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Lyon & Healy Baby Grand Piano.....worth it?
#2981604 05/20/20 12:02 PM
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Hello everyone!

This is my first post on this forum after being a long time lurker. I have a family friend who is selling their Lyon & Healy baby grand piano. It is a 5 foot 5 inch version and was built in the late 1920s.....they think 1928 or 1929. The mahogany exterior is in great condition for a 90+ year old piano. A year ago they had the piano completely gone over...no splitting in the bridge, hammers shaped and voiced, and all blocks & pins in excellent condition. The piano still has all the original ivory keys. They claim they have sunk over $7k USD into purchasing and restoring this piano and are willing to let it go for $2k USD. It is located a state over so it will be a drive to get it, but its doable. I have played on it once and thought it sounded great but at the time wasn't thinking I would ever be its potential owner!

I have limited experience with Lyon & Healy pianos. From talking with my local friends the consensus I get is that there can be some good and bad apples out there. I have heard to steer clear of the sub 5ft models.

This one seems to fit the bill of being a "good apple", but I wanted to know if anyone here could shed some light on this particular brand or had any experience to help me make a decision on this.

Thanks so much!

Re: Lyon & Healy Baby Grand Piano.....worth it?
ThatGuyIsMe #2981606 05/20/20 12:05 PM
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Ask for receipts to prove the work was done.
If your budget is only $2k, I’d typically recommend a new console style digital piano or used 45”+ tall upright piano that’s a lot newer than this. Most grand pianos at that price are either poor instruments or in poor condition.


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Re: Lyon & Healy Baby Grand Piano.....worth it?
ThatGuyIsMe #2981613 05/20/20 12:13 PM
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Lyon & Healy was a music store in Chicago, which still exists as a world-class manufacturer of harps. I am not certain whether they made pianos or had them made for them. Some of them were better than average, others were not. So you cannot really tell much from just the name.


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Re: Lyon & Healy Baby Grand Piano.....worth it?
terminaldegree #2981614 05/20/20 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Ask for receipts to prove the work was done.

Thanks for the advise terminaldegree. I saw this piano before and after the work was done and played it in both conditions.

I have not seen the receipts to confirm how much it cost, but I could definitely hear and feel a positive difference. Again, at the time it was just my friend's friend's piano I was playing on and I wasn't looking for all these details.

I will definitely see if I can get a hold of the receipts!

Re: Lyon & Healy Baby Grand Piano.....worth it?
terminaldegree #2981620 05/20/20 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
If your budget is only $2k, I’d typically recommend a new console style digital piano or used 45”+ tall upright piano that’s a lot newer than this. Most grand pianos at that price are either poor instruments or in poor condition.

My original budget was definitely more than $2k but this unexpected opportunity came up. I have a hard time saying no to a good deal! It is just I am not as familiar with this brand and the previous pianos I have owned have all been uprights. Since I have the space for a baby grand now and am currently without I piano, my friend made this connection and here I am considering this option.

The seller is moving out of the United States and doesn't want to take their piano with them. Since they live in more of a rural area and are moving in a couple weeks I am hoping they just want to get the piano to a good home rather than something is wrong with it.

Re: Lyon & Healy Baby Grand Piano.....worth it?
ThatGuyIsMe #2981625 05/20/20 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by BDB
Lyon & Healy was a music store in Chicago, which still exists as a world-class manufacturer of harps. I am not certain whether they made pianos or had them made for them. Some of them were better than average, others were not. So you cannot really tell much from just the name.

Thanks for the insight. Searching thru this form previously, it seems like they did make their own piano for a brief time during this era. But I agree, it is hard to tell from my research if this is a good piano or not as you cannot tell much by name. Seems very much to be on a case by case bases!

Re: Lyon & Healy Baby Grand Piano.....worth it?
ThatGuyIsMe #2981634 05/20/20 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by ThatGuyIsMe
Originally Posted by BDB
Lyon & Healy was a music store in Chicago, which still exists as a world-class manufacturer of harps. I am not certain whether they made pianos or had them made for them. Some of them were better than average, others were not. So you cannot really tell much from just the name.

Thanks for the insight. Searching thru this form previously, it seems like they did make their own piano for a brief time during this era. But I agree, it is hard to tell from my research if this is a good piano or not as you cannot tell much by name. Seems very much to be on a case by case bases!

When you’re talking used pianos, it’s always a case by case basis. With any used piano condition is everything. Age, maintenance or lack of any maintenance, environmental conditions, location to heat and cooling sources, humidity control all play a big factor on how a piano sounds and feels. Best Wishes!


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