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Received this today from Steinway. They are holding webinar about buying used Steinways. It is on Sunday, April 25th at 5PM Eastern, 2PM Pacific Time. Need to register. Focus is on certified Pre-owned (used) Steinways. The email title just says "Webinar on Purchasings Pre-Owned Steinways." I'd be interested in getting opinions from entities that sell used Steinways that are not certified.

https://steinway.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_1mLPJk5PRJusoqYP7x_ipg


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I can't imagine Steinway doing this unless it's in their own interest. In other words, I would expect them to encourage folks to A) only buy a new Steinways, or B) only buy used ones that provide revenue to Steinway through restoration services and/or parts sales. Nothing wrong with that as long as the attendees recognize it's not purely an educational event.

EDIT: I should have looked at the link first. They make it pretty clear. Again, nothing wrong with that.

Last edited by Sir Lurksalot; 04/19/21 02:53 PM.
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I tried a few pre-owned and rebuilt Steinway grands at Steinway gallery and I am not impressed. They won't spend the effort to prepare those pianos better than the new ones, otherwise the new ones won't sell. Even the new ones weren't prepared well.

Their used and rebuilt Steinway Bs also cost $70k - $90k, which was really too expensive. The same piano would be $30k - $35k on the private party, or $40-50k at a dealer.


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In order to be a ‘certified’ pre-owned Steinway, any rebuild and all parts are required to be Steinway work. You would be eliminating a lot of excellent rebuilders from private shops. Do a search here for ‘certified steinway’. This has been previously discussed.


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> I'd be interested in getting opinions from entities that sell used Steinways that are not certified.

I suppose this is your question

It might help if you gave an approximate location

Also you might want to fix the title of the post to reflect your actual question


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Used pianos are a minefield. I find it difficult to recommend anyone should go above entry level pianos, unless they know exactly what they're doing. Best to have some sort of engineering degree and ~10 years of playing experience. Lemon risk is extremely high for non-technical shoppers.

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Originally Posted by Harpuia
Their used and rebuilt Steinway Bs also cost $70k - $90k, which was really too expensive. The same piano would be $30k - $35k on the private party, or $40-50k at a dealer.
The price for a used Steinway B from a private sale or dealer depends on its age and condition and can certainly be more than the figures you quoted since the current price for a new B is around 118K. The price for a rebuilt B depends on the location of the rebuilder and the quality/extent of the work done. One of the major NYC rebuilders now prices a rebuilt B at around 87K. A major New Jersey rebuilder price is around 65+K.

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Originally Posted by EinLudov
Used pianos are a minefield. I find it difficult to recommend anyone should go above entry level pianos, unless they know exactly what they're doing. Best to have some sort of engineering degree and ~10 years of playing experience. Lemon risk is extremely high for non-technical shoppers.
Any risk can be eliminated by having a good tech inspect the piano and a warranty if purchased from a dealer.

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Before I moved to America, I thought that a certified reconditioned Steinway meant either:

a relatively new (c.30-40 years old) piano that was rebuilt with a new action, pin block and strings

OR

a factory rebuilt piano with new soundboard, bridges, keyboard, action, the lot

Since coming to America I now know that a certified reconditioned Steinway means a wide range of things from a 90 year old piano that has had nothing done to it being sold at a premium because it has all original Steinway parts in it (but doesn't function that well anymore, obviously) to that factory rebuild with all new parts, and everything in between.

Go and see this webinar if you want, it might be interesting to you, but it is an advertising feature and they'll tell you not to buy a piano restored by a third party.

This topic has been hashed out on this forum so many times that searching for it should be very easy. By the way, it's really only Steinway that gets this kind of attention. When other fine European pianos are rebuilt, the manufacturers don't say "this is no longer a Bechstein" or whatever it is. Just putting that out there....

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If the rebuilder is first rate, a rebuilt piano that Steinway won't certify may even be better than a Steinway-certified rebuild.


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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
If the rebuilder is first rate, a rebuilt piano that Steinway won't certify may even be better than a Steinway-certified rebuild.
I think this most certainly can be true but I kind of understand where Steinway is coming from here. A quick look on EBay with all those sub $20,000 Steinways available some “rebuilt” tells you much of the story. I found a copy of the letter sent out by the GC of Steinway:

December 11, 2018

To whom it may concern,
As you may have heard, Steinway & Sons no longer licenses the use of its trademarks or logos (either past or present iterations thereof) to Decals Unlimited for the creation of decals for use on the soundboards and fallboards of Steinway pianos. There were many reasons for this decision, most notably the fact that these decals were being used on restored/rebuilt Steinway pianos that were being rebuilt without genuine Steinway soundboards or wrestplanks/pinblocks, and sometimes without a single genuine Steinway replacement part.
We have found that there is an enormous amount of misinformation on the differences between a genuine Steinway piano and an old Steinway rebuilt with non-Steinway parts on the web, in piano forums, and other places. This misinformation is often propagated by the very same rebuilders that are marketing and selling off the good name that Steinway has established for quality over the course of 165 years of building pianos. We cannot allow our company name (and reputation) to exist on a piano that looks brand new, but in many cases sounds nothing like a Steinway.
Effective immediately, it is no longer legally permissible to purchase Steinway decals for application on a Steinway piano through Decals Unlimited. In addition, Steinway has not authorized any other party to sell Steinway decals, and any such decals are considered counterfeit. Steinway will not be selling decals through our Parts Department or any other Steinway channel.
Furthermore, it is a violation of our trademark rights for someone to market or sell a restored/rebuilt piano as a “Steinway” piano unless: (A) the piano uses ONLY genuine Steinway replacement parts or (B) the non-Steinway replacement parts used are incidental to the function of the piano and any such non-Steinway parts used are specifically disclosed to the consumer. In either case, it must also be specifically and fully disclosed to the consumer that the piano has been rebuilt and by whom. Steinway & Sons takes its reputation and this matter very seriously, and will enforce our rights with respect to any pianos marketed or sold in violation of the above to the fullest extent of the law.
We are asking anyone who comes across a piano that they feel may be using counterfeit Steinway & Sons decals, or which is being marketed and sold as a “Steinway” piano in violation of our trademark rights to report the violation, including the piano and its location, by sending a message to violations@steinway.com. We have come across far too many purchasers of rebuilt Steinways that do not realize that the key components of that piano were not manufactured by Steinway & Sons, so we are taking these steps to better inform and protect the consumer. Thank you for your attention in this matter of great importance to our company.
Sincerely,
Todd Brecher
Acting General Counsel
Steinway Musical Instruments, Inc.


Is there really anything wrong with this announcement? No rebuilder should be allowed to place a Steinway decal over a soundboard that’s not a genuine Steinway soundboard.

Rolls Royce builds jet engines for Airbus and Boeing. What if an airliner decided to replace them with old Pratt and Whitney’s and stick a RR decal over the engine cowl? We would think that was wrong as well.


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A theoretical situation for you: Your lovely SK suffers sub damage. You carefully choose a local refinisher to correct and refinish your piano. He does a great job but with only one problem— he can’t purchase an SK decal for the fallboard. Would you applaud SK?


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Pianoloverus,
Thanks for correcting the used B pricing. The premier rebuilders get more than the retail used price Harpuis posted.


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JETHRO, Riddle me this. Steinway NY and Hamburg make soundboards differently from each other, and always have. So if there are two ways to make a Steinway soundboard, why can't there be more variations of methods that also work perfectly well?

Also, are you aware that the leverage in the hammer shank has been reduced from what Steinway used for the first 100 years or so of production? I prefer the original specifications of light hammers and high leverage, and as well most pianists who compare the two do.

So who is doing the more "authentic" work? Me or them?


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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by EinLudov
Used pianos are a minefield. I find it difficult to recommend anyone should go above entry level pianos, unless they know exactly what they're doing. Best to have some sort of engineering degree and ~10 years of playing experience. Lemon risk is extremely high for non-technical shoppers.
Any risk can be eliminated by having a good tech inspect the piano and a warranty if purchased from a dealer.

Eliminated? Perhaps mitigated.


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Sorry for the miscommunication. Pianoloverus and Ed, I actually meant that the pre-owned and rebuilt Bs I've played at Steinway gallery SF plays like a Steinway B which costs 40-50k at a dealer.

I realized that pricing and condition may not match. Yeah the top rebuilders charge more, and they probably build better pianos (I haven't tried them). What I was saying is that the premium price at Steinway gallery is not worth it. Well, it also depends on the dealer.


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Originally Posted by Jethro
Rolls Royce builds jet engines for Airbus and Boeing. What if an airliner decided to replace them with old Pratt and Whitney’s and stick a RR decal over the engine cowl? We would think that was wrong as well.

Yes indeed But what we are talking about here is Boeing insisting that if an airline changed the engines on one of its jets (or even the tyres?) it could no longer display the Boeing label. Somehow I don't think that would stand up in court.

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Originally Posted by Retsacnal
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by EinLudov
Used pianos are a minefield. I find it difficult to recommend anyone should go above entry level pianos, unless they know exactly what they're doing. Best to have some sort of engineering degree and ~10 years of playing experience. Lemon risk is extremely high for non-technical shoppers.
Any risk can be eliminated by having a good tech inspect the piano and a warranty if purchased from a dealer.

Eliminated? Perhaps mitigated.
Definitely mitigated. Nothing is 100%. Even a new piano can have issues after the warranty period. My main point was the post I commented on didn't mention the most important thing to do when buying a used piano.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Retsacnal
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by EinLudov
Used pianos are a minefield. I find it difficult to recommend anyone should go above entry level pianos, unless they know exactly what they're doing. Best to have some sort of engineering degree and ~10 years of playing experience. Lemon risk is extremely high for non-technical shoppers.
Any risk can be eliminated by having a good tech inspect the piano and a warranty if purchased from a dealer.

Eliminated? Perhaps mitigated.
Definitely mitigated. Nothing is 100%. Even a new piano can have issues after the warranty period. My main point was the post I commented on didn't mention the most important thing to do when buying a used piano.


Many of us here have bought used pianos without finding the process to be a mine field, and have not purchased a lemon. For those that had the piano inspected, I cannot remember any posts which expressed the sentiment ‘I bought a lemon’.


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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Retsacnal
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by EinLudov
Used pianos are a minefield. I find it difficult to recommend anyone should go above entry level pianos, unless they know exactly what they're doing. Best to have some sort of engineering degree and ~10 years of playing experience. Lemon risk is extremely high for non-technical shoppers.
Any risk can be eliminated by having a good tech inspect the piano and a warranty if purchased from a dealer.

Eliminated? Perhaps mitigated.
Definitely mitigated. Nothing is 100%. Even a new piano can have issues after the warranty period. My main point was the post I commented on didn't mention the most important thing to do when buying a used piano.

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