top of page
20221107_125955_edited_edited.jpg

Pre-owned upright and grand pianos

Whether you are looking for a small upright for children learning or a bigger piano for yourself we have a variety of pre-owned pianos on offer. We try to keep the stock updated in our online catalogue, but as it changes often it is best to confirm if a piano is still available.

All our pianos are serviced or rebuilt and come with a 2 Year Warranty. We also gladly consider trading in your current piano.

Our prices include VAT, delivery within main cities, piano bench and after sales tuning.

See our online catalogue for available pianos, information and prices.

We handle pre-owned brands such as Bechstein, Yamaha, Bosendorfer, Steinway & Sons and many more!

Choosing a piano
Petrof upright pre-owned

Choosing a suitable piano involves a few main elements. Cost is of importance given the numerous costs people need to balance. So, we focus on establishing the most important needs that a piano must meet if it’s going to fulfil the intended purpose.

This is dependent on context – who plays, at what level, how much, and what role does the appearance of the instrument have? We can help customers find a piano that will meet these needs.

What matters most for children or adults learning?

When learning to play any instrument one needs something that will assist the process of learning rather than be an obstacle. Pianos are extremely complex mechanical instruments (a grand piano has around 10,000 moving parts!). If the mechanical functioning is below a minimum standard, it makes learning much more difficult, and even unpleasant.

Many people give up learning the piano thinking they don’t have the right ability; sadly, it is often the piano that is the problem.

Good pianos make playing a pleasure and contribute directly to bringing out the best abilities of the player. For these reasons, the better the quality of the piano you learn on, the more likely you are to continue and to develop your best potential.

At the very least, a piano to learn on must meet a minimum mechanical standard, and it must be able to be tuned and stay in tune reasonably well. As people improve their skills and play more demanding music the piano needs to match that growth. If a point is reached where the piano can no longer express your musical intention, it’s probably time to work towards an upgrade to the next level. Alternatively, one can start with a piano that will accommodate development up to an advanced level and not go through upgrades while progressing.

Acoustic or Digital?

Acoustic pianos (that’s a traditional piano with strings and no electronic components) are strongly recommended for mid to upper level playing, especially for classical repertoire. As music becomes more complex and requires more nuanced expressiveness a good acoustic piano provides a wider tone range and more development of technique.

Digital pianos are sometimes seen as a necessary compromise when an acoustic is not suitable, either for cost, space or privacy reasons. Yet there are also ways in which a digital piano offers things one can’t get from a traditional piano.

 

For example:

Record function

  • It’s very difficult to listen to oneself while playing, and recording an acoustic piano is difficult, and expensive to do well. Kawai digital pianos have an easy to use built in record function, capturing whatever you play, perfectly and in real time. You can listen back with another push of a button. This is almost like having a teacher or audience in the room, as you can assess your playing when you listen back. The record function can also provide some moderate performance pressure which is a useful learning tool when preparing for exams or recitals.

  • Being able to record offers tremendous creative stimulation, as you can improvise and listen back to your own musical expression. This keeps children and adults engaged with their natural creativity.

Privacy

  • Unless one is a natural performer, many people feel self-conscious when playing or practicing if they’re aware that others can hear them. On a digital piano you have two alternatives that allow you to relax and play without anxiety – listening on headphones or playing with the volume low.

  • The headphone and volume control also allow a digital piano to be integrated into family spaces; practicing doesn’t have to interfere with other family activities.

General musical growth

  • Kawai digital pianos have several ways to support the development of one’s musical knowledge. You can play music with historical tuning styles and hear the way music would have sounded when it was composed, as tuning has changed a great deal over the last 200 years. There are lesson functions that allow one to practice separate hands with the piano playing the other part. Additionally, Kawai’s unique Concert Magic, available in certain models, means children can play tunes in an assisted mode that gives them an immediate experience of making music, rather than working for such a long time before they can experience playing a piece.

Grand or Upright?

Good quality grand piano has substantial advantages over any upright due to its design. There are two aspects to this, firstly the tone design in a grand piano means that the sound naturally comes out from the piano both downwards towards the floor and from the lid, even if it is only partially open.

Grand piano sound projection.jpg

In an upright piano the sound is enclosed in what is essentially a box, and as they are normally placed against a wall, the sound coming out from the soundboard is restricted immediately by the wall.

Upright sound projection.jpg

Secondly, the mechanical design in a grand piano allows for much greater control and for the pianist to develop their technique to a higher standard. This is mainly because the hammer comes back from the string naturally with the force of gravity which allows for a mechanism that offers much better speed and reliability of repetition and allows for smaller increments of touch control.

Kawai grand piano mechanism

The grand piano mechanism makes it feel as though the sound of the piano is almost directly connected to the tip of the finger and this changes the way people play. For anybody who is undertaking exams or performances, whether professionally or not, there can be a substantial jump from practicing on an upright piano to doing an exam or a performance on a grand. This may affect people’s performance in such situations far more than they realise.

Piano mechanism comparison.jpg

One could go so far as to say that the piano IS the grand piano and an upright piano is a substitute dictated by space or budget. Similarly, a good quality digital piano is a substitute for either, dictated by space, budget and/or privacy – assuming the piano is not just weighted, but correctly weighted.

What makes a good piano?

When it comes to choosing the right instrument, here are some guidelines:

Acoustic pianos

There are four especially important factors to consider in choosing an acoustic piano well suited to its purpose:

1.    Inherent quality

Notwithstanding the importance of cost and budget realities, the inherent design, material and manufacturing quality of a piano is a critical starting point. This will dictate how well it meets expectations even at a moderate level of use. Below a certain level, due to the complexity of pianos, they may not be adequate as a musical instrument.

The starting points of our piano range reflect a solid minimum quality in each category. They will give customers good long term musical use, will hold value and allow for growth and/or upgrading down the line.

2.    Size

This is often misunderstood, with people assuming that size is directly related to power and the space the piano will go into. In fact, it is mostly related to the quality of the tone, not volume. Longer strings and a bigger soundboard give a piano a richer, more complex and more pure sound. Small pianos, depending on design, may sound indistinct and have a limited tone due to the short strings.

3.    Age

As discussed in detailed information below, age is entirely a negative factor in pianos. All pianos deteriorate with time. The mechanical ageing and wear and tear can be addressed by service or restoration work, but the soundboard, which is a structural part, steadily loses tone quality. This can start being noticeable from 10 – 15 years of age onwards. Different pianos will age differently dependent on numerous factors, but it is an absolute. Therefore, one should aim to choose the youngest piano affordable, and a new instrument is preferable. It will provide the best starting point and the best longevity as well as well as value retention.

4.    Set up and maintenance

New pianos have a long journey from factory to their final destination, and pre-owned pianos will have been used in a variety of settings and contexts. In either case, the outcome of the piano you buy is heavily reliant of the way in which it is prepared and then installed in your space. This goes beyond just tuning, although that is part of the process.

bottom of page