Does anyone know pianos?

Talk about things that are not necessarily related to music or the guitar.
dory
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Does anyone know pianos?

Post by dory » Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:28 pm

My mother died a year ago. My father died recently and released my mom's piano for being given away, as he had wanted it in his house as a reminder of my mom while he was still alive. I know absolutely zero about pianos beyond being able to tell if one is awful.

I just had my mom's piano evaluated. The specialist who came in surprised me by saying it is a very high level concert piano. He has been caring for it for years and wants it donated someplace it will be used for concert playing. He wants it to go to my church becsuse in addition to having outstanding choirs, they have a lot of high level concerts there, and they take good care of their pianos. Our director says he has been offered several high level pianos in the last year and doesn't want it. I don't know what to do. Do used pianos have a lot of monetary value? I know used top level guitars do. How can I tell if the expert was exagerrating? If you had a piano like this what woukd you do with it?
Dory

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Adrian Allan
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Re: Does anyone know pianos?

Post by Adrian Allan » Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:44 pm

Can you tell us the make of the piano and its year?

No, pianos do not have the same sort of re-sell value, due to their problems of transportation. A very few makes have a decent re-sale value, such as Steinway and Bechstein. If the piano is not one of the top half a dozen or so big names, I am sorry to say that it will be worth very little, but always less that $1,000, often less than $500 max.
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Ramon Amira
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Re: Does anyone know pianos?

Post by Ramon Amira » Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:24 pm

Adrian Allan wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:44 pm
Can you tell us the make of the piano and its year?

No, pianos do not have the same sort of re-sell value, due to their problems of transportation. A very few makes have a decent re-sale value, such as Steinway and Bechstein. If the piano is not one of the top half a dozen or so big names, I am sorry to say that it will be worth very little, but always less that $1,000, often less than $500 max.
This is not accurate. The instrument was described as a "very high level concert piano." Such an instrument, no matter the make, definitely has a high resale value, certainly in the thousands.

Ramon
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Marshall Dixon
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Re: Does anyone know pianos?

Post by Marshall Dixon » Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:25 pm

dory wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:28 pm
My mother died a year ago. My father died recently and released my mom's piano for being given away, as he had wanted it in his house as a reminder of my mom while he was still alive. I know absolutely zero about pianos beyond being able to tell if one is awful.

I just had my mom's piano evaluated. The specialist who came in surprised me by saying it is a very high level concert piano. He has been caring for it for years and wants it donated someplace it will be used for concert playing. He wants it to go to my church becsuse in addition to having outstanding choirs, they have a lot of high level concerts there, and they take good care of their pianos. Our director says he has been offered several high level pianos in the last year and doesn't want it. I don't know what to do. Do used pianos have a lot of monetary value? I know used top level guitars do. How can I tell if the expert was exagerrating? If you had a piano like this what woukd you do with it?
I once bought a house that came with a small piano. We had it tuned and it got played on occaision. When we decided to get rid of it we called the tuner who said he had a warehouse full of these and it wasn't worth the cost of having it moved. Fortunately a friend's daughter played and had 4 huskey young men come by and move it to her house.

A woman I know, who played since childhood on the old family Steinway baby grand, wanted to have it "restored." That would have cost $20,000 dollars she told me. She ended up giving it away to a community organization of some sort.

In my, by no means expert opinion, you own what the ancient Roman called "impedimentia."

I considered cutting up my old piano to make guitars but it was plywood construction.

Have your husband take a look. Maybe a guitar made out of it would be a spiritual force for you. And if it has ivory keys there could be a cottage industry in your future marketing bridge saddles for guitars.

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joachim33
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Re: Does anyone know pianos?

Post by joachim33 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:30 pm

Hi Dory

First of all, my condolences on the passing of your parents.

If you live in or nearby a city there must be some value to a used piano. An idea might be to contact a local music school, whether a student or even they are looking for one.

Joachim

JohnH*
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Re: Does anyone know pianos?

Post by JohnH* » Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:41 pm

Marshall Dixon wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:25 pm
Maybe a guitar made out of it would be a spiritual force for you. And if it has ivory keys there could be a cottage industry in your future marketing bridge saddles for guitars.
I think having a guitar made from your mom's piano is a great idea. Depending on the materials with which the piano was made, there could be a fortune in backs, sides, and soundboards in there.
JohnH*
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Adrian Allan
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Re: Does anyone know pianos?

Post by Adrian Allan » Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:51 pm

Ramon Amira wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:24 pm
Adrian Allan wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:44 pm
Can you tell us the make of the piano and its year?

No, pianos do not have the same sort of re-sell value, due to their problems of transportation. A very few makes have a decent re-sale value, such as Steinway and Bechstein. If the piano is not one of the top half a dozen or so big names, I am sorry to say that it will be worth very little, but always less that $1,000, often less than $500 max.
This is not accurate. The instrument was described as a "very high level concert piano." Such an instrument, no matter the make, definitely has a high resale value, certainly in the thousands.

Ramon
Yes, and a high level concert piano will presumably be one of the big names, as the smaller names did not make grand pianos.
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Michael.N.
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Re: Does anyone know pianos?

Post by Michael.N. » Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:57 pm

Don't go cutting up any old pianos until you are sure that it has zero value. It's true that many of them aren't worth anything but if someone says it's of concert quality then give it every chance.
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Rasputin
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Re: Does anyone know pianos?

Post by Rasputin » Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:59 pm

The advanced search on e - b a y can often tell you what something is worth - you can see what similar items have actually gone for. You may find one by the same maker. There's a box labeled 'include sold items' or something along those lines that you have to check.

A piano can make a nice piece of furniture if you have the space, but I guess you've already considered that.

MessyTendon
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Re: Does anyone know pianos?

Post by MessyTendon » Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:36 pm

I would play it and enjoy it, if the space isn't the issue. Shipping pianos and tuning them is a logistical nightmare. You want the best of the best to do that kind of work.

Look at school districts...they always need good instruments, but it's sort of important to make sure it goes to active music program. Lot's of schools simply have beautiful instruments collecting dust.

astro64
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Re: Does anyone know pianos?

Post by astro64 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:49 pm

I love pianos, always wanted to learn to play one, but the guitar got in the way and was affordable. I would not dump a piano that is described as "concert class" without some more serious investigation. To get an idea of resale values and what are considered good pianos a bit of surfing on Youtube will give you some idea. Robert Estrin is one dealer who puts up many videos of the instruments he sells. A typical good-quality "name-brand" grand goes in the range of $15,000-30,000 and that is indeed after restoration, if required, or in any case for a piano in very good working condition with no problems. The condition of the piano and the amount of work it may require are critical. I would be really surprised if no one wants to give it a good home.

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Andrew Fryer
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Re: Does anyone know pianos?

Post by Andrew Fryer » Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:02 pm

I've been told that keyboards have killed the piano market. Unfortunately I don't have the premises, otherwise I'd buy a piano.
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Laudiesdad69
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Re: Does anyone know pianos?

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:25 am

My dad had a 1920's (1926 I think) Mason & Hamlin concert grand that he paid a few thousand for, restored it for about ten grand and sold it, making nearly double what he had into it. The keys were all Ivory of course. He sold it to a music student's parents. That piano was just a piece of decorative furniture in his house. The only time it got played was when I came over and played the handful of Beatles songs I knew on it.

Piano restoration is quite expensive, depending on what needs to be done. My dad's piano was basically gutted and rebuilt/refinished. He would have given it to me, if I had had the room for one. But it seems that everyone that owns one wants to get rid of it eventually. At least if they aren't primarily a piano player. That was twenty years ago, and he hasn't got any new ones since.

Marshall Dixon
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Re: Does anyone know pianos?

Post by Marshall Dixon » Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:35 pm

Michael.N. wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:57 pm
Don't go cutting up any old pianos until you are sure that it has zero value. It's true that many of them aren't worth anything but if someone says it's of concert quality then give it every chance.
On second thought, the Skillsaw approach may not be the most circumspect first move. I guess my reaction was influenced by another thread regarding piano recycling. That and having helped move 2 big pianos in the past without benefit of a mechanical lift.

It is an interesting social commentary, these old pianos. I doubt there are too many people who collect them, or even have more than one. The woman I mentioned above could've afforded to restore hers, but decided an electronic keyboard instrument would suffice.

Some concert halls have more than one piano so musicians can pick the one that plays and sounds to their liking. There may be some hope of salvation from the scrap heap.

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Michael.N.
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Re: Does anyone know pianos?

Post by Michael.N. » Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:33 pm

They are heavy and cumbersome to move around, no doubt about that. I can't say that I'm a big fan of concert pianos or uprights. To me they are just large ugly bits of furniture (sorry!). . . . but I do love the sound. Early square pianos I like but they aren't really for Chopin. Electronic pianos certainly have their advantages. I have a Korg, cheap but more than good enough for me. If I ever get past grade 3 I might upgrade, I'm still struggling with grade 2!
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