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#2042181 - 03/03/13 07:27 AM Baby Grands on Ebay  
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Going for £250 upwards. Steeped in history (the design of the casing tells it`s own story) fully playable (they say) needs tuning a tad. Dating from the 1930`s or so; some older of course. They look lovely.

Worth it? I wish I had the room . . .!

Last edited by peterws; 03/03/13 07:28 AM.

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#2042191 - 03/03/13 07:59 AM Re: Baby Grands on Ebay [Re: peterws]  
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Maybe worth it if you just want a piece of furniture to look at.

As a musical instrument I'm afraid you usually get what you pay for.


Pianist and piano teacher.
#2042196 - 03/03/13 08:16 AM Re: Baby Grands on Ebay [Re: peterws]  
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Poland
Exactly as Chris told.
You can buy a gran at the price from 300-400 EUR, but this will be only piece of (in 99% cases) of damaged furniture. Than you need to restore the body (to make it look)
and the most important thing - the technical issues. Most probably you will need to have all new action, new string and all that stuff.


I saw few days ago an ad from the known piano restorer in Poland - some grand abou 1,7m long.
Price - 1000 USD
Price after restoration - 5000 USD

you can see this piano here and each of this kind of price is gonna be like this

CHEAP PIANO

Last edited by kapelli; 03/03/13 08:18 AM.
#2042211 - 03/03/13 08:59 AM Re: Baby Grands on Ebay [Re: peterws]  
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Once you know what you you are looking for it's not too difficult to sort the potential wheat from the chaff on ebay uk.

If you are a modest pianist and prepared to learn how to do some basic regulation and minor repairs you can do very well for yourself.

There was a very nice, little used, 1930s Schiedmayer & Soehne modell 20 that went for £850 the other day but I was tempted away by something else.

I spoke to a top dealer who had put up another good quality German piano of similar vintage for £500. It needed restoration but he was not prepared to spend £5,000 with no guarantee of getting his money back in today's market.


Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 140cm
Ibach, 1905 F-IV, 235cm
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#2042217 - 03/03/13 09:17 AM Re: Baby Grands on Ebay [Re: peterws]  
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There may well be a few really cheap baby grand pianos out there (<$1000 and a decent instrument) but they are few and far in between.

In my limited experience, I'm thinking that the threshold of lowest prices a used grand may sell for, that may well be a decent musical instrument, is around $2500 to $3000; and then you still have to be really careful.

The problem is, once you're spoiled with a nice piano, it is hard to down-grade. smile

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
#2042220 - 03/03/13 09:22 AM Re: Baby Grands on Ebay [Re: peterws]  
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Some of the names were old British piano manufacturers from days of yore. But thye looked bloody good to me. AND- you could always slip in a digital keyboard . . . and have fun rearranging the speakers and stuff . . . (Feel free to ignore that last bit, if you wish)


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

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#2042242 - 03/03/13 10:41 AM Re: Baby Grands on Ebay [Re: peterws]  
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Originally Posted by peterws
Going for £250 upwards. Steeped in history (the design of the casing tells it`s own story) fully playable (they say) needs tuning a tad. Dating from the 1930`s or so; some older of course. They look lovely.

Worth it? I wish I had the room . . .!


What is this? Our hardcore digital piano enthusiast looking at those outdated pieces of furniture that never hold their tuning? laugh


private piano/voice teacher FT

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#2042289 - 03/03/13 12:42 PM Re: Baby Grands on Ebay [Re: peterws]  
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The other problem I find with eBay is that it's now so popular the dealers are all over it. Years ago you could find bargains but now if anything is any good it gets snapped up very quickly by those in the trade.


Pianist and piano teacher.
#2042291 - 03/03/13 12:43 PM Re: Baby Grands on Ebay [Re: Morodiene]  
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Who, moi? I used to have one o` those . . . 1856 Broadwood. Had it in a nice, dry warm place next to the radiator . . . ungrateful beast used to protest during the night sounding off with loud cracking noises . . .!

And sent my little laddo off to sleepo when Wifey played her . . . Loved that piano, happy days!


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

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#2042293 - 03/03/13 12:45 PM Re: Baby Grands on Ebay [Re: Morodiene]  
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
What is this? Our hardcore digital piano enthusiast looking at those outdated pieces of furniture that never hold their tuning? laugh


Or is it just other effort to say that a digital is better for this kind of money?

Morodiene, digital owners with good ear have really hard time - many digitals offer good tonal quality (which can be further adjusted to the personal taste), but lack resonance and richness of sound of a real piano smile.
They also set high standards for action - although good digitals have limitations in expressing subtleties, I find it hard to love action of the most uprights any longer (except very fine pianos).

So they spoil but do not satisfy. And what is left to us - either wait for better quality digitals, or select acoustic pianos at higher range I would not otherwise even think about smile

I am just teasing, but half-truth.


Roland HP-507RW | Yamaha U1
#2042338 - 03/03/13 02:16 PM Re: Baby Grands on Ebay [Re: personne]  
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I feel like the enemy has just entered the camp. Me!


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

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#2042467 - 03/03/13 06:59 PM Re: Baby Grands on Ebay [Re: peterws]  
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Yes, there are sometimes really cheap plus good pianos on ebay..

But you must be fast to get them..

In Germany it is very common that professional buyers buy "crosswise" into a running auction, then interested bidders see "Item is no longer avialable"..

Because the professionals avoid to get real co competitors. They sometimes make their arrival dependent that the offering person is willing to sell at a -30% rate per agreed by telephone and set pressure on the seller, maybe they insist on an email et cetera. If the seller then is not willing to jump on the price (which is even lower often because of a said "bad status" et cetera, the buyers demand travelling expenses from the seller..

Some nasty behaviours.

And they become loud and pushing if the seller does not agree..

We in Germany say that there are 20 old pianos, and 18 or 19 are scrap, they are set in ebay to find a silly person to take over the transportation and dumping costs. Maybe one or two pianos are real gems worth a transport and some little works to bring them back into "running condition".

And there always is the saga of the "house clearing auction" where nobody bade for the ancient Steinway A grand 5 Euros..

Fairy tales..


Pls excuse any bad english.

D 1877 satin black plain
#2042575 - 03/03/13 10:33 PM Re: Baby Grands on Ebay [Re: peterws]  
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Originally Posted by peterws
I feel like the enemy has just entered the camp. Me!


I hope you got my little joke, peterws, no hard feelings. Just playin around smile


private piano/voice teacher FT

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#2042670 - 03/04/13 04:33 AM Re: Baby Grands on Ebay [Re: Morodiene]  
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Keep `em comimg Morodiene. There`s not enough humour on this site . . . heh heh


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

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#2042672 - 03/04/13 04:42 AM Re: Baby Grands on Ebay [Re: personne]  
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Personne - I had to bite, couldn`t resist, man!

"but lack resonance (and richness of sound) of a real piano ."

THAT is the precise reason I bought digital. It`s also the reason I posted about straight strung pianos, tonal qualities thereof. But nobody`s responded so far. Maybe they no longer make `em . . .

Now tell me my piano lacks richness of sound

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cs-7e5LcNA

Last edited by peterws; 03/04/13 02:03 PM.

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#2042874 - 03/04/13 03:01 PM Re: Baby Grands on Ebay [Re: peterws]  
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The only time you ever get fairy tale deals on something is when a rare piano like a Steinway grand over 7 feet is mixed in with other stuff and the people selling a "lot" of junk say it's included and /or they just don't care what it is but having an empty space is better.

In 1987 We went to a warehouse in Michigan to look at some 1929 Packards and related junk as we used to restore antique cars back then too. While we were in there cleaning out the space we saw the two ex- liberache Steinways with all the crazy rhinestones falling off on the floor.

I remember what a royal pain in the butt it was to get those heaps in the trailers.


J. Christie
Nashville Piano Rescue
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#2043161 - 03/05/13 03:52 AM Re: Baby Grands on Ebay [Re: peterws]  
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It seems like the main challenge to ebay is you basically have to buy sight unseen. All you have to go by are the reputation of brand, whatever pics are available, and the sellers description. Since the common advice on old pianos seems to be that the state of the individual instrument is much more important than its brands reputation, condition, feel and sound are difficult or impossible to judge from pictures, and most sellers have no idea what they have, what condition its really in, or what work it really needs its pretty much a shot in the dark. To make it more difficult, as has been mentioned above the pros are much more likely to spot a diamond in the rough and grab it or bid it up, leaving a dearth of detritus for the rest of us to sift through.

I came really close to "winning" an ebay piano auction a few months ago, a 1910s Baldwin R grand that sold for $358, 300 miles away in LA. I still kind of wish I'd gone higher, but given that it was being sold unrestored by a dealer, had been advertised several times on ebay for $500 with no takers in a market with presumably many people who could rebuild and sell a decent R at a healthy profit, its probably safe to say this "playable" classic was a basket case. Now that might be ok, I kind of like basket cases, but if you are looking for a good instrument that's maybe not what you want.

IMHO sifting the classifieds is at least one step better, as you generally have the chance to go see/play prospects and have a tech inspect if they look promising, but from my experience and that of many others you have to be prepared to go see (and potentially repeatedly pay someone to give you the bad news about) a lot of horrific objects formally known as pianos if you are looking to find a bargain on a decent instrument. There are certainly deals to be had out there, but finding one is neither quick nor easy. I kind of enjoyed it, but then I've already acknowledged my apparent illness in this regard. FWIW we're perfectly thrilled with our $500 piano. What it lacks in polish it certainly makes up for in character smile

You're not into old English sports cars are you? I've been developing a theory that the same sort of masochists who enjoy owning any vehicle with a Lucas "Prince of Darkness" electrical system are probably good candidates for owning/enjoying old pianos. Its helpful to either be rich with several alternate "rides", or handy and have a lot of time on your hands (and no particularly pressing need to get anywhere). Preferably both. wink I'm not sure I fit either, but here I am with both a 140 y/o piano and a history of vehicles with English electrics wink

Best of Luck,
Rob

#2043187 - 03/05/13 04:55 AM Re: Baby Grands on Ebay [Re: miscrms]  
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Miscrms- I enjoyed your response! But there`s someting about an old baby grand I find so attractive. Maybe the istory, pre loved as they say now. Many if not most, are advertised as eminently playable and obviously much loved. My stansard of playing would not require a thoroughbred instrument, but I have neither the space or the time unfortunately.

"You're not into old English sports cars are you? "

No. But they were great; pulled like a train from medium revs and kept on going. WD40 was the cure all for English (Lucas) electrics! It stunk! Still does; I have a 25 yo aerosol which still works . . .


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

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#2043375 - 03/05/13 02:29 PM Re: Baby Grands on Ebay [Re: peterws]  
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Bought my baby grand challen off ebay for 500 quid..... it was worth the money, but then it was for very much a beginner and if your unlucky and it is a complete dog... rather a cumbersome object to have sat in the corner....


Ps. I never understand adverts that say 'needs tuning'.... tune it before selling it.... to me its just another way of saying 'it doesnt sound right'...

Bit like selling a car and saying theres a knocking sound in the engine... but someones told me its cheap to fix...


Alarm bells!

#2043382 - 03/05/13 02:42 PM Re: Baby Grands on Ebay [Re: miscrms]  
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Originally Posted by miscrms

You're not into old English sports cars are you? I've been developing a theory that the same sort of masochists who enjoy owning any vehicle with a Lucas "Prince of Darkness" electrical system are probably good candidates for owning/enjoying old pianos. Its helpful to either be rich with several alternate "rides", or handy and have a lot of time on your hands (and no particularly pressing need to get anywhere). Preferably both. wink I'm not sure I fit either, but here I am with both a 140 y/o piano and a history of vehicles with English electrics wink


Alexander Graham Bell invented the Telephone. Thomas Edison invented the Light Bulb. Joseph Lucas invented the Short Circuit.

The Lucas Electrical corporate motto: "Get home before dark."


Gary
Essex EUP-111 at the mountains
W. Hoffmann T-122 at the beach
#2043392 - 03/05/13 03:02 PM Re: Baby Grands on Ebay [Re: Plowboy]  
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Worse by far was the French electrics fitted to fifties Alfa Romeo and Renault - was it Magnet Marelli.
But now you have to be a computer boff to sort out electronics. One can't even throw off a Bosh electromechanical system and retrofit a pair of good 'ole S.U.carbs c/w a clicking fuel pump in the boot.


#2043397 - 03/05/13 03:13 PM Re: Baby Grands on Ebay [Re: peterws]  
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I completely understand the allure, which is a big part of how we ended up with the piano that we did. For us, having something unique with a big sound, a colorful history, and character out the wazoo was more important than the (relatively) more precise/predictable action and cleaner sound we might have gotten from a 50 y/o decent quality spinet at a similar price. That may sound silly to some, but the emotional connection to our older piano is I believe a key driver to our desire to play and learn and the level at which we play and expect to play is not significantly impaired by the many deficiencies our old piano has. That could change over time, and we'll either have to make gradual improvements to the piano, or upgrade at some point, but for now its been a lot of fun at a minimal investment.

The challenge I believe is finding the right combination of character that excites/inspires you, with deficiencies you can live with and/or correct without breaking the bank. Finding that balance is difficult if not impossible without being able to assess the instrument in person, and have a tech give an honest assessment of its mechanical condition. There are a lot of problems in old pianos that will render them essentially unplayable even if they are not immediately obvious. If the pinblock is shot and won't hold a tuning, if the bridges are separating from the soundboard, if the action components are brittle to the point where they'll routinely fail or prevent adjustment, etc the problems will quickly begin to interfere with your ability to enjoy its unique character, and the cost to repair can quickly become untenable.

I think its worth repeating that most sellers are clueless as to the true condition or value of what they have. Many do not play, and assume that because sound comes out when most of the keys are pressed that it must be playable and just need a tuning. Some may just be used to its issues, and somewhat blind to them. Some may be intentionally deceptive. Unfortunately the range is so great that you can't put much stock in the seller description.

You also can't really just assume that because a piano is old and of a good name that you will like how it sounds even if its in playable condition. Reading the threads on here about people shopping for new pianos, its amazing how much variety of opinion there is. Some pianos just speak to some people and not others, and even in new pianos not all examples of a given piano are created equally. That effect is greatly amplified when dealing with old pianos, as on top of the new piano differences, they all age differently based on their environment, use, treatment, maintenance, etc.

There's really no substitute for just getting out there and trying a lot of pianos to find the one that's right for you. Its as true for new pianos as it is for old ones, the old ones at a bargain price are just trickier to find with a lot more variables to consider. But the end result can be amazingly rewarding smile

Rob

#2043399 - 03/05/13 03:15 PM Re: Baby Grands on Ebay [Re: Plowboy]  
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Originally Posted by Plowboy

Alexander Graham Bell invented the Telephone. Thomas Edison invented the Light Bulb. Joseph Lucas invented the Short Circuit.

The Lucas Electrical corporate motto: "Get home before dark."


laugh LOL!

#2043975 - 03/06/13 03:39 PM Re: Baby Grands on Ebay [Re: miscrms]  
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I was today playing a late 1800`s Bechstein 6 footer (or so)freshly tuned. (sold his brother my old digital lol) It was very nice but also very LOUD! . . .How d`ya turn `em down? The lid was already shut . . . .!! I was playing ever so lightly . . .heck, I`m not made for these things . . .they scare me witless

Last edited by peterws; 03/06/13 03:41 PM.

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#2044476 - 03/07/13 12:18 PM Re: Baby Grands on Ebay [Re: Plowboy]  
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Plowboy.

I must take issue with you ! Bell did not invent the telephone. Edison did not invent the lightbulb. Lucas electrics were no better or worse than any other manufacturer's.

[And English Electric made some very good aircraft - you even built some under licence].


Bechstein C 1890, Rebuilt
Bechstein V 1888, Project
#2044494 - 03/07/13 01:05 PM Re: Baby Grands on Ebay [Re: maserman1]  
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Originally Posted by maserman1
...Lucas electrics were no better or worse than any other manufacturer's.


Sorry to get off topic here, but I must defend myself. I've owned two Triumph motorcycles fitted with Lucas electrics, so you're not fooling me! ha

Lucas once tried to market a vacuum cleaner. It was the only thing they ever made that didn't suck.

And speaking of Triumph, they once tried to get into the computer business, but couldn't figure out how to get it to leak oil.

I used to put a pan under my Bonneville, and then in the morning pour it back into the oil tank. I'm not kidding. It was a great bike when it was running, though.


Gary
Essex EUP-111 at the mountains
W. Hoffmann T-122 at the beach
#2044496 - 03/07/13 01:07 PM Re: Baby Grands on Ebay [Re: peterws]  
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Originally Posted by peterws
How d`ya turn `em down? The lid was already shut . . . .!! I was playing ever so lightly . . .heck, I`m not made for these things . . .they scare me witless

For you, I would suggest that you stick with those awful things which have a headphone jack and volume control. I sincerely doubt that you will ever "see the light."


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2044497 - 03/07/13 01:10 PM Re: Baby Grands on Ebay [Re: Plowboy]  
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Originally Posted by Plowboy
Lucas once tried to market a vacuum cleaner. It was the only thing they ever made that didn't suck.

And speaking of Triumph, they once tried to get into the computer business, but couldn't figure out how to get it to leak oil.

[Linked Image] [Linked Image][Linked Image]


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2044537 - 03/07/13 03:06 PM Re: Baby Grands on Ebay [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted by Plowboy
Lucas once tried to market a vacuum cleaner. It was the only thing they ever made that didn't suck.

And speaking of Triumph, they once tried to get into the computer business, but couldn't figure out how to get it to leak oil.

[Linked Image] [Linked Image][Linked Image]


+1

#2044631 - 03/07/13 05:44 PM Re: Baby Grands on Ebay [Re: Plowboy]  
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Originally Posted by Plowboy
Originally Posted by maserman1
...Lucas electrics were no better or worse than any other manufacturer's.


Sorry to get off topic here, but I must defend myself. I've owned two Triumph motorcycles fitted with Lucas electrics, so you're not fooling me! ha

Lucas once tried to market a vacuum cleaner. It was the only thing they ever made that didn't suck.

And speaking of Triumph, they once tried to get into the computer business, but couldn't figure out how to get it to leak oil.

I used to put a pan under my Bonneville, and then in the morning pour it back into the oil tank. I'm not kidding. It was a great bike when it was running, though.




Gary,

Not sure how old your Triumphs were/are, but I have an 08 and it runs like a dream! Never any issues.

Jonathan

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