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#2055625 - 03/28/13 11:22 AM Buying a Rebuilt Piano
novicesearcher Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/27/13
Posts: 9
Loc: PA
My son & wife play piano; I do not. Not being able to afford a new Steinway, we've looked into buying a rebuilt piano. Our RPT schooled us for hours on what to look for, & I've devoured Larry Fine's book and other books for guidance. We've visited a number of individual, family-run, & national firms to compare workmanship. We're very impressed with the work done by Lindeblad Piano (Pine Brook, NJ). We thoroughly examined a number of pianos they've rebuilt, & the work appears to be stellar (compared to many other restorer's & rebuilder's work we've seen). All Steinways listed below will be rebuilt with new Steinway parts. The Knabe & the Mason & Hamlin will be rebuilt with top-of-the-line parts. We have narrowed our choices to:
1904 Steinway O African Mahogany $27,500
1908 Steinway O Polished Ebony $25,800
1913 Mason & Hamlin A 5' 8" $24,500

Another rebuilder (Zeiner, Allentown, PA) has a 1916 Knabe Grand 5' 8" Tiger Mahogany, price to be determined.

I guess what I want to know is, if my wife & son are satisfied with the sound & feel of each piano, which piano is most likely to hold up in value over time. If you had a choice of several cars, and they all performed relatively close to each other, wouldn't you purchase the one that would most likely hold up in value over time? If so, which car, or in this instance which piano, would you buy. I believe each of these pianos is an excellent instrument, but which will most likely hold up in value over time? Does this make sense? My son & wife will determine the best piano piano(s) musically, but I need to examine the choices from an investment standpoint, or should I not me concerned about that? Thanks for your help.. Thanks
_________________________
J

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#2055637 - 03/28/13 11:39 AM Re: Buying a Rebuilt Piano [Re: novicesearcher]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19097
Loc: New York City
deleted


Edited by pianoloverus (03/28/13 04:09 PM)

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#2055668 - 03/28/13 12:53 PM Re: Buying a Rebuilt Piano [Re: novicesearcher]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1463
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
The "New Steinway Parts" selling point is no simple question. Steinway has changed the location of the knuckle on the hammer shank and thus reduced the action leverage. This means new Steinway parts will change the performance characteristics of a rebuild from original intent.

There are many improved methods and materials that can be employed when rebuilding a fine grand can that will produce results that exceed what any new manufacturer presently offers such as:
Scaling problems can be improved with the new "Hybrid" wire protocols.

Tone regulation procedures are now known that produce the most dynamic range, fastest most controllable touch, and most durable hammers and action possible.

String termination elements can be shaped to the most ideal configurations.

Bridge pin patterns adjusted so as to reduce any weakness caused by crowded pins. And treble speaking lengths can be adjusted to correct for the manufacturing errors of any given piano.

The point I am trying to make is that manufacturers are not significantly moving the state of the art forward or most pianists would think that new pianos perform better than well rebuilt old ones.

Some of the most improved pianos available on the market today are rebuilt ones with improved design, assembly protocols, and new materials.

The Composite hammershank from W,N&G is significantly better than the wood parts for an example of new materials.

My own patent pending invention the "Fully Tempered Duplex Scale" offers a more warm. dynamic sustained and even treble tone than the previous state of the art.

There is also the point that the finest rebuilders of fine grands can produce workmanship for a more uniformly high level of performance. Things like calculating the treble strike line in a way that compensates for the casting variables that affect treble tone.

This type of experience, attention to detail and skill does not come cheap. The market has shown that rebuilders can do this level of work at a cost still well below the admission price to a fine new grand. Rebuilds like this cost about 55% to 75% of what a new Steinway would cost.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2055697 - 03/28/13 01:53 PM Re: Buying a Rebuilt Piano [Re: novicesearcher]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: novicesearcher
.... All Steinways listed below will be rebuilt with new Steinway parts. The Knabe & the Mason & Hamlin will be rebuilt with top-of-the-line parts. We have narrowed our choices to:....
I understand this to mean that you would be committing to buying a piano before its restoration.

After the rebuild, you may love the piano or you may not. You will not know until after the money is spent.

I say: let them rebuild the piano, then go in and look and play and listen. If you like it - then buy. I know someone who bought a piano to be restored "on spec". The outcome was only a good one for the restorer.

If you go for this kind of option, you need to protect your interests - the agreement must have an exit clause for you in case the piano does not live up to your expectations, or the rebuild takes unreasonably too long, or lots of other things. Think long and hard about this.
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#2055722 - 03/28/13 02:32 PM Re: Buying a Rebuilt Piano [Re: Supply]
musicpassion Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 787
Loc: California, USA
Originally Posted By: Supply
I understand this to mean that you would be committing to buying a piano before its restoration.

After the rebuild, you may love the piano or you may not. You will not know until after the money is spent.


I don't like the sound of that either. There are only very limited circumstances where I would be willing to purchase a piano in that manner. The one scenerio I can think of is if I have a very high level of trust in the rebuilder such that I know he stands behind his work to the extent that he would redo whatever is neccessary to make it right. And I would want to have played the piano in it's orginal state so I can get a feel for the instrument. Are these instruments playable as they sit or not?

To answer your question: pianos aren't investments. They all loose money. Perhaps the Steinway name recognition helps it retain more value.

I know this probably isn't the supportive answer you were hoping for. But at that price and the conditions they are trying to sell you the instrument it just doesn't feel good to me. Rebuilt instruments by a master rebuilder can be significantly better than new, but they don't come that cheap.
_________________________
Pianist and Piano Teacher

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#2055733 - 03/28/13 02:50 PM Re: Buying a Rebuilt Piano [Re: novicesearcher]
terminaldegree Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 2555
Loc: western Wisconsin
Originally Posted By: novicesearcher
My son & wife play piano; I do not. Not being able to afford a new Steinway, we've looked into buying a rebuilt piano. Our RPT schooled us for hours on what to look for, & I've devoured Larry Fine's book and other books for guidance. We've visited a number of individual, family-run, & national firms to compare workmanship. We're very impressed with the work done by Lindeblad Piano (Pine Brook, NJ). We thoroughly examined a number of pianos they've rebuilt, & the work appears to be stellar (compared to many other restorer's & rebuilder's work we've seen). All Steinways listed below will be rebuilt with new Steinway parts. The Knabe & the Mason & Hamlin will be rebuilt with top-of-the-line parts.


Welcome to the forum. I've not played a rebuild from this shop, so I can't comment on their work. If you're in the northeast, know that you have many choices available to you in terms of rebuild shops and technicians who are competent rebuilders.

It appears by the way you have written that you are considering putting money down on a piano that's not rebuilt yet in the hopes that it will turn out well. I don't know that I'd be comfortable doing that with an easy-to-find model for personal use like the pianos you mention, particularly if you are picky about the result sounding/feeling a certain way. I prefer to play and shop pianos that are already finished pieces.

As has been mentioned here before, there is no unified definition of "rebuilt" - so what exactly is proposed for these pianos? Strings, bridges, pinblock, soundboard, action, back action, keysticks, case finish, lyre, other stuff? A quality rebuild that addresses all of these areas would probably be in excess of the prices you mention, though not every rebuild requires all areas to be replaced.
_________________________
Pianist, teacher, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Casio px-200, Bechstein A190 #192939 @ home
Steinway A #585209, B #416809 @ work
Schimmel 130T #339100, on loan

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#2055764 - 03/28/13 04:07 PM Re: Buying a Rebuilt Piano [Re: novicesearcher]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19097
Loc: New York City
I don't see any major advantage/reason of buying a rebuilt piano before it's finished, but I do agree with the possible disadvantage mentioned in several other posts.

Maybe the only reason I can find for buying a piano before it's rebuilt would be that one wanted a particular case style that was not easily available and a rebuilder had an unrebuilt piano with that style.

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#2055843 - 03/28/13 07:05 PM Re: Buying a Rebuilt Piano [Re: novicesearcher]
Miguel Rey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 227
I prefer buying a refurbished older piano over newer 70's+ any day. Can't go wrong with either the O or the A if rebuilt properly, you may find the A even though smaller could have a bigger sound then the O. But more then anything make sure to check pricing, the Mason seems pretty high same for the O's. The Knabe if similar size should be much less, if not half in cost. Do some shopping on the net and locally
_________________________
Bechstein B c1905


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#2055890 - 03/28/13 09:34 PM Re: Buying a Rebuilt Piano [Re: novicesearcher]
Rich Galassini Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 8975
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Welcome to the forum!

I encourage you to pause and think a moment.

Considering a "production rebuild" may present an adequate quality. If you are not tremendously particular then it really doesn't matter if you play the piano. Choose the size you like and the wood you like and move on.

However, the action of a piano is a complicated thing. Replacing parts with "new Steinway parts" is easy. Seeing that each note possesses the exact proportions of hammer weight, hammer leverage, key balancing weight, and frictional resistance is not.

This does not happen by accident and takes a substantial amount of extra time, analysis, and investment, but the result is undeniably different.

This is true for each of the major components in an instrument that must be reconstructed to result in an artistic restoration.

Think about this for a bit before making a rash decision. Speak to a rebuilder who does this type of restoration. Ask questions. Play pianos.

Good luck,
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Get Cunningham Piano Email Updates

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#2055898 - 03/28/13 10:06 PM Re: Buying a Rebuilt Piano [Re: novicesearcher]
novicesearcher Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/27/13
Posts: 9
Loc: PA
Thanks Jurgen Goering & “Pianist, teacher, internet addict. Piano Review Editor”. With Lindeblad Piano, you commit to approximately 1/3 down before the restoration work is started. Once complete, you pay for the balance. However, their written policy states “We're confident that when a piano we've restored arrives at your home, you'll fall in love with it. But we also appreciate that it can feel like a big risk to choose and buy a piano when you're too far away to visit our showroom.
We are happy to give you 30 days from the delivery day to change your mind. If your piano arrives and you notice something amiss, let us know immediately and we'll work to find the remedy to the problem and leave you delighted. If that's not possible, and you're certain you find the piano disappointing, then we'll return you the full purchase price and have our piano movers come back to pick up the piano.
In addition, we always offer 100% trade-in value on the pianos we sell. This offer stands for the life of your piano. At any time, you can trade your piano in to us and we'll apply your entire purchase price to your choice of another piano from our inventory.”
As to the 1904 Steinway O African Mahogany @ $27,500 this piano will be restored with the following work:
• New sitka spruce soundboard and bridges
• Rebronzed harp
• New Steinway pin block
• New agraffes
• New strings & new tuning pins
• New Steinway action (wippens, shanks, flanges, hammers)
• New key bushings
• New keybed felts
• New damper felts and new damper guide rail bushings
• Reconditioned damper underlever system
• Rebuilt pedal and trap system with new felts and leathers
• New Steinway backchecks
• All action parts are meticulously regulated & hammers voiced
• Cabinet and bench refinished in a hand rubbed lacquer finish
• Hardware Nickel plated
• New keytops
As to the 1908 Steinway O Polished Ebony @$25,800, this piano will be restored with the following work:
• New sitka spruce soundboard and bridges
• Rebronzed harp
• New Steinway pin block
• New agraffes
• New strings & new tuning pins
• New Steinway action (wippens, shanks, flanges, hammers)
• New key bushings
• New keybed felts
• New damper felts and new damper guide rail bushings
• Reconditioned damper underlever system
• Rebuilt pedal and trap system with new felts and leathers
• New Steinway backchecks
• All action parts are meticulously regulated & hammers voiced
• Cabinet and bench refinished in a hand rubbed lacquer finish
• Hardware Nickel plated
• New keytops
Finally, with the 1913 Mason & Hamlin A 5' 8" @ $24,500, this piano will be completely restored with the following work:
• rebronzed harp
• refinished soundboard with decal
• new pin block
• new strings & new tuning pins
• new Renner action (shanks, flanges, hammers)
• new back checks
• new key bushings
• new keybed felts
• new damper felts and new damper guide rail bushings
• damper underlever system reconditioned
• pedal and trap system rebuilt
• All action parts meticulously regulated & hammers voiced
• Cabinet and bench refinished in a hand rubbed lacquer finish of your choice
• Brass plated hardware
• Ivories sanded and polished
• Sharps refinished
I hope this helps. John
_________________________
J

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#2055911 - 03/28/13 10:30 PM Re: Buying a Rebuilt Piano [Re: novicesearcher]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1463
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Lindblads reputation for excellent looking rebuilds is well established. Your concern about any piano you buy retaining it's value is relevant.

For a rebuilt Steinway or Mason & Hamlin, the importance of how well it plays and how rich and dynamic the tone is play a pivotal role in resale value. If your used Steinway or Mason & Hamlin perform like an artist expects-and the price is competitive-history has shown there always seems to be a pianist who will buy it.

I have never played one of their rebuilds, and I don't know about their attention to technical detail, but if you noted my earlier comments they might help you investigate these elements.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2055974 - 03/29/13 12:49 AM Re: Buying a Rebuilt Piano [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
novicesearcher Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/27/13
Posts: 9
Loc: PA
Thanks, you're right it will come down to my son's & wife's belief about the sound & feel of the piano. We'll have our card-carrying RPT check any rebuilt out before we'd settle on it. When you check out Lindeblad's rating reviews via Google maps, they have all excellent ratings; the Better Business Bureau has them listed as an A+ business. Thanks for your input. Greatly appreciated. John
_________________________
J

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#2056094 - 03/29/13 09:06 AM Re: Buying a Rebuilt Piano [Re: novicesearcher]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 6063
Loc: Rochester MN
Hi John - Welcome to Piano World!

Reading your thread, you seem to be on a dedicated hunt for an instrument of the highest quality. Excellent! I have the opportunity to play an extensive assortment of pianos, both new and rebuilt, at many different dealerships and re-building shops. However, I have yet to play the rebuilds from Lindeblad, though they are certainly well known.

I noticed your location and wondered if you have had the opportunity to visit Cunningham Piano Co. in Philadelphia? It is a large dealership, carying a fine assortment of new, used, and re-built pianos. Their re-building shop is absolutely first rate. It would definately be worth a trip.

Good luck in your search and I look forward to hearing about how it progresses.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2056125 - 03/29/13 09:57 AM Re: Buying a Rebuilt Piano [Re: novicesearcher]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19097
Loc: New York City
Novicesercher- Why not purchase an already rebuilt piano from Lindeblad if you like their work? It seems like you're close enough to visit them, and I assume they must have some already rebuilt Steinways and Masons in the sizes you're interested in ?

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#2056197 - 03/29/13 11:51 AM Re: Buying a Rebuilt Piano [Re: novicesearcher]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2371
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Welcome to PW, John!

As others have said here, I advise against buying a piano that has not yet been rebuilt, for exactly the same reasons already stated; you just don;t know what you'll end up with, and pianos are inconsistent by nature and subjectively appreciated.

That being said, I'm going to echo Marty's advice and suggest you visit Cunningham. As a point of perspective, IIRC, when Steinway got out of the rebuilding business, they began referring people to Cunningham to have their Steinways rebuilt and to buy rebuilt pianos. I have yet to hear of a single customer who was unhappy with a piano they got from Cunningham.
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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#2056225 - 03/29/13 12:34 PM Re: Buying a Rebuilt Piano [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1252
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
The "New Steinway Parts" selling point is no simple question. Steinway has changed the location of the knuckle on the hammer shank and thus reduced the action leverage. This means new Steinway parts will change the performance characteristics of a rebuild from original intent.


I just went through the "Steinway parts" topic with a customer. Steinway's own rebuilding center website expresses the most conservative perspective "If it doesn't have all 12000 parts from Steinway it is a 'Steinwas'"

This mentality is demonstrably superficial at several levels. The main point is that people who value piano performance recognize that there are components and procedures not originating from S&S that produce superior results. There is no question that the composite parts from WN&G fall into that category. Steinway pinblocks are more prone to failure than, say, Falconwood. And the Wapin bridge modification will produce a superior tone than a piano with an unmodified bridge.
Beyond that there are design flaws in some S&S models that can be corrected -- like the location of the bridge in the model "M", for example. Isaac hammers use the same felt that S&S uses but their construction eliminates the use of lacquer to build tone. Lacquer is a short-term solution that creates long-term tonal problems.

There are many flowers in the garden. You might find it worthwhile to speak with a rebuilder knowledgeable of a broader selection of options.
_________________________
Keith Akins, RPT
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

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#2056531 - 03/29/13 10:00 PM Re: Buying a Rebuilt Piano [Re: novicesearcher]
novicesearcher Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/27/13
Posts: 9
Loc: PA
Thanks all.
kpembrook, I agree with your comments, but it seems every person we spoke to who was a licensed Steinway rep felt that "If it doesn't have all 12000 parts from Steinway it is a 'Steinway'" The 3 reps we spoke to at 2 different shops on three different occasions truly believed Steinway has no peer - almost arrogant about it! And yes, this mentality is superficial, at best, at several levels. All three reps also believed a rebuilt piano could never play as well as a new piano. Poppycock I say! I'm not dissing Steinway. We loved the Steinways we played. I'm just saying that although these folks might not recognize it, there sure are a lot of great other names out there, and a lot of great rebuilt pianos.
OperaTenor, Minnesota Marty, and Rich Galassini - We did visit Cunningham, and although all the people we met at both their showroom & their restoration center were very friendly & conscientious, in the end we were more impressed with the workmanship from Lindeblad. Lindeblad Piano Restoration has been a family business since 1920, and we loved how we were treated, their absolute passion for early pianos, and their knowledge of the history & workmanship of early pianos. For that reason we have tended toward them
_________________________
J

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#2056559 - 03/29/13 10:43 PM Re: Buying a Rebuilt Piano [Re: novicesearcher]
terminaldegree Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 2555
Loc: western Wisconsin
That's all well and good, but it still leaves you purchasing a piano that isn't done yet based on the promise it will turn out well. For personal use (particularly with commonly rebuilt models like these), I don't know that I'd be willing to take such a risk. Don't they have finished pianos you could select instead within your budget?

I was just having a conversation today with the sales manager of a multi-state dealership, and this topic came up in conversation. We thought that it is possible to find rebuilt pianos that play as well as new ones, and in rare cases, even better than new. However, we also agreed that the level of variability in the success of rebuilt pianos seems to be greater than new factory production, even from well-respected rebuilders/facilities.
_________________________
Pianist, teacher, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Casio px-200, Bechstein A190 #192939 @ home
Steinway A #585209, B #416809 @ work
Schimmel 130T #339100, on loan

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#2056597 - 03/30/13 12:00 AM Re: Buying a Rebuilt Piano [Re: novicesearcher]
Joey Calderazzo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/13
Posts: 29
I had a recent rebuild done by Lindeblad.I kept the piano for only 4 days and traded up to a new Schimmel k 189.My reasons for trading were wanting a bigger piano and a "new one"...I will say that they did a great job.I had a very skilled technician go over the piano and he agreed that the work was very good.I was not thrilled with the action of the piano,but that could have been regulated to my liking..Lindeblad did everything they said they would do.THey were wonderful people to deal with..The problem was that it was an M and I really needed something bigger..I did all my research after the fact..The M looked brand new,amazing for a piano that was built in 1917..I would endorse Lindeblad in a second..wonderful people..for whatever its worth,the folks at Cunningham are very good as well.I have heard nothing but great things about the pianos they rebuild..I have heard the same for Faust-Harrison..

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#2056728 - 03/30/13 08:33 AM Re: Buying a Rebuilt Piano [Re: novicesearcher]
Dave B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1730
Loc: Philadelphia area
Novice, I think starting from the premiss, "...they all perform relatively close to each other.," may not be the path to the piano your looking for.

Like cars, each brand has unique design features and performance qualities. But unlike cars, each piano is very unique. No two are alike.

Your fortunate to live in an area that has very good restorers. I can only recommend taking advantage of this by maintaining a larger search pattern.

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#2056734 - 03/30/13 08:50 AM Re: Buying a Rebuilt Piano [Re: novicesearcher]
joe80 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 952
Steinways are selling their business. It's in their interest to say that it's no longer a Steinway if it doesn't have the Steinway parts in it. They will say they don't recognize it as a Steinway piano, it's now a 'Lindeblad' for instance.

This, of course, is hogwash because there is more to it than that!

In the UK there is one workshop in particular, that does soundboard replacement, and they specialised in Bluthner pianos. Bluthner used them for all their rebuilds and soundboard replacements. I think that Steinway in the UK could save a bit of cash and have an advantage by allowing them to replace soundboards for them too. They could train them up at the factory in Hamburg if they wanted to. But that would possibly take away some of the mystique...

This particular workshop rebuilt a Yamaha concert grand that had been in an accident - either flood or dropped, can't remember which. When the Yamaha rep saw and heard the piano afterwards, he wanted to know how they managed to make it sound better than a new Yamaha, but the secret was never revealed.....

My guess is that there are advantages in having Steinway rebuild for you, but there are other advantages in having an independent firm do the work - a firm that isn't scared to make improvements over the original piano to improve stability and sustain, for instance.

With rebuilds, it's very much a matter of liking or not liking the individual piano, anyway. Whether Steinway rebuilt it or someone else.

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#2056900 - 03/30/13 02:15 PM Re: Buying a Rebuilt Piano [Re: Dave B]
novicesearcher Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/27/13
Posts: 9
Loc: PA
Yes, a bad way for me to phrase it. What I was really trying to get at is if I assign a value to each component of buying a piano, I may find 3 or 4 or 5pianos who scores are relatively close. Sticking with the car analogy, some car get better gas mileage, some hug the road better, some have better pick-up, some have a better repair record, some cost $16,000, some cost $250,000, etc. If you assign a value to all the components, you may come up with a handful of cars that meet your budget considerations or constraints. Even though their total scores may be similar, you probably will pick the car that has the highest weight to whichever component is most important to you. So in this instance, if the component scores were similar, and the sounds, although not all alike, were satisfactory to those playing, I was looking for guidance as to what then might be the best bang for the buck. I hope this makes some sense.
_________________________
J

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#2056902 - 03/30/13 02:27 PM Re: Buying a Rebuilt Piano [Re: Joey Calderazzo]
novicesearcher Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/27/13
Posts: 9
Loc: PA
Thanks. we are fortunate that we have a lot of talented restorers in our area. I don't want anyone to think I was dissing Cunningham, or any other restorer of vintage pianos. They all did fine work. It's just in the end, we liked the total experience with Lindeblad. They use tight-grain, hard rock maple in a 5-ply quarter-sawn pinblock Bolduc. They use Diamond Tuning Pins from Klinke of Germany. They install both Sitka spruce & eastern white spruce soundboards. The Sitka Spruce come from the state of Washington from Northwest Specialty Woods, with the growth rings very close together. They use German Steinway (Renner), New York Steinway & Helmut Abel parts in the action. You may be able to get better parts, but maybe not for the price of what we're looking at. Finally. as I said, when the piano is finished, and if we're not satisfied, we can either get another piano, or our money back! That's a deal that's hard to beat. John
_________________________
J

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#2056910 - 03/30/13 02:33 PM Re: Buying a Rebuilt Piano [Re: novicesearcher]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 6063
Loc: Rochester MN
Sounds like you have made up your mind.

Let us know the results.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2056915 - 03/30/13 02:47 PM Re: Buying a Rebuilt Piano [Re: novicesearcher]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 13965
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
Our RPT schooled us for hours on what to look for, & I've devoured Larry Fine's book and other books for guidance.


Sounds like you've done some good reading.

But it doesn't replace "playing"

The rebuilder may be fine and the result of his work may also be fine.

But the outcome in the end doesn't allow you a 'comparative basis' to other pianos - which may also be fine.

What counts is what really matters to you.

For some your approach works - for others it doesn't.

Comparing product on market for same or similar price has become the "must do" for anybody I know.

If not done, make sure you're not doing the "comparing" or "shopping around" after your piano will be at home.

You don't look at pretty girls after the vows are made...

Norbert wink
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#2056936 - 03/30/13 03:25 PM Re: Buying a Rebuilt Piano [Re: Norbert]
novicesearcher Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/27/13
Posts: 9
Loc: PA
Thanks, my wife & son are the ones who play - I can't. If we were buying a new piano, or one already rebuilt & in the showroom, it might be a lot easier to compare since they could play & pick, but we, for a variety of reasons, decided not to go that route. We decided to have one rebuilt from a large selection of available vintage stock. So if you couldn't play a piano, let alone a single note, and someone asked your opinion on which piano to rebuild & buy, you'd need to do a lot of research into how a piano is made, how they're rebuilt, who is a reputable and excellent rebuilder & how to examine their work vis-a-vis others' work. That's where I am since I can't play. I can play the checkbook, but not the piano. John
_________________________
J

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#2056950 - 03/30/13 04:03 PM Re: Buying a Rebuilt Piano [Re: novicesearcher]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 6063
Loc: Rochester MN
John,

As you admit, you are not in a position to evaluate a piano. You can examine it visually, but you are without the musical experience, as a pianist, to evaluate it as an instrument.

There is so much more than just a bunch of parts. I sense that your appraisal is more as a piece of furniture or as an appliance, or selecting one from column A and one from column B.

You have asked for opinions and a number of us have shared our thoughts. The consensus is a recommendation to purchase a piano which has already been rebuilt. Since you have made your decision, there is nothing more to add.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2056998 - 03/30/13 05:59 PM Re: Buying a Rebuilt Piano [Re: Minnesota Marty]
novicesearcher Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/27/13
Posts: 9
Loc: PA
Thanks
_________________________
J

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#2057006 - 03/30/13 06:11 PM Re: Buying a Rebuilt Piano [Re: Minnesota Marty]
novicesearcher Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/27/13
Posts: 9
Loc: PA
I guess it would have been easier if I had said at the beginning with the pianos I first mentioned (and add a 1927 Steinway L), if they were presented to you in an un-rebuilt state, and you knew the piano restorer had an excellent reputation and used excellent parts, and you were allowed to take any of those pianos knowing if once rebuilt you didn't like it you could exchange it for any of the other pianos mentioned (or get your money back), which piano would you have started with to start the rebuild process/project? John
_________________________
J

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#2057145 - 03/30/13 11:40 PM Re: Buying a Rebuilt Piano [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Rich Galassini Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 8975
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty

You have asked for opinions and a number of us have shared our thoughts. The consensus is a recommendation to purchase a piano which has already been rebuilt. Since you have made your decision, there is nothing more to add.


To John (the OP),

I think Marty sums up the entire thread.

I was frankly a little hurt when I learned that you had visited us (Cunningham Piano) but decided to go elsewhere. We work very hard to go above and beyond what is expected in this field. We've sent our staff all over the world to learn our craft, we do all of our work in-house, and serve major universities and name artists.

I feel better now knowing how you are making your decision. I mean no disrespect by that, but pianists don't make decisions that way. Parts used are only one measure of a piano - just as two chefs can have very different results from the same list of ingredients.

I personally wish you the best in your piano adventure. If you ever have questions for me or if you feel you received treatment that was less than exemplary from Cunningham Piano, I would truly like to know about it. Feel free to email me directly or call my direct line below.

Good luck to you!
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Get Cunningham Piano Email Updates

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