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Looks can be deceiving
Some used pianos (often called secondhand pianos or reconditioned pianos) look fantastic on the outside but are often in need of a complete overhaul on the inside. Only a piano tuner or piano technician will be able to advise you if you should buy it or not, and it is well worth the money to pay a professional to take a look at a used piano before you have committed to buying it.
Does the age of a used piano matter?
If your acoustic piano was built within the last 20 years then you shouldn't have a problem (providing it has been looked after!). Older pianos are only worth considering if they are in excellent condition or if they have been built with good quality materials. In some instances a 70 year old used Bechstein or Steinway piano is often in better condition than a modern piano of only a few years old.
Browse through the used upright piano section. You can compare the age, condition, quality and rating of each second hand upright piano. All used upright pianos in this section have been reconditioned and have passed the UK Pianos quality control check.
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You need to be careful when buying a used digital piano. Digital pianos are electronic and can be quite expensive to repair if something goes wrong. Repairs can cost between £100 and £300.
Before you buy a second hand digital piano, make sure you play each note in turn, check that all the sounds are even throughout, and there aren't any strange noises coming from the keys. You might also want to check that all the different musical instrument sounds are working.
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You have to be just as careful when buying a used grand piano as you would buying a used upright piano…
Things to look out for are i) cracks in the soundboard (that is the large piece of light wood that you see beneath the strings) ii) cracks in the bridges (they hold the tension of the strings) iii) all pedals are working. You will need to get a piano tuner/technician to check out a used grand piano before you make a buying decision.
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"7 Things You MUST Know Before Buying A Digital Piano"
1) How to understand confusing terminology (Polyphony, graded hammer, etc.)
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Questions and Answers
Thanks for your helpful ebook on buying a piano which I got hold of through your website.
We are thinking of getting a used 2nd hand Clavinova through eBay having already got a CLP430 as
we live in two different locations. Have you any advice on this? Most Clavinovas that are
advertised are older models that have been discontinued and so are not covered in your guide.
Reply/ Hi Cal
Buying an old piano on eBay is a bit of a risk…
There’s no way of knowing how much the piano
has been played. Mechanical parts start showing
signs of wear and tear after 10 years of moderate
playing. Noisy, clicky and sticky keys are the most
A piano that has been hammered with scales and
arpeggios on a daily basis is likely to be worn out
in a much shorter time.
If you want to buy second hand then I recommend
getting something no more than 3 years old.
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What Our Customers Say…
"Many thanks for all your replies and help with this — the piano indeed was unsuitable, as many of you suggested, so I will keep looking."