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A tale of new and old Steinways #2775639
10/26/18 10:08 AM
10/26/18 10:08 AM
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 1
S
SVL Offline OP
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SVL  Offline OP
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Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 1
Hi Piano World! This is my first post, so greetings!

I’ve been playing piano for about 20 years now, and only ever had digital pianos and keyboards. Now that I’m moving out, I have space for an acoustic piano, and I initially was going to get a Yamaha AvantGrand N2 or N3x. Those are expensive, so I decided to go with an acoustic grand for 15k budget instead.

Now, at that budget, you can get plenty a good deal on a used but 21st century Yamaha G2, Kawai RX-3, etc.. But my nature, my fickle nature, makes me really drawn to Steinway pianos. Do I believe they’re the best? No, because I’ve played Fazioli and Schimmel, etc. But there’s something about it being the piano (Model B) that I practiced on in practice rooms the most, the piano at my recitals and exams…

Long story short, I have these options now.

I can get a 1968 Steinway Model M, reconditioned but not rebuilt, for $12k.

I can get a 1945 Steinway Model S, restored, for $14k.

I can get a rebuilt model B, 1912, for around $22k.

I can commission a restoration on a 1898 Model B for $20k and have full say in every decision.

Now, I’m really drawn to the last two options, but the model M is more than half a century newer.

Your thoughts on the four options?

This is more than an emotional response or satisfying a need. It’s always been a dream of mine to move out and have my own piano. Why not a Steinway?

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Re: A tale of new and old Steinways [Re: SVL] #2775644
10/26/18 10:25 AM
10/26/18 10:25 AM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 157
USA
J
jarobi Offline
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USA
I'm assuming the restored/rebuilt pianos were not done recently? If the 1912 B is the one I'm thinking of, it was rebuilt in the 1990's. I think you'll have to give a lot more info before those more knowledgeable than me can give you advice. As usual, it all comes down to finding the piano that speaks to you, in your price range and having it checked out by a tech. I've been looking for a long time and finding a decent Steinway for 15K is challenging. Good luck in your search.

Re: A tale of new and old Steinways [Re: SVL] #2775658
10/26/18 11:41 AM
10/26/18 11:41 AM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 476
Dublin
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johnstaf Online crying
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Dublin
If you are confident enough in your own experience (and your tech's) to know the difference between a great B and a mediocre one, the 1912 piano should be worth looking at.

The common advice to follow your heart isn't much use if you don't notice things about the piano that will irritate you later on.

Last edited by johnstaf; 10/26/18 11:42 AM.
Re: A tale of new and old Steinways [Re: SVL] #2775667
10/26/18 12:16 PM
10/26/18 12:16 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 3,753
Florida
dogperson Offline
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dogperson  Offline
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Florida
SVL
I would recommend that you play as many different piano brands as possible.... until you find one that you love, irrespective of the brand. Your piano should inspire YOU. Steinway may certainly be your final decision, but test driving others will make it clear.

Re: A tale of new and old Steinways [Re: SVL] #2775671
10/26/18 12:31 PM
10/26/18 12:31 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 21,674
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
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Victoria, BC
For what it is, the "S" is a reasonably good instrument, but it's still a 5'1" piano that would not satisfy many serious pianists. Nor have I played any "M" that I like, which may be totally irrelevant to the particular "M" in question.

I would not opt for the 1898 "B" since you don't know what the results will be, even though you "have full say in every decision." That won't decide on the inherent tonal characteristics which you possibly may not like. In that situation, I would advise you to buy a piano for what it is, not for what you hope it might become.

For your budget, I will echo what others have said: Try as many pianos as you can get your hands on without consideration for the name on the fallboard, and buy the one that speaks (sings?) to you.

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: A tale of new and old Steinways [Re: BruceD] #2775678
10/26/18 01:02 PM
10/26/18 01:02 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 476
Dublin
J
johnstaf Online crying
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Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 476
Dublin
Originally Posted by BruceD
For what it is, the "S" is a reasonably good instrument, but it's still a 5'1" piano that would not satisfy many serious pianists. Nor have I played any "M" that I like, which may be totally irrelevant to the particular "M" in question.

Regards,


I agree about the S. It's nice, but it's still a baby grand. However, I once played a most beautiful M once in London. But I think the bass would annoy me after a while, if I chose an M over a B. Maybe I'm just strange like that... grin

Perhaps other people aren't as neurotic about such things!

Re: A tale of new and old Steinways [Re: SVL] #2775681
10/26/18 01:34 PM
10/26/18 01:34 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 476
Dublin
J
johnstaf Online crying
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Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 476
Dublin
The only solution is a Model D and your very own concert hall.

Re: A tale of new and old Steinways [Re: SVL] #2775684
10/26/18 02:20 PM
10/26/18 02:20 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 19
Rochester, NY
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NittyRanks Offline
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NittyRanks  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 19
Rochester, NY
Don't inherit a problem either because small things will grate on you and become big things.

Re: A tale of new and old Steinways [Re: SVL] #2775686
10/26/18 02:32 PM
10/26/18 02:32 PM
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 63
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mcontraveos Offline
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The 1912 B for $22k sounds inappropriately priced. Far too low for quality rebuild work. What's been done to it, by whom, and when?

Re: A tale of new and old Steinways [Re: mcontraveos] #2775731
10/26/18 05:12 PM
10/26/18 05:12 PM
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 152
London, UK
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precise Offline
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Posts: 152
London, UK
Originally Posted by mcontraveos
The 1912 B for $22k sounds inappropriately priced. Far too low for quality rebuild work. What's been done to it, by whom, and when?
I was going to make the same comment. Any idea where the work was done?

I genuinely don't think your budget will get you a very satisfying model B - the rebuild sounds too cheap to be really good. For 22K I'm sure you could get something really good, as long as you don't fixate on a Steinway B (I know how easy it is to fixate, though). Funnily enough, of the options you listed, the model S sounds as though it would be the best bet, and it seems a reasonable and logical price. Many people hate the S, but they can be sublime - surprisingly so.

Also, as others have said, play, play and then play more, different instruments. If it was me, and I was in the US (I'm assuming you are), I'd look for a Baldwin SF-10 - they can be just as impressive and wonderful as a Steinway B, sometimes more so. I'm guessing 22K would get you one - others here will know...


Steinway D 1986 (Hamburg)
Kawai RX-7
Re: A tale of new and old Steinways [Re: mcontraveos] #2775744
10/26/18 05:55 PM
10/26/18 05:55 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 157
USA
J
jarobi Offline
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Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 157
USA
I don't know for sure it's the same piano, but I inquired about a rebuilt 1912 B and was told it was rebuilt by Steinway in the 1990's. It has some case fading and wear. I think it has been recently voiced and regulated. Priced at $22K by a well known seller.
Originally Posted by mcontraveos
The 1912 B for $22k sounds inappropriately priced. Far too low for quality rebuild work. What's been done to it, by whom, and when?

Re: A tale of new and old Steinways [Re: SVL] #2775807
10/27/18 04:42 AM
10/27/18 04:42 AM
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 31
Vienna, Austria
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OE1FEU Offline
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Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 31
Vienna, Austria
I'd be very curious about the actual state of the 1898 model B. If it hasn't been botched by a bad repair job, the substance of such an instrument is just incredible. You'll get the best soundboard material there is, Appalachian red spruce and the piano itself is modern enough to get it to sound and play like a modern Steinway. I have an 1886 model B and it's gorgeous, even though previous repairs were crude hack jobs.

As others mentioned, if you have once had your ears on a 'B', you don't want to go back to any smaller sized instrument, no matter the price or condition. What you should do in any case, before making a final decision, is to evaluate previous work by the piano technician who will rebuild your choice. Play an instrument that he has rebuilt and considers it a good job. Be critical and if you are not happy with any aspect of the rebuilding, find another technician. A really good technician will always be happy to show you a work of reference and that you be the standard you measure the intended result by.

Enjoy the instrument once you have made a decision.

Re: A tale of new and old Steinways [Re: SVL] #2775871
10/27/18 10:37 AM
10/27/18 10:37 AM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 589
Columbus, GA
S
S. Phillips Offline
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S. Phillips  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 589
Columbus, GA
The lower the price range on pianos, the more knowledgable the buyer has to be. Everything short of perfect has some type of issue that has not been addressed. The price ranges of which you speak are extremely low. Lower than reasonable, lower than the proper parts would cost. A Steinway B for $20,000 Is not possible for a complete rebuild. Your job is to discern what is missing and whether or not you are capable of recognizing the deficiencies.

If you yourself cannot recognize the problems or potential results of errors or omissions, you will have to have a very knowledgeable technician who can point out the problems.


Sally Phillips
Owner/ Technician
Piano Perfect, LLC
Steinway & Sons Pianos
Columbus, GA
New Steinway, Boston and Essex pianos
www.steinwaypiano.com
Acoustic Piano Technical Consultant - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
http://www.pianobuyer.com/current-issue/07a-should-i-have-my-piano-rebuilt.html
Re: A tale of new and old Steinways [Re: jarobi] #2775968
10/27/18 06:23 PM
10/27/18 06:23 PM
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 52
New York, NY
S
steinwayman18 Offline
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Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 52
New York, NY

Originally Posted by jarobi
was told it was rebuilt by Steinway in the 1990's.


If it was rebuilt by Steinway in the 90's steinway & sons main office would have records of that and can verify exactly what was done. that may help you with your decision. Speak with Panni in their records department.


Ronen

Park Avenue Pianos | Steinway Piano Reseller

https://www.steinwaygrand.com

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