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#2086238 - 05/21/13 12:52 PM Lester Baby Grands are available.
DashanDad Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/15/13
Posts: 79
Loc: Iowa
I like the idea of the older vintage pianos and some of the Lester pianos I’ve heard sound great. I’m finding them available used for prices ranging from $800 in unknown but visibly good condition to just under 10K for recently rebuilt and like new. Average price for average condition seems to e between $1k and $2.5K. I think I’d like to find one from early to mid 20’s – 30’s.

Of course none of the ones I’m finding advertised are close enough to just run over and look at. With that range of possible pricing it seems like there is ample space to pay for some work (that which I can’t do myself) plus moving and come out in good shape?

What would one expect to pay for moving a piano from another state and how would it be arranged? Is this even advisable? For instance the advert I saw for one at $800 stating it was in fine condition but they are moving and cant’ take it, I’m thinking if I just bought it sight unseen there is enough room in the value to pay for restringing if necessary, that regulating that I’m not comfortable to do and possibly minor sound board work. But then it all seems too good to be true.

How would someone go about finding a deal on a baby grand of some measure of quality (preferably American made)? Either you need to pay for Piano bluebook prices or I’m not finding the right page. But I’d think it will come down to the difference between the asking price and the various listed prices given condition and the cost to get to that condition.
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#2086247 - 05/21/13 01:12 PM Re: Lester Baby Grands are available. [Re: DashanDad]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3560
>I think I’d like to find one from early to mid 20’s – 30’s.

That's far beyond the standard deprecation table that stops at 70years with 33% of value for a "better" quality of that age.

I expect that a totally original will not have any value left practically , probably everything is worn out and needs perplacing. Maybe it has historical value at that point but I doubt it, it seems just not old enough for that.

If restored, the value then totally depends on the quality of the restoration.


Edited by wouter79 (05/21/13 01:13 PM)
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#2086269 - 05/21/13 01:52 PM Re: Lester Baby Grands are available. [Re: DashanDad]
Nash. Piano Rescue Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 386
Loc: East Nashville,TN Scottsville...
The value after being restored has nothing to do with the restoration at all seemingly in todays market. I see this time and time again where people buy a restored piano from someone for lets just say 12 grand. Well it cost them about that to do the restoration if not 3 times as much. You can say such "n" such blue book says this and it will only be worth what another party is willing to pay. Otherwise you will be sitting on it forever if you plan on selling later. Insurance will be difficult to obtain for the restored value unless you can document historical records on it, like J Edgar Hoover ate peanut butter sandwiches on it, things like that.

If it is something you just want to play and keep then great but if you are looking for something that will be worth to restore or worth money later you will need to find you something that has retained value over the years. EG Mason Hamlin,Knabe, Steinway, Bosendorfer, Yamaha etc but they will be harder to find and more initial investment.

My experience has told me that people that can afford a low end Yamaha or Kawai will buy those but for the less expensive cheaper grands even if they have had the mechanicals repaired the pricing still needs to be kept less than what one of those newer instruments cost. So the moral is even restored your Lester may not bring any buyers when they can get something else with a better resale value and reputation.

Just my two cents
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#2086297 - 05/21/13 02:36 PM Re: Lester Baby Grands are available. [Re: DashanDad]
Steve Cohen Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10494
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
With our piano business originated in Philly, I've seen dozens of Lester grands. None were worth a complete rebuilding. Almost all were not worth a complete action job and restringing which they all need.
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Since 1937.

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My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

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#2086425 - 05/21/13 07:36 PM Re: Lester Baby Grands are available. [Re: DashanDad]
Dave B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1973
Loc: Philadelphia area
Lester made a decent grand piano. If I remember correctly, they made one in the 5' range and a larger one in the 6' range. The ~ 6' grand is worth taking a close look at if your willing to do some work on it.

Lester did make a few 9' concert grands. A very interesting and rare find.

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#2086453 - 05/21/13 09:20 PM Re: Lester Baby Grands are available. [Re: Dave B]
Karl Watson Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/11
Posts: 354
Funny you should mention Lester concert grands.

When I was a student at the National Music Camp (Interlochen) '63 & '64, there was a big, walnut, Lester concert grand in one of the lesser venues (it was called The Shed). I remember it like it was yesterday as I'd never before seen a piano with two lid props.

I played it in concert at least twice. It was not a memorable instrument, at least to a thirteen year old !

Didn't they make a grand, similar to an S&S A that is rather well regarded ?

Karl Watson
Staten Island, NY

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#2086460 - 05/21/13 09:29 PM Re: Lester Baby Grands are available. [Re: DashanDad]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
If you are interested in a Lester older baby grand, my neighbor is considering selling hers. I could ask her and give you the serial number. My tech tuned and serviced it a few years ago. Certainly have a reputable tech thoroughly check any piano over for you before buying....
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#2091076 - 05/29/13 01:39 AM Re: Lester Baby Grands are available. [Re: DashanDad]
Gary Fowler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/27/13
Posts: 375
A Lester will always be a Lester
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