New Or Used Piano?

New Or Used Piano?

Often a decision that arises if your budget allows it. Our used stock starts at around £1000 but normally around £1400 which will buy you an entry level nearly new upright piano from the 1980s onwards, most often 1990s onwards. When we use the term “nearly new” we often mean that 30/40 year old pianos that we stock have had very little use in their life times and have been very well looked after. Our technical knowledge and experience is very rare and we have the confidence to offer many makes in the used piano market.

Old pianos improve with age.

This is possibly one of the silliest things we hear as it definitely is an error with the universal law of entropy!

We never stock old pianos from before the 1970’s unless they come to us completely restored, because we cannot do the necessary works on old pianos to sell them with a solid warranty and make our margin. Also, older pianos just like new ones are made from wooden action parts and the woods of early twentieth century pianos were not seasoned for centrally heated homes! This means the wood dries out and warps and the action parts will be slightly out of place and irregular in pattern which then effects the touch. Also, old piano felts will lose all their elasticity and softness and give a rough and non-uniformed touch. The metals of the strings also will deteriorate and give false oscillations making them untunable and give a lack of resonance also.

Also, we must mention disasters such as cracked frames, loose tunings pins, loose or split bridges, all of which make a piano useless, which admittedly can and do also happen to much young pianos, in fact these things can happen as quickly as just a few months of a new piano delivery which we have witnessed in the past! We now implement piano structure security procedures for all our clients when they purchase pianos from us to safe guard the very worse from happening to their new musical soul mate.

New pianos need bedding in.

We are afraid this is another one of those phrases we hear, it’s nonsense. If you don’t like the piano in the showroom you probably won’t like it at home, but sometimes you do have to take into account soft furnishings, carpeted floor and room sizes for a difference in sound, but a rule of thumb be happy with the piano sound in the showroom and your be fine. Some times we have had clients return and swap for a larger model or smaller model if they find the sound over or under powering in their home, this is rare though.

As mentioned above piano felts will over years become compressed and uneven in wear and this would be the “bedding in” people refer to, it doesn’t make the piano better with age. Don’t worry though felts take decades to become compressed and even then, you won’t notice these small differences, hence why we can sell our used pianos so easily.

Our nearly/used pianos.

As we mentioned above we tend to think of our used piano stock as nearly new or even pre-loved as we only source the very best condition pianos we can. We often have a good stock of entry level used pianos of a young age and very light usages which is awesome for people with a low budget or for the kids just starting out on their piano life journey, so essentially a nice low investment to see if they take to it and keep up the practice.

More often than not, we have a good range of cheap used pianos with a variety of tone and touch for under £2000 (apologies if you regard £1000-£2000 as not cheap), having a choice of tone and touch at this price range is non-existent in the BCP, Dorset, New Forest area! This range of pianos is so important to us at Dorset Pianos Ltd as they are the most common introduction to a child’s piano world!

Free or pianos under £1000 private sales.

No surprises here, but we advise against it, a free piano can seem tempting but could just be a waste of money for transport both for delivery and then disposal. We often get called out to tune/repair a free piano which we sadly have to condemn and advise that the costs of tunings or repairing far outstrip the value of the piano and or also will not make much difference to the issues.

The cheaper under £1000 private sale pianos are simply a gamble, so if you like a flutter on the horses, this may be for you, but as above, buyer beware! There are so many aspects to pianos and fatal flaws that can ruin your day on the visit from your local piano tuner.

Used moderate to higher value premium brand pianos.

Our used upright pianos from £2000 – £5000 more often than not fall under the moderate medium quality with the occasional bargain premier model. Our moderate pianos tend to be taller and there for have a larger square surface area of soundboard and longer strings giving them far more layers of tone, also larger actions and longer keys rendering a more sensitive touch. This bracket of pianos is where things can get interesting for the buyer (confusing) as it now becomes personal as you can compare used with some new pianos once you get to the £3000 price and above. Buying used over £3000 means you often have the option of a more established well-known brand from the twentieth century but this does not mean the choice will be easy as our Ritmüller uprights more often than not win out when in direct comparison.

Often clients buy with what they know, so if they grew up with a particular brand piano the choice is easy and they go for the used piano they once knew.

Used grand pianos.

Used grand pianos do not differ from the issues above of upright pianos and they are far more rare for us to sell for under £5000. We can source used grand pianos for clients for under £5k, we try and have some available, so please just ask.

Used premium brand pianos.

Upright premium pianos are at this time hard for us to stock such as Bechstein, Bluthner, Steinway etc in upright form and adhering to our nearly new standards. The same rules above apply to the premier upright brands pre 1950s so a bit more movement sometimes depending on condition. The older ones will need completely restoring costing minimum of £10,000 as we feel new action parts would be required to really compete against the new stock. Any potential premium brand used upright pianos we stock would no doubt start at around £10,000 with the slight possibility of between £5k-£10k now and again.

Used premium grands are more fluid as complete restorations are very much worth it still, although please be aware of buying these types of pianos with original soundboards. Also there are dealers replacing bridges and pin planks and these are serious aspects to get even slightly wrong. We stock recently fully restored premium grand pianos all the time, which have been restored by us or by someone else and we have added to their works by updating some aspects.

In summary.

Some of you may of skipped to this bit, I don’t blame you. The summary is, if you have a budget below £3000, then its used, if your budget is over £3000 then you have lots of choice…so new or used? Its your choice, come into the showroom and spend an hour or two.

Phone: 07801541058
Upton Cottage, A354
Blandford, DT118BZ, UK
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