Most families have this trouble when it comes to the question “How to buy a piano?”. Piano is an amazing music instrument yet owning one can be expensive and complicated for someone who is new to the music instrument. All pianos can last for a lifetime if it is given a good care, thus buying a used piano can be a good choice if you can get a good one. If you are having trouble choosing a piano that is suitable for you, below is a checklist for anyone that is looking to buy a new or even a used piano.
Note: Remember it is only fair and practical to compare the pianos within the similar value. For example, you should not expect a piano that is priced below RM6,000 (Budget/Beginners Models) to have the same height, sound and tone or feel as a piano priced above RM6,000 (Professional Models).
Used Piano’s Exterior Condition Checklist
Size/ Height of the piano
Height of the piano is closely related to the tone/ sound and touch of the piano. The bigger the piano, the louder and richer the sound of the piano should be. If you wished to have a louder sound, you should always choose a taller piano.
Note: Height of the piano below 120cm is considered as a small piano which are suitable for beginner. Any piano with a height of 121cm and above are suitable for professional pianists or exams.
Tone/ Sound quality
Tone/ Sound of the piano should be the same as listening to a sound system. It should be rich and loud but must be even and not too bright nor too mellow.
Touch/ Weight/ Feel of the Keys
Touch / feel of the keys is an important aspect for pianist. It should be even, powerful, good control and not too heavy nor too light.
All musical instruments has been standardised to tune to standard pitch of A440c/s. As well as piano, it should be at standard pitch of A440c/s. You may have to check it with a tuning device, so that it will be harmonised when you play with other musical instruments. It is also important for pianist to get used to the standard pitch, especially if you would like to train yourself to have a perfect pitch.
Used Piano’s Interior Condition Checklist
The hammers are the part of the piano that cause the strings to vibrate. You should check if all hammers are in good shape. Avoid piano with heavily wear and tear hammers or has been peeled off (as shown in the picture above).
Check the dampers’ condition. As shown in the photo above, it has been biten/eaten by insects or rats. The dampers could also been hardened due to over heating and extreme weather. Dampers should be soft, hardened damper will cause a buzz sound after releasing the key. Damper should also be raised evenly when pressing down on the pedal.
The Strings & tuning pins
Make sure strings and tuning pins are not badly rusted. Rusted strings may break easily. It might be costly to replace all strings. Tuning pins should be black and shiny and not rusted as shown in the photo above
Check for cracks around the bridge. If there are cracks in the bridge, the sound of the string will be affected. You can find other types of piano bridge damage by clicking here.
The SoundboardGood SoundboardCracked SoundBoard
Avoid pianos with cracked soundboard. It will have big impact on the sound being produced. Cracked soundboard is one of the most expensive repair if done.