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Frequently Asked Questions

slide4.pngWhen it comes to pianos, we have the answers you need. Purchasing your first piano? Interested in restoring your old one? Confused about tuning? Just looking for more information? Check out some of our most frequently asked questions, browse our website to find out more about Frank & Camille’s West, and then stop by our showroom to speak with our experienced staff about your specific piano needs.

1) How do I choose the right piano for my family?

Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to purchase an instrument that will delight and positively impact your family, friends, and children for years to come. First, you want to settle on a price point or range. Our staff can work with any budget to find options suitable to your needs. Next, determine where your piano will go. The size, function, and décor of a room all play an important part in choosing the style of piano best for you. Then visit our showroom and partner with one of our experienced sales associates to discuss the styles and brands we carry. We will show you pianos that you have most likely seen or heard of before, as well as introduce you to styles and brands that you never knew existed.

2) How do I buy a Piano Online without Playing it?

You may be surprised to learn that many of our customers buy our Pianos online! Mostly customers from states outside of NYC purchase large grands for Tax benifits. The huge savings in Taxes offsets the delivery for most. Plus once your order is made, we will call you and work to find the BEST piano (for rebuilt or used). Our staff in the shipping warehouse have access to Studio Mic's and we will record each instrument in all registers so you can expereince the sound you are buying, we will also measure the weight and regulate the pianos touch to a reference point allowing you to get a virtual feel for the action. In cases of universal actions (Like Yamahas actions, which are made to be generally identical in weight) we will do a though regulation before shipping. If you order a New pianos (Such as Seiler) get a preference, and we will always verify the instrument for production defects before shipping. Since the 1970s we have placed 100s of bulk phone orders, and we continue this quality of service into the online age. Place your order today, and let us customize it to your perfect package!

3) We’ve always wanted a piano, but no one in our family knows how to play very well yet. Does this change the kind of piano we should be looking for?

Not necessarily. You still want to address the points outlined above. Also, remember that if the piano you get is going to be used for lessons, everything has to be in working order. This means it has to have 88 working keys (not sticking or broken) and must hold pitch (stay in tune). It does not mean that you need to purchase the most expensive piano, but it does mean you need to get the best piano for your needs. Practice and a great teacher will get your child playing like a pro, not the brand of piano you purchase.

4) What should I look for in the “sound” and “touch” of a piano?

Pianists are most concerned with the sound (bright/warm) and touch (light/firm) of their pianos. When you are in our showroom trying out pianos, listen for a tonal color (sound) that is most pleasing to your ear. While many may think that all grand pianos sound one way and upright pianos sound another, every piano is uniquely different. Compare a few pianos to pinpoint what you would rather hear in your living room. As for touch, it depends on who will be playing the piano. If it is primarily a child, a medium firm to medium light action (how hard it is to depress the keys) would be ideal. But again, actually sitting down and playing a particular piano is the best way to discover what works for you. Our experienced sales associates are always available to help you make sense of the differences from one piano to the next and will assist you in choosing the piano perfect for your home.

5) What is the best brand of piano out there?

This is a question we get asked often, but there is no answer. It’s like asking: What is the best music? No two pianists will ever agree on the “best” piano on the market. We all perceive sound and touch differently, so the answer really depends on personal preference. Remember that pianos are made from trees. Just how every tree is different, every piano is, too. That’s also why it’s so important to spend some time in our showroom sampling pianos, asking questions, and envisioning what you want to take home. Remember, there is no Consumer Report on pianos. It really comes down to what speaks to you.

6) What style of piano is right for me?

There are many types of pianos, but they can all be broken down into three categories: grands, verticals, and digitals. Grands (baby/parlor/concert) and verticals (uprights/studios/consoles) are acoustic. The sound is produced by a felt hammer striking a string or strings with 24 moving parts per key. Digital pianos, on the other hand, are entirely computerized. When a key is struck, a digital sample (recording of an acoustic piano) is triggered. Some experts feel that acoustic pianos are the only way to really learn the instrument and its capabilities, while others feel that digital pianos are a great alternative for beginners or as a second piano where climate control is impossible.

7) What should I know about the size and placement of my piano?

For starters, don’t buy a large instrument for a small room. The sound will be overwhelming and could sound out of tune due to the acoustics of the space. There are three factors to consider when placing your piano in a space: 1. Visual – The piano is almost as much a coveted piece of furniture as it is a beautiful instrument. Some owners like to see the “smile” or keyboard when they enter a room, while others prefer the elegant curve on the side. 2. Acoustic – You want your placement to optimize the sound projection. 3. Aesthetic – This refers to the pianist’s view while playing, perhaps of nature or a skyline.

8) How do I care for my piano?

Pianos need a humidity-controlled environment (40 – 60%) to stay stable. Clean yours with a clean, damp cotton cloth and have it tuned twice a year. Piano tuning ensures the longevity of your instrument and its beautifully rich tone. If your piano is in need of a tuning, please call us to arrange for a certified technician in your area to visit you soon!

9) How do I protect my investment?

Make sure your instrument comes with a parts-and-labor warranty (at least 3 years on pre-owned and 10 years on new). Also, you want to select a manufacturer that has been in business for a long time. Quality of material and quality control from the factory is crucial.

10) Can you restore any piano?

If it means something to you, it matters to us. From personal repair and in-home tuning visits to full-service restorations at our 150-year-old facility, Frank & Camille’s West is a leader in piano restoration. Our experienced technicians will work with you to find the best solution for that special piano in your life, regardless of how long it has gone unused or been in disrepair. Contact us today to speak with a qualified member of our staff about your restoration questions and concerns.


Frank & Camille’s West is the Tri-State Area’s premier piano store, restoration facility, and wholesale distribution location. We have been carrying on a tradition of excellence in the music industry and with our loyal customers for more than 35 years. Located in Queens and Westchester, we carry only the best, including Baldwin, Charles R. Walter, Knabe, Pramberger, Samick, and Seiler, and are home to the largest selection of remanufactured Steinway, Yamaha, and Kawai pianos.

If you’re looking for a piano, we are confident that you’ll find it with us at the lowest price. Our knowledgeable staff is well versed in all styles and brands on the market. We have grand pianos, upright pianos, digital pianos, and everything in between to fit any room and décor. Whether this is your first piano or just the latest, Frank & Camille’s West will offer you more than just a purchase—we will show you an entirely new buying experience, backed by experts committed to providing only the highest quality service to every single customer.

Visit our showroom today. Share in our passion for music. Discover the piano of your dreams.