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[new] Blüthner 1895 from VSL | SE Vol. 6+7

Mark Schmieder

Senior Member
Hmm, I have a feeling this means I prefer the older sound then. :) I much prefer Mason & Hamlin to Steinway, sound-wise and for the player experience of feeling the keys vibrate differently depending on how I play (due to the unique bracing system that causes the entire instrument to resonate).

For my MIDI projects though, I am finding more and more that Bechstein's library ends up cutting through the mix and having the best dynamics and frequency balance all-around, with only a few projects here and there (even if pop/rock) that end up using something else.
 
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CGR

Pianist, Composer & Arranger
One of the major changes that happened at the end of the 19th century (starting from 1880) was cross stringing replacing straight stringing. This latter, according to people who could compare them, should allow the same greater clarity of pianos built earlier in the century. Also, registers are voiced differently, due to total separation of the three string groups.

The new VSL Blüthner should be straight strung. This would be a very interesting characteristc, making it particularly useful with Brahms, but also with earlier literature written for older pianos.

Paolo
The piano sampled for the VSL Blüthner is clearly cross strung. This pic is from the VSL Blüthner page on their website:


SynchronBluthner1895_03_1000x666.jpg
 

ptram

Senior Member
The piano sampled for the VSL Blüthner is clearly cross strung.
Sorry, I had seen a different model on the web, and only later I could understand it was not the same model.

Is this what was called a "Style 8" at the time?

Paolo
 

CGR

Pianist, Composer & Arranger
Sorry, I had seen a different model on the web, and only later I could understand it was not the same model.

Is this what was called a "Style 8" at the time?

Paolo
I'm not sure Paolo. I visited the workshop of a colleague of mine about 5 years who was restoring a very similar model & era Blüthner Grand, and I remember the cross stringing. The action was also the 'Blüthner Patent Action' which is quite different from other action manufacturers such as Renner. Here's a photo of it before restoration.

Bluthner 2.jpg
 

Philipp

New Member
Hello and thanks for your comments and discussion so far.

I got the Synchron Yamaha CFX and like it a lot, but there is a lot of reverb in those samples (might be a personal impression), admittedly I only got the Standard library though, so maybe the additional mics in the Full Version are different.
With those additional mics of the Full Library of the Blüthner (Ribbon, Sphere, Mid 2), is it possible to achieve a relatively dry sound? Is it considerably "dryer" than the mics you get in the Standard library?

Most likely I will get the Blüthner, because of its rich and warm sound, which I like a lot. I'm not sure yet though if Standard of Full Library for me. I don't need surround for now, so I'm wondering if I'd benefit from the additional mics (mostly regarding dry/wet).
For those who have played it already, what's your impression of dry/wet and in general of Standard/Full Library?

Thanks,
Philipp
 

Philipp

New Member
Hey Ben. Yeah, I've experimented with all available mic positions in my Standard Library. I haven't really found a setting yet where I don't hear the room. That's why I'm wondering if additional mics from the Full Library would make a difference in dry/wet.
 

Philipp

New Member
Pretty sure I did that, it's been a while. I will re-check this weekend when I'm home.

Back to the original question: Has anyone compared the Standard and Full versions of Blüthner already and could share his/her opinion here?
 
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Ben

Ben

Active Member
Hey Ben. Yeah, I've experimented with all available mic positions in my Standard Library. I haven't really found a setting yet where I don't hear the room. That's why I'm wondering if additional mics from the Full Library would make a difference in dry/wet.
It should not make that big iof a difference regarding reverb: You will get additional mics for surround and alternative mics for mid and close.
Try disabling the build-in algorithmic reverb and use only the close mic, this should sound very dry.
 

al_net77

Active Member
About the wetness of std vs full: this piano seems to have a big resonance, maybe due to the smaller Stage B where is recorded. For what I can hear, Mid 2 mics (the Shenneiser MKH40 pair) catch less resonance (or ambient?) and *seems* drier. But it is not night and day.
 

ptram

Senior Member
I don't have the modern Synchron pianos, apart for the reduced Steinway Light in the new SE. Also, I only have the Standard edition of the Blüthner. However, I listened very carefully to the example recordings of separate mics supplied by VSL and by some users.

My impression is that the room sound is much less apparent in the Blüthner than in the Steinway and Yamaha. I want a dry sound, and I'm happy with what I can hear in this new old piano. By adding your own reverb to the hammers and tail mics, you should completely mask the original room.

As an additional impression: I find Stage A too reverberant for a solo piano. Stage B is absolutely perfect.

Paolo
 

newman

Member
As an additional impression: I find Stage A too reverberant for a solo piano. Stage B is absolutely perfect.
VSL could re-record the other pianos in Stage B. That would be a niche offering but relatively easy to put together. It would provide so many recording options. I could see a good percentage of current owners upgrading for more goodness.

In the short run, I suppose VSL would most likely record a variety of different pianos in the room they find optimal.
 

Potatistoppen

New Member
Hey Ben. Yeah, I've experimented with all available mic positions in my Standard Library. I haven't really found a setting yet where I don't hear the room. That's why I'm wondering if additional mics from the Full Library would make a difference in dry/wet.
I felt the same here. I tried for several hours but could not get a good mix for solo player's perspective with the standard library of the Concert D-274. The sound was always too ambient. However I saw that the full library came with more close mics so I upgraded. I felt like it was almost a bit strategic of VSL to omit the, in my opinion, most interesting mics in the standard library. After upgrading to full version it is the best VI Piano I ever played though. Looks like it is the same deal with the Blüthner 1895.
 

keepitsimple

Active Member
Ironically, i own the full library of the vsl cfx and I only like to use the standard mics in the decca setup. But I guess things are different with the D-274 and the Blüthner hence you get 2 additional close mics with the full library as opposed to 1 ala CFX.
 

CGR

Pianist, Composer & Arranger
I've been thinking long and hard about purchasing this. Not owning any VSL instruments, the additional cost of an e-license dongle (already have an ilok), and my uncertainty whether the Standard version would give me enough control over the close mic'd sound is keeping me from purchasing.

Anyway as an exercise in clarification for myself, I played the first few bars of the Nicholas Decrescent 'Couleurs_d_un_regard_tordu' demo from the VSL Bluthner 1895 webpage, using the Galaxy Instruments 1905 C.Bechstein 'Maverick' Grand and 1929 Baby Bluthner Grand to compare tone & character. Not wanting to de-rail the thread (although it is in 'Sample Talk') , but let me know if anyone is interested in hearing them.
 
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ptram

Senior Member
I've tried an adaptaton of Scriabin's Etude in C# minor on this piano, that could have been the one on which the piece has been created:

Scriabin Etude C# minor (Blüthner)

This is the Standard edition. I might need some other close mics. And some more extreme dynamic change, since the piano is very much responsive to touch.

Paolo
 

CGR

Pianist, Composer & Arranger
I've tried an adaptaton of Scriabin's Etude in C# minor on this piano, that could have been the one on which the piece has been created:

Scriabin Etude C# minor (Blüthner)

This is the Standard edition. I might need some other close mics. And some more extreme dynamic change, since the piano is very much responsive to touch.

Paolo
Just listening now - the dynamics seem really off. Not meaning to be rude but it sounds clunky and disjointed. Did you play it with a weighted controller? Sounds like the dynamic range is missing in the pp-p-mp range.
 
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