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#653480 - 01/17/09 08:02 PM Help! Seeking advice concerning piano defect.
D Dillon Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/12/09
Posts: 14
1 1/2 years ago I purchased a beautiful used (1980) Yamaha G5 6'5" grand. I purchased the piano from a dealer who specializes in these "grey market" pianos. I selected from about 50 pianos for two hours and selected this piano for its beautiful tonal quality. I love my piano sooo much! I could never have afforded the $36,000 for a new Yamaha of coparable size. this piano cost me only $13,000 including tax.

Shortly after purchasing the piano, I had a damp chaser installed to maintain the piano in as good a condition as possible, and I have had it tuned every 6 months.

This week, however, I discovered a crack in the soundboard that appears to be new. And even worse, I have discovered 4 cracks in the pin block cap. I do not know whether these are new or if I simply didn't notice them before.

The dealer from whom I purchased the piano offers a 10 year warranty. So now I am wondering whether I should ask the dealer to repair the piano, ask the dealer to exchange the piano for another of the same model (They have two in stock), or just wait and see what happens with my piano's intonation before doing anything.

So, what do you folks think? What would you do? Your advice will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
_________________________
Dillon

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#653481 - 01/17/09 08:18 PM Re: Help! Seeking advice concerning piano defect.
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4680
Loc: San Francisco
Saw your post on the Piano forum and decided to check here, before suggesting that you do so.

Responses can be a little slow coming - especially on weekends - because many of the folks here are working pros. Not to worry, you'll get the info you need.

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#653482 - 01/17/09 08:45 PM Re: Help! Seeking advice concerning piano defect.
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3834
Dampp-Chasers are not a cure all for low humidity. It's been so cold and dry this winter that your Dammp-Chaser is probably overwhelmed. Do you have a furnace humidifier? Do you have a room humidifier? Have you measured your humidity? If you have steam radiator heat without a room humidifier, your studio will be too dry for the piano. Soundboard cracks can open up in the winter and close up in the summer so the cracks may have been present but not obvious at time of sale.

The good news is that soundboard cracks may not change the tone - many pianos have them and do just fine.

I can't speak for the store as to if this is covered under warranty. You would have to call them and ask.
_________________________
www.PianoTunerOrlando.com






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#653483 - 01/17/09 09:35 PM Re: Help! Seeking advice concerning piano defect.
Matthew Lavender RPT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/09
Posts: 31
Loc: Michigan
Definitely contact the dealer. Many will simply exchange the piano rather than deal with a potentially unhappy customer.

I doubt the problem was anything in the house. The problem is that you purchased a grey market Yamaha. What do you expect to happen when you take a piano designed for a certain climate and place it in another area that's totally different? Of course it's going to develop problems.
_________________________
Piano Technician

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#653484 - 01/18/09 07:14 AM Re: Help! Seeking advice concerning piano defect.
wayne walker Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 515
Loc: Windsor,Nova Scotia Canada
The problem is that you purchased a grey market Yamaha. What do you expect to happen when you take a piano designed for a certain climate and place it in another area that's totally different? Of course it's going to develop problems. [/b]

How can you say the piano was made for a certain market. Yamaha wants you to believe that pianos are made for North America which has both dry and humid areas. I would have the dealer honor their 10 year warranty. With a Dampp-Chaser system installed this should have not happen. I have seen alot of these grey market pianos over the years and had very little humidity related problems
_________________________
Wayne Walker
Walker's Piano Service
http://www.walkerpiano.ca/

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#653485 - 01/18/09 08:23 AM Re: Help! Seeking advice concerning piano defect.
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2039
Loc: Maine
In the North East I service a lot of very expensive pianos that have developed cracks in the sound board in spite of valiant efforts at humidity control. As a general rule, the effect of the cracking is negligible. Unless you have attendant buzzing or rattling, sit tight 'till spring.
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
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#653486 - 01/18/09 10:57 AM Re: Help! Seeking advice concerning piano defect.
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
I agree a crack in the soundboard is not a major problem. Though it is cosmetically undesirable, it usually has no effect on the tone.

One question. You mention 4 cracks in the pin block cap. You mean the bridge cap, right?????
The pin block is covered by the plate and is impossible to see unless you are looking at the pin block from the under-side.

Again, the crack in the soundboard is not a big deal, unless it eventually causes a rib to become loose. To me, the bridge cap cracks, or if indeed it is pin block cracks are more of a concern. I would contact your dealer. Also I think I would also get another opinion from a local technician Technician (find a good one. Get references!!).

Gray market pianos are like any used piano. They need to be thoroughly evaluated by an independent technician. But I dont buy this Yamaha marketing ploy that wood in certain pianos is aged to weather specific climates.
I service many gray market Yamahas. Many of these are wonderful pianos, obtained for a great price. Others are not.
_________________________
-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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#653487 - 01/18/09 11:31 AM Re: Help! Seeking advice concerning piano defect.
D Dillon Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/12/09
Posts: 14
Thank you, Ron, for your feedback. Yes, I do mean the bridge cap. Sorry for the confusion. My technician has taken a look at the piano, but he seems to think that, since the piano has a 10 year warranty anyway, I should simply wait to see if the cracks cause any problems. I don't really feel comfortable with this, however. I'm thinking to write a letter to the dealer from whom I purchased the piano to see what options they will offer.
_________________________
Dillon

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#653488 - 01/18/09 11:47 AM Re: Help! Seeking advice concerning piano defect.
Keith Roberts Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 1984
Loc: Murphys, Ca
You didn't say what region of the US you live in.
Yamaha may be marketing when it says it makes pianos specifically for a certain climate but at least it keeps them in storage with that in mind.
A Grey market piano is a USED piano from Japan where the EMC of the wood is 11%. Here in the US the EMC averages 7%. Acclimating a piano to 11% until it is worn out by Japanese standards, then shipping it to the US where it dries out suddenly, and not thinking it could have problems is insane.
_________________________
Keith Roberts
Associate, PTG
Keith's Piano Service
Hathaway Pines,Ca

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#653489 - 01/18/09 12:22 PM Re: Help! Seeking advice concerning piano defect.
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
I had something bookmarked for this subject, and I lost it somehow. Yamaha does have 3 production lines I understand, and one line produces instruments for this climate. I know from my experience up here in the far north, we have had a myriad of problems with grey market instruments and their “drying out”. It seems that the excessive forced air heating used in Canada, helps to dry out the instruments more than they should be and the result being loose actions, deteriorating boards, pin blocks/ bridges.

I would tend to not wait on this issue. In reality, a warranty issue should be reason enough to notify the dealer right away. You would not want to give the dealer any reason to deny your claim. Now I am not stating that this dealer would do so, but any faults with the inventory that they support, well they have a right to know if they are supplying you with the warranty no?

www.silverwoodpianos.com
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#653490 - 01/18/09 12:34 PM Re: Help! Seeking advice concerning piano defect.
David-G Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/17/06
Posts: 1242
Loc: London
I would tend to agree with Dan (Silverwood). Inform the dealer of the problem straight away.

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#653491 - 01/19/09 08:03 AM Re: Help! Seeking advice concerning piano defect.
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4908
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Don't wait. If you wait until you have had the piano 9 years and are then given another, you will only have one year for problems on the replacement to develop. Also, the Warranty may be pro-rated.
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#653492 - 01/19/09 09:26 AM Re: Help! Seeking advice concerning piano defect.
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2039
Loc: Maine
I say wait! Live life on the edge! Take a risk! Feel the adrenalin rush!

'Or not.
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
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#653493 - 01/19/09 09:48 PM Re: Help! Seeking advice concerning piano defect.
D Dillon Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/12/09
Posts: 14
Thanks so much to you all. I live in the Washington, DC area (Northern Virginia), and the dealer from whom I purchased the piano (wwww.rickjonespiano.com) has a reputation for being a reputable dealer for used grand pianos. I will put a letter in the mail first thing Wednesday morning. Again, thanks so much to you all for your great and informed advice.
_________________________
Dillon

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