Why Tone Quality Matters When Buying A New Piano

Why Tone Quality Matters When Buying A New Piano

Are you thinking of buying a new piano? What should you look for?

If this is your first purchase, it’s easy to start with the basics. Things like:

Location – where you’ll place the piano determines how large the piano can be

Color – piano color or stain will ultimately match your decor

Cost – price is always a factor

But to a pianist, there is one more thing you should consider when starting the hunt for the right piano for you … tone quality. 

Tone is how your piano sounds. It’s the voice of the instrument. It’s the sound that the piano makes every time you strike the keys. 

Even the most accomplished musician in the world can’t create beautiful music if the instrument doesn’t cooperate. Imagine sitting in one of the greatest music halls in the world and the pianist strikes a key horribly out of tune. You’d notice it immediately. The same applies to tone. Why play something that sounds tinny instead of robust? 

Tone quality is impacted ultimately by three things:

Physical factors

This includes everything your piano is made from. The wood used for the soundboard. The quality of the strings. How the action was designed. The quality of the wood on everything from hammers to the body of the piano. It also depends on the make and model, and how much care was put into it at the time of production. An upright will sound differently than a grand. A mass production will sound differently than a hand built piano. 

Placement

Have you ever wondered why concert halls are built the way they are? It’s to maximize the musical experience. If you’ve ever noticed your favorite song sounds different in your car versus on your stereo at home, you’ve also seen placement at work. When you shop for a new piano, they will ask you where you’ll place it once it arrives at your home. A small alcove will keep the tone smaller compared with placing a piano in a large music room. Furniture, drapery, wall coverings, artwork – it all can impact the sound. And that can give you a richer experience while you play. 

Care

Tone quality is also impacted by the way you care for your piano over the years. Do you tune it regularly? Is the room properly conditioned? Is there enough humidity? Is it impacted by drafts or heated air? Pianos aren’t like other pieces of furniture. Because of the thousands of tiny parts inside, it’s important to ensure it’s cared for properly from the moment it’s delivered to your home. 

Are you in the market for a new piano? Pay attention to tone quality. It will ensure you enjoy playing for years to come. 

5 Unusual Things To Consider When Buying A Used Piano

5 Unusual Things To Consider When Buying A Used Piano

Buying a used piano doesn’t mean you have to scour online resources to find a good deal. When you buy from independent sellers, you’re always taking a risk. 

  • You have nothing to compare it to
  • They don’t offer any type of guarantees
  • They won’t tell you the history
  • Are you really getting a fair price?
  • Is it something that will give you playability for years to come?

Luckily, there are a few unusual things you can look for that will ensure you are purchasing a high quality piano. 

Look for the serial number

You’ve probably grown accustomed to looking for VIN numbers when you buy a used car. You can use it to find out all kinds of information about its history, including if it’s been in a wreck. While pianos aren’t tracked in the same manner as a car, the serial number can tell you its age. If you can’t find it, it’s a good indication someone is trying to hide its history. It may have been a less-than-stellar refurbishing job, or simply a homeowner trying to do the work themselves. 

Ask for tuning records

If an independent owner has had the piano in their home for years, they should be more than willing to share their maintenance schedule with you. How often has the piano been tuned? What work has the piano technician performed over the years? It can also help you continue the schedule, and maybe even point you in the direction of the technician who already understands the nuances of the piano you’re buying. 

Play every note

People naturally gravitate to middle C. They may place their hands on it and run through a scale or two. But what about the other keys? Sit down and run through all of them. Play them all one at a time and listen to the tone they create. Do you hear a clue that it’s in anything but stellar condition? You should also run through all the keys while pressing the right pedal to check the repetition. 

Integrity

Do a thorough walk-thru of the entire piano, inside and out. Look for small cracks in the structure. Look for missing pieces on the inside. Look for varying qualities of artistry, which can tell you it’s been rebuilt by someone who didn’t understand quality. Even if you don’t understand the workings of a piano, you can usually pick out differences in quality. 

Bring a technician with you

Depending on the price tag of your purchase, it might be a good idea to bring a piano technician with you. They may see things you won’t. It also gives them an opportunity to assess how well a piano has been cared for over the years, and what it would take to keep it that way in the future. 

Are you ready to buy a used piano? Do it the right way and you’ll ensure an instrument you’ll love to play for years to come. 

What’s Really Important When Selecting A New Piano

What’s Really Important When Selecting A New Piano

There are two kinds of piano shoppers:

  • The ones who are buying their first pianos
  • The ones who are upgrading to something better

Because they are looking for something entirely different, their approach to selecting a new piano varies. 

If you’ve never played the piano before, you might not understand the value in selecting the right instrument. A piano is a piano, right? Well … 

Not exactly. 

Many pianos are made by hand. That makes every single instrument out there different. They play differently. They sound different. They feel different. 

If you’re selecting a new piano for the first time, you might not understand how important it is to sit down and really listen to the way the piano sounds. You might not know to compare it with other models, other manufacturers, other options. 

If you’re looking for a new piano and you have years of practice behind you, you might have a few more requests in mind. Maybe you have features you have to have – they’re non-negotiable. Or maybe you have a specific brand in mind. 

Our best advice to you is to come in with your mind wide open. 

The higher up in the music business classical pianists move, the more set they become on what they want to play. But is that all about sound and playability? Or is it more about marketing?

Some of the oldest brands in the business might have professional clout. They’ve always been the best, so they assume they will always be the top of the line. That isn’t always so. 

There are innovators, even in the piano industry. Inventions that can make you a better piano player, provide more musicality, and give you more opportunity to play. Pianos that take advantage of today’s technology and make you a better player. 

Are you in the market for something new? What process are you using for selecting a new piano? We can help you find the right instrument for you. 

Piano Scams You Should Be Aware Of

Piano Scams You Should Be Aware Of

Do a quick search online for “piano scams” and you’ll find many different complaints about how people lost money by trying to buy or sell a piano. 

Ultimately, they can all be lumped into three categories:

Trust 

The first involves trust. We all want to believe people are inherently good. That’s not always the case. 

If you’re purchasing from a private owner, are you sure you’re getting a piano in good working condition? Are you sure it’s the piano they claim it to be? 

Private individuals often push pianos in lousy working condition onto people, claiming ignorance when asked about playability. “I don’t know” or “It’s been sitting in the corner for years” is often their reply. If you don’t understand much about the working condition of a piano, it can be difficult to determine how functional it is in just a few moments of time. 

Fake

When people refurbish a piano, it’s often necessary to replace the name decal on the piano. Did you know they are easy to buy?

That’s because rebuilders and refinishers have a legitimate need to be able to brand a piano as they finish their work. Unfortunately, less than scrupulous refurbishers often try and make a piano look more valuable than it really is. Imagine if you saw a Steinway label on a piano that really wasn’t a Steinway? Would you know the difference? Would you pay the price? 

Stretching The Truth

There’s a third way that’s slightly different from the fake piano from above. Over the years, piano manufacturers have folded into one another again and again. New piano manufacturers have also opened up in many other countries around the world. 

With all of this “intermixing”, it’s sometimes hard to tell quality based on name. For example, The Baldwin piano is an American company that has produced pianos for decades. Yet Howard pianos were built under the Baldwin brand, and are considered a lower production line. Could Howard pianos technically have a Baldwin brand? In theory. But it would be a misrepresentation of the true origin of the piano. 

Know Your Source

The world of pianos is changing. That’s why it’s more important than ever to know your source. 

If you have questions about purchasing a piano you can enjoy for years to come, stop by and chat with a member of our sales team. You’ll be confident about your final selection, and know you have a quality instrument that will be a joy to play. 

Should You Buy a Piano Ready To Restore?

Should You Buy a Piano Ready To Restore?

Sometimes, looking around at new pianos just doesn’t provide the experience you’re looking for. Sure, they look nice. Beautiful in every way. 

But you want something … different. 

Maybe you should buy a piano ready to restore. 

Pianos are unique in that with some manufacturers and models, they have the ability to increase in value over time. Because they were built in a bygone era using materials that quite often are no longer available, they can have more value today. 

Imagine owning a piano played by some of the greatest musicians of the past century. 

Or how about owning an instrument that sat in one of the greatest concert halls in the world?

If you choose to buy a piano ready to restore, it’s more than selecting one that looks good sitting on the showroom floor. Instead, it’s about finding one that has a story to tell, and then bringing it back to life to sit proudly in your home for years to come. 

The first step is defining your goals. What are you looking for in a piano? Where will it be on display? What’s your budget? From there, we can find a piano perfect for your needs. 

Then you can be a part of the restoration process. Pick your favorite stain color, light, medium, or dark. Prefer a color? Black, white, or somewhere in between. In some cases, you can choose nickel or brass hardware to accent the final look. 

Not only was the piano a work of art before restoration, but it also gained uniqueness by having you be a part of the process. It will truly be something you’ll be proud to put on display in your home, and love for years to come. 

How To Purchase The Perfect Church Piano

How To Purchase The Perfect Church Piano

If you have any experience with purchasing a church piano, you know every piano is different. Defining your goals is important before you make your final decision. 

For example, the piano you place in a practice room wouldn’t have the same requirements as one you place on a stage. If you’ll be using it in a classroom of kids, it has different requirements than one you’ll be accompanying the choir. 

Your first step is to define your goals clearly. What do you need the piano for? 

  • Will it be kept in one place?
  • Will it be moved around?
  • Who will use it?
  • Who will listen to it?
  • Who will play it?

As you budget for replacing a current piano or adding a new one, don’t discount the value of used pianos. This isn’t about finding one off of Craigslist. Instead, it’s about working with a reputable dealer who can help you discover your needs. 

This is often why restored pianos can be a great purchase. Pianos of yesteryear were built to last. In many cases, the fact that they still are high-quality and in-demand today speaks volumes. And when they are fully restored to their best condition, their sound and tonal quality can often far exceed what you could purchase new for today. 

Which brings us to another question for you. Do you have a scratched, worn out piano in the basement you’ve been thinking about getting rid of? What if it could be brought back to life once again? 

Many of these older pianos are actually diamonds in the rough. Because you have experience with this piano, you know how well it’s been treated over the years. If it was a high-quality instrument in the first place, chances are through restoration, it can be brought back to great condition once again. 

Are you looking to purchase a high-quality piano for your church? Don’t start by looking at pianos, begin by considering your needs. Give us a call and we can help you determine what’s best for your needs, and help you find the right piano for your church. 

Is A New Piano Better Than A Used One?

Is A New Piano Better Than A Used One?

If you’re in the market for a piano, where should you start? Is a new piano better than a used one? Should you look in the classifieds or focus on working with a dealer?

It should come as no surprise to you that fewer people these days play an instrument. All you have to do is look at the school system to determine that. Where every child once learned music in some fashion, with today’s focus on STEM and sports, music has been pushed aside to be an extracurricular activity. 

For many homeowners, the thought of having a piano sitting in their homes is for one of three reasons. Some play, and want a great sounding piano available whenever they have time. Others have a desire to play, and hold onto a piano for the day they have more time. Finally, the last category is people that purchase pianos for aesthetics instead of playability. They want a piano as a piece of furniture, they want it to add to the looks of their homes. Playability is mostly a moot point. 

If you’re in the market for a new piano, your first question should be: why do I want a piano? Is it to play it? Is it to grow as a pianist? Is it to start up a new hobby? Or is it merely to have a piece of furniture on display?

And finally, how important is sound? Because the world of manufacturing has changed considerably over the past couple of generations. 

For many piano manufacturers, pride comes from the way the instrument performs. They build it by hand. They focus on tonal quality, ensuring every note makes beautiful music. 

But because there is a marketplace for every want and desire, China has now entered piano making too. They cater to “entry level”, focusing on giving you a low price for an instrument that looks good sitting in your home. Unfortunately, looks aren’t everything. If you want a high quality instrument that lasts for years, you might not find it in this new wave of pianos. 

Is a new piano better than an old one? Not necessarily. 

Why are you in the market for a piano in the first place? If you want one to play, it might be better to shop used. 

We have a complete selection of used pianos, made with high quality standards and skill. The only way to find the perfect instrument is to stop by, look and hear what each sounds like. We can help you make the right selection for your home. 

Creative Ways To Surprise Your Family With A Piano Under The Tree

Creative Ways To Surprise Your Family With A Piano Under The Tree

Want to surprise your family with a piano for the holidays? Here are some creative ways to surprise your family with a piano under the tree. 

Every year, you load gifts under the tree in hopes of creating the perfect surprise. Some gifts are forgotten almost as quickly as they are received. Many are returned. More are used for a bit before given away. 

If you’re looking for the perfect gift you’ll keep on using for years to come, why not wrap up a piano this holiday season? 

Yet we realize how difficult it can be to bring home a piano and tuck it under the tree. Still, what could be more fun than giving the gift that keeps on giving? We have some creative ways to give a piano under the tree and surprise your loved one on Christmas morning. 

Wrap The Box

Pianos come in a very large box. However, you don’t usually see it because you purchase a piano directly off our showroom floor. When we deliver it, it’s set up and ready to go. But we do keep a few cardboard boxes in the back – just ask, and we’re happy to tuck one into your truck for you to take home and wrap. It’ll be the perfect way to keep your recipient guessing all season long. 

Wrap The Piano Lid Key

Almost every acoustic piano comes with a key that locks the lid over the piano keys. Wrap up this key in a tiny box and decorate it with pretty paper. You can include a photo or a letter describing what it’s for. If your piano is already in place in another part of your home, create a scavenger hunt for the recipient to find it. 

Wrap A Piano Ornament

If you do a little searching, you can find a Christmas ornament shaped like a piano. Wrap it up with a special note about how they’ll be able to create their own music with their own piano – delivered right after the holidays!

Sheet Music

Instead of wrapping the piano, buy a selection of sheet music and place that in the box. Make sure it’s an appropriate skill level for whoever will be playing the piano. 

Piano Lessons

Will the recipient need piano lessons too? Provide a gift card and wrap that up. This gives them a chance to get started playing right after the holidays. 

Wrap The Bench

Instead of wrapping the entire piano, wrap the bench instead. You can keep it in the box, or wrap it out of the box to keep them guessing. You can include a photo of the piano too if it’ll be delivered after the holidays. 

How To Buy The Right Piano This Holiday Season

How To Buy The Right Piano This Holiday Season

Many parents start with the best intentions. Their kids express an interest in music, so they buy an inexpensive keyboard for the holidays in hopes of pushing them towards their dreams. 

It’s frustrating to find a few months later that the keyboard is in the back of the closet, never touched after a few weeks of playing. What went wrong?

Those inexpensive keyboards aren’t designed to be much more than a toy. They don’t sound right. Often, they aren’t in tune. And you can’t become musically inclined by playing with a toy. 

The only way to be serious about music is to buy the right piano that works for your skill level. 

When you’re ready to buy the right piano for your needs, the first step is to decide between an acoustic or digital piano. Both have pros and cons; it’s important to consider these five things before making your final selection:

The sound

In general, a good piano has great tonal quality. When you touch the keys and play music, listen to the sound produced. Even pianos from the same manufacturer can have different sounds, so it’s important to try out every piano you’re considering before you buy. 

The keys

Ensure all keys create sound and have a smooth surface free of damage. Keys should have resistance – something not all digital pianos have. When you strike a key, there should be sufficient cushioning to reduce the shock to your fingers while you play. 

The brand

Select a reliable brand that will bring you years of enjoyment. A lot of brands have earned good reputations and stand behind the pianos they produce. You can check out our selections here on our site, or stop by and we’ll show you our preferred models. 

The location

 Consider where you’ll place the piano in your home, and how often you’ll play it in your selected location. Pianos should never be placed where there are drastic temperature fluctuations, where they’ll be subjected to heat or moisture, or in direct sunlight. If you want to move your piano on a regular basis, or you have a small location with lots of family members coming and going, a digital piano might be of benefit to be able to plug in headphones to play at any time. 

The warranty

When you buy a piano off Craigslist or from a private owner, what you see is what you get. When you buy a piano from a dealer, you’ll have a warranty that will protect your purchase for the foreseeable future. Ask about our warranties – we’re happy to share with you the easiest way to bring home a piano and start enjoying it today. 

When Is The Best Time Of The Year To Buy A Piano?

When Is The Best Time Of The Year To Buy A Piano?

While playing piano is an activity you can enjoy every day of the year, there are certain times of the year where buying a new piano is better. Piano dealers cycle through seasons and holiday events, just like your favorite big box store. If you consider your time wisely, you’ll know you’re getting the best deal possible on a piano that will give you years of enjoyment. 

When should you consider your purchase?

Summer

People don’t often associate summer as a time for being indoors and playing the piano. That’s what makes it the perfect time to invest in a new piano. Piano dealers are often slower, stocking up fall and the start of school. Because business is a little slower, you can work with a dealer to get the best choice for your needs. They’ll spend a little more time evaluating your wishes and desires, and can help you find the best deals. You’ll also be able to have it delivered on your time schedule, prioritizing your delivery around your life. 

End of summer

End of summer means back to school. Piano dealers know that this is one of the biggest times to start extracurricular activities, so you’ll find lots of deals on both new and used pianos. This is also one of the most popular times to get new inventory, which means you’ll find deals on older pianos too. 

November and December

One of the most popular gifts around the holidays is a piano. You’ll find them available at all kinds of stores. But don’t be fooled by buying a toy piano from your favorite big box store. Instead, look for the best deals at your local piano dealer. They know how important a high quality instrument is, so they’re happy to help you find the best deal to suit your family’s needs. 

Spring

If you’re looking for a high quality used piano, spring may be a perfect time. A lot of homeowners choose spring as the ideal time to downsize. Our selection goes up in the springtime as we sift through some of the best used pianos in the marketplace. 

Is there a best time to buy a new piano? The best time is when you’re ready to bring a new instrument into your home. If you’ve been dreaming of a new piano, why not make today the day. You’ll love being able to create music any time you desire. We’re happy to help you choose the right piano for your family’s needs.