There are several things one should look for in a preowned piano. Observe the steel treble wire strings and copper wound bass strings. The steel strings should be free from rust and corrosion. The copper wound bass strings should be bright, like a shiny new penny, not a dull dark brown. If rust or dull bass strings are present, than the piano has been exposed to a less than ideal climate for a extended period of time.
A perfect analogy is a used car. In a preowned automobile there are two main questions. What is the year? How many miles are on the vehicle? Only answering one of these questions paints a partial and incomplete picture.
Similarly, while knowing the age of a piano is helpful, this information alone certainly does not tell the piano’s entire story. The piano industry defines a piano’s usage by the impact grooves on the hammers as a result of one hour of play per day. To see how much a piano has been played look at the striking point of the hammer, where the hammers make contact with the strings. The deeper the grooves, the more it has been played. Ask your piano professional to show you examples of sub 5 years of play, 10 years of play, 20 years of play, and what 30 or more years of play look like on hammer felts.
Remember, a piano can be only 5 years old but have 30 years of playing on the action, because it has been in a school or church. Conversely, a piano can be 30 years old but only have sub 5 years of playing because it was used for a brief period of time in the home, there after sitting in position only to be looked at for decades.
Lastly, have your technician place his tuning wrench on several of the tuning pins to test for proper tuning stability. The tuning pins are inserted into a multi laminated piece of wood called a pinblock. Below the pins surface it is serrated. When a piano is tuned the pins are twisted clockwise and counterclockwise. Overtime, all pianos lose their ability to hold tune, as the pinblock is slowly destroyed by the turning of the tuning pins. Thankfully, it takes decades to degrade a pinblock to the point of instability.
Dave is a piano expert, with nearly 30 years of piano experience. He will be happy to meet you, at one of his showrooms to discuss the complete range of pianos, which are available on the new and preowned market; and additionally, precisely what to look for in a quality preowned piano.
Dave’s Piano Showroom carries a large selection of used pianos. From $1995 starter pianos to vintage, hand made, art case grands – Dave is guaranteed to have what you are looking for. Yamaha, Kawai, Boston, Perzina, Baldwin, Samick, Ritmuller, Clavinova, Disklavier, Pramberger, Essex, Pramberger, Weber, Kohler & Campbell, Young Chang, Baldwin, Hallet Davis, Knabe, Brodmann and Hailun are just some of the brands you will find at Dave’s Piano Showroom.
Dave also has the ability to locate even the most rare and exotic piano. Mason & Hamlin, Steinway & Sons, Grotrian, Estonia, Shigeru Kawai, Petrof, Charles Walter, Fazioli, Bosendorfer, Bechstein, Bluthner, August Forster and Schimmel, are all pianos that Dave can acquire, upon request.