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Concert grand for 10k?
#2870364 07/18/19 03:32 PM
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Hey ya'll first time on the forums!
I'll try to keep it as short as possible.

Throughout my piano journey so far, I've always played on a pretty mediocre, maybe 50 years old but in pretty good condition upright. In recent times I've had the fortune of playing on some really nice pianos, and have realized how good some of them can sound (there really aren't many piano dealers where i live so it's not as simple as just going to one and trying out pianos).
This has gotten me interested in acquiring a new piano. I really don't have a budget or idea of what i wanna get or anything yet, I'm just mostly browsing the web, hunting for deals, getting an idea of pricing etc.

This brings be to the title of this post. A bout a week or two ago i found a concert grand (about 9 feet) for roughly 10k dollars. There's only one picture of it in the ad, but from what i can tell it defenitely isn't in bad condition (atleast not the case). The piano is about 90 years old by now, from a decently reputable "brand" (it's local to my country pretty much but from what I've been able to research it's definitely a respectable make). The ad claims It's gone through 2 referbishments since the current owner got it in 2010 (the felt on the hammers and the tuning pins were replaced). The seller also claims it's equipped with a double dampp chaser system, which to be fair i don't know entirely what it means but i know it protects the piano from climate change (which is pretty important since where i live we have very heavy seasons).

To come to my question. This seems like an absolutely insane deal to me, or am i missing something? I get that it's a very old piano, and I'd obviously have to go and see it, but it's from a reputable brand, and does not seem to be in bad condition (i find it unlikely the bridge, strings etc. would be severely damaged while the case is looking reasonably fine).
Like this is way more than I was planning and am hoping to spend on my new piano, but it seems like a deal I can't loose on, please bring me out of my blindness if this isn't the case.

Also, to my final question, where i have my upright at the moment wouldn't fit a grand, not even a small one. What kind of environment would you want this in to get the best aucustical performance? I'm guessing a big room, but what would happen if you put it in a small room (mainly asking about grand pianos as a whole). Only grands I've tried have been in concert halls or churches, and there they have sounded absolutely phenomenal.

Sorry for the rather long post, and thanks in advice to any kind of response smile

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Re: Concert grand for 10k?
nilsragnar #2870367 07/18/19 03:46 PM
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You can’t tell the contents of a book by looking at the cover; you can’t tell the condition of a piano from looking at a case. Go play it. If you like it, you must get a tech evaluation so you will know what work Has been done and what work needs to be done. This can be a wonderful deal or it could be a total loser . You might want to post the brand name here.

The room size does not need to be a ballroom, but it depends on ceiling height, door openings, flooring and furnishings. You want to add about 4 ft to the length of the piano as a minimum, and then add room for any chairs or other furniture.

Re: Concert grand for 10k?
nilsragnar #2870369 07/18/19 04:04 PM
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Is it by any chance a Knudsen?


Some men are music lovers. Others make love without it.
Re: Concert grand for 10k?
nilsragnar #2870370 07/18/19 04:05 PM
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Used concert grands (nine feet), particularly old ones, are often hard to get rid of because they are too large for most homes, professional venues already have their concert instruments, they may have suffered from hard use, and, consequently, they are often priced quite low. Ten thousand dollars for this piano may say enough about its condition to not consider it. We, of course, don't know the brand, which could have some bearing, although age is working against this piano without knowing anything about its condition.

The value of a used piano, whatever the size, depends upon its condition. That condition cannot be determined simply by looking at it; a technician has to examine the piano not only to determine its current condition but to examine it for future, potentially costly, repairs, refurbishment or even rebuilding.

It sounds as though you know little about this piano - why be secretive about the brand? - and therefore no one can give you any advice about it, except to say that it's probably not worth your time since you don't even have room for it. "Refurbishment" can mean some work or it can have little significance depending upon who is making the statement and what kind of "spin" they may be trying to put on the situation to make a sale. A 90 year-old piano (almost regardless of the use it may have had) is definitely in need of more than just "refurbishment". In any case, if anyone who had the room for such a piano and found it playable, s/he would have to have the piano thoroughly examined by a reliable technician before any reasonable thought of purchase could be considered.

It has been said by some that they have (or have had) a concert grand in a small room, and that it has worked out well for them. Sometimes a smaller grand can sound louder than a larger grand depending upon the tonal characteristics of a piano, the hammers, how worn they may be, and how each instrument may be voiced. You would need a reasonably sized room for a full concert grand, and that room would most likely have to have acoustic treatment at least in the form of draperies, carpeting and upholstered furniture to absorb some of the sound. If, however, you don't have enough room for a small grand, it's hard to imagine that you would have room for a grand which makes one wonder why you are even giving this some thought.

If you are going to look at it and try it and are tempted, know what you are getting into by having it examined by a professional.

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: Concert grand for 10k?
BruceD #2870377 07/18/19 04:17 PM
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Thanks for the very quick and extensive and quick replies!

So, perhaps i should've been a bit more clear (to be fair "more clear" is even missleading since i forgot to mention it entirely) about this, but i *do* have room for a grand. I have another room which isn't really being used for something. It's kindof "corridor" shaped so to speak.

And about the brand, honestly I don't know why i didn't just outright say it: "Malmsjö". I think i thought it wouldn't be to any use since it's a brand gone since pretty long ago and really it was a pretty small brand (i think?). From what I've been able to find though they did make some pretty solid pianos.

Also thanks for the enlightenment, perhaps i did judge the book a bit too much from it's cover. My conclusion was based on that IF the insides would've been damaged from climate the outside should've been to. I just realized though that the ad does say that it was polished recently, so yeah now wonder the exterior looks amazing...

The seller describes it as "top condition in both quality and sound" but even i understand that that has no basis.

To conclude, if i understand you correctly, this piano is a good deal assuming it is in good condition?

Also sorry for my initial, very confusing post.

Re: Concert grand for 10k?
nilsragnar #2870380 07/18/19 04:25 PM
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"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

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Re: Concert grand for 10k?
nilsragnar #2870382 07/18/19 04:32 PM
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Amazing the prices at which 9' pianos can be available.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: Concert grand for 10k?
dogperson #2870395 07/18/19 05:12 PM
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Yeah i did, one of the few sources i could found mentioning the brand. smile

Re: Concert grand for 10k?
nilsragnar #2870401 07/18/19 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by nilsragnar


Yeah i did, one of the few sources i could found mentioning the brand. smile

Interesting! It also explains how to pronounce the name. smile



Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see
~Mark Twain
Re: Concert grand for 10k?
nilsragnar #2870407 07/18/19 05:46 PM
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As people have already said, if you actually have room for a 9 foot grand, you’re in an exclusive club. That’s why well used old concert grands can have reasonable prices. The true life story for concert grands is, they’re played hard, very hard, moved put in trucks, hauled back and forth, constantly tuned and voiced, hauled to another venue, sold, used hard, hauled around some more. It’s like buying a used truck from a construction contractor. And if the piano’s 90 years old, going back to that used truck example it’s like the engine has 175,000 miles on a frame that’s seen 300,000 miles.
So have your trusty piano tech check it out first.


J & J
Estonia L190 Hidden Beauty
Casio Privia PX-330
I save far better than I play!
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Re: Concert grand for 10k?
nilsragnar #2870425 07/18/19 06:29 PM
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There are plenty of brand new concert grands I wouldn't buy for 10k.


Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales - vintage and used Steinway, Mason & Hamlin
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check out www.sitkadoc.com/ and www.vimeo.com/203188875
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Re: Concert grand for 10k?
Keith D Kerman #2870427 07/18/19 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Keith D Kerman
There are plenty of brand new concert grands I wouldn't buy for 10k.

Please Keith, can you explain further?


J & J
Estonia L190 Hidden Beauty
Casio Privia PX-330
I save far better than I play!
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Re: Concert grand for 10k?
j&j #2870429 07/18/19 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by j&j
Originally Posted by Keith D Kerman
There are plenty of brand new concert grands I wouldn't buy for 10k.

Please, Keith, can you explain further?


IMO there are very few really successful concert grand designs out there. And even the successful designs aren't always executed successfully. Concert grands are tough and most manufacturer's make very few which makes the learning curve steep to impossible.


Keith D Kerman
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check out www.sitkadoc.com/ and www.vimeo.com/203188875
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Re: Concert grand for 10k?
Keith D Kerman #2870431 07/18/19 06:43 PM
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Thank you. I get it.


J & J
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Re: Concert grand for 10k?
nilsragnar #2870433 07/18/19 06:45 PM
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It is worth a look. There may not be a lot of concert grands available in Scandinavia if that is where this is, and you do not have to offer what they are asking.


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Re: Concert grand for 10k?
nilsragnar #2870469 07/18/19 09:53 PM
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https://kmhstudent.com/2017/01/31/flygel-saljes-malmsjo-1930/

If this is the piano in question, the price was $19.250 in 2017. It looks lovely, though.

Last edited by ChatNoir; 07/18/19 09:54 PM.

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Re: Concert grand for 10k?
nilsragnar #2870479 07/18/19 10:24 PM
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How far do you need to travel to see it?

Pwg


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Re: Concert grand for 10k?
nilsragnar #2871017 07/20/19 07:12 PM
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There are so many variables..... piano maker, restored or not, quality of restoration, sometimes original condition is preferred!!
So here is an 8'4'' Bechstein from a recent auction.
Bechstein (c1896) An 8ft 4in 88-note Model II Sheraton style grand piano, in a rosewood and boxwood strung case inlaid with ribbons and garlands, on dual square tapered legs. AMENDMENT Is a 244cm (8ft) Model D. estimate £2,000 - 3,000 sold for £3,700.
www.snowpianos.com


Piano Technician and restorer www.snowpianos.com now relocated to Burlington Vermont after 33 years as Head Piano Technician at Boston University School of Music.
Re: Concert grand for 10k?
P W Grey #2873353 07/27/19 10:58 PM
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Sorry for the lack of response, i was on vacation for a week.

About 2 hours by car to answer your question :-)

Re: Concert grand for 10k?
nilsragnar #2873712 07/29/19 07:41 AM
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Malmsjö dates back to 1843, and started with grand pianos as early as 1849. They did make concert grands quite early on, but very few are left today. The founder had his education from Denmark, and later also had influence from Steinway NY, as their chief piano maker worked for Steinway NY for nine years. The instruments were made in Gothenburg, Sweden, and won many international prices in Europe, even in Philadelphia back in 1876. The company closed in 1977.

Today, they are not that uncommon to find in the used market, in particular in Sweden of course. I have seen several (not concert) grands that have been sold by piano technicians in Norway. I have only tried a few, and they were quite decent if you take their age into consideration.

The concert grand you are looking at is from 1930. It has new pins, new felt on the hammers, and was French-polished in 2012.
This implies that the pins are larger than the originals, the sound board is original, and that the pinblock has not been changed.

I doubt that a corridor shaped room, ie long and narrow would be ideal for a concert grand. At least not unless you treat the roof and walls acoustically.

Quote
There may not be a lot of concert grands available in Scandinavia

It depends on the definition of a lot. All four piano dealers in Oslo has currently a full sized concert grand (Steinway, Yamaha CFX, Fazioli, C. Bechstein). There are several used in the market, including several Petrofs, Bösendorfer and a Steinway. So at least there are some “options.


Last edited by Skjalg; 07/29/19 07:42 AM.
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