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Price for 1909 "remanufactured" Steinway O #275990
07/28/08 03:52 PM
07/28/08 03:52 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 134
Ontario, Canada
jehalliday Offline OP
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jehalliday  Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 134
Ontario, Canada
I have started the search for a grand piano. I had no serious intention of looking for a Steinway, mainly because of the price, but went to a dealer to try some out just for the experience. Needless to say, now everything pales by comparison and I'm seriously considering one.

I was introduced to a 1909 Steinway Model O. The salesman explained that the piano was recently "remanufactured" at the Steinway factory in New York. He explained this meant everything except the case, rim and steel plate have been completely replaced by Steinway and as such, Steinway considers it a new piano for registration and warranty purposes. The case is ribboned mahogany, beautifully refinished.

The asking price is $55,000.00 (Canadian). A new model O apparently sell for approx $75,000 Canadian, depending on the finish.

Is this a fair price? I've seen "rebuilt" model O's of the same vintage on the internet in the US selling in the $30,000.00 range, and in the UK for 15,000 to 17,000 pounds. These pianos however were not rebuilt at the Steinway factory and many still have original soundboards. The dealer is, by the way, extremely well known in Canada and I have no doubts whatsoever about the dealer's reputation. I was thinking I might offer $50,000.

Any suggestions as to what is fair and reasonable are greatly appreciated.

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Re: Price for 1909 "remanufactured" Steinway O #275991
07/28/08 04:41 PM
07/28/08 04:41 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 134
Ontario, Canada
jehalliday Offline OP
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jehalliday  Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2008
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Ontario, Canada
Sorry - double post!

Re: Price for 1909 "remanufactured" Steinway O #275992
07/28/08 05:06 PM
07/28/08 05:06 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,721
Danville, California
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Furtwangler Offline
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Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,721
Danville, California


Amateur Pianist and raconteur.
Re: Price for 1909 "remanufactured" Steinway O #275993
07/28/08 06:14 PM
07/28/08 06:14 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,815
West Coast
Craigen Offline
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Craigen  Offline
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West Coast
The Steinway factory rebuilds are always more expensive than other shops. Many times they are better, not always. Only you can decide if it is worth it to you. Many rebuild O's out there for $30-$45k.


Piano Technician, member Piano Technicians Guild.
Re: Price for 1909 "remanufactured" Steinway O #275994
07/28/08 06:33 PM
07/28/08 06:33 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 8
Toronto, ON
D
D-J Offline
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D-J  Offline
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D

Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 8
Toronto, ON
jehalliday,

Greetings! I live in Ontario as well, and two years ago when I bought a model A, I went through the same process that you're now going through. Here are my thoughts.

A remanufactured piano means that everything that can be replaced has been replaced with new parts. On a rebuilt piano, the hammers and strings ought to be new, but the action, pinblock, soundboard etc. may or may not be new -- usually the pinblock and action are new, and the soundboard has maybe a 50-50 chance of being new, but this varies widely. Remanufacturing involves more work and commands a higher price. Whether or not the end result is better depends greatly on who does the work.

As you have already noticed, $55000 or even $50000 is a high price compared to other rebuilt O's on the market. Part of the high price is because of the extra work involved in remanufacturing vs. rebuilding, and part of it is the premium that you pay for having the work done at the Steinway factory. Whether or not that price premium is worth it depends on you. Some people greatly value the peace of mind of knowing that the work was done by Steinway and comes with a Steinway warranty. There is some merit to this viewpoint, because factory work is at least consistent, and you don't have to guess at whether the restoration firm is a good one or not.

In our case, we bought a third party rebuild because the logic of getting a better piano for less money was irresistible. For example, Country Piano (see above) lists several model A's for $40000. When we were shopping for pianos, we found that in general the model A was a noticeably better musical instrument than the model O, with a superior, better balanced scale design and larger soundboard volume. However, we also found that vintage Steinways vary greatly in tone from piano to piano, even those of the same model. I think that if you are able to invest the time to check out a larger number of pianos and dealerships, you will be able to find a better piano for less money. The only thing you can't get elsewhere is the factory warranty.

I believe that you won't go wrong by looking for the best piano within your budget. The one thing I would not do is buy an inferior piano just because it's cheaper. If you come across another piano that's cheaper, make sure you actually love it without regard to price before you buy it. That's exactly what happened in our case, and we couldn't be happier with the result.

Re: Price for 1909 "remanufactured" Steinway O #275995
07/29/08 03:37 AM
07/29/08 03:37 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,346
North Hollywood CA.
pianobroker Offline
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North Hollywood CA.
I would think that in any commodity especially pianos whereas the asking price of a preowned,rebuilt,remanufactured or....rewhatevered is nominal $ less than a new one
"why not spring for a new one". I think the 75K quote is shooting for a grand slam home run at your expense. An African flame ribbon mahogany veneer at present is apart of Steinway's crown jewel collection whereas this veneer is considered an exotic veneer at an extra 15-20K premium which is reflected in the asking price. In the vintage years all mahogany pianos were of this veneer,far from being considered exotic. Needless to say,the incentive in buying any preowned,rebuilt,restored,remanufactured piano is PRICE.
Of course,a full comprehensive restoration can outperform a new one on occasion from a reputable firm laugh but "new is new". If you're gonna spring for the big $ play many many new ones and pick the one that floats your boat.
If you're thinking on buying remanufactured from Steinway or a new one taking precedence on the warranty,the 5 year limited warranty is not worth 20-30K. Some may not agree with me,but I tell it the way it is!in that we've come across a few Steinways over the years wink


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Re: Price for 1909 "remanufactured" Steinway O #275996
07/29/08 02:11 PM
07/29/08 02:11 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,534
G
Gyro Offline
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Gyro  Offline
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G

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,534
When shopping for Steinways, you need to go
back and try the piano at least twice more,
because the Steinway mystique is very powerful
and can completely distort your perception.
By the third time you try it your head will
clear and you'll begin to see that it doesn't
sound all that great and the price tag on
it is therefore ridiculous.

Re: Price for 1909 "remanufactured" Steinway O #275997
07/29/08 02:31 PM
07/29/08 02:31 PM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 3,993
Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
K
Keith D Kerman Online content
3000 Post Club Member
Keith D Kerman  Online Content
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K

Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 3,993
Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
Quote
Originally posted by pianobroker:

Of course,a full comprehensive restoration can outperform a new one on occasion from a reputable firm laugh but "new is new".
I don't understand your logic here. If a rebuilt piano outperforms the new one, why would you recommend a new one? While there are people who only want something that is brand new, there are also many people, at least a large percentage of our clients, who care most about the performance of the piano.


Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales - vintage and used Steinway, Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Baldwin
www.pianocraft.net
check out http://sitkadoc.com/
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keith@pianocraft.net 888-840-5460
Re: Price for 1909 "remanufactured" Steinway O #275998
07/29/08 06:44 PM
07/29/08 06:44 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 8
Toronto, ON
D
D-J Offline
Junior Member
D-J  Offline
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D

Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 8
Toronto, ON
Quote
Needless to say,the incentive in buying any preowned,rebuilt,restored,remanufactured piano is PRICE.
Price is certainly a factor, but I don't think it should be the main reason for buying a rebuilt piano. The main consideration should be performance. Buy the best piano that your budget allows. Does the best rebuilt piano you can afford sound and play better than the best new one you can afford? If so, go for it.

Price, however, can serve to limit your options, and in that sense it does provide a roundabout incentive to seek out rebuilt pianos (maybe this is what pianobroker meant). For example you indicate a willingness to spend $50000. At that price, you can get a rebuilt model A, but you can't get a new model A, certainly not one with the mahogany finish. So, in this particular comparison, your only option within that budget is the rebuilt piano.

In your case, you haven't said how many other pianos and dealerships you tried before settling on this one. If you've looked around extensively and this is the best piano you found under that price, then that's one thing, but as some of the replies have implied, it seems likely that you can find a better piano for less money if you look around more.

Re: Price for 1909 "remanufactured" Steinway O #275999
07/29/08 07:31 PM
07/29/08 07:31 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 42
New York City
S
stevepiano Offline
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stevepiano  Offline
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S

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 42
New York City
I agree with most of what everyone else has said already. The price seems a little high, but Steinway does charge more for their rebuilds than most. If you haven't shopped around a little, do so, unless that particular instrument has completely blown you away in regards to looks, feel and sound.


Stephen Drasche - Drasche Pianos/AC Pianocraft, Inc. 4th generation piano rebuilder - Steinway specialist
www.acpianocraft.com
Re: Price for 1909 "remanufactured" Steinway O #276000
07/29/08 09:26 PM
07/29/08 09:26 PM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,290
Toronto
Starting Over Offline
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Starting Over  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,290
Toronto
I'm a little surprised at the price you were quoted for a new Model O. $75K is more than the price of a new ebony B but maybe that's the price for a new Model O in ribboned mahogony. These fancy veneers and cases can really run up the price. In any case, there's no doubt in my mind that Steinway rebuilts are absolutely top notch. I've seen nothing from the independents nearly as good but the prices reflect the quality difference. You do have to pay for it. Only you can determine if the difference is worth it but, imo, the only better Steinway would be a brand new one. I don't think $50 to $55K is completely out of the ballpark.

Also, I agree with Gyro that you should go back and play the piano a couple of times to really get a feel for it. However, I'm not sure so sure of the outcome as he is. You may end up buying it. :rolleyes:


Buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it.
Will Rogers

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Re: Price for 1909 "remanufactured" Steinway O #276001
07/29/08 10:20 PM
07/29/08 10:20 PM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 123
D
darb Offline
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Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 123
I would encourage you to make a list of all the pianos that are within your very generous budget and then search out good dealers in your area who sell them. Then go around to the shops and play all of the pianos on your list. Take your time, and play and play and play (I assume you play, but if you don't, take a friend to play for you). Close your eyes and really listen to the piano and feel the keys with your fingers. Try not to stick to a particular brand. You might be surprised. I had a pretty generous budget, and I took 6 months to go all around my city and to some other cities, playing all the pianos on my list, returning many times before buying. I had fun playing so many pianos, even some that I knew I could never buy, but it was such a blast to pound out some good Beethoven on them just for fun. It's a really fun process and I ended up buying a wonderful piano that I couldn't be happier with. Not only did I end up with the perfect piano for me, but I also got to play lots and lots of pianos along the way. It was wonderful. I still remember how they all felt and sounded. Really, you will enjoy this process if you take the time to do it. Don't get too stuck on a Steinway because of the brand name alone. If you didn't know the brands, you might be surprised what you end up loving in a "blind taste test."

Good luck!

Re: Price for 1909 "remanufactured" Steinway O #276002
07/30/08 03:14 AM
07/30/08 03:14 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,346
North Hollywood CA.
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member
pianobroker  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,346
North Hollywood CA.
Quote
Originally posted by Keith D Kerman:
Quote
Originally posted by pianobroker:
[b]
Of course,a full comprehensive restoration can outperform a new one on occasion from a reputable firm laugh but "new is new".
I don't understand your logic here. If a rebuilt piano outperforms the new one, why would you recommend a new one? While there are people who only want something that is brand new, there are also many people, at least a large percentage of our clients, who care most about the performance of the piano. [/b]
Keith,I'm probably guilty of my underlying implication as for the OP to sample the wares of alternate high end restoration facilities in that like you,we emphasize on trying to remanufacture the best product possible and at the same time increase consistency and efficiency level. My primary rebuilder is quite innovative in modernizing this old world approach toward restoration at a precision level hard to fathom. My cost comparison/analysis was directed toward the OP's scenario in basically disclosing the facts of his prospective purchase.When any preowned commodity whether a car,boat,piano or ? is not much less $ than a brand new one the logical choice would be to buy "new". I have the utmost respect for your operation and consider Pianocraft to be a part of the exception to the rule which I stated as for reputable firms able through scale modifications to increase the performance level well beyond the norm which to many players is an invaluble service.

Having facilitated more Steinway restorations than I can remember,I might dispute the fact that one remanufacturing a 1909 Steinway "O" can overcome the shortcomings in a 100 year old piano to the same level as a brand new one. In remanufacturing an older piano one can literally change everything possible which we have done with the exception of the case and harp. You have to admit in certain pianos there will be issues in a piano whereeas restoration though quite possible can be devastating to a rebuilder. A prior substandard restoration can do irreparable
harm in lieu of future restoration. Some other examples might be hmmm....delaminating rim,failed 100 year old glue joints,keybed inconsistences,bent distorted damper wires,warped case parts which are actually normal in a 100 year old piano. In restoring a client's Steinway B,my bellyman had to actually take out the keybed along with assessing a damaged belly rail in replacing the soundboard,bridges,ribs etc.
One prays that these restoration nightmares are not reocurring. So new can sound quite appealing at times. The problem in buying new is the major difference in $ over buying restored from a reputable independent firm.
So there lyes my spin on things wink
D-J saw thru my ploy.


www.pastperfectpiano.com
Largest selection in the USA
100+Steinway and M&H grands
Warehouse showroom Onsite Restoration
Preowned & Restored
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Re: Price for 1909 "remanufactured" Steinway O #276003
07/30/08 03:16 AM
07/30/08 03:16 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,346
North Hollywood CA.
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member
pianobroker  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,346
North Hollywood CA.


www.pastperfectpiano.com
Largest selection in the USA
100+Steinway and M&H grands
Warehouse showroom Onsite Restoration
Preowned & Restored
Hailun dlr.818-255-3145
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z8RvhXGKzY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Voo0zumHGgE
Re: Price for 1909 "remanufactured" Steinway O #276004
07/31/08 08:23 AM
07/31/08 08:23 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 134
Ontario, Canada
jehalliday Offline OP
Full Member
jehalliday  Offline OP
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 134
Ontario, Canada
Thanks to everyone for their insight. I plan to play as many new pianos in my price range as I can to see if any "strike the same chord". At least now knowing what I believe I'm willing to pay helps establish a framework. If none of the new models seem the same then I guess I shall begin a careful search of rebuilt Steinways. I realize there is no shortage of them, so there is no need to get excited if one gets away on me! Thanks again for all of your comments.

Re: Price for 1909 "remanufactured" Steinway O #276005
08/01/08 03:31 PM
08/01/08 03:31 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6
Atlanta, Georgia
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FAM1953 Offline
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FAM1953  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6
Atlanta, Georgia
the particular model O made back in 1909 that is being offered to you is probably what they now call a Steinway "Heirloom" piano. The difference between this one and 99% of all other rebuilds is that the Heirlooms uses all new parts in its restoration other than the original rim and plate. Therefore, you are not playing a restored 1909 action, you are playing on a new 2008 action assembly. The soundboard, pin block, and strings are all new current parts giving the piano not only the feel of a new one, but also the tone. There are some subtle differences in the tone compared to some of the new ones only due to the actual rim being 100 years old, but even new Steinway sound different from one another. The Heirloom Steinway is a good investment for someone that wants to pay typical used prices for their Steinway, but want the reassurance of the latest technologies and patented features found in the new pianos. You might pay more for one because they are sold through Steinway dealers and are backed by Steinway's factory warranty, as opposed to buying a traditional rebuild from a technician with a more localized guarantee. The main thing to remember is that this particular 1909 "Heirloom" Steinway is considered to be a much better instrument than its original version or any restoration of same, unless the restoration is similar to what the "Heirloom" goes through (which would be rare). Good luck.


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