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#316917 - 04/27/08 08:21 AM Buying a Brand New Steinway S or M - Can I Negotiate?
AJS Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/08
Posts: 27
Loc: Chicago
Hi everyone - HELP!? I have recently been in the market for buying a brand new Steinway grand, Models S (5'1") or M (5'7"). I know that a longer piano clearly resonates a bolder sound, but unfortunately I am somewhat bound by price, too. While I play, and love to play, this piano needs to be a quality instrument that will be enjoyed by my family for generations to come, i.e., I am not a Cliburn medalist lol.

The salesperson at the store told me that there is typically NO NEGOTIATING ON STEINWAY GRANDS' prices.

Can someone out there confirm from experience if this is true? I find it so hard to believe!

I'm interested in Mason & Hamlin as well, and understand that M&H may be more willing to negotiate.

I don't know - I've never paid list price for anything with as large a ticket as this - and wanted to see if other people have had this experience, and could share.

Thanks!
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"The purpose of art is to illuminate the human condition."

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#316918 - 04/27/08 09:08 AM Re: Buying a Brand New Steinway S or M - Can I Negotiate?
Stevester Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/03
Posts: 2851
Loc: New Jersey
I would also start a thread "Buying A New Grand In Chicago". This should help you locate dealers willing to deal.

I think you shoudl broaden your search. There is also a recent thread regarding M&H actual sales pricing so look at that as well. I also like Steinway but for the money it would be a good idea to look at everything available and visit every dealer you can.

Have fun,
Steve
_________________________
"The true character of a man can be determined by witnessing what he does when no one is watching".

anon

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#316919 - 04/27/08 09:15 AM Re: Buying a Brand New Steinway S or M - Can I Negotiate?
AJS Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/08
Posts: 27
Loc: Chicago
Thanks Steve - I'll start it right now.
_________________________
"The purpose of art is to illuminate the human condition."

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#316920 - 04/27/08 10:11 AM Re: Buying a Brand New Steinway S or M - Can I Negotiate?
Kenny Blankenship Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/05
Posts: 659
Loc: Northeast
Hey el cheapo, If you are looking for a Steinway, ante up! Mason dealers are also starting to tighten the reins. The costs of flooring these instruments and associated expenses of the sales force (I need gas for my vet) means the consumers wanting them should be able to afford them. Sure shop around but is 3 or 4 k really going to make a difference to a high roller like you?
_________________________
Kenny Blankenship
Selling anything anyone will buy as the "Walmartizisation of the industry continues. (Still making a fair living and still having clients like me)

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#316921 - 04/27/08 10:57 AM Re: Buying a Brand New Steinway S or M - Can I Negotiate?
Furtwangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 1540
Loc: Danville, California
AJS

For the price of a Steinway M you can get a Mason BB and have lots of change left over!

Go see the Mason dealer Kurt Saphir Pianos in Wilmette. They not only have great instruments, but they have fair prices and no "phony baloney".

Good luck.

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#316922 - 04/27/08 11:10 AM Re: Buying a Brand New Steinway S or M - Can I Negotiate?
BlahBlahBlahh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/19/08
Posts: 44
Loc: New York, New York
AJS - Steinway pianos are not negotiable at Steinway-owned shorwroms. I believe (from memory, so it can be a little off) that the new S is currently retailing for approx. $43,500 and the new M is retailing for approx. $50,600. Prices from independent dealers may vary somewhat. Since Steinway does not have showrooms in Chicago, your dealer is an independent dealer, so do keep this factor in mind.

Steinway-owned showrooms always have very new pre-owned ones that are traded-in's, pianos that come back from festival loans, or rebuilt ones, etc. These usually are sold at about 10% discount compared with the new ones. So if you can make a trip to the NY area, you can check out the Steinway-owned showrooms in NYC, NJ and CT and perhaps make your selection this way. These showrooms are not that far from one another since they are all located in the NYC metropolitan area. May make sense to call ahead to get an idea what the current inventory is.

Steinway-owned showrooms also have sales on pre-owned pianos (same type, trade-in's, loaner returns, rebuilts, etc.) every year where they gather a bigger selection of these pianos in one place. But this also requires you to be in the area.

Not a bad thing if you and your family spend a few days in the NY area to shop for a piano and maybe catch a Broadway show, etc. \:D

Good luck in your search and please keep us posted regarding your progress.

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#316923 - 04/27/08 11:20 AM Re: Buying a Brand New Steinway S or M - Can I Negotiate?
AJB Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/05
Posts: 3655
Loc: Surrey, England
Don't believe the Steinway's are not negotiable hype. Dealers would say that. The US economy is recessionary and you are in a buyer's market. Use it.
_________________________
S&S Hamburg D, Yamaha CLP 280


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#316924 - 04/27/08 02:44 PM Re: Buying a Brand New Steinway S or M - Can I Negotiate?
AJS Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/08
Posts: 27
Loc: Chicago
Thank you all - this has been very helpful to me so far. Yes even to you, Mr. Blankenship.
_________________________
"The purpose of art is to illuminate the human condition."

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#316925 - 04/27/08 02:56 PM Re: Buying a Brand New Steinway S or M - Can I Negotiate?
Craigen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/05
Posts: 1815
Loc: West Coast
Many new Steinway buyers report being able to get prices at 90% of the true S&S MSRP. At the right time and in the right place and with the right salesperson and with the direct right approach I truly believe you can get the piano you want for even less. Dealers are encouraged to hold the line, but many get hungry from time to time.
_________________________
Piano Technician, member Piano Technicians Guild.

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#316926 - 04/27/08 03:25 PM Re: Buying a Brand New Steinway S or M - Can I Negotiate?
BruceD Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18227
Loc: Victoria, BC
 Quote:
Originally posted by AJS:
Hi everyone - HELP!? I have recently been in the market for buying a brand new Steinway grand, Models S (5'1") or M (5'7"). I know that a longer piano clearly resonates a bolder sound, but unfortunately I am somewhat bound by price, too. [/b]
If you are new to the piano market - and I don't know for sure that you are - you should be aware that your first two statements are somewhat of a contradiction. If you are "somewhat bound" by price, then perhaps you should not be looking at Steinway. In those sizes (S: 5'1" at approx. $42,000.00 and M: 5'7" at approx. $48,000.00), there are better pianos for less money.

I have nothing against Steinway, but a 5'1" piano - no matter who makes it - is simply not a "good" musician's instrument from the standpoint of scale design and, hence, tone quality, regardless of other construction features.

Why would you then limit yourself to Steinway?

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#316927 - 04/27/08 03:35 PM Re: Buying a Brand New Steinway S or M - Can I Negotiate?
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19590
Loc: New York City
I would avoid an S. Because of its size, most find it very limited tonally. And Kenny is right, if money is a consideration you should strongly consider Mason & Hamlin, assuming you like the tone.

You can get a Mason AA(6'4")for less than an S or a BB(7')for less than an M. Or you can get a Mason A for a lot less than an S.

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#316928 - 04/27/08 03:37 PM Re: Buying a Brand New Steinway S or M - Can I Negotiate?
Rank Piano Amateur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/07
Posts: 1791
Greetings! To the best of my knowledge and belief, Steinways prices are indeed negotiable. If they are not, wait for a sale at the nearest Steinway dealer--yes, they do go on sale, with regularity.

However, for the price of a Steinway, you should be looking at Mason & Hamlin pianos (which I personally prefer to Steinways), Estonias, and other high end brands. If you prefer the Steinway at the end of your search process, so be it, but you might find that you like another piano better, and can pay less for more piano, than if you were getting a Steinway.

In any event, your decision to get a Steinway should, at least in my view, come at the end of your search process, not at the beginning. A lot of people love the Mason BB. . . .seven feet of glorious sound for less than the prices quoted for the smaller Steinways.

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#316929 - 04/27/08 05:34 PM Re: Buying a Brand New Steinway S or M - Can I Negotiate?
tickler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 376
Loc: Chicagoland
Blahblahblah wrote:
 Quote:
Since Steinway does not have showrooms in Chicago, your dealer is an independent dealer, so do keep this factor in mind.
Not true. There is a real Steinway dealer and showroom in the Chicago suburbs. From the lake, it's about 45 minutes West on the Eisenhower, then I-88.

Steinway of Chicago
1205-A Butterfield Road
Downers Grove IL, 60515
(630) 512-9200
(800) 660-1683


Mary
_________________________
Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears from the eyes of woman. -- Beethoven
1911 Steinway A-II (2007 Rebuild)

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#316930 - 04/27/08 05:51 PM Re: Buying a Brand New Steinway S or M - Can I Negotiate?
BlahBlahBlahh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/19/08
Posts: 44
Loc: New York, New York
Mary -- according to Steinway's website, there are only 4 Steinway-owned showrooms in the U.S. - in NY, NJ, CT and FL. The one in Chicago is an independet dealer and not Steinway-owned. Perhaps I was not clear in my post, but see the link http://www.steinway.com/steinway_sites.shtml

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#316931 - 04/27/08 06:00 PM Re: Buying a Brand New Steinway S or M - Can I Negotiate?
AJS Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/08
Posts: 27
Loc: Chicago
Hi all - like I've said in my other thread...I'm still at the beginning of this process...and am open to a variety of brands...I guess when I was looking at the price angle of this process, and heard the dealer may not have been willing to negotiate, I was just surprised is all.

I've played other brands, and will be looking at M&H next, followed by Schimmel and Kawai.

Give me a chance - I'll get back to you guys after I've looked at a few more brands.

This has all been very helpful though - I appreciate the replies from you all.
_________________________
"The purpose of art is to illuminate the human condition."

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#316932 - 04/27/08 06:07 PM Re: Buying a Brand New Steinway S or M - Can I Negotiate?
Stevester Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/03
Posts: 2851
Loc: New Jersey
Just keep in mind some dealers just won't deal regardless of the brands they carry. It is best to be open minded regarding choices if at all possible. The PW mantra - "visit every dealer you can and play every piano you can get your hands on".

Have fun.
_________________________
"The true character of a man can be determined by witnessing what he does when no one is watching".

anon

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#316933 - 04/27/08 06:13 PM Re: Buying a Brand New Steinway S or M - Can I Negotiate?
JSC0324 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/09/04
Posts: 200
Loc: Grandvaux, VD Switzerland
AJS: I was in a situation exactly like you in 2004. Once I played a M&H, I never even looked back at the Steinway. I love my BB. There are lots of other great ones to consider, but unless you crave a particular Steinway, tone or action, the value equation for the Steinway simply does not play out. Good Luck!

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#316934 - 04/27/08 10:30 PM Re: Buying a Brand New Steinway S or M - Can I Negotiate?
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1500
AJS,

The price at Steinway of Chicago varies from one sales man to another. Don't deal with the older guys overthere, their prices are very high. They are experience salesmen. They know how rip people off. There is one very young guy overthere. I am not sure with his name, I think Brad something. Deal with him, he eagers to sell so his price can easily 5K lower than the older sharks.

I have tried so many pianos, unfortunately, I only like the tone of Steinway.

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#316935 - 04/28/08 01:14 AM Re: Buying a Brand New Steinway S or M - Can I Negotiate?
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
If you're set on going the Steinway route and don't want to ante up full retail,search out for a low milage preowned one that is maybe 5-10 years new for near half of retail. If you're paying much precedence on a Steinway 5 year warranty,don't ;\)
_________________________
www.pastperfectpiano.com
Largest selection in the USA
100+Steinway and M&H grands
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Hailun dlr.818-255-3145
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#316936 - 04/28/08 02:28 AM Re: Buying a Brand New Steinway S or M - Can I Negotiate?
AJB Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/05
Posts: 3655
Loc: Surrey, England
Pianobroker - are you committing heresy here? Are you suggesting that new Steinway's rather than being an "investment" actually depreciate! By near 50% within 5 - 10 years?

Oddly enough that is exactly my observation too.

The new Steinway dealers will be after your blood.
_________________________
S&S Hamburg D, Yamaha CLP 280


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#316937 - 04/28/08 05:13 AM Re: Buying a Brand New Steinway S or M - Can I Negotiate?
Bear 1 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/06
Posts: 1348
Loc: Hillsboro Beach South Florida
Hi AJS,

Since you mentioned that you were going to audition some Kawai pianos, I would recommend that you try several Shigeru Kawai Grand Pianos too. They are rare but I think the Chicago Kawai dealer has some in inventory. Shigeru Kawai's are getting very favorable reviews around the world... \:\)

Best of luck with the piano of your choice.

Bear
_________________________
Barry J "Bear" Arnaut ♫
46 Years in the Piano Industry
Retired Kawai/Shigeru Kawai Regional Manager
(My posts and threads are my opinions only)

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#316938 - 04/28/08 05:43 AM Re: Buying a Brand New Steinway S or M - Can I Negotiate?
Innominato Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/08
Posts: 802
Loc: London
AJS, you can always, always negotiate.
Your negotiating power lies in the fact that you are ready to buy something else (a used steinway, or a piano of a different make); if then the seller remains unflexible, it is he not want to sell, not you not being able to negotiate..... ;\)

Let the dealer feel the smell of the money and say to him what you would be ready to pay, IF you decide yourself for a Steinway. Whether he accepts or not is not your problem anymore, the sea is full of fishes and when you progress more in your quest you will see that the are many, many alternative to a steinway.

If you look a bit around the forum, you will also discover the fallacy of the "heirloom" argument, at least if you see this in monetary terms.
_________________________
"The man that hath no music in himself / Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds / Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils." (W.Shakespeare)

Kemble Conservatoire 335025 Walnut Satin

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#316939 - 04/28/08 05:52 AM Re: Buying a Brand New Steinway S or M - Can I Negotiate?
Innominato Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/08
Posts: 802
Loc: London
AJS, I almost forgot.
I suggest you to buy the Larry Fine's books, both the big one and the little one with the prices.

Among other things (it will give you a full panorama of the piano market) you will read, unloess I am mistaken, that steinway tend to go away at around 10% discount of price if you are a good negotiator, unless you are in NY where it would be more difficult.

Again, Fine's book will give you basic information about how a piano is done and work and about the piano producers whilst the price supplement will give you a clear, if approximate, idea of what price ranges and discount ranges are available in the market.

You will find a link on the right of this page to the book.
_________________________
"The man that hath no music in himself / Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds / Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils." (W.Shakespeare)

Kemble Conservatoire 335025 Walnut Satin

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#316940 - 04/28/08 01:47 PM Re: Buying a Brand New Steinway S or M - Can I Negotiate?
AJS Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/08
Posts: 27
Loc: Chicago
Hi all - it's Monday.

OK I'm amazed with the body of knowledge in this forum. Again - thank you all so much.

The piano I played MOST as a student - not my own, my instructor's - was a Mason & Hamlin.

I have played the other brands I mentioned - but the M&H was the brand I played most.

RonaldSteinway (Ronald) - was it Brian you mention?

I'm still considering new though - and in the Chicago area, has anyone had any experience with Kurt Saphir Pianos, and their willingness to negotiate on prices of grands (I'll try the A and AA).

Thanks all - and thank you for being honest, and yet so nice, too.
_________________________
"The purpose of art is to illuminate the human condition."

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#316941 - 04/28/08 03:31 PM Re: Buying a Brand New Steinway S or M - Can I Negotiate?
Pianomadam Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/18/07
Posts: 416
Loc: Southern United States
Whether or not dealers negotiate is dependent on what prices they quote from the get-go. Some dealers will quote very high to make it look like they are giving you a hefty discount in the negotiation process while others do not.

Arm yourself with pricing information prior to negotiation and then, if it matches or exceeds your expectations, go for it! Make sure your information is accurate, however!

Each salesperson will have their own approach, as mentioned. If you do not like their approach ask for the manager. Best of luck in your fascinating journey!
_________________________
PianoMadam

Family of Steinway-Designed Pianos (Steinway & Sons, Boston, Essex) Dealer

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#316942 - 04/28/08 04:04 PM Re: Buying a Brand New Steinway S or M - Can I Negotiate?
kluurs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/02
Posts: 3739
Loc: Chicago
Also, try Craigslist. Because of the economy, if you're willing to wait a bit, you'll likely see some people selling some nice pianos at decent prices. It's more of a buyer's market.

If you must have a "new" piano, the folks at the Steinway store will typically have a couple of sales per year and One "event" at the Symphony Center in Chicago where Steinway brings in a load of pianos for a road show. They may or may not have preferential pricing at that time.

The vendor in Downers Grove is supposedly a jointly owned business - Schmidt Music and Jordan Kitts. They're relatively new to the Chciago area so I can't tell you too much more about them.

If you'd like I can PM you the name of my technician who is one of the two techs at Symphony Center and has worked for Steinway. He might be able to provide you some counsel on when and how to get your best deal locally.

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#316943 - 04/28/08 04:43 PM Re: Buying a Brand New Steinway S or M - Can I Negotiate?
Prospero Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/14/07
Posts: 305
Since you are on a budget, you should definitely consider a Steinway rebuild. In my opinion, and in the opinion of many other musicians who have posted on this forum, a Steinway rebuild will often perform better than a new Steinway--and at a fraction of the price.

Your issue between the S and M is much more than just a question of price: it might seem that six inches longer cannot make much difference, but because we are also talking about square inches of soundboard area, the difference is night and day. I have seen 5' 1" pianos that have such a small soundboard area that the lowest notes cannot be made correct because the soundboard cannot produce the depth required. While I have never seen this in a Steinway S, I have also seen very few Ss in my four decades of piano playing.

Put it this way: if you get a vintage rebuilt M or A, you will be getting a heck of a lot more piano for the money--and you can still expect future generations in your family to enjoy the piano--and enjoy it much more than a new S.

Please take a look at the other thread on the page below yours: "A Question for Pianists and Others":

http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/22017.html

There you can see an extensive discussion of the merits of rebuilt Steinways, along with a great many websites where you can see and hear the rebuilds being played with high quality video and sound. I contributed a number of posts on that thread, and I hope you find them useful.

Consider this: taking a trip to a rebuilder will cost you some money initially, but it will be a fun and exciting trip, and it should save you many thousands of dollars after your purchase. Moreover, you will have a much better piano to pass along to many future generations in your family.

Also you can use the search function to find out how very many accomplished and amateur pianists on this forum have purchased Steinway rebuilds from reputable dealers, and have enjoyed them immensely.

Personally I think my rebuilt Steinway model A grand is clearly superior to any new Steinway A that I have heard.

Probably I should add that I am neither a tech nor a rep, just a pianist with his own opinions. Whatever you choose to do, good luck!

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#316944 - 04/28/08 08:38 PM Re: Buying a Brand New Steinway S or M - Can I Negotiate?
AJS Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/08
Posts: 27
Loc: Chicago
OK there's been a development...

Would any of you consider a Steinway M (5'7"), gently used at four months at Ravinia (here in Chicago). I played this piano and enjoyed the sound and feel of it.

Of course, the price has also been reduced, and is less than the cost of the S (5'1") - that's dealer price - not my own negotiated price.

Size wise, this would likely be the biggest piano I could afford - at least in the Steinway world.

Would any of you think that there is something to be said that the piano (the M), given its use at the Ravinia Festival, has already been tuned many times, and has been picked by artists to play. Steinway is treating it, warranty wise, as a new piano - all things included.

What do you guys think?

I'm visiting Kurt Saphir next, followed by PianoForte - I just did a little research on the Fazioli - and found that while it's out of my price range, I'd like to try one at PianoForte in Chicago.

I welcome everyone's thoughts.
_________________________
"The purpose of art is to illuminate the human condition."

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#316945 - 04/29/08 01:22 AM Re: Buying a Brand New Steinway S or M - Can I Negotiate?
Prospero Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/14/07
Posts: 305
 Quote:
Originally posted by AJS:
OK there's been a development...

Would any of you consider a Steinway M (5'7"), gently used at four months at Ravinia (here in Chicago). I played this piano and enjoyed the sound and feel of it.

Of course, the price has also been reduced, and is less than the cost of the S (5'1") - that's dealer price - not my own negotiated price.

Size wise, this would likely be the biggest piano I could afford - at least in the Steinway world.

Would any of you think that there is something to be said that the piano (the M), given its use at the Ravinia Festival, has already been tuned many times, and has been picked by artists to play. Steinway is treating it, warranty wise, as a new piano - all things included.

What do you guys think?

I'm visiting Kurt Saphir next, followed by PianoForte - I just did a little research on the Fazioli - and found that while it's out of my price range, I'd like to try one at PianoForte in Chicago.

I welcome everyone's thoughts. [/b]
Four months is barely a tick of the clock in the long, long life of a Steinway grand. This holds true even if those four months have been heavy use. If the piano was tuned frequently during those four months, all the better.

If you have played that particular piano and like it, and it has the warranty of a new piano, then you can buy it with confidence, in my opinion.

The strings on a new piano normally require about 12-15 months in your home to stretch before they finally settle down--assuming of course that the piano is tuned about every three months (some say every two months) during that time.

Also a piano action has a many moving parts that require about 12-15 months of normal home use before they loosen up and settle down to where they should be.

A piano is made primarily of wood, and wood is a natural product that expands and contracts in response to routine changes in temperature and humidity levels, so any piano requires time to adjust to the climactic conditions of its new owner's home.

For those reasons and others, it is physically impossible for a new piano to sound and perform up to its potential on the day it arrives in your home. It will necessarily sound better after it has been in your home for about 12-15 months, assuming that it is well cared for: away from direct sunlight or heat registers, fitted with a DammpChaser, tuned frequently, etc. Only after that 12-15 month "breaking-in period" is it possible for a new piano perform to its full potential.

Apparently the piano you are describing has had a breaking-in period for four months, with heavy use and frequent tunings. Although its wood will still need to adjust to your home, it seems likely that the piano will be, all things considered, better than a new one from the showroom floor.

As you have no doubt surmised, this means that a used piano normally represents a real value. A great piano, like any Steinway, ages very, very slowly. You know the old saw about how a new car loses value when you drive it off the lot, even though it is objectively the same car. This is much more true of high-quality, tier 1 pianos. As you can see by using the Piano World search function, most of the experienced people on this site agree that buying used gets you way more piano for your money.

Of course, I still suggest that you will be much happier with a larger instrument for less money if you go for a rebuild--but whatever you choose, I hope you get the piano of your dreams.

Be sure to post photographs on move-in day!

P. S. Since you expressed some interest in Mason and Hamlin, I should mention that I know several top-drawer piano tuners and rebuilders who are of the strong opinion that, currently, new Mason and Hamlins are better than new Hamburg Steinways, and much better than new New York Steinways. Personally I think any new Steinway or Mason and Hamlin will be a great piano, but I thought I should mention it anyway.

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#316946 - 04/29/08 02:54 AM Re: Buying a Brand New Steinway S or M - Can I Negotiate?
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1500
No, not Brian. I think Brian is older. The guy whom I talked about is not older than 25 years old.

Brian is an experience one.

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