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#2194228 - 12/07/13 09:49 PM A6 Mason & Hamlin Baby Grand (5' 8") - $4500
Paul678 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/13/13
Posts: 462
Here it is:

http://tucson.craigslist.org/msg/4233015155.html

"A6 Mason & Hamlin Mahogany wood Baby Grand Piano. Pictures speak for themselves. Serious enquiries only. Piano has been in family since new. Priced to go to a new owner, once appraised at over 20K.Refinished Piano & bench in original color. Piano has had the Soundboard refinished, refinished plate, replaced felt and buffing hardware. Replace strings, replace pinstock, replace tuning pins, replace dampers, replace hammers replaced keytops, check action. Replace caster wheels. Finished November 2005. RESTORED BY RENNER PIANO Service in Houston Texas. This piano was built in 1887, its S/N is 3550. This piano first home was in astabula Ohio from the early 1900to 1998. Was then moved to southern California, from from 1998-2004. Then moved and restored in Houston TX, in 2004. Shipped in early part of 2006 to Tucson AZ to present time. No one has played this piano and no one in my imediate family plays. Dont get me wrong this piano does need work its over a 100 plus years old. THIS PIANO (S/N 3550)FULLY RESTORED would sells for over $40k. The sound is good, Great deal if you know piano. Dont waste my time please. 5 two 0 8 two 0 five 899 $4500 IF THIS AD IS POSTED_IT'S STILL AVAILABLE. Will not answer text or e-mails. CALLS ONLY!!!!"


So I call him and he claims it was built in 1887, and in his family since 1926.

Tuned every December.

Very minor cracks in soundboard, as it was originally
in the East coast. What I forgot to ask him, was if
all the restoration work was done in 2005, then why
would the piano still "need work"?

Will hopefully take pics and play it tomorrow morning.



Edited by Paul678 (12/07/13 09:54 PM)

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#2194254 - 12/07/13 10:31 PM Re: A6 Mason & Hamlin Baby Grand (5' 8") - $4500 [Re: Paul678]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21394
Loc: Oakland
The piano is much newer. Mason & Hamlin did not start using pin blocks and tuning pins until the late 1890s.
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Semipro Tech

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#2194278 - 12/07/13 11:05 PM Re: A6 Mason & Hamlin Baby Grand (5' 8") - $4500 [Re: Paul678]
Gary Fowler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/27/13
Posts: 375
Pay a reliable technician to look it over first. It may be a decent piano for the price
_________________________
Making the world a better sounding place, one piano at a time...

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#2194324 - 12/08/13 12:54 AM Re: A6 Mason & Hamlin Baby Grand (5' 8") - $4500 [Re: Paul678]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2380
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Paul, I like the Hume better. It has more going for it, and it's a better price.
_________________________
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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#2194337 - 12/08/13 01:20 AM Re: A6 Mason & Hamlin Baby Grand (5' 8") - $4500 [Re: OperaTenor]
Paul678 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/13/13
Posts: 462
Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
Paul, I like the Hume better. It has more going for it, and it's a better price.



Well, I called the lady with the Hume, but she
never called back...but her ad is still up, so
maybe she was just busy.

But hopefully I'll be able to take a look at this M&H
tomorrow....

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#2194785 - 12/08/13 11:28 PM Re: A6 Mason & Hamlin Baby Grand (5' 8") - $4500 [Re: Paul678]
AZ_Astro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/12
Posts: 455
Loc: Tempe, Arizona
Paul678:

Just a quick note.

I noticed that M&H when it was first posted almost a year ago. There was a pic on the original Craigslist posting. As I recall it looked clean and very playable!

I don't remember what the starting offered price was, but I would guess that it was around $6000 at first, and the price was dropped to $4000 eventually. Then the posting with the pic disappeared. And the remaining posting now has the price at $4500. So maybe there is some flexibility there.

I was tempted to go see the piano but in the end sanity prevailed ( I already have a piano. ) But an M&H!

If you go see it, please post your findings. Good luck with your hunt.



Edited by AZ_Astro (12/08/13 11:28 PM)
_________________________
Kawai KG-5. Korg SP-250. Software pianos: Ivory II, Ravenscroft, Galaxy Vintage D, Alicia's Keys, et al.


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#2194826 - 12/09/13 02:05 AM Re: A6 Mason & Hamlin Baby Grand (5' 8") - $4500 [Re: AZ_Astro]
Paul678 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/13/13
Posts: 462
Originally Posted By: AZ_Astro
Paul678:

Just a quick note.

I noticed that M&H when it was first posted almost a year ago. There was a pic on the original Craigslist posting. As I recall it looked clean and very playable!

I don't remember what the starting offered price was, but I would guess that it was around $6000 at first, and the price was dropped to $4000 eventually. Then the posting with the pic disappeared. And the remaining posting now has the price at $4500. So maybe there is some flexibility there.

I was tempted to go see the piano but in the end sanity prevailed ( I already have a piano. ) But an M&H!

If you go see it, please post your findings. Good luck with your hunt.



Wow, almost an entire YEAR ago? Must really be
a buyer's market then, like they have said.

But wonder why he took the pic off?

Anyways, i may check this out tomorrow sometime....

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#2195217 - 12/09/13 06:28 PM Re: A6 Mason & Hamlin Baby Grand (5' 8") - $4500 [Re: Paul678]
AZ_Astro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/12
Posts: 455
Loc: Tempe, Arizona
I have been avidly watching Craigslist in the Phoenix area for the past year. .

If I had to guess, I'd say it was first posted in February. But I don't remember exactly.

Yes, I think it's a buyer's market for sure! I ended up with an older 6'8" Kawai KG-5 for a little more than what that Mason would cost you. The Mason might be a better deal but the age raises an eyebrow.

I wouldn't make too much of the picture being gone. But I think the posting was more attractive when it had the pic with it.

I would love to hear how your visit turns out and I hope the Mason is all you hope for.

If it checks out for you, you should perhaps schedule a tech to go give it the once over.



Edited by AZ_Astro (12/09/13 06:29 PM)
_________________________
Kawai KG-5. Korg SP-250. Software pianos: Ivory II, Ravenscroft, Galaxy Vintage D, Alicia's Keys, et al.


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#2195236 - 12/09/13 06:56 PM Re: A6 Mason & Hamlin Baby Grand (5' 8") - $4500 [Re: Paul678]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19263
Loc: New York City
Anything is possible, but I certainly wouldn't trust an ad with so much nonsense in it.

"Once appraised for", who cares what the piano is worth completely are built, no length given for the piano(or is A6 a typo for A 6'), picture worth a thousand words with no picture, purchased by a family where no one plays, tons of rebuilding done that would normally make the piano much more valuable if done recently or done well, etc.

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#2195267 - 12/09/13 07:46 PM Re: A6 Mason & Hamlin Baby Grand (5' 8") - $4500 [Re: pianoloverus]
Paul678 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/13/13
Posts: 462
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Anything is possible, but I certainly wouldn't trust an ad with so much nonsense in it.

"Once appraised for", who cares what the piano is worth completely are built, no length given for the piano(or is A6 a typo for A 6'), picture worth a thousand words with no picture, purchased by a family where no one plays, tons of rebuilding done that would normally make the piano much more valuable if done recently or done well, etc.


Yes, it's funny he says: "Dont get me wrong this piano does need work its over a 100 plus years old," after talking about all the restoration work done just 8 years ago. I asked him about this, and he wasn't really clear about what he meant.

Jesus, I thought looking for a house was difficult!

It's not that I haven't found damn good pianos, it's just that I found quite a few of them, all with different tones and action, and they are all around $14,000 or so.

So it's quite difficult to choose, as it really forces you as a player to finally be conscious of: "what do I like/want"?

Not as simple a question as I would like.....

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#2195268 - 12/09/13 07:49 PM Re: A6 Mason & Hamlin Baby Grand (5' 8") - $4500 [Re: Paul678]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21394
Loc: Oakland
You have to look at it to see what it is. A6 could mean that it is a model A with a version 6 plate. I do not know what the various numbers after the plate designation mean, but they are on old Mason & Hamlin pianos. Mine is an A3.

You always have to verify by looking at the piano, no matter what it is, even if there are photos. I recommend looking at any used piano you are considering before calling in a technician. After all, why spend the money if you do not like the piano?
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2195278 - 12/09/13 08:08 PM Re: A6 Mason & Hamlin Baby Grand (5' 8") - $4500 [Re: Paul678]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2380
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
[broken record] I'd like to get my hands on that Hume... [/broken record]

laugh
_________________________
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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#2195468 - 12/10/13 08:42 AM Re: A6 Mason & Hamlin Baby Grand (5' 8") - $4500 [Re: OperaTenor]
Craig Hair Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/03/11
Posts: 160
Loc: Holyoke, MA
It really would be a fitting piano for you. It is a veteran of the stage, and the case is pure Mikado. Get it.

I would assert that these Humes are one of the best New England pianos to be found. In conception they seem to have a Mason treble with a Steinway bass, and the extra thick rim of a Mason.
_________________________
Craig Hair
Hampshire Piano
Holyoke, MA

hampshirepiano.co
soundboardrecrown.com

Either do something worth the writing,
or write something worth the reading.
S. Clemens

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#2195480 - 12/10/13 09:55 AM Re: A6 Mason & Hamlin Baby Grand (5' 8") - $4500 [Re: Paul678]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2380
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Craig wins...
_________________________
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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#2195851 - 12/11/13 01:13 AM Re: A6 Mason & Hamlin Baby Grand (5' 8") - $4500 [Re: OperaTenor]
Paul678 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/13/13
Posts: 462
Well, just took a look at this one, and....

It's almost like a new piano! Totally rebuilt, it
was hard to see which parts were built in 1887. New
strings, new hammers, seemed almost new everything.
The refinished plate was painted as part of the rebuild, and
really makes the piano appear new.

The soundboard was about the only thing that looked
it's age:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/drslick/sets/72157638568484836/

I'm not really sure what the guy meant when he said
it still needs work. It almost felt like a brand new
piano!

Only issues: the soundboard had quite a few cracks, but
the tone was still awesome. There was also a weird
"click" that would happen as I depressed the keys below
middle C, but they would stop if the lowest bass note
was depressed down, and the click stopped temporarily when the owner fiddled with the wood lining the keybed, so
hopefully it's something minor that I can fix. Also,
spacing between the keys was a bit funky (see pic).
Additionally, the octave above the middle octave seemed
a bit too bright, but I know that can be voiced out.

Other than that, this was the first under $5k piano that
really knocked my socks off. It plays like a new
piano, and the tone was great.

I'm still tempted to offer him $4k, because he's had it that low apparently....


Edited by Paul678 (12/11/13 05:46 AM)

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#2195860 - 12/11/13 02:21 AM Re: A6 Mason & Hamlin Baby Grand (5' 8") - $4500 [Re: Paul678]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21394
Loc: Oakland
None of the parts were made in 1887. That is a newer model. It might be from the 1920s. If the serial number were 3550x, that would date from 1928, which would be a possibility. During that period, the action brackets had protuberances on the top with a hole in them, where the brackets that held the hammer rail on player pianos hinged. Other things that might date it would be whether the brace for the music desk is the triple hinged version which is screwed both to the desk and the brace on the back of the desk frame, the number which is under the keybed, which will be greater than, but close to the serial number it originally had, and the most definitive, although you would have no way of getting to it, the date of the action will be penciled under the hammer rail.

The problem with the clicking is probably a warped keyframe, which could be flattened fairly easily. So it looks like a pretty good deal for the price.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2196116 - 12/11/13 02:19 PM Re: A6 Mason & Hamlin Baby Grand (5' 8") - $4500 [Re: BDB]
Paul678 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/13/13
Posts: 462
Originally Posted By: BDB
None of the parts were made in 1887. That is a newer model. It might be from the 1920s. If the serial number were 3550x, that would date from 1928, which would be a possibility. During that period, the action brackets had protuberances on the top with a hole in them, where the brackets that held the hammer rail on player pianos hinged. Other things that might date it would be whether the brace for the music desk is the triple hinged version which is screwed both to the desk and the brace on the back of the desk frame, the number which is under the keybed, which will be greater than, but close to the serial number it originally had, and the most definitive, although you would have no way of getting to it, the date of the action will be penciled under the hammer rail.

The problem with the clicking is probably a warped keyframe, which could be flattened fairly easily. So it looks like a pretty good deal for the price.


He claims it was in his family since 1926, so
even if it's from the 1920's, it still doesn't show
it's age at all. Even the exterior wood was refinished and
looks almost newish. This piano looks like it
was babied. It was also in tune! Phenomenal
for a used piano.

I'm not quite sure why the owner restored this piano
in the first place: no one in his family plays except
for his brother (who doesn't live with him), but he does come from a music-loving family, and he does love to sing, so I guess that could be why. If I heard him correctly, he
said the complete restoration done in 2005 was about $8000. Does that sound about right?

Anyone else have any thoughts on this one?


Edited by Paul678 (12/11/13 02:21 PM)

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#2196126 - 12/11/13 02:39 PM Re: A6 Mason & Hamlin Baby Grand (5' 8") - $4500 [Re: Paul678]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21394
Loc: Oakland
If it were 33550, that would be 1926, which would agree with the story. The best date would be under the hammer rail, but you cannot get to that.

If you are happy with the piano, get a tech to look at it. That may give you a better idea, but no matter what, it sounds like a good deal for you.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2196128 - 12/11/13 02:39 PM Re: A6 Mason & Hamlin Baby Grand (5' 8") - $4500 [Re: Paul678]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19263
Loc: New York City
My thoughts are that you should only trust evaluations by experienced techs in this forum and a tech you hire to evaluate the piano. Very few non techs(certainly including myself here) know enough to evaluate a piano without taking a big risk. Based on your opening post I'm not certain you have the experience to evaluate the piano.

Of course, it's a big plus that you like the piano so much but maybe it's only good compared to some of really bad ones you've seen. If all that rebuilding work was done and done well at one point, why is it so inexpensive? Just be cautious. Whether the piano is a great find, a dud, or something in between it's worth spending $100-200 for a careful evaluation.

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#2196153 - 12/11/13 03:32 PM Re: A6 Mason & Hamlin Baby Grand (5' 8") - $4500 [Re: Paul678]
Miguel Rey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 288
Great piano and deal if it checks out. Masons are super solid piano and this 5'8" has a much larger sound then most if not all pianos under 6'. As mentioned take a tech with you & bring your checkbook just in case the tech checks off on it. Also may want to verify with the restorer what was done.
_________________________
Bechstein B c1905


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#2196155 - 12/11/13 03:36 PM Re: A6 Mason & Hamlin Baby Grand (5' 8") - $4500 [Re: pianoloverus]
Paul678 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/13/13
Posts: 462
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
My thoughts are that you should only trust evaluations by experienced techs in this forum and a tech you hire to evaluate the piano. Very few non techs(certainly including myself here) know enough to evaluate a piano without taking a big risk. Based on your opening post I'm not certain you have the experience to evaluate the piano.

Of course, it's a big plus that you like the piano so much but maybe it's only good compared to some of really bad ones you've seen. If all that rebuilding work was done and done well at one point, why is it so inexpensive? Just be cautious. Whether the piano is a great find, a dud, or something in between it's worth spending $100-200 for a careful evaluation.


Well, I'm definitely not a piano tech, so I know
I should pay someone to look at this.

But I know a good piano when I play one, and this
one is fantastic. I checked for any cracks in the bridge, and couldn't find any. He was honest about how long his piano was on the market, so I believe him when he claims he tunes it once a year around x-mas. So I know the piano holds a tune, because it was due for a tuning, but was still in decent tune. The felt on the hammers was practically new, barely played. I checked for excess wiggle or "play" in the keys, and they were solid.

My guess is that the multiple
cracks in the sound board might scare some people
away, and additionally, the market for acoustic
pianos has apparently gone down, so perhaps this
is why he's priced it pretty low.


Edited by Paul678 (12/11/13 04:18 PM)

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#2196159 - 12/11/13 03:43 PM Re: A6 Mason & Hamlin Baby Grand (5' 8") - $4500 [Re: Miguel Rey]
Paul678 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/13/13
Posts: 462
Originally Posted By: Miguel Rey
Great piano and deal if it checks out. Masons are super solid piano and this 5'8" has a much larger sound then most if not all pianos under 6'. As mentioned take a tech with you & bring your checkbook just in case the tech checks off on it. Also may want to verify with the restorer what was done.


So it's best to do a private piano transaction with a check,
just so you have a record? But I would still have to
wait for the check to clear.

Isn't it better to show up at the same time as the movers,
with cash in hand? Or is that a bad way to do it?

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#2196256 - 12/11/13 07:29 PM Re: A6 Mason & Hamlin Baby Grand (5' 8") - $4500 [Re: Paul678]
AZ_Astro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/12
Posts: 455
Loc: Tempe, Arizona
Wow - it sounds very promising and I'm delighted to hear that the tone appealed to you. The price seems incredible.

When I bought my Kawai grand, I carried cash when I went with the movers. But going with the tech makes better sense to me and you could nail it down at that point, too.
_________________________
Kawai KG-5. Korg SP-250. Software pianos: Ivory II, Ravenscroft, Galaxy Vintage D, Alicia's Keys, et al.


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#2196271 - 12/11/13 08:16 PM Re: A6 Mason & Hamlin Baby Grand (5' 8") - $4500 [Re: Paul678]
dynamobt Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 661
Loc: NH
Been following along. Sounds like you found a piano you like very much. That's wonderful. Hope your technician gives it the thumbs up! It really is a beauty. Wishing you the best as things move along.
_________________________
1918 Mason & Hamlin BB





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#2196563 - 12/12/13 01:45 PM Re: A6 Mason & Hamlin Baby Grand (5' 8") - $4500 [Re: Paul678]
SMHaley Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/13
Posts: 547
Loc: Seattle
I would try to negotiate it down a bit. Its a shame that with the restringing didn't also come some shimming of the sound board... even be it just cosmetic. Its a trade off I suppose if there isn't any extraneous noise in the board. Personally I would prefer the key tops to have been a little better fit between the sharps. Seems a bit excessive in space... also leveling and squaring. New hammers and damper felts, thats good. The rest of the action (shanks, flanges, bushings, etc.) really should be carefully looked at. Yes get a tech to be meticulous. This strikes me as "restoration" where only what really needed to be fixed was done so, and clean it up to sell it. Could be a decent instrument, but yes, I would suspect that while it is likely adequate that more could be done.
_________________________
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Pipe Organ Builder
Practitioner of piano technology
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Baldwin F 1960 (146256)
Zuckermann Flemish Single

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#2197215 - 12/13/13 07:35 PM Re: A6 Mason & Hamlin Baby Grand (5' 8") - $4500 [Re: SMHaley]
Paul678 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/13/13
Posts: 462
Uh oh....I might have scared the seller away!

I left him a voice mail and a text, asking him if
he could send me contact info of the last tuner
who tuned his piano, and I haven't heard back
from him. And today I left him a message to
simply call me.

Boy, I hope he doesn't doesn't blow me off because
I'm making him work too hard, or because I'm asking
too many questions. I was also thinking he may still
have this piano after a year of putting it up for
sale, because sub-consciously he actually DOESN'T
want to sell it, because it's been in his family
since 1926! If he does call me, perhaps it would
be risky to offer $4k...he might get pissed off
and just ignore me from then on.

Oh well, if this deal falls through, I'll just
buy a fixer-upper for dirt cheap off Craig's, so
I'll have something more than the Reblitz book
and Youtube videos to look at. In fact, I was
planning to buy this Mason and Hamlin just for playing,
but also getting a beater piano as well to practice tuning
and repairs on , as I wouldn't want to risk ruining the M&H.

But DAMN, this piano was awesome to play! Oh well..... frown

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#2197221 - 12/13/13 07:50 PM Re: A6 Mason & Hamlin Baby Grand (5' 8") - $4500 [Re: Paul678]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21394
Loc: Oakland
I hope it all will work out for you with patience.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2197249 - 12/13/13 09:18 PM Re: A6 Mason & Hamlin Baby Grand (5' 8") - $4500 [Re: BDB]
Paul678 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/13/13
Posts: 462
Originally Posted By: BDB
I hope it all will work out for you with patience.


Patience isn't my strong point. smirk

But there is hope! The guy just called!
The guy who tuned his piano last is out of town, but
will be back soon, and he'll get contact info to me.

And while I had him on the phone, I asked him why
he plunked $8,000 into restoring a piano if no one in
his immediate family plays. His answer was for his
two boys, whom he thought might be interested in playing,
but so far have shown no interest.

He also mentioned that the last offer was somewhere
around $3,800 (or somewhere in the $3k range), which
he declined.

So perhaps he'd also decline $4,000?

I want to be careful not to offend him....

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#2197391 - 12/14/13 09:02 AM Re: A6 Mason & Hamlin Baby Grand (5' 8") - $4500 [Re: Paul678]
Eric Gloo Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 1228
Loc: Richfield Springs, New York
You can simply ask him, "Is $4500 a firm price?" Then, you'll know. smile
_________________________
Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
Certified Dampp-Chaser Installer
Richfield Springs, New York

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#2197423 - 12/14/13 10:27 AM Re: A6 Mason & Hamlin Baby Grand (5' 8") - $4500 [Re: Eric Gloo]
Paul678 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/13/13
Posts: 462
Originally Posted By: Eric Gloo
You can simply ask him, "Is $4500 a firm price?" Then, you'll know. smile



I asked him that, and he said the price was
negotiable.

But at the same time, he also complained about the
last offer ($3800, he believes it was), and said
that the guy, "wanted something for nothing".

So I'm hoping $4000 won't offend him, and he'll
come back at me with something like $4250, and meet
me in the middle somewhere.

I just don't want to [censored] him off...I'M LUSTING FOR THIS
PIANO! grin

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Schubert 4-hands
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CLP 585 - CS 10 - LX 15e
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Is this normal?: Technician left many bridle straps ripped
by pianoboy22
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Practicing Jumps and Speed
by Xari
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Too ashamed of lack of progress to go back for lessons
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