Purchasing a used 1998 Estonia 168 - any advice?

Posted by: phrygian

Purchasing a used 1998 Estonia 168 - any advice? - 02/18/13 07:14 PM

HI there-
I'm new to the forum - I'm wondering if anyone can help me with some advice-
I've recently "discovered" Estonia pianos and am intrigued after playing some at a local music store.
I recently found a private seller who is selling a 1998 Estonia 168 (5'6") piano (high gloss black) for $13,000-

I haven't played this particular one yet- but I'm going to try it out soon-
The owner of the piano is the original owner- and says it is in great shape.

About me: I play mostly classical and new age music, and the piano would also be used for recording.

I've been reading about the history of Estonia- and so the one issue I can think of right now (without playing the piano yet, of course) is the year 1998-
As I've learned that these pianos have come a long way since the early 90's- and I read that even some of them in the 90's were "plagued with manufacturing defects" and that it wasn't until 2003 that they REALLY started improving in quality and craftsmanship. So I'm just wondering if anyone out there is familiar with or owns a late 90's model and can tell me anything about the quality of the pianos manufactured during that time.

(Of course I will have a technician come and inspect it and give me his / her blessing after I try it out- before making my decision but I was just curious to know what you think on the forum.)

Any advice or opinions are greatly appreciated! Thanks :-)
Posted by: Cy Shuster, RPT

Re: Purchasing a used 1998 Estonia 168 - any advice? - 02/18/13 07:58 PM

Welcome to the forum!

That's pretty high. They were selling for around $17K in 2000 (in a wood finish). I regularly service one from that year, and it's still an excellent piano. Don't know about the 1998 vintage.

--Cy--
Posted by: Sir Lurksalot

Re: Purchasing a used 1998 Estonia 168 - any advice? - 02/18/13 11:00 PM

If the original owner did any negotiating at all in 1998, they probably paid around $13,000 for it new.
Posted by: phrygian

Re: Purchasing a used 1998 Estonia 168 - any advice? - 02/18/13 11:32 PM

OK thanks Sir Lurksalot & Cy!

I have a feeling he might be willing to negotiate on the price-
but just from your standpoint- if I play it and there doesn't appear to be anything wrong with it- would you think that $10,000 - $11,000 is fair?

Thanks
Posted by: maserman1

Re: Purchasing a used 1998 Estonia 168 - any advice? - 02/19/13 04:32 AM

I had a 2000 built one. It was a decent enough musical instrument, but of very poor build quality. Have a good look at casework joints and panel fits, and then decide if you can live with it. [I couldnt].

Price depends on your local market. Here it would only make 8000usd equivalent.
Posted by: Sir Lurksalot

Re: Purchasing a used 1998 Estonia 168 - any advice? - 02/19/13 11:34 AM

Originally Posted By: phrygian
if I play it and there doesn't appear to be anything wrong with it- would you think that $10,000 - $11,000 is fair?

I'm no expert but it's my understanding that the biggest problem with Estonias of that era was inconsistency from one to the next (see maserman1's post). $10K-$11K might be a fair price IF it's one of the better ones and hasn't been heavily used (insert Pianoworld advice about having a tech inspect it here).
Posted by: phrygian

Re: Purchasing a used 1998 Estonia 168 - any advice? - 02/19/13 12:59 PM

Ok thanks!
Since I'm kind of new to this- in short, just to verify, having the tech come to the guy's house and have him / her give it a good checkup will determine if it's one of the better ones? The tech should be able to do that on the spot?

thanks again :-)
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Purchasing a used 1998 Estonia 168 - any advice? - 02/19/13 02:15 PM

Originally Posted By: phrygian
Ok thanks!
Since I'm kind of new to this- in short, just to verify, having the tech come to the guy's house and have him / her give it a good checkup will determine if it's one of the better ones? The tech should be able to do that on the spot?

thanks again :-)
I think a very good tech could give you reliable information about the quality of any piano you're interested in. I don't think even a very good tech could know how a particular Estonia piano compares to others of the same vintage unless they happened to be extremely familiar with many Estonia pianos of that vintage.
Posted by: Cy Shuster, RPT

Re: Purchasing a used 1998 Estonia 168 - any advice? - 02/19/13 05:36 PM

Originally Posted By: phrygian
Ok thanks!
Since I'm kind of new to this- in short, just to verify, having the tech come to the guy's house and have him / her give it a good checkup will determine if it's one of the better ones? The tech should be able to do that on the spot?

thanks again :-)


Yes. Specifically, the tech can check things that are difficult for you to check, like whether prior repairs have been done, and how well; whether there's sufficient torque for the tuning pins to hold tension; and how much wear the piano has received.

I explain to people it's like getting a mechanic to check a used car. The interior can look great, but I myself can't check compression of the engine, and things like that which might cost money in the short term.

--Cy--
Posted by: phrygian

Re: Purchasing a used 1998 Estonia 168 - any advice? - 02/19/13 09:53 PM

Thanks PianoLoverus!
Posted by: phrygian

Re: Purchasing a used 1998 Estonia 168 - any advice? - 02/19/13 09:56 PM

OK thanks so much Cy-
If I can ask- what's the going rate for this kind of tech inspection? Just trying to figure out what I can expect to pay- even a range would be helpful-
thanks!
Originally Posted By: Cy Shuster, RPT
Originally Posted By: phrygian


Yes. Specifically, the tech can check things that are difficult for you to check, like whether prior repairs have been done, and how well; whether there's sufficient torque for the tuning pins to hold tension; and how much wear the piano has received.

I explain to people it's like getting a mechanic to check a used car. The interior can look great, but I myself can't check compression of the engine, and things like that which might cost money in the short term.

--Cy--
Posted by: mickangel33

Re: Purchasing a used 1998 Estonia 168 - any advice? - 02/20/13 03:49 AM

Hello,

I have played the 190 and I loved it! I have heard the 168 is a very good piano too.
Mick
Posted by: phrygian

Re: Purchasing a used 1998 Estonia 168 - any advice? - 02/20/13 04:43 PM

Thanks Mick!
Posted by: BerndAB

Re: Purchasing a used 1998 Estonia 168 - any advice? - 02/20/13 07:24 PM

For elder Estonias there should be a clear insight if it is a "russian" Estonia or a privatized one (built in the era of the actual owner Dr. Indrek Laul).

Even if Indrek Laul is steadily improving the piano design and production - there is a huge jump from "russian" quality ("quality") to "privatized" output.

But I don't know exactly when this happened. 1995 was the purchase by Dr. Laul. So a piano (sold in 1998) might eventually be (with a small bad luck) an elder piano of "russian management" origin..
Posted by: Cy Shuster, RPT

Re: Purchasing a used 1998 Estonia 168 - any advice? - 02/20/13 09:18 PM

Originally Posted By: phrygian

If I can ask- what's the going rate for this kind of tech inspection? Just trying to figure out what I can expect to pay- even a range would be helpful-
thanks!


I don't know where you're located, but I'd guess in most of the U.S., it would be generally under $100. Call a few people and get some quotes. You can find RPTs here:

http://www.ptg.org

--Cy--
Posted by: phrygian

Re: Purchasing a used 1998 Estonia 168 - any advice? - 02/25/13 01:20 AM

Great, thanks Cy!
Posted by: phrygian

Re: Purchasing a used 1998 Estonia 168 - any advice? - 02/25/13 01:21 AM

OK thanks BurndAB :-)