Pianos – FAQs

Here are some answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) which we hope will be useful in your search for a new, restored or second-hand piano.

Can I buy a piano by ordering it online?
J Reid Pianos believe that each piano is an individual unique instrument and even two ‘identical’ models from the same manufacturer are likely to be slightly different.
This is one of the reasons why we would always advise you to try before you buy. You should always examine the piano and play it so that you can be sure that the piano will meet your requirements. We have created show-rooms at our Piano Factory & Outlet in north London to provide you with a wide range of pianos to consider in a relaxed and unhurried atmosphere. The piano experts at J Reid Pianos are always on hand to offer sound advice. Call us on 020 8800 6907 for further information.

Is it a good idea to buy a piano on ebay?
On balance we would recommend that you visit our Piano Factory and Outlet in North London before contemplating buying a piano on ebay. There are several reasons why buying a piano on ebay can be risky – click here to read more about buying pianos on ebay.

Can I rent a piano?
J Reid Pianos offer several excellent schemes to rent upright or grand pianos for short, medium or long-term hire. Please call us for latest pricing
on 020 8800 6907.

Should you invest in a new or second-hand piano?
J Reid Pianos offer pianos from the following categories; New, Fully Restored or Pre-owned (second-hand). A very good fully restored piano from a good maker can cost more than a modern new piano. At the other end of the price scale you will generally find the old second-hand or modern second hand pianos. New upright pianos can also cost less than the fully reconditioned pianos. Ultimately your decision will depend on whether you like the tone, feel and the look of the instrument. If you want a piano to be an impressive piece of furniture that will go well with the decor in its intending setting you will most likely be happier with an older piano. If you are buying for a child to practice a mid-range new piano will suit you best.

What should you buy for a beginner?
A poor, cheap piano will almost definitely be bad for a beginner and can actually put them off wanting to play piano. Mid-range new pianos are smaller than old pianos and will generally go well within the modern setting of most people’s homes. An old fully restored piano certainly has the character to make a dramatic change to the look and feel any room but they can require a little more maintenance and care than a new model would need. Centrally heated houses tend to be a little too dry for antique pianos – if you are considering an antique piano you should be more careful about knowing the history of the restored instrument, whether the original tuning pins have been appropriately replaced for example, since these factors are important in order to establish whether a humidifier should be put into the room with the piano to keep it in pristine condition.

How often should I tune my piano?
It is generally advised that an acoustic piano should be tuned twice a year, although once a year can sometimes be sufficient. The cost of tuning varies according to the piano and the time needed.

How much space does a piano need and how much do they weigh?
The size of an upright piano ranges between 85cm and 150cm tall. As a general rule the larger the piano the richer the tone due to the longer strings and larger soundboard. However, consideration should also be given to the room and acoustics of the room in which the piano will be housed because a large piano may overwhelm a small room. The piano’s width is generally about 150cm and there are normally seven and a quarter octaves on the keyboard (88 keys), there are smaller pianos available with fewer keys. Before you venture out to find your piano you should measure not only the space you wish to utilise for your piano, you should allow for the space it needs to get it in. It may also be useful to take pictures to bring with you of any passageways, doorways or staircases or small spaces which the piano removal men will need to negotiate.

We welcome all general enquiries, please complete this form at any time or you can call Susan or John on 020 8800 6907 during our opening hours.
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