Upright Pianos under $3500?

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kingmetal
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Upright Pianos under $3500?

Post by kingmetal » Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:26 pm

Hey Tombers,

Looking to potentially get an upright piano for the studio. The head engineer is partial to the Yamaha U series (U1 and U3 seem pretty common) and I tend to agree -- I've spent a little time on a U1 and I really, really liked it. I'd really love something in the $2k price range but that seems unreasonably low -- does anyone have any suggestions for pianos that are like the U series? Let's talk about pianos.
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Post by fuzz » Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:11 am

I'm not familiar with the Yamahas but I got our upright 2 years ago for a good deal. The thing with pianos is that they're expensive to move (you know this) so mine came from an estate where the house had sold and they simply needed the piano gone. I had to rent a box truck, buy my friends lunch/beer but I did not actually pay for the instrument itself.

Its a 1896 Steinway. The pinblock, soundboard, case where all in very good condition but I invested 2k to COMPLETELY rebuild the action with new parts from steinway. Now I have a great sounding piano that plays as well as a new one for a total investment of under 3k.

There are many of these free guys on CL so I would suggest waiting to score one from a guy who is moving, a church, etc. Also, I know two people who got their B3's from churches for like zero $$$ again because of the hassle of relocating them.
Hope this helps!

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Post by comfortstarr » Tue Mar 08, 2011 5:06 pm

An idea is to check with your local universities' music departments about when/if they do annual sales of their practice instruments. I know that the University of Minnesota does this, as does Seton Hall (I'm assuming more do it as well). These are usually really good pianos (Yamahas, Steinways, and others). A big department will have a wide variety. Prices will vary.

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Post by lapsteel » Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:19 pm

comfortstarr wrote:An idea is to check with your local universities' music departments about when/if they do annual sales of their practice instruments. I know that the University of Minnesota does this, as does Seton Hall (I'm assuming more do it as well). These are usually really good pianos (Yamahas, Steinways, and others). A big department will have a wide variety. Prices will vary.
Yeah. Of course it is probably after the semester in May or June.

Check craigslist. Usually there are plenty in good shape and free, just need to pay to move and probably tuned.

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Post by jgimbel » Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:12 am

lapsteel wrote:Check craigslist. Usually there are plenty in good shape and free, just need to pay to move and probably tuned.
+1. I got my 40ish Acrosonic on Craigslist free. Granted it's not a piano at the caliber of what you're looking for, but she's a beauty. Just had to move it, from the apartment of a mighty attractive girl. Thank you madam.
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Post by llmonty » Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:42 am

jgimbel wrote:
lapsteel wrote:Check craigslist. Usually there are plenty in good shape and free, just need to pay to move and probably tuned.
+1. I got my 40ish Acrosonic on Craigslist free. Granted it's not a piano at the caliber of what you're looking for, but she's a beauty. Just had to move it, from the apartment of a mighty attractive girl. Thank you madam.
Off topic but how do you like the Acrosonic? I hear good things about them and see them not infrequently on CL. Wary of spinets, but this one in particular gets good marks. Thinking of something for singer/songwriter and rock settings.
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Post by comfortstarr » Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:45 am

lapsteel wrote:
comfortstarr wrote:An idea is to check with your local universities' music departments about when/if they do annual sales of their practice instruments. I know that the University of Minnesota does this, as does Seton Hall (I'm assuming more do it as well). These are usually really good pianos (Yamahas, Steinways, and others). A big department will have a wide variety. Prices will vary.
Yeah. Of course it is probably after the semester in May or June.

Check craigslist. Usually there are plenty in good shape and free, just need to pay to move and probably tuned.
Not necessarily, Seton Hall's is this weekend.

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Post by nobody, really » Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:47 am

There are good free pianos to be had all the time. Then spend the money to fix it up.
As for brands, the hands-down most fabulous piano I've ever heard was an upright Fandrich. To me it sounded better than the 9' Steinway, and was easier to record.

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Post by kingmetal » Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:51 am

I'm a little put off by the idea of getting a free piano and then fixing it up simply because I don't know enough about the instrument to identify a good piano in bad shape versus. I trust my ears and fingers enough to make the call on a good piano in good shape, hence why I'm seeking out brands that I'm familiar with, but keeping my eye on the free section is certainly great advice.

Anyone know any good piano techs in San Francisco?

What is the general consensus on Kawai as a brand?
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Post by accordion squeezist » Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:42 pm

Get the U if you can. It will add years to your life. Every note speaks. There's just no comparison.

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Post by jgimbel » Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:02 pm

llmonty wrote:
jgimbel wrote:
lapsteel wrote:Check craigslist. Usually there are plenty in good shape and free, just need to pay to move and probably tuned.
+1. I got my 40ish Acrosonic on Craigslist free. Granted it's not a piano at the caliber of what you're looking for, but she's a beauty. Just had to move it, from the apartment of a mighty attractive girl. Thank you madam.
Off topic but how do you like the Acrosonic? I hear good things about them and see them not infrequently on CL. Wary of spinets, but this one in particular gets good marks. Thinking of something for singer/songwriter and rock settings.
Honestly? I love it. It's not the most clean, delicate, crisp piano sound, mine anyway. It's "colored", if that makes any sense. Not in a honky tonk way or anything like that, it's just got kind of a dark sound. My first reaction to it was that it's got a "more than the sum of its parts" sound to it. I'm not a master piano player but I've got a number of songs that are mostly piano, and on the Acrosonic they really come alive and emotion really comes through. I couldn't be happier with mine.
My first new personal album in four years - pay what you want - http://jessegimbel.bandcamp.com

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Post by billkahler » Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:47 am

I got muy U3 for about 2500 and love it. There are some companies that buy them from Japan and sell them over here. Apparently Japan has no used market.

Anyway this one came from DoReMi pianos but you have to go through a dealer anyway.
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Post by Haolemon » Thu Mar 10, 2011 3:55 pm

accordion squeezist wrote:Get the U if you can. It will add years to your life. Every note speaks. There's just no comparison.
I second this with enthusiasm! I love my U3, which I got in near mint condition for $3K, which included moving and the first tuning.

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Post by Haolemon » Thu Mar 10, 2011 3:55 pm

accordion squeezist wrote:Get the U if you can. It will add years to your life. Every note speaks. There's just no comparison.
I second this with enthusiasm! I love my U3, which I got in near mint condition for $3K, which included moving and the first tuning.

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Post by Marc Alan Goodman » Thu Mar 10, 2011 4:32 pm

Yamaha U's can be found for good deals. I picked up my 1907 Steinway Vertigrand for $3k right outside NYC a few years ago. it's in almost perfect condition, with original action and original soundboard. Somebody just took really good care of it. The strings are longer than most baby grands - it sounds huge!

The #1 thing I'd say is if you're looking at used pianos ALWAYS bring your piano tech with you to check it out before you buy. They know what to look for as far as what's going to cost you money in the long run, and having a professional gives you a strong leg to stand on when you try to negotiate the price down :)

There are workable spinets around but if you have the cash (and $3k is plenty) I'd stay away from them and focus on finding something really tall. It'll sound more like a piano and less like a keyboard.

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