pay the first price asked;-)

    Please go to the forums at PianoWorld for more info. Here's a link: http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php . This forum does get participation from England. A British tech, Colin Crawford, has been participating recently. You might want to PM him.

    All the best,
    DavidH
    Last edited by David Ferris; 01-14-2006 at 03:48 PM. Reason: Add'l info

  10. #10

    Re: OT: Should I buy a Zimmermann Z2 or a Yamaha U1

    My favorite piano is a Yamaha-both upright and grand.One thing to rememeber is that new pianos may not sound as nice as 1-2 year old pianos as there is a significant "breaking in period". It is wise to buy a year old(or two)piano as it's settled in and by then a technician has usually worked the regulation, voicing and tuning. While Yamaha's quality control is on the level of"art" it is ,afterall, made of wood etc and requires great care to achieve the optimum.So be carefule in judging a new piano. But -you can't go wrong w/ a new Yammy. Just be patient as It will take a couple of years to get it perfect.

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