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I am on a quest to find a smaller grand piano for our new house. I am in the process of selling my Yamaha YUS-5 and have some very interested buyers. Of course I can trade it in to the store I purchased it from, which I am also considering, but the piano I fell in love with at that store (new Schimmel C169T) is too far out of my price range (about 44k if I recall). I also looked at a new Wilhelm Schimmel W180 which I liked, but didn't love for 27k--especially after playing the Germany built 169T. I can get up to the $14,800 trade in vs the $9600 cash I can get from a private buyer.

I am going to look at a 1999 Seiler Maestro 180 "Pyramid Mahogany" tomorrow. Apparently is has been very lightly used and is in perfect condition--of course if I like it I will have a reputable tech inspect it. They are asking $19,900 plus tax, and it is an antique shop, so there is no extras included. Apparently it was a friends piano that was used more as furniture, but is played by a professional at monthly events at their store, who claims to love the piano.

I have played an Indonesian built ED Seiler and liked it at first but on subsequent try-outs I found the action to be a bit muddy and the upper middle register a bit bright and loud. The store its housed in has pretty bad acoustics, as its huge and concrete and usually really cold in there. They could order me a 186, which a member from this forum recently shared with me has better action and touch than the 168 he also tried (before purchasing a 186). But I don't believe the dealer I am working with will order a 186 for me unless I commit to purchasing, which I know isn't a good idea. I can drive a few hours to try it at another store, which I may do.

I am moving in 3 weeks and really want to sell my piano and purchase a grand in the next 3-4 weeks. I've been shopping already for 3 weeks now and am getting pretty flustered. I've visited most of my local shops and am finding that my tastes exceed my budget. This is why I think waiting to find a premium used instrument may be the best bet. But I am afraid for how long this may take. I've got so many other things going on (moving, new job, a toddler and 9-week old baby), that I just don't have a ton of time to invest in this search.

I am seeking any thoughts and opinions on that used Seiler 180, assuming I like it and its in good shape, and the new Indonesian ED 186's. Also if anyone knows where/how to get a used Schimmel for under 25k. I can fit a piano up to about 6'10 in my space, but was just looking for something in the 6' range.

Thanks!

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I found 14 in the US, under $30,000, here:

https://www.pianobuyer.com/classifieds/buy-a-piano/


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I found a couple more used Schimmels here:

http://www.pianoworld.com/exchange.htm



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Hi,thanks for the reply. The links don't really work, but I have looked at Piano Buyer before. The problem is, you have to go travel to look at these pianos of course. If I could find something within 3-4 hours I would certainly be willing to go take a look. Can you recommend the best way to go about this--i.e. what are the main points of information one should know before traveling to see a piano?

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I see a Schimmel "SP176C" here that is a few hours from me and I would be interested in checking out. But I can't find any information for this piano. Its a 1990 with a player installed. I assume this is a Classic but there is literally no info on the internet. Anyone know about this piano--or where to look?


Last edited by nillabean; 11/10/16 05:58 PM.
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if you're in the SF area, that's not the worst market for higher tier used grands. and you already understand that impatience/pressure to make a decision quickly won't help your chances in finding an ideal piano. finding one you'll be happy with in the long term, that will inspire you to play, requires an investment, time and effort part of it, but it sounds like their cost is fairly dear to you now because of your circumstances. hope something works out for you in the next couple of weeks. is there not a gap in quality between schimmel grands and the asian built seilers ? if asian made pianos with european design and components are under consideration, did you look at and play any brodmann, ritmuller, or kayserburg ? luck with your quest.

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I have not played Ritmuller but did play a Brodmann that I liked and a Kayserburg that was ok. But was not able to play very long. I understand that it is a process. I am open to asian built pianos if I can find one I am drawn to. Thanks

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Originally Posted by nillabean
I see a Schimmel "SP169C" here that is a few hours from me and I would be interested in checking out. But I can't find any information for this piano. Its a 1990 with a player installed. I assume this is a Classic but there is literally no info on the internet. Anyone know about this piano--or where to look?
Are you certain of the age? For Schimmel, their models had prefix for a model name, a number that was the length in centimeters, and a suffix related to the cabinet style. SP stood for Salon Parlor and was given to models SP174, SP182, SP189. When the 169 was introduced, it was GP169. Prior to 2000, I don't remember a model 169 from Schimmel. It could be a GP150 or SP174 if it is from 1990.

Schimmel later changed all of their series and naming conventions...The GP169 became the K169, along with the K213 as the first of the Konzert series grands. The Konzert/Classic designation of today began very differently in their upright models, not originally separated by quality or price, but by features.

Now to confuse the issue more, we did occasionally see numbers in the plate castings that were not always congruent with the actual model number. I never did sort that out. Lots of models, lots of changes from 1990's until now. You probably have to evaluate the piano on its own merits, but a 1990 SP174 would be a good candidate.

If you share more info...photo or serial, maybe the detective work can rule some of the possibilities out.


Sam Bennett
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Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Hailun
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Hey Sam,
Thanks for the feedback.
**Sorry, I mistakenly put 169--he has it listed as a 176--I changed my post above. But perhaps it is actually a 174 as you describe from that era.**

I spoke with the owner and will see it tomorrow. It was purchased from Colton Pianos in San Jose and is a 5'10", Model SP-176C, Salon Professional Chippendale. It has PianoDisc model PDS-32 installed

He provided 2 Piano Appraisals to me that were not in person but over the internet, based on information provided.
It hasn't been tuned in 2 years he said--was purchased for his daughter and hasn't been used much since she moved out I guess.

Though he listed it for 22k it sounds like he would do 20k or even lower. I will definitely have a tech asses it if I like it tomorrow. Although if its out of tune, it will be hard to know if I like it or not--maybe even worth having it tuned by the tech while they assess it?

I am very excited to see this piano however--it sounds like the SP was the higher model back in 1990, now the Konzert series. This is only an hour from my house as well.

Thanks for your feedback

Last edited by nillabean; 11/10/16 06:00 PM.
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That makes good sense now. It would be a SP174C for chippendale. Yes, it is about 5'10". We sold a 1985 Schimmel 174 Chippendale in 2014 and a 1991 SP174T in standard polish ebony last year for significantly less than the prices you mention.

It has very good potential, but I wouldn't directly compare it to a Konzert of today. The models have changed as has the company, so it is not parallel to the current Konzert or Classic or Wilhelm. It could be fairly judged as a predecessor to the current Wilhelm W180 by design, but with greater care and time in assembly and factory prep when built in Germany.

I hope it works out for you. The Chippendale style is also lovely. If you are a fan of these instruments, you might want to add Schimmel SP182 to your search criteria. We've sold many of these new and used, and I think I have a couple of video recordings. You might also really like Ibach as some of their older instruments can be bargains from Germany that most buyers today won't know about.


Sam Bennett
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I'll add that I would choose a well-prepped Seiler ED186 over any Schimmel 174 that I've ever seen. The SP182 would be a more interesting challenger.


Sam Bennett
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Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Hailun
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Thanks so much Sam,

I am admittedly a bit disappointed to hear that this. I will check out your videos (which I have before--wish I could come visit your shop.)

Could you give me a ballpark figure of a fair price for that piano?

I will keep an eye out for some Ibachs.

The instrument I wanted from the beginning was the ED 186 and have read several posts here where you have spoken highly of them (unlike some of the dealers around here.)

I could try one on my trip tomorrow if the family is willing to take a third detour, and I understand the "well-prepped" part of your statement--that seems to be a wild card. There are only two Seiler dealers around here and the 168 i tried at my nearest one does not seemed to be prepped well.

I will go ahead and try this piano tomorrow and see what I think, but perhaps I should only offer him 15k max?

I will also keep my eye out for some SP182's

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Originally Posted by nillabean
I will go ahead and try this piano tomorrow and see what I think, but perhaps I should only offer him 15k max?
What is fair in a private sale is about reaching an agreement. That number is very close to the prices that we sold ours for, including our dealer servicing, but before tax. Of course, we felt they were real bargains in general and especially in comparison to the prices for similar sized used Yamaha grands.

To be fair, the Chippendale that we sold had some fading on the straight side of the cabinet or it might have brought a little more.

That reminds me that I really need to make an updated video for the Seiler ED186. The only one I have was recorded with some of my first equipment and it now sounds so primitive to me in comparison.


Sam Bennett
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Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Hailun
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The seller just sent me pics of his actual receipt and info about this product and it is in fact a 176! SP-176 C

He paid 30,500 in 1990.

Also he included the catalog from that year and it shows that this model came in three sizes with the other sizes being a 5'1 and 6'10.

What do you think?

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I'm still fairly certain it's a typo. He paid retail price in 1990. Walnut finish and Chippendale leg is a pretty significant cost for the art case when new. I looked up the retail price for a Schimmel SP174C Walnut Chippendale in 1996 and it was a little over $33k.

The premium for decorative cabinets is typically much less in resale. The 5'1" is the GP150 and the 6'10" is the CC208. The 5'1" was eventually discontinued. The 208 scale was replaced by a series of redesigns including 2 different 213 models. The 208 reappeared in several of Schimmel's recent lines, first as a Classic.


Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
www.PianoWorks.com
www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta

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