A Message from the Publisher
Welcome to the Spring 2020 issue of Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer, an online publication devoted to the purchase of new, used, and restored acoustic pianos and digital pianos. Published since 2009 and partially supported by advertising, Piano Buyer is the successor to the well-known reference The Piano Book, and its Annual Supplement, which from 1987 to 2009 were the principal consumer guides to buying a piano in the U.S. and Canada.
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 kept permanently in place to serve the many new buyers continually entering the piano market. The “magazine” part consists of features that change periodically to cover topics of more temporary or niche interest, and to provide variety. Many of these excellent features remain relevant for years—if you missed any of them, you’ll find them under the website’s Resources/Reprints & Archive tab. You can also find many of them in print in our new book, The Best of Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer, a collection of the most useful articles we’ve published in the past ten years. The brand, model, and price reference material on this website is updated continually, and is also available in print in our semiannual Piano Buyer Model & Price Supplement.
Piano Buyer’s ratings of new pianos are probably the publication’s most read, most misunderstood, and most controversial feature. As the quality of low-end pianos rises, and the differences between brands become increasingly subtle and subjective, our ratings have come to represent not so much our judgments of the instruments, but rather our sense of how manufacturers and dealers position them in the marketplace — by price for lower-cost pianos, by general reputation or prestige for higher-end ones. But we’ve never been completely satisfied with this, in part because readers who lack the time, interest, and/or ability to make their own judgments frequently ask that we help them by recommending specific models. We’ve risen to the challenge with “Staff Picks,” our unapologetically subjective assessments of the best in today’s acoustic, digital, and hybrid pianos.
Don’t forget to explore the rest of our website. If you’re shopping for a new piano, our two searchable online databases of 3,000 acoustic and more than 200 digital models will help you quickly home in on the instruments that match your requirements for size, furniture style, budget, and features. If you’re shopping for a used instrument, try our Piano Buyer Classifieds; using its powerful search engine, browse among thousands of used pianos for sale. If you’re in need of piano-related services — tuning, rebuilding, sales, teaching, or moving — use our Local Services Directory. And when you’re ready to take a break, treat yourself to some comic relief with our blog, Piano-Buying Stories.
Finally, if you enjoy what you read here, consider buying a copy of The Best of Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer. It’s a handsome volume, printed in color, and will make a great reference, coffee-table book, or gift. You can purchase it through the website or in bookstores. If you’re a piano dealer or technician, you may find the Piano Buyer Model & Price Supplement to be a handy reference on the sales floor or on a service call.
Piano Buyer exists to make shopping for a piano easier and more enjoyable. If you have a suggestion for how we can do that better, please e-mail me at [email protected].
— Larry Fine, Publisher
The Definitive Guide to Buying New, Used, and Restored Pianos
Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer is published semiannually, in March and September, by:
Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer copyright © 2020 by Brookside Press LLC. All rights reserved.
“The Piano Book” is a Registered Trademark of Lawrence Fine
“Piano Buyer” is a Registered Trademark of Brookside Press LLC
Our print and e-books are distributed to the book trade by Independent Publishers Group, 814 North Franklin St., Chicago, IL 60610 (800) 888-4741 or (312) 337-0747
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without prior written permission of the publisher, except for brief quotations embodied in critical articles and book reviews.
Reasonable efforts have been made to secure accurate information for this publication. Due in part to the fact that manufacturers and distributors will not always willingly make this information available, however, some indirect sources have been relied on.
Neither the editors nor publisher make any guarantees with respect to the accuracy of the information contained herein, and will not be liable for damages — incidental, consequential, or otherwise — resulting from the use of the information.
Publisher and Editor, Advertising Director: Larry Fine, [email protected]
Piano Review Editor: Dr. Owen Lovell, [email protected]
Contributing Editor and Piano Industry Consultant: Steve Cohen, [email protected]
Design and Production: Julie Gallagher
Acoustic Piano Technical Consultants: Sally Phillips, Del Fandrich
Digital Piano Technical Consultants: Stephen Fortner, Jerry Kovarsky
Copyeditor: Richard Lehnert