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#2158844 - 09/28/13 12:06 AM Fair price for a core Steinway Model B  
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Reno Offline
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Hi there,

How much is a fair price for a core Steinway Model B (88 keys) in need of complete rebuild? does color affect the value?

Thanks

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#2158856 - 09/28/13 12:39 AM Re: Fair price for a core Steinway Model B [Re: Reno]  
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beethoven986 Offline
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$7,000 +/- some, depending on location, buyer type, condition, and whether it is veneered or not.

#2158859 - 09/28/13 12:50 AM Re: Fair price for a core Steinway Model B [Re: Reno]  
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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$3K for a totally beat up ebony that needs everything including case parts replaced.
Up to $20K for a clean fancy case that needs all new belly and action. Maybe $25K for clean rosewood with healthy intact Ivory and keys. One of a kind art case could be higher if a particular end buyer was known. These would all be 88 note B's


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#2158863 - 09/28/13 01:02 AM Re: Fair price for a core Steinway Model B [Re: Reno]  
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What do you think about this one.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/PRECIOUS-ST..._DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2eca96d9bc

Action is original. key tops are ivory but it doesn't really matter to me because I need to get them replaced to be able to import the piano to Canada.
The piano has been refinished and re strung around 15 years ago.

The seller says the pins torque are low and the sound broad has couple of hair line cracks. he is willing to sell it at $15500.

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#2158867 - 09/28/13 01:12 AM Re: Fair price for a core Steinway Model B [Re: Reno]  
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Originally Posted by onlysteinway
What do you think about this one.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/PRECIOUS-ST..._DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2eca96d9bc

Action is original. key tops are ivory but it doesn't really matter to me because I need to get them replaced to be able to import the piano to Canada.
The piano has been refinished and re strung around 15 years ago.

The seller says the pins torque are low and the sound broad has couple of hair line cracks. he is willing to sell it at $15500.


If the piano was redone 15 years ago and the pin torque is already low w/ soundboard cracks, I'd be wary of the quality of work that went into anything. Don't think I would be willing to pay that high, but I defer to what the rebuilders here think on this one. Also, you should be able to import a piano with ivory into Canada, provided that you are able to obtain proper documentation. I know people who have imported newer pianos than this that contained ivory into Canada.

#2158868 - 09/28/13 01:14 AM Re: Fair price for a core Steinway Model B [Re: Reno]  
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musicpassion Offline
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Originally Posted by onlysteinway
What do you think about this one.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/PRECIOUS-ST..._DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2eca96d9bc

Action is original. key tops are ivory but it doesn't really matter to me because I need to get them replaced to be able to import the piano to Canada.
The piano has been refinished and re strung around 15 years ago.

The seller says the pins torque are low and the sound broad has couple of hair line cracks. he is willing to sell it at $15500.


You can't really know unless you have an independant tech evaluate it.

But it sounds high to me. He thinks he has a pristine "concert ready" piano, but by his own description that's not at all what it is. The fact it was restrung is useless, because to fix the pinblock the strings come off. So for someone who is looking for a high performance piano this sounds like it's nothing more than a core.

Perhaps the market for this piano is probably someone who wants to play it in current condition - which is certainly ok. Or maybe someone wants to buy a piece of furniture.


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#2158869 - 09/28/13 01:16 AM Re: Fair price for a core Steinway Model B [Re: musicpassion]  
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Originally Posted by musicpassion
but by his own description that's not at all what it is. The fact it was restrung is useless, because to fix the pinblock the strings come off. So for someone who is looking for a high performance piano this sounds like it's nothing more than a core.


Agreed!

#2158870 - 09/28/13 01:18 AM Re: Fair price for a core Steinway Model B [Re: Reno]  
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Have you selected your rebuilder yet? I think this is actually the more important decision. It will have a huge impact on the quality of your finished piano - far more so than the selection of the core you start with.


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#2158872 - 09/28/13 01:23 AM Re: Fair price for a core Steinway Model B [Re: Reno]  
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I haven't selected a re-builder yet. but i really like the work of the rebuilder of my Steinway A3. He is in LA though.

It is very difficult to find a core Steinway B. I haven't seen any B advertised at price below $10,000.

Last edited by onlysteinway; 09/28/13 01:27 AM.
#2158874 - 09/28/13 01:29 AM Re: Fair price for a core Steinway Model B [Re: Reno]  
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Originally Posted by onlysteinway
I haven't selected a re-builder yet. but i really like the work of the rebuilder on my Steinway A3. He is in LA though.

It is very difficult to find a core Steinway B. I haven't seen any B advertised at price below $10,000.


You are better off leaving the job of finding a suitable rebuild candidate to your rebuilder. He or she will have better resources available to find the right instrument.

#2158889 - 09/28/13 02:13 AM Re: Fair price for a core Steinway Model B [Re: Reno]  
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That piano looks awfully short in the photos for a B.

It looks more like an O.



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#2158893 - 09/28/13 02:19 AM Re: Fair price for a core Steinway Model B [Re: Reno]  
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it is a B, you can say from the harp.

#2158962 - 09/28/13 08:53 AM Re: Fair price for a core Steinway Model B [Re: beethoven986]  
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Originally Posted by beethoven986
$7,000 +/- some, depending on location, buyer type, condition, and whether it is veneered or not.


The only time I am able to buy a B for 7k is if it is an absolute wreck that I probably would pass on. Wholesale for good Steinway B rebuild candidates is 10k minimum and closer to 15 is normal.
High teens to low 20s is the retail value of Steinway B rebuild candidates.
I'm not saying 7k is unheard of, it just means whoever sold it doesn't care about the 5 to 10k they just gave away, or they got taken.


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#2158968 - 09/28/13 09:05 AM Re: Fair price for a core Steinway Model B [Re: Reno]  
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The Ebay B which I am guessing will sell for 12 to 15k looks like a fine rebuild candidate if you are prepared to do a full rebuild. When buying something like this you have to assume the worst. If you are hoping to save the board, or save the keyset, you are probably looking at the wrong piano although if you bought it at 12k and it was a mistake, you could cut your losses and sell it and you probably wouldn't lose too much.
The owner calls the finish walnut, but it is mahogany.
I would say that even at 18k it is a good deal, again, if you are prepared to do everything ( assume 40k + for a first class full rebuild on it ) and anyone who pays even in the low 20s is getting a fair retail price on it.
A new Mahogany B is going to be around 100k, so ending up with high 50s to 70k total in this piano, if beautifully rebuilt, is quite a good value.
I am only commenting on the ebay piano because you linked it. There are certainly other options, but if you are prepared to go all the way with it, and you have the right rebuilder, that looks like a good candidate especially if you like the mahogany.


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#2158972 - 09/28/13 09:13 AM Re: Fair price for a core Steinway Model B [Re: Reno]  
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The piano is apparently being sold by a dealer/rebuilder. I would want to know why it is selling the piano now instead of rebuilding it and then selling it as a finished project.

#2158978 - 09/28/13 09:21 AM Re: Fair price for a core Steinway Model B [Re: Rank Piano Amateur]  
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Originally Posted by Rank Piano Amateur

The piano is apparently being sold by a dealer/rebuilder. I would want to know why it is selling the piano now instead of rebuilding it and then selling it as a finished project.


This is often called "bait".
Regards,

#2159010 - 09/28/13 10:34 AM Re: Fair price for a core Steinway Model B [Re: Reno]  
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The seller offered me to re string the piano with a new pin block using mapes strings. re paint the harp. change the key tops. shim the sound broad and hand rub the finish. The total cost of all the work including the core piano and shipping to Canada is $20,000.

He said he doesn't recommend replacing the soundboard because I will end up with a mediocre piano.

He said the action is in a very good shape. but it is really hard for me to believe the action is in good condition considering that no work has ever been done on the action.

I like the color, I am planing to put the piano right beside my ebony A3.


#2159024 - 09/28/13 11:01 AM Re: Fair price for a core Steinway Model B [Re: Reno]  
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Originally Posted by onlysteinway
The seller offered me to re string the piano with a new pin block using mapes strings. re paint the harp. change the key tops. shim the sound broad and hand rub the finish. The total cost of all the work including the core piano and shipping to Canada is $20,000.

He said he doesn't recommend replacing the soundboard because I will end up with a mediocre piano.

He said the action is in a very good shape. but it is really hard for me to believe the action is in good condition considering that no work has ever been done on the action.


Looking for a "core" piano at a distance while paying someone independent to inspect it (if the rim is screwed up or the plate has a crack in it, you could be piano-shaped heap of garbage) is fine. Taking across the border probably offers you, the buyer, no protection if something goes terribly wrong during sale/delivery.

Having a third party you don't know (and whose work you've never seen or played) do rebuilding work for you is INSANE. Have you done your due diligence and researched the seller (going beyond the business "testimonials" page, for example)?


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#2159030 - 09/28/13 11:11 AM Re: Fair price for a core Steinway Model B [Re: Reno]  
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the other option is to send it to my trusted re-builder in LA. My re-builder has a Mahogany B for sell at $35k. $35k is over my budget.

The seller told me he has an offer from a re-builder for $15k.

#2159034 - 09/28/13 11:16 AM Re: Fair price for a core Steinway Model B [Re: Reno]  
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$35k for a well-rebuilt model B (that plays and looks good) is eminently fair. Anything less than that and I honestly would be suspicious.

The seller can tell you anything they want to make a sale. If you took that $15k "core" that's pushing 100 years old and sent it to a reputable rebuilder, you're going to spend $15,000-30,000 on it anyway. If you have high expectations for the instrument's performance, the one from the rebuilder you trust is actually the better deal in the long run.


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#2159059 - 09/28/13 12:35 PM Re: Fair price for a core Steinway Model B [Re: Keith D Kerman]  
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Originally Posted by Keith D Kerman
Originally Posted by beethoven986
$7,000 +/- some, depending on location, buyer type, condition, and whether it is veneered or not.


The only time I am able to buy a B for 7k is if it is an absolute wreck that I probably would pass on. Wholesale for good Steinway B rebuild candidates is 10k minimum and closer to 15 is normal.
High teens to low 20s is the retail value of Steinway B rebuild candidates.
I'm not saying 7k is unheard of, it just means whoever sold it doesn't care about the 5 to 10k they just gave away, or they got taken.


Glad to see you chimed in. I've been told by rebuilders here that they will pay about $1,000 per foot for a Steinway core.

#2159097 - 09/28/13 02:22 PM Re: Fair price for a core Steinway Model B [Re: Reno]  
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Originally Posted by onlysteinway
The seller offered me to re string the piano with a new pin block using mapes strings. re paint the harp. change the key tops. shim the sound broad and hand rub the finish. The total cost of all the work including the core piano and shipping to Canada is $20,000.

He said he doesn't recommend replacing the soundboard because I will end up with a mediocre piano.

He said the action is in a very good shape. but it is really hard for me to believe the action is in good condition considering that no work has ever been done on the action.

I like the color, I am planing to put the piano right beside my ebony A3.
Even if you knew(which seems not to be the case) about the quality of this rebuilder's work, you don't know how the piano sounds or feels until after it's rebuilt. Even if the work is high quality you might not like the sound and/or touch.

Unless you are not at all fussy about the tone and touch, I don't see how your approach is reasonable. The finish on the case is quite common for rebuilt Steinways so I'd recommend looking for an already rebuilt piano with that finish.


#2159103 - 09/28/13 02:36 PM Re: Fair price for a core Steinway Model B [Re: Reno]  
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I have never seen and I can't offer any perfectly rebuilt Steinway B for $35K. If you stick with the old case finish-$39K may get you there.

The $35K rebuilt B's on the market have less than complete restoration, they will not sound and play better than new. You get what you pay for. If you can get the budget up to $45K things begin to be possible.


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#2159106 - 09/28/13 02:46 PM Re: Fair price for a core Steinway Model B [Re: Reno]  
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Originally Posted by onlysteinway
I haven't selected a re-builder yet. but i really like the work of the rebuilder of my Steinway A3. He is in LA though.

It is very difficult to find a core Steinway B. I haven't seen any B advertised at price below $10,000.

I wouldn't expect to see it advertised for less than 10k. 10k might be the number a person would advertise if they're expecting 8 or 9k.

That's a benefit to already know this rebuilders work. $35,000 is an excellent deal on a newly rebuild B if the piano is good.


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#2159109 - 09/28/13 02:51 PM Re: Fair price for a core Steinway Model B [Re: Reno]  
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Originally Posted by onlysteinway
The seller offered me to re string the piano with a new pin block using mapes strings. re paint the harp. change the key tops. shim the sound broad and hand rub the finish. The total cost of all the work including the core piano and shipping to Canada is $20,000.

He said he doesn't recommend replacing the soundboard because I will end up with a mediocre piano.

He said the action is in a very good shape. but it is really hard for me to believe the action is in good condition considering that no work has ever been done on the action.

You are right to question this rebuilder. I think you already know that replacing a soundboard does not need to end up with a mediocre piano. I wouldn't suggest getting anywhere near this "rebuilders" "work".


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#2159127 - 09/28/13 03:09 PM Re: Fair price for a core Steinway Model B [Re: Reno]  
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I have seen 4 pianos recently that were purchased from the US. They were "Rebuilt"
The prices were very low, and so was the quality of the work done.
In fact I was shocked how a "rebuilder" could get away with selling such an instrument. In the end it is justified by price.

We Canadians think items are so much cheaper in the U.S. This is true when purchasing a new item off the shelf. When it comes to pianos that need rebuilding
it's a whole other ball game. You can find cheap "rebuilt" pianos in Canada as well
but if one wants quality you are going to pay for it here or there.

Getting a Steinway "B" rebuilt that is like new for $35,000 is unheard of unless it is done by a family member and they are doing someone a favor.

It is true that dealers find used Steinway "B"s in the U.S. cheaper than we find them in Canada. We just don't have them around. I come across perhaps 3 a year for sale. I know in some of the big cities in the U.S. they come across 3 a month.

Vancouver is not a big city compared to some of the mega populated U.S. cities.

If I want to get a Steinway "B" I also look in the U.S. but I generally purchase from a wholesaler and pay $12,000 to $17,000 for ebony cabinets or plain wood grains, plus shipping.

I believe a new Steinway mahogany "B" in Vancouver is around $120,000 so picking one up for $15,000 plus the cost of a real rebuild, the vintage "B" is a bargoon.


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#2159130 - 09/28/13 03:13 PM Re: Fair price for a core Steinway Model B [Re: beethoven986]  
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Rod Verhnjak Offline
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Originally Posted by beethoven986
Originally Posted by Keith D Kerman
Originally Posted by beethoven986
$7,000 +/- some, depending on location, buyer type, condition, and whether it is veneered or not.


The only time I am able to buy a B for 7k is if it is an absolute wreck that I probably would pass on. Wholesale for good Steinway B rebuild candidates is 10k minimum and closer to 15 is normal.
High teens to low 20s is the retail value of Steinway B rebuild candidates.
I'm not saying 7k is unheard of, it just means whoever sold it doesn't care about the 5 to 10k they just gave away, or they got taken.


Glad to see you chimed in. I've been told by rebuilders here that they will pay about $1,000 per foot for a Steinway core.


The $1,000 a foot would be more in line with Models S,M,L and O's
The A's B's C's and D's are priced higher. Harder to get ahold of.


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#2159131 - 09/28/13 03:15 PM Re: Fair price for a core Steinway Model B [Re: beethoven986]  
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Originally Posted by beethoven986
Originally Posted by Keith D Kerman
Originally Posted by beethoven986
$7,000 +/- some, depending on location, buyer type, condition, and whether it is veneered or not.


The only time I am able to buy a B for 7k is if it is an absolute wreck that I probably would pass on. Wholesale for good Steinway B rebuild candidates is 10k minimum and closer to 15 is normal.
High teens to low 20s is the retail value of Steinway B rebuild candidates.
I'm not saying 7k is unheard of, it just means whoever sold it doesn't care about the 5 to 10k they just gave away, or they got taken.


Glad to see you chimed in. I've been told by rebuilders here that they will pay about $1,000 per foot for a Steinway core.


That is possible with Ms, Os and A1s and A2s, but very very unlikely with A3s, Bs, Cs and Ds that aren't disasters.

Last edited by Keith D Kerman; 09/28/13 03:16 PM. Reason: lol....cross posted the same thing that Rod wrote!

Keith D Kerman
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#2159162 - 09/28/13 03:53 PM Re: Fair price for a core Steinway Model B [Re: Reno]  
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I finally decided not to buy this piano. I had a chat with the seller, He mentioned his cost on the piano not including shipping is $11000.

Steinway Bs are on high demand specially the exotic color ones. You can't get a core for less than 15,000.

What I would like to do is to buy a core B that has never been rebuilt and get it fully restored. I am willing to take the risk.

The Mahogany B in LA has a new finish and strings but the action was rebuilt 20 years ago.

#2159170 - 09/28/13 04:13 PM Re: Fair price for a core Steinway Model B [Re: Reno]  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,715
Rod Verhnjak Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Rod Verhnjak  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,715
Vancouver B.C. Canada
Originally Posted by onlysteinway

The Mahogany B in LA has a new finish and strings but the action was rebuilt 20 years ago.



The action can be the most expensive part of a rebuild. Actions rebuilt 20 years ago may or may not have been done well. Actions rebuilt today by some can also have the issue of not being done well either.

So knowing that $35,000 for the one in LA is a fair deal. Actions can cost $12,000 to $18,000 + to rebuild.


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