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Under 3000. Studio/upright?
#2868920 07/13/19 07:51 AM
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New here...hello.

Most of the posts on this question seem to be over 10 years old, so can I ask for an update?
Earlier days, I played around on a couple of old uprights, (Lauter), and a great Chickering studio, I might be spoiled for that sound. So now looking for some suggestions for that price range of around $3000. I'm a little up on the Yamaha,Kawai, and Baldwin models, but would like to look at some other options. Thanks - Wilson

Re: Under 3000. Studio/upright?
Wilson_too #2868949 07/13/19 11:15 AM
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At under $3k, its very hit and miss, mostly good but basic consoles or very old studios of varying condition. In other words, it's a risky range. There will be more options on the private market in that range, but you probably also waste a lot of time and assume more of the risks, and may find something good enough, but not necessarily a musical match.

For every $1k you add above $3k, I estimate there are 4x as many viable and interesting instruments if you are able to consider that. It increases your chances of finding something vetted, serviced & warranted, as well as a better musical match.

Certainly, you can have some luck if you widen your brand search, but that's harder to provide guidance here...you might need an actual guide. I think there are quite a few under appreciated (and therefore sub-$3k), Korean made studio uprights out there, especially in the 48" and taller class, but model information is hard to come by on these used instruments, and by and large, most I encounter are very underserviced. This makes it harder to see their potential. The Korean makers were collectors of brands, so you'll need to become familiar with a range of names: Samick, Young Chang, Pramberger, Knabe, Weber, Kohler & Campbell, Sohmer, Chickering, Conover Cable, and so on. Again, some of these will be a waste of time, but this is also were a few low-priced, sturdy and musical gems can be hidden without getting into some of the really old uprights that may need more than a days worth of servicing.


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Re: Under 3000. Studio/upright?
Wilson_too #2868956 07/13/19 11:51 AM
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I think for this price range it largely comes down to condition as opposed to model. A lot also depends on where you live (what's available) and what experience level you have (for evaluation).

Assuming you do not have much experience, I recommend 2 approaches; 1) seek out local Piano Technicians or Turners and tell them what you are looking for and ask what they know about locally, and 2) look for a dealer with a lot of used pianos that would provide moving/tuning/100% trade-in when you want to move up.


Progman
Baldwin Console + Kawai ES100
Alfreds bk 1 + Teacher
Long Live ELP
Re: Under 3000. Studio/upright?
Wilson_too #2869028 07/13/19 04:25 PM
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But you never know... I bought my Yamaha P2 studio, practically unused, from a private party. First I had my tech look
at it. He said it needed nothing, and marveled at the price I paid for it: $1800.

Every time he tunes it, he tells me how much he likes it. 3hearts

Re: Under 3000. Studio/upright?
Wilson_too #2869048 07/13/19 06:06 PM
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Find a good technician, and look at pianos available for free in your area. If you find one you think may be suitable, pay the technician to look at it.


Semipro Tech
Re: Under 3000. Studio/upright?
Wilson_too #2869320 07/14/19 05:58 PM
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I see a K30 Kawai and a Young Chang 52 " 1996 on the Craigslist in south Florida. Might be worth looking at.


David



Re: Under 3000. Studio/upright?
Wilson_too #2869324 07/14/19 06:19 PM
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Wilson, our last piano shopping occasion was for an upright, and we wanted to keep the budget under $5 k.

for quality pianos that won't need significant repairs and appeal to your ears and hands like those you mentioned that you've enjoyed, you'll need patience and luck to find one < 3k. it also depends on your expectations on what the piano will do for you as far as a performance/inspiration ceiling. reliable instruments in that budget are often institutional studio uprights from those manufacturers you've identified already in your original post. these include pianos like the yamaha studio upright mentioned by leel.

we ended up going a little over budget but now have an piano (restored victorian art case about 140 cm. high) with a great touch suited to my worn out arthritic hands, and a huge dynamic/expressive range.

Re: Under 3000. Studio/upright?
Wilson_too #2869342 07/14/19 07:36 PM
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Thanks everyone for taking the time and care to respond. All of what you said is running through my head, and I will spend more if I find something good. I'd prefer to buy from a piano store and pay more, and hopefully know what I'm getting.
Just need to be patient. Coming from a suburb of NY, in NJ, not as much available here in S.Florida, but it will make the search more fun. I think.
Wilson_too

Re: Under 3000. Studio/upright?
Wilson_too #2870896 07/20/19 12:14 PM
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Make that budget $4000 and then you have so many choices. Sorry but $3000 even for a used/reconditioned piano won't do any good frown


A 15 year old - Grade 8 pianist
Re: Under 3000. Studio/upright?
Wilson_too #2870915 07/20/19 12:55 PM
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If you want to stay under budget, I think you'll have to buy from a private seller, so I guess you want to decide whether it's ok to go above your budget to buy from a dealer or whether keeping the purchase price down is your first priority.

How comfortable are you evaluating an instrument? Do you know how to open up an upright? (take the lid off if it's removable, or else prop it up, take the top front and bottom front panels off). I think with a little bit of studying up online, you can get to the point where you'll be able to do a lot of the first inspections yourself, and only call in a tech when you've found something that might be a serious contender. Start here:
Piano Buyer's article about how to inspect a used piano

And also google YouTube video on "how to inspect an upright piano."

Another thing you can do is set some arbitrary rules for yourself. If I were buying an upright again, I would probably start with: 1) nothing under 48 inches, 2) nothing more than 30 years old, 3) nothing listed "for free," and 4) nothing with a name I don't recognize (some might disagree with this approach, but assuming you've read up online and esp. on the Piano Buyer , you'll learn to recognize enough names and it will save you time and driving hours to have this as a criterion.)

Then get a "search routine" in place (this is what I do on my lunch hour these days!) that maybe includes:
PianoMart, Craigslist, OfferUp, Facebook Marketplace, eBay (limit miles away to your acceptable driving time).

if you're not will to wait a bit, you can probably find a very reasonably priced, good upright within a month or two.

Either way, come back and give us an update! Good luck!


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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Re: Under 3000. Studio/upright?
Wilson_too #2870916 07/20/19 12:56 PM
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BTW I do want to restate/emphasize the most important point here: you absolutely *can* find a decent upright for well under $3000, but you have to be willing to buy from a private seller and you have to be somewhat patient.


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

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