HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Entertainment » Music Appreciation (Group) » Good morning to all. The...

Wed Jan 5, 2022, 10:50 AM

Good morning to all. The purchase of a used grand piano is on my shopping list and am

asking for the opinion of anyone in this group about a Samick SG-185 grand piano. It is for sale by a dealer. I haven't played in 50 years so I'm not in need of a Steinway, although that would be nice, but the price is a bit much. I don't want one with player discs or other gadgets. I just want a plain, good sounding grand piano that also doubles as a piece of living room furniture. I listened to the dealer play this piano on a short sale video and it sounded good. I think he said the year built was 1999. I can find out for sure if that's important. He said it was a wet sand casting and spruce board. I've done as much on-line research as I can find on this piano but there's not a lot available, so I'm turning to this group.

I'll be off line for about an hour but appreciate all responses, suggestions, and cautionary tales you can share, including brands I should stay away from. The dealer is a third generation piano dealer in the valley.

Thanks.

7 replies, 474 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 7 replies Author Time Post
Reply Good morning to all. The purchase of a used grand piano is on my shopping list and am (Original post)
in2herbs Jan 2022 OP
jmbar2 Jan 2022 #1
dem4decades Jan 2022 #2
jmbar2 Jan 2022 #3
ProfessorGAC Jan 2022 #5
highplainsdem Jan 2022 #6
PJMcK Jan 2022 #4
in2herbs Jan 2022 #7

Response to in2herbs (Original post)

Wed Jan 5, 2022, 11:24 AM

1. Another thought

A few years ago, I gave away a baby grand when I downsized. They are actually hard to get rid of. I see them given away occasionally on Craigslist by people who have to move and don't want the hassle of trying to sell.

If you are not a concert pianist, an older used one that has been well cared for might be very affordable. Avoid ones that cannot be tuned to concert C, or haven't been regularly tuned and maintained.

Also avoid very old ones. "Antique" pianos may have cracked sound boards, or require new strings. Very expensive repairs.

Good luck. I loved mine.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jmbar2 (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 5, 2022, 11:36 AM

2. I check out auctions all the time and see pianos go for a song. But not sure how good they are.

But usually you can tell by the contents of the house the care that was given to the items, and the auction managers respond quickly to any questions.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to dem4decades (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 5, 2022, 11:40 AM

3. There are some very good Youtubes on how to shop for used pianos

You can learn a lot from them before you shop. Once you know the questions to ask, it will save you a lot of driving around.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to dem4decades (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 5, 2022, 08:52 PM

5. Checking A Piano Is Pretty Easy

First, since you're looking for a baby G, visually inspecting the soundboard is simple. Anything other than a few small surface cracks? Very bad. Cracks more than 2" long? Very Bad. Can they be fixed by an expert with banding? Yes, but the deal gets diminished by repair costs.
Look for broken, frayed, bent, or unwound strings. Restringing a piano is pricey.
Play each key. Use the same hard, hit. Look to see if any keys rebound slower than others. If that happens, it will probably be in groups. If you see that, play those same keys lightly. If another key moves while pressing one, it will need, at the least, keys removed & sanded. You can do that yourself. If it's bad, the keys will need precision deplaning. That's expensive.
By touch, check the hammers. They should be firm, but not like a rock. That's easy to do on any piano. Same with the dampers.
Check the pedal action. There should be no resistance. When pressing the far right pedal, the entire damper assembly should lift equally. If not, the lever is probably bent. The far left pedal, when tested should move the whole hammer set down & forward. It shortens the throw, so it plays quieter. The huddle pedal is the sustenuto. It only works when keys are down. If that doesn't work well, you can ignore it. One has to be very accomplished to use it properly, and even good piano players barely use it. (Count me in that group.)
Play each key in octaves. In can be out of tune a bit, but if something is way off it may be the pin block has dried & shrunk. They can be fixed without a lot of cost, if you do it yourself.
Finally, watch the hammers as you play each key. The hammer should throw & the dampers lift at essentially the same time. If they don't, there are escapement issues. The entire piano will need to rebuilt. $$$$
I completely rebuilt an old upright I bought for $25 about 1983.
No soundboard issues, but the rest of the piano was a wreck. I took the whole thing apart, restrung it, recalibrated everything, sanded the keys, conditioned the hammers, & injected a polymer into the pinblock. Put everything back together. Played it for 30 years.
I replaced it when a music store owner I know offered me a $10,000 console piano, with inherently better tone, for the difference between his cost & what insurance would cover for cabinet damage on the right side. (The piano was going to go into a corner where that side would be anyway.). Paid $2,700. Sold my old upright for a grand.
So, I paid $25 for it, played it for 30 years, and sold it for a thousand.
Sorry, this reply was longer than I thought it would be.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ProfessorGAC (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 5, 2022, 09:42 PM

6. Wow. Amazing info, and skills.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to in2herbs (Original post)

Wed Jan 5, 2022, 11:48 AM

4. You could have the piano surveyed

A local and qualified piano technician (sometimes called a tuner) could survey the instrument for a reasonable fee. It wouldn't hurt to get a professional opinion.

I've been a musician and pianist for 50 years yet I would feel unqualified to render an opinion on such a complicated mechanical device. I love that you want to enjoy the furniture as well as the music; there are few man-made things as beautiful as a grand piano!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to in2herbs (Original post)

Wed Jan 5, 2022, 10:26 PM

7. Thanks for all your responses. Just to be sure the piano select is in good shape I

certainly will have an independent tuner inspect it, and make sure the tuner can answer all the items listed in your responses. I'm excited. I see that some companies have a buy back program. This would be beneficial in aiding the executrix in the distribution of my estate.

This piano dealer also has a Concert Grand (Baldwin, I think) that's been used for his performances for the past couple of years. Says it's in great condition except for a few nicks in the paint. My living room is big enough to accommodate this size but am not sure I want to pay what he's asking plus pay for a new paint job. Think I want something more "ready for use."

Can't take possession of any piano until the remodeling is done on my house, which will be another 2 months -- hopefully less.

The only problem I foresee will be to keep cat prints off the piano!!

Thanks again.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread