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#253057 - 02/21/07 05:13 PM The beginning of a search..
maseay15 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 2
My father is buying a piano for my use. However, he requires that I do some asking around before he goes and lays down his money. He hasn't told me exactly what he is willing to spend, but I can guess that it's probably around $800-$1000.

Some of the questions that I'm trying to find out are:

-What are some of the premiere brands?

-Is there different piano for different styles of music?

-What to look for.

-What's overpriced.

I would really appreciate suggestions, and tips on finding a piano.

-Besides the fact that I WANT to, what are some of the reasons that I should upgrade from keyboard to piano?

I have been using a cheaper Yamaha keyboard, which I really despise. It sounds cheap. Probably because it is. It's hard to get perfect technique down on it because the keys aren't weighted.

So yeah, you know my scenario, now I need tips.

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#253058 - 02/21/07 05:37 PM Re: The beginning of a search..
mikhailoh Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 4288
Loc: Cincinnati
Q. What are some of the premiere brands?

Meseay, I don't want to discourage, but at your budget level you probably won't be looking at premiere brands, or even focusing on brand much at all. You'll be looking at used consoles and maybe studios pianos. What you will want to focus on is the condition of the piano in question and if you like it or not. A well maintained average quality console will be a much better instrument for you than say a Steinway studio piano that has been beaten to death in a college practice room somewhere. Talk to one or more of your local piano technicians, or the one you would like to use if you know one. They frequently know where there are decent pianos for sale and the condition of the instrument. If you do that, then show appreciation give them your business by tuning yours a couple times a year.

Q. Is there different piano for different styles of music?

I don't know if it is so much for different styles of music per se, as it is different sound qualities. There are individual tastes all over the map. I personally like a darker, quieter sound for classical, as I tend to play somewhat softly, and a little brighter for jazz & popular.

Q. What to look for.

A piano in your price range that you like and is is in good condition.

Q. What's overpriced.

I think you will not have much luck buying from a dealer. The better deals can probably be found from private owners.

Don't get discouraged - I learned on a Wurlitzer spinet my father gave me from his store as a wedding present. I'd probably sell that today for $500-$800 and it is a nice little piano for a spinet.


He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'

#253059 - 02/21/07 05:40 PM Re: The beginning of a search..
mikhailoh Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 4288
Loc: Cincinnati
Oh, and you might consider a digital with weighted keys! There is a digital piano forum on here that could help you.

Happy hunting!


He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'

#253060 - 02/21/07 05:48 PM Re: The beginning of a search..
w_scott_iv@yahoo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/29/05
Posts: 1123
Loc: West Virginia
If I only had @ $1,000 to spend I'd look for a piano that was in disrepair and plan to fix it up myself. Even at that you have to get something 'sound' (so far as the integrity of the plate and case) and be willing to really apply yourself to careful repair and regulation. The means to do that are readily available for anyone who has the gumption to commit to it. Under those circumstances you may be able to find a brand with which the public is unfamiliar, but which is a fine brand none-the-less. Some of these names are Knabe, Mehlin & Sons, Ivers & Pond, Haines Bros., Chas. Stieff, etc.. I suspect that you're more likely to be looking for a piano to buy and play 'as is'. If that's the case, you'll just have to look at everything available and assess each one as you come upon it. So far as why you would want to move onto an acoustic piano, most serious students of piano wouldn't even consider being w/o a wood and wire piano. For them, wood and wire equals flesh and blood!

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#253061 - 02/21/07 06:25 PM Re: The beginning of a search..
maseay15 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 2
Thanks for your suggestions everyone

#253062 - 02/21/07 06:58 PM Re: The beginning of a search..
Blacksmith Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 62
Loc: Massachusetts
Scott, has the best solution,ther are thousands of good pianos out there thst are not being used and people would rather see them go to a good home than sell them to a dealer,Your job is to find that gem of a piano that needs some work but has a good foundation,My last piano is an Ivers and pond 5'4" baby grand bought from an elderly couple going to a retirement home.Piano was purchased for 500.After a tuning reshaping hammers, repairing Ivory keys ect, I have about a thousand invested.this 1923 piano had actually been played very little in all those years.Think this is a one time deal think again, I have lived as a piano bottom feeder for 7 years now being that I have 3 daughters to raise a new piano is out of the question at this time.Attend auctions,contact estate sale people, and put the word out,try putting an ad in the paper yourself.remember ounce you get something keep on the hunt for an oportunity to upgrade, Good luck

#253063 - 02/21/07 07:22 PM Re: The beginning of a search..
kluurs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/02
Posts: 3744
Loc: Chicago
Actually, I'd invest in the Piano Book by Larry Fine - either buy it or at the library. You'll get a good education in pianos - know more than most people who are buying a piano.

I have to agree with the folks here that for $1,000, you'll be looking at used instruments. You might get a good deal from a neighbor - or looking on craigslist.

The pianos you'll want to be careful of are the hundred year old uprights.

The pianos you might want to try for will be studio pianos under 20 years of age - Baldwin Hamilton, Yamaha, etc. Even there it will take some hunting and luck - but sometimes...you'll do well.

Be careful to plan the expense of moving it - and more than just a tuning for getting it in shape.

Wish you the best of luck. If you buy a good used piano, you'll likely be able to use it for 4-5 years - and may be able to sell it for what you paid for it! - maybe more if you're smart and lucky.

Good luck!

#253064 - 02/21/07 10:22 PM Re: The beginning of a search..
Kingfrog777 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/04/07
Posts: 243
IF you are a member of Costco you can get an 88 key "teacher approved" weighted digital Yamaha for $699

Most Yamaha dealers will have that same piano for $779.99
Piano, pro audio,guitar and MI sales.
Yamaha, Pearl River, Bergmann, Remington.

#253065 - 02/22/07 10:04 AM Re: The beginning of a search..
w_scott_iv@yahoo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/29/05
Posts: 1123
Loc: West Virginia
I'd look at old uprights too. They don't get much respect, but that's really not fair. Especially if you're willing to shop carefully and do repairs yourself. I saw a 1920 Kimball upright that was solid as a rock and a very nice piano to boot! You also hear techs talk about what great pianos old Stieff uprights are. Look at everything w/an open mind.

#253066 - 02/22/07 10:40 AM Re: The beginning of a search..
mikhailoh Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 4288
Loc: Cincinnati
I would say look at old uprights with a bit more of a jaundiced eye. They can be very nice pianos, but per my brother the tech, most of them are wayyyy past their useful life, hard to work on and to get parts for. And they are much harder to get rid of and move if you need to.

That said, if you get a nice one, they can be a nice piano, and beautiful cabinetry to boot. But be vary,very careful.

Of course, have your tech look over any used piano BEFORE you buy it. It is the smartest money you will spend in the whole process.


He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'

#253067 - 02/22/07 10:58 AM Re: The beginning of a search..
mdsdurango Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/04
Posts: 1755
Loc: Durango Colorado
My first piano was a Vose & Sons upright that I bought for $250.00 It took about four years to really wear it out. Or maybe it was already worn out but I just didn't know. Thing is, I loved it and played the life (as I knew it) out of it for four years before I knew any better.
These days I would know better than to buy a worn out piano and fortunatly for you - you have asked for information on the PWF where you will get very good advice. I too might look for a solid older upright in your case - but have it checked out by an independent tech before you shell out the bucks.
You could certainly purchase a very decent digital for $1,000.00 and that is something that you could pick up and carry with you were ever you wished; Gigging with friends, out in the yard on a nice summer day, into your own place when you move out of the folks. Not at all a bad option for a learning kid. There again though - make sure you get a good one with weighted keys and a sound that you like.

My 2 cents,
Yamaha S6, U5C, P120


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