We are looking at a 2-4k budget and I understand that in and around this price range the options include a Japanese used instrument like a U3/k3 or a old german like a bechstein or schimmel (probably reconditioned to some degree) or even petrof. The shops I have visited universally recommend the Japanese option, while the qualified musician friends we have, including the Japanese, say that they would never buy Japanese as these are not comparable in feel and sound to the Germans/Europeans.
The other issue is private ( supported by a technical evaluation) or trade sale. It disturbs me that a used instrument bought from trade is estimated to be trading back in at 50% of cost immediately after the sale. This suggests to me that a private sale route is much better financially and should be reasonably safe if done in the right way and within certain parameters (like used cars)
I am prepared to invest effort in sourcing the right option and was wondering if the members could suggest the best options in terms of pianos and the best way of sourcing them.
My personal preference is for a German piano but you should certainly consider Japanese pianos with good actions for learning purposes. When I was looking for a German piano (on a much more limited budget) I asked advice from an experienced technician who knows these instruments extremely well. He could be the ideal man to help you in your quest and I will be happy to introduce you if you send me a PM (I assume it's possible on this site - it is).
If someone has suggestions for specific shops or people, I would appreciate it. I am based in nw London.
I would go further ; a technician's input is also necessary prior to purchase from a dealer. Of the four dealers of which I have direct experience, I can only recommend one.
Competent technicians are very thin on the ground. [ Most tuners are not techs]. If Withindales tech is near you it would be a good idea to use him.
Find the best man you can by whatever means, taking serious note of DJS's comments and your own conclusions. There are no doubt lots of Yamahas and Kawais in London but you may have to look farther afield for good German pianos within your budget. The man I mentioned is in the Midlands.Loner wrote:Would you say it is more efficient to recruit a good technician from those that are part of existing established dealers/refurbishers or by asking the users private tuning services in the area?
I will send you a PM.
Have a look at this thread http://www.clavio.de/forum/klavier-keyb ... e-alt.html in (say) Google which will translate it for you - but maybe you speak German. One pearl is 1 month in a barn is worth 60 years a temperate drawing room. If you read between the lines the thread probably says everything you need to know about finding a piano on your budget.
Of course, if you're talking about a fully rebuilt German grand with a new soundboard, plank, and possibly a new action, it's a different matter. It depends on who did the rebuild of course.
I've played on lots of Bechstein model 8 uprights from the 1920s and 1930s, and while it's evident they were glorious pianos in their day, the ones in original condition usually sound tired and don't play as well as something new.
That said, you can be lucky, and perhaps you'll find an unrestored Bechstein, Bluthner or Steinway or whatever, from the 1930s and it may well just be the most beautiful piano you find. However, if you want a safe bet, then I'd go for new Chinese or Japanese. Lots of pianists do trade in their old german pianos for these new pianos, and not without good reason.
Good luck, and let us know. Although I prefer new instruments, I can't help feeling a bit nostalgic and quite excited when I find an old Bechstein, Bluthner, Bosendorfer or Steinway that still sounds beautiful. There are a couple at school that I'd love to buy and restore, but the chequebook and the living space, and the other half (who i'd give up the piano for, not that I'd be asked to) say NO! Ha!
Thanks for an interesting topic and welcome to the forum.
There are no doubt some brilliant bargains on the private market but it can be difficult to sniff them out sometimes. Yes take a technician with you before agreeing a price and I also agree with DJ Smith that you should also take a technician with you when viewing pianos from a trade source.
I choose to stock reconditioned U3 pianos almost exclusively as I find that they keep my customers happy. If you can get to KT3 area in London then I usually have at least 10 that you can have a bash on to help you reject or consider that option.
It's good that you say you are willing to put plenty of effort into the search because I think that the best way by far of choosing who to buy from is to visit at least 5 piano shops and as many private sellers as you can too.
It probably isn't practical to take a piano technician to all of your appointments but perhaps come up with a shortlist on your own and take a technician to help make a final choice.
I hope you will keep us updated. Take any advice you hear (including myself if you like) with a pinch of salt and just get out there and book as many viewings as you can. Trust your own judgement above whatever you have heard or read elsewhere. Go with what you feel was the best piano that you came across on your travels.
Good luck and keep us updated
So the way I see my options is
1 not so old German made piano from a mid to lower mid price brand, eg schimmel, roenisch, Steinberg
2 the Japanese not so old u3 or something along those lines
3 a new piano built by strong brand in china or eastern Europe.
As I said, at this point I am inclined to start my search focusing on option 1, which feels sensible but may be hard to execute relative to option 2 as there obviousy many Japanese instruments in the UK.
I`ve just found the New Topic box which does not always appear at the top in each category .
After some reading I find the Petrof pianos use the same Renner action as Steinways so that means they are really up to date now. As I say , as a listener I have never heard a better combination of a piano and a violin as the sample Sounds on the Petrof home page . Only as reliable as a Steinway then .That will do nicely .
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Exactly right Colin I think you'll find it happened when the crooks were non-Extended TwistColin Nicholson wrote:probably changed over when they invented the shepherd's crook
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Johnkie wrote:Exactly right Colin I think you'll find it happened when the crooks were non-Extended TwistColin Nicholson wrote:probably changed over when they invented the shepherd's crook
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http://www.piano-tuners.org/used-pianos ... u131s-.htm
they are very nice pianos have a few on my round many owned by students of Chets and RN who cant fit a grand in their home
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