Tips on Buying a Used Upright Piano

In this short video, watch Dan share his expertise on used upright pianos!

Buying a used upright piano can be daunting when you don’t know what you’re suppose to look for. At Frank and Camille’s West, we believe in keeping our customers informed so they can make a purchase they’re confident in.

Quick Checklist for Buying a Used Upright:

  1. Look at the pin block: check for clean coils around each tuning peg, and for consistent spaces between the coil, strings, and plate.

  2. Listen for a clear, resonant tone when playing the bass notes. Poor bass registers sound muddled and muted.

  3. Make sure all the keys on the keyboard are level, with no chips and minimal give. Wobbling keys are a sign of bad bushings, which cause an inconsistent playing experience.

  4. Check for clean bridle straps on the action, and clean felt for the practice pedal.

  5. Check the back of the upright piano. More supports = more integrity and durability. The average upright piano is under 18 tons of pressure (exerted by the stretched strings), so you want to make sure there are enough supports to withhold all the tension.

  6. Make sure the ribs on the soundboard are flush against the board, with no damages to the board. A loose rib will cause an unpleasant buzzing vibration when the piano is played.

  7. Make sure all the pedals function the way they should: for most upright pianos, the right is controls damper, the middle is for muting (practice pedal), and the left is the soft pedal. The pedals should not be loose; they should feel firm when depressed.

More Tips!

Consider the location of where you want to place your piano before looking. What dimensions will suit the space you have in your home?

Remember to ask the Salesperson to lift the lid and remove the upper panel when inspecting the internals, to avoid any accidents.

Consider the warranty of the piano before purchasing it. Most new pianos brands offer a five year warranty with purchase. At Frank and Camille’s West, we are so confident in our specialized technicians that we offer a five year warranty for our certified pre-owned uprights!

If you have the funds, bring a trusted piano technician with you when shopping for your piano. This will ensure you to receive a quality used piano that will last you a lifetime.

We hope these tips help you find your dream piano, the best of luck from your friends at Frank and Camille’s West!

Shop our Pre-owned Upright Pianos here!

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