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#2080389 - 05/10/13 03:35 PM Non-standard plate colours....
houseofmiracles Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/13/13
Posts: 12
Loc: Ontario Canada
How do folks feel about pianos that have been refinished with unusual plate colours? Any links to examples that actually look good? And is this a dependable way to diminish a piano's resale value? Thanks for any and all,


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#2080400 - 05/10/13 03:50 PM Re: Non-standard plate colours.... [Re: houseofmiracles]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
I don't know about refinished, but manufacturers sometimes have special edition pianos with plates in black or silver or some other color, and I feel very ambivalent about them. Same with case color. I have a difficult time accepting the non-traditional case colors like red or green.
Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

#2080465 - 05/10/13 06:33 PM Re: Non-standard plate colours.... [Re: houseofmiracles]
Nash. Piano Rescue Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 389
Loc: East Nashville,TN Scottsville...
I did a black custom piano last year with a cobalt blue pearl plate and custom high gloss silver lettering, combined with new strings the customer loved it. Some people get bored quickly but if you put something dynamic out there people will buy it.

I had done a corvette yellow old upright one year on a dare and honestly I thought it would sit in the showroom forever. I lost the bet as it sold within a few days.
J. Christie
Nashville Piano Rescue
East Nashville
Bowling Green, KY
Scottsville KY.
Chamber of Commerce

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

#2080474 - 05/10/13 06:55 PM Re: Non-standard plate colours.... [Re: houseofmiracles]
David-G Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/17/06
Posts: 1566
Loc: London
I think I am perhaps unique in loving the patina of the original gilding of my 130-year-old plate. There is no way that I would ever have it refinished.

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#2080477 - 05/10/13 07:00 PM Re: Non-standard plate colours.... [Re: 4evrBeginR]
Frankni Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/12/13
Posts: 230
Loc: UK
Sauter produces to custom pianos in, I think various plate colours, but at least in silver (as well as standard brass colour). I played in Spaichingen on a Delta which was customized like that. An example you can also find on Digitus' posts (who has a Sauter Omega with silver plate and walburn finishes).
And here on this youtube clip you can see a Sauter 275 concert grand with silver plate as well:

They look very good and if it fits with the environment I don't see anything wrong with it. It is a matter of taste.

Edited by Frankni (05/10/13 07:01 PM)
Yamaha C3, Sauter Delta 185

#2080502 - 05/10/13 08:15 PM Re: Non-standard plate colours.... [Re: houseofmiracles]
Ahmediy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/27/13
Posts: 43
I have never seen such a thing as these Sauter pianos.
The colors and two way lid are strange.
So far I like the traditional look much more.
Interesting video Frankni.

#2080579 - 05/11/13 02:04 AM Re: Non-standard plate colours.... [Re: houseofmiracles]
ando Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 4984
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Mr Sauter is very excited about his titanium hitch pins, isn't he?!

I think getting the right plate colour can really enhance your experience of an instrument. I know that sounds silly, but I find it to be true. I dislike the colour of the pre 2002 Yamaha plates, a dull brass colour. But the post 2002 bronze coloured Yamaha plates are gorgeous. Makes me much more excited to play them.

The silver Sauter colour does nothing for me though. Whatever floats your boat.

#2080629 - 05/11/13 06:37 AM Re: Non-standard plate colours.... [Re: houseofmiracles]
Rich Galassini Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 10494
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
First of all, I think I found J. Christie's yellow piano smile

To the OP, whenever you do something custom that is "out of the box" in design, it is something that has the potential to damage resale value as it cuts down the percentage of potential buyers. The more unusual, the more people may say they appreciate it, are even very impressed with it, but would never buy it. I think that is true for many items, not just pianos.

Along that line, I have a customer who has also become a friend. He is a furniture builder and has been playing around with custom piano furniture ideas. Here is one of his ideas:

I think it is really cool, but I don't think I would stock it to sell like I do custom piano benches. I just don't believe that people would actually buy it, but then.... I have been wrong before. smile

Fun post! Thank you for posting and I am looking forward to watching this thread.
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
Check out the Science Channel's "How Its Made" featuring our piano restoration:

#2080720 - 05/11/13 10:03 AM Re: Non-standard plate colours.... [Re: houseofmiracles]
Laurie R. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/11
Posts: 59
Loc: Gatineau, Québec, CANADA
I am the owner of a silver Petrof IV, which I find very elegant, and modern.

I think I got a fantastic deal on this piano. I fell in love with it at first touch. The dealer told me that this colour ws big in Europe, but had not sold well in North America or Asia.

I love mine!

#2080730 - 05/11/13 10:28 AM Re: Non-standard plate colours.... [Re: houseofmiracles]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014

Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN

I think the chaise longue is lovely in cherry. Is it also available in ebony? Also, is it straight sprung or oversprung? What is the plate color when the cushion is up?

Actually, something like that should be in hotel lobbies near major concert venues. Or, a piano couch in a piano bar?

Cool !!!
Marty in Minnesota

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

#2080741 - 05/11/13 10:47 AM Re: Non-standard plate colours.... [Re: houseofmiracles]
PassingBy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/24/10
Posts: 1676
I think Stuart and Sons' Black plates look quite good paired with their wood finish and stainless steel bass strings. That's the one example I'm sure exists.

#2080850 - 05/11/13 01:26 PM Re: Non-standard plate colours.... [Re: houseofmiracles]
Carbonblob Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/13
Posts: 422
Loc: Los Angeles, Ca.
Hi Rotom,

I just purchased a Kawai but not the newest GX series. I think they changed the plate color on the GX Blak models (at least that's what I've been told). The finish looks brighter too. I'm curious what the reaction has been. It's striking, I'll say that much. I would think that's a big decision for designers. The harp is a major focal piece..........blob

#2080910 - 05/11/13 03:47 PM Re: Non-standard plate colours.... [Re: houseofmiracles]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 15233
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Sauters are pianos that need experiencing in person to understand their scope of perfection in every single detail. Their slogan is not just "best" but more like "best" by being different.

Which is nice because they have very different designs from traditional to fascinating, artistic new designs [Peter Maly, etc] If you don't connect by picture, try to experience these pianos sometimes in person, you're guaranteed to get a much better impression!

Nickel plated cast iron plate and hardware in some of the models is only part of the story, there much more to it. Once you see or try one of the pianos I guarantee they will leave an indelible mark behind!

Picture of piano on order and expected to arrive soon:

Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642 www.eliteheritagepianos.ca Edmonton, Alta dealers for Estonia,
Brodmann 780-405-8908

#2080956 - 05/11/13 05:29 PM Re: Non-standard plate colours.... [Re: houseofmiracles]
Frankni Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/12/13
Posts: 230
Loc: UK
I agree with Norbert; when I played on the Sauter Delta in Spaichingen I was first taken aback a little by the colour experience, but I soon got accustomed to it. Sauter often uses also a much lighter interior wood finish (standard is birds eye maple) than the rather dark mahogany type interiors that we get accustomed to by only looking at Steinways and Yamahas. But not only do you get easily used to those new colours, soon I found that I considered them superior to the more "standard" ones. In terms of quality of the finishes, they are definitely the highest I have seen.

As for the modern (Peter Maly) designs, here Sauter breaks many barriers, and not only the sound one.

Edited by Frankni (05/11/13 05:30 PM)
Yamaha C3, Sauter Delta 185

#2080967 - 05/11/13 05:49 PM Re: Non-standard plate colours.... [Re: houseofmiracles]
Withindale Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 2511
Loc: Suffolk, England

Some like it black.

One of the last F-IV 7'10" grands Ibach produced, owned by Gerd Finkenstein, now used for festivals and concerts.
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 140cm
Ibach, 1905 F-IV, 235cm


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