Brief Information

We buy, sell and restore all types of Steinway pianos and will be pleased to quote for work on modern and old Steinways. Please note that Steinway grand pianos have a powerful tone and are designed to be played in a sizeable room with high ceiling (the model “S” made around 1925 is the exception to this, being of quieter tone) . If your room is small it may be better to consider a quieter piano such as a Blüthner.

Contact Us

Tel.01865 240 634
Email: info@robertspianos.com

Other Top Makes

Bechstein
Bosendorfer
Bluthner

Steinway Pianos

Steinway logo
Steinway model O dark mahogany
German Steinway model O grand piano 88 note,1904, 5ft 11in. This style is mainly from 1900 to 1930.

German or American?

There are varying opinions even amongst top dealers and restorers as to whether the German or American Steinway pianos are the best, though quality control is generally reputed to be better in the Hamburg factory. In the UK about 95% post 1900 are German Steinway pianos. The American Steinway can be recognised as it generally has a square shaped “fall board” or “lid” over the keys, whereas the German Steinway fall board is rounded as in most makes of grand piano found in the UK. Also the German Steinway pianos are usually more mellow in tone and the American Steinway pianos are more strident, though not the pre 1900 pianos as the German Hamburg factory began after the American one and developing their own characteristic was a gradual process. However, there are exceptions to these differences as hammers vary from piano to piano.

Advice

Restored Steinway pianos, from 1877 to about 1950

If you’re thinking of buying or restoring a Steinway piano they generally have a powerful rich tone and fine touch, with an aesthetically pleasing cabinet. The most common colours of Steinway pianos available in the UK are approximately the following: 1877 to 1920: 60% Rosewood 30% black (ebonised) 10% other 1920 to 1950: 40% Rosewood 30% black 20% mahogany 10% other.

Steinway model a grand piano
Steinway model A grand piano in rosewood 85 keys, 6ft 2in. This design with turned legs and a fretted desk dates mainly from 1877 to 1900. This one has been fully restored and French polished and sold in 2011.

Modern Steinway grand pianos

From 1951 to present day, Steinway pianos are mainly found in black polyester. The ones made in the 1960s have a particularly rich warm tone and natural ivory key tops; the key tops after about 1980 are usually of a synthetic material.

We are experienced restorers of Steinway pianos; they usually require at the very least new hammers and often restringing. If the piano is well used the action becomes slack and the springs weak; this then needs regulating. We are also traditional French polishers and are able to recreate the original finish or change the colour if required.

Restored Steinway grand pianos

By far the most common restored Steinway grand pianos are models O’s, A’s and B’s in that order. They vary enormously in quality and in how much they have been used, but generally, older Steinway grand pianos have been used extensively and are therefore very worn. Reconditioning grands can also vary widely in quality so if you’re buying a restored Steinway grand we strongly recommend having a Steinway trained technician to check it first.

steinway model v upright piano
German Steinway model V upright piano, 88 notes. Well restored, these fine uprights have a very rich tone and smooth touch. Similar pianos date from about 1880, the older ones having 85 note (to about 1900), to about 1925.

Q.Is my Steinway piano worth restoring?

A. Almost every Steinway grand is worth restoring. Uprights vary in terms of investment value of restoration. Please inquire for a free valuation.

Q.How can I maintain my Steinway?

A. Keep the room from being too dry or too damp. Use a damp cloth to clean wooden cases and barely damp for polyester. We do not recommend cleaning the dampers yourself, it is best to ask your tuner to do so

Q.How can I maintain my Steinway?

A. Keep the room from being too dry or too damp. Use a damp cloth to clean wooden cases and barely damp for polyester. We do not recommend cleaning the dampers yourself, it is best to ask your tuner to do so

bosendorfer pianos logo

Advice to help you choose, buy or restore a Bösendorfer piano

Bösendorfer Pianos


Bösendorfer grand pianos

Bösendorfer pianos are regarded as one of the very best makes and are often found on the concert platform. However, they are rare in the UK; we try to have at least one Bösendorfer grand and one upright piano in stock. In our opinion a professionally restored Bösendorfer from about 1920 to about 2001 is one of the finest domestic and concert pianos. If you’re thinking of buying a Bösendorfer grand piano then they generally have a warm, powerful rich tone and smooth responsive touch, with an aesthetically pleasing cabinet. The most common colours are black and mahogany. They also do many “Art cases”.

170 grand piano by bosendorfer pianosBosendorfer 170 before re-polishing. This 5ft 7in small grand is by far the most common Bosendorfer in the UK (perhaps 4 out of 5). Once restored it has an fine unique tone. NB Bosendorfer bass strings are near the top of their maximum tension; if some have already broken it’s advisable to think about changing them all, usually restringing the treble at the same time.
275 imperial grand piano by bosendorfer pianosBosendorfer 275. This piano has 92 keys, four extra in the bass. Bosendorfer also make a 290 model with 97 keys. These are excellent concert grands with a warm serious tone.
bosendorfer 130 upright by bosendorfer pianosBosendorfer 130. The most common Bösendorfer upright in the UK, the choice of many musicians.

Used Bösendorfer grand pianos in the UK

In the UK there is about one Bösendorfer for every twenty Bechsteins, Blüthners or Steinways. Generally speaking older Bösendorfer grand pianos have been used extensively and are therefore very worn. Reconditioning can also vary widely. We fully restore all models from 170cm upwards.

Types of grand pianos


Baby and boudoir grand Pianos

There are a few baby (170cm) and boudoir (200cm and 228cm) Bösendorfer grands from 1900 to 1930 in the UK, mostly black and mahogany.

Warning! Older 5ft to 6ft Bösendorfers up to about 1900 often have what’s known as a “Viennese” action. This is a very different design from the standard. They are not really acceptable for all-round playing.(NB this is not to be confused with the “Strauss” model, which refers to a style of cabinet).

Concert grand pianos

There are a few modern Bösendorfer concert grand pianos on the second hand market (about one for every 30 Steinway concert grands) . These vary from being well worn to hardly used. They are often unique, having 4 to 9 extra notes in the bass.

More Information


Most common Bösendorfer grand pianos in the UK

From 1920 to about 1965: Bösendorfer 170 (5ft 7in): Superbly engineered baby grand piano. You’ll mostly find them from about 1920 to 1965. Used Bösendorfer 170s are mostly black or mahogany.

From about 1965 to 2000

Modern Bösendorfer grands are from 170 to 290cm. These mostly date from 1960 to 2000. the casework of used modern Bösendorfers is nearly always bright black.

List of Bösendorfer grands

  • 170 (5ft 8in) Fine grand with rich warm tone
  • 200 (6ft 7in) This is the most common of post 1965 Bösendorfer grands
  • 228 (7ft 6in) As above but deeper tone. Not so common in the UK.

Concert Bösendorfer Imperial models

  • 275 (9ft) This model has 92 keys and is superbly engineered with a warm rich deep tone. Highly recommended.
  • 290 (9ft 6in) The longest concert grand, and with 97 keys. Very similar to the 275

Bösendorfer upright pianos


Bösendorfer upright pianos

The most common Bösendorfer upright is 130cm tall and ranks as one of the best uprights ever made. Very few Bösendorfer upright pianos are available in the UK so you may be frustrated trying to find one; we get one or two into stock each year. If you’re thinking of buying a professionally reconditioned Bösendorfer upright then you’re getting a piano with a very refined touch and warm subtle tone. The most common colours are black (95%) and mahogany.

Recommendation

As there are so few Bösendorfer upright pianos in the UK, if you’re looking for a fine German upright piano you’re more likely to find a Grotrian Steinweg, Steinway, Blüthner, Bechstein, Lipp or other top make (see our “common makes in the UK” page). However if you have your heart set on a Bösendorfer then you could rent or buy one of these other makes while waiting for a Bösendorfer to come into stock.