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What do you think?
Poll ended at Sun Mar 01, 2009 5:51 pm
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Total votes : 2
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 Post subject: Steinway A grand piano... what do you think?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 5:51 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2006 12:57 pm
Posts: 301
So... I've been going piano shopping lately. I gave Steinway Hall a visit last week, but didn't see a piano that both my pocketbook and I liked. It was always one or the other. Time to go with Plan B.

Yesterday Mom and I went to a private owner's home to look at a piano they were wanting to sell. It's a partially rebuilt 1904 Steinway A (6' 1"), with nearly brand-spankin' new hammers and dampers, relatively recent strings, and, above all, a magnificent tone. I'm going to have two technicians over in the next couple of days to check the tightness of the pins, the pinblock, etc. The only thing is that the piano really needs to be refinished - the back part of it is still quite nice, but around the keyboard needs work.

I've attached some pictures and a short video clip (the piano is out of tune). What do you guys think? Will I get some good years out of it? Do you believe it to be a wise purchase for someone with strong opinions and a slim wallet?

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Though everything else may appear shallow and repulsive, even the smallest task in music is so absorbing, and carries us so far away from town, country, earth, and all worldly things, that it is truly a blessed gift of God.

Felix Mendelssohn


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:21 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:33 am
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If it passes muster by the technicians, and you really love it, it could be very tempting. However, I personally would have serious reservations about buying a piano that's now over 100 years old and has not been fully rebuilt. If you really love it now, it could very much be worth a complete rebuild at a later date. 8)

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Horowitzian


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
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Location: Netherlands
Nice to see you in action Sarah !
That sure is a lovely instrument. The tone seems more burnished than that of more recent instruments. I can understand you want it, as I would. But indeed, you may be looking at some hidden costs at one point. You'll have to rely on what the qualified and (hopefully) independent technicians say about it.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 7:15 am 
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I just now had time to watch the vid. Lovely playing, and lovely tone! I hear why you love it so much.

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Horowitzian


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:21 pm 
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Thank you both so much for your replies. I appreciate it! Yes, the age of the piano has weighed heavily on my mind too, and that’s one of the reasons I wanted to bounce the piano off you folks here at PS to see what you thought. And your comments were seconded by the technician, a good man we’ve known for some time. He looked the piano over and said it was, indeed, the best-preserved piano of that age that he’d ever seen; yet, because of the use I’d be giving the poor thing, he didn’t recommend me purchasing it. So… I’m back again to square one. I am pretty disappointed about the piano; I’m sure I won’t be able to find one with quite that personality again (to confess the truth, I did actually cry over it, even though I’m not a very emotional type of gal :roll: ). But I’m going to try! Next week my parents and I are going to check out some of the pianos at a rebuilder’s showroom in Denton. I’ve been told he’s one of the best ones in the DFW metroplex area. We’ll see! :wink: In the meantime, thank you guys again for your help.

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Though everything else may appear shallow and repulsive, even the smallest task in music is so absorbing, and carries us so far away from town, country, earth, and all worldly things, that it is truly a blessed gift of God.

Felix Mendelssohn


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:15 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:33 am
Posts: 224
You're welcome! It's too bad that you (apparently) don't have the budget to go ahead an have it rebuild completely. It would turn out wonderfully if you picked out a great shop to do the work. :)

Good luck on Part 2 of your search!

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Horowitzian


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 Post subject: Re: Steinway A grand piano... what do you think?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 12:44 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 2:24 am
Posts: 9
Location: Houston, TX
sarah wrote:
.... The only thing is that the piano really needs to be refinished - the back part of it is still quite nice, but around the keyboard needs work.


I know you've already passed on this piano, but it struck me as a bit ironic that you were concerned that the piano would need some refinishing, when I am usually fretting about the exact opposite. My piano, an 1887 rebuilt Knabe, finished in Brazilian Rosewood, has such an exquisite finish that I keep it covered all the time and won't let anyone touch it. The refinishing work alone on the piano cost me a fortune, but it is beautiful, and I've seen nothing like it from this past century. Anyway, it made me laugh, because I was actually sitting and pouting about missing the days where I didn't care about the finish on my old Baldwin SF (7') that I grew up with. It's dingey old finish and scratches weren't lovely to look at, but I didin't feel like I needed to dress for the occasion to play it, and I never kept it covered.

Oh well, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, I guess.

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Cary Rogers, PharmD
Houston, TX
1887 Knabe 6'4" (Rebuilt)


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