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#2071102 - 04/25/13 11:44 PM Is This Possible?
Almaviva Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 842
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
A friend has approached me for advice. He's in his late 30's, and used to play the piano when he was a kid, but hasn't touched a piano in over 20 years. He has a young son who has shown an interest in taking up the instrument, and he would like to take it up again himself. He wants to purchase a grand piano in the 6'-7' length range, and he has a budget of $25,000.

I know that there are new consumer-grade and intermediate-grade "parlor grands" that can be purchased at that price. However, I am curious if there are used/pre-owned/whatever PERFORMANCE-GRADE grands that can be purchased for $25,000 or less.

I am not talking about a broken-down "fixer-upper" piano. The instrument would have to be fully functional. It might need tuning, voicing, regulation, maybe some new hammers, but that's it.


Is my friend wasting his time, or can one realistically hope to obtain a performance-grade used 6'-7' grand piano for under 25 grand? (Pardon the pun.)

What say you?

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#2071111 - 04/25/13 11:59 PM Re: Is This Possible? [Re: Almaviva]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3475
Are you kidding? Of course you can! And it shouldn't be difficult, either. Now, you won't be able to get a good Steinway B for that, but a 7' Baldwin is totally doable.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#2071112 - 04/26/13 12:01 AM Re: Is This Possible? [Re: Almaviva]
Guapo Gabacho Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/23/11
Posts: 499
Loc: Rio Grande Valley of Texas
I had no problem finding a tier 1 piano for WAY LESS than $25K. Just read the PB to see what was tops 25 years ago and shop for one.
_________________________
'86 Baldwin SF-10

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#2071294 - 04/26/13 08:05 AM Re: Is This Possible? [Re: Guapo Gabacho]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12974
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Guapo Gabacho
I had no problem finding a tier 1 piano for WAY LESS than $25K. Just read the PB to see what was tops 25 years ago and shop for one.


Chances are something 25 years old in this price range would need work, however.

You may want to look into Hailun pianos. You can get a decent sized one in that price range brand new, and they are highly rated.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher FT



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#2071309 - 04/26/13 08:45 AM Re: Is This Possible? [Re: Almaviva]
Chopinlover49 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/11
Posts: 643
There are many performance quality pianos in the 10-15 year old category that may be almost like new and in this price range, but it takes some looking around and anything found should be checked by a technician before purchasing. It can actually be fun looking.

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#2071322 - 04/26/13 09:05 AM Re: Is This Possible? [Re: Guapo Gabacho]
Almaviva Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 842
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Originally Posted By: Guapo Gabacho
I had no problem finding a tier 1 piano for WAY LESS than $25K. Just read the PB to see what was tops 25 years ago and shop for one.


Thanks, Guapo. Is "PB" short for "Piano Book", or short for "Piano Buyer"?

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#2071363 - 04/26/13 10:00 AM Re: Is This Possible? [Re: Almaviva]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Almaviva,

It really doesn't matter as "Piano Book" was first published in 2001. Twenty five years ago, the great European brands were virtually unknown in the US. However, the finest builders 25 years ago are the same as they are today. The newcommers in the pack are Fazioli, Charles Walter, Shigeru Kawai and Estonia. The Chinese builders were totally unheard of and the quality of Yamaha and Kawai was not like it is today.

You mentioned "parlor grands." Is that a reference to the Cunningham "Parlour" at 5'10"? If so, that is a very beautiful sounding piano and for new instruments, in the price range you mentioned, I consider it to be the best of the bunch.

In the current market, Baldwins from that era have popped up as being very fine pianos at a great price.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2071391 - 04/26/13 10:48 AM Re: Is This Possible? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Nick Mauel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/05/08
Posts: 801
Loc: Sarasota and Naples, FL
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Almaviva,

It really doesn't matter as "Piano Book" was first published in 2001. Twenty five years ago, the great European brands were virtually unknown in the US. However, the finest builders 25 years ago are the same as they are today. The newcommers in the pack are Fazioli, Charles Walter, Shigeru Kawai and Estonia. The Chinese builders were totally unheard of and the quality of Yamaha and Kawai was not like it is today.


Correction: "The Piano Book" by Larry Fine was first published in 1987.

At that time (25+ years ago), the great European brands were not at all 'virtually unknown' in the US.

Also by that time, the quality of Yamaha and Kawai was about the same as it is today.

Thanks,

Nick
_________________________
Nick's Piano Showroom
Naples, Fort Myers, & Sarasota, FL
New Estonia, Mason & Hamlin, Baldwin, Brodmann & Ritmuller
239-206-4541 direct line
www.nickspiano.com

Concert Piano Technician, Dealer, and Pianist

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#2071396 - 04/26/13 10:53 AM Re: Is This Possible? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Almaviva Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 842
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
You mentioned "parlor grands." Is that a reference to the Cunningham "Parlour" at 5'10"? If so, that is a very beautiful sounding piano and for new instruments, in the price range you mentioned, I consider it to be the best of the bunch.


Thanks for the advice, Marty. I was referring to "parlor grand" in the generic sense, i.e. a grand piano between 6' and 7' in length.

You mentioned Cunningham Piano. I believe Cunningham modifies Hailun pianos. I was wondering - since Hailun is not a "Tier 1" piano, how good can a modified Hailun be? (Rich, if you want to contribute, please do so! wink

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#2071410 - 04/26/13 11:09 AM Re: Is This Possible? [Re: Almaviva]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Hi Nick,

You are right about the publication date - my bad!

However, in the USA, the great European builders were just coming on the radar screen. We have come a long way since, and much of our awareness is due to Larry Fine's books. Unless talking to a piano geek, Steingraeber or Sauter would draw a blank stare. Bosendorfer was the exception.

I totally disagree about Kawai and Yamaha. In 1988 they were decent, but not nearly the pianos they have become. They have evolved considerably.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2071419 - 04/26/13 11:19 AM Re: Is This Possible? [Re: Almaviva]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Almaviva,

The Cunningham isn't a modified Hailun, it is a totally different design, by Frank Emerson and based on the original Cunninghams, and built by Hailun. To my ear, it is totally different than its cousins and far surpasses them.

You are correct, it is not a "Tier 1" piano. However, at its price point, it offers lots of bang for the buck.

But, back to your original question, it is certainly possible to find a performance grade instrument in that price range. The trade off is that it would be an aging instrument and could very well need considerable maintenance in the near future.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2071449 - 04/26/13 11:38 AM Re: Is This Possible? [Re: Almaviva]
Nick Mauel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/05/08
Posts: 801
Loc: Sarasota and Naples, FL
Marty,

It is possible to make the case that in certain aspects, Japanese pianos are not as well constructed (some models) now as they were in the late 1980's.

Some even say they 'peaked' in the 90's for sure. Now of course there have been some fluff innovations since then, but I am talking about the core build.

A primary reasoning for this is that in the 1980's there was competition coming on strong from Korea, and the Japanese makers had to tighten their belts for sure!

Since that time, more cheaper models have been introduced to remain competitive than the opposite, and manufacturing moved to places like Indonesia and China. Made in Japan is not as much as what it used to be.
_________________________
Nick's Piano Showroom
Naples, Fort Myers, & Sarasota, FL
New Estonia, Mason & Hamlin, Baldwin, Brodmann & Ritmuller
239-206-4541 direct line
www.nickspiano.com

Concert Piano Technician, Dealer, and Pianist

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#2072184 - 04/27/13 02:52 PM Re: Is This Possible? [Re: Almaviva]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1510
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
Hi Alma,

Just out of curiosity, have you looked on eBay for a good piano yet? All the dealers, many private parties, and most of the larger rebuilders list their pianos for sale there.

Prices have come down so much in the market as a whole, and even on Tier 1 instruments, that I think you could find something in the 6'-7' range for that price easily. And with some life left in it!
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/greg-dempster/34/325/6b9/ (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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