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Re: How does a newbie test a piano effectively? [Re: WeakLeftHand] #2846933
05/10/19 04:02 AM
05/10/19 04:02 AM
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chongjasmine Offline
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For me, I purchase my keyboard yamaha psr e443 based on online research.
I bought it second hand, and like it very much.
I bought it at a bargain, too.

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Re: How does a newbie test a piano effectively? [Re: WeakLeftHand] #2856177
06/06/19 07:16 PM
06/06/19 07:16 PM
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RichardF Offline
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If you buy a Yamaha P125 or a Roland FP30, you almost certainly wont be disappointed. If you are a beginner, (like me), the sound you can create, and the technique you will have, will not be good enough to benefit from a "better" piano.

Re: How does a newbie test a piano effectively? [Re: WeakLeftHand] #2856402
06/07/19 02:06 PM
06/07/19 02:06 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 982
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Teodor Offline
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I recommend going with something like the Yamaha P-45. You won't be disappointed and it will be more than sufficient for the first years of learning. P-45 sound is not amazing, especially at the upper end of the register BUT it's by no means bad. The action is very decent, it's graded hammer action, which means it's immitating the mechanics of an actual piano, they are not synthesizer keys. Heavier on the bottom and lighter as you go up the keyboard, which mimics and actual piano. Has no extra features and few sounds, but the piano ones are good.

One drawback for me is that it can't record. You need to hook up to a computer to record.

If you can spend a little bit more definitely go for something like P-125 or Kawai ES-100. I also have the ES-100 and it's pretty good. It's also not an overly expensive digital.

If you can go higher do so but I would say those are sufficient until you figure things out. In a couple of years you will be in a better position to choose something even better and to your liking. As for now, P-45, like I said is a cheap and decent option which doesn't disappoint. I'd say it's perfect for a beginner. If you can, get it with the stand and 3 pedals.

Last edited by Teodor; 06/07/19 02:07 PM.

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Re: How does a newbie test a piano effectively? [Re: WeakLeftHand] #2856410
06/07/19 02:26 PM
06/07/19 02:26 PM
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Teodor Offline
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In any case... do go and test as many as possible within the budget. Take something that pleases your fingers and ears, just ensure it has the basics - graded hammer action and pedal/s.


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Re: How does a newbie test a piano effectively? [Re: WeakLeftHand] #2856564
06/08/19 03:21 AM
06/08/19 03:21 AM
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wouter79 Offline
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* Keep each test short. After a minute you (1) get used to the sound (2) your ears get tired
* Play the piano yourself. Having someone else play it does not really convey how it will work for you
* Have a piece that addresses the low, tenor, and higher registers. When I did testing I could play 2 pieces: grieg Ases Tot for the low registers and some extremely simplified hungarian dance by Brahms for tenor and higher voices. I played the latter staccato for the testing.
* AVOID the pedal for testing, the piano must sound good without pedal
* Test also staccato notes.
* I would also make recordings, it helps you to confirm initial thoughts
* Make notes about the piano's responsiveness (mainly the feeling of the action, how the piano reacts to changes in dynamics, etc) immediately after the minute of testing.
* Having someone else also listening while you are testing helps as a second opinion to quickly filter out the good from the bad. (s)he may hear things you didn't notice first.

Last edited by wouter79; 06/08/19 03:23 AM.

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Re: How does a newbie test a piano effectively? [Re: WeakLeftHand] #2856565
06/08/19 03:25 AM
06/08/19 03:25 AM
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wouter79 Offline
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I forgot to mention, if you are completely newbie then you will have to learn how different pianos sound and what is possible and what is possible within your budget.

To do that, test all pianos you can find, try at least say 100 or so. Take note of the price and how you like it


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Re: How does a newbie test a piano effectively? [Re: WeakLeftHand] #2857249
06/10/19 01:21 PM
06/10/19 01:21 PM
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Living_tribunal Offline
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I just went through this process myself, it was also my first piano.

There is a lot of good feedback here so I'll just add my $0.02.

-Go try a lot of pianos. Go to the Yamaha store and hear how a brand new Yamaha sounds, go check a bunch of pianos from craiglist. Knowing how a brand new piano sounds helps gauging how nice a used piano is.
-Play every note on the pianos your testing staccato and at various tensity. Pressing a key hard can reveal a lot.
-Avoid all pianos where more than a few, or any for that matter, of the keys are emitting a brassy/raspy sound. Now some older pianos just naturally have a brassy pitch which is fine, what you're looking for is more or less internal buzzing. It helps to put your ear up to the soundboard while doing this.

-The obvious ones:
-Look for cracks on the soundboard. Bring a flashlight.
-Check the action and hammers on all of the keys. If the hammers are really worn down you'd do better with another piano. Also check if the felt has been replaced recently.
-Check if a string has been replaced recently. If one string has gone out, the others are likely to follow.
-If the piano has a bi-lever pedal system make sure it's even (not a high priority but is nice)

-Not obvious ones:
-BE PATIENT and take your time. I looked around for about 3 months and checked out dozens of pianos before making a decision. I am very happy I didn't let compulsion guide my decision, I would have paid a lot more money for a worse piano.
-Paying for quality will cost you less in the long run. Find a piano made in the last 10-20 years.
-Look for pianos that had a single-owner.
-Constantly keep an eye on craiglist/ebay/other sites. I once came across an 11 year old single-owner Kawai UST-8C in perfect condition for $400. A piano broker beat me to it and drove several hundred miles that night to get the piano.

Re: How does a newbie test a piano effectively? [Re: WeakLeftHand] #2857283
06/10/19 03:29 PM
06/10/19 03:29 PM
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WeakLeftHand Offline OP
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Thanks for all the thoughts and suggestions. I'm glad I waited and not bought anything impulsively. My mind is still changing quite a bit, so I don't think I will make a move any time soon. However, I am now leaning towards an acoustic upright, possibly Kawai K-300 or Yamaha U-1 range (in terms of price). I really like that they are good on the resale market. Used or new, I haven't decided yet. I haven't even decided on a budget either.

What I will do is go to all the dealers and test out their new and used inventory, ask lots of questions, and keep my mind open as to possibilities.

I might even play on some pianos that I know are too expensive!

Last edited by WeakLeftHand; 06/10/19 03:30 PM.
Re: How does a newbie test a piano effectively? [Re: WeakLeftHand] #2857299
06/10/19 04:06 PM
06/10/19 04:06 PM
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wouter79 Offline
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Make sure you also test other brands besides Kawai and Yamaha. Try some European pianos if possible too.Try the very expensive ones as well, even if just for ear training. Also check the big 2nd hand dealers. Take your time. I think it took me half a year and over 100 tested pianos before I found the one I have now.

As suggested above, doing a good check inside for cracks is a good idea, but also check the other parts except the soundboard for cracks. Ihad the misfortune that the first one I bought (a Petrof IV) had cracks in the bridge whcih were found only after I bought it. The 2nd one I bought (Grotrian) is much nicer but also was more expensive.

Last edited by wouter79; 06/10/19 04:08 PM.

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Re: How does a newbie test a piano effectively? [Re: wouter79] #2857300
06/10/19 04:12 PM
06/10/19 04:12 PM
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WeakLeftHand Offline OP
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Originally Posted by wouter79
Make sure you also test other brands besides Kawai and Yamaha. Try some European pianos if possible too.Try the very expensive ones as well, even if just for ear training. Also check the big 2nd hand dealers. Take your time. I think it took me half a year and over 100 tested pianos before I found the one I have now.

As suggested above, doing a good check inside for cracks is a good idea, but also check the other parts except the soundboard for cracks. Ihad the misfortune that the first one I bought (a Petrof IV) had cracks in the bridge whcih were found only after I bought it. The 2nd one I bought (Grotrian) is much nicer but also was more expensive.


Yes, I will try some European pianos, and hope I don't fall in love with any of them!!! LOL.

I think I'll hit the "new" dealers first and then the big "used" dealers.

Re: How does a newbie test a piano effectively? [Re: WeakLeftHand] #2857304
06/10/19 04:28 PM
06/10/19 04:28 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 4,135
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Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Originally Posted by wouter79
Make sure you also test other brands besides Kawai and Yamaha. Try some European pianos if possible too.Try the very expensive ones as well, even if just for ear training. Also check the big 2nd hand dealers. Take your time. I think it took me half a year and over 100 tested pianos before I found the one I have now.

As suggested above, doing a good check inside for cracks is a good idea, but also check the other parts except the soundboard for cracks. Ihad the misfortune that the first one I bought (a Petrof IV) had cracks in the bridge whcih were found only after I bought it. The 2nd one I bought (Grotrian) is much nicer but also was more expensive.


Yes, I will try some European pianos, and hope I don't fall in love with any of them!!! LOL.

I think I'll hit the "new" dealers first and then the big "used" dealers.


Keep a log with the brand, model, Serial number and your comments .,, and where you played it 😊

Last edited by dogperson; 06/10/19 04:29 PM.

"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It’s ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: How does a newbie test a piano effectively? [Re: dogperson] #2857308
06/10/19 04:41 PM
06/10/19 04:41 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 264
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WeakLeftHand Offline OP
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WeakLeftHand  Offline OP
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Originally Posted by wouter79
Make sure you also test other brands besides Kawai and Yamaha. Try some European pianos if possible too.Try the very expensive ones as well, even if just for ear training. Also check the big 2nd hand dealers. Take your time. I think it took me half a year and over 100 tested pianos before I found the one I have now.

As suggested above, doing a good check inside for cracks is a good idea, but also check the other parts except the soundboard for cracks. Ihad the misfortune that the first one I bought (a Petrof IV) had cracks in the bridge whcih were found only after I bought it. The 2nd one I bought (Grotrian) is much nicer but also was more expensive.


Yes, I will try some European pianos, and hope I don't fall in love with any of them!!! LOL.

I think I'll hit the "new" dealers first and then the big "used" dealers.


Keep a log with the brand, model, Serial number and your comments .,, and where you played it 😊


Will do!

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