Have you ever purchased a pricy musical instrument?

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Re: Have you ever purchased a pricy musical instrument?

Post by snackdog »

We recently got a good deal on a late-model Steinway D, which cost significantly more than all our vehicles combined. Spouse plays several hours per day and was not satisfied with the action and sound performance of alternatives.

Violins are also on our list. They can be way more expensive than pianos, well into 6 figures and low 7s.

I think it is important to keep instrument purchases in line with the capabilities of the musician, otherwise the extra expense can be a waste. I suggest blind testing of as many instruments as possible without regard to the price or make. Choose the one which feels and sounds best to you. Our luthier set us up in a room with about a dozen violins within our price range but no other info. We played them all and chose the one we liked best.
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Re: Have you ever purchased a pricy musical instrument?

Post by GatorFL »

Another guitar guy here, playing for the past 45 years. My daughter is a cellist, and my son also plays guitar.

My daughter's cello was the most expensive instrument. That was around 7K.

I have owned way too many guitars over the years (at least 50), but I buy and sell them. Here's what I've currently got:

1. 2018 fender elite strat 2K
2. 2017 gibson les paul standard 2.5K
3. 1964 Fender Mustang: 3K
4. 2015 Taylor 916ce: 5K
5. 1975 Carvin double cutaway: 1K
6. 1977 Music Man Fender Twin: 1K

I probably enjoy playing the mustang the best. It is a short scale guitar, very easy to play for me, especially as I get older.
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Re: Have you ever purchased a pricy musical instrument?

Post by CyclingDuo »

investingdad wrote: Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:13 amI'm curious if any BHs have bought an expensive musical instrument. I guess expensive is a subjective term so I'll leave it to responders to define relative to their own experience.

If you did, what was it and what was the purpose? Collect? Play? Gift? Other?

Do you still have it or did you sell it and recoup what you paid?
Yes. Yamaha grand piano. Bought it used through a piano broker who located the exact instrument we wanted and shipped it to our home. The cost was about the same as a new car at the time we bought it. We paid in cash to avoid any traps of financing or leasing. It's a model with what is now considered rare wood with excellent sound from the 1980's.

We've owned it and played it for 16 years thus far. How do we use it? We hold annual small recitals in our home, practice on it, rehearsals, teach occasional private lessons, and use as a tool for learning our music (sacred and secular). One child majored in music and spent a good 10-12 years playing it daily. Tuning is the only maintenance cost to date outside of having to replace the bench one time after our dogs chewed on the legs of the original bench when they were pups. We wised up and put protective wraps around the legs for the next round of dogs we got three years ago. The current family pets are beyond puppy stage now, so the wraps have been removed.

As a professional musician, it's simply a tool of the trade.
"Save like a pessimist, invest like an optimist." - Morgan Housel
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Re: Have you ever purchased a pricy musical instrument?

Post by thatme »

I’ve purchased a number of pricy brass instruments over the years, all used though. My current axe is a bass trombone I paid $4200 for, which would run about $7500 new. Amazing instrument and quality build, it’s far better than I am. I’ve purchased a number of tubas in that range as well. While there are certainly more expensive pieces of equipment out there, I enjoy it, and I typically resell for the same or a bit more when it’s time to try out something new.
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Re: Have you ever purchased a pricy musical instrument?

Post by knightrider »

I did and regret it because I ruined it. It was an all solid wood Martin guitar for $1000 in 2002. I didn't realize I had to humidify it in the winters. I didn't for a few years and it developed all sorts of structural issues. Eventually the repair estimate was too high so I sold it for $220..
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Re: Have you ever purchased a pricy musical instrument?

Post by ReedMan »

Pro woodwinds player/teacher here. I own 5 saxes, 4 flutes, 2 clarinets, and a bassoon acquired over the last 18 years. Lots of mouthpieces, lots of instrument stands. Nothing stands out as pricy between $900-$5k, but it all certainly adds up. The main instruments are brand name and auxiliary ones (like piccolo, alto flute, bass clarinet) are reputable 2nd tier brands (made in China). Only 4 instruments were purchased new, the rest were used, mostly sourced from other musician sellers. My line of work does require a variety of instruments, though you don't end up playing them all the time. So it's good to know I've found budget options that will work well when called for. I'm also glad my wife is 100% supportive :D
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Re: Have you ever purchased a pricy musical instrument?

Post by Bir48die »

When my first wife died at 50 years old, my company had an automatic $10k policy on spouses. She could never have gotten LI anywhere else due to longstanding illness. After paying for the funeral costs I went out and bought a Martin acoustic guitar. Was $800 or $900 at the time. I had played an old Lyle for over 30+ years. Figured I would have tons of time to focus on it. Long story short met someone fairly quickly and got busy so still strum on it but not like I had planned. It all worked out in the end.
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