Second hand piano

General discussion about piano makes, problems with pianos, or just seeking advice.

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Thefish
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Second hand piano

Post by Thefish » 09 Oct 2018, 14:12

Hello, I am after some advice. I have the chance to acquire a second hand piano for free although I will have to pay to transport it. It is a Schiedmayer and Soehne Stuttgart. It played ok with a few sticking keys at one end. It has been regularly tuned and I am told is not used so the sticking keys due to this. Is this a good piano? Worth paying to transport? Thankyou in advance for any help. My daughter is learning and this would be for her.

Gill the Piano
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Re: Second hand piano

Post by Gill the Piano » 09 Oct 2018, 15:28

Bit like saying you've been offered a Ford Focus and is it any good? As with a car, it depends how old it is, how it's been treated and where it's been kept. Schiedmayer are a good make but go back a long way so the piano could be very old. The sticking keys - if at the right hand end in particular - are probably down to damp and/or disuse but it's impossible to say. If it hasn't been played it probably won't have been tuned either so there may be issues with pitch/tuning. It's better for your child if it's at concert pitch and vital that the keys all work (like you driving a car that broke down regularly; you'd soon give up and get the bus). Contact a local tuner - asking the owner for their tuner's number would be ideal as it would show if the piano's been tuned recently. Or ever... Get the tuner to evaluate it for you - could save a costly mistake. Good luck.
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

Thefish
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Re: Second hand piano

Post by Thefish » 09 Oct 2018, 15:55

Thankyou so much for your reply. I have been given the number of the tuner and apparently he tunes it every year. Last tuned in April. The owner doesn’t really play it much so he feels it’s a bit neglected. He has put a small heater inside the bottom half of piano and has lifted the top lid a fraction so I’m guessing this is a humidity thing? It’s been in the family a long time. I have tried to attach a picture of the inside but can’t seem to get it to work. It just felt a little bit ‘slow’ if that makes sense? Like you had to touch the keys quite firm and a little bit of a delay and muted sound. Also some notes sounded much louder than others? It looked lovely on the inside, overstrung. The tuner said a good solid large piano but just not sure if I am better off paying to go to a piano dealer and buying one?! It would be so much more expensive though 🙁
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Thefish
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Re: Second hand piano

Post by Thefish » 09 Oct 2018, 16:00

Here is a picture of it, does this tell anyone anything about it? Good or bad?
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Inside looks good?

chrisw
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Re: Second hand piano

Post by chrisw » 10 Oct 2018, 12:21

Quoting from your post;
"It just felt a little bit ‘slow’ if that makes sense? Like you had to touch the keys quite firm and a little bit of a delay and muted sound."
This doesn't sound good to me especially if a learner is using the piano. However perhaps a tuner technician can put it right but I can only advise as a pianist.

Gill the Piano
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Re: Second hand piano

Post by Gill the Piano » 10 Oct 2018, 16:44

It sounds as though the owner is doing all he can - you're right, the open top lid is to let a bit of air circulate - except PLAY the thing. Have you spoken to the tuner in person? Be guided by whatever he tells you. He will know the piano better than the owner, I expect. Ask him how much it will cost to get rid of the sluggish notes - but if every note is played every day, then you'd probably see a marked difference. As to whether a dealer might be a better option, then that's placing a bet on how likely your daughter is to stick at the piano! At least with a dealer you will have the comfort of a guarantee .
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

Phrasemaker
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Re: Second hand piano

Post by Phrasemaker » 12 Oct 2018, 08:00

I'd really give this some serious thought when acquiring a piano like this as you could end up with a very cumbersome ornament if the piano ends up requiring major work to get it to a decent playing condition.

I'm sure in its day it was a fine instrument, however the hammers might be getting hard and it certainly sounds like the action will require a fair bit of work to get it play evenly. The heater approach could go a couple of ways in so much as drying it out too rapidly if it's suffering dampness. I've seen the hammer felts detach under such conditions on similar pianos and the sound boards crack as the drying occurs.

Fair enough if it dries out and plays well, you'll have something to work with. On the other hand, if you look for something from a dealer it'll have some kind of guarantee and once it's in your home and settled if there are any issues they will be sorted if you invest in something from a dealer who stands by what they sell. Also you could re sell if the learning does not become a long term pursuit.

I've been in a position of having a daughter who wants to learn, and the advice I was given some years ago was try and provide a playing experience which will actually sound like it is supposed to when something is played correctly. Nothing more disconcerting than spending many hours learning and it still doesn't sound like the examples the student might reference to compare their own playing. My daughter kept at it and at age 12 she's now working on her grade eight.

As a parent I fully understand the strain of finding funds for all things music and have had to juggle a number of times to provide decent instruments. When one adds up the cost of music, tuition and hours spent learning, the cost of the instrument doesn't look so bad.

I hope the piano works out, if it doesn't you might be surprised how many pianos there are out there which don't cost the earth and actually play well enough to have a decent go at finding out if it's going to be a long term interest. Nothing worse than having a great lump of metal and wood sat in the house which is not worth selling and then having to dispose of it.

Best of luck.

Regards

Tim

Cotnoir
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Re: Second hand piano

Post by Cotnoir » 24 Nov 2018, 13:41

You're spot-on, Tim. In this position as well. Trying to learn as much as possible as what to do before we pull the trigger and actually get a piano for our son. Thankfully, he's been patient, at least so far. haha

Jeannie03
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Re: Second hand piano

Post by Jeannie03 » 27 Nov 2018, 15:57

It seems not bad :)

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