When George Michael set the highest price ever paid for a piano on October 17 in the year 2000, and bought the used Steinway piano John Lennon once owned and played on the Imagine, LP do you think he ever considered the fact the piano’s status as a used instrument affected its value in a negative way. With Steinway, more often than not “used” rarely has a negative connotation. Their pianos, were designed to give decades of service, and it is not uncommon to hear that distinctive and powerful sound as clear and crisp as a new piano, if restored properly by a company like The Piano Store. It is important to remember in your search for a Steinway, that used pianos more than 20 years old will have limited musical value for practice or performance and its financial worth will be impacted adversely unless its had verifiable quality piano restoration. Older restoration work may be of limited value if not executed by professionals.
Used as it related to Steinway Pianos, is by no means to be associated with “worthless” and “decrepit” or ready to be discarded. In fact, Steinway pianos often age gracefully, and with proper technical service can mellow and project the sweetest melodies and become more valuable. So in the case of vintage Steinway pianos, the word “used” it is not only “not bad”… but actually very good. The used Steinway has solid permanence of investment and resale value, and if one is worthy candidate for piano restoration, it can be rebuilt, and become even more valuable than an unrestored lesser quality piano. After many years of being left alone at Grandma’s or another keepsake location, it can be brought back to its former artistic, majestic and musical glory…and finally evoke again that singular luscious tone that only a Steinway can make possible after many years of waiting to be reborn.
What comes to your mind when you hear the word “used”? People use euphemisms to help them through this term, especially in the piano business. Not only do we call older pianos “pre-owned”, but we do say, “original condition”, “needing to be restored”, “time-traveler”, and other such phrases to help us understand the condition of the Steinway piano. In reality, all of these words underline the same point—a piano that is not new. For now , let’s not get tangled up in what is a name….for a used Steinway piano called by any other name, would be as sweet, and as sublime, if not even more so, than a newer lessor brand piano!
Most people are aware and understand that very old Stradivarius violins and vintage Martin guitars are sought by discerning musicians and collectors, and are the most valuable instruments, because of the quality of their materials, superior pleasing mellow sound, and their unmatched craftsmanship. Many of these used Steinway pianos are musically wonderful and works of art at the same time, and they were handcrafted with dedication and integrity from aged and rare hardwoods to unsurpassed quality standards. The new machine made mass market pianos today cannot begin to compare to vintage Steinway hand built during the early part of the twentieth century.
Steinway pianos as acoustic instruments have not changed significantly since their creation, and their new prices continue to rise and their production is limited. This assures your financial value as an investment item. In many cases, the caliber piano our customer wants or needs is simply more than they can afford or wish to spend on a new Steinway piano. This allows us to offer restored Steinway pianos that have very comparable sound and touch as new ones, but at a far lower cost. And it will hold its value remarkably well as new Steinway prices rise and because a it has already passed the major depreciation phase a new piano would go through.
Unlike used cars, whose dollar values tend to decrease significantly with the passing years, good quality used Steinway pianos will maintain, or even appreciate in value.