Dear fellow musicians TLuvva, Rich D., CD131, Barbara G, Schwammerl, Ark, Tucsonpianist91, Chris H., AJB, Paul H, Postenebraslux, David-G, Pianoloverus, GC1Patrick, Stevester, MartyFlinn, SHPIano, Tangledfingers and Rapide
First of all, I have to thank everyone of you that spent time reading my post and answering it.
I cannot tell you how helpful you have been in my final decision.
I also put this same post in the “Piano Tuner-Technician's Forum”, since I really thought that both branches would have something very useful to advice me. And they really did.
You can check the answers I received in the other forum here: http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/3/4730.html#000011
As I said I was going to do, following the advice from the Piano technicians, today I got not just an RPT and PTG, but this man is also an specialist in Bosendorfers, and has been trained in Austria, inside the Bosendorfers factory!!! Can you believe how lucky I have been, to find such a person, and that he was willing to come and check this piano on a Saturday evening? This is an experienced tech. for more than 40 years now!!! Add to that that this man has nothing to do with the dealer. Awesome.
His diagnosis about this piano: it has never been used or repaired. It is everywhere and everything original. No scratches. Nothing changed or restored. He said this piano must have been played a maximum of 10 hours during the whole 9 years. He said is perfect in every detail. No doubt it was sitting at the showroom the whole time. He suspects it has been tuned about 3 to 4 times a year, so it is in the perfect point that it does not need the initial period to “break – in”. It is in the point of the full potential.
I asked him how much he would appraise it, and since he does not sell pianos (another good thing, he didn’t try to sell me one of his inventory) but has done in the past (more good things, so he knows how to evaluate these facts) this piano should be appraised at the same level of a model 2009, due to the perfect and original condition in what it is.
I paid him the $ 150 he asked (more than any other technicians I contacted), but due to his expertise, particularly with Bosendorfer, it was worth every penny.
And of course, I asked so many questions to this technician. He was a Maestro. He showed (and taught me) every little detail about how he inspected this piano, to the point that I almost feel myself able to diagnose the condition of a piano!!! ;-) He is literally a Maestro, and better yet, a Bosendorfer Maestro.
So thanks to people and specially technicians of the forum who insisted on this task to be performed. This is something I would not have think without you. Too bad for the tech. who answered first, saying that this was not a question for the technicians forum. If I could have been able to delete my post (what I tried unsuccessfully) I would have never gone to get this done. Now I have peace of mind.
So just a little suggestion for the technicians: don’t diminish a question from someone who asks a type of help that seems not to be directly related to their work... You may be wrong...
I had in mind those who told me “get a bigger piano (for that same money)”.
Well… honestly the SIZE is never a matter for me (in every sense you want to imagine, musically or not). What is really important for me is the quality (again, in every sense).
I understand that in most pianos the size means a better harmony, a more powerful sound.
But in the case of a Bosendorfer, these instruments are made with such a high quality, that they can produce harmonics that other brands of the same size cannot. And I experienced these for myself, trying many different brands and sizes.
Regards to the power, the room where this piano is going to be nested does not have the size to receive too much power sound. It has double ceiling height, but relatively small surface dimensions. Having a bigger piano there would force me to play it with the lid closed, and then I will really lose harmonics, and clarity.
When I was a young student (this is many, many years ago) I had an August Forster upright, and even for my daily practice I opened the upper lid, as well as I took apart the whole front of the piano. I wanted to listen the direct sound. So why should I want to play now on a grand with closed lid, being so easy to just open the lid!?
So regards to who they told me that for the same money I can get a bigger grand, I really believe it can be true, but it will not meet my desires.
In fact, this same dealer has another Bosenforder in the clearance section: a 214 (7’) CS (Conservatory serie) which price is $ 5,000 less than the 170 (5’8”) I have been talking in this post.
Of course I tried the 214 CS, and I didn’t like it. I would preferred to pay more for the 170 (it is NOT a CS serie) than for this huge 214 CS. I really think that there is a difference between the CS series and the other (better) ones, as it is not the same sound quality with the C series and the S series of Yamahas.
After trying this Bosendorfer 170 for the first time yesterday, I went directly to a Yamaha dealer, just to try them. I always had a crush on Yamahas (that is before I discovered the Hamburg Steinways). I had a particular obsession with the C7. And yes... I played one yesterday... What a shock... It meant nothing for me. So I have been thinking yesterday night... is it because after playing this Bosendorfer, the Yamahas means nothing for me any more (except the CFIII)? Does it mean that this Bosendorfer is something really special?
So discarded the Yamahas, I have been thinking of testing the Shigeru Kawais... but as I have been advised here (in another post)... Shigerus will still be Kawais, and although it is not a bad brand... they are not at the same level of Steinways, Bosendorfers, Grotrians, Bluthners... and the list goes on...
Now regards to my obsession with the Hamburg Steinways, the only relatively new one I found in the USA is this one I mentioned in San Francisco... Should I fly there, from Pennsylvania, just to try it? What if it does not sound and feels the way I want, and in the meantime I lose the Bosie? I have asked this dealer that has this Hamburg, 5 days ago, pictures of it as well as the serial number, and I gave him my phone numbers for him to call me to talk about this piano... He said literally through his e-mail: “Sure, I’ll have somebody take a few pictures for you. Please just relax patiently until that joyful day, however”. He never sent me pictures, called me or provide me the serial # of the piano. Should I have made the trip without seeing pictures, verifying that the arm is rounded, so it is really a Hamburg (and not a New York) Steinway? This is not a joke. It is a trip that takes me 3 to 4 planes. Besides, his lack of information (or interest to sell it really?) didn’t smell good to me. This piano is being used for rentals... Who knows if he is serious about selling it?
Besides, the technician who evaluated the Bosendorfer told me that Bosies are made almost equally as the Hamburg Steinways, are the closest to them, and used to have this rich European sound (that is what I have been looking for, not easy to find in the USA).
To answer to those who suggested me to import a Hamburg Steinway from Europe: of course I tried it. I was in touch with a dealer in Spain, and the price to put a M model in the USA was 52,000 euros plus importation taxes and shipping. And the New York Steinway dealer asked me US $ 78,500. And of course, I am not going to buy blindly a piano… I have to travel MYSELF to Europe to choose it… Each piano is different (unless you buy one made in serie). So I have analyzed this idea of bringing one from Europe… but it is sooo expensive… compared with this new Bosendorfer 170, new, for $ 42,000
As Marty Flinn recommended me: I got the serial number and I called another Bosendorfer dealer, and confirmed it is built in 2000.
Regards to those who advised me here to leave a refundable deposit for the Bosendorfer and continue shopping around... no way. It keeps me psychologically tied. And I love freedom more than any other thing in life... It is a personal belief. As some of you said here:
“Never never NEVER leave deposits. Very bad negotiating tactic.”
About to leave it for 2 weeks and then write the dealer an offer for $ 40,000: that is not ethical from my part, the way I negotiated the deal. I know at where we started, I know how hard I was to get to the point I arrived (the $ 42,000 everything included), I got information that he is not financially in a hurry... You provided me information in these forums (and after that I got mine through some phone calls and Internet) about what is the real price in the market for these pianos, and also the wholesale price. I knew I didn’t have room to get it for less.
So I thought: I have a deal. Now I have to buy the piano.
And in this aspect, what Pianoloverus said “don't buy the deal, buy the piano” really helped me with directions in my process of thinking and analyzing.
I asked myself: Is this a piano I am going to regret not to buy, if I lose it for continuing shopping around “just in case”? And my answer was: yes, this is something I will regret.
So bearing in mind, as David-G said here: “make sure that you really love the piano. It's more important than loving the price” is that I went there this Saturday evening with the technician. Then I tried the piano (and other pianos again)… and I really liked the piano. The more I played, the more I liked it.
Then, you see… following Marty Flynn “You have done your diligence” (and believe me, I did everything, as I have explained here) and then “That done, fish or cut bait”
So… guess what… I did it… I fished it…
A few hours ago I bought the Bosendorfer 170 PE new from year 2000 at $ 42,000 what includes taxes, artist bench, shipping, grand piano lamp, first tuning and 10 years warranty.
For what I heard in these forums, it sound too good to be true. But it is true!!
Now, if someone wants to hear something also hard to believe, this dealer has 2 other new Bosendorfers in the clearance process:
- 214 CS (7”) ebony satin, from year 2001, never sold (althought it has been used for a few concerts in the showroom)
- 170 (5’8”) model Yacht (what a beauty!), 2001 or so (a higher # serie than mine)
If anyone wants to contact the seller, send me a private message. I will be happy to share my good luck of finding these jewels, as well as referring to the seller of the store who was very honest with me.
Thank you everyone again, you have been wonderful. These forums at pianoworld are terrific!
Have a great Sunday and week, and from my part… I will wait for my Bosie to arrive, hopefully on Tuesday!