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Old 3rd October 2022
Hi, if you are in Europe, i can recommend the brand "Zeitter & Winkelmann" for upright pianos. There a lots of very good ones, but Z&W is rather unknown (and therefore cheap) but exceptionally good. I was in a situation like you, and was told to stay away from super old ones (that look like furniture, with candle sticks and such ..max 40-50 years old), to look for the strings being in good chape (still "shiny"), the dampers not too worn out, and that it has a switchable felt damper (giving you more sound options).

I've been playing a Z&W in a friends studio, was in love from the first minute and had to get one
Few months later i was lucky to find mine (113cm height, built in the 80ies, still in very nice shape, with "Renner" action) for ridiculous 200 Euros, the transport being the most expensive in the end...and it's such a great instrument. It doesn't have that honky upright sound, is not as bright as a Yamaha or Kawai (personal taste) and with the lid and front open, it almost sounds like a grand.

However i can only encourage you as well to go for one. Even if it isn't in perfect shape, recording a real acoustic piano is a complete different thing compared to the best Vsti's out there, in my experience. There's no substitute for the character, dynamics and a (hopefully) decent sounding room. Another tip on mics: i've made very good recordings using a stereo pair of Beyerdynamic MC-930, plus they're great for almost everything else (OH, git, voc..), never sound harsh and you can get them used for ~500 bucks.
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Planning to get a budget/used 'acoustic piano'... any tips?-studio3.jpg 

Last edited by noisekeeper; 3rd October 2022 at 03:40 PM..