Buying an 1904 Schiedmayer & Sohne ( UPDATE: bought!+pics)

Posted by: nadi15

Buying an 1904 Schiedmayer & Sohne ( UPDATE: bought!+pics) - 11/01/12 08:21 AM

Hi!
So after several months of searching I think I found the right piano, it really wasn't what I had in mind but but it really is a unique and beatiful piano and I wanted to make sure i'm making the right decision before buying.

I'ts a completely restored 1904 Schiedmayer & Sohne upright, 1.48 meters high (about 58'), has a functional lamp, the guy i'm buying it from looks trustworthy, He mostly tunes and fixes pianos but also sales them. it has a really good and resonating sound. the price is about 6000$ (I'm not from the US).

Does this looks like a good deal? Is it really important to hire a technician to look at it before buying?
thanks!
Posted by: Bob

Re: buying an 1904 restored Schiedmayer & Sohne upright - 11/01/12 09:02 AM

Looking into my crystal ball, I can see it's a Schiedmayer & Sohne....it looks like a tall piano....yes...very tall....about 59.....no....about 58".....the seller says it's been restored.......but it's unclear if the restoration is complete......my ball is fuzzy on that.....wait....something is showing.....it's scrolling across my ball......

YES, GET A TECHNICIAN TO LOOK AT IT!
Posted by: Withindale

Re: buying an 1904 restored Schiedmayer & Sohne upright - 11/01/12 10:55 AM

I agree with Bob. Schiedmayer & Soehne built pianos to a high standard but you will need to assess the restoration.
Posted by: nadi15

Re: buying an 1904 restored Schiedmayer & Sohne upright - 11/01/12 05:34 PM

LOL yes I called the technician today we'll go again next week with him to asses the restoration, He also pointed me out that buying such a big, high and old piano has quite a lot of shortcomings:

-He said that because of it's height and size the sound would take over all of the appartment, and that usually in these pianos the sound is unproportional (low notes too loud, high notes not, I think this it what he ment:] )

-He said that it's harder to maintain it over the years (strings may brake, and then it's a problem).

-In addition, it's not very practical to move, and almost impossible to sale, I don't think this will be an issue, I have no intent of selling it.

And also, because almost all of the parts are replaced, it doesn't really sounds like the way it should be.

Still, I'm not quite convinced and this piano still feels right, do you agree with some of the things he said?
Posted by: Cornelius

Re: buying an 1904 restored Schiedmayer & Sohne upright - 11/01/12 06:11 PM

Hello Nadi15,
if you are not convinced don't buy it, you'll waste your money. About 6.000 $ for a more than 100 year old upright seems to me to be a no brainer. 148 cm tall means: you'll never sell it again.
Posted by: charleslang

Re: buying an 1904 restored Schiedmayer & Sohne upright - 11/01/12 06:34 PM

Don't buy it without having an independent technician look at it. The words "completely restored" mean different things to different people. Also, technicians vary in their skills just like professionals in any field.

You said it 'feels right'. Have you looked at many other pianos? New ones, too?

An old and well-restored vertical could be worth that much, and can have unique things to offer, like their interesting cases. But the quality of restorations varies greatly and so you ought to be cautious.
Posted by: nadi15

Re: buying an 1904 restored Schiedmayer & Sohne upright - 11/01/12 07:10 PM

Originally Posted By: Cornelius
Hello Nadi15,
if you are not convinced don't buy it, you'll waste your money. About 6.000 $ for a more than 100 year old upright seems to me to be a no brainer. 148 cm tall means: you'll never sell it again.


Hi Cornelius,
I ment to say that I am quite convinced to buy it in spite of all the shortcomings the technician said. I do not live in the U.S, this is a different market and compared to other similiar pianos this actually seems like a good deal.

Originally Posted By: charleslang
Don't buy it without having an independent technician look at it. The words "completely restored" mean different things to different people. Also, technicians vary in their skills just like professionals in any field.

You said it 'feels right'. Have you looked at many other pianos? New ones, too?

An old and well-restored vertical could be worth that much, and can have unique things to offer, like their interesting cases. But the quality of restorations varies greatly and so you ought to be cautious.



Hi, and thanks for the good advice. I have looked at many different pianos for several months and this one really attracted me.
Posted by: Gregor

Re: buying an 1904 restored Schiedmayer & Sohne upright - 11/02/12 06:24 AM

Originally Posted By: nadi15
I do not live in the U.S, this is a different market


Where do you live and how is the market there?

Gregor
Posted by: gnuboi

Re: buying an 1904 restored Schiedmayer & Sohne upright - 11/02/12 03:03 PM

I'd stay away from it.

Strings break but can be replaced.
Uneven sound can be voiced.

But you would need a trustyworthy and highly skilled technician.

You would also need to know exactly what was restored. Is the pinblock new? A 100-year-old pinblock in excellent condition is still very risky. Get a list of everything that was done.

You think you won't sell it, but what if you don't like it after 6 months? What if your family thinks it's too old (or ugly)? What if you need the money and you have to sell everything around you?
Posted by: nadi15

Re: buying an 1904 restored Schiedmayer & Sohne upright - 11/02/12 05:53 PM

Originally Posted By: Gregor
Where do you live and how is the market there?


I live in Israel, very thin market. Mostly Yamahas here and some new Chinese brands. Tried finding a secend-hand German piano at a good condition which is not too old and fits the budget but it proved nearly impossible...
So I gave up and became interested in this restored piano that We actually really really liked.


Anyway, thanks for all of the the advices, now I realize better the risks involved in buying a restored piano, and will definitely take it under consideration next time I'll go to him with a technician and make a final desicion:) perhaps it'll still be worth it, there were really few pianos that I got exited about like this one
Posted by: apple*

Re: buying an 1904 restored Schiedmayer & Sohne upright - 11/02/12 06:14 PM

good luck with your decision.. 58' is VERY tall. smile
Posted by: Supply

Re: buying an 1904 restored Schiedmayer & Sohne upright - 11/02/12 07:29 PM

Originally Posted By: nadi15
-He said that because of it's height and size the sound would take over all of the appartment, and that usually in these pianos the sound is unproportional (low notes too loud, high notes not, I think this it what he ment:] )

-He said that it's harder to maintain it over the years (strings may brake, and then it's a problem).

-In addition, it's not very practical to move, and almost impossible to sale, I don't think this will be an issue, I have no intent of selling it.

And also, because almost all of the parts are replaced, it doesn't really sounds like the way it should be.

My responses to these points:
1) yes, a large piano will (or at least should be expected to) have a larger tonal potential than a small one. Too much sound for an apartment? Maybe, but pianos can also be played softly... The sound should not be unproportional in a larger piano. Even in a concert grand the treble needs to be able to hold its own to the bass.

2)Strings can break on any piano, regardless of size. If this one is restored, it presumably has new strings which will last for decades. The same goes for new hammers and felts.

3)Harder to move - He has a point there, but hopefully it will be a one-time (or at least rare) occurrence.

4) If all the parts were replaced, it should sound "the way it should be". Pianos with parts that are 100 years old are the ones which don't "sound like it should be".

Perhaps this technician is only comfortable working on new pianos, preferably under 120 cm tall. In that case you may want to look around for a technician who admires and enjoys working on large, more vintage instruments.
Posted by: nadi15

Re: buying an 1904 restored Schiedmayer & Sohne upright - 11/09/12 09:28 AM

Update: after the technician approved, we decided to buy it.
It arrived today and I'm very happy with it:).
It has a deep tone and looks beautiful at our house. thanks for the help!



Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: buying an 1904 restored Schiedmayer & Sohne upright - 11/09/12 09:48 AM

That is a very beautiful and unique looking piano. When was the case refinished? Although internet pictures sometimes hide finish flaws, it looks in very excellent condition.
Posted by: Annitenth

Re: buying an 1904 restored Schiedmayer & Sohne upright - 11/09/12 10:52 AM

In general I "hate" old uprights because they remind me of the ones in my Sunday school classes 60+ years ago...old even then, totally uncared for, never tuned, poorly painted pastel colors, with dirty and broken ivories, and miserable to play on or listen to.

But yours is a gem. Really a beauty. I know you'll enjoy it.
Posted by: Sam Rose

Re: buying an 1904 restored Schiedmayer & Sohne upright - 11/09/12 07:40 PM

That piano looks stunning. If it plays half as nicely as it looks, I'm sure you'll be really happy with it laugh