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edobajo Offline OP
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Hi everybody, I m from Italy. I ve been playing the piano for a while with vst plugins, but I think It s now time to buy a real one. My budget is really low (max 3000) but I d like to get an upright piano and not a digital one as I ve been playing computer pianos for a lot and I m looking for that acoustic feeling... So I think I should buy a used one (right?). I ve done some researches and I found a lot of upright pianos like Yamaha u1,3 some schimmel and other too at this price range, so I think I can find like 10000 euros pianos at no more than 3000, so my questions are:
1. Can you give me some suggestions on what piano should I get (used)? I d like to have suggestions about like 10000 euros pianos (new) so that I can look for them used at my price range. I read some threads on this forum and I found that schimmel and petrol are the best in the under-10000 euros price range but maybe I m totally wrong so I Need help ahahah.
2. If a buy a 40/50 y.o. piano ...Is It still great and better value than buying a new one that cost the same but It s a worse model?

Thanks a lot for your help!

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Try Essex or Boston uprights.Even Kawai would be better. Look on ebay or Facebook marketplace. I find a lot of pianos for sale on both sites. If you are lucky, sometimes, the person ends up giving the piano away on Facebook marketplace simply because they need to move or get rid of it for some reason or another.

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edobajo Offline OP
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Thanks for your reply! So I shouldn't consider for example the Petrof 131/Yamaha U3? The Yamaha is the easiest to find but I read that it is overpriced and other pianos that cost less are better. Have Essex and Boston the best uprights for this price range? The problem with them is that it s not that easy to find them used compared for example with the Yamaha ones

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Are Essex and Boston pianos readily available in Italy? (Assuming I'm correct in thinking that edobajo is not just *from* Italy, but is living and shopping there).

czernylavion, do you dislike the Yamaha uprights? If so, that's perfectly fine, but they are excellent instruments and a lot of people like them. And a Yamaha U3 would be a great upgrade from a digital instrument.

edobajo, I owned a Petrof upright that I liked a lot. They can be quite nice, but people in this forum have written that sometimes they are uneven in quality, so you need to evaluate any used Petrof carefully. Although that goes for any used instrument of course!

Have you started looking at what's available in used pianos near you? It might be easier to make a note of the pianos that are for sale and in your budget, and then consider whether one of those instruments will work for you, rather than starting out with a list of brands based on the price when new, and trying to find those pianos. Do you see what I mean?

In any case, Yamaha, Kawai are definitely good ones to look at, along with Petrof...

I don't know much about the piano market in Italy, what other used instruments do you see advertised?


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edobajo Offline OP
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Hi, thanks for the your help. Just by looking online I see that here in Italy there are mostly Yamaha and I found for example some good conditions U3 at 2500/3000, that I think could be a great price but maybe I m wrong. Here I can find also a lot of Kawai and Schulze Pollmann because it is italian, but it's quite easy also to find like Steinway e Sons, Bachmann and Schimmel's pianos, instead there are more Yamaha's, Kawai's and Schulze Pollmann. I've also seen the kawai k500 in a lot of comparisons with the U3 and I really liked the sound, but I can't find any k500 used online in Italy. About Petrof's pianos I read great things about the 131 but I only find the 125 model online which I read isn't as good as the 131...

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If you do, in fact, live in Italy, you should be able to find a good used European built upright.

Yamaha and Kawai are also fine - depending on the model. Boston (built by Kawai) might also work, but I would avoid Essex. I would definitely consider Petrof and Schimmel as well as Schulze-Pollmann - which is built in Italy.

If you can, try to focus your search on used pianos listed in the Professional-Consumer Grade category and higher on the following chart.

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


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I bought a 70s petrof 125, much under budget, but much better than expected.this is a sample


1970s' Petrof 125
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edobajo Offline OP
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I found some Schimmels under 3000 and also some Petrof, and I didnt looked for the Schulze Pollmann yet. I found some Schimmels 117 upright but I don't know how to look for the best one, like I know the Petrof 131 is better than the 125, I dont know which model of the Schimmel is better than the others Schimmel. Another question I'd like to ask is: how much does it generally cost to transport a piano for about 500km?

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Originally Posted by edobajo
. Another question I'd like to ask is: how much does it generally cost to transport a piano for about 500km?
I’m assuming you’re asking because you’re considering buying from a private seller. In that case the cheapest way of doing it - assuming that Covid “zone rosse” or “arancione” allow - is to hire a furgoncino. If you haven’t got the time for a 1000 km round trip, pay a uni student who currently can’t go to class to drive for you
I would find a local piano renter on either end to load and unload the piano (they should have the lifting equipment). Ask their advice on how to secure the piano in transit.
We did this in December with a piano coming from the UK. The local guy charged us 100 euros. He is, of course, hoping to make more money out of us by becoming our tuner 😉
It’s worth asking the local guys how much they would charge to do the whole thing. In these times many are desperate for work...

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Originally Posted by edobajo
how to look for the best one, like I know the Petrof 131 is better than the 125

I had a Petrof 125 and I have heard others say that they like the 125 better than the 131. I have played a new 131 and it was a very nice piano, but I don't think I liked it more than my 125 (which was a lovely piano that I loved, by the way). In addition, pianos can vary even across same brand and model, and then even more so for used ones as it can depend on how well they're maintained. I think you have some brand names to start looking at so you should really just go play the pianos yourself and see what you like. Good luck smile

Last edited by twocats; 01/24/21 08:11 PM.

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Also, I was shopping for pianos for a friend this past week (for her daughter since no one in their family plays) and she ended up buying a 2-year old Kawai 506N for $3100 USD including in-town delivery and a tuning. I had assumed that with her budget she'd have to settle for an "okay" piano, but the touch and sound of that little studio piano far surpassed my expectations, especially for the price! (There were two new ones of the same model that I didn't like as much.) So size isn't everything either, and you may find a budget piano that surprises you. You might want to start by going to some dealers and playing as many pianos as you can, even ones out of your budget, so you can get a feel for what you like and what you don't.

Edited to add: I do hope you're not trying to buy a piano sight unseen based on brand/model alone. Everything for used pianos depends on condition. And with a used one from a private party you should get it inspected by a piano technician before buying.

Last edited by twocats; 01/24/21 08:30 PM.

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you need definitely checkup any second hand piano.
I don't think move 500km is a good idea for those reasons:
-the relocation fee could be better spent on another better piano.
-the piano relocation is a risk itself.
-difficult to checkup that piano, also you need additional 500km travel budget for maybe more than one round trip.


1970s' Petrof 125
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edobajo Offline OP
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So is it better to buy a second hand piano in a store? The problem with that is that usually the prices in store are a lot higher than online...

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If it's private party, the price will be [a lot] lower, but you really, really, really need a tech to look at it, so that is more arranging of schedules, visits, someone else buying it from under you, etc.

At a store, the price will be higher, but they have techs that they use to fix and prepare the piano, and while they are trying to make a sale, you should be able to trust those techs because their reputation depends on it, and so on, not to mention those techs might be one you end up calling to have look at a piano anyway without realizing it.

So, it's more than just price.


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Originally Posted by edobajo
So is it better to buy a second hand piano in a store? The problem with that is that usually the prices in store are a lot higher than online...

Depends on your risk adversity, how much time you have and MOST IMPORTANTLY, if you have a GOOD piano technician which YOU (not the seller) can hire to inspect the piano before the purchase. Since I am paranoid, don't believe in humanity (and with the amount of my "disposable" income could not afford making a mistake), I would hire a good technician even when purchasing from a store. If they'd feel "offended" at my request, I would tell them that their offense taken sounds like they wanted to scam me.

Regarding price, usually deliver is included in store-bought pianos (ask for confirmation), but not in private sales. In the USA, the actual price is often much less than the advertized one (try to haggle).

So the best course of action for you is (in no particular order):

1) visit stores so you know what they offer at what price and try everything so you know what you like. If you see something that you really like, make an offer. Worse case they would tell no. Leave them your phone number in case they change their mind and walk away. If you do make an offer, make it such as to be totally content whether or not they accept.

2) call piano technicians and ask what they would charge for an inspection (which may require ALSO a tuning, in addition: often pianos for sale are out of tune and you WANT to tune them to assess the status of the pinblock). Ask also how far they would go for such an inspection. My guess is that not many would go more than 100km and nobody more than 200km. Forget about 500km!!!!

3) call PIANO movers (boy, avoid DIY and universtity students, you will risk a total loss and perhaps even liability that way) and ask for quotes. Take in mind that the price will vary greatly with the story at which the piano is and the story at which it needs to go. I hope you don't live on the 10th floor and are not buying a piano from a different building on the 6th floor!

Only at that point start looking for what is available on the used market for private sale, starting within 100km (or perhaps a bit more if your technician agrees). As other have said, picking brands is a moot point at this price and age: the three most important things to consider are condition, condition and condition.


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