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I have been watching few youtube about concert hall, pianist selecting their Model D at Steinway company , they all got 5 or more for them to select one. do they offer this type of purchase experience to amateur public?

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with luxe experiences, its always about who you are, who you know, what you do, and where you are from.

Joe Shmo, Iowan farmer visiting Steinway Hall for the first time with a fist full of cash and financing probably isnt going to get that experience.

Tiffany Poon, concert pianist and Youtube "influencer" with 100k subscribers will merit consideration.

Steinway gets the halo effect from the video (QED your post); Tiffany gets the pleasure of choosing her new Grand; the regular people get to watch, and maybe see Steinway as brand worth choosing....

im open to being wrong though...

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I’ve never had a Steinway experience that can be categorized as “good”, LOL. Snooty, yes. Good, no. 🤷‍♀️


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If you purchase a B or D upfront prior to selection, you can have the selection experience. Not for me. I would imagine certain other companies have a similar policy, but maybe others can speak to this.

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I had a friend purchase a new Mason & Hamlin by driving up to the Factory in MA. I wonder if you live near the Steinway Factory in NY - you could make an appt to visit and look at which different grands they have? Don't know, but worth a try?

What I am finding is that it is better to find a High Volume Piano Dealer.
I get the feeling dealers will only 'purchase' one of each model to show.

But if you find a larger dealer, they may possibly have numerous pianos to choose from.
It also works if you want to compare different brands (Yamaha vs Baldwin vs Steinway vs M&H vs Bosendorfer)

But if you have made a choice on a particular Brand of Grand it's best to find the largest dealer of that brand in your area.

I'm sure we will hear lots of comments now from dealers.

brdwyguy


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I am living in Hamburg, Germany, and repeatedly visited Steinway's showroom here. There was always a considerable number of different instruments I could test (e.g. 4x model O, 2x model S, 2x model B, 2x model D). They did not care I was only an amateur and even offered to phone me whenever they had a new instrument of the type I preferred. I never bought one, though - too expensive for what I get, and, what is more, far too loud for my living room (and for my poor neighbours). I am not living in a concert hall.

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I bought my piano at just 9 months old from Phil Mattson, who was well known in Jazz Education and Vocal Choral Composition/Arranging. At the time Phil was heading up the Music Dept. at Southwestern Community college in Creston, Ia. He told me he went to Steinway Hall accompanied by the dealer in Dubuque, Ia.

He said he was able to choose from seven Ds they had available at the time. He said he narrowed it down to two different pianos. He took a break, went to lunch and asked if they would do some minor additional voicing on the piano he was most considering while at lunch. When he returned, he said he made the choice within five minutes.

Fortunately for me, he was a Jazz guy and had similar tastes in tone as me. I prefer a darker sound, think Hank Jones, Kenny Barron, Tommy Flanagan, '60s Blue Note/Rudy Van Gelder recordings, etc, etc.

Again I was lucky that it worked out for me -- both from a price and tonal standpoint.


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Frankly, anyone can walk into the Steinway showroom in NYC. They have an "experience room" there - translated - the tire kickers room. I actually sold a rebuilt B because a salesperson sent a client to the "experience room" instead of taking them more seriously.

Going to a selection room is another thing. As I understand it, a dealer may make your appointment and/or accompany you there and they usually ask for a deposit before hand.

I am also happy to fly to Vienna with any client to help them choose their Bösendorfer. I imagine any manufacturer on the high end would do the same.


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Originally Posted by ebonykawai
I’ve never had a Steinway experience that can be categorized as “good”, LOL. Snooty, yes. Good, no. 🤷‍♀️
+1


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Originally Posted by ebonykawai
I’ve never had a Steinway experience that can be categorized as “good”, LOL. Snooty, yes. Good, no. 🤷‍♀️
Glad I am not the only one. I get a lot of slack because I can't stand any Steinway built after 1989. (I know lots of people agree with me but don't dare say it in public.) I recently was at a Steinway dealer for [reason] and once the dude heard me play, he said he wouldn't sell me a Steinway because it was going to be played and not just furniture to show off. He steered me to something else instead. smile One of the more validating moments of my piano shopping life! (No, I didn't buy a piano; I wasn't actually looking to buy that day.)


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What, did he look up Bechstein on the internet?

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Originally Posted by Maestro Lennie
What, did he look up Bechstein on the internet?

I am not quite sure what you are trying to say here, but I can tell you (as a Bechstein employee not involved in sales, marketing, PR, production and service) that anyone can walk into our Berlin showroom with a selection of usually four, but sometimes more than seven concert grands and just sit down and play any piano he or she wishes. We even provide suitable benches to actually play the piano and unless you're looking around to speak to someone, you won't be bothered, unless you are of course playing in a way that may actually do harm to the piano.

Of course, one can make an appointment to have a technician present when you are seriously interested, but the notion of actually depositing hard cash just for playing a piano, no matter whether it's a studio upright or a concert grand, sounds completely ridiculous to me.

Just as Rich knows how our friendly competitors named Bösendorfer here in Vienna handle things, we do the same in our HQ, because we believe that a potential customer won't abuse the privilege of being left alone with a 150k grand.

For pianists who are potentially interested in playing a Bechstein in an upcoming concert, we always offer the opportunity to play a superbly prepared D 282 in one of the two concert halls in Vienna where our pianos are listed as one of the official instruments to choose from.

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When I was last shopping for a grand in the Chicago area a few years ago I visited all of the dealers with new and used American, German, Austrian, Italian, and Japanese Tier 1 instruments for sale, including Steinway, and was treated magnificently by all of them. I don't know where this "snooty insulting sales rep" folklore comes from, but it has not been my experience.

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Originally Posted by iLaw
When I was last shopping for a grand in the Chicago area a few years ago I visited all of the dealers with new and used American, German, Austrian, Italian, and Japanese Tier 1 instruments for sale, including Steinway, and was treated magnificently by all of them. I don't know where this "snooty insulting sales rep" folklore comes from, but it has not been my experience.

Larry.

+1

I have never been treated poorly by any Steinway dealer either. I'm no concert pianist. But I've been received with respect and allowed to play any piano in the store.

I can understand why the general public may not be allowed into the private selection room at Steinway Hall in NYC or the C&A piano bank. As I understand it, those pianos have been prepared (regulated and voiced) for the preferences of those coming to select an instrument based upon information gathered from them. Steinway technicians have spent hours on those instruments just for those individuals.

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Originally Posted by GC13
I can understand why the general public may not be allowed into the private selection room at Steinway Hall in NYC or the C&A piano bank. As I understand it, those pianos have been prepared (regulated and voiced) for the preferences of those coming to select an instrument based upon information gathered from them. Steinway technicians have spent hours on those instruments just for those individuals.
The C&A piano bank is meant for professional pianists giving concerts so naturally is not open to the public. The pianos are not for sale.

In the old Steinway Hall on 57th Street the second floor had a selection of B's and D's that, as I understand it, were prepped better than the B's and D's pianos on the first floor. Anyone could go there if you asked. I don't think those pianos had been prepped to any particular person's preferences.

I've only been to the new Steinway Hall once and am not aware of any selection room there although there may be one. When I was there I was surprised at the small number of pianos on the first floor. They were spaced very far apart. The basement level had a lot more pianos but all in all it seemed like the total number of pianos was far less than were at the 57th Street location.

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The Steinway Gallery near me was nice to visit. Got to talk a little with two of the technicians there and saw the basement class room area(I took my last audition there as a teen). Played a very nice grand there that sadly I paid no attention to the model of. Probably bigger than 7'. I didn't buy a piano from them but It was an enjoyable experience. Planning on renting time on a Concert D there once/if things return to normal. However I'm a tire kicker and made the mistake of going there during covid to try out newer grands in the 6'+ range. Sales person was kinda not happy to have me there but showed me around regardless. My only gripe is that they're listed sometimes as Steinway of Detroit and are located far outside of Detroit in a suburb. That bugs me for some reason.

That Gallery had a decent amount of pianos I guess. They seem to have a revolving stock of used pianos so I can usually find something new there whenever I visit.

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We have had nothing but good Steinway experiences in Texas and California. I should note we never visited a now-defunct famous Steinway dealership run into the ground in Houston. If you go on a weekday morning you can usually have the entire place to yourself and play as many pianos as long as you want. Just wave off the sales people if needed, but they usually know to stand back and let you find your muse. In Houston they also have an off-site warehouse near the symphony hall packed with instruments (B, D and C&A series) which you can visit by appointment as it is not open to the public otherwise. Our only issue with the Steinway shops was their pricing - too high for both new and used pianos.

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From what I understand, what you see in these videos is a selection of pianos solely for concerts. Steinway is providing these concert pianos to the concert halls and has a number of them on stand-by. These pianos are all ready for giving a concert. I think they also have their own tech/tuner there. I think these pianos are not for sale.

In contrast, pianos in the showroom are not concert-ready and there usually are not 5 model D's in a single showroom

If you want to test drive that many D's, you have to visit multiple dealers, or wait till a D is sold and replaced with a new one in the showroom. And I think you would have to make a special appointment if you want a concert grade tuning on a showroom model.


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