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#1536219 - 10/15/10 07:48 PM Should I buy this Mehlin and Sons spinet?
iHeartGlennGould Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/27/09
Posts: 57
I have been agonizing over this piano I just put a down payment on, a Mehlin and Sons spinet. The store is charging me $525.00 plus 200 for delivery....I really did like the piano--heavy action, long buoyant keys, sonorous sound, victorian case and fancy emblem, but I am not reading very good reviews about these particular spinets. Some people say it would not be worth more than a couple hundred when I thought I was getting it for cheap. There is a clicking sound in the keys which the store says they will have fixed--other than that it seems fine. The inside looks good. Could I please have some advice before I pay for the rest of the piano? It would be greatly appreciated!
Stephanie

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#1536224 - 10/15/10 07:54 PM Re: Should I buy this Mehlin and Sons spinet? [Re: iHeartGlennGould]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
I would try to get my money back.. How much did you put down? You can get much better pianos if you look patiently on craigslist and elsewhere. I've even seen Acrosonic spinets go for lesser.
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

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#1536239 - 10/15/10 08:21 PM Re: Should I buy this Mehlin and Sons spinet? [Re: liszt85]
iHeartGlennGould Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/27/09
Posts: 57
Why do you believe I should get my money back?

Do you believe that the hammers should be in good condition? For instance, the ones on mine look worn and have indents from the strings.

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#1536244 - 10/15/10 08:27 PM Re: Should I buy this Mehlin and Sons spinet? [Re: iHeartGlennGould]
iHeartGlennGould Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/27/09
Posts: 57
Oh, I put down 200 dollars.

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#1536328 - 10/15/10 10:15 PM Re: Should I buy this Mehlin and Sons spinet? [Re: iHeartGlennGould]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
I think you should get it back because $600 can buy you better pianos than that, believe it or not. You might have to look long enough though (a couple of months maybe).

Also, you should try to go for a console/studio piano if its the action you're after. That's just my opinion though. Its what I would do (and just did).

How worn out do the hammers look. Somewhat deep markings are ok but only a tech would know if its bad enough not to buy it based solely on that. If you looked on craigslist for long enough, you probably would have got a similar/better spinet for a few hundred bucks. For $600-800, you could get a decent console/studio piano if you look long enough. Some people say that the only spinet worth considering is the Baldwin Acrosonic. I've seen quite a few of those go for under $400 on our local craigslist.

So if its possible to get your money back, I would do that.


Edited by liszt85 (10/15/10 10:19 PM)
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

Top
#1536336 - 10/15/10 10:25 PM Re: Should I buy this Mehlin and Sons spinet? [Re: iHeartGlennGould]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
http://cleveland.craigslist.org/msg/2008409555.html

http://limaohio.craigslist.org/msg/2006276235.html

http://evansville.craigslist.org/msg/1974624464.html

http://nashville.craigslist.org/msg/1962914651.html

http://detroit.craigslist.org/mcb/msg/1963672859.html

A few examples. The Baldwin Hamilton is a great studio piano. These ones are listed lower than most others I've seen on craigslist. If its been maintained reasonably well (tuned once in a couple of years), it is well worth the $250/$399.

I'm sure you'll find such pianos on your local craigslist.


Edited by liszt85 (10/15/10 10:45 PM)
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

Top
#1536493 - 10/16/10 08:49 AM Re: Should I buy this Mehlin and Sons spinet? [Re: iHeartGlennGould]
iHeartGlennGould Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/27/09
Posts: 57
Oh my god. Thank you so much for your advice. That is just what I will do--be patient and keep looking, especially for those brands you mentioned. This really was an impulsive purchase for me. I will just tell the store that I want my money back because I plan on saving a couple more paychecks for an even better piano. You are a lifesaver. The pianos in those pictures are much better than the Mehlin and Sons.

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#1536508 - 10/16/10 09:17 AM Re: Should I buy this Mehlin and Sons spinet? [Re: iHeartGlennGould]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6648
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
If you like the piano and it fits your needs, then buy it. There's no way to know if any of the pianos listed in the above links are any good or not, without trying them, which you've already done with the piano in question. No one here has heard/played the piano but you. If you're shopping for $500 pianos, then what you find is going to be pretty much just that...a $500 piano. As a result you can't be too very picky. Find something that best suits you and go with it.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#1536710 - 10/16/10 04:11 PM Re: Should I buy this Mehlin and Sons spinet? [Re: iHeartGlennGould]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
Originally Posted By: iHeartGlennGould
Oh my god. Thank you so much for your advice. That is just what I will do--be patient and keep looking, especially for those brands you mentioned. This really was an impulsive purchase for me. I will just tell the store that I want my money back because I plan on saving a couple more paychecks for an even better piano. You are a lifesaver. The pianos in those pictures are much better than the Mehlin and Sons.


When I started looking for a piano with a similar budget (being a student), people told me I couldn't find a decent piano with that money. I've been playing for over 10-12 years now and a spinet won't do the job for the kinds of pieces I'm playing right now. I'd have to have a studio piano. Sellers (dealer types) have responded rudely when I inquired if they had studio pianos for under $1000. However, I was patient and kept browsing craigslist every single day for a couple of hours each day. I left emails/messages for every piano that looked promising. One evening, at around 9pm, I left a message for a pastor in a Church that was selling a piano. The piano was listed as an upright but it was listed for $800 and was a Yamaha. I expected it to be a console piano but I wanted to confirm. The pastor gave me a call the next morning. I asked him what the height of the piano was. I asked him if the top of the piano was closer to his neck or to his waist. He said it was the former and I knew it was a studio piano. He then looked inside (which he had never done before) and told me it was P22. I immediately made the 1 hour drive, looked at it, asked for advice here at the pianoforums, gave him a call back after I had had enough advice, and sealed the deal. The pastor further reduced the price by 200, and I got it for $600. I spent $350 on moving since I live in a second floor apartment and I spent another $140 on tuning and some minor adjustments and I now have a great piano for the money I spent.

So do not get discouraged by people who say that you can only get so much with $500-800. If you wait long enough and look close enough, you will find something much better than a spinet, at least a decent Baldwin Acrosonic spinet if a spinet is what you want.

Good luck. (Make sure you ask for advice here first before you put money down on any piano).
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

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#1536744 - 10/16/10 05:00 PM Re: Should I buy this Mehlin and Sons spinet? [Re: iHeartGlennGould]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10599
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
The price you were quoted was a very fair one, from a piano retailer.
On the private market it would sell for less. However, in no way would I think the dealer unfair.

If you can afford to take your time, and are willing to assume the risks that come with buying from a private party, you should be able to get a better piano.
_________________________
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

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#1536769 - 10/16/10 05:36 PM Re: Should I buy this Mehlin and Sons spinet? [Re: Steve Cohen]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
The price you were quoted was a very fair one, from a piano retailer.
On the private market it would sell for less. However, in no way would I think the dealer unfair.

If you can afford to take your time, and are willing to assume the risks that come with buying from a private party, you should be able to get a better piano.


+1.

I do have a question though. I'm assuming that the risks that you talk about have to do with the lack of any kind of warranty if you buy from an individual. How often have people had to use their warranties on used pianos that they've bought from dealers? I'm not talking about used U1's or U3's. I'm talking about used cheap spinets like the one in question. I'm not really sure there's enough justification to buy such cheap spinets from dealers. Correct me if I'm wrong.
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

Top
#1536898 - 10/16/10 08:48 PM Re: Should I buy this Mehlin and Sons spinet? [Re: liszt85]
88Key_PianoPlayer Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: El Cajon, CA
This is what I got for free a couple years ago.







I also got this one at the same time for $349.






I think it should be possible to find a better deal than I got. smile
_________________________
Associate Member - Piano Technicians Guild
1950 (#144211) Baldwin Hamilton
1956 (#167714) Baldwin Hamilton
You can right-click my avatar for an option to view a larger version.

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#1536952 - 10/16/10 10:37 PM Re: Should I buy this Mehlin and Sons spinet? [Re: liszt85]
iHeartGlennGould Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/27/09
Posts: 57
They said they would refund my down payment! While I was there I also found a Baldwin Acrosonic studio for $995, ha. I might get that one instead, considering your advice--four hundred dollars more for a way better piano!I was just about to post pictures of it when I realized I left my camera at the shop...:( I hope no one has stolen it over night, gosh!!!

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#1536968 - 10/16/10 11:02 PM Re: Should I buy this Mehlin and Sons spinet? [Re: iHeartGlennGould]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
Are you sure it was a studio and not a spinet? In any case, if you want to buy from a dealer, that's fine. If you want to buy the same piano $300-400 cheaper, you can keep looking on craigslist until you find one. Its a lengthy process. You will have to drive to various places to check out many pianos before you find one that you like. If you prefer not to do that, go ahead and buy from the dealer but don't expect to get a great deal.

See 88key_PianoPlayer's post to see very nice Baldwin Hamilton studio pianos that he/she got for close to free. Also listen to the audio clips linked.

Did you ask the dealer if he offers a warranty on any of these pianos?
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

Top
#1536982 - 10/16/10 11:29 PM Re: Should I buy this Mehlin and Sons spinet? [Re: liszt85]
88Key_PianoPlayer Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: El Cajon, CA
Hmm... he/she... wink Tell you what... you can look at the YouTube videos of me playing a 1951 Baldwin Hamilton (#148947) I bought for my church a few years ago for $400, then decide which I am. grin

I do recall seeing an older Acrosonic studio advertised on eBay a while ago, probably from the late 1930s or early 1940s. I suspect it was basically a Hamilton studio in a decorator cabinet (with freestanding front legs and a decorative music rack).
_________________________
Associate Member - Piano Technicians Guild
1950 (#144211) Baldwin Hamilton
1956 (#167714) Baldwin Hamilton
You can right-click my avatar for an option to view a larger version.

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#1536984 - 10/16/10 11:32 PM Re: Should I buy this Mehlin and Sons spinet? [Re: iHeartGlennGould]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
Its not easy these days with feminism on a high.. I do not want to offend anybody by using the wrong pronoun! :P Thanks for the video.
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

Top
#1536989 - 10/16/10 11:37 PM Re: Should I buy this Mehlin and Sons spinet? [Re: liszt85]
88Key_PianoPlayer Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: El Cajon, CA
Haha it's quite alright. smile And thanks for the compliment. smile
I should upload a few more videos... although it's unfortunately not going to happen for a while yet. For one thing, my camera's microphone isn't working. For another, although I could record the sound and video separately, I don't have the software to combine them, partially because I don't have an editor that will open the QuickTime .MOV H.264 files that my camera records.
_________________________
Associate Member - Piano Technicians Guild
1950 (#144211) Baldwin Hamilton
1956 (#167714) Baldwin Hamilton
You can right-click my avatar for an option to view a larger version.

Top
#1537144 - 10/17/10 09:52 AM Re: Should I buy this Mehlin and Sons spinet? [Re: liszt85]
Pianosaurus Rex Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/10
Posts: 305
Originally Posted By: liszt85

+1.

I do have a question though. I'm assuming that the risks that you talk about have to do with the lack of any kind of warranty if you buy from an individual. How often have people had to use their warranties on used pianos that they've bought from dealers? I'm not talking about used U1's or U3's. I'm talking about used cheap spinets like the one in question. I'm not really sure there's enough justification to buy such cheap spinets from dealers. Correct me if I'm wrong.


Imo the risk from buying second hand pianos from private sellers is possible damage that might not be apparent at first glance, or even upon more detailed inspection unless you are a pro.
If you hire a technician to check up the piano, however, it's safe to buy.
_________________________

Student/apprentice technician

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#1537149 - 10/17/10 10:01 AM Re: Should I buy this Mehlin and Sons spinet? [Re: iHeartGlennGould]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10599
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
There are a lot of potential problems with buying a used piano, particularly an older one, from a privat party. For example, a piano with loose pins will generally only hold tune for a month or so before needed another tuning. Tuning such a piano immediately before putting it on craigslist isn't uncommon.

Having any used piano over say 15-20 years old inspected by a qualified technician will assure the buyer that there are no hidden defects or poorly made repairs.
_________________________
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

Top
#1537218 - 10/17/10 12:18 PM Re: Should I buy this Mehlin and Sons spinet? [Re: Steve Cohen]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen

Having any used piano over say 15-20 years old inspected by a qualified technician will assure the buyer that there are no hidden defects or poorly made repairs.


I'm assuming that this (tech check) will be done whether you buy it from a private party or from a dealer. Now, if what you mean to say is that you can get away with not doing this if you buy from a dealer and if that's the only advantage, I can imagine spending $70 on a tech check and I would still save a couple of hundred bucks if I bought from a private party than a dealer.

So I'm still not convinced that buying a 20-30 yr old cheap spinet from a dealer offers more of an advantage than buying the same piano from a private party.

Now, if there are potential problems that a well qualified tech cannot identify merely by inspection, then I understand how a warranty on even a cheap spinet might come in handy. Do you guys mean to say this?
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

Top
#1537224 - 10/17/10 12:32 PM Re: Should I buy this Mehlin and Sons spinet? [Re: iHeartGlennGould]
iHeartGlennGould Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/27/09
Posts: 57
If you all had to choose between these two pianos, which one would you choose?


the Acrosonic




the Mehlin and Sons


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#1537232 - 10/17/10 12:44 PM Re: Should I buy this Mehlin and Sons spinet? [Re: iHeartGlennGould]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
The Acrosonic (if it plays as well as the other acrosonics I've tried). Among spinets, I've found the acrosonic to be more responsive.
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

Top
#1537255 - 10/17/10 01:08 PM Re: Should I buy this Mehlin and Sons spinet? [Re: iHeartGlennGould]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6648
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
I can't answer that question honestly, since I've not played either piano.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


Top

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