How Much Does a Piano Cost?

How Much Does A Piano Cost?

Drew
April 14, 2023

If you’re thinking about buying a piano, an early question you’ll have is “how much does a piano cost?” The answer isn’t necessarily simple though.

The cost of a piano can vary greatly depending on things like the size, materials used, features and brand. So it’s important to understand which factors are most important to you as a first-time buyer.

Depending on if you want an acoustic or digital piano, upright or grand, new or used, store-bought or privately-sold, etc. — you could spend anywhere from $600 to $100,000.

Piano Brand / Piano Type
New Uprights
New Baby Grands
Used Acoustics
New Digitals
Baldwin
$11,495 – $15,345+
$24,625 – $31,025+
$3,499 – $6,999+
Young Chang
$5,990 – $7,590+
$13,290 – $14,390+
$4,299 – $7,499+
Kawai
$5,995 – $25,395+
$16,195 – $40,295+
$4,999 – $12,999+
$899 – $15,199+
Yamaha
$5,399 – $21,699+
$15,299 – $37,999+
$5,099 – $11,999+
$549 – $24,199+
Mason & Hamlin
$35,449*+
$86,035*+
$5,599 – $14,999+
Steinway & Sons
$51,600+
$86,600+
$7,299 – $19,999+
Bosendorfer
$88,999*+
$121,999+
Casio
$529 – $6,299+
Roland
$599 – $18,999+

Note: Please take these numbers with a grain of salt as there is much more that must be considered! New acoustic piano prices are based on Piano Price Point’s reportings on MSRP as of April 2023, and not necessarily in-store selling prices. *Some brands may not have had exactly representative models for each type. +Some prices are really more starting prices than absolute high-end prices. Used acoustic prices are based on what we’ve sold uprights and grands for in the past (on average) as a Chicago piano store — those prices are very dependent on condition and local markets.

There’s no doubt that the cost of a piano can be expensive. But it is important to keep in mind that investing in a piano can provide you with a lifetime of benefits. Moreover, it is an instrument that lasts many many decades with a little care (and maintenance is another cost that you should factor in)!

We’ll give you a rundown comparing the prices of a few key types of pianos a first-time buyer may consider. Do note the ranges we give are based on Chicago piano prices, and all things equal, the specifics of your cost will ultimately depend on your local market!

Grand Piano Cost vs Upright Piano Cost

Both types of acoustic pianos have their own benefits, and they also come with different price points. Here’s a breakdown of some new Kawai piano prices (MAP) for a little reference:

Piano Brand & Model
Price (MAP)
Shigeru Kawai SK-EXL 9’0 Concert Grand
$189,295
Kawai GX-2 5’11 Performance Grand
$42,295
Kawai GL-40 5’11 Classic Grand
$35,295
Kawai GL-10 5’0 Baby Grand
$16,295
Kawai K-800 53″ Upright
$22,795
Kawai K-300 48″ Upright
$10,995
Kawai K-15 44″ Continental Upright
$5,295

At the top end of acoustic pianos, you have grands. Their larger size means longer strings and larger soundboards which then result in a richer, fuller sound. They’re generally the most expensive pianos to make, and therefore, the most expensive in price.

A smaller baby grand piano may cost between $5,000 and $20,000, while a concert grand piano can cost well over $150,000. The construction of a grand piano can include the highest-quality woods and dedicated manufacturing procedures so this range is naturally pretty large.

Upright pianos, on the other hand, are typically smaller in size and have more options for beginners. While they may not offer the same playing experience as grand pianos, they are often more affordable and can still provide an excellent feel and sound quality.

The cost of an upright piano can also vary depending on many things. So a small upright piano may cost between $2,000 and $5,000, while a larger, more high-end model may cost upwards of $20,000.

Prices of Used Pianos vs New Piano Cost

While new pianos may offer the latest technology and features, used pianos can often provide a more affordable option. No matter what its age though, the cost of a piano will then depend largely on condition and brand.

Piano Brand & Model
Price (MAP)
New Kawai 506N 45″ Upright
$5,295
Used Kawai 506S 45″ Upright (c2000)
$3,699
New Essex EUP-116 47″ Piano
$8,900*
Used Essex EUP-116 47″ Piano (c2012)
$3,799
New Kawai GX-5 6’7 Grand
$61,295
Used Kawai RX-5 6’6 Grand (c2006)
$22,999
New Kawai GL-10 5’0 Baby Grand
$16,295
Used Kawai GL-10 5’0 Baby Grand (c2017)
$9,499
New Steinway Model S 5’0 Baby Grand
$86,600*
Used Steinway Model S 5’0 Baby Grand (c1964)
$17,999

Note: *Couldn’t find MAP so these are higher MSRPs instead. Used prices are based on our previous selling prices of pianos our technicians refurbished. So while not totally fair throughout, this chart should give you the general idea on the prices of used pianos vs new piano costs!

As you can see, even just a few years of use shaves a lot off the price of a piano! That old myth that “Steinway pianos appreciate in value” or that a piano can count as a financial investment — it simply isn’t true!

New pianos are often the most expensive option, with prices ranging from $5,000 for a new entry-level upright piano to over $100,000 for a new high-end grand piano. And while new pianos can provide excellent sound quality and the best durability, these prices may not fit everyone’s budget.

Used pianos will generally be a more affordable option. A used or refurbished acoustic piano can be purchased for as little as $999. Of course, depending on its exact age, condition, brand and type, they can hit prices of over $20,000 as well.

While it’s even true that used pianos can be found for free by private sellers, we really urge first-time shoppers not to immediately resort to that route. Piano stores will typically offer refurbished pianos which have been cared for and brought up to a much better condition than plain used ones. Plus, to make the best buying decision, you should always try to play as many pianos as possible to figure out what you really like. 

Find out why we think you shouldn’t buy a free piano! It is an option, just not always a great one.

In any case, when purchasing any used piano, it’s important that it’s been examined by a technician so they can determine if it’ll need significant repairs or maintenance.

Older pianos that were not cared for will have more wear and tear, which will affect their sound quality and playability. Bringing them back to speed will cost money, increasing the total price of the instrument.

A benefit of buying new is not having to worry about any of this. Manufacturers include a warranty to guarantee a new piano’s construction and parts. So while there is the price advantage in used pianos, and potentially a much higher value overall, you should also spend more time doing your due diligence on the piano’s condition.

 Do note that unlike used pianos, refurbished pianos should be ready-to-play! Again, we recommend visiting your local piano store since they should have all kinds of options.

Digital Piano Price: Why They’re More Affordable

Over the past couple decades, digital pianos have become an increasingly popular alternative to acoustic pianos. One reason for this is that they are much more affordable.

At first, entry-level models weren’t yet good enough to become worthwhile options for pianists, but that isn’t the case anymore. Even $600 digital pianos now can offer a sound and a feel suitable enough for beginners.

Price comparison between two digital pianos: $899 Yamaha Clavinova from 1998 vs $650 Casio PXS1100 in 2023.

A pretty big retailer recently sold the Yamaha Clavinova on the left there. But these days, people can buy a digital piano for much cheaper -- and overall quality has increased astronomically since 1998!

One of the main reasons digital pianos can be more affordable is that they don’t require the same organic materials as acoustic pianos. Acoustic pianos generally take lots of high-quality wood and metal to produce. On the other hand, digital pianos can instead use plastic and rely on electronic components for generating sound.

In addition, digital pianos are easier to mass-produce due to more simple manufacturing procedures. All acoustic pianos are handcrafted to a certain extent, and being that their mechanisms inside are more complicated, fewer amounts get produced at a higher cost per instrument.

Kawai Millennium III Acoustic Grand Piano Action vs Kawai Grand Feel III Digital Piano Action

Even at a glance, you can tell that the Kawai Millennium III Acoustic Grand Piano action has more going on than their high-end Grand Feel III Digital Piano action! No instrument is as overengineered as a grand piano!

Do note though that there are really nice options for digital pianos. Some are even more like hybrid pianos that combine digital features with acoustic elements. The Kawai Novus NV10, for example, is a digital grand piano that uses an adapted version of their award-winning Millennium III acoustic piano action inside. You can bet that these digital pianos are at the high-end, even going beyond what some acoustic pianos cost!

Piano Brand / Type
Entry-Level New Digital
Most Expensive New Digital
Kawai
$899
$15,199
Yamaha
$549
$24,199
Casio
$529
$6,299
Roland
$599
$18,999

One final note to make on cost is that digital pianos won’t require the same level of maintenance as acoustic pianos. Acoustic pianos require regular servicing to keep them in good condition, which will include at least a $150 tuning every year. On the other hand, digital pianos will likely only need the occasional repair after accidents or extensive use. The trade-off here is that digitals don’t tend to have the same long lifespan as acoustic pianos, but it is a perk to consider if you want an easier instrument to care for.

Overall, it is true that digital pianos won’t offer the same traditional sound and feel as an acoustic piano. However, they can provide a high-quality alternative at a more affordable price point. Just be mindful of buying an 88-key weighted-and-graded digital piano instead of a cheap keyboard that wasn’t designed for piano playing!

Piano Repair Cost: Tuning & Maintenance

Apart from the upfront cost of purchasing a piano, it’s also crucial to consider the maintenance costs associated with owning one. Regular tuning and any required regulation will help ensure the longevity and performance of your instrument.

Tuning a piano is the bare minimum maintenance we recommend everyone do at least once a year. This involves adjusting the tension of the piano strings to ensure that each note is in tune with the others. Play an out-of-tune piano will sound unpleasant, and it’ll lead to beginners developing a poor ear for pitch.

On average, you can expect to pay between $120 and $200 for a standard tuning. An additional pitch raise may be required for pianos that are very out of tune, and that be up to an extra $50. Exact tuning costs overall will vary on your location, the experience of the piano tuner, and the condition of the piano. We don’t recommend avoiding it though — this should be a part of your total budget!

Tuning an Acoustic Piano

Piano tuning requires that techs adjust every single key's pitch so it's spot-on! It's a really meticulous process for them, and a necessary one for your instrument!

In addition to tuning, there are other types of maintenance that may be necessary for your piano:

  • Regulation work includes adjusting the action of the piano to ensure that each key responds properly and evenly. Regulation can improve the touch and tone of the instrument, and it’ll also become necessary over time as the action’s many tiny parts go slightly out of line.
  • Replacing parts like hammers or strings is also an option once they become completely worn-out. This can become a pretty involved process, but it’s not unheard of for older pianos (especially ones being rebuilt).
  • Cleaning a piano’s cabinet or insides is also offered by some technicians. If you follow our piano maintenance tips, you shouldn’t have too many concerns with dirty pianos. But polishing the piano and dusting off the action from time to time — certainly a good idea!  

The cost of piano repair or service will vary depending on the extent of the work needed and the individual technician. Here at Family Piano, we bill any service work at a simple $95/hr, and then we quote customers the estimated time it’ll take. Packages are also offered for full days of labor, something that customers will appreciate if they know their pianos need quite a bit of love.

Pulling a Grand Piano's Action for Regulation

For regulation work, the piano's action will need to be pulled out and examined thoroughly. Sometimes the problems are very apparent and easy-to-fix. Sometimes the tech will need to dedicate special time and attention.

Again: we really recommend budgeting for these costs early on. In the long run, it will become more expensive to keep avoiding tuning and repairs. Neglected pianos will play worse over time, and they’ll have significantly shorter lifespans. Just like you need to change the oil in your car, you need to tune your piano. And of course, you’ll eventually need some regulation work just like you’ll eventually need to replace your brakes.

Overwhelmed and unsure how to take care of a piano? Follow our simple piano maintenance tips!

Cheapest Piano Options Available

If you are on a particularly tight budget, it’s especially worth understanding all your options. The cheapest piano options available may not always be the best in terms of quality and longevity. However, that’s not to say the lower end is all bad!

The absolute cheapest piano option is going to be to find a used digital piano. An acceptable-quality older digital piano can be found for even under $200, and they won’t require any regular maintenance.

The downside is that private sellers don’t usually have your best interests as a budding pianist in mind, and they may not even know much about the instrument either. Moreover, there’s usually an abundance of free keyboards, but again, we really recommend staying away from unweighted actions.

At any rate, if you’re willing to put up with spotty availability, increased possibility of buying a lemon and potentially frustrating buying experiences, your patience could be rewarded!

Casio Casiotone CTS200 Red Keyboard

The cheapest piano keyboard we sell is Casio CTK-200. Do not buy this if you're looking for a piano! This is a good option for children not yet ready for an actual piano or for those interested in quick music making on the go. The lack of weighted feel makes it bad for developing piano technique!

If you’re similarly considering a private-sale acoustic piano, you may run into free piano scams. Be extra careful since moving isn’t free, and lemons are a lot harder to get rid of!

If you are more interested in cheap pianos that are convenient to buy and still guaranteed, you’re likely looking to buy from a store. Yes, this is generally going to be more expensive than buying from a private seller. However, it also tends to come with a warranty and a better shopping experience overall. Having an expert answer your questions and you being able to make an informed decision is worth it when making bigger purchases!

Going this route, the cheapest digital pianos will start at around $600. It’s once again worth repeating that these are 88-key digital pianos with weighted-and-graded actions. Often times, the feel between the entry-level and mid-range models will be the same with the major differences being in features and speaker quality. We think that’s a pretty reasonable trade-off for beginners on a budget.

The cheapest grand piano you can buy from a dealer is going to be a used (or ideally refurbished) one. These can go for as low as $2,500 for an older grand. Refurbished upright pianos can be found starting at $999 in our showroom, although prices elsewhere will depend largely on local availability and condition.

Comparing these options to the cheapest Steinway piano, you can definitely see the difference in value. For instance, their cheapest model is the Steinway Model S 5’0 Baby Grand that goes for $70,000 MSRP. The cheapest new upright they currently sell is the Steinway Model K 52″ Upright at $52,000 MSRP. And Steinway actually doesn’t sell uprights smaller than that — however, they do design the Boston UP118S 46″ Upright Piano which sells for $9,800. Definitely not a cheap brand!

Did you know Boston pianos are built by Kawai? One of the few things we cover in our Kawai vs Steinway comparison!

No matter what your budget, we do encourage all first-time buyers consider options at all price levels. It’s always worth spending some time understanding all your options so you can make a completely informed decision.

So play as many pianos as you can, and ask your local stores all the questions you have! Dealers should be able (and willing) to explain why specific pianos in their showroom cost more or less than others. You may end up finding you don’t need to spend as much for a piano you’ll love as you originally thought!

Piano Financing & Tips on How to Afford a Piano

If you are concerned about piano pricing, there are a few things you can do to make the purchase more affordable. Mileage may vary depending on the seller/dealer, but here’s a few tips we think should apply in most cases.

First off, yes, you can finance a piano. And we’re also happy to let you know that piano dealerships aren’t generally as predatory as car dealerships! Speaking for ourselves, Family Piano posts low prices upfront and maintains standard financing options. We don’t offer low piano prices then try to make a buck on financing like sneaky salespeople will!

0% same-as-cash for 12 months is probably our most typical arrangement. You can expect mid-market rates year-round with occasional Kawai financing specials too though. Of course, any dealership should accept outside financing as well. We recommend you run away if this isn’t the case!

Piano Financing Companies Allegro Credit and Piano Credit Company

Piano financing through Allego Credit or Piano Credit Company is most typical. Do shop around though and find the best deal for you! Not everyone knows this, but rate shopping within 14 to 45 days is treated as a single hard inquiry in most credit-scoring models!

Another option you could have is to try and negotiate the price of a piano. This is most possible when you’re buying a used piano, or if the dealer’s showroom floor doesn’t have prices posted. We ourselves don’t love to haggle, and we price all our pianos transparently. But on occasion, if we’re really trying to clear out inventory, we will be open to offers and run a monthly promotion!

Do look for all available promotions and sales locally too! Piano dealerships may offer special deals during certain times of the year such as around holidays or during the summer months. Which instruments are available will depend, but if you’re flexible on what kind of piano you want, you’re more likely to find a good deal.

On the other side, if you’re not sure about buying any piano yet, you might be able to rent one instead. Renting a piano can give you a chance to try out different types of pianos to see which one is the best fit for your home. Additionally, if you do decide to purchase a piano after renting one, some companies will apply a portion of your rental fees towards the purchase price of a piano. It is less expensive to rent a piano for a couple of years than it is to buy and maintain one for 30 years — and way more worthwhile if it doesn’t even get used!

How Much Should I Spend on a Piano?

At the end of the day, the question isn’t so much “how much does a piano cost,” it’s instead “how much should I spend?”

The answer is not straightforward since it depends on what you need from a piano. Smaller homes will benefit from a digital or upright piano, value-oriented shoppers will want to consider used pianos, and those ready to commit to a lifetime of music may just pull the trigger on a new grand. Different kinds of pianists will have have different preferences, and different kinds of pianos will have different prices.

If you are a first-time piano buyer, we don’t think most families need to pay more than about $20,000. You certainly can if you are 100% dedicated to playing it, and you will probably love the instrument every day for the rest of your life. But 1) pianos at that budget are already incredible for any home situation, and 2) most customers we work with are families with little ones learning — and they can be pretty hard to shop for!

On the other hand, we don’t think you should ever get anything less than a full-sized digital piano for around $600. You want a piano that dedicates itself to giving you a realistic piano playing experience. An acoustic piano is the gold standard, but it will be more expensive and require more space and maintenance. So it’s understandable and without any issue to start on a high-quality digital piano first!

Ultimately though, there is no set rule for how much you should spend on a piano. We do recommend investing as much as you can to ensure you’re getting a quality instrument that’ll provide you with many years of playing. But there are decent options even if you can’t afford one with a bigger price tag.

Pianos are instruments known for their longevity, and acoustic pianos can last for several decades with a little care. So even if you do buy a new baby grand at $15,000, that amounts to just $500/yr over 30 years! When you consider the potential decades of enjoyment and personal growth a piano can provide, the resulting cost per year becomes much more reasonable.

What’s most important is that you get a piano you’ll enjoy for a long time. So whether you can spend a few hundred dollars or tens of thousands of dollars, decide that budget and then focus on finding your favorite piano!

A piano is an investment in you and your family. Read about all the proven benefits that come with piano playing!

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