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#2855584 06/04/19 10:14 PM
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ello!

I am strongly considering purchasing a 1971 Yamaha C3. I play piano (mostly classical music) and want to teach my kids as well. The purchase price is from a private seller for 8k. It’s in good condition, tuned regularly and owned by musicians for the past 40 years. Had it checked out by a technician who thought it needed some lubricant for the action, a good cleaning on the inside (lots of dust), and filing the hammers. He said this could cost from $600-1500.

Do you think this is worth it? The piano is original with no work done on it. For what it’s worth I’m located in Austin, TX. This is not a gray market piano. Thanks for your advice!

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Does it play well - do you enjoy playing it? They're a good reliable piano, and at the time it was "born" was a very nice piano to play. I've played quite a few in Churches. My last teacher has 2 of them, one would have been a '70s model.

Though this is fairly old - 48 years.

I'd try to negotiate the price down, as you'll want to have that repair/service work done in a short time.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
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8k is pretty steep IMO for a 50 yr old C3. More like $3500.

Pwg


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It plays well and I do enjoy playing it! Yes it’s close to 50 years old but has a lovey history - owners are musicians in their 80s and this piano was used to compose a lot of music! The piano feels like it has an old soul.

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I also read a website that recommended not to buy. A Yamaha older than 1975 - does anyone know why?

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Old age takes its toll. Unfortunately, musicians often overestimate the value of their pianos.


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As much as I like Yamaha pianos, (which is a lot) I agree with Peter on this one...

8K is a premium +++ price, especially from private sellers, musicians or not. If the techs estimate turned out to be on the high side, $1500, and you paid $450-$500 for the move, you are approaching $10K. I'm not saying it is not a very nice Yamaha C3, or it is not worth the price; but I am saying it would have to be something very special and way above the norm to pay that much.

Of course, I'm by no means an authority on used piano prices. $8K from a dealer who has already done the service mentioned by your tech would make more sense.

Fact is, I believe I'd more inclined to pay more (a lot more) for a newer C3.

But after all is said and done, it is your decision and would be your piano. It's easy for others to give advice, but it's your money... smile

Good luck!

Rick


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Originally Posted by Rakvsv4301
It plays well and I do enjoy playing it! Yes it’s close to 50 years old but has a lovey history - owners are musicians in their 80s and this piano was used to compose a lot of music! The piano feels like it has an old soul.


Don't buy the piano on the basis of any emotional attachment you are feeling towards it because of its "family history." Buy the piano after a technician has examined it and given it a good review.

Regards,


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Yes please forget about pianos having old souls or whatever, and realise that what you are buying is a machine. That machine needs to be capable of carrying YOUR musical soul, and for that to happen it needs to be in good condition.

8k would be a fair price from a dealer who had the piano in as good condition as it could be without a full rebuild being performed - so cleaned out, restrung, and the action already in good condition.

There's better out there for that kind of money. A quick search on piano buyer shows that you can get some pretty good new uprights for that kind of money, and I am certain they will out-perform a 50 year old Yamaha.

For comparison, a friend of mine bought a 1970 Blüthner five footer recently. It was £10,000 (which is about $13,000 but we spend pounds like you spend dollars really), and included in the price was a full restringing and new tuning plank, and damper felts repairs to the bridge, and a full action regulation and voicing. The piano was completely cleaned out and presented not as new but in very good used condition. The case work was not repolished.

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All good comments.

I will add that Yamaha has also made many improvements over the past 50 years. The C3 was a decent piano that held up to beatings 50 years ago. It is a great machine today, IMHO.

Good luck to you.


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Yeah it's not the same piano now! That's a point I forgot. I imagine that a 50 year old C3X, when the time comes, will also not be a great buy at the equivalent price.

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Originally Posted by Rakvsv4301
I also read a website that recommended not to buy. A Yamaha older than 1975 - does anyone know why?


Because Yamaha had wood seasoning problems back then. Loose tuning pins, etc. It took them a while to get their act together on this.

Pwg


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There are those pianos we find, rather old, they have a cool story, and we fall in love. We’ll pay the piano tech’s inspection, hear the tech’s advice, but buy that old piano anyway. This is one of the hazards of piano shopping. Resistance isn’t futile, talk to other piano friends and read more articles about what 50 years of playing does to all the mechanisms. There is no shame but you can probably do better! Best of Luck!


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Originally Posted by j&j
There are those pianos we find, rather old, they have a cool story, and we fall in love. We’ll pay the piano tech’s inspection, hear the tech’s advice, but buy that old piano anyway. This is one of the hazards of piano shopping.

I've told this story here before, but this quote reminded me of it again. A sign of getting old, telling the same old stories? smile

Back when I would check out the used piano ads on CL daily, like reading the morning news paper, I saw an ad for an old Baldwin grand just a few miles from my home. Not that I needed another piano, but heck, it was just around the corner. You could tell it was an old piano, and they were asking like $2500 for it, if my memory serves me correctly.

So, I called the number listed and talked to a nice lady and told her I was local and asked if I could come look at the piano. She said yes, and seemed excited that she had a prospective buyer. The place was about 8 maybe 10 miles away, as the crow flies, and out in the country; very big and roomy. Maybe not a mansion, but a very nice home. I knocked on the door and the lady came to the door and I said I was there to look at the piano. She invited me in, and 3 or 4 rooms later we were in the room where the piano was.

It was not a big Baldwin but a baby grand probably no more than 5 feet; perhaps a few inches more or less. Upon a visual inspection I could tell it was old, very old. I could also tell it had had some work done to it over the years, but it was still old and worn. I sat down to play a little and was sorely disappointed; not so much of my playing, but of the piano. smile It didn't take me long to realize this was not something I wanted at any price.

The lady began to tell me the piano once belonged to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. I tried to act like I was impressed and intrigued, but acting is not one of my strengths; I was not impressed one bit, and in fact, I see why the ASO got rid of it. I thanked the lady for showing me the piano and told her I would think about it. She asked if I wanted to make an offer. I told her again I'd think about it. I didn't want to be blunt or rude and say what I really thought (that's just my nature:-).

So, buying a piano just because it has a unique history behind it? I guess if that is what impresses a prospective buyer, who am I to judge. To each their own... smile

All the best!

Rick


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Originally Posted by Rakvsv4301
I also read a website that recommended not to buy. A Yamaha older than 1975 - does anyone know why?

One thing I thought about was the yellowing of the front of keys - which eventually go brown. It has happened to the 1977 UX Upright YAMAHA I have given to my daughter (we bought it new). It's been discussed the last few days on this thread. I've never seen the key tops yellow though:

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2855481/yellowing-of-keys.html#Post2855481

If it was going to do it - it would be very obvious by now.


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I am going to tune a G7 today, probably one of the first pianos Yamaha sent to the US. It stays in tune quite well, but they like to be sure. Before they bought it, I had regulated and voiced it, and it still plays and sounds quite good.


Semipro Tech

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