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Restore an Old Steinway Grand with 85 keys - Worth it???
#1767983 10/10/11 01:27 PM
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Hi everyone,

I've come across an excellent, albeit very old Steinway 3/4 grand that needs a little bit of work. The price is good and I'm pretty motivated. All that aside, I have one remaining concern:

How much is the resale value of a Steinway grand affected by having only 85 keys as opposed to the standard 88?

Though my intention is not to resale the piano, I want to have that option open to me should I someday change careers, locations, or should something else occur that would require me to sell the Steinway. I want to be sure that the absence of the additional 3 keys will not limit my resale value so severely that it would not be worth investing a couple thousand dollars in restoration works. Any and all comments are hugely appreciated! Thanks!

Last edited by ILArguelles; 10/10/11 01:32 PM.

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Re: Restore an Old Steinway Grand with 85 keys - Worth it???
ILArguelles #1768011 10/10/11 01:54 PM
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The pianos you have been asking about have asking prices that are absurdly high compared to what is realistic in many other parts of the world, so I think you need to discuss it with local piano people. A couple of thousand in restoration for a Steinway old enough to have 85 keys is low compared to the rest of the world, as well.


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Re: Restore an Old Steinway Grand with 85 keys - Worth it???
BDB #1768036 10/10/11 02:23 PM
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eek Hey BDB, tell me about it, prices here are ABSURD!!! So actually, after the technician's review, he's estimating that a good sale price of the piano should be about 50 thousand pesos (about US$4,000)...and that the piano needs restringing and soundboard work, hammers, and a redo of the keyboard after a choppy previous restoration job, with other things, such as restoration of the original Rosewood veneer, as projects that can be done later in time but not immediately.


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Re: Restore an Old Steinway Grand with 85 keys - Worth it???
ILArguelles #1768471 10/11/11 05:26 AM
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Over the years, I have facilitated the remanufacture of many 85 note Steinway B(s). This is the realistic scoop as for whether one should consider this acquisition or not. Does the partial restoration of a 85 note Steinway B make sense ? . The vintage Steinway B was of 85 notes up till around 1889. They were originally of Victorian art cases. Most were with the Steinway flowerpot leg styling,reeded pedal lyre and the filigree music rack etc. The 85 note Steinway B in that era is considered of a modern scale design when compared to that of a modern B. An 1889 B is near identical to that of a modern B scale with a very slight variation to the tenor duplex scale bar. Other than that it is as modern as a newer Steinway B. Bass strings are the same etc. One can't compare the B with the evolution of the 85 note Steinway A from the A-1 to the modern scale A-2.
If the prospective buyer puts precedence on the Victorian case, than this piano has retained it's vintage value whether 85 or 88 notes.
If one is thinking in the mindset of it's high level performance potential than this piano CAN BE a good choice ONLY IF one is planning on restoring the piano in it's entirety. A new soundboard,bridge caps and ribs is warranted along with the normal procedural rebuild. /action stack,damper action,pinblock,restring,repin etc. The piano is 120-130 years old so therefore there is nothing one can salvage in this "core piano" as for future remanufacture.I'm sure there are a few exceptions to my soundboard assumption though I have not seen any.It really depends on one's scrutiny as for whether a piano warrants a new board or not.

In the piano rebuilding industry, these 85 note specimens are discounted considerably compared to those of 88 notes, though restoration is NOT discounted for the lack of those 3 keys.

Personally. I think they are a great value in that a spec remanufacture of a 85 note B can be the same $ as a 88 note M.What would one rather have a remanufactured 85 note B or an 88 note restored M ?
Though some are in need of those 3 high treble notes but than again some can do without at maybe a savings of $3500 a key. grin

That is the 85 note B in a nutshell. wink

Last edited by pianobroker; 10/11/11 11:27 AM.

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Re: Restore an Old Steinway Grand with 85 keys - Worth it???
pianobroker #1768508 10/11/11 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by pianobroker
What would one rather have a remanufactured 85 note B or an 88 note restored M ?
Though some are in need of those 3 high treble notes but than again some can do without at maybe a savings of $3500 a key. grin


I'll take the B. grin

Re: Restore an Old Steinway Grand with 85 keys - Worth it???
ILArguelles #1769696 10/13/11 03:09 AM
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The man recovered his

Last edited by Rickster; 10/13/11 07:59 AM.
Re: Restore an Old Steinway Grand with 85 keys - Worth it???
ILArguelles #1770442 10/14/11 11:27 AM
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From my experience, the 85-note range does not so much lower the value of the instrument as it does shrink the number of potential customers. Most high level pianists avoid them, but the casual pianist and the rich non-playing consumer don't mind. Moreover, many customers think the abnormal keyboard adds to the romance of owning a piece of history.


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Re: Restore an Old Steinway Grand with 85 keys - Worth it???
ILArguelles #1770551 10/14/11 02:04 PM
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I agree with pianobroker's comment on the value of the 85 note Steinway model. The one's I have seen in Manhattan are usually priced about 10K less than the same model/style/finish in an 88 note model.

I think the lesser value of the 85 note models is mostly due to psychological reasons on the buyer's part. There have been Pianist Corner threads about which pieces actually use the last three notes and there are only a handful or two in the standard piano literature(perhpas excluding late 20th century works).

Yet despite the above I would have difficulty buying an 85 note model. They can be great bargains for those who aren't concerned about those last three notes.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 10/14/11 02:06 PM.
Re: Restore an Old Steinway Grand with 85 keys - Worth it???
ILArguelles #1770558 10/14/11 02:10 PM
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Why do you need 88 keys?? Do you think Chopin music is not enough? He composed with pianos of 82 keys!.


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Re: Restore an Old Steinway Grand with 85 keys - Worth it???
ILArguelles #1770675 10/14/11 05:54 PM
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If one can purchase the rebuildable 85 note B "core" piano for ?K less than one of 88 notes, you should be able to sell it for ?K less, don't you think ?

If the fact that being of 85 notes will shrink the number of potential customers in the marketplace, one would think that it's "fair market value" is lowered in the real world.

As I had mentioned earlier one MUST remanufacture this piano in it's entirety at a high level or you won't have a chance of selling it to a so called REAL pianist.

These are a few pics of a spec 1889 85 note Steinway B we did. Someone previously had changed out the legs,lyre and music desk.

http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/DSC00895.JPG

http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/DSC00916.JPG

http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/DSC00901.JPG

http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/DSC00915.JPG



www.pastperfectpiano.com
Largest selection in the USA
100+Steinway and M&H grands
Warehouse showroom Onsite Restoration
Preowned & Restored
Hailun dlr.818-255-3145
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z8RvhXGKzY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Voo0zumHGgE

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