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$ Steinway Upright < $2000? Worth it? $ (Read 3536 times)

Offline pianoplayerstar

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$ Steinway Upright < $2000? Worth it? $
« on: June 30, 2016, 07:01:06 PM »
I'm considering buying this Steinway upright (S/N 100-383730).

it's under $2000.

Is this one of those 19th Century pianos?  The keys are not up to scratch and I think a piano tuner can simply fix it for a few bucks?

.. or am I just trying to get a $50k piano for $1k?

Can someone look up that serial # for me or give me a general ballpark of this piano whether it's worth it or not?

If it sounds anything close to (OR EVEN BETTER THAN) a Yamaha P-22, I want to snatch this deal!

Thanks, friends for your input.
pps

Offline huaidongxi

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Re: $ Steinway Upright < $2000? Worth it? $
«Reply #1 on: June 30, 2016, 08:12:29 PM »
what is the height of the object under consideration.  vertical pianos are not created equal.

Offline huaidongxi

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Re: $ Steinway Upright < $2000? Worth it? $
«Reply #2 on: June 30, 2016, 08:31:09 PM »
since the boston piano you are considering is made by kawai in Indonesia, you might consider a kawai vertical as well. the UST-9 is approximately the same size as the boston or yamaha verticals you specified.

Offline pianoplayerstar

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Re: $ Steinway Upright < $2000? Worth it? $
«Reply #3 on: June 30, 2016, 08:37:39 PM »
it's not a boston piano; it's an actual steinway - that's what it is imprinted on the piano.. unless there is something you know that i don't know.


it's about 4 feet the piano

Offline huaidongxi

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Re: $ Steinway Upright < $2000? Worth it? $
«Reply #4 on: June 30, 2016, 09:52:47 PM »
was responding to the query at the top of your post, 'better than a Boston UP 188s?'.  in comparable condition, the S&S of the same size will be the better instrument.  even if it's cosmetically challenged, and the reason for its price is based on appearance, but everything else(playing response and consistency, touch, sound) is in good, good+ condition, 2k. is a sensible investment.  if you're uncertain what is not right about the piano that puts the price down at that point, have a technician examine it and assess what could or should be done as far as repair or renovation.  if (s)he tells you it is a good Steinway vertical, it would repay a thousand or three additional investment.

Offline pianoplayerstar

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Re: $ Steinway Upright < $2000? Worth it? $
«Reply #5 on: June 30, 2016, 10:37:44 PM »
what do you mean repay a thousand?
... i was expecting any good steinways to be $50,000+

.. or for steinway uprights in the very least around $20,000 ?

when i heard a couple thousand $, i was incredulous.

are you saying that this basic upright steinway is better than a used yamaha p 22?  or can be at least?

Offline iansinclair

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Re: $ Steinway Upright < $2000? Worth it? $
«Reply #6 on: June 30, 2016, 11:16:42 PM »
A true Steinway upright -- particularly the taller ones -- can be a very fine instrument.  Four feet is a little on the short side, though, for full bass (the tall upright grands -- on the order of five feet or more -- have string scaling very similar to the smaller Steinway grands, and resulting power and sound).  That said, the shorter ones do have excellent tone (the Steinway spinet I play from time to time is marvelous, but it is in a rather small room).

The chief disadvantage relative to a grand isn't the tone, but the action: even very fine uprights simply do not have the repetition speed of a grand, although they can be almost as sensitive to touch.

Price?  All over the map.  The $50,000 figure, though, would be for a grand, and a grand in good condition.  $2,000 for an upright in good shape with good tone might be quite reasonable.

And yes I would say that the Steinway upright could easily be better than a used Yamaha p 22!

Ian

Offline quantum

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Re: $ Steinway Upright < $2000? Worth it? $
«Reply #7 on: June 30, 2016, 11:43:50 PM »
I've played a few Steinway verticals and have been very pleased with their tone.  As Ian said, the action does not compare to a grand but the response and tonal qualities are have been very good.  

If you can provide some more specifics maybe we can provide more input.  Things like it's measured height, model number, or a few pictures inside and out.  
Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline huaidongxi

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Re: $ Steinway Upright < $2000? Worth it? $
«Reply #8 on: July 01, 2016, 01:32:24 AM »
the serial no. you gave corresponds to S&S pianos built in 1963.  their premier vertical is the model K, 52 in. high, among the finest verticals made anywhere, good used examples can go for more than new asian made small grands.  the currently made vertical next in size is the 1098 (46.5 in.), popular in schools and the same size range as the boston up188 or yamaha p22 in your question.  they used to make a model F (42 in.), and currently make a couple of models about an inch shorter than the 1098.

the used smaller (<52 in.) steinway verticals in my experience, sampled in dealer show rooms, varied quite widely in playability, responsiveness, sound, compared to two model K's played in private homes which were excellent. the one or two used model k's sampled were quite expensive (over 10 k.)and in need of reconditioning, and my wonderful spouse expressed her strong preference for a grand. an early 60s small steinway vertical in fair condition might not get much more than 2 k. depending on its local market (the 42 in. models will usually be modestly priced for steinways), but many steinway owners take very good care of their pianos.

Offline indianajo

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Re: $ Steinway Upright < $2000? Worth it? $
«Reply #9 on: July 01, 2016, 01:49:26 PM »
Steinways are very durable pianos.
OTOH Steinways are often used in music schools and have very high hours of use.
In particular buying a used Steinway,  look for scooped hammers in the middle, wiggly pivots, or double strike of the action.
I paid $1000 for the 1941 Steinway 40 console with veneer dings, many brown stained keys, a spliced A#4 string,  and a couple of notes in the middle octave that double strike.  The hammer and damper felts are fine.  
I've been chasing this myth that upright actions are slower than grand actions.  My 1941 Steinway 40" and my 1982 Sohmer 39 with the Pratt Reed action will both go 168 BPM on one note with two hands.
I tried a Yamaha 60" grand at a church where I do volunteer organ installation, and it would go no faster than 168 bpm.  
I asked the organ voicer friend I work with there, and he says there are grands and grands. He says a 60" Yamaha is a bargain piano.   Presumably the 9' ones go faster?  I've heard Daniel Bahrenboim go about 180 bpm on a concert Steinway grand on stage in Wein.  
I found a $100 Sohmer baby grand on CL in the next state that "needs restoration", but won't I rent a car to go out there & see it if baby grands only go 168 bpm.  Or if the ultimate limit is my two hands.
I have been unable to get any experts on here that own grands to measure how fast their wonder pianos will actually repeat notes.  I used the "two notes to click of the metronome" method.

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: $ Steinway Upright < $2000? Worth it? $
«Reply #10 on: July 01, 2016, 02:23:59 PM »
Indianajo, if you like the feel, the hammer handling and voice or tonal control of the upright pianos you are familiar with, so be it. Nobody is trying to talk you out of them. You're old enough and experienced enough to know what you want.
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 pianoplayerstar

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Re: $ Steinway Upright < $2000? Worth it? $
«Reply #11 on: July 01, 2016, 09:02:30 PM »
this piano has rounded edges and doesn't look so good; there is supposedly a lose key a technician or tuner will have to fix; 1 owner only; however, a look around it, i find lots of scratches, dings, and chipped wood; i played it, and it seemed okay; however, the keys felt slippery: i don't know if it's the dust or if i'm just used to the yamaha's; i'm not sure if these are ivory keys, as yamaha's generally aren't ivorey-ed; are these slippery keys normal?  or am i just used to playing on the japanese pianos more so than the american steinway?

WHAT'S THE MOST YOU WOULD PAY FOR SOMETHING LIKE THIS?

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Offline huaidongxi

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Re: $ Steinway Upright < $2000? Worth it? $
«Reply #12 on: July 01, 2016, 10:11:53 PM »
did you measure the piano (vertical height)-- size does matter.  if the problems are nearly all cosmetic, those are where real bargains are found in quality instruments.  the large majority of piano shoppers do care about having a nice looking piece of furniture. do you ? a '63 instrument probably does not have ivory key surfaces ; ivory keys will have a visible seam line where the key narrows because they can't be formed in a single continuous piece, and the surface will not be absolutely smoothy uniform.  a good technician would probably be able to do quite a bit with that piano if there aren't any serious structural defects (unlikely from S&S if there's only been one owner), adjust the action and the timbre.  what condition were the hammer surfaces -- heavy wear, or not ?  sound quality is one of the major differences between S&S vs. many asian made pianos.  if you weren't impressed it might not be right for you.  if the cosmetic issues are significant the owner might have trouble getting the price he wants, but would you be content with a dinged up piano.

Offline indianajo

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Re: $ Steinway Upright < $2000? Worth it? $
«Reply #13 on: July 02, 2016, 11:24:00 AM »
Scooped hammers in the middle - $0. I won't touch a piano with worn action.
Hammers all uniform, 44" tall - $1500. Note I live in a low cost area and that is a cash & carry away from a home price. The dealer that operates out of the flea market adds $400 to craigslist price. Stores with a showroom add even more.  
The new Steinway 44 vertical that I played in 1982, I was not impressed with the sound.  OTOH that was in the middle of an open plan mall store, and Steinways are performance pianos.  If the sound was all coming out the back, it may have needed to be backed up to a hard plaster wall to bounce the sound at the player.  The Sohmer piano I bought was designed to project sound at the player, as is my 1941 Steinway 40, which has holes in the front rail covered by fabric.  
In 1963 plastic keys dominated the industry.  These were not textured.  I've played those slick plastic keys all my life and don't have a problem with them, but I hear that texture was added sometime later to plastic.  
One additional reason a Steinway may be worth a premium is keyboard force and speed.  The one I played in 82 took a lot of force, and that is required to train to play on concert grands.  The backside of the additional force, Steinways may allow repetition of a single note faster than the 168 bpm my Sohmer will go.  My 1941 Steinway is low force, designed for consumers, and will also go 168.  I've heard Nights in the Garden of Spain with single note repetition faster than that on television, on what quite visibly was a Steinway grand, probably German built.  

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: $ Steinway Upright < $2000? Worth it? $
«Reply #14 on: July 02, 2016, 12:50:13 PM »
The bottom line is basically that you ( not us) should be able to sit down at the piano and feel that it's something you want to play and are very comfortable playing. Assuming it's in reasonable mechanical shape, then let a tech massage it a bit and it will be all the better an instrument for "you". If you don't get a kind of fuzzy feeling sitting at it and more so playing it, pass it over. If you think you might like it, have a tech check it out for you and give you an evaluation/s of what it might cost to bring up to your specification.

If I (for instance) give you a bunch of biases or otherwise incorrect info for your area, it serves no purpose to you. So the above is my unbiased reply lol !


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 pianoplayerstar

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Re: $ Steinway Upright < $2000? Worth it? $
«Reply #15 on: July 05, 2016, 10:11:17 PM »
all your comments have been very very helpful. thank you a bunch.

now to see if this piano is still available; i really didn't know a steinway can cost under $2,000; however, it looks like they are out there.

.. probably worlds apart from the traditional $40,000 steinways