Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad) Yamaha CP4 Rebate
Yamaha CP4 Rebate
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
Who's Online
169 registered (alfredo capurso, accordeur, ajames, 36251, 41 invisible), 1546 Guests and 6 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Pianos
Topic Options
#163452 - 03/13/08 07:16 AM Do I want an older Steinway?
Bloomim Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 5
Loc: Springfield, VA
Help Please!
I am looking at a turn-of-century upright Steinway for $1000 for sale by private owner. I have no idea whether it's worth it or not. All keys work but a few (8-10) have a funny tinny sound after they're struck. The felts look to be in good condition but what do I know? -not much which is why I'm hoping someone out there can help. The ivory is in perfect condition and the case is in pretty good shape considering the age. It does need some scrollwork on one removable panel.
I'm cautiously excited because it's a Steinway and the tone sounds excellent to me. -but once again, what do I know.
Thank you in advance for any insight.

(ads 568) Hailun Pianos


#163453 - 03/13/08 09:05 AM Re: Do I want an older Steinway?
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10429
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
What is your purpose in buying a piano? If you want it for regular use you need a piano that is fully functional. If 8-10 keys do not work properly this is a rather big problem. If the action is original it is likely to be very uneven feeling from key to key.

If you are seriously interested in this piano you should hire a technician to evaluate it. That will give you a better idea of its problems, hidden or otherwise, and of what you might expect to spend if you want to bring the piano back into decent working order.
Grotrian 192 #156455


#163454 - 03/13/08 09:45 AM Re: Do I want an older Steinway?
S. Phillips Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 352
Loc: Forte Farm, Lexington, KY
It will cost just as much to have it restored as a grand piano of approximately the same age.

I agree that you need to have a tech look at it. If all the parts are there the repairs can certainly be done. It depends on your use and how long you plan to keep it. The tinny sound that you describe could be dampers ringing, loose hammer heads, loose flange screws (clicking) or simply tuning. If the strings of the unisons are drastically different then it is probably very loose tuning pins or a cracked pinblock. Many of the old Steinways that I have seen do have pinblocks that would be usable for restringing but when you start rebuilding one of these you really have to do mostly everything or you will end up with a major dysfunction in some area. If you try to repair the action instead of replacing you will likely have constant failures as more and more things go wrong.

If you are just going to use it as a decorative object that is useful for the occasional Christmas carol then it might be OK but if you seriously want an instrument you will have to spend a lot more money to make it functionally reliable.

On the other hand if you are seriously interested in restoring it (aside from the economic aspect of spending that much money) it could be lovely when you get it done.
Sally Phillips
Piano Technician
One can always find something to improve.
2 Steinway Os, Steinway B & C, C. Bechstein A
Phillips Piano Tech
Contributor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
New Federal and State Ivory Regulations and Pianos

#163455 - 03/13/08 04:22 PM Re: Do I want an older Steinway?
Bloomim Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 5
Loc: Springfield, VA
I played many years ago but have forgotten most. I would like to relearn what I have lost without investing a fortune. I would just be learning intermittently as my tiny bit of spare time allowed.

I was really looking for a name brand upright or baby grand with a beautiful burled wood case that also sounds great but that doesn't seem to be happening within my budget of $1500-$2000 including moving cost. This piano seems to have character and tone without the beautiful case. For under $1000 I mostly see cheap spinets or brands I can hardly find in a google search.

All the keys work and I could use the piano as-is with just tuning.

A year ago the owners had a technician look the Steinway over to see if it would be worth restoring. I spoke with that the technician this morning and he seemed to remember telling them that they should not restore it since that would be cost prohibitive. However, when I told him they wanted to sell it for $1000, he seemed to think that the piano was worth well over that amount. (He didn't do an official appraisal.)

I'm not considering restoring the Steinway, but I would want to get it tuned. I found a mover who quoted me $300 so I'll probably go for it. I just want to know if someone thinks that's an awful risk to take.

Any other comments would be appreciated before I take this plunge.

Thank you!

#163456 - 03/13/08 06:37 PM Re: Do I want an older Steinway?
Innominato Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/08
Posts: 802
Loc: London
Well you are risking a maximum of USD 1,300 all inclusive for something which certainly is a beautiful piece of furniture and might even be a more or less usable piano.

If you really should decide that you are very unsatisfied of how it sounds, you would be able to sell it again, due to the name at not much less what you paid, if the tech remembered well and is right probably at more.

We are talking of very little money for a piano, so I'd say that in my eyes the risk is worth taking, and if you have friends who do not understand anything of piano but know the brand "Steinway" the aha-effect for the money would be excellent ;\) .

Here in England for the price you can not even get a nice piece of furniture, let alone with "Steinway" written over it.

I'd say all in all it seems to me a sensible way to ckeck in the next months if you really find the time to regularly play piano and want to go on, at which point even a small loss would have been an excellent investment...
"The man that hath no music in himself / Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds / Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils." (W.Shakespeare)

Kemble Conservatoire 335025 Walnut Satin

#163457 - 03/13/08 07:02 PM Re: Do I want an older Steinway?
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 22197
Loc: Oakland
There was a topic in the Technician's area about an old Steinway upright and the problems dealing with them. I think you should look that up and read it before you jump into this.

The tinny sound after the hammer has struck, if it is on the key release, is probably damaged damper felts. Steinway upright dampers are particular to Steinways and difficult to replace, so even something like that, which would be fairly easy to fix on most other old uprights, is a major problem with a Steinway.
Semipro Tech

#163458 - 03/14/08 07:00 AM Re: Do I want an older Steinway?
Bloomim Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 5
Loc: Springfield, VA
Thank you so much to all that have inputted. I'll have to spend time on this sight over the weekend- what a great place.


Moderator:  Ken Knapp, Piano World, Rickster 
What's Hot!!
The February 2015 Issue of our Free Piano News Newsletter is out now! FREE Piano Newsletter
The best thing I've learned on Piano World....
Posting Pictures on the Forums
Forums Rules & Help
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
(ad) Jazz Piano Online
Jazz Piano Online Lessons
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Full Compass iH picture
by prout
03/04/15 06:30 PM
the best Pianos for Romantic Music
by wjc
03/04/15 05:33 PM
Restore or buy new? Disappointing rebuild...
by Kins
03/04/15 04:13 PM
Can you mimic a soundboard effect on Kawai CA65?
by Sam Sam Sam
03/04/15 03:43 PM
Franck's prelude, choral and fugue
by Svenno
03/04/15 03:20 PM
Forum Stats
78,392 Registered Members
43 Forums
162,074 Topics
2,379,731 Posts

Most users ever online: 15,252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
Gift Ideas for Music Lovers!
Find the Perfect Gift for the Music Lovers on your List!
Visit our online store today.

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |

copyright 1997 - 2015 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission