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Used Steinways - Any particular years to avoid? (Read 7360 times)

Offline ffchopinist

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Used Steinways - Any particular years to avoid?
« on: October 30, 2015, 03:37:50 AM »
So I've been researching used Steinway pianos, and I came across some articles that say they used inferior parts during certain years (perhaps in the 80s or during another decade).  

When looking to potentially buy a used Steinway...

Are there any particular years' Steinways one should avoid buying?

Offline irrational

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Re: Used Steinways - Any particular years to avoid?
«Reply #1 on: October 30, 2015, 09:05:22 AM »
I have a preference for older models.
The most pleasant I have played on were from 1896 (Model O) and 1923 (Model K upright).
I can't say for concert grands, but in my personal preference, pianos from the 1910's to 1930's have wonderful touch an rich tone.

My worst was a 1980's model M. Did not like it at all.

Offline visitor

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Re: Used Steinways - Any particular years to avoid?
«Reply #2 on: October 30, 2015, 12:58:27 PM »
I honestly believe it is best to just try and eval each as a unique instrument vs staying away from a  particular vintage especially if refinished since a really fine refinish can give new and better life to a piano that came from a year without stellar reputation (ie just look at the work that Ricahrd Davenport do in their CA worshop, which btw the film "American Grand" is really cool as it follows them through the course of restoring an old 20's Steinway to better than new condition)
ie


also depends on which Steinway. I played a program on a marvelous unrestored 1981 Model D from the SS Hamburg kids and it was an incredible powerful and sensitive instrument, i had no problem making upper register sing and project to the back of the recital hall at the lowest volumes.

Offline onesurfer1

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Re: Used Steinways - Any particular years to avoid?
«Reply #3 on: November 05, 2015, 10:20:38 AM »
So I've been researching used Steinway pianos, and I came across some articles that say they used inferior parts during certain years (perhaps in the 80s or during another decade).  

When looking to potentially buy a used Steinway...

Are there any particular years' Steinways one should avoid buying?
What articles were those you have read?
If you're in the states, check out restored Steinway A's.  What's your budget and max size of piano you're looking for?

Offline hbofinger

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Re: Used Steinways - Any particular years to avoid?
«Reply #4 on: February 11, 2016, 11:00:01 PM »

US models - avoid all years, unless you know EXACTLY what you are doing...

(sorry, Steinway Curmudgeon. Love the Hamburgs, though...)

Offline iansinclair

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Re: Used Steinways - Any particular years to avoid?
«Reply #5 on: February 12, 2016, 12:18:58 AM »
Well now, I wouldn't say that one should avoid all US built Steinways.  That is, perhaps, a bit of a sweeping comment?  I will grant that the Hamburg built Steinways are not quite the same as the US built ones (they are, in general, neither better nor worse, although they do have the snob appeal of being German made, like VW diesels), but to condemn all US built Steinways ... um... I don't know what to say to be gentle and kind to you, hbofinger, so I will say nothing at all about your somewhat unhelpful comment.

Now having said that, in answer to the OP, yes, there are years to be examined with great care: 1972 to 1985 (this is true of both US and Hamburg Steinways).  These are the years when Steinway was controlled by CBS and the quality control was, quite frankly, poor (not so much a matter of inferior parts, but less attention paid to assembly, and poorer quality control on the wood used).  The result was that some Steinways built during those years were excellent.  Some were pretty ordinary.  Some were, frankly, pretty horrible.  Thus if you are considering a Steinway from that time period, the individual instrument has to be evaluated with great care.

Ian

Offline chopinlover01

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Re: Used Steinways - Any particular years to avoid?
«Reply #6 on: February 12, 2016, 03:18:28 AM »
I honestly believe it is best to just try and eval each as a unique instrument vs staying away from a  particular vintage especially if refinished since a really fine refinish can give new and better life to a piano that came from a year without stellar reputation (ie just look at the work that Ricahrd Davenport do in their CA worshop, which btw the film "American Grand" is really cool as it follows them through the course of restoring an old 20's Steinway to better than new condition)
ie
This.

There's a reason technicians exist, and a reason why restorers exist. Many a terrible piano from a terrible age has been made great again with great care.
Jazz Ambassador 8)