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#2016028 - 01/17/13 11:11 AM Re: Are pianos decreasing in value? (piano burning) [Re: Craig Hair]  
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 276
Blues beater Offline
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Blues beater  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 276
Austin, Texas USA
Originally Posted by Craig Hair
Decreased in value? Today I couldn't give away a bunch of Steinway uprights. We need to make room in our shop, and as we like our neighboring rebuilders we thought they might want them. They are in rough, original condition, but I was offering them to professional rebuilders. I thought at least one of them would want at least one of them. I'm still a little shocked. I knew the upright market was weak, but when free Steinways don't spark any interest it implys collapse.
Before our economic malaise, we all put out many nice rebuilt uprights. As many as you could, as nicely as you cared to. The market was there for quality at a premium. So I guess we could easily have flooded the local market, and our past work has become our worst competitor. But this never seemed to be the case with Steinways. There was always a demand for those, not always ravenous but never absent.
Its like the entire industry is eroding from the bottom up.


If you were in Austin, I would grab one in a heartbeat for DIY tinkering.


Don, playing the blues in Austin, Texas on a 48" family heirloom Steinway upright, 100 year old 54" Weber upright, unknown make turn of the century 54" upright -- says "Whittier NY" on the plate, Starr, ca. 100 years old full size upright.
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#2016088 - 01/17/13 12:55 PM Re: Are pianos decreasing in value? (piano burning) [Re: Blues beater]  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 997
David Boyce Online content
500 Post Club Member
David Boyce  Online Content
500 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 997
Scotland
Quote
We are all familiar with the "cut-down" mirror uprights which we dread seeing,


The equivalent in the UK was the vogue in the 1950s for "modernising" old overdamper pianos. Corners were rounded, inlaid top panels replaced with plain, fancy "trusses" replaced with plain curved legs. And usually nothing was ever done to renovate the action or anything inside. There pianos are now 60 years older, but have casework which fools people into thinking they are 60 and not 130 years old. One customer a few years ago refused to believe me that hers was one of these, insisting that her parents had bought the piano brand new in 1957 (I was brand new that year myself). When I found a 1918 date stamped on the filthy worn-out old action, she was finally convinced.

Generally I'd rather encounter a 130 year old birdcage piano that had NOT been "modernised" that one that has. But prefer not to encounter them at all! (This after a week in which I wrestled with several).

#2016154 - 01/17/13 02:45 PM Re: Are pianos decreasing in value? (piano burning) [Re: Brittin]  
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 4,491
Bob Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Bob  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 4,491
Florida
Suppose a piano dealer and a piano maker put together a program to rid a market of beat up pianos. Get all the techs, movers, and teachers in the market on board.

Trade in an old piano and get $$ incentive towards a new acoustic piano - (not digital)

Or---trade in that digital for a new acoustic.

I do see one problem with that - in my market, sales are 75% digital, 25% acoustic, so stores and customers would probably want to trade in that old upright for........a digital


#2016302 - 01/17/13 08:21 PM Re: Are pianos decreasing in value? (piano burning) [Re: Craig Hair]  
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 246
RestorerPhil Offline
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RestorerPhil  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 246
Georgia, USA
When I sold my previous shop/warehouse building I discarded 18 uprights. Among them were four self players with all the mechanism still intact. I was shocked to find no demand at all from rebuilders on the players. One of Georgia's best reproducer/player restorers told me that he is still doing rebuilds for owners of the players, but he had not done one to sell in years.

Changing times.


Lavender Piano Services
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#2016877 - 01/18/13 08:32 PM Re: Are pianos decreasing in value? (piano burning) [Re: Brittin]  
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 246
RestorerPhil Offline
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RestorerPhil  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 246
Georgia, USA
Consider this old clunker:

Wellington upright made in 1911.
Major work by me in 1979.
Has iron wound bass which we merely rejuvenated back then.
Did dampers, keytops & bushings & bed felt
Shaped the hammers, bridles, various other stuff.
High end refinish job.

In the year 2000 did set of hammers and major repinning.

Played by active church pianist over these years.
Now the bass has gone dead again (which really happened at least ten years ago). It has been at standard pitch the entire time. Even the wood upper bridge assembly is still solid and crack free

The family wanted this piano back in 1979. Do you think that, just maybe, it was worth the investment? When I first mentioned the need of new hammers the year was 1993. They finally had them done seven years later. I guess I better mention the need of the new strings right away, huh?! smirk


Lavender Piano Services
Established 1977
Tuning, Concert Maintenance,
Rebuilding & Restoration
#2017295 - 01/19/13 03:19 PM Re: Are pianos decreasing in value? (piano burning) [Re: Brittin]  
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,263
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Silverwood Pianos  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,263
Vancouver B. C. Canada

Originally Posted by RestorerPhil
One of Georgia's best reproducer/player restorers told me that he is still doing rebuilds for owners of the players, but he had not done one to sell in years.


Since 1991 I had five player pianos sitting here. No call for them at all for over fifteen years.

Then in 2008 I got a call for a photo shoot, so one went out at 100 per day for a month. Shortly thereafter sold one to a hobbyist, and another one went to Vancouver Island.

The only constant is we can never predict the marketplace.


Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."
#2091115 - 05/29/13 03:07 AM Re: Are pianos decreasing in value? (piano burning) [Re: Brittin]  
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 375
Gary Fowler Offline
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Gary Fowler  Offline
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Joined: May 2013
Posts: 375
The economy sucks. I try my hardest not to bring any pianos into my shop that I must then have to sell. The best and most profitable use of my energies are on servicing outside pianos.


Making the world a better sounding place, one piano at a time...
#2091265 - 05/29/13 10:18 AM Re: Are pianos decreasing in value? (piano burning) [Re: Gary Fowler]  
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 24,946
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
BDB  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 24,946
Oakland
Gary,

If you are a professional, you should read this.


Semipro Tech
#2092294 - 05/30/13 04:44 PM Re: Are pianos decreasing in value? (piano burning) [Re: RestorerPhil]  
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,726
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Grandpianoman  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,726
Portland, Oregon
Changing times indeed....in the 60's-70's, a reproducing Steinway or M&H Grand would go for $30-45K depending on the size. It seems that the folks that were driving that market are fewer due to age etc. The yournger generation is just not that interested in the roll playing reproducers or player pianos. Part of the problem is also the music that is not available. One can only listen to the old music so long before it gets boring. However, in general, the piano is not considered as important as it once was, unfortunetly.

The modern reproducing pianos have a much better chance of making it into homes. A collegue of mine over in England, who owned a Bluthner Grand piano (not a player) from the 1920's, is selling the piano and buying a Yamaha Disklavier Grand. She told me that the Bluthner is not holding it's tuning anymore.

I know of 2 Steinway Reproducing Grands, one an XR and an OR, sitting on their sides in storage, everything original.....they may end up in the dump!~?! ?

#2092459 - 05/30/13 09:09 PM Re: Are pianos decreasing in value? (piano burning) [Re: Brittin]  
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 375
Gary Fowler Offline
Full Member
Gary Fowler  Offline
Full Member

Joined: May 2013
Posts: 375
The fact that the economy has been in the tank for years(and will be for the forseeable future), as well as there is a saturation of pianos, all contribute to the reason why you can't hardly get rid of a decent used piano these days.(much less sell one for a profit!) Gone are the days of the quick flip! As much as it sucks to be on the sales end of pianos, it is a BONANZA for piano technicians. If you work on pianos for a living, focus your efforts on THAT!


Making the world a better sounding place, one piano at a time...
#2092464 - 05/30/13 09:17 PM Re: Are pianos decreasing in value? (piano burning) [Re: Brittin]  
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 375
Gary Fowler Offline
Full Member
Gary Fowler  Offline
Full Member

Joined: May 2013
Posts: 375
Technicians need to stop bitching and moaning about how bad it is. If you are competent in your piano repairing abilities, it's a Gold Mine out there!


Making the world a better sounding place, one piano at a time...
#2092520 - 05/30/13 11:30 PM Re: Are pianos decreasing in value? (piano burning) [Re: Brittin]  
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 389
Nash. Piano Rescue Offline
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Nash. Piano Rescue  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 389
East Nashville,TN Scottsville...
A few things have happened last few years. Everyone has been jumping on the band-wagon of you-tube basically committing trade suicide by showing the world how " easy" everything is to do and people are A) A lot more cautious with their money and B) they are tired of being " up-sold" everytime the piano tech comes to service their piano.

I hear this a lot from music studios/churches who are just entirely fed up with ever escalating bills from being over-sold constantly , yet their pianos sound the same or even worse after all the fluff.

I'm still trying to get past why an impovershed family with a 300 dollar spinet piano needs a 1600 dollar concert regulation to play twinkle twinkle little star?. However those guys are out there and sooner or later when the music stops they may not have a chair.


J. Christie
Nashville Piano Rescue
www.NashvillePianoRescue.com
East Nashville
Bowling Green, KY
Scottsville KY.
Chamber of Commerce
Member/Sponsor

Putting inspiration in the hands of area musicians
Through restoration/renovation
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