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Good Pianos to Try Out?? #2814509 02/13/19 11:12 AM
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Beardog Offline OP
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Hello everyone! Love the forum, and have been browsing heavily here for a couple of weeks.

We live in Hot Springs Arkansas. I am looking to buy a nice smaller grand piano for my wife (5"8"-7'). She has a 1970's Yamaha console that she has worn out. She is an excellent pianist, but prefers non-classical music (ragtime, advanced arrangements of popular/20th century music, etc). She is hoping to find something like a completely rebuilt vintage grand, and we hope (!!) to spend $25K or less. She isn't adverse to a nice Yamaha grand, either. We often buy nice used stuff...cars, furniture, etc., so we aren't shy about buying a used piano, if it is in excellent mechanical and cosmetic shape. We certainly don't have a problem with other folks taking the initial new retail depreciation hit!

We are headed out to look seriously this weekend, and have a couple of weeks free to shop. She seems to like the sound of the older Mason & Hamlin pianos best, of the many that she has listened to on the Internet. We presume that an equally reworked Steinway will be out of our self-imposed price range. She is really impressed with Robert Estrim's current offerings (at Living Pianos). But, we really aren't excited about a 3500 mile round trip for her to play them!

We are going to International Piano Gallery in Little Rock, AR Saturday, as well as the Steinway store in the same city. Just wondering if there are some recommended small rebuilders, or other reliable shops within about 300-400 miles of Hot Springs that others would recommend us checking out? Perhaps even a particular piano?

And finally,she seems to have her heart set on a rebuilt or well-refurbished vintage American grand, but I am not dead set against buying her a new piano, if she changes her mind after playing several instruments. Perhaps we are mistaken, but we assume that an older, reworked "quality" brand would be better in most cases, than a mass produced new import over the long-run. I have mentioned the Hailun 5'8" grand to her, but so far, she doesn't seem interested in considering one (won't even research them on-line!). Any other suggestions/advice? I have used the search function here, but always seem to come up with only 4 pages of results, often of the same 2-3 threads!

Thanks in advance!


Beardog
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Re: Good Pianos to Try Out?? [Re: Beardog] #2814533 02/13/19 11:45 AM
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Retsacnal Offline

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Definitely include these folks in your destination list:

www.pianoworks.com/

Looks like it's a little more than 400 miles, but sounds like what you're looking for.



And still I dream she'll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather
Re: Good Pianos to Try Out?? [Re: Beardog] #2814534 02/13/19 11:47 AM
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I can't advise you on what/whom to check in your area, but I do want to make one comment. The fact that you are planning to buy a piano for your wife and that you are including her in the search is the right thing to do.

Frequently I have read posts on Piano World in which a well-meaning non piano-playing husband wants to buy a piano for his wife, is seeking advice from members here but doesn't want his wife to know about it because he wants to surprise her! A great surprise, indeed, if she doesn't like the husband's choice.

As you seem to be well aware, the choice of a piano is a very personal thing, so going in search of that instrument with your wife is commendable.

Enjoy the search and let your wife try as many pianos as she can get her hands on, even brands she may think she isn't interested in.

P.S. Welcome to Piano World!

Regards,


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Re: Good Pianos to Try Out?? [Re: Beardog] #2814539 02/13/19 11:52 AM
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Sounds like you need to do a little research and pick a "Piano Destination" based on their reputation and Inventory.

Have you checked out the inventory at Armo Music in Memphis? Sometimes they have some nice options in their used/rebuilt inventory.

In the Steinway market, there's Maestro Bruno's Concert Pianos in Dallas. He specializes in Steinway Model B pianos.

Rick Jones, PianoCraft, and Jason's Music are all in the Washington DC metro.

Someone mentioned Pianoworks in Atlanta. There are a couple of other options in Atlanta as well.

Philedelphia / NJ might be an option between Cunningham Pianos and Lindeblad.

Re: Good Pianos to Try Out?? [Re: Retsacnal] #2814606 02/13/19 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Retsacnal
Definitely include these folks in your destination list:

www.pianoworks.com/

Looks like it's a little more than 400 miles, but sounds like what you're looking for.


Yes, looks like a great store. Exactly 600 miles by automobile, but we may need to visit.


Beardog
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Re: Good Pianos to Try Out?? [Re: Beardog] #2814608 02/13/19 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Beardog
And finally,she seems to have her heart set on a rebuilt or well-refurbished vintage American grand,


In that case, and on your budget, have a look at Living Pianos in Santa Ana, CA. -- free delivery nation wide.

www.livingpianos.com

They move a lot of vintage Baldwins, which are excellent in your price range.


-- J.S.

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Re: Good Pianos to Try Out?? [Re: Beardog] #2814621 02/13/19 02:00 PM
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BruceD: Thanks for the welcome and the kind words.

GC13: Thanks for your comments. I have checked with Armo Music in Memphis, and most of their current preowned stuff is well used, and most likely would need refurbishing, if not rebuilding.The area of our home where the grand will go is beautifully decorated and furnished, so the piano must "fit in" to the decor! We want to buy a "turnkey" piano, if possible. The coastal areas certainly have many more pianos to choose from, but they are so far away! My wife knows exactly how she wants a keyboard to feel under her fingers, so buying without playing will probably not be an option, no matter how reputable and honest the seller/dealer might be. I will try to post up a photo of where her old piano is sitting (and where her knew one will go), if I can figure out how to do so!


Beardog
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Re: Good Pianos to Try Out?? [Re: Beardog] #2814642 02/13/19 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Beardog
so buying without playing will probably not be an option

As it should be!



And still I dream she'll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather
Re: Good Pianos to Try Out?? [Re: Beardog] #2814692 02/13/19 03:58 PM
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The store you are visiting seems to have some reasonable inventory: http://internationalpianogallery.com/inventoryview.cfm?ItemTypeID=2

There are several listed there that have potential to be very nice. If you find one you like, I would highly recommend finding an independent piano technician to take a look at it.

There is one in the PTG index in Little Rock: https://www.ptg.org/scripts/4disapi...il&PersID_W=14745&MenuKey=Menu27

However, looking at the services offered (piano retailer) I wonder if he works at that store. Depending on who you ask, if they do employ an RPT, you could potentially forgo the outside piano tech if they offer full service and warranty, but you'll get a more honest assessment of the instrument if you bring along an independent third party. It's worth a few hundred dollars before spending tens of thousands, kind of like bringing a used car to an independent shop for a once over.

Also, it looks like there are a TON of options in Dallas, just a quick google search brings up 10 different stores and there are 19 registered piano technicians in the area. Given the huge amount of options and it looks like it's within your 300 mile range, if it were me I'd go there. Maybe someone on the forum has some experience shopping in Dallas?

Last edited by squidbot; 02/13/19 04:08 PM.

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Re: Good Pianos to Try Out?? [Re: Beardog] #2814705 02/13/19 04:10 PM
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Have you talked to the Yamaha and Kawai dealer in Memphis as well?


David



Re: Good Pianos to Try Out?? [Re: Beardog] #2814865 02/13/19 10:28 PM
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Squidbot: Thanks for your post. Dallas is on our radar. It would be nice to find a great piano at our first stop, but I want to have my wife play multiple pianos of different makes before deciding. I hope to find stores who have piano lovers, not piano sales persons...some are not much different than used car dealers...tell you anything to get a sale.Igt would be great to get some recommendations from some folks who live and shop in Dallas. One could run around for three days and still not end up in the "right" dealer's shop.

supersport: I have only visited with Armos in Memphis. I need to make a list of what stores within a reasonable radius carry what brands, I guess.


Beardog
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Re: Good Pianos to Try Out?? [Re: Beardog] #2814874 02/13/19 10:50 PM
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[quote=Bear-dog
supersport: I have only visited with Armos in Memphis. I need to make a list of what stores within a reasonable radius carry what brands, I guess.[/quote]

That's what I would do. Investigate their current piano inventory if you can to make sure there are several potential options in the area before you make the trip.

Re: Good Pianos to Try Out?? [Re: Beardog] #2814965 02/14/19 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Beardog
...We often buy nice used stuff...cars, furniture, etc., so we aren't shy about buying a used piano, if it is in excellent mechanical and cosmetic shape. We certainly don't have a problem with other folks taking the initial new retail depreciation hit!... Perhaps we are mistaken, but we assume that an older, reworked "quality" brand would be better in most cases, than a mass produced new import over the long-run.



If you don't have the skills to evaluate the quality of an older or rebuilt piano it would be wise to have it checked out by a tech who is not affiliated with the seller.

I'm not sure how well the analogy holds up, but there is a pretty big difference between buying a low mileage car that rolled off the lot a couple years ago and buying a classic car. The classic may be completely cool, but it might not make a very good daily driver.


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Re: Good Pianos to Try Out?? [Re: Beardog] #2814987 02/14/19 07:48 AM
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I live in DFW. Collora has good folks and appealing inventory. Also, Petrof can be sampled (Google Dave Conte, and give him a call); these were a surprise to me and not so easily found. I've also dealt with Steinway and found them to be more than satisfactory. The Kawai dealership has several good examples of Shigeru Kawai and dozens of Kawai. Metroplex Piano has Yamaha / Bösendorfer, plentiful examples. I might call ahead to make sure they have inventory ready to sample, especially since you are traveling. I'd avoid DFW piano gallery myself based on some of your comments. Feel free to PM me, happy to discuss. Yes, I guess we have a lot of options here now that I've written it out.

Last edited by dhull100; 02/14/19 07:48 AM.
Re: Good Pianos to Try Out?? [Re: JohnSprung] #2815010 02/14/19 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnSprung
Originally Posted by Beardog
And finally,she seems to have her heart set on a rebuilt or well-refurbished vintage American grand,


In that case, and on your budget, have a look at Living Pianos in Santa Ana, CA. -- free delivery nation wide.

www.livingpianos.com

They move a lot of vintage Baldwins, which are excellent in your price range.




Yes, she has looked there extensively. It is just so far out there to play his pianos prior to purchase.


Beardog
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Re: Good Pianos to Try Out?? [Re: malkin] #2815081 02/14/19 10:14 AM
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If you don't have the skills to evaluate the quality of an older or rebuilt piano it would be wise to have it checked out by a tech who is not affiliated with the seller.

I'm not sure how well the analogy holds up, but there is a pretty big difference between buying a low mileage car that rolled off the lot a couple years ago and buying a classic car. The classic may be completely cool, but it might not make a very good daily driver.
[/quote]

Good analogy!

We do have a local tech to look at pianos for us, but I don't have on in other, more distant areas.


Beardog
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1975 Yamaha Studio Upright
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Re: Good Pianos to Try Out?? [Re: Beardog] #2815098 02/14/19 10:39 AM
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Have you investigated Lindeblad in New Jersey? You mentioned Mason & Hamlin. They have 11 of them right now along with the huge selection of Steinway piano. I just didn't see a Model BB in the list. The seem to have a good reputation, but I don't have any 1st hand knowledge.

Another resource might be Chupps Piano near South Bend, Indiana. I've personally visited his shop and he does excellent work. He has 1 M&H Piano listed on his website right now, but he may have more in the works. It's a BB - 7'.

https://www.chuppspianos.com/product-category/mason-hamlin/

Re: Good Pianos to Try Out?? [Re: Beardog] #2815144 02/14/19 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Beardog
Originally Posted by JohnSprung
Originally Posted by Beardog
And finally,she seems to have her heart set on a rebuilt or well-refurbished vintage American grand,


In that case, and on your budget, have a look at Living Pianos in Santa Ana, CA. -- free delivery nation wide.

www.livingpianos.com

They move a lot of vintage Baldwins, which are excellent in your price range.




Yes, she has looked there extensively. It is just so far out there to play his pianos prior to purchase.



Good -- Robert's demo videos are a great way to get a feel for the market, so you know if something is overpriced, or a steal....


-- J.S.

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Re: Good Pianos to Try Out?? [Re: Beardog] #2815254 02/14/19 03:02 PM
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You really should take a look at this video about this Steinway Model O Robert has @ living pianos -- just posted it today.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2H1NKfzT6U

Re: Good Pianos to Try Out?? [Re: GC13] #2815264 02/14/19 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by GC13
You really should take a look at this video about this Steinway Model O Robert has @ living pianos -- just posted it today.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2H1NKfzT6U


In his video there was nothing said about any work that Living Piano may have done on this piano; the exuberance was all for everything original. That claim wouldn't preclude Living Pianos from regulating and voicing the piano for sale, I am sure. But, I wonder, isn't the fallboard logo a modern logo? Surely that's not a logo from 112 years ago.

Regards,


BruceD
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