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Buying a New or Used Piano


Things to consider are listed below to help you make the right decision.

  1. Your budget.
  2. Who to ask for help.
  3. Purpose of use.
  4. Buy a new or used piano?
  5. Buy privately, from a dealer, or Guus van den Braak.
  6. Which brand, model and size produces the best sound to suit your budget?
  7. The quality, design and condition of the action mechanism.
  8. Can the key touch-weight and response be improved?
  9. The overall structural quality of the piano.
  10. The tuning-pin torque (tightness).
  11. The condition of the bridges.
  12. Can the tonal quality of a piano be improved?
  13. The acoustical qualities of your piano room.
  14. The style of music you play.

Your budget

Naturally, the amount of money you can afford to spend on a piano is the number one factor that will to some extent determine the quality of the piano.  Not all pianos, new and old, are equal, and prices can vary greatly.  However, it is not uncommon for a cheaper piano to be better than a more expensive one.

Who to ask for help

Some people ask their piano teacher to help them select and buy a piano.  Although the intentions are good, it is unwise, because a piano teacher is not a trained piano tuner and technician.  Piano teachers often are biased to the brand, tone and touch of the piano they personally prefer, which is usually their own piano brand, and that is basically the limit of their advice.  It is like asking a driving instructor, who loves driving a Ford to help you select and buy a car.  He is most likely going to recommend you a Ford.  If the driving instructor is not a car mechanic, but only knows the rules of the road and safe driving methods, it would be far more beneficial to engage a qualified expert car mechanic to inspect the car from top to bottom.

There are many issues piano players cannot detect when playing a piano, which can lead to major and costly repairs!

Guus van den Braak is a master piano rebuilder/tuner/technician, and has a vast experience in restoration work.  He knows which pianos sound and play better, and knows all their advantages and disadvantages.  It is therefore in your interest to engage him for a pre-purchase inspection.  If the owner or dealer does not allow an independent inspection by a qualified technician, it is best not to buy there.

Guus van den Braak has the highest qualifications and has tuned, repaired, restored, and rebuilt thousands of pianos during his full-time career of 48 years.  He has worked on just about every brand and model of piano that exists on the planet - from the most expensive Steinway concert grands to the small humble upright in a home.  This has given him a tremendous amount and broad range of knowledge and experience in this field. You could not ask a better person for an unbiased assessment on a piano.  The pre-purchase inspection fee far outweighs the huge money he can save you, often many hundreds, or thousands of dollars, and sometimes tens of thousands of dollars.  It is not smart to be "penny wise and pound foolish."

Privately owned instruments for sale

Guus van den Braak has customers who wish to sell their piano, or are looking to upgrade their piano.  Only instruments we can truly endorse and are bargains, are listed on our website.  For further enquiries, please give us a call.

Yamaha U3 (made in Japan) upright piano. Black high gloss.  This is a really neat, clean and good quality piano.   Made in 1980, it still is in pristine condition.  It has been well cared for and had little use.  Height 130.5cm, Width 153.5cm, Depth 65cm, Weight 250kg, 7 1/4 Octaves, 3 pedals, soft play mute-rail.  $4000.

Ronisch 132K (made in Germany): Vertical grand - superlative artistry.    Rock-solid back-frame and iron frame, grand-length strings, expansive soundboard, lightening-fast grand length keys - the advantages of a fine grand piano are evident in the superb engineering of the tallest Model 132.  Massive bass power and crystalline treble projection attain the ultimate in musical variety and nuance.  Complex orchestral harmonics blend in an infinite palette of tonal colour - the Ronisch sound for those who desire the very best in an upright.  Height 132cm, Width 151cm, Depth 63cm, Weight 250kg, 7 1/4 Octaves, 3 pedals, soft play mute-rail.

Purchased brand new on 5 December 2009, this black high gloss piano has since that day been fastidiously, meticulously and frequently tuned and maintained.  The piano has had very little play and is in as brand new condition, inside and outside.  New price is $29,995.  This piano is available for $19,995 o.n.o., a massive saving of 33% off the brand new price.