- Colin Nicholson
- Executive Poster
- Posts: 1836
- Joined: 04 Jul 2010, 19:15
- Location: Morpeth, Northumberland
If possible, aim for a minimum of about £800 - £1000, no less.
There are so many different makes of piano & model, its impossible to list them all.
To start with, make sure you actually see & hear & play the piano, unless you know what you are buying. Visit a few piano shops first for ideas, but dont buy on impulse just yet.
Always buy an acoustic piano that is over-strung and under-damped, and one with a full cast iron frame, having 85 or 88 weighted keys (not digital).
The 4 deadly sins are:- (to be avoided)
1. Straight-strung (or oblique) [sometimes in walnut/ candle sticks/ ornate]
2. Over-damped [looks like a bird cage inside]
3. 3/4 wooden or cast frame with exposed wrest plank [rarely tune well]
4. Spring & loop actions [difficult to get parts & mostly condemned]
Also avoid Lindner and Mini Eavestaff uprights for now.
Always check the serial number inside a 2nd hand piano (age of piano) - this will be around 4-7 digits, each number about 2cm in height, black stencil/punched into wood/ decal etc. Get back to us with a piano name and its serial number, or ask the shop to date it. The serial number is quite unique, and there are other numbers in there aswell such as stock/ part numbers. The age is important, so dont buy something thats about 80 years old, unless you only have about £100 to spare.
Good names are: Yamaha, Kawai, Kemble, Knight, Welmar, Rogers, Challen, Chappell.... but their condition is important and stability of tuning is vital.
(Email me for more)
VERY Good names: Steinway, Bechstein, Bluthner, Bosendorfer, Grotian Steinweg.....
but it depends also on their external & internal condition. Always check the strings for rust/ corrosion, any insect damage or signs of damp (eg mould/ sticking keys).
If you find a piano you like, best to get an independant tuner out to check it over, unless the shop has an in-house tuner/technician you can trust.
Sending a photo of the piano & its name would be helpful - even some Yamaha uprights are well past their sell buy date - so the name is not that important.... unless you are paying say around the £2K mark (good 2nd hand). To check the overall condition of the piano will require an on-the-spot assessment, and the piano may be partly tested to make sure the tuning pins are tight, and all the mechanism parts are regulated and working correctly.
Hope that helps