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#2010253 - 01/06/13 09:01 PM Just starting out, go used or buy new ?
sretsbor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/12
Posts: 22
I’ve been reading the forums here and have posted a few times and I’m interested in starting to learn piano. I’m 53, have played guitar for a few years and want to to explore/learn piano. I thought that I had done all my research in narrowing my choice down to a Yamaha P105 vs. Privia 150 and had decided to get the Yamaha P105. Then a small voice inside of me said ‘What if you don’t take to it, why not start less expensive and buy used?’. So, in perusing Craigslist I see that within an hour and a half of me there is a Privia PX-120 and Yamaha P-85 both said to be in excellent condition and both at very attractive prices. They both are 88 weighted key units and I’m guessing they are both around 5-6 years old. I realize that they both have older technology but I’m not sure that what they lack makes any difference to someone just starting out. BTW, I can afford a Yamaha P-105 so it is not a matter of not having the money up front and I also realize that losing money when re-selling a digital piano (or anything really) is just part of life.

So, my question is not what I should do but I am wondering what others have done in a similar situation? Did you start used or did you jump right in with a new piano?

Moderators: If this belongs in the ‘Digital Piano’ sections please feel free to move it.

Thanks. Rob
Yamaha P95

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#2010359 - 01/07/13 01:28 AM Re: Just starting out, go used or buy new ? [Re: sretsbor]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1782
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada

I bought a Casio PX-350. One reason:

. . . It's brand-new technology.

I figure that gives me best value per dollar. Keyboard and cabinet and loudspeaker costs may be stable, but the electronics gets cheaper and cheaper.

There's a reason old digi-pianos are rather inexpensive on the used market:

. . . they're not as good as the new ones.

Check the size of the sample memory on the PX-120. I think it'll be small, compared to the PX-150. And that relates directly to the quality of the piano sound.

I think the Yamaha P105 is rather new, and getting good reviews. In your place, I'd wait for NAMM at the end of January. If Yamaha releases a replacement for the P155 (which I liked when I tried it), that might be a first-class choice. Or a used P155 might become available for a good price.

. Charles

#2010392 - 01/07/13 03:34 AM Re: Just starting out, go used or buy new ? [Re: sretsbor]
Allard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 345
Loc: Netherlands
I borrowed an old keyboard from my parents and a piano book from the library to see if I really liked the hobby. After a month I knew that the keyboard was terrible, the book was terrible, and that I wanted to play! So I tried a few digital pianos at the two stores we have in town and bought a Yamaha 95. Figured it would last a few years without costing too much if I ended up dumping it later.
David Lanz - Dark Horse
Yiruma - River Flows In You

#2010415 - 01/07/13 05:44 AM Re: Just starting out, go used or buy new ? [Re: sretsbor]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2675
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Originally Posted By: sretsbor
...‘What if you don’t take to it, why not start less expensive and buy used?’
So, my question is not what I should do but I am wondering what others have done in a similar situation?

When I first bought a set of weights the documentation said don't sell them on. Keep them in case. It was worthwhile advice. It took a couple of years between each of several attempts before I really picked up on weight training.

If you buy a good piano it may take a while before you start playing regularly but if you still have it you can always pick it up again.

Many, many people regret not having taken up or maintained piano but I've never heard anyone regret trying.

Buy a reasonable model now and if you don't take to it don't sell it on. If it's there you can always sit down to it every so often. And one day, you may get hooked.

#2010431 - 01/07/13 06:31 AM Re: Just starting out, go used or buy new ? [Re: sretsbor]
dkong99 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/03/12
Posts: 44
When I decided to once again play the piano after an absence of more than 45 years I got the least expensive fully weighed keyboard that had a acceptable piano sound, a Casio CDP-100. After I got up to the level I was at when I was 6 years old, I upgraded to a Casio PX-330, giving the CDP-100 to a friend with 5 year old twin boys.

Both times I bought new (and on sale) as frankly I don't like used and if there were problems, exchanging it would not be a problem (there was zero problems with both boards).

To me, the difference in cost between a new and used keyboard at the entry level wasn't enough to make purchasing a used keyboard worth my while.


#2010436 - 01/07/13 06:50 AM Re: Just starting out, go used or buy new ? [Re: dkong99]
adultpianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 540
I would say go somewhere where you can borrow a piano or keyboard. There is no point spending money on an instrument if at the end of the day you say it is not for you and you give it up. I guess if that was the case, you could sell the piano or keyboard on ebay but even so, it is an expense you do not want to have to pay unless you are sure it is what you want and you are going to stick at it.

#2010933 - 01/08/13 12:14 AM Re: Just starting out, go used or buy new ? [Re: sretsbor]
sretsbor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/12
Posts: 22
Thanks to everyone for their replies. Plenty of food for thought. The used Yamaha P-85 and the PX-120 on Craigslist are both listed so inexpensive that I can hardly go wrong getting either one but I certainly see the benefit of getting a new instrument and having the ability to return it if there is a problem and/or exercising the warranty down the road. Not to mention that you are getting the latest and greatest technology in terms of sound and playability.


Edited by sretsbor (01/08/13 12:27 AM)
Yamaha P95

#2010979 - 01/08/13 04:00 AM Re: Just starting out, go used or buy new ? [Re: sretsbor]
JohnSprung Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 1872
Loc: Reseda, California
I'd suggest starting with one of the cheap Craig's List used digitals -- I have one. They're great to have for silent practice with headphones, and plenty good enough for the early phase where your biggest challenge is getting fingers in the right places at the right times. But during that time, also be sure to get a little time in on other keyboards wherever you can -- churches, schools, gin joints....

If you decide you like it enough, keep the cheap digital for headphone practice, and get an acoustic as your main piano.
If it doesn't work out, you're not out much cash.
-- J.S.

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690


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