Second Hand Pianos For Sale in Canberra

Information for Buyers and Sellers of Pianos

Chris Leslie
Mob: 0429 516 111
Home 6251 6123
All Hours, Weekends, Weekdays, Evenings
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How I rate a secondhand piano

Poor: In need of immediate repairs although may be playable. May be expensive to repair or even irreparable. Severe blemishes in appearance. Likely corrosion, mould or water damage.
Fair: Functional but with some compromises. Optionally repairable for improved functionality. Obvious cabinet or key blemishes but the blemishes could be regarded as being "in character" for an old instrument. Suitable for beginners or for casual use.
Good: Fully or near-fully functional but with minor wear. Minor blemishes to cabinet. Suitable for serious practice.
Excellent: New-like. Clean and near perfect finish.

The value of a piano will consider the condition of the cabinet, keys, strings, action, tuneability, tone and structural components. As well, the value will align with current pianos for sale in other venues, your expectations and time constraints.

Table of suggested used upright piano prices:

Age range Poor condition Fair condition Good condition
1970 to 2010 $600 to $1500 $1500 to $3000 $3000 to $5000 or more
1940 to 1970 $100 to $600 $600 to $1500 $1500 to $3000
Pre-1940 $0 to $100 $100 to $600 $600 to $1500

Newer pianos up to about 40 years old
These are often as good as new pianos and are recommended for advancing students and rigorous use.
They are generally well built and should be reliable.
In general, the larger pianos have a better tone than smaller pianos.

Pianos from 40 to 70 years old
During this era pianos were competing cost-wise with other forms of home entertainment. They often became smaller, cheaper, less robust and sound quality for the budget pianos is usually not as good as newer or older pianos.
These pianos can be a good compromise between cost and reliability.
If in good condition can be very good value and very suitable for students at any level.

Old pianos more than 70 years old
These come from an era where the piano was the main form of home entertainment and were consequently built to impress.
If in good condition, or reconditioned, can be excellent and functional instruments with a beautiful depth and uniqueness of tone not found in new pianos.
If in fair condition these pianos can be excellent for beginners and for casual use.
Pianos in good to fair condition can generally be reconditioned at a level to suit your budget. This approach is a very viable alternative to buying a new or modern second hand piano.
A piano in poor condition can generally be serviced and made playable but not intended for serious musical use. However, unless there is a special reason, such as a family heirloom, an old piano in poor condition will probably cost more to repair than another existing old piano in fair to good condition.

Very old pianos more than 110 years old
Many of these antiques still exist, are mostly in poor condition, but sometimes can be quite good.
They often have an old mechanical action known as "overdamper", or "birdcage", or even "wooden frame".
They can usually be serviced, tuned and made to work, but not advised for serious music making unless in good condition or reconditioned.
Very old pianos in fair to good condition, with a little care, can be delightful sounding, unique and beautiful instruments.

In general
All pianos, even new pianos, should be inspected by a piano technician before purchase so that possible service costs and viability can be determined.
An older, or second hand piano can often be reconditioned for less than it costs to buy a cheap new piano and be just as reliable.
Almost anything worn or faulty can be replaced or fixed on any used piano advertised on my web site unless otherwise stated.

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