New vs Used Steinway Pianos - photo by Steinway & Sons

New vs Used Steinway Pianos

Buying a Steinway piano is an investment.

Whether you choose to buy a new or used instrument, you’ll be selecting a piano which has been carefully hand-crafted using the highest quality materials available.

Those in the market for a new piano, including professional musicians, collectors and beginners, often struggle to decide whether to buy new or pre-loved. Both options have their merits, and what you choose will be determined by your budget and needs. So, should you buy new or buy new-to-you? To help you decide, we look into the benefits of buying a new piano versus a used Steinway.

The benefits of buying a new Steinway piano

The top argument for buying a new piano is that, as it has no wear and tear, it will be in pristine condition. That means no pesky issues with pitch or immediate need to pay for repairs. Longevity is also a bonus; Steinway grand and upright pianos are known to last for many decades, with many families passing their instruments as heirlooms through the generations.

For professional musicians looking to purchase a specific model, buying a new Steinway will increase your chances of finding that perfect piano. Suppose you have your eye on the Steinway Model B. In that case, you may immediately find a beautiful, well-maintained second-hand instrument, or you could wait a long time for one to come available. However, you could purchase the same model right away if you opted for a brand new piano.

Lastly, whether you buy from Steinway directly or through a verified seller, purchasing a new piano comes with a higher level of support. This could include free delivery, service recommendations, and warranty protection. You are unlikely to get this support when buying second-hand.

The benefits of buying a new Steinway piano - photo by Steinway & Sons

The benefits of buying a used Steinway piano

While Steinway pianos retain their quality for many decades when well cared for, the value of any instrument will decrease over time. That means relatively new, and you can purchase high-quality second-hand pianos at a reduced price.

Likewise, used does not necessarily mean old. Collectors covet antique Steinway pianos, but professional musicians, educational institutions and learners are likely looking for newer models. There are many reasons a player may choose to sell their relatively new piano; a musician could upgrade to a more contemporary instrument, or a learner may outgrow their beginner piano.

Finally is the question of quality. When a used Steinway has been well cared for with frequent tunings and repairs, it will play as well as it did when it arrived home with its first owner.

The benefits of buying a used Steinway piano - photo by Steinway & Sons

How to choose the best used piano for you

When looking for a used piano, there are four factors to consider:

  • Is the instrument within your budget? While a Steinway is a worthwhile investment, you must make sure you are purchasing a piano that fits your budget and that you have the space to house it.
  • Is it from a trusted reseller? When researching used pianos, make sure to stick to trusted sites that have a good reputation. You can also find used pianos on the Steinway UK website.
  • Have you seen it in person? You must check if the instrument is in good condition. While cosmetic scuffs may be acceptable for an older model, look out for significant signs of damage.
  • Have you played it? Make sure you test out any piano before buying. Steinway pianos are renowned for their superior sound quality and tonal resonance, which you should be able to hear and feel when playing, no matter the model or age of the piano.

Whether you buy a new or used piano, what is most important is that it inspires you to revel in the magic of making music.


Are older Steinways better?

At Steinway, we continually improve our manufacturing process, increasing the quality of our instruments. While some musicians seek out older Steinway models, these have been refurbished and restored over time.

What is a used Steinway piano worth?

The value and prices of used Steinway pianos depend on many factors, including their model, age, and state of wear. The concert grands at the higher end of this price range will be in excellent condition and play as well as they did when they first left our workshop.