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A worthwhile gamble - or not? #2779728
11/10/18 07:25 AM
11/10/18 07:25 AM
Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 3
C
Coopster44 Offline OP
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Coopster44  Offline OP
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Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 3
Hello there – I really need some help with a decision. I’ve been saving towards a restored Bluthner upright, but unfortunately it’s been sold and I’m gutted. There is another antique Bluthner (which I’ve managed to date to around 1880) for sale in my area for only £49, and I’ve been quoted £250 to get it moved. It was bought from an auction some 10 years ago for between 700-800 and has been tuned every other year. During the last tune, the highest and lowest keys were dismantled to fix other sticking keys. There is also some superficial damage which I’m not concerned about. I’ve emailed the seller to try to ensure that this is, indeed, a working piano with no other faults, eg staying in tune less than the anticipated 6 months and they've replied to say they're not aware of any other faults, but they're not 'real musicians'. I suppose what I’m asking is this – would anyone else be taking a chance on this? The alternative is a restored Bechstein for £2000.
Given that my current piano was also a lucky find , ie. Cost less than £400 all in, has lasted 10 years without any problems (but does lack sensitivity which I’m finding more of a problem now my piano skills are advancing) I’m seriously considering buying this piano. But 300 is still 300 – do you think I’d be better off just putting that 300 to a shop restored one?

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Re: A worthwhile gamble - or not? [Re: Coopster44] #2779748
11/10/18 08:58 AM
11/10/18 08:58 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 24,219
New York City
pianoloverus Offline
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You need to play the piano first. At that price and age I think the chances are high it's terrible.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 11/10/18 09:00 AM.
Re: A worthwhile gamble - or not? [Re: Coopster44] #2779752
11/10/18 09:04 AM
11/10/18 09:04 AM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 3,795
Florida
dogperson Offline
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dogperson  Offline
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Florida
Coopster
If you have not seen/played this piano, I would let it go. The seller only gets it tuned every two years, so you have no idea if it will hold a pitch and for how long. Yes, you might get lucky but IMO the odds are low and the risks of losing the money AND having to pay to have it removed, are high. Your costs would need to include the removal costs once you buy it.

Make sure you know what has been ‘restored’ by the dealer. I would recommend an independent tech inspection

Re: A worthwhile gamble - or not? [Re: Coopster44] #2779765
11/10/18 09:57 AM
11/10/18 09:57 AM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,095
Georgia, USA
Rickster Offline
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Georgia, USA
I've gambled on buying a used piano a few times, both seen and sight un-seen. My gamble paid off most of the time, but not 100% of the time. Pianos can be incredibly expensive, and when an opportunity to get a decent one at a reduced price comes along it may well be worth the gamble, but still a gamble; that is why they call it a gamble. smile

The fact that it is a highly regarded brand name is in your favor. However, it would be nice to have it inspected by an independent tech before purchase, if possible.

Whether or not it's actually worth the gamble is ultimately your decision.

Good luck, and welcome to Piano World!

Rick



Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: A worthwhile gamble - or not? [Re: Coopster44] #2779775
11/10/18 11:00 AM
11/10/18 11:00 AM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 2,031
Scotland
Beemer Offline
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Beemer  Offline
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Joined: May 2013
Posts: 2,031
Scotland
I suggest you post again in the tuners and technicians section. There you will get opinions from experienced technicians some of whom might even be in your area (your profile is empty?)

There is also a Blüthner user group forum https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/bluethner-piano-owners-group

Here is a thread you might find interesting:

https://www.piano-tuners.org/piano-forums/viewtopic.php?t=12119

Ian


I'm all keyed up
2016 Blüthner Model A
Re: A worthwhile gamble - or not? [Re: Coopster44] #2779904
11/10/18 05:53 PM
11/10/18 05:53 PM
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 311
UK, EU
P
precise Offline
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precise  Offline
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UK, EU
OK - a piano for £49 is unlikely to be good in any sense. In all honesty, they'd normally probably have to pay someone to take the thing away.

Here's what I don't get: You say you're considering a piano for £49 - yet, if you don't get that, then the only other way forward is a restored Bechstein for £2000? That doesn't really scan, does it? For between £49 and £2000, there are literally thousands of uprights in the UK - private and trade sales. Presumably you want a Bluthner or Bechstein upright. Absolutely do-able - there are places I can think of with loads of them lined up - all at reasonable prices...

I'm sure, with a bit of asking about, you could nab yourself a great piano in the price range you've indicated.




Re: A worthwhile gamble - or not? [Re: Coopster44] #2779975
11/11/18 02:46 AM
11/11/18 02:46 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 3,699
Kuwait
PhilipInChina Offline
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PhilipInChina  Offline
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Posts: 3,699
Kuwait
I would certainly take a look at the Blüthner . Why wouldn't you? I would be inclined to go along and play it a bit and see what you think. Then if you think it is OK, you have to decide whether you want to take a technician along. Frankly at that sort of price I probably wouldn't bother.

Regarding the restored C Bechstein, "restored" is a subjective term. Again if the Blüthner is no go, then you do need to get that one checked by a technician.

It might help if we knew where you are, but I can understand people being reticent about disclosing their location.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: A worthwhile gamble - or not? [Re: Coopster44] #2780011
11/11/18 07:41 AM
11/11/18 07:41 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 8
Albemarle, NC
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Thejumpsuitman Offline
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Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 8
Albemarle, NC
This is all about risk tolerance and what you are actually looking for. You might get £1,500 worth of value and enjoyment out of a £300 purchase. You would also get the satisfaction of finding a diamond in the rough. I have high risk tolerance and with a little common sense my educated risks usually pay off.

Re: A worthwhile gamble - or not? [Re: Coopster44] #2780155
11/11/18 04:22 PM
11/11/18 04:22 PM
Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 3
C
Coopster44 Offline OP
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Coopster44  Offline OP
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Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 3
Many thanks to you all - I've decided not to go for it after all. Someone has already placed a bid on it and I'm certainly not going to enter into a bidding war over it!

Re: A worthwhile gamble - or not? [Re: precise] #2780158
11/11/18 04:29 PM
11/11/18 04:29 PM
Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 3
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Coopster44 Offline OP
Junior Member
Coopster44  Offline OP
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Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 3
To 'Precise'... I know it really does sound a little odd... but I've got my heart set on either a Bluthner or a Bechstein and I've noticed that it's a reasonable expectation to pick one up for around 2000 with a five year guarantee (which sounds much more reassuring). Whilst this Bluthner is indeed likely to be the 'dud' we all expect, I can't help but think this - I picked up my first piano for 80, knowing nothing about pianos and without having seen it (in fact, without being able to read music or play a single note), and it's served me very well for 10 years. I understand that this is not the case for many, but it's set me up enough to consider taking the risk with another. However, this time I'll have to find a way of getting rid of whichever piano I choose not to have, which would incur more cost. So I think, on this occasion, I'll wait!

Re: A worthwhile gamble - or not? [Re: Coopster44] #2780160
11/11/18 04:32 PM
11/11/18 04:32 PM
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 53
New York, NY
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steinwayman18 Offline
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Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 53
New York, NY
Originally Posted by Coopster44
Many thanks to you all - I've decided not to go for it after all. Someone has already placed a bid on it and I'm certainly not going to enter into a bidding war over it!


Good that you didn't engage in that. Most likely you're going to spend less in the long run to purchase something of great quality at the get-go (and retains value).


Ronen

Park Avenue Pianos | Steinway Piano Reseller

https://www.steinwaygrand.com

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