I have worked with and played nearly all of the major brands of digital pianos (also known as electric pianos) throughout the years including Yamaha, Roland, Casio, Kawai, Kurzweil, Korg, Technics, Nord, Gem, Suzuki, and many more. I have played them professionally, recreationally, taught lessons on them and know how they work. There are always used digital pianos for sale on eBay, CraigsList, in various ads on-line and locally, in piano stores and various music stores. There seems to be no shortage of used digital pianos and a few are good and many are bad, and some are some in-between. Some models are newer, some are older, and some have useful technology, but many used digital pianos are outdated in terms of not having a good piano sound & key action along with having unseen internal wear, and therefore not worth owning.
|Used digital piano|
|New digital piano technology|
There are MIDI connections on older used pianos which can connect to computers, however, many new digital pianos (not all) now have high speed USB to iPad (or computer) interface connections which are very important in today's world of music education for both kids and adults. Have you seen the available music education, composition, & notation apps for the iPad lately? They are fantastic and so useful in personal music development and understanding. Does the used piano have that ability and function?... maybe yes and maybe no. You should be sure it does because it will open up a much better world of music for you. Also, some of the older USB connections in used pianos are not completely compliant with today's USB technology so that many apps won't work well or open up correctly with those older USB connections and software.
Other important considerations when shopping for a used digital piano are: how much polyphony piano sound memory/processing power does the used piano have? 32, 64, 128, or more and does that matter? Do the pedals support "half-pedaling" for more realistic pedal function and does that matter (yes, it does matter)? Are the keys using the latest in key sound sensors to achieve greater and smoother dynamic range in playing songs and does that matter? What is the piano sound pedal decay in the used piano as compared to a new one? Can you do recording on the piano and if so, what kind is it? Does the piano save recordings to an old floppy disk drive or a newer technology USB flash drive or SD card, or does it save songs at all? If the used piano has an old floppy disk drive, then that is something I would suggest you stay away from. Is the key action lightweight, medium weight, heavy weight, progressive hammer, and is the key action quiet or is it noisy with loose keys. Perhaps the key contacts under the keys are starting to wear out (which they do), and that would be bad. These are things you need to know and questions that need to be asked.
|Bad keys - common problem|
|Bad internal circuit board|
|older digital piano internal parts|
|Broken-loose piano keys|
So, are good (and the word "good" is very important) used digital pianos better buys than getting a new one? The answer is..."occasionally," but it depends on many things and you definitely don't want to pay too much or get stuck with something that seems good on the outside but has problems on the inside which you may not see or know about! As I said before, it only takes one broken key or bad part on a used piano to potentially add up to hundreds of dollars in repairs (kind of like a used car). A good deal on a used piano is only good when you are absolutely sure the piano is in perfect working order and you have carefully compared it to new digital pianos in the same price range. If the used piano is a current model then that one may be a good buy as long as the new model has a good track record for not needing repairs or other kinds of service. In some cases a used digital piano in a lower price range can have a more attractive furniture cabinet than a new one in that same price range. However, the piano sound realism, proper key action movement, and pedal function realism in an older used digital piano may be much less realistic than a low priced new digital piano, so it depends on what is most important to you and your family (the looks or the actual playability of the piano), and what your piano playing expectations are? At the end of the day it's all about enjoying the piano playing experience for you and your family, so don't short change that experience by getting a used piano that may cause you big headaches down the road, because making music and having fun, whether you are a beginner or advanced player, is what really counts. Just be sure you do it on a good piano that will last a while and offer the things which are important including a good factory warranty and buying it from someone you trust. For more info, you can contact me and I will answer your questions...no charge.
If you want more info on these and other pianos and lower prices than internet or store discounts on new digital pianos, please email me at... firstname.lastname@example.org or call me direct at 602-571-1864