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Thank you! This is a lot of useful info. Buying locally does have availability limitations, but I don't know about buying a used piano online though - does anyone do this without even being able to see it?

Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
FDT, given your budget and hopes for something larger than 5', here's my advice:

1. Visit piano dealers (start with Ruggeros in Raleigh?? IIRC) and play what they have to get an idea of the different options and check out their prices. Try to become familiar with a few different brands including: Yamaha, Kawai, Young Chang, Boston, others will add to this I hope. Focus on pianos in the 5'4 to 5'8" size range.

2. Start watching local listings by private sellers (CL, FB Marketplace, OfferUp, Next Door, PianoMart online, you could even check eBay). Oh, even if you don't go there physically, check out Marshall Piano Co. online to get an idea of the sizes and prices.

3. Try to find an independent piano tech and get an idea of what companies you might be able to use to pay for piano delivery yourself. See if you feel comfortable buying from a private seller, where you pay to have the piano evaluated by a tech and you pay moving. This opens up a lot more possibilities for you.

I think if it might take some time but you should be able to find a used piano at around 5'3" in your price range. I am partial to Yamaha and Boston, but definitely look at other brands.

Good luck!!

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I'm quite perplexed when seeing pianos that are older than myself - it this Baldwin model a very nice one back in 1975?


Originally Posted by brdwyguy
FDT

check out this one - Baldwin 5' 8" with a player

https://freeburgpianos.com/used-pianos-for-sale/model-r-pianodisc/

brdwyguy

PS Shiro has great advice, I agree with him.

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Since your student is only in two years, see if you can find some quality re-builders nearby and get on their contact list if one of their clients is wanting to sell their piano due to aging out of piano playing. I have been rebuilding so long, I have some clients in that position and then I get to sell one of my rebuilds twice in my life.


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I have been contemplating upright vs grand as well. Besides the musical functions, it's after all going to be a big piece of furniture sitting there for the next 10 years or maybe even longer. The look of a grand piano is surely a factor here, and finally I have prepared a specific space for a grand. I realized I probably wouldn't spend 8K for an upright piano - excuse me for not being a pursuer of pure music here..:)

Originally Posted by tre corda
You could probably find a larger upright (used) would sound far better than a small grand.๐Ÿ˜‰ I would say keep your options open about small grand or upright.Look for the best piano you can find for that price.If you feel you would like the look of a grand in your living room (as many do)then buy the baby grand.I just want you to consider your choices.
Originally Posted by 88Key_PianoPlayer
Originally Posted by BruceD
What I would say, however, is that 4' 11" is considered a very small baby grand with compromises that would make a quality upright at a similar price a better musical instrument.

Originally Posted by tre corda
You could probably find a larger upright (used) would sound far better than a small grand.๐Ÿ˜‰ I would say keep your options open about small grand or upright.Look for the best piano you can find for that price.If you feel you would like the look of a grand in your living room (as many do)then buy the baby grand.I just want you to consider your choices.

Originally Posted by Maestro Lennie
Eventually, teachers will want a student to get a grand, for its action. But if your daughter is only two years in, you have plenty of time to live with an upright that may sound better, behave better, and take up less space than a lower-quality grand at the same price.

I agree with the other (quoted) posters here. A quality upright piano can sound better than a very small grand. (Quite a few years ago, before she passed away, my paternal grandma lived in two retirement homes - first one had a Kimball LaPetite grand (one of the shortest grands made, if not THE shortest 88-note grand), and her final place had an early 1950s Baldwin Acrosonic spinet. I preferred playing (and listening to) the Acrosonic by a HUGE margin.)

Here where I live now (although I'm planning on moving in the next couple weeks, & looking at getting more training in working on pianos, but hoping to post more on that in another topic later), we have my mom's 4'11" grand alongside my own 45" upright. Right now the grand piano has a bunch of things stored around it so I can't record anything on it, but I did find a couple recordings I did a number of years ago on the two pianos, with the same two songs.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1EKuxG1gfUsMJzsjEkh734W65mx0i8dYo?usp=sharing

The 4'11" grand is a Young Chang PG-150, from 1998. (My mom got it in 1999 as a gift, I think her foster parents paid $6K for it but I'm not 100% sure.) The two songs were recorded in December 2000.
The 45" upright is a Baldwin Hamilton upright (#167714) from 1956. (I paid $349 for it in October 2008.) The songs on that one were recorded in March 2010.

Personally, I think the 45" upright sounds better than the 4'11" grand. I would expect a newer and better quality (and more expensive) upright to sound better. (But then, I've played some newer uprights, even 48-52" uprights, that I didn't like as much as the Hamilton, but then those weren't super high-end uprights.)
The action on my Hamilton does need regulating, though (and most likely the grand needs it too, as it's never been done), and there's a crack in the soundboard under a rib that needs to be repaired sometime (cause sometimes the rib separates causing an intermittent (few days at a time every several months to couple years or so) buzz, especially on C#1 and B3).

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Originally Posted by FDT
I'm quite perplexed when seeing pianos that are older than myself - it this Baldwin model a very nice one back in 1975?

As best I can recall, the Baldwin R was considered "above average" in 1975 (the year I got married - ha ha). But that was 46 years ago. Current condition is what counts - along with any work that may have been done to the piano along the way. Would be nice if you could find a newer Baldwin R without the player system.


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Originally Posted by FDT
Thank you! This is a lot of useful info. Buying locally does have availability limitations, but I don't know about buying a used piano online though - does anyone do this without even being able to see it?
Some people do this - but the vast majority of folks who post on PW advise against it. Very risky - plus moving costs tend to be high. With patience, you should be able to find something within a 100 miles radius of your home.


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Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by FDT
Thank you! This is a lot of useful info. Buying locally does have availability limitations, but I don't know about buying a used piano online though - does anyone do this without even being able to see it?
Some people do this - but the vast majority of folks who post on PW advise against it. Very risky - plus moving costs tend to be high. With patience, you should be able to find something within a 100 miles radius of your home.

To add to Careyโ€™s great advice. It is always best to test drive the piano you buy. Always buy a piano for what it is. Donโ€™t ever bank on potential.

Best Wishes!


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[quote=FDT]I have been contemplating upright vs grand as well. Besides the musical functions, it's after all going to be a big piece of furniture sitting there for the next 10 years or maybe even longer. The look of a grand piano is surely a factor here, and finally I have prepared a specific space for a grand. I realized I probably wouldn't spend 8K for an upright piano - excuse me for not being a pursuer of pure music here..:)quote=FTD
A taller upright has a bigger soundboard, with longer strings, so yes a bigger rounder sound than a small grand especially in the bass.Of course if you just wish to fill a space......

Excuse me but you cannot "buy music".You can only buy a good piano which will inspire a young person by its tone and touch.NOT every grand can outplay every upright!
That is a fact !!!
No matter what you actually decide please remember NOT every grand is not automatically a Bosendorfer because it's a grand.
I am not interested in the cosmetic attributes of a piano.....especially right at this moment..

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FDT, you will find no shortage of people here who will try to talk you out of buying a grand if you can't get one large enough (what counts as large enough seems to depend on the person...)

I am not one of those people. (well, not quite, anyway!) I love the experience of playing a grand, it's so different than playing an upright. And yes, they do look beautiful in the home.

I do agree, however, that longer is generally better, but if you can stay above 5', and get something at least 5'3", there are a lot of very nice instruments to choose from.

Beyond that, IMO, you don't have to justify wanting a grand. Just get what you can afford, get the nicest piano you can afford that fits both your budget and your aesthetic preferences.

smile


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Originally Posted by tre corda
You could probably find a larger upright (used) would sound far better than a small grand.๐Ÿ˜‰ I would say keep your options open about small grand or upright.Look for the best piano you can find for that price.If you feel you would like the look of a grand in your living room (as many do)then buy the baby grand.I just want you to consider your choices.
I misread ๐Ÿ˜ณyour post about "pursuing pure music" so I apologize FTD! I thought you meant "excuse me for not pursuing pure music" (so therefore I need a grand ) Baldwins are great pianos and the R sounds particularly good.
If there are people who always try and persuade others to buy uprights I am unaware of it. I do suggest looking at used uprights just to broaden the number of good musical pianos available.Lets face it you never know what you will find.
I actually have the SAME grand as ShiroKuro but mine is older.
In fact "getting long in the tooth" so I too will be faced with this very dilemma and I am not confining myself in my search to grand or upright.So if "I am one of those people ๐Ÿ™ƒ".........I really do not mean to be!


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Quote
If there are people who always try and persuade others to buy uprights I am unaware of it.

I am thinking of one person in particular who no longer posts much.

But people often say something along the lines of "if you can't get at least 6' you're better off with an upright." I just don't agree with that. A piano is an emotional object as much as it a tool, so choosing a grand is often related to details beyond just sound.


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Haha, I don't think you need to apologize! At the end of the day, it is just a personal preference - it will always be satisfying to play on the piano you like.

Originally Posted by tre corda
Originally Posted by tre corda
You could probably find a larger upright (used) would sound far better than a small grand.๐Ÿ˜‰ I would say keep your options open about small grand or upright.Look for the best piano you can find for that price.If you feel you would like the look of a grand in your living room (as many do)then buy the baby grand.I just want you to consider your choices.
I misread ๐Ÿ˜ณyour post about "pursuing pure music" so I apologize FTD! I thought you meant "excuse me for not pursuing pure music" (so therefore I need a grand ) Baldwins are great pianos and the R sounds particularly good.
If there are people who always try and persuade others to buy uprights I am unaware of it. I do suggest looking at used uprights just to broaden the number of good musical pianos available.Lets face it you never know what you will find.
I actually have the SAME grand as ShiroKuro but mine is older.
In fact "getting long in the tooth" so I too will be faced with this very dilemma and I am not confining myself in my search to grand or upright.So if "I am one of those people ๐Ÿ™ƒ".........I really do not mean to be!

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I agree! it is much more than a tool creating sound.

Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Quote
If there are people who always try and persuade others to buy uprights I am unaware of it.

I am thinking of one person in particular who no longer posts much.

But people often say something along the lines of "if you can't get at least 6' you're better off with an upright." I just don't agree with that. A piano is an emotional object as much as it a tool, so choosing a grand is often related to details beyond just sound.

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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Quote
If there are people who always try and persuade others to buy uprights I am unaware of it.

I am thinking of one person in particular who no longer posts much.

But people often say something along the lines of "if you can't get at least 6' you're better off with an upright." I just don't agree with that. A piano is an emotional object as much as it a tool, so choosing a grand is often related to details beyond just sound.
Originally Posted by FDT
Haha, I don't think you need to apologize! At the end of the day, it is just a personal preference - it will always be satisfying to play on the piano you like.

Originally Posted by tre corda
Originally Posted by tre corda
You could probably find a larger upright (used) would sound far better than a small grand.๐Ÿ˜‰ I would say keep your options open about small grand or upright.Look for the best piano you can find for that price.If you feel you would like the look of a grand in your living room (as many do)then buy the baby grand.I just want you to consider your choices.
I misread ๐Ÿ˜ณyour post about "pursuing pure music" so I apologize FTD! I thought you meant "excuse me for not pursuing pure music" (so therefore I need a grand ) Baldwins are great pianos and the R sounds particularly good.
If there are people who always try and persuade others to buy uprights I am unaware of it. I do suggest looking at used uprights just to broaden the number of good musical pianos available.Lets face it you never know what you will find.
I actually have the SAME grand as ShiroKuro but mine is older.
In fact "getting long in the tooth" so I too will be faced with this very dilemma and I am not confining myself in my search to grand or upright.So if "I am one of those people ๐Ÿ™ƒ".........I really do not mean to be!
You do not have to have a 6 foot grand to have a really nice sound, a C2 is an excellent choice.Besides the kind of upright that will be better than a 5'6" upright will be expensive.Where does one find a good almost new YUS5, K800,or a suitable Petrof,Grotrian or Schimmel at the price I can afford?

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FDT

Buying an Older Piano is why you want to bring/have a professional technician with you when you go to look at a piano.
They will give you an honest opinion on the work the piano will need.
They will also be able to advise on what work has been done on the instrument.

My piano was built in 1912 - you would never ever know it from the look (not really that important) or the sound (is IMPORTANT)

It depends on how well the piano was taken care of!
The history of the piano is a very common question at piano dealerships.
How Many Owners? (The fewer the better usually)
What Work was done?
WHY was it traded in? (That's always a good one)

Used Pianos are NOT like buying Used Cars in that respect.

Hang in there!

Last edited by brdwyguy; 08/03/21 04:44 PM.

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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Quote
If there are people who always try and persuade others to buy uprights I am unaware of it.

I am thinking of one person in particular who no longer posts much.

But people often say something along the lines of "if you can't get at least 6' you're better off with an upright." I just don't agree with that. A piano is an emotional object as much as it a tool, so choosing a grand is often related to details beyond just sound.
I agree! A piano is so much more than it's size.In fact I have played 5ft grands and I understand their allure and their musicality. Small grands do (like bigger ones) make a room look good and that can be very nice.I do not mind "tall black slabs"(as one person called them) either as long as they play well.We all have different needs and that is fine.

Last edited by tre corda; 08/03/21 06:55 PM.
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Exactly!


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Good info, thanks!

Also, how do I get started finding a good professional technician? Any suggestions? Do they normally charge by hours?

Originally Posted by brdwyguy
FDT

Buying an Older Piano is why you want to bring/have a professional technician with you when you go to look at a piano.
They will give you an honest opinion on the work the piano will need.
They will also be able to advise on what work has been done on the instrument.

My piano was built in 1912 - you would never ever know it from the look (not really that important) or the sound (is IMPORTANT)

It depends on how well the piano was taken care of!
The history of the piano is a very common question at piano dealerships.
How Many Owners? (The fewer the better usually)
What Work was done?
WHY was it traded in? (That's always a good one)

Used Pianos are NOT like buying Used Cars in that respect.

Hang in there!

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FDT, did you say what region you're in? DC area? You could check the Piano Technician's Guild:
https://www.ptg.org

Although there are good and reputable techs who are not in this organization, it's good place to start.

Also, if you have a piano teacher or know any, you might ask who they use for their tunings. Or if there's a university, college or music school close by, you could "cold call" someone there and ask who they use for their tuning.

That's sort of how I found my current tech (who was also the person who I relied on while piano shopping). He was intro'ed to me by a piano prof at the uni where I teach. He had a flat fee for in-person evaluation of the piano. He also consulted with me by phone for no charge.


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I'm in Raleigh NC. Good website to start. Thanks!

Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
FDT, did you say what region you're in? DC area? You could check the Piano Technician's Guild:
https://www.ptg.org

Although there are good and reputable techs who are not in this organization, it's good place to start.

Also, if you have a piano teacher or know any, you might ask who they use for their tunings. Or if there's a university, college or music school close by, you could "cold call" someone there and ask who they use for their tuning.

That's sort of how I found my current tech (who was also the person who I relied on while piano shopping). He was intro'ed to me by a piano prof at the uni where I teach. He had a flat fee for in-person evaluation of the piano. He also consulted with me by phone for no charge.

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