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Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
Ken Knapp #2892151 09/19/19 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Ken Knapp
Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
dogperson, So why is my statement cynical?

I don't sell any new pianos because they all have significant engineering and production problems that make them less durable over the long term than my rebuilds and new pianos don't sound or play as well as my rebuilds.


Ed,

You sell and rebuild pianos. If I had a dime for each time you bragged about how great a job you did on rebuilding pianos I could afford to buy one of them. It seems as if EVERY post you make is an ad for your business in some way. I suggest you buy advertising from Frank and do all the bragging about yourself in the ads. If you can't resist the urge then I will help you.


FWIW, I did not find Ed's reply offensive. His initial post, to which dogperson was replying, contained many reasonable assertions about these questionable sales practices. I found them wrthy of consideration. More importantly, I did not see them as self promotion.

Although Ed did later speak about or assert the relative superiority of his product, he did so only after dogperson questioned Ed on his beliefs and views on the credibility of rebuilders. It seems to me that Ed's reply to dogperson was appropriate under the circumstances.

Ed offers a lot to this forum, most of which is clearly not self promotional. And that which might draw close to serving any such purpose, typically is offered in the context of legitimate piano discourse.

I think it is important to recognize, and accept, that Ed has devoted much of his life to the improvement of the piano. Along the way, he has developed many worthy ideas that put him in opposition to piano orthodoxy, and, in conflict with those positioned to profit from stifling piano evolution. I, for one, am glad to hear his views, and I hope this forum takes and keeps a neutral position in that tug of war. I think we all benefit.

Carry on.


Ralph

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Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
PianoWVBob #2892166 09/19/19 10:11 PM
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PianoW, yes peace of mind means more to me too. but with the type of college sales, am pretty sure they all come with 10yrs warrantee from the manufacturer, and the event is jointly done with the manufacturer. would this mean different and have more credibility than just a college sale?

Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
letsplayit #2892168 09/19/19 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by letsplayit
Ok, I would like your input on this. If you are looking at brand new acoustic pianos at full price but what if you can get the same piano cheaper that's been leased by the dealer to the colleges (say used for 1 year only)? ballet schools etc?
my concerns are: 1 how do you know how long they have been used for? (will the dealer have some document to show you the lase time) 2. how often the piano gets played per day? I imagine it would be played all day long by different people isn't it?
3. how much discount would you expect for a slightly used piano compared to the brand new one from a dealer? There might even be some light scratches from the usage.
am I better off getting a brand new one or taking a risk, looking at the pianos being used for 1 year and just check the sound and the hammers and take advantage of the discount?


As has already been mentioned, the college/university sale environment is typically high-pressure, with additional salespeople coming in from out of town to "close deals". When I have observed them, lots of other pianos that weren't loaned to the institution are trucked in for sale as well, from either the local dealer or who knows were? The only way you're going to know how a particular instrument was used would be to talk to the hosting institution's piano technician, or a faculty member who might have paid attention to what piano was in what room. I would not tend to trust what you hear on the sales floor, as these folks tend to have no contact with the institution's facuty/support staff except at higher, administrative levels. I've seen loan program pianos placed in practice rooms, classrooms, rehearsal rooms, faculty offices, and even concert halls. There's a fairly big difference in usage and maintenance between these environments.

Loan program pianos often do have the full manufacturer's warranty because the pianos haven't been sold yet, they've just been loaned out. I have no evidence that you're in for a better deal in this environment than if you just showed up at the local piano dealer's brick and mortar store. No special prep typically takes place with college/university sale pianos, they are sometimes put in environments that are conducive to listening critically (hallways, etc.), and the focus is on creating a sense of urgency and making a quick sale, which may preclude your being able to bring in an independent technician to inspect the piano onsite.


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Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
Ken Knapp #2892174 09/19/19 11:05 PM
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Ken, I would love to show you my work so you could experience pianos with state of the art configurations. You don't have to buy one.

It has cost me plenty to do the research I have done, so if that makes me pushy sounding because I am proud of my accomplishments; I am sorry it offends your sensibilities.

The reason I push my findings is I know that the very survival of the art of fine pianos is at stake in our current market. If the industry can't find a way to make new pianos that are more durable when used as musical instruments than the current crop is; the cost of ownership becomes ridiculous over time for any serious pianist.


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Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
letsplayit #2892183 09/19/19 11:53 PM
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One of my local stores does a "college sale." I'll give them this, they are honest in their advertising that there is a limited selection of institutional loaner pianos for sale and there will be others shipped there for the sale. The university they sell them at uses the loaners for their concert hall, and probably a few other things. The more "honestly institutional" pianos that were used in practice rooms wind up for sale on their surplus site when their time is over.


Now learning: Chopin C# minor Nocturne (posth), Mozart Sonata in C K. 545, R. Schumann Fantasy Dance, Joplin The Chrysanthemum
Instruments: Yamaha N1X, Kawai ES110, Roland GO:PIANO, Piano de Voyage
Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
Ed McMorrow, RPT #2892189 09/20/19 12:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
Ken, I would love to show you my work so you could experience pianos with state of the art configurations. You don't have to buy one.

It has cost me plenty to do the research I have done, so if that makes me pushy sounding because I am proud of my accomplishments; I am sorry it offends your sensibilities.

The reason I push my findings is I know that the very survival of the art of fine pianos is at stake in our current market. If the industry can't find a way to make new pianos that are more durable when used as musical instruments than the current crop is; the cost of ownership becomes ridiculous over time for any serious pianist.


How long then do you see all these different pianos lasting ----American, Japanese, European and Chinese ? I mean has the modern piano really gone this bad ?
Ed I am just interested .,if what you say is bad, I probably will not take it all in.,then again I myself am NOT going last another 40 years unless I break records in longevity !
That will be some comfort, I suppose ??? .,will it ?

Last edited by Lady Bird; 09/20/19 12:43 AM. Reason: Spelling
Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
letsplayit #2892192 09/20/19 01:03 AM
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A typical piano will last 2 to 3 times as long as the typical user's interest, which is generally about 12 years, the time the child is 6 until 18. Some will go on longer, and many will not last that long. There are a few people who will use a piano for more than 35-40 years, but they might start with a lower quality piano and switch to a better one, so even those pianists will not tax the lifetime of decent pianos.


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Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
letsplayit #2892198 09/20/19 02:32 AM
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I appreciate all piano technicians like BDB and Ed. But I have noticed this
aspect about rebuilders ,I do not know how to say it ?
Perhaps it is the re creation thing ,aiming to rebuild what was made so well originally, or to
perfect well made pianos for the better ?
It must be difficult to disconnect? I hope they visit very good piano manufactures as part of the process !

Last edited by Lady Bird; 09/20/19 02:34 AM. Reason: Missing word
Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
letsplayit #2892207 09/20/19 03:36 AM
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I prefer a vintage piano in very good condition to a modern piano. If I had room for a grand currently without sacrificing other current use of space, my preferred instrument would be a Knabe or Steinway grand from the 1920’s (or also 1950’s if Steinway). I don’t think a $20K new upright would particularly improve on the 107-year-old one I have now, although a 52” upright might have more convincing vowel tones in the bass.

Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
terminaldegree #2892211 09/20/19 04:31 AM
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have some questions for you. pm d

Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
Lady Bird #2892232 09/20/19 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Lady Bird
Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
Ken, I would love to show you my work so you could experience pianos with state of the art configurations. You don't have to buy one.

It has cost me plenty to do the research I have done, so if that makes me pushy sounding because I am proud of my accomplishments; I am sorry it offends your sensibilities.

The reason I push my findings is I know that the very survival of the art of fine pianos is at stake in our current market. If the industry can't find a way to make new pianos that are more durable when used as musical instruments than the current crop is; the cost of ownership becomes ridiculous over time for any serious pianist.


How long then do you see all these different pianos lasting ----American, Japanese, European and Chinese ? I mean has the modern piano really gone this bad ?
Ed I am just interested .,if what you say is bad, I probably will not take it all in.,then again I myself am NOT going last another 40 years unless I break records in longevity !
That will be some comfort, I suppose ??? .,will it ?


Some valid questions. I am curious as well. And I will not last another 40 years unless I shatter my family record.



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Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
BDB #2892233 09/20/19 06:08 AM
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BDB, Very interesting as I haven't heard ot before how long would you regard the average playing time per day on those you mentioned typical pianos with 12 years playing? I do know most of dealers will come tell me a 40 year old piano is still very young. which I don't believe. however am curious to know how heavily a puano being used by a certain type of audience? private? colleges or ballet schools? if the piano is relatively new, say under a few years then wouldn't checking the hammer tell you how often the piano is being used? thsnks

Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
Serge88 #2892268 09/20/19 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Serge88
The best deal is from a private sale when people are moving out and need to get rid of their piano.


This is exactly right and how I scored my piano for such a great deal. It's one of those times when patience truly pays for itself.


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Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
TurboMatt #2892290 09/20/19 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by TurboMatt
Originally Posted by Serge88
The best deal is from a private sale when people are moving out and need to get rid of their piano.


This is exactly right and how I scored my piano for such a great deal. It's one of those times when patience truly pays for itself.



That is the key - patience!



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Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
letsplayit #2892291 09/20/19 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by TurboMatt
Originally Posted by Serge88
The best deal is from a private sale when people are moving out and need to get rid of their piano.


This is exactly right and how I scored my piano for such a great deal. It's one of those times when patience truly pays for itself.



That is the key - patience!



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Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
Sweelinck #2892323 09/20/19 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
I prefer a vintage piano in very good condition to a modern piano. If I had room for a grand currently without sacrificing other current use of space, my preferred instrument would be a Knabe or Steinway grand from the 1920’s (or also 1950’s if Steinway). I don’t think a $20K new upright would particularly improve on the 107-year-old one I have now, although a 52” upright might have more convincing vowel tones in the bass.

Just the bass ? In the best uprights the sustain in the treble as well as the bass are amazing.A single note in the high treble lasts far longer than in other uprights.You can try this by counting the seconds a single note lasts in the high treble.When single notes sing out for a long period in the treble with a beautiful full round sound in the bass.All this with a quick sensitive response is what makes these uprights ideal.The price of these pianos is usually high.For us without deep pockets (hate that expression )this was a huge price !
However we both love that piano.Whatever you do choose please listen carefully !
By the way do not use the pedal when trying the resonance of single notes on an upright.


Last edited by Lady Bird; 09/20/19 11:17 AM. Reason: Spelling
Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
NobleHouse #2892339 09/20/19 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by NobleHouse


That is the key - patience!


Good advice. I think a lot of the cynicism I have read in this thread surrounding these college sales is from people who have felt pressured to buy an instrument they didn't really want for a price they really weren't all that excited about. You might go to a college sale and find something you really like for a great price, and snatch it up (obviously a lot of people do or they wouldn't have these sales). But you shouldn't be disappointed if what you find isn't exactly what you're looking for - you'll find it.


Justin Johnson
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Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
Geusey #2892369 09/20/19 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Geusey
Originally Posted by NobleHouse


That is the key - patience!


Good advice. I think a lot of the cynicism I have read in this thread surrounding these college sales is from people who have felt pressured to buy an instrument they didn't really want for a price they really weren't all that excited about. You might go to a college sale and find something you really like for a great price, and snatch it up (obviously a lot of people do or they wouldn't have these sales). But you shouldn't be disappointed if what you find isn't exactly what you're looking for - you'll find it.
Cynic alert. I think those types of sales continue because there is a reservoir of naive people--who have done no homework--out looking for a piano who actually do buy them. There are exceptions, of course, but by-and-large these pianos are sold to people who haven't informed themselves at all about pianos.


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Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
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Originally Posted by Stubbie
Cynic alert. I think those types of sales continue because there is a reservoir of naive people--who have done no homework--out looking for a piano who actually do buy them. There are exceptions, of course, but by-and-large these pianos are sold to people who haven't informed themselves at all about pianos.


Fair. I think what I'm getting at is that there's nothing inherently wrong with the sale format itself, but the dishonesty that is commonly associated with them. If there is any obfuscation about which pianos are used and which are new, that is a huge red flag that shouldn't be ignored.

Still, I know I'm kind of a newcomer to this industry, but it disappoints me how much cynicism there is towards dealers by the piano community. Recently, I read a thread on this forum lamenting the decline in piano sales in the US over the last century, but that attitude immediately changes to contempt when talking about the ones who are doing the actual selling. I, for one, really like when a dealer goes out and does some marketing to try and grow the market and increase their business, as long as this is done with integrity. It raises the overall musical awareness in the community, which is good for everybody.


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Re: Used Pianos from College Sales and other names ;-)
letsplayit #2892419 09/20/19 04:24 PM
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Quote

Just the bass ? In the best uprights the sustain in the treble as well as the bass are amazing.

The sustain in the treble is phenomenal on my piano. The bass is more than adequate for a home instrument. That’s why a new upright with a $20K or lower list price generally would be a downgrade for me. Even a 52” Schimmel Konzert series upright (TOTL Schimmel upright) had less treble sustain when I tried one.

I have played fairly recent year Bosendorfer and Grotrian uprights that I preferred to my piano and a restored vintage Mason & Hamlin vertical that I preferred. I would have purchased the M&H but someone else already had a deposit placed to hold it. I’ve never played a vertical from Bechstein, Bluthner, Steingraeber, or Seiler, but assume they would be very good.

But ability to play in a sonorous, bel canto style or get contrasting tonal colors is typically a strength of many vintage pianos over many modern pianos, as long as the soundboard has retained its crown and the instrument is in good condition.

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