Buying a recond/used piano
PIANOS DON'T LAST
FOREVER AND PIANOS DON'T GET BETTER WITH AGE
very common that today you'll find many music shops selling recond pianos from Japan that
are much lower priced as compared to new pianos. Majority of these old
pianos imported into Malaysia are beyond the lifespan of a good piano and range
between 30 to 60+ years old. In fact, these pianos are disposed by private
owners, musicians, music institutions and universities in
Japan in favour for a new instrument because of age, poor condition and usually, not
worth rebuilding since there is little market for used pianos in Japan.
What is a recond piano? A piano that is used, regardless of age,
that have gone through a process of reconditioning. It involves touching up the casing to look new,
polishing metal parts and hinges, cleaning the inside of the piano and tunings
with parts replacement only where necessary. Defective action parts are
sometimes replaced with parts salvaged from an older piano because new genuine
parts are expensive and may not be available from certain manufacturers.
Basically, a 30+
years old recond piano that goes through this process can
never sound and perform like or equal to a new piano.
In addition, used piano is
subject to lots of wear and tear in the action that needs repair and replacement before fine regulation can be done. A
piano that is out of regulation
will cause the keys not
level, lack of forceful sound during hard blow, uneven volume or feel,
"bobbling" hammers and keys seem to "sink" too far down when
depressed. This will
affect the touch of the piano which is important in piano playing.
end, what appears to be a good deal may prove to be a real liability.
Unlike wine, piano
deteriorates overtime as it ages, whether it is being played or not.
Why? The extreme
pressure exerted from the 20 tons of pressure from over 220 strings in a piano
everyday and excessive humidity that crushes the fibers of the wood ultimately causes the
soundboard to flatten and loses tension and making the tone dies off quickly.
Conversely, it is possible to
make an old piano to perform like new. It is called rebuilding. This process involves replacing
components of the piano such as the soundboard, strings, bridges, pinblock and most action
parts. This practice is very expensive to repair when consider the cost of a new piano.
If you want your children to learn to play the piano, find the best possible
piano within a comfortable price range. Don't assume your children is young and just started
lesson you can find a
cheap piano, because there is no such thing as
a cheap 'start-off piano'. A piano that is poor condition offers discouragement to
the child such as weak sustain qualities, poor dynamic range and will never develop good playing
"Keep in mind" that outside appearance of a
piano does not reflect the true condition of a piano, unless you're buying it as a
decorative item, piano shaped object (PSO).
the older the piano,
less "musical life" is left in the piano and the more repairs are
Here are just a few
of the major components inside a piano:-
versus Used (Reconditioned)
May be cracked or worse, may have lost it's crown thus become tonally dead.
It is one of the crucial part of the piano, which changes the strings
vibrating energy into sound waves that we hear.
May be broken or come unglued. As a result the transfer of mechanical energy
become weak around the soundboard area.
May be cracked which distort the piano musically and makes the piano useless.
It also provide the strength to support the 20 tons of string tension.
Bass strings may be dead or copper wound may have come loose with time, the
bass notes become tubby
and dull sound.
Treble and Bass
May have lost its downbearing, broken, split or cracked thus weaken piano tone
and is very expensive to repair. It helps transmit the vibrations properly under the pressure of the strings to the
May have lost its sidebearing, broken or misaligned thus cause a loss of energy. It holds
the strings solidly on the bridge.
May be split and is very costly to repair. It hold the tuning pins tightly
so that all the strings are maintained at the right tension without
unwinding, increase tuning stability.
May be loose, may have been doped, may require oversized pins, may
require new pin block. A serious business as the piano will never be able to
hold the strings at the correct tension.
There are thousands of moving parts in a piano action.
May be literally worn out affecting the touch. If
re-bushing and re-pinning are required, this will become very costly. A complete regulation
will be needed and is
expensive if properly done.
May be worn out or improperly filed so as to require replacement as it
affect the tone and sustaining qualities of a piano. Of all parts
found in the action, hammers are the most important.