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Boston Grands worth it? #2846705
05/09/19 09:14 AM
05/09/19 09:14 AM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 52
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D959 Offline OP
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I recently had the opportunity to play on a Boston grand piano in my local Steinway gallery. It played very well, especially considering the price tag. I'm just curious about the longevity though. Usually a piano with an action like that would cost nearly twice what they were charging for that one. It was new and selling at MSRP of $26,000. Anyone have experience with these pianos?

Also, as a side note, I'm aware they're made by Kawai in Japan. This isn't a problem, as Kawai is a good manufacturer. I just don't personally prefer the tone of them.

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Re: Boston Grands worth it? [Re: D959] #2846710
05/09/19 09:24 AM
05/09/19 09:24 AM
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 511
Chernobieff Piano Online content
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Chernobieff Piano  Online Content
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If it was me and I wanted a Steinway product. I would not go to a dealer. Nor settle for their cheaper versions made by other factories. I would search for a slightly used Steinway from a private party or respected rebuilder. I'd pay much less than $26K too.
-chris


Chernobieff Piano Restorations
Lenoir City, Tennessee U.S.A
www.chernobieffpiano.com
grandpianoman@protonmail.com
Re: Boston Grands worth it? [Re: D959] #2846719
05/09/19 09:47 AM
05/09/19 09:47 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,370
Queensland, Australia
backto_study_piano Offline
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Queensland, Australia
Originally Posted by D959
I recently had the opportunity to play on a Boston grand piano in my local Steinway gallery. It played very well, especially considering the price tag. I'm just curious about the longevity though. Usually a piano with an action like that would cost nearly twice what they were charging for that one. It was new and selling at MSRP of $26,000. Anyone have experience with these pianos?

Also, as a side note, I'm aware they're made by Kawai in Japan. This isn't a problem, as Kawai is a good manufacturer. I just don't personally prefer the tone of them.

I think there are better pianos for the money - but haven't played one for about 7 years. Ones I've played weren't as good as a well set up KAWAI GX or YAMAHA CX.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: Boston Grands worth it? [Re: backto_study_piano] #2846731
05/09/19 10:32 AM
05/09/19 10:32 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 25,803
New York City
pianoloverus Online content
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Originally Posted by backto_study_piano
I think there are better pianos for the money - but haven't played one for about 7 years. Ones I've played weren't as good as a well set up KAWAI GX or YAMAHA CX.
Boston made major improvements to their pianos a few years ago.

Re: Boston Grands worth it? [Re: Chernobieff Piano] #2846744
05/09/19 11:06 AM
05/09/19 11:06 AM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 52
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D959 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Chernobieff Piano
If it was me and I wanted a Steinway product. I would not go to a dealer. Nor settle for their cheaper versions made by other factories. I would search for a slightly used Steinway from a private party or respected rebuilder. I'd pay much less than $26K too.
-chris


You see, I'd really like to do this, but there are only about 3 or 4 good piano shops in my state (that I'm aware of). My personal preference would be a slightly used Schimmel, but nobody seems to sell them. My other option would be to head south to Illinois, but I don't want to pay their 10% sales tax.

Re: Boston Grands worth it? [Re: D959] #2846749
05/09/19 11:18 AM
05/09/19 11:18 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 4,094
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Hakki Offline
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D959, what was the size of that Boston grand?

Re: Boston Grands worth it? [Re: D959] #2846774
05/09/19 12:04 PM
05/09/19 12:04 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,167
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joe80 Offline
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Regarding Boston, specifically, as a brand, with disregard to others:

They are quite good pianos, and have some nice qualities. The tone is pretty good, musical, workable. The actions are generally very good when regulated properly but you could say that about any piano. The Boston does have a lot of musical potential, and some of the newest ones are very good for the money as you point out. It comes down to individual pianos and technicians.

Regarding Boston in comparison to other pianos of the same price:

There's a lot of competition out there. Most obviously there is Yamaha and Kawai. Kawai make Boston pianos for Steinway, largely to Steinway's specification (the grands) but the uprights are closer to their own specification. That's OK though. There are the Chinese pianos now - Brodmann, Feurich, and some others. The Brodmann and Feurich for a long time tended not to be as good in the action department as the Japanese pianos, although I can't honestly tell you what the situation there is now.

Regarding Boston in comparison to Steinway pianos:

We have Hamburg Steinway here, it's a rather different kettle of fish to the New York Steinway, and I believe Boston was designed more with the NYC Steinway in mind which is why it seemed so alien to us over here when it first hit the market. So, in comparison to Hamburg Steinway - they don't compare at all. The Hamburg Steinway is really in a class of its own, up there with Fazioli, Bösendorfer, Blüthner, C. Bechstein, and no production line piano has yet reached that level of precision or perfection in terms of what the instrument will give back to the performer. Does that mean the Boston is not a good piano? No. Certainly not. It's difficult to even think of a piano with a £70,000 price tag being comparable to one with a £20,000 price tag, and Boston is good within its price range, but as I said, so are others.

Boston isn't a cheap piano that will fall apart after a few years, if that's what you're worried about, nor is the price in any way a rip off, but personally I would shop around. If Steinways in your state are anything like Steinways in London, they could sell coal to a mine, and they absolutely have to be good salespeople, and it's easy to get blinded by the features the Boston has, hear it play beautifully in the shop, etc, and make up your mind there and then.

Shop around. Good luck

Re: Boston Grands worth it? [Re: D959] #2846789
05/09/19 12:47 PM
05/09/19 12:47 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 3,791
Atlanta, GA
PianoWorksATL Offline
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Atlanta, GA
Hello D959,

I'm trying to make clear sense from your post so as not to make wrong assumptions. It sounds like you liked the action very much and prefer the tone of the Boston over its relatives from Kawai?

The model with MSRP of ~$26,000 is the 5'4" model GP163. Is this the model you are looking at?

To try to answer your question, Boston pianos enjoy a good reputation for overall quality and durability, generally equal to their upper series Kawai counterparts. There are differences that may lead you to prefer the Boston, but your ownership experience, maintenance needs, longevity, would generally be very similar to other mass produced pianos of good reputation. As a brand, they tend to live in the upper middle class, if that helps.

A few regulars here do not like aspects of the Boston designs, but a more common objection is to their general pricing competitiveness. Being branded and distributed by Steinway comes with and at a premium. Before considering used options, there are other new comparable pianos that offer considerable competitive value. Most of Boston's competitors of comparable overall quality tend to be sold at more competitive pricing, but some Steinway dealers are more competitive than others.

The premium that they command when new in the Steinway dealership is not reflected in the market for used Boston pianos. They tend to depreciate more initially, but then retain value well along the lines of their closest Japanese competitors. So interestingly, a used Boston can be an above average value.

If after trying other instruments, it is still your favorite for your space and budget, I see no reason to dissuade you from the instrument.


Sam Bennett
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Re: Boston Grands worth it? [Re: D959] #2846803
05/09/19 01:54 PM
05/09/19 01:54 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,465
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Originally Posted by D959
Originally Posted by Chernobieff Piano
If it was me and I wanted a Steinway product. I would not go to a dealer. Nor settle for their cheaper versions made by other factories. I would search for a slightly used Steinway from a private party or respected rebuilder. I'd pay much less than $26K too.
-chris


You see, I'd really like to do this, but there are only about 3 or 4 good piano shops in my state (that I'm aware of). My personal preference would be a slightly used Schimmel, but nobody seems to sell them. My other option would be to head south to Illinois, but I don't want to pay their 10% sales tax.

Generally if you buy out of state and ship to your home state, the seller does not change sales tax. Most states expect you to pay your own state tax (which you'll pay if you buy a piano in your home state anyway), but the seller does not collect it--you pay it on the honor system (in most states).

Sales tax aside, I wouldn't be afraid to shop at a distance. I think there's a growing trend of people who are pickier about the piano they want, and who don't live in a fairly large metro area, having to travel to some of the larger "destination" dealers in larger metro areas.



"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: Boston Grands worth it? [Re: Chernobieff Piano] #2846804
05/09/19 01:57 PM
05/09/19 01:57 PM
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 149
M
mcontraveos Offline
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Joined: Nov 2014
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Originally Posted by Chernobieff Piano
I'd pay much less than $26K too.
-chris

Hi Chris,
Can you say more about that? Nothing in my local market suggests any Steinway approaching the condition and longevity of a new Boston can be had for near $26k, let alone much less than that.

Re: Boston Grands worth it? [Re: D959] #2846805
05/09/19 02:00 PM
05/09/19 02:00 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 14,245
Louisiana
Jolly Offline
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Louisiana
Nothing wrong with Boston grands, other than I think they are a bit over-priced. And nothing wrong with shopping out-of-state, I've bought three pianos that way and had nary a problem.

Pianos are funny critters...I was in the New Orleans Steinway dealership a couple of years ago, and the best darn piano in the whole place (as they sat) was an Essex grand. Go figure.


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Over 1.4M (and counting) posts where pianists discuss everything. And nothing.
Re: Boston Grands worth it? [Re: PianoWorksATL] #2846821
05/09/19 03:24 PM
05/09/19 03:24 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 52
D
D959 Offline OP
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D959  Offline OP
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Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 52
Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
Hello D959,

I'm trying to make clear sense from your post so as not to make wrong assumptions. It sounds like you liked the action very much and prefer the tone of the Boston over its relatives from Kawai?

That is correct. Kawai pianos have a very bright tone that doesn't really do it for me.Great pianos, but I just can't come to terms with the tone.

The model with MSRP of ~$26,000 is the 5'4" model GP163. Is this the model you are looking at?

Yes. There was another one there for about $21,000(ish) that was 5'2" and it lacked resonance..that 5'4" was surprisingly powerful sounding.

To try to answer your question, Boston pianos enjoy a good reputation for overall quality and durability, generally equal to their upper series Kawai counterparts. There are differences that may lead you to prefer the Boston, but your ownership experience, maintenance needs, longevity, would generally be very similar to other mass produced pianos of good reputation. As a brand, they tend to live in the upper middle class, if that helps.

A few regulars here do not like aspects of the Boston designs, but a more common objection is to their general pricing competitiveness. Being branded and distributed by Steinway comes with and at a premium. Before considering used options, there are other new comparable pianos that offer considerable competitive value. Most of Boston's competitors of comparable overall quality tend to be sold at more competitive pricing, but some Steinway dealers are more competitive than others.

The premium that they command when new in the Steinway dealership is not reflected in the market for used Boston pianos. They tend to depreciate more initially, but then retain value well along the lines of their closest Japanese competitors. So interestingly, a used Boston can be an above average value.

If after trying other instruments, it is still your favorite for your space and budget, I see no reason to dissuade you from the instrument.

Re: Boston Grands worth it? [Re: mcontraveos] #2846892
05/09/19 09:15 PM
05/09/19 09:15 PM
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 511
Chernobieff Piano Online content
500 Post Club Member
Chernobieff Piano  Online Content
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Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 511
My last two Steinway clients are a good example. One bought a Steinway S at an estate sale, the other (another S) at an antique auction. After new soundboards, pinblocks, strings, hammers, hammershanks and flanges, dampers, they both came under $18K. That was 2018. Both cabinets were presentable. So thats $8k Less.
So that's just two recent examples.
-chris


Chernobieff Piano Restorations
Lenoir City, Tennessee U.S.A
www.chernobieffpiano.com
grandpianoman@protonmail.com
Re: Boston Grands worth it? [Re: Chernobieff Piano] #2846903
05/09/19 10:58 PM
05/09/19 10:58 PM
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 149
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mcontraveos Offline
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Originally Posted by Chernobieff Piano
My last two Steinway clients are a good example. One bought a Steinway S at an estate sale, the other (another S) at an antique auction. After new soundboards, pinblocks, strings, hammers, hammershanks and flanges, dampers, they both came under $18K. That was 2018. Both cabinets were presentable. So thats $8k Less.
So that's just two recent examples.
-chris

That's terribly interesting!
In my area, the job alone to replace pinblock and soundboard is about $18k.

Re: Boston Grands worth it? [Re: D959] #2848518
05/15/19 04:56 PM
05/15/19 04:56 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 14
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DPCK Offline
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Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 14
Boston Grands are made by Kawai without the carbon fiber action. You will be paying for the brand and not the technology. With the same budget you can buy a new GX Kawai grand and have the new action and better value for your money

Re: Boston Grands worth it? [Re: DPCK] #2848536
05/15/19 06:15 PM
05/15/19 06:15 PM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 2,658
North Vancouver
L
Lady Bird Offline
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Lady Bird  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 2,658
North Vancouver
Originally Posted by Asmar
Boston Grands are made by Kawai without the carbon fiber action. You will be paying for the brand and not the technology. With the same budget you can buy a new GX Kawai grand and have the new action and better value for your money

Boston grand pianos are designed by Steinways not Kawai so of course they will not have this carbon fiber action.That does not mean they are less than Kawai grands just different.
They do not sound or respond like Kawai grands they are different.
Both instruments are good quality instruments.

Last edited by Lady Bird; 05/15/19 06:16 PM. Reason: Missing word
Re: Boston Grands worth it? [Re: D959] #2848742
05/16/19 10:48 AM
05/16/19 10:48 AM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,573
Southwest
j&j Offline
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Southwest
Just as pianos are funny critters, local piano pricing is interesting and varies wildly depending on where you are and overall local acoustic piano demand. D959- go try out more pianos. If you still find that Boston’s your favorite, see how much you can get the price knocked down. If you accept the price and it’s your favorite, buy it, love it, play it and maintain it. In the real world you aren’t judged on your piano shopping or selection. As long as you’re happy, that’s all that matters.


J & J
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Re: Boston Grands worth it? [Re: D959] #2849122
05/17/19 06:36 AM
05/17/19 06:36 AM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 3,175
Florida
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Florida
FWIW I have a Boston upright and like it a lot. For my $20 something grand, however, I found a rebuilt Steinway that I Love. I’ve played some Boston grands....they don’t compare. Of course, they may not have been tuned or regulated well, so ymmv.


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Re: Boston Grands worth it? [Re: D959] #2849172
05/17/19 09:41 AM
05/17/19 09:41 AM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,470
Urbandale, Iowa
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Steve Chandler Offline
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My family's church in Vermont has a Boston grand (I think something 163??). It's not recent, but I've always enjoyed its action, on the light side and very responsive. The sound is pretty good, but it's fairly short piano with the limited bass that goes with that. I like practicing on it when I visit.


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