Choosing the Right Piano

We are here to help you find the best piano for your situation.   Whatever you buy, it needs to fit your situation.  We don't know what that piano will be, whether it is an inexpensive upright piano, or a 9' concert grand.  However, if you read this you we can help you narrow your search to find the right piano for you.

Let's start with what we don't have and thereby eliminate some wasted time in searching.  If you are relatively wealthy, we can help you by pointing out that we don't have pianos such as Steinway, Bechstein, or Petrof.  So, if you can't afford a Bugatti, Ferrari, or Porsche you probably can't afford these pianos either.  Pianos in this price range come with a price tag of anywhere from $15,000 for a basic upright to $150,000 for a grand piano.

There are many people who come to us looking for names like Yamaha or Kawai mostly because of name brand recognition.  We all know that products made by Yamaha are good whether it be a motorcycle or a piano.  Many people are not aware that there are many pianos just as good as Yamaha from Kawai, Schulze Pollman, Seiler, and others.  These pianos are similar to automobiles with names like Acura, Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Lexus and cost anywhere from $10,000 for an upright to $75,000 for a nice grand.

Most of us either can't afford an Acura or Cadillac, or figure a car is just for transportation and refuse to pay the extra bucks for the luxury.  As a result most of us end up buying a very nice Ford, Chevrolet, Nissan, Toyota, Kia, and others. 

Do these cars perform like a Porsche? Obviously not - but they provide a very comfortable and functional mode of transportation.  And this is where many pianos fit in as well.  Pianos from Pearl River, Heintzman, Young Chang, Cable Nelson, and many others are wonderful pianos for those of us who can't afford a Steinway or don't want to. 

So Plumb Pianos does not sell the expensive stuff - we sell pianos that are well made, that are good quality, but definitely affordable.  Pianos in this range cost anywhere from $3,000 for a basic upright to $30,000 for a good grand.  We also sell used Yamaha and Kawai pianos that are not new, but are still good pianos with twice or three times more life in them than any new car you can buy for around $4,000 to $20,000.

For instance, we sell a little baby grand piano from Pearl River finished in ebony polish that the suggested retail price is $8,590, according to the Piano Book.  Unless you have lots of money or are a professional pianist, this is a great piano for the money.  In fact, Pearl River pianos are selling better than any other piano in the world.   We sell both Pearl River and Heintzman pianos because they are great value at prices the average person can afford.

Chinese Pianos

For some people the pianos we sell are not acceptable because they have been made in China.  We have had people tell us they would never buy a Chinese piano and that they don't buy Chinese products.  I find it funny that many of these people actually own an Eterna or Cable Nelson piano - pianos made in China by Yamaha.

These same people also own appliances, cell phones, computers, and many other things that are expertly made in China - with name brands on them that have become acceptable.  Because they bought it at Sears or Canadian Tire they think it couldn't possibly have been built in China.  These people let their emotions or their politics eliminate products that are otherwise excellent.  A rose, as we all know, by any other name is still a rose.  Certainly, pianos made in China at this point are better than the pianos that used to be built in Canada in the 50's to 70's by Mason & Risch, Sherlock-Manning, Willis, LeSage and others.

So we invite you to come and try out our wonderful pianos and hope this explanation helps those of you who are wealthy save your time and ours by pointing out that if you have $20,000 or more to spend on a piano we are the wrong place to come.  Or if you are wealthy enough but are on the thrifty side when it comes to buyina a piano - then we are your destination.

Certainly, if you are of more modest means and want the best you can buy - then we are definitely your destination.

Buying for a Child

Most teachers will tell you that you need to buy the best piano you can afford because you want them to have the best experience possible.  I agree with that comment - to a point.  A child that is just beginning does NOT need a Steinway, a Yamaha, or even a Heintzman.  What they need is a piano with good touch and good sound. 

Would it surprise you that 86% of people can NOT tell the difference between the sound of an expensive piano compared to an inexpensive piano.  Perhaps the way to answer this is to look at it once again from the automobile perspective.  Would you suggest that a little 85 year old granny buy a Porsche, Ferrari, or even a Hummer?  Of course not. For one thing she probably couldn't see past the steering wheel in a Hummer.

I remember years ago we sold a Wurlitzer spinet piano to a young family.  They didn't want to put out a lot of money to see if their kid was going to do this.  Well, the child was like a pig in mud.  He played that thing until it was obvious to everyone that he was much better than the piano.  So we got him a better piano and still kept the price within reason.  Now he has a very nice used Yamaha piano along with his Master's degree to go with it.