About to buy a piano - is it worth what I'm paying?

Posted by: CStrong73

About to buy a piano - is it worth what I'm paying? - 02/21/13 05:01 PM

Hi! I am new to the forum and seeking advice. We got my daughter a keyboard last Christmas and she started lessons. She's doing amazingly well, and her teacher and I both want to move her up to a "real" piano.

I found a 1970s Acrosonic console on Craigslist. Our piano teacher checked it out for me in person and had nothing but good things to say. It's been refurbished with new hammers and dampers. She played it and said it sounded great, and the cabinet was "pristine". She says it's basically in mint condition. She's a fan of Acrosonics, for people with space limitations (as we have), and seems to think it is worth what the owner is asking. Your thoughts?

Here's a link to the ad, with photos.
http://detroit.craigslist.org/mcb/msg/3609955263.html

Our local shop just sold an identical piano for $1,200.
Posted by: musicpassion

Re: About to buy a piano - is it worth what I'm paying? - 02/21/13 05:15 PM

The photo looks like it's a console piano (as you mentioned in your post), not a spinet.
If it is in the good condition the teacher said, then IMHO their asking price is reasonable.

Often with Craigslist (or any piano purchase) you can offer something less than the asking price. Most people are willing to negotiate.
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: About to buy a piano - is it worth what I'm paying? - 02/21/13 05:44 PM

The Acrosonics were very good verticals and one from the 70's is perfectly OK. Even the spinets led the pack.

In your situation, I can't see any reason to not buy the piano. Other's will say you need to have it checked out by a technician. But, that's going to be $100-150 extra. Plan out how it will be moved.

That's a great price, and it is always good to do some bargaining. Hey, if you can get it for ~$750, good deal!

Your daughter will be thrilled to have the "real" piano, and you are being a great parent.

The $1,200 in the store would even be considered a decent price.

That's a fine looking instrument.
Posted by: CStrong73

Re: About to buy a piano - is it worth what I'm paying? - 02/21/13 05:48 PM

She will go $800, no less. She had a locally well-respected company come evaluate it, and they told her she could get $1,100 for it. And she has another interested buyer.

Definitely a console, no drop action.

She says hammers and pads look new, and everything she could see inside was in great condition.
Posted by: CStrong73

Re: About to buy a piano - is it worth what I'm paying? - 02/21/13 05:55 PM

I've got a local moving company lined up. The owner of the moving company is actually a piano collector, so he sems to know what he's doing.

It's first floor front room to first floor front room, so shouldbe about as straightforward as moving a piano can be.
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: About to buy a piano - is it worth what I'm paying? - 02/21/13 07:24 PM

Well, by now, I hope you have wrapped up the deal.

Keep us posted.

Oh - Welcome to Piano World!
Posted by: Rickster

Re: About to buy a piano - is it worth what I'm paying? - 02/21/13 09:41 PM

Sounds like you are pretty excited about it... buying a new or new-to-you piano can be an exciting experience, as well as nerve racking. smile

Good for you!!!

Hope it all works out for the best.

Rick
Posted by: adak

Re: About to buy a piano - is it worth what I'm paying? - 02/21/13 09:50 PM

From what I have read about spinet pianos, I was under the impression that spinet pianos are not worth considering (compared to larger uprights). How is it different in this case?
Posted by: musicpassion

Re: About to buy a piano - is it worth what I'm paying? - 02/22/13 02:15 AM

Originally Posted By: adak
From what I have read about spinet pianos, I was under the impression that spinet pianos are not worth considering (compared to larger uprights). How is it different in this case?


Well, first of all, as the OP confirmed this is not a spinet.

Second, I think a good spinet (such as an acrosonic) would be worth considering if that's all your budget/space will allow. I'd take a good acrosonic spinet over most digitals. Yes, I agree that larger verticals are better, but that's not always an option.
Posted by: miscrms

Re: About to buy a piano - is it worth what I'm paying? - 02/22/13 02:42 AM

Not to mention that most any larger upright around $800 would probably be ancient and/or totally beat, neither of which are likely to be good for a young student. I was surprised by how much agreement there seemed to be on acrosonics being among the best small/affordable pianos when I was looking. We ended up going the ancient upright route because we're pretty casual players and chose the big sound and "character" over consistency / reliability / ease of playing. Maybe not the smartest decision, but we're having fun with it wink

This seems like a good choice, I hope she loves it!

Rob
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: About to buy a piano - is it worth what I'm paying? - 02/22/13 07:43 AM

Originally Posted By: miscrms
Not to mention that most any larger upright around $800 would probably be ancient and/or totally beat, neither of which are likely to be good for a young student. I was surprised by how much agreement there seemed to be on acrosonics being among the best small/affordable pianos when I was looking. We ended up going the ancient upright route because we're pretty casual players and chose the big sound and "character" over consistency / reliability / ease of playing. Maybe not the smartest decision, but we're having fun with it wink

This seems like a good choice, I hope she loves it!

Rob


It always comes down to personal preference. If you're happy with your decision, then you made the right one. smile
Posted by: CStrong73

Re: About to buy a piano - is it worth what I'm paying? - 02/22/13 08:36 AM

Originally Posted By: miscrms
Not to mention that most any larger upright around $800 would probably be ancient and/or totally beat, neither of which are likely to be good for a young student. I was surprised by how much agreement there seemed to be on acrosonics being among the best small/affordable pianos when I was looking. We ended up going the ancient upright route because we're pretty casual players and chose the big sound and "character" over consistency / reliability / ease of playing. Maybe not the smartest decision, but we're having fun with it wink

This seems like a good choice, I hope she loves it!

Rob


I also have the option of a 1950-something Grinell upright player piano for just the cost of moving it. But as you said...it's totally beat up, hasn't been maintained, no bench, etc.

For our purposes, and space, I'm opting to pay more for a smaller, better-maintained piano. It will have to go in my (somewhat) formal living room, the first room anyone sees when they walk in the house, so I want something that looks nice, as well as performs well.
Posted by: CStrong73

Re: About to buy a piano - is it worth what I'm paying? - 02/22/13 08:40 AM

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Well, by now, I hope you have wrapped up the deal.

Keep us posted.

Oh - Welcome to Piano World!


Thank you!

The movers and I are scheduled to go pick it up and pay for it on Monday. I had pretty much already decided, but came across this forum while researching and thought I'd run it by you all while there was still time to back out if I needed to. smile

I think I am almost as excited as my daughter. Maybe I'll even try to start picking it back up again....I haven't played since I was a kid. Maybe my third daughter will want to try it in a year or two as well.
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: About to buy a piano - is it worth what I'm paying? - 02/22/13 09:30 AM

Congratulations on your new piano!

Sure, why not pick it up again? Learning to play is even better when it is a family affair.

There is a PW tradition you need to know about - We always want to see pictures of the piano in its new home!
Posted by: CStrong73

Re: About to buy a piano - is it worth what I'm paying? - 02/22/13 11:33 AM

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Congratulations on your new piano!

Sure, why not pick it up again? Learning to play is even better when it is a family affair.

There is a PW tradition you need to know about - We always want to see pictures of the piano in its new home!


Will do.

By the way....I just noticed you're in Rochester, MN....I was born there!
Posted by: KurtZ

Re: About to buy a piano - is it worth what I'm paying? - 02/22/13 11:47 AM

I don't want to be a buzz-kill but $800 for a well maintained Acro is a fair price but no steal. Right now on Craigslist for Los Angeles, no Acro (console) is listed for more than $500. I do however really like Acro consoles. They have a polite, musical sound that makes them great home pianos and they're not so heavy that you can't pull it out to vacuum back there once in a while.

CStrong, welcome to PW. When do you start your lessons? It's what happened to me and is a not so uncommon story around here.

Kurt
Posted by: CStrong73

Re: About to buy a piano - is it worth what I'm paying? - 02/22/13 12:08 PM

Originally Posted By: KurtZ
I don't want to be a buzz-kill but $800 for a well maintained Acro is a fair price but no steal. Right now on Craigslist for Los Angeles, no Acro (console) is listed for more than $500. I do however really like Acro consoles. They have a polite, musical sound that makes them great home pianos and they're not so heavy that you can't pull it out to vacuum back there once in a while.

CStrong, welcome to PW. When do you start your lessons? It's what happened to me and is a not so uncommon story around here.

Kurt

Thanks! You're not a buzz-kill. I was not thinking it was a "steal"....just looking to make sure I'm not getting completely ripped off. smile I wouldn't be surprised if I get the urge to piggy-back off my daughter's lessons sometime soon. At least I can still read music...it's just that my hands don't automatically do what my eyes are seeing anymore...I have to stop and think about it. LOL!
Posted by: Nash. Piano Rescue

Re: About to buy a piano - is it worth what I'm paying? - 02/22/13 12:49 PM

Some Spinet Trivia for those Spinet Doomsayers out there. All of Jerry Lee Lewis' Recordings were done on a Spinet in the Studio. Sure he played Grands in Larger halls but his Preference for Spinet Pianos is very well documented.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: About to buy a piano - is it worth what I'm paying? - 02/22/13 01:08 PM

Originally Posted By: Nash. Piano Rescue
Some Spinet Trivia for those Spinet Doomsayers out there. All of Jerry Lee Lewis' Recordings were done on a Spinet in the Studio. Sure he played Grands in Larger halls but his Preference for Spinet Pianos is very well documented.
I don't think tonal quality was high on his list of priorities.