At Morris Brothers, we understand that you have many questions, and the 'advice' often given is either biased, or blatantly incorrect!
Some of the most common questions are dealt with here by our expert teachers and technicians.
Q1. Is it better to buy a new or used piano?
A: Put simply, it is best to buy a GOOD piano. Realistically if you are spending less than $2000, you are likely to buy 'someone else's problem', with most pianos of extreme age and poor condition. When a tuner comes out to tune an old piano, and finds the pianos untunable, or needing a major overhaul, the owner often asks what to do with it. The usual answer is "You can either dump it, or do what most people do and put it on Gumtree or eBay."
When buying from a piano store, the store may favour either new or used, depending on what they specialise in. The truth is, there are good new pianos and good used pianos. However, a good premium used piano will outperform a basic student new piano, so it is important to talk to us to ensure you select the most appropriate piano for your individual needs.
Q2. What about Acoustic or 'Real' pianos vs. Digital pianos?
A: As it is now possible to purchase a new digital piano which meets exam approval for accuracy of touch from as little as $700, digital pianos represent the ideal alternative for budgets under $2000. Digital pianos represent a much safer alternative to a really old traditional piano, as they are in tune, don't need tuning, and can be practised day or night with headphones. Digital pianos do lose value more quickly and will not last as long as a traditional piano, so when buying, a new, exam approved value for money instrument of reputable brand (eg: Casio) is recommended.
Advanced playing levels demand performance that is beyond a digital piano's capability, regardless of price. Remember that beyond Grade 4 Classical, a student will outgrow a digital piano, and a professional acoustic piano will become a necessity.
Q3. I've heard some pianos are not made for Australian conditions. Is this true?
A: The question that should be asked is 'What are Australian conditions?' If 3 Yamaha pianos go to Cairns, Broken Hill and the Snowy Mountains, all with extremely different temperatures and humidity, which of the 3 are 'Australian conditions'??
In my opinion, this is basically propaganda from piano makers, designed to scare people into buying inferior budget new pianos over high performance, one-owner pianos. Ask yourself, will a brand new Daewoo outperform a low mileage BMW? A good quality new or like-new condition piano should be built to handle all Australian conditions, and pianos built in Japan generally offer exceptional quality control. Top German pianos, such as Steinway and Schimmel, plus the exceptional new Kawai Japanese pianos, are probably the most robust new pianos to suit various Australian conditions. We will ensure you receive an unbiased opinion on piano selection.
Q4. What are the best brands of pianos to buy?
A: Today, brand names can be misleading, and make it very hard to make an informed decision. For example, many Yamaha upright pianos are made in Indonesia and China, and are of inferior construction to models such as the U3 and YUS which are made in Japan.
All Kawai uprights over $7,000 are made in Japan, so they represent a stronger range in new pianos.
Beale is another example. These pianos are rebadged from Pearl River in China, using a famous (but long since closed) Australian brand name.
Our policy is to judge every piano on its merits, based on quality and value for money.
Q5.Why buy a piano from a reputable store, rather than eBay or the Classifieds?
A: The soundest advice is: If you don't know pianos, know your piano dealer!
The internet is often a last resort for people with old, tired pianos that can't be sold to stores. It's cheaper to practically give a piano away than to repair it or dump it, and so private sales have become a very appealing solution to an expensive, unwanted headache.
A piano can have a cabinet that looks clean and well-cared for online, but how can you see a cracked iron frame or moth-eaten felts in a photo? Even well-recognised brands can have structural problems that only a piano technician could identify. Buying a piano based on a photo is like buying a house without looking inside - it's simply a bad idea. The Morris brothers have been finding great pianos for people for over 20 years, all with the peace of mind of a 5 year warranty. Why let someone else's headache become yours?