Piano experts

9 Replies

Hello, Wondering if any piano experts who could give me a little advice before I commit into buying one. My neighbour wants to sell her Gaveau demi-queue piano( I think equivalent to a baby grand piano??). She bought it around early 1950 in Paris. It is in a good condition and only needs tuning. Her asking price is Euros5000. So- my question- will it be a good buy? Is the price fair and reasonable? I have nil clue about piano:>( .... but if I do get it, I am so excited!! & looking forward to learn to play. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance

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junkanoo 1381857321


If you look here, it would seem the asking price is a bit high. 


Before shelling out, I would get a piano tuner/technician to look at it. Has the piano been regularly tuned? If not, can it brought back up to the right pitch? If the strings have been left untuned for a while it can be problematic to get the piano back up to pitch without breaking strings. Also , you need to check the condition of the strings, felts and the pedal mechanisms. A piano technician would be your best bet.


IanW-384276 1381863687

Hi Bubble,

No, I'm not a Piano technician, but I recently cleaned and tuned a 1980s upright using this book;

Piano Servicing Tuning and rebuilding -  by Arthur Reblitz.

There are many things that an old piano can require, and all of them are costly, while they might look wonderful, even moving them properly is a process for specialists. "junkanoo"'s advice is very good, find a specialist to fully inspect it.  Any piano 60 years old must have been a very good quality one to start with and very well looked after, if all it needs "is a tune".

Of course, if you're buying it as a piece of art, or to fill a space, then how it sounds is irrelevant, but if you wish to play it, then it needs to work correctly.

As you are just starting out, I'd strongly suggest buying a Digital Piano, they don't need tuning, the actions are very realistic, you can plug in a pair of headphones and you can move them ! A decent brand new, proper digital piano (don't confuse this with a keyboard) is under 1000Euro and you can always resell it,  examples here;



IanW-384276 1381864218


Perhaps a better example;


Have read of the customer reviews.


Bubble-409327 1381866090

Hello Junkanoo & IanW,

Thank you very much for such an excellent advice!

What you both mentioned is so helpful.  Perhaps my best bet as said by Junkanoo, is to try  to get a piano technician first.

IanW -Your idea of digital piano is good, but I wasn't planning to buy a piano at all.

My neighbour who is also a dear friend, has moved to a smaller house and the money for the sale of the piano would help her greatly. I want to help her, but at the same time I do want a realistic price. It is something I have not budgetted for. I also do not want to insult her.

Do any of you know a piano tuner near to Dinan?

Much appreciated and thanks again.



lamb chop 1381874872

Pianos are lovely pieces of furniture (if you don't play), I had an upright piano since the age of 6 (Im now in 40s) but I sold it before coming to France. since bought an electric roland piano, does soooo much stuff, not just piano, all the instuments under the sun, rhythms etc etc; you can even record backing tracks on it!

if you have never played a piano before, 5000£ is alot to fork out.  (unless you are rich ;-) ), whether or not you want to help your neighbour out or not. If you then take up lessons & the piano, but subsequently give it up, it is money wasted.

A good piano is fab when tuned etc correctly,  and if you can knock out a great tune too, even better!

but don't expect to play like elton john for a few years lol.



Vixter-398527 1381878032

I am no piano expert but just looking at Gaveau demi- queue on the internet shows dealers selling at around 4800Euros, so I think your friend is chancing it a bit. UNLESS there is some history attached e.g. did someone famous own it before or it was used in some special way?

Try to find the history and  also get it professionally checked out, the draw back to this is, if it is a real bargain, the only person to know will be the expert you called in !!   

You have the choice, on the one hand, of buying a piece of furniture if youy dont /cant play the piano. In which case, will it fit in with  your existing decor/style? Or buying a piano that may or maynot require some intensive TLC to bring back to where it should be, and at what price compared to the market value?

Your call?


Bon Chance



Bubble-409327 1381930456

Lambchop - my hopes are dash now! :>((

I was dreaming to play like Jools Holland & Richard Clayderman. Yes! it looks lovely as a piece of furniture, but I want more benefits out of owning a piano, i.e. to play.

Vixter - I too did googled at found the prices around 3500E to 6500E, of course depending on condition. I am not rich... with mutual agreement, perhaps I am planning to pay her on installment.

It brings back to the main advice you all have given me, i.e.to get a qualified tuner/technician.

From his professional advice, hopefully, it could determine my decision to buy or not to buy.

Many thanks again.

Sheldon-433307 1381972619

This is a lot of money to fork out for someone who may find the piano is not for him/her.  You know its the hardest instrument to learn and takes hours of daily practice to become proficient.  I have an upright, iron-framed piano of a good make that I will never sell as it would be worth a few quid now in this market.  Have a look on the UK sites and see how little pianos are changing hands for at the moment, unless you want a  top of range like a  steinway, bechstein or yamaha.

lokki-jo-1017830 1640386484

Hi! I don’t think that it will be a good purchase for you. I think that buying a vintage used piano is ok, but in your case, the price isn’t reasonable. Also, you can’t be sure that this piano has been lovingly cared for over the years, so the quality might be worse than you are expected to have. You should find some second-hand pianos in online stores. I have seen some good variants.

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