Steinway rage at secondhand piano trade

Steinway rage at secondhand piano trade


norman lebrecht

July 31, 2016

Ronen Segev runs a used piano business, Park Avenue Pianos, in New York. When he has too many concert grands in stock, he loans them out for free.

This kind of thing does not go down well with Steinway.

Ron Losby, president of Steinway & Sons Americas, said he wasn’t familiar with Mr. Segev’s business, but that he generally takes a dim view of the secondary market.

He’s heard all too many complaints from angry buyers, he said, who have wound up with what some in the piano world call a “Stein-was,” a Steinway that has been rebuilt or refurbished with parts from another maker or by a technician without the company’s blessing….

“The consumer can be very misled,” Mr. Losby says. “They see the name, and they assume that everything inside is Steinway.”

Read full WSJ article here.




  • Alexander Skeaping says:

    There is a significant degree of misrepresentation here. Even in a Steinway factory reconditioned instrument, not all the parts are “genuine Steinway” parts! After all, Steinway doesn’t make its own hammers or strings! They buy these in from makers such as Abel (hammers). So a Steinway piano reconditioned independently might well end up with exactly the same parts, they just weren’t bought through Steinway & Son themselves.

    • Peter says:

      They key word in your reply is “might”. Every business man confronted with the choice of using the same parts Steinway buys for a high price vs cheaper and – at least for the moment – functionally almost identical parts, at least indiscernible for 99% of the customers, will choose the cheaper parts for a higher sales margin.

    • John Russell says:

      Yes, you are RIGHT.
      STEINWAY TRIES TO PUSH its own choices, and only those, as being THEIRS! Anyone who delves into the question can see they are trying to manipulate the rebuilding market away from independent restorers and THERE ARE SOME FINE CRAFTSMEN who ACTUALLY DONT WORK FOR STEINWAY and use reliable parts.
      The piano market is in a slump due to various factors and Steinway is no exception, but they shouldn’t feed false info to public.

  • Sixtus Beckmesser says:

    Steinway grands from, say, the 1920s and 1930s that have been reconditioned by someone who knows what they are doing are among the finest pianos out there. For a long while, Steinway’s quality had slipped (I’m thinking especially of the notorious Teflon bushings from the ’60s), but I understand that new Steinways are again first-rate. The down side is that new Steinways are expensive. Those seeking a fine piano at a good price should check out reconditioned, pre-War (i.e., World War II) instruments.

  • steinwayplayer says:

    One would think that Steinway would want a thriving secondary market, for the peace of mind of their own customers. After all, as soon as the piano buyer brings home their “new” steinway piano, it immediately becomes “used”. Park Avenue seems to be selling pianos that are almost new, according to their inventory, – it’s understandable, however, since no reasonable consumer would buy directly at Steinway, they are losing most of their business to resellers like this.

  • Roz Trubger says:

    Perhaps Steinway are therefore helpful regarding repairs ? When I contacted Bechstein regarding my 100 year old Grand which was in need of attention, it became painfully obvious that they had no interest in anything other than selling new instruments.

  • Wes in NY says:

    This seems a bit ridiculous. Are car makers also going to throw a hissy fit when someone buys a used Honda rather than a brand new one from the dealership? Get over it, Steinway.