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#2160254 - 09/30/13 11:07 PM Mahogany versus Ebony  
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 141
Reno Offline
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Reno  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 141
hi there,

I came across a core Steinway from 1918 with the original case color of Mahogany. The re-builder told me, I can choose to re-finish the Mahogany or change the color to Ebony if I want. I would like to know if in future I decide to sell the piano, will Mahogany have a higher resell value? how about popularity? I read some where that majority of the pianos Steinway produces now are in ebony. Is that because Ebony is more popular?

Thanks

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#2160257 - 09/30/13 11:10 PM Re: Mahogany versus Ebony [Re: Reno]  
Joined: Apr 2007
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rysowers Offline
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rysowers  Offline
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Olympia, WA
I've always heard that ebony is the easiest to sell. But personally I would never turn my Mahogany O into an Ebony! smile
Just don't refinish it in white! sick


Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net
#2160263 - 09/30/13 11:24 PM Re: Mahogany versus Ebony [Re: Reno]  
Joined: Sep 2006
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Supply Offline
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Supply  Offline
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Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Ebony = black paint. Nothing ebony about it.

#2160266 - 09/30/13 11:29 PM Re: Mahogany versus Ebony [Re: Reno]  
Joined: Apr 2010
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kpembrook Offline
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kpembrook  Offline
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Michigan
Often "ebonized" (as S&S refers to black pianos) instruments were mahogany that got painted. Sometimes maple. My take is that if they knew the piano was going to be ebonized they weren't too careful with grain matching but sometimes they just took a piano with a nice mahogany case -- well matched veneer- and painted it black.

I think the Mahogany might be slightly higher price at new retail than the ebonized. But you should do what you want rather than trying to outguess what the fashion will be years hence when/if you want to sell.

RE: not painting white.
Sounds like a voice of experience. I have had mahogany bleed through white lacquer.
As it happens, I service the first white S&S model L (from the factory).


Keith Akins, RPT
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#2160270 - 09/30/13 11:42 PM Re: Mahogany versus Ebony [Re: Reno]  
Joined: Dec 2012
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Ed McMorrow, RPT  Offline
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Seattle, WA USA
If you go to buy a mahogany finish ready for sale Steinway-you will find the asking price is higher than if it was a black finish. This is because new natural finish pianos cost more than black ones.

If you go to sell your Mahogany Steinway you will find less buyers specifically seeking it at any given time. If you find the buyer that is seeking a Mahogany case you will be able to recoup the higher price. Natural wood finished pianos sell less often.

What Steinway does for ebonized case work is to use up all the leftover veneers. The veneers of an ebony piano may be mahogany-but they likely won't be from the same tree.

I love natural wood pianos-but you should get what you like.


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
#2160358 - 10/01/13 07:08 AM Re: Mahogany versus Ebony [Re: Reno]  
Joined: Mar 2009
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bkw58 Offline

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bkw58  Offline

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Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,057
Conway, AR USA
Paint hides a multitude of sins. A reliable source at one particular factory (ca.1990s) told us that grands well into the manufacturing process discovered with either damaged veneers or substandard casework would be "repaired"; these also became the ebony units. I have wondered if especially the latter problem was the cause of splits in the case - most notably in the arms, most often the left - sometimes seen in the ebony grands but never in the natural wood finished.


Bob W.
Piano Technician (Retired since 2006)
Conway, Arkansas
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com
#2160383 - 10/01/13 08:09 AM Re: Mahogany versus Ebony [Re: Reno]  
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Olek Offline
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Olek  Offline
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France
I do not believe they are related, as I have seen them on veener pianos too. mostly the stress from the plate /pinblock under stress itself.


Last edited by Olek; 10/01/13 08:13 AM.

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#2160413 - 10/01/13 09:25 AM Re: Mahogany versus Ebony [Re: bkw58]  
Joined: Dec 2012
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Ed McMorrow, RPT  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2012
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Seattle, WA USA
bkw58
I have always thought the splitting at the joint between outer rim and cornice filler was because of moving damage. Something like the piano dropped towards the top and the force of the plate against the pinblock to case joint created the crack.

I have seen them about equally in natural or black finishes.


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
#2160447 - 10/01/13 11:14 AM Re: Mahogany versus Ebony [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]  
Joined: Mar 2009
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bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014
bkw58  Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,057
Conway, AR USA
Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
bkw58
I have always thought the splitting at the joint between outer rim and cornice filler was because of moving damage. Something like the piano dropped towards the top and the force of the plate against the pinblock to case joint created the crack.

...


I thought so too, but the problem seemed to be brand-specific. These were new ebony grands from the factory. If not found split in the store, it was by the customer shortly after purchase and delivery.

I suppose it could be moving related and occurrent somewhat equally among ebony and natural finishes. The left arm does bear the brunt. Probably splits in black finish is more noticeable to me than a natural wood finish. Once split, black paint will chip or flake and expose primer or wood beneath. Very unsightly.



Bob W.
Piano Technician (Retired since 2006)
Conway, Arkansas
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com
#2160459 - 10/01/13 11:52 AM Re: Mahogany versus Ebony [Re: Reno]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,555
Bob Newbie Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Bob Newbie  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,555
what kind of legs does the piano have,ornate? or plain..same goes for music desk..
if both are carved,, don't do black..


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