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Buying a new piano, and I'm not sure where to start. Help!
#3025025 09/14/20 02:15 PM
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Hello everyone! I'm a student in university and my piano at home is a very old commercial piano and I thought it was time for an upgrade.

I went to the dealer's and tried out several pianos.
The sounds I enjoyed the most are narrowed down to two options.

1. Yamaha U30A (secondhand, ~$9 000 CAD). I've heard many good things about this model, and I did enjoy the feel and sound very much. The piano itself is about 30 years old, I don't believe it's an issue as it's very very lightly used, the hammers and felts looked very close to new and the strings weren't rusted at all. Of course, 30 years old isn't "old" by any means anyway, as far as I know, but if I'm wrong about this, please do fill me in.

2. Perzina GBT-160 (Brand new, ~$20 000). A 5'4" baby grand, I am interested as it is a grand and grands tend to produce more sound. I don't know if this necessarily means it's better for practicing for a university student.
The sound was quite nice, better than I expected from a brand I never heard of before, and the keys were slightly stiffer than the Yamaha. Objectively speaking, I'm not sure if the components are necessarily better than the Yamaha, or at least if there is an improvement in quality from the Yamaha, if the price is worth it.

Any general advice, information, or personal experience on used vs new pianos and upright vs grand pianos at home is much appreciated.
I'm also interested in hearing about any of your personal experiences with Perzina grands as I've never heard of this brand before going to the dealer's, and if you are a long-time owner, what your thoughts are on how it holds up over time?
Also general thoughts and criticism are welcomed.

Re: Buying a new piano, and I'm not sure where to start. Help!
caramilku #3025043 09/14/20 02:55 PM
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Have you read this in Piano Buyer?

https://www.pianobuyer.com/brand/perzina/

Depending upon how serious a pianist you are and what level of repertoire you plan to study, a 5' 4" grand is pretty small for a grand and may be considered as having some compromises of scale design that might not satisfy a serious musician, although you said that you found it satisfactory. I have had no experience with the Chinese-built Perzina, and not much has been written about them on this forum that I have read.

A 30-year old Yamaha U30 may be satisfactory; is the dealer offering any incentives with this piano, such as warranty, delivery and after-delivery tuning?

If you have the opportunity to do so, I would suggest trying more pianos. In my unprofessional opinion, you might do better than either of these depending upon your budget. If you are comfortable with a $20,000.00 price tag, you might do better than the Perzina in a well-maintained, well-prepped used grand.

Regards,


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Re: Buying a new piano, and I'm not sure where to start. Help!
caramilku #3025051 09/14/20 03:05 PM
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Hi Caramilku,

I was recently in the market for a grand piano. Obviously, you'll want to do what you did and try pianos that have the right "fit" for you. Since you mentioned the Perzina and I believe that it is a Chinese made piano, I will suggest looking into the Hailun brand if you haven't already, which is also Chinese made. I found myself really impressed with the Hailun brand of pianos for the value. I live in Canada, and the dealer was asking 27,000 CND for a 5'8 grand piano.

My feeling with the Hailun brand was that they should be excellent pianos for practice, and the one I played on was really fun to play. The sound wasn't anything incredible but for the price, it seemed like an excellent value. There happened to be on at the dealership when I compared the Perzina to the Hailun, and the Perzina sounded so bad that I almost somewhat offended by the presence of the piano. Looking back, I wonder if the Perzina wasn't prepared as well as the Hailun, so that's just been my anecdotal experience.

I got some mixed answers when I asked around, and it seems like Hailun has a pretty generous warranty including a transferable ?10 or 15 year old warranty and a limited lifetime warranty.

I grew up playing on a Yamaha GC1, so I think that's around 5'4". My personal opinion is that practicing on a grand piano "feels" way better than practicing on a upright. But I imagine it would have a lot to do with the type of music that you play and how serious you are at the piano.

I'm probably a bit biased towards grand pianos vs uprights though!

Re: Buying a new piano, and I'm not sure where to start. Help!
caramilku #3025052 09/14/20 03:08 PM
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Here....

https://www.pianobuyer.com/brand/perzina/

https://www.pianobuyer.com/article/piano-buying-basics-introduction/

https://www.pianobuyer.com/article/a-map-of-the-market-for-new-pianos-ratings/

https://markgoodwinpianos.co.uk/yamaha/yamaha-u30a-piano

http://www.yamahau3.co.uk/

I would think that for practice purposes, the Yamaha would be more than adequate for a university student. Small grands don't necessarily produce "more sound" than a tall upright. HOWEVER - You should have any used piano you are seriously interested in purchasing evaluated by an independent piano technician - even if the piano is being sold by a dealer.

The price of the Perzina seems reasonable, although personally I wouldn't sink that much money into one. The Perzina would come with a new piano warranty. Overall quality may not be a high as the original quality of the Yamaha, and it is hard to know how the Perzina would hold up to heavy daily use. The Yamaha would probably have a better resale value.

The price of the 30 year old Yamaha seems a bit high - UNLESS the piano has had some work done to it. I would try to find out more about the ownership and use history of the Yamaha piano if you can.


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Re: Buying a new piano, and I'm not sure where to start. Help!
caramilku #3025072 09/14/20 03:49 PM
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Are you in the United States? If so, the price on the Perzina seems almost outrageously high to me since it's higher than the SMP assuming the finish is polished ebony(see explanation of SMP in the Piano Buyer).

Re: Buying a new piano, and I'm not sure where to start. Help!
pianoloverus #3025087 09/14/20 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Are you in the United States? If so, the price on the Perzina seems almost outrageously high to me since it's higher than the SMP assuming the finish is polished ebony(see explanation of SMP in the Piano Buyer).
I'm assuming the OP is in Canada - in which case the Perzina CAD price quoted is around $15,000 USD.


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Re: Buying a new piano, and I'm not sure where to start. Help!
caramilku #3025109 09/14/20 05:45 PM
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The 30 year old Yamaha U3OA for $9,000 CAD seems rather highly priced considering we bought a new U1 at $9,000 CAD, (in 2016) which included delivery, free tuning and a 10 year warranty. I realise this is a taller piano than a U1. I did receive a music teachers discount ,but I do not beleive it was much. Later I traded this piano in for a different brand.

Another aspect to this piano is I believe this is grey piano , also
called a "wet" piano. These are used imported pianos from Japan .Some of the pianos are not good (overused , or abused)
others are fine , very nice pianos.
I had a grey Yamaha YU10 which I returned to the dealer within a few days. Recently I had a Kawai KL502 for a year , which is an excellent piano with a lovely tone and reponse. I needed an extra piano to accompany piano students.This piano worked
out very well. The Kawai had been in Canada for 20 years before I bought it.So it could have adjusted to the Vancouver climate or it could been because I keep a close check on the humidty by using a dehumidier and very rarely a humidifier.
I presume your studies do not include practical piano performance ? In a case like this you would need a very good reliable upright or better still a grand that will not break down
because of constant practice.
Have you looked at some of the Kawai GL grands or a Kawai K500 upright ?
Whatever you decide do not buy a used piano unless you have it fully checked out by your technician.

Last edited by Lady Bird; 09/14/20 05:52 PM. Reason: spelling
Re: Buying a new piano, and I'm not sure where to start. Help!
caramilku #3025149 09/14/20 08:27 PM
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While U30 is better inside, it’s basically the same as U3. Considering it’s 30 years old, I think it’s priced too much although my numbers are based on us$. Those go for around $4000usd around where I am on the west coast of the us, possibly slightly higher at the dealers but still less than double that number.

Re: Buying a new piano, and I'm not sure where to start. Help!
caramilku #3025161 09/14/20 09:03 PM
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Both pianos seem a bit high on price to me. Perhaps they are sticker prices which can be further negotiated.


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Re: Buying a new piano, and I'm not sure where to start. Help!
caramilku #3025183 09/14/20 10:14 PM
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Normally people look at a new upright vs. used grand piano, not the other way around. smile

What's your budget? And do you have reasons for preferring an upright vs grand (e.g., frequency of expected moves, space, advanced technique or likelihood of playing pieces requiring a grand piano)? How many hours of practice for how many years would you like to get out of this piano? These, along with your budget, should help narrow your choices down to upright vs. grand, and new vs. how used.

I was in the market for a grand piano in Ottawa/Montreal until recently. At CDN $20K, you can buy a very nice used, newer Yamaha C2 (5'8") (Yamaha offers great resale value, if that's a consideration for you) or Kawai's 5'10", which are all great practice pianos. Somewhat cheaper if considering the "wet" pianos, used pianos bulk imported from Japan/Asia.

It may be hard with school starting and all, but I'd highly recommend that you read up a bit before purchasing (great resources above) and try a few more dealers at a minimum, and hire a technician, if considering used pianos.

Last edited by Soojin; 09/14/20 10:15 PM.

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