Buying a used piano.
Buying a used piano privately can be a dangerous and costly decision. What appears to be a rare bargain may prove to be a real liability. Unless you are a piano expert, your best assurance is to rely on the judgement of the most experienced dealer in your area with a proven record of integrity and fair dealing. It is unwise to pick up an old piano privately “to get started.” A poor piano offers discouragement to the child and is at best, a questionable investment for the parent.
Here are just a few of the many dangers encountered when a non-expert piano buyer buys a piano privately:
- PLATE: May be cracked or broken which cripples the piano musically and renders it useless.
- STRINGS: Bass strings may be “tired and tubby,” totally devoid of tone.
- SOUND BOARD: May be badly cracked, or worse yet, may have lost crown to become tonally deficient.
- RIBS: May be broken or pulled away from soundboard.
- BRIDGES: May have lost proper bearing, be broken, split or cracked, necessitating a major expense.
- TUNING PINS: May be loose, may have been previously “doped,” may require oversized pins, may require new pin block. Avoid any piano with pins showing evidence of having been pounded.
- PIN BLOCK (WREST PLANK): Pin Block (wrest plank): May be split and is very costly to repair. Since this is concealed, experienced judgement is required.
- ACTIONS: May be literally worn out rendering the piano useless. If rebushing is required, this is very costly. A complete regulation requires much time of an expert and is expensive if properly done.
- HAMMERS: May be worn out or improperly filed so as to require replacement – another costly repair.
- TRAP WORK: The internal leverage controls of the expression pedals may need complete overhauling.
- REFINISHING: Many people learn to their dismay that refinishing a piano is not a home do-it-yourself project; that it requires much hard work and know-how best left to a skilled craftsman. Good refinishing work is expensive.