Used Grand Piano Philippines

Posted on August 30th, 2014

Used Grand Piano Philippines

If you are looking for a grand piano, especially used, you will find many choices out there. Manila Pianos Inc. of Makati sells many used and reconditioned grand pianos as well as new ones. We can tell you from experience that it is hard to chose because of different conditions grand pianos are in.

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Many people think that when a piano looks good, it is good. Nothing is further from the truth! A used grand piano can have 5000 parts that are in bad shape and you would never be able to tell if you were just looking a the piano, because these parts are inside.

Then there is the sound board, it can really be damaged without you even seeing it, it could flatten and therefore loses it’s tone. It’s like a speaker that has no cone.  A grand piano should have a soundboard that’s under pressure so it creates tone.

Therefore it is very important that, if you wish to purchase a grand piano privately, you have it inspected by a certified piano technician.

Our used grand piano selection is second to none, we are for sure the largest used grand piano store in the Philippines, maybe even in the world! A used grand piano should also have been maintained and… many people don’t do a good job of it.

Usually we find that the grand piano was tuned but not regulated or any kind of maintenance work done to it for decades! We get many used grand pianos where we need to spend some 20-40 hours getting the action back to good performance. So if you want to purchase a used grand piano, watch out for these 2 main shortcomings.


Steinway Piano Philippines

Posted on August 26th, 2014

Steinway Piano Philippines

Steinway Piano Philippines, we at ManilaPianos are the unauthorized exclusive distributor of super high quality Steinway & Sons pianos in the Philippines.

We have many Steinway grand pianos in stock, models S M O L B C and upright model K.

They are perfectly rebuilt by us with all new genuine Steinway parts and original sound boards in order to preserve original tone.

We have our own rebuilding center in Makati where you can go and check what we are doing and how we are doing it.

Steinway Piano Philippines

Steinway Piano Philippines We supply the same warranty on used Steinway pianos as Steinway provides on their new grand pianos.

The older Steinway pianos are much better than new ones, because the wood used was better and the wood is already cured. (see pic of Hamburg Steinway C 1889 sold in Manila)

Therefore it is a good idea to rebuild versus purchasing a new one. It’s also less than half the price.

New Steinway pianos will have 10-15 years worth of wood curing problems, and Steinways as will as other high end pianos need work EVERY MONTH at least for the first 5 years before things get settled.

That, together with the priced difference, should make you at least look at used Steinways before you make up your mind to purchase a new one.

Used Steinways are half the price of a new one, and A LOT BETTER, providing the rebuilding job was done properly, including refinishing of cabinet.

Steinway & Sons was founded in 1853 by German immigrant Henry Engelhard Steinway in a Manhattan loft on Varick Street.

Over the next thirty years, Henry and his sons, C. F. Theodore, Charles, Henry Jr., William, and Albert, developed the modern piano.

They built their pianos one at a time, applying skills that were handed down from master to apprentice, generation after generation.

Today, they don’t build their pianos that way any more. Each Steinway grand piano, for example, takes nearly a year to create including new plastic parts.

The carefully selected woods employed in the rims, tops, soundboards, and actions cure for months in our yard, kilns and conditioning rooms, until they stabilize at a rigidly specified moisture content. -Steinway website.

In the past, Steinway used to dry their wood for 40 years, that’s why our Steinway pianos from the golden era (1890-1930) are much better, there is also no plastic used in the older ones.

Steinway was dedicated to the ideal of making the finest pianos in the world in the past, now it’s dedicated to create pianos that can give a lot of profit. The result is new instruments renowned for their unsurpassed price.

Steinway pianos can have such superior sound and responsive touch that they enchant the most demanding pianists, come to Manila Pianos and check it out!

We are overwhelmed by people who share the joy of playing and owning their rebuilt Steinway for less than 1/2 the price of a new one, a finest musical instrument — a joy which can be yours when we bring a Steinway into your life.


Piano Soundboard Cracks

Posted on August 18th, 2014

Piano Soundboard Cracks, Piano Soundboard Pressure Ridges, the difference.

We at Manila Pianos Inc. are specialist in high quality used pianos, therefore we see a lot of soundboard problems and here are some observations for you. A soundboard of any piano has a vast amount of pressure exerted on it. Pianos will develop cracks after prolonged dry conditions.

New pianos, because of new wood, will crack much sooner than older ones, sometimes even within a week after being exposed to very dry conditions. More humid conditions cause sound boards to swell, pushing the wood grain with force causing the soundboard sometimes to develop a “pressure ridge”. Pic shows crack in the sound board. DO NOT BUY! It needs many hours and lots of money to fix this.

soundboard crack pic

When purchasing a piano check as much of the soundboard as you can see carefully for cracks. A crack is only going to get bigger and could affect the tone and overall sound of the instrument. If there is a distinct buzz when notes are struck quite firmly, this can also be an indication of a cracked soundboard. Although cracks can be repaired, it is a major job for a skilled piano technician, and would normally take several weeks in a workshop to complete at high cost.

Pressure ridges are not cracks but actually the opposite and I consider them good. Piano manufacturers will not guarantee a pressure ridge, they can be found even on many new pianos still sitting on the dealer’s showroom floor.

Everything in a good piano is either made of wood or depends on wooden parts to function. Wet, humid conditions swell and warps wooden parts and dry parched conditions shrinks and cracks wooden piano parts. (except new Kawai and Mason & Hamlin, they use plastic)

High humidity is bad for a piano and low humidity is even worse for a piano, and the worst is this swinging back and forth.Temperature and humidity control are therefor critical elements in maintaining a valuable instrument.

Wood is hygroscopic and it expands and contracts across the grain with agressive changes in humidity. The pitch of the strings depends to a certain extent on the amount of humidity present in the soundboard, which expands and contracts with changes in heat and relative humidity. If the environment is too dry, the soundboard will shrink beyond the dryness level at which the instrument was manufactured, causing cracks in the wood and even failure of glue joints.

Extreme dryness can cause complete failure of the soundboard and pin block. The loss of natural moisture in the soundboard also causes the pitch to go flat.

Too much moisture can ruin not only the soundboard but it also causes the wood in the keys to swell, resulting in sticking keys and sluggish response in the mechanism.

Excessive moisture may also cause the strings, tuning pins and other metal parts to rust.

For whatever reason I see more Yamaha grand pianos with pressure ridges than Kawai, I don’t know why, it’s possibly different spruce, but it’s just an observation from being in the business for a long time.

Conclusion: When purchasing a (grand) piano don’t buy one with a cracked soundboard, a pressure ridge or 2 is all right. After purchase, make sure you protect your instrument by keeping humidity levels between 35 and 65% and you should be ok.


Grotrian Steinweg Grand Piano

Posted on August 14th, 2014

Grotrian Steinweg Grand Piano.

Grotrian Steinweg Grand Piano , this one is very special. Made in 1900, it is totally remanufactured by ManilaPianos.Inc. This piano  is as far as we know the only surviving 9′ grand piano built by Th. Steinway! (Inscription in the action ” No 3 Steinway”) and took 5 years to restore! Played by Alexei Gulenco. Click here to see the you tube!

grotrian 01

It was a 5 year project to restore the piano with a new original rocker action and this piano, made for chamber music plays and sounds delicate, classy and very inspiring.

This grand piano is the 3d nine foot grand ever manufactured by the German Grotrian factory and as far as we know, it is the only one that survived! There is a pencil written ” nr3grotian” in the action which is carefully preserved by us.

This very special grand piano was built by Theodore Steinway, his name is engraved in the cast iron plate. Rebuilding this piano was quite an undertaking as all materials and drawing that could indicate what size parts were used were lost in WWII.

This marvelous Grotrian grand piano can presently be admired in our showroom and ready to be played for the discriminating musician or art collector. The grand piano is finished in polished ebony and features the original round legs and music desk. Please click the YouTube video to see the piano and hear the beautiful sound. Please call us at 905.625.1616 or email us for a special appointment.

grotrian 03

COMMUNIQUE sent out 2013:

It is with intense pride that we herewith announce the successful completion of the 5 year project restoration by THE MUSIC GROUP INC, the proud owner of this VINTAGE GROTIAN-STEINWEG 9 foot concert grand piano, final adjustments made in August 2013.

The piano Is the Nr. 3 CONCERT GRAND PIANO ever made by GROTRIAN-STEINWEG in Germany and as far as we know the only surviving one! (Proof is original pencil written “Nr. 3 Grotrian” on the action inside of the piano, possibly written by THEODORE STEINWAY himself) and preserved by us.

This very special grand piano was completely designed and built in GERMANY by THEODORE STEINWAY , engraved in the cast iron plate!

After being in a barn somewhere in Europe before, during and/or after WW II, the grand piano came to the attention of Willem van Suijdam, the owner of The Music Group Inc, who decided to import it into Philippines and start this restoration project.

Obviously some parts like agraffes were missing, other small parts, we estimate some 1000 of them, were lost over the years and had to be reproduced by The Music Group Inc. in cooperation with and the GROTRIAN factory in GERMANY, most parts reproduced to exact authenticity by hand, some one by one.

It was a very difficult and sometimes frustrating process as all information regarding the parts, their shapes and sizes as well as borings of the grand piano were destroyed in WW II.

The action in this grand piano is completely authentic and rebuilt according to the days it was designed by Theodore Steinway himself, he may not have known that over 100 years later this action would still be working just fine!

At the end, the 5 year project with all its ups and downs was 100 % worth it as we have a glorious product with an immense rich sound that people can enjoy for decades to come.

This grand piano, now playing fantastic and looking like a Van Gogh, is available for sale but The Music Group Inc. will only consider selling to a purchaser that can assure it will receive extremely good care.

Manila Pianos Inc. is the no 1 steinway piano rebuilding center in Asia