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Schafer & Sons Piano #45046
02/03/08 02:13 PM
02/03/08 02:13 PM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4
Hillsborough, NJ
mrs.cap Offline OP
Junior Member
mrs.cap  Offline OP
Junior Member
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4
Hillsborough, NJ
I have the opportunity to purchase a Schafer & Sons baby grand piano from a friend for about $1800. It's 17 years old - which puts in the 1991 range. It's in great shape and sounds good to me. My son will use it, he's 15 and has been taking lessons for the past 3 years on a Wurlitzer spinnet that was given to me. He has found his passion in music and will continue to play the piano foe a long time. I have been reading some things about the Schafer and Sons pianos and they are not all that great. Does the price justify it? I know you get what you pay for, and I am not looking at this time to spend alot. Any thoughts??

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Re: Schafer & Sons Piano #45047
02/03/08 02:31 PM
02/03/08 02:31 PM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,239
G
guest1013 Offline
1000 Post Club Member
guest1013  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,239
Why not have an independent registered piano technician give you a report on its condition and what sort of maintenance it may need? Consider, what if it were to break down in your home in less than a year and require thousands of dollars of work? Then how'd you feel?

Re: Schafer & Sons Piano #45048
02/03/08 02:42 PM
02/03/08 02:42 PM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4
Hillsborough, NJ
mrs.cap Offline OP
Junior Member
mrs.cap  Offline OP
Junior Member
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4
Hillsborough, NJ
We have asked our current piano tech if she would look at it. I guess I am wondering more about the brand. I figure any used piano will need maintenence and work at some time - new or used. It plays good now - I think it just needs tuning.

Re: Schafer & Sons Piano #45049
02/03/08 02:45 PM
02/03/08 02:45 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,683
San Francisco
F
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member
FogVilleLad  Offline
4000 Post Club Member
F
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,683
San Francisco
The best used piano money that you can spend is that spent on a prepurchase inspection by an experienced tech who has no affiliation with the seller. The tech's report will especially valuable here, because you're considering doing business with a friend.

It'd be a good idea to ask that the tech's report include the cost of any repairs/upgrades which should be done now and within the next three years. If this piano hasn't been worked on, there will probably be expenses for new felts and action adjustments.

If a Yellow Pages search doesn't turn up a tech who's qualified for this job, the Piano Technicians Guild maintains a registry here.

EDIT: mrs.cap, you posted while I was writing.

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Re: Schafer & Sons Piano #45050
02/03/08 03:01 PM
02/03/08 03:01 PM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4
Hillsborough, NJ
mrs.cap Offline OP
Junior Member
mrs.cap  Offline OP
Junior Member
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4
Hillsborough, NJ
OK, mr.cap here-

We are really looking to find out if the piano is worth buying at all. I would rather keep looking than get a piece of junk. Frankly most of what we've read here and other places indicates that the quality of Shafer & Sons has varied widely over the years, depending on who actually manufactured the instrument. The serial number is 87061029, model SS 51. As my wife indicated, the owner indicates it's from the early 90's. Can anyone give the backstory on the manufacturer? Feel free to opine on their reputation, quality, etc. Thanks!

Re: Schafer & Sons Piano #45051
02/03/08 03:28 PM
02/03/08 03:28 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,815
West Coast
Craigen Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Craigen  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,815
West Coast
Schafer & Sons was a stencil or house brand for Colton Piano & Organ retailers in Southern California. The company was owned by Vern Schafer. He had several manufacturers make pianos under his name. SS51 was produced by Samick Music Corporation in Korea as I remember.
Colton went out of business in Southern California shortly after your piano was produced.
Samicks of the late 1970's through the mid 1980's were problematic as all Korean pianos were. By early 1990's they had conquered all their demons and build decent instruments as they continue to do today.

Early Korean pianos are not known for their long-term durability. As this instrument may be nearing 20 years old, definitely have it checked out by a tech.

Your serial number seems to have one too many digits. It does not match Schafer & Sons or Samick numbering for 1991. Double check. SS51 indicates a Samick product.

In the years 1990 and 1991 some Schafer & Sons pianos were built by Daewoo Corporation in Korea. These were decidedly poorer quality than the Samick built ones.


Piano Technician, member Piano Technicians Guild.
Re: Schafer & Sons Piano #45052
02/03/08 03:37 PM
02/03/08 03:37 PM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4
Hillsborough, NJ
mrs.cap Offline OP
Junior Member
mrs.cap  Offline OP
Junior Member
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4
Hillsborough, NJ
Thank you for your help. As for the serial number, I read it right off the piano myself, so I don't know what happened there. We are going to employ a local technician to assess the condition.

Your post was very helpful, thanks!

Re: Schafer & Sons Piano #45053
02/04/08 01:25 AM
02/04/08 01:25 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,346
North Hollywood CA.
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member
pianobroker  Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,346
North Hollywood CA.
Craigen has pretty much covered all the bases.Your piano was most likely made in 1987. Subsequent to the eighties Schafer and Sons and Samick went to letters rather than numbers. SS-51 for $1800 is a good deal if in good condition both cosmetically and internally. Soundboard is laminated so no issue as for cracks. In home Polyester case repair can be expensive. As Craigen made mention Schafer and Sons in the early nineties were made by Daewoo (Sojin)designed by Lothar Schell. I thought they sounded fairly decent with a solid spruce sounboard though had a short life expectancy.


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Re: Schafer & Sons Piano #45054
02/09/08 05:42 PM
02/09/08 05:42 PM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 1
Riverside, California
Smallw1 Offline
Junior Member
Smallw1  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 1
Riverside, California
I own a Schafer & Sons piano that is in BRAND NEW condition. My piano is 21 years old and I have been offered 8,000 for it. However, I am not selling it at this time. Here is a bit about Schafer & Sons for you.

SCHAFER & SONS
If there was ever an award for excellence and contributions to an industry, Vern Scafer would win it hands down. Schafer & Sons was more than a company. It was a family dedicated to music and fine musical instruments. A World Class Act.

Vertical pianos that were manufactured in the United States included 13 decorator models. Sizes include 37" spinet through 42" console pianos. Imported vertical pianos include nine models of console and professional uprights, sized 41" through 52". Grand models include the Baby, Studio, Parlor, Semi-Concert, and fall 9' Concert.


CJ
Re: Schafer & Sons Piano #45055
02/09/08 08:23 PM
02/09/08 08:23 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,919
Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Supply  Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,919
Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
My experience with a Schafer & Sons grand is that the tuning pins are loose and the "Lifetime Warranty" as cast into the cast iron plate apparently means nothing. The laminated soundboard precludes cracks, but also good tone.... The buckskin on the knuckles has stretched and become loose, negatively affecting the ability to be regulated properly. There are lots of other issues in the action.

Definitely a very entry level instrument. There are probably a host of reasons it is being offered for under 2 G. This instrument is probably not worth putting money into for repairs. Be sure to get it thoroughly checked out before buying.


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