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Steinway model o value?
#2655130 06/20/17 04:10 PM
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In 1986 I purchased a new Steinway Model o for myself and for my kid's practice. They're grown now and I have lost interest so I'm planning on selling the piano to a friend. I want to sell it privately for a fair price which will make both of us happy. The piano is black satin, all original, and lightly used. The cabinet is in near-new condition. According to the technician (who also builds pianos), it is in pristine condition, and according to a concert pianist neighbor, it is a "gem". But apparently the market here (Portland, OR) is flat as baby boomers are unloading pianos due to downsizing (like me!). The internet pricing is all over the place, from EBay to Steinway stores. The technician and pianist are unwilling to give me an estimate because they are also friends with the buyer. Any ideas out there?

Chris

Re: Steinway model o value?
dochop #2655131 06/20/17 04:18 PM
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You may want to reference the Piano Buyer's guide on this:

How much is it worth?


1969 Hamburg Steinway B, rebuilt by PianoCraft in 2017
2013 New York Steinway A
Kawai MP11

Previously: 2005 Yamaha GB1, 1992 Yamaha C5
Re: Steinway model o value?
dochop #2655132 06/20/17 04:18 PM
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In 1986 Model O Steinways were only built in Hamburg. That affects the value. Can you confirm?


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Re: Steinway model o value?
dochop #2655137 06/20/17 04:32 PM
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'selling to a friend' might involve more variables than what you're seeing in the listed prices in the different markets you've observed. [obviously, knowing nothing of your friend or the friendship, does s/he really love the piano, and are they affluent to the extent that a few thousand $$ is less important than your relationship, for example]. if you do have a Hamburger, then comparing other model O steinways of similar age in the u.s. market is probably misleading you -- your piano is prior to the 'reforms' in the company that attempted to minimize the differences between the two cultures of piano building, and they are much harder to find in this country. the process might simply require patience on your part to get what you feel is a fair price.

Re: Steinway model o value?
dochop #2655142 06/20/17 05:23 PM
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Using the PBuyer depreciation schedule we get $78,400(present cost for a model O) x 35%(assuming the piano of age 30 years is in excellent condition)= $ 27, 440. Of course, this is meant to be a ball park figure and there would be a fudge factor of + or - some amount (I'm guessing $ 5,000).

In addition, if it really a Hamburg O that, based on my experience, adds to the value but I have no idea what % to use.

Now I'm going to look at PianoMart to see what the offering prices for similar pianos are for comparison.

Re: Steinway model o value?
dochop #2655147 06/20/17 05:40 PM
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Thank you all,

BDB, according to the Steinway salesperson when I bought the piano, it was built in Hamburg, and he felt that that was an important selling point. But according to the technician, it couldn't have been built in Hamburg because the shape of the pieces on the sides of the keyboard were typical of New York pianos. I also seem to remember reading that some pianos were "assembled" in Hamburg with parts made in New York but that is a very remote and hazy memory. Maybe someone could confirm it.

Huaidongxi, My friend is actually a neighbor and a professional mentor who helped me get my career started 32 years ago. He's quite affluent and the piano is to be a gift to one his children. I am not impatient to sell it and I'm not being pressured but I thought that if the deal was good it could be a win/win in that I would get more than selling it to a store, and he would pay less than paying the same middleman. Admittedly, I have some ambivalence about selling it anyway but at this point, it's not getting played and it's just a lovely piano-shaped decorative item in the living room.

Davdoc, Thank you for the reference. The table still shows quite a spread of values to select from. It seems on the low side.

Chris

Re: Steinway model o value?
dochop #2655150 06/20/17 05:48 PM
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Pianoloverus, that sounds more reasonable than the table that I used (using 1985 numbers).

And how does one really know if the instrument was built in Hamburg or NY? The Steinway store I used has been out of business for years.

Chris

Re: Steinway model o value?
dochop #2655163 06/20/17 06:54 PM
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Does it say "L" or "O"next to the serial number? Assuming it was new when you bought it, as far as I know "L" would mean it's a NY Steinway and "O" would mean it's a Hamburg Steinway. When you bought it, NY only made the L and Hamburg only made the O.

Re: Steinway model o value?
dochop #2655165 06/20/17 07:00 PM
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What I have read is that there were 20 Steinway L assembled in Hamburg from New York parts for institutional use in both July 1984 and March 1985. Post the serial number. Maybe Bob Snyder will be able to tell us what you have.


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Re: Steinway model o value?
dochop #2655205 06/20/17 10:14 PM
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The serial number is 497847, built in 1986. There's a large "L" above the serial number. This is the first time I've really seen that "L". So I have an "L" and not an "O"?!! I'm so embarrassed that I didn't know the Model I've owned for the last 31 years.

Chris

Re: Steinway model o value?
dochop #2655217 06/20/17 11:18 PM
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the L's and O's were very similar. if the vendor who sold it to you called it an O, it raises the question if s/he was an authorized steinway dealer. but now you know it's a NY piano, made in the period of transition from being part of the CBS empire into a niche conglomerate called "steinway musical properties".

Re: Steinway model o value?
BDB #2655218 06/20/17 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by BDB
In 1986 Model O Steinways were only built in Hamburg. That affects the value. Can you confirm?

That was pretty sharp, BDB.


phacke

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Re: Steinway model o value?
dochop #2655220 06/20/17 11:37 PM
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huaidongxi, the dealer was definitely a well respected authorized Steinway dealer, but maybe the salesman was a bit shady, or maybe my ignorance and memory are coloring the transaction. Anyway, I thought 1986 was one year after CBS relinquished Steinway. So what does "Steinway musical properties"really mean? Does this devalue the piano? Neither of my consultants mentioned this potential issue.

Chris

Re: Steinway model o value?
dochop #2655231 06/21/17 01:17 AM
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steinway marketing, same with most name brand products, would love the consumer to believe they've produced to the same high,consistent, reliable standard through the years. the premium tier piano makers want to have it both ways -- emphasizing their goods are hand crafted, and also very consistent. my own experience with the steinway brand is solely with used instruments, variability a matter of course. curiously, those who have the means to consider the premium brands brand new also consider the differences between individual instruments of the same model made in the same year. maybe this was your own experience when you bought your L, that you tried several and thought it stood out. with those who did have access to new steinways over successive eras, some elite pianists weren't thrilled with the NY pianos toward the end of the steinway family ownership era, which ended with the sale to CBS. post-CBS, there have been a number of ownership groups, of which 'steinway musical properties' was the first that purchased the company from CBS. ownership and management have been through a couple of more transitions since, but a real effort to decrease variations between NY and Hamburg began in the 90s i.i.r.c., and standardizing the two contributed to discontinuing the L in 2005.

if you're not sure the salesman who sold your L to you said it was an O, o.k., but if s/he was sloppy, this might have been a symptom of the company being in a period of transition.

Re: Steinway model o value?
dochop #2655232 06/21/17 01:19 AM
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Okay, so you have an L. The most visible difference is that there is a tight curve at the back left end of the piano, instead of a big, sweeping curve that makes the rear of the piano look like the back of the letter O, although that is not the reason for the model designation. I suspect that a fair price would be about $20,000. Possibly a little lower if you sell it to a friend. It is worth it for a no-hassle sale.


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Re: Steinway model o value?
dochop #2655253 06/21/17 06:18 AM
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I think it could be a good idea if you contact Steinway directly. They keep records of all the pianos produced and if you provide them with a serial number, year of purchase and model they might be able to tell you if the piano was produced in Hamburg or New York. Probably, they may ask you for a small administrative fee. If you do that you will have no doubts where the piano was manufactured.


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Re: Steinway model o value?
dochop #2655304 06/21/17 11:12 AM
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Can't speak for the Portland market, but around here, a 30ish L in top condition will sell for $25k and up. The piano should sell on its own merit: condition, touch, tone. Who or what owned Steinway back then is irrelevant to most buyers.


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Re: Steinway model o value?
dochop #2655315 06/21/17 11:58 AM
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Dochop, I'll private message you with the history we have on this piano. I'll also respond to a couple of other items in this thread - - in hopes that it will clarify things for you. You are welcome to send me an email if you'd like to do so.

Last edited by Bob Snyder; 06/21/17 12:00 PM.

Bob Snyder
Senior District Manager
Steinway & Sons

rsnyder@steinway.com
www.steinway.com

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