Vintage, Antique and Used Pianos, What’s The Difference

Vintage, Antique and Used Pianos, What’s The Difference

People use the words vintage, antique and old interchangeably when describing a piano.

The adage “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” can describe many things. And often times the words we use to describe are subjective at best.Vintage, Antique and Used Pianos, What’s The Difference

But is there a difference in the way the labels are used? Does one hold more value than the other?

In general terms, the word antique describes an object of considerable age valued for its aesthetic or historical significance. While time periods change depending on who’s valuing an item, antique is usually associated with something 100 years or older.

Vintage is usually used when describing an item that was popular in a different era. It’s not necessary that the object was produced within that time period, simply that it mimics the look and feel of the item that peaked in popularity during that time frame.

In some cases, people look to labels to help determine value. But this only holds true if both sides agree. Arguably, antique should be used to describe a piano with considerable age. But in all other cases, your good judgment will come into play.

In a physical situation, where you can touch, feel and listen to a piano, you can decide quickly how well it meets your qualifications. If evaluating it from a virtual world, a picture online, being conscious of the meaning and what is used to place a piano in that category will be a judgement call at best.

Which brings us to used. The term used applies to everything that can no longer be sold as new. It’s been used on a showroom floor. It’s been owned by a previous owner. Antique can be used. Vintage can be used.

No matter what label a piano has – antique, vintage or used – playability is never guaranteed. A piano can easily be classified as an antique, and not be able to produce a sound. A piano listed as vintage can be severely out of tune. A piano with the used tag can be comparable, even better than a new one in some cases, depending on upkeep and maintenance.

In all cases, research is your best course of action. Learn all you can about your potential purchase. Do your research online. Trust a piano expert who can guide you along the way. Then purchase the right piano for you.