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Re: Used Steinway - should I get one?
lbuizza #2850861 05/21/19 06:44 PM
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I haven’t played that many Steinways, but I haven’t yet met a smaller one that I liked. It’s B or larger for me.

Last year I saw a newish (2005 but hardly played) model B listed for under 60K USD at the San Francisco Steinway store that was very nice. It was comparable to about half a dozen brand new B’s on display. I would imagine with your budget you could find a very nice, newish Steinway B.

Best of luck!

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Re: Used Steinway - should I get one?
lbuizza #2850862 05/21/19 06:45 PM
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joe80, since you are a fan of the model A, I'd love your reaction to a properly restored AIII, the longscale A that was never produced by Hamburg. I've only met one fan of the former that wasn't even more impressed with the latter.


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Re: Used Steinway - should I get one?
lbuizza #2850890 05/21/19 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by lbuizza
Hi,

I am what I would call a 'very keen' amateur (ie diploma level and up - sorry for blowing my own trumpet but I think it's important info), and I am looking to finally upgrade my lovely Yamaha upright that has been with me since I started playing. In my apartment I have space for a ~190cm piano without making any major furniture rearrangements which I would want to avoid, and I have a budget of about £40k (around 50k dollars in American). I know these questions are entirely subjective but I wanted to see what the pianist community out there thinks about this.


Hi, Ibuizza,

Pianos are very personal, and only you can decide how much to spend, and which brand to buy.

However, no two pianos are alike. Visit as many piano stores as your time allows, and find the one that draws you. If you have a teacher, bring him/her along, if you can. If you are looking at used or rebuilt instruments, be sure to bring a good technician. If you find "the one" even if it's a little too dear, and a little too big, I could safely say that no one regrets spending a little more. It's cheaper to buy "the one" than to keep on upgrading.

A new Steinway A is more than 40K pounds sterling, but you may well encounter a used one for that price. www.klaviano.com has good coverage in Europe.

There are certainly good pianos in that size as well: Fazioli F183 is absolutely brilliant, but you may prefer Bösendorer 185VC. For a new instrument, Shigeru Kawai SK-3 is a good value, and a Yamaha S4/CF4 certainly have some following as well.

So, go ahead, and buy the biggest and the best piano you can afford without ruining you.

Re: Used Steinway - should I get one?
PianoWorksATL #2850960 05/22/19 03:23 AM
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Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
joe80, since you are a fan of the model A, I'd love your reaction to a properly restored AIII, the longscale A that was never produced by Hamburg. I've only met one fan of the former that wasn't even more impressed with the latter.


This model intrigues me, and unfortunately I've never seen one in the flesh! But since I'm moving to the USA in a matter of weeks, I might come across it more often.

Re: Used Steinway - should I get one?
lbuizza #2850961 05/22/19 03:24 AM
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I'd be interested to hear what everyone thinks of the new Yamaha S-series line up, since they fall inside this price range too. I haven't heard or seen them in person, but I'm sure they're very good.

Re: Used Steinway - should I get one?
lbuizza #2851016 05/22/19 08:27 AM
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1/ You have 40,000GBP to spend for a piano, it's great! Congratulations! You can find an excellent used Steinway with this budget.

2/ So many good brands of piano out there. But if f you like Steinway, just try and buy Steinway. You're in UK, so you can buy a Hamburg Steinway (much much better than american Steinways) more easily. Jeffrey Shackell is reputed for used Steinways in UK. Coaching House Pianos is excellent too.

3/ A, B, C, D are professional models. Difference between A & O is noticeable (to me). Low basses on model A is fantastic! (to me)

4/ Good luck to a future Hamburg Steinway owner!


Hamburg Steinway & Sons C-227
Yamaha Stagea Electone ELS-02X
Re: Used Steinway - should I get one?
lbuizza #2851026 05/22/19 08:48 AM
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Roberts have a 183 cm Ibach in stock now. Unfortunately it's nowhere near £40K !!!

Re: Used Steinway - should I get one?
lbuizza #2858860 06/15/19 03:50 PM
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Hi all - thanks for your replies and apologies for reviving the thread. After having played more pianos (Shigerus, Kawais, Steinways, etc to mention a few, I’m still yet to try a Bluthner but have that in my diary) I’ve realised I need to play more pianos to really realise what I want.

However one doubt has appeared in my head - should I be looking at these very top end pianos in the first place? For half my budget I could buy a brand new Kawai or Yamaha and I know I would be delighted with it in the long term given I will probably not become a professional musician and it will be a piano to enjoy. But on the other hand I would like this to be a ‘piano for life’, meaning that an initial outlay now could seem like money well spent in the long term, and it definitely needs to be special for me to spend any money on it. To me it seems a bit like buying a Ferrari to never push it to its limits - when a convertible Mazda would provide equal entertainment to me... or perhaps it’s more like buying a Rolls Royce, which is simply a pleasure to sit in and enjoy... any thoughts and comments appreciated - more on the topic of whether a beautiful, highest end piano is worth it rather than the topic of finding a piano that suits me if possible.

Thanks!

Re: Used Steinway - should I get one?
lbuizza #2858862 06/15/19 03:58 PM
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You're asking a bunch of people who spend their time hanging out on a piano forum. Naturally, most of us will say Go for it! My own instrument is much better than my playing warrants. I just love it. So - go ahead - take out that mortgage! Never look back!

Re: Used Steinway - should I get one?
lbuizza #2858866 06/15/19 04:09 PM
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Ibuizza
I am not one that believes you need to qualify for the piano you buy based on skill or level! My goodness, I would probably own a miniature kids toy piano if there were a qualification process. As it is, I love to practice just to touch the keys and here the sounds.

Buy what you can afford, and what you will love to practice everyday. Don’t buy based on the fall board name, but the piano that speaks to you. All things being equal, you don’t want to be saying ‘ I wish I would’ve bought xxxx’ for many years 😊


"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: Used Steinway - should I get one?
lbuizza #2858873 06/15/19 04:23 PM
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Would driving an Aston Martin make me a better driver? Probably not...unless I could spend a lot of time driving on a race track. Which is why I drive a Mazda CX5.

Does playing a Tier 1 piano make me a better pianist? Yes. A great piano allows a pianist to play at any dynamic level and at any tempo, permitting full expression of the music. I can hear and feel everything on my piano, which makes a tangible difference in how I play. I am driven (pun intended) to improve my technique because my piano responds to very subtle changes how I strike the keys, and it does so consistently. It's like taking that Aston Martin on the race track every time I practice.

I'm never going to be a great pianist, but the possibility of improving endlessly is exciting. That's what a great piano gives me.


August Förster 215
Re: Used Steinway - should I get one?
lbuizza #2858884 06/15/19 04:56 PM
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For half my budget I could buy a brand new Kawai or Yamaha and I know I would be delighted with it in the long term given I will probably not become a professional musician and it will be a piano to enjoy. But on the other hand I would like this to be a ‘piano for life’, meaning that an initial outlay now could seem like money well spent in the long term, and it definitely needs to be special for me to spend any money on it. To me it seems a bit like buying a Ferrari to never push it to its limits - when a convertible Mazda would provide equal entertainment to me. Quote Ibuizza

From what I read of your posts in this thread your ear is very aware of the marked tonal difference between consumer and professional level pianos. Interesting conjecture the above metaphor, but in your case IMO not accurate.

Re: Used Steinway - should I get one?
lbuizza #2858887 06/15/19 05:06 PM
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Try more pianos. New and used. For instance try the different grades of Kawai’s and Yamahas. You might be shocked by the Shigerus and the Yamaha S series and CF series. Try the Consumer series of each. The more pianos you try the more you can decide what’s right and what exactly you want. Best of Luck! Piano shopping is really fun, especially if you have a generous budget.


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Re: Used Steinway - should I get one?
lbuizza #2858996 06/15/19 11:54 PM
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As dogperson said - you don't need to qualify ... to buy the piano of your dreams.

Some people spend their money on a Mazda MX-5, when a Mazda 2 would actually be more practical - but, oh the fun of an MX-5, 6 sp Manual tranny, roof down on a winding mountain road!! (no, I drive a PRIUS - went the practical route.)

It's often said - buy the piano you can 1) enjoy; and 2) afford. Don't stretch the $$, but also don't get a piano you don't enjoy.

That said - something like an RX-7 (KAWAI) - is a great piano, and extremely enjoyable to play - same with equivalents.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: Used Steinway - should I get one?
lbuizza #2859280 06/16/19 05:19 PM
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I believe it helps to get one's priorities straight.

I am in my mid 50s now and the pianos I owned ranged from a 200 EUR banged up upright to a Yamaha CFII concert grand. My current piano is a technically beautifully restored Steinway B from 1887, but then, my piano playing isn't that horrible, so on an amateur level I am doing fine practicing Prokofiev 8th sonata, Beethoven's Op. 110, Scriabin Op. 11. I am very much aware of really outstanding pianos, having played some of them myself, mostly before or after concerts of great pianists, including Horowitz' actual piano the day before one of his recitals.

How far are you willing to go? If you're really into it, just go for the best you can get - but make sure that at that point you actually have a fundamental knowledge of what the best is and why. Go shop for concert grands, talk to technicians - and work on your piano playing, really making sure that having that piano will force you to practice and enjoy the touch and sound of the piano itself.

Don't go for the "Grand Obsession" route, where you get obsessed about a mediocre piano on a pianistic level that can be reduced to "playing five classical pieces on an amateur level and not practicing enough to go beyond it".

Owning a grand piano of really high quality comes with a responsibility, that is, treasure it in itself. wake up in the morning and rush to the piano to enjoy its sound. Feel that you have to reward the piano with your playing as well, so practice and get better and enjoy the piano even more.

And get familiar with the piano itself. Talk to you your technician and make him explain to you what he's doing in terms of regulation and voicing. Get a decent tuning lever that really fits you pins and have a lesson with your technician to tune a single note, get a feeling for what a well tuned unison sounds like and what you can do to keep it in tune for a long time.

Decide who you want to be. You can buy an Aston Martin DB9, but that doesn't make you a good driver, let alone a mechanic. Spend a week in Europe, especially in Germany and have someone teach you to actually drive the Aston on an Autobahn without a speed limit. This won't magically transform you into Niki Lauda, but it will give you an opportunity of grasping what a DB9 actually is.

Just like a Fazioli 308, Steinway D, Bechstein D 282, Yamaha CFX, Bösendorfer 280VC.

I envy you for the opportunity of the greatest spending spree of your life :-)


Last edited by OE1FEU; 06/16/19 05:25 PM.
Re: Used Steinway - should I get one?
OE1FEU #2859292 06/16/19 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by OE1FEU
Decide who you want to be. You can buy an Aston Martin DB9, but that doesn't make you a good driver, let alone a mechanic. Spend a week in Europe, especially in Germany and have someone teach you to actually drive the Aston on an Autobahn without a speed limit. This won't magically transform you into Niki Lauda, but it will give you an opportunity of grasping what a DB9 actually is.

Autobahn?
Need to take it to the Nurburgring! thumb


.... Jeff ▫️ Yamaha P515 ▫️ Roll Tide
Re: Used Steinway - should I get one?
jeffscot #2859312 06/16/19 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by jeffscot
Originally Posted by OE1FEU
Decide who you want to be. You can buy an Aston Martin DB9, but that doesn't make you a good driver, let alone a mechanic. Spend a week in Europe, especially in Germany and have someone teach you to actually drive the Aston on an Autobahn without a speed limit. This won't magically transform you into Niki Lauda, but it will give you an opportunity of grasping what a DB9 actually is.

Autobahn?
Need to take it to the Nurburgring! thumb




I disagree.

Taking it to the Nürburging is like being the lonely guy in his car with serious disregard for anything in his way.

If, on the other hand, you want to be a chamber musician of excellence and want to find an example in the car world, the Autobahn it is. You're part of an ensemble at every microsecond, need to anticipate evaluate and react on your other drivers on the Autobahn. Taking it back to the piano: It's a lot more fun on non-professional level to play as if you were part of a group than just rushing through your regular solo stuff.

Re: Used Steinway - should I get one?
lbuizza #2859393 06/16/19 11:45 PM
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But you need to use the Autobahn to get to the Nürburging. grin

OMG, that's deep! grin

Re: Used Steinway - should I get one?
lbuizza #2859737 06/17/19 07:56 PM
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If you buy an Aston Martin and don’t drive well and can’t shift seamlessly, you’re endangering yourself, your new car and everyone else on the AutoBahn. And you look like a rich idiot that can’t drive. If you buy a high end piano but don’t have the knowledge to play it well, you can take lessons, practice and improve. No lives are at stake!
**unless you drive your piano teacher to suicide. laugh


J & J
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Re: Used Steinway - should I get one?
j&j #2859739 06/17/19 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by j&j
If you buy an Aston Martin and don’t drive well and can’t shift seamlessly, you’re endangering yourself, your new car and everyone else on the AutoBahn. And you look like a rich idiot that can’t drive. If you buy a high end piano but don’t have the knowledge to play it well, you can take lessons, practice and improve. No lives are at stake!
**unless you drive your piano teacher to suicide. laugh


thumb



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