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I am recently retired and want to start playing piano again. I had learned as a child, my mother used to play and taught me some hyms (which I still play on the rare occasion). I don't want to go through any hassle in buying one so I am looking at 'reconditioned' verticals with a budget of around £3,000.00. I want to buy from a shop in order to get a guarantee, but what should I be looking for, and have you any recommendations on who to use?
As you are probably aware there are a number of piano dealers in and around Manchester. I always find the piano room at Forsyths on Deansgate impressive for both grand and upright pianos. My piano teacher bought her Yamaha baby grand from The Music Box, Prestwich and a good friend of mine bought a Yamaha U3 reconditioned upright from Mark Goodwin, in or near Oldham. Both were very happy with the service that they received.
Mark Goodwin seems to specialise in good quality used Yamaha U1 and U3 pianos. Some people find the Yamaha pianos too bright but you do find some with a mellow tone and can have them made more mellow if you like. Yamaha pianos are really robust and can take a lot of wear. The U3 is large so can produce a lot of sound. I would guess the U1 to not have as much volume.
I have seen reconditioned Kawai uprights at The Music Cellar in Preston but this was quite a few years ago.
There are a number of piano dealers south of Manchester but I have never been able to visit.
As for which piano to look for....one that looks new even if secondhand or reconditioned. Hammers that have clean felt, not too much indentation, strings that are bright, keys that have sides not discoloured or dirty and finally one which you enjoy playing from its sound and the touch of its keys, although I personally would avoid a piano with too light an action.
If you are located north of Manchester you may be interested to know that a piano club meets at the Clitheroe public library on the third Saturday of the month between 12:30 and 15:30. Next meeting is Saturday 20th January.