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What used grand piano would you buy with $16,000 USD ?? (Read 7805 times)

Offline onesurfer1

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What used grand piano would you buy with $16,000 USD ??
« on: October 04, 2015, 06:54:34 PM »
What used grand piano would/could you buy with a budget of $16k or so?

Offline indianajo

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Re: What used grand piano would you buy with $16,000 USD ??
«Reply #1 on: October 04, 2015, 08:37:29 PM »
I'm dreaming at night about a decent looking Chickering grand I saw on Craigslist last week for <$1000. It's crammed in a junk filled garage, so it looks like grandma's heirs didn't follow in their ancestor's footsteps.  As any piano I buy I would put it through the inspection specified in this thread: http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=56680.0
but for that price, a whole new Renner action would not be a waste of money.  Chickerings are supposed to be one of the classic American brands: I'd like to hear it. 
Other than that, Baldwins sometimes come up for under $5000 with an expiration date due to the sale of the house they are in.  Other old USA brands I respect, Sohmer, Mason & Hamlin, Knabe, Wurlitzer.  Steinway of course, but the professional restorer and the local piano flipper would obviously find those ads way before me.  There's a used Bechstein in the next county and a Bosendorfer in the college town 80 miles away, but both exceed your price point by about 25%.  USA made is out of fashion these days.  As if Steinway didn't invent the modern grand. 

Offline dcstudio

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Re: What used grand piano would you buy with $16,000 USD ??
«Reply #2 on: October 04, 2015, 10:36:17 PM »

the best one I could find...  when I comes to the used models...  they generally have a personality of their own... sure some brands hold up better than others...

there are so many factors...

I like  used Baldwins--I like the action and the consistency and it has a nice resonance

but beware of used pianos...  sometimes they are restored with cheaper materials.

Offline onesurfer1

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Re: What used grand piano would you buy with $16,000 USD ??
«Reply #3 on: October 05, 2015, 05:31:44 AM »
I'm dreaming at night about a decent looking Chickering grand I saw on Craigslist last week for <$1000. It's crammed in a junk filled garage, so it looks like grandma's heirs didn't follow in their ancestor's footsteps.  As any piano I buy I would put it through the inspection specified in this thread: http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=56680.0
but for that price, a whole new Renner action would not be a waste of money.  Chickerings are supposed to be one of the classic American brands: I'd like to hear it. 
Other than that, Baldwins sometimes come up for under $5000 with an expiration date due to the sale of the house they are in.  Other old USA brands I respect, Sohmer, Mason & Hamlin, Knabe, Wurlitzer.  Steinway of course, but the professional restorer and the local piano flipper would obviously find those ads way before me.  There's a used Bechstein in the next county and a Bosendorfer in the college town 80 miles away, but both exceed your price point by about 25%.  USA made is out of fashion these days.  As if Steinway didn't invent the modern grand. 

i wouldn't mind a used Bechstein like you mentioned...or a bosendorfer.  Like you said, I'd have to up my budget to over $20k USD.  (I live in Los Angeles).

I already up'd my budget from under $10,000 up to $15,000.  I'm still looking at pianos listed for $16k and $17k with the hopes that i can talk them down to $15k.   

I really prefer a top tier used one from the 1980's at the oldest.  The only pianos i see worthy of that price range are Kawais (GS and RX) and Baldwin L's (i have to keep it under 7')...so i'm looking for around a 6'3" piano.  I really didn't want an Asian piano (although i currently have a 52" Kawai K8 style used upright).  Before the Kawai i had a 1915 M&H grand Model A at 5'8".

I'll be ready to purchase this November.  I'm not giving up. I check craigslist, eBay, and Pianomart.com ALL the time.  I hope to find a great deal...meaning a top tier German piano no more than 30yrs or so old, in my budget range!

I hope i can find a better piano than a Kawai or Baldwin.  Someone suggested Estonia and Petrof but those aren't really considered top tier or on par with the Germans.


Offline hfmadopter

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Re: What used grand piano would you buy with $16,000 USD ??
«Reply #4 on: October 05, 2015, 09:13:34 PM »
I'm dreaming at night about a decent looking Chickering grand I saw on Craigslist last week for <$1000. It's crammed in a junk filled garage, so it looks like grandma's heirs didn't follow in their ancestor's footsteps.  As any piano I buy I would put it through the inspection specified in this thread: http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=56680.0
but for that price, a whole new Renner action would not be a waste of money.  Chickerings are supposed to be one of the classic American brands: I'd like to hear it.    

I played a Chickering grand in front of about 125 people years ago. I was lucky, had access to the piano before the event and a good relationship with a tuner at the time who went in and tuned it for me. I was quite pleased with that piano, the tone and playability to me was similar to my turn of the century Henry F Miller which many tuners call the "poor mans" Steinway. The sound of it is much like a Steinway M or even 0. If the framework and key pieces of that Chickering are good you should have a very decent piano there. But it won't do the honky tonk sound you always say you like unless you de-tune it a bit. It's going to be finer than that and warmer with a deep bass ( depending which model it is of course and how you treat/voice the hammers).  This page should give you an example or two of what I mean ( assuming you can listen these days, you used to complain your computer wouldn't load video), note worthy is the 1926 example IMO:   https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=chickering+grand+piano+video&ei=UTF-8&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-001
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline indianajo

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Re: What used grand piano would you buy with $16,000 USD ??
«Reply #5 on: October 06, 2015, 10:35:55 AM »
I'm glad the Chickering is a quality sounding brand, as the organ voicer I'm helping out tells me.  He is also a relief church musician all over town, so he has played one.  The Chickering remains a dream, not a reality.  While I have enough real estate to keep several console pianos, I really don't have the floors stout enough to support a grand.  Nor do I have the strength to move it in at my age considering all potential helpers run away when even challenged with a 400 lb organ.  Helpers are all brag, no go after 5 moves or so.  
As far as the honky tonk sound, I've got a $50 sixties Wurlitzer spinet now I wouldn't mind stuffing a brass bar in. It's my practice piano in my 1975 trailer out at my summer property. The trailer has a soft particle board floor which previously has been chewed through by raccoons.   Buying an actual 1920's upright, again the weight of moving such a project has stopped it.  I moved the spinet piano and the Shober recital organ (AGO pedals) by myself this summer, after the scheduled helper decided to install toilets the day I had the truck rented and the organ sellers scheduled to be home.  

Offline visitor

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Re: What used grand piano would you buy with $16,000 USD ??
«Reply #6 on: October 06, 2015, 03:33:18 PM »
i would look at this estonia l3 190
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Estonia-grand-piano-L190-63-MPN-6009-built-2004-/252085501126?hash=item3ab1777cc6

i would get the nicest/biggest kawai rx i could find, i would look at something like this, though a bit older than normally consider, they age really well so if was not abused, could be a sweet deal, i think it's priced a little high but almost at that sweete spot
rx5 for <16
http://www.ebay.com/itm/2000-Kawai-RX-5-Semi-Concert-Grand-Piano-66-/161848716008?hash=item25aeef6ae8

Offline onesurfer1

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Re: What used grand piano would you buy with $16,000 USD ??
«Reply #7 on: October 06, 2015, 08:39:39 PM »
I saw the ads for the Estonia and Petrof.  I have to find some around my area to demo and see if i like their tone!  I hope i do.

I also found a handful of old Steinway A's in my budget that have had the strings/hammers/shanks/flanges redone and supposedly the action plays good too.

Are these worth looking into?  Or are they just pulling my leg...i mean, a Steinway
(although super old) that has a recent new finish and plays well for that price???  hmm...sounds like
a total waste of my time having to visit someone's house to demo...OR...an awesome opportunity.

Is it worth my time looking into?

In the meantime I have an appointment next week to see someone's Kawai GS30 that has been  used as a piece of furniture in their 10,000 sq.ft. home. 

Offline indianajo

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Re: What used grand piano would you buy with $16,000 USD ??
«Reply #8 on: October 07, 2015, 11:36:35 AM »
I don't see that the wood case and iron plate age. Only the pin block and action age due to hours use and number of tunings, and those could have been replaced at the price point you are discussing.  The hours sitting around in a room don't count on piano wear.  
I play a lot of excellent 50 and 60 year old pianos in the churches I visit, plus my 1941 Steinway console is going on 75.  The Steinway has two action issues, which are going to cost me $60 in parts.  The console sounds great, still all three types of strings match beautifully. The four fifties/sixties Baldwins I play, three of them their actions are fine. One Baldwin has one hammer that sticks a little, a simple adjustment if I owned it or ever talked to the music director. (I play there between cleaning up after charity dinners off hours, no church members are there).     The seventies Wurlitzer I play at Christmas is fine.   I've played two really **** modern pianos, a Horuga with subdued tone and a sluggish action,  and a globalized nineties Wurlitzer that wouldn't play softly.  
So get out and put the old pianos to the tests I listed in the link.  Many Steinways actions were beat to scrap by school use, but new actions are a lot cheaper than the $$$$$ you are talking about. The one thing I'd watch is that pre~1930 pianos were tuned to A=428 instead of 440, so the plate design and string length will make the proper overtones at that tuning, not the modern one.  IMHO. 

Offline onesurfer1

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Re: What used grand piano would you buy with $16,000 USD ??
«Reply #9 on: October 09, 2015, 11:04:06 PM »
I'm dreaming at night about a decent looking Chickering grand I saw on Craigslist last week for <$1000. It's crammed in a junk filled garage, so it looks like grandma's heirs didn't follow in their ancestor's footsteps.  As any piano I buy I would put it through the inspection specified in this thread: http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=56680.0


read it.  thanks!
i've narrowed my search down to one brand, SS.  so i'll start a new thread.  I may have to up my budget by a few grand, but i found out that some SS model A's and Model O's from the pre WWII era as well as 60's Model L's are in this budget.  I played an A3 for $19k...if the guy can regulate it to play like the other one i loved in his showroom (but priced at $35k)...this one at $35k also has original action...then it's definitely a candidate!  They really sound beautiful.  i was shocked that such and old piano w new strings/ hammer / felts / piano keytops /reconditioned finish / can sound and (action) feel as wonderful as they did. 

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: What used grand piano would you buy with $16,000 USD ??
«Reply #10 on: October 09, 2015, 11:15:08 PM »
read it.  thanks!
i've narrowed my search down to one brand, SS.  so i'll start a new thread.  I may have to up my budget by a few grand, but i found out that some SS model A's and Model O's from the pre WWII era as well as 60's Model L's are in this budget.  I played an A3 for $19k...if the guy can regulate it to play like the other one i loved in his showroom (but priced at $35k)...this one at $35k also has original action...then it's definitely a candidate!  They really sound beautiful.  i was shocked that such and old piano w new strings/ hammer / felts / piano keytops /reconditioned finish / can sound and (action) feel as wonderful as they did. 

Regulation means a whole lot!!
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline ffchopinist

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Re: What used grand piano would you buy with $16,000 USD ??
«Reply #11 on: October 30, 2015, 02:20:35 AM »
I've seen a used Steinway Model O grand from the late 90s on Craigslist for around $16,000 USD before! No idea if the condition is actually any good, though....

Offline hbofinger

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Re: What used grand piano would you buy with $16,000 USD ??
«Reply #12 on: February 11, 2016, 11:01:27 PM »
You might be able to wing a good Yamaha C7 for that.

Offline chopinlover01

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Re: What used grand piano would you buy with $16,000 USD ??
«Reply #13 on: February 12, 2016, 03:25:12 AM »
I'd get my school's current Yamaha C3. Lovely instrument, and easily the best yamaha I've ever played. I actually like it more than the Bosendorfer imperial I played a while back.
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