Used / Second-hand Pianos and FAQ
What about Purchasing a Used Yamaha Piano?
Customers frequently call the Piano Technical Manager at Yamaha Music Australia to ask about purchasing a used Yamaha piano. Typically, they want to know how old the piano is, whether it is a good piano or not, how much the piano is worth, and if they should purchase it or not. We do our best to answer their questions, from a technical standpoint. We first remind the customer that they are asking us about a used piano. We explain that there is always some degree of risk involved in purchasing any used product. Without a thorough inspection by a qualified technician, it is impossible to know whether the piano has been properly maintained. Whether or not it is damaged, how worn out the piano is, or whether the piano is in need of major rebuilding. We recommend that they contact a competent piano technician and have the technician make a thorough inspection of the piano, before purchasing it. We can also run a serial number search on the instrument to confirm year of manufacture and if the piano was originally manufactured for the Australian market.
What Potential Used Piano Buyers Should Be Aware Of
Along with the extensive experience we have had providing warranty support for Yamaha pianos in Australia, we can provide information that may assist in reducing the purchase risk for the potential customer. More and more frequently, however, the used pianos customers are asking about were not originally sold new into the Australian market. More often than not, it is a well-used older piano that was recently brought in from Japan and sold to a piano dealer in Australia (a "grey market import"). When asked about one of these pianos we cannot provide information about the piano, other than the year of manufacture and that it was not made for this market.
What's The Main Issue With Used Yamaha Pianos Made for Overseas Markets?
Yamaha had manufactured pianos for Japan and the Asian market for over 50 years before exporting pianos to other parts of the world. When Yamaha began exporting pianos to Australia and North America the Yamaha engineers were unaware of the level of dryness that existed in Australian and North American homes. As a result, some of the first pianos sold in Australia during the 1960s developed dryness-related problems. Upon researching these problems, our engineers found that in general, the indoor environments of homes in Australia are considerably drier than in Japan. Some of this is related to the outdoor climate and some of it is related to the indoor environment, which is affected by such conditions as air conditioning and heating systems. This research led Yamaha to the development of computer-controlled drying kilns, as well as other manufacturing procedures, so that pianos destined for Australia would be properly seasoned for the Australian home. Most of the used Yamaha pianos being brought in to Australia today are pianos that were manufactured for the Japanese market. These instruments were manufactured using the same seasoning techniques that were used on the pianos we had moisture-related problems with. In addition, these used pianos have lived in a very moist environment since they were new.
So What Does Yamaha Music Australia Recommend?
Will one of these pianos develop severe problems after several years in Australia? Unless the piano is placed in a very humid environment (similar to Japan), the piano could potentially develop problems that will be expensive to correct. We know this because of the numerous calls we receive from customers and piano technicians reporting dryness-related problems with these used pianos brought in from Japan. We do not experience these types of problems with pianos that are seasoned for the Australian market. Parts availability is another problem facing the purchaser of a Yamaha piano not made for the Australian market. Yamaha makes different models of pianos for various markets around the world. There are many models of Yamaha pianos that were sold in Japan that were never sold in Australia. From a service standpoint, we do not have information on these models. As a result, part replacement, in most cases, is a challenging and sometimes lengthy process.
Based on our experience with pianos not seasoned for the Australian market, from a service standpoint, we strongly discourage the purchase of one of these used "made for Japan" pianos.
You can locate your nearest Yamaha accredited technician on our website. Service Centers
FAQ - about Yamaha pianos
From 15 to 80 years depending on several things:
1. How well built the piano was in the first place.
2. How much use the piano has had (if used in a very heavy work situation possibly only about 15 years).
3. Service history
4. Climate control