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1986 Samick SG-172 for $3500 a good price? #2630106
04/04/17 12:45 PM
04/04/17 12:45 PM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 8
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zebugman Offline OP
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zebugman  Offline OP
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Hi,

I'm currently thinking hard about getting my very first piano! Go me! By "my first" I mean one that I purchased rather than my parents, since I've just graduated college and landed a great job.

My budget is strictly $3500 at the moment (50% above my original budget) and I'm looking for something that will last me for a good couple years until I'm more settled.

Anyway, I came across this baby grand (Serial: 854209, guessing made in 1986?) and I really do like the sound for my dollar. It was rarely played (hammers look nearly brand new) and everything seems to be in as close to mint condition as I can tell by my untrained eye. The seller is a technician who doesn't work in retail but instead rebuilds Steinways primarily for a living and happened to get the piano from an auction. He's guaranteed he'd personally fix any issues that may spring up and refund me 100% if something goes wrong.

My question is two-fold:

1) Is $3500 delivered a fair price?
2) Should I opt instead for the early/mid '90s Kawai UST-7 upright to save a couple hundred dollars?

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Re: 1986 Samick SG-172 for $3500 a good price? [Re: zebugman] #2630107
04/04/17 12:53 PM
04/04/17 12:53 PM
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USA
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gnuboi Offline
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1) Yes.
2) Yes. But the UST-7 sounds overpriced wink See if you can get a better deal on it.

My feeling is that you might end up wanting a nicer grand, and the Samick probably won't be an easy resale. Save a little more and get a nicer grand in the future.

Re: 1986 Samick SG-172 for $3500 a good price? [Re: zebugman] #2630109
04/04/17 12:57 PM
04/04/17 12:57 PM
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zebugman Offline OP
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The UST-7 is $2800 (or that's what the retailers WANT for it) as their "bottom line sale price" with a $200 delivery fee on top.

I imagine I'd like a better grand in the future, but since he's cleaned up the actions and the hammers are so "new," the sound really does sound decent. And by decent, I mean the best in the range I can currently afford. I have no doubts I'd upgrade in the future, but I can't imagine either piano is easy to resell...

EDIT: I forgot my third question:

Is there a benefit to having it being made in Korea as opposed to Indonesia? I was told this one was not manufactured in Indonesia.

Last edited by zebugman; 04/04/17 12:59 PM.
Re: 1986 Samick SG-172 for $3500 a good price? [Re: zebugman] #2630114
04/04/17 01:12 PM
04/04/17 01:12 PM
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gnuboi Offline
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Well if you've already tried many other grands and like this one the most, then it's ok to go for it.

I've experienced $3000-and-below baby grands around 5', shorter than your 172, from both Samick and YC, and they sounded pretty bad. Not super horrible but there would be issues with particular notes at the breaks and the tone isn't as full at the two ends. A bit distracting but if you're having a grand time in your own little world jamming on the piano, you probably won't care wink

Re: 1986 Samick SG-172 for $3500 a good price? [Re: gnuboi] #2630116
04/04/17 01:28 PM
04/04/17 01:28 PM
Joined: Apr 2017
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zebugman Offline OP
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zebugman  Offline OP
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Good to know!

I plan to go back there tomorrow and play on the whole spectrum of the keys after he has it tuned and I'll be sure to look for any of those signs.

The other pianos in the same category, but they cost $5000+... The ones around the same price point were like you said, about 5' and sounded pretty terrible in the lows and highs, sadly.

Today I'm going back to play the Kawai again and see what I think, I suppose. I do like the grand, but again my main concern was whether or not $3500 is a good price for that year/model.

Last edited by zebugman; 04/04/17 01:37 PM.
Re: 1986 Samick SG-172 for $3500 a good price? [Re: zebugman] #2630119
04/04/17 01:49 PM
04/04/17 01:49 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,072
Georgia, USA
Rickster Offline
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$3500 delivered, from a piano tech is not a bad price, if you really like the piano. I think a lot of piano techs supplement their income buying bargain pianos and fixing them up and reselling them.

You can figure $250-$350 just for moving cost; and another $100 for a tech inspection, and another $100 or so for tuning, if it was private owner selling the piano, and not a tech. So, taking that into consideration, you're getting the piano for around $3K.

As far as the tech's promised warranty, it is only as good as his word, and his willingness and ability to honor the warranty.

Good luck, and keep us informed!!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: 1986 Samick SG-172 for $3500 a good price? [Re: zebugman] #2630126
04/04/17 02:03 PM
04/04/17 02:03 PM
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Posts: 8
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zebugman Offline OP
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zebugman  Offline OP
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I definitely will!

He hates doing real "tech work" (tuning, home inspections), which I though was ironic and he described as a "necessary evil of the profession." His primary business is buying and flipping Steinways that have been "aged" (read: abused) or simply older models in need of work. The ones he has fixed up are quite impressive and use all Steinway parts, but since he's also an auction regular, he has a bunch of random things in shop like this one.

Now one last question, was there a considerable difference in quality (lol, talking quality about $3k pianos) between being manufactured in Korea vs. Indonesia? Just curious.

Taylor

Last edited by zebugman; 04/04/17 02:06 PM.
Re: 1986 Samick SG-172 for $3500 a good price? [Re: zebugman] #2630129
04/04/17 02:05 PM
04/04/17 02:05 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 4,602
Georgia, USA
terminaldegree Offline
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Originally Posted by zebugman

Is there a benefit to having it being made in Korea as opposed to Indonesia? I was told this one was not manufactured in Indonesia.


No, not in this case - I don't believe Samick had a factory in Indonesia in 1986, and there were no Indonesian-built pianos in America at that time. In 1986, Korean pianos were a relatively new thing in the US piano market, the lowest-cost option for that period in piano history.


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Re: 1986 Samick SG-172 for $3500 a good price? [Re: zebugman] #2630140
04/04/17 02:33 PM
04/04/17 02:33 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 450
Chicago
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Duke of Dunning Offline
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The Steinway dealer in Chicago carried Samick in the mid-1980s. A big deal was made of the new "no crack" laminated soundboards. The other option was Young Chang


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Re: 1986 Samick SG-172 for $3500 a good price? [Re: zebugman] #2630148
04/04/17 02:50 PM
04/04/17 02:50 PM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 81
Canada
Tone Deaf Offline
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Back in December 2009 on PW a similiar question was posted re price of a Samick SG-172,
manufactured in 1989.

The Asking price, at that time, was $3000. The poster said it was being sold by the
original owner with very little use, basically a nice piece of furniture.

The Bluebook of Pianos shows the Samick SG-172 retail price in 1985 as $8000,
and in 1995 as $11,030. No later date listed.

IMO, the piano has not increased in value over the past 7.4 yrs.,
so I'd be inclined to bargin hard over the sale price.


Re: 1986 Samick SG-172 for $3500 a good price? [Re: zebugman] #2630237
04/04/17 09:20 PM
04/04/17 09:20 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 4,905
Seattle, WA USA
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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I have done couple of Samick grands where I do extensive rehabbing. Reshape capo bar. Replace wound strings with custom scale. Replace hammers and shanks using W,N&G carbon fiber shank. Repin all other action centers. Rebush keys.

The result is very nice. The scales have fairly good bones and the materials are solid enough.

It does cost several thousand dollars but often no other better value out there can be found in high performance pianos.

Can't say the same about Young Changs.


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: 1986 Samick SG-172 for $3500 a good price? [Re: zebugman] #2635867
04/24/17 10:46 AM
04/24/17 10:46 AM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 8
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zebugman Offline OP
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zebugman  Offline OP
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Joined: Apr 2017
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Quick update, I got it!

It's been a couple weeks since it's been delivered and probably needs to be stepped up back to tune over a couple more tuning sessions, but the tone sounds great, and I'm so far very pleased with what I've gotten for the price. The piano's near pristine since it wasn't used very much, and the guy said he'd even refinish the few scratches on it from the previous owner when he comes to tune it.

Other than the tuning which will be better as I step it up, I'm happy with it!

Re: 1986 Samick SG-172 for $3500 a good price? [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT] #2635887
04/24/17 12:03 PM
04/24/17 12:03 PM
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gnuboi Offline
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Congrats zebugman!


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