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#1164024 - 03/17/09 11:20 AM Buying a piano, but have some questions
AlexW7 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/17/09
Posts: 3
Loc: Midwest
I played a 1929 Mendelssohn baby grand for ten years, but that piano is in no way available to me anymore. I got an electric keyboard as a gift one year to try to somehow fill the void, but it just doesn't have the same soul. I am not a wonderful piano player, but the more I don't play, the more and more I miss it. So I have 5,000 saved up, and looking around on the internet, I have completely fallen in love with the old Victorian style grands and baby grands, which are not abundant in the midwest. The ones that are here, are far beyond my budget. I have never spent this much money on anything before, so I have a couple of questions about some apprehensions that I have.

I'm interested in the Victorian European styles, many of which have manufacturers that are hard to find information about. Does anyone know of a good resource to find information about Josef Koppl or Thomas Draxler piano makers, or for that matter, any old or foreign piano makers?

How does one know for sure the quality of pianos these piano makers pumped out? And if a piano has been rebuilt, does the quality of the original piano maker still make a difference?

Would it be plausible to get an old piano in decent shape (I understand that many old pianos are far from perfect without expensive rebuilding) and play it until I have enough saved up for possible larger future repairs?

The pianos I love the most have a tendency to show up in California, would it be foolish to find a piano technician near the piano and have him inspect it and send me a video of the inspection processes and the piano being played? Or would that be considered rude? Or do I need to wait until summer when my schedule is more flexible and make the trip out, which would cost me roughly 1,000 for a flight for two people?

Would it be wiser to ship or move a piano cross-country? I've poked around a bit and found that shipping would be considerably cheaper, and possibly safer for the piano. So my other question is this: if the latter is correct, then why are there cross country piano movers?

I am currently looking at these two:
http://losangeles.craigslist.org/sfv/msg/1068552720.html
http://sacramento.craigslist.org/msg/1070664241.html

Thank you for your time and expertise!

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#1164032 - 03/17/09 11:48 AM Re: Buying a piano, but have some questions [Re: AlexW7]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21810
Loc: Oakland
Both of those pianos are Viennese action pianos, which show up all the time. You should be able to buy one locally, although they are mostly for antique collectors, not pianists.

They have their own problems. You may not be able to find anyone who can restore them, and it will be expensive to do. The result is likely to be a piano that plays and sounds poorly, and will be difficult and expensive to maintain. The market for them is minimal at best, so you will not be able to get back whatever money you spend on them.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1164041 - 03/17/09 12:11 PM Re: Buying a piano, but have some questions [Re: BDB]
CC2 and Chopin lover Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/06
Posts: 1981
BDB is absolutely correct. Buying a piano like these two is fine if you are looking for pretty furniture, but they are certainly bound to be a headache to maintain or improve. For the amount you are looking to spend, there are better choices that will serve you well from a musical perspective.

Something like this, for instance, for your price:

http://www.rickjonespianos.com/uprightimages/slideshow%20pics/Kawai%20HAT-20%201994.swf
_________________________
Piano Technician/Tuner

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#1164045 - 03/17/09 12:19 PM Re: Buying a piano, but have some questions [Re: CC2 and Chopin lover]
AlexW7 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/17/09
Posts: 3
Loc: Midwest
Well, I don't know id I'd ever feel complete with an upright... I'd probably go for a not-as-pretty used grand before I'd go upright. Are there other makers with that style, but without the Viennese action? Is it an issue to get the action completely replaced with the more modern action 10 yrs down the line if it still works moderately well?

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#1164048 - 03/17/09 12:26 PM Re: Buying a piano, but have some questions [Re: AlexW7]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21810
Loc: Oakland
Ask these questions when you have a lot more money to spend. In your price range, your best bet is a slightly used, good quality small Asian grand, something made since 2000.

When you have a bigger budget, then you can specify the style of the piano.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1164077 - 03/17/09 01:06 PM Re: Buying a piano, but have some questions [Re: BDB]
AlexW7 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/17/09
Posts: 3
Loc: Midwest
Thanks for the advice!

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