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Vendetta

Piano purchase - advice needed

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(Spunko please could you move to rightful forum later?)

Hi Dosbod hive mind

I intend to purchase a piano for a child.

She has been playing for a few years (hourly lesson every week or so - and practices for an hour or maybe two).
She has always had an electronic £70 keyboard and enjoys it.

So far she has achieved Grade 3.

She is reaching an age where she herself is self motivated and she definitely has a commitment and wants to continue and improve. (Not her parents). 

Budget is £500-2000 (I want to ‘buy value’). 

I have no knowledge of musical instruments/pianos etc.

I initially thought I’d buy a second hand piano - but I am hearing negatives re. tuning/servicing costs and quality on that front.

Someone recommended a ‘digital piano’ with a ‘real feel’ - but I’m hearing negatives of that - poor sound (not authentic/rich) and expensive. Also I’d like to purchase one that is aesthetically pleasing. 

Space available in house.

New ones are expensive. I initially thought I’d like to get a second hand piano and get plenty of value for whatever I spend - however I am now hearing (if a quality piano) they hold their value and resale is still expensive or they are crap sounding and degrade through lack of upkeep and moving.

Any good sales places/shops/websites. (I looked on gumtree).

I have looked at ROLAND digital and KAWAI real pianos.

Any general advice? Any musicians/piano players on here?

Cheers V 
 

 

Edited by Vendetta

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Get A Yamaha DXG-?? Electric piano. They are usually hardly used and a few hundred quid secondhand. they are full 88 weighted keys so feel real, and don't go off tune.

Too big to get on the bus though.

 

Edit to add. The current DXG-660 is about £600 new.

Edited by MrPin

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1 minute ago, Vendetta said:

(Spunko please could you move to rightful forum later?)

Hi Dosbod hive mind

I intend to purchase a piano for a child.

She has been playing for a few years (hourly lesson every week or so - and practices for an hour or maybe two).
She has always had an electronic £70 keyboard and enjoys it.

So far she has achieved Grade 3.

She is reaching an age where she herself is self motivated and she definitely has a commitment and wants to continue and improve. (Not her parents). 

Budget is £500-2000 (I want to ‘buy value’). 

I have no knowledge of musical instruments/pianos etc.

I initially thought I’d buy a second hand piano - but I am hearing negatives re. tuning/servicing costs and quality on that front.

Someone recommended a ‘digital piano’ with a ‘real feel’ - but I’m hearing negatives of that - poor sound (not authentic/rich) and expensive. Also I’d like to purchase one that is aesthetically pleasing. 

Space available in house.

New ones are expensive. I’d like to get a second hand one and get plenty of value for whatever I spend.

Any good sales places/shops/websites. (I looked on gumtree).

I have looked at ROLAND digital and KAWAI real pianos.

Any general advice? Any musicians/piano players on here?

Cheers V 
 

 

For someone at grade 3 I'm struggling to see why a good quality digital piano isn't the best option. Mrs BlueCat is a fairly decent pianist - above grade 8 back in the day - and has the previous generation of this:

https://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-YDP184R-Console-Digital-Rosewood/dp/B077YT617Y

It sounds way better than a cheap upright mechanical piano and the keyboard feel is, to me at any rate, indistinguishable from the real thing. And it never goes out of tune either.

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The best uprights are these. You can get a 2nd hand for 2k. They are infinitely superior to any digital. I wouldn't buy a 2nd old piano, though you could probably get one for nothing. More trouble than they are worth. 

https://uk.yamaha.com/en/products/musical_instruments/pianos/upright_pianos/u_series/index.html

Digitals are OK, but nowhere near the tactile response of a real instrument. Get 88keys obviously, generally the more you spend the better they play and sound but nowhere near a real one. Yamaha and Roland's do good versions. 

Once you get to grade 4 plus you'll wish you had a real not a digital. 

 

Edited by Green Devil

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Wife teaches piano at home.

She has a Yamaha upright that must be 40 years old and is still on good nick.

When asked in similar situations as you - child has been playing for while and likely to carry on - she recommends a real piano.

Cost can be from 'cheap'  to mega bucks.

Are there any piano places.to hand? Go and try a few.

A piano newly installed in a house needs time to settle and then maybe tuned.  Once done it should last a few years before doing again.  You likely need to watch wire it is keep, damp, too hot, too cold - but most are in a living room anyway.

My wife would kill for a baby grand. They sound so much better apparently.

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At £2,000 you are not far away from an upright Steinway. Anything less prestigious is virtually worthless secondhand. Good if you are buying.

102159909_s-l400(6).jpg.0c637c7a22b4bb5a56dd027ff147cc90.jpg

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Steinway-Sons-Piano-Rare-Matching-Stool-Circa-1905-CAN-DELIVER/143432937105?hash=item216544ee91:g:GDAAAOSwAqhdwYX0

 

Edited by crashmonitor

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2 minutes ago, crashmonitor said:

At £2,000 you are not far away from an upright Steinway. Anything less prestigious is virtually worthless secondhand. Good if you are buying.

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Steinway-Sons-Piano-Rare-Matching-Stool-Circa-1905-CAN-DELIVER/143432937105?hash=item216544ee91:g:GDAAAOSwAqhdwYX0

 

That's a lot of pennies. OK if it has been maintained. The Germans made good pianos. Nazi Swine.

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4 minutes ago, GBDamo said:

Round here they are on Facebook marketplace for peanuts, people dont have the space for them.

Buy a very cheap one and if the bug really bites then invest in a keeper.

What he said.

My mother had an immaculate upright piano, lovely wood finish.

She played it for several years without becoming much good at it (I share that lack of musical talent) and played it less and less until the only time the top was opened was at the annual visit of the tuner.

I don't recall what they got for it but it was a very hard sell, maybe £50 for an immaculate piano with everything working perfectly.

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1 minute ago, Frank Hovis said:

What he said.

My mother had an immaculate upright piano, lovely wood finish.

She played it for several years without becoming much good at it (I share that lack of musical talent) and played it less and less until the only time the top was opened was at the annual visit of the tuner.

I don't recall what they got for it but it was a very hard sell, maybe £50 for an immaculate piano with everything working perfectly.

Yup, a lot are worth nothing. Sad really, but if it was a cheapy when new, it won't improve with age. Really must have a metal frame inside, to be worth saving.

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21 minutes ago, TheBlueCat said:

For someone at grade 3 I'm struggling to see why a good quality digital piano isn't the best option. Mrs BlueCat is a fairly decent pianist - above grade 8 back in the day - and has the previous generation of this:

https://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-YDP184R-Console-Digital-Rosewood/dp/B077YT617Y

It sounds way better than a cheap upright mechanical piano and the keyboard feel is, to me at any rate, indistinguishable from the real thing. And it never goes out of tune either.

I reckon those electronic pianos sound fine. "Not going out of tune" is a big one for me! I always reckon Yamaha do a good job on these.

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29 minutes ago, MrPin said:

Get A Yamaha DXG-?? Electric piano. They are usually hardly used and a few hundred quid secondhand. they are full 88 weighted keys so feel real, and don't go off tune.

Too big to get on the bus though.

If she is intent on learning the piano, rather than 'keyboards', a weighted keyboard is essential.

I understand that Yamaha weighted keyboards are very good, and a lot smaller than a real piano.

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1 minute ago, Happy Renting said:

If she is intent on learning the piano, rather than 'keyboards', a weighted keyboard is essential.

I understand that Yamaha weighted keyboards are very good, and a lot smaller than a real piano.

Yes, mine fits in the sidecar.

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I am not a good player and haven't had my hands on the keys for a few yrs now but I still have TWO top of the range (-ish) digital Yamahas.  And I would recommend either of them

One has a highly polished black (like a concert piano) effect while the other is a dark brown matt wood effect. (Cherry wood?) Nb I part exchanged a Yamaha upright I bought new about 10 yrs ago prior for the brown one of these. They were both very expensive tho - several thousand GBP equivalent each. (Forget how much - at the time I didn't care!)

One is about 25 yrs old and the other about 20 yrs old I think. (Neither was bought in the UK.)

So many advantages over a 'normal' piano for me and the play like a normal piano would.

There are all kinds of piano tones (grand, upright, honky tonk etc) and loads of other sounds like several categories of synthesiser, voices, brass, strings, persussion etc. As well as loads of rhythms.

Can adjust volume. Can use headphones. Hass pedals. Can record and play a duet with yourself. What's not to like?

Disadvantages are two. Price (not cheap) and of course they don't work during a power cut.

I was very slow to think of getting an electric piano originally as I thought they'd be rubbish like a cheap keyboard.  So I got a normal one. Later on when I decided to change, I was nicely surprise by how good they had become.

Liked the 1st one so much I got a second because we were working overseas and wanted a 2nd one to play when "at home".  (And cos we could afford it of course.)

The main reasons to move to an electric piano (while living abroad in weird places) were

  • so much easier to pack/lighter to get up/down the stairs
  • didn't need to find a tuner in the middle of the jungle

So in your place I would look at a nice electric piano if the prices are not too off-putting.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by whocares

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34 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

What he said.

My mother had an immaculate upright piano, lovely wood finish.

She played it for several years without becoming much good at it (I share that lack of musical talent) and played it less and less until the only time the top was opened was at the annual visit of the tuner.

I don't recall what they got for it but it was a very hard sell, maybe £50 for an immaculate piano with everything working perfectly.

 

30 minutes ago, MrPin said:

Yup, a lot are worth nothing. Sad really, but if it was a cheapy when new, it won't improve with age. Really must have a metal frame inside, to be worth saving.

An old upright is great if you're not any good at playing piano. If you are they are bloody terrible. There's a reason why a used yamaha is 2k plus and old uprights you have to pay someone to take them away. 

One reason to get an electric is if you intend to play in bands, but then you'd probably want a synth or sampler anyway. 

 

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1 minute ago, Green Devil said:

 

An old upright is great if you're not any good at playing piano. If you are they are bloody terrible. There's a reason why a used yamaha is 2k plus and old uprights you have to pay someone to take them away. 

One reason to get an electric is if you intend to play in bands, but then you'd probably want a synth or sampler anyway. 

 

Uprights vary in quality.. These electronic ones are great because they can simulate different instruments. My favourite is voice No.4 which is used for background music in 70s porn films.

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I would be looking at an old upright..  even in a proper music shop they are not that expensive (second hand) and your daughter can actually try a few and see which one she likes best.  Could be a good father/daughter day out?

She could also try a few electric ones at the same time.

Personally the only thing I wouldn't do at this stage is spend mega bucks (unless you have mega bucks) because:

1)  law of diminishing returns

2) Kids tend to get into and out of things quite quickly.

You could always offer to trade-in the one you get her with a big money one once she reaches grade 8 or some other mile stone.  If she really loves playing she'll play on anything.  I currently play the decrepit old upright that came free with the house..  and it's fine for my enjoyment.

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Grade 3?  A proper digital-piano will be fine to 8. 

A digital will allow the piano to be easily placed in her bedroom, allowing practice in privacy.  Will also be compatible with headphones, which can be a positive (late night practice, say).  And if she 'loves it' she might be able to take to college when the time comes.  

[Obviously, always in tune; cheaper to buy; easier to move]

And if it doesn't work out they're fairly easy to sell on.

[As a bonus, digital pianos often have a clavinet mode, which will allow you to pretend to be Stevie Wonder]

[My mindset -- get a decent digital piano, use it up to grade 6 or so, then if the talent and enthusiam shines through think about decent upright and keep the digital piano as a portable piano for fun / college]

Edited by dgul

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1 minute ago, Libspero said:

I would be looking at an old upright..  even in a proper music shop they are not that expensive (second hand) and your daughter can actually try a few and see which one she likes best.  Could be a good father/daughter day out?

She could also try a few electric ones at the same time.

Personally the only thing I wouldn't do at this stage is spend mega bucks (unless you have mega bucks) because:

1)  law of diminishing returns

2) Kids tend to get into and out of things quite quickly.

You could always offer to trade-in the one you get her with a big money one once she reaches grade 8 or some other mile stone.  If she really loves playing she'll play on anything.  I currently play the decrepit old upright that came free with the house..  and it's fine for my enjoyment.

I reckon that's one of those Wurlitzers, that rises up through the floor.

You are right kids flip from one obsession to another, which I why I suggested a modestly priced electric one. It can be sold on later if she really wants to pursue the basoon.

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