Whether you own a Steinway piano and are looking to sell, or you’re considering buying a used piano soon, I’m going to break down (and give examples) of the true Steinway piano value on the marketplace. Hopefully, you’ll walk away with a greater understanding of how to assess these pianos’ worth, and whether or not a Steinway being sold by an individual or retailer is truly worth its asking price.
Assessing Steinway Piano Value
Let’s break down the worth of Steinway pianos by piano type. Let’s begin with grand pianos.
For Steinway grand pianos, which include Models D, C, B, A, M, O, and S, the value largely depends on the size, craftsmanship, and the specific model’s reputation within the musical community. The condition, age, and any restoration work can also play significant roles. With that said, the average worth of Steinway grand pianos tends to be between $20,000 and $150,000.
Why this Range? The grand pianos offer the highest quality in terms of sound, materials, and aesthetic appeal. Older models in prime condition, especially if restored by professionals, can command prices at the higher end of this range. Ones that are used but are in poorer condition, can usually be found for considerably less money.
Steinway uprights, such as Models K and Z, are known for their professional-level sound quality and responsiveness, even with a more compact design. A Steinway upright piano’s value tends to range anywhere from $3,000 to $20,000.
Why this Range? While offering exceptional quality, the upright models may not command as high a price as the grand pianos due to their smaller size and lesser complexity. Vintage models with a rich history might reach the higher end of this range.
Steinway Piano Value in Today’s Market
So now that you have an idea of what a Steinway’s value is, let’s dive into a few specific examples of Steinway pianos being sold on the secondary market (to determine whether or not these pianos are undervalued or overvalued):
1)The first one to take a peek at is this Steinway & Sons Model F, which is a black upright piano, selling for $6,895.00 through Northwest Pianos. This upright is made of walnut paneling but has a sleek ebony satin finish. This is a smaller model than usual Steinways, but is advertised a being “bigger in sound”.
There also does not appear to be a serial number or year listed. Considering that the price is almost $6,000, and Steinway baby grands sell for around $5,000-10,000 in similar condition elsewhere, this may be overpriced, as baby grands are what you really want to splurge on, not typically on uprights.
Below, check out this video of a different Steinway & Sons Model F upright piano:
2) Speaking of baby grands, here is a used Steinway baby grand being sold for $17,500. This one also has an ebony satin finish, and all the keys have recently been replaced. Restorations such as these are typically thousands of dollars so this leads me to believe that this is a very good deal for a used and recently restored baby grand.
It also does appear to be a newer model, less than 20 years old, making it already worth more before its restoration. It may have some small scuffs here and there on the finish, but that is to be expected from a used piano, even Steinways.
Even used Steinways can get up to a steep price of $40,000 if they are fully restored and/or made of a richer wood such as Mahogany. So, this would be quite a steal!
3) Now let’s go all the way back in time to 1894 with this next Steinway baby grand, this one is being sold for just $5,500! So, what’s the catch? Well, the condition is unknown, such as its tuning/sound etc.
But what we do know is that it is over 100 years old, classifying it as an antique, and is made of Mahogany. It has a lovely gloss finish, and I did double check the serial number and looked it up to make sure the date was legitimate, and sure thing, the serial number 74119 does have the estimated year of production to be 1891, meaning this is a true antique Steinway!
But, something to keep in mind is if there will need to be tunings and repairs done, which can cost in the thousands, so this would be a good deal if you wish to have an antique Steinway, but probably not for the average piano player.
Below, check out a different Steinway grand piano, also built in 1894:
4) Now for a fun one, this next Steinway is a Model O grand piano, originally costing over $100,000, today, it is on sale for $55,000, and let me tell you, its finish and quality blew me away.
It is listed on Picarzo, and what I absolutely love about their listings is that they have various video examples of the piano’s quality. They have a very talented woman playing multiple songs on the piano as examples, and this would have sold this piano for me if I was in the market for a restored grand.
This piano has polished mahogany and the seller offers a payment plan upon a credit check, which is very appealing to those who don’t want to break the bank for great quality. The year of this piano is 1911, making it an antique, but restored to almost perfection, making it worth the $55,000 in my opinion.
Below, check out a video of a different Steinway Model O grand piano:
5) And finally, my last example will be a listing of a Spinet, which hasn’t been covered yet. Spinet pianos are the cheapest types, often being shorter in build and cheaper than uprights. This one is being sold on a marketplace for used instruments, so while not an actual piano distributor, it is worth mentioning as the prices range on here for less than a distributor may ask.
This spinet is a 1959 Model F Walnut Spinet piano and is being sold for $3,900. This piano does appear to be in good shape, with the soundboard, keys, hammers, as well as many aspects of the piano being inspected before selling.
I would say this is a good deal considering that most Steinways in decent condition will be worth at least $10,000 after repairs, shipping, and tax, making this a very good deal if you want a Steinway, but don’t need the top of the line to be happy. Spinets also sound amazing when their lid is open, giving you that grand experience every pianist seeks.
Breaking Down Steinway Models
Now let’s take a moment to discuss all of the various Steinway piano models.
-Model D: Also known as the “Concert Grand,” this 9-foot wonder is a marvel in craftsmanship. It’s often used in concert halls due to its large size and powerful, resonant sound. Being the largest and most elite, it’s priced at the higher end of Steinway’s range. Ranges between $70,000 – $150,000.
-Model C: A versatile and powerful instrument that bridges the gap between the concert grand and the smaller grand pianos. It’s admired for its rich sound and balanced tone, making it suitable for both concert stages and larger private settings. Values typically lie between $50,000 – $100,000.
-Model B: Known as the “Music Room Grand,” the Model B balances size and tonal quality, making it suitable for smaller concert venues and upscale private homes. It is often considered a mid-tier model in both pricing and application. Ranging from $40,000 – $80,000.
-Model A: Slightly smaller than the Model B, the Model A offers a versatile performance suitable for various settings. Its value is slightly lower than the Model B due to its reduced size, while maintaining Steinway’s renowned quality. Costing around $30,000 – $60,000.
-Model M: Termed as the “Studio Grand,” this model is popular for home use. It’s smaller than concert grands but still offers a rich tone. As a more accessible Steinway, its value falls into a moderate range. Ranging from $20,000 – $50,000.
-Model O: This model provides a blend of grandeur and suitability for domestic settings. Its pricing is close to the Model M, depending on the vintage and condition. Its value lies between $25,000 – $55,000.
-Model S: Steinway’s smallest grand piano, known for its charming appearance and surprisingly powerful sound for its size. It’s an excellent choice for those with limited space but still desire the grand piano experience. Price range of $15,000 – $35,000.
-Model K: Also known as the “Vertegrand,” is one of Steinway’s most respected upright pianos. It’s celebrated for its rich tone and responsive action, often considered a professional-level instrument despite its upright design. It’s suitable for serious musicians and piano enthusiasts who need a space-saving option without sacrificing quality. Ranges from $5,000 – $20,000.
-Model Z: As a smaller and often older model, the Model Z is priced lower, like a vintage watch, full of history and grace. It’s best for those looking for a Steinway experience on a tighter budget. Ranging from $3,000 – $15,000.
These models embody Steinway’s legacy and diversity. Understanding their individual values can be a fascinating journey for both new piano buyers and seasoned connoisseurs alike.
Understanding Steinway’s Model Tiers
Concert Tier: Models designed for concert halls, such as the Model D, fall into the highest tier. These models are prized for their superior tonal quality and size, reflecting in their higher value.
Professional Tier: Models like the Model B and Model A are suitable for smaller venues and professional settings, priced moderately within the Steinway range.
Home Tier: Models like the Model M and Model O are designed for home use, balancing quality and price, appealing to enthusiasts who seek the Steinway touch in their living rooms.
Entry Tier: The Model Z and various upright models fall into this tier, perfect for those who desire a Steinway experience without investing in the higher-end models.
Understanding the distinctions between these models and their tiering is crucial when considering a purchase or sale. The design, size, and intended use of these pianos play a significant role in defining their value.
Whether you’re looking for the roar of a Concert Grand or the charm of a well-crafted upright, Steinway offers a diverse range to meet different needs and budgets, reflecting the brand’s legacy and commitment to excellence.
The value of a Steinway piano can vary due to various factors, however, this brand is renowned, and considering that vintage Steinways still sell for thousands when restored, this shows their true value and brand reputation.
For instance, a 40-year-old Steinway piano in the same exact same condition as a 40-year-old Kimball piano will still be valued much higher, due to the brand.
What Affects the Value of Steinway Pianos?
Here are some key factors that can affect the worth of a Steinway:
- Type (for example: upright, spinet, baby grand, and grand)
- Damages and any needed repairs
- The color (black tends to be the most expensive!)
- Who is selling (Piano stores versus someone wanting to get rid of it on eBay for example)
It is also worth mentioning that, unlike other collectible items, pianos actually depreciate in value over time rather than increasing in value. This is why it’s important to have your piano regularly tuned and, in severe cases, fully restored.
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Other Factors That Affect Piano Value
Restored pianos are worth more, even if they are vintage (more than 20 years old). For Steinway’s, it’s around $5,000-10,000 to restore a 20+ year piano.
However, if you are wishing to sell, then this will pay off in the long run, as Steinways go fast on the market, especially in tuned and restored condition. Restoration may not always be worth it though, and may depend on whether you can afford to restore while waiting to sell.
Still not sure if restoration is right for you? Consider heading over to M. Steinert & Sons to break down the pros and cons of restoring a Steinway.
Additionally, a place like Lindeblad Piano will allow you to request a free estimate on how much your Steinway restoration could be.
Serial Numbers and Piano Value
The serial number of a piano holds the key to unlocking its true value. It’s like a secret code that reveals the piano’s fascinating history – when it was born, its brand, model, and sometimes even the place it was crafted. As a piano enthusiast, I understand how these little details can make a world of difference.
You see, age is a vital factor in determining a piano’s worth. Vintage beauties, especially those lovingly maintained and crafted by reputable manufacturers, hold a special place in our hearts. There’s something enchanting about antique pianos with their unique features, masterful craftsmanship, and rich historical significance. It’s no wonder collectors and enthusiasts covet them so passionately.
Age and Piano Value
But let’s not forget, that age alone isn’t the sole ruler of a piano’s worth. The overall condition is just as crucial. I mean, think about it – how it looks, its inner components, the soulful sound it produces, and the smoothness of its playability all come into play.
I’ve seen some older pianos that were well-loved and cared for, and they still hold their value! On the flip side, if a once-magnificent piano is neglected or poorly maintained, its value might not sing the same tune, being “old” or “antique” does not always equal valuable, as many may think.
This is a common mistake though, as I personally have appraised many pianos that are antique and in very poor condition, and the poor customer thinks they will get thousands of dollars from it, it’s always hard to break the news to them.
Other just as important factors to consider, as stated previously, are condition, sound quality, color, material, and brand of course.
Mahogany pianos or jet black tend to go for the highest, especially regarding Steinway pianos, their prices are steep! As for pianos which are just as lovely but more affordable, would be pianos made of pine, spruce, plywood, basswood, and many more types.
Wrapping It Up
Determining a Steinway piano’s worth can include many different factors, as highlighted previously in this article. Yet, even with all the information, where does one start?
Beginners use lists such as the age, body brand, color, and condition in order to get a rough appraisal themselves, and by comparing it to SOLD prices on eBay and other marketplaces alike such as Reverb.com. However, it can be overwhelming for a beginner to feel comfortable coming to an actual final price, making it hard for the average person to understand the true Steinway piano value.
This is where appraisals come into play and can be done for free if you wish to donate your piano to a used piano store.
However, many do cost at least $100+ for full in-person evaluation and appraisals. This gives the appraiser the option to test out the piano and examine the condition, the soundboard, the tone, the finishing, the brand, as well as the year.
At the end of an appraisal, you should receive a value range, a reason for this range, and how likely you are to sell it, as well as where you could take it to sell or donate, depending on the final value estimated.
It is also worth noting that you should never get an appraisal from a person, or business, who offers to “take it off your hands” for you after their appraisal, as they will surely low-ball in order to make a bigger sale for themselves later on.
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- This article was written by Morgan, with help from Amelia, and was edited by Michael.