Hundreds of second-hand pianos change hands privately every year. Only a mall number are in fantastic playing condition. We know for obtaining second-hand pianos and preparing them for resale is an significant component of our business. Of the numerous pianos provided to us we in fact acquire fewer than a single in ten of them – and nearly every single one needs function on it to a higher or lesser extent
When searching for a piano it is important to don’t forget two things.
Pianos are not all of the similar excellent.
Prior to 1914, in the boom years of piano sales, enormous numbers have been produced in little workshops to satisfy the demand for low cost pianos. They had been of poor high quality when new and hundreds are nevertheless around, several generations later, in dreadful situation.
There have been some fantastic pianos produced in the 1920’s and 1930’s. They are now 60,70,80, years old – almost old age in the lifespan of a piano. If they have been effectively maintained for the duration of their life they can still be great instruments, but if they have been neglected or abused they will be tired, second price pianos.
Some will be “the family members heirloom” passed down through several generations, substantially loved but generally unplayed and neglected. Such pianos may possibly have sentimental worth to their owners but their correct worth, as a playing piano, may perhaps be nil.
Pianos do not final forever
A piano is produced up of about 5000 parts quite a few of which move. Though enormously sturdy and heavy it is quite difficult and sensitive to damp, dryness, changes in temperature, put on and tear and neglect.
A excellent piano, well maintained, has considerably the same helpful lifespan as a human – few are in truly superior shape just after 80 years! Bear in mind that the piano you acquire will probably be the only one particular you ever obtain so appear for the youngest and finest top quality instrument you can locate.
So What Should really I Look For In A Second-hand Piano?
Pretty couple of persons have any technical knowledge about pianos. The list under will give you an thought of some of the problems normally found in second-hand pianos.
Sticking Buy pianos on sale or hammers
This is generally the result of becoming in a damp atmosphere. The felt absorbs moisture, swells and movement is restricted. If only 1 or two notes are sticking it may be doable to ease them. If lots are sticking the action (i.e. the moving components inside the piano) in all probability wants to be dismantled and rebuilt. Highly-priced!
Noisy keys or noise from the action
A sign of put on. A tuner may possibly be capable to make adjustments to lessen the unwanted noises but if it is badly worn a rebuild will be necessary.
Probably the result of worn and compressed hammer felts. If they are not too badly worn they may be capable to be reshaped. Definitely heavily worn hammers can’t be treated in this way and new hammerheads have to have to be fitted.
Dull, dead tone
This might be partially due to worn hammers but is extra likely to indicate that the piano strings have lost their original suppleness and require replacing. This is a big undertaking and only higher quality pianos can justify the price.
The dull tone might also be the outcome of splits obtaining created in the wooden soundboard. These can be repaired but, once again, it is only worth carrying out this to definitely very good pianos.
Out of tune
Each piano goes out of tune as the tension in the strings alterations slightly. If the complete piano is out of tune it is most likely for the reason that it has not been tuned for some time. Depending upon how far it has fallen below pitch one particular or a lot more tunings must place this correct.
If, Having said that, only 1 section of a few notes is definitely extremely badly out of tune and is clearly very a great deal worse than the rest of the piano, this signals definitely troubles. IT si most likely that the tuning plank has lost its capacity to hold the tuning pins tightly adequate to hold tension on the strings. It is common on pianos created ahead of the 1960’s. They had been not built to withstand the dry atmospheres designed by modern central heating systems. The timber loses moisture and shrinks, the pins go slack and the piano is beyond economical repair and useless for playing purposes. Stay clear of at all costs.
Much more frequent in older pianos. They attack the timber – look for compact holes and tiny heaps of wood dust. To check, the piano requirements to be dismantled as far as practicable and closely examined with a torch. Look behind it and beneath the keyboard. Steer clear of something that has or has had woodworm.
Moths and mice
Damage the felt hammers, dampers and crucial washers. Minor damage is not vital but substantial damage is pricey to put proper.