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Steinway Piano Price Guide


  • Fair Pricing: How much is a Steinway Worth?
    Fair Pricing: How much is a Steinway Worth?
    How much is a Steinway (or this Steinway) worth? As pianists, musicians, students, parents, and music lovers play through Steinway pianos they love, it is a question of great importance.
    How much is a Steinway (or this Steinway) worth? As pianists, musicians, students, parents, and music lovers play through Steinway pianos they love, it is a question of great importance. Many financially savvy individuals understand that often, when they pay more for something, it retains its value better than something less expensive. So how do you know if it’s TOO expensive? The answer may be found in what is known as the Steinway “cost of use” or “cost of enjoyment”, namely what you pay for the piano, minus what you can reasonably expect to sell it for in 10-15 years. If you do a little work on both sides of this equation (buying and selling), your Steinway “cost of use” can be minimal; in many cases, it is zero. When someone buys a Steinway piano new from the Steinway showroom, there is invariably a significant drop in value the minute the piano comes home. People understand that when it comes to luxury cars, and the effect is very similar when buying brand new at Steinway. The reason being that when you buy new at Steinway there is no competition, and therefore the pricing is not subject to an actual “market”, but rather the pricing desire of the Steinway company. The only way to pay a fair price for a Steinway, or sell a Steinway piano for a fair price is to be part of the actual “market”. What are the characteristics of a real market? A true market has 1) many buyers and sellers 2) equal access to information. On the secondary market for Steinways, one can observe these traits. There are numerous sellers of used Steinway, especially in healthy markets like New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington DC. These sellers, by virtue of a real market, must compete. This brings the pricing down to earth. When a musician buys in this market they know that they can use and enjoy their Steinway for many years, and then sell back into the same market they bought in. Similarly, when they sell their Steinway, they can call numerous dealers, and private individuals to compare offers and get the best price. Lastly, one has to do a certain amount of due diligence to learn about competing Steinway resellers, basic knowledge about the construct and sound of the piano, and information on what pianos are selling for on the actual secondary market. This takes a little effort, asking lots of questions to everyone, including pianists, piano dealers, piano technicians, and other piano lovers. Take the time to be part of the real market (with competition and good information), and you’ll pay a fair price for your Steinway piano.
  • New vs. Used Steinway Pianos
    New vs. Used Steinway Pianos
    Should I buy a new Steinway? This is a question that many parents, pianists, and artists ask themselves as they walk through the Steinway showroom.
    Should I buy a new Steinway? This is a question that many parents, pianists, and artists ask themselves as they walk through the Steinway showroom. On the one hand, buying new seemingly offers the Steinway buyer the feeling of no risk; the buyer often thinks “it’s brand new, so we KNOW it’s good”. That type of thinking is understandable. Steinway buyers often worry that they don’t understand enough to make a qualified decision, so they believe this is the “safe” decision. And often, sales agents, seeking to sell new Steinways to meet sales goals, not only reinforce these natural concerns, and even amplify them to the point of a encouraging a “new” purchase out of fear. We don’t advocate fear based purchasing. We believe in inspiring pianists, musicians, families, and communities to find that perfect Steinway, one which will draw them to the piano on a daily basis, and make their life richer. And the great thing is that an educated Steinway buyer can find a lightly used Steinway for a fraction of the cost of a new one, we are talking absolutely pristine, like-new condition, with a full soulful sound and character that brings you back to the instrument to create gorgeous sounds day after day. Always remember, when a brand “new” Steinway comes home, it immediately, that very moment, becomes a “used” Steinway, and is subject to pricing on the secondary market. Once the piano hits the secondary market, there is competition. With competition, prices come down to earth. We often find that pianos 10 years old 15 years old 20 years old, are lovingly taking care of, lightly used, and in essentially new condition. With just a lit bit of effort, you can buy these pristine new condition Steinways for a fair price. In addition to lightly used Steinways, what we call “off the lot” Steinways, many pianists prefer even older Steinways, rebuilt with all Steinway parts. At the Juilliard School, all the Steinways in the practice rooms are from 1900-1950, rebuilt with Steinway parts. The pianists at Juilliard chose these pianos because of the warmth, character, and history. Our bottom line is buy a pristine steinway that inspires you, with character, soul, and passion.
  • Inspired Selections - Which Steinway is right for you?
    Inspired Selections - Which Steinway is right for you?
    So you’re determined to buy a lightly used Steinway that will bring you to the piano day in and day out. Which Steinway is right for you?
    So you’re determined to buy a lightly used Steinway that will bring you to the piano day in and day out. Which Steinway is right for you? The answer usually lies in the character, personality, and soul of the piano. When choosing a Steinway piano we recommend that the Steinway buyer sit at the instrument and focus on two areas: the bass, and the lyrical possibilities. Play a few pieces with big bass sections, and look for the responsiveness of the piano. The Steinway bass is renowned for having a deep, rich, and powerful quality. See if the Steinway you are considering has this power and richness. Then move up to the middle and higher registers of the Steinway. Does the piano sing with ease? Does the legato flow seamlessly, and lastly, does the tone simulate vibrato? With violin, or voice, or virtually any other instrument, there is the benefit of vibrato; within the context of a single note the sound can swell and open up and sing. The piano by definition is a percussive instrument. You press the key, the hammer hits the string, and there is nothing further you can do to enhance the note at that point. However, on a truly great Steinway piano, there is a simulated vibrato effect, you can literally hear the note open up in the air. These colors, these nuances, this character and personality — does it match your ear? Even a beginner can make this effort to connect with the sound, and often it pays dividends. Beyond exploring the character of the piano, size DOES matter. All Steinway buyers should explore the different models for sale to see which is right for your space.
  • Do children need a great piano? The “when they get good” myth
    Do children need a great piano? The “when they get good” myth
    One thing we often hear from piano teachers is that they wish their students would improve their current instrument. These teachers tell us that many parents express that they will buy their kids a good piano "when they get good" at piano.
    One thing we often hear from piano teachers is that they wish their students would improve their current instrument. These teachers tell us that many parents express that they will buy their kids a good piano "when they get good" at piano. This type of thinking is understandable. After all, parents wish to teach children the consequential value of work and reward. My parents used to think the same thing. However, I showed them a book by the pianist Josef Levine where he explained that this thinking is actually a myth. In reality, it’s the early stages of learning where touch, sound, color, and nuance are most essential. Those early stages where the piano student truly connects to the feel of a proper action, the weight, the ability to sculpt a sound. So although it is possible to “get good” without a great piano, it DOES make sense to consider a fine instrument an essential part of the learning process. If you can find a top quality Steinway piano, lightly used, with a fair and reasonable price, you may be able to get the best of both worlds: good value and the highest quality piano on the market, which will bring your children closer to music. In life, when we truly commit and invest in something, then it takes on greater importance and meaning to us. Teachers observe this with their piano students. When the parents decide to commit, they invest in a great piano, they place it in a central part of the living area where they can give consistent reinforcement ("wonderful playing", "try it again", "we really enjoyed it"), the children feel their interest and attention. The parents bring in fine young musicians to do a house concert or two at the house, a music salon, and the parents take the children to classical and jazz concerts in the community. All of a sudden, the children are truly feeling culture on an internal level, they are living and breathing it. It’s not about “don’t forget to practice”, it’s about them expressing their feelings and energy with music, learning about the classics, jazz, and popular music; seeing fine young musicians making music in their own home, and learning (without being told) that music can be an important part of the basic fabric of their life.
  • Selling Fear: The "Stein-Was” Myth
    Selling Fear: The "Stein-Was” Myth
    It wasn’t long ago that Steinway used to be very proud of their older pianos. Steinway spoke, with great pride, about their multi-generation pianos, that embodied great character, soul, and stunning sound.
    It wasn’t long ago that Steinway used to be very proud of their older pianos. Steinway spoke, with great pride, about their multi-generation pianos, that embodied great character, soul, and stunning sound. Pianists loved these older pianos, and institutions such as Juilliard stocked their practice facilities with these golden-age pianos. Juilliard still has only golden-age Steinways in their practice rooms, the choice of countless pianists. When you go to the living room of most accomplished and internationally renowned pianists, you will often find an older golden age Steinway. So why would Steinway develop a word to scare buyers? Many pianists feel that these scare tactics were designed by clever marketing people (not musicians) with one aim: to scare buyers into buying brand new. The result, many experts contend, was a new business strategy built on selling fear. In reality, there a great many piano technicians who have worked for years at Steinway (or still do), and espouse the older golden age Steinways. These technicians roll their eyes when they hear that Steinway has resorted to such a scare tactic; for they know, as most concert pianists do, that older Steinways, like prized Stradivarius violins, often have a richness of tone and sound color that is without equal.
  • Steinway History and Quality: "Best-in-Class"  since 1853
    Steinway History and Quality: "Best-in-Class" since 1853
    One thing that virtually all pianists and musicians can agree on is that the sound, tone, and character of a beautiful Steinway piano can be nothing short of magical. How does Steinway produce pianos that consistently attract the interest of many of the world’s finest musicians?
    One thing that virtually all pianists and musicians can agree on is that the sound, tone, and character of a beautiful Steinway piano can be nothing short of magical. How does Steinway produce pianos that consistently attract the interest of many of the world’s finest musicians? The answer is craftsmanship of the highest order. Steinway pianos go through an exhaustive multi-year long process that involves many levels of hand craftsmanship and quality control that are perhaps without equal. The subsequent tone is as close to a vibrato as is possible on what is technically a percussive instrument. In addition, the richness and and robust quality of the bass creates an experience for the piano player that keeps that coming back for more. Check out this detailed look inside the Steinway Piano Factory and the hand-crafted process that creates the soulful sound that pianists rave about.

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