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#3100613 04/01/21 07:47 AM
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So. . . .

If Steinways MUST be rebuilt with Certified Steinway Parts in order to be genuine Steinway's
Does that mean
Mason & Hamlin's or Boesendorfer's or Bechstein's that are rebuilt are also not really their respective brands if original parts are not used?

Does anyone know what M&H's, Boesendorfer's or Bechstein's take is on this viewpoint?

Is this a genuine thing or is Steinway trying to pull a marketing ploy?

I want to buy a Pre-Owned/Rebuilt/Refurbed, etc Steinway
but my Official Steinway Dealer is basically telling me it must be certified which is totally out of my price range 45-65K

Yet I am seeing online, almost every dealer, not just a few, but every Piano Dealer (many REPUTABLE ONES), every online sellers (also very reputable) ALL have Steinway's in more reasonable price ranges (25 - 45k - depending on size, work, condition, etc)

If I follow the Steinway Dealer advice - ALL Steinway pianos being sold outside a Steinway Dealer are not 'true' Steinways!
Am I just imagining this?

THOUGHTS?

brdwyguy


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That is definitely Steinways thinking on the subject. I believe it is up to the rebuilder to make a piano as great as it could be. I’ve played a lot of rebuilt Steinways that I thought were awful, as well as a lot of rebuilt pianos in general that I wasn’t crazy about and would never buy. Some rebuilders are only good at making a beautiful case, which is fine if all you’re doing is looking at a piano. But many of them neglect the most important part, which is having a solid action and a beautiful sound. You can’t trust every rebuilder to do that, so we’re left with the only option which is to look at each rebuilt piano separately, in and of itself.

If you can find a great rebuilder, for instance Cunningham in Philadelphia, who are renowned for it, as well as, may I say, making their own stunning instruments, then you can generally trust what you find with them. I’m sure there are other solid rebuilders out there, but I’ve never really looked into it, so I have no idea, and I think that the average person looking for a piano also has no real idea of who is good and who is not. In my opinion, they aren’t a dime a dozen.

This doesn’t seem to answer any of your questions, LOL, except for the first one. But in general, your question has been my concern, as well. Anyone who is going through the process of looking for a fine instrument is going to come up against this. I personally have found a lot of disappointment in rebuilt instruments in my area. Pretty sure that this is just a marketing ploy by Steinway, but then if they are doing the work themselves, they are working to their own standards, so there is that. Other Steinways that are out there being sold in other places must, in my opinion, be evaluated on their own merits.


Lisa

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Steinway is in competition with other rebuilders of Steinway pianos. So they quite naturally will claim that only they can do a good job or use the right parts when rebuilding a Steinway.

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It's complete marketing claptrap.

gwing #3100646 04/01/21 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by gwing
It's complete marketing claptrap.
😂😂😂😂😂 That’s basically my opinion too, but they are rebuilding to their own standards, and, having known couple of these rebuilders in the past, they do do excellent work. So...idk. I guess the question is, is Steinway really all that great? That is a persons own particular opinion. Obviously some people must think that because they buy them and pay astronomical amounts of money. But the same can also be said for Bösendorfer and other brands I’ll never afford, LOL. 🤷‍♀️


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If I was running Steinway I would seriously question the economic wisdom of running two production sites in Astoria and Hamburg supposedly building the same pianos. However the Steinway brand has an American DNA which would be difficult to toss if the decision were to stop manufacturing in New York. In the US market it incorporates a "made in the USA" patriotic trope. Outside of the USA there is genuine regard for the Yanquee ingenuity that made Steinways great, even when you know how much Steinweg roots were german, and if you suspect that today's Hamburg made instruments are the better of the breed.

An important role for the Astoria factory and team could be re-building work (and also prepping concert instruments for North America). If a division of labour is envisaged, management could wisely try to lay the ground.


Life is a smorgasbord, and I want to taste everything on offer.
ebonyk #3100665 04/01/21 09:54 AM
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WISE Words ebonyk
and yes I have dealt with CUNNINGHAM before - and agree 100% they are one of the best in the country!


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So many wise and very thought-provoking responses!
thanks


KEEP the COMMENTS coming - I am taking it all in
and next weekend, the REAL REAL fun begins

I begin visiting Piano Galleries and start, as I call it, 'auditioning' pianos! LOL
I am trying to be convinced that a New Boston is the way to go - and I agree to some extent
but my real/true plan was to find a great M&H or Steinway from that Golden Era that needs very little work. (for 30k)
that I will fall in love with when I play it.

maybe I am being unrealistic but that is my hope! wink

Last edited by brdwyguy; 04/01/21 10:05 AM.

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I don’t think you’re being unrealistic, there are definitely good pianos available out there and, if you’re really going to look around, chances are you going to find one. M&H had always been one of my top choices to try and find, but again you’re looking at an instrument that is really expensive to buy new, and difficult to find used because, I’m assuming, most people love their instruments and do not sell them. So then what you have is a lot of quite old instruments out there that really are in need of repairs, which can also be quite costly in the long run. I was lucky enough to find an instrument that is exactly what I was looking for, but seeing that I’ve been looking for about the last 10 years or so, that doesn’t say much about the availability of good solid instruments out there, at a price we can actually afford.

The whole Steinway situation really angers me quite a bit, one of the main issues with them being that they will not come down at all on price. So that pretty much leaves these instruments to be purchased only by quite well off individuals, and the rest of us just have to find the best that we can get. Which I suppose happens all the time in the real world, with cars, and houses, and things like that. It is what it is.

I do wonder how former Steinway dealers are doing now that they have to actually offer less than MSRP on whatever pianos they are selling. I know that a lot of the Steinway dealers stopped selling them due to many issues in the last few years. Looking back, I do wonder if this had something to do with my inability to buy the Kawai I was looking at. Former Steinway dealers are just not used to dickering. Anyway, it worked out perfectly for me in the end, so I’m fine with it, but potential piano buyers certainly don’t need more problems finding decent instruments.


Lisa

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Originally Posted by brdwyguy
So many wise and very thought-provoking responses!
thanks


KEEP the COMMENTS coming - I am taking it all in
and next weekend, the REAL REAL fun begins

I begin visiting Piano Galleries and start, as I call it, 'auditioning' pianos! LOL
I am trying to be convinced that a New Boston is the way to go - and I agree to some extent
but my real/true plan was to find a great M&H or Steinway from that Golden Era that needs very little work. (for 30k)
that I will fall in love with when I play it.

maybe I am being unrealistic but that is my hope! wink
Originally Posted by brdwyguy
So many wise and very thought-provoking responses!
thanks


KEEP the COMMENTS coming - I am taking it all in
and next weekend, the REAL REAL fun begins

I begin visiting Piano Galleries and start, as I call it, 'auditioning' pianos! LOL
I am trying to be convinced that a New Boston is the way to go - and I agree to some extent
but my real/true plan was to find a great M&H or Steinway from that Golden Era that needs very little work. (for 30k)
that I will fall in love with when I play it.

maybe I am being unrealistic but that is my hope! wink


You are not being unrealistic. I know I got lucky but my M & H Bb needed no work and was within your budget. Make a few phone calls

Last edited by dogperson; 04/01/21 10:58 AM.

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I'm on a roll, so I'll just keep going, LOL. The other issue facing potential buyers is lack of dealers in some areas. I am down to exactly ONE dealer here, and one rebuilder who sells regular used, and also their rebuilt, pianos. That's only 2 choices in a metropolitan area that's not exactly small, and one of the choices doesn't like to move from the MSRP. Not a great buying environment for musicians in this area.

It was a wretched loss when the Yamaha dealer decided to close a few years ago. They were part of a larger company that has other locations in the eastern parts of the state. If the Yamaha dealer had still been open, I might very well be playing a Yamaha grand right now, and it wouldn't have taken me so many years of searching for the right instrument. Again, I'm THRILLED with my new grand, my situation worked out in the best way possible, but I'm sure there are other people like me here that haven't found a happy ending yet. At least that Yamaha dealership offered reasonable prices for their instruments. I got a very nice deal on my Clavinova, and was always happy to visit the shop. The rebuilder here is also a great guy and I love that shop, too. Almost every piano I've had, I bought form them and was happy with my choices. But honestly, it shouldn't be this challenging to purchase a nice instrument.


Lisa

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A Professor at a big University nearby told me that there are very few good rebuilders and they do not work on ordinary pianos. This would rule out Steinway. Of course, you and I have lower standards.
I have seen some unbelievably bad work. I think the best plan is to find a good quality piano that has been played regularly and then get the least work done that will bring it to your satisfaction.
More specifically, the Cinci dealer has or had one of the first Rochester M & H's. At nine thousand asked, that would leave you a budget to get the action rebushed and the hammers voiced, if necessary. I liked it because it was LOUD.

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Originally Posted by edferris
A Professor at a big University nearby told me that there are very few good rebuilders and they do not work on ordinary pianos. This would rule out Steinway. Of course, you and I have lower standards.
I have seen some unbelievably bad work. I think the best plan is to find a good quality piano that has been played regularly and then get the least work done that will bring it to your satisfaction.
More specifically, the Cinci dealer has or had one of the first Rochester M & H's. At nine thousand asked, that would leave you a budget to get the action rebushed and the hammers voiced, if necessary. I liked it because it was LOUD.

Or contact good quality rebuilders
You can make an initial contact by phone


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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I want to add some quick thoughts to this.

First, there is a lot of marketing in the statements by Steinway. They are in the business of selling new pianos first, and they are set up to be a factory. But they also understand that properly rebuilt pianos are in competition with their new pianos. There are also a handful of rebuilders who do work that one could not distinguish from S&S factory work and there are a few that totally outshine the S&S factory work.

That last statement should in no way be considered a knock on the people who build pianos at Steinway. It is more a statement about how a large factory runs as compared to a small team of highly trained passionate artisans. One might do something a little differently given unlimited time and unlimited control.

Originally Posted by edferris
A Professor at a big University nearby told me that there are very few good rebuilders and they do not work on ordinary pianos

Ed,

We have done full restorations to pianos that might be deemed "ordinary". Upright rebuilds come to mind, vintage player pianos, unusual or sentimental pianos that hold memories of family, etc. When we work on these instruments, some of them turn out to be better than when they were new, simply because we want to make the piano the best it can be. In the original factories in which they were built, this was not always the case.

My 2 cents,


Rich Galassini
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Rich, you're a gem in this industry. ❤️


Lisa

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Cunningham Studio Grand & Yamaha CLP645

"I tell my piano the things I used to tell you." - Frederic Chopin
ebonyk #3100843 04/01/21 06:39 PM
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I'll 2nd that ebonyk!


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Brdwyguy- I have recently started to look for a grand piano and wanted to extend some of my thoughts about the process so far, particularly as relates to your situation.

Unlike you, I did not jump into the process with any very definite idea of what I wanted, other than a grand piano. I’m returning to piano after a long hiatus and have been playing a DP for the last 6 months. However, I am discovering that I have some very definite preferences! As this started becoming clear to me, I was somewhat concerned about whether my experience with my clavinova was ‘tainting’ my preferences in some ways. I asked my teacher about this, and he offered some advice which I think applies to your situation. He said, ‘It would be wrong to try to fit your tastes to something you’re not comfortable with.’ I’m sensing that you’re not really thrilled with Boston pianos and are trying to convince yourself that these are your best option, even though you’re not enthusiastic. If I’m off base, I apologize, but that is the sense I get from your post. I think $30k is an awful lot of money to pay for a piano that you’re not over the moon about.

I will say that, after playing a very limited sample size of 2 new Bostons, I can understand not being over the moon about them; to me, they were quite uninspiring. I think it is plausible for you to find your dream of a Golden Era Mason & Hamlin or Steinway. I think you should also consider other non-Boston new pianos that are within your budget. At PianoCraft near Washington DC, I played a new Baldwin that I felt was MUCH MUCH more satisfying than the Bostons, and EbonyK seems thrilled with her new Cunningham! I believe both of these pianos are at similar pricepoints to the Bostons, and I’m sure there are more options out there!

I have found the experience of the piano search to be very enjoyable so far and definitely a process of discovery. I wish you much luck and joy in the process!

Sgisela #3100870 04/01/21 09:06 PM
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Thank You so so much Sgisela!
I am keeping and open mind about the New Boston, at least until I play them - who knows, maybe I 'will' fall in love with one.
But i don't want to lose my real focus of the M&H or Steinway search wink

PS - I am just getting started - I have being doing months and months of research online etc.
I'm just starting the 'in person' visit - the most important part!

Like you said - if I'm going to spend 30k for a piano - I better absolutely LOVE it. My partner/husband has said the exact same thing. Don't worry - I will I will - because I agree!

brdwyguy
no need to apologize - I appreciate your honesty
Honestly, I'm not 'IN LOVE' with the New Boston YET, that might be the key word - I havent started playing pianos yet.
Who Knows, I may fall in love.
Will keep you posted

THANKS AGAIN


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Thank You so so much Sgisela!
I am keeping an open mind about the New Boston, at least until I play them - who knows, maybe I 'will' fall in love with one.
But i don't want to lose my real focus of the M&H or Steinway search wink

PS - I am just getting started - I have being doing months and months of research online etc.
I'm just starting the 'in person' visit - the most important part!

Like you said - if I'm going to spend 30k for a piano - I better absolutely LOVE it. My partner/husband has said the exact same thing. Don't worry - I will I will - because I agree!

brdwyguy
no need to apologize - I appreciate your honesty
Honestly, I'm not 'IN LOVE' with the New Boston YET, that might be the key word - I havent started playing pianos yet.
Who Knows, I may fall in love.
Will keep you posted

THANKS AGAIN

Last edited by brdwyguy; 04/01/21 09:07 PM.

JDM
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