Welcome to the summer update..! I started this year with good intentions to update the news page on a monthly basis, I have clearly failed as the last one was in May! I like to think it is a sign of a very full life that this task gets regularly overlooked, it is now late on a Monday evening and after work, run and driving children to music lessons I have finally made time to report on the goings on at Ben Wheeler Pianos.

A few months ago I added a picture to Facebook of a new born Highland cattle at the entrance to Ash Park, there are now three new arrivals which a visiting customer today was planning to photograph after visiting the showroom. With the beautiful weather that we have enjoyed in June and July Ash Park has been a wonderful place to visit, I never stop appreciating how lucky we are to have our showrooms in such an idyllic setting.

It has been a busy few months since writing with a steady stream of visitors to our showrooms. Grotrian-Steinweg uprights continue to impress, we currently have three model Friedrich’s on order with the possibility of an additional one required after the weekend visits. As with all of the Grotrian-Steinweg uprights their quality of tone is staggering and at an affordable price the Friedrich is ever popular. Our Classic upright was also selected recently by a professional cellist who was a delight to meet over three or four visits. The Classic 124 is my personal favourite upright, what a joy to have this view shared. We also have a five year old Classic model at the moment which we purchased back after our customer sadly passed away, this is currently reserved for a visitor from Yorkshire who is booked to visit us in August. I was very sorely tempted to have this one myself but with son number one soon off to university I decided I will have to bide my time until finances allow such a purchase!

Other popular choices have been the 122 Feurich’s which represent excellent value and of course the Kawai range. We have recently added an ATX K300 to our stock after being so impressed by these models that we have supplied. Many K200 and K300 Kawai uprights have gone to good homes and a K300 was recently appreciated by those taking their ABRSM exams locally. The K15 has also been a popular choice in the last couple of months, I can’t think of another new piano that can compete with the K15 for quality and durability at the price.

We have recently taken delivery of two additional Haessler models, the K115 in black and the K118 in open pore walnut satin. These pianos are superbly built and offer a warm, full tone in contrast to many other pianos. I am delighted with them and can recommend them very highly, I took the option of having Renner actions fitted to both making them a top quality consideration. The walnut satin finish is also impressive, very similar to a Kawai and Kemble finish that was always popular in our showroom but is no longer produced by these makers for the UK. The three Haessler models that we have in stock represent top quality German pianos at a competitive price, what more can I say..!

We were delighted to support the Bramley and Little London Music Festival recently with the loan of a Kawai grand piano. I attended a concert by Joe Stilgoe and heard the GL10 grand played like never before. I thoroughly enjoyed the concert and the piano coped brilliantly with the demands of a very talented musician. The GL10 is undoubtedly the finest new baby grand in its class and never fails to impress. The festival was brilliantly organised and attended, we will be very happy to support the next one again in 2019.

I am soon leaving for a family holiday in France, as ever Michelle will look after the business while I am away. August is often a quieter month allowing for holidays and also planning for the Autumn trade. Among other things we are currently discussing opening the showroom all day on a Friday to allow for browsing of our showrooms. At the moment we are only open by pre-arranged appointment which works really well for everyone, however, we acknowledge that there may be customers who would like the flexibility to call in unannounced to see our stock so we plan to give it a six month trial. Of course, after browsing our stock an appointment can always be made to return if the showroom is busy and there are distractions. We are planning a couple of events in the Autumn too, including a jazz workshop from one of our customers and perhaps some open days building on the success of last year. Once holidays are over we will start to plan these events and keep you posted!

Piano tuning is as busy as ever. We have recently taken on the contract to look after the pianos at Winchester University. This should be enjoyable as we will all go together and plough through them all in a day. We don’t really get to see each other that often as being on the road takes us in different directions, it will be good to work as a team on this one. Right, it is late and my writing creativity is waning, I really should write down the amusing things that happen on the road piano tuning and fill an update with them sometime. The life of a piano tuner is a charmed one, we are very fortunate to enjoy our work and the company of our customers.

All the best for the summer

Ben

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