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Hello everyone

I Came across a used Weinbach 50 in upright piano from 1990. I think it’s handmade in Czechoslovakia. It had one owner and was apparently not heavily used. The price for this is $5000 but I have no idea if this is a good price for a good piano or not. I’d appreciate any help since this is a purchase for my advanced piano playing daughter. Am I better off with a newer piano of a different make?
I’m in the northeast of that helps

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That's not a good price, unless a lot of work was done to it by a top technician.


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Those pianos were made by Petrof I think?


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Thanks so much for your replies.
The full details as I understand are:

1990 model handmade in Czech. Virtually identical to Petrof minus frills as it is one of their brands.
Original owner with light use- maybe piano lessons for a few years. the first two pedals still had the covers on them

The owner of the dealership has many pianos at various price ranges to offer me, but told me this was a very good buy that has just come on the floor the day before. He seems like a wonderful gentleman who is knowledgeable and trustworthy. I have no knowledge of this industry and only have heard of the "Big Names" that most lay people like me know. My daughter's piano teacher said she likes the brand but was concerned about the age. Owner says that age is less of an issue as compared to condition and how heavily used it was. This is in excellent almost new condition, the felts are like new, etc.

It comes as a certified piano which gives me 5 year warranty on the piano for any issues that may arise. I also get full trade in value for 10 years. Tuning will de done again at our home after delivery. The owner said that the piano held its tuning in the move to his facility, which is another attribute of a high quality piano.

When my daughter played the Weinbach, it did sound deeper and richer than the adjacent 25K Restored Steinway.

Sorry for the long message, but I guess I just need someone "in the know "to tell me this is a good way to go...or not.

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Originally Posted by Pignolia
Thanks so much for your replies.
The full details as I understand are:

1990 model handmade in Czech. Virtually identical to Petrof minus frills as it is one of their brands. Original owner with light use- maybe piano lessons for a few years. the first two pedals still had the covers on them

All good. However, I would question the "handmade" claim. In 2002 Petrof was producing about 10K verticals a year (Petrof and Weinbach). Assuming that was the case in 1990 as well, I would question how much love and personal attention was actually given to each individual instrument.

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The owner of the dealership has many pianos at various price ranges to offer me, but told me this was a very good buy that has just come on the floor the day before. He seems like a wonderful gentleman who is knowledgeable and trustworthy. I have no knowledge of this industry and only have heard of the "Big Names" that most lay people like me know. My daughter's piano teacher said she likes the brand but was concerned about the age. Owner says that age is less of an issue as compared to condition and how heavily used it was. This is in excellent almost new condition, the felts are like new, etc.


Yes - current condition is very important. Original build quality is also a consideration. From reading past editions of the PianoBuyer it appears that "some" Petrof pianos built in the 1990s could be uneven in initial quality - but could be repaired/adjusted. Before plopping down $5K on this one, I'd certainly hire an independent technician to thoroughly check it out for you. The $5K asking price does seem a tad high - unless the piano really is in excellent condition. Granted, dealers will usually charge more than private sellers - but still. I looked at Petrol vertical listings on Pianomart, and they range from $3K to $6.5K for 46" to 50" pianos that are 30 years old. Weinbach's were initially less expensive than Petrof's so I would assume 30 years later they'd still be less expensive.

Quote
It comes as a certified piano which gives me 5 year warranty on the piano for any issues that may arise. I also get full trade in value for 10 years. Tuning will de done again at our home after delivery. The owner said that the piano held its tuning in the move to his facility, which is another attribute of a high quality piano.
The warranty and full trade provision are both good as long as the dealer remains in business. Even some lower grade instruments will maintain their tuning after moving - but the fact that this one did is a good sign.

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When my daughter played the Weinbach, it did sound deeper and richer than the adjacent 25K Restored Steinway.

That's good. What did your daughter say about the action? How advanced a player is she? What is your current home piano?


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So just an update... I learned a bit more from here and elsewhere. I was told that Petrof is a so-so brand, and that Weinbach was the mass-produced cheaper line. That being said, when I told the owner I wanted to pass on it, he then dropped price to $3500! This is of course after he initially told me the $5k was a special limited price and was going to go up a lot after the sale ends.
Needless to say, I feel like I dodged a bullet.
Now I need to figure out a reputable and reliable place to purchase a piano.

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Originally Posted by Pignolia
Now I need to figure out a reputable and reliable place to purchase a piano.

If you could be more specific than "northeast" we might be able to help with that.

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New york metro area- specifically Norther NJ

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Originally Posted by Pignolia
New york metro area- specifically Norther NJ

Me too. Good news/bad news. That means there are a ton of piano stores all around. Forte in Paramus usually has a good used selection (assuming that's what you're looking for). Lindeblad, in Pine Brook, NJ, rebuilds Steinway, but they're not cheap. I've never visited Adams Piano (now in Highland, NY), but I've come across them many times browsing Craigslist. Never visited Frank and Camille's, but they have a decent used selection, as well.

Among the pricier options, there are Steinway, in Paramus, Faust Harrison, in multiple locations (including, apparently, Paramus) and Allegro, in Stamford, CT.

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Originally Posted by Pignolia
So just an update... I learned a bit more from here and elsewhere. I was told that Petrof is a so-so brand, and that Weinbach was the mass-produced cheaper line. That being said, when I told the owner I wanted to pass on it, he then dropped price to $3500! This is of course after he initially told me the $5k was a special limited price and was going to go up a lot after the sale ends.
Needless to say, I feel like I dodged a bullet.
Now I need to figure out a reputable and reliable place to purchase a piano.

That's an oversimplification. The Petrof and Weinbach pianos from that period were generally the same thing in terms of the "guts" of the piano. In 1990, Petrof has a sort of checkered reputation for the export market, but the pianos are perceived to have improved since that time until the late 1990s, where I feel they were an interesting-sounding and interesting-looking alternative to the typical Japanese fare, and much less expensive than the typical European fare. By the 2000s, new designs are developed and the brand tries to position itself in an increasingly high-end way.


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A potentially important factor in the pricing: 1990 was barely removed from Iron Curtain quality control. Not to say that the designs, materials, or workmanship were bad. Just that you really should have someone take a look to see what needs improvement. After 30 years, that won't be zero.

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Thanks to everyone for the responses.

I have already moved on from this piano.
Tend-to-rush ( great name lol) thanks for the referrals. I saw Adam's piano also, but don't know if that is a reputable dealer.
I would prefer a used piano as you surmised because I think it will be a better value.

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Originally Posted by Maestro Lennie
A potentially important factor in the pricing: 1990 was barely removed from Iron Curtain quality control. Not to say that the designs, materials, or workmanship were bad. Just that you really should have someone take a look to see what needs improvement. After 30 years, that won't be zero.
I believe the pianos from the "Iron Curtain Days" used a different action as well.I once tried one.All can say is it had a touch which was sort of "elastic."It was in tune but had a tone that would not inspire me.I cannot remember the name, but it was not a Petrof or Weinbach.
I once spoke to a rebuilder about these pianos as he had some 70's Bluthner grands in his store.He said he rebuilt these old DDR pianos mainly because of the prestige of the name on the fallboard! (he did not say anything else and I did not ask)
Many of these piano manufacturers recovered quickly when they regained their independence.I have read about problems with older Petrof pianos but not with the newer ones.

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Would not buy. We still have them here in Slovakia in music schools and townhalls etc. As was previously said, this is the worst era for Petrof and its sub-brands. Older Petrofs still often have a very mellow, pleasant tone (but mechanically they are a toy), but I would not touch a Weinbach.

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Check out

https://www.fortepianonj.com/


Nice store, great people.


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Originally Posted by petzzo
Would not buy. We still have them here in Slovakia in music schools and townhalls etc. As was previously said, this is the worst era for Petrof and its sub-brands. Older Petrofs still often have a very mellow, pleasant tone (but mechanically they are a toy), but I would not touch a Weinbach.
I think you are actually talking of soviet era Petrof and Weinbach pianos.This piano was made in 1990.The Soviet era made pianos using a very different action.I have heard people refer to the actions of these as a toy.By 1990 Petrof pianos would have used a more sophisticated action..

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By Soviet, you mean pre-1968? Or 1989? That's a pretty quick switchover, if the latter.

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Can you reveal the name of the dealer where you were considering the Weinbach piano?

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Per Petrof's history link (https://www.petrof.com/history), a Petrof family member returned to management in 1991, privatization of the company was finalized in 1998, and the "factory returns to the hands of the Petrof family" in 2001 (which seems odd if the company was fully privatized 3 years earlier--perhaps the factory was leased in the interim).

A 1990 piano would not be the beneficiary of any changes associated with the company later being privatized, or even moving in that direction between 91 and 98.


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Every piano shopper should read about experiences like this!!

POV 1:

Originally Posted by Pignolia
The owner of the dealership...told me this was a very good buy ... He seems like a wonderful gentleman who is knowledgeable and trustworthy.

POV 2 (after only a smattering of due dilligence):

Originally Posted by Pignolia
...when I told the owner I wanted to pass on it, he then dropped price to $3500! This is of course after he initially told me the $5k was a special limited price and was going to go up a lot after the sale ends.
Needless to say, I feel like I dodged a bullet.
Now I need to figure out a reputable and reliable place to purchase a piano.


Whenever I read posts with generic commentary about "reputable dealers" I always want to ask, "are you sure?" Just because a shop is well-known doesn't mean they won't fleece a customer at the drop of a hat.

This dealer obviously told multiple lies -- that 5k was a good deal (when in fact he'd instantly knock 30% off, probably more) and that it was on sale and the price would be going up (when, obviously, it would quickly go down) -- and still came across as a "trustworthy" and "wonderful gentleman!"


Some shops put earnest prices on their wares. Others are waiting hopefully for the uninformed to arrive. A trustworthy and reputable gentleman (or lady) won't mind you coming in well-informed.


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