It's the perennial question: Which piano should I buy?
My wife and I have been looking for a piano for some time now, and three alternatives kind of stand out:
A brand new Yamaha U1 w/ silent,
a used Yamaha U3 (3,5m serial, 1982, newly serviced, excellent condition, 5 yrs. warranty),
a new Schimmel C116 w/silent
We have both been playing the piano for most of our childhood, although I am largely self-taught, playing jazz/gospel/blues and progressive rock (on a 1980-82 Petrof), while my wife is classically trained (on a vintage Yamaha grand).
Neither of us have been playing much for the past 7-8 years, but we have both been longing for a piano. Now we finally have the space and the money to buy one. We also have the added incentive of wanting to give our now 16 mths. old daughter the opportunity to learn to love the piano the way we did. In the end, of course, it doesn't matter whether she actually develops an interest in the instrument or not (since my wife and I will continue to enjoy the instrument until our fingers wither from old age), but we feel that we would be taking something away from her if we didn't at least give her the opportunity.
This means that we're looking for an instrument that is inspiring, reliable, and of a high enough quality to last a long time, should she decide to pursue the piano.
This is the background (sorry if it is a little long, but I think that, in order to get the best advice, I should include our motives for purchasing a piano). The question is, of course, what is the best alternative? :-)
The new U1 with silent system and the used U3 with an aftermarket silent system (I'm looking into the MIDI9-system coupled to a PC running something like Ivory) are about the same, price-wise, with the Schimmel (also with silent) being roughly 15% more expensive.
We have played them all, and although they certainly sound different, neither seemed inherently "better" than the other… just different (The Schimmel impressed me the first time I played it, but for some reason less so when I tried it again one week later… )
We will try them all again this weekend, but any advice, thoughts or insights are most welcome!