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Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense?
boyonahill #2022567 01/28/13 01:55 AM
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As long as stores keep reinforcing the premise "larger is better" selecting their pianos accordingly, people may be discouraged to even try smaller pianos.

In many cases people simply don't have the room and spending the extra $$ to consider a larger grand: does this mean they can't get a real nice one?

Of course not.

The "quality" of piano is not just to be measured by the "volume of its bass", something sales people are often glad to demnostrate, but also very much by the singing quality of its treble. Which most are *not*...

However the fact remains that good quality grands can have as much tonal quality in that crucial section - REGARDLESS of size.

One just needs to specialize in and show those which *do*

Sold 2 smaller pianos this weekend to fairly advanced pianists who both came with the intention of buying much smaller and more expensive grands.

Both left very happy with good chunk of money still left in their pocket.

Nice to be owner-operator...

Norbert wink

Last edited by Norbert; 01/28/13 02:11 AM.

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Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense?
boyonahill #2022659 01/28/13 07:07 AM
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Last year, I helped out a couple choosing their first piano. Neither of them played, and the piano was for their little daughter, and they knew next to nothing about pianos or piano music (or even music...).

They wanted a new baby grand - no more than around 5 ft, to fit into their living room. I normally avoid playing such small grands, but we trudged around various showrooms playing on Essexs, K Kawais, Yamahas....and all had amorphous thuds substituting for so-called bass notes, with barely any fundamentals. There wasn't much to choose in terms of action (and I easily adapt to almost any action anyway) or even sound (to my mind, the Essex was the marginally the worst, though the most expensive), so in the end, I just told them to choose which sound they liked most - after all, they are the ones living with it. They actually went for the one whose dealer gave them the best deal.....


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Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense?
Minnesota Marty #2022681 01/28/13 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
If that were the case, unless a person is a piano tech or concert artist, a piano should not be purchased by anyone.

It's time to hire the consultants with hourly fees.


I did just that. And he STILL said, "Go out and play a lot of pianos and see what you think about their sound and action."

It was the right advice, too.


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Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense?
Minnesota Marty #2022723 01/28/13 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
If that were the case, unless a person is a piano tech or concert artist, a piano should not be purchased by anyone.

It's time to hire the consultants with hourly fees.
Wrong again IMO.

There is a huge difference between the intelligent approach of asking lots of questions and not just using "I like it" as the only criteria vs. only buying a piano if one has the playing/listening experience of a tech or concert artist. And there is nothing wrong with hiring someone to help in the decision making process probably best done after one has spent some time trying out pianos first. If a dealer or salesperson is both very knowledgeable and honest this probably won't be be as they could give reliable answers to a buyer's questions.

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense?
Norbert #2022732 01/28/13 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Norbert
As long as stores keep reinforcing the premise "larger is better" selecting their pianos accordingly, people may be discouraged to even try smaller pianos.
"Larger is better" is in general correct so stores that say this are giving good advice.

Of course, there may be a few exceptions, but as one moves up in size for a given manufacturer the piano's tone and touch gets better. If this was not the case, buyers would soon catch on that buying the larger model was a rip off. Of course, one has to be comparing apples to apples and not a smaller Tier One piano to a larger piano of much lower quality.

Most people are intelligent enough to realize that buying a piano usually involves some compromises unless one has 100K to spend. So they will realize that they may not be able to afford a larger piano and try a smaller one. I can't imagine that dealers who sell smaller grands tell their customers "You really shouldn't buy a grand this small" when they realize what their budget is.

The simplest internet investigation or reading of The Piano Buyer will also convince buyers that improvements in smaller pianos mean that previous statements about all very small pianos being terrible are no longer true.

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense?
boyonahill #2022733 01/28/13 10:02 AM
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PLU - Have you not figured out that my answers are directed specifically at your convoluted and evasive replies? They are commentary and cannot be considered "right" or "wrong."

You might check a definition for "scarcasm" since you seem to not be able to detect it.


Marty in Minnesota

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Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense?
boyonahill #2022741 01/28/13 10:12 AM
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Boyonahill,

I had a Yamaha U3 and it had a very nice sound. It was positioned on a hardwood floor, no rug and played with the lid opened. I really wanted a grand when I bought it so a year latter I was upgrading to a 5'8" grand.

During the search I played a newly rebuild Steinway S, 5'1" that was incredible and a new Steinway M, 5'7" that lacked alot to be desired.

It is true that bigger is not always better however don't buy an upright it you really want a grand. It is better to get the piano you want and can afford than settle.


2011 Yamaha GC2
Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense?
turandot #2022744 01/28/13 10:16 AM
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Lots of good advice here. My 2 cents is that even a smaller grand will sound better than a larger upright. Just something about it. The grand will be more fun to play, too.

Originally Posted by turandot

There are also subjective and even subconscious factors that are valid considerations in making a decision. If you go against your own instincts to the extent that the piano you buy can only be thought of as transitional and you then spend a lot of time dreaming of your next piano, you are setting yourself up for chronic upgrade fever (which is a boon to piano retailers but a curse to piano buyers).

Whatever it is you choose, make sure it can play quietly without effort and makes your fingers feel secure and expressive.


Truer words were never written.


Gary
Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense?
hmrnmky #2022768 01/28/13 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by hmrnmky
Boyonahill,During the search I played a newly rebuild Steinway S, 5'1" that was incredible and a new Steinway M, 5'7" that lacked alot to be desired.

It is true that bigger is not always better however don't buy an upright it you really want a grand.
When people say bigger is better they mean in general. For two specific pianos that are relatively close in size and especially ones as variable as Steinways seem to be, it is certainly possible that the smaller one could sound better but it would not generally be true.

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense?
Minnesota Marty #2022769 01/28/13 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
PLU - Have you not figured out that my answers are directed specifically at your convoluted and evasive replies? They are commentary and cannot be considered "right" or "wrong."

You might check a definition for "scarcasm" since you seem to not be able to detect it.
I don't think my replies have been convoluted or evasive in the slightest. The whole idea of relying only on oneself is probably not a good idea for many and maybe most piano buyers. This is one reason why the Piano Buyer and the Piano Forum are popular. Most people realize they need at least some help beyond their own fingers and ears when buying a piano.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 01/28/13 11:16 AM.
Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense?
boyonahill #2022777 01/28/13 11:25 AM
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The Mason & Hamlin model "B" at 5'4" I find very impressive.

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense?
boyonahill #2022783 01/28/13 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by boyonahill
A big upright Piano like the Yamaha U3 is 131 cm (51 1/2") high.

A small grand like the Yamaha C1 has a depth of 161cm (5'3") (and there are even smaller grands).

The depth measurement for the grands includes the keyboards, so I guess the C1 and U3 have a pretty similar size on their soundboards?.

So, from what size does a grand piano make sense compared to a nice upgright piano like Yamaha U3 or U1? Something like the C1? Or bigger, perhaps like the C3 186cm (6'1")?

It might seem odd to the purely objective observer but, in my experience, at least, most piano buyers do not make their buying decision between grands and verticals purely on the basis of tone performance. If this were the case large vertical pianos would outsell small grand pianos but, at least in the product line I’m most familiar with, they do not.

People buy small grand pianos for a variety of reasons; aesthetics being high among them. Action performance is also high on the list.

Many years back in the bad old days it was true that most small grand pianos—those shorter than, say, 160 cm (5’ 3”)—sounded pretty bad. Their scales were unbalanced and, in a misguided attempt to obtain more “power” excessively massive hammers were used. Not only was the lowest half-octave pretty much useless, the whole bass sections often sounded dull and tubby. The bass-to-tenor transitions were usually rough and uneven sounding. These were, by most every standard, un-musical atrocities that had rightfully earned their somewhat derisive Piano Shaped Object titles.

But, that was then and this is now.

Times have changed. Piano designers (and manufacturers) have taken another look at these instruments and the modern small grand piano is often quite nice. Despite what the traditionalist might tell us, there is a growing selection of relatively short—say 175 cm (5’ 9”) and below—grand pianos now available. You may have to look beyond the large, traditional manufacturers to find them, however. And some of them—to cite just one example, the Walter 175—will hold their own against traditional pianos that are significantly longer and larger (and, for that, more expensive).

As well, there are a growing number of 150 cm (4’ 11”) grand pianos that are earning reputations as credible musical instruments in spite of their diminutive length. And in spite of their often very low prices. There is a growing selection of very nice short grand pianos available for less than $10k. It might pay to broaden your search.

The market has changed and it is no longer accurate to simply write these pianos off solely because of their length.

ddf

Last edited by Del; 01/28/13 11:39 AM.

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Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense?
boyonahill #2022984 01/28/13 05:22 PM
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Quote
It takes time to learn what you like, and you want to avoid making costly mistakes......

Often as a beginner you are wowed by the extremes, and only later you learn to appreciate the subtle differences more refined products bring. This process can easily cost you much money, I try to fast forward by asking experienced people in this case!

The experience of other people is certainly worthwhile, but without a specific understanding of what's most important to you (for example, what you find lacking in your M5J), other people's experience will be hit and miss in relation to your best possible choice.

You have a basic Yamaha vertical. The examples you've chosen are a tall Yamaha artist vertical and a smallish Yamaha artist grand. What is it that you would hope to get out of one of those pianos that you don't have in your M series? It seems that you're willing to give Yamaha a shot at selling you another piano, so I guess you don't hate Yamaha. grin, and it could be useful too to understand what you like about Yamaha pianos.


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Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense?
boyonahill #2023010 01/28/13 06:21 PM
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Dell:

+1

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Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense?
boyonahill #2023012 01/28/13 06:37 PM
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A grand piano makes sense if you have enough money to buy one and a big enough room to put it in.

Otherwise a U3 will do just fine.


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Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense?
Chris H. #2023060 01/28/13 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris H.
A grand piano makes sense if you have enough money to buy one and a big enough room to put it in.

And if you also want it.

Originally Posted by Chris H.
Otherwise a U3 will do just fine.



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Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense?
bennevis #2023087 01/28/13 09:10 PM
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Again thank you all for your comments!

The Yamaha M5J was sold some time ago, so keeping that is no option. Yes I like Yamaha, well I'm sort of a fanboy, but I will make sure to try some other brands before I commit to any purchase. I will probably, like the last time, buy a used piano to minimize the price and loss if I change my mind.

Adding to that my next acoustic piano probably will be bought 2014, the earliest, but I like to plan ahead and know my options. Plus in this case plan ahead on the money and physical floorspace. My plan was to still my piano hunger with a Yamaha "P-165" but namm2013-thing was introduced.


Originally Posted by bennevis
Last year, I helped out a couple choosing their first piano. Neither of them played, and the piano was for their little daughter, and they knew next to nothing about pianos or piano music (or even music...).

They wanted a new baby grand - no more than around 5 ft, to fit into their living room. I normally avoid playing such small grands, but we trudged around various showrooms playing on Essexs, K Kawais, Yamahas....and all had amorphous thuds substituting for so-called bass notes, with barely any fundamentals. There wasn't much to choose in terms of action (and I easily adapt to almost any action anyway) or even sound (to my mind, the Essex was the marginally the worst, though the most expensive), so in the end, I just told them to choose which sound they liked most - after all, they are the ones living with it. They actually went for the one whose dealer gave them the best deal.....


Always interesting to hear your comments! On the sounds and their choice, I guess there are 4 ways to spend money...

There are four ways in which you can spend money. You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why then you really watch out what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money. Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well, then I’m not so careful about the content of the present, but I’m very careful about the cost. Then, I can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody else’s money on myself, then I’m sure going to have a good lunch! Finally, I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get. [political analysis removed...]


http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Friedman,_Milton


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Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense?
boyonahill #2023108 01/28/13 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by boyonahill

There are four ways in which you can spend money. You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why then you really watch out what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money. Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well, then I’m not so careful about the content of the present, but I’m very careful about the cost. Then, I can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody else’s money on myself, then I’m sure going to have a good lunch! Finally, I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get. [political analysis removed...]
http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Friedman,_Milton

While on that subject, one of my favorites:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Armchair_Economist
"[m]ost of economics can be summarized in four words: People respond to incentives."

The book is a worthwhile read.

Last edited by rlinkt; 01/28/13 09:55 PM.
Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense?
rlinkt #2023119 01/28/13 10:19 PM
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What I hate about economists is that they believe the whole world runs on incentives; and what I hate even more is that they are probably right.

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense?
boyonahill #2023154 01/29/13 12:12 AM
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A big upright Piano like the Yamaha C5, (719 × 750) high.

A small grand like the Yamaha C1 has a depth of 161cm (5'3") (and there are even smaller grands).

The depth measurement for the grands includes the keyboards, so I guess the C1 have a pretty similar size on their soundboards?.

So, from what size does a grand piano make sense compared to a nice upgright piano like Yamaha U2 or U1? Something like the C1?
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