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I currently have a 1982 Steinway B. All original except the hammer. I purchased the piano for 35k. I like the tone of it but I'm not totally happy with how the action performs on my piano.

I just saw a listing of a rebuilt Steinway D, which was listed for less than 60k. I've played another rebuilt Steinway D at that seller before and it was one of the best Steinway D I have ever played. I'm a bit tempted to try this D out.

I'm just thinking myself to be too crazy on pianos. I really like the other D I've played. I played one hour on that piano and didn't want to stop. The pianissimo is really great. No Steinway B could hold a candle to that D!

Yes I'm currently living on the ground floor of an apartment. I'll consult a piano mover to see if I'm able to fit a Steinway D in but I have enough physical space to squeeze that piano in if I want. Noise is not an issue. I live in a corner unit and I play my Steinway B a few hours per day. So far there is no complaint from upstair neighbor. I'll probably go and try out that D and see how I like, but if I really like this piano I would have a few choices:

1. Invest some money (~$2.5k) to work on the action of the 1982 Steinway B and see if that would work for me. I've described my impression of the action in a previous post. The tech would like me to play in the action a little bit before he works on the piano.
2. The seller seems to accept trade in and if I could trade in the Steinway B for the full value I paid, I will need to pay another 25k.

Currently I have a Steinway B and a Yamaha hybrid digital (AvantGrand N3X). I can afford the D but at this point I really don't want to pay a lot more for another piano. I'm a piano geek and I don't even have a car. I'm 27 years old, single, saving up for a house down payment and I will have big purchases in the future (cars, wedding, etc). I could potentially discuss a finance option with the seller if I really like that D. After I bought my B I rarely play my Yamaha hybrid. I could also sell the hybrid to free up some cash.

Could anyone give some advice to me?

Last edited by Harpuia; 06/12/21 03:37 PM.

Piano: 1982 NY Steinway Model B, Yamaha AvantGrand N3X
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Spend a little money on the B, save the rest to get married and buy a house. There will always be another D around when you are ready to buy one.

Or you could buy the D and send me your B!

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You want to save up for a house, future family, maybe a car? I love pianos as well, but I never spend more than what I can comfortably afford — not just my current monthly budget but my future life plans.
That’s just me, and I will admit that I am fiscally conservative.

Play the B snd consider a regulation


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Your dilemma seems mostly financial, and I think that's something only you can decide.

When you say "no B could hold a candle to the D" are you talking about it's tone? Is there a chance that the D could be too big for the space you have in mind? How much do you know about your B's action problems and how confident are you that they could be fixed?

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My other concern with the D is the resale value and moving challenge. If some day I find myself unable to fit a D it may take me quite long to sell it.


Piano: 1982 NY Steinway Model B, Yamaha AvantGrand N3X
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Your dilemma seems mostly financial, and I think that's something only you can decide.

When you say "no B could hold a candle to the D" are you talking about it's tone? Is there a chance that the D could be too big for the space you have in mind? How much do you know about your B's action problems and how confident are you that they could be fixed?

I’ve played about 4-5 Steinway D. There are a few good ones that have deep bass and huge dynamic range compared to a Steinway B. There were also a few D that I don’t like, which takes forever to sell in the showroom.

Yes it could be too big. If I decide to buy the D I will need to sell the two pianos that I currently have so that I can find an ideal placement.

Regarding the action problem, I have no idea since I don’t have enough technical knowledge.

Now when I rethink my situation, I have another option. If I spent money regulating my action and I’m still not happy. I can replace a new action in the B and that’s only 10k. Even if I want to restring the B it would take less than 20k. The D purchase itself will spend me at least 25k and that’s just for the bass and dynamic range.


Piano: 1982 NY Steinway Model B, Yamaha AvantGrand N3X
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Originally Posted by Harpuia
My other concern with the D is the resale value and moving challenge. If some day I find myself unable to fit a D it may take me quite long to sell it.

Good thought


"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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Since you are in the market for a house, remember that a D will restrict your choices considerably. You will be faced with finding a house with enough accessible space if you keep it, and selling the piano, probably at a loss, otherwise. You need to consider the room it will go in, as well as access to that room. Nine foot pianos do not bend!


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I think that if you find yourself (mostly) longing for a better piano then you should get it. While I appreciated all of the pianos that I've owned over the years, I frequently found myself wanting something better. When I finally got my 1985 NY Steinway Model B in 2018 all of that went away. I find that I am content when I play it or listen to someone else play it. I know that there are better pianos out there (probably even better Model Bs) but I don't really care. What I have now is good enough and I am in a place of piano peace.

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The only D's I have played have been in concert venues; I can't imagine how they would sound in an apartment or even in a home, unless that home has a ballroom!

The B can be a fine, rewarding piano and given what you have said about your circumstances I would opt for having work done on the B before committing yourself to a D. It's a considerable financial commitment for one your age, particularly with future major finances looming. It's also a commitment to space that you don't know you are going to have in the future. It's all very well to say that you won't buy the house unless the piano fits, but how many homes in your area will have the room - and the breathing room - that a D would require?

It would seem prudent - but that's just me - to have work done on the B and forgo a D until some time in the future when you know you will be able to accommodate one.

Regards,


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Thanks for all the advice! I should definitely play that particular D and see how I like it. The price seems to be too good and maybe that D is not a “fully rebuilt” as advertised. Who knows.

Yeah the D is too big for most space. Even a B is too big for a lot of rooms. The ideal size might be a model O but I really want the beefy bass.


Piano: 1982 NY Steinway Model B, Yamaha AvantGrand N3X
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Getting a D feels like too much risk given that you have so many changes coming up in your life!

It sounded like you were super impressed by the pianissimo ability on the D, and I think a new action followed by a good regulation could give your B a very sensitive pianissimo as well. If after that you're still finding it lacking, it will at least be improved from its current condition and hopefully be a satisfying piano until after your wedding/house expenses. I waited 5 years to get the action replaced on my piano (it's a much higher bill than what you were quoted) and I'm glad I didn't do it right away, as I'm in a much more comfortable position to spend the money now. I'd see what you can do with your current piano first. Maybe sell the hybrid in the current hot piano market to help pay for the work smile


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Although some claim no piano is too big for any space, there is definitely not universal agreement about this. Also remember to consider that the showroom is much bigger than your piano room so what sounds good in the showroom may or may not sound as good in your home.

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Just curious: were you able to play the piano before you bought it in Feb?


"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
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I got a D several years ago and don’t regret it. I moved a year or so after getting mine, and needing to be able to fit the D definitely restricted my house choices, though I’m quite happy with the house we got.

I could be wrong, but I suspect that you’d be able to sell a D if, for whatever reason, you needed someday to part ways with it.


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Originally Posted by dogperson
Just curious: were you able to play the piano before you bought it in Feb?

I did visit 3 times to try my B and have a tech to inspect it. I’ve tried many pianos to confirm that this particular B, although not the best, but seems to be an all rounder in this price range. There were better pianos but I was not comfortable spending more than 40k. The tech did point out that the action hasn’t been fully regulated in 40 years so I know there are some work to do after the purchase.

After the B was delivered. I tried the piano side by side with the Yamaha hybrid and found the action was a bit sluggish. It might be a nit pick because it is not so obvious when it was not compared side by side. Plus when I tried my B in the shop I played a lot of lyrical pieces. I started practicing a few Chopin etudes lately. I found that I can finish the Revolutionary etude in tempo on the Yamaha hybrid but I can only played halfway until the repeat on the Steinway, because the action on that Steinway is so heavy.

Last edited by Harpuia; 06/12/21 07:08 PM.

Piano: 1982 NY Steinway Model B, Yamaha AvantGrand N3X
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Originally Posted by twocats
Getting a D feels like too much risk given that you have so many changes coming up in your life!

It sounded like you were super impressed by the pianissimo ability on the D, and I think a new action followed by a good regulation could give your B a very sensitive pianissimo as well. If after that you're still finding it lacking, it will at least be improved from its current condition and hopefully be a satisfying piano until after your wedding/house expenses. I waited 5 years to get the action replaced on my piano (it's a much higher bill than what you were quoted) and I'm glad I didn't do it right away, as I'm in a much more comfortable position to spend the money now. I'd see what you can do with your current piano first. Maybe sell the hybrid in the current hot piano market to help pay for the work smile

Thanks! I also realized that regulation work could be incremental and could be done at any stage of my life, even if 20 years later. The nitpick that I'm complaining about is probably just a "first world problem". My tech did mention that my action is out of regulation though by his standard. However, I do like the tone. I tried a few 7 foot pianos that cost 100k in the showroom. I don't feel the tone of my piano is worse than, say a new Fazioli F212.

Now I realize that there are 2 feet of difference between a B and a D, while the B is not too large compared to the smaller models. When I was shopping for my B I did find that a good D is in a different league. I played several good B in the 40-60k range but didn't feel like it justifies the price difference from my piano. But a good D will. It has to be a good one.


Piano: 1982 NY Steinway Model B, Yamaha AvantGrand N3X
VST(preference in order): VSL Synchron Pianos, Vienna Imperial, Garritan CFX, VI Labs Modern U, Ivory II American Concert D, Pianoteq
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Isn’t the good news is you know your piano is thirsty for regulation? And therefore there should be every expectation of significant improvement once done?


"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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Originally Posted by dogperson
Isn’t the good news is you know your piano is thirsty for regulation? And therefore there should be every expectation of significant improvement once done?

That's true.


Piano: 1982 NY Steinway Model B, Yamaha AvantGrand N3X
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If the piano hasn’t been fully regulated in 40 years (!!) I don’t know why you haven’t just done it instead of wishing the pianissimo was better! You should at least get the full potential out of your piano before considering replacing it smile


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