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#2159390 - 09/28/13 10:04 PM Newbie Piano Shopping
Bamburg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/13
Posts: 88
Crossposting this from the ABF as suggested. Thanks in advance for any help!

Originally Posted By: Bamburg
At my last lesson my teacher encouraged me to start looking for an actual piano as she thinks I'd be better off not learning on a digital. I thought the p155 would last me quite a bit longer than 4 months, but I have to admit I'm pretty excited at the thought of getting an acoustic piano.

I went to the only piano store I could find nearby, the next closest is about 90 miles away, and I have to say I was really underwhelmed with the experience. I wanted a good upright, and my budget is around $4k, but I couldn't find anything in the store I liked at all. The salesman kept trying to steer me towards a Boston upright he had, saying how great it was because it was designed by Steinway, but when I played it I found there were 2 sticky keys and the damper pedal raised the entire keyboard. Is this normal?

The only pianos I actually liked in the store, other than the new Grands that were far out of my price range, were the new Yamaha U1s. I'm having a bit of trouble finding the cost of those, the ones in the store were around $7000, but if I'm buying a new one I'd like a particular finish that he didn't have. I can't even find a way to actually order one online, or a MSRP, is $7000 the normal going price?

I'm pretty clueless about this whole thing, any help would be great!

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#2159532 - 09/29/13 08:26 AM Re: Newbie Piano Shopping [Re: Bamburg]
Joe Muscara Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/03/10
Posts: 31
Loc: Houston
I have a couple of basic suggestions.

In the right hand column of ads, you'll see one for the Piano Buyer's guide. Check this out for info about buying pianos, current manufacturers, and prices.

Also by Larry Fine is the infamous The Piano Book. The manufacturer and pricing info is a bit dated, but the other material in it is still good.

There is some overlap between the two publications, but they're both worth reading if you're shopping for a piano.

Also, don't be afraid of used pianos, but be ready to have a piano technician check out any piano you might like before you buy. This is just like having a mechanic check out a used car before you buy it. You want to protect yourself and make sure there aren't any hidden problems that will be costly to fix.

#2161436 - 10/03/13 09:44 PM Re: Newbie Piano Shopping [Re: Bamburg]
Gary Fowler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/27/13
Posts: 375
Joe is right! Have a piano technician look at the piano. (and NOT your piano teacher).
Making the world a better sounding place, one piano at a time...

#2161523 - 10/04/13 01:47 AM Re: Newbie Piano Shopping [Re: Bamburg]
BornInTheUSA Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 1365
Yes, definitely check out PianoBuyer, but reading it is a lot of work, but worth it if you have time. But I felt the prices in there were much higher than my local market.

The next step down from the U1 is the outgoing T118 or the new b3. They're not bad and they're in the $4K range. They're made in China or Indonesia, but that's what you get for a new $4k piano. U1's in my market are asking $6K.

Also, are you sure you're not pressing too lightly? When I started testing acoustics after 4 years on a digital, I wouldn't press hard enough, sometimes so soft the hammer doesn't even hit the string. If that Boston is in good shape, they should be pretty nice pianos.

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#2161922 - 10/04/13 10:30 PM Re: Newbie Piano Shopping [Re: Bamburg]
thorn_was_taken Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 96
What Joe Muscara says. The Piano Book is an excellent resource, and the current edition of Piano Buyer will update price and market info. When my copy of The Piano Book arrived months ago, I sat down and read it almost cover to cover. The writing is really good, clear, and -- if you're genuinely interested in the instrument you are looking to buy -- at least big chunks of it will be really enlightening.

You might need to travel that 90 miles, though. Because if you're going to buy from a dealer, you may need to find one who will listen to what *you* want, rather than trying to manipulate you into buying whatever instrument they most desire to move off of their showroom floor.

Before you buy, definitely take the time to learn to shop. There is a bit of a learning curve to that. You may play quite a few weirdnesses before you find an instrument you like. But yours is definitely 'out there'.

I was in your position back in April, working with about the same budget, also looking for a vertical piano. In the end -- about a month ago -- after having increased my budget *and* played every used vertical in the tri-state area, I bought a used grand instead. Um. Oops?

Edited by thorn_was_taken (10/04/13 10:36 PM)

-- Sometimes I poke. Even if I like you.

1920's Mason & Hamlin A

#2161929 - 10/04/13 11:08 PM Re: Newbie Piano Shopping [Re: thorn_was_taken]
BornInTheUSA Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 1365
Originally Posted By: thorn_was_taken

I was in your position back in April, working with about the same budget, also looking for a vertical piano. In the end -- about a month ago -- after having increased my budget *and* played every used vertical in the tri-state area, I bought a used grand instead. Um. Oops?

Funny, I wonder how many of us have the similar stories. It was mine as well. I started out looking for a ~15 year old Yamaha/Kawai upright. And somehow ended up on a new 6'6" grand.


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