[QUOTE]Originally posted by w50:
[QB] In my search for a piano as a beginner, here are some (conflicting) comments I received from piano dealers. Please help me sort out fact from myth:
Let's give it a whirl!!
1. Beginners tend to only play the middle of the keyboard when starting out learning. After about 5 years or so of serious practice the weight of keys will be lighter in the middle of the keyboard and heavier at the ends that regardless of piano, I will need to change pianos in about 5 years. Buy cheap, upgrade later!
Don't buy any bridges from this man. Either lying or ignorant or both. Beginners do tend to stick to the middle but a beginner isn't going to wear anything out by doing so. Sounds like he thinks you want cheap. He likely gets a better markup on something made in an Asian land with lower labor costs.
2. In a used piano, age doesn't matter. Only quality of soundboard should be considered as everything else can be serviced/overhauled/replaced.
You plannig on rebuilding your first purchase? If not then everything matters. Pianos wear out and parts age. Everything can be rebuilt but at what cost?
3. In general terms, the lower price range of new pianos (last 10 years) display less quality of sound (more dead, less 'sing' and sustain) compared to older pianos at similar price point.
This is too broad a statement to mean anything. You need much more specific info to make any judgement.
4. China made represents better value compared to Japan/Korea made since raw material is the same but labour rates are lower. ie I could pay more money but not get "more piano"
I still haven't seen a Chinese made piano that compares in general quality to a Japanese built. This a my general opinion with some caveats. Again, is this salesperson pushing cheap cause that's the impression he/she got of you?
5. Plastic hammers will warp over time.
Not aware of any plastic hammers. Plastic action parts, yes. Kawai uses lots of filled ABS and it's good stuff. (Kawai Don, you ever going to get the factory to produce replacement action parts for us rebuilders? I'd use em in mine if they fit!)
6. All else being equal, taller in an upright is better for richness/fullness of tone. Since all is not equal, height doesn't really matter.
First thing I've agreed with. All. things being equal, bigger is better. And no, not all things are =.
7. In some pianos, the strings are threaded through a positioning block at the ends (sorry don't know the term for this) which ensures accurate and consistent alignment of strings. In other pianos, strings are spaced apart only by a pin which results in inconsistent alignment and poorer quality of sound.
They're called agraffes and string spacing on them is only as good as the plate drilling spacing done by the foundry. This is a non-issue. Most pianos only have agraffes through the lower 60% of the scale. The spacing af the other strings has more to do with workmanship than anything else. Did he tell you the agraffes have their drawbacks, too?
8. Importing a used piano from temperate to tropical climate runs many risks for the piano (sticky keys, cracking soundboard and other humidity effects).
Putting any piano in a tropical environment, without humidity control, endangers it's life expectancy.
Are these just sales talk by salesmen for selling their own pianos? Are there validity in their statements?
Unfortunately, your sales person my actually believe most of this. You can always glean a little truth from anything said. I didn't have much to agree with in this case. I wasn't there so I can't really make a final judgement on the veracity of your salesman's statements. Sometimes we all hear what we want to. Sometimes we don't even want to hear the truth