What's a fair price for a rebuilt 19th-century Steinway A?

Posted by: aaronjones191191

What's a fair price for a rebuilt 19th-century Steinway A? - 02/04/13 10:01 AM

What is a fair price to pay for a 19th century, newly rebuilt Steinway model A with Steinway parts as verified by a qualified technician? 85 keys, not the original ivory. Similar to this in terms of the appearance: http://i.imgur.com/WQ2S0Ao.jpg

I'm not looking for an exact price, of course, but just a range that would be considered fair value.

Thank you!
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: What's a fair price for a rebuilt 19th-century Steinway A? - 02/04/13 11:14 AM

The dealer's location, whether this was a "total rebuild"(everything except basically the plate and case is new ), and the quality of the work will be factors in the cost. Also, there are different model A's(do you know which one this is) of slightly different lengths so that could affect the price.

The fact that it's 85 notes should lower the price compared to an A with 88 keys(assuming they exist in a model A)but will not IMO create problems playing 99.99% of the standard piano literature. I think any negative for 85 notes is mostly psychological. I've seen 85 note rebuilds selling for 10K less than the same piano with 88 notes.

Is the piano you're interested in finished in ebony like the one in the picture?

If you like these style cases(as I do), the fact that the piano is rebuilt and 85 notes allows you to get it at far less than a modern Steinway of similar design an 88 note compass. A new Steinway A of a very similar special design costs around 94K. In other words Steinway charges a considerable premium of around 20K for the fancy legs, music desk, and lyre. My experience is that rebuilders normally charge extra for ornate cases but the extra amount is nowhere near the extra amount for a new Steinway with a highly carved case.
Posted by: aaronjones191191

Re: What's a fair price for a rebuilt 19th-century Steinway A? - 02/04/13 11:33 AM

The dealer is in the Bay Area, California. It is finished in satin ebony.
Posted by: ju5t1n-h

Re: What's a fair price for a rebuilt 19th-century Steinway A? - 02/04/13 11:38 AM

Find out who did the refurbishment - Only Steinway should do any refurbishment to the soundboard, if not... don't buy it because then it isn't a genuine Steinway.
Posted by: Thrill Science

Re: What's a fair price for a rebuilt 19th-century Steinway A? - 02/04/13 11:41 AM

Originally Posted By: ju5t1n-h
Only Steinway should do any refurbishment to the soundboard, if not... don't buy it because then it isn't a genuine Steinway.


Says the man with an "Essex!" :-)
Posted by: Mark...

Re: What's a fair price for a rebuilt 19th-century Steinway A? - 02/04/13 11:41 AM

http://www.countrypiano.com/showroom/steinway/Steinway-A-97346.htm

It it like this one?
Posted by: aaronjones191191

Re: What's a fair price for a rebuilt 19th-century Steinway A? - 02/04/13 11:45 AM

New Steinway action components and hammers, new strings. Original (but refinished) plate, bridges, cabinet and soundboard.

The work was not done by Steinway, but by a reputable and well-regarded technician.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: What's a fair price for a rebuilt 19th-century Steinway A? - 02/04/13 12:03 PM

Although there is considerable disagreement about this (and I am not knowledgeable enough to offer my own opinion), many feel that the huge majority of pianos of that age should have their soundboards replaced in a rebuild. I would suggest at least having an independent technician verify the condition of the soundboard if it has not been replaced.
Posted by: aaronjones191191

Re: What's a fair price for a rebuilt 19th-century Steinway A? - 02/04/13 12:07 PM

Thank you. I will certainly have an independent technician examine it beforehand. Any thoughts on a fair price range if that report checks out?

It also has a 10 year warranty.
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: What's a fair price for a rebuilt 19th-century Steinway A? - 02/04/13 12:11 PM

Originally Posted By: Thrill Science
Originally Posted By: ju5t1n-h
Only Steinway should do any refurbishment to the soundboard, if not... don't buy it because then it isn't a genuine Steinway.


Says the man with an "Essex!" :-)

Posted by: Steve Chandler

Re: What's a fair price for a rebuilt 19th-century Steinway A? - 02/04/13 12:49 PM

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted By: Thrill Science
Originally Posted By: ju5t1n-h
Only Steinway should do any refurbishment to the soundboard, if not... don't buy it because then it isn't a genuine Steinway.


Says the man with an "Essex!" :-)


The reason this is funny is because an Essex isn't a genuine Steinway. The fact is the genuineness of the parts isn't that important. If you used softer hammers as genuine Steinway hammers are then you'd have to juice them (as Steinway does) to make them sound good or play them in for a few years (which is what people used to do). Simply put, Steinway quality is good but overpriced and other companies make equally good parts for significantly less.
Posted by: Bob

Re: What's a fair price for a rebuilt 19th-century Steinway A? - 02/04/13 12:58 PM

grin
Posted by: Ed Foote

Re: What's a fair price for a rebuilt 19th-century Steinway A? - 02/04/13 01:01 PM

[quote=ju5t1n-h]Only Steinway should do any refurbishment to the soundboard, if not... don't buy it because then it [i][b]isn't a genuine Steinway.

Greetings,
There are some very fine specialists that do a more craftsmanlike job of replacing soundboards in the pianos than the factory. I have seen the difference. I have also seen the uneducated, (or educated solely by S&S) that think their piano is like original artwork, and only the original "artist" must lay hands on it or its value evaporates. This is not true.
Regards,
Posted by: aaronjones191191

Re: What's a fair price for a rebuilt 19th-century Steinway A? - 02/04/13 01:02 PM

Any opinions on a price range? I am not sure if we're talking $15K, $25K, $35K or more...
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: What's a fair price for a rebuilt 19th-century Steinway A? - 02/04/13 01:17 PM

Aaron,

As you probably have surmised, there is no way to even give a ballpark figure. There are just too many variables and unknowns.

It would probably start at $20K and could go up by tens of thousands.

The best thing to do would be to have it appraised by someone qualified to assess pianos in your area.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: What's a fair price for a rebuilt 19th-century Steinway A? - 02/04/13 01:45 PM

I took two rebuilders in the northeast(one known as inexpensive and one known as expensive)and subtracted 10K from their prices for similar 88 note models. This gave prices of 30K and 48K. You could go online or call rebuilders in your area to see what typical prices are there.

The main thing is to have a very good tech help you evaluate the quality of the rebuild as that there is considerable variation and probably only an expert would be able to judge the differences. If you are a reasonably advanced pianist you could also play a lot of new and rebuilt Steinways and use your judgement as one of the main considerations. Buying a rebuilt piano can be a lot trickier than buying a new one.
Posted by: kpembrook

Re: What's a fair price for a rebuilt 19th-century Steinway A? - 02/04/13 02:41 PM

Originally Posted By: ju5t1n-h
Find out who did the refurbishment - Only Steinway should do any refurbishment to the soundboard, if not... don't buy it because then it isn't a genuine Steinway.


This is absolute rubbish from the Steinway marketing machine. It's only significance is the degree to which people have allowed themselves to be persuaded this is true.

The legitimate concern is that low-skill workmanship or substandard parts would provide a lesser experience than what the brand is noted for (although Steinway's quality control is in some instances completely non-existent). Quality wood is quality wood. Period. The idea that there is some kind of magic radiation in the factory that makes it somehow more suitable is pure myth.
Posted by: Thrill Science

Re: What's a fair price for a rebuilt 19th-century Steinway A? - 02/04/13 02:58 PM

Quote:

The idea that there is some kind of magic radiation in the factory that makes it somehow more suitable is pure myth.


There is "magic radiation" -- from the ovens they use to speed-dry their wood!

(They talk about their "kilns" in various places, see http://www.steinway.com/pianos/steinway/grand/model-b/ for example).
Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: What's a fair price for a rebuilt 19th-century Steinway A? - 02/04/13 03:42 PM

Maybe this will give you an idea what the piano you are considering is worth.

We have an 1899, Hamburg Steinway A in Victorian Rosewood french Polish finish. It was completely rebuilt except for the soundboard which was in excellent condition, by 1066 Restorations in Cambridge England. The case is darker and much prettier than in the video due to lighting.
http://s111.beta.photobucket.com/user/jasonsmc/media/AIIDemo2_zps0048aa87.mp4.html

The piano has great tone and excellent volume. It wouldn't if the soundboard was in less than top form.

While we are asking $65,000, anticipating a trade in, we will likely get $5,000-$10,000 less in a straight sale.

Keep in mind that Hamburg Steinways usually sell at a higher price than their American cousins.

Posted by: aaronjones191191

Re: What's a fair price for a rebuilt 19th-century Steinway A? - 02/04/13 04:10 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark...


Yes, very similar. No ivory, 85 keys. Given that asking price, what would you offer to buy that piano?
Posted by: Mark...

Re: What's a fair price for a rebuilt 19th-century Steinway A? - 02/04/13 04:15 PM

Originally Posted By: aaronjones191191
Originally Posted By: Mark...


Yes, very similar. No ivory, 85 keys. Given that asking price, what would you offer to buy that piano?


I'd offer 32k and go from there...it could be a firm price though.
Posted by: aaronjones191191

Re: What's a fair price for a rebuilt 19th-century Steinway A? - 02/04/13 05:28 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark...
Originally Posted By: aaronjones191191
Originally Posted By: Mark...


Yes, very similar. No ivory, 85 keys. Given that asking price, what would you offer to buy that piano?


I'd offer 32k and go from there...it could be a firm price though.


Thanks - And is that based on your feeling as to the intrinsic value of the instrument (from what you know), or on some general rule of thumb to open with a bid at a discount of ~18% / $7K?
Posted by: Mark...

Re: What's a fair price for a rebuilt 19th-century Steinway A? - 02/04/13 05:31 PM

Originally Posted By: aaronjones191191
Originally Posted By: Mark...
Originally Posted By: aaronjones191191
Originally Posted By: Mark...


Yes, very similar. No ivory, 85 keys. Given that asking price, what would you offer to buy that piano?


I'd offer 32k and go from there...it could be a firm price though.



Thanks - And is that based on your feeling as to the intrinsic value of the instrument (from what you know), or on some general rule of thumb to open with a bid at a discount of ~18% / $7K?


Just a gut feeling on how the pricing works and on the price they are selling it. Restored being somewhat different than new.
Posted by: beethoven986

Re: What's a fair price for a rebuilt 19th-century Steinway A? - 02/04/13 06:20 PM

Originally Posted By: aaronjones191191
Any opinions on a price range? I am not sure if we're talking $15K, $25K, $35K or more...


There are vastly different levels of quality among people who restore pianos. I have seen Steinway model A rebuilds in the $25,000 range and they are always disappointing. Factory-rebuilt Steinways cost 85% of new. A New Steinway model A costs $86,000.... so, approx $65,000. However, you can probably get a decent to really well rebuilt one for somewhere in the $35,000-$50,000 range.
Posted by: Ed Foote

Re: What's a fair price for a rebuilt 19th-century Steinway A? - 02/04/13 10:01 PM

Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Originally Posted By: aaronjones191191
Any opinions on a price range? I am not sure if we're talking $15K, $25K, $35K or more...


There are vastly different levels of quality among people who restore pianos. I have seen Steinway model A rebuilds in the $25,000 range and they are always disappointing. Factory-rebuilt Steinways cost 85% of new. A New Steinway model A costs $86,000.... so, approx $65,000. However, you can probably get a decent to really well rebuilt one for somewhere in the $35,000-$50,000 range.


Greetings,
Yes, that price range will get you a decent instrument. I will have one late this summer. Ebony, perfect ivory, 88 notes, complete job, approx. $60K. There are a lot of them advertised out there, but it is the soundboard question that is the big one. I don't see any Steinways that are over 90 years old that still have much voice in the fifth octave, where it counts. For that, you need a new board that is properly installed.
Regards,
Posted by: beethoven986

Re: What's a fair price for a rebuilt 19th-century Steinway A? - 02/04/13 11:27 PM

Originally Posted By: Ed Foote
There are a lot of them advertised out there, but it is the soundboard question that is the big one. I don't see any Steinways that are over 90 years old that still have much voice in the fifth octave, where it counts. For that, you need a new board that is properly installed.


I haven't either, so I couldn't agree with you more! Not only does a new board increase performance, it also looks better. I don't understand the people who think that it's ok to spend thousands of dollars on refinishing the outside and plate, redoing the action, etc. and then leave the cruddy looking oxidized board with 10 shims in the piano.
Posted by: Ed McMorrow, RPT

Re: What's a fair price for a rebuilt 19th-century Steinway A? - 02/05/13 01:03 AM

Well it just so happens that I have an 1884 A, Sat eb with spade legs and lyre from the 1930's that is rebuilt with new board, bridges, strings, pinblock, keyset, action frame rails replaced, damper action replaced, new whippens, hammers etc for $28K. If it was a 6'4' A in the same condition it would be $45K. It also features my Patent Pending "fully Tempered Duplex Scale" and trademarked LightHammer Tone Regulation.