Piano Shopping Tips


Unlike house or car shopping, piano purchases tend to be once-in-a-lifetime. When you buy a piano you are likely buying the instrument you will live with and enjoy for the rest of your life.  Indeed many pianos continue to serve the grandchildren and beyond.

Considering this, pianos are not your typical “consumable” commodity.  The better ones have a service life of a century or more.  Choose carefully, you are going to love or hate it for a long time! Your house isn’t likely to last as long as your piano will.

Whether choosing for a concert venue, school, or your home; you want to engage in a deliberate selection process.  You want to balance your budget against the quality the instrument can provide over its lifetime.  Quality is  not merely an issue of dollars and cents, it is also a matter of heart.  As the late, great Guy Nichols said, “Pianos are very personal.  You have to fall in-love with them.”  Considering for how long and how much your choice will affect your enjoyment in the future, choose carefully.

There is a pretty good resource available to aid you in your quest to understand the piano market and what to look for.  It is “The Piano Book” by Larry Fine.  Piano technician Larry Fine does a great job of demystifying the topic of piano shopping and giving practical advice on how to avoid pitfalls while you are shopping. His annual supplements also address typical pricing each year.

We came to piano sales as enthusiasts.  At one point after selling one of Rebeca’s pianos we wondered why we didn’t do more of this and expanded our business to include matching people with the piano of their dreams. We started by helping student families find the right piano.

We played a lot of pianos at NAMM and at Piano Technician Conventions.  At the 2005 Piano Technician’s Convention in Kansas City Rebeca was playing pianos in the manufacturer’s showcase while Andrew was taking technical classes.  At one point when they both had time together she agreed to play the pianos he was interested in but insisted on introducing him to Sauter pianos.  It was the beginning of our “love-affair” with Sauter pianos.  Today we are authorized Sauter dealers.

When piano shopping, plan on playing a lot of different pianos to develop a knowledge of what there is to look for in tone and touch.  Eventually you will meet the “other love of your life.”  We will be happy to assist in any way we can.

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Sauter was the piano of choice at Carnegie Weill Recital hall December  10th 2007 for Gil Sullivan’s Carnegie debut.