Why Are Steinways So Expensive?

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Welcome to LivingPianos.com, I’m Robert Estrin. Today’s question is: Why are Steinways so expensive? Did you know that even a baby grand Steinway is over $80,000? Concert grands are over $200,000! What could possibly make pianos so expensive when you can get other baby grands for around $10,000? Is it all marketing? Well, here’s the truth. And everything I’m going to tell you today doesn’t just apply to Steinway. It applies to other American pianos, like Mason and Hamlin, as well as European pianos such as Blüthner, Bechstein, Fazioli in Italy, Bösendorfer in Austria, and even hand-built pianos from Yamaha and Shigeru Kawai in Japan.

Hand-built pianos have many different technologies.

In the case of Steinway, American pianos, and many European pianos, the way the plates are manufactured is a much more time-consuming task. Instead of using a simple vacuum mold process, which is quick and precise, they do it the old-school way of wet sand casting. The benefit is that the metal is denser. It takes a long time to cure the metal, so it’s much more labor-intensive and time-consuming. There’s also the choice of wood. It’s much more expensive to find fine hardwoods. Sourcing the finest soundboard material, which is the heart and soul of your piano, is no easy task. They search the world over for woods that have very fine grain, which is noted for the vibrancy and sustain of the sound. The craftsmanship of these instruments requires a great deal of handwork. All pianos require handwork, but when you’re talking about hand-built pianos, the meticulousness that it takes to craft these instruments is on a higher level. It can take a year to make each piano!

Hand-built pianos are not mass-produced.

You have companies like Pearl River, which is the number one piano producer in the world by volume. They make over 100,000 pianos a year! Contrast that with Steinway, who makes maybe ,2500 pianos a year. You can see how the economy of scale enters into this equation. So is there anything you can do to be able to get a piano of that quality and not have to pay such a fortune? I have another video about this. You can check out how you can get a Steinway for less money if that’s something you’re interested in. Thanks again for joining me, Robert Estrin, here at LivingPianos.com, Your Online Piano Resource.

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Contact me if you are interested in private lessons. I have many resources for you! Robert@LivingPianos.com

How Can You Afford A Steinway?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GJlzVc0tBU

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