The Best of Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

A collection of our best and most useful articles

The Best of Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer is a collection of our most useful articles on buying a new, used, or restored piano or digital piano.

The Best of Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer®

The Definitive Guide to Buying & Caring for a Piano or Digital Piano

Edited by Larry Fine
ISBN 978-1929145683
270 pages, 8 x 10 in.
Publication date: December 2018; available now.

Click to Watch Video Introduction by Hugh Sung
Click to Watch Video Review by Hugh Sung
Click to Watch Video Review by Robert Estrin
Click to Read Review by Julie Welsh Miller in the Summer 2019 issue of The Piano Magazine (Clavier Companion)


About the book

The Best of Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer is a collection of the best and most useful articles we’ve published in the past nine years on buying a new, used, or restored piano or digital piano. This book replaces our twice-yearly print magazine. However, all of our materials — articles, instrument reviews, models, prices, specifications, databases, stories, etc. — will continue to be available online for free.
Included in this volume are more than 30 articles by 17 authors on:

  • Buying a New Piano
  • Buying a Used or Restored Piano
  • Buying a High-End Piano
  • Buying Pianos for an Institution or Concert Hall
  • Caring for a Piano
  • Restoring, Selling, or Donating a Piano
  • Buying an Electronic Player-Piano System
  • Buying a Digital Piano
  • Hybrid and Software Pianos
  • Piano Benches, Lamps, and Accessories
  • Moving a Piano
  • How to Acoustically Optimize a Room for a Piano

Plus — Descriptions of More Than 80 Brands of Acoustic, Digital, and Electronic Player Piano
(Note that a separate Piano Buyer Model & Price Supplement is published twice a year in print. It contains comprehensive and up-to-date listings of acoustic-piano models and prices and digital-piano specifications and prices. Click here for more information.)

Advance Praise for

Frederic Chiu, concert pianist and Yamaha Artist:

“An integral part of playing the piano well is to buy and care for it well. Towards that goal, this exhaustive resource, uniting the work of so many people dedicated to the art of the piano, is an invaluable tool. By simply reading it, one has already moved further down the path to becoming a better pianist.”

Mario Igrec, RPT, MMus, Chief Piano Technician, The Juilliard School, and author, Pianos Inside Out:

“Larry Fine is unique in his ability to provide information that is relevant to novice and sophisticated piano buyers alike. The articles he has published over the years, now collected in one convenient ‘Best of’ volume, include a staggering range of pertinent and valuable topics. From the intricacies of buying a new or used acoustic, digital, hybrid, or player piano, to deciding whether to rebuild a piano, to the tax implications of donating a piano, to institutional pianos, piano care, and piano moving, you will learn about the piano market in a way that you couldn’t do anywhere else. The Best of Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer is required reading for anyone buying or owning a piano.”

Brian Chung, Senior Vice President, Shigeru Kawai Piano Company:

“A highly informative and practical resource for anyone interested in the world of pianos.”

Steve Brady, RPT, author, Under the Lid: The Art and Craft of the Concert Piano Technician:

“Larry Fine’s new book, The Best of Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer, is a treasure trove of useful information about buying, maintaining, and eventually disposing of nearly any kind of piano. It is truly the indispensable guide to all things piano.”

Robert Estrin, LivingPianos.com:

“An incredibly valuable resource — whether you’re a novice just figuring out how to buy a piano, or a seasoned professional requiring specific information.”

David Betts, RPT, Department Head, Piano Technology, North Bennet Street School:

“Absolutely filled with piano information — from buying to caring for one, rebuilding vs. purchasing new, acoustic vs. digital — plus ratings and profiles for every brand. Great, informative articles by veteran keyboard technicians.”

Delwin D. Fandrich, RPT, Piano Design & Manufacturing Consultant; former Director of Research & Development, Baldwin Piano & Organ Co.:

“The piano industry is in a state of flux. Most manufacturing has moved offshore, and brand names that were once revered are now almost meaningless. We hear that once-great piano brands are no longer great, and we’re confronted with brands we’ve never heard of. We shop for a new high-end piano and someone tells us that the only way to get a great piano is to buy one built during the ‘golden age’ of pianos — whenever that was.

“Enter Piano Buyer magazine, edited by Larry Fine — the industry’s most complete and definitive resource for today’s piano buyer. This book brings together some of the best articles that have appeared in the magazine to date. There is something in here for everyone. Each article has been thoroughly researched, and is based on years of experience by some of the best technicians and experts in the industry today.

“I’ve been in this business for more than five decades, and I still read each issue that comes out. I’ve learned something from all of these authors; you will too.”

Arthur Reblitz, author, Piano Tuning, Servicing and Rebuilding:

“For three decades, Larry Fine has been known for his high quality, comprehensive research and publications devoted to the piano. In The Best of Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer, he brings together an impressive compilation of articles—both his own and those written by a diverse staff of experts—covering practically all aspects of pianos, their music, and companies behind the brand names. Whether you are a pianist, prospective buyer or seller, technician, rebuilder, designer, or even historian, you will be delighted with this volume.”

Randi Potter, RPT, ARPT, President and Director, Randy Potter School of Piano Technology:

“With the publication of The Best of Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer, Larry Fine is once again at the forefront of innovation in the piano and keyboard industry. He always seems to come up with new ways to serve this community, providing information in ways the rest of us never even thought to ask. This is a book that will give much needed information to everyone . . . I am now already recommending it to our students and graduates in over 90 countries, and will be sending it to our new students with their piano tuning courses.”



Introduction: The Prodigious Power of Piano Playing by Brian Chung


Acoustic or Digital: What’s Best For Me? by Alden Skinner and Larry Fine
Piano Buying Basics by Larry Fine


The New-Piano Market Today by Larry Fine
A Map of the Market for New Pianos (“Ratings”) by Larry Fine
About New-Piano Pricing by Larry Fine
Sales Talk by Larry Fine


Buying a Used or Restored Piano by Larry Fine
Advice About Used Pianos for Parents of Young Beginning Piano Students by Sally Phillips
How to Sell or Donate Your Piano by Steve Cohen and Piano Buyer staff
Donating, Converting, or Recycling Your Piano by Karen Lile
Taking a Tax Deduction When Donating a Piano by Larry Fine
Everything Old is New Again by Stuart Isacoff
Should I Have My Piano Rebuilt? by Sally Phillips
Three Approaches to Piano Restoration by Bill Shull, David G. Hughes, and Delwin D. Fandrich


The Uncompromising World of High-End Pianos by Sally Phillips
The Best Piano: A Story by Ori Bukai
Buying Pianos For an Institution by George Litterst
Piano Maintenance in Institutions by Chris Solliday
Piano Purgatory: The Donated Piano by Sally Phillips
Selecting a Performance Piano for Concert Hall or Home by Sally Phillips
Regulation & Voicing: What Buyers of Performance-Quality Pianos Should Know by Sally Phillips


Caring For Your Piano by Larry Fine
Piano Tuning: An Introduction by Sally Phillips
Voicing and Tone: What Piano Buyers and Owners Should Know by Sally Phillips
Cleaning and Polishing a Piano’s Finish by Dave Swartz
Benches, Lamps, Accessories, and Problem Solvers by Larry Fine
Ten Ways to Voice a Room by Christopher Storch
Moving the Family Piano by Russ Vitt


Buying a Digital Piano by Alden Skinner
My Other Piano is a Computer: An Introduction to Software Pianos by Alden Skinner
Hybrid Pianos by Alden Skinner and Larry Fine
Buying an Electronic Player-Piano System by Larry Fine


Acoustic Pianos
Electronic Player Pianos
Digital Pianos


LARRY FINE, Editor, is the author of The Piano Book: Buying & Owning a New or Used Piano, and Editor of Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer, for more than 30 years the standard consumer references in the piano business. A Registered Piano Technician, Fine has been involved in the piano industry for over 40 years.

Published by Brookside Press, San Diego, California. Distributed to the book trade by Independent Publishers Group (IPG).

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