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A New Article for Piano Buyer.
#3027191 09/20/20 03:00 PM
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Larry just posted another article I wrote for Piano Buyer entitled Five Biggest Mistakes First Time Piano Buyers Make.

See what you think!


https://www.pianobuyer.com/article/five-mistakes-first-time-piano-buyers-make/


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Re: A New Article for Piano Buyer.
Steve Cohen #3027200 09/20/20 03:27 PM
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Very good article! Very exact and helpful. Definitely a "must read" for a new buyer.

Re: A New Article for Piano Buyer.
Steve Cohen #3027221 09/20/20 04:04 PM
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I very much agree with the last four points. The only one I have some reservations about is #1. I can only speak from my own experience, but growing up my piano was a Baldwin Acrosonic, not exactly a fine piano (although it was tuned at least once/year) and sometimes called an Arsenic by piano tuners. But it didn't bother me or hold me back maybe because I had relatively little experience on other pianos and also a great interest in music. I never gave its poor action and poor tone any thought at that age. When I was tutoring students at Stuyvesant after I retired, I often asked them what piano they had if I found out they were taking lessons(since Stuyvesant is around 70% Asian many were). The most common answer was "black".

I don't know where a Baldwin Acrosonic would fit into your idea of a poor choice for a first piano. I know it was considered a good piano for a spinet but it clearly is an inferior piano in the bigger scheme of things. I'm not sure an inexpensive piano holds someone back unless its very out of tune or has an action worse than my Acrosonic. I think parents concerned about their child giving up piano quickly should probably get a $1000 digital as the first piano for their children and upgrade if the child shows interest/talent. If a student is so good that they will be a piano major in college then they should, if finances allow, be playing on a nice grand starting in high school.

Having owned first a Mason Hamlin A and then a Mason Hamlin BB, I know I would now hate to play on my old piano both in terms of its tone and touch. But that's mostly because I have so much more experience playing nice grands at this point in my live.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 09/20/20 04:07 PM.
Re: A New Article for Piano Buyer.
Steve Cohen #3027224 09/20/20 04:08 PM
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Steve - excellent advice and well written! I rate it 5 stars.


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Re: A New Article for Piano Buyer.
pianoloverus #3027260 09/20/20 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I don't know where a Baldwin Acrosonic would fit into your idea of a poor choice for a first piano. I know it was considered a good piano for a spinet but it clearly is an inferior piano in the bigger scheme of things.

Although I didn't write this article, I think sometimes the perception of what was acceptable then vs. what is acceptable now has also to do with the age of the instruments, because that increases the likelihood of more environmental damage, hours of use, and other ravages of time. What would have been the "best of the spinets" or consoles at the time, are now much older used pianos.

Looking back at my tuning notes, the majority of consoles or spinets I've tuned older than the early 1980s have had some combination of: a few loose tuning pins, sections with loose tuning pins, dead bass strings, action pinning problems, bridge cap/pinning issues, excessive hammer wear, evidence of excessive humidity/water damage, etc. Nowadays, these are what dealers are selling for <$1,000 and private sellers are selling for <$500. People looking at these will be better served by a $700-1,000 portable digital setup in the majority of cases, at least for the first couple years of study.


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Re: A New Article for Piano Buyer.
Steve Cohen #3027267 09/20/20 06:58 PM
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Thank you very helpful. However what still confuses me is when the msrp price in Brand Profiles is the same as the
smp ? We are told that the discount we hope to receive should be calculated from the smp.So then is it the msrp
in Piano Buyer that is incorrect or the smp price ?

Re: A New Article for Piano Buyer.
Lady Bird #3027270 09/20/20 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Lady Bird
Thank you very helpful. However what still confuses me is when the msrp price in Brand Profiles is the same as the
smp ? We are told that the discount we hope to receive should be calculated from the smp.So then is it the msrp
in Piano Buyer that is incorrect or the smp price ?

When the two prices are the same it suggests to me that the manufacturer and dealer don't generally offer discounts. Although I am sure there are exceptions.

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Re: A New Article for Piano Buyer.
Steve Cohen #3027272 09/20/20 07:09 PM
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Yes but I would like the real answer from someone from the Piano Buyer staff.There are quite a few cases where this happens.
Mind you sometimes there is not much difference between the msrp and the smp in certain pianos

Last edited by Lady Bird; 09/20/20 07:19 PM. Reason: spelling
Re: A New Article for Piano Buyer.
Steve Cohen #3027276 09/20/20 07:30 PM
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Some manufacturers inflate their MSRP pricing more than others relative to the wholesale cost.


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Re: A New Article for Piano Buyer.
Steve Cohen #3027282 09/20/20 07:43 PM
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These seem to some include some European pianos and even some Yamaha models such as the U1 and some models of Bechstein such as the Academy series.

Last edited by Lady Bird; 09/20/20 07:44 PM. Reason: spelling
Re: A New Article for Piano Buyer.
terminaldegree #3027283 09/20/20 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Some manufacturers inflate their MSRP pricing more than others relative to the wholesale cost.

Precisely.

Some MSRP's are twice the typical wholesale price while other manufacturers triple their wholesale price.

The SMP is calculated up from the typical wholesale price. Thus the SMP shows the relative difference in price much more accurately. Read Larry's introduction to the pricing segment.

The MSRP equals the SMP when a manufacturer chooses to set their MSRP using the same formula that we use for the SMP.


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Re: A New Article for Piano Buyer.
Steve Cohen #3027286 09/20/20 08:04 PM
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So this is when the manufacturer uses the SAME formula as Fine to calculate thier MSRP. So then the MSRP price is rather "modest" with those manufacturers.

Re: A New Article for Piano Buyer.
Lady Bird #3027287 09/20/20 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Lady Bird
So this is when the manufacturer uses the SAME formula as Fine to calculate thier MSRP. So then the MSRP price is rather "modest" with those manufacturers.

In general, yes.


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My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.
Re: A New Article for Piano Buyer.
Steve Cohen #3027495 09/21/20 01:23 PM
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I'm not sure if I agree with #2.
Usually, a room is not only used as a piano room, but also for other things. So going for a bigger model might not be a good idea.
When I bought my piano, I had first tried out pianos within my size and price range, narrowed my choices to a few models, and then found a dealer where I could compare these models side by side.
So I'd say: Decide first on the model, then on the dealer.

Apart from that: Nice article.

Last edited by patH; 09/21/20 01:24 PM.

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Re: A New Article for Piano Buyer.
patH #3027506 09/21/20 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by patH
I'm not sure if I agree with #2.
Usually, a room is not only used as a piano room, but also for other things. So going for a bigger model might not be a good idea.
When I bought my piano, I had first tried out pianos within my size and price range, narrowed my choices to a few models, and then found a dealer where I could compare these models side by side.
So I'd say: Decide first on the model, then on the dealer.

Apart from that: Nice article.
I think unless a room is very small, even an additional foot longer for a grand is not going to change much in terms of how crowded or appropriate a piano looks in the room.

Re: A New Article for Piano Buyer.
patH #3027513 09/21/20 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by patH
I'm not sure if I agree with #2.
Usually, a room is not only used as a piano room, but also for other things. So going for a bigger model might not be a good idea.
When I bought my piano, I had first tried out pianos within my size and price range, narrowed my choices to a few models, and then found a dealer where I could compare these models side by side.
So I'd say: Decide first on the model, then on the dealer.

Apart from that: Nice article.

Thanks.

Over the past 50+ years I have been in 100's of living rooms to evaluate what would fit.

I have never been in a room that would fit a 5'3" grand and be too small for a 5' 9".


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Jasons Music
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My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.
Re: A New Article for Piano Buyer.
Steve Cohen #3027567 09/21/20 04:30 PM
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MSRP's are basically illegal in most countries in Europe. Only the final seller is allowed to quote a price to the consumer, it must be posted next to the product wherever available (and on websites) and include all applicable taxes, and VAT is huge in Europe. However some manufacturers will sell direct to the consumer.

This of course changes the whole bargaining game, and discounts are limited (mainly on special offers and second hand/consignment goods). For typical musical instruments, the usual reference is the price posted by Thomann, which I have always found lower than anything on Amazon, but I may be wrong.

Last edited by Vikendios; 09/21/20 04:31 PM.

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Re: A New Article for Piano Buyer.
Steve Cohen #3027622 09/21/20 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve Cohen
Originally Posted by patH
I'm not sure if I agree with #2.
Usually, a room is not only used as a piano room, but also for other things. So going for a bigger model might not be a good idea.
When I bought my piano, I had first tried out pianos within my size and price range, narrowed my choices to a few models, and then found a dealer where I could compare these models side by side.
So I'd say: Decide first on the model, then on the dealer.

Apart from that: Nice article.

Thanks.

Over the past 50+ years I have been in 100's of living rooms to evaluate what would fit.

I have never been in a room that would fit a 5'3" grand and be too small for a 5' 9".


How about a 6 foot versus >7,5 foot piano?


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Re: A New Article for Piano Buyer.
Learux #3027630 09/21/20 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Learux
Originally Posted by
Over the past 50+ years I have been in 100's of living rooms to evaluate what would fit.

I have never been in a room that would fit a 5'3" grand and be too small for a 5' 9".

How about a 6 foot versus >7,5 foot piano?
Adding 1.5' is different from adding .5'. The larger the piano the greater the chance that some might think it was too big for the room in terms of aesthetics, having room for the other furniture, or the volume sound(although many think that larger pianos are not louder than smaller ones).

Last edited by pianoloverus; 09/21/20 07:57 PM.
Re: A New Article for Piano Buyer.
Steve Cohen #3027631 09/21/20 07:59 PM
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How many first-time buyers shop for 7.5" grands?


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My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.
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