Buying pre-owned piano should not be based on the used piano prices alone.
The best thing that you can do is to have a piano technician look over the instrument. Though you may know how to play a piano and can definitely “hear” if its tone and resonance are fine, you might not however, be able to determine if the key components of the piano are in good working condition.
Second hand piano prices vary because of the make and age of the piano. Look for the serial number of the piano. There are sites that will give you the age of the piano just by giving them the serial number. The serial number on an upright is at the back while that of a grand is on top of the tuning pin.
Acoustical pianos depreciate very little. A ten or fifteen year-old piano will still sound great (and valued high) if it has been properly cared for. If you are on the looking for an entry-level piano for your child, a pre-owned piano is probably a good choice if the used piano price is reasonable and the instrument and its parts are in good condition. It is also worth looking for baby grand piano prices if you or any member of the family are intermediate players.
The first thing that you should check is the finishing of the case. If the finishing is faded and checkered then the piano could have been placed near a window which is a bad thing for its mechanical parts are probably damaged.
Appraising Used Pianos : Inspecting the Sounding Board
Open the piano's lid and inspect the hammers. Are they complete? Are they worn or have been re- shaped? Strike each key and see if they are working. If the piano has a musty smell, do not even attempt to play it as it probably has mold. Open the bottom board of the piano and check it for mouse droppings, insects and for sign of termites.
Check the soundboard for cracks and make sure that there are no signs of rust on any of the metal parts of the piano. If you notice that the tuning pin has been pounded, the piano is no good. The casing of a piano is important too as its design should fit your house's interior.
Note that the issue being discussed here are used piano prices and not antique pianos so the tonal quality is matters. Its sound should be powerful and impressive enough. It does not matter if the second-hand piano is out of tune as that could be easily remedied. What is important is that the action of the piano is responsive to the touch and its tonal quality and resonance are acceptable. Watch out for a keyboard that is over-bright as it is an indication of hardened hammers. Settle for a crisp medium mellow tone on a pre-owned piano.
Buying an old piano based on its sound is not a good idea. The mechanism of the piano should be inspected because replacing a worn-out component is expensive.
Most think that a $1,000 used grand piano price is a better bargain than a whopping $ 10,000 for a brand new grand. What they didn't consider is the fact that the used piano price would not be that low if the piano is in good condition. A $1,000 grand would probably entail thousands of dollars more to put it back to even half its former glory.
A Baldwin Model L is a 6'3” 30-year old grand piano is priced at $6,900. The instrument is regularly tuned and is well-maintained as it is an institutional piano. The tone and touch are alright.
An 8-year old baby grand Young Chang (Model PG 185) is pegged at $5,000. The piano is said to be in excellent condition except for some minor blemishes on the casing. The price of a new Young Chang PG 185 is around $16,900.
A 69-year old 5'8” Chickering Fiddleback grand piano is a steal at the used piano price of $1,500. The piano has been consistently tuned since it was rebuilt in the 1980s. This piece of instrument is really worth a look as a restored Chickering fetches at least $15,000.
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