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#105335 - 07/17/08 08:18 PM Steinway grand piano M Series
YuryVashugin Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/17/08
Posts: 2
Would you please help an unexperienced buyer who is looking for a grand or baby grand? How much would a Steinway grand piano M Series, 1912, mahogany, no cracks in the sounding board, be priced at? Or what should we offer? Thank you.

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#105336 - 07/17/08 09:09 PM Re: Steinway grand piano M Series
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17809
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Is it all original or has it been restored/refurbished at some point?
_________________________
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#105337 - 07/18/08 01:11 AM Re: Steinway grand piano M Series
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21811
Loc: Oakland
It will depend on the piano's condition and the local market. If you are serious about this piano, you should hire a piano technician to inspect it for you and tell you what you want to know.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#105338 - 07/18/08 03:13 AM Re: Steinway grand piano M Series
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
Not enough info to make an accurate value assessment.
Original? Playable? Matching part #s?
Restored? If so,when? What was addressed? strings?
pins? action parts? soundboard? shimmed?,crack free? crown? downbearing? harp? agraffes? dampers?
Refinished? When? Condition of case veneer
African flame mahogany?
Ivories?Perfect? Chipped or splitting? Plastic keytops? Cond.of the keyset(wood keys themselves)
Detrimental environment? Rusted?
Gets pretty complicated! as you can see. The question is whether your intent is to restore the piano in it's entirety or acquire the piano hopefully in playable "as is" condition and maybe address the restoration issues in the future. There is no magic in a near 100 year old all original Steinway grand.
1912 was actually the first year of production for the Steinway "M". Back than they were 5'6" though Steinway has not altered it's scale in the near 100 years past. The Steinway M is actually the most popular mdl.therefore it's value can be a bit inflated compared to other mdls.in that they sell faster to the average Steinway buyer in the marketplace. A new Mahogany M sells "new" for well over 50K. This African flame mahogany of the vintage era is now apart of Steinways Crown Jewel Collection now being considered an exotic veneer. A fair price for a totally original unrestored Steinway M is 10K give or take a couple grand either way. Personally I prefer to only buy Steinways that are all original in that we know what we're dealing with in future restoration. A substandard previous rebuild can do irreparable harm to the piano whereas there some things you can not easily remedy. Most restorations 10+ years or older are unacceptable in this day and age and are of the "stoneage". The only exception would be the factory itself. Hire a seasoned tech/rebuilder if it appears to be an average $ deal.If it is a steal of a deal,take a chance Lifes full of risks. ;\) \:D
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#105339 - 07/18/08 05:19 AM Re: Steinway grand piano M Series
David-G Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/17/06
Posts: 1244
Loc: London
Pianobroker, you wrote "A substandard previous rebuild can do irreparable harm to the piano whereas there some things you can not easily remedy."

Could you give some more details of the sort of ways in which past restorations might have done irreparable harm? (I am not doubting you, I am genuinely interested.)

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#105340 - 07/18/08 09:04 AM Re: Steinway grand piano M Series
Ori Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/20/04
Posts: 1703
Loc: Stamford CT, New York City .
Here in the New York City area, and assuming no major restoration had been done to the instrument within the past 25 years or so (which included soundboard replacement), the value of such piano, depending on a few other factors, will be anywhere between $4,500 - $6,000.

99.9% of such Steinway pianos in this area of the country SHOULD get a full restoration.

If the piano was 'restored", and when one is purchasing such a "restored piano", they pay very little for the instrument itself. what one is buying is the restoration work itself, so if any major work had been done to such a piano in the past 20 years or so, the quality of the work, the parts used, and 'what actually been done' will have a great affect over the value of the piano.
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Restored Steinway pianos.

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#105341 - 07/18/08 02:25 PM Re: Steinway grand piano M Series
YuryVashugin Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/17/08
Posts: 2
Thank all!! I don't know if the piano has been restored or it has the original parts. It has a sticker of $5500 and am going to see it tomorrow. I am not sure I will recognize a major restoration but to invest in a certified tech is not a bad idea!
I am purchasing a piano for my son who just began playing. I was told that Steinway is a better investment so they don't drop in value as much and the tone by far better than in other brands.
Once again thank you for your input! Greatly appreciate it.

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#105342 - 07/18/08 02:45 PM Re: Steinway grand piano M Series
Keith D Kerman Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/03
Posts: 3341
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
 Quote:
Originally posted by YuryVashugin:
Thank all!! I don't know if the piano has been restored or it has the original parts. It has a sticker of $5500 and am going to see it tomorrow. I am not sure I will recognize a major restoration but to invest in a certified tech is not a bad idea!
I am purchasing a piano for my son who just began playing. I was told that Steinway is a better investment so they don't drop in value as much and the tone by far better than in other brands.
Once again thank you for your input! Greatly appreciate it. [/b]
At $5500, this piano probably needs a full rebuild, and a good quality rebuild on a Steinway M is going to cost 15k+ ( not including finish work)
If there is nothing wrong with the core structure of this piano, and the lid, legs and lyre are in good condition, it is worth the $5500.
If you are willing to spend the money to get this piano to be a fine instrument, your beginner son will be lucky to learn on it.
If the instrument is not in proper playing condition, and you are not willing to spend the money to make it a reliable instrument, it will impede your sons learning compared with getting an instrument that functions better.
_________________________
Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales of vintage and pre-owned Steinway and Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Charles R. Walter, Brodmann, Feurich
www.pianocraft.net
http://www.youtube.com/user/pianocraftchannel/videos

keith@pianocraft.net 888-840-5460

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#105343 - 07/18/08 03:52 PM Re: Steinway grand piano M Series
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21811
Loc: Oakland
Most old pianos, including Steinways, could stand new hammers, new strings, new springs, new felts, and the tweaky things that go with them. Many of them could stand refinishing, but that is a matter of taste. A very few need new pinblocks and/or wippens. Even fewer need new soundboards and bridges, and few of them are worth putting that much money into them.

There are a number of rebuilders out there who will tell you that if you do not get a new soundboard and pinblock you will permanently ruin the value of the piano. In fact, you should get at least 25 more years out of the piano, and when the piano actually does need a new pinblock or soundboard, the work can be done with no more trouble then than it is to do it now, provided that the work done now is done well. After all, if you are going to replace a part, it does not matter if that part has been repaired previously.

Steinways retain their value well because of name recognition and their qualities, but there are a number of other brands that can do equally as well, as long as your investment and your expectations are realistic.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#105344 - 07/18/08 06:18 PM Re: Steinway grand piano M Series
pianosxxi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/21/08
Posts: 218
Loc: Southern California
Yura!

Go ahead and buy this piano for this money. Even if its not in a good condition, you can sell it for $9,000 then buy another one, sell it too and eventually you will get to $30,000 grand Steinway in a good condition. That's what dealers do.

Another option would be, to restore the piano and get a great instrument for $15,000 - $16,000 investment after the restoration, and you will get a great Steinway, of course by choosing credible company to perform the job on the piano.

Best wishes to you and your son!
_________________________
Gene Korolev, RPT
President, Master Piano Rebuilder

PIANO SOLUTIONS XXI
Exclusive Piano Restoration, Custom Piano Design and Sales
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Contact: 818.503.0800

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#105345 - 07/18/08 08:28 PM Re: Steinway grand piano M Series
Eric Gloo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 1253
Loc: Richfield Springs, New York
 Quote:
There is no magic in a near 100 year old all original Steinway grand.
Except, of course, for the several that I tune regularly and the customers are very happy with them.

 Quote:
Most restorations 10+ years or older are unacceptable in this day and age and are of the "stoneage".
Except, of course, for the many that I, and many others, tune regularly, and the customers are very happy with them.
_________________________
Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
Certified Dampp-Chaser Installer
Richfield Springs, New York

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#105346 - 07/18/08 09:14 PM Re: Steinway grand piano M Series
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
Eric,You and many others,probably have clients that have Kimball spinets that you tune regularly,and the customers are very happy with them. Depends on ones expectations of the performance level of the piano. \:\)
_________________________
www.pastperfectpiano.com
Largest selection in the USA
100+Steinway and M&H grands
Warehouse showroom Onsite Restoration
Preowned & Restored
Hailun dlr.818-255-3145
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z8RvhXGKzY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Voo0zumHGgE

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#105347 - 07/19/08 03:52 PM Re: Steinway grand piano M Series
Eric Gloo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 1253
Loc: Richfield Springs, New York
So, are you saying that restorations done 15 years ago are now junk, and should be redone? That's the way I'm reading that statement.
_________________________
Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
Certified Dampp-Chaser Installer
Richfield Springs, New York

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#105348 - 07/19/08 09:06 PM Re: Steinway grand piano M Series
RachFan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/03
Posts: 1341
Loc: Maine, U.S.
As others have aptly pointed out here, the condition of this piano is the main concern. If it is still in original condition, very likely it'll need restringing, new hammers, shanks and flanges, and possibly other action part replacements beyond just routine regulation, at the very least.

Furthermore, original case finishing in that era and into the 1920s used a lacquer over the mahogany--which later would typically "alligator" due to normal exposure to light. There is nothing to be done with alligatoring but to strip it down to the wood and refinish the case--always an expensive proposition, as it's all hand worksmanship.

If you have a tech examine the piano (and you should), he'll surely be looking too, among other things, for verdigris in the action. Verdigris is that light green patina you see on outdoor copper alloy statues in cities. In the case of old Steinway's, the copper center pin of the key commonly became contaminated by the chemical treatment of the proximate cloth bushing. Once verdigris has taken hold, and it only gets worse, there is no sure-fire solution except to replace that part of the action. The tell-tale sign of verdigris is slow return of the keys after being depressed, so that, for example, playing a rapid, crisp trill becomes an ordeal, or even an impossibility.

Finally, bear in mind that this Steinway is fast approaching 100 years of age. Once any high quality piano hits 80, there are concerns about crown possibly having been lost in the soundboard or a pinblock that is no longer effective due to the countless tunings and turning of the pins over the decades, meaning that the piano no longer can hold tune well. There again, these issues can indicate large rebuilding expenditures. Your technician's inspection of this aged piano will tell you which issues, if any, you will be facing.

My thought is that you might well be better off considering a much more recent used instrument. I now own a Baldwin Model L Artist Grand (6'3") purchased new in 1984, but prior to that I owned a 1924 Steinway Model M. So I know first hand the problems that can typically develop in those older instruments.

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#105349 - 07/20/08 01:20 AM Re: Steinway grand piano M Series
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
 Quote:
Originally posted by Eric Gloo:
So, are you saying that restorations done 15 years ago are now junk, and should be redone? That's the way I'm reading that statement. [/b]
I would say compared to what I've seen of prior restorations 15 years and older,the restoration standard has evolved to a much higher level today. Having facilitated over 300 Steinway grands for restoration within the last 10 years, I can atest to seeing more substandard work, in that near all these so to speak, previously restored grands, nothing was salvageable from the prior restoration. Of near 300 Steinway grands my primary rebuilder probably salvaged maybe 3 pinblocks. Most were not fitted to the flange and eventually from the string tension moved causing the pins to lean. The remainder of the original pinblocks had #4,5 or 6 opt tuning pins which is totally unacceptable in a Steinway grand. Most so called rebuilt action stacks had new hammers with 80-100 year old remaining action parts.This was typical in that, back than the major action part manufacturers (Renner,Tokiwa Able etc.) were not available or easily acessible to the independent rebuilder.Only the factory had access to parts availability. 15-20 years back one could probably count on one hand the independent rebuilders doing new soundboards,bridges ribs etc. Bolduc and Alaskan sitka spruce /soundboard and high quality pinblock material was again not available to the independent rebuilder. I'm not trying to be conclusive as for high end restoration not being possible years back but the restoration industry up till even 10 years ago was controlled by the Refinishing industry. In this day and age it's the reverse though the refinish is equally important. Only my observation of the many prior rebuilt Steinway grands acquired in need of restoration again. ;\)
_________________________
www.pastperfectpiano.com
Largest selection in the USA
100+Steinway and M&H grands
Warehouse showroom Onsite Restoration
Preowned & Restored
Hailun dlr.818-255-3145
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z8RvhXGKzY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Voo0zumHGgE

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#105350 - 07/20/08 01:46 AM Re: Steinway grand piano M Series
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21811
Loc: Oakland
 Quote:
Furthermore, original case finishing in that era and into the 1920s used a lacquer over the mahogany--which later would typically "alligator" due to normal exposure to light. There is nothing to be done with alligatoring but to strip it down to the wood and refinish the case--always an expensive proposition, as it's all hand worksmanship.
Actually, it is spirit varnish, which is resins dissolved in alcohol. It can be repaired, although it is usually easier to remove it and refinish. It is nowhere near as difficult to repair or replace as polyester finishes.

 Quote:
Finally, bear in mind that this Steinway is fast approaching 100 years of age. Once any high quality piano hits 80, there are concerns about crown possibly having been lost in the soundboard or a pinblock that is no longer effective due to the countless tunings and turning of the pins over the decades, meaning that the piano no longer can hold tune well. There again, these issues can indicate large rebuilding expenditures. Your technician's inspection of this aged piano will tell you which issues, if any, you will be facing.
It is not inevitable that any of these conditions will affect the piano. Even if the risk is greater than with a new piano, you have to decide whether it is $60,000 more risk. One could replace strings, hammers, etc, four times for the additional cost of a new piano versus this one. If it ever becomes necessary to replace the soundboard, you could throw that in once in lieu of one of those jobs.

You can pretty much conclude from that you can get a lot more years out of a used Steinway than from a new one for the same amount of money, and that you are better off waiting until you have a problem rather than doing work that may or may not prevent the problem that may never develop.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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