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Second hand piano

(13 Posts)
FastLoris Mon 26-Nov-12 10:24:03

Tricky. £1000 is well more than necessary for an old banger but not enough for a good new piano. You kind of need to be lucky and/or know what you're doing. Or be prepared to pay a specialist to take a look, which might be justified at the price point you're talking about.

I would say if there's one thing that's not negotiable in buying a piano, it's tuneability. As long as the piano can be tuned up to concert pitch and hold its tuning relatively well, then other factors can mostly either be fixed or won't cause too many problems for beginners. But a piano that is really beyond holding its tuning never will, and learning the piano on an out of tune instrument can be unpleasant and musically counterproductive.

It's for this reason that, although I don't really like them, I would often agree with the advice given above to buy a digital piano for that kind of money. In fact you shouldn't need that much and should be able to get a decent Yamaha or similar for 500ish. I would say if someone's willing to spend c. 3K upwards, definitely get a real piano as it's the best thing for learning on, and you can get a decent new one that will be reliable and tunable. However if you're spending in the hundreds rather than thousands, you're likely to get a better digital piano than acoustic one for that price. The more straightforward digital pianos also hold their price pretty well so if your daughters are keen, you could sell it in a few years for probably 2/3 of what you paid and then know it's worth investing properly in a good real piano.

I would personally advise against buying an old banger for a hundred or so off ebay. Unless you can see it and really know your stuff, it's likely to be permanently out of tune and frustrating to play. And then with another few hundred quid to move and tune it, you've wasted a substantial sum.

If you're anywhere near London you could try somewhere like this:

I bought my grand at a piano auction that has since closed down for £600 and it's lovely. You can go along beforehand to try the pianos, and you could take someone who knows a bit more and pay them for their time, for advice about what to bid.

Failing that, 3K for a decent Steinway sounds reasonable. Again though I'd get it checked over. For that price it would be worth it.

pianomama Sun 25-Nov-12 22:06:03

stircrazymum - I m quite intrigued but tht Steinway - may be you could PM me with the name of that shop? Thanks smile

stircrazymum Sun 25-Nov-12 20:05:26

I am in the north west & would be up for free piano!! Where are you Scrumpkin?

We were thinking maybe we would like an investment but the replies here have been a reality check.


schilke Sun 25-Nov-12 16:35:15

I would wait. Your girls might hate playing the piano and want to learn something else.

pianomama Sat 24-Nov-12 22:51:08

From experience, post Grade 5 you would need a budget at around 2K. Normally, pianos are not like say violins/cellos - the action only lasts aroud 70 years and its better to get as new instrument as possible.
Steinways are different and valued differently. I would expect to pay around 6K£ for a second-hand Steinway which has been professionally rebuilt as they do have unique lovely sounds which modern pianos don't have.
Unrestored Steinway can be a disaster as whiever does it needs to know what they are doing.There are quite a few of them around which have been wrecked. Is the sellers are Steinway agents then they will be able to to give you a qualified answers - just ask what is the reason for the 1/2 price tag.
Also, ask for the unique number of this piano - you can google it to find out exactly the year it was built,which country etc.

RikersBeard Sat 24-Nov-12 21:55:31

Wow, none of you actually play the piano yet, but you have a budget of £1000! shock

If I was you I'd get an overstrung upright for maximum a £a few hundred while you work out if any if you like/have any aptitude for it.
Unless you are lookin for an investment. You can always upgrade it later, but it'll be quite a few years before you need a really decent one.

I play fairly well, and I bought my piano for £395 off eBay.

scrumpkin Sat 24-Nov-12 21:45:25

If you are in the north west I have an old upright you can have for free. It needs a tune and has a few bum notes but fine for learning the basics.

If you have £1000 is get a piano size electric clavinova. They're fab and take up very little space

chinley Sat 24-Nov-12 21:25:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Floralnomad Sat 24-Nov-12 21:18:16

For that budget had you considered a digital piano / Clavinova type thing . They play like proper pianos ( weighted keys) yet have many advantages like headphones!

iheartdusty Sat 24-Nov-12 21:17:00

if it is just 'something to learn on' and if your DDS haven't yet started lessons, in your shoes I would be thinking of paying max £100 for a perfectly decent old joanna that someone didn't have room for.

We have a nice old upright that a neighbour was begging people to take away, she was moving and could not get any takers because of the space a piane needs. Have you tried Gumtree, ebay, local paper, music shop notice board etc?

OTOH if you want an investment, ignore me.

stircrazymum Sat 24-Nov-12 21:10:56

Thanks for the advice, will ask more questions. It is a reputable piano dealer that sells new Steinways. I get he feeling there nut be a catch though !!

pianomama Sat 24-Nov-12 18:52:33

First of all find out - how old, has it been reconditioned, if so - was it by qualified Steinway technician?
What work does it need if any - if action needs to be rebuilt you are looking at few more £££ on top.
I ould really invest in professional appraisal before commiting.
If all of it sounds positive and you still dont want it - I do smile

stircrazymum Sat 24-Nov-12 12:42:25

Initial budget £1000, very unimpressed with range for this. There is a second hand Steinway upright for £3000, apparently reduced from £6000. It's quite old but looks in really good condition. Would this piano be an 'investment'? Would I be crazy to go for this. I am not a piano player although I am musical, I might get lessons too. I want my daughters to learn (currently 6 & 3). Any thought from those who know about pianos??

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