Closeup of used grand piano with lights twinkling in background
When customers come into one of our piano stores, they’re often unsure whether to buy a new or used piano.

Should You Buy a New or Used Piano?

Since pianos hold their value for a long time, a new acoustic piano, when cared for, can be an investment that will last your family for generations. However, if you’re buying an acoustic piano on a limited budget, a used piano is a great choice, as long as you make sure to get a quality, well-cared-for piano.

If you’re buying a digital piano, you may want to spring for a new digital piano instead of a used one. This is because digital pianos don’t last as long as acoustic pianos. Newer digital pianos also have improved technology that can make them a better fit for your family.

Benefits of Buying a New Piano

One of the main benefits of buying a new piano is that, if well cared for, the piano can last a very long time. High-quality pianos are built to last 50 years or more when cared for. Along this same vein, a benefit of buying a new piano is that you know the history of the care for the piano. Instead of an ambiguous past like many used pianos have, you can guarantee that, from the get-go, your piano was played responsibly, kept tuned, and well cared for.

When you buy a new digital piano, you’re ensuring not only that you have the best technology available at the time, but also that you have the longest piano life possible with your digital piano. Digital pianos often lose their value faster than acoustic pianos since their technology can become outdated, as well as having more electronic parts that can break or become unreliable with age. That said, a well cared for digital piano can still last 20-30 years if it is well cared for.

In addition, buying a new piano has the benefit of having a higher inventory and better selection. For instance, if you’re looking for a specific used Yamaha grand piano model, you could be waiting for months, if not years. However, buying new, you could have the piano delivered, in most instances, within days–or sooner.

Benefits of Buying a Used Piano

The main benefit of buying a used piano is price savings. Many young families or new piano players will start with a used piano and eventually upgrade to anew piano clatter. However, even for experienced players, a used piano can be a great option for getting a higher quality piano that is still within your price range. For instance, if you’ve decided a new Yamaha CF4 is out of your price range, instead of settling for a less expensive brand that won’t have the performance and sound you love, you may be better off purchasing a used Yamaha instead.

Should I Buy a New or Used Piano?

A few general tips for choosing to buy a new or used piano are:

  • Choose the best quality acoustic piano for your price range, even if that piano may be used. If you’re buying an acoustic piano, choose the best quality piano (and longest soundboard) that you can for your price range. If you can get a better piano brand or slightly larger piano if you choose a used piano, that is usually a better purchase than a new smaller or lower quality piano at the same price.
  • Digital pianos are better purchased new. Digital pianos are often worth buying new unless the digital piano is a newer model and/or has been well cared for.
  • If you’re on a tight budget, consider a new digital piano over a low-quality acoustic used piano. If you’re deciding between a mediocre or low-quality used piano or a new digital piano, the better option may often be a better quality, new digital piano. The quality of digital pianos has significantly increased over the past couple decades, with outstanding sound, quality, and performance, all for a reasonable price. The Yamaha Clavinova, specifically, has keys and mechanics specifically designed to make you feel like you’re playing an authentic acoustic piano.
  • For long-term purchases, buy new. If you plan on keeping a piano for 10+ years and/or passing it on to children or family later on, a new piano is a worthy investment. New acoustic pianos hold their value and can be part of the family for years. If you’re planning on having a piano for the long haul or plan on passing it down when you later upgrade or change your living situation, you’ll have more control over how well that piano ages if you start from new.

Do you have any questions?

Despite the advice above, we know that every situation and piano is unique! If you have a question about whether you should buy a new or used piano that our article didn’t cover, please send us a message or give us a call. Our piano experts are happy to help!