January 2018 Update
Happy New Year and welcome to the first news update of 2018.
After an enjoyable festive break we are back in the swing of things and looking forward to the year ahead. The run up to Christmas was incredibly busy at the showrooms , as I write the Beach’s Crescent showroom stands almost empty with all of our regular used upright pianos going to homes before Christmas. Neil’s last day of delivery was the Saturday before Christmas and it turned out to be a full day for him and Martin. Although we weren’t officially open over the Christmas period two new pianos were selected during this time with special appointments having been arranged with Michelle.
We are hoping for more of the same in 2018. The level of interest and activity around the showrooms last year was perfect with many enjoyable visits and many fine pianos selected. The year has started well with a bespoke Grotrian-Steinweg upright on order for a customer who visited from Devon. We have ordered the Carat to be made in solid Douglas Fir wood which is to be left bare so that wax polish can be applied, I can’t wait to see this piano when it arrives. We have also enjoyed visits from Ireland and Cheshire this week with Grotrian-Steinweg and the Shigeru Kawai being put through their paces. Regular readers of the updates will know my love of the Grotrian-Steinweg, such beautiful pianos with so much tonal character and quality. Introducing customers to these fine pianos is such an enjoyable and rewarding experience, they are so refined and musical. I am eagerly awaiting the replacement 124 Classic which has been dispatched from the factory in Germany and is making its way to the showroom.
Our Wilh Steinberg pianos are also proving to be very much admired. The P121 is quite staggering at the price and we recently received two more of this fine model. I have also just ordered the P178 grand piano from Steinberg. Manufactured in the far east, to the Steinberg design, the piano is equipped with premium Able hammers and a quality spruce soundboard. The piano then benefits from around fourteen hours of specialist preparation in the German factory at Eisenberg before heading across the water to the showroom. This is another piano that I can’t wait to see, the bar has been set high with the P121 upright, I will report… I am also hankering after the S188 grand from Steinberg but I am going to have to be patient with this one. Again, if the S125 upright is an indication of the quality of this piano I am really excited to experience it, a 188cm German grand piano at a very reasonable price seems almost too good to be true.
I can’t possibly write an update without mentioning Kawai, as ever. Kawai are going from strength to strength as result of making excellent pianos that are fantastic value for money. On order at the moment to replace models sold are the K15, K200, K300 ATX and GX1 grand piano. We are absolutely committed to stocking all of the Kawi uprights and a selection of grand pianos including the mighty Shigeru. The pianos are extremely well made and the preparation and support from Kawai exemplary. It is worth mentioning, while I think of it, that in my view Kawai have got better and better in recent years and have left the competition behind. Also worth mentioning is that we work hard to keep all of our pianos in an excellent state of tuning at all times, visitors to our showroom can expect to play Kawai pianos in a good state of tuning allowing proper assessment of their voice and performance. I view this as a basic requirement for all of our stock, John has tuned two pianos for us today with five others having been tuned this week after the Christmas break.
As always the tuning year started with the school marathon! I got my head down and worked through a great number of tunings at Cheam, Farleigh, Daneshill and Sherfield schools. This week saw the start of our domestic tunings and I have allowed time this week for paperwork and things like writing the news update! If I have any new year resolution it is to allow more time for the behind the scenes work this year. I do tend to find myself at the computer for a couple of hours each evening, my plan is to allow a bit space in the day to at least complete some of this work. This will allow more time for hobbies such as running and piano playing! It is worth mentioning that I have started many a new year with this intention but this year feels a little different, we will see. Vicky, Richard and John are all now back working to keep our customers pianos in the best condition, collectively we see around 200 pianos a month! Another resolution is to try to see the tuners a little more often, this requires quite some effort as we are often all out ‘on the road’ in different directions for much of the time. It is always good to get together, working a piano tuning round can often throw up some very amusing stories in addition to the more specialist (geeky) piano talk that we can share in.
As ever, Michell and I will be pleased to hear from, and meet as many people at the showroom as possible. We are always available on a Friday at short notice, just call ahead of arrival as we may be at either showroom or out on errands. All other times are by pre-arranged appointment which we firmly believe to be the best system to ensure the most rewarding visiting experience. We allow plenty of time for visits, so that there are no time pressures or distractions, although we are on hand to help and guide we make it our responsibility to make sure visitors feel at ease to properly explore our pianos.
All the best