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52" Petrof upright piano is much smaller than 48" kawai and Yamaha pianos.
#190392 10/25/07 04:15 PM
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glin Offline OP
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I am a new piano buyer and found something very interesting and hope someone could explain it to me:
P1: Petrof p131 (52")
P2: Petrop P125 (50")
K: Kawai K3(48")
Y: Yamaha U1(48")

-------------- P1----P2---K---Y
SB Area(in2): 2004 2123 2224 2137
#1 Bass string: 44.5" 43.3" 46.9" 44.5"

dose this look interesting?

Re: 52" Petrof upright piano is much smaller than 48" kawai and Yamaha pianos.
#190393 10/25/07 04:25 PM
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On the soundboard measurements are they including the blocked off corner parts that are not functional?
A more relevant string length measurement is the speaking length, not the over all length.

Try not to get tangled up on the stats and listen to the sound of the instruments. Some scales operate more effeciently than other designs.


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Re: 52" Petrof upright piano is much smaller than 48" kawai and Yamaha pianos.
#190394 10/25/07 04:39 PM
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glin Offline OP
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I think there should be a standard or a rule on how to measure soundboard and strings. i got those numbers from the officail specifications found on their websites.

is a 52" piano supposed to have a larger SB and longer strings? I am not piano technician and don't play piano neither. when buying a piano, the only think i can do is comparing the sizes:=(

I even called one of Petrof dealers and they don't have explaination and told me they don't compare and no customers care about that.

Re: 52" Petrof upright piano is much smaller than 48" kawai and Yamaha pianos.
#190395 10/25/07 10:09 PM
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Go play the pianos.

IMNSHO, the 52" Petrof runs rings around a 48" Yammie or Kawai.

Rings.


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Re: 52" Petrof upright piano is much smaller than 48" kawai and Yamaha pianos.
#190396 10/26/07 02:42 AM
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Longer strings and a larger soundboard are only a guaranty of a better tone if all the other countless design parameters are bang on. (This is often not the case) Reducing the soundboard area by making it a specific shape and using cut-off bars may indeed improve the tone.
Here is a poor but understandable analogy: A Porsche may get more horsepower out of an engine that is half the size of an Oldsmobile's.

Edit/addendum re the bass strings: it is easy to make a long #1 bass string by putting the bridge back (or down) as far as possible. All this will do is to choke the sound.


JG
Re: 52" Petrof upright piano is much smaller than 48" kawai and Yamaha pianos.
#190397 10/26/07 10:18 AM
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glin Offline OP
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I am so not convinced.

between Petrof,Kawai and Yamaha, whose design is better? I think nobody can tell because they are all good,supposedly.

why making larger piano? to have larger soundboard.
why larger soundboard? to have longer strings.
why longer strings? to have better tones.

Personally, I mean personally, I think Petrof is cheating about their piano's size to fool consumers. I would be very glad to be proven wrong because I was buying Petrof P131.

Thanks,

Re: 52" Petrof upright piano is much smaller than 48" kawai and Yamaha pianos.
#190398 10/26/07 01:39 PM
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I measured a U1. It was about 46"

Re: 52" Petrof upright piano is much smaller than 48" kawai and Yamaha pianos.
#190399 10/26/07 02:13 PM
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This seems like pointless "measurebating" to me. Which one SOUNDS better and FEELS better and falls within your price range, that's what you should be basing your purchasing decision on.

I bought a Petrof P125 after comparing it directly with a Yamaha U1 and the larger Petrof P131. I just liked the SOUND of the Petrofs better than the Yammie and ultimately, I didn't want to fork out the extra $$ for the P131 (although I felt the P131 sounded better and had a nicer/smoother action). Never once did I worry about sound board area or bass string lengths.

Re: 52" Petrof upright piano is much smaller than 48" kawai and Yamaha pianos.
#190400 10/26/07 03:18 PM
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This is akin to "bench racing" with teenagers and Honda civics, trying to deduce their quarter-mile times based on a set of printed specifications alone:
"If I add a high-flow catback exhaust, it will be .3 seconds faster"
"If I add a cold-air intake, it will be .2 seconds faster"

One would deduce that the result of both modifications would be a car that's .5 seconds faster to the traps, but the reality is not that simple and dependent on many other factors. Is string length important? Sure, but there is more to the art of good design than the size of one particular string [and honestly it's beyond my comprehension], like optimal placement of the bridge on the soundboard. As Supply pointed out, an overly long set of low bass strings could negatively impact bridge placement, as far as the tone is concerned.

Just go out and play the pianos. Often, the larger sized models sound better. Sometimes not. You are making an assumption in your reasoning that 2 of the SAME model piano will sound and feel identical to each other. I can assure you that is not going to be the case in reality; those who buy, sell, and play the very best pianos available don't really care much about that one measurement.


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Re: 52" Petrof upright piano is much smaller than 48" kawai and Yamaha pianos.
#190401 10/26/07 03:27 PM
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I didn't measure any of those pianos. I got the numbers from their official specifications.

Re: 52" Petrof upright piano is much smaller than 48" kawai and Yamaha pianos.
#190402 10/26/07 03:43 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by glin:
I didn't measure any of those pianos. I got the numbers from their official specifications.
glin, I think everyone's point is that you should simply ignore the measurements (regardless of where they originate). Try all the piano's that you mentioned and select the one that sounds the best, feels the best and best fits your budget. You wouldn't seriously consider purchasing the piano that you thought sounded inferior simply because it has longer strings or more soundboard area would you? Don't miss the forest for the trees.

Re: 52" Petrof upright piano is much smaller than 48" kawai and Yamaha pianos.
#190403 10/26/07 04:03 PM
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The Petrof P131 is made in their grand piano factory. The care in its assembly and design is a notch above the smaller Petrofs. It is a marvelous instrument.
Larger pianos typically have a bigger and more resonant tone than their smaler counterparts.
Longer strings can be thinner. Thinner strings have a sweeter tone. Larger soundboard can amplify the tone to greater volume. Larger pianos often have longer keysticks (longer on the inside part you don't see). This can give enhanced leverage at the key.
I am not surprised at the Petrof dealer's lack of explaination. Most customers do not concen themselves with these details.
Petrof is indeed not cheating. The model P131 refers to centimeters. If you do the math this comes to 51.57 inches tall. It is common for nearly all manufacturers to round up to the nearest whole inch when specing their heights.
As many have stated, different scale design physics dictate greater performance from lesser specs. The only proof of the pudding is how the piano plays and sounds. You seem to be unwilling to accept this. The reason is that you are only examining two of the thirty or so scale design parameters.


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Re: 52" Petrof upright piano is much smaller than 48" kawai and Yamaha pianos.
#190404 10/26/07 06:04 PM
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I thought I knew how a piano basically works. Now after reading all these inputs i am so confused that I felt I know nothing about piano. all my piano knowledge is mostly from "The Piano Book." I guess it's time for me to read that book again.

I wish I had never started studying this piano thing and just let my kid's teacher choose one for her. I have already found there are so many secrets in the piano market. now it turned out that even the intrument itself can also be very complicated.

Re: 52" Petrof upright piano is much smaller than 48" kawai and Yamaha pianos.
#190405 10/26/07 06:16 PM
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For what it's worth, when I first started my piano lesson, in my price range, I ended up choosing a P125 over many U3 and one U5 that I tried (over here Yamaha is quite a bit cheaper than in North America). If I wanted to spend a bit more money, it would be a P131. Not that the Yamaha is bad, I just happen to prefer Petrof's tone and the action was equally fine.

Re: 52" Petrof upright piano is much smaller than 48" kawai and Yamaha pianos.
#190406 10/26/07 06:29 PM
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glin Offline OP
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the rease I was comparing 52" Petrof P131 with 48" Yamaha U1 and Kawai K3 is trying to emphsize how "small" the Petrof pianos are.

when buying a piano, I think, to be fare, buyers shoud compare the pianos with the same size like Petrof P131 vs Yamaha U3 vs Kawai K6/K8.

Am I wrong again?

Re: 52" Petrof upright piano is much smaller than 48" kawai and Yamaha pianos.
#190407 10/26/07 07:22 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by glin:
the rease I was comparing 52" Petrof P131 with 48" Yamaha U1 and Kawai K3 is trying to emphsize how "small" the Petrof pianos are.

when buying a piano, I think, to be fare, buyers shoud compare the pianos with the same size like Petrof P131 vs Yamaha U3 vs Kawai K6/K8.

Am I wrong again?
Comparing pianos based on size doesn't make much sense to me. I think it much more useful to compare pianos that have similar selling prices.

The real issue is the best value.

Based on your logic, should a shopper compare a 52" Bechstein with a 52" Suzuki?


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Re: 52" Petrof upright piano is much smaller than 48" kawai and Yamaha pianos.
#190408 10/26/07 07:35 PM
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Try not to get too frustrated glin, it's easy to do when you're first learning about something new.

Like it's been mentioned before, it's not that size doesn't count, actually it does. You just have to put it in the proper context. It's only 1 of a large number of variables that affect the sound quality of the piano. Just like purchasing a car, reading the numbers is nice, but like they say, "the proof is in the pudding". One of the best pieces of advice, I think, is to try EVERYTHING. Especially try pianos that are over and under your price range. Get a sense for what a high end piano is like vs a low end piano. After that experience, you will start to form an idea of what type of sound fits YOU. You can then focus on finding the sound that you now like that is in the price range that you're looking for. If the 48" unit sounds better to you than the 52", buy the 48".

Once you have narrowed the list based on that criteria, you can come back here and ask for peoples general opinions for any gotchas, pricing, etc.

Steve is right, placing so much weight on a single variable (piano "size") is like trying to purchase a car by saying "ok, I'm going to compare cars that are 180 inches long". While it's true that the length does affect factors such as interior space and handling, taken by itself it's pretty worthless.

Re: 52" Petrof upright piano is much smaller than 48" kawai and Yamaha pianos.
#190409 10/26/07 08:16 PM
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Quote
Based on your logic, should a shopper compare a 52" Bechstein with a 52" Suzuki?
Fortunately for Bechstein, Suzuki doesn't offer a 52" upright. laugh


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Re: 52" Petrof upright piano is much smaller than 48" kawai and Yamaha pianos.
#190410 10/26/07 08:29 PM
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Oh!

Never mind!

[With apologies to Gilda Radnor.] wink


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Re: 52" Petrof upright piano is much smaller than 48" kawai and Yamaha pianos.
#190411 10/26/07 10:41 PM
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thanks a million to all of you guys.

Still confused, but feeling much better.

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