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#1946334 - 08/20/12 05:55 PM Looking to buy our First Piano(Yamaha P22, CN-216 or U1)
mq2204 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/20/12
Posts: 10
I'm looking for a first piano for my 7 years old who has been taking private piano lessons for a year using a Yamaha P-120 keyboard. I would like to seek some advise from this board.

We did visit a couple of local piano stores and tried playing some piano. But the voice we liked are all from those more superior and expensive models. Those fall into our budget range didn't produce the sounds that I would love to death. We also can't feel the subtle difference from the touch. The only determine factor might be the color and my daughter said her dream piano is black with golden words smile

So I decided that we don't need to buy the "dream" piano just yet. We can wait till the days when we could feel the difference of the "touch". For now, any solid and value-preserve piano that can serve the purpose of a student should be fine.

I saw 2 used ones on craigslist:

a. 1996 P22 for $2500 ($2000 if bought before this weekend)
b. 2002 P600 for $2500

Both are from the original owners but the owner of the P22 claimed it was not played much.

Some other friends suggested us to look into U1 and U3, but my daughter's teacher says P600 can last till about high school. If my daughter becomes serious on playing piano, we could upgrade it later. I like the idea. What would you say about the P22 vs. P600. Which one is a fair deal?

Also, would it be better to purchase the first piano through a store in stead of a private party? Do stores offer delivery/tuning/warranty for used piano, too?

Thanks in advance!

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#1946379 - 08/20/12 07:29 PM Re: Looking to buy our First Piano(P22, P600 or others) [Re: mq2204]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8491
Loc: Georgia, USA
Hi and welcome to the Piano World Forums!
I played a Yamaha P22 a few weeks ago at a church and was impressed with the tone and touch. I’m not familiar with the P600.

In terms of buying from a private seller vs. a dealer, yes, the dealer usually offers moving, tuning , etc… usually at an additional charge, but sometimes negotiated into the price of the pre-owned piano. You may get a better deal cost wise from a private seller, but you will most likely be responsible for moving and tuning. Moving for an upright can cost anywhere from $150 to $300 and tuning averages around $100.

Also, if you buy from a private seller, I would advise you to have the piano inspected by a qualified person as a safety precaution, regardless of how good a condition the owner says it is in.

Good luck and keep us informed!

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#1946483 - 08/20/12 11:54 PM Re: Looking to buy our First Piano(P22, P600 or others) [Re: mq2204]
mq2204 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/20/12
Posts: 10
Hi Rick,

Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I'm going to see the P22 tomorrow and might come back with more questions.

As to "a qualified person", would it be a tuner normally? I plan to first check the physical conditions of the piano. If it passed my visual inspection, I will then ask for professional eyes to check again. But should I just ask my daughter's piano teacher for help or hire a tuner (or someone else)?

Thanks again!

Maggie

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#1946565 - 08/21/12 07:45 AM Re: Looking to buy our First Piano(P22, P600 or others) [Re: mq2204]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8491
Loc: Georgia, USA
Hi again, Maggie.

When I used the words “qualified person” I meant a piano technician/tuner or someone familiar with the technical aspects of an acoustic piano, which usually includes a “tuner”, but not always.
Since the Yamaha brand is well known for reliability and consistency, there is probably nothing wrong with the pianos you are considering, but it is better to be safe than sorry, I suppose.

I’m sure your child’s piano teacher can recommend a local technician/tuner. Also, it would be good for you to find a tech/tuner to tune and service your piano as needed; maybe they could offer you a package deal to inspect the prospect, recommend a mover and tune the piano once it has been moved to its new home and settled in .

Good luck.

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#1946903 - 08/21/12 08:52 PM Re: Looking to buy our First Piano(P22, P600 or others) [Re: mq2204]
mq2204 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/20/12
Posts: 10
Some update (sorry for the lengthy description)...

I went to see the 1996 P22 today. It looks clean and seems not being played much. According to the seller, she was a "bad" student and didn't stick to her lessons and practice smile I played all the 88 keys and pressed the pedal. Nothing stuck. The cabinet, soundboard and hammers all look nice and clean. I tried to play a simple song and didn't find anything that I don't like about. So I almost decided "This is it!" and emailed my daughter's teacher and a couple of technicians I found on the www.ptg.org to go with me again.

On the way back home, I couldn't resist the urge to stop by the Yamaha dealer again. This time, it's a weekday and there was only me besides the sale person in the store. So I was very relaxed. I asked the sale person to recommend a model for my case and stressed that we are not in the mode of buying the ultimate dream piano but a good practice piano for a young student. He highly recommended Cabel-Nelson CN-216 which is designed and built by Yamaha. And the road-map for upgrading, if my daughter progresses well, could be T118 and then U1, and then ... ...

Since there is a P22 right next to the Cabel-Nelson, I also asked about it. He said P22 is built for institution and thus more robust. Cabel-Nelson is more for home use and also comes with the middle sliding pedal for quieter practicing.

When I was left alone, I tried to play C-scale on all 4 models we just talked about. Somehow, the U1 seems to be the most easy and enjoyable to play. The keys are responsive and I can feel the smoothness moving from key to key and I immediately imagined the practicing time on this U1 could pass by much more quickly than any other ones. I didn't get that feeling from another U1 with different finish (more expensive according to the price tag) and a used U3 also in display. If the price is not a concern, I would have loved to get THAT U1. Among the CN, T118 and P22, I can't really tell the difference other than the color and price frown

I asked for the OTD (including tax and delivery) price of the 4 models:

CN-216: $3689
T118: $4766
P22: $5300
U1: $6500 (even cheaper than a 4 year old used U1 I saw on CL)

Is it still a wise decision to buy the used 1996 P22 at $2000 (assuming the seller is telling the truth that she is the original owner and it was not played much and moved at most twice) and upgrade to a superior model (U1 in the mind) a few years later?

Thanks again!

Maggie

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#1946921 - 08/21/12 09:31 PM Re: Looking to buy our First Piano(P22, P600 or others) [Re: mq2204]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7303
Loc: Rochester MN
Hi Maggie - Welcome to Piano World!

I don't understand a roadmap for a parade of pianos. If that U1 is new, that's a very good price. Of all of the ones you have mentioned, I consider it the best. Usually one would consider starting out on a vertical, with the thought of a grand in the future. I just don't see the value in stepping up through a series of verticals. The only consideration would be budget, but then, it is to save up to ultimately get the grand you want.

If you love that particular U1, and it is within budget, it would be the obvious choice.

Make sure you write down the Serial Number to make sure that if you buy it, you get the piano you want.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#1946979 - 08/21/12 11:45 PM Re: Looking to buy our First Piano(P22, P600 or others) [Re: mq2204]
mq2204 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/20/12
Posts: 10
Hi Marty,

Thanks for sharing your opinions.

Budget is certainly a consideration although it's more like a "priority" thing for us. Spending $6500 on an instrument that a 7 year old might not appreciate much more than a $2000 one does not align well with our life style. It's like even we could afford it, we rarely buy fancy clothes for her because I can't stay calm seeing her sitting in a sandbox or doing school projects with her recital quality dress on.

Although I can imagine she will be thrilled to play on the U1, I also imagine that she will be equally thrilled to get a "real" piano now. And a few years later, when we get her a better piano, she will be thrilled again, and again. We had the similar experience with getting her the bikes of different sizes as she grows.

The "road map" thing could also serve as an incentive for her to want to become better. Or am I too naive that the piano purchase/learning is totally different?

Thanks,

Maggie

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#1947080 - 08/22/12 07:19 AM Re: Looking to buy our First Piano(P22, P600 or others) [Re: mq2204]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7303
Loc: Rochester MN
Hi Maggie,

I understand what you are saying. I guess I have a slightly different opinion on the effect on a 7 y/o. I sincerely doubt that she knows the difference between a P22 and a U1, or even cares. Getting the piano is an exciting event, and should be. Bicycles are signs of growth, just like the measurement marks on a doorway. The increase in size is also necessary due to physical requirements. Pianos, not so much. I would think that the sequential pianos would teach her that they are nothing more than disposible items, rather than teaching her that if you buy something good, it will last a long time.

I'm not big with the dangling a carrot approach applied to equipment used for education. There are more appropriate rewards which can be used to master how to drive the cart, rather than promising a new cart if she learns to drive well. And then a better cart, and then a better cart...
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#1947092 - 08/22/12 08:09 AM Re: Looking to buy our First Piano(P22, P600 or others) [Re: mq2204]
Bob Newbie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/06
Posts: 1549
I agree with Marty..When I went to business school.. eons ago,my parents said if I graduated they would buy me a car (1968 mustang convertible) unfortunately the school
went bankrupt when I was enrolled ,so I never did graduate or get that beautiful blue
mustang covertible with white pony interior... frown
so don't dangle that carrot!

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#1947167 - 08/22/12 11:11 AM Re: Looking to buy our First Piano(P22, P600 or others) [Re: mq2204]
Playagain Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 239
HI, Maggie,
The prices you listed for the U1, T118, and P22 are a lot less than the dealer I visited recently. I bought a T118--I would have liked a U1, but the dealer quoted $10,000, and I didn't think they would go down enough for our much lower budget.

From what I understand, the P22 and T118 are still nice pianos, though. I'm glad to get my T118--I liked the P22 at the piano store, also. Maybe others can give more specifics about the models.

The best piano is always wonderful for someone to learn on, but it's not always affordable for many people.
_________________________
""

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#1947230 - 08/22/12 01:20 PM Re: Looking to buy our First Piano(Yamaha P22, CN-216 or U1) [Re: mq2204]
re22 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/04/11
Posts: 147
I have P22 made in 1988 in the USA. I purchased this a year and a half ago as my studio piano so my students wouldn't put so much wear and tear on my new grand piano. I have found the P22 to be extremely durable. The last owners had not tuned it in at least.... 10 years or more? After 3 turnings in my home its stable and sounds good.

One of the things I like about this piano is even the little 5 year old or the students with smaller weak fingers can play it with ease. Its very responsive too. The voice of the piano is a little mellow and I find if the student makes a mistake its not so harsh where as my clearer grand will make my students cringe if they play their song wrong lol.

I can't personally speak for the longevity of this piano seeing as I've only had it for about a year and a half but Yamaha is a good brand. Its getting over 30hours a week of playing and it still going strong.

As for the U1...

Several of my students have this model. Ages range from the 1970's to about 2010. I went shopping with these students to try the pianos and I was happy with the sound and touch. I found the dynamic range to be bit better and the sound to be nicer. By nicer I mean if I was going to have a recital and I had a choice of the P22 or the U1 I would choose the U1 for more clarity and a richer tone.

The 1 reason I picked the P22 over the U1 was the durability of the piano. I work with young children some of which are ADHD or autistic and I was scared that the fold down music desk would get broken off. The P22 I have is a tank!

Teaching aside I do feel like the U1 is better instrument. That opinion comes from play prepped pianos in a store and pianos in someones house that haven't been tuned for a long, long time.

I hope maybe that helps you some! Sorry if the typing is horrible trying to do this on my cell phone blush
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher

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#1947267 - 08/22/12 02:33 PM Re: Looking to buy our First Piano(Yamaha P22, CN-216 or U1) [Re: mq2204]
gnuboi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 2349
Loc: USA
The U1 has a good price if you just have to get that U1!

The used P22 in great condition is a great value. It can last you 30+ years. If you think the touch is a bit lacking compared to the U1, see if a technician can regulate it and improve upon it.

And yes, with a less expensive used piano you won't care so much about scratches.

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#1947298 - 08/22/12 03:07 PM Re: Looking to buy our First Piano(Yamaha P22, CN-216 or U1) [Re: gnuboi]
mq2204 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/20/12
Posts: 10
Thanks to all for your wonderful and timely comments.

My daughter's teacher also recommended to buy the P22 and wait for a couple of years for the U1. It looks like another piano teacher re22 also thinks the same way. Well, we might not get THAT U1 after a few years but I find my feeling is not too important as I'm not a pianist and my daughter would be the primary user smile

A couple of technicians I called for inspection told me to get it without them coming first for inspection. They don't expect big problems and suggest me just schedule the tuning after the delivery. So, we've arranged for the mover to deliver it tomorrow! Excited!!

Marty and Bob,

Thanks for the reminder about the "dangling carrot" smile I hate that kind of "incentive" and will try not to turn myself into a despairing mom smile

Maggie

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#1947313 - 08/22/12 03:27 PM Re: Looking to buy our First Piano(P22, P600 or others) [Re: Playagain]
mq2204 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/20/12
Posts: 10
Originally Posted By: Playagain
HI, Maggie,
The prices you listed for the U1, T118, and P22 are a lot less than the dealer I visited recently. I bought a T118--I would have liked a U1, but the dealer quoted $10,000, and I didn't think they would go down enough for our much lower budget.


Hi Playagain,

I also suspected that I might have heard it wrong w.r.t the price of U1 as I saw a 4 year old used U1 for sale at $6800. I called the dealer today and confirmed it is $6579 including tax and delivery.

It might be that U1 has some variations in finish and other features. Others on the board might be more qualified to explain. The other more expensive U1 I played yesterday has a tag with MSRP at $10,685. THE ONE I liked does not have a price tag on it but is also new and manufactured in Japan April 2012. The dealer also said U1 is very popular and many buyers organize group purchase to get it at low price. I think he is very honest and consider to come back a few years back when we are ready to buy a superior and lasting piano.

He also said the piano bought at the store can be traded in at 100% purchase price should we want to upgrade later. That's another benefit of buying from store. But I'm pretty happy with the $2000 P22 deal.

Maggie

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#1947320 - 08/22/12 03:37 PM Re: Looking to buy our First Piano(P22, P600 or others) [Re: mq2204]
Playagain Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 239
Thanks, Maggie! That sounds like a very good deal! It's great that you've found a really good dealer that you can go back to if you decide to get the U1 or a different piano, too.

Enjoy your P22! I'm sure your daughter will love it! They are nice pianos!
Kathy
_________________________
""

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#1947425 - 08/22/12 07:19 PM Re: Looking to buy our First Piano(P22, P600 or others) [Re: mq2204]
mq2204 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/20/12
Posts: 10
I guess I will not stop looking until the piano is paid and delivered ...

I searched on CL again in a nearby area and found a 1994 P22 for sale at $1500. From the picture, it looks prettier than the 1996 one. However, it is 80 minutes drive away (the other one is 30 minutes away). The moving cost is $425 vs. $225 making the total cost of getting it $1925 vs. $2225.

I'm debating if it's worth the effort to get a better looking P22 and save $300 at the same time. I read somewhere that a regularly played/tuned piano is better than one not touched much. Could it be the case that the 1994 one is in a better condition than the 1996 one?

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#1948065 - 08/23/12 07:43 PM Re: Looking to buy our First Piano(P22, P600 or others) [Re: mq2204]
mq2204 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/20/12
Posts: 10
It's just delivered! And now I could add a signature as a piano owner of a 1996 Yamaha P22 smile

Can't wait for my daughter to get home ...

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#1948071 - 08/23/12 08:00 PM Re: Looking to buy our First Piano(P22, P600 or others) [Re: mq2204]
Playagain Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 239
Congratulations! Enjoy!!!
Kathy
_________________________
""

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#1948216 - 08/24/12 01:50 AM Re: Looking to buy our First Piano(P22, P600 or others) [Re: mq2204]
gnuboi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 2349
Loc: USA
Just some unsolicited advice: delete that Craigslist search bookmark now and stop shopping! grin

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