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I might have a good deal on a Roland HP136.. but what is it? #1691769
06/07/11 02:09 AM
06/07/11 02:09 AM
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Luminareo Offline OP
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I have spent a long time looking for a digital piano with which to practice silently. I have access to a great old upright, but as a beginner, practices aren't as comfortable for my neighbors as they might be. So I searched for something that could mimic the acoustic feel of my mom's Baldwin, yet carry the benefits of digital music (primarily linking to a computer, and practicing with headphones). The shops around my house haven't been kind; apparently I need to up my budget if I want anything that will be consistent with the touch of an acoustic piano.

However, I recently found a used digital piano for sale. It's a Roland HP 136 (in "excellent condition" with bench, music stand and power cord). Being sold for $400.

Now, it's probably true that digital instruments do not retain their value as well as acoustics. Technology is advancing in the field of digital music and so digital instruments can become obsolete. Making acoustic pianos, however, is a skill that humanity has long since mastered, and the old ones are often better than the new. So I understand that the digital piano I'm about to buy might not be worth the original purchase price. But still... a ten year old instrument for ~30% of its original purchase price seems like a good deal. Sound fair?

I primarily came here to seek a "third party" with which to verify that the price of the piano is good. However, it would also be great if someone could tell me a little more about it. As far as I can tell, it is no longer available. Very little information can be found about it through Google. I was able to find the user manual, but that told me less than I had hoped. For example, what is the polyphony of this thing? Any onboard memory? It would be awesome if someone who has owned one of these things were able to post.

Thank you very much for your help!

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Re: I might have a good deal on a Roland HP136.. but what is it? [Re: Luminareo] #1691775
06/07/11 02:47 AM
06/07/11 02:47 AM
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Hi Luminareo,

Have you read the issue the owner speaks of in his review, about a "B key" not working properly?

I would contact the seller to get all of the details, before buying it.

Used instruments can have a variety of problems, etc.
(Which you might not want to inherit...)

pv88

Re: I might have a good deal on a Roland HP136.. but what is it? [Re: Luminareo] #1691778
06/07/11 02:59 AM
06/07/11 02:59 AM
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dewar Offline
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Here yar.

http://www.gumtree.com/p/for-sale/roland-hp-136-digital-piano-excellent-condition/79089513

some info on it. Looks like it has 4 sounds total. It's pretty old to. Im guessing around a decade or so? Not really sure what poly it's got going on as this stupid pdf won't load. But either way for 400 bucks you could get a half way decent starter board. If ya got a discount, a p95 would be around that price tag.

Another thing is though with age comes harder to find parts. much like an old Macintosh digital piano's evolve over the years. sometimes it's right well hard finding the older parts for em.

Re: I might have a good deal on a Roland HP136.. but what is it? [Re: dewar] #1691783
06/07/11 03:17 AM
06/07/11 03:17 AM
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Hi dewar,

Found another one (at the same site) for less money, here:

Roland HP-136

Extra note:

@ Luminareo:

It looks like dewar's link above may have a piano that is in better condition, although you need to contact the sellers to get the specific details.

pv88

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Re: I might have a good deal on a Roland HP136.. but what is it? [Re: pv88] #1691896
06/07/11 10:10 AM
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I hate to put a negative spin on things here. I wanted to get a "silent piano" and I bought the Roland HP 302 a couple of months ago. I absolutely love the SN sound engine, but I find its keybed noisy and when I'm downstairs I can hear like someone is tapdancing upstairs. I have triec to put a carpet under it like someone on the board recommended, but have had no luck. I don't know what the older Rolands are like as compared to what I have. I have hard that the Kawais have the quietest keyboard or even the Roland 7 or 7F has a quieter keyboard, but that may be out of your price range? $1000?

Re: I might have a good deal on a Roland HP136.. but what is it? [Re: Luminareo] #1691992
06/07/11 12:46 PM
06/07/11 12:46 PM
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Luminareo Offline OP
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The piano I'm looking to buy is being sold for 400 Canadian Dollars. The pianos at Gumtree are being sold for 350 British Pounds and up, which would be more like 600 Canadian Dollars. It's also worth noting that I'm buying locally; that means I'll have a chance to demo the piano before buying (no nasty surprises like a stuck B key will make it home) not to mention remove shipping costs.

The loudness of the keys on the keyboard itself is troubling, yes. But I have heard that all digital pianos are like this. I plan to put it in the basement anyway, which should reduce the tapdancing sounds.

So it sounds like you guys are less enthusiastic about the price than I was. You're the experts; what price would you suggest as a fair compromise between buyer and seller?

As for my individual budget, it's hard to gage. I'm in Grade 12, and living at home. In some ways, I have 100% disposable income, being a dependent. Then again, I need to save for university. I suppose I do have the breathing room to spend a little more on the piano. I was looking at the Yamaha P-155 for a while, but that involves triple the cost (shipping, etc.) of this Roland. I could definitely afford it, but it would put me out of my comfort zone.

I'm far more interested in finding a high quality piano used. I've been trying to snipe the local classifieds for a good deal on a digital piano for a long time now, and this is easily the best offer to come up. I don't feel that I can wait another integral year for another offer to materialize. So either I buy this one (an older but originally more expensive used model) or go for a newer starter.

I did take a look at the P95s. People do seem to like their Yamahas. But as there are no shops here selling them (surprisingly; most of the shops here are all Rolands) I would have to ship it, which really jacks up the cost.

Ultimately, I'm wondering; is a ~$1600 keyboard really worth less than $400 after ten years?


Re: I might have a good deal on a Roland HP136.. but what is it? [Re: Luminareo] #1692006
06/07/11 01:12 PM
06/07/11 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Luminareo
Ultimately, I'm wondering; is a ~$1600 keyboard really worth less than $400 after ten years?
Keyboards are substantially driven by technology. Consider other products that are technology driven or and their value after 10 years.

If you look at collectable keyboard instruments versus their contemporary products, they are usually desirable for one signature trait, not because they were better overall. Otherwise, age and technology will decrease the value substantially.

Or maybe think about it this way...the use is costing $10/month smile


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Re: I might have a good deal on a Roland HP136.. but what is it? [Re: Luminareo] #1692057
06/07/11 02:05 PM
06/07/11 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Luminareo

However, I recently found a used digital piano for sale. It's a Roland HP 136 (in "excellent condition" with bench, music stand and power cord). Being sold for $400.


If the piano is in fact "like new" then I'd expect a decent quality key action but sound quality below what today's entry level pianos offer. Maybe good enough for practice.

A current model $500 entry level piano might not have as good of keys. You will have to try the piano. Try it with the power off at first.

and remember the ASKING price is $400. These old DPs are not easy to sell. Offer $300. You should be able to get at least 15% off the asking price in the end.

Re: I might have a good deal on a Roland HP136.. but what is it? [Re: Luminareo] #1692065
06/07/11 02:17 PM
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Offer $200 or less, and the seller should grab for that because it's probably the only offer he'll get. Any piano is difficult to sell, because the number of players in the population is small. It has no warranty, and you can get good new digitals with full warranty in the ~$500 price range. There's nowhere the seller can unload it fast, because a piano dealer won't buy it and a pawn shop with give him almost nothing for it. If you open up any digital piano, all you'll see inside is a few computer chips and electrical components connected to the keyboard and speakers with wires. That is, a digital piano is essentially a computer with a keyboard and speakers, and like used pc's they lose value fast. How much can you get for a 10 yr. old pc, no matter what it sold for new or how good shape it's in? Not much, a couple of hundred dollars at most, if that. No one lines up to buy pianos and the seller is lucky to get any offer.

I bought my first dp in 1989, the early days of home digitals, and even way back then there were fully-weighted-key dp's that played like an acoustic piano, so a used digital is no problem. It will play like an acoustic.

Last edited by Gyro; 06/07/11 02:18 PM.
Re: I might have a good deal on a Roland HP136.. but what is it? [Re: Luminareo] #1692344
06/08/11 04:00 AM
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I agree with many of these thoughts on price. This is an electro-mechanical device and apart from the electronics and sound who knows what state the keyboard is in. There have been threads on here where folks have been trying to repair keyboards not as old as 10 years - dried out grease, dirty contacts, worn felts, crumbling plastics, and so on. Buyer beware.

Re: I might have a good deal on a Roland HP136.. but what is it? [Re: Luminareo] #1692568
06/08/11 01:38 PM
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Luminareo Offline OP
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I sent the seller an email that noted the age of the piano, and discussing how electronics lose value quickly. It's true that I wouldn't pay a cent for a computer over 5 years old. I also said that while I do have the money, I don't know if I can responsibly spend so much of my university savings. It's not as if I'm a grey-haird lawyer trying to save a couple buck; I really don't know if I can spend that much. I paraphrase, of course, but in the email, I generally tried to talk the price down.

And so I offered the seller $250. She responded very briefly, saying, "Thanks for your note. I have already had the piano professionally appraised by the store where I purchased it. The price I have listed is already at the low end of its value range. I would consider a 10% reduction at the lowest i.e. $360." Now, I doubt she got the piano appraised at $400, and I'm considering asking her outright what the appraisal was. So now I'm wondering if I should continue to bargain.

While I understand that used digital pianos is not really a seller's market, I also know that it's not a buyer's market. There's little market to speak of. I've been searching for a deal for about a year for a digital piano to show up, and this has been the only one to grace my computer screen. My only advantage is that I also have the option of buying new: So, for example, I could buy a Yamaha P95 for $500 at the least, then pay for shipping. Even when I spend double the money, I'll still need a stand, a pedal, and a bench. The newer piano, of course, has a warranty, and more sounds, but it would be difficult to pay for. Ultimately, I know that I can refuse, because she won't likely find another buyer. Unfortunately for me, it's also unlikely that I'll find another seller.

So I'm happy making a compromise in order to put the deal through, and get things done for both buyer and seller. Which leads me to ask: should I stop at $360? Is the seller just bartering with me, or do you think I should take the price? Let me ask you:

Assuming that

  • It's less of a buyer's market than you think; I won't get another chance like this 'till University sucks out all my money and time.
  • My bartering skills are nonexistant.
  • The piano is in as good a condition as the seller claims. I'm lucky enough to be bringing a more talented pianist than I to help check it out, even though my mother thinks digitals are the devil.


What do you think is the price I should pay for the piano? Not how much I should counter-offer, but how much I should pay?






Re: I might have a good deal on a Roland HP136.. but what is it? [Re: Luminareo] #1692585
06/08/11 02:38 PM
06/08/11 02:38 PM
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An honest appraisal means nothing more than "this is how much I think the item might sell for". It is NOT the actual value. Rather ... actual value is the price someone pays. Since the piano hasn't been sold, the actual value has not been established.

Anyway, negotiating skills are valuable, so it would be worthwhile to learn ... especially on a low-risk, moderate-cost purchase such as this. There's much to learn, but there are several quick-and-easy things you can do:

1. SILENCE. You've already made an offer. Now let the seller sit on the piano for a while. It's likely that there will be no other offers. As time passes, sellers (esp. amateurs) become impatient. So wait a while, and contact the seller again in a couple of weeks.

2. As I said already, appraisals mean nothing. But it's fruitless to tell the seller that. Instead, ask: "Have you had an offer at or near the apprised value?" The answer will likely be "no" (or silence). The pressure is now on the seller. Keep it there.

3. Always make the offer in person, not over the phone. It helps to have cash in hand. If the seller balks at your offer, flash a stack of bills (in the exact amount of your offer). Then put them back in your pocket, shrug, mutter "oh well", and leave. As you walk away from the seller, the money walks with you. Sellers hate that.

Re: I might have a good deal on a Roland HP136.. but what is it? [Re: Luminareo] #1692615
06/08/11 03:49 PM
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How many piano players are there in the general population? Very few, which limits the number of potential buyers. Of those players, how many are looking for a digital? Even less. Of those, how many are looking for a used digital. Even less. Of those, how many would consider a 10 yr. old Roland. Even less. So there are going to be very few people even possibly interested in something like this. The seller is lucky to get any offer. You're probably the only one who is interested.

No one appraises used digital pianos. The seller is trying to bluff you. Look how the price is already down to $360--no one but you has expressed interest in it. If she doesn't take the $250, she'll never sell it.

Re: I might have a good deal on a Roland HP136.. but what is it? [Re: Luminareo] #1692805
06/08/11 10:39 PM
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Id offer $100 for it. Odds are the seller can't use it, it prolly sits somewhere in a corner with boxes on top of it. Always cracks me up how people can ask for anywhere from 600 to as much as 3 grand for a used digital piano.

Im not sure if they've no idea the worth or if they really hope someone gives them the money to go out and buy a brand new one. Even acoustics they've had for 50 years.

Q:When was it last tuned or looked at?
A: Never, that'll be $2700.

Last edited by dewar; 06/08/11 10:40 PM.
Re: I might have a good deal on a Roland HP136.. but what is it? [Re: Luminareo] #1692808
06/08/11 10:43 PM
06/08/11 10:43 PM
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Well, if the seller really wants to get good money from the piano ... and benefit someone else at the same time ... he can donate it to a charity and take the value as a tax deduction. That might be better all around, eh?

Re: I might have a good deal on a Roland HP136.. but what is it? [Re: Gyro] #1693222
06/09/11 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Gyro
How many piano players are there in the general population? Very few, which limits the number of potential buyers. Of those players, how many are looking for a digital? Even less. Of those, how many are looking for a used digital. Even less. Of those, how many would consider a 10 yr. old Roland. Even less. So there are going to be very few people even possibly interested in something like this. The seller is lucky to get any offer. You're probably the only one who is interested.

No one appraises used digital pianos. The seller is trying to bluff you. Look how the price is already down to $360--no one but you has expressed interest in it. If she doesn't take the $250, she'll never sell it.


Hi Gyro,

Sounds to me like there isn't much of a "seller's" market, especially for used digital pianos. I know this to be true as I attempt to sell my like new (6 month old) Kurzweil Mark Pro 3i. The ad is currently posted here, at Piano World. It is a very decent piano, purchased for $1,898 originally, and I am asking $1,000 for it with some room for negotiation on the final price. Do you think I will have to lower my asking price, to find a buyer?

Also, it would have been nice if I could have sent a PM, or, e-mail, to ask this question directly, although I see that there is no contact info, to reach you.

pv88

Re: I might have a good deal on a Roland HP136.. but what is it? [Re: Luminareo] #1693230
06/09/11 08:56 PM
06/09/11 08:56 PM
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If it's only 6 months old, you should be able to get most of your money out of it.

For a nearly new piano, it's not about price. It's about marketing. You have to expose the piano to potential buyers.

Are there places nearby where musicians spend time? Music stores? Performance venues? Music schools? If so, can you post a bulletin board ad there?

Re: I might have a good deal on a Roland HP136.. but what is it? [Re: MacMacMac] #1693235
06/09/11 09:05 PM
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@ MacMacMac,

Thanks for your suggestions as I hadn't thought of some of those places in which to advertise, although I do have it listed online at five different sites.

pv88

Re: I might have a good deal on a Roland HP136.. but what is it? [Re: Luminareo] #1693241
06/09/11 09:23 PM
06/09/11 09:23 PM
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11 year old DP? $400 is an obscene amount of money for that thing. It's worth about $150, maybe $200 tops. It will never sell for $400. You can get new DPs with much better key actions and better sound for not too much more than that. Seriously, save you money for something newer or don't pay too much for it. $250 is super generous. This seller lives in fantasy land probably because of what she paid for it when it was new. At 11 years old, you have to factor in the increasing risk of malfunction.

Re: I might have a good deal on a Roland HP136.. but what is it? [Re: MacMacMac] #1693285
06/09/11 11:30 PM
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Hey that's a good idea lol. Get extra back at the end of the year and use that toward a new model years down the line.

Re: I might have a good deal on a Roland HP136.. but what is it? [Re: Luminareo] #1693314
06/10/11 12:43 AM
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I told the seller she'd need to bring the price down from her counter-offer of $360. I haven't heard from her for two days now, which is unusual, as all the other emails I've received have been sent daily during the late morning. It appears she's trying to make me bring my price up.

I should note that all conversation we have had has been through email so far. I'm not willing to drive 45 minutes through the city in this old rattrap van without knowing I will have a sale, so bartering in person is not an option. I'm not skilled or confident on the spot, though I'm sure of my abilities with talking via correspondence.

I can wait the time; finishing my exams will leave me little choice regardless. I'm not worried that they'll find another buyer, given the confidence shown here. There's a chance that they'll just decide not to sell it, or forget or something, but the seller seems like a deliberate person. Enough so to lay my fears to rest.

But I still think that the value of the piano isn't fully recognized. And the value the seller's position, as well. Another opportunity like this won't come along for either of us, so I can't expect to do anything but compromise. Anything else is just trusting that I'm the better barterer, which I doubt. I will use the opportunity as I can, but I don't think I'll be able to get it for $100.

I'm surprised that people think that an older (even ten years) but more expensive (I estimate ~$1600 from my research) piano is worth so much less than a newer, cheaper piano. It's an electronic instrument, yes, but it's not a computer. Has key action technology improved that much in a decade? That's not rhetorical; I honestly want to know. The key action is most important to me.

Aside from that, I do not expect the piano to be broken in any way. From the picture, it seems well taken care of, and I'm confident in my ability to inspect it during the demo. All I want is a silent alternative to my upright; will an older piano truly be so unsuitable? Regardless of this buyer-seller market stuff, is the piano truly that bad? I could get a $99 special at Wal-Mart, and I'm doubting that it would even be comparable to the ten year old Roland.

Re: I might have a good deal on a Roland HP136.. but what is it? [Re: Luminareo] #1693366
06/10/11 04:09 AM
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Seems like your set on ignoring the opinions that you asked for.

That's fine. But go and play it, examine it, especially the dodgy B key. Also do it only after playing something new and in your price range in a store. Then weigh it up and decide.

Re: I might have a good deal on a Roland HP136.. but what is it? [Re: Luminareo] #1693413
06/10/11 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Luminareo
Has key action technology improved that much in a decade? That's not rhetorical; I honestly want to know. The key action is most important to me.


Yes, and the sound even more so. I'd rather buy a new or 1 year old Casio than an 11 year old Roland. But it's your money.

Re: I might have a good deal on a Roland HP136.. but what is it? [Re: Luminareo] #1693785
06/10/11 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by "SpanishBuddha"
Seems like your set on ignoring the opinions that you asked for.

Ignorance is bliss, but devil's advocate is the most demanding job there is. I resist to temper the conclusion.

An entry level digital piano is a bit out of my price range, which is why I've been interested in buying used. I already have a nice piano; I just want something to practice on that will feel like an acoustic. Everything else is gravy. On the advice recieved here, however, I will go down to the local music store (within walking distance, but only sells Rolands) and just test out the key action on some of the newer ones. That will better allow me to discern the age of the other.

I find that internet forums of any topic are apt to estimate buying prices lower than the convention. If it were simply a matter of bargaining (and assuming I was the better tradesman), I would force the price down to $100. But I don`t think it will be sold for that. I`ll go as low as I can.

Thank you all so much for your advice, you`ve definitely saved me some money!


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