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Stop! Don’t buy that piano

Most people view pianos as being static, unchanging objects. They are likely to perceive a 50 year old piano as being no different than a 1 year old piano. If given the choice between a piano that costs $100 or one that costs $1,000, a person, with little or no knowledge of pianos might conclude that the two instruments are fundamentally identical, the only difference being price.

But that is far from the truth. Instead, think of pianos as being more like cars. I love antique cars. If I made up my mind to purchase one, I could go about it in one of two ways, I could find an antique car in excellent condition like this one.
Antique Buick

Or I could go out and find one that costs very little money like this one:
junk yard buick

The problem, however, is that the two are not equal.

The one that’s in excellent condition, speaks for itself. But the rust bucket needs an enormous amount of money, parts and labor before it can be driven again. I’m not a mechanic. I’m not able to work on cars myself. If I bought the car in the second picture, I would have to hire an automotive expert to do that work for me and I’d end up paying him as much or more than I would have spent on the car in the first image.

Likewise, most people are not piano technicians. If they purchased a run down, worn out piano, they will have to hire a piano tuner to fix it. And he may have to replace strings, hammers, dampers, felts, springs, straps, and many other parts inside the piano. This is going to be very expensive. You could have saved money by having purchased a piano that’s in excellent condition.

Of course, you may not have the experience to know if a piano is or is not in good condition, but you can hire a piano tuner to inspect the piano you’re interested in buying. He’ll be able to tell you everything that’s wrong with it.

Photo credit: flickr Creative Commons, 1956 Buick Series 60 Century 2 door Riviera Hardtop by Sicnag

Photo credit: flickr Creative Commons, among the dead by Mike Tewkesbury