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#2017498 - 01/19/13 07:55 PM Chance to buy a Steinway. Price I should pay?
Ezra Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 66
Loc: New York
Hi all. Still hunting for a piano for our home. Came across an 1890 upright Steinway (48" height). Had it evaluated and comments from tech was as follows:

Action in good condition
Hammers OK but show signs of wear
Tuning pins are tight; will stay in time
Soundboard good condition; one crack but not separated from ribs
Bridges in excellent condition
Keys original, fair condition
Case in fair/good condition

Sooooo - my only real concern is the soundboard issue. Will it get worse? Thoughts?

For $1800, is this a good deal for a first / starter piano for my son who has outgrown his elec keyboard?

One other question - I'm also considering a Weber 1990s with a middle muted/practice pedal. The Steinway doesn't have that, but what are my options to muffle sound if buy it?

Thanks

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#2017514 - 01/19/13 08:28 PM Re: Chance to buy a Steinway. Price I should pay? [Re: Ezra]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19580
Loc: New York City
Unless the piano has had some rebuilding work done on it, I think it would be highly unusual for a 113 year old piano to be in the condition you quoted the tech as saying. Did he say if he thought work had been done on the piano?

Did he say if any work would be needed to put it in decent or, better yet, good playing condition? For example, what's the problem with the keys? If work is required, then you should get an estimate of what it would cost.

How does the piano sound? If it's presently way out of tune I wouldn't buy it just because it's a Steinway. I would have it tuned, and then see if you like it.


Edited by pianoloverus (01/19/13 09:52 PM)

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#2017540 - 01/19/13 09:37 PM Re: Chance to buy a Steinway. Price I should pay? [Re: Ezra]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3360
Less than $1,000.
_________________________
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M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
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#2017542 - 01/19/13 09:38 PM Re: Chance to buy a Steinway. Price I should pay? [Re: Ezra]
Steve Cohen Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10523
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
If it is indeed as described I'd buy it for that price...and re-sell it for more.
_________________________
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My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

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#2017598 - 01/19/13 11:51 PM Re: Chance to buy a Steinway. Price I should pay? [Re: Ezra]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6423
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: Ezra
For $1800, is this a good deal for a first / starter piano for my son who has outgrown his elec keyboard?


Ezra - with all due respect, if your son is really serious about learning to play the piano, why would you buy an un-refurbished antique that is 113 years old??

Quote:
One other question - I'm also considering a Weber 1990s with a middle muted/practice pedal. The Steinway doesn't have that, but what are my options to muffle sound if buy it?


It's my understanding that any upright piano can be fitted with a special "muffler rail" (strip of felt between the hammers and the keys) that is activated by a lever instead of a pedal.
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#2017612 - 01/20/13 12:33 AM Re: Chance to buy a Steinway. Price I should pay? [Re: Ezra]
backto_study_piano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 509
Loc: Australia
Bear in mind that a mute isn't a good move. It changes the tone dramatically. It isn't a good way to practise, if you get used to a muted sound - and have to "belt" it to get some volume, then when you get to play without it, it's a matter of re-learning.

I'm not sure of the accuracy of this next information, but I've heard that the heavier touch used can damage a piano.
_________________________
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#2017701 - 01/20/13 08:02 AM Re: Chance to buy a Steinway. Price I should pay? [Re: Ezra]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12137
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I would keep looking. An old piano like that hasn't been refurbished will most likely need work soon or need to be replaced soon. I think for that money you can get a newer piano that will last you longer.
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#2018146 - 01/21/13 02:32 AM Re: Chance to buy a Steinway. Price I should pay? [Re: Ezra]
musicpassion Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 1082
Loc: California, USA
In your location (NY) I would want some kind of explanation from the tech how a piano this old could possibly be in the good condition he described.

In CA we see some amazingly well-preserved pianos, but an 1890 in that kind of original condition would be a shock even here.
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Pianist and Piano Teacher

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#2018322 - 01/21/13 11:16 AM Re: Chance to buy a Steinway. Price I should pay? [Re: Ezra]
Steven Y. A. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/13
Posts: 291
Loc: Toronto
Ive played 2 Steinway uprights thats about 100 yrs old. they both sound really bad. (mean while a 100 yrs old steinway grand still sound amazing). i would consider a used yamaha/kawai studio upright.
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PLEYEL P124

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#2018443 - 01/21/13 02:07 PM Re: Chance to buy a Steinway. Price I should pay? [Re: Steven Y. A.]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6423
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: Steven Y. A.
i would consider a used yamaha/kawai studio upright.


I think you're moving in the right direction !!!
_________________________
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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#2018476 - 01/21/13 03:28 PM Re: Chance to buy a Steinway. Price I should pay? [Re: Ezra]
ju5t1n-h Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/12
Posts: 179
Loc: Vancouver, British Columbia
A steinway is a great piano, but one this old and being upright I do not think that it is worth it. You could buy a much better piano that is newer and in better shape. Don't buy just because of the name - you wouldn't buy a 100 year old car just because it is a good brand over something newer and more reliable?
_________________________
Essex EUP-123S


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#2018556 - 01/21/13 06:39 PM Re: Chance to buy a Steinway. Price I should pay? [Re: Ezra]
Kurtmen Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 632
Loc: San Mateo, CA
I hope this may help you.
Your approach to purchasing a piano IMO is not going to lead you into anything but to put good money after bad.
If this very same piano was offered to you for $1800 and it had a different name on it; you will think the seller is crazy.

Be objective with you priorities and realistic in your budget.
If your son has shown interest and abilities to play the piano, he needs a piano with good action and tone and most important your support by showing your confidence and commitment to the process.
Think about this: If your kid decided to quit elementary school; you will find the reason and the solution to the situation, you won't just go find something else for him to do in the mornings.
Same with the piano: I don't see why a kid that is motivated to play the piano cannot receive this kind of commitment from the parents and be supported to achieve such a great skill for life.


You already wasted a bit of your son's time by having him practice on the keyboard. If you are considering a piano for $1800 you probably have available about $2300 for this purchase, since you will have to pay delivery and tuning.

You can buy a lightly used or new piano for about $4800.
Take all that money buy a decent instrument and make payments.
There are many alternatives to help your kid learn, you just need to be resourceful and committed.

Best Regards, smile







Edited by Kurtmen (01/21/13 06:42 PM)
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#2018606 - 01/21/13 08:10 PM Re: Chance to buy a Steinway. Price I should pay? [Re: Kurtmen]
Ezra Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 66
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Kurtmen

You already wasted a bit of your son's time by having him practice on the keyboard. If you are considering a piano for $1800 you probably have available about $2300 for this purchase, since you will have to pay delivery and tuning.

You can buy a lightly used or new piano for about $4800.
Take all that money buy a decent instrument and make payments.
There are many alternatives to help your kid learn, you just need to be resourceful and committed.


Thanks for the advice/comments. Only piece I disagree with (and I think others would agree) is about wasting my son's time. Not at all. I had the Yamaha YDP-223 (which is a very fine weighted-graded-simulated-action elec piano) which not only he, but my older girls enjoyed too before moving on to flute (piano was their base instrument to learn some basics of music). Only he has shown serious interest and an ear for music whcih translates easily for him to bang out tunes at the keyboard that he hears in real life, school, etc. Ergo, I'm finally moving up to an acoustic for him.

Apart from that - yes. I'm ditching the idea of getting the Steinway klunker. I'll end up with a nice Knabe or Kawai, I believe. Thanks.

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#2018653 - 01/21/13 09:58 PM Re: Chance to buy a Steinway. Price I should pay? [Re: Ezra]
ruiomichlet Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/21/13
Posts: 6
it is indeed as described I'd buy it for that price
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#2018670 - 01/21/13 10:40 PM Re: Chance to buy a Steinway. Price I should pay? [Re: Ezra]
RickG1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/09/10
Posts: 306
Loc: TX
Ezra, you have made the right decision. :-)
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