You have recently started your piano lessons and your piano teacher suggested that you buy one of the Used Pianos from the local dealer in your area. You were rather shocked that she suggested a secondhand unit, as you thought it would be better to buy a brand new one. As an experienced piano dealer, I would agree with your piano teacher – a used piano is often more ideal for beginners. Below, you will find three important things to look out for before buying a secondhand unit. They will furthermore ensure that you avoid buying a used piano with the following flaws.
1. When you test the used piano, you should listen carefully for keys that are out of tune. Most pianos have three strings per note, and these strings are wrapped around a steel tuning pin. This tuning pin is situated in a wooden pin-block. When these pin-blocks are worn out, they cannot hold the steel tuning pins any longer, which can eventually cause the pins to slip. As a result, one out of the three strings will appear very flat compared to others. If you hear that the key is playing two distinct notes, then there is definitely something wrong with it.
2. The presence of strange buzzes and rattles can also mean a huge problem. In order to strengthen the soundboard, ribs are glued to it. Sometimes, when it cracks, the ribs come unglued and as a result, the soundboard begins to rattle against them, as they vibrate. The sound that is emitted from this disentanglement is akin to a distorted speaker. Used Pianos come with a wooden bridge with strings that is fixed to the soundboard. The wooden bridges consist of two pins for every string in order to hold them together. With multiple pins placed close to each other, the bridges tend to split at times, which allow the pins to become wobbly. When that happens, the strings rattle against the wobbly pins.
3. Hammers with deep grooves do not make a great used piano. The strings in the piano can cause deep grooves in the hammers. To restore the solid shape of the hammer, layers of felt can be eradicated. However, as the piano is played, there will not be enough felt left on top of the wooden molding to obtain a resounding tone. The high treble, perhaps, has the smallest amount of felt compared to others, and at times, you can see the felt is worn out all the way through. Additionally, you can also see that the wood molding is essentially thumping the strings.
All the above mentioned issues are vital stuff that you should look out for when you are in the process of browsing various Used Pianos. It costs a lot of money to fix a used piano especially if it was never well taken care of by its previous owner. I came across several secondhand units that needed a lot of work and I realized that if they were high quality pianos such as a Mason & Hamlin, Steinway, or Baldwin Piano, they were definitely worth refurbishing. A lot of refurbishing or fixing can cost up to $25,000, or often even more, and it normally includes a major rebuilding of the soundboard.
Therefore, it is advisable to purchase Used Pianos that are in a good condition, because they will save you plenty of money. It is always a good idea to bring a reputable piano technician with you, so that he can test the pianos and check if they are worth buying. His contribution will be invaluable to you.
What makes a good secondhand piano?