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#139963 - 07/18/08 05:42 PM Buying a grand piano.
Avantgardenabi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/08
Posts: 496
Hello, everyone.

I am new to this forum, and I need some help on how to buy an old grand piano.

I saw one made by George Steck Co. in 1880s, and the seller's price tag was $15000. When I played it, there were three keys with a problem, which the seller promised to repair.


The piano is very "grand," with scrolling legs and some floral decorations on the sides. But the varnish on the rosewood shows cracks, and piano has some chips on its surface.

Also, the greater part of the wood is ligher in color due to the ultraviolet light, as the seller told me.


The piano had its strings and hammers replaced about 10 years ago, and the soundboard's crack was repaired also back then. Its length is about 5 feet 11. 1 year warranty is included.


So I want to ask, is the price reasonable for this piano? Should I consider buying it?


Thank you so much.


P.S. Chopin is my favorite.

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#139964 - 07/18/08 05:52 PM Re: Buying a grand piano.
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14057
Loc: Louisiana
No.
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#139965 - 07/18/08 05:54 PM Re: Buying a grand piano.
Avantgardenabi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/08
Posts: 496
Is it that bad?

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#139966 - 07/18/08 06:13 PM Re: Buying a grand piano.
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8847
Loc: Georgia, USA
Hi Advantgardenabi,

Jolly don’t say much on the forum lately, but when he does, people listen \:D .

The price seems way high to me, but I’m no expert. In my experiences with acoustic pianos, newer is by far better, unless it is completely rebuilt by a reputable rebuilder. A ten year old refurbish with a few problematic keys is an issue (warranty or not).

You can buy a fairly nice new entry level grand of that size for around $15,000 (+ or -).

I'm sure you will get more and better advice than mine. \:D

Best regards,

Rickster
_________________________
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#139967 - 07/18/08 06:15 PM Re: Buying a grand piano.
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4683
Loc: San Francisco
Yes, it's that bad.

Try $1500, icluding moving and keys repair.

When buying used, condition is everything. At the $15k level, there is absolutely no need to settle for a discolored, chipped cabinet. And at that level you'll have many choices.

Somebody let this piano deteriorate.

If you could give us an indication of your geographical area, we might be able to offer suggestions re shops to try or other avenues to explore.

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#139968 - 07/18/08 06:24 PM Re: Buying a grand piano.
Avantgardenabi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/08
Posts: 496
I am in the Chicagoland area.


$1500? Wow... Still, piano was quite elegant, including its Victorian imperial-style design.

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#139969 - 07/18/08 09:01 PM Re: Buying a grand piano.
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4683
Loc: San Francisco
A recent thread contained names of dealers in your area. Can't find it at the moment. There are a few recommendations on page 1 of this thread. You can get more help - perhaps not so much on the weekend - by starting a new thread, "Piano Dealers In Chicagoland," or some such. If you make the rounds of the shops, I think that your idea of value in used instruments will change considerably.

In general a George Steck would not command a premium price.

The guarantee will be for things which break, not things which don't function optimally.

A late-nineteenth century piano may use parts which are difficult to replicate, if repair becomes necessary. This piano has likely been repaired - in addition to the strings and hammers - and it'd be a good idea to know exactly what's been done.

The best used piano money that you can spend is that spent for a prepurchase inspection by an experienced tech who has no affiliation with the seller. Techs should be locatable via the Yellow Pages in your area.

Please make the rounds of the shops with the intention of just learning what's available. At the $15k level, you should have many choices.

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#139970 - 07/18/08 09:27 PM Re: Buying a grand piano.
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
Wow!I think the seller forgot the decimal point or the seller received a formal apprasial from....the Antique Road Show or a potential restoration firm in need of work \:D
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#139971 - 07/18/08 09:44 PM Re: Buying a grand piano.
peekaboo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/12/08
Posts: 17
Loc: Buffalo, ny
check out ebay to get ballpark prices,then go to l
local dealer see what they have and then check back with forum .

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#139972 - 07/18/08 10:37 PM Re: Buying a grand piano.
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14057
Loc: Louisiana
 Quote:
Originally posted by Avantgardenabi:
I am in the Chicagoland area.


$1500? Wow... Still, piano was quite elegant, including its Victorian imperial-style design. [/b]
Piano first, looks second.

If you want a pretty good run-down on the dealers in the Chicago area, send a PM to GeorgeK either here, or follow the link in my sig line and send George a PM over at TNCR. George spent quite a time shopping in the Chicago area and he'll tell you the truth. For south of 20K, there's new pianos to look at, plus an occasional outstanding slightly used piano of more expensive make.

If you're really set on something old and ornate, it's a rebuilding we go...you can either hunt for an artcase and redo (which may be more than you want to pay)or you can get a rebuilder to doll up a standard rebuild up a mite...different legs, different music desk and other gee-gaws can make a plain case more ornate...or I guess you can send the case to Poland, as I think they still have an outfit over there that will pretty much artcase an old case from the rim out. (I don't think you'll be sending a case to Poland [too much time, too much money], but if you want to, give lb a holler at Piano Facts and he'll get you an address.)

My .02 cents, YMMV. Good luck and good hunting.
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Over 1,000,000 posts where pianists discuss everything. And nothing.

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#139973 - 07/19/08 11:30 PM Re: Buying a grand piano.
Avantgardenabi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/08
Posts: 496
Thank you all for saving me from paying too much!

I sent an email to a seller about this, and he is not responding.

I guess I have to study more...


Do you consider Bosendorfer or Chickering antique pianos a good choice?

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#139974 - 07/19/08 11:45 PM Re: Buying a grand piano.
mikhailoh Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 4288
Loc: Cincinnati
All antique pianos come down to this: In the general market they have no value simply as an antique. Any value you place on that is just that - a personal choice.

Their value in the general market is based solely on condition.

Both of those are very fine makes.. BUT... may or may not have been properly cared for for 70-100 years.

So one Bosie might be worth $1500 as a rebuildable core that you have to put an addition $25K into to restore, or it might have been restored some time ago and in good shape. You really can't, IMO, make generalized statements about them onc ethey reach old age.
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