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2000 Steinway M for 20K worth it?

Posted By: jojousa

2000 Steinway M for 20K worth it? - 08/14/19 03:52 AM

Found a private seller out of state, 20K for a 2000 Model M, judging from limited photo it appears to be in good condition, and seller appears to be honest armature individual.
Wondering if it is worth it to plunge in~ blush
Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT

Re: 2000 Steinway M for 20K worth it? - 08/14/19 04:01 AM

For that kind of money, you need to hire a technician to tune and inspect the piano. I suggest hiring one who is skilled in tone regulation. If you can play it first to see how it sounds, feels and looks to you, then hire the tech.

You might want to reverse this order if travel for you is a big deal.
Posted By: BruceD

Re: 2000 Steinway M for 20K worth it? - 08/14/19 04:19 AM

As Ed McMorrow implies, one can't tell whether or not this piano is "worth" it. One cannot tell the condition of a piano from photographs, and condition is everything in a used piano. Only a qualified technician can verify the true condition of the instrument.

If you can try it and if you like it enough to consider buying it, having it inspected by a professional technician is money well invested. The only "plunging in" I would recommend is a trip to try the piano, if you can do that. Otherwise, buying sight unseen, touch unfelt, and tone unheard is a big risk.

Regards,
Posted By: jojousa

Re: 2000 Steinway M for 20K worth it? - 08/14/19 12:34 PM

Big thanks to both of you
Posted By: j&j

Re: 2000 Steinway M for 20K worth it? - 08/14/19 12:50 PM

Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
For that kind of money, you need to hire a technician to tune and inspect the piano. I suggest hiring one who is skilled in tone regulation. If you can play it first to see how it sounds, feels and looks to you, then hire the tech.

You might want to reverse this order if travel for you is a big deal.

As usual, Ed McMorrow’s advice is right on the money! I have become completely spoiled by the good advice available on PianoWorld. Since a piano technician’s inspection is never done for free, I’d arrange first to go look at it and try it out. If you like the piano you can call your piano tech ( with whom you’ve already scheduled to visit the piano to check it out). If you aren’t happy with the piano, call the tech and tell him/her you’ll use them on the next piano try out. Best of Luck!
Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT

Re: 2000 Steinway M for 20K worth it? - 08/14/19 02:44 PM

An additional point. Some pianos have the metal of the V-bar case-hardened. This is damaging to the strings and also causes more false beats in the treble tone.

Your technician can test for this by using a small file to slightly cut into the V-bar either at the extreme treble beyond where string are placed, or under the treble strut. The sound of the file cutting should be "soft". It should not sound like one file rubbing another. (Which will ruin the edge of files teeth).
Posted By: PianoWorksATL

Re: 2000 Steinway M for 20K worth it? - 08/14/19 06:33 PM

While Ed's suggestion of such a file test is harmless to the piano, I would expect resistance from the seller (and most technicians) when asked to file someones piano.

To the OP, we've personally seen some Steinways that young or younger with manufacturing defects. I would consider it rare.

We've seen far more with issues of condition (environment/maintenance problems). I would not consider that rare. On its face, it sounds like an attractive price, but there is more to find out before you can be comfortable with the purchase.
Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT

Re: 2000 Steinway M for 20K worth it? - 08/15/19 02:39 AM

I have never had any resistance to performing this test except from piano dealers. None from private sellers, they don't even notice what I am doing as I usually combine it with checking the damper action.
Posted By: dogperson

Re: 2000 Steinway M for 20K worth it? - 08/15/19 02:47 AM

Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
I have never had any resistance to performing this test except from piano dealers. None from private sellers, they don't even notice what I am doing as I usually combine it with checking the damper action.


If a private buyer knew what you were doing, I bet you would meet plenty of resistance to using a file! Would I let an unknown tech whip out a file to make a small cut, NO!!!!
Posted By: BDB

Re: 2000 Steinway M for 20K worth it? - 08/15/19 05:08 AM

If one cannot hear a problem, then there is no point in doing a test for one. If one can hear a problem, then there is no point in buying the piano.

Somehow, I am always reminded of this.
Posted By: NobleHouse

Re: 2000 Steinway M for 20K worth it? - 08/15/19 11:59 AM

Originally Posted by BDB
If one cannot hear a problem, then there is no point in doing a test for one. If one can hear a problem, then there is no point in buying the piano.

Somehow, I am always reminded of this.


grin
Posted By: jojousa

Re: 2000 Steinway M for 20K worth it? - 08/18/19 10:51 AM

Update on the piano, so we went to checkout the piano yesterday, piano is in overall great condition and is fitted with the PianoDisc 228Cfx player system , little out of tune due to lack of regular tunning

The owner is quite novice on playing and probably used her pianodisc player more than herself.
However one glaring issue we encountered is that the sustain and damper pedal were both have very
limited travel, and hence the effects. Both pedals are attached to the player system. Is that something can be adjusted? Or does it require an overhaul of the player system?
Any idea of estimated cost on a voicing, regulation and a good tunning would cost for a Steinway? Thank you.
Posted By: Ken Iisaka

Re: 2000 Steinway M for 20K worth it? - 08/18/19 08:04 PM

Originally Posted by jojousa
Update on the piano, so we went to checkout the piano yesterday, piano is in overall great condition and is fitted with the PianoDisc 228Cfx player system , little out of tune due to lack of regular tunning

The owner is quite novice on playing and probably used her pianodisc player more than herself.
However one glaring issue we encountered is that the sustain and damper pedal were both have very
limited travel, and hence the effects. Both pedals are attached to the player system. Is that something can be adjusted? Or does it require an overhaul of the player system?
Any idea of estimated cost on a voicing, regulation and a good tunning would cost for a Steinway? Thank you.


In my personal opinion, installation of PianoDisc or other player mechanism greatly reduces the value of the piano, partially due to the problems you describe, but it requires permanent and irreversible modifications to the piano. Installation requires a long slot to be cut through the key bed, as well as to the key frame. There is a possibility that the structural integrity of the piano itself is compromised, and regulation issues may arise from shortening the key frame.

Recently, someone was selling a similarly equipped S of similar age in my neighbourhood. The price went as low as $12,000, but there was no taker.
Posted By: terminaldegree

Re: 2000 Steinway M for 20K worth it? - 08/18/19 08:50 PM

You definitely want an answer from a qualified technician as to the cost of un-screwing up the pedal system (trapwork is a term often used among techs) before proceeding any further. It might be something simple, but there's a definite possibility that correcting it will be shockingly expensive.
Posted By: cmb13

Re: 2000 Steinway M for 20K worth it? - 08/18/19 09:20 PM

Fwiw I got an A3 in very good (restored) condition for not much more. I think it was a very lucky deal though. 20k for a Steinway grand in good condition isn’t bad no matter what.
Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT

Re: 2000 Steinway M for 20K worth it? - 08/18/19 09:44 PM

I have taken Steinway grands that had digital players in them and removed them.

I fit new spruce into the keybed to repair the cutout and do the same to the keyframe, (not spruce; birch, ash or maple). I also get rid of the player trapwork. When I get done, it is very difficult to see the repair.

The Pianodisc trapwork is crappy. If you want to keep the player it can be re-engineered to make the feel and function of the pedals good.

This of course cost from a few hundreds to a couple or three thousand dollars.
Posted By: Jeff Clef

Re: 2000 Steinway M for 20K worth it? - 08/18/19 10:06 PM

Such player devices enable owners who do not actually play, themselves, to put wear on a piano far in excess of what might otherwise be expected of a 19-year-old instrument.

Plus what all the others said, above.

We have no clue where you are, so the only way to help further is to suggest http://ptg.org ,who may be able to recommend a technician near where the candidate piano is. That, or you might try some long-distance telephone detective work. Possibly, calling the Steinway dealership that serves the location for a referral.

I'm shrugging.

Oh, and what did you mean by, "seller appears to be honest armature individual?" I know autofill or autocorrect can do some wacky things, but...

Anyway, good luck with this one.
Posted By: cmb13

Re: 2000 Steinway M for 20K worth it? - 08/18/19 10:13 PM

I wouldn’t be keen on someone taking a file to my piano either. No way. And if I found out someone did that discretely, without my knowledge, that’s lawsuit territory. I’m sure if you’re doing that it must be safe and harmless, but the implication that it would be done on the sly doesn’t sit well with me at all.
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