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#617382 - 02/28/02 10:44 AM How good is a rebuilt Steinway
pointegirl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/19/02
Posts: 65
My daughter and I visited a Steinway dealer two weeks ago. I made it clear to the sales person that I can afford a Steinway and had no intension to make a purchase. My daughter played on a few Steinways. There was a rebuilt Steinway. The sales person told me that it was not rebuilt by their shop but by a local technician. He continued to tell me that the technician took many short cuts. For instance, the soundboard is flat, not curved and he used Japanese hammers in stead of Steinway hammers. I noticed that some spacings between two white keys are winder than the rest. It then occurred to me that I have seen a few rebuilt/reconditioned Steinways in a college piano sale event. The space between white keys is uniform but wider than new pianos. My daughter commented that her finger would get caughter in the gap. So I pointed to the gap and ask: "So, if it were rebuilt correcly, there shouldn't haven been these big gaps?". "That's right" he said.

My questions:

1. Was the sales person telling the truth about the soundboard and hammers?

2. Why the uniformly wider spacing between white keys (the ones I saw at college sale). Are they due to sloppy rebuild? These are 1930's Steinways.

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#617383 - 02/28/02 12:32 PM Re: How good is a rebuilt Steinway
Brian Lawson, RPT Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/04/01
Posts: 647
Loc: South Africa
A couple of points arising, if it doesn't have a new pinblock and new soundboard and new action parts then it is not rebuilt. It was given your description just reconditoned, poorly if your report it true.

Although there are differences in the widths of keys between manufactures, gaps between keys that you can drive a truck through are not good workmanship.

Need I go on?
Brian Lawson, RPT
South Africa


#617384 - 02/28/02 12:36 PM Re: How good is a rebuilt Steinway
Brian Lawson, RPT Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/04/01
Posts: 647
Loc: South Africa
I forgot - if the soundboard is flat it's had it, it should have a new one and its on its way to being rebuilt.

As far as S&S are concerned its not a Steinway if anything other than steinway parts are introduced, the hammers themselves may not be bad but its becoming a bit of a mismash of a not reall quite right piano.
Brian Lawson, RPT
South Africa


#617385 - 02/28/02 12:49 PM Re: How good is a rebuilt Steinway
reblder Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/21/01
Posts: 1237
Loc: Sherman Oaks, Calif.
I'd agree with Bryan on this. What you were shown comes off as a sort of "hybrid" Steinway. However, while the soundboard certainly sounds problematic being in the state it's in, the Japanese hammers are not at all a bad thing. I've installed them in the rebuilt pianos we have in our shop. And I've been impressed enough with the results else I would have discontinued after the first time installation.

Mark Mandell www.pianosource.com

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#617386 - 02/28/02 03:27 PM Re: How good is a rebuilt Steinway
EricL Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 144
Loc: Upstate NY
I hate to be cynical, but is the 'rebuilt' Steinway the property of the dealer or the tech who worked on it? Is the dealer trying to sell it for the tech on consignment? If it is such a 'bad' piano, why does he put it on the showroom floor? How much is he asking for it? Is the dealer considered reputable by others?

Your dealer may very well be a saint, honestly telling you all the 'bad' things about the piano. However, you also need to watch out for some dishonest dealers, who like to play mind games with their customers. They may say bad things about a piano because they want to sell you another (usually more expensive) piano. I am NOT trying to condemn or make judgment on anybody without any hard evidence. I just want you to be careful and be vigilant.

In any event, whether a soundboard has a crown or not can easily be checked if you don't mind crawling under the piano.


[ February 28, 2002: Message edited by: EricL ]

#617387 - 02/28/02 03:47 PM Re: How good is a rebuilt Steinway
pointegirl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/19/02
Posts: 65
I have no interest in that rebuilt Steinway. I told the sales person that I can't afford a new Steinway. I am sure he was trying very hard to impress me with other lines of grands they carry, Yahama and Boston. If I buy a used or rebuilt piano, I would definitely have my tech check it over. I was just curious about the so-call rebuilt/reconditioned Steinways in the market in general from the very few that I ran into.

[ February 28, 2002: Message edited by: pointegirl ]


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