Buying a new piano vs. buying a restored, classic piano.
-Should I buy a new or slightly used piano?
-Antiques work fine as dining tables or clocks, but should I buy an older piano?
-Are Asian or current American made pianos better than vintage American or European?
-What are the differences in production, investment and overall satisfaction?
Should I buy a new or slightly piano?
New pianos, whether they are American made, Asian made, or European are all generally a decent piano. They have the classic shape of a piano, similar components of the original design, most of them have strings, and generally speaking they sound like a piano. If your looking for something brand new in appearance i.e. High Gloss Black or White, High Gloss Clear Finish or Composite action components, then a new or slightly used piano is for you.
History proves that
Most people understand that old Stradivarius violins and vintage guitars are sought by discerning musicians and often are the most valuable instruments available, because of the quality of their materials and their superior craftsmanship. We believe that early 20th century American pianos are similar.
These pianos are works of art, and were built by craftsmen of the highest integrity that hand picked aged hardwoods and hand crafted their instruments to unsurpassed quality.
Even new, hand-built pianos today do not compare to many of those made between 1900 and 1940. Unfortunately, many of those piano companies are no longer in business because it is very expensive to maintain a piano factory. Also, many did not survive through the war years where there was simply too much piano supply and not enough demand.
Still, used pianos cost less than new ones. Although pianos as acoustic instruments have not changed significantly since their creation, new prices continue to rise. In many cases, the caliber instrument a customer wants or needs is simply too expensive in a new model. This creates an appealing market for more affordable, yet almost identical or better, pre-owned pianos.
Given the proper selection, a smart consumer can purchase a much higher caliber pre-owned piano for a smaller investment. And it will hold its value remarkably well as new prices rise because a it has already passed the initial depreciation phase.
Unlike used cars, whose dollar values tend to decrease significantly with the passing years, good quality used pianos seem to maintain, or even appreciate in, value (that is, of course, as long as they have been properly cared for).
For example, a better quality, big name grand piano (Steinway, Baldwin, Mason & Hamlin, etc.) which was purchased as a used piano in 1974 for $3500 could easily be worth (depending on condition) 2 to 4 times as much today. Thus, from an investment perspective, for many folks it makes more sense to buy used, since the depreciation has already taken place.
What about new Chinese and Japanese pianos?
The used Kawaii and Yamaha pianos are very sturdy and can usually be obtained at a decent price, but theres a catch. Kawaii will support its used pianos with parts but Yamaha will not. They are concerned only in “new sales” and could care less about selling parts for their used instruments.
Many of the Japanese, Korean and Chinese pianos boast prestigious American names on their fronts from American piano companies that no longer exist like Knabe, Chickering, and Weber. They hope you’ll be “fooled” into thinking you’re buying an American piano and not a low end Korean or Chinese product.
To sum it up, why would you buy a new or used Korean, Chinese, or Japanese massed produced piano when, for the same price, and, in some cases, less, you could own a completely restored to perfection, hand built, vintage American grand piano?
We simply offer the service of weeding out the many pianos that were never good musical instruments and offering you only high quality instruments.