Hilton's Piano Tuning and Repair

  Jacksonville Fl Piano Tuning & Repairs  (904)292-2397

Used Piano Buying Guide

Things to Look For

There are a few things you look for when purchasing a used piano. Look for rust on the strings and moldy dirty action parts. If the piano is nice and clean inside with little to no rust its likely a safe buy. There are still things that need to be considered but you'll need a technician to inspect the inner workings like soundboard, pinblock etc. If all the notes play, it's clean with little rust and it sounds good to your ear you're well on your way to buying a quality piano.

Example of a clean upright action

You want to see this when you look inside. When the piano is free from rust and dirt it tells you a lot about its over all condition. And the condition of the parts you cant inspect without a technician. No rust means little moisture exposure which means soundboard is most likely in good condition.
Always look inside

The front panels come off by hand on newer pianos. Pianos aren't all the same so i cant say exactly how to remove the front panels. But the top panel is almost always on hinges and you can lift them up and look down with a flash light.
Pianos to avoid

Spinet pianos are short little pianos that are usually a couple hundred dollars to free. They are a terrible design and have a small tiny sound. They are expensive to repair because they are very hard to work on. The action is attached to the keys making removing the action alone a job.  Spinet pianos are a gamble you might get lucky or you might get burned. Safer to get a console. Lots of people have spinets and they love them and some do sound really good. However buying one is a gamble to say the least.

Pianos to avoid II

Antique pianos are to be avoided if you're planning on learning to play piano. These pianos are almost always in very poor working order. They usually need a lot work and it can get expensive. They always have bad, flat soundboards. Only the most expensive piano manufacturers in the world like Steinway and Mason & Hamlin pianos can sound good at this point.

People do love their antique pianos though. And i work on them just about every day. However buying one is a  gamble and you better know what you're doing.

Grand Pianos

You wont be able to see inside a grand piano unless you're a tech. Don't even try to open one up you'll have to have someone you trust to inspect it. You can see the strings and the tops of the hammers which tells you a lot about it's over all condition.
Grand pianos are a better design than uprights. They are usually worth having, easier and cheaper to repair. Parts are more universal so they can always be easily repaired.
You should still have a technician inspect the piano. There are really good deals on the used market. You have to be patient and keep checking the listings.
I sell high quality used Grand Pianos

Any grand piano I have listed on my website I have fully and thoroughly inspected. I only buy pianos of the highest quality. I clean , polish, voice , regulate till it's in perfect working order.
I sell them so fast i  don't always list them on my website.
Contact me for information on what i have in stock.
I don't sell upright pianos but i often have customers who are selling. Feel free to ask about both.
Places to Buy

I find a lot of good deals on Facebook Market and the Various Swip Swap places. The trick is to look daily and don't be in too big of a hurry. Take your time it takes time to find the good deals.