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.
In a preowned automobile the two primary questions that needs answering are, what is the year of manufacture and 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 years of play. 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 are on the hammer felts, 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 only a brief period of time in a 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 pounded into a multi laminated piece of wood called a pinblock. Below the pins surface, the part that is fixed into the pinblock, 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 pin. Thankfully, it takes decades to degrade a pinblock to the point of instability.
I am a piano expert and will be happy to meet you at one of my showrooms and talk about the different caliber of pianos that are available in the new and preowned market and additionally, what precisely 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.