Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer (“Piano Buyer“) is a consumer guide to buying, selling, and maintaining new, used, and restored acoustic pianos and digital pianos, and is published online twice a year (Spring and Fall). It is the successor to The Piano Book and the Annual Supplement to The Piano Book.
For those not familiar with it, The Piano Book: Buying & Owning a New or Used Piano, by Larry Fine, first published in 1987, was, for many years, the principal consumer guide to buying an acoustic piano in the United States and Canada. The most recent, fourth, edition was published in 2001 and, though out of date in its coverage of new pianos, is still in print. An Annual Supplement was published each year from 1996 to 2008 to keep the information on brands, models, and prices of new pianos up to date. In 2009, Piano Buyer was created to bring The Piano Book and Annual Supplement into the 21st century.
At first published both online and in print, Piano Buyer became online-only in 2019, with the best articles from the previous decade saved in printed form in the book The Best of Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer. All the old feature articles are also available free online. A smaller book, Piano Buyer Model & Price Supplement, containing only models and prices of acoustic pianos, and prices and specifications of digital pianos, is published in print form semiannaully.
Piano Buyer is supported by advertising, but is editorially independent of any manufacturer or dealer.
Piano Buyer is a hybrid book/magazine/website. The “book” part consists of a collection of how-to articles on the many aspects of buying a piano. Because piano buyers need this information all at once, not over a long period of time, most of these articles remain relatively unchanged from issue to issue. Our aim is to provide only the most useful and important information, succinctly stated, and to address the topics of broadest interest, so that you can be on your way to enjoying your piano as quickly as possible. For those readers desiring more, there is plenty of interesting material of a more technical or specialized nature in The Piano Book and, from time to time, on this website.
The “magazine” part of the publication consists of feature articles of more temporary interest, model and price data for new acoustic and digital pianos, and advertisements, all of which will be updated as necessary with each issue. The model and price data for both acoustic and digital pianos is also available in free, searchable databases, accessible from the website’s main menu.
Staff & Contributors
Larry Fine, RPT, is Piano Buyer‘s Founder, and Publisher and Editor Emeritus. Author of The Piano Book: Buying & Owning a New or Used Piano, Fine has been involved in the piano industry for more than 45 years. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hannah Beckett, RPT, is Piano Buyer‘s current Publisher and Editor. She was formerly a member of the editorial staff of the Piano Technicians Journal. Beckett now operates ProPTN, an online educational resource for piano technicians in the field, and services pianos in the northern Virginia and D.C. areas. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Dr. Owen Lovell, Piano Review Editor, is Associate Professor of Music at Georgia College. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve Cohen, Contributing Editor and Piano Industry Consultant, is owner of Jason’s Music Center, in Glen Burnie, Maryland. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Julie Gallagher, design and production
Del Fandrich, Sally Phillips, acoustic piano technical consultants
Stephen Fortner, Jerry Kovarsky, digital piano technical consultants
Richard Lehnert, copyeditor
Other contributors to the current issue:
Ori Bukai owns and operates Allegro Pianos in Stamford, Connecticut, which specializes in the sale of new and restored high-end pianos. Visit his website at www.allegropianos.
Tina Chong, D.M. is an assistant professor at the School of Music and Dance at San Diego State University in San Diego, California.
Brian Chung is Senior Vice President of Kawai America Corporation and a leading proponent of the benefits of making music. He is also a pianist, and co-author of Improvisation at the Piano: A Systematic Approach for the Classically Trained Pianist. Visit his website at www.brianchung.net.
Bruce Clark, Senior Design Engineer at Mason & Hamlin, has been with the company since 1984. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Delwin D. Fandrich has worked as a piano tuner, rebuilder, researcher, designer, and builder for over five decades. He has served as principal design and technical consultant for leading pianomakers worldwide. Fandrich has presented technical classes and seminars around the world, and has authored numerous technical articles in the Piano Technicians Journal. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Stephen Fortner has been a keyboardist since early childhood, and has played professionally since age 14. He was technical editor of Keyboard magazine from 2006 to 2009, and its editor-in-chief from 2009 through 2015. He has since founded Fortner Media, a content-strategy firm. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike Kemper is a Los Angeles-based piano technician and expert on electronic player-piano systems. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Jerry Kovarksy is a jazz and popular-music pianist/keyboardist with a BA in Jazz Studies. He worked for 30+ years with various electronic-keyboard companies as a Brand/Product Manager, Marketing Director, and Product Developer. The author of Keyboard for Dummies, he now plays professionally throughout the Hawaiian Islands.
George Litterst is a nationally known music educator, clinician, author, performer, and music-software developer. He is the coauthor of several musical applications for iPad, Mac and PC, including SuperScore Music, Home Concert Xtreme, Classroom Maestro, and Internet MIDI. These applications work with technology-equipped pianos and are available from TimeWarp Technologies.
Over the past 46 years, piano technician Sally Phillips has worked in virtually every aspect of the piano industry: service, retail, wholesale, and manufacturing. In her role as a concert-piano technician, she has prepared instruments for concert and recording work in many of the world’s top concert venues and for some of the world’s most prestigious symphony orchestras. Phillips also works with many institutional clients, and has started an apprenticeship program for piano technicians. Her team of experienced technicians who have completed the program now services the pianos at four university music programs, tuning for over 450 concerts a year. Phillips lives in Georgia and works throughout the southeastern U.S. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alden Skinner was involved in both the manufacturing and retail sides of the piano business for over 20 years. He currently works in the high-end audio/video industry.
Chris Solliday, RPT, services the pianos at several institutions, including Lafayette College and Lehigh University. He lives in Easton, Pennsylvania, and can be reached through his website at www.csollidaypiano.com.
Chris Storch, RPT, is an acoustician with 25 years’ experience in the areas of architectural acoustics, noise and vibration control, and environmental noise abatement. Some of the more prominent projects on which he has consulted include Verizon Hall, in Philadelphia; Sibelius Hall, in Lahti, Finland; LG Arts Center, in Seoul, South Korea; and Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, in Appleton, Wisconsin. Storch is a 2009 graduate of the Piano Technology program at the North Bennet Street School, in Boston. He tunes and services pianos in the Boston area, and conducts research in piano acoustics in his spare time. He can be reached at email@example.com.