Good to know before buying a piano

How long does a piano last?

The lifespan of a piano depends on many factors. For example, a piano of a major brand will have a life of about 60 years, even 100 for the most prestigious models. For more dubious brands, we will already start to see signs of wear after a few years… 

So the calculation is quickly made: it is financially more interesting to buy a good quality piano right away. The investment may be more important at first, but it will save you many repairs that can be very expensive.

Does the age of a piano have an impact on its price?

Unlike other instruments, pianos lose their value over time. There is no price list for pianos. The age of the instrument alone does not determine its value.

Repairs extend the life of a piano, but never turn it into a new musical instrument. However, regular maintenance and good storage conditions will allow you to enjoy your piano for as long as possible, and will ensure a fair price, should the instrument be resold.

How do I know which piano to buy?

As with any purchase, the cheapest is rarely the least expensive. Beware of discounts that are too tempting: they often hide a discount on services. No after-sales service, no preparation or tuning of instruments, “not quite” new products… There can be many unpleasant surprises.

There are many good brands on the market. A good advice we can give you is to buy a piano brand that has proven itself. Otherwise, you may not find one in a few years. This will also have an impact on its resale price. A piano of a serious brand is more easily resold, which allows the gap between purchase price and resale price for a used model to be reduced.

How and with what materials are the pianos made?

Some dealers will try to sell you an instrument by pointing out that it has a metal frame. All current pianos have this characteristic; it allows a good tuning, but does not guarantee the quality of the piano. Similarly, the wood used for the cabinet does not significantly influence the sound quality. Only the quality of the soundboard wood is important. 

Notice to patriots: do not believe everything you are told, the Belgian piano no longer exists. Some dealers assemble spare parts made in Asia, and try to resell the whole under the “label” of “Belgian instrument”. It goes without saying that such instruments are no more Belgian than a “Made in Asia”…

How many keys are there on a piano?

The number of keys can vary depending on the model and type of piano. Upright pianos especially those used for learning the piano, generally have the standard 88 keys, some older models might have less. The standard full range 88 keys offer a wider range of notes and playing possibilities. Grand pianos are mostly 88, although some top of the line models used for professional concerts  reach 97 keys (ex. Bösendorfer 290 Imperial).

Usually, the more keys a piano has, the more expensive it is. However, these extra keys are necessary for professional musicians to play certain works during concerts. These larger pianos traditionally have better sound and response. Digital pianos can offer a similar number of keys to acoustic pianos. They commonly have between 61 and 88 keys, but the best digital pianos tend to have the full standard 88 keys. 

What is the best beginner piano ?

To begin learning piano, the most common recommendation is to use an acoustic piano rather than an electronic piano. These have a better touch (and therefore a better tactile response) and a more authentic sound. Both of these aspects can help beginners to naturally develop better technique and to better discern the nuances between the different notes they play. Upright pianos are often considered a good option for beginners. They are more affordable than grand pianos and are especially compact. As a result, they are easier to install in your home or apartment.

Note, however, that the choice of a piano will depend on your needs, but also on your preferences. If you want to take advantage of all the benefits of an electronic piano or a hybrid piano, this is also a valid choice. Keep in mind that when learning piano, the notion of pleasure is paramount. To make sure you make the right choice, the best option is to consult an experienced piano teacher or one of our staff members.

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