Should I Buy A Used Steinway
Steinways are monoliths in the culture of music, especially in the arena of pianos. Their name carries prestige and decades of pristine musical experience. The question is not whether to buy a used Steinway piano, but rather what to look for in a used Steinway Piano.
Steinway is so particular about their pianos, that they have classified seven different types of used Steinway pianos. If a piano that bears the name “Steinway” doesn’t fit into one of these categories, then it’s simply not a Steinway Piano.
The 7 Categories
Piano dealers, sellers, and technicians use these classifications as a way to sell their Steinways.
- Shell: this is a used Steinway piano that hasn’t been restored. This piano is normally not in playing conditions and might not even play at all. It’s been forgotten, neglected, damaged or somehow compromised.
- Repaired: a Steinway piano that has had some parts repaired over time, but none of the large or major components. It’s been well maintained and is able to be played daily.
- Rebuilt: a Steinway that has been reconstructed to its original condition. Some of the major components that had to be replaced or fixed include the soundboard, bridges, and action parts.
- Stein-was: this is a used Steinway piano that has had major parts replaced with non-Steinway parts. Therefore, it’s no longer considered a pure Steinway.
- Original: this is a Steinway piano that has never had any parts replaced since it was manufactured. Generally, these pianos tend to be less than 20 years old.
- Factory Restoration: this is a Steinway piano that has been taken through the Steinway Restoration Center in New York City and has all the parts replaced with genuine Steinway parts.
- Heirloom Collection: these are only available through authorized Steinway dealers. Each Heirloom piano has a 5 year warranty (like a new Steinway), genuine Steinway parts, and a medallion of authenticity.
Buying a used piano is an experience, but buying a used Steinway is even more so. Make sure you have people around you with the expertise to help you sort through the authentic Steinways and can help categorize the pianos you’re looking at. If you’re interested in that expertise, A/C Pianocraft will be at your disposal for your piano needs.