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#679939 - 12/20/07 03:45 PM New or used?
angry_ferret Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/19/07
Posts: 9
Loc: NC
Hello. This is my first post. I am looking to buy a digital piano in the next 4 months or so, so I have a while to look around. I am planning on buying a digital as a "temporary" instrument - something to play on for maybe 2 or 3 years (I have played for 16 years and have always had an acoustic at home). Eventually I plan to upgrade to acoustic, probably upright, though I dream of owning a grand.
Anyway, should I look into buying a new digital or a used one? Somehow I would think I could get more for the dollar buying used. However, if I buy new, the dealer would take full value trade-in for an upgrade for several years. Plus I would have the warranty.
But I also think that when I'm ready to upgrade, what's to say I won't buy something used, also at a better price than the dealer? I suppose I could buy new from the dealer and then sell on my own when I'm ready to upgrade. Any thoughts on this? My budget for whatever digital I buy is somewhere around $2,000 give or take a little.

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#679940 - 12/21/07 10:57 AM Re: New or used?
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
I grew up with classical lessons and acoustic
pianos only. But since 1989 I've been playing
digitals and see no reason to "upgrade" to
an acoustic. Weighted-key digital pianos
have sound and action based on a concert
grand, so that's a pretty good piano right
there. I've used digitals to work on the
most difficult classical repertoire, like
the big Romantic Era concertos, and they
serve fine for that purpose. Note: on
an acoustic I would never have been able
to tackle such difficult pieces, because
I've had to work them up note by note,
and doing that on a acoustic would get
you laughed out of the neighborhood.

Digital pianos are computers and are priced
like computers. Used ones lose value
fast and are great buys. A 10 yr. old
digital, like a 10 yr. old computer, is
worth only a couple of hundred dollars.
But whereas a 10 yr. old computer is hardly
usable on internet, a 10 yr. old digital
would play much like a brand new one
costing thousands. That's value.

Note that there have been good, weighted-key
digital pianos from as far back as the
1980's. Such pianos will perform much
like new digitals, but, like a computer
from the 1980's, they are almost worthless,
and you can get them for almost nothing.
More great value.

My view on price of new digitals is that
you don't need to pay more than $1000
to get a good one. And you don't have
to stick to the big-name brands either.
Some people go for the lesser-known brands
with catchy names like: Adagio, Winchester,
Diginova, Williams, Hemingway, etc. These
should be just as playable as the well-known
brands. My current piano, a Korg SP-250
lighweight console, was $900 online. And
my previous one, a Casio AP-24 console, was $700
online. They've served well for working
on the difficult classical repertoire that
I play.

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#679941 - 12/21/07 01:18 PM Re: New or used?
MarkL Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/07
Posts: 728
Loc: Chicago Suburban
 Quote:
Originally posted by angry_ferret:
Anyway, should I look into buying a new digital or a used one? [/b]
I went through this about a year ago. My observation was that popular stage pianos that retail for under about $1000 don't lose enough of their value to justify buying used. Cabinet style pianos lose a larger fraction of their initial value, particularly as you get up into the grand cabinet. This is based on buying on ebay, where prices seem higher than other advertising sources. If you find something on Craig's list, or a local newspaper, used prices are generally lower.

Since you are experienced, I'd suggest playing the major brands to see which one feels best to you. Then become knowledgeable about used prices on that particular brand and model by watching ebay for awhile and see if the savings justify buying used.
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