Go for tone & touch
It might sound obvious to say” Get the best tone and touch you can”. After all, isn’t that what we are all looking for? However, I have seen many people go for a lesser brand based on price. For perhaps 1/3 less, you can get a black piano made more cheaply. Sometimes pianos are picked up for next to nothing. Sometimes this works, in other cases I have seen low quality toned pianos.
Tone is the quality of sound the instrument provides. It is true that you can learn on any instrument, and I’ve met multiple good pianists, who have learnt on a terrible piano. However, where possible, buy a high quality sounding piano. It will make you ‘want’ to play it more than a dry, flat sounding tone.
Touch is equally important, and most often comes with a well rounded rich toned piano. Top quality piano factories use the best wood and hammers for the tone to be rich, and use the best quality action design, frame, etc. It usually comes as a package. A piano construction mentality.
You may potentially find yourself with a good brand such as a ‘Steinway’ piano, excellently made, but in need of full restoration. Buying wisely, when it comes to older pianos, requires some knowledge of condition. If in doubt request a piano tuner to come with you. We offer a piano assessments service. Contact us email@example.com for more information.
Water can cause extreme damage on pianos, water penetrates the woods, felts, and rusts out the strings. But mostly the wood is affected by humidity, occasionally making it impossible to tune. The soundboard can crack, however this is disputed as to whether it is an issue.
Quality of restoration, on older pianos
This is equally important as to condition. Replacing worn out parts, the right parts, and making sure the fundamentals are correctly restored.
The fundamentals include:
- replacing the tuning block if the tuning doesn’t hold
- repairing the bridge
- Replacing overly worn parts such as hammers, felts, etc
Pianos done by top restorers often fetch more, and you will be paying not so much for the piano market value, but the increased value of the restorers work and the brand value.