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a real piano


ManInTheBox

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I'm buying used, want to know what kind to look for, what kind to look out for. My wife checked the classifieds, and found a Spinet(Kohler & Campbell Piano ), and another Kohler & Campbell.

 

Is Spinet a type of Piano??

 

they are both uprights, one is like half height. both around $600.

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Spinet is a style of piano -- it's an upright where the top of the harp isn't very far above the keyboard. Bigger is "console", and then "full upright" or "upright grand". There are probably other styles too.

 

If I were looking for an upright, I'd canvass the area for a really old big-harp upright, the kind made in the 30's, 40's and 50's when Americans were buying pianos like nobody's business, and when we made some pretty darn good ones at that. These can still be had for peanuts, and are usually a lot more piano than you can find elsewhere. The actions can be awful, but the sound is killer if the harp, soundboard, & pinblock are still in good shape.

 

Find a friend in your area who knows pianos and drag him around to inspect prospects. If you find a likely one, hire a tech to check it out. Then hire movers to move it. And pay as little as $300 for the piano itself. In the end, in spite of these additional expenses, you'll often end up with a better piano (that is, under $1200 or so).

 

If you can spend more, a modern "studio grand" (upright) like those made by Yamaha & Kawai are excellent pianos -- though not cheap. Uprights made after 1980 or so will tend to have a much better action, more "grand-like" and less "upright-like".

 

Due to the different orientation, uprights tended to have ligher, faster actions -- leading to WAY less dynamic control. Great for ragtime & Jerry Lee Lewis types of playing, though. But the modern ones, and grands, lead to better technique.

 

HTH :)

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No matter what you buy, make sure there are no plastic parts in the action. They get brittle over time and break very easily, leaving you with frequent and expensive repair bills. This is especially important for many pianos built in the '40s and '50s, when plastic was seen as a way to produce a decent sounding piano at a lower cost than those made with 100% wood actions. Likewise, pay particular attention to the keys. Cheap plastic shows up visibly if you look at it very carefully. It's no fun replacing keys any more than it is putting in new dampers. :thu:
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There's a guy here in the forums who goes by Wewus, who used to be a piano tuner. You can find him in "SSS" and other places more often than Keyboard Corner, but if you search him out, send him a PM or post where he's last seen ... he'll give you advice. YOu can search the archives of this forum for his name and get a lot of info on pianos.

 

One thing I believe he tends to recommend is NOT going with an older piano (25 years or more) because their condition tends to deteriorate with time, not improve. But do a search.

Original Latin Jazz

CD Baby

 

"I am not certain how original my contribution to music is as I am obviously an amateur." Patti Smith

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Here's some links to Wewus's piano tuning advice and even contact info, although it's kind of old:

 

http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=019415

 

http://www.musicplayer.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=016961

Original Latin Jazz

CD Baby

 

"I am not certain how original my contribution to music is as I am obviously an amateur." Patti Smith

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