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#2046569 - 03/11/13 05:02 PM Looking at Pianos
RosieP Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/13/13
Posts: 18
Hi,

I am starting my search for a grand, knowing that it could be a long process. I have identified 3 interesting used pianos and I wondered about everyone's opinion:

1. Baldwin SF-10 1985 - well maintained from new, but not rebuilt $11,750

2.C Bechstein Model A 1902 - rebuilt in 1998. $7,000

3. Heintzman & Co 5' 4" baby grand 1940 - some work done(hammers and keytops replaced) and refinished 25 years ago. $8,000

All 3 pianos look to be in good condition and are from private owners. I would get my tech to check them all out, but I would value your comments on price etc.

I have also been thinking about new and have considered Kawai, Ritmuller, Brodmann, and Hailun.

I know that most people on this forum suggest buying new, but something keeps drawing me back to these older pianos.

Many thanks for your help

Rosie

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#2046602 - 03/11/13 06:03 PM Re: Looking at Pianos [Re: RosieP]
Jonathan Alford Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/10/11
Posts: 372
Loc: Colorado
Rosie,

Have you played them? Do play as many as you can - one will be the perfect piano for you - maybe new - maybe used.

Have fun!
Jonathan

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#2046604 - 03/11/13 06:07 PM Re: Looking at Pianos [Re: Jonathan Alford]
RosieP Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/13/13
Posts: 18
Hi Jonathan,

I haven't played them yet. Because of the distance involved I was going to get a tech to check out a couple of favourites and then make the final decision. It will probably be a weekend full of piano playing!

Thanks,
Wendy

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#2046621 - 03/11/13 06:32 PM Re: Looking at Pianos [Re: RosieP]
Jonathan Alford Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/10/11
Posts: 372
Loc: Colorado
Wendy,

Not sure how much your tech charges, but it could get expensive having him/her check them out first.

When I was shopping, I played maybe 15-20 pianos and then had my tech check out the one used piano I was considering. Cost about $100 for that one. (I ended up going with a new Ritmuller instead.)

Jonathan

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#2046643 - 03/11/13 07:18 PM Re: Looking at Pianos [Re: RosieP]
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4382
Loc: Jersey Shore
1. Baldwin SF-10 1985 - well maintained from new, but not rebuilt $11,750

I like!

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#2046659 - 03/11/13 08:05 PM Re: Looking at Pianos [Re: Mark...]
RosieP Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/13/13
Posts: 18
Hi Mark,

That's the one I favour too! Now I just have to persuade my better half that 7 feet is "not that big"!

Cheers,
Rosie

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#2046660 - 03/11/13 08:06 PM Re: Looking at Pianos [Re: Jonathan Alford]
RosieP Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/13/13
Posts: 18
Thanks for the advice Jonathan - I will bear that in mind.

Rosie

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#2046680 - 03/11/13 09:37 PM Re: Looking at Pianos [Re: RosieP]
dsch Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/17/08
Posts: 325
Loc: florida
Not knowing anything else, I'd choose #1. It has way more potential for giving you pleasure. I'd probably go with that over a new Brodmann or Ritmuller. But you may have to put more money into it to get it in tip top shape.

Bechsteins from that era are usually just for looks.

With #3 you are paying $KK for the looks rather than the touch and tone.

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#2046691 - 03/11/13 09:48 PM Re: Looking at Pianos [Re: RosieP]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
If it passes a thorough inspection, without a doubt, I would go for No. 1.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2046708 - 03/11/13 10:12 PM Re: Looking at Pianos [Re: RosieP]
Guapo Gabacho Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/23/11
Posts: 497
Loc: Rio Grande Valley of Texas
I, obviously, would favor the Baldwin SF-10.
_________________________
'86 Baldwin SF-10

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#2046711 - 03/11/13 10:19 PM Re: Looking at Pianos [Re: RosieP]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2850
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Prestonscan,
On the SF-10, be sure to the tech evaluates the soundboard to rim glue joints. I have seen several where this is failing, seemingly from the factory. Also the bridge can split where the capo bar section ends and the agraffe section begins.

The other two listed I would not consider until I have eliminated the SF-10. But with old used pianos each one is an individual case and general statements have many caveats and exceptions.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2047091 - 03/12/13 04:52 PM Re: Looking at Pianos [Re: RosieP]
Scout Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/20/12
Posts: 58
Loc: USA
7 feet really is "not that big"! I find that a grand piano always looks smaller once it's in the home than it does in one's imagination beforehand. My non-pianist husband agrees on this experience. (We're not at 7 feet, but bigger than ever before.)
_________________________
1989 Baldwin L


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#2047290 - 03/12/13 09:55 PM Re: Looking at Pianos [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
RosieP Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/13/13
Posts: 18
Thanks for the advice Ed. I will certainly pass that info on to the tech.

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#2047292 - 03/12/13 09:57 PM Re: Looking at Pianos [Re: Guapo Gabacho]
RosieP Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/13/13
Posts: 18
Guapo,

I notice that your Baldwin is a similar vintage to the one I am considering. Have you had any work done on yours since you bought it? Anything I should know?

Thanks!

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#2047321 - 03/12/13 10:41 PM Re: Looking at Pianos [Re: RosieP]
ahhsmurf Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/07/13
Posts: 48
Loc: Banned
It has way more potential for giving you pleasure.

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#2047521 - 03/13/13 08:33 AM Re: Looking at Pianos [Re: Scout]
Plowboy Offline

2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2518
Loc: SoCal
Originally Posted By: Scout
7 feet really is "not that big"! I find that a grand piano always looks smaller once it's in the home than it does in one's imagination beforehand. My non-pianist husband agrees on this experience. (We're not at 7 feet, but bigger than ever before.)


Maybe because my condo is quite small, but my 5'2" grand looks much bigger here than at the dealer's.

If I was a rational person, I'd trade it in on a higher quality upright.
_________________________
Gary

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#2047859 - 03/13/13 08:16 PM Re: Looking at Pianos [Re: Plowboy]
Scout Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/20/12
Posts: 58
Loc: USA
Oh yes, of course, always bigger at home than at the dealer's--but not always bigger than what the imagination does with it before it gets home.
_________________________
1989 Baldwin L


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#2047864 - 03/13/13 08:31 PM Re: Looking at Pianos [Re: dsch]
Miguel Rey Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 406
Originally Posted By: dsch
Not knowing anything else, I'd choose #1. It has way more potential for giving you pleasure. I'd probably go with that over a new Brodmann or Ritmuller. But you may have to put more money into it to get it in tip top shape.

Bechsteins from that era are usually just for looks.

With #3 you are paying $KK for the looks rather than the touch and tone.


Far from the truth, if the Bechstein has been rebuilt in 98 then is definitely worth a second look from a qualified tech. Also double check the year on the Bech, most often people confuse the case# from the serial#. The case# is etched underneath the piano in the wood and the serial would be on metal plate looking down from the top. Most old Bechs no longer have that plate. I just bought what was first believed a 1889 Bech that turned out to be a 1905, definite plus for me.

I think first you should narrow down the sound and feel you are looking for then go from there. You will find no shortage of pianos to choose from.
_________________________
Bechstein B c1905


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#2048218 - 03/14/13 01:59 PM Re: Looking at Pianos [Re: RosieP]
mikeheel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/31/10
Posts: 388
Loc: NC
I like your list and the combination of new and used you're looking at. Like folks above, I'd encourage you to try as many as you can, narrow your list, and then pick a favorite. If one of the used ones, make sure to have it checked out with a fine tooth comb. If one of the new, be sure you're working with a good dealer.

Looking forward to hearing how this adventure turns out.

Mike
_________________________
Happy owner of a 5'7" Ritmuller GH170R.
If you're bored, try my blog (mostly faith & family): http://mikeheel.wordpress.com.

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#2049109 - 03/16/13 11:51 AM Re: Looking at Pianos [Re: RosieP]
love my baldwin Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/15/13
Posts: 3
I was in the same boat you are in just 6 short weeks ago. I started out perusing the craiglist ads hoping to save some money but actually never went to a private home. The first dealer I went to was a Steinway dealer. Obviously Steinways are out of my price range but they also sold Kawai and Kohler Campbell. Kohler Campbells were not for me so I was leaning towards a new baby grand Kawai. The next dealer was a Yamaha dealer and I discovered I didn't care for Yamaha's but I played a Baldwin L (6'3") built in 1950. The Baldwin had been redone. The sound was exquisite, unlike anything I had heard before or since. After thinking it over for a few days I had it delivered and couldn't be happier. It all comes down to what sounds good to you.

Jerry

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#2049126 - 03/16/13 12:08 PM Re: Looking at Pianos [Re: love my baldwin]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: love my baldwin
It all comes down to what sounds good to you.
Truer words have never been spoken.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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