A Message from the Publisher
Welcome to the Fall 2010 issue of Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer, a semiannual publication devoted to the purchase of new and used acoustic pianos and digital pianos. Piano Buyer is the supplement and successor to the well-known reference The Piano Book, which, since 1987, has been the principal consumer guide to buying a piano in the U.S. and Canada. Partially supported by advertising, Piano Buyer is available free online at www.pianobuyer.com. It can also be purchased in print from the website and in bookstores.
Piano Buyer is a hybrid book/magazine. The "book" part consists of a collection of how-to articles on the many aspects of buying a piano. These basic articles are repeated in every issue to serve the many new buyers continually entering the piano market. The "magazine" part consists of features that change with each issue to cover topics of more temporary or niche interest, and to provide variety. The brand, model, and price reference material in the second half of the publication is updated, as needed, with each issue.
In this issue, we offer several new articles for your reading pleasure. If you're considering buying a restored piano, or having a piano you already own restored, you may wonder just what restored means. It turns out that much depends on the philosophy of the restorer. In "Three Approaches to Piano Restoration," three of the nation's preeminent piano restorers weigh in on the subject, each explaining how he would go about restoring a Steinway grand (p. 67). This issue also contains the second of two articles of candid comments about high-end pianos by a select group of piano technicians who service these outstanding instruments (p.79). And if space is at a premium and you're considering buying a very small grand — one less than five feet long — you may understandably fear that its tone and touch will be inferior. Piano Buyer's four volunteer reviewers examined a dozen models and were surprised at what they found; you may be, too (p. 92). Finally, a product specialist from Roland Corporation introduces the revolutionary V-Piano digital piano and the various technologies that made it possible (p. 150).
Also revolutionary, albeit in a different way, is the Local Market Offers Program, which we inaugurate with this issue. One difficulty piano buyers sometimes have is making the transition from armchair shopping to getting up and actually trying out real pianos. At the same time, local dealers and technicians are anxious to meet you and help you purchase a new, used, or restored piano. The Local Market Offers Program matches our readers, by U.S. zip code or Canadian postal code, with their local piano-related resources, and makes available to them discounts, rebates, and other special offers as incentives to move their shopping into the real world. To take advantage of these incentives, look for ads like the one shown on this page.
Don't forget to explore the rest of our website. If you're shopping for a new piano, the searchable online database of 3,000 models will help you home in quickly on the instruments that match your requirements for size, furniture style, and budget. If you missed previous issues of Piano Buyer, you'll find them under the Archives tab. Finally, if you're reading this online, consider buying a print copy of Piano Buyer. It's a handsome volume, printed in color on glossy paper, and will make a great reference, coffee-table book, or gift. You can purchase it through the website or in bookstores.
With this issue we say goodbye and thanks to Alden Skinner, who, in his role as digital piano editor, cofounded this publication and wrote some of its most important articles. Alden has moved on to other endeavors, but his basic-knowledge articles about digital pianos will remain. Alden will continue to be available to us as a technical consultant on digital pianos.
Piano Buyer exists to make shopping for a piano easier and more enjoyable. If you have a suggestion as to how we can do that better, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Larry Fine, Publisher