New or Used Pianos?

Unless you are one of the lucky ones who has Grandma’s old piano at home, you will need to start thinking about getting a piano for your own peace of mind.

For those of you who are a bit frustrated or worried about what to get let me tell you that there are a few options around. You could go to your local music shop and ask if they rent musical instruments, this is a great place to start as it usually doesn’t cost much and it will be good to help you decide if learning the piano is what you really wanna do.

If a rental is not an option, and you are also 100% sure you want to invest in a good piano, you can either buy a brand new or get a second hand piano. Of course both options have their own pros and cons.

Pianos are expensive instruments, and a brand new is a huge investment; if you are just starting to learn to play the piano, I definitely recommend you to consider the “second hand” option. You can find really really good stuff there!

A great place to start is by surfing the web for piano brands, prices and specs. Probably eBay is where you need to go to see what is available or find out piano brands that are within your budget. Then look for second hand places near you, pawn shops are always worth checking out and don’t forget your local music stores, ask them if they know someone who might be selling a piano. They often have notice boards with a For Sale section. I think you get the idea and you will know exactly where to go.

Second hand doesn’t necessarily mean bad quality, you can find really good pianos for a reasonable price, you just need to shop around. Probably something you don’t know is that pianos are long living instruments. However, the older they are, the more likely it is to have problems in the long run. If you have an experienced friend or a piano tutor, you should ask them to look over the piano you are after, or find a piano technician who can do this for you.

What to do if I buy a second hand piano? I know how it feels to have a new toy around, I also know what’s it like to have a “new” instrument, and NOT PLAY IT. First thing’s first though. Your piano will need to be tuned once you have it in position. Now it gets even harder, experts always recommend you let it settle for at least 5 days, then you will need the Technician again to come around to your house and check the tuning again.

And for those of you who are saying “Hey, I just got my new piano and I wanna play it”, well my friend, that does not matter, even new pianos have to be tuned, unless you live in the music shop where the piano has been sitting for a while – Pianos always get out of tune after a move, it doesn’t matter how carefully you transported it from the shop to your home, it doesn’t matter if you teletransported it either!

Making the decision between new or second hand is always hard, so it pays to think about “how much can you invest on a new piano?” It does not matter if all you can afford a second hand piano. What you have to keep in mind is that you need to get the best piano that you can afford. Better gear doesn’t make you a better musician but having the best equipment that you can afford is always best.

I really hope this helps.

Luis Tovar
Luis Tovar

Kawai EP3 Digital Piano

Kawai LogoDoes Kawai ring any bells? It does for me, not only because they have been in the market forever, but because they have always been doing high quality acoustic pianos. And more lately also doing amazing digital pianos and synthesizers.

The company was founded in 1927 by Koichi Kawai, a gifted piano craftsman, in Japan. Today, it is a proudly family owned business and has been for three generations.

They have a massive product family, but it’s the EP3 Digital piano that I want to talk about here. The digital vs. acoustic is always a dilemma. We receive many emails from people asking about digitals, so if you are after one, the EP3 is well worth a look.

The EP3 model is one of two models in their portable digital range and boasts a range of features that really make this a versatile instrument for the at-home user as well as the gigging musician.

Main Features:

  • Harmonic Imaging sound technology
  • 88-Key AHAIV-F graded hammer action
  • 21 exceptional instrument sounds
  • Dual, Split and Four-Hands modes
  • 96-note polyphony
  • Powerful built-in speaker system with bass-reflex enclosures
  • Elegant black finish
  • Optional designer stand
  • Optional soft road case with wheels

Touch and tone, “remarkably realistic feel…” is what Keyboard magazine said about its graded hammer action. So, touch won’t be a problem with this Digital piano. What about Tone? Japan has always being on top of technology and the Kawai family is not the exception, something that digital pianos lack of is the “real acoustic piano sound”, well, Kawai has been able to achieve this using their harmonic imaging technology, capturing every realism and every sound that a real acoustic piano has.

The EP3 Digital piano has a really nice built in sound system with a full bodied sound. It comes with 26 watts speakers of stereo sound and the popular bass reflex system.

It comes with the typical L/R outputs if you wanna get it crankin’ on bigger sound systems. If you need to practice quietly at home, you can plug your headphones in and turn off the built in speakers. You can also connect your iPod or Mp3 player so you can play along with all your favorite tracks.

What about built in sounds? The EP3 has 21 different sounds ranging from classical guitar to string choir and the classic organ sound, just to name a few. You can of course, combine two different sounds or layers, but what is great is that you can EQ each of them separately. Let´s say that you want the classic organ sound backed up by the string choir, you can simply press a button and to balance the volumes of each layer to your liking – 50-50, 75-25, etc.

Another great thing, besides being able to split the piano in 2 sections for your own use of different layers on each half, is that you can split it in “4 hands mode” as Kawai calls it. This gives two players their own 44 note piano in the same octave, which is a great tool for students and teachers.

The EP3 also comes with a built in metronome which allows you to change tempo and time signature, but that’s not all. It comes with 30 drum patterns to play along with, which is a must for practicing at home to get the feel of playing with a band.

As I mentioned before, Kawai is on top of technology, this digital piano comes with MIDI input and output and also USB – so you can plug this beauty into your computer to work with different learning software as well as recording your own stuff. Oh by the way, you do not necessarily need to connect it to your laptop to record your master pieces, the EP3 has two tracks for internal recording which can hold 15,000 notes, amazing isn’t it?

This EP3 has everything you need, it doesn’t matter if you want it for practicing at home or for gigging constantly, the EP3 will definitely do a great job for you. The price of this amazing digital piano is between $1,100 to $1,500 USD, which for all the features, is pretty tidy…just like the EP3.

Not for nothing Kawai means lovable and cute!

Check it out:

Luis Tovar
Luis Tovar