The Price You Should Expect To Pay For A Used Piano

The Price You Should Expect To Pay For A Used Piano

How much does a good piano cost?

Should you accept one for free from a Craigslist ad?

Can you get one for a few hundred dollars?

Will an inexpensive model provide you with years of enjoyment?

We hear questions like these all the time. The Price You Should Expect To Pay For A Used Piano

People want to give piano lessons a try but are afraid to invest in a piano if they don’t continue for the long term. 

People want to fulfill their desires of playing the piano but want to do so with the least expensive model they can.

Sound familiar?

But what is considered a good deal? What price should you reasonably expect to pay for a used piano?

A lot of it comes down to luck and persistence, especially if you’re going to “trust” the online world. Some people get good deals on used pianos. Most don’t. Of course, it’s always the good deals that make you think anything is possible. 

But if you really want to play the piano and enjoy creating music, it’s in your best interest to get the best piano you can. That means one that is clean inside and out. One where the action is reliable. One that plays well and holds a proper tune. One that provides inspiring music now and will continue to do so for years to come. 

Rule #1: A good upright is better than an inferior grand

You may love the looks of a grand piano. But if you shop with budget in mind, focus in on getting the best upright for your money and save your dreams of a grand piano for when you can afford to put in more. 

Rule #2: A piano professional is in your best interest

If you pick up a piano through a classified ad, you are taking your chances on how well it operates. It may appear to play well, but what happens when you bring it home and discover it’s out of tune? What happens when the tuning professional reveals parts are missing and broken when he attempts to tune it? Using a professional to get the best piano possible can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. 

Rule #3: Avoid analysis paralysis

Rather than continuing the hunt for the “diamond in the rough,” invest in the best piano possible at your budget level with thoughts of upgrading in the future when you can afford more. A professional is happy to help you select the best piano for your current investment level, and will also take into account resale value to ensure your upgrade will help you save as much as possible. Don’t debate on what to do today. You’ll miss out on the opportunity of playing and learning you can do in the coming days and weeks. 


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

Digital or Acoustic, What’s The Best Piano For Your Child To Learn On?

Digital or Acoustic, What’s The Best Piano For Your Child To Learn On?

Digital pianos are turning up everywhere. You’ll find them at your big box store. And you’ll find them to be more affordable than the standard acoustic piano. But does that mean they are the right choice for your child to learn on?

One of the main advantages of a digital piano is that they are significantly less expensive than an acoustic piano. For many people, that’s a significant advantage, especially if you aren’t sure if your child will enjoy it. Digital or Acoustic, What’s The Best Piano For Your Child To Learn On?

Digital pianos are also more compact than acoustic pianos, and can be used in a home of any size. While traditional instruments have to find a corner to tuck into, or in the case of a grand piano, be prominent in a large living space, digital pianos can be folded up after every practice and stowed away. They can also be transported with ease for lessons or to play in a band. 

Unlike acoustic pianos, digital pianos don’t require the regular maintenance schedule. Digital pianos never require tuning, and can also be played in more extreme conditions, unaffected by heat or humidity. 

And if you live in close proximity to others, such as in a dorm or apartment, digital pianos also offer the convenience of working with headphones, meaning you can practice in silence anytime you choose. That can be convenient for roommates, or in family situations where other kids are doing homework or sleeping. 

Despite all the conveniences of digital, there are a few drawbacks as well. 

A digital piano will never sound or feel like the real things. Moreover, only the most sophisticated digital instruments are able to mimic the key dynamics of a real piano. In other words, digital pianos may play the same way, but they rarely sound or feel the same. 

That means the less expensive instrument you buy may not be benefiting the player in the same way as if they were playing on an acoustic. And if they aren’t practicing with the real thing, they are missing the opportunity to “hear” what they play. 

Part of the pleasure of learning to play the piano is to “feel” the music. If the notes are all wrong, the sound isn’t quite right, and you can’t “feel” the notes, some budding pianists lose interest. 

It’s like playing soccer with a flat ball. 

If you’re in the market for a piano – digital or acoustic – it’s important that you purchase the right piano for your needs. We can help. 


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

Buying A Piano Online

Buying A Piano Online

Have you ever tried to buy a piano online? 

You’re probably thinking it’s easy. After all, a quick search brings up millions of results. You can find pianos everywhere. 

Need a piano in a hurry? You’ll find them listed on Craigslist or eBay or your favorite local classified section. A quick call will have you the proud owner of a piano in no time. 

Buying A Piano OnlineYou can buy a sweater or a book or shoes online. They are easy to see through photographs, easy to mail to your home, and easy to return if they aren’t as promised. Manufacturers know this, and so they have turned to the online world in droves. 

But you won’t find that with an acoustic piano. Because acoustic piano manufacturers know that it isn’t the look of a piano that matters most. 

Piano manufacturers have dealers to sell their pianos to the public because they understand it’s more than the looks that make a piano a great investment. They understand it takes a solid evaluation to determine if a piano is high quality and worth the money you pay for it. 

Pianos are also one of the bulkiest pieces of furniture you’ll ever own. From the time they are manufactured, they are moved and wrangled and maneuvered into place. They are played and wrestled into tune again and again throughout the years. They aren’t something you and a buddy can move easily; a professional mover ensures it arrives at its final destination in good shape. That’s what makes pianos next to impossible to buy and ship easily through website sales, especially when it’s halfway around the world. 

A piano isn’t something you can run to the hardware store when something goes wrong. You can’t pound a new piece of wood into place when you accidentally drop it. You can’t rig in a new piece of plastic when a key fails. The strings in a piano aren’t strings at all. If someone attempts to “fix” a piano without the technical knowledge to do it effectively, the piano won’t be worth playing at all. 

So when you say “yes” to a piano online on Craigslist or eBay, what are you truly saying yes too? 


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

Comparing The Organ to The Piano

Comparing The Organ to The Piano

If you’re thinking about purchasing a digital piano, you may wonder what the difference is between an organ and a piano.

First, it’s important to understand that even though both the piano and organ have keyboards, they belong to different instrument groups. The piano is classified as a percussion instrument, while the organ is considered a woodwind instrument.Comparing The Organ to The Piano

When you strike the key of a piano, it is attached to a hammer that strikes a string tuned to a specific frequency, which produces a sound. The vibrations and sounds are quick to fade.

When you strike an organ key, however, you are completing a circuit that creates a sound. This sound can be sustained indefinitely, as long as you continue to hold the key.

The piano will sound more acoustic as it is being played, while an organ will sound more electronic.

Organs were designed to produce a variety of sounds throughout the woodwind family, including reed and brass instruments. They can also produce a variety of other effects with the touch of a button. While the lines are blurring a bit with modern digital pianos, in most cases the piano makes a better lead instrument, while organs are better for supporting chords.

Typically an organ is easier to play. You must learn to play bass notes on a pedaled keyboard while controlling the dynamics with a volume pedal. Pianists must learn more complicated fingering and be able to play complex chords.

Because organs are often designed with easy play methods, they allow you to start playing songs within minutes. For a hobbyist who simply chooses to play a few familiar songs, it can be an easy process to hear your favorite songs within a few short practice sessions.

But if you want to hone in on a complex skill, creating richer tones and familiarizing yourself with a complex talent that can take a lifetime to learn, you can never go wrong with a piano.

Want to learn more about organs and pianos? Stop by today.


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

What You Might Not Know About Pianos

What You Might Not Know About Pianos

Are you in the market for a new piano? Buying one is different than other purchases you make for your home. 

Take a kitchen appliance, for instance. Let’s say your dishwasher breaks, and you need a new one. You do a little research, find out what separates the makes and the brands, and then start picking out features that mean the most to you. Want a quiet dishwasher? Want one with multiple cycles for different loads? You can find several that will do the job quite nicely. What You Might Not Know About Pianos

When you bring it home and install it, the dishwasher works as promised. And it will continue to do so week after week, month after month, year after year. As long as it is well maintained, it will continue to the job similarly over and over again. 

That’s where the error occurs when people start shopping for a piano. 

A piano is a piano, right? But that assumption isn’t accurate. 

Because a piano is a living, breathing entity. It has a personality. It presents itself differently on any given day. 

Maybe it’s because the piano has around 12,000 working parts in it. Maybe it’s because so many different things affect how a piano works and sounds. 

Change the temperature in a room, and a piano can go flat or sharp.

When the air becomes dry, the sound can become brittle. 

Add a little humidity, and the sound can become muffled. 

But for most people, they don’t realize this when they start the search for a piano. 

Some people buy a piano sight unseen. When they load it up and take it home, is it any wonder it doesn’t sound quite right?

And if the sound isn’t there, why would you want to play it every day?

If you are in the market for a piano, get in and play it. Tap the keys. Play a scale. Tinker out a melody. And listen. 

Does it sound right to you? Do you connect with it? Can you see yourself making music together for years to come?

Only if the answer is yes is it time to buy. 


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

Buying A Child’s First Piano

Buying A Child’s First Piano

How do you buy a child’s first piano if you aren’t a musician yourself?

For many parents, doing a little research only confuses the situation. 

The child’s piano teacher may offer advice: “Make sure the piano has full size, weighted keys.” What does that mean?Buying A Child’s First Piano

Searching the Internet makes a case for both acoustic and digital pianos. What’s the difference?

And in the back of your mind is a little voice that says: “How long will she even play?”

These questions are all valid questions that every parent faces when pushing their child into music. 

Let’s start with the basic setup of a piano. Pianos are either acoustic or digital. Think of acoustic as the more traditional piano, with keys attached to strings, and an action that moves to create the sounds. Digital technology has come a long ways over the past decade to where a high quality digital piano can closely mimic a traditional feel and sound. 

Whichever piano you choose – acoustic or digital – the most important aspect is the sound it makes and the way it feels underneath your fingers. If it sounds good, your child will naturally want to play more. And if they have the right touch, they’ll better understand how to play the instrument. Both will make the entire process a more enjoyable experience. 

Now let’s talk about the keys. A full size piano has a full set of keys with 88 notes. Smaller keyboards may have 61 notes or 76 notes, and in most cases, these smaller keyboards have unweighted keys. Beginners start off only needing a few notes. But that quickly progresses as they begin improving their musical skills. Having fewer notes means your child will quickly outgrow the smaller keyboard. And if you haven’t ever felt the difference between a weighted and unweighted key, try it the next time you stop by our shop. You will feel a significant difference between the two responses. If a child starts with unweighted keys, they will find moving to weighted keys more of a struggle and will have a harder time transitioning to the next level of playing. Which means they will be more inclined to give up. 

If you want your child to play, you have to give her the proper tools to put into action. That doesn’t mean you’ll have to break the bank; it simply means selecting the right tools for the right time. We can help you do that, no matter what your budget or at what level your child is currently playing. 


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

What Wood Is Best For Making A Piano

What Wood Is Best For Making A Piano

If you look around your home, you’ll find wood is used in many ways, and comes from a variety of sources. You may have oak flooring, maple cabinets, and cedar in your drawers. For many of the items in your home, woods are interchangeable; you can use everything from birch, fir, mahogany, cherry or spruce to add a personal touch to your rooms. What Wood Is Best For Making A Piano

But how about your piano? What type of wood is best for creating a piano? 

It’s not so much what wood is selected as the process that is used to ensure the wood is properly treated before it is used to build a piano. 

After logs are harvested, they are sawed into planks, soaked in hot water to soften, then peeled to produce the veneer for the exterior case. It is then put through a drying process which can last from 6 months to two years, depending on how the parts will be used. This drying process is a crucial step. If not dried properly, the wood can warp and crack over time. 

In many cases, would is put through a process of air drying, then kiln dried bringing it down to as low as a 7 percent factor. It is often seasoned again before bringing it indoors to acclimate to its indoor climate. 

It’s a specialized process selecting the right wood. That’s what separates the manufacturers and gives each piano its own unique look and sound. Selecting wood takes a trained eye. It has to be able to be molded, closed, selected for its ability to be heat resistant and accept mild humidity changes without impact. And while many different kinds of woods can be used for the outside, in general, spruce is used for the soundboard. 

Spruce has high elasticity and is the most reverberant. Spruce is harvested when the sap is at the lowest content, with the manufacturer carefully selecting boards that can withstand environmental changes. Poor quality soundboards will straighten over time and lose tonal quality. So it’s important that they have the right grain for viability. 

Maple is usually used for creating the bridges and the pinblock. The bridge transfers the strings energy to the soundboard. Strength is needed to ensure the strings’ vibration is transferred efficiently. Maple is a hardwood that ensures a high degree of tuning stability over long periods of time, making it the perfect choice for the pinblock. 

Maple is also one of the best choices for the action mechanism. The action parts are a key component to a piano; precision is key. Which is why the quality of the wood is important for it to withstand constant friction and be durable over time.  


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

What Makes Piano Brands Different?  

What Makes Piano Brands Different?  

What Makes Piano Brands Different?  Baldwin
Hamilton
Chickering
Bosendorfer
Haessler
Kawai
Sohmer & Co
Pramberger
Schimmel
Steinway
Wurlitzer
Yamaha

Start searching online to find a good, reputable piano manufacturing company and you’ll quickly be overwhelmed by the sheer number of piano builders to do business with. In fact, in the last 200 years or so, there have been well over 12,000 piano brands in the marketplace. That’s not models … brands.

How do you know which manufacturer to choose?

How do you know which one is best?

And what’s the difference anyway?

Every piano on the market is made in a different way, in its own factory environment, using parts selected by a particular manufacturer. Some are made to be inexpensive alternatives; others are built by hand and designed to be collector’s items; true works of art.

But in all cases, a piano is as unique as the person playing it.

Pianos come in two styles: grands or verticals. Grands can be small to large: a small parlor grand can be 4’5” to a concert grand as large as 10’2”, while a vertical spinet can be 35” in height to a professional vertical at 52”. Choice is usually based on the size of the space you have to place your piano.

When making your selection, you are looking at the touch, or function of the action, and the sound. Each piano creates its own sound; some may be bright with lots of treble, others have lots of bass. Some may sound muffled while others may be vibrant with lots of voice.

It’s a personal preference. What sounds good to you? Because the better your piano sounds, the more likely you are to enjoy making music with it. Testing multiple pianos is the only way you can do that.

Are you ready to see how different piano brands sound?


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

Digital Piano: Is There A Difference Between Beginner, Intermediate And Advanced Playing Needs?

Digital Piano: Is There A Difference Between Beginner, Intermediate And Advanced Playing Needs?

As a piano dealer, one of the most common questions we receive is “How do I buy a good piano for a beginner?” Do a quick search online, and you’ll find the same question holds true. 

Because when you’re new to an industry, starting up a new hobby, you want to learn what you can before investing in the right equipment. Buying something you’ll outgrow quickly is never a good tactic. Digital Piano: Is There A Difference Between Beginner, Intermediate And Advanced Playing Needs?

And in there lies the problem. If you purchase a good digital piano as a beginner, how long will it last? Will you outgrow the digital piano in just a few short months? 

That could impact your budget big time. Which is why it may be necessary to add more questions as you search for the right piano. Instead of just asking:

  • What’s the best digital piano to buy for a beginner?

Follow it up with:

  • What the best digital piano that will allow me to grow from a beginner to an intermediate or advanced piano player too?

The difference between pianos will provide you with more opportunity not only for playability, but also for sound and function. 

People transition to higher digital piano levels because they have progressed into further understanding of music. They’ve moved beyond basic note letters, chords and compositions and most likely have more general knowledge of music theory. More advanced pianos have a wider range of rhythms and tones, along with more functionality and connectivity options for other platforms. 

By asking the question early in your search process, you can quickly learn what items make the biggest difference. It can also help you choose when to upgrade your requirements to choose a digital piano that can accommodate many of your needs. Possibly for years to come. 

What digital piano is right for you?


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

Is A Spinet Piano Good Enough?  

Is A Spinet Piano Good Enough?  

Head out to Craigslist, and you’ll find dozens of ads practically giving their pianos away. As you search through the ads, you may see one type appear again and again:

Spinet Piano … as good as new

Do you trust it? Should you move forward and look at it? Should you take it home?

A spinet piano is a very small upright piano, and can be distinguished by their height. Pianos 40” and below are spinets. Compare that with 41 – 44” consoles, or 45” and above as studio uprights. The very tallest – 48” or above – are often thought of as professional or upright grands.

A spinet is different than other pianos because of the way the action is built. The spinet action uses a pull-type drop action rather than the push-type used by other pianos. This makes the action too light and imprecise for students as they learn.Is A Spinet Piano Good Enough?  

A spinet is also has a smaller stature which makes it more difficult to play. Piano players have almost zero dynamic control, which means the effort put into playing it doesn’t result in the right sound or quality.

A young beginner needs a piano with a great sound in order to learn in-tune sound quality and develop ear training. They need a piano that has a good, consistent feel in order to develop proper playing strength and to ensure dynamic control from the moment they touch the keys. Proper feel is needed to improve playing techniques as they learn and grow.

Because spinet pianos are no longer made, the ones you will find on Craigslist or given to you by a family member or a friend are old, worn down, poor quality and inadequate in sound.

When you purchase or are given a spinet as a hand me down, it often sends the wrong message to children. The piano is nothing special, and only there as a temporary item.

A higher quality piano with great sound is more enjoyable to play, more consistent in the feel, and provides dynamic control that can instill a lifetime of enjoyment.

How could your child benefit from playing a high quality instrument?


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172