Thanks for the review. I largely agree with your impressions, although I would probably swap the Yamaha CFX and Steinway. Were you able to demo the 280VC as well?
The Steinway was also my initial favorite when I first demoed all the models, and I think it still has the biggest initial "wow" factor - it's just a really gorgeous instrument. However, over time some of its playability quirks revealed themselves, while the CFX grew on me more and more, particularly the ribbon mic, which is so buttery smooth and warm. But overall they're both fantastic instruments, and I go between them quite often.
Same with the Bosendorfer Imperial, which I absolutely adore and feels so solid to play on. For me it's got an almost perfect combination of richness, depth and and clarity with its own unique, sculpted tone.
Incidently, I also picked up the Fazioli this week even though I wasn't too crazy about it when I first demoed it last year. But someone had gifted me some vouchers, and I already had all the other grands, so I figured what the heck.
I've been playing around with it for the past week, and I found that using the per-note editor feature to boost the bass region and reduce the treble helps the overall balance quite a bit. In stock form, this is a really bass-weak, treble-heavy instrument.
I've also been messing around with the velocity curve more than I usually do in order to try to bring some more dynamism to it, because the dynamic range on this feels seriously constricted. It almost like they sampled only one note, and just boosted the volume a bit from ppp to fff. Even the 1895 Bluthner, which technically has a smaller dynamic range, feels more dynamic to play because the tone has more variance between soft and loud. So far, I haven't found anything that feels really good to me, but still experimenting.
In any case, I continue to find this instrument rather shockingly one-dimensional compared to all the others. The one thing it does have is good clarity, and I can see myself using it for Bach and some other baroque music (which I actually play a lot of) but not much else. And it really needs the full mics more than any other model, because it just sounds anemic in the standard version - the ribbon mic seems to be the only one that brings any real richness to the tone.
I hope for their next piano they choose something with a bit more character and versatility - maybe a Bechstein, Steinway B, Mason & Hamelin, or a more modern Bluthner.