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#1948561 - 08/24/12 03:20 PM Please weigh in on price of rebuilt Steinway B...
ec Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 78
Loc: Long Beach, CA
Update on the partially rebuilt 1974 Steinway B I have my eye on:

I was told:
*the soundboard was in excellent condition and didn't need to be replaced.
*The strings were replaced with new ones.
*I asked whether the pin block and hammers were replaced: yes, new German Renner action parts, incl. Renner blue premium hammers, repetitons, shanks and flanges. The pinblock was in excellent condition so was not replaced with a new one.
*the piano plays and touch feels much better than its original teflon action.

Showroom price was $45,350; I got it down to 42,350, but it's still way over budget. Does that seem high for a rebuild that didn't replace the soundboard and pinblock?
(I've seen listed locally a 1981 B "internally restored" for 39K, a "restored" 1985 B for 43K, and a "beautifully restored" 1982 B for 42K (unsure just what's been done to it), but have not yet seen or played any of these comps. It seems that "rebuilt" and "restored" are bandied about without much consistency. Any thoughts or advice would be much appreciated!


Edited by ec (08/24/12 08:54 PM)
_________________________
ec
Long Beach, CA
*********************

Chopin - Nocturne, Op.62, No. 2
Mazurka, Op. 41, No. 1 (C# minor)
Etude, Op. 25, No. 9
Polonaise, Op. 40, No. 2, C minor

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#1948579 - 08/24/12 03:45 PM Re: Please weigh in on price of rebuilt Steinway B... [Re: ec]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3336
Originally Posted By: ec

Update on the partially rebuilt 1974 Steinway B I have my eye on:

I was told:
*the soundboard was in excellent condition and didn't need to be replaced.
*The strings were replaced with new ones.
*I asked whether the pin block and hammers were replaced: yes, new German Renner action parts, incl. Renner blue premium hammers, repetitons, shanks and flanges. The pinblock was in excellent condition so was not replaced with a new one.
*the piano plays and touch feels much better than its original teflon action.

Showroom price was $45,350; I got it down to 42,350, but it's still way over budget. Does that seem high for a rebuild that didn't replace the soundboard and pinblock?
(I've seen listed locally a 1981 B "internally restored" for 39K, a "restored" 1985 B for 43K, and a "beautifully resored" 1982 B for 42K (unsure just what's been done to it), but have not yet seen or played any of these comps. It seems that "rebuilt" and "restored" are bandied about without much consistency. Any thoughts or advice would be much appreciated!


If it's out of your budget, it's out of your budget. As to whether the price is appropriate depends on a few things: 1. your location 2. the quality of the work done to it.

Let's start with #1. You're located in Long Beach, CA. Therefore, what you're going to pay locally will be higher than the national average. Unless you're willing to shop out of state, expect to pay more. So is $42,000 a fair price? Yeah. It's probably in the ballpark.

Moving on to #2. A $42,000 price for any piano isn't a good deal if the workmanship is crap, and/or it sounds and plays like crap. It also isn't a good deal if you can get an equivalent piano for less, or a better piano for the same price (or a little more). So, when you're comparing pianos, unfortunately, you're not comparing apples to apples most of the time.

So, what do I think? If you like the piano a lot, and have the means to pay for it, then buy it. Odds are in your favor that it won't implode on itself anytime soon.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#1948603 - 08/24/12 04:27 PM Re: Please weigh in on price of rebuilt Steinway B... [Re: beethoven986]
ec Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 78
Loc: Long Beach, CA
Thanks for the feedback-I'm definitely leaning in that direction, but am waiting to see what my RPT has to say (he hasn't seen the piano yet, but feels it could be overpriced even in this market). His conclusions might give me some bargaining chips in the negotiations smile
(BTW, a friend and I are also working on the Schubert Fantasy-in fact, we treated the showroom to a runthrough on the aforementioned Steinway...)
_________________________
ec
Long Beach, CA
*********************

Chopin - Nocturne, Op.62, No. 2
Mazurka, Op. 41, No. 1 (C# minor)
Etude, Op. 25, No. 9
Polonaise, Op. 40, No. 2, C minor

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#1948623 - 08/24/12 05:15 PM Re: Please weigh in on price of rebuilt Steinway B... [Re: ec]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3336
Originally Posted By: ec

(BTW, a friend and I are also working on the Schubert Fantasy-in fact, we treated the showroom to a runthrough on the aforementioned Steinway...)


Very nice! I see you are working on 894, too. I learned that for my last M.Mus. recital.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#1948662 - 08/24/12 06:32 PM Re: Please weigh in on price of rebuilt Steinway B... [Re: ec]
Bob Snyder Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/30/08
Posts: 162
Loc: West Coast
EC - I am curious about one thing - and this is a serious question.

What credentials does an RPT have when it comes to appropriate pricing? I would suggest that a qualified technician can at times offer valuable input related to the condition of a piano, or related to future service considerations; but I am curious why a technician is one who is seen by some as one who is an expert on pricing. If the tech rebuilds or repairs pianos that he or she later sells on the open market, then there is some comparative pricing information that might be helpful; if not, I'm really interested in why so many assume that a technician has expertise in the area of pricing.

good luck in your search -
_________________________
Bob Snyder
Senior District Manager
Steinway & Sons

rsnyder@steinway.com
www.steinway.com

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#1948680 - 08/24/12 07:02 PM Re: Please weigh in on price of rebuilt Steinway B... [Re: Bob Snyder]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3336
Originally Posted By: Bob Snyder
EC - I am curious about one thing - and this is a serious question.

What credentials does an RPT have when it comes to appropriate pricing? I would suggest that a qualified technician can at times offer valuable input related to the condition of a piano, or related to future service considerations; but I am curious why a technician is one who is seen by some as one who is an expert on pricing. If the tech rebuilds or repairs pianos that he or she later sells on the open market, then there is some comparative pricing information that might be helpful; if not, I'm really interested in why so many assume that a technician has expertise in the area of pricing.

good luck in your search -


I think this is actually a really good question. Does being a piano technician (RPT or not) inherently make him or her qualified to make an appraisal? I should certainly hope so, but at the same time I think it's a dangerous assumption. As with any skill, like refinishing, tuning, or action work, etc., appraising requires expertise, and unless a technician makes a reasonable effort to stay current with market prices, then he probably isn't qualified. Generally, I think people, including technicians, tend to overvalue pianos, at least with respect to the current economic conditions.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#1948723 - 08/24/12 08:27 PM Re: Please weigh in on price of rebuilt Steinway B... [Re: ec]
Steve Cohen Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10479
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Some techs are well qualified to appraise, but most are not.

Those that are qualified generally have worked extensively for dealers. For them, in the course of business, pricing and values are often discussed.

Most techs haven't a clue.
_________________________
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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#1948727 - 08/24/12 08:53 PM Re: Please weigh in on price of rebuilt Steinway B... [Re: Bob Snyder]
ec Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 78
Loc: Long Beach, CA
Originally Posted By: Bob Snyder
What credentials does an RPT have when it comes to appropriate pricing? I would suggest that a qualified technician can at times offer valuable input related to the condition of a piano, or related to future service considerations; but I am curious why a technician is one who is seen by some as one who is an expert on pricing. good luck in your search -


To everyone concerned that my technician is pricing this piano--he's not. I want him to inspect the piano to (a) verify that everything I was told was done as part of the rebuild was actually done properly, and (b) since he'll be looking after any piano I do buy, to scope out any potential problems. However, as he sees a lot more pianos come and go than I ever will, his opinion about the piano's relative value is of interest to me, just as my duet partner's thoughts on the action and sound are also useful information.
_________________________
ec
Long Beach, CA
*********************

Chopin - Nocturne, Op.62, No. 2
Mazurka, Op. 41, No. 1 (C# minor)
Etude, Op. 25, No. 9
Polonaise, Op. 40, No. 2, C minor

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#1948732 - 08/24/12 09:18 PM Re: Please weigh in on price of rebuilt Steinway B... [Re: ec]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Technicians spend 40 - 60 hours a a week around pianos (and their owners). Does that make them experts in pricing pianos? No. But due to their exposure to people buying and selling pianos, they are likely to have useful comparative information on actual pianos sales, in your area.
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#1948747 - 08/24/12 09:59 PM Re: Please weigh in on price of rebuilt Steinway B... [Re: ec]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1162
Loc: Tennessee

Bob says:
"I would suggest that a qualified technician can at times offer valuable input related to the condition of a piano, or related to future service considerations; but I am curious why a technician is one who is seen by some as one who is an expert on pricing."

Greetings,
What does make one an "expert" on pricing? Being an RPT certainly doesn't. However, being an RPT in one city for decades, watching pianos bought and sold, can make one an expert on pricing. And an RPT will usually have a better understanding of an instruments shortcomings than a dealer. We usually know more than them. As far as telling customer what they can expect to get for their piano, or telling a customer whether they are paying above the market or not, a fair definition of pricing expert is how close your appraisal matches reality.
Being a dealer doesn't magically convey expertise about the market, rather, it conveys expertise about marketing! It is in their interest that the used market be priced as high a possible, but I have seen customers totally confused by the disparity between the dealer appraisal and what they ultimately had to sell for. I think an "expert" appraisal would have been consistently closer to real prices.
Regards,

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#1997723 - 12/11/12 03:35 AM Re: Please weigh in on price of rebuilt Steinway B... [Re: ec]
pianosxxi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/21/08
Posts: 217
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: ec
Update on the partially rebuilt 1974 Steinway B I have my eye on:

I was told:
*the soundboard was in excellent condition and didn't need to be replaced.
*The strings were replaced with new ones.
*I asked whether the pin block and hammers were replaced: yes, new German Renner action parts, incl. Renner blue premium hammers, repetitons, shanks and flanges. The pinblock was in excellent condition so was not replaced with a new one.
*the piano plays and touch feels much better than its original teflon action.

Showroom price was $45,350; I got it down to 42,350, but it's still way over budget. Does that seem high for a rebuild that didn't replace the soundboard and pinblock?
(I've seen listed locally a 1981 B "internally restored" for 39K, a "restored" 1985 B for 43K, and a "beautifully restored" 1982 B for 42K (unsure just what's been done to it), but have not yet seen or played any of these comps. It seems that "rebuilt" and "restored" are bandied about without much consistency. Any thoughts or advice would be much appreciated!


Mr. EC!

Of course only Steinway specialists who work on Steinway can give more precise expert opinion regarding price and condition of the piano, just like Mr. Snyder who has worked many years in the company and would know better than any technician or RPT.

You mentioned that you got $3,000 off the price on that showroom piano. You are aware that a brand new Steinway B valued around $100,000. And you are asking if the price is right, with the soundboard and pinblock not replaced.

I'd like to observe this situation in general. When you get to the high standards of the Steinway, that has been maintained for centuries. You start to realize that most rebuilt pianos are far from Steinway original sound specification.

Ironically you may experience some rebuilt Steinways to sound like Yamaha, Kawai, Bosendorfer or even Hailun, due to poor workmanship.

I understand that in most cases, its the budget that determines the final decision in buying that dream piano. But if you already mentioned that you are looking for Steinway, you have to take a trip to Steinway Hall and experience this beautiful sound of piano, preserved by the Steinway Factory. Once you experience the beauty of a true Steinway, you will make your decision on the spot.
_________________________
Gene Korolev, RPT
President, Master Piano Rebuilder

PIANO SOLUTIONS XXI
Exclusive Piano Restoration, Custom Piano Design and Sales
http://www.pianosxxi.com | http://www.custompianodesign.com
Contact: 818.503.0800

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#1997924 - 12/11/12 02:44 PM Re: Please weigh in on price of rebuilt Steinway B... [Re: ec]
Chopinlover49 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/11
Posts: 639
Loc: NY and NC
With all the other work done on the piano, you didn't mention the strings. Were they replaced? If so, I would think the pinblock would be a candidate for replacement, too. If not replaced, any idea if this is going to be needed soon? I looked at a lot of rebuilt Steinways and usually they did it all. Soundboard, strings, etc. I would consider this work to be more refurbished/rebuilt. Less cost involved so price could be a lower than the usual full rebuild. Fully-rebuilt Steinway B's seem to be in the $50,000-80,000 on the web and in the stores I visited, so maybe the price you were given is ok. However, for that kind of money you might get a really great, newer, piano from a different maker. Are you determined to get a Steinway? Good luck no matter what you decide. The B is definitely a nice piano model.
_________________________
2004 Mason-Hamlin polished ebony BB.
Trying harder and harder to improve my meager skills.

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#1998054 - 12/11/12 08:40 PM Re: Please weigh in on price of rebuilt Steinway B... [Re: Chopinlover49]
ec Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 78
Loc: Long Beach, CA
FWIW, my job took over my life a couple of months ago, so there hasn't been much searching going on crazy
But I am planning to broaden the base, and will be looking at other pianos, including M&H BBs, in the new year.

To be continued...
_________________________
ec
Long Beach, CA
*********************

Chopin - Nocturne, Op.62, No. 2
Mazurka, Op. 41, No. 1 (C# minor)
Etude, Op. 25, No. 9
Polonaise, Op. 40, No. 2, C minor

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