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I spent age 72 to 75 on a digital -I have no delusions of grandeur as a gigging pianist.
I spent 64 years on guitar so I must have been secretly fooling myself thinking I’m going to play out somewhere on the portable.
Never touched a real piano to age 75 and now I know why my teacher encouraged me to get an acoustic—you got the room -make it a grand!
-I get major joy at the feedback from REAL strings -no offense to all the digital friends but I tried the really expensive ones and it’s something about real strings that send me to the moon. Even if I’m playing something boring -doesn’t matter
Perhaps spending 64 years as a guitarist has something to do w it.
Now I have a gigantic digital rig on one side of my music room—-ignored cause I have an acoustic on the other side. 4 years now shaping up between 3-5 hours a day.
Maybe I will get to play my first jazz gig at 90 if the Master Musician gives me the chance.

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a good piano today will cost a lot more in ten years, so by buying it now rather than later you are actually saving money 😉 That's fiscal responsibility in my book.


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Originally Posted by dogperson[/quote
I’ve always understood that new pianos, like new cars depreciate significantly the minute they move to your home. Per piano buyer, depreciation in 5 years or less is 20% or more.

That's very true, and it's what I forgot to say when I recommended buying a Yamaha U1 or similar earlier in the thread. Get a second-hand one.

Provided the piano has been well looked after, it doesn't matter if it's a few decades old. Yamahas from the 1970's are even regarded as being from a kind of "golden era" (although that might be hype). You can avoid a lot of the depreciation hit with a second-hand purchase, and the quality won't suffer if the instrument is in good condition.


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There isnt a right or wrong decision. It all depends on a number of factors. And then reason and passion are 2 different things which can lead to different decisions. Your current DP is good enough for a beginner, at least one or 2 years. The reasonable move is to buy a good quality piano, either a better DP with fully weighted keys or a good acoustic (with or without a silent system). The choice depends on your configuration, if you need to play silently or not, the size of your room, your financials, .....

Being strictly reasonable, you should of course wait until you are certain that your interest for the piano is going to last before making a significant investment. As others have said, you could buy a second hand acoustic (the DP must be new) which you can resell if needs be. But if money is not a concern and you have the space, you could get a small grand as well.

Of course the acoustic provides a more enjoyable physical experience (IMO). But strictly speaking you can learn just as well on a good DP, at least for a few years. But passion and reason and 2 different things ....

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My two cents:

cent 1: According to your story, it seems as we are talking in the price range of $6000 to $15000. A high end digital, a new acoustic upright, maybe with silent or a baby grand. Maybe a used one. What exactly doesn't matter for this question. You are hesitating to buy because you are thinking you are not "worth" such a beautiful instrument. Well, for a music instrument it is a lot of money, but it seems you can afford it. And here is the point: No one is hesitating buying a luxury car for $30000, if one could also go for a $20000 one. Talk to you friends: A $50000 car? why not! Nobody asks: "Are you as driver good enough?". And a car is after 10 years worn out. A piano not.

cent 2: BUT - now you have a ARIUS-164, and you say you have trouble playing one piece in public without getting stuck. I would set myself a short-term learning goal. Something you can reach within a few months, like finishing a method book or play a certain song fluently enough to present it to your friends. Pass a ABCDERSM grade, a recital, whatever. Take this as incentive and the piano is your reward. And the earlier you reach your learning goal, the earlier you get it! This is the best motivation.
In the meantime you have time to think about if you want a high-end digital, a hybrid, a used grand, a silent piano and then refine you search to a certain model.


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From my experience, you learn technique, especially the finer aspects, better on a grand because you get proper feedback for what you're doing. I wouldn't mind it if a digital provided the same feel, but most don't (maybe some one costing 10k which I haven't tried out yet could do the trick). It won't exactly hamper you, depending on your goals. But, if you are serious about learning the piano for the next few years, are dedicating a few hours each day, and can afford it, I don't see why not, if that makes sense. There is a difference between a digital and an acoustic piano, and at least to my fingers, it's night and day. It's possible that I am biased because I already had a few years of experience playing the piano on digital pianos before trying out an acoustic. So, it may be the case that someone starting out would not be able to tell an immediate difference.

On the other hand, having an acoustic could be a detractor, because it might stress you out thinking about the fact that you spent so much on a pricey instrument, and that it had better be money well spent. That can add a layer of stress which creeps into your practice sessions, and that may not be ideal.

At the end of the day, it depends on how you react to it psychologically. There is plenty of room for improvement on the Yamaha digital piano, and I think that you can definitely get to a grade 5 level without too much of a hassle. I was attempting difficult stuff (say grade 8+), even if it was just for fun a lot of the time, and the keyboard action was severely limiting me. It was slower than I could possibly go, did not execute repetitions like I wanted to, or simulate pedaling well enough. The key action didn't feel that great. It was still enough to learn on to an extent, but I would like to think that I was learning at least 50% faster, if not more, on a grand.

So, both routes are possible, and it's personal preference by and large. Unless you're trying to optimize 100% for fast progress, in which case the acoustic would be preferable for technique development.

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I think a big problem for many is if they can afford it. That is not always a simple decision. I think many people are in a grey area where it's not easy to make that decision. Pianos are, or at least can be, one of the most expensive things one buys.

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I started with same piano as you..used it for 2 years with lessons…needed to upgrade for more weighted key feel. I took my lesson music with me and spent 4 hours at dealer and yes, imposter syndrome maybe at back of mind, I didn’t care, and played my music to test 2 pianos that I researched with the help of another forum here. Unfortunately, I can’t accommodate an acoustic .. so bought the best hybrid I could within my budget. I am so happy now..yes, many great comments here: life is short, it will inspire you and you will improve, buy the best you can afford…research like crazy…test it….enjoy it.


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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think a big problem for many is if they can afford it. That is not always a simple decision. I think many people are in a grey area where it's not easy to make that decision. Pianos are, or at least can be, one of the most expensive things one buys.

As well as spacious and noisy - you have to have a decent home for one with understanding family/neighbours!

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I imagine there are competitions where pianos are awarded based on the performer's merit, but when you are exchanging money for a piano, your ability to pay is more important than your ability to play.


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Frequent tuning-right environment

Last edited by Wayne2467; 06/25/21 10:31 AM.
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Buying a better piano is NOT dependent upon your ability to play. Pianos don't come with an Ability Rating.

Buying a better piano, whether digital or acoustic, does mean you have to ask and answer a few questions.

Do you think you will continue with piano?
Can you afford it?
Do you have room for it?
Do you need to be able to play in silent mode because family or neighbors might object or are you free to play as you wish?

How well you play is not one of the questions.

I switched from a digital to an acoustic grand at about the second year of when I first started and I haven't looked back, not for a minute. I love playing my acoustic. It is a joy.


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I think first 5 years is the time when good instrument matters the most. It's the time when you need to develop pleasant tone and gentle touch, and when you need to learn to hear the nuances of what you play. Don't miss the opportunities of that golden period playing on a bad instrument.

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All those buying supercars are Formula 1 drivers? At least a piano won’t kill you. If you have the money and the space go nuts.

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Originally Posted by Mosotti
All those buying supercars are Formula 1 drivers? At least a piano won’t kill you. If you have the money and the space go nuts.

You say that, but an upright fell on my friend the other day and she had to go to A&E - it didn't kill her but there's a lot of bruising.

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Hello everyone,
Duplicate post alert: posting this in two different threads where I received very kind and useful advice.
Thank you again for the many helpful replies. You guys made me feel supported. Of course, if I had a financial advisor, they wouldn't like you guys very much... smile So here is an update on how this situation resolved itself:

Her name is Clara. She was born in Shizuoka, Japan, in a place called the Kakegawa factory. She is polished black, and people call her and her siblings a "U1”. She has lived with what I consider her foster family who first took care of her from birth (2018). I have yet to meet her, but will do so in about 8 days, and I hope we like each other and she gets to come home with me!

After a lot of research and nice feedback here, I had been going back and forth with the extremely helpful and patient folks at the store, trying to make up my mind on the acoustic vs hybrid, and figuring out all the details of what I should settle on. I asked them if a used piano would be an option, since I know good deals can be had, and I trust this store if I buy something they took care of. The answer was "yes, sure, that would be nice, but these things fly out within a day, so I don't have anything to offer you there, sorry." I said fine, let me think some more on this B3 vs NU1X decision. A couple of hours later, my phone rings. "You must have some good karma or timing magic; I just got off the phone with a family upgrading from the 2018 U1 to a grand for the kids. Want it?" This is a piano they know well because they sold it to the family and then tuned and maintained it in the home. I'm getting it for just South of 6k (delivered, tax included), which was my (updated) upper budget limit, which sounds like a good deal from what I have seen if confirmed in mint condition. I am getting a student discount since I was referred by my teacher. Comes with the full 10 year warranty, same included in-home tuning as new pianos, and same store policy of option to trade in at full price to upgrade to a grand that they offer for all new purchases. Am I right in thinking this is a good deal?
To clarify, I had played U1s when there, and I liked the action more than the one from the B3 (even though I understand it should be similar), but I didn’t explore too much, since it was out of my range by quite a bit.
It's on the way to the shop, they have to check it and prep, and then I will have to try it and finalize (just a refundable deposit for now). I really hope that this works out. I'm excited about getting an even better model, and I feel like I'm making a better decision financially too, buying a used but good condition piano.
I'll post an update once we meet. Thanks all!


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Hi RocDoc
Sounds like Clara is meant to be your adopted daughter. How exciting for you😊 and a great decision.
Please keep us posted after you have a chance to meet her— and of course, pics when she comes home


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Congratulations! You will enjoy the U1. You must be living right for the U1 to pop up just like that.

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Comes with the full 10 year warranty, same included in-home tuning as new pianos, and same store policy of option to trade in at full price to upgrade to a grand that they offer for all new purchases. Am I right in thinking this is a good deal?
Everything but the trade in, which may or may not be a good deal. When the dealer does a full price trade-in on an upgrade, you generally are unable to bargain on price for the new piano (which is commonly done) and you are limited to the brands the dealer carries. Often you do better financially to sell the piano yourself and then do normal bargaining to come up with a good price.


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What a lovely story, and I hope it works out! A good and almost new U1 is going to be a better piano than the B3. I recall from another thread that your wife was also more inclined toward an acoustic piano, and I suspect that she will like the U1.

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Love this update. It’s good that the dealer has a history with the piano. Seems like the stars are aligning…


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