From pianobook.com: A piano is one of the largest consumer purchases most people will ever make. Yet when you shop for a piano you're up against a vast variety of brands, models, and styles, competing claims, and strange terminology. Finally, here is a book to guide you through the process with practical information on every aspect of buying and owning a new or used piano.
You can talk intelligently about what type of piano you have or are interested in by reviewing the terms used to describe pianos of different heights (uprights) or lengths (grands). Grand pianos are measured from the rounded back end to the front of the keyboard.
What is this piano WORTH?
In the modern marketplace, pianos are worth their condition and whatever maintenance and repair work has gone into them. Brands and ages don't mean much, unfortunately. Another factor that's unique to pianos is sentimentality. Since pianos have very long lifespans, many have been in families for generations. An instrument with high sentimental value can be "worth" more than an unattached one, whether you're buying or selling, or considering an expensive repair or upgrade.
How can I protect my piano?
There are a number of accessory products available to keep your piano safe - whether from dust and sunlight, or children. String covers, whole piano covers, fallboard locks and more are all available. To protect your floor from your piano, we can also provide caster cups in a variety of finishes. Contact us.
Some things to consider when choosing a piano:
1. While spinets may not have the best reputation for tone and action, at Ashly Piano Crafts we give the same care to spinets as we do to a concert grand, knowing that these pianos will be primarily used by beginners and must not deter their ability to progress. Fluid playing action and reliable tone are critical to developing one's touch and training one's ear, and a piano that's easy to play and pleasant to hear will keep a student interested!
2. Find out what your purchase would include, such as moving and tuning. At Ashly Piano Crafts, all of our posted prices include ground-floor delivery in Ventura County, as well as the first in-home tuning. If the price you're looking at doesn't include services like these, be sure to figure them into your anticipated final cost.
3. Inspect a used piano that you want to buy just as you would a used car. Open the hood and kick the tires, so to speak: look all over the body for damage to the finish, cracks or breaks, etc; play every key, since any keys that don't function will indicate repairs or maintenance work you'll need done; open the lid and look inside to see the general condition of the action and strings, being mindful of cleanliness, wear, rust, etc.; push the pedals, they should be firm and quiet in operation. If you do know how to play, play something! Pianos vary in their volume and tone, some of which can be adjusted, and some of which is unique to that instrument. Listen to several so you know what you like.
How old is this piano?
Every piano has a serial number provided by the manufacturer. This number can be found in one or more of several places: in uprights, most commonly near the top of the plate, near the tuning pins, visible with the lid open; in grands, often painted onto the plate near the front, visible with the lid open and music desk pushed back or removed. Another place to find the serial number is stamped into the wood on the back (uprights) or underside (grands). The manufacturer's name can be found commonly on the fallboard, which covers the keys, or on the plate inside. With the manufacturer's name and the serial number in hand, you can check the Bluebook of Pianos to find the age. If that doesn't yield results, we have resources that may help. Contact us.