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If you are in the market for a baby grand - this article helped me when I bought mine a few years back. The article itself is a little dated (2010) but the considerations outlined should be the same in 2021.

https://www.pianobuyer.com/article/review-buying-a-grand-piano-less-than-five-feet-long/

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Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by FDT
I felt a player system could be useful, at least it doesn't bother me if it has a player system. I'm not sure about the rationale behind your claim that it reduces the value of a piano - do you think a lot of people are simply bothered by a player system?

It's complicated. You might find this old PW thread from 2006 to be of interest.

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/273831/1.html

My 2005 Charles Walter grand came (purchased used) with a QRS PNOmation player system. I did not know much of anything about them. It was demonstrated when I looked at the piano. When the piano was delivered to me however, I could not get it to work. Long story short, it ended up that I needed to upgrade it to the current hardware version (QRS PNO3). To do that, it required a processor upgrade and other mods. I ended up ordering the hardware and did the work on it myself. Even with that, it cost me $1,600 to get it operational.

Now that I've had that piano for 2 years, I've come to wish the system was not on the instrument. It does not add any real value.

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Originally Posted by FDT
I felt a player system could be useful, at least it doesn't bother me if it has a player system. I'm not sure about the rationale behind your claim that it reduces the value of a piano - do you think a lot of people are simply bothered by a player system?

You have to cut a slot across most of the width of the keybed, and swap out a lot of the pedal hardware, and then there’s some solenoids and equipment that will be hanging below and off the case of the piano (especially on older/cheaper systems). Some say it negatively affects the stability of the piano (arguable), some say if the system is used often it contributes to action wear (obvious, but verifiable by a technician), but my biggest concern is the systems can significantly change the feel and functionality of the pedals.

So yes, unless the buyer is specifically seeking a player piano, I feel it either adds nothing or detracts from the value of the piano. If it doesn’t bother you, that’s great.

As someone already mentioned, the systems will become obsolete/non functional well before the piano has reached the end of its useful lifespan.


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I wish this was by a local seller...do people buy used pianos online? Maybe hire a remote tech to inspect it? This one does come with warranty though.

Originally Posted by RPA88
Here's a nice looking Yamaha C1 (5'3") that's located not too awfully far from you.

Manufactured in 1991. Comes with a 10 year warranty...

https://www.pianomart.com/buy-a-piano/view?id=46368

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Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by RPA88
Here's a nice looking Yamaha C1 (5'3") that's located not too awfully far from you.

Manufactured in 1991. Comes with a 10 year warranty...

https://www.pianomart.com/buy-a-piano/view?id=46368
Piano looks very promising. Unfortunately the description is incorrect: "This Four Star Reconditioned Yamaha C1 is a phenomenal performance instrument, with a large 6'6'' cabinet that offers increased volume and boldness than the more commonly encountered 6'1'' C3. " ???? smile

I did spot that and just considered it perhaps may be a typo. When I cross-referenced info on the C1, everything I came up with showed it to be a 5'3" cabinet.

I will reach out to the seller in any event just to inquire what the situation is.

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Originally Posted by RPA88
I will reach out to the seller in any event just to inquire what the situation is.

I’d be even more curious to know what exactly a “four star reconditioning” entails!!


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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Originally Posted by RPA88
I will reach out to the seller in any event just to inquire what the situation is.

I’d be even more curious to know what exactly a “four star reconditioning” entails!!

Probably includes "simonizing" the finish. grin


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Originally Posted by RPA88
Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by RPA88
Here's a nice looking Yamaha C1 (5'3") that's located not too awfully far from you.

Manufactured in 1991. Comes with a 10 year warranty...

https://www.pianomart.com/buy-a-piano/view?id=46368
Piano looks very promising. Unfortunately the description is incorrect: "This Four Star Reconditioned Yamaha C1 is a phenomenal performance instrument, with a large 6'6'' cabinet that offers increased volume and boldness than the more commonly encountered 6'1'' C3. " ???? smile

I did spot that and just considered it perhaps may be a typo. When I cross-referenced info on the C1, everything I came up with showed it to be a 5'3" cabinet.

I will reach out to the seller in any event just to inquire what the situation is.
Definitely a 5'3". smile


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Originally Posted by RPA88
Stilwell indicates in the video that the piano was rebuilt 10 - 15 years ago. Michael does not use the term "rebuilt" casually or by accident. I found him to be knowledgeable, forthright, and honest. I think the piano would be worth checking into by the OP.
But did he indicate any work was done other than replacing the strings and hammers?

I didn't hear anything else in the video but I stopped watching it after he said he was going to start playing. In the beginning when he talks about the new strings and hammers he didn't mention anything else being done as I recall. So if nothing else was mentioned, I would assume nothing else was done. No dealer is going to, when discussing the rebuilding of a piano, omit mentioning major work(like a new pinblock, new action, new soundboard, new bridge caps, refinishing) that was done.

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Originally Posted by FDT
.do people buy used pianos online?
If the piano is furniture maybe. But piano as a musical instrument, you'd want to listen to how it sounds, how it feels to your touch. But I understand the logistical challenge of traveling.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by RPA88
Stilwell indicates in the video that the piano was rebuilt 10 - 15 years ago. Michael does not use the term "rebuilt" casually or by accident. I found him to be knowledgeable, forthright, and honest. I think the piano would be worth checking into by the OP.
But did he indicate any work was done other than replacing the strings and hammers?
Hammers, strings and pins. smile


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Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by RPA88
Here's a nice looking Yamaha C1 (5'3") that's located not too awfully far from you.

Manufactured in 1991. Comes with a 10 year warranty...

https://www.pianomart.com/buy-a-piano/view?id=46368
Piano looks very promising. Unfortunately the description is incorrect: "This Four Star Reconditioned Yamaha C1 is a phenomenal performance instrument, with a large 6'6'' cabinet that offers increased volume and boldness than the more commonly encountered 6'1'' C3. " ???? smile

Probably copy/pasted the description from another ad for a C5 and only changed the model number smile

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Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by RPA88
Stilwell indicates in the video that the piano was rebuilt 10 - 15 years ago. Michael does not use the term "rebuilt" casually or by accident. I found him to be knowledgeable, forthright, and honest. I think the piano would be worth checking into by the OP.
But did he indicate any work was done other than replacing the strings and hammers?
Hammers, strings and pins. smile
If that's the extent of what was replaced, I'd say the dealer's use of "rebuilt" was extremely casual for a 110 year old piano.

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Originally Posted by RPA88
Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by RPA88
Here's a nice looking Yamaha C1 (5'3") that's located not too awfully far from you.

Manufactured in 1991. Comes with a 10 year warranty...

https://www.pianomart.com/buy-a-piano/view?id=46368
Piano looks very promising. Unfortunately the description is incorrect: "This Four Star Reconditioned Yamaha C1 is a phenomenal performance instrument, with a large 6'6'' cabinet that offers increased volume and boldness than the more commonly encountered 6'1'' C3. " ???? smile

I did spot that and just considered it perhaps may be a typo. When I cross-referenced info on the C1, everything I came up with showed it to be a 5'3" cabinet.

I will reach out to the seller in any event just to inquire what the situation is.

The seller responded back via email this morning. The error was in fact just a typo. The piano is a 5' 3".

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Originally Posted by FDT
I wish this was by a local seller...do people buy used pianos online? Maybe hire a remote tech to inspect it? This one does come with warranty though.

Originally Posted by RPA88
Here's a nice looking Yamaha C1 (5'3") that's located not too awfully far from you.

Manufactured in 1991. Comes with a 10 year warranty...

https://www.pianomart.com/buy-a-piano/view?id=46368

That piano looks to be about 280 miles from your (approximate) location (he's in Berwyn Heights, MD.)

Based on my understanding, a Yamaha C-series piano (conservatory designation) is a step up over their more basic models. The fact that this piano has had some reconditioning work, and that it comes with a 10 year parts and labor warranty suggests it would be a good piano to investigate.

Do people buy used pianos online? I'm certain they do. After being unsuccessful in finding a suitable piano locally, I recently purchased a used Steinway model B piano that I sourced via an online ad. I took a 2 hour flight down to audition the piano, and then worked out the deal on it.

The seller agreed to ship the piano (via a trusted piano mover) for no additional cost to me. (Climate-controlled cargo van that maintains climate control the entire move.)

Even though the Yamaha is a few hours away, you may be able to work out a free shipping arrangement with the seller.

To me, the Yamaha would be of much greater potential interest than either the Hamburg (Pearl River) or the Kawai.

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Originally Posted by Monoch
Originally Posted by Carey
Piano looks very promising. Unfortunately the description is incorrect: "This Four Star Reconditioned Yamaha C1 is a phenomenal performance instrument, with a large 6'6'' cabinet that offers increased volume and boldness than the more commonly encountered 6'1'' C3. " ???? smile
Probably copy/pasted the description from another ad for a C5 and only changed the model number smile
Of course. thumb


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RPA88, Thank you for this. I agree Yamaha C1 is a more superb model comparing to the other two. I'm just not sure about the long distance since I'm quite an amateur in playing piano, I don't even know how much benefits I can get from a long trip. that's the reason I'm perplexed about this long distance idea. Can you also look at my other thread talking about that hamburg and see what you think?

Originally Posted by RPA88
Originally Posted by FDT
I wish this was by a local seller...do people buy used pianos online? Maybe hire a remote tech to inspect it? This one does come with warranty though.

Originally Posted by RPA88
Here's a nice looking Yamaha C1 (5'3") that's located not too awfully far from you.

Manufactured in 1991. Comes with a 10 year warranty...

https://www.pianomart.com/buy-a-piano/view?id=46368

That piano looks to be about 280 miles from your (approximate) location (he's in Berwyn Heights, MD.)

Based on my understanding, a Yamaha C-series piano (conservatory designation) is a step up over their more basic models. The fact that this piano has had some reconditioning work, and that it comes with a 10 year parts and labor warranty suggests it would be a good piano to investigate.

Do people buy used pianos online? I'm certain they do. After being unsuccessful in finding a suitable piano locally, I recently purchased a used Steinway model B piano that I sourced via an online ad. I took a 2 hour flight down to audition the piano, and then worked out the deal on it.

The seller agreed to ship the piano (via a trusted piano mover) for no additional cost to me. (Climate-controlled cargo van that maintains climate control the entire move.)

Even though the Yamaha is a few hours away, you may be able to work out a free shipping arrangement with the seller.

To me, the Yamaha would be of much greater potential interest than either the Hamburg (Pearl River) or the Kawai.

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Originally Posted by FDT
RPA88, Thank you for this. I agree Yamaha C1 is a more superb model comparing to the other two. I'm just not sure about the long distance since I'm quite an amateur in playing piano, I don't even know how much benefits I can get from a long trip. that's the reason I'm perplexed about this long distance idea. Can you also look at my other thread talking about that hamburg and see what you think?

Originally Posted by RPA88
Originally Posted by FDT
I wish this was by a local seller...do people buy used pianos online? Maybe hire a remote tech to inspect it? This one does come with warranty though.

Originally Posted by RPA88
Here's a nice looking Yamaha C1 (5'3") that's located not too awfully far from you.

Manufactured in 1991. Comes with a 10 year warranty...

https://www.pianomart.com/buy-a-piano/view?id=46368

That piano looks to be about 280 miles from your (approximate) location (he's in Berwyn Heights, MD.)

Based on my understanding, a Yamaha C-series piano (conservatory designation) is a step up over their more basic models. The fact that this piano has had some reconditioning work, and that it comes with a 10 year parts and labor warranty suggests it would be a good piano to investigate.

Do people buy used pianos online? I'm certain they do. After being unsuccessful in finding a suitable piano locally, I recently purchased a used Steinway model B piano that I sourced via an online ad. I took a 2 hour flight down to audition the piano, and then worked out the deal on it.

The seller agreed to ship the piano (via a trusted piano mover) for no additional cost to me. (Climate-controlled cargo van that maintains climate control the entire move.)

Even though the Yamaha is a few hours away, you may be able to work out a free shipping arrangement with the seller.

To me, the Yamaha would be of much greater potential interest than either the Hamburg (Pearl River) or the Kawai.

I am quite an amateur too, and I recently upgraded from a decent baby grand to a fantastic M&H AA in excellent status. I don't regret spending that money for a moment! I enjoy so much more every single moment at that piano. If you can afford it without huge sacrifices (and it sounds you can), definitely go for it. The piano I bought was a 3h drive (one way) to check it. A hassle. A cost for shipping. Many logistical challenges. All well worth. Unless you have a health issues preventing you from travelling, go for it.

BUT BEFORE starting a trip, HIRE A TECHNICIAN as I think I told you already. This will be the money best spent of your whole endeavor of getting a new piano. The technician will tell you "run here, this piano is fantastic, get it before someone else do". Or they will tell you "meh, not worth your time and travel". Ask the technician you have if you trust that person. If you don't have connections, check the PTG website. Asking advice here for "which piano is better, this one or that one" will give you the same result as rolling the dice. You can get a double 6 if you get lucky, or a dud. HIRE THAT TECHNICIAN!

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I think from your other thread that you are looking at a closer-to-home Kawai, but this Yamaha C1 might be a good alternative, and I figured I’d add to this thread.

I’m pretty sure that the Yamaha C1 is being sold by the Piano Man Superstore in College Park, MD. I think this is the same piano you saw listed in PianoMart: https://pianomansuperstore.com/used...-pianos/1999-yamaha-c1-baby-grand-piano/ .

Also in the general area, there is a Pramberger 2002 JP 175, listed at $10898; I’m guessing it can be bargained down. (https://rickjonespianos.com/product-category/grand-pianos-all-brands/). My understanding is that the JP line is the best of the Prambergers, and there is a 175cm Pramberger that is a Piano Buyer staff pick, so this may also be of interest, if you are willing to make a little road trip to Maryland.

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FWIW - I live in Rockville, MD. After searching high and low for several years, I bought my Steinert grand from an individual in Bethlehem, PA, roughly 200 miles, 3.5 hours with stops from our home.

It was a gamble that paid off.

My wife and I chose to look at the inspection trip as a day to spend in the car together on a road trip adventure. At worst that's all we would have from a day's drive and a tank of gasoline.

The piano turned out to be a keeper.


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1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")
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