How Can You Afford a Steinway?

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Welcome to, I’m Robert Estrin. Today’s question is: How can you afford a Steinway? If you’ve seen some of my previous videos, you know that a new baby grand Steinway costs over $80,000. So you might think it’s just insurmountable to be able to buy a Steinway. Well, I’ve got some good news for you, as well as some tips on how you can get a great piano without necessarily breaking the bank.

Be aware that there are other great pianos in the world.

Steinway owns the concert market, with over 97% of concert pianists playing Steinway because it is the de facto piano that’s available worldwide in concert halls. So most touring artists play Steinways, unless they can travel with their own pianos. But there are many other great piano brands, such as Bechstein, Bösendorfer, Blüthner, Fazioli, Mason & Hamlin and quite a few others. So, there are many other great pianos you might want to consider. While many of these pianos cost as much as Steinway, or even more, dealers will sometimes discount some of these other brands. Steinway holds their price much firmer because they can. There are only a limited number of them in the world, and they’re highly sought after.

The used market is a gold mine if you can find the right instrument.

Years ago, there were hundreds of American piano companies. Many of them made great pianos, and you can get them for a fraction of what they’re worth. For example, Baldwin was in the concert market, and Baldwins cost as much as Steinways when they were new. But in the used market, you can get a great Baldwin for far less than a Steinway and have a great piano. But let’s get back to Steinway.

You have your heart set on Steinway, and only Steinway will do. How can you possibly afford one?

Once again, the used market is your best option, but you have to be very careful. In fact, Steinway doesn’t even let many people put the Steinway name on the front of rebuilt or refinished pianos. Make sure you find someone who actually plays so they know what the piano feels like, what it sounds like, and if it’s really going to be a Steinway-quality piano. Just having the name on the front isn’t enough.

Another important thing is when you buy a piano.

There are certain times when the prices are just lower. For example, at Living Pianos, on Memorial Day, we drop our prices. Some of our pianos are less than half the usual sale prices, which are already a fraction of the cost of new pianos. We do this to clear out inventory and go on a buying spree in the summer. So you can sometimes get phenomenal deals on Steinways and other pianos if you buy at the right time.

So once again, look for other brands you might want to consider. Consider great American pianos from the past that are no longer made. You can find some phenomenal instruments. And yes, you can look for a used Steinway. Find dealers who can provide videos and who play the instruments at a high level so you know what they’re offering and you can have assurance of what you’re getting. And find a piano at the right time of year when the prices are the lowest. That’s the key to finding a Steinway you can afford! Thanks again for joining me, Robert Estrin, here at, Your Online Piano Resource.

Why are Steinways So expensive?

2 thoughts on “How Can You Afford a Steinway?”


  1. You don’t mention Schimmels.I have a new k219 which I would say measures up to any other German brand, and I’ve played them all, including lots of Steinways. Why not?

    1. There are many other top-tier pianos I didn’t mention such as Steingraeber & Söhne, Petrof, Seiler, Sauter, August Förster, Grotrian and others. I wasn’t mentioning a definitive list of pianos, just a sample of some other top-tier pianos.

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