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#2024360 - 01/30/13 11:56 PM 12 yr old needs a piano HELP
ImaLookin Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/30/13
Posts: 2
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Hello, I'm new here and looking for advice on which piano to buy.
My 12 yr old has been playing for almost 2yrs and her piano teacher has just started giving her gr. 6 conservatory songs these last few weeks. Right now she's playing on a Yamaha digital (P-155) with a single pedal. Time to upgrade! Budget is around $2500-$3500.
Hubby's vote is for a good quality digital - Roland maybe? Pro's - bring it home and plug it in. Con's -it's a digital. Even a $3000 one is still a digital. And depreciation.
My vote is for an acoustic (Yamaha U1 maybe?) but I'm not sure the budget will stretch to something suitable/decent. Pro's - obvious! Con's - space is an issue. The best/easiest for us is to put it in the basement. It's not that bad climate-wise --not too much different from the rest of the house. Though some salesmen are saying No Way!! Others say use a humidifier or Damp Chaser as necessary. Other option is to renovate one of the upstairs bedrooms and put it in there (small room though) This will take a while.
So - 2 questions - acoustic or digital.... and which one? My daughter hasn't taken any exams yet, but will be in the future. Neither my husband or I play, I have no ear, hubby does. Need help!
Thx in advance. I know this a pretty broad question!

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#2024365 - 01/31/13 12:20 AM Re: 12 yr old needs a piano HELP [Re: ImaLookin]
Steven Y. A. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/13
Posts: 291
Loc: Toronto
Yes a used u1 U2 or even u3 is your best shot...
I think your budget is ok..
http://toronto.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-sell-...featuredAdZtrue

I'm not affiliated with them.. Most dealers carries per owned Yamaha..

You will need to bring a technician to exam the piano.

Good luck!
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#2024384 - 01/31/13 12:57 AM Re: 12 yr old needs a piano HELP [Re: ImaLookin]
PianoWorksATL Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2746
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Many people focus on U1's which drives the price up for average and below average condition examples. Primo examples are worth more and cost more, but a lot of the others are overpursued. In our market, more than a few bad to rotten U1's get sold because buyers focus on a brand and price rather than evaluating value. Ad more types of pianos to your search and you are more likely to get lucky.

Coming from a P155, I wouldn't upgrade to another digital. The improvements would be more incremental or related to cabinet & speakers. Your budget is on the low end of what reasonably good and lasting uprights cost, but it is doable. Add another $1k and your good options quadruple.
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#2024437 - 01/31/13 03:59 AM Re: 12 yr old needs a piano HELP [Re: ImaLookin]
musicpassion Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 1116
Loc: California, USA
I'd suggest go for the acoustic.

Yes, a Yamaha U1 is a good option - I think your budget is enough for a used one if you're patient.

Other pianos to look for: Charles Walter, Kawai are two of my favorites in this price range (used price range of course).
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#2024452 - 01/31/13 05:16 AM Re: 12 yr old needs a piano HELP [Re: ImaLookin]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5282
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Also, take a good look at the Yamaha NU1 upright hybrid piano. You still have an acoustic upright piano action but now with the benefit of never having to have it tuned.

I own the N3 which is the flagship hybrid piano from Yamaha. I very recently played this upright hybrid, the NU1, and was impressed, so much so, that I'm giving serious thought of buying one. This wouldn't replace my N3, this would replace my CP5 which would then go back into its flight case.

I owned a U1D many years ago and it was an excellent upright.
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#2024532 - 01/31/13 09:47 AM Re: 12 yr old needs a piano HELP [Re: ImaLookin]
Tjpp Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/31/12
Posts: 32
We were in a situation somewhat similar, my son needed to upgrade as well. We looked at the Yamaha and Kawai uprights and also the hybrid and digitals and liked both. And I due have to say that each piano has its own personality and sound, especially when buying used. So you kind of have to just get out and play them. And amazingly, my son had an opinion about the sound and action he liked best.

We also really liked the NU1, it was a little more but loved its action, looks, sound and flexibility. So I highly recommend that. We did end up with an older acoustic upright just due to a few unexpected circumstances. It ended up being in good shape and we couldn't be happier for this point in our son's piano playing days!

This forum has been amazing, we have learned tons and by reading and getting out and playing at a lot of different places, best of luck!

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#2024600 - 01/31/13 11:39 AM Re: 12 yr old needs a piano HELP [Re: ImaLookin]
personne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/24/12
Posts: 123
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Originally Posted By: ImaLookin
My 12 yr old has been playing for almost 2yrs and her piano teacher has just started giving her gr. 6 conservatory songs these last few weeks. Right now she's playing on a Yamaha digital (P-155) with a single pedal. Time to upgrade! Budget is around $2500-$3500.
Hubby's vote is for a good quality digital - Roland maybe? Pro's - bring it home and plug it in. Con's -it's a digital. Even a $3000 one is still a digital. And depreciation.
My vote is for an acoustic (Yamaha U1 maybe?) but I'm not sure the budget will stretch to something suitable/decent.


I would also recommend to increase your budget a bit here.
Digital piano for 3K imo is more for intermediate players, you can play grade 9 pieces on it, but more decent piano adds value for sure. As your daughter is already in grade 6, a new digital piano would not last if you purchase at 2.5K.
I would recommend going for top-of-the line digitals (Roland HP 507 and LX-15, Kawai CA-95, Yamaha CLP-480) or a hybrid, if you decide to purchase digital.
For more advanced learners an acoustic piano is better choice provided you have space, can survive several hours of loud practicing every day and the piano is a decent one (some high-end digitals are better than lower-end acoustics)


Edited by personne (01/31/13 11:40 AM)
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#2024611 - 01/31/13 11:54 AM Re: 12 yr old needs a piano HELP [Re: ImaLookin]
Peter K. Mose Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1377
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
You can certainly put a piano in a basement, if that's where it will be played. But take your measurements again: an upright is scarcely going to take up more floor space than a digital piano.

And it's a real piano.

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#2024974 - 02/01/13 12:14 AM Re: 12 yr old needs a piano HELP [Re: ImaLookin]
ImaLookin Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/30/13
Posts: 2
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Wow. You've all been so helpful. Thanks everyone for the great replies! I'm really leaning towards an acoustic. The U1 seems the easiest way to go because they're everywhere, but i'm open to suggestions.
Also found a 1972 ivory U2 for $2500 apparently not in the best shape cosmetically but sound otherwise, 10yr warr. I'm not as much concerned about looks as I am about the way it plays. This is why you bring someone who knows along.
Any opinions on Samick, Young Chang or Kawai?
One more question about etiquette...there's a guy who comes highly recommended - by a number of ppl. He sells pianos, moves them and tunes them. I spoke to him already about his used inventory. (he suggested a few less expensive options, but thought the U1, or at least a good 48" would be best for my daughters level. His U1 is $4500.)I keep reading about taking a professional along to evaluate any potential pianos. It doesn't seem right to me to ask this guy to come to other piano dealers or private sellers to help us pick a piano. So how do i find someone? Yellow pages? what am i looking for -a piano repair tech/refurbisher or a tuner? And also what should I expect to pay someone to do this, each time I go look at a piano?
Thanks again for all the help!

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#2025192 - 02/01/13 10:17 AM Re: 12 yr old needs a piano HELP [Re: ImaLookin]
Steven Y. A. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/13
Posts: 291
Loc: Toronto
a 2500$ U2 is not necessarily a better deal than a $4500 U1.
a 1972 piano is very likely need some rebuild work. .
where there is much less to worry in a 10 yr old U1.

one reason to go with the preowned Yamaha U series is that there are several factories in asia specialized in rebuilding old Yamahas, in large Quantity. they often do a decent job with little cost at the preowned Yamaha market you see are often from those factories (which is a good thing).

K3 is considered the equvalent of U1. with a warmer and gentle tone. Pick the one u like the best. Or with the better value (since K3 is alittle cheaper. you may get a better K3 for same money) but its harder to find.

drive around first, narrow down your selects to few. then hire a technician. or you can simply tell the guy your budget and preferrence, and ask if he can check piano from other dealers for you (of course you have to pay him). if he doesnt want to do it its his problem laugh

Young Chang makes fine pianos, I think they are very close to Yamaha. You can leave your options open.

here is a nice looking one
http://toronto.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-sell-...QAdIdZ452804180

are you from Toronto?


Edited by Steven Y. A. (02/01/13 10:20 AM)
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PLEYEL P124

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