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Re: My son needs a piano [Re: RJ's dad] #2846267
05/07/19 11:32 PM
05/07/19 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by RJ's dad
And is the sound of a model L superior enough over a model M to justify rolling the dice on the need for a costly repair in the future? I know for the same price I can and will find a nice M so that's my baseline.

Pianos in the price range you're looking at generally aren't going to merit this sort of expense (unless you are strongly sentimentally attached to it). That doesn't mean you can't find a decent piano. More that it'd likely be cheaper to just find a replacement piano if the first one develops significant problems. But there's no point in buying one that you know has problems, because you know it'll end up costing you more.

Of course, it's possible that this one could work fine indefinitely, which is what it sounds like the rebuilder is confident of, but what does his guarantee mean? If it worsens, is he going to repair it for you?



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Re: My son needs a piano [Re: RJ's dad] #2846277
05/08/19 12:10 AM
05/08/19 12:10 AM
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There's no warranty to transfer, to me it was just the guy confident the piano will perform after the move.

My tech gave me an estimate of 3k to replace the soundboard, and the seller is willing to pay for the tuning as they never had an issue with it, and meet me halfway if at some point I do have to replace the board by allowing us to pay the piano off over time and save me the cost of borrowing the money.

Benefit: My son gets a beautiful piano with new guts but a questionable board, and we can have it by next week, risk is potential replacement cost all in for 8k. To me that sounds reasonable.


Interestingly we visited the shop that did the piano and my son played a bunch of pianos, of which a 6'1" Petrov was his favorite. And there are plenty of pianos out there, so it makes my decision harder

Re: My son needs a piano [Re: RJ's dad] #2846285
05/08/19 12:29 AM
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My gut reaction was that they're trying too hard to sell the piano. But then it occurred to me that my perspective is tainted by the fact that it's been a long time since I had to finance anything. When I was a teenager, I had to replace the engine in my pickup. I only had about half the money, and the shop owner let me pay the balance over time. It made a big difference to me at the time (I could get to work to earn the money to pay for the rest).

Well, I hope it all goes smoothly and I really do admire the efforts you go to for your son's benefit. He's a lucky kid.



"Shop wisely" - Norbert
"If it sounds good, it is good." - Duke Ellington
P E R F O R M A N C E over p r o v e n a n c e

Re: My son needs a piano [Re: RJ's dad] #2846289
05/08/19 01:09 AM
05/08/19 01:09 AM
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Queensland, Australia
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Originally Posted by RJ's dad
There's no warranty to transfer, to me it was just the guy confident the piano will perform after the move.

My tech gave me an estimate of 3k to replace the soundboard, and the seller is willing to pay for the tuning as they never had an issue with it, and meet me halfway if at some point I do have to replace the board by allowing us to pay the piano off over time and save me the cost of borrowing the money.

Benefit: My son gets a beautiful piano with new guts but a questionable board, and we can have it by next week, risk is potential replacement cost all in for 8k. To me that sounds reasonable.


Interestingly we visited the shop that did the piano and my son played a bunch of pianos, of which a 6'1" Petrov was his favorite. And there are plenty of pianos out there, so it makes my decision harder

If it plays fine - there should be no rush to replace the soundboard - if ever.

There's a good possibility, buy it, have it for many years as is.

Keep in mind that if your son really takes to it, he might just want something better in 10 years time ... or that, over the years, girlfriends and cars might take his interest instead of piano. With children it's hard to know.

But, most of us started with a fairly humble, less than perfect piano at his age.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: My son needs a piano [Re: RJ's dad] #2846348
05/08/19 08:57 AM
05/08/19 08:57 AM
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Regarding soundboard cracks - it's understandable to feel nervous because they're visually obvious, but, to be honest, I think often times too much fuss is made over the presence of them. Obviously, depending on the size, number and location of the cracks it could be seriously compromising the board, but the presence of a crack does not mean the board is toast and must be replaced ASAP. I have come across plenty of pianos with cracks in the soundboards, some of them large enough to be able to see through, that still have plenty of projection and tone. Soundboard cracks are not often the death knells they're made out to be.

Although I will note that I think the quote of $3K to replace a soundboard is waaaaaay low, considering all that is involved. It's not just a matter of plug and play. Quite a lot of secondary tasks and labor are required (including restringing the piano).


Adam Schulte-Bukowinski, RPT
Piano Technician, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
ASB Piano Service
Re: My son needs a piano [Re: RJ's dad] #2846450
05/08/19 12:59 PM
05/08/19 12:59 PM
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New York City
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Originally Posted by RJ's dad
There's no warranty to transfer, to me it was just the guy confident the piano will perform after the move.

My tech gave me an estimate of 3k to replace the soundboard, and the seller is willing to pay for the tuning as they never had an issue with it, and meet me halfway if at some point I do have to replace the board by allowing us to pay the piano off over time and save me the cost of borrowing the money.

Benefit: My son gets a beautiful piano with new guts but a questionable board, and we can have it by next week, risk is potential replacement cost all in for 8k. To me that sounds reasonable.


Interestingly we visited the shop that did the piano and my son played a bunch of pianos, of which a 6'1" Petrov was his favorite. And there are plenty of pianos out there, so it makes my decision harder


1. What does "confident the piano will perform after the move" mean? If the piano performs well now(which no one knows since there has not been a tech inspection yet as far as I can see), then of course it will perform after a move.
2. As others have noted, 3K seems very inexpensive for soundboard replacement. One of the major NYC rebuilders was charging over 8K 5-10 years ago for this work.
3. You know very little about the "new guts" of the piano since it hasn't been inspected yet. There could be a lot less new guts then you think or the new guts could be inferior or been installed poorly. You've put off, unless I missed it somewhere in the posts, the thing that would give you a much more accurate picture of the piano.
4. Your son is too young and musically inexperienced to have an opinion that should count much IMO. It's great if he likes the piano, but that says almost nothing about the piano's condition or its tonal and touch qualities.

Re: My son needs a piano [Re: backto_study_piano] #2846502
05/08/19 03:17 PM
05/08/19 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by backto_study_piano
Originally Posted by RJ's dad
Yes, my enthusiasm was based on pricing of model L's and the one I was considering.

The soundboard situation is scaring me off because of the risks, I am awaiting my tech's response to a handful of additional pics and info I provided. The owners will just keep the piano than take less than 5k for it, and I don't blame them as they paid 15k for it just 7 years ago. We'll know by tomorrow if we will proceed with the in person inspection.

Go with the tech's inspection and opinion - I have known pianos with minor cracks which were fine and didn't affect the piano, went for years and they just forgot about them.

I would second that.

Re: My son needs a piano [Re: pianoloverus] #2846511
05/08/19 04:16 PM
05/08/19 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
[quote=RJ's dad]2. As others have noted, 3K seems very inexpensive for soundboard replacement. One of the major NYC rebuilders was charging over 8K 5-10 years ago for this work.


Ok, I misquoted the full replacement cost, it's 5k if performed by my tech.

Re: My son needs a piano [Re: RJ's dad] #2846520
05/08/19 04:56 PM
05/08/19 04:56 PM
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New York
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Originally Posted by RJ's dad


Ok, I misquoted the full replacement cost, it's 5k if performed by my tech.


Is the 5K and another 5K if you decided to replace the soundboard.. is this what you willing to spend and within your budget? It may not be your issue, for me sometimes i start to look to buy something 2K and end up stretch too much and spend 3K. Recently i am shopping for a new digital piano,my budget is about 3K, after a few try out, i feel like i want the 5000 hybrid piano. But then, i realize that just too much for me.

To me, i wont dare to buy a 100 yrs old piano because I have no idea how good or bad it is. I rather find something less than 20 years, 5 to 10K then get the best piano i can find with those criteria.

Re: My son needs a piano [Re: RJ's dad] #2846526
05/08/19 05:12 PM
05/08/19 05:12 PM
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Florida
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Hi KL
My approach was quite different: I bought a grand made in 1903, with the original soundboard. After 3 years, still purring along. If I need to replace the soundboard at some point, so be it. For now, it is perfect.., and much more piano than I could have ever afforded if it were at 20 years or less. 😊. We all have different risk tolerances.


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Re: My son needs a piano [Re: RJ's dad] #2846532
05/08/19 05:46 PM
05/08/19 05:46 PM
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People don't know what they don't know often times--is it perfect, does it have problems, or does it need a total resurrection? This obviously applies to things other than pianos, but it emphasizes the importance of the still lacking professional tech inspection. We have to rely on experts for parts of life if we don't just want to wing it and hope for the best. No, I don't think everyone need approach these things the same way, but I know that my knowledge and perception is very much limited compared to professionals.

Re: My son needs a piano [Re: dhull100] #2846548
05/08/19 06:34 PM
05/08/19 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by dhull100
People don't know what they don't know often times--is it perfect, does it have problems, or does it need a total resurrection? This obviously applies to things other than pianos, but it emphasizes the importance of the still lacking professional tech inspection. We have to rely on experts for parts of life if we don't just want to wing it and hope for the best. No, I don't think everyone need approach these things the same way, but I know that my knowledge and perception is very much limited compared to professionals.


I think everyone who regularly haunts these pages would rely on the expert advice of a good technician.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It’s ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: My son needs a piano [Re: RJ's dad] #2846553
05/08/19 06:42 PM
05/08/19 06:42 PM
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I won't buy it without an inspection, don't worry. BUT, I won't order an inspection until I can confidently say I'd commit to buying the piano.

Even if it passes muster I'm STILL laying out 5k for a piano with a cracked soundboard. there's acceptable risk/reward, and my son get's a piano right away (And it's literally a beautiful work of art). He's only 8 but in his first eligible year of competing in NYSSMA he scored 27 out of 28 playing a level 3 piece and is fully deserving.

However what's holding me back is, I know There's so many pianos out there he will eventually end up with one. Take the known, or proceed with the unknown, that's my struggle...

Re: My son needs a piano [Re: RJ's dad] #2846560
05/08/19 07:10 PM
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I think your struggle might be greatly eased if you had the input and advice from a technician who had inspected the piano. If this instrument is a serious contender I would order an inspection now if I was in your situation.

Re: My son needs a piano [Re: RJ's dad] #2846563
05/08/19 07:33 PM
05/08/19 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by RJ's dad
I won't buy it without an inspection, don't worry. BUT, I won't order an inspection until I can confidently say I'd commit to buying the piano.
The only way to have some idea of the odds that the soundboard will be a problem or not is by having a tech inspect the piano. What you also overlook is that there could be other serious problems with the piano besides the sound board that you are unaware of or problems that while not as serious might be enough to cause a reasonable person to reject the piano. IOW you don't have enough information now to know whether or not you should commit(even in your mind) to the piano.

Re: My son needs a piano [Re: RJ's dad] #2846614
05/09/19 12:19 AM
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I suspect RS is being hit with information overload. Buying can be stressful with so many unknowns.

PLU is right to point out that there could be problems beyond the soundboard. We've all been hyper focused on that because the cracks are obvious in the photos, but an inspection of everything else is still in order. I'm pointing that out only for reinforcement, because RS says he's going to get it inspected. And that is the right thing to do. But it makes sense that if he decides to pass for whatever reason, then there's no point in paying for an inspection. Ultimately, though, it should be inspected before committing to it.



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Re: My son needs a piano [Re: RJ's dad] #2846637
05/09/19 02:01 AM
05/09/19 02:01 AM
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Queensland, Australia
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Originally Posted by RJ's dad
I won't buy it without an inspection, don't worry. BUT, I won't order an inspection until I can confidently say I'd commit to buying the piano.

Even if it passes muster I'm STILL laying out 5k for a piano with a cracked soundboard. there's acceptable risk/reward, and my son get's a piano right away (And it's literally a beautiful work of art). He's only 8 but in his first eligible year of competing in NYSSMA he scored 27 out of 28 playing a level 3 piece and is fully deserving.

However what's holding me back is, I know There's so many pianos out there he will eventually end up with one. Take the known, or proceed with the unknown, that's my struggle...

Sometimes life is like that - a risk of sorts. But in this case, as long as nothing substantial shows up with the Tech's report, you stand to get a great piano, which could well keep your son happy for a decade+ to come. If he's done that well playing on a humble 76 note $99 keyboard - he'll really appreciate it.

Eventually we have to flip the coin, draw straws - and just decide. I feel your pain. But - in the overall scheme of things piano, it's not a huge "gamble" to take.

At almost 60yrs old, forced into early retirement by ill health, I parted with a lot of $$$ for my piano. On the basis that I might have a very nice piano to enjoy for 5, 10, 20, 30, 40 years - and which I could pass onto my daughter. So far, I've had 7 very enjoyable years from it. But - who knows, my demise might be much less than the 40 years - but I've had a magnificent piano to enjoy - and keep me sane.

Something else I meant to ask - do you play at all?


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: My son needs a piano [Re: RJ's dad] #2846716
05/09/19 09:44 AM
05/09/19 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by backto_study_piano
Eventually we have to flip the coin, draw straws - and just decide. I feel your pain. But - in the overall scheme of things piano, it's not a huge "gamble" to take.

Very true. I've gambled on a used piano more than once, and came out ahead 99% of the time. Of course, there is that 1%, but that's another story. smile

As backto_study_piano mentioned, in the realm of nice acoustic grand pianos, $5K ain't a huge gamble. A family vacation for a week or two could cost half that much, or more. Someone was talking about the "guts" of the piano. Judging from the pictures, the keyboard looked very nice. The new key-tops look like they are high quality and they look straight and level. I've seen pianos where the keys on the keyboard looked like a washboard, wavy and inconsistent. smile

I'm not trying to talk you into or out of proceeding with this purchase, but I believe I would go ahead and invest in the piano tech inspection. Again, that would be $100 or $150 well spent. A family dinner outing at a nice restaurant would cost that much or more.

Good luck!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: My son needs a piano [Re: Rickster] #2846757
05/09/19 11:32 AM
05/09/19 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Rickster
$5K ain't a huge gamble. A family vacation for a week or two could cost half that much, or more.

I am nostalgic for the day when family vacations had only costed $2500. LOL.


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Re: My son needs a piano [Re: RJ's dad] #2846840
05/09/19 04:50 PM
05/09/19 04:50 PM
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Hiring a technician will also be a bit of an education, if you are able to go with the technician.You could get to learn a bit more about the
technical side of pianos.
Buying a used piano is perhaps more tricky than buying new.
I say this because of my own bad experience when buying a used piano.It was not even an old piano (made in 2012)Fortunately we were able to return the piano to the dealer.
So in this process of buying a piano try to learn as much as possible.

Last edited by Lady Bird; 05/09/19 04:51 PM. Reason: Missing word
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