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Re: Used Steinway - should I get one? [Re: lbuizza] #2859755 06/17/19 08:47 PM
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I lived and worked in Germany back in my twenties. The company rented me a nice Audi and I went to pick it up at the rental car place. A guy drove me to some back lot, pointed at the car, and drove off.

As I was walking towards the car I noticed another car, covered with a big tarp, behind a fence. I walked over to the car and realized that the front and rear bumpers were almost touching each other on the driver’s side. I can’t believe the driver survived the crash. It was a sober warning and a constant reminder to not go too fast on the Autobahn.

I’d pay a mint for a beautiful piano but I couldn’t give a dollar for a car. I survived my tour in Germany, slowed down in the rain and fog, and stayed out of the way of those crazy Mercedes and Porsche drivers with their left blinkers always on. Having no car means having no problems in New York.


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Re: Used Steinway - should I get one? [Re: joe80] #2859808 06/18/19 12:44 AM
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Originally Posted by joe80
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.


I played S3X, S5X, and S7X last year while I was shopping.

They were phenomenal. The touch was absolutely buttery. The tone was at an entirely different level from the CX's. The tonal color was so different If I was blindfolded, I would not have believed it was a Yamaha. For the money, the SX series were better than the CF4 at the same store--you just can't beat size.

Re: Used Steinway - should I get one? [Re: lbuizza] #2860526 06/19/19 03:32 PM
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OMG get the 718 GT4 already!! Just stay in the R lane and allow others to pass, especially on the ‘ring.

Oh....sorry....I thought for a second we were on Rennlist.


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Re: Used Steinway - should I get one? [Re: Sanfrancisco] #2860537 06/19/19 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Sanfrancisco
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 ...

And for half of that you could probably buy a gently used one that would make you just as happy! Be mindful of the law of diminishing returns. No matter how much you're willing to spend, someone out there is willing to take it from you. What you get in return for your increased expenditure diminishes quickly.



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: Used Steinway - should I get one? [Re: redfish1901] #2860539 06/19/19 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by redfish1901
Originally Posted by joe80
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.


I played S3X, S5X, and S7X last year while I was shopping.

They were phenomenal. The touch was absolutely buttery. The tone was at an entirely different level from the CX's. The tonal color was so different If I was blindfolded, I would not have believed it was a Yamaha. For the money, the SX series were better than the CF4 at the same store--you just can't beat size.




I want to try the SX range really badly now.

Re: Used Steinway - should I get one? [Re: lbuizza] #2866615 07/06/19 01:54 PM
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A quick update (for anyone interested):

I spent the day visiting various shops in London: Bluthner, Steinway, Yamaha and Marksons's - I will try and go to Jaques Samuels tomorrow. Some of the pianos I tried: Bluthner model 6, 7 and style 6 (1913), 3xnew Steinway A, Steinway O new, Steinway O from 2006, Yamaha CX3, C4F and S3X (all new) Bosendorfer 185VC new, 200 new, 170 (from 1994), and finally a Sauter 185 Delta. I tried to take notes on all, but some I missed - I will try and give a small overview below.

The Bluthners I tried were both very mellow and warm sounding pianos, which I liked, however I thought they lacked a bit of power when it came to playing ff or fff. Both the model 6 and 7 had what I would call an unnoticeable touch - ie it wasn't either good or bad, it was pretty normal. Overall I liked them but liked the pianos further on in the day more.

Then the Steinways: at first when I sat down to play all of the Model As I thought the touch was too light, however after a bit of time with them realised that maybe this was not so bad, and playing anything from ppp to fff was pretty easy. The bass was predictably superior to the model Os. The Model Os had a slightly heavier touch (especially the older one which also had a very heavy pedal), and I found all of them were warmer and mellower in terms of sound. Ideally I would want the warmth of an O with a bit more bass. Annoyingly Steinway Hall has terrible echoey acoustics.

Then the Yamahas: the CX3 was all right, especially given the price - however I think I still prefer a similarly priced Kawai. I liked the S3X a lot - the touch maybe a tiny bit better on the C4F but the tone miles better on the S3X, and given the fact that the SXs are half the price of a CF this made it even more attractive. I did not think, after playing for the past year at academies with mainly Yamahas and not being too impressed with them that I would enjoy them so much.

The new Bosendorfers were beautiful - only complaint is the heavy touch. In terms of mellowness and warmth the tone was perfect and I really enjoyed playing them. Finding a used one with that tone, however, might be a bit difficult. The 170 I played was a bit underwhelming if I am honest - the extra ~15cm on the other pianos really does help.

If I had to pick my favourites from the day it would probably be:
1. Bosendorfer 185VC (not including the 200 as it is probably too big)
1.1 (1.1 and not 2 because the Bosie was only just better, I loved both) Steinway As (any of them)
2. Steinway O (new)
3. Yamaha SX
4. Yamaha CX
5. The rest

I am a tiny bit conscious that I don't want the piano to sound too 'concerty' and it cannot be too loud (both for the sake of sounding nice in a home and for the sake of my neighbours) - ie I want a warm tone, with a decent amount of power. How much can a good voicing achieve this?

Any thoughts and comments are, as usual, very much welcomed.

Re: Used Steinway - should I get one? [Re: lbuizza] #2867366 07/08/19 11:58 AM
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I was interested! Just the sort of perspective I like to read from another UK based piano hunter.

I've played a Bluthner that I felt had enough power, at least for my living room, but I would agree that it you were comparing to Steinways they do seem to be energetic and exciting to play.

I'm looking forward to following in your footsteps to London in the next week or two particularly to try the Yamahas and maybe have a wee go on a Bosendorfer.

Re: Used Steinway - should I get one? [Re: lbuizza] #2867767 07/09/19 05:47 PM
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@etherline I would highly recommend going to Yamaha - they have both!

I have just returned from seeing a used (~15yo) Steinway A in perfect condition - the previous owner kept it immaculately and did not really use it and IMO it is as good as the new pianos I have been trying. Slightly heavier action than the As I tried on the weekend, which I liked. It did not immediately jump out at me when I played it but the more I sat and played the more I loved it... Now I have a decision to make, predictably it is slightly above budget! I will be going back to see the piano in the next few weeks a few times after I have played some of the other ones that I liked again.

Wanted to gauge some opinions here about my next steps - the piano is currently with and being sold through someone who from what I understand is known in the UK to be one of the best people for 2nd hand and basically new Steinways, and has a showroom with a few other pianos.

1. What is the etiquette re bringing my own technician? If I was buying it privately or at auction I would have 10000% brought one with me, however given the technician's reputation and the fact that the piano is in such a good condition (I struggled to find scratches on the casing, it was kept covered) is this something that would be frowned upon? I will ask him if he offers a guarantee, however I am not sure he will as it is a commission sale.

2. Should I bring a pro pianist/teacher to give me a second opinion? To my ear the piano sounds fantastic, however do we (the wider pianoworld community) think that bringing in a pro to see it with me next week is worth it? I think the answer to this is probably yes... (If so, how to find one a pianist?)

Re: Used Steinway - should I get one? [Re: lbuizza] #2867769 07/09/19 05:56 PM
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If the dealer is as good as you say, he will not discourage you from bringing your own tech. Bit make sure your tech is not best friends with the dealer as that may make it difficult for him to be completely honest with you.

Since you appear to be an advanced pianist, I don't see much need to bring along another pianist to test the piano but it can't hurt either.

Re: Used Steinway - should I get one? [Re: lbuizza] #2869046 07/13/19 04:45 PM
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Someone beat me to it frown after 6 months of it being in the showroom someone else today decided they wanted it.... Oh well, I will keep looking. Any thoughts on the Shigeru SK3? One of the only ones left on my list to try...

Re: Used Steinway - should I get one? [Re: lbuizza] #2869596 07/15/19 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by lbuizza
Someone beat me to it frown after 6 months of it being in the showroom someone else today decided they wanted it.... Oh well, I will keep looking. ..


Sorry to hear you missed that A.

I went into London today and did the tour. It was really educational. The Bluthner I tried wasn't, to my ears, that well regulated or even completely in tune. I was disappointed that the Aliquot strings were only in the very top register (seemed a bit token to me; like a vestigial tail). I have played better rebuilds than that. The Yamahas (C3X, S6X and CF4) were quite nice pianos but that the CF4 didn't seem three times as good as the C3X was disappointing. It was on sale at around 58k which put it at the same price as a used Steinway 'O'. All the Steinways I tried (new 'A', new 'O' and the used 'O') were consistent, well regulated, tuned and had a lovely touch.

I am cured of Bosendorfers :-)

Last edited by etherline; 07/15/19 03:42 PM.
Re: Used Steinway - should I get one? [Re: lbuizza] #2870467 07/18/19 08:47 PM
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I own a Model 0 Steinway from 1912. I spent 6 months searching for it, and found it here in NY at a local used piano wholesale dealer (he also ships pianos all over the word, I can DM you with his contact info if that is an option you want to try). Price was a bargain (under $15K USD).;I just had it tuned earlier, and tomorrow the technician is coming over to pick it up so he can take it to his shop to have it regulated. if you click on my YouTube videos in my profile/signature line you can hear it (granted they were taken when the piano was going a bit out of tune, and the recordings were taken from my iPhone 6s).

I love my Model 0, I would buy it again in a heartbeat. But I think its always a good idea to spend time testing as many pianos as possible. I had a much smaller budget and was prepared to settle for a nice Yamaha baby grand, but I love the Steinway sound and tried playing on many and when the Model O showed up, I jumped on it.


~~~~~~~
My Practice/Progress YouTube Channel :

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNj0Yha5exOWuJMTezV3t8Q
Re: Used Steinway - should I get one? [Re: lbuizza] #2870927 07/20/19 01:08 PM
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Further update for those interested: went and saw a whole range of pianos today with the specifications that I wanted, including Shigeru SK2 and 3, and three Steinway As and two Os. Of these, there was one A and one O that really impressed me, both made in the same year. Both were a bit warmer than others that I have tried before and had similar touch.

The most noticeable difference was in the base - the A was simply more powerful, however I thought the treble sang a lot more and was a bit clearer with the O, and maybe it was because of the room they were in but I felt that the O was just a bit more balanced...

I will try both, and others, again however I am undecided between these two because I live in an apartment and I sometimes worry about the amount of sound that would come out of this piano, so from that point of view having a slightly less powerful piano might be better. Do I like the better base more than I like the better (in my opinion, however this could change) balance and slightly softer piano? I need to think about it.

I would be keen to hear some thoughts from others about this and about whether the piano can be too loud - appreciate that this last bit is a bit of a nothing question...

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