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#2159320 - 09/28/13 07:30 PM Piano Shopping  
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Bamburg Offline
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At my last lesson my teacher encouraged me to start looking for an actual piano as she thinks I'd be better off not learning on a digital. I thought the p155 would last me quite a bit longer than 4 months, but I have to admit I'm pretty excited at the thought of getting an acoustic piano.

I went to the only piano store I could find nearby, the next closest is about 90 miles away, and I have to say I was really underwhelmed with the experience. I wanted a good upright, and my budget is around $4k, but I couldn't find anything in the store I liked at all. The salesman kept trying to steer me towards a Boston upright he had, saying how great it was because it was designed by Steinway, but when I played it I found there were 2 sticky keys and the damper pedal raised the entire keyboard. Is this normal?

The only pianos I actually liked in the store, other than the new Grands that were far out of my price range, were the new Yamaha U1s. I'm having a bit of trouble finding the cost of those, the ones in the store were around $7000, but if I'm buying a new one I'd like a particular finish that he didn't have. I can't even find a way to actually order one online, or a MSRP, is $7000 the normal going price?

I'm pretty clueless about this whole thing, any help would be great!

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#2159327 - 09/28/13 07:52 PM Re: Piano Shopping [Re: Bamburg]  
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Hi Bamburg. Buying a new piano is definitely a daunting process but one that you shouldn't rush as you're (hopefully) going to live with the result for a long time. A couple of suggestions:
  1. You might want to repost your query in the piano forum or I can move this thread there if you like.
  2. If you've not done so already, you should look at the piano buyers guide (ad to the right side of the forum page) as it will give you an idea of price ranges for the various models you're interested in and some help in the buying process.

Good luck!


Greg
#2159338 - 09/28/13 08:14 PM Re: Piano Shopping [Re: Bamburg]  
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Thanks for the reply BB Player, if you feel the topic would be better in the other forum I'd definitely appreciate if you'd move it! I'll check out the buys guide as well.

#2159348 - 09/28/13 08:35 PM Re: Piano Shopping [Re: Bamburg]  
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dynamobt Online content
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Could your teacher be of any help?


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#2159350 - 09/28/13 08:40 PM Re: Piano Shopping [Re: Bamburg]  
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She could, and has offered to be, but I won't see her until Thursday and I was hoping to research a few options to get her opinion on in the mean time.

#2159351 - 09/28/13 08:43 PM Re: Piano Shopping [Re: Bamburg]  
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Originally Posted by Bamburg
At my last lesson my teacher encouraged me to start looking for an actual piano as she thinks I'd be better off not learning on a digital. I thought the p155 would last me quite a bit longer than 4 months
interesting.


Kawai MP11 : JBL LSR305 : Focusrite 2i4 : Pianoteq Standard

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#2159353 - 09/28/13 08:45 PM Re: Piano Shopping [Re: Bamburg]  
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How so, Scorpio?

#2159359 - 09/28/13 08:56 PM Re: Piano Shopping [Re: Bamburg]  
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Monica K. Offline

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Bamburg, I think if I were in your shoes I'd look for a gently used (say, <15 years old) Yamaha or Kawai upright. Depending on where you live, such a piano may be easy to find. Yeah, it's a little risky to buy on the private market, but if you find a piano that looks and sounds good to your ears, you can then bring in a tech to inspect it for you and give it a clean bill of health before agreeing to buy it. You can also buy used from a piano dealer; you won't get quite as much bang for your buck, but the piano is more likely to be in decent shape, and you usually get some kind of warranty with it.


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#2159371 - 09/28/13 09:28 PM Re: Piano Shopping [Re: Bamburg]  
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I find it interesting because I just started lessons and I have a P-155 that I practice on too.

I did bring this issue up with the music school when I started lessons. They have no issues with digital pianos - followed by a rather long list of reasons for their logic. Now I am not going to be a concert pianist, so I am sure that has a lot to do with it too. My lessons are on a Steinway Grand.

But I am fearing that before long I will also be pushed toward the acoustic purchase - although it is completely not feasible.

In any case, after having lessons on the Steinway, I look at my keyboard differently. What I mean by that is that I attack the digital like its an acoustic - and that has changed a lot for me. It has improved my technique and has forced me to concentrate more on what I am doing. I can see how a digital can make you lazy (at least for me) - but it doesn't have to be that way. I don't know if any of this makes sense.

Anyways, I think it is exciting to be looking for an acoustic. I wish you the best in your search and lessons.


Kawai MP11 : JBL LSR305 : Focusrite 2i4 : Pianoteq Standard

We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams. Willy Wonka


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#2159374 - 09/28/13 09:35 PM Re: Piano Shopping [Re: Bamburg]  
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Originally Posted by Bamburg
Thanks for the reply BB Player, if you feel the topic would be better in the other forum I'd definitely appreciate if you'd move it! I'll check out the buys guide as well.

Since you're getting replies (and quite useful ones IMHO) here, you might want to just start another thread in the piano forum.

I'll second Monica's advice: there are lots of barely played pianos out there that can be had for a fraction of the new price. If you can find one that sounds good to you and is in your price range get it checked out by a technician that you trust and go for it. A lot of people buy a piano and (unfortunately) rather quickly lose their initial enthusiasm. They let it sit for a while as a piece of furniture then decide they'd rather reclaim the space and/or money.

Good luck in your search!


Greg
#2159397 - 09/28/13 10:10 PM Re: Piano Shopping [Re: Bamburg]  
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Bamburg Offline
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I think that you shouldn't be particularly concerned Scorpio, the recordings I've heard you post around here are quite a bit better than anything I've done yet! I think that my teacher was simply implying I'd learn more efficiently on an acoustic, rather than a digital just wasn't going to cut it.

I've tried looking around the private market, and by the private market I mean craigslist. I didn't have much luck, I'm not in the most populous area of the country, so that could have something to do with it. I've found a couple of rather enticing looking deals on ebay, but I have to question the wisdom of buying a piano I can't touch first. Perhaps it would work out if I found a tech local to the sellers area and had them check it out for me? In any case thank you for the advice Monica, it's definitely helpful.

#2159411 - 09/28/13 10:59 PM Re: Piano Shopping [Re: Bamburg]  
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My advice is to get a new instructor or go it on your own. A digital piano is a bad simulation but the good news is that you bought the right digital model. The P-155 is as good as it gets (yes even digitals costing $7000 are not any better). Just don't ever make the mistake of buying a more expensive digital from any manufacturer.

A good quality studio (46") acoustic is the way to go eventually. But don't buy an acoustic unless your skills absolutely warrant it. And while a digital is a miserable experience (artefacts, weak dynamic control) it won't prevent you from reasonably effective learning up to the advanced level.





I'm starting the solid wooden keys revolution in digital pianos. Get'em now or be square!
#2159415 - 09/28/13 11:06 PM Re: Piano Shopping [Re: Bamburg]  
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HalfStep Offline
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Originally Posted by Bamburg
At my last lesson my teacher encouraged me to start looking for an actual piano as she thinks I'd be better off not learning on a digital. I thought the p155 would last me quite a bit longer than 4 months, but I have to admit I'm pretty excited at the thought of getting an acoustic piano.

I went to the only piano store I could find nearby, the next closest is about 90 miles away, and I have to say I was really underwhelmed with the experience. I wanted a good upright, and my budget is around $4k, but I couldn't find anything in the store I liked at all. The salesman kept trying to steer me towards a Boston upright he had, saying how great it was because it was designed by Steinway, but when I played it I found there were 2 sticky keys and the damper pedal raised the entire keyboard. Is this normal?

The only pianos I actually liked in the store, other than the new Grands that were far out of my price range, were the new Yamaha U1s. I'm having a bit of trouble finding the cost of those, the ones in the store were around $7000, but if I'm buying a new one I'd like a particular finish that he didn't have. I can't even find a way to actually order one online, or a MSRP, is $7000 the normal going price?

I'm pretty clueless about this whole thing, any help would be great!


Bamburg, My daughter learned on a digital piano with weighted keys and transitioned into an acoustic fairly easily. She played the DP for three years. An acoustic surely fosters expression but it took me years to learn the fundamentals before I really needed an acoustic. We now choose the acoustic over the DP but the latter sufficed for us for quite a long time. I did learn that an acoustic is a huge investment, we grew out of our first acoustic in months ( an 80 year old grand). We now have a Baldwin that should last for some time but do not rush! When you're ready, you'll be prepared to make the right choice based on your needs. smile

#2159416 - 09/28/13 11:19 PM Re: Piano Shopping [Re: Bamburg]  
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KurtZ Offline
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Many teacher are acoustic snobs but with some reason. You have a very good digital piano and unless you're Chopin reincarnate, it's doubtful you've actually outgrown what you can learn on your digital if you indeed started from scratch 4 months ago. It remains however that once I got my acoustic upright after about a year of playing, I no longer touch my digital. The acoustic has a dynamic range and a range of tone that is unmatched even by a good digital. More importantly, the skills to make use of that greater range don't automatically transfer. The proper range of forces from the arms-wrist-fingers is not adequately developed on the compressed dynamic and tonality that I mentioned before. So, you're looking for advice? If you can swing the dough and are indeed a pianist for life, you won't regret getting the acoustic but I think It might be a little soon to make the jump. At 4 months, you're still kind of in the honeymoon. Tell your teacher you'll revisit the issue in another couple of months and more seriously after a year. If she gives you any crap, get another teacher. Like you said, you're not on your way to a conservatory and you don't have to be in a hurry. Get the acoustic when it's right for you, not when it's right for the teacher. Keep the Yamaha. It'll still be good for headphone practice and taken off the stand, it can be taken out to play (with an amp) at a blues jam or some such.


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will never need a friend.

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#2159475 - 09/29/13 04:09 AM Re: Piano Shopping [Re: Bamburg]  
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Italy
If you like the U1, why not get a used one from a dealer? Or a smaller Yamaha. It will well be within your budget. I have had my digital for 1 year and a half before getting the acoustic and well, it makes a world of difference in terms of touch. I find the acoustic much harder to play, now that I have a somewhat more refined ear than I had when I started with my DP. I have to relearn many things.

So I must disagree with most of the above posters. IMHO, if you can afford it, buy the acoustic now. When digital pianos didn't exist everybody would learn on acoustic ones from the very beginning. There is no need to spend years on a digital before getting an acoustic. And it's not a sin to play simple beginner tunes on a nice acoustic. But don't get a piano that's so bad that will make you unlearn things. Get a decent one that will last you many years.


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#2159480 - 09/29/13 04:47 AM Re: Piano Shopping [Re: Bamburg]  
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I feel for you . . .other people`s opinions will always be different. I`d like to change my DP for one with a good keyboard, and a 16 track recorder with all the instruments under the sun etc. But it sounds like no other, and I`d surely regret it!

But an acoustic? That would be one enormous step too far for me; I couldn`t handle it for sure. Nor do I want to . . .


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

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#2159533 - 09/29/13 08:27 AM Re: Piano Shopping [Re: sinophilia]  
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Originally Posted by sinophilia
If you like the U1, why not get a used one from a dealer? Or a smaller Yamaha. It will well be within your budget. I have had my digital for 1 year and a half before getting the acoustic and well, it makes a world of difference in terms of touch. I find the acoustic much harder to play, now that I have a somewhat more refined ear than I had when I started with my DP. I have to relearn many things.

So I must disagree with most of the above posters. IMHO, if you can afford it, buy the acoustic now. When digital pianos didn't exist everybody would learn on acoustic ones from the very beginning. There is no need to spend years on a digital before getting an acoustic. And it's not a sin to play simple beginner tunes on a nice acoustic. But don't get a piano that's so bad that will make you unlearn things. Get a decent one that will last you many years.
I agree here. You should always get the best piano you can afford. I do not subscribe to the opinion that beginners should settle for lesser instruments just because they're beginners. A better acoustic piano in good condition will be more inspirational and responsive as you grow with it.

It does not sound like your teacher has given you an ultimatum ("Get an acoustic, or I won't teach you any further"), but simply made a suggestion that you are able to consider. I think this is a good suggestion.

It sounds as though the local dealer may not be right for you, however. Take your time in finding a piano, and that may entail you having to travel 90 miles away. This is not something that you want to quickly, but test out all the pianos in your price range. This will help define what you like and don't like.

Also, do consider a used instrument. You will definitely want to have a piano technician check out anything before you buy to make sure it is in good working order or if there's any maintenance you'll need to catch up on. Sometimes if a piano has not been tuned regularly or regulated you can talk the price down a bit knowing what it would cost to bring the piano back up to good working order.

Personally, I would not spend $7k for a U1. That is the going rate, I'm pretty sure, but for that price you can purchase a decent grand (either used, or new but a lesser-known brand). Yamahas are great, but I just think spending that much for an upright isn't a good idea unless you will not ever be able to get a grand due to space limitations.


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#2159564 - 09/29/13 09:42 AM Re: Piano Shopping [Re: Bamburg]  
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Originally Posted by Bamburg
At my last lesson my teacher encouraged me to start looking for an actual piano as she thinks I'd be better off not learning on a digital. I thought the p155 would last me quite a bit longer than 4 months, but I have to admit I'm pretty excited at the thought of getting an acoustic piano. ...
I'm pretty clueless about this whole thing, any help would be great!


I have put pretty much into a Digital. I can't consider getting an acoustic. My digital is pretty expressive as far as digital goes. Still, I think an acoustic is better if I could have one. I think your teacher is right. Your P155 is a good digital.

This is just a suggestion for your thoughts. Since you say you don't have a clue. I don't know about the reputation of this dealer. I go here for eye and ear candy. Dreaming of an acoustic one day. Just search Rick Jones Piano. He has tons of video's on acoustics he has up for sale. I take it for granted he is very competitive.


Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon
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#2159576 - 09/29/13 10:29 AM Re: Piano Shopping [Re: Bamburg]  
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I wish I had money for an acoustic. I have a Yamaha Arius 141 and it was the closest thing to acoustic I could get I believe for the money. Theres nothing like learning on an actual real acoustic to me although I love my digital.


music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain
#2159734 - 09/29/13 04:34 PM Re: Piano Shopping [Re: Bamburg]  
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This is something of a shift of direction, but if piano shops are not thick on the ground in your vicinity, how diverting some of your fresh piano search energy into finding a good piano technician.

If you are having trouble finding what you want new, at a price you feel comfortable with, it then seems likely that you liley to buy a used piano. And should you run across one to your tastes, you may need have it looked at pretty soon, which would argue for being prepared with a technician to call.


Please step aside. You're standing in your own way.

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#2159890 - 09/30/13 01:41 AM Re: Piano Shopping [Re: Bamburg]  
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There's quite a few differing opinions in this thread. Thank you for the help!

I think that I'll take my time and find a used U1 as sinophilia and Merodiene have suggested. I'm going to spend Saturday driving to a few more piano stores, so wish me luck.

#2159897 - 09/30/13 02:05 AM Re: Piano Shopping [Re: Bamburg]  
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I`m glad you`ve decided. It`s good to know what you want, Things seem so different now; years ago (here I go again) you`d see a piano advertised locally, in good condition. If it was modern, it had a sloping front, or rounded corners. If it was a good one, it came from Germany and was heavy.

But you played it in it`s location. Sounded OK, you`d part with your £50 and arrange for a local delivery fella to pick it up and deposit it in it`s new home. Like mine.

Never thought about getting it tuned . . .never seemed to need it and never gave problems! Can`t remember their names though . . .

Last edited by peterws; 09/30/13 02:08 AM.

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