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#209384 - 05/03/08 04:24 PM Grand or Vertical...
TJF Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/08/08
Posts: 7
When I began researching pianos, I wanted to find the best grand piano $10,000 could buy. As I learn more, I now think I want the best piano $10,000 can buy - not necesarily a grand. I have read many positive posts regarding Charles Walter and other vertical brands. If you have the space, should you be thinking only grand at this price point? Or is it reasonable to go with a higher quality vertical?



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#209385 - 05/03/08 07:10 PM Re: Grand or Vertical...
Johnny J Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/03/07
Posts: 55
Loc: Idaho
I'd get the tallest, best quality vertical in that price range. Unless you can find a great deal on a quality 5-15 year old used grand of around 5'8" or longer. You could get a really nice vertical for less than that, and start saving for a grand down the road.

#209386 - 05/03/08 07:24 PM Re: Grand or Vertical...
Rickster Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 10899
Loc: Georgia, USA
Hi Tom, and welcome to the PW forum.

I’m not much of a piano player, but I can tell you that if you have room in your home for the grand, that would be my recommendation.

There are many very nice verticals on the market and great arguments can be made as to the pros and cons of each, but if space is not an issue, (which is usually not the case) there are benefits and advantages of a grand that are simply not possible with a vertical.

And, $10,000 can buy a fairly nice grand (new or pre-owned) in my view.

Best of luck with whatever you decide.

Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

#209387 - 05/04/08 04:33 AM Re: Grand or Vertical...
koiloco Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/16/08
Posts: 622
Loc: California
for 10K, definitely a baby grand.

Open sound
a lot of the times, better action.
a much nicer furniture piece \:\)
uhmmm, what else? you can see the hammers striking the strings, an absolutely cool thing for younger players \:\)

Seriously, you can down that 10K and get a brand new Yamaha GC1 or Kawai GE-30. Both in the 11 - 12K range and will be wonderful. I have tried the yamaha YUS5 (top yamaha upright model) and still prefer the open sound of a grand piano; 2 totally distinct types of sound, try them out and see what you prefer.
Just don't rush, take your time!

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#209388 - 05/04/08 01:03 PM Re: Grand or Vertical...
TJF Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/08/08
Posts: 7

Thanks for the replies. Not what I had expected to hear.

#209389 - 05/04/08 01:33 PM Re: Grand or Vertical...
gutenberg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/05/07
Posts: 387
Loc: Wichita, Kansas
Hi, TJF, welcome to the forum. When I started seriously shopping for a piano a year and a half ago, I started out more or less like you did, looking at around $10K. Only I quickly suffered sticker shock and backed off my grand dreams. There were only a very few grands that I found in the 10K to 15K range that I would even consider. My primary criteria were were tone (capable of warm and dark) and touch (capable of ppp).

I just don't think that at the $10K range one should have "grand" as a criteria. A lot of people around here disagree. I think you are right on when you say you are looking for the best piano $10K can buy. Decide what your most important criteria are, and then play as many pianos (uprights and grands) as you can find.

Unfortunately, I found only one Walter upright when I was looking, and it was not what I was looking for. A lot of people around here like them, and they are a quality piano.

Bottom line IMO: it certainly is reasonable to go with a quality upright.

#209390 - 05/04/08 05:10 PM Re: Grand or Vertical...
Vonette Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/04/07
Posts: 62
Loc: Eastern WA
I had a budget only a bit lower than yours, and I ended up buying a vertical. I tried very hard to find a grand I liked that I could afford, but no luck. My ear is picky, and the short grands just didn't do it for me. As for the longer grands (new) in that price range, I couldn't find one with a tone that I fell in love with, and I didn't feel confident in their long-term durability. I looked at the used market, too, and you might find something there. I did not find anything that I felt comfortable buying (there were always issues with the action or the bridges or something), but then there wasn't much available near me.

In the end, it came down to a choice between a Kawai vertical or a Kawai 5 foot grand. I wanted a grand so badly that I tried to talk myself into that small one. However, even the salesmen could see I liked the sound of the vertical better. So, in the end they convinced me to go with it. It arrived yesterday, and I just love it! I know it was the right choice for me. In a few years, I'll look at grands again when I can afford to pay more.

#209391 - 05/04/08 06:18 PM Re: Grand or Vertical...
scepticalforumguy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/08
Posts: 1476
Loc: Lower Mainland, BC

I'm sort of in the same boat as you (you can follow the thread "A question for pianists and others" to see what I've found.

In a nutshell though, I'd say it would be pretty hard to find a decent grand under 10k. I've seen lots of grands around 12-15 that I might consider, but anything below that price range seems still a bit suspect (ie the sound isn't great, the action a bit off, and the fit and finish of the new pianos still not great in the 10k range).

If you can afford to, look a little higher if you do want a grand, because there appears to be alot there for the intermediate (and perhaps higher) players.
Recordings of my recent solo piano and piano/keyboard trio jazz standards.

#209392 - 05/04/08 08:30 PM Re: Grand or Vertical...
Prospero Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/14/07
Posts: 305
When I was a young man, I went through many different uprights until I finally settled on a beautiful, used, "gray market" Yamaha U-3. It was a big, hulking monster, with a shiny black case. It belted out big bass notes, and it had the signature Yamaha touch: smooth and super-easy to play, almost mind-reading.

Finally I gave up my U3 to get a cheapo grand.

Very soon after my cheapo grand arrived home and I began playing it, I started kicking myself for waiting so long to switch to a grand.

Grand pianos have a superior design: they have better touch, better sound, and a much better and broader color palette, allowing far more room for artistic expression.

The hammers on an upright piano strike the strings from the front, away from the pianist. Most of the sound on on upright goes out the back. When I turned my uprights so that the back faced the center of the room, my audience reported much better sound quality. It did nothing much for me as the pianist, since I was on the wrong side of the instrument.

The hammers on a grand piano strike the strings from underneath and send the sound up and out and into the face of the pianist. When you get your grand piano home and prop the lid open and begin to play, you should feel as if you are sitting in front of a great canyon or Cathedral with magnificent acoustics.

With the economy hitting a rough patch, piano shops are especially eager to deal. If you arrive with a check for 10K and say that you want to purchase a piano that is priced around 12-14K, your local piano dealer might find it terribly difficult to say 'No.'

Good pianos age very, very slowly. This means that there is remarkably little objective difference between a new grand and the same model that is five or even ten or fifteen years old.

Quite a few pianos in America are purchased and brought home and played for a couple of months before they are left to sit and gather dust. Not a lot of mileage on many of the used pianos out there. Granny only used it on Sundays until she got bored.

Again, if a good piano is restored--new hammers or pinblock or etc. as needed--then it can be thirty years old and still be objectively quite similar to the same model purchased new.

That means you can get a lot of used grand piano for 10K these days. Most dealers do not want you to know this, of course, because they make a lot more money on the purchase of new pianos.

A note of caution: you should avoid tiny grands. You should know, for example, that a 5'6" grand can be quite nice for the home while a 5'1" grand almost never is. Those five inches might not seem like much, but we are talking about square inches of soundboard area, and the difference is night and day. Stay away from tiny grands. About 5'5" is the shortest you should normally go.

Maybe the best way to answer your question is this: if I were to begin with 10K in today's market, I am quite certain that I would have relatively little trouble finding a used grand that will have a touch and sound superior to any upright piano, Period.

It took me about a minute to find an example of what I have in mind. Head for this website, and scroll down to the Yamaha G2 grand in the Grand Piano Gallery on this website:


There you can watch a video of a 5'8" Yamaha G2 Grand piano, built in 1972, with new hammers, new pinblock, and the famous 10-year Rick Jones warranty, clearance priced at just under 10K. (He has three more G2s that are not on clearance for 11K.) It is probably a "gray market" Yamaha, just like my U-3 was. No upright is going to match that G2 Yamaha grand for sound or touch.

If you are willing to spend just a little more money on an investment that is probably going to take center stage in your living room for the rest of your life--which makes good economic sense--then you can scroll down a bit further and check out the video for that beautiful Cherry 1983 5'10" Kawai KG-2 Grand for about 14K.

Again, scroll down a bit more, and you can rest assured that no upright on earth will have a sound or touch to equal that 6'5" used Yamaha G-5. Watch the video.

If you like beautiful cabinetry, another deal on the Jones page is that 1981 10" KG-2 Kawai in Walnut, clearance priced at 9K. The KG-2 is the predecessor of the RX-2, i.e., it is a lot of piano, one of the better ones that Kawai has built. Moreover, the case has beautiful carvings, which eventually you might be very glad to see on the largest piece of furniture in your home.

I keep on suggesting the Yamahas or Kawais, because, in your price range, they represent proven craftsmanship and quality.

All the above pianos come with 10 year warranties.

I am not a tech or rep, nor am I associated with Rick Jones pianos. If you look through my posts on this website, you will see that I am just a pianist with opinions--someone who has owned many different pianos over the course of over four decades of piano playing.

Of course Rick Jones is just one of many places where you should be able to find comparable deals. If you do not want to travel to New York, or you are uncomfortable with a web purchase, then by all means print up the Rick Jones stats, and bring them with you to your local dealers. Then you should have a pretty good idea how much you can deal for a nice grand.

Here is another website where you can check out the videos for several used Yamaha or Kawai grands within your price range:


As you have probably guessed by now, used Yamaha or Kawai grands are plentiful in the United States, and many of them represent a great buy for someone with your budget.

Good luck!

#209393 - 05/04/08 10:15 PM Re: Grand or Vertical...
TJF Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/08/08
Posts: 7
Thanks again to everyone for the posts. I'll keep searching and be sure to post when I ended buying something. It seems there are a lot of being in the same price range.


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