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How to move piano across country on the cheap?
Old 04-14-2008, 06:26 PM   #1
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How to move piano across country on the cheap?

I have an upright piano at my parents' house in Florida that I'd like to move out to my house in Texas. Is there any way to do this without spending thousands of dollars, or renting a uhaul and doing it myself (time, gas, etc.)? Does anyone know of a moving company that will add a piece to a truckload that is not full? I'm not in a rush to get it.
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Old 04-14-2008, 07:06 PM   #2
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Check with an independent trucker through Landstar. You should find someone that is traveling across I10 to do it.
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Old 04-14-2008, 07:10 PM   #3
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Try uship.com Probably more work arranging the shipment but the savings can be great.
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Old 04-14-2008, 07:18 PM   #4
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Hi soupcxan - I recommend posting the question on Piano World forums:

Piano Forums at Piano World: Piano Forum

Or do a search, I'm sure this comes up all the time.

(from a fellow pianist)
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Old 04-14-2008, 07:50 PM   #5
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Much simpler: sell the piano and buy another one when you get there. Uses no gas whatsoever.
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Old 04-14-2008, 07:51 PM   #6
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What kind of shape is the piano in?

It might be cheaper to buy an equivalent one locally, than to have one shipped. A lot of those old pianos need a good overhaul to very playable.

You might prefer the new electric keyboards. They don't come close to the 'real thing' unless you are willing to spend a fair amount, or are not that demanding. Easy to move.

-ERD50
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Old 04-14-2008, 07:59 PM   #7
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on the cheap. I'm in. Don't pianos have casters on the bottom? so you hook a line from the piano to your car bumper and take off. Careful stopping suddenly! Or, if you don't have a convertible, just bungee cord it to the top of your car - take the station wagon for the extra support. Convertibles really aren't very good for this - use the right tool for the job! Duct tape should work too - review the Red Green episodes for handy tips on use.
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Old 04-15-2008, 06:34 AM   #8
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Much simpler: sell the piano and buy another one when you get there. Uses no gas whatsoever.
+1. Craigslist on both ends. Sorta like teleportation.
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Old 04-15-2008, 07:18 AM   #9
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put roller skates on the legs and use a bung cord to secure it around a trailer hitch.
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Old 04-15-2008, 08:06 AM   #10
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Thanks for the tips, I'll check out uship and landstar. Uship looks interesting, sort of like an ebay for moving services.

The piano was purchased new so it's in good shape, unlike a used one that I might find. Plus it has some sentimental value, so I'd rather stick with what I have. I think the haircut I'd take on the sell/buy transaction would be at least as much as the cost to ship it, if not greater.
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Old 04-15-2008, 10:11 AM   #11
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Sell the piano and buy an electric piano at the other end. I can give lots of very convincing reasons to buy an electric one, and you've encountered one of them (moving). I move my piano six times a month in my Echo.

I've played $20,000 pianos in people's homes, and they don't sound half as good as my $1,000 piano, 'cause they're not tuned and maintained. The same owners who would never buy an electric because "only a real piano sounds wonderful" end up not tuning their piano for years, and they don't even notice the degradation.

Other reasons:

No cost for tuning/maintenance.

You can use headphones for practicing (marriage saver).

Not affected by temperature/humidity shifts.
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Old 04-15-2008, 11:17 AM   #12
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Sell the piano and buy an electric piano at the other end. I can give lots of very convincing reasons to buy an electric one, and you've encountered one of them (moving). I move my piano six times a month in my Echo.

I've played $20,000 pianos in people's homes, and they don't sound half as good as my $1,000 piano, 'cause they're not tuned and maintained. The same owners who would never buy an electric because "only a real piano sounds wonderful" end up not tuning their piano for years, and they don't even notice the degradation.

Other reasons:

No cost for tuning/maintenance.

You can use headphones for practicing (marriage saver).

Not affected by temperature/humidity shifts.
All very true, T-Al.

Question for you - what kind of amp/speakers would you use for home?

Whenever I toy around a bit with any of the electrics in the one-two thousand dollar range, it is the speaker/amp that limits the 'experience' for me. The actual keyboard action and sound quality seem fine - just not enough 'oomph' out of the speakers to sound 'real'.

-ERD50
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Old 04-15-2008, 01:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Question for you - what kind of amp/speakers would you use for home?

Whenever I toy around a bit with any of the electrics in the one-two thousand dollar range, it is the speaker/amp that limits the 'experience' for me. The actual keyboard action and sound quality seem fine - just not enough 'oomph' out of the speakers to sound 'real'.
Yes, that's correct. The quality is better through my headphones than through the amp, but it's still good with the amp. I use the Motion Sound KP 100S which is a good compromise between weight and sound. I've played big dances with that amp. Got it for $450 on eBay.
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Old 04-15-2008, 01:04 PM   #14
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One other reason, then I'll get off the soapbox: You can use different voices (organ, jazz organ, vibes, choir, etc.), which is good if you get bored practicing.

Here's how I played a hymn a few minutes ago (part of sight-reading practice).
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Old 04-15-2008, 01:08 PM   #15
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Wait, one more: you can hook it up to your computer, record yourself, play piano from the Internet. OK, I'm done.
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Old 04-15-2008, 01:17 PM   #16
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Agreed - also, kids might find it more fun, and be more likely to get involved.

Very nice choir on the hymn - the link was a bit mangled, but this worked for me:

http://pages.suddenlink.net/tripsite/hymn.mp3

Hmmm, $650 for the amp. That's what I was afraid of. Almost as much as the keys.

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Old 04-15-2008, 01:31 PM   #17
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A keyboard amp should be doable for a couple hundred bucks.

Behringer ULTRATONE K900FX Keyboard Amp/PA System and more Amplifiers and Monitors at GuitarCenter.com.

Or, go retro...

Hammond Leslie Speaker 122A with 30 Foot 6-pin Cable and more Amplifiers and Monitors at GuitarCenter.com.

I love the sound of a Hammond B3 and a Leslie...
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Old 04-15-2008, 01:55 PM   #18
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There are many practical advantages to a keyboard, but to me, they do not feel like playing a real piano and they do not sound as rich. Playing a digitized recording of a hammer hitting a string is just not the same. Plus, a piano is a nice peice of furniture for the house.
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Old 04-15-2008, 02:06 PM   #19
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Thanks for the tips, I'll check out uship and landstar. Uship looks interesting, sort of like an ebay for moving services.

The piano was purchased new so it's in good shape, unlike a used one that I might find. Plus it has some sentimental value, so I'd rather stick with what I have. I think the haircut I'd take on the sell/buy transaction would be at least as much as the cost to ship it, if not greater.
I can sure relate to the sentimental value that a piano can have!! Be sure to have the piano re-tuned once it is moved and you have it placed where you want it. Then it will sound as beautiful as you remember.
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Old 04-15-2008, 08:03 PM   #20
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I'm with Al. I moved pianos around for awhile. I have played very fine pianos. I still like my electronic piano and love having the earphones.
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