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Joined: Jan 2019
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I'll need to evaluate uprights soon.

Although we already have a nice living-room grand, our family is looking into replacing my less-decent piano for a Yamaha probably U3. This would itself be temporary; the idea is to get a pretty good, reliable instrument that we can then trade back in some 6 years, when children are older and more responsible, for an even better upright, perhaps a Schimmel. The idea is that Yamahas should be reliable enough that picking one as an intermediate-level upright would be sensible, but that fancier pianos would need to be picked out individually and we're not ready for that.

I am the one who is supposed to test the pianos, of course.

So how can I notice the right things in picking the piano? Action/sound?

Are there other subtle considerations should I have in testing pianos?

Thank you for any insights!
-------------------

By the way, we are considering two retailers which both sell new instruments and an assortment of old instruments. Both I believe have in-store upgrade plans for pianos bought from that store. One of them, the Yamaha retailer seems slightly classier and might be the place to buy a Schimmel--though in 6 years, who knows. It is likely that they (either of them) would also be willing to trade in reasonably recent, good-condition U3s purchased elsewhere, although it might be a less smooth transaction.

Perhaps the Yamaha retailer would be better, although the other store would accept my Werner back for a discount (maybe a few hundred to $1000.)

After all, I need to figure out how to get rid of my Werner upright. I don't want to admit that it should be -destroyed-, but there really is an extent to which it isn't worth its maintenance or shipping. The pedal will break a few months after it's fixed.

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What is your budget, for now? What country and/or part of the country?


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The U3 is a good instrument- the main thing I would look at is condition as they are a very popular teacher’s piano and may therefore have been heavily used. Which is not necessarily a problem provided it’s been looked after.

Condition is everything - you’d either need to get a tech to check it over or educate yourself enough on what to look for. Plenty of videos on Youtube.

If the piano is in good nick there is no reason why it shouldn’t serve you well. I have a U1 and my teacher has a U3, both from the 80’s. Neither has had or needed any work apart from normal tuning and adjustments. (Except for replacing the hammer spring cords, which is a recognised fault with Yamaha uprights but actually makes very little difference to the playability).


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U3 is a pretty dependable workhorse. If you like the tone and touch, you could either trust the dealer’s presentation or hire a independent tech to check out the inside of the piano. You could also bring a piano teacher or piano playing friend to test drive for you, although the preference of touch is quite personal. I would consider trade-in of your old piano to be more of an convenience than a financial gain. You should not have any trouble trading in the u3 to any dealer as long as it’s in decent shape.

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Yeah, I play piano a lot, but I still need to learn how to pick pianos.

Though again, all that's really necessary is I get a competent U3, and that looks likely.

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You already have had good advice, but forgive me I can't help guessing that you are in the medical profession?
Ian


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