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Which piano size is right for my room? - *Steinway content* #2795644
12/27/18 02:52 AM
12/27/18 02:52 AM
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Shadow Puppets Offline OP
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Hi there. This is my first post on this board.

I have just built a home music room, approximately 6m x 5m (and 2.8m tall). The room is wall to wall carpeted and also contains a small sofa, some synths, a desk with speakers and some guitar amps.

I am looking to purchase a grand piano in the near future and have been trying various brands / models. I have settled on either the model A or model B from Steinway.

I wondered if I could get some opinions on whether these pianos would be ok in my sized room, and crucially not be too loud / overpowering.

All opinions welcome.

Hope you’re well and happy Christmas!

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Re: Which piano size is right for my room? - *Steinway content* [Re: Shadow Puppets] #2795652
12/27/18 04:46 AM
12/27/18 04:46 AM
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Hakki Online content
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IMO a B might be overpowering for a room that size if you play it lid open all the time.

It is better that you go with an A if you plan to play lid open on full stick.

Just place the piano diagonally near a corner but not too near (or nearly parallel to a wall but at least 60 cm away from the wall), away from the windows, outside walls and heating/ventilating sources. Keep it away from direct outdoor light.

Do not place it in the middle of the room. Because sound bouncing from parallel walls will disturb you.

Re: Which piano size is right for my room? - *Steinway content* [Re: Hakki] #2795671
12/27/18 06:34 AM
12/27/18 06:34 AM
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Shadow Puppets Offline OP
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Thank you for the reply. I thought that might be the case, especially in a room with nothing in the way of room “treatment”.

I’m not sure i’ll able to adhere by all of those rules regarding placement either. There are various things in the room that also need a set position (the desk/speakers and sofa), so it will have to be relatively close to a window / direct light. Is that a problem from a finish point of view, or tuning?

Re: Which piano size is right for my room? - *Steinway content* [Re: Shadow Puppets] #2795676
12/27/18 06:56 AM
12/27/18 06:56 AM
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Yes it will both be a problem for the finish and the tuning.
You should use window blinds all the time to proctect the piano from direct light.

Re: Which piano size is right for my room? - *Steinway content* [Re: Shadow Puppets] #2795684
12/27/18 07:27 AM
12/27/18 07:27 AM
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Re: Which piano size is right for my room? - *Steinway content* [Re: Shadow Puppets] #2795689
12/27/18 08:11 AM
12/27/18 08:11 AM
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For that room I would buy the B. Both pianos can rip your ears off if you want them to, but for normal playing, both should be fine.

Re: Which piano size is right for my room? - *Steinway content* [Re: Shadow Puppets] #2795691
12/27/18 08:12 AM
12/27/18 08:12 AM
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Maryland, USA
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Originally Posted by Shadow Puppets
Hi there. This is my first post on this board.

I have just built a home music room, approximately 6m x 5m (and 2.8m tall). The room is wall to wall carpeted and also contains a small sofa, some synths, a desk with speakers and some guitar amps.

I am looking to purchase a grand piano in the near future and have been trying various brands / models. I have settled on either the model A or model B from Steinway.

I wondered if I could get some opinions on whether these pianos would be ok in my sized room, and crucially not be too loud / overpowering.

All opinions welcome.

Hope you’re well and happy Christmas!


I have a NY Steinway Model A, bought new 3 years ago, and a recently rebuilt Hamburg Model B, both in my living room. My living room is likely slightly smaller than your music room, although the room is on an open-floor-plan that it is connected, through a large opening, to an adjacent room of similar dimensions which again connects to another similar room. I have an area rug large enough to be underneath both pianos, but otherwise these rooms are all hardwood-floored. These two pianos are facing each other, so theoretically the sound would bounce at different directions.

They are both placed parallel closer to one wall, but there is at least 1 meter of distance (the B is closer). I know plenty of people on this forum and elsewhere prefer to place the piano diagonally, but there is no practical way to do it in my living room except for completely eliminating any remaining space to move around. The room has two sofas, but otherwise the rest of rooms (including the connecting ones) do not have many things to absorb sound. The walls are drywall finished, without sound panels etc.

The wall that pianos are closer is one outside wall, with windows. Window blinds are almost always down to prevent afternoon sunlight from hitting the pianos directly.

We almost always play with the lids closed, with the fly lid folded back so that the music desks are accessible. On the other hand, I don't think even with the lids fully open, the sound level would change much in our setup.

From this personal experience, I can tell you that Model B is not necessarily louder than Model A. If you dig into posts here on PianoWorld, you would see similar opinions from other forum members. In fact, I think my Model A is slightly louder, judged by both my subjective perception and by what I saw on sound levels on my recording device (admittedly not terribly accurate). This is not due to hammer voicing. The Model A came with NY factory hammers which are softer, and produce a mellower sound which is still the case up to this point despite the fact that the A has been played in for more than 3 years. The Model B was rebuilt with Renner Hamburg Steinway hammers which produces a noticeably brighter sound.

I asked a question about longer pianos' benefits a while ago on this forum. Basically it comes down to, assuming everything being equal, bass tone and touch at the far (inside) end of the keyboard. Many people prefer the bass tone of a longer piano, especially a concert grand. While I like my B's bass tone, I equally enjoy A's that probably fits into what some would describe as the "characteristic Steinway growl".

So for your question, I would suggest getting the piano you like that fits into your space design and budget.

Last edited by Davdoc; 12/27/18 08:18 AM.

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Re: Which piano size is right for my room? - *Steinway content* [Re: Shadow Puppets] #2795711
12/27/18 09:42 AM
12/27/18 09:42 AM
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New York City
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Originally Posted by Shadow Puppets
Hi there. This is my first post on this board.
I have just built a home music room, approximately 6m x 5m (and 2.8m tall).
As some have already hinted, I think it makes a huge difference if the room opens up to other large rooms or is basically completely enclosed except for a normal width door. Which is the case for your setup? How high is the ceiling?

I think lot of people play with the lid closed and fly lid folded back. I think it's fairly difficult to predict how loud the piano will be and PW posts on this usually range from "My concert grand sounds find in the bathroom" to "My clavichord is too loud in my 10,000 sq. foot great room".

If you already have a piano tech who knows your space they would be a good person to ask. Most pianos can be voiced down somewhat but there are certainly limits to what can be done.

You could ask the Steinway dealer for a recommendation. If they say the B will be fine, you could ask if it could be traded in(with a refund for the difference in price) for a smaller piano if it proves too loud. Maybe the normal Steinway trade allows one to trade in after a very short period but you could ask about that also. Then you'd be covered if the B is too loud.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 12/27/18 09:45 AM.
Re: Which piano size is right for my room? - *Steinway content* [Re: Shadow Puppets] #2795717
12/27/18 09:56 AM
12/27/18 09:56 AM
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I think it depends which piano you like better, to be honest. Voicing and regulation can bring a rowdy piano under control, or can make something fairly timid into a concert instrument. Find the piano you like, and a technician you trust. In a way it's too simplistic to say that it needs to be this or that model, it's better to narrow it down to the individual piano. The O and the C are also nice pianos worth considering, depending on age, condition and voice of the individual instrument. Go shopping and see what you like the sound of best.

Re: Which piano size is right for my room? - *Steinway content* [Re: Shadow Puppets] #2795721
12/27/18 10:32 AM
12/27/18 10:32 AM
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Joe's right about voicing and regulation -- especially voicing. Some of us have concert grands in rooms that size.

Bear in mind that a piano isn't like a car, it has no power of its own. You provide all the power through your fingers. What varies is the way that power is transferred from the keytops to the air. I've often played a little console upright that's a lot "louder" than my concert grand.

So, go play lots and lots of pianos. Get an idea what the range of "loudness" is, and pick one that you like and that isn't dangerously loud.


-- J.S.

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Re: Which piano size is right for my room? - *Steinway content* [Re: joe80] #2795724
12/27/18 10:56 AM
12/27/18 10:56 AM
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New York City
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Originally Posted by joe80
I think it depends which piano you like better, to be honest. Voicing and regulation can bring a rowdy piano under control...
I think only to a certain degree. If that was true all the time, then there would be no one with pianos that are too loud.

Re: Which piano size is right for my room? - *Steinway content* [Re: johnstaf] #2795753
12/27/18 11:49 AM
12/27/18 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by johnstaf
For that room I would buy the B. Both pianos can rip your ears off if you want them to, but for normal playing, both should be fine.


I agree. I would buy the B for sure. As for the "loudness", it all depends on how you play.


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Re: Which piano size is right for my room? - *Steinway content* [Re: Shadow Puppets] #2795759
12/27/18 12:05 PM
12/27/18 12:05 PM
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Seattle, WA USA
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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The most powerful aspect about room size as regards musical sound is the ceiling height. Tall ceilings with non square corners always make room acoustics better in my experience.


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Re: Which piano size is right for my room? - *Steinway content* [Re: Shadow Puppets] #2795765
12/27/18 12:13 PM
12/27/18 12:13 PM
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Almost exactly the same size as my music room. I have a 2 metre C Bechstein in there and it is ideal.


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Re: Which piano size is right for my room? - *Steinway content* [Re: pianoloverus] #2795818
12/27/18 02:07 PM
12/27/18 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
You could ask the Steinway dealer for a recommendation. If they say the B will be fine, you could ask if it could be traded in(with a refund for the difference in price) for a smaller piano if it proves too loud. Maybe the normal Steinway trade allows one to trade in after a very short period but you could ask about that also. Then you'd be covered if the B is too loud.


Good advice. I had this agreement with zero pushback when I purchased new from Steinway Hall. Find a good instrument among what is available that you like (I would have even a new Steinway inspected by a technician,) and have this written clause re. switching to smaller piano into your purchase agreement.

Re: Which piano size is right for my room? - *Steinway content* [Re: Shadow Puppets] #2795829
12/27/18 02:27 PM
12/27/18 02:27 PM
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For a room that size, model B will be fine. I have a 7' BB in a slightly smaller place than that - but it doesn't seem too overpowering. The space has a huge opening on one side and small opening on another side - that helps. Does the room have openings on any of the sides? If so, that will help with the acoustics/loudness.

I would suggest to first consider the tone of the piano. B will sound significantly better - especially in bass. Do you like both of them equally? Or, B significantly better? I would put more emphasis in your personal enjoyment of the tone as that will really impact how much you play/enjoy the piano.

The suggestion about negotiating prices for both A and B and then trying out B first with an option to trade it back in is very good - that can cut out the risk in making the decision.

Osho


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Re: Which piano size is right for my room? - *Steinway content* [Re: Osho] #2795835
12/27/18 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Osho
For a room that size, model B will be fine. I have a 7' BB in a slightly smaller place than that - but it doesn't seem too overpowering. The space has a huge opening on one side and small opening on another side - that helps.
With a huge opening on one side it means that your effective space is much larger, more like the size of the two rooms combined.

Re: Which piano size is right for my room? - *Steinway content* [Re: PhilipInChina] #2795865
12/27/18 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by PhilipInChina
Almost exactly the same size as my music room. I have a 2 metre C Bechstein in there and it is ideal.


I have a similar piano in a room about 3x4 metres. It's absolutely fine. A lot depends on the individual room and piano.

Re: Which piano size is right for my room? - *Steinway content* [Re: Shadow Puppets] #2796644
12/29/18 10:41 PM
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I have a S&S B in a relatively small living room as well, but the piano lid opens close to the large opening to the 2-story foyer, and there is a large opening on the other side into the dining room. We also have 9 foot ceilings. I have the piano on an angle so that it doesn't project toward a parallel wall. All this allows it to project nicely and it doesn't overpower at all.

I'd say go with the piano you like the best. There really isn't that much size difference in my opinion. The additional length give the B a huge advantage in the bass. As other's have said, a room that size can handle a 7' piano, and you can do little things like adding an area rug under the piano and things like that to absorb some of the sound.

You can play with the lid down or folded back when you need to limit the volume. Then you can open the lid up when you won't disturb others. The piano will sound great no matter how you play it.


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