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+Yamaha vs. Steinway USED maintains "Integrity" with LEAST "ATTRITION" - Buying Used +

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> Get Ripped Off?! or STEINWAY GRAND Model 1970's through 1990's? $<ADVICE? (Read 6619 times)

Offline pianoplayerstar

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Piano Dudes/Dudettes:

I'm considering getting a used Steinway GRAND (1970's) vs. a Yamaha C3 or C7?

Reason for the 1970's is because during this decade (a la Horowitz years), an aged piano current to today's 2016's pianos, I thought that the 1970's is the 'furthest' I should go for a used Steinway Grand?

OR should I buy a Yamaha Grand to match the Steinway Grand?  YES!  BUDGET 'IS' A HUGE CONCERN FOR ME.  I've heard that Yamaha's in the 70's actually used Steinway wood/trees due to the limited importation of wood at the time for Yamaha (I'm actually not sure what this means.. but I heard this)

For those PURISTS, you will say "it depends on what you're looking for" ERGO: it's subjective.

I need a CONSUMER STRAIGHT-TO-THE-POINT-ANSWER 'WITH' a PURIST touch to this question, please?

Q:  Steinway Grand 1970's vs. Yamaha Grand?
Q2: If so, WHAT YEAR do you recommend?

Detailed answers will be very helpful.

I don't want to pull out my wallet to spend $7k on a used piano and have regrets.

I appreciate y'all for your input!

Thanks.
pps




Offline huaidongxi

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is $7 k. your budget for the piano.  if it is, don't expect to find much in a steinway grand.  twelve years ago almost bought a steinway L in very good condition, a practice instrument once used by horowitz(made in the mid-'60s).  about $15 k., a very good price at that time, nearly impossible to find a similar steinway now for that.  on a $7 k. budget my advice would be to not restrict yourself to just two name brands.

Offline pianoplayerstar

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15k is still a good price; I was thinking an 'old' model B or M (if they made something similar to those)... unless an "L" would be better.

I really like the Yamaha C series - amazing touch and sound.

Offline huaidongxi

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there are lots of M's used on the market, because they are one of the most popular of the smaller grands.  B's (nearly 7 ft.)are in a different category completely, full sized grand suited to large rooms or cozy performance venues.  in broad terms, L's and O's are slightly larger(about 3 in.) and improved revisions of the M (same designer, early 20th cent.), and all things equal, which they never are in used instruments, they'd be better pianos than M's.

your budget will remain the principal factor on whether you'd find a steinway you like as much as the yamahas.  if you love the latter that much it speaks for itself.  an older steinway, recently restored properly, won't be inexpensive, and decent work done on an older instrument needing some care comes very dear on steinways.

Offline huaidongxi

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since you mentioned the model B, the best way to resolve reservations over which is better for you, find one and play one.  made in Hamburg, if available.  forty years ago, living abroad, had access to a hamburger B for several months.  a couple of months ago o.t.o.h. there was a nearly new yamaha C3 for my practice piano for a few days where we took a holiday.  you're probably a few decades younger than me so its heavy action might be preferable for you.  otherwise a very good instrument, but not really close to the B.  a considerably smaller yamaha grand, heavily played before it came into my possession more than forty years ago, had more character and personality than the almost new C3. yamaha very likely made many 'improvements' in those forty years and the market they seek probably excludes retirees like me.

Offline quantum

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What are your impressions playing Steinways?  What models have you had a chance to play?

Can you elaborate on the qualities of the Yamaha C series that appeal to you.  You mention touch and sound, can you explain further.

As a point of perspective: I know of junk Steinways that sold for 10k - meaning pianos that were in need of serious repair/restoration to get back to decent playing conditions.  This is the Steinway name working its wonders. 

With regards to year, I personally would spend more time and energy with a technician doing detailed regulation and voicing then worrying about getting a specific year.  IMO this will yield a much more satisfactory experience with the piano, then trying to aim for a specific year of manufacture. 
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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with respect to quantum's comments, which are completely on the mark, if you did spend time looking at used steinways, you'd find out for yourself that the variables in older instruments ( older not only in terms of chronological age, but what heavy use, plus the care along the way they've seen or not seen) only occasionally correspond to when they were made.  with other brands their period of manufacture can be a big factor, because they've endured more changes in methods and place of manufacture, management, ownership, and quality control over time. [the fluctuating fortunes of two other top american piano names, Baldwin and Mason & Hamlin are a useful contrast with Steinway]. part of what makes tier one instruments different is continuity and stability in where and how they operated, and a reason most yamahas are not considered tier one instruments.  you did choose two brand names that have something in common for consumers -- they are both quite successful in marketing their names and reputations.

Offline iansinclair

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I would make a couple of comments.  First, there were some "bad" years for Steinways; at one point in there (1972 to 1985) they came under the ownership of a major corporation -- and quality control (both Hamburg and New York) suffered.  Some of the pianos made in those years were superb.  Some... ah, not so much (none were really bad, but...).  So that is an era of Steinways I would avoid. 

Second, outside of that period, however, my not so humble opinion is that any Steinway -- again, either Hamburg or New York -- must be evaluated strictly on whether it likes you and you like it.  Once you have found one which you like then you can evaluate how much work, if any, is needed on the guts -- regulation etc. -- and how much is needed cosmetically, and then you can begin to figure out a fair price.

That said, if $7K US is your budget, however, I would not expect to find a Steinway grand of any size or age in good cosmetic condition.  You might get lucky and find one which looked horrible but had good action and pinboard and soundboard and needed only new strings, if anything, and was unloved.  But you might have to settle for a good soundboard and pinboard, and resign yourself to a complete regulation job and new strings and maybe new hammers.

Disclaimer: I have two Steinway grands; an 1898 A and a 1924 M.  Neither is in that great cosmetic condition (the M really suffered that way; the A is good except for some bad veneer) but both are in excellent acoustical condition; neither has been restored, although the A did get a new set of strings around 1980.  The playing quality is interestingly different -- mostly because the M has a newer action with better repetition and a slightly lighter touch (the 1898 action is a first class bear to regulate!).  Both have had moderately heavy use.
Ian

Offline pianoplayerstar

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So based on your comments:

YES:  Steinway "B" (make sure it's made in HAMBURG)
YES:  Steinway "M" (any years)

NO:  DON'T GET A STEINWAY DURING THE YEARS OF 1972-1985
_________________________________________________________

This makes it easier for me to choose.

However, do those parameters seem right?  Can someone help comment on the above AND/OR narrow down my choices?

Offline iansinclair

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Only comment on that that I would make is that I simply don't share the bias towards Hamburg or against New York made Steinways.  Some folks make a major production out of it.  I've never seen a significant difference -- or at least not one which is any greater than comparing any two instruments from either place.
Ian

Offline huaidongxi

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Mr.Sinclair is probably referring to the period when Steinway was owned by CBS.  the model L which we nearly purchased was from that time, one of the differences between those pianos and earlier or later versions was the use of plastic and teflon in the action.  this did not apply to the Hamburg instruments (Renner actions, a difference they still maintain now).  to this day, that L (in a private home) was the best playing and sounding small steinway grand in my experience, and technicians who've worked with many steinways will tell you that the CBS era pianos have to be assessed instrument by instrument, like any of the older pianos.  in my experience the used small  (< 6 ft.) steinway grands found in dealer showrooms are usually indifferently prepped, as if the dealers expect the name brand to sell them.  there are so many used M's around, as noted earlier, generalizations aren't helpful.  somewhat like Toyota camrys, dependably decent nearly always when they're new if set up properly by the dealer, but subjected to a huge variation in use and maintenance after that.  the M's in my experience (not having played brand new ones in steinway showrooms) have not shown qualities that separated them from other top makers' (including Asian) grands of similar size. Mr.Sinclair's M is in a different category as a vintage instrument, it's had its action replaced, and it's obviously been well cared for.

you need to go out and play different pianos to make your own assessments based on your preferences.  if you are already very content with yamaha products perhaps you have limited incentive to do so, as is your privilege.

Offline pianoplayerstar

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So now, I'm thinking: "JUST GET THE STEINWAY "M" ... ANY YEAR/TIMEFRAME WILL DO"

Would be correct?  Subjectivity setting aside....

Forget whether it's made in NY or Hamburg
          Forget whether it's in the 1970's or 80's
                    Forget whether it's an "L"..... or a "B"

JUST GET THE "M" - THAT'S A SURE THING AND A SMALL HOME WITH DECENT ACOUSTICS WILL APPRECIATE THE "M" ANY DAY!

Does this sound like the best recommendation?

$8500 - $15k - $28k ====> this seems to be the range of these old 1940's and up "M" 's?

Yes?

Offline huaidongxi

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can only conclude after my attempts to communicate that you're joking.  enjoy your piano shopping.

Offline pianoplayerstar

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"M" models used seem to be in that Price Range... newer ones are probably a lot more.

unless the $8k-$20k model "m"'s are the reburbished ones?

... if it makes any difference

Offline quantum

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What were your impressions on the Model M when playing one?
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 pianoplayerstar

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i thought the sure thing was the model b or m.. but after reviewing these msgs, it seems like the m is the best