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Looking at Pianos
#2046569 03/11/13 05:02 PM
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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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Re: Looking at Pianos
RosieP #2046602 03/11/13 06:03 PM
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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

Re: Looking at Pianos
Jonathan Alford #2046604 03/11/13 06:07 PM
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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

Re: Looking at Pianos
RosieP #2046621 03/11/13 06:32 PM
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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

Re: Looking at Pianos
RosieP #2046643 03/11/13 07:18 PM
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1. Baldwin SF-10 1985 - well maintained from new, but not rebuilt $11,750

I like!

Re: Looking at Pianos
Mark... #2046659 03/11/13 08:05 PM
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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

Re: Looking at Pianos
Jonathan Alford #2046660 03/11/13 08:06 PM
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Thanks for the advice Jonathan - I will bear that in mind.

Rosie

Re: Looking at Pianos
RosieP #2046680 03/11/13 09:37 PM
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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.

Re: Looking at Pianos
RosieP #2046691 03/11/13 09:48 PM
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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.
Re: Looking at Pianos
RosieP #2046708 03/11/13 10:12 PM
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I, obviously, would favor the Baldwin SF-10.

Re: Looking at Pianos
RosieP #2046711 03/11/13 10:19 PM
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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.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com
Re: Looking at Pianos
RosieP #2047091 03/12/13 04:52 PM
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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

Re: Looking at Pianos
Ed McMorrow, RPT #2047290 03/12/13 09:55 PM
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Thanks for the advice Ed. I will certainly pass that info on to the tech.

Re: Looking at Pianos
Guapo Gabacho #2047292 03/12/13 09:57 PM
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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!

Re: Looking at Pianos
RosieP #2047321 03/12/13 10:41 PM
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It has way more potential for giving you pleasure.

Re: Looking at Pianos
Scout #2047521 03/13/13 08:33 AM
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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
Essex EUP-111 at the mountains
W. Hoffmann T-122 at the beach
Re: Looking at Pianos
Plowboy #2047859 03/13/13 08:16 PM
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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

Re: Looking at Pianos
dsch #2047864 03/13/13 08:31 PM
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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.




Re: Looking at Pianos
RosieP #2048218 03/14/13 01:59 PM
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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


If you're bored, try my blog (mostly faith & family): http://mikeheel.wordpress.com.
Re: Looking at Pianos
RosieP #2049109 03/16/13 11:51 AM
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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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