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#2817960 02/20/19 01:52 PM
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cmb13 Offline OP
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Just got a new piano!

Steinway A3, 1917, Restored by Del Fandrich

I have been browsing ads over the past few years, contemplating buying a grand piano. Nothing good ever really seems to pop up around here. I have also had my ear to the ground in the community. I have a Boston Upright, 118, and figured it's great, I Iove it, and no need to upgrade; however, if the right opportunity came along, I might jump at it.

As I have been learning to play, I periodically stop in a piano store.The grands I have seen have been nice, sound good, look beautiful, etc. But nothing ever really filled me with a strong desire to make a purchase. Then one day, I happened upon Faust Harrison in NY. Truth is I was looking at a Charles Walter upright in Beethoven's, right next door, which I didn't buy, but that was around the time I bought the Boston upright. Anyway, back to Faust Harrison, they had some really nicely rebuilt Golden Age Steinways. I played around a little, but being a beginner, or possibly advanced beginner, my musicality was limited.

The salesman there asked if I'd like to hear him play. He was a young graduate of a music school, trying to make it as a professional pianist. He played something, possibly a Chopin Nocturne or a Schubert piece, I don't remember which, but it was sooo beautiful, so clear, singing, precise, resonant - I couldn't believe it. I didn't know a piano could sound that good. Maybe it was the excellent restoration, maybe it was his musicianship, I don't know, but it definitely blew me away.

I thought that if I ever got a grand piano, to get one at (what I consider) a reasonable price point, I'd look for a golden age Steinway, possibly an M but maybe an O/L if I could swing it. Even these, at places like Faust Harrison, can go for over $45-50k. For now, while learning, I'd pick up an upright and if stuck with it for long enough, with enough commitment, revisit the idea.

Fast forward a few years, I've been playing about 1.5-2 hrs / day, have learned a lot, and definitely am sticking with it. This ad popped up for a restored Steinway A. It was in Miami, an hour away, so I figured I'd take a look. It was restored by Del Fandrich, who is known and widely respected by many on the forum and in the piano community nationally, if not internationally.

I went to Miami the day before New Years. I played it but initially was not blown away. First of all, it was dark in the guys living room, with dim lighting and I couldn't see well. Second, my ears were clogged and I couldn't hear that well. Third, lacking experience, I just didn't know how to really play it well. So I thanked him and moved on. The seller then called me back about 3 weeks later, told me he would reduce the price by about 25%. I figured it was worth another shot, this time with clean ears and with my piano technician along for the ride. I called Del, who was nice enough to speak with me about the piano (twice, actually); he remembered this one clearly and thought it was a very nice instrument.

I went back that weekend and played it again, and liked it a lot more. First of all, my clogged ears were unclogged. Next, while at I first played it softly like I play my Boston upright, which is fairly loud and bright, I began playing the Steinway a lot more forcefully and powerfully, and it began to shine a lot more. The bass was deeper and sustained, the treble rang more sonorously. It really sounded much more dramatic. Bottom line, I think that there's a learning curve on changing from one piano to another that I lacked the experience to notice at first.

My technician was going to take the 50 mile drive with me but came down with the flu, the real deal influenza, that morning, so I went alone. I FaceTimed with him, though, and he had me show him a lot of areas including where the strings meet the bridge, the pedal wires, etc and he had me play a few notes in unison (2 C's for example) to evaluate tuning. The seller, who is more experience than I, played a portion of a Beethoven Sonata for him. At the end, he felt it was in very good condition, nicely restored, and priced well.

Fast forward a few more weeks, and the deal is done. The piano is delivered and installed, and so far it sounds great! In another week or two, I'll get it a tune.


Steinway A3
Boston 118 PE

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Chopin Nocturne E min
Bach Inventions

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Steinway A3
Boston 118 PE

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Chopin Nocturne E min
Bach Inventions

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A beautiful home for a beautiful piano! You're going to have so much fun with this! thumb


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Now it's time to change your signature to reflect your acquisition. I hope recordings are coming soon!


Peter
1949 Baldwin M
currently working on Brahms op. 10 Ballades, f-minor sonata and 2nd concerto
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How utterly beautiful!

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Absolutely gorgeous!!!!!

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What a beautiful piano in a gorgeous setting! Enjoy!



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Thank you!

Originally Posted by P3T3R
Now it's time to change your signature to reflect your acquisition. I hope recordings are coming soon!


Good point - at first I thought you meant the avatar - but I like my Raindrop avatar!


Steinway A3
Boston 118 PE

YouTube

Working On
Chopin Nocturne E min
Bach Inventions

"You Can Never Have Too Many Dream Pianos" -Thad Carhart
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Beautiful cmb13!!! Congratulations on your new piano! Having a new piano is an amazing feeling, isn't it? May it bring you many years of enjoyment!

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Beautiful! Can't wait to hear your recordings smile


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Congratulations! What a terrific piano you have!

Rich


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Oh you lucky pup! Enjoy your beautiful piano! Looks like a great place to host piano parties.


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Thanks........
Originally Posted by Qwerty53
Oh you lucky pup! Enjoy your beautiful piano! Looks like a great place to host piano parties.

Who's up for a trip to South Florida? 80' here!


Steinway A3
Boston 118 PE

YouTube

Working On
Chopin Nocturne E min
Bach Inventions

"You Can Never Have Too Many Dream Pianos" -Thad Carhart
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Congratulations once again!

There is snow and ice on the ground here...


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“If it sounds good, it IS good.” ― Duke Ellington!



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Yes, beautiful home too.


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“If it sounds good, it IS good.” ― Duke Ellington!



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cmb13 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by P3T3R
Now it's time to change your signature to reflect your acquisition. I hope recordings are coming soon!

Done!
Originally Posted by Retsacnal
Yes, beautiful home too.

Thank You - Classic Late '80's South Florida / updated


Steinway A3
Boston 118 PE

YouTube

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Chopin Nocturne E min
Bach Inventions

"You Can Never Have Too Many Dream Pianos" -Thad Carhart
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What a beautiful piano...congratulations and many many happy years of playing!

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cmb13 - Congratulations again on your purchase! That's so exciting to own a vintage S&S A3 -- restored by Del Fandrich, no less. Your story is a classic example of the things we advise to new piano purchasers all the time on PW. Take your time, do your research, and you'll find the right piano in time, and at the right price!

I sure would love to make a trip to S. Florida to have the opportunity to play your piano. I've only played one A3, and it was from that era. It had been restored at some point in the past, but needs some attention now. I've always heard that they rival the Model B. Do you have much experience on a Model B, and if so, what are your thoughts on that? As the owner of a Model B, I'm kind of curious on how a well restored A3 stacks up.

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Originally Posted by SuzyUpright
What a beautiful piano...congratulations and many many happy years of playing!


Thank you, Suzy! Really appreciate it!




Steinway A3
Boston 118 PE

YouTube

Working On
Chopin Nocturne E min
Bach Inventions

"You Can Never Have Too Many Dream Pianos" -Thad Carhart
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Originally Posted by GC13
cmb13 - Congratulations again on your purchase! That's so exciting to own a vintage S&S A3 -- restored by Del Fandrich, no less. Your story is a classic example of the things we advise to new piano purchasers all the time on PW. Take your time, do your research, and you'll find the right piano in time, and at the right price!

I sure would love to make a trip to S. Florida to have the opportunity to play your piano. I've only played one A3, and it was from that era. It had been restored at some point in the past, but needs some attention now. I've always heard that they rival the Model B. Do you have much experience on a Model B, and if so, what are your thoughts on that? As the owner of a Model B, I'm kind of curious on how a well restored A3 stacks up.


Thanks, GC13. I am really excited about it, and have probably spent between 2-4 hours per day on it since delivery on Tuesday. It still needs to acclimate and get tuned, and I'm still getting used to the touch, but I really love it. It's very resonant, the dynamic range blows away my upright.

I've never played a B, at least not when I knew what I was looking for. Maybe after a few weeks, I'll wander into the S&S showroom nearby and see how they compare. I'm still just an intermediate player, so I'm not overly qualified to make such a comparison, but getting better with time. One thing is that I'm not sure the dealer preps their pianos that well, so that may be a factor.

Of course, if you're ever in the area, let me know and you are welcome to check it out.


Steinway A3
Boston 118 PE

YouTube

Working On
Chopin Nocturne E min
Bach Inventions

"You Can Never Have Too Many Dream Pianos" -Thad Carhart
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