Welcome!  We have six FREE videos for you to watch! 

Take a step-by-step video tour of the piano buying process.
From "what to avoid" to "how to negotiate" - great examples, animation and information to help you avoid EXPENSIVE mistakes.

Video 1:  How Long do Pianos Live and What Kills Them
(why that used piano you're looking at might be junk)



Hey piano buyers, I'm Charles from Perfectly Grand. You know, right now is the perfect time to buy a piano. You can buy more pianos right now for less money than you could just a couple of years ago. That puts you in the driver's seat. But just like when you buy a car you've got to consider a whole range of things. Like make, model, new, used pricing, financing, where to find the best deals. And, whether it was driven by a little old lady from Pasadena, or some kid banging the heck out of it. So you see buying a piano is a lot like buying a car.
Kinda. So first, most people don't realize that pianos have a limited lifespan. They may look like furniture, but they're not. They have as many working parts as a car, and they carry tons of tension. Over time eventually, every piano rips itself apart. And this information is important to know obviously if you're buying a used piano. But it also helps buyers of new pianos keep their pianos in shape in tune and retain resale value. 
Three things destroy a piano structurally. Humidity fluctuations coupled with time, coupled with high tension. Low tension instruments such as guitars, violins, cellos carry anywhere from 50 to over 300 pounds of string tension. But pianos on the other hand are high tension instruments and are designed to carry 32,000 to over 45,000 pounds of tension. Depending upon size and manufacturer. Pianos are only capable of carrying this amazing amount of tension because of their massive wooden structure and the added support of a very heavy cast-iron plate. Pianos carry this tension whether they are actively being played or not. It doesn't matter. A piano can sit in a corner for 20 years untouched the entire time under this enormous amount of stress. 
So now that you have the high tension part of this equation down, let's add in fluctuations in humidity and time. Now a great way to understand fluctuations in humidity is to take a look at a household sponge. Sponges are made of wood cellulose. Pianos are made of wood so they react pretty much the same to fluctuations in humidity. The sponge on the left which has expanded due to high moisture is a great example of a piano on a hot humid summer day in Missouri.
While the sponge on the right which has contracted due to a lack of moisture is a great example of a piano in a heated dry house in the middle of a New England winter. Now for the sake of argument let's make-believe that these sponges represent an upright piano carrying 18 tons of string tension that's sitting in your living room. And that you live in a state that has both a high humidity season and a low humidity season. In parts of the US where these fluctuations are the most extreme a pianos, a wood structure can start having problems at 20 years old. In parts of this country that have a consistent environment, such as the Southwest, a piano might not start showing its age until 50 or 60 years.
If you're looking at used pianos in homes there are certain things you've got to watch out for. Such as pianos up against baseboard heat or heating vents or in a room with a frequently used fireplace wood stove or propane stove. Because these elements can break a piano apart in no time. Knowing this can mean the difference between purchasing an instrument that's in good working order, one in need of repair, or one that's a piece of junk. Stay tuned for our next video where I'll talk about makes and models and the ones you need to avoid.

Secure Website
Namm BBB Perfect Picture Light logo
We Accept The Following Payment Methods: