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#3142344 08/01/21 11:27 AM
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Hi all,

I am debating whether to buy a 1983 Yamaha G3 but one issue concerns me. Inside the piano, the technician that inspected it found evidence of mold. I've attached a couple of pictures. It doesn't look too bad (the sellers has cleaned it) but I'm hesitant because there could be health issues. I've read that mold on wood is hard to completely remove. Would the spores come back and cause health issues?


[img]https://share.icloud.com/photos/01l-vpTqgmS-yLRcX-DiGRfPA[/img]

[img]https://share.icloud.com/photos/01l-vpTqgmS-yLRcX-DiGRfPA[/img]

Last edited by WinstonSmith; 08/01/21 11:30 AM.
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Are you sensitive to mold, personally? The pictures are an "after" shot, after an attempt to remove the stains?
I would be hesitant because it may indicate the piano was in a wet/humid environment and not particularly well cared for.


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Mold on an almost 40 year-old piano would give me concerns. Is this a one-owner piano? If so, could it have been in the environment that causes mold for all that time? These are questions the owner should answer for you.

If you like the piano, otherwise, have it checked out by a reputable technician before you commit to buying it.

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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Are you sensitive to mold, personally? The pictures are an "after" shot, after an attempt to remove the stains?
I would be hesitant because it may indicate the piano was in a wet/humid environment and not particularly well cared for.

I want to second TD here, on both accounts.

1) unless you're particularly sensitive to mold, I would not worry about health concerns. Also, the mold isn't likely to come back unless you live in a very humid place and you don't use air conditioning in your home.

2) More than any possible future health concern of mold, I would be worried about the fact that piano was (for who knows how long) in a climate that was humid enough for mold to grow on it. I have only ever purchased pianos used, so I am always very careful to make sure the piano has been well-cared for, and I wouldn't want to risk buying a piano that suggests otherwise.


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Whether the mold poses any Heath risk depends on the type of mold. Wiping it with bleach may not be enough…. I would pass


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Whether the mold poses any Heath risk depends on the type of mold. Wiping it with bleach may not be enough…. I would pass. I do not have experience with piano mold, but mold in a condo due to a roof leak. Remediation was not simple.


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Do the strings look tarnished or corrosive? If so, that may be indicative of a prolonged humid environment.

If I bought the piano, I'd research getting a UV light for mold and occasionally blast the ###!! out of the piano. I don't believe UV light produces much heat (which would not be good for a piano).

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Originally Posted by TBell
Do the strings look tarnished or corrosive? If so, that may be indicative of a prolonged humid environment.

If I bought the piano, I'd research getting a UV light for mold and occasionally blast the ###!! out of the piano. I don't believe UV light produces much heat (which would not be good for a piano).

Not all UV lights will destroy mold; it needs to be UV C one
I don’t know the minimum strength required nor the exposure time needed

Last edited by dogperson; 08/01/21 02:22 PM.

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Thanks everyone for your thoughts.

It's a grey market piano, imported from Japan. I have no idea (and I don't think the seller does) of its history. I had a technician inspect it and he doesn't see any issues with the piano. at least nothing that will obviously cause problems in the immediate future.

And yes, this is the condition after the seller treated the mold and said that is the best that can be done without damaging the piano.

Potential health issues is my main concern. I don't think I am particularly sensitive to mold but who knows if there is not going to be a silent health problem that will surface in years after long exposure to it. It does not look too bad right now but from what I've read mold on wood never really goes away. But I doubt I'll ever have the piano in an environment with relative humidity higher than 45% so the mold may stay dormant?

I really like the piano and it's a very good deal. After looking for a week and checking out a dozen pianos, this is the one I like the best in terms of sound and feel in its price range. I like the sound of the G pianos over the C ones, which sound too bright to me. Not sure how much difference voicing can make to make the piano sound mellower. Other minor reservation is that it is missing the Sostenuto pedal but that is not as big a deal breaker.

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I doubt I'll ever have the piano in an environment with relative humidity higher than 45% so the mold may stay dormant?

Really? Where do you live? Or do you have a whole-house dehumidifier already?

Re missing the sostenuto pedal, do you mean, it was made as a two pedal piano, or that it's supposed to have that pedal but the pedal is missing?

Separate from all of that, I am partial to Yamahas and that's a nice size, so since you've had it checked out by a tech, maybe go ahead with the purchase??


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TBell #3142442 08/01/21 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by TBell
Do the strings look tarnished or corrosive? If so, that may be indicative of a prolonged humid environment.

If I bought the piano, I'd research getting a UV light for mold and occasionally blast the ###!! out of the piano. I don't believe UV light produces much heat (which would not be good for a piano).
The strings look OK. No sign of tarnish or corrosion.

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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Quote
I doubt I'll ever have the piano in an environment with relative humidity higher than 45% so the mold may stay dormant?

Really? Where do you live? Or do you have a whole-house dehumidifier already?

Re missing the sostenuto pedal, do you mean, it was made as a two pedal piano, or that it's supposed to have that pedal but the pedal is missing?

Separate from all of that, I am partial to Yamahas and that's a nice size, so since you've had it checked out by a tech, maybe go ahead with the purchase??
I'm in Toronto. HVAC almost year round.

It was made as a two pedal piano. I understand Yamaha made a lot of 2-pedal pianos up to the mid 80s.

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Originally Posted by WinstonSmith
Potential health issues is my main concern. I don't think I am particularly sensitive to mold but who knows if there is not going to be a silent health problem that will surface in years after long exposure to it. It does not look too bad right now but from what I've read mold on wood never really goes away. But I doubt I'll ever have the piano in an environment with relative humidity higher than 45% so the mold may stay dormant?

I really like the piano and it's a very good deal. After looking for a week and checking out a dozen pianos, this is the one I like the best in terms of sound and feel in its price range. I like the sound of the G pianos over the C ones, which sound too bright to me. Not sure how much difference voicing can make to make the piano sound mellower. Other minor reservation is that it is missing the Sostenuto pedal but that is not as big a deal breaker.

I can't answer the health question, but unless you live in a desert or semi-desert environment (you don't indicate in your profile, where in the world you are) everywhere I've lived and had a piano, including the northeast, upper midwest, central Texas, and the southeastern US, the indoor relative humidity exceeded that amount 45% at one time or another, or often.

Given the G and C series pianos you're probably looking at (in the price range I assume you're shopping) are ~40+ years old, I think the current condition matters much more than which exact version, as you look at instruments past the halfway points of their usable lives.


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I've used this mold testing service. It's fast, easy to send the sample, and not very expensive. You get back a report with the latin names of the mold if you're into that, but there's also a human readable assessment of what they found. They'll also exchange emails if you have further questions. There are places on a piano that you can't see unless you do some disassembly, I'd have a concern there could be mold you can't see.


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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Originally Posted by WinstonSmith
Potential health issues is my main concern. I don't think I am particularly sensitive to mold but who knows if there is not going to be a silent health problem that will surface in years after long exposure to it. It does not look too bad right now but from what I've read mold on wood never really goes away. But I doubt I'll ever have the piano in an environment with relative humidity higher than 45% so the mold may stay dormant?

I really like the piano and it's a very good deal. After looking for a week and checking out a dozen pianos, this is the one I like the best in terms of sound and feel in its price range. I like the sound of the G pianos over the C ones, which sound too bright to me. Not sure how much difference voicing can make to make the piano sound mellower. Other minor reservation is that it is missing the Sostenuto pedal but that is not as big a deal breaker.

I can't answer the health question, but unless you live in a desert or semi-desert environment (you don't indicate in your profile, where in the world you are) everywhere I've lived and had a piano, including the northeast, upper midwest, central Texas, and the southeastern US, the indoor relative humidity exceeded that amount 45% at one time or another, or often.

Given the G and C series pianos you're probably looking at (in the price range I assume you're shopping) are ~40+ years old, I think the current condition matters much more than which exact version, as you look at instruments past the halfway points of their usable lives.
I live in Toronto. Half the year, I have the AC on, the other half the heat. There is maybe a month or two at most during which HVAC is not on. When it's on, humidity is <45%.

Yes, you're right, the current condition matters a lot but so does the sound and feel. In general, I've much preferred the sound of the G than C series.

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Originally Posted by MarkL
I've used this mold testing service. It's fast, easy to send the sample, and not very expensive. You get back a report with the latin names of the mold if you're into that, but there's also a human readable assessment of what they found. They'll also exchange emails if you have further questions. There are places on a piano that you can't see unless you do some disassembly, I'd have a concern there could be mold you can't see.
Good point about there potentially being mold in places I can't see. On a positive note, other than on the hammers' shanks (I think that's what they are called), there are no other visible signs of mold. The underside of the piano looks in pretty good shape.

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Re where you live, your HVAC etc. it sounds like you have the environment/climate under control... If it were me, I would not worry about the mold.

You didn't say how much this piano is, but I believe you said it was a good price, right? If so, and you like the sound, and if you don't think you can afford a used piano that's more like 20 y/o as opposed to 40 y/o, then I would say you could probably go ahead with the purchase.

Unless you think you will worry about the possibility of mold forever. That is something only you can answer.

BTW, is the piano being sold by a private owner? Have you asked the seller where the piano was kept and why they think it developed mold? I feel like that info might give you some peace of mind (either that or you won't like what you hear and decide to shop elsewhere!)


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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Re where you live, your HVAC etc. it sounds like you have the environment/climate under control... If it were me, I would not worry about the mold.

You didn't say how much this piano is, but I believe you said it was a good price, right? If so, and you like the sound, and if you don't think you can afford a used piano that's more like 20 y/o as opposed to 40 y/o, then I would say you could probably go ahead with the purchase.

Unless you think you will worry about the possibility of mold forever. That is something only you can answer.

BTW, is the piano being sold by a private owner? Have you asked the seller where the piano was kept and why they think it developed mold? I feel like that info might give you some peace of mind (either that or you won't like what you hear and decide to shop elsewhere!)
The piano is 11500 from a dealer. I can afford a newer piano, I'm thinking a budget of about 20000 or so. In fact, just today I tried a Kawai RX-2 that is just 8-years old selling for 20,000 but I liked the touch of the G3 better. Soundwise, both RX-2 and G3 are to my liking. It's not so much the price(which of course is a very nice bonus) but also the fact that the sound and feel of the piano are the best from all the pianos I've tried that cost 20000 or less. Granted, I've only been looking for a week.

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Hmmm… I don’t know the market in your area, but I think $11,500 might be too much for a 40 year old piano, even accounting for it being Canadian dollars.

Separate from that, since you don’t have harsh budgetary constraints l, I would say slow down, keep looking and don’t buy this piano, at least not yet.

I completely understand wanting to make the purchase ASAP, but take your time and wait till you can make the purchase without a big worry.


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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Hmmm… I don’t know the market in your area, but I think $11,500 might be too much for a 40 year old piano, even accounting for it being Canadian dollars.

Separate from that, since you don’t have harsh budgetary constraints l, I would say slow down, keep looking and don’t buy this piano, at least not yet.

I completely understand wanting to make the purchase ASAP, but take your time and wait till you can make the purchase without a big worry.

Yeah, that's what I'm leaning towards too. $11,500 is actually a very good price where I am. Maybe piano prices are higher in Canada, not sure, but it's not uncommon to see used piano dealers asking for $12,000-$20,000 for 30-40-year old G3, G5, C3 or C5.

I do hate spending so much time looking for a used piano, though. It's a hassle.

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