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#2102403 - 06/14/13 10:30 AM Is it a bad idea to audition a piano you cannot afford?
shaolin95 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/11
Posts: 474
So, I was going to by the local Steinway dealer to check some of the pianos there...call it a way of relaxing from a horrible week at work.
But I am wondering if this will be a bad idea, like making me want to have it and not appreciate what I have after doing that. laugh
_________________________
*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

*Baldwin Hamilton Studio '67 (gone)

*Young Chang Y150 (Del F design) (gone)

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#2102413 - 06/14/13 10:53 AM Re: Is it a bad idea to audition a piano you cannot afford? [Re: shaolin95]
Rich Galassini Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9131
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
I don't think experiencing another instrument could hurt you at all. You will gain perspective an may even walk away thinking, "Whats the big deal over this piano?"

Unfortunately, you may also wind up wanting one. I want a Ferrari and someday may have one, but if not, I will live.

Have fun and don't forget to report back here.
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
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#2102417 - 06/14/13 11:01 AM Re: Is it a bad idea to audition a piano you cannot afford? [Re: shaolin95]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7223
Loc: Rochester MN
It's OK if you leave your credit cards and checkbook at home!

Don't play a 'B' unless you want to be terminally infected.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2102418 - 06/14/13 11:03 AM Re: Is it a bad idea to audition a piano you cannot afford? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
shaolin95 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/11
Posts: 474
Originally Posted By: Rich Galassini
I don't think experiencing another instrument could hurt you at all. You will gain perspective an may even walk away thinking, "Whats the big deal over this piano?"

Unfortunately, you may also wind up wanting one. I want a Ferrari and someday may have one, but if not, I will live.

Have fun and don't forget to report back here.


hahaha reminds me of a friend always buying car magazines...I will always say, I dont care about a magazine of cars I will never own laugh

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
It's OK if you leave your credit cards and checkbook at home!

hahah no worries, they cant help me get any of those pianos even if I bring them with me! laugh


Don't play a 'B' unless you want to be terminally infected.
_________________________
*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

*Baldwin Hamilton Studio '67 (gone)

*Young Chang Y150 (Del F design) (gone)

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#2102419 - 06/14/13 11:05 AM Re: Is it a bad idea to audition a piano you cannot afford? [Re: shaolin95]
Almaviva Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 583
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Shaolin,

Go ahead & visit the place - but leave your checkbook and credit cards at home! wink

I'd love to own a Sauter Omega, Bluthner 2, Grotrian 225, August Forster 215, Steinway B, Steingraeber D232, or Fazioli 228, but I can't afford them and I can live with that fact. But I can dream, can't I?

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#2102420 - 06/14/13 11:07 AM Re: Is it a bad idea to audition a piano you cannot afford? [Re: shaolin95]
Rickster Online   content


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8393
Loc: Georgia, USA
I don’t see it as a bad idea at all, if the store owners/sales people don’t mind.

I’ve only visited a Steinway dealer/showroom once in my life, and it was by mistake. I’d say my experience there was rather unusual, and it made me think about my persona and the way I present myself to piano dealers/sales people…

In this instance, I had planned on visiting a rather well known piano store in the metro Atlanta area; the Steinway dealer was right next door to the dealer I wanted to visit. Since I had never visited either store, I walked into the Steinway store first, by mistake, and asked for a particular salesperson I had spoken to on the phone. A rather well-dressed salesman told me that person didn’t work there, but worked at the dealer next door. I said I was in the wrong store… he said, “no, you’re in the right store”. He asked me what I was looking for and how much I wanted to spend. I told him what kind of piano I had planned on checking out at the dealer next door.

In the meantime, I saw a young couple trying out a Steinway grand. Oh how I wanted to play one of the Steinways there! However, I had already given myself away, by telling the salesperson what I was planning on looking at next door.

The salesman began to show me some kind of pyramid chart with the different piano makes and how they fit into the market. He politely lead me over to some console uprights with the brand name “Cristofori”, which I had never heard of, but didn’t know much about pianos to start with at that particular time.

He tells me the brand is made in China and how the quality of the make was good and getting better and better. He plays a little on it, and asks me to try it out… I play a little on it, (what little I could play) and tell him, “yea, it sounds and plays nice”.

The whole time I was thinking I was in the wrong place, and that salesperson had sized me up one side and down the other, and made a determination that I was Cristofori material and not Steinway material. After I thought about that a while, it kind of hurt my feelings a little… smile

Of course, I don’t think I could make myself pay more for a piano than I paid to have my house built back in the 1980’s.

Oh well, such is life in the world of piano shopping. A bad idea to play high-end pianos you cannot afford at the dealer? I don't think so... smile

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

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#2102422 - 06/14/13 11:10 AM Re: Is it a bad idea to audition a piano you cannot afford? [Re: shaolin95]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10349
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
My son and I had a great time visiting Steinway Hall a few years back. I did a good job of appearing to be on the market. That kept up their interest. grin

Well, I WAS in the market at that point, but even an "A" was beyond my budget.
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

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#2102424 - 06/14/13 11:11 AM Re: Is it a bad idea to audition a piano you cannot afford? [Re: shaolin95]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7223
Loc: Rochester MN
Rick,

The salesman didn't need to size you up, you gave yourself away!

wink
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2102427 - 06/14/13 11:19 AM Re: Is it a bad idea to audition a piano you cannot afford? [Re: shaolin95]
Rickster Online   content


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8393
Loc: Georgia, USA
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Rick,

The salesman didn't need to size you up, you gave yourself away! wink

Very true, Marty.

But we do indeed learn from our past experiences. As I’ve gotten older, I’m better at pretending to be someone I’m not. smile

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

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#2102429 - 06/14/13 11:22 AM Re: Is it a bad idea to audition a piano you cannot afford? [Re: shaolin95]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7223
Loc: Rochester MN
When shopping in Italy, one must wear great shoes.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2102430 - 06/14/13 11:24 AM Re: Is it a bad idea to audition a piano you cannot afford? [Re: shaolin95]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1918
Loc: Suffolk, England
It's a good idea to audition pianos when you're waiting for probate.
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2102436 - 06/14/13 11:30 AM Re: Is it a bad idea to audition a piano you cannot afford? [Re: Withindale]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7223
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: Withindale
It's a good idea to audition pianos when you're waiting for probate.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2102437 - 06/14/13 11:35 AM Re: Is it a bad idea to audition a piano you cannot afford? [Re: shaolin95]
Voltara Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/09
Posts: 124
When I visit a store and the conversation quickly turns to questions like "What do you do for a living? When are you planning on buying? How much are you prepared to spend?" rather than "What do you think of these pianos?", it's a big turn-off to put it lightly.

They could at least pretend to care about finding the right piano for their customer, as opposed to finding the right customer for their piano...

But definitely do try out pianos above and below your budget. It gives you a better understanding of what's out there, so you can figure out which qualities are most important to you, and which you're willing to compromise. (You may also discover that price does not necessarily equal performance.) And, depending on your personality, you may even walk away from those instruments with a renewed appreciation for the one you have.

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#2102440 - 06/14/13 11:42 AM Re: Is it a bad idea to audition a piano you cannot afford? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1169
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
Marty,

I own great shoes. They cost as much as my house.
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2102441 - 06/14/13 11:44 AM Re: Is it a bad idea to audition a piano you cannot afford? [Re: Voltara]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1169
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
Originally Posted By: Voltara


But definitely do try out pianos above and below your budget. It gives you a better understanding of what's out there, so you can figure out which qualities are most important to you, and which you're willing to compromise.


Absolutely! How are you every going to learn anything if you never leave the house?
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2102443 - 06/14/13 11:47 AM Re: Is it a bad idea to audition a piano you cannot afford? [Re: shaolin95]
shaolin95 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/11
Posts: 474
Thanks for the comments all!
Yeah it makes sense, I recall when I used to buy internet direct speakers and went to compare them to "name brand" speakers, it was a GREAT experience to feel that I was getting so much more for my money. Of course, this is not the same case but at least I will be able to tell what exactly I get with such an expensive piano compared to mine.
They have others like Essex which are the closest to an affordable Steinway to me which will be fun to compare at slightly higher price than mine but being 5-8 vs 6-1.
In any case, I will do it just to relax laugh
_________________________
*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

*Baldwin Hamilton Studio '67 (gone)

*Young Chang Y150 (Del F design) (gone)

Top
#2102453 - 06/14/13 12:09 PM Re: Is it a bad idea to audition a piano you cannot afford? [Re: laguna_greg]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7223
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: laguna_greg
Marty,

I own great shoes. They cost as much as my house.

You would be welcomed with open arms at Fazioli!
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2102457 - 06/14/13 12:14 PM Re: Is it a bad idea to audition a piano you cannot afford? [Re: shaolin95]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21259
Loc: Oakland
I tried my first Mason & Hamlin before I could afford one. It took a couple of less expensive pianos before I could get mine.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2102464 - 06/14/13 12:28 PM Re: Is it a bad idea to audition a piano you cannot afford? [Re: shaolin95]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7223
Loc: Rochester MN

Well, ya gotta admit that Shaolin isn't exactly comparing to a CL freebie!

_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2102509 - 06/14/13 01:57 PM Re: Is it a bad idea to audition a piano you cannot afford? [Re: shaolin95]
shaolin95 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/11
Posts: 474
hahaha thanks Marty! laugh
I should have taken my Sony camera with me and my Zoom recorder darn it...maybe I should do it next week smile
_________________________
*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

*Baldwin Hamilton Studio '67 (gone)

*Young Chang Y150 (Del F design) (gone)

Top
#2102512 - 06/14/13 02:01 PM Re: Is it a bad idea to audition a piano you cannot afford? [Re: shaolin95]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7223
Loc: Rochester MN
Well .............. It certainly could be mistaken for a Hamburg-A.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2102515 - 06/14/13 02:09 PM Re: Is it a bad idea to audition a piano you cannot afford? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
shaolin95 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/11
Posts: 474
So ignorant me must ask as googling Hamburg-A did not bring me much info laugh
_________________________
*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

*Baldwin Hamilton Studio '67 (gone)

*Young Chang Y150 (Del F design) (gone)

Top
#2102517 - 06/14/13 02:11 PM Re: Is it a bad idea to audition a piano you cannot afford? [Re: shaolin95]
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4373
Loc: Jersey Shore
Trying expensive pianos to find the sound you want in a cheaper brand can be a good idea.

I loved the sound of an S6 Yammy that was too expensive, but it gave me an idea what I wanted to find.

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#2102524 - 06/14/13 02:20 PM Re: Is it a bad idea to audition a piano you cannot afford? [Re: shaolin95]
shaolin95 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/11
Posts: 474
I sort of did that when getting my current piano by testing the most expensive Kawaii and Yamahas they had but this will be a step up:D


Edited by shaolin95 (06/14/13 02:24 PM)
_________________________
*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

*Baldwin Hamilton Studio '67 (gone)

*Young Chang Y150 (Del F design) (gone)

Top
#2102530 - 06/14/13 02:28 PM Re: Is it a bad idea to audition a piano you cannot afford? [Re: shaolin95]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7223
Loc: Rochester MN
Tee-Hee-Hee,

I forgot that you are still a babe in the woods!

Steinway & Sons Model A-188 (6'4"), Hamburg production. (Estimated list price in the US = $93,500 in Gloss Ebony. Mahogany would be considerably more expensive.)

http://www.steinway.de/
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2102534 - 06/14/13 02:39 PM Re: Is it a bad idea to audition a piano you cannot afford? [Re: shaolin95]
shaolin95 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/11
Posts: 474
Oh yes, I just need some nice photoshop skills to place the decal on that side laugh
_________________________
*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

*Baldwin Hamilton Studio '67 (gone)

*Young Chang Y150 (Del F design) (gone)

Top
#2102550 - 06/14/13 03:37 PM Re: Is it a bad idea to audition a piano you cannot afford? [Re: shaolin95]
bennevis Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 4813
When I visit a piano store, the first piano I go to is the concert grand grin. I just make sure I play something tuneful as well as flashy (the Schumann/Liszt Widmung is a favorite), so that the salesperson won't think I'm not worthy of the piano, and I've never been 'sized up' by them in any store.

Though once, I went into a (Schimmel) store where I had to gain access by ringing the bell, and the posh lady there sized me up (- scruffy T shirt and jeans, red sneakers... grin ) and directed me towards her cheapest vertical. I played something sweet and simple - Schumann's Arabeske. She liked it, so she asked me to try out her small grand. I played something even sweeter and more difficult (from the Yellow River Concerto), and she obviously wanted more, so she let me loose on her big grands - and didn't bother me anymore while I played through all my memorized repertoire. (I learnt long ago that if you want to be allowed to play those concert grands in showrooms without being hassled by the sales staff, you shouldn't walk in carrying any sheet music. Real pianists, to their minds, always have music that they can trot out at any time, whenever they come across a piano. It's only beginners who need music to play from....).

But my best experience was my first - as an impoverished student travelling by train around Europe on an InterRail ticket. In the city of music, Vienna, I visited the Bösendorfer showroom in Bösendorferstraße, and boldly asked the elegant man there if I could play his Imperial 290, which was in a prominent place by the large glass window where passers-by could see. I was wearing a tatty T shirt and scruffy jeans with more than an odd tear, but though he obviously knew I wasn't a potential customer grin, invited me to sit down. My memorized repertoire was very limited then, but I just kept playing and playing......until he (seemingly) regretfully told me that it was half an hour past closing time. Apparently, I'd attracted something of an audience peering through the window (which I hadn't noticed), which might be partly why he let me play on so long...

And the experience has left me as a life-long Bösendorfer devotee grin.

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#2102559 - 06/14/13 03:58 PM Re: Is it a bad idea to audition a piano you cannot afford? [Re: bennevis]
shaolin95 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/12/11
Posts: 474
Originally Posted By: bennevis
When I visit a piano store, the first piano I go to is the concert grand grin. I just make sure I play something tuneful as well as flashy (the Schumann/Liszt Widmung is a favorite), so that the salesperson won't think I'm not worthy of the piano, and I've never been 'sized up' by them in any store.

Though once, I went into a (Schimmel) store where I had to gain access by ringing the bell, and the posh lady there sized me up (- scruffy T shirt and jeans, red sneakers... grin ) and directed me towards her cheapest vertical. I played something sweet and simple - Schumann's Arabeske. She liked it, so she asked me to try out her small grand. I played something even sweeter and more difficult (from the Yellow River Concerto), and she obviously wanted more, so she let me loose on her big grands - and didn't bother me anymore while I played through all my memorized repertoire. (I learnt long ago that if you want to be allowed to play those concert grands in showrooms without being hassled by the sales staff, you shouldn't walk in carrying any sheet music. Real pianists, to their minds, always have music that they can trot out at any time, whenever they come across a piano. It's only beginners who need music to play from....).

But my best experience was my first - as an impoverished student travelling by train around Europe on an InterRail ticket. In the city of music, Vienna, I visited the Bösendorfer showroom in Bösendorferstraße, and boldly asked the elegant man there if I could play his Imperial 290, which was in a prominent place by the large glass window where passers-by could see. I was wearing a tatty T shirt and scruffy jeans with more than an odd tear, but though he obviously knew I wasn't a potential customer grin, invited me to sit down. My memorized repertoire was very limited then, but I just kept playing and playing......until he (seemingly) regretfully told me that it was half an hour past closing time. Apparently, I'd attracted something of an audience peering through the window (which I hadn't noticed), which might be partly why he let me play on so long...

And the experience has left me as a life-long Bösendorfer devotee grin.


Nice...but I better not play anything or they will send me to their Casio/RadioShack Room laugh


Edited by shaolin95 (06/14/13 04:24 PM)
_________________________
*Young Chang Y185 6'-1"

*Baldwin Hamilton Studio '67 (gone)

*Young Chang Y150 (Del F design) (gone)

Top
#2102560 - 06/14/13 04:03 PM Re: Is it a bad idea to audition a piano you cannot afford? [Re: shaolin95]
Chopinlover49 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/11
Posts: 624
Loc: NY and NC
Real salesmen never judge you by your clothes. In NYC I once went to one of the most important antique dealers' shops dressed in my work clothes because I had just finished delivering antiques to Sotheby's and didn't feel like driving in NYC again after going back to my motel out of town. They treated me like a king and never blinked. Most of the items there were five and six figures but they let me roam around and offered me a beverage, asked if there was anything they could do to help, and left me to enjoy the shop. I could have been Bill Gates. Who knows? (Unfortunately I was just me.)
_________________________
2004 Mason-Hamlin polished ebony BB.
Working on jazz standards and Chopin nocturnes, preludes, and mazurkas (the easier ones.)

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#2102573 - 06/14/13 05:17 PM Re: Is it a bad idea to audition a piano you cannot afford? [Re: bennevis]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19225
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: bennevis
When I visit a piano store, the first piano I go to is the concert grand grin. I just make sure I play something tuneful as well as flashy (the Schumann/Liszt Widmung is a favorite), so that the salesperson won't think I'm not worthy of the piano, and I've never been 'sized up' by them in any store.
The only reason any salesman might care how you play is if there is another customer in the store who might enjoy it or be impressed by the piano if you played well. Otherwise, why would they care how you play except for the obvious reason that it's nicer to listen to someone who can play well but is not buying a piano compared to some who can't play well and is not buying a piano?

They are much more interested in how serious a customer you are. Their job is to sell pianos. If someone had walked into any of those stores you mentioned with a clear interest in purchasing piano and said they wanted to try out piano uninterrupted they would have politely asked you to stop playing...immediately.


Edited by pianoloverus (06/14/13 05:32 PM)

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