The saga of my Stagg Hydraulic Piano Bench (Videos)

I had reluctantly tossed two wooden piano benches into the garage of my apartment complex due to creaks, squeaks, and shaky legs that drove me up the walls during recording sessions. To add insult to injury, my next door neighbor’s cleaning lady, dumped a week’s worth of wine and beer bottles into the trash as I approached the final cadence of my Little Bach Prelude. It was re-take after re-take with no relief in sight.

While I couldn’t control the rhythmic flow of waste disposal among tenants, I was confident that I could eradicate piano bench noises by landing a nifty Stagg PBH 780 BKP VBK Hydraulic Piano Bench on Amazon. Advertised for $179, it looked streamlined and self-contained, with cute little handles tucked under its seat that could provide sweet little joy rides up and down. I would take pleasure in adjusting the contraption to suit my height at the piano without needing stacks of books and pillows. It was going to be Easy Rider all the way!

So without skipping a beat, I ordered the handsome studio accouterment, thinking its strong but compact body would steer me effortlessly through myriads of phrases to final cadence without a hitch.

Stagg on Amazon

But fate dashed my hopes. After Stagg’s arrival, and its handy assembly by Arrion, an experienced piano mover and hydraulics expert, the clicks, creaks and squeaks swelled to crescendo levels. Sitting on Stagg, moving to and fro, I simulated advances toward the piano, acquiring a percussion section that rose to solo proportion!

In despair, I was on the verge of reclaiming my wooden stored fossils though I quickly remembered that I’d ordered a $45 On Stage KT7800 Plus Padded Keyboard Bench that was about to arrive by UPS ground. (I must have had a sixth sense that Stagg would disappoint me in the crunch)

KT7800 Plus Padded, arrived with a whimper. Easy to assemble and silent as a lamb, it fit snugly under my overhead webcam. And when I tested its resilience at the keyboard, it silently contoured to my body, and flowed in synch with my register-to-register movements.

As the final cap to this saga, I gave FIVE glittering stars to KT7800, and only TWO to Stagg at Amazon, knowing full well that it was an act of charity to add a star for Stagg’s redeeming furniture value.

That said, in the long-term, Stagg hydraulic will have a new status as a joy-riding computer chair to keep me productively awake into the wee hours of the morning!

Wanna ride?

Stagg by the computer

About arioso7: Shirley Kirsten

International piano teacher by Skype, recording artist, composer, piano finder, freelance writer, film maker, story teller: Grad of the NYC HS of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, NYU (Master of Arts) Studies with Lillian Freundlich and Ena Bronstein; Master classes with Murray Perahia and Oxana Yablonskaya. Studios in BERKELEY and EL CERRITO, California; Member, Music Teachers Assoc. of California, MTAC; Distance learning and Skyped instruction with supplementary videos: SKYPE ID, shirleypiano1 Contact me at: shirley_kirsten@yahoo.com OR http://www.youtube.com/arioso7 or at FACEBOOK: Shirley Smith Kirsten, http://facebook.com /shirley.kirsten TWITTER: http://twitter.com/arioso7 Private fund-raising for non-profits as pianist--Public Speaking re: piano teaching and creative approaches
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12 Responses to The saga of my Stagg Hydraulic Piano Bench (Videos)

  1. Fran says:

    Hi Shirley,

    I highly recommend the hydraulic bench that Fazioli piano makers sell with their grand pianos. After an extensive search contacting Canada, and being referred to their store in NY, I called them in Manhattan. They were very cordial and actually drove the bench to my house, to my utter surprise, which is about 90 miles. They are able to work with teachers and can help with a substantial discount. I am very pleased with Fazioli and the bench. However it has a very larger sticker price of about $1000! A tax deduction for music teachers at least.

    I was tired of all the old benches I had and took the plunge about three years ago and I have not regretted it at all. The Stagg sounds inferior in comparison. This one is called Homberg and made in Germany.

    All the best,

    Fran

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks Fran for your enlightening comments. I also know now that the Hidrau hydraulic made in Atlanta, GA (cost is $699) and they have a teacher discount so it’s less… is supposed to be problem free. The duet bench is $899. When I save up my money I will probably get the duet bench.

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    • Fran says:

      Thanks Shirley for the information. I have not heard of the company, Piano works, in Atlanta. If I am ever in the market for a duet bench I will consider them. The prices seem decent and a teacher discount is always welcomed! I used to have had an inexpensive duet bench and that I disliked immensely. It was like a see saw. When a student or myself sat down on one side the other side popped up or it would suddenly dip down while we both were playing. Children got a kick out of it and laughed hysterically! However I did not find it that funny! Never again would I purchase a cheap one. Drove me nuts.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Agree, Fran, that quality is uppermost priority.

    Like

  4. John Bidwell says:

    I have new attention to all the slightest sounds from piano benches. I don’t have the program yet to begin mastering all over again- but I have some target passages where I believe I can turn “very good” into perfect. Sure hope so. Sometimes, as with Gould’s voice- some dose of the reality of the moment has some charm. Prior to this new find my only recording of Dad playing the massive Chopin Fantasy in F Minor had 2 spots where the doorbell rang. Now I have this recording where he is way more in command- and there is no doorbell. It stuns me each time. I will certainly be the only one missing the bell.

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  5. Ed Rea says:

    Piano friends, as the coordinator of piano acquisition and maintenance at our university in South Carolina, I would like to commend Paul L. Jansen benches, http://www.pljansen.com/, Oshkosh, Wisconsin. (Quality, reliability, being able to be rebuilt may actually be the reason that they are not more highly promoted. They are more expensive because they are excellent. Yes, you can buy “pretty” benches that cost much less, and you will be replacing those fairly soon.) The Jansen company not only supplies excellent products, but they are “home owned” and customer-oriented in providing any assistance they possibly can through a piano technician. This brings another issue. I would highly suggest that you work with a qualified piano technician in order to have your piano bench maintained. Qualified piano technicians understand the benefit of a quality bench, and, if they’ve worked with the Jansen company, they respect Paul L. Jansen and Son Inc. I wave the flag for piano maintenance, and a well-maintained piano bench is a necessary part of enjoying your piano. With Jansen benches you can keep the bench working as-designed/as-new through decades of use.

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  6. Pingback: Playing Musical Chairs with my new Hidrau, hydraulic piano bench | Arioso7's Blog (Shirley Kirsten)

  7. Pingback: Playing Musical Chairs with my new Hidrau, hydraulic piano bench – Burning Bushes Music

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