Sunday, April 29, 2012

While I was away, the U3 arrived, the...........

.................police and the state power company and I owe Michelle big time! The furniture removalist engaged to pick up the U3 from Perth and deliver it here to Denmark had driven up our street in his truck many times. This time unfortunately, he managed to knock down a power line 2 doors up just before he got to my place.

Despite all this, the U3 is now ensconced happily in it's new home. It will wait patiently for the piano tuner to arrive for a touch up tune, some hammer pricking and damper unsticking too I would think. It is such a privilege to have a real piano to play on and I look forward to the difference that I know it will make for me as a player.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Yamaha U3

Now I have had a term of piano lessons, it has become evident that if I am serious about learning to play, then  using a digital piano to do so is not going to do the job. My teacher Franz is constantly telling me to play more softly and I have had further confirmation recently that overplaying is a typical fault of players who have only used a digital piano. So, I have been researching the possibility of getting an acoustic piano and this had led me to the conclusion that a grey market Yamaha U3 is probably the best option providing a great combination of quality and value. I started off thinking that a U2 would do the job as any piano I might purchase, had to have a practice pedal, but quickly discovered that there was a wider availability of U3s. As I knew I would be in Perth this week, I googled for private sales of Yamaha pianos and up popped a U3 for $4300.00 which was within my price range. After a 5 hour trip to Perth and multiple txt messages, I arrived at the owner Amelia's home to view and play the piano. Her baby was asleep, but fortunately it was time for him to get up anyway, so I got stuck into this U3 which sounded very well, played nicely and I was able to confirm that the pedals did their job. It was clearly in need of a tune and a couple of the lower keys were obviously suffering from lack of use but came good with a bit of massaging. Amelia mentioned that her father had originally purchased the U3 for her from a Peter Hudson at Piano World in Bentley. After I had done a bit of playing, some further conversation about the piano revealed that Amelia was a jazz singer and pianist who had probably been appalled with what she had just heard. Coincidentally, she had studied at WAAPA also as I had back in the early 1980s. I never buy anything on the spot but told Amelia what I was likely to offer and that I would get back to her either way once I had reflected further and checked out what Piano World had to offer. That turned out to be an experience in itself eventually resulting in my confirming an offer of $4000.00 to Amelia and ultimately agreeing on $4100.00.
Peter Hudson's Piano World was a complete and utter eyeopener with not one but two showrooms absolutely chockablock with pianos and most of them were U3s!  Apart from supplying many other brands, Peter told me all about the quality Yamaha grey market pianos he specialises in importing and how they are stripped and brought up to scratch before being sold. I had the pleasure of playing about 6 U3s and all of them displayed a quite unexpected character, touch and tone of their own.  I would have loved to purchase one of them particularly, but it was going to cost me $7000.00 including freight. The fact that Amelia's U3 was purchased from Peter only 4 years earlier meant it was a no brainer that it would be worth purchasing the one she was offering for nearly $3000 less. It is going to cost me a very reasonable $350 to get the U3 to Denmark and, as soon as Amelia confirms the funds have appeared in her account, I will engage Albany furniture removalist Gary Sweetnam to do so. I can barely wait!