Steinway, Bechstein, Mercedes, Audi....
These are a few names of piano and car manufacturers. And they are prestige brands! And they are awesome brands, wouldn't you agree? Yes, definitely they are!! But would you buy an older piano or car by one of those manufacturers purely because of the name? No, I wouldn't. And the reason is that, no matter how wonderful they were when they were new, if they haven't been taken care of, they could now be pieces of junk, or well on the road to being junk!
Beware! That old Steinway or Mercedes could be just as worn out as a cheap brand old piano or car that you see for sale.
I remember driving a shiny old second-hand Audi which was a very second-rate experience to say the least!
I also bought a shiny old Peugeot, only to find that its beautiful exterior masked a clapped-out gearbox and engine!
I have seen a beautiful looking old grand piano have all its original inner workings taken out, and then a new digital piano placed inside it, so only its original wooden body remained.
I was invited to a mansion overlooking Sydney Harbour that had a beautiful grand piano at the end of the lounge room. I thought I'd play it and was shocked to find that it was very out of tune and sounded awful! I think it was there more for the looks than for the playing!
I've even opened a nicely polished upright piano in a pub, only to find there was absolutely nothing inside. All it was used for was as a drinks stand!
So, as important as it is to buy the best instrument you can afford, it is equally important to look after your musical instrument (or car for that matter) properly over a long period of time. That way, the magnificent sound (or driving experience) will be preserved for a long time for you and others to enjoy.