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7 foot or 9 foot for home #2817879 02/20/19 10:25 AM
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rbobby Offline OP
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Hi everyone, I'm in the market for a dream piano for home use. I've searched the topic but seeking some more specific feedback. Realistically, how big a difference is there between a 7 foot and a 9 foot concert grand? More specifically say between a CF6 and a CFX or Model B and a Model D. Is bass tonal quality the biggest difference? If so, is the difference worth the significant jump in price and footprint? 7 foot is no slouch I understand. I'm not an expert pianist but have discerning musician's ears.
Of course I will let my ears be the judge when I'm shopping, just thought I would get some feedback from you experts out there to prepare my thoughts. I've never played a 9' before. In terms of room size, it should be ok either way, 35' x 32' with 18' ceiling.
Much appreciated!

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Re: 7 foot or 9 foot for home [Re: rbobby] #2817886 02/20/19 10:39 AM
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As you are searching a dream piano, just buy the piano of your dream. As long as it’s your dream piano, size wouldn’t matter anymore. If you don’t know what’s your dream piano yet, try to find and dream about one, then buy it.

Last edited by trandinhnamanh; 02/20/19 10:43 AM.

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Re: 7 foot or 9 foot for home [Re: rbobby] #2817892 02/20/19 10:52 AM
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The price difference is only big if you buy new. Concert grands are bought new by major concert venues, kept for just a few years, and then sold off to lesser venues and home users. The price drop is significant. There are some of us here who have older concert grands at home, and love them. Certainly for a room your size, a slightly used concert grand would be ideal. Where are you? Perhaps we can recommend local dealers.


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Re: 7 foot or 9 foot for home [Re: rbobby] #2817893 02/20/19 10:52 AM
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The bass is usually the big difference on a 9' concert grand. The fundamental tone is much clearer and deeper. I usually don't find much difference across most of the rest of the register. Of course, a concert grand produces more volume. The action of a concert grand feels different, because the key length is longer due to strike point being a little farther away due to the longer string lengths on a concert grand. It's usually an easy adjustment as long as the action is prepared/adjusted properly and the piano voicing is balanced -- it is just a different feel. The 7' / 7.5' piano action feels very similar to a 9' piano, so many pianists who perform regularly on concert grands find that a 7'-ish piano is adequate for practicing.

You should really play a S&S Model D and B side by side, or a C6X/C7X along side a CFX to compare. Also, consider your space. A concert grand might look monstrous in your space. An the other hand, a semi-concert grand might get lost in the space.

Re: 7 foot or 9 foot for home [Re: rbobby] #2817898 02/20/19 11:12 AM
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Only you can decide if the price differential is "worth it" based on what your ears, fingers, and wallet. There is no objective way of reaching a conclusion.

Re: 7 foot or 9 foot for home [Re: rbobby] #2817899 02/20/19 11:13 AM
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Do you play piano? If you do, you should know the answer to your question. Will it be used for furniture?


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Re: 7 foot or 9 foot for home [Re: Lakeviewsteve] #2817906 02/20/19 11:20 AM
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@Lakeviewsteve, yes I do play at an intermediate+ level. Almost professional level classical musician. Piano will be played roughly 2 hours a day. Other than going show rooming at obnoxious Steinway stores, where do you recommend I could go to play a great condition Steinway D for an hour in a quiet room by myself? Genuinely would like to know. Typical Steinway stores I've visited only had a B on display, even the NYC 6th ave flagship store, it sounded terrible and 10 people were crowding over it.

Last edited by rbobby; 02/20/19 11:22 AM.
Re: 7 foot or 9 foot for home [Re: GC13] #2817911 02/20/19 11:26 AM
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@GC13, very helpful advice. Thanks very much.

Re: 7 foot or 9 foot for home [Re: rbobby] #2817934 02/20/19 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by rbobby
@Lakeviewsteve, yes I do play at an intermediate+ level. Almost professional level classical musician. Piano will be played roughly 2 hours a day. Other than going show rooming at obnoxious Steinway stores, where do you recommend I could go to play a great condition Steinway D for an hour in a quiet room by myself? Genuinely would like to know. Typical Steinway stores I've visited only had a B on display, even the NYC 6th ave flagship store, it sounded terrible and 10 people were crowding over it.
I think there are more models of each size in the lower level of that store. In addition, i think there is a room where they will move the piano to so you can try it out without distractions.

Re: 7 foot or 9 foot for home [Re: GC13] #2817953 02/20/19 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by GC13
The bass is usually the big difference on a 9' concert grand. The fundamental tone is much clearer and deeper. I usually don't find much difference across most of the rest of the register. Of course, a concert grand produces more volume. The action of a concert grand feels different, because the key length is longer due to strike point being a little farther away due to the longer string lengths on a concert grand. It's usually an easy adjustment as long as the action is prepared/adjusted properly and the piano voicing is balanced -- it is just a different feel. The 7' / 7.5' piano action feels very similar to a 9' piano, so many pianists who perform regularly on concert grands find that a 7'-ish piano is adequate for practicing.

You should really play a S&S Model D and B side by side, or a C6X/C7X along side a CFX to compare. Also, consider your space. A concert grand might look monstrous in your space. An the other hand, a semi-concert grand might get lost in the space.

For the Yamahas the C7X is a different line completely than the CFX. There are smaller pianos in the CF line like a CF4. The CF line is handmade. Completely different soundboard, hammers and strings than the CX line of pianos. I believe the S&S B and D difference would be just length, but I’m not sure. S&S only makes one quality line so I’ve heard. I’ve played C7s but never had the pleasure of playing any CF’s much less the CFX. I’d be in heaven until it was time to write that big check!


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Re: 7 foot or 9 foot for home [Re: rbobby] #2818015 02/20/19 02:14 PM
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I owned the Yamaha S6 (7'er) for almost 10 years and then sold it to help finance the D. Yamaha vs Steinway tone aside, no comparison. Obviously the bass is much larger but I hear more sustain in the middle and higher registers too.

My space is 20 X 20 with an A frame ceiling that starts at 7' on the sides and peaks at just under 16' in the middle. I practice mostly with the lid down, but more out of laziness then anything else. A 9'er should sound incredible in your room. As would a 7'er or semi-concert size.

If you do go with the concert size, make sure your tech installs the two heater system with the Dampp Chaser.

Fwiw, I just played the CFX next to the Bosendorfer 280VC. I've always been a huge Yamaha fan, owning a C7e before the S6, but the CFX couldn't compete next to the 280VC. I would recommend playing the CFX by itself and you'll be much more impressed. wink smile

You could check out the Yamaha S7X (semi-concert), I've heard great things about those. Although because of the NY Steinway tone, I prefer the B to any Yamaha- CF6, C6X or C7X. On the other hand, I know a few Pro players (some are more pop oriented as opposed to Classical or Jazz) ) that lean the other way and aren't Steinway fans at all. Personally I think they've played too many "bad" (read neglected ) Steinways on gigs. wink


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Re: 7 foot or 9 foot for home [Re: rbobby] #2818016 02/20/19 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by rbobby
@Lakeviewsteve, yes I do play at an intermediate+ level. Almost professional level classical musician. Piano will be played roughly 2 hours a day. Other than going show rooming at obnoxious Steinway stores, where do you recommend I could go to play a great condition Steinway D for an hour in a quiet room by myself? Genuinely would like to know. Typical Steinway stores I've visited only had a B on display, even the NYC 6th ave flagship store, it sounded terrible and 10 people were crowding over it.


If you are considering purchasing a new (probably not just new) Steinway B or D, my experience is that a salesperson will meet you in the middle of the night if you want. If that isn't your experience, fly to Dallas (I'm quite sure that's unnecessary).

Re: 7 foot or 9 foot for home [Re: rbobby] #2818039 02/20/19 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by rbobby
@Lakeviewsteve, yes I do play at an intermediate+ level. Almost professional level classical musician. Piano will be played roughly 2 hours a day. Other than going show rooming at obnoxious Steinway stores, where do you recommend I could go to play a great condition Steinway D for an hour in a quiet room by myself? Genuinely would like to know. Typical Steinway stores I've visited only had a B on display, even the NYC 6th ave flagship store, it sounded terrible and 10 people were crowding over it.


I'm very glad to her about your intended use of your new piano. How about taking a trip to Europe and experiencing the Hamburg Steinway showroom? It is a wonderful place in a wonderful city.

https://www.steinway.com/about/featured-locations/hamburg

Hamburg also has a new philharmonic hall which looks amazing. Maybe you can take in a concert while you are there:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elbphilharmonie

At Bösendorfer's city center showroom attached to the famous Musikverein philharmonic hall in Vienna you can reserve an Imperial Grand (97 keys) by the hour, in a private room (so you aren't disturbed by others.) Maybe Steinway will do the same in Hamburg.

All the best / Steve

Last edited by Lakeviewsteve; 02/20/19 03:09 PM.

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Re: 7 foot or 9 foot for home [Re: rbobby] #2818062 02/20/19 03:51 PM
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My experience is that the jump from 7 to 9 feet isn't exactly "more of the same", or "the same thing but with a bigger bass". The differences in design and action are noticeable, even if the materials aren't...and to be honest, it's rare to find a 7' and 9' piano, of the same age, quality, prep, and usage in the same space to make a true back to back comparison.

Certain companies seem to have a reliably better 9' model than others. It's also been my experience that there are certain brands' 7' models that are particularly strong. Most of the better European makers make a wonderful 7 1/2' model, for whatever reason.


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Re: 7 foot or 9 foot for home [Re: rbobby] #2818216 02/20/19 11:53 PM
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That is certainly quite a big room you have there. It would take a 9' piano with no problems.

I would reiterate what has already been said about the price of a 9' piano being probably less than you think if you buy used. I got a 9' Bluthner for my ballroom and simply couldn't believe the deal that I got on the whole package. I still can't.

The reason I mention my ballroom piano is what an expert once told me. He was never going to sell me a piano, so could afford to tell the truth. He said that in a ballroom (or, by extension any large space) anything smaller than a 9' piano can look like an afterthought.


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Re: 7 foot or 9 foot for home [Re: rbobby] #2818301 02/21/19 09:13 AM
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Without doubt 9'.

And without doubt Hamburg Steinway.

Re: 7 foot or 9 foot for home [Re: rbobby] #2818430 02/21/19 02:43 PM
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Why not find something in between? 7'4-7'8"




Re: 7 foot or 9 foot for home [Re: terminaldegree] #2818455 02/21/19 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
...and to be honest, it's rare to find a 7' and 9' piano, of the same age, quality, prep, and usage in the same space to make a true back to back comparison..


Probably a pair of new ones in a factory showroom would be the most likely way to find that....


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Re: 7 foot or 9 foot for home [Re: rbobby] #2818466 02/21/19 04:22 PM
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My room isn't as big as yours, but it's big with a decently high ceiling.

I started with a 7' Steingraeber, traded up to a 7'7" Steingraeber, and traded that (diagonally?) for a rebuilt Steinway D by PianoCraft.

The 7' Steingraeber was a lovely piano, but the 7'7" version was even better.

I like the Steinway D a lot -- it has, in essence, a Hamburg Steinway action with a NY Steinway frame and plate. I'm glad to have it, but I loved the last Steingraeber too and would have been perfectly happy with it as my terminal piano.

If you're looking at 9' pianos, I strongly recommend considering high-quality rebuilds. You can get a better-than-new piano at a lower price.


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Re: 7 foot or 9 foot for home [Re: rbobby] #2818543 02/21/19 06:58 PM
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You have a pretty large space, but not as large as many small concert halls (seating say 250 people) for which the mid 7' pianos were designed. We have a Bosie 225 which is 7' 4" and is called a Half-concert. We've seen many of them in smaller concert halls in Europe, where they do just fine for performances of solo piano and chamber music groups (like at the Archbishop's Residence in Salzburg for the Salzburg Festival. The space where we have our 225 is about 80% as large as your space with the maximum ceiling height (part cathedral) at just about 18'. Definitely does not dominate the room, but also doesn't look too small either. We do have a second grand in the same room.


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