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#2595087 12/15/16 06:39 PM
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Hi,
My son started to play the piano and we're looking to get him a piano to practice on for next few years.

We are leaning towards getting a digital piano as it smaller and lower maintenance than a traditional one.

I've been trying to read a bit about this and it seems that the Yamaha YDP-163 is a good choice although a bit pricey.

What do you think? Is this too much for a 7 year old? Will this last him until at least the end of secondary school?

Any feedback is very welcome.

Thanks.

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You're on the right path starting with a digital. If he likes it and continues, then think about adding an acoustic. And save up for it, you're looking at a five digit price (US $) for a good enough one. Keep or upgrade the digital at that time, he should have both.



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You may consider renting one from a piano dealer and they may apply the rent toward a purchase if your son does want to continue with the piano or you could try a different one for awhile as well. I wouldn't suggest digital. The real thing is the real thing. I started at that age with a real piano so maybe I am biased. If you are worried about him making noises with it you don't want to hear, there are sound dampening models available where you press a lever and it is much quieter than normal.

Best of luck to you! This is very exciting time for your family I'm sure!

Steve
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Last edited by Lakeviewsteve; 12/15/16 08:57 PM.

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We long-term borrowed a friend's 50 year old acoustic console when my then 7 year old learned to play, and I'm very glad we did. We have several friends who have tried to have their kids learn on digitals and I think there's a reason those kids quit and my kid still plays. Digitals are lots of fun for like the first 40 or 50 hours you play them, especially for kids with all the interesting sounds you can make with them, but then all the tricks kind of wear thin and there's nothing to pull you in and make you want to play more. With an acoustic piano, even an old beat-up one, you just strike a chord and can listen to the sound roll around in the piano for half a minute. I find acoustics much more compelling for sure but YMMV.

I would also dispute that you are looking at 5 figures for a good enough acoustic piano. After three years of learning we just got a Yamaha U1, brand new, for less than that and it's amazing. And there are plenty of other options at lower price points that sound fantastic and would be great to learn on as well. But for starters, there's plenty available used and in decent shape for the same price as that YDP 163.

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Hello there!

I have a 10 year old that has been playing piano for 3.5 years and I would echo Adam107's post...buy an acoustic. The worst mistake in terms of piano that we ever made was buying a DGX-650 Yamaha new which we purchased a few months after my son started lessons. We believed the marketing hype that the weighted keys/ sound simulated a grand...it doesn't really. I think getting an inexpensive used digital piano is fine (my son started on a "toy") for the first couple of months to see whether your child takes to piano...but after that you'll most likely really want an acoustic. If you don't want to spend a lot of money on a piano, you can certainly find a decent one for under 1k...if you are willing to consider off brand/older one used from Craigslist (at least in our area). Our first accoustic was from the late 1960's...an Everett Studio. We upgraded again a year later but that Everett Studio is a very nice piano. We donated our old Everett piano to our children's school 1.5 years ago and I heard it last night at the school Christmas concert and it really sounded wonderful.

Last edited by pianoMom2006; 12/16/16 06:42 AM.

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Originally Posted by Adam107
After three years of learning we just got a Yamaha U1, brand new, for less than that and it's amazing. And there are plenty of other options at lower price points that sound fantastic and would be great to learn on as well. But for starters, there's plenty available used and in decent shape for the same price as that YDP 163.


U1 is definitely a good choice for the first acoustic piano. But may I know the reason of preferring a brand new one to a pre-owned one if I can? Just curious why many people opt for a brand new piano despite the depreciation factor. Would it be because of warranty? Or no hassles to look for a good condition pre-owned?


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If I were buying a used piano I would be inclined to purchase from a dealer rather than from a private sale. The dealer's price may be higher than the price of an equivalent piano from a private sale, but the private sale should involve the added cost of an independent inspection (even if the seller claims the piano to be in excellent condition) and would involve the purchaser having to arrange moving (unless the seller does that as part of the agreement).

A (reputable) dealer's pre-owned piano will probably be prepped, certainly will be in tune and more likely than not will be sold without potential future problems lurking within. Depending upon the age, the dealer's piano may have some limited warranty attached to it, which is most unlikely with a piano from a private sale. Even if the dealer does not pay for moving (although that cost is usually built into the price), the dealer will most likely take care of moving arrangements.

Regards,


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A motivated student does not need much of a piano to motivate him/her to play. Used pianos are so very abundant right now and can be found at a bargain price.. Well under a $1,000.00 will get you a nice practice piano. If money is no object, buy the best you want to afford, you will not be sorry. Pianos, like most quality musical instruments, hold their value better than most everything else you will ever buy.

(I just bought a 1976 Steinway model 1098 for $4,500. the original buyer bought it for 2,995.) (I just bought 20 Yamaha U-1's built in the 70's and 80's for $2,500 to $3,500. They sold new for $1,795 to $2,495.) Buy quality and never look back and have no regrets.

Digitals will depreciate, because technology changes so fast. The cheaper ones will not have the feel or sound of an acoustic, they are close by not close enough for the purist.

Don't be discouraged, you are giving a music trust to your child that will pay huge dividends no matter what the initial investment may be....stay the course.



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Thanks everyone for your replies!

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Originally Posted by Minna
Originally Posted by Adam107
After three years of learning we just got a Yamaha U1, brand new, for less than that and it's amazing. And there are plenty of other options at lower price points that sound fantastic and would be great to learn on as well. But for starters, there's plenty available used and in decent shape for the same price as that YDP 163.


U1 is definitely a good choice for the first acoustic piano. But may I know the reason of preferring a brand new one to a pre-owned one if I can? Just curious why many people opt for a brand new piano despite the depreciation factor. Would it be because of warranty? Or no hassles to look for a good condition pre-owned?


Kind of all of those things. I didn't want to have to deal with any extra variables of wear and tear etc. I wanted to buy a piano that I could potentially play for the rest of my life. Late-model U1s are a little hard to come by, and when they are available, there's not enough of a discount to get me interested. I'd rather spend $8K for something that's just indisputably brand-new than $6K for something that's five or ten years old.

Depreciation is of zero concern. Unless we have some kind of massive life change (in which case the money we spent on this piano is the least of our problems), we'll own this piano forever. And if by some incredible reason I get so deeply into the piano that five or ten years from now I want an upgrade, the extra thousand or two I lost to depreciation is a small cost in exchange for having had an instrument that got me there.

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Totally agree with the recommendations for acoustic. Digitals get me bored very quick and they sound mostly synthetic.

> I'd rather spend $8K for something that's just indisputably brand-new than $6K

I had the same feel about new versus 2nd hand. But what if the choice is a new grand is $90.000 and a similar 2nd hand of the same brand say $20.000, 30 year old but competely restored and looks as new and sounds in fact better than the new one? And you don't have the $90k to start with?


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Originally Posted by wouter79
I had the same feel about new versus 2nd hand. But what if the choice is a new grand is $90.000 and a similar 2nd hand of the same brand say $20.000, 30 year old but competely restored and looks as new and sounds in fact better than the new one? And you don't have the $90k to start with?


This is especially true of concert grands, where the delta can be from $200K to $30K. That's where you really get the most bang for your buck. (But this being for a 7 year old, maybe a whole lot of "bang" isn't such a good idea.... ;-) .)



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The problem with a 7 year old is that you never know what activities will stick. My kids tried soccer, gymnastics, dance, karate, chess, swimming etc. I don't like throwing large amounts money at something until I feel more comfortable about the activity taking off. If you buy a 1k piano off Craigslist and your child looses interest you can probably resell it for what you paid...similar position if you upgrade. I would have never guessed the "piano" would have been an activity that would stick.

Last edited by pianoMom2006; 12/19/16 09:01 PM.

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If you're not sure if it's going to stick I would rent a good instrument until you're sure it sticks


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IF you can get a used piano for $1,000 that will basically hold a tune and doesn't have technical problems, there's an advantage to doing that over renting. The thing with kids is, if they drop it for a while, you're actually still not sure that it DIDN'T stick. We had the advantage of that beat-up but solid old console, and my son played for a year from 6 to 7, dropped it for a whole year, and has now been playing for two years and is progressing nicely. Having the piano just sitting there waiting for him to come back to it made all the difference. If we had rented, we would've sent it back, not wanting to incur the $80-$120 monthly charge for something we weren't using.


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Originally Posted by Adam107
IF you can get a used piano for $1,000 that will basically hold a tune and doesn't have technical problems, there's an advantage to doing that over renting. The thing with kids is, if they drop it for a while, you're actually still not sure that it DIDN'T stick. We had the advantage of that beat-up but solid old console, and my son played for a year from 6 to 7, dropped it for a whole year, and has now been playing for two years and is progressing nicely. Having the piano just sitting there waiting for him to come back to it made all the difference. If we had rented, we would've sent it back, not wanting to incur the $80-$120 monthly charge for something we weren't using.
Excellent recommendation !!


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Hi PPMum, welcome to Piano World :-)

You are asking your question in the acoustic piano part of PW and so the voices of the "get an acoustic" may be louder/more here. And if you visit piano stores, you will find, a lot of stuff is being said about acoustics, like, "only an acoustic will allow your child to develop musical hearing" or "only an acoustic will make your child stick with piano".

If you are in an area of a live and health used piano market you should be able to pick up good or very good acoustics for really good price, too. Here, for example, are sometimes used, less than 10 year old Yamaha, Kawai, sometimes even Schimmel, that sell for less than half the new price. Sold by parents of children who stopped playing. Bargain!

Digital pianos have the benefit of having other fun sounds, being able to play with headphones, easier to move, low/no maintenance. And they start at low prices.
I know a professional piano player who uses a YDP model, although with piano sounds from his laptop. He said the YDP was the cheapest while still having an acceptable action (to him). I think he uses additional speakers, too.

When you choose, also keep in mind that paying for piano lessons is, over time, probably the bigger expense. And (!) more important to the success of your child. Teachers can be very different, so spend more on finding the right one than on the first piano :-)

One thing on the digital piano: find our if your child accepts one as "real". Kids sometimes have very strong opinions on whats real and whats not. Here, they good news was that my daughter saw any additional buttons on a piano as bonus. Then two of hear friends claimed that "why we only got a keyboard". But then she encountered a real keyboard. And two piano teachers who praised our DP. And acoustics out of tune that never get tuned because the parents are so busy...


Kawai CN35. Daughter wanted a piano, so we got one. Now who'll learn faster? ;-)

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