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#67167 - 08/11/07 01:44 AM Piano Value question
Kellyd Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/10/07
Posts: 2
Loc: Georgia
This may not be the right forum in which to ask this question- so if not please feel free to relocate.

Someone has approached me about buying a 1910 Kingsbury baby grand. I have not seen it but per his description the finish is not very good anymore and two keys stick. He made the error of telling another person that he bought it about 8 years ago and paid only $200 for it- but now he wants $1000. From what limited research I've been able to do most it doesn't appear that a piano of that age would be worth his asking price- but I'm not an expert either. Is there something special about this particular make of piano that would warrant that price?

I'd love to upgrade from my console piano to a baby grand if the price is right, so I'd like to somewhat intelligently bargain with him.

Thanks in advance!

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#67168 - 08/11/07 02:11 AM Re: Piano Value question
jwjazz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/02/07
Posts: 278
Loc: New York
This is the right forum as far as I know.
Never heard of Kingsbury.
The best thing to do is get a technician to evaluate the piano, he can tell the condition beyond the external level.
However, if you know he paid $200, you have a good bargaining position.

But what can you get for $1000 that's really a decent playable piano? That would be his bargaining position.

If you can bear with an unsightly finish, ok, but if not, refinishing is going to cost you more than the price of the piano. Not to mention other rebuilding if necessary to get a decent feel and sound.
_________________________
working on:
Goldberg Variations

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#67169 - 08/11/07 02:22 AM Re: Piano Value question
hotkeys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/07
Posts: 788
Loc: Massapequa, NY
I agree with you that the price is too high. I would have a piano technician accompany you when you go look at the piano. He/she can see things such as a cracked cast iron plate (this is the plate that holds the tension of the strings in the instrument; can be up to 10 tons of stress or more). I would be careful; if he wasn't truthful on how much he paid for the piano, I do not expect him to be sincere and you would be better off having a technician with you to check out the instrument. Let us know how you made out.

- Mark
_________________________
...The ultimate joy in music is the joy of playing the piano...

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#67170 - 08/11/07 02:27 AM Re: Piano Value question
hotkeys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/07
Posts: 788
Loc: Massapequa, NY
I done some research reading Larry Fine's The Piano Book, and found Kingsbury was built by the Cable Piano Company in Chicago, Illinois (see www.sweeneypiano.com for more information).

- Mark
_________________________
...The ultimate joy in music is the joy of playing the piano...

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#67171 - 08/11/07 09:44 AM Re: Piano Value question
Kellyd Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/10/07
Posts: 2
Loc: Georgia
Any idea how much a technician would charge to go with me an evaluate? I am a stay at home mom with very limited funds to spend- and don't want to spend more than I have to there either.

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#67172 - 08/11/07 01:24 PM Re: Piano Value question
Kenny Blankenship Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/05
Posts: 659
Loc: Northeast
Firewood...
_________________________
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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#67173 - 08/11/07 06:09 PM Re: Piano Value question
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4680
Loc: San Francisco
Budgeteers have to be patient. You may want to start watching Craigslist.com in Atlanta. One general category you might like to look at is pianos offered by people who are relocating/downsizing.

The first contact may have to be via e-mail, with a followup phone call if you're interested. Without actually knowing your toll rates, I'd suggest looking into Skype. It's an internet-based calling system. "Skype Unlimited" costs $30/year. Combine it with a monaural headset w/microphone- c.$30 from Amazon.com - and you'll have a good, inexpensive combo for communicating with sellers. Skype's sound quality has recently been upgraded.

Patience and persistence.

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#67174 - 08/12/07 02:48 AM Re: Piano Value question
ShootCraps Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/24/05
Posts: 132
Loc: Virginia Beach, VA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Kellyd:
Any idea how much a technician would charge to go with me an evaluate? I am a stay at home mom with very limited funds to spend- and don't want to spend more than I have to there either. [/b]
I found a tech who would evaluate any piano for free, as long as I had him tune it if I bought it. A great deal if you can find it in your town.

I looked at a lot of baby grands in that age range and none of them were in good shape. If it hasn't been tuned regularly for several years, it's probably not a good buy. Be patient and have it checked out. Good luck.
_________________________
"Show people are doomed. Doomed to a lifestyle of booze and pills and heavy meals late at night." Ruthless! - The Musical.

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