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Vintage Grand and Upright Piano Sales – Making Sure You Get the Right One

Are you seriously considering purchasing a piano? Before you head out to the local music store for their grand piano sales, you will want to know what to look for when choosing a piano. Unfortunately buying a piano is not a simple process, you do not simply walk in and say you want a piano. Here are some things to consider in your quest for the right grand or upright piano for you.

  1. What are your requirements for the piano? Are you buying the piano for your child to begin taking lessons on, or are you an accomplished pianist in need of a fine instrument? The answer to this question will determine the type of upright or grand piano you should buy.
  2. What are your size requirements for the piano? Is your room big enough for a grand piano, or is an upright piano indicated?
  3. What is your budget?

Here are my recommendations:

Whether you are a beginner or an accomplished pianist it is important to get a good quality instrument. This will allow you to experience how a piano should really feel and sound. A good upright piano should be at least 42 in. high. If you are purchasing your upright piano from a piano dealer you should expect the price of an upright piano to range from $2,500.00. Examples of well respected brands of upright pianos are Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway, Steinberg, Bechstein and Bosendorfer. The Yamaha and Kawai pianos are much less expensive, and still allow the pianist to experience very fine quality. Some Korean pianos such as Young Chang and Sammick can also be acceptable. Take your piano technician with you when you purchase a piano. He or she can save you from making costly mistakes.

A good grand piano should be at least 5 ft. long. Any piano shorter than that is little better than a toy. There are many examples of fine vintage or used grand pianos. Know your budget. It is unrealistic to purchase a serviceable grand piano from a dealer for less than $7,500.00. If you are not comfortable spending that much you would be better advised to consider an upright piano. You will be much better off with a serviceable upright than a grand piano that cannot be played properly.

Examples of fine brands of vintage and used grand pianos are Steinway, Mason and Hamlin, Yamaha, Kawai, Knabe, Hardman, Chickering, etc. Any properly restored vintage grand piano should be serviceable. When you go to purchase your vintage grand piano you should take your piano technician with you. The world of vintage grand piano restorations is complex. Unless you really know what to look for your piano technician can help you avoid costly mistakes.

Last but not least. Do not fall into the trap of over analyzing your vintage piano purchase. Talk to a knowledgeable piano technician first. Let him point you to shops in which he has confidence. Get a feel for the prices and competence of piano restorers in your area. Pick a budget that you feel comfortable with. Know the amount of space you have, and have your pianist try out the piano. Then have your technician check the piano out. Once these steps have been taken, you can buy your piano with confidence.

Joe Hanerfeld
Craftsman Piano Sales and Service

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