WHERE TO BEGIN!
Within the limited confines of a single website it is impossible to pass on to you all of the piano knowledge that we should like you to possess. But if you absorb a good portion of the information presented here, you will be able to avoid inferior piano merchandise and service, and be in a position to know what you want and how much value you should receive for your hard-earned dollars. ~
Pianos are like automobiles, in many respects, you can buy one with plenty of options, or buy a stripped version, they cost about the same, they require tunings and service, they can be purchased over a long period of time on payments, and people trade them in for new ones, not as much because they are worn out, but because they want a larger piano or want to change furniture styles after a few years.
LISTEN TO THE PIANO - NOT THE SALESMAN
The instrument which you choose for your home should bear a name that indicates its enduring qualities of tone and stability. The trademark on the fall board alone should be your assurance of its distinction and musicianship and its enduring qualities of tone and stability. Each piano has a character all its own. This pedigree that sets it apart even from other instruments of the same make, model, and style is inevitable. No two trees ever grow exactly alike. Grain and densities differ between different species and between individual trees of the same species. Plastics and other materials used in keys differ in color. Wool from which hammer and damper felts when made vary in texture and length of fiber. Such variations are present in all materials from which pianos are made.
The action consists of a series of levers which impart to the hammer a speed about five times the speed of key depression. with the widest possible control. The mechanism must trip the hammer just before it retches the string, so that it travels a distance of about one centimeter its own momentum. The hammer must rebound from the string in a fraction of a second, leaving the string free to vibrate while the key is depressed, the hammer meanwhile being checked and held in position for a quick repeat blow with the minimum of key-release. Full release of the key must allow instant damping of the string to stop the vibrations. This applies to all pianos, whether upright or grand, and must he performed with the minimum of noise.
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THE TRUTH IS
All major piano manufacturers in the U.S. market are members of the Piano Manufacturers Association International (PMAI) which subscribes to a Code of Ethics which requires them to support only independent dealers who maintain fair, honest and ethical practices. The vast majority of U.S. piano merchants practice these high standards and all supplier-authorized piano dealers have been invited to sign a document expressing their formal support of this Code of Ethics.
It seems like yesterday that the experts thought the internet would somehow transform the shopping habits of Americans. In many ways they have, but we still need to see and touch any piano we buy. Research shows that having a real person with who to interact as we decide on our purchases. Nothing can substitute the advice of a knowledgeable person whom you can trust. A music retailer who knows you and your needs is always your best choice for honest advice.
Because the most important quality in a piano is the tone, and by tone is meant the inherent tonal quality of the instrument, as distinct from the brightness or softness of tone resulting from the treatment of the hammer felts. Although this treatment is very important, a shrewd judge of tone should be able to listen through the softness of the hammers in order to estimate the real quality of a piano.
Piano industry estimates that more than two million plus pianos being sold each year, less than 100,000 or so new. The rest are being sold by private parties and piano tuners.
You should buy the best piano you can afford, it will never be as inexpensive as it is today.
Buy largest piano you have space for, that looks, feels and sounds best in
"YOUR OWN OPINION"
The one you think is best for the amount of money you wish to spend.
First, determine where the piano will go in your home. That will determine the size, style, and finish and in some cases the price of the piano you will eventually buy. Once you have made the new vs. used decision, large vs. small, grand vs. vertical, you can shop around.
With over 50 years in the piano business buying and selling pianos, I cannot truthfully tell you which piano is best for you. I just don't have all the facts, your budget, decor, preferences to tone, style, and touch, neither does anyone else. I can't tell you how to bargain or get the best deal, so any Sir Galahad who offers to save you from the big bad piano dealers for a price, who has no retail experience and never worked one day of his life in a piano store can't advise you either. You're the only one with all the facts.
While the piano is basically a musical instrument, a percussive instrument, with 88 notes and keys, demands a bulk that gives it a secondary classification as a piece of furniture. You want your piano to please your ear, but you also want to please your eye, and no third party can select the look of the piano that pleases you anymore than they can select the painting on the wall of your home. The third factor, of course, is the price. But the two most important words in the first two requirements are "pleases you".
THE "BEST PRICE"
You need a piano. Books have been written on the subject, and opinions thrown about like hay seed. Whom can you trust? What can you believe? What can you depend on? The answer is simple! You can trust yourself, depend on yourself and believe yourself "if" you have the ability to recognize a truly "good" piano. It really isn't all that difficult."
"In short, the "best" piano is the one that is most capable of producing beautiful, expressive musical performance; the kind of performance that can evoke an emotional response from the listener. The best performances exhibit sensitivity in the sound and the touch of the piano. More simply "a good piano sounds good and feels good."
By Kenneth Wayne Land
If you wish to compare various models shop online, compare styles and finishes, get an idea of the quality offered by each factory, fast, free and convenient. We provide the web site addresses to most manufacturers so you may visit each one and see what they have to offer. We also provide you with the average list prices of pianos free of charge. In this way you can look at a virtual online-piano catalog before you begin to shop around.
There is just too much confusion about the right way to shop for and buy a piano. We wish to address the most asked questions, and provide honest answers that should help dispel the many myths and lies that have been spread around over the years.
There have been several books and publications over the years which have attempted to recommend the right piano for consumers, but even knowledgeable artists, teachers and technicians all have their own subjective reasons for their choice. We do not have any affiliation with any brand or organization, the information contained here is unbiased.
Don't make a chore of buying a piano. It should be fun, You will never forget the person who sells you the piano. If you find the piano that pleases you at the price within your budget, buy it with confidence in the full knowledge that the seller, if he is a respectable merchant in your community, is very anxious that you are happy with your purchase forever. So are we.
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