Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician
SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
Ad (Piano Sing)
How to Make Your Piano Sing
Who's Online
77 registered (bennevis, Al LaPorte, 21 invisible), 1204 Guests and 18 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Pianos
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#2216375 - 01/17/14 07:46 PM Best Used Piano for $900 or less?
johnbarnesiii Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/08
Posts: 184
Hello,

I'm looking to purchase a used spinet or console piano for practice. What are your recommendations for best bang for the buck on a tight budget of $900 or less?

I'm considering the Baldwin Acrosonic. Obviously some Yamaha would be great but not sure if I can find one for under $1k. But you guys are the experts, please let me know your thoughts.

Thanks!

Top
(ads 568) Hailun Pianos

 

#2216384 - 01/17/14 08:21 PM Re: Best Used Piano for $900 or less? [Re: johnbarnesiii]
Dwscamel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/22/13
Posts: 513
Honestly, $900 won't buy you much except a PSO -- "piano-shaped object". Most consoles are in frustratingly poor shape.

I'd rather buy a decent digital with that money myself (you might want to increase your budget to ~$1000-1100 USD for a nice pair of headphones as well). Listen to some demos of the Yamaha P155, Kawai ES100, older Yamaha CLPs, and used digital consoles.

If you have your heart set on an acoustic, I recommend saving up some money.

If you have your heart set on an acoustic for $900, then a used console is your best bet. Even the best and most well-maintained examples, however, don't excite me too much. Still, you can coax a nice sound out of any reasonable-condition instrument. Play it and see if you like it.

I'm not sure if it's worth it at this price point, but you might want to hire a technician to see if the action is capable of being regulated and whether it can hold a tune. You can easily pour tons of cash into improving it and not see much.

EDIT: if you check out the Piano Buyer's acoustic database, the cheapest instrument there (by SMP) is a Cristofori 42.5" at $3500 USD. Maybe you should search for used models around the same size, rather than the 36" Baldin Acrosonic console.

http://www.pianobuyer.com/


Edited by Dwscamel (01/17/14 08:26 PM)
_________________________
Casio PX-150

Top
#2216386 - 01/17/14 08:28 PM Re: Best Used Piano for $900 or less? [Re: johnbarnesiii]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21926
Loc: Oakland
Look for a studio upright, about 45 inches tall.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

Top
#2216389 - 01/17/14 08:29 PM Re: Best Used Piano for $900 or less? [Re: johnbarnesiii]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3371
It is rarely feasible to buy an acceptable piano for less than $900. My advice is to buy a keyboard, or save your money until you are able to spend two to three times that amount.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

Top
#2216391 - 01/17/14 08:37 PM Re: Best Used Piano for $900 or less? [Re: johnbarnesiii]
michaelha Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 983
There are plenty of uprights around $1000. A lot of people are moving or need the space and are more interested in getting rid of it than chasing an extra $200.

Older pianos, especially in that price range, is more about age & condition than brand. I'd look at the lesser brands, you might find something newer (e.g. Young Chang).

And you can fairly easily get a 30 year old Yamaha U1 for about $1500, but I might go with a newer No-Name-Piano-That-Sounds-OK if I could find it.

Top
#2216392 - 01/17/14 08:39 PM Re: Best Used Piano for $900 or less? [Re: johnbarnesiii]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
It is always best to judge a particular piano on its own merits, but with a limited budget, some generalities may help.

The Baldy Acros have proven themselves to be very well built and long lived pianos. When considering used spinets or consoles, they are a very good place to start. You might see if any dealers near you have any for sale. The advantage of buying from a dealer is that the sale might include delivery, in-home tuning, and warranty.

Of the many brands available from the 50's through the 70's, the Acrosonic would be my choice. But remember, all pianos of this size have inherent limitations.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

Top
#2216447 - 01/17/14 10:45 PM Re: Best Used Piano for $900 or less? [Re: johnbarnesiii]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
I am sometimes surprised what kind of deals can be had on the used market. People are often under time constraints to move a piano out. Moving sales, divorce sales, estate sales.... There are always deals that come up, you just have to be on the lookout and be ready to pounce when the opportunity presents itself.

Not long ago I tuned a hardly used 1980s Kawai 108 (109?) which was better than any N.American consoles I have encountered, never mind spinets. The owner paid 600.
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

Top
#2216557 - 01/18/14 08:31 AM Re: Best Used Piano for $900 or less? [Re: johnbarnesiii]
Troy 125 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/25/13
Posts: 161
I agree with Jurgen, there are deals to be found but you have to educate yourself on what to look for and then watch for a deal to pop up and be able to check it out right away. Tell your friends you are looking. They may have or know someone with a decent piano that would love a quick sale just to avoid the hassle of listing it somewhere. But be sure to do your homework first, plenty of threads to read though here on PW that should help as well as other outside resources. Good luck!

Top
#2216610 - 01/18/14 10:16 AM Re: Best Used Piano for $900 or less? [Re: johnbarnesiii]
Retsacnal Offline

Platinum Supporter until Feb 18  2015


Registered: 10/11/12
Posts: 730
Loc: Northern Virgina
There are definitely deals out there to be had. This is a tough time to be selling a second-hand piano. A piano, like anything else, is only "worth" what someone will pay for it. I recently bought a beautiful baby grand piano for just double what you're looking to spend (click my signature below if you want to read the story).

I've heard nothing but praise for the Baldwin Acrosonics. And when I was shopping, I saw them regularly on Craigslist for less than $1000. This may depend on your location, but I see four on Craigslist now for less than 1000, one for 1200, another for 2600.

If you haven't already, educate yourself a little on what to expect, and how to look a piano over (you can find several web pages that discuss inspecting pianos yourself). A professional inspection is great, but in your price range, paying for inspections will quickly eat up your budget; they tend to run about $100, give or take. Play as many different pianos as you can, so you know what a good one feels like and sounds like.

In your price range, if a specific piano interests you, it may be worth following up on if it:
  • has no obvious flaws
  • makes no strange noises
  • has a good action, meaning
    • all the keys work,
    • none stick, are mushy or have a weird resistance when pressed, and
    • all require a uniform amount of pressure to actuate
  • sounds nice
    • each key produces a pleasant note
    • all the notes, other than pitch, are relatively uniform (volume, tone, etc)
    • it's in tune (relative pitches between notes)
  • all pedals work properly
  • it brings a smile to your face when you play it

The "in tune" issue is important. If it's not in tune, you can't know if it will hold a tune, and if it can't, you don't want it. If it is in tune, but was tuned very recently, you also don't know if it will hold a tune (although playing forte fortissimo can quickly knock it out of tune). If it's in tune, but hasn't been tuned in a while, you can probably assume it can hold a tune.

I wouldn't recommend the above inspection "rubric" for an expensive piano, but for something less than 1000, you can reasonably rely on yourself to check it out. In fact, you almost need to, because the cost of inspections will quickly eat up your budget. If you have 5 inspected, your $900 becomes $400. But, if you narrow your search down to "the one," you may want to have it inspected.

Oh, and don't forget to budget a couple hundred dollars to move it.

Also, as some others have pointed out, you can get a nice digital piano in that price range too. At the same time, it's not the same as having an organic, acoustic piano in the house.


Edited by Retsacnal (01/18/14 02:00 PM)
Edit Reason: Added bullet for pedals
_________________________
1950 Baldwin M

Top
#2216616 - 01/18/14 10:28 AM Re: Best Used Piano for $900 or less? [Re: johnbarnesiii]
3g-piano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/31/13
Posts: 27
Agreed with Retsacnal. If you know someone play piano too, then you can ask he/she to come along with you to give opinion.

Top
#2216815 - 01/18/14 06:05 PM Re: Best Used Piano for $900 or less? [Re: johnbarnesiii]
Dwscamel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/22/13
Posts: 513
Update: I heard some demos of Baldwin Acrosonics on YT, and they actually do sound pretty good. I'd try to get one that's 40"+ instead of the 36" size, but they all sound much better than I remembered.
_________________________
Casio PX-150

Top
#2216886 - 01/18/14 08:41 PM Re: Best Used Piano for $900 or less? [Re: johnbarnesiii]
Rerun Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/07
Posts: 644
Loc: Louisiana
Originally Posted By: johnbarnesiii
Hello,

I'm looking to purchase a used spinet or console piano for practice. What are your recommendations for best bang for the buck on a tight budget of $900 or less?

I'm considering the Baldwin Acrosonic. Obviously some Yamaha would be great but not sure if I can find one for under $1k. But you guys are the experts, please let me know your thoughts.

Thanks!


Here's an Acrosonic in Ruston, LA for $250:

http://monroe.en.craigslist.org/msg/4267861475.html
_________________________
Rerun

"Seat of the pants piano player" DMD







Top
#2216892 - 01/18/14 08:55 PM Re: Best Used Piano for $900 or less? [Re: Rerun]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: Rerun
Here's an Acrosonic in Ruston, LA for $250:
http://monroe.en.craigslist.org/msg/4267861475.html

However, playable is always a good idea and a music rack is very helpful. Any brand of piano can be neglected or abused to death.

This is a great example of what not to look for on CL.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

Top
#2216897 - 01/18/14 09:08 PM Re: Best Used Piano for $900 or less? [Re: johnbarnesiii]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1241
Loc: Tennessee
Greetings,
If you are going to check one out for yourself, there are several things to look for. Most of these pianos have been sitting for years, so it is not uncommon for a certain amount of sluggishness to be present, particularly near the extreme ends of the keyboards. Press the damper pedal, and while holding it down, push down about an octave of keys at a time and let go. If you see a lot of keys that are slow to return, grab one of them and press it from side to side. Test again. If it is measurably faster, this will often let you know that the key bushing is tight, and that is something that will loosen up with play. If the sluggishness remains, there may be more expensive problems farther back in the action.
Look at the evenness of the keys by looking down the keyboard from eye level. If the whites are erratic, some higher and some lower, something might be amiss farther back in the action, (moths, water, rodents, wear, etc). Listening carefully, play each note with a staccato touch, listening to the damping. Also play chromatically from bottom to top, as softly as you can, and keep that level of play in mind as your minimum touch with this particular piano.
As was mentioned, it oughta be in tune. Otherwise, you don't know if it can be tuned and all these other considerations are just idle talk. If you have to, split the tuning fee with the owner, if you don't buy it, that tuning will help with their next seller,and the tuner should be able to tell you after tuning what you are buying.
There are millions of consoles out there, I recommend them over spinets, because I have seen the build quality reach its lowest point in the spinets, and the consoles have more string length, which gives some hope of tuning them beyond what most spinets can provide.
regards,

Top
#2216904 - 01/18/14 09:23 PM Re: Best Used Piano for $900 or less? [Re: johnbarnesiii]
supersport Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 422
Loc: Arkansas
I found a console 1994 or 1996 42" Acrosonic when I first started playing again. Not a bad way to get back into the swing of things either. I sold it for the same amount ($650) I paid for it 3 years later.
_________________________
David




Top
#2216944 - 01/19/14 12:07 AM Re: Best Used Piano for $900 or less? [Re: johnbarnesiii]
Dave B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1979
Loc: Philadelphia area
Staying away from spinets is probably best. Spinet actions are extremely difficult to service and repair, and most of them are at the age where action service is important.

Top
#2216947 - 01/19/14 12:16 AM Re: Best Used Piano for $900 or less? [Re: johnbarnesiii]
michaelha Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 983
Played a Baldwin Acrosonic the other day at a dealer that looks like they cleaned it up pretty well. It was so bright it sounded like a harpsichord. Is that how they all sound or was this one an exception?

Top
#2216979 - 01/19/14 02:57 AM Re: Best Used Piano for $900 or less? [Re: johnbarnesiii]
johnbarnesiii Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/08
Posts: 184
Update: I went and played the black Acrosonic I had my eye on.
I actually wasn't too crazy about it mainly bc it was too bright! I like more low end and softness to the sound, this was a little harsh and bright.

I'm wondering if saving up a little more for say a Yamaha U1 (as someone here suggested) might be a better way to go?? I think I saw one for $850 or so recently.

Top
#2216996 - 01/19/14 05:10 AM Re: Best Used Piano for $900 or less? [Re: johnbarnesiii]
michaelha Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 983
Yes

Top
#2217131 - 01/19/14 01:08 PM Re: Best Used Piano for $900 or less? [Re: johnbarnesiii]
phantomFive Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/14
Posts: 1788
Loc: California
I got an electric keyboard, Yamaha P-105, for less than $700 last year, and it's been great. The keys are weighted, and when I plug in the headphones, it's easy to imagine I am playing a grand piano.

You might want to consider something like that.
_________________________
Poetry is rhythm.

Top
#2217261 - 01/19/14 04:59 PM Re: Best Used Piano for $900 or less? [Re: johnbarnesiii]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4441
Loc: San Jose, CA
johnbarnesiii, there's some pretty good truth to most of the posts, except the most discouraging ones. But, one advice I haven't seen is, to have a qualified piano technician, paid for by you alone and who is not financially interested in the sale, check any serious prospect for condition. It costs about a hundred bucks. This person will read the real truth for you, based on what he sees--- it is far more reliable than the representations of piano sellers. It can save you from falling into an ocean of tears later.

Besides, you are going to be needing this person later, to keep your piano tuned up and in good repair. The tech may give you some good tips on piano movers, and sometimes they know someone among their clients who is about to sell a piano and move up the piano food chain.

You sound like a good, steady guy whose brain is not so inflamed with piano fever that you're going to buy the first thing with keys you come across--- it's almost impossible to save someone in this condition. Though there's no doubt that you have set yourself a challenge, I feel pretty confident that you're going to shop carefully, and come out ok. And it's true that the market is very favorable right now.

Good luck to you, John. PS- happens that I'm also a iii.
_________________________
Clef


Top
#2217554 - 01/20/14 10:15 AM Re: Best Used Piano for $900 or less? [Re: johnbarnesiii]
johnbarnesiii Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/08
Posts: 184
Thank you Clef for the insightful reply! I agree with your suggestion of bringing a tech to inspect. In fact my piano teacher gave me the number of his piano tech and recommended the same thing. I spoke to him and he charges $80 to come take a look with you. I definitely plan on doing this when I find a potential winner.

I have seen a couple of U1 listings in the $1k range around here, am considering that. I do typically like the consoles over spinets as i tend to like the mellower (less bright) tones with more low end. Many spinets that I tried seemed too bright and not enough low tones.

And I do love black pianos, semi gloss or even satin. Many u1's do have that classic glossy black finish too which is great. I'm a visual (graphic) artist as well so the color makes a difference to me smile with that said I don't mind if the exterior is a little beat up (in fact I kind if like that rugged aesthetic) as long as internally it is 100%.

You guys have given me great feedback on this. I definitely want an acoustic, not digital piano though. I guess the challenge is finding a good one for $1k. Will keep everyone posted on progress. Thanks again.

Top
#2217558 - 01/20/14 10:22 AM Re: Best Used Piano for $900 or less? [Re: johnbarnesiii]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2754
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Where are you located and how far are you willing to travel?
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

Top
#2217622 - 01/20/14 12:29 PM Re: Best Used Piano for $900 or less? [Re: johnbarnesiii]
johnbarnesiii Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/08
Posts: 184
I'm in Los Angeles. I don't mind traveling but the challenge is that the piano tech is not willing to go that far with me. Orange County (1hour drive) was far for him. However something in LA would be great.

Top
#2218056 - 01/21/14 08:24 AM Re: Best Used Piano for $900 or less? [Re: johnbarnesiii]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2754
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
LA is a huge market, keep looking and I'm sure you'll find something. Play a bunch of pianos. And keep socking away a little money. Then at some point you'll reach the moment where you recognize the piano that you want and you have the budget for it.

Best wishes!
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

Top
#2218206 - 01/21/14 01:23 PM Re: Best Used Piano for $900 or less? [Re: johnbarnesiii]
johnbarnesiii Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/08
Posts: 184
Thanks guys. I actually looked around this weekend, starting to learn a little about them, being that I'm a beginner of 2 months (formal training, that is... ear playing for a long time before that).

I realized a spinet is NOT what I want. I want a used studio piano, they are less bright and more tonal (esp the lows) than spinets. I think I can push my budget up to $1500 if I'm able to use a credit card (i.e. at a piano store or warehouse). I played a Baldwin studio piano that sounded pretty good.

So now to update: I guess I'm looking for a used black studio piano, price range $1500 or below. What are your suggestions (brands and models for this)?

Top
#2218222 - 01/21/14 01:53 PM Re: Best Used Piano for $900 or less? [Re: johnbarnesiii]
michaelha Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/05/13
Posts: 983
Here's a list of brands and their model-series in tiers from the best to the worst. Try to get the as high as you can with the money you have. And then within each tier it's primarily personal preference.

http://www.pianobuyer.com/fall13/42.html

There's probably nothing in the first two tiers at your budget unless you find someone who really likes you.


Edited by michaelh (01/21/14 01:55 PM)

Top
#2218847 - 01/22/14 02:45 PM Re: Best Used Piano for $900 or less? [Re: johnbarnesiii]
johnbarnesiii Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/08
Posts: 184
Thanks for that link Michael. I'm also considering the Baldwin studio uprights (same as 243?), what do they usually go for?

Top
#2218889 - 01/22/14 03:28 PM Re: Best Used Piano for $900 or less? [Re: johnbarnesiii]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21926
Loc: Oakland
They go for what people agree to sell them for. That varies depending on many factors, which is true for anything that you buy used, and sometimes new, as well.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

Top
#2218927 - 01/22/14 04:04 PM Re: Best Used Piano for $900 or less? [Re: johnbarnesiii]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3991
Loc: Rockford, IL
Originally Posted By: johnbarnesiii
[...] I have seen a couple of U1 listings in the $1k range around here, am considering that. [...]


One thing to watch out for in a U1 is the hammer return spring chords. This is a string-type strap that gives the hammer return spring its tension. Each hammer has one. These string-type strap thingies are prone to breaking. You can see them easily with the help of a flash light, and count how many are broken.

I second (or third) the motion to get your own tech to give the piano a good once-over when you have honed in on one that looks like a keeper.

--Andy
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >

Moderator:  Ken Knapp, Piano World, Rickster 
What's Hot!!
Christmas Header
Christmas Lights at Piano World Headquarters in Maine 2014
-------------------
The December Free Piano Newsletter
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(ad) Yamaha CP Music Rest Promo
Yamaha CP Music Rest Promo
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Seiler Pianos
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Sheet Music Plus (125)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Bottom of hammer hitting top of damper on upright
by JoeThePro
12/21/14 10:09 PM
Getting better
by Kekewak
12/21/14 07:35 PM
Pearl River vs. Samick
by Zekk
12/21/14 03:41 PM
Kawai vs. Yamaha: what to choose
by SeeSharp
12/21/14 02:19 PM
Disklavier Pro Alternatives? C5X Value for money?
by bryan77
12/21/14 01:15 PM
Forum Stats
77391 Members
42 Forums
160048 Topics
2350383 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
Gift Ideas for Music Lovers!
Find the Perfect Gift for the Music Lovers on your List!
Visit our online store today.

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission