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#321790 - 10/15/06 07:23 PM 1993 steinway L with cracked soundboard
KATHRYN88 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/15/06
Posts: 18
Loc: new york city
I AM LOOKING TO BUY A STEINWAY PRIVATELY AND CAME ACROSS A STEINWAY L 1993 EBONY. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN GREAT BUT A TECH NOTICED A CRACK IN THE SOUNDBOARD. A HAIRLINE CRACK (FRACTURE) LIKE SOMEONE DREW A THIN BLACK PEN LINE ALONG ONE OF THE SEAMS OF THE SOUNDBOARD. THE SELLER WANTS $32,000 WHICH I BELIEVE IS RATHER HIGH, PARTICULARLY ON THE PRIVATE MARKET WITH NO GUARENTEE'S. OTHER THEN THE CRACK IT SOUNDS BEAUTIFUL, A BRIGHT FULL SOUND & ACTION NOT TOO STIFF. PLEASE ADVISE ME WHAT YOU THINK THE PRICE SHOULD BE FOR THIS PARTICULAR PIANO. I COULDN'T RE-SELL IT IN ITS PRESENT CONDITION, RIGHT?
_________________________
KATHRYN

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#321791 - 10/15/06 08:19 PM Re: 1993 steinway L with cracked soundboard
Jazzbo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/04
Posts: 136

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#321792 - 10/15/06 08:39 PM Re: 1993 steinway L with cracked soundboard
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17670
Loc: Victoria, BC
Kathryn : When you say you are LOOKING TO BUY A STEINWAY (all caps, no less!), you didn't say what your budget is nor what size piano you might be looking for. When you said you felt that $32,000.00 was "rather high", I get the impression that you have a fair amount of money to spend on a good piano.

If your budget permits you to consider pianos in the upper 20K to lower 30K range, don't limit yourself to Steinway. There are many pianos out there that will cost you less and may be better instruments; certainly there are better "values" out there than Steinway. You're in a prime market for a wide choice of excellent instruments - depending, of course, on your budget.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190 in satin ebony
Writing from Paris until 15 May, 2014

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#321793 - 10/15/06 09:29 PM Re: 1993 steinway L with cracked soundboard
CTPianotech Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/06/06
Posts: 1473
Loc: CT
Just wait'll you see what that 'hairline' looks line in January.


As was mentioned already though, 32K is a lot of money to spend on any piano, so do be certain to include not only other Steinways, but other makes as well.

Good luck!
_________________________
Rich Lindahl
Piano Restorations in Central CT
D-C installations, Player-Piano installations/service
Ritmuller/Pearl River

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#321794 - 10/15/06 10:10 PM Re: 1993 steinway L with cracked soundboard
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17699
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Hi Kathryn88, welcome to the forum!

I suggest, first, that you divert some of the $32,000 to buy a new computer keyboard where the caps lock key isn't stuck. ;\)

Then, I would divert another $75-$100 or so to have a competent technician inspect the Steinway. Cracks in the soundboard are not necessarily bad. But you are correct that it would make it much harder for you to resell the piano down the road.

Last, or perhaps second in this list of recommendations, I would suggest following piano*dad's [edit: oops, I meant BruceD's] advice and trying out a broad range of pianos in your price range. I doubt the Steinway with the cracked soundboard is going to disappear immediately at that price, so you probably have a few weeks or so to do some comparison shopping.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#321795 - 10/15/06 10:15 PM Re: 1993 steinway L with cracked soundboard
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10297
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Monica,

Um, Piano*Dad hasn't yet spoken in this thread. Well, I guess I just did, but you seem to be confusing BruceD with me. Same avatar and all that. ;\)

While I'm at it, BruceD is absolutely correct ...unless Kathryn already tried the field and decided that Steinway is the sound and touch for her.
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

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#321796 - 10/15/06 10:20 PM Re: 1993 steinway L with cracked soundboard
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17699
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
[hits hand on head] Yikes, I really gotta start wearing those reading glasses I broke down and bought. \:o

sorry, p*d and Bruce. But it was good advice nonetheless.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#321797 - 10/16/06 11:57 AM Re: 1993 steinway L with cracked soundboard
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20766
Loc: Oakland
You could resell it. That is what the current owner is trying to do, and will probably succeed.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#321798 - 10/16/06 12:28 PM Re: 1993 steinway L with cracked soundboard
Roy123 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/04
Posts: 1695
Loc: Massachusetts
This is just my opinion, but I don't think the L is such a wonderful piano, and paying $32k for one that is 13 years and has a cracked soundboard sounds like a poor deal to me. For that money you could get several brand new grands that are much better than an L. You may or may not know that Steinway has discontinued the L. How this affects resale value is yet to be seen.

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#321799 - 10/16/06 12:36 PM Re: 1993 steinway L with cracked soundboard
AJB Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/05
Posts: 3655
Loc: Surrey, England
For what it is worth, I have seen a lot of older Hamburg Steinways (mostly large ones). I have also had my trusted tech look at several. He spent 30 years as Steinways roving UK "fixer" and knows the pianos inside out.

A while ago I looked at an ex BBC Hamburg D with a good old crack on the treble side of the sound-board. It sounded fantastic (though was rough cosmetically - typical studio piano) The tech (independent and not on commission) was totally unconcerned. He feels that cracks can be overemphasised. But it does depend on where the crack is, what most likely caused it, and how big it is.

I would be wary of a long crack on the bass side of the sound-baord or in the middle. I would be less bothered with a hairline crack in the treble side.

And I would get a tech to give it the OK.

If you like the piano, do a deal. Keep it in a proper environment and like as not you will have years of pleasure from the piano.

Good luck

Adrian
_________________________
S&S Hamburg D, Yamaha CLP 280


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#321800 - 10/16/06 04:01 PM Re: 1993 steinway L with cracked soundboard
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17670
Loc: Victoria, BC
 Quote:
Originally posted by Monica Kern:
[hits hand on head] Yikes, I really gotta start wearing those reading glasses I broke down and bought. \:o

sorry, p*d and Bruce. But it was good advice nonetheless. [/b]
Monica :

No need to apologize, given the avatar. Nevertheless, I'm flattered to be "confused" with Piano*Dad. I do travel in good company, don't I? \:D

Cheers!
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190 in satin ebony
Writing from Paris until 15 May, 2014

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#321801 - 10/17/06 01:36 AM Re: 1993 steinway L with cracked soundboard
Ori Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/20/04
Posts: 1700
Loc: Stamford CT, New York City .
Kathryn,
The seller is asking way too much for this instrument.
32K would be rather high, in my opinion, for a piano like this even if the soundboard wasn't cracked in a private sale.
Remember, buying it privately usually means that the rest of the piano too isn't necessarily in showroom condition (properly regulated, voiced, tuned and have flawless finish), and it doesn't have a warranty, or any other after sale service that may be required.
Moving is also an additional cost, although relatively minor, that people tend to forget when buying privately.

As mentioned before, the crack which is rather tight now after the long humid summer may open up and be a lot more obvious by the end of the winter as the dry heated air takes moisture out of the wood and the board contracts.

It is also true, as mentioned before, that the crack may, or may not, have a significant impact on the sound...however, it does have a significant negative impact in regards to the value of the piano.

A cracked board in such a young piano may also point to the possibility that the instrument wasn't taken care of very well. It may suggest that it has been kept in less than optimal conditions, and that it may have other issues too.

In any case, when an issue like a cracked board exists, I think that you may want to skip on this one. The cost of any repairs needed (not limited just to the board) is going to be much less expensive for the rebuilder doing the work than to you.
If the piano was in good condition, and without a damaged board, then an educated private buyer could pay for it more then a dealer would. The more work is needed, however, makes a private buyer's FAIR offer less competitive to the seller.

The rule of thumb is simple. The more work is needed, the less attractive the instrument is for a private buyer because the charge for the repairs is greater for him than to the professional.

In any case, it was also suggested before on this thread that you look at other instruments that are available on the market, including new ones.
Indeed, I concur and agree that there are many other viable alternatives to this piano, and that there are plenty of other interesting performance pianos that could easily hold their own (and much more) in comparison against a Steinway "L", even if it was in top condition.

In order to see if looking at other instruments is an acceptable option for you, ask yourself this question first.

Are you looking for a "Steinway"...or are you looking for a PIANO?
_________________________
Ori Bukai - Owner/Founder of Allegro Pianos - New York City and Stamford CT showrooms.

Authorized dealer representing:

Bluthner, Bosendorfer, Steingraeber, Estonia, August Forster, Haessler, Kawai.

Restored Steinway pianos.

www.allegropianos.com

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#321802 - 10/17/06 04:04 AM Re: 1993 steinway L with cracked soundboard
Timothy (In Cyprus) Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 109
Loc: Cyprus
 Quote:

A while ago I looked at an ex BBC Hamburg D with a good old crack on the treble side of the sound-board.
Was it the pop or the classical one? Pebble Mill alone kept two grands, and pop/rock artists aren't allowed to play on on the classical one and vice versa. \:\)
_________________________
Another piano-playing organist and organ-playing pianist.

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#321803 - 10/19/06 01:47 AM Re: 1993 steinway L with cracked soundboard
Moe Howard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/06
Posts: 124
Loc: Placerville, California
When shopping for my new piano, I played a 1912? Model A Steinway with a cracked soundboard (asking price: $32,000). The dealer (a rebuilder and seller of used pianos) handed me a copy of a technical paper by Steinway (see link below) saying cracked soundboards are nothing to worry about.

Regardless of the opinions expressed by S&S, I couldn't see myself paying that much for a piano with a cracked soundboard.

Steinway Technical Paper
_________________________
- Moe

Mason & Hamlin Model A #91743
----------------------------------

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#321804 - 10/19/06 03:07 AM Re: 1993 steinway L with cracked soundboard
AJB Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/05
Posts: 3655
Loc: Surrey, England
Tmothy, I don't know. I dont even know if it came out of Pebble Mill, which is in Birmingham I believe. I thought it came from a BBC London studio.

A
_________________________
S&S Hamburg D, Yamaha CLP 280


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#321805 - 10/19/06 04:11 AM Re: 1993 steinway L with cracked soundboard
Mountain Ash Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/21/06
Posts: 423
Loc: Canberra, Australia
 Quote:
Originally posted by Moe Howard:
When shopping for my new piano, I played a 1912? Model A Steinway with a cracked soundboard (asking price: $32,000). The dealer (a rebuilder and seller of used pianos) handed me a copy of a technical paper by Steinway (see link below) saying cracked soundboards are nothing to worry about.

Regardless of the opinions expressed by S&S, I couldn't see myself paying that much for a piano with a cracked soundboard.

Steinway Technical Paper [/b]
Moe your link has one too many "http's" so it doesn't work, for me anyway.

Maybe this will.

http://www.steinway.com/technical/soundboard.shtml
_________________________
I'm reading this book.

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#321806 - 10/19/06 12:40 PM Re: 1993 steinway L with cracked soundboard
Roy123 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/04
Posts: 1695
Loc: Massachusetts
A crack in the soundboard may be nothing to worry about, but in a compression-crowned board, such as used by Steinway, it may well correlate with a loss of crown.

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#321807 - 10/19/06 03:45 PM Re: 1993 steinway L with cracked soundboard
aplussys Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/13/06
Posts: 2
Loc: LOS ANGELES
My independent tuner just did my
25-year-old Kawai KG-2C and in
passing said that every one of
these he's worked on over the
years will absolutely "blow away"
most any mid-size(L & M)Steinways.

I'm not a musician, but from
the first time I played this
piano and bought it new, to
my non-professional ears it
was the best I'd heard after
about 6 months of looking
all over Los Angeles, both
new and old makes and models.
The current iteration of
this same piano is the
Kawai RX-2. If you're
considering spending a
fair amount of money
for a mid-size grand you'll
do yourself a favor by
trying the Kawai. (No,
I have no connection of
any kind either with
the manufacturer or
anyone else in the
industry). I think
the MSRP on the RX-2
is about $24,000.

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#321808 - 10/19/06 11:44 PM Re: 1993 steinway L with cracked soundboard
KATHRYN88 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/15/06
Posts: 18
Loc: new york city
To Aplussys
I bought a used walnut 5'8" Kawai (sorry I dont remember the model) I liked the sound OK (but hated the action) I am a professional pianist. After I bought it I wish I had bought a Yamaha. Yamahas are a bit bright in sound, bordering on shrill- but the action's are real good. The action on a Yamaha is surely better than the Kawai as far as Asian pianos go. But the new Shigeru Kawai (His signature piano with script lettering) is a must try piano. The action and sound are superior to any asian piano I have played and certainly above all the lower K. Kawai models The Shigeru pianos are over $60,000 way too expensive- I personally wouldnt buy one because they don't have the name recognition of Steinway or Bosendorfer and probably wouldnt be worth much in resale value.
_________________________
KATHRYN

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#321809 - 10/19/06 11:45 PM Re: 1993 steinway L with cracked soundboard
KATHRYN88 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/15/06
Posts: 18
Loc: new york city
To Aplussys
I bought a used walnut 5'8" Kawai (sorry I dont remember the model) I liked the sound OK (but hated the action) I am a professional pianist. After I bought it I wish I had bought a Yamaha. Yamahas are a bit bright in sound, bordering on shrill- but the action's are real good. The action on a Yamaha is surely better than the Kawai as far as Asian pianos go. But the new Shigeru Kawai (His signature piano with script lettering) is a must try piano. The action and sound are superior to any asian piano I have played and certainly above all the lower K. Kawai models The Shigeru pianos are over $60,000 way too expensive- I personally wouldnt buy one because they don't have the name recognition of Steinway or Bosendorfer and probably wouldnt be worth much in resale value.
_________________________
KATHRYN

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