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Estonia Pianos
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Yonion,

On the assumption that you have a relationship with a good tech with plenty of rebuilding experience, I strongly suggest you take him/her with you to evaluate the instrument. You should all be there together IMO.

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Thanks. We will go and play. If my son likes it, I will go with the piano tech to inspect the piano again. Because it may take 2 hours to inspect the piano.

Originally Posted by P W Grey
Yonion,

On the assumption that you have a relationship with a good tech with plenty of rebuilding experience, I strongly suggest you take him/her with you to evaluate the instrument. You should all be there together IMO.

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Originally Posted by yonion
Thanks for the inputs. I think we will give the 85 key Steinway B a second look. Now it has been tuned. Is there anything I should pay special attention? Or things we should try? Since none of you have seen or played piano, it is hard to make accurate judgement.

We came across another piano: what do you want think of this one?
https://www.pianomart.com/buy-a-piano/view?id=46317

This is twice of the price of the old Steinway, that’s what I meant by double the budget. Judging from YouTube videos the sound is very pleasant, very European.

If you haven't already seen it, here is information regarding Estonia pianos. A 2004 model might not be as refined as more recent models, but they were still very good back then.

https://www.pianobuyer.com/brand/estonia/

If you really are willing to consider doubling your budget, that opens up an entire new realm of possibilities for you - the Estonia being a perfect example.

And quite honestly, if you still wish to pursue the old Steinway, in addition to having your tech evaluate it, would it be possible to ask your son's teacher to play it and get his/her opinion as well?


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The teacher doesn't like the idea of 85 keys regardless of anything, even if it is a new Steinway. But on the other hand his teacher is not an expert in piano. Her major is piano teaching. She recently bought a Steinway model M made in 1920s with about $10k, all parts original.

Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by yonion
Thanks for the inputs. I think we will give the 85 key Steinway B a second look. Now it has been tuned. Is there anything I should pay special attention? Or things we should try? Since none of you have seen or played piano, it is hard to make accurate judgement.

We came across another piano: what do you want think of this one?
https://www.pianomart.com/buy-a-piano/view?id=46317

This is twice of the price of the old Steinway, that’s what I meant by double the budget. Judging from YouTube videos the sound is very pleasant, very European.

If you haven't already seen it, here is information regarding Estonia pianos. A 2004 model might not be as refined as more recent models, but they were still very good back then.

https://www.pianobuyer.com/brand/estonia/

If you really are willing to consider doubling your budget, that opens up an entire new realm of possibilities for you - the Estonia being a perfect example.

And quite honestly, if you still wish to pursue the old Steinway, in addition to having your tech evaluate it, would it be possible to ask your son's teacher to play it and get his/her opinion as well?

Last edited by yonion; 09/10/21 11:28 PM.
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Originally Posted by yonion
We came across another piano: what do you want think of this one?
https://www.pianomart.com/buy-a-piano/view?id=46317

Those can be quite nice. At the time it was built, I sort of thought of them as a more interesting-sounding alternative to the typical Japanese-made fare that occupies the midrange of the grand piano market. They have continued to make improvements to their lineup since then.

Like just about every piano brand/model, not every Estonia 190 I've played has been fabulous, but the ones that were good, were pleasant and lyrical pianos. I almost purchased one of these, new, in 2009 but I wasn't a fan of the satin finish (it's done differently than lacquer finishes on American pianos), and I ended up liking a different piano better (which cost a little more). The brand has a very loyal following here on the PW forum, which can sometimes hype the brand as the answer to everything from weight loss to world peace.

The used piano pricing market these days is a little wacky, but if that's a private party listing, the asking price is probably more than they paid for the piano, new, in 2004...fwiw.


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Originally Posted by yonion
The teacher doesn't like the idea of 85 keys regardless of anything, even if it is a new Steinway. But on the other hand his teacher is not an expert in piano. Her major is piano teaching. She recently bought a Steinway model M made in 1920s with about $10k, all parts original.
Now that's interesting. grin

Other potential options:

1993 Baldwin M $8,900
https://www.eastcambridgepiano.com/baldwin-m

2009 Yamaha C2 - $15,000
https://boston.craigslist.org/sob/msg/d/sharon-yamaha-c2-piano/7378051050.html

1918 Steinway O - $24,500
https://www.eastcambridgepiano.com/steinway-o

2013 Essex 5'8" - $7,500 (negotiable)
https://www.pianomart.com/buy-a-piano/view?id=45207


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Piano teachers are NOT good evaluators. I have seen teachers give a 👍 on total junk because they thought "all it needs is a tuning".

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Originally Posted by P W Grey
Piano teachers are NOT good evaluators. I have seen teachers give a 👍 on total junk because they thought "all it needs is a tuning".
Actually that's a very good point. I withdraw my original recommendation. smile Back when I was in school the majority of my fellow piano majors (myself included) knew absolutely nothing about the construction and inner workings of pianos. I doubt they had an epiphany once they started teaching. I do think, however, that a skilled/advanced pianist (teacher or not) would be able to give their "impression" of how a piano feels and sounds while playing different types of repertoire. Certainly would be more informative than simply plunking out individual notes and listening for the sustain.


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Now I wonder what else you have said needs to be withdrawn 😂.

Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by P W Grey
Piano teachers are NOT good evaluators. I have seen teachers give a 👍 on total junk because they thought "all it needs is a tuning".
Actually that's a very good point. I withdraw my original recommendation. smile Back when I was in school the majority of my fellow piano majors (myself included) knew absolutely nothing about the construction and inner workings of pianos. I doubt they had an epiphany once they started teaching. I do think, however, that a skilled/advanced pianist (teacher or not) would be able to give their "impression" of how a piano feels and sounds while playing different types of repertoire. Certainly would be more informative than simply plunking out individual notes and listening for the sustain.

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Originally Posted by yonion
Now I wonder what else you have said needs to be withdrawn 😂.

Only that. ha


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Utterly inapposite for a thread on an American piano with 85 keys, have you seen this:
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/1588744/Estonia%20190%202004.html


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Originally Posted by yonion
We came across another piano: what do you want think of this one?
https://www.pianomart.com/buy-a-piano/view?id=46317

This is twice of the price of the old Steinway, that’s what I meant by double the budget. Judging from YouTube videos the sound is very pleasant, very European.
The ad says Estonia 190 serial number 6072. I own Estonia 190 serial number 6033 so I think I can comment on this. The Estonias of this time period (about 2005 - 2006) are very nice pianos with a rich sound and lots of sustain. BTW, I asked Estonia when mine was made and was told mid 2005.

Things to look for, metallic sounding overtones on the wound strings (I had one string replaced under warranty) and bright sound. The hammers are Renner Blues which are hot pressed felt. They tend to get bright sounding with heavy use. They can be voiced down and then the piano will sound very nice.

One more thing these pianos have a heavier action, the down weight on mine is about 59 grams which is on the heavy side of average. Apparently the design used a stiffer sound board which needs a heavier hammer to fully excite. This piano should have plenty of dynamic range, mine can get quite loud and playing soft is pretty easy. Plan on a full voicing and action regulation and this could be a wonderful instrument if you like the sound and feel. One advantage to the heavier action is that adjusting to other instruments is relatively easy unless the other instrument's action is ridiculously light. I've played on public pianos with heavy actions with no problem. It seems adjusting to a lighter action is easier than adjusting to a heavy one if you're not used to a heavy feel. Later Estonias have lighter and faster actions, but this one could be very good for a student.

As for the asking price, it's probably about what they paid for it or a little less. I would be prepared to pay maybe $18k - $20k.

Last edited by Steve Chandler; 09/11/21 02:41 PM.

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yonion Offline OP
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I guess the topic should be a random walk from 1885 Steinway Model B 85 keys.

Thanks for the information about this model.

Your description is very accurate. We tried that piano today. It has pretty heavy action. I can see that in the beginning my son cannot press deep enough to make a sound. But the sound is very good. The some bass notes have a high pitch noise as you have described. But the seller said they can make it disappear. I think everything looks good except the price. We don't want to go over budget too much. I think 18k is a more reasonable price. But when I mention this number the seller stopped responding. We'll see. I recorded several videos and put them together. I exported with low video quality but audio quality is high. Feel free to comment on the piano. You are also welcome to give advice to my son.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1L1i8SFY6xmWilZrGkyOIRqGELaNpmXSu/view?usp=sharing


Originally Posted by Steve Chandler
Originally Posted by yonion
We came across another piano: what do you want think of this one?
https://www.pianomart.com/buy-a-piano/view?id=46317

This is twice of the price of the old Steinway, that’s what I meant by double the budget. Judging from YouTube videos the sound is very pleasant, very European.
The ad says Estonia 190 serial number 6072. I own Estonia 190 serial number 6033 so I think I can comment on this. The Estonias of this time period (about 2005 - 2006) are very nice pianos with a rich sound and lots of sustain. BTW, I asked Estonia when mine was made and was told mid 2005.

Things to look for, metallic sounding overtones on the wound strings (I had one string replaced under warranty) and bright sound. The hammers are Renner Blues which are hot pressed felt. They tend to get bright sounding with heavy use. They can be voiced down and then the piano will sound very nice.

One more thing these pianos have a heavier action, the down weight on mine is about 59 grams which is on the heavy side of average. Apparently the design used a stiffer sound board which needs a heavier hammer to fully excite. This piano should have plenty of dynamic range, mine can get quite loud and playing soft is pretty easy. Plan on a full voicing and action regulation and this could be a wonderful instrument if you like the sound and feel. One advantage to the heavier action is that adjusting to other instruments is relatively easy unless the other instrument's action is ridiculously light. I've played on public pianos with heavy actions with no problem. It seems adjusting to a lighter action is easier than adjusting to a heavy one if you're not used to a heavy feel. Later Estonias have lighter and faster actions, but this one could be very good for a student.

As for the asking price, it's probably about what they paid for it or a little less. I would be prepared to pay maybe $18k - $20k.

Last edited by yonion; 09/11/21 09:33 PM.
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Originally Posted by yonion
What do you think is a good price for this piano if it plays well.

I also want to check out this one.

https://boston.craigslist.org/bmw/msg/d/babson-park-steinway-grand-piano/7378074218.html

Is it expensive to fix the left pedal?


Originally Posted by Steve Jackson
I can't speak for this particular piano, but those early B's can be quite charming. If the power and sustain is good in octaves 5 and 6, don't worry about the board. It's lasted almost a century and a half and will last another 20 years.

The action can be challenging if modern parts are placed on it, ie: high inertia and I would make sure you can play glissando and chromatic ppp with the sustain pedal held.

Also, price is too high, but not too many pianos in that price range can do what that one can do if it;s working properly and the price is right, which it isn't.

You have to have a local appraisal done for you. Internet appraisals are worth every penny. That other piano was a duo art, probably XR, starting as a model M, not O as indicated. The left pedal can be a big problem or not. I'd skip this one.

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Originally Posted by yonion
I guess the topic should be a random walk from 1885 Steinway Model B 85 keys.

Thanks for the information about this model.

Your description is very accurate. We tried that piano today. It has pretty heavy action. I can see that in the beginning my son cannot press deep enough to make a sound. But the sound is very good. The some bass notes have a high pitch noise as you have described. But the seller said they can make it disappear. I think everything looks good except the price. We don't want to go over budget too much. I think 18k is a more reasonable price. But when I mention this number the seller stopped responding. We'll see. I recorded several videos and put them together. I exported with low video quality but audio quality is high. Feel free to comment on the piano. You are also welcome to give advice to my son.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1L1i8SFY6xmWilZrGkyOIRqGELaNpmXSu/view?usp=sharing


Originally Posted by Steve Chandler
Originally Posted by yonion
We came across another piano: what do you want think of this one?
https://www.pianomart.com/buy-a-piano/view?id=46317

This is twice of the price of the old Steinway, that’s what I meant by double the budget. Judging from YouTube videos the sound is very pleasant, very European.
The ad says Estonia 190 serial number 6072. I own Estonia 190 serial number 6033 so I think I can comment on this. The Estonias of this time period (about 2005 - 2006) are very nice pianos with a rich sound and lots of sustain. BTW, I asked Estonia when mine was made and was told mid 2005.

Things to look for, metallic sounding overtones on the wound strings (I had one string replaced under warranty) and bright sound. The hammers are Renner Blues which are hot pressed felt. They tend to get bright sounding with heavy use. They can be voiced down and then the piano will sound very nice.

One more thing these pianos have a heavier action, the down weight on mine is about 59 grams which is on the heavy side of average. Apparently the design used a stiffer sound board which needs a heavier hammer to fully excite. This piano should have plenty of dynamic range, mine can get quite loud and playing soft is pretty easy. Plan on a full voicing and action regulation and this could be a wonderful instrument if you like the sound and feel. One advantage to the heavier action is that adjusting to other instruments is relatively easy unless the other instrument's action is ridiculously light. I've played on public pianos with heavy actions with no problem. It seems adjusting to a lighter action is easier than adjusting to a heavy one if you're not used to a heavy feel. Later Estonias have lighter and faster actions, but this one could be very good for a student.

As for the asking price, it's probably about what they paid for it or a little less. I would be prepared to pay maybe $18k - $20k.

They actually have light fast actions. The heavy action is from modern hammers and shanks applied to an action that can't accommodate them. Correctable

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Thanks for the info.

Does that imply the need of replacement of hammers and other parts in the action? Sounds like an expensive repair, which is something I want to avoid if I already doubled my budget.

Originally Posted by Steve Jackson
They actually have light fast actions. The heavy action is from modern hammers and shanks applied to an action that can't accommodate them. Correctable

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Originally Posted by yonion
Thanks for the info.

Does that imply the need of replacement of hammers and other parts in the action? Sounds like an expensive repair, which is something I want to avoid if I already doubled my budget.

Originally Posted by Steve Jackson
They actually have light fast actions. The heavy action is from modern hammers and shanks applied to an action that can't accommodate them. Correctable

Yes and no. You can alter the mass and geometry of the existing parts, or change the parts

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Originally Posted by Steve Jackson
They actually have light fast actions. The heavy action is from modern hammers and shanks applied to an action that can't accommodate them. Correctable

Who is 'they'? Estonia or the old Steinway?

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Estònia, see post #315555.


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Originally Posted by Withindale
Estònia, see post #315555.

That doesn't make sense. Estonia is a modern piano with Renner action and Renner hammers and Kluge or Estonia keyboards. And the action definitely can accommodate modern hammers and shanks. They are designed this way. If a modern action is too heavy, then one needs to look at friction points in bushings of the keyboard, whippens, capstans, lead weight distribution and overall regulation.

But I believe that he's talking about the old Steinway with its original action and putting modern hammers and shanks into it. That indeed is a recipe for disaster, because there is a distinct mismatch between hammer weight, size and width and the whole action geometry. In addition to that the shape of modern hammer tails doesn't match old back checks.

In this particular case, however, it's pure speculation, because we simply have no information whatsoever on the state of the action in this 1885 Steinway B. We'll have to wait and see whether we'll eventually get this piece of information.

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