HOW TO CHOOSE A REPUTABLE PIANO DEALER?
Warranty service is handled by the dealer and not through the manufacturer. Unlike purchasing an automobile or an appliance, the dealer who sells you your piano is the one responsible for your service. It is important that you research the store you want to do business with. A reputable dealer will be an active supporter of music, arts and education in your community. It is often helpful to ask area piano teachers, performing arts schools, church or other professional musicians. If you ever have a problem with your purchase, you can rely on a reputable and honest dealer who will have your best interest in mind and be able to provide the quality of customer service you deserve.
ARE THERE DANGERS TO BUYING ONLINE?
Yamaha Corporation of America sells products ONLY through authorized dealers who are committed to provide excellent customer service before and after the sale to uphold Yamaha standards. Authorized Yamaha dealers are the ONLY retailers that can convey Yamaha factory warranty to consumers.
Not every retailer advertising Yamaha products has been authorized by Yamaha to advertise or sell those products. Unauthorized sellers may be selling counterfeit, used or damaged products (including pianos that have had serial numbers removed or altered), and often do not have the Yamaha products in inventory to sell. Consumers who have purchased from unauthorized sellers report problems contacting these sellers for post-sale support, and in some instances have even experienced credit card fraud.
To help guide you, we have compiled below a list of known unauthorized sellers. This is not a complete list, and we recommend that you contact Yamaha if you have any doubts. We note that unauthorized sellers may appear on a marketplace site so you should always confirm that the seller is authorized by Yamaha.
Kretzer Piano is an authorized Yamaha Dealer. The following are NOT authorized to sell Yamaha products:
|#1 in Service (Amazon)
AA Electronic Deals (Amazon)
Audio Video Sales Guy
Best Service Stores
Elite Audio Video
Five Star Buy
Home of Hi Def
|Infinity Sales (Amazon)
Jack of All Trades (Amazon)
PC Parts Depot
Premiere Audio Video
USA Bargain Deals
NEW VS. USED?
Many advances have been made in piano design in the past 25 years. Better quality glues and construction methods are now used to ensure that a new piano is built better for long-lasting service. New pianos also come with 10-year manufacturer warranties on parts and labor. Older pianos have been subject to wear, humidty changes and inconsistent service or neglect.
A higher quality piano is a better investment because, as a player advances, he or she may quickly outgrow a piano with poor tone or an unreliable action. A used piano that has been well manufactured and well cared for can be an excellent buy. Such a piano is difficult to find and some can have hidden problems that you don’t discover until later. Don’t be fooled by the appearance of the outside of the piano because sometimes the outside appearance does not reflect the condition of the interior mechanisms.
Having a piano technician check out a used piano is well worth the price of the service call. A technician can give you an evaluation and detailed report on the condition of the piano.
Consider these essential points before you purchase:
- An evaluation by a professional in the industry can help ensure a wise purchase.
- An inexpensive, inferior piano can prove more costly than a higher priced quality instrument in the long-run.
- An evaluation by a professional in the industry can help ensure a wise purchase.
- Evaluations of pre-owned pianos should include a thorough check of the primary components such as bridges, action parts, pinblock, soundboard, pedals, and the finish along with playability and tone.
- Transportation and warranty coverage should be addressed before purchasing a piano. An out-of-state dealer will have difficulty in servicing your piano.
- Pianos are 80% wood and therefore subject to the effects of moisture over time. In humid climates they can mold and rust; in dry climates they can shrink.
The piano purchase, whether a pre-owned or new piano, should be a pleasant experience. Piano buyers who seek the advice of reputable professionals will help to assure themselves that they have made the best purchase possible of an instrument that will provide years of musical enjoyment.
WHAT IS A GRAY MARKET PIANO?
A “gray-market” piano is a “used” piano that was originally made for the Japanese market. The pianos were used by families and schools for a few years and then discarded in favor of new pianos. The unwanted pianos (as the Japanese culture is said not to buy used items) were then exported to other countries and refurbished.
Yamaha had manufactured pianos for Japan and the Asian market for over 50 years before exporting pianos to North America and Europe. In the 1960’s, Yamaha began exporting pianos to the United States and Canada. Some of the pianos sold in North America during the 1960s developed problems relating to climate. Upon researching these problems, Yamaha engineers found that in general, the indoor environments of homes in North America were considerably drier than in Japan. Some of this was related to the outdoor climate and some of it was related to the indoor environment, which is affected by such conditions as air conditioning and heating systems.
Most of the used Yamaha pianos on the internet are gray market pianos and have been brought to North America today having been manufactured for the Japanese market. These instruments were manufactured using the same seasoning techniques that were used on the many pianos that Yamaha had moisture-related problems with. Sellers often have a great story about how these pianos are restored. Usually they are worn out, used pianos, mostly from institutions in Japan.
Based on their experience with pianos not seasoned for the North American market, Yamaha strongly discourages the purchase of one of these used “made for Japan” pianos and will not service or provide parts for pianos which are considered “gray-market” pianos.
ACOUSTIC VS. DIGITAL?
Digital pianos are instruments that realistically duplicate the sound and feel of playing an acoustic (conventional) piano. Unlike acoustic pianos, they have no hammers, no strings and no soundboard to produce the sound you hear. Instead they use digitally sampled sounds, amplifiers and speakers with good effect.
Don’t make the mistake of purchasing a short keyboard. A quality digital piano has 88 notes. The keys should be weighted and touch-sensitive. When you strike the keys harder, it sounds louder and when you play the keys lightly, the sound is soft. In other words, you can play with expression.
Digital pianos can be played by the whole family, players and non-players alike. Some pianos feature guide lights over the keys to help you play a favorite tune without having to take lessons. You can also view your music with an on-screen display. Some include a Karaoke/Video output for the next time you want to put a little life in your party-sound like Barry White or the Chipmunks!
Increase your awareness of piano technology by spending some time talking with a well-respected salesperson, teacher and/or technician. The knowledge you will attain will prove to be invaluable.
Advantages to a digital piano:
- Never needs tuning
- Many different sounds
- Option to play silently with headphones
- Ability to record your performance
- Easy to play–whole family can make music
- Midi/Computer interface capability
- Built-in rhythm capabilities to accompany your playing
- Low maintenance
- Lower cost
- Space Saver/Lighter Weight
Advantages to an acoustic piano:
- Family heirloom
- An investment that will last for generations, sixty to eighty years
- An elegant addition to your home
- Attractive furniture styles to choose from
- Lifetime full trade-up allowance
- Parent Protection plan available
HOW TO CHOOSE THE SIZE?
Both grands and vertical come in a number of sizes. The height of a vertical piano is measured from the floor to the top of the piano. A vertical or “upright” piano has a rectangular body with the strings running vertically. They range in height from 36″ to 60″ tall. Spinets are the shortest upright piano and range from 36″ to 40″ high. Consoles are 40″ to 44″ high. The studio piano is the most common size ranging from 43″ to 48″ in size. This is what you usually find in practice rooms and educational settings. The professional upright is the tallest and ranges from 47″ to 52″. It can be most compared to a grand piano because the strings are longer. The difference in size between a small and large vertical is their height, not the floor space they take up.
The length of a grand piano is measured from the front where the keys are to the very back of the piano, with the lid closed. The strings run horizontally and they range from 5’0 to 9’0 in length. Baby grands are the smallest and the most popular size. They range in size from 4’11” to 5’5″. A medium grand is 5’5″ to 7’0″ in length. The piano you will find on stage at major concert venues is a concert grand which measures anywhere from 7’0 to 9’0 long.
The size of a piano is probably the single most important factor in determining tonal quality. Longer strings result in greater tone resonance and a fuller sound. The smaller the piano, the worse the tonal quality, especially in the lower bass. Buy your “last piano first” and invest in an instrument you will enjoy for generations!
HOW MUCH DOES A PIANO COST?
Piano prices vary greatly depending on the brand, size and the age of the piano. They can cost anywhere from $3,000 to more than $100,000. A quality digital piano starts around $2,000. Upright pianos start under $3,000 and grand pianos begin around $6,000.
Often people who are shopping for a piano say that they are looking for a “starter” piano when their child is just beginning to take piano lessons. Even for a “beginner” it is important for them to be able to make music on a quality instrument. This is one of the best ways to keep a young musician interested in learning. The chances of success in music are much less if the child (or adult) has to practice on a piano with keys that don’t work properly, is out of tune and a piano that does not sound good to their ear. Even a beginner can tell the difference between a nice sound and a poor one. By purchasing the the best instrumnent possible within a comfortable price range, you are helping inspire an indiviual to learn to play and strive for success. This can make a big difference in their progress and whether or not they stay interested in piano lessons.
In most cases, the larger the piano, the fuller and richer tone the sound is. The sound of the piano should please your ear. Touch is also an important factor if you want to play the piano. How the action feels under your fingers should be a determining factor in your buying deicison. The nicer the piano is, the more likely it will be played and treasure for many years to come.
CAN YOU FINANCE A PIANO?
Financing. Affordable financing plans are available through Kretzer Piano. These plans allow you to make low monthly payments and take up to eight years to pay. You can choose to pay the loan off early and save on finance charges. No interest for 3 months. Take 90 days to decide how you will pay for your purchase. All financing is subject to credit approval. Use our 90-day-same-as-cash option plan and within that time period choose to:
- Stay with the long-term, low interest plan
- Pay cash with no interest
- Use your own outside financing
Keep in mind that buying a piano is truly an investment. A quality piano purchased twenty years ago has doubled in value! You can have a new baby grand in your living room for a fraction of what a car payment would be AND the piano will last for generations.