2022 our 25th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
33 members (0day, Burkhard, anotherscott, clothearednincompo, Bett, AWilley, bwv543, CraiginNZ, 6 invisible), 709 guests, and 269 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 7
Y
Yekul Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
Y
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 7
Afternoon guys,

Am looking at purchasing a second hand piano for my partner as she loves playing but has not really had a chance since we moved ~7 years ago.

I have been looking round, and here in Australia there is far less selection available, and often at quite a lot more price wise.

I've found a few Yamaha U3 upright pianos locally, which they are asking ~$3000 delivered and tuned for. They also offer a 10 year warranty with them.

The problem I am having, is these pianos are 50 years old. They have been "restored", which means new:
-Polish
-Pedals
-Keys
-Felts
-Hammer heads

So I guess i'm wondering if it's worth it or not. I really can't afford any more than this, however most of the other pianos in this price range are really pretty average. The 10 year warranty applies to the entire piano, pinblock etc, not jsut the new parts.

Any thoughts/suggestions/things to check?

If anyone form Australia could also pipe int hat would be very helpful, I have very little of knowledge about pianos. And of course I will egt her to play with it before committing to any buy. But after a brief demonstration it did sound nice.

Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 295
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 295
Why would they replace the keys? Maybe the plastic goes yellow or something?

My tuner was telling me that with Yamahas, the big maintenance bills often tend to come all at once around the 30 year mark. Strings are a major one, bridle tapes/straps are another but presumably less costly. I didn't ask more detail. However, given that you're looking at pianos significantly older than this, you probably want to know that everything you should be concerned about has been done or that the price is fair and the warranty would cover it.
The standard response on this forum is that it'd be a good idea to hire a technician to look over pianos you're keen on. With something as common as a Yamaha U3, the tech would have a good idea what typically goes wrong and what to watch out for.


2014 Kawai K-500
1920s Sir Herbert Marshall Sons & Rose upright
Kurzweil PC3LE8 stage piano with Pianoteq 7
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 7
Y
Yekul Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
Y
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 7
Originally Posted by Ben_NZ
Why would they replace the keys? Maybe the plastic goes yellow or something?


Yeah apparently it was common enough that the keys would start to yellow, so they are replaced.

I confirmed warranty covers the entire piano, however at the end of the day they could vanish into thin air it's not like dealing direct with Yamaha.

Will have to confirm strings have been done.

Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 13
Junior Member
Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 13
bought a U3 in February early this year from a Parramatta dealer. 1976 model. All original parts still, and 10yrs warranty too.

no complaints so far. although i did strip the keys down and lubricated each pin and vaccumed the board where the keys sit on. nearly 40yrs worth of dust ! 3 hour job, but i couldn't be happier as the action was a lot smoother. night and day comparison when i first got it.


Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 33
M
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
M
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 33
Originally Posted by moy71
bought a U3 in February early this year from a Parramatta dealer. 1976 model. All original parts still, and 10yrs warranty too.

no complaints so far. although i did strip the keys down and lubricated each pin and vaccumed the board where the keys sit on. nearly 40yrs worth of dust ! 3 hour job, but i couldn't be happier as the action was a lot smoother. night and day comparison when i first got it.


Wow, cleaning is usually the first thing done.
Different market I guess.


Working on being a retired piano tuner.
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 13
Junior Member
Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 13
[/quote]
Wow, cleaning is usually the first thing done.
Different market I guess. [/quote]

they cleaned the outside panels and general dusting of the keys, but thats it.
i am pretty sure that it isnt a standard practice to remove all the keys and clean underneath, and re-lube all keys.

Last edited by moy71; 10/26/14 10:09 PM.
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 33
M
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
M
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 33
Weather permitting I would have pianos left outside my shop.
I preferred to blow and vacuum before bringing them in.
A world of ugliness could be sitting under the keys and throughout the enclosed areas.
Once I helped uncrate a piano in a customers home that had been shipped from L.A.,
when a side panel was opened cockroaches scattered for parts unknown. Well that was enough for me!!!
Yes, clean it out first.

Gary


Working on being a retired piano tuner.
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 30,721
B
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 30,721
It is not standard practice to lubricate keys.


Semipro Tech
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 7
Y
Yekul Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
Y
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 7
Originally Posted by moy71
bought a U3 in February early this year from a Parramatta dealer. 1976 model. All original parts still, and 10yrs warranty too.

no complaints so far. although i did strip the keys down and lubricated each pin and vaccumed the board where the keys sit on. nearly 40yrs worth of dust ! 3 hour job, but i couldn't be happier as the action was a lot smoother. night and day comparison when i first got it.


I'm going to hesitate a guess that's from the same ones being sold here. The importer is based out of Sydney somewhere.

I imagine it's even easier for them to just sell as is, with most probably being in decent enough condition. Though with limited knowledge so far, I feel that would be a leap of faith i'm not willing to take right now (you obviously are far more knowledgeable with pianos).

Comforting to know you are enjoying yours, however I guess every piano is different regardless. Any other issues you noted which may need attention in the nearish future? I guess they must be decent enough to be offering the 10 years...

Thanks for info so far everyone, as of right now the age is seeming less of an issue. The action is very nice, and compared the sound and play to some nearby pianos they also had for sale. The extra height of the U3 made it noticably nicer than slightly younger U1s, and considerably better all round than the ~25 year old Alex Steinbachs we tested (they were 121cm like the U1 however).

Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,377
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,377
Hi - I'm from Brisbane area. I suspect that a "RECONDITIONED" U3 for $3000 sounds like it was only partly reconditioned, and had a regulation. Particularly with a 10 year warranty. Yes, it might be fine, and just what you're looking for - it could be a piano which hadn't done a lot of work and hence didn't need much doing to it.

I asked for a quote on my 30 yr old UX (basically similar to a U3) prior to looking for a new piano, and was told to expect up to $3000 - he was talking about some of the felts, buckskins, bridles, pins and bushes, maybe strings, maybe hammers if profiling wasn't successful, and he said to consider replacing dampers if I had new hammers, as well as re-facing the keys.

He then said that the piano would THAN be worth about $3000 max - and suggested that it wasn't a viable operation, in comparison with selling my piano (he suggested trying for $1500-2000, maybe only $1000) and spending the reconditioning $$$ on a newer U3.

Yes, keys. On mine (1979 model), there was a different type of plastic used on the key-fronts from the tops. I've seen the same on another Yamaha of the same age (I think it was as U1?), and the technician had dealt with it before too. That plastic had developed microscopic cracks which looked really dirty, as well as cupped. Some of my key-fronts were so cupped that there was almost no clearance between the keys and the key-slip. The key tops were fine.

OK - I said - just tune it, regulate the couple of notes which really needed it, and I gave it to my daughter's family - they're still using it, children learning on it, and I play it when I'm children-sitting.

But before I gave it to her, I took out the worst of the keys, put them in a wood vice upright and filed them level with a very fine file, then sanded them with finishing (1000?) sandpaper. I didn't have time then to do all of them - so those ones are considerably less "dirty" than the others, but at least they all work.

I would suggest that YAMAHA and Alex Steinbach are very different pianos - YAMAHA U series has a reputation for being a reliable piano, often used by institutions for MANY years, well able to cope with seasonal changes and lots of use. My experience with Alex Steinbachs (2 family members has (barely works now)/had them (got rid of it)), other than relatively young ones is of a less robust piano, more prone to jamming notes on damp days etc.

Most technicians, at least in this area, seem to have a few Yamaha U3 pianos (I suspect mainly grey-market) of various ages for sale. I was only asking today what my technician had in stock - none, but he had a container of grey-market U3s and other pianos coming from Japan in a couple of weeks, priced between $4000 and $5000, which is the range I've seen other technicians stock. It could be worth ringing a few to enquire.

In the scheme of things, $3000 for a working piano isn't a big investment. In years to come, you could well find that you want to upgrade - many of us here on the forum have changed piano a few (or many more) times over the years, but a U3 is a good place to start.

Something else to consider - have you thought of learning to play yourself? Just a thought - if you've got a piano ... . Maybe check out the Adult Beginners Forum.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,377
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,377
Something I forgot - there is the possibility that the piano, though old, has been well serviced during it's lifetime, with maybe a essential repairs carried out continually over the years, meaning that the task of "reconditioning" necessitated not a real lot of work.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 7
Y
Yekul Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
Y
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 7
Originally Posted by backto_study_piano


Something else to consider - have you thought of learning to play yourself? Just a thought - if you've got a piano ... . Maybe check out the Adult Beginners Forum.


Thank you so much for all that information it was fantastic!!

I'm definitely thinking of learning to play, have started having a look through the beginners forum. I currently work away quite a bit (19 days on 9 off) so am thinking it may be a good opportunity to learn the theory side of things whilst away, and hopefully once I get a more stable local job I will be in a better position to get more practice in.

Looks like piano is being delivered Thursday afternoon, will post up some pics once it arrives. Have taken the plunge, hopefully won't regret it!

Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 290
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 290
50 years ago I remember that we- whether correctly or not- thought anything stamped "made in japan" to be something likely cheap and inferior"- Recall that this was only 20 years after WWII and, by contrast, America was at a sort of industrial pinnacle in many ways, racing to get to the moon.

In the 70's I was bike racing and working in bike shops. The "Japanese opinion" I spoke of above seemed to hold true at the beginning of the 70's- at least in that world of cycling- but then the Japanese goods really came on in quality, and by the end of that decade rivaled all others. Japanese car sales swelled in the '70's after virtual not existing the decade before.

The 80's seemed quite the age of Japanese electronics and larger world of material goods, so much so the corporations started shifting production then to Korea and then to Indonesia to keep up with mass production. Asian stuff today can be very very nice- nice inlay working out of Vietnam etc.

So to answer your question from that perspective- not being familiar with Yamaha pianos per se, but having first bought a Yamaha keyboard back in '87 when I first started, I would personally maybe not go for anything 50 years old, but maybe 30 years or less, or certainly 25 years old or less. I have two mini key Yamaha keyboards at the foot of my bed right now from the late 80's, and some Yamaha fifes too.

Last edited by harpon; 10/27/14 08:09 PM.
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,377
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,377
Originally Posted by harpon
50 years ago I remember that we- whether correctly or not- thought anything stamped "made in japan" to be something likely cheap and inferior" ... at the beginning of the 70's- at least in that world of cycling- but then the Japanese goods really came on in quality, ... not being familiar with Yamaha pianos ... I would personally maybe not go for anything 50 years old, but maybe 30 years or less, or certainly 25 years old or less. ...


Yes, I'd generally agree, though I'd probably wind my time-machine back another decade. Japanese quality in the '60s was certainly on the improve. In 1964, my grandfather chose a Japanese car - in preference to English or German alternatives. In 1968 (ie almost 50 yrs ago), my parents bought a Kawai piano - which is still in use by my brother, and was in most aspects, superior to the alternatives (English or Australian). I bought my first Japanese car, a 1969 model Toyota, and was amazed by its reliability and long life compared with previous cars.

In about 1976, I had an association (teaching, sales assisting technician) with Yamaha organs - and, while not particularly exciting, were almost totally reliable compared with the Gulbransen and Wurlitzer organs we also sold. As a result of that association, I bought my Yamaha piano - and a large Yamaha organ in 1979. I'd sold the organ 10 yrs later, but 8 years ago, I came across the person who had (4th hand) acquired it. It needed a few bushes replaced, but the electronics were still perfect.

Yekul - hope you enjoy your piano. And also hope that YOU enjoy playing it in due course.

I'm not sure about the theory side of things - I did 4 theory exams, but never really got excited by it - far preferring to play. Now I'm older, I now understand some of the "boring" theory, which seemed at the time to be like learning law of a foreign culture. But, I had students who absolutely loved theory.

While the best way to learn is to engage with a teacher (and as an adult, research one who relates well to adult students), there are some DIY piano courses, which I've known people to do well with. Another was having occasional lessons in conjunction with self-teaching. The one I've seen is by "Alfred's", but there are undoubtedly others around too.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).

Moderated by  Ken Knapp, Piano World 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
Piano Buyer - Read the Articles, Explore the website
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Boston UP-118S opinions
by skern49 - 08/08/22 10:22 PM
OT-ish: what kind of Yamaha is this?
by ShiroKuro - 08/08/22 06:53 PM
Crack on soundboard
by phucahwa - 08/08/22 05:43 PM
Cage:Sonatas and Interludes
by pianoloverus - 08/08/22 05:31 PM
Bluetooth Pedal - page turner
by danno858 - 08/08/22 04:00 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
What's Hot!!
FREE June Newsletter is Here!
--------------------
Forums RULES, Terms of Service & HELP
(updated 06/06/2022)
-------------------
Music Store Going Out of Business Sale!
---------------------
Mr. PianoWorld's Original Composition
---------------------
Sell Your Piano on our world famous Piano Forums!
---------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Forum Statistics
Forums43
Topics214,303
Posts3,214,905
Members106,036
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers

Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | MapleStreetMusicShop.com - Our store in Cornish Maine


© copyright 1997 - 2022 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5