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#44327 - 12/04/03 07:25 PM Mason & Hamlin vs Steinway
zorro de piano Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/15/03
Posts: 7
Loc: Encinitas, California
Whats the word on M&H vs Steinway, quality, sound, value, resale.

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#44328 - 12/04/03 07:52 PM Re: Mason & Hamlin vs Steinway
kluurs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/02
Posts: 3739
Loc: Chicago
which is it? great taste or less filling???

Which do you prefer?

I'm a Steinway owner but a fan of Mason & Hamlin. On any given day, I may prefer a given Mason & Hamlin to a given Steinway. Many folks on this board (including me) believe the Mason & Hamlin is a great piano in a league with the top tier instruments.

Larry Fine of the Piano Book is very enthusiastic about the Mason & Hamlin -- and so are the folks he surveyed.

So why do I own a Steinway?

I preferred the particular piano I bought, like the sound of a good Steinway and was willing to pay for it. No one will beat you either way.

If name recognition means something to you, Steinway owns the market.

So for...
quality - depends on your definition

sound - you decide - M&H can hold its own but I prefer S&S

value - more upfront costs with S&S - depends on your definition of value - you get another foot of M&H for the same price as a S&S

resale - S&S has name recognition but M&H is no slouch at resale.

Just buy the one you like...Nothing we say should influence you. Want to save some money and like the M&H -- buy it. Prefer S&S and money is not an issue - buy the S&S. Want to confuse the issue? Expand the list of pianos to Grotian, Bosendorfer, Bechstein...

Enjoy the search -- read Larry Fine's the Piano Book.

Ken

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#44329 - 12/04/03 08:38 PM Re: Mason & Hamlin vs Steinway
zorro de piano Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/15/03
Posts: 7
Loc: Encinitas, California
so many great pianos, so little time...

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#44330 - 12/04/03 09:19 PM Re: Mason & Hamlin vs Steinway
ASBpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/29/03
Posts: 140
Loc: Massachusetts
I'm a Mason & Hamlin owner but a Steinway fan ;\)

Both are awesome and I wouldn't say one is better than the other. I actually have only played 2 Mason & Hamlins including mine. An amazing coincidence -- mine is serial #39379, other was 39383. They must have been in the same room in the Boston factory 74 years ago... OK sorry, anyway... I've read that Mason & Hamlin has very good quality control, which is that all pianos produced are nearly identicle to eachother, while Steinway has "less stars" in that category, but I wouldn't say thats a bad thing. Every Steinway I have played has been very different, and I've played many... But something about them all just says "Steinway." Because of this its hard to compare the companies as a whole.

Kluurs pretty much sums it up. I just want to add that I compared my M&H 1929 A before it was rebuilt to a recently rebuilt Steinway of a similar size (don't remember but it was either a couple inches bigger or a couple inches smaller). My Mason, all original, beat up hammers, rusted strings, had a more powerful sound in the bass than the Steinway.

Its dynamic range is simply awesome. I couldn't be happier with my piano.

Like everyone says, just wait until you find "your baby." Wait for the piano that you just click with.

Good luck!
-Ari

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#44331 - 12/04/03 09:27 PM Re: Mason & Hamlin vs Steinway
Jim Lob Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/06/02
Posts: 115
Loc: Maryland
Perhaps Irving Faust can shed some light on this, given that his shop is running the "relatively new Steinway B" versus "new Mason and Hamlin BB" contest.

For my money, I'd go with the BB in terms of "value", the Steinway in terms of snob appeal, and (if money is no object) choose whichever one I liked best. Best places to shop for Mason and Hamlins that I've seen (and I haven't seen Art in San Diego) are Cunningham's in Philly, Faust Harrison in NYC and Pianocraft in lovely (well, maybe that's an overstatement) Gaithersburg, MD.

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#44332 - 12/04/03 09:59 PM Re: Mason & Hamlin vs Steinway
Ancient Maestro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/18/03
Posts: 345
Loc: Calgary
If you look at it from an investment perspective, the clear choice is Steinway.

Steinway holds its' value the best out of almost all pianos out there, and its' legacy / history the most enduring of any company in tier 1. Steinway will give the most in terms of resale and market recognition.

I have a great respect for Mason & Hamlin of the earlier 1900's. It should make a great piano also for any owner if properly restored. \:\)

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#44333 - 12/04/03 10:03 PM Re: Mason & Hamlin vs Steinway
shantinik Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/23/01
Posts: 4271
Loc: Olympia, WA
A good Steinway versus a good M&H is a pick-um.

But there are so many Steinways (in my limited experience) that just aren't very good. The usual excuse is that they haven't been "prepped" well.

I've heard the same excuse with Pearl Rivers. :p

Find two good specimens and enjoy the argument.

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#44334 - 12/04/03 10:28 PM Re: Mason & Hamlin vs Steinway
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20780
Loc: Oakland
I don't have a problem. There's one of each in the living room.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#44335 - 12/05/03 01:20 AM Re: Mason & Hamlin vs Steinway
katie_dup1 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 1838
Loc: Canada
BDB,

You lucky boy .... I'm green with envy ..... So does one out perform the other in, say romantic repertoire? Do you have a favorite?

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#44336 - 12/05/03 04:26 AM Re: Mason & Hamlin vs Steinway
TomK Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/06/02
Posts: 2611
Ken,

That was a really good analysis.

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#44337 - 12/05/03 08:01 AM Re: Mason & Hamlin vs Steinway
irving Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/14/03
Posts: 705
Loc: Irvington, NY
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jim Lob:
Perhaps Irving Faust can shed some light on this, given that his shop is running the "relatively new Steinway B" versus "new Mason and Hamlin BB" contest.

[/b]
 Quote:
Originally posted by Ancient Maestro:
If you look at it from an investment perspective, the clear choice is Steinway.
Steinway holds its' value the best out of almost all pianos out there. [/b]
Jim,

Our contest pitting new ‘B’s against new ‘BB’s may finally be entering its end stage (emphasis on “may”). I will know more early next year. As to having learned anything from the contest about pianist’s preferences for one of these pianos over the other, sealed response sheets inside a sealed box have assured that we will know nothing about the responses until the seals are broken. One thing that we have learned is that an endeavor of the sort that we undertook is many times more difficult than any of us ever imagined it would be.


Ancient Maestro,

Whenever I’m interested in knowing what the attitudes and tastes of New Yorkers will be a few years down the road, I just take a peek at what’s happening in California. Perhaps in Calgary you should take a peek at what’s happening in New York. Down here, Mason & Hamlin lagged behind Steinway in re-sale values until around 1996. Between 1996 and 2000, the gap narrowed fully and completely. Since 2000, there has been no meaningful difference between the two. This conclusion is based entirely on the experience of Faust Harrison Pianos since there is no hard market data to look at, but we are so deeply immersed in the Steinway/Mason & Hamlin market in New York (buying or selling at least one of these pianos practically every day of the year) that I am quite confident that it is correct. If Calgary does indeed lag behind New York the way New York lags behind California, a good bet for Calgarians might be to buy Mason & Hamlin and short Steinway (the pianos, not the companies). (In case the SEC or Canada might consider this to be inappropriate investment advice, please note that I am not an investment advisor and I take no responsibility for anything that I say here that might be construed to be investment advice).

Irving
Faust Harrison Pianos
_________________________
Irving
Faust Harrison Pianos
We sell new Bechsteins, Yamahas, Mason & Hamlins, Brodmanns and W. Hoffmanns, and rebuilt vintage Steinways. All rebuilding is done in our own factory. www.faustharrisonpianos.com

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#44338 - 12/05/03 01:12 PM Re: Mason & Hamlin vs Steinway
katie_dup1 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 1838
Loc: Canada
A.M.,

I believe Irving is being too polite. Calgary not only lags behind New York, it drags behind Vancouver, Montreal, & (I hate to say this) even Toronto. First, one cannot purchase a new M & H in Calgary. Secondly, in my 3 years of auditioning Steinways, I have yet to see a new B in Calgary. Thirdly, and this is very subjective, so don't be offended .... I can not understand why you persist in speaking of pianos as "investments". They are musical instruments & while they should "appreciate" in emotional value, it is my impression that they "depreciate" in monetary value.

Just my opinion, Maestro!

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#44339 - 12/05/03 03:04 PM Re: Mason & Hamlin vs Steinway
William W Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/03
Posts: 141
Loc: Capital of Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by katie:
Calgary not only lags behind New York, it drags behind Vancouver, Montreal, & (I hate to say this) even Toronto. [/QB]
Besides, there are simply not enough Golden Age or simply, used Steinways or Mason & Hamlins floating around in cities other than Toronto and may be Vancouver to see a trend or establish the value for these pianos.

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#44340 - 12/05/03 08:22 PM Re: Mason & Hamlin vs Steinway
Rich Galassini Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 8982
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
 Quote:
If you look at it from an investment perspective, the clear choice is Steinway.

Steinway holds its' value the best out of almost all pianos out there, and its' legacy / history the most enduring of any company in tier 1. Steinway will give the most in terms of resale and market recognition.
We happen to have just taken a trade of a S&S B purchased new 2 years ago. In trade the piano lost lots of value and as a resale we will be lucky to get 75% of its retail price.

Moral - legacy and $0.65 will get you a bus ride. After that, buy the piano you love![/b]
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Get Cunningham Piano Email Updates

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#44341 - 12/05/03 08:41 PM Re: Mason & Hamlin vs Steinway
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 13976
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
If Steinway is such an incredible investment item......why then are there 156 grands alone for sale seemingly at all times at pianomart??

Their numbers don't seem to diminish much from day to day after the feeding frenzy of investment hungry buyers has stormed the Bastille.....

norbert :rolleyes:
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#44342 - 12/05/03 09:05 PM Re: Mason & Hamlin vs Steinway
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20780
Loc: Oakland
What difference does the resale value make? I'm not planning on selling either of them.

Actually, the Steinway O is my mother-in-law's, who lives with us. She sold her engagement ring to buy it. (Don't worry, she was happily married for over 50 years, until her husband died.) I bought the M & H A from the son of the original owner when his father died. They are both about 80 years old, recently rebuilt, sound absolutely wonderful and completely different.

I consider them both to be outstanding investments.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#44343 - 12/06/03 12:09 AM Re: Mason & Hamlin vs Steinway
Ancient Maestro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/18/03
Posts: 345
Loc: Calgary


Quote cited from Forbes* and Washington National Post**:
 Quote:
According to Forbes, over the past ten years, the retail value of a Steinway concert grand has appreciated nearly 200%.* An impressive record, to be sure - but one that tells only part of the story.

The fact is, the appreciation of Steinway pianos is even more impressive when you look past the previous ten years - and take an historical look at appreciation over the past few decades. The numbers are nothing less than remarkable: Today, if the owner of a vintage Steinway grand decided to gauge the value of his or her piano on the open market, it is likely that the piano would command a price 4.3 times higher than the original retail cost.** As the first chart shows, this figure is based on a representative sampling of Steinway grands of all ages - pianos which were created from before the turn of the century up through 1978.

Furthermore, Steinway vertical pianos (uprights) command a handsome resale value as well - selling, on average, at a price 2.2 times higher than their original cost.** Of course, as interesting as these figures are, there is one important point to keep in mind: When you own a Steinway, you possess a timeless creation that is passed on with pride as a beloved family heirloom. No matter how financially precious your Steinway becomes, you will find that it is a treasure with which you do not wish to part.[/b]
Forbes is also the source touted to give Estonia positive remarks, which has been so gracefully and professionally touted on this forum. Again, I'm talking about Steinways from an investment point of view, and I agree the preference between Steinway & M&H is subjective. However, one must take note that over 95% of concert pianists around the world prefer a Steinway to all other makes combined.



Sorry, I made an error, about 99% of concert pianists. \:\)

Another quote from Forbes.com via Reuters:
 Quote:
For pianists who want nothing more than a black or plain wood finish, a Steinway is a proven investment.

"You always more than get your money back on a Steinway," said Constance Keene, an icon among concert pianists. "I've bought more Steinways for myself than any retail customer. I've always been able to sell at a profit or I've had people beg me to sell to them."

This is because a used Steinway -- in good condition -- usually sells for about 75 percent of the latest retail price, which goes up about 4 percent each year.

"It's a better return than some mutual funds," Keene said.

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#44344 - 12/06/03 12:28 AM Re: Mason & Hamlin vs Steinway
ChrisKeys Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1267
Loc: Dallas, TX
Ancient Maestro,

The chart might be very misleading. Were constant dollars used for the comparison? If not, the chart is meaningless. One dollar in 2000 is worth far less than one dollar in 1900. I'll bet the chart used dollars from the given year of purchase. If a 1900 Steinway B cost $10000 in 1900 and a 2000 Steinway B cost $50000 in 2000 (I'm making up numbers here), the chart could show a 500% increase in value from 1900 to 2000. But if the value of one dollar in 2000 is worth only $0.20 of the 1900 dollar, then the 2000 model B is worth only 1/5 of the $50000 in terms of constant dollars --- i.e. it's worth only $10000 in "1900" dollars. So the 1900 and 2000 models would be worth the same and there would be no appreciation in value.

Can you give us any details about the chart?

Chris

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#44345 - 12/06/03 12:44 AM Re: Mason & Hamlin vs Steinway
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
As has been shown here before, if you look at the Ancott Directories, *every* piano, right down to the lowly Whitney spinet, has shown the same "investment value" as a Steinway.

It's all misleading information, designed to hype a brand. A Steinway is not better or worse an "investment" than any other piano. If they were, Steinway dealers would make more money by simply buying every one they could get their hands on, sitting them in a warehouse somewhere, and going fishing for the next 10 or 20 years. Without the overhead of a business to support, this "investment value" would provide a better return on their money than trying to sell them for a living.
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

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#44346 - 12/06/03 12:51 AM Re: Mason & Hamlin vs Steinway
Ancient Maestro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/18/03
Posts: 345
Loc: Calgary
Honestly,

The chart did not include whether the dollar has been adjusted. Looking at the pianos more than a century old and in 'good condition', pianos must be going for $25 back then, and a bare bones unoperational Steinway B Grand in raw form through the brokers are running 13 to 14K US (last I checked). That's a 520+ multiplied difference. My initial opinion, is that the "Washington Post" already adjusted the time value of money into the equation. I may be wrong. \:\)

Looking through www.bluebooksofpianos.com they mention good things about Mason & Hamlin. Interesting their quote when it comes to Steinway & Sons:

 Quote:
The Steinway piano is too well known to require any great endorsement here. In every consumer publication, in every era for over one hundred and fifty years, Steinway is the standard of comparison the world over. Any statement contrary to that fact is simply competitors defeat and is not worthy of comment here.[/b]
The website's got most of the piano brands listed. It makes for an interesting read. Good reviews for M&H!

Just click www.bluebookofpianos.com , I guess they've been in the business for over 30 years. \:\)

Just my opinion, from an investment perspective the clear choice remains Steinway. Subjective, the preference of concert pianists also strongly indicate the clear choice is Steinway as well. \:\)

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#44347 - 12/06/03 02:18 AM Re: Mason & Hamlin vs Steinway
Axtremus Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/03
Posts: 6150
My 2 cents on resale value:

To imprint, for a brand, an image of prestige into the general public's perception is no small feat. The perception of prestige is necessary to support a brand's "resale value."

Building good pianos aside, coherent marketing is also necessary to maintain a brand's name recognition and its image of prestige. I regard Steinway as a proven leader of both over the last century and believe this to be essential to support Steinway's resale value.

I don't have any historical resale price data, but I have a hypothesis, and perhaps those who have the historical data can test their data against my hypothesis:

When the manufacturer of a brand runs into serious trouble (e.g., insolvency), their marketing effort will slack off; and following that serious trouble, the resale value for that brand will slack off as well. The longer and more serious the trouble, the longer and more severe the resale value slacks -- never mind those old pianos were made when the manufacturer had no trouble and have no slack in build quality. Should that manufacturer solves its problem and comes back to live, their marketing effort would become coherent again, and the resale value of their old pianos would pick back up again after a while -- never mind the old pianos could have been made when the manufacturer were in big trouble and the vintage's build quality could have slacked.

I think M&H is a good candidate to test the hypothesis above. The hypothesis also predicts that, should a manufacturer like Estonia keep improving its piano and build up the brand, the old pianos without the new improvements will also keep pace in resale value. Mass produced pianos are exceptions because it was not their manufacturer's intention to go for brand prestige in the first place. The Baldwin brand seems to go up-market rather than mass-market since Gibson's take-over, so maybe the Baldwin brand can also test the hypothesis in the future.

Anyway, the above is just a hypothesis. Experienced piano industry veterans who know the true historical resale price trends and the manufacturer's ups and downs can feel free to call it bull if the historical data do not support the hypothesis. \:D
_________________________
www.PianoRecital.org -- my piano recordings

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#44348 - 12/06/03 02:25 AM Re: Mason & Hamlin vs Steinway
Axtremus Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/03
Posts: 6150
 Quote:
Originally posted by Rich Galassini:

We happen to have just taken a trade of a S&S B purchased new 2 years ago.
[/b]
This is curious -- what piano (brand/model) enticed that some one to give up his/her 2 year old Steinway B for a "trade up" ? To a 9-footer?
_________________________
www.PianoRecital.org -- my piano recordings

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#44349 - 12/06/03 04:44 AM Re: Mason & Hamlin vs Steinway
Chris W1 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/26/01
Posts: 915
Loc: Boston
 Quote:
As has been shown here before, if you look at the Ancott Directories, *every* piano, right down to the lowly Whitney spinet, has shown the same "investment value" as a Steinway.
Larry, what a load of BS. Not only are you refuting what Irving has posted about relative changes in S&S and Mason vintage values, you discredit the reality that worth over time differentiates *every* piano. Steinway resale most definitely beats that of all the pianos you probably carried. Even if it were as bad an instrument as some on this forum may think, the fact it is so celebrated has had, and continues to have, an irrefutable effect on its price. Take it, or leave it.

Chris W, what's wrong with comparing pianos on a nominal (non-constant dollar) basis? Would that really be meaningless? Would inflation affect them differently over the same 100 years?

Generally speaking, a clear sign of an unsophisticated investor is one who regards a loss as a loss. May as well fold up the tent. Sell! Burn those receipts. That piano you learned all that music on really bit you in the end when it didn't yield you a positive inflation-adjusted return that was consistent with the opportunity cost of your hard earned capital, now did it? May as well forget about pianos as investments...

Seems warped to me. But then again pianos aren't my business, investments are.

Chris
_________________________
Amateur At Large

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#44350 - 12/06/03 05:57 AM Re: Mason & Hamlin vs Steinway
byebye Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/03
Posts: 1426
Which would I prefer to own, a new Steinway piano or Steinway stock? Both are readily available.

From a musical standpoint, the piano is great. But I suspect that the stock will do better over time. Of course, the Baldwin piano has done much better than Baldwin stock so there are no guarantees.

About those adds claiming 99% of all concerts were played on a Steinway: For many years that Steinway on stage at Orchestra Hall in Chicago was built in Germany and was unavailable for sale in the US. By the way, it sounded fantastic, better than any of the Baldwins, Yamahas, and New York Steinways I've heard on that stage. I wonder where it is now?

Daimler-Chrysler makes cars--in Germany. What they are producing in Belvidere, IL is another story. Yeah, I know, the difference between New York and Hamburg Steinways isn't that extreme. But the Steinway advertising has been deceptive in that regard.

The Steinway dealer here charges list or more, which is likely double wholesale. That is a big drag on the initial investment. A used Steinway might keep up with inflation and provide a great musical experience to boot.

The good news is that pianos don't depreciate (relative to inflation) nearly as badly as automobiles. Since I walk to work I prefer to own a nice piano and a pitiful car.

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#44351 - 12/06/03 07:15 AM Re: Mason & Hamlin vs Steinway
Jim Lob Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/06/02
Posts: 115
Loc: Maryland
Ancient Maestro's chart fails to account for the price differential between Steinways and Masons. If a new BB is 15-20k less than a new Steinway B, and that money is invested, the buyer of the BB will be in better financial shape after 25 years than the owner of the Steinway.

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#44352 - 12/06/03 10:04 AM Re: Mason & Hamlin vs Steinway
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
Larry, what a load of BS. Not only are you refuting what Irving has posted about relative changes in S&S and Mason vintage values, you discredit the reality that worth over time differentiates *every* piano. Steinway resale most definitely beats that of all the pianos you probably carried. Even if it were as bad an instrument as some on this forum may think, the fact it is so celebrated has had, and continues to have, an irrefutable effect on its price. Take it, or leave it. [/b]


In 1983 I sold Whitney spinets for 795. Today, a 1983 Whitney spinet in good condition will bring 1500. Last time I checked, that's nearly double the "investment".

Old uprights, pick your brand - if it will hold a tune at all, will bring a couple hundred bucks. When it was new, its selling price in most cases was no more than 50 bucks. Most sold new for 15-35 bucks. Last time I checked, that would be a 400-500% return on the "investment".

If you think you are going to buy a 50K Steinway today and sell it for 100K at some point and realize a profit in the process, you are sorely mistaken. I don't mean to challenge Irving, but he *does* sell old rebuilt Steinways and Masons, so it is to his advantage to perpetuate this idea of "investment".

If you want to invest your money, see a stock broker. If you want to get skinned alive financially, buy into BS stories about the "investment value" of a piano. Once you add the money spent maintaining the piano over the years to the initial investment, factor in the difference in the value of money then compared to now, you do not make a dime of profit as a result of your choice of this brand over that. It is an exercise in stupidity. I stand by what I said, whether you like it or not, and the historical track records are there to back me up - if buying a Steinway was a good "investment", then a dealer who can get them at wholesale should take every dime he can put together, buy all the Steinways he can get his hands on, leave them in the crate, stick them in a warehouse, and just sit back and let his money grow for the next 20 or 30 years. Why doesn't he? Because as a businessman he knows that the net 5-10% return on his investment in business is real, and the "investment" value of what he sells is bull **** designed to convince people to buy the brand he sells.

The myth about Steinway's "investment value" was exposed long ago, and can be read about in a very detailed book about Steinway, the name of which escapes me. Rich Galassini often mentions the book, maybe he will read this and tell you the name of it.
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

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#44353 - 12/06/03 10:12 AM Re: Mason & Hamlin vs Steinway
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
 Quote:
Originally posted by Axtremus:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Rich Galassini:

We happen to have just taken a trade of a S&S B purchased new 2 years ago.
[/b]
This is curious -- what piano (brand/model) enticed that some one to give up his/her 2 year old Steinway B for a "trade up" ? To a 9-footer? [/b]
I took several nearly new Steinway Bs in on trade. All it takes is for someone to get passed all the hero worshipping of the brand name such as can be seen in this thread, and actually play some other pianos - or just take a good close look at them with an objective eye. The workmanship on a new Steinway is so lacking that if Young Chang or Samick were to ship pianos in such condition, they'd be out of business in a year. As for the musical aspect, a Steinway B won't hold a candle to many 6' range pianos out there. Sorry if that offends, but that's just how it is.
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

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#44354 - 12/06/03 11:09 AM Re: Mason & Hamlin vs Steinway
William W Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/03
Posts: 141
Loc: Capital of Canada
I think there is some truth to both side of the argument here. When I bought the "S" it came with the original receipt. The original owner paid $3400CAD at Eaton (A now defunt Canadian department Sotre) back in 1953. I paid $10500 CAD for the piano, so technically, the piano value went up by 300%. On the other hand, I was told back in 1953, the Canadian $ is on par with the USD, and for $3400 you can buy a brand new Lincoln for that kind of money. So I guess the argument saying buying a Steinway is like buying an investment is BS as well.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Larry:
In 1983 I sold Whitney spinets for 795. Today, a 1983 Whitney spinet in good condition will bring 1500. Last time I checked, that's nearly double the "investment".
[/QB]
However, when you applied what you learned in Economic 101, the theory of demand and supply. Then I would say there is some truth to the "investment" aspect of a Steinway.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but with all the worshipping that is going on with the Steinway name, I'm sure if priced correctly, a used Steinway is probably one of the easiest piano to sell. And from an investment stand point, it will certainly be more liquid than a Whitney Spinet.

And if you happened to live in a smaller city like Ottawa, where the supply of a used Steinway is VERY LIMITED but the demand is constant. (Assuming every amature pianist would want a Steinway in their home) I'm sure one may be able to exploit this, and make some truth to the investment aspect of owning a Steinway.

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#44355 - 12/06/03 12:59 PM Re: Mason & Hamlin vs Steinway
Axtremus Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/03
Posts: 6150
 Quote:
Originally posted by Larry:
I took several nearly new Steinway Bs in on trade. All it takes is for someone to get passed all the hero worshipping of the brand name such as can be seen in this thread, and actually play some other pianos - or just take a good close look at them with an objective eye... As for the musical aspect, a Steinway B won't hold a candle to many 6' range pianos out there. [/b]
I myself chose another 6'+ piano over Steinway B based on how I like my music to sound and how I like to play my music. (And yes, it wasn't easy to get pass the brand name.) I think I am in the minority to have made this choice with musicality as the primary decision driver. So I am just very curious to know what pianos others chose to replace their Steinway B's with (and their reasons to have done so).

As such, I'd be interested to read comments on which brands/models have actually replaced "fairly new" Steinway B's based on either actual ownership or sales experiences. These may allow us to see a counter-balance of the "Steinway magic" and feeds back into the resale value discussion. Thanks.

(p.s. My personal view on new Steinways vs. new M&H's is that M&H's are more consistent than Steinways. Played many Steinways and found only a few I really like musically. Between the Steinways I like and the M&H's, my musical preference is Steinway.)
_________________________
www.PianoRecital.org -- my piano recordings

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#44356 - 12/06/03 01:10 PM Re: Mason & Hamlin vs Steinway
TomK Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/06/02
Posts: 2611
 Quote:
So I am just very curious to know what pianos others chose to replace their Steinway B's with (and their reasons to have done so).
[/b]
I chose a Steinway L over a B because there was NO WAY the B would fit into the space aloted. If I spent more time in NY I would consider moving a wall and making the room.

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