Buying advice: replacement upright piano

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marcon
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Buying advice: replacement upright piano

Post by marcon » 12 Jan 2017, 16:01

I have decided that I need to replace my piano, but I'm not quite sure how to go about it.

The piano is an old (c.100 years) high-quality German one. Overall, tone and touch are very good, but its age is showing, and it needs more than just a bit of maintenance. Full restoration is probably not economically viable.

For a replacement, I'm looking at an upright again, full size (so around 130cm or 4'4") and of good quality. I think I'd rather go for something nearly new (so built in the last decade or so). I have no piano dealers local to me (nearest are all more than an hour away).

My budget is somewhat flexible, although it wouldn't stretch to a brand-new top-of-the-range piano. Where do I start?

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Re: Buying advice: replacement upright piano

Post by vernon » 12 Jan 2017, 23:32

Good modern s/h try a Fazer if you can find one. About £1200
Steinmayer new under £2000.
Modern Kawai s/h if you can find one £2000 ish
Yamahas are a minefield.
Any E German s/h £700-
There are a few to avoid but it's very subjective so you've got to find an honest dealer with a name to look after.to advise you(If you can find one)
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Re: Buying advice: replacement upright piano

Post by marcon » 13 Jan 2017, 22:00

Thank for that, I'm in Norfolk, so not very near you.

I've listened to some demos on Youtube, and although I realise that these have their limitations, I'm drawn more towards the good German pianos. I'm not particularly taken with the Yamaha U3s (I've played one recently too). I like what I've heard from the Grotrian-Steinwegs, Bosendorfers, Schimmel, maybe Bluthner, Sauter, Bechstein and I guess that's the overall sort of tone quality I'm probably looking for; something which will 'sing', and which has a full but warm bass. However, I realise it could be difficult to find a recent used one, and also that these pianos are very much towards the high end of the price range.

I'd be interested to try a Kawai piano, and I think I could find one at one of my nearer dealers. It's also been suggested that Ritmuller might be worth a look.

I've played a Fazer before, but a long time ago. A lot of theirs seem to be smaller models, but I'd consider them. May also consider some of the nicer British names like Welmar, but then these are generally a bit older.

In terms of practicalities, what sort of cost might I be looking at for delivery (I might consider buying privately and arranging my own transport)? And what's the best way to dispose of the old piano (might someone be interested in taking it on for reconditioning, or dismantling for materials/parts)?

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Re: Buying advice: replacement upright piano

Post by Colin Nicholson » 14 Jan 2017, 14:27

If you buy from a dealer, a lot less hassle - they usually can arrange carriage of newer piano, and possibly take your old piano away at the same time (might even get a few quid part X). Also ask about warranty/ follow-up tuning after delivery.

If done privately, you may never get rid of the old piano or sit on it for a while - they don't always sell, but try Gumtree as a start, and include about 9 free photos & giving piano details. Quickness of sale depends on price, good wording and appropriate photos. If you need assistance, send me an email for a quote.

If you find a newer piano locally, try Butler Smith for carriage - click here http://butlersmith.com/
The standard cost will vary depending on distance/ access / ground floor? / steps or stairs?

Very reliable and professional removal team. Fill in the online form or ring them, giving location A to B etc.
If you have not purchased a piano yet, then give them an approximate location A to B (say about 60 miles) for a rough price.

However, if you buy privately, (even up to £2K), you should contact a piano tuner to check it over. The difference in retail costs and private selling costs will balance in the end. Piano should be assessed face to face, and takes about one hour - ring any piano tuner for a quote and if available.


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Re: Buying advice: replacement upright piano

Post by marcon » 16 Jan 2017, 22:55

I would consider either private or dealer -- I know that I may not save money overall by buying privately, but it seems like there's not a huge market in the sort of thing I'm trying to find.

Or maybe I should look at the cost of a full restoration instead?

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Re: Buying advice: replacement upright piano

Post by Colin Nicholson » 17 Jan 2017, 07:48

If you are considering a full restoration (i.e. mechanism/ keys/ pedals/ strings), your piano should be assessed first to see if it is restorable - this will depend on the condition of the original wrest plank, soundboard/ bridges and other structural parts/ type of mechanism. Some restorers will charge for this service, and then partly (or whole) refund some of the assessment fee if an agreement is made.

For some general advice, see http://www.aatuners.com/assessment-report.html
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Re: Buying advice: replacement upright piano

Post by marcon » 26 Jan 2017, 22:17

I've tried a few more and I think I know what I'm getting now.

I tried a couple of Yamahas which were quite nice (an SE model and an SU7). I also liked a small Kawai (but I'm not looking for a small piano) and a Kemble Conservatoire (which I had thought would be like a Yamaha, but it wasn't). The W Hoffmann upright sounded very good to me but was a little heavy on the touch -- but then it seems that more modern pianos are, by and large, heavier than old ones? And the Bechsteins and C Bechsteins were very nice.

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