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Instrument:Used Pianos & Vintage Heirloom Models
Price:Call
Date:July 16, 2012

Used Pianos & Vintage Heirloom Models

RESTORED VINTAGE PIANOS

American made pianos are a dwindling resource. We have gone from literally hundreds of manufacturers producing more than 12,000 brands prior to WWII to a handful of companies producing pianos in the United States today. While all will usually agree Steinway is a great piano, there are several other piano manufacturers  that produced pianos near equal to Steinway  and can be purchased for a fraction of the cost if you know what to look for. As any vanishing commodity, there is lasting value in these instruments and many musicians find it can be very worthwhile in owning or restoring a vintage made piano built in the USA; same also would go for most any well-built reconditioned pre-owned upright model piano produced post 1970 or so, especially the Asian brands represented in the Kawai and Yamaha upright console, studio & grand model pianos.

A piano doesn’t reach its full potential, much less value, until it has had a chance to season and become broken in so to speak making it difficult to assess the quality of a new piano until years down the line sometimes. If there are any major manufacturing defects in a piano, it will almost always evidence itself within the first few years and most new piano warranties are narrow in scope with obtuse issues.

Used pianos can offer tremendous value but you must have knowledge in order to make the right buying decision. Factors include the quality of the manufacturer, as well as the history of the specific piano in question and most importantly a seller you trust. The history of each piano is unique unto itself and it’s important to know as much as possible of the piano’s history, especially if you are considering  an instrument from a private seller. When at all possible, even if you are an experienced musician,  find a knowledge piano person to council with.

NEW vs. USED

If budget is unlimited, buying new can be a good choice when purchasing a handcrafted model piano. Otherwise you buy at risks unless you purchase with a well formed decision.

A piano doesn’t reach its full potential much less value until it has had a chance to season and become broken in so to speak making it difficult to assess the quality of a new piano until years down the line sometimes. Also, if there are any major manufacturing defects in a piano, it will almost always evidence itself within the first few years. Used pianos can offer tremendous value but you must have knowledge in order to make the right buying decision. Factors include the quality of the manufacturer, as well as the history of the specific piano in question and most importantly a seller you trust. The history of each piano is unique to itself and it’s important to know as much as possible of the piano’s history, especially if in a private seller’s home; otherwise find a knowledge piano person as counselor.

Asian production pianos cost a fraction of hand-made American and European pianos. They are best bought new or nearly new because once they wear out, it doesn’t pay to restore them because they are so inexpensive to begin with.

Mass produced pianos are usually more affordable than handmade pianos. Overall, mass produced pianos generally are made from good to high quality materials. Some brands of mass produced pianos actually have an all wood cabinet and handmade actions! However, most brands of mass produced pianos are actually made from particle board or MDF (multi-density fiber) and ARE NOT made of all wood construction. Some mass produced pianos also have plastic parts in the action. For the most part we would recommend that you stay clear of a piano that has a particle board cabinet or has plastic parts in the action. Remember, the finest pianos in the world have all-wood cabinets and feature all-wood action parts).  However, there are certain scientifically produced synthetic materials which have proven to be equal to & in some cases superior to traditional wooden parts.

Some examples of Mass Produced Pianos: Young Chang, Samick, Pearl River, Kohler & Campbell, Yamaha, Kawai, Hallet & Davis, Nordiska, Hobart M. Cable, Weber, and countless others.