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Re: Why Baby Grands?
pianoloverus #2833007 03/30/19 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
There is no cut off number for length where all of a sudden the sound becomes acceptable or good. Any number given like that is purely a matter of personal opinion and also depends on the manufacturer.
Like I said: There's this thing called "disharmonicity" I read about, and which my piano tuner also mentioned. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if it's the correct word; Google is a bit taciturn about it. But I believe it has something to do with overtones and string length. Whether it's a measurable criterium for the quality of a piano is another thing.
Maybe it's like with individual suspension vs. beam axle in a car. Some say that individual suspension is better; but a good beam axle might be better than a bad individual suspension.

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Additionally, I think the idea of some precise figure, even if everyone agreed on it, makes no sense. Suppose for the sake of argument people agreed on 5'6". Does anyone think that would mean that most pianos that were 5'6.5" are OK but pianos that are 5' 5.5" are not OK?
No, it would just mean that the first piano is a "medium grand", and the second one a "baby grand". Which one is the better piano would be a matter of the individual pianos, and of the potential buyer.


My grand piano is a Yamaha C2 SG.
My other Yamaha is an XMAX 300.
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Re: Why Baby Grands?
pianoloverus #2833009 03/30/19 11:04 AM
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Pianolover:

Your point is well-taken.
In addition, there has been no discussion here of the latest developments in string scaling, which can yield surprising results from quite small pianos.
Nevertheless, I think that the only really small piano I've heard that I like is the old Baldwin M.
Between 5 & 6ft., I'd have to say that the vintage Mason A is a lovely piano.
Amongst modern instruments, there is NO question that the 170cm Steingraeber is a standout.

Statistically speaking, there must be a Steinway M, somewhere, that is satisfying but, in my all too brief 68 yrs., I've never heard or played one.
Given a free hand with the scaling, I'm sure that one of our premier boutique rebuilding shops can make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.
I've heard and played Astoria Steinways rebuilt by our top rebuilders that are SUBLIME. NONE of the new pianos (S&S), with the possible exception of the Hamburg pianos, can compare to them.
Frankly, we need MORE not fewer Steinwas pianos, especially given the shockingly shoddy work that comes out of S&S so-called rebuilding outfit.

I'm afraid I've taken this more than a bit off-topic. Apologies to the Forum.

JUST my opinion.

Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY

Re: Why Baby Grands?
patH #2833013 03/30/19 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by patH
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
There is no cut off number for length where all of a sudden the sound becomes acceptable or good. Any number given like that is purely a matter of personal opinion and also depends on the manufacturer.
Like I said: There's this thing called "disharmonicity" I read about, and which my piano tuner also mentioned. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if it's the correct word; Google is a bit taciturn about it. But I believe it has something to do with overtones and string length. Whether it's a measurable criterium for the quality of a piano is another thing.
Maybe it's like with individual suspension vs. beam axle in a car. Some say that individual suspension is better; but a good beam axle might be better than a bad individual suspension.
'
In shorter grands this can be helped a little by widening the tail part. My baby grand has a wide butt, which is a design feature used by Blüthner. I guess it makes the piano appear bigger and bulkier (and actually shorter), which may be one reason why it is not more commonly used...

Last edited by outo; 03/30/19 11:25 AM.
Re: Why Baby Grands?
j&j #2833015 03/30/19 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by j&j
If my family wouldn’t disown me, I’d happily trade my C3 in for: C7X, S3X, CF4, CFX, Schimmel Konzert 7ft plus, or Bösendorfer anything. I don’t know about the rest of Piano World, but life is full of compromises and sometimes we just make the best of it.
Ya know, if I could have a collection of pianos, I would have kept my little walnut baby grand.


It is hard to let them go.


"When life gives you a lemonwood Gaveau [piano], make a place for it (or, what is the same thing, find a wealthy foreign collector/enthusiast to sell it to)." --adapted from and inspired by _The Piano Shop on the Left Bank_ by Thad Carhart
Re: Why Baby Grands?
patH #2833020 03/30/19 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by patH
]Like I said: There's this thing called "disharmonicity" I read about, and which my piano tuner also mentioned. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if it's the correct word; Google is a bit taciturn about it. But I believe it has something to do with overtones and string length. Whether it's a measurable criterium for the quality of a piano is another thing.
Maybe it's like with individual suspension vs. beam axle in a car. Some say that individual suspension is better; but a good beam axle might be better than a bad individual suspension.


Inharmonicity causes the harmonics to be out of tune compared to those of an ideal string (which doesn't actually exist). Without any inharmonicity at all, a piano wouldn't sound like a piano, however short bass strings can be sufficiently inharmonic that they sound unpleasant.

Re: Why Baby Grands?
johnstaf #2833045 03/30/19 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by patH
]Like I said: There's this thing called "disharmonicity" I read about, and which my piano tuner also mentioned. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if it's the correct word; Google is a bit taciturn about it. But I believe it has something to do with overtones and string length. Whether it's a measurable criterium for the quality of a piano is another thing.
Maybe it's like with individual suspension vs. beam axle in a car. Some say that individual suspension is better; but a good beam axle might be better than a bad individual suspension.


Inharmonicity causes the harmonics to be out of tune compared to those of an ideal string (which doesn't actually exist). Without any inharmonicity at all, a piano wouldn't sound like a piano, however short bass strings can be sufficiently inharmonic that they sound unpleasant.

Yes, patH, as johnstaf pointed out, the name in English for the phenomenon you're describing is "inharmonicity," which should give you better google results.



“Sometimes I can only groan, and suffer,
and pour out my despair at the piano.”

-Frederic Chopin
Re: Why Baby Grands?
patH #2833084 03/30/19 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by patH
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
There is no cut off number for length where all of a sudden the sound becomes acceptable or good. Any number given like that is purely a matter of personal opinion and also depends on the manufacturer.
Like I said: There's this thing called "disharmonicity" I read about, and which my piano tuner also mentioned. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if it's the correct word; Google is a bit taciturn about it. But I believe it has something to do with overtones and string length. Whether it's a measurable criterium for the quality of a piano is another thing.
Whether the inharmonicity(or anything else in the tone) is unpleasant or not is again just a matter of opinion.

Originally Posted by patH
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Additionally, I think the idea of some precise figure, even if everyone agreed on it, makes no sense. Suppose for the sake of argument people agreed on 5'6". Does anyone think that would mean that most pianos that were 5'6.5" are OK but pianos that are 5' 5.5" are not OK?
No, it would just mean that the first piano is a "medium grand", and the second one a "baby grand".
My comment was not about classifying the piano as a baby grand or not. It was in reference to the false idea that there is some magical length at which pianos somehow become good or OK or whatever word wants to use.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 03/30/19 03:02 PM.
Re: Why Baby Grands?
Hakki #2833090 03/30/19 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Hakki
IMO it is firstly because of the looks.
Even if it is a small grand, the decorative aspect as a furniture is much more appealing than an upright.
Additionally it is another table that can be used to place various little decorative objects.

From a player's perspective, even if the tone might not be as good as a tall upright, the feeling of sitting in front of grand, looking at the strings or beyond while you play might be more satisfying than looking at the cabinet of an upright or a wall.

Do you really think the furniture thing is so important.I mean if I Iiked the baby grand's sound and response and I wanted a baby grand I would agree.Having had a grand piano for many years I
love the look of my upright.
When I had to get rid of my grand piano.(not a real baby)I must say it
was very difficult as my parents bought it for me and it was "full of memories"

Re: Why Baby Grands?
Lady Bird #2833091 03/30/19 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Lady Bird
Originally Posted by Hakki
IMO it is firstly because of the looks.
Even if it is a small grand, the decorative aspect as a furniture is much more appealing than an upright.
Additionally it is another table that can be used to place various little decorative objects.

From a player's perspective, even if the tone might not be as good as a tall upright, the feeling of sitting in front of grand, looking at the strings or beyond while you play might be more satisfying than looking at the cabinet of an upright or a wall.

Do you really think the furniture thing is so important.I mean if I Iiked the baby grand's sound and response and I wanted a baby grand I would agree.Having had a grand piano for many years I
love the look of my upright.
When I had to get rid of my grand piano.(not a real baby)I must say it
was very difficult as my parents bought it for me and it was "full of memories"


When it comes to aesthetics, it's a matter of personal taste and choice. Hakki says he prefers the look of a grand, so to him that shape is important; you say you love the look of your upright. So, when you ask if "the furniture thing" is so important, it's not a question of either/or; it's simply a matter of taste.

This was just a question of aesthetics, grand or upright, and wasn't a question - in this case - of action, tone or musical preferences which certainly would play significantly into a final money-over-the-counter decision.

Regards, .


BruceD
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Re: Why Baby Grands?
Retsacnal #2833101 03/30/19 04:16 PM
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Well it depends on who is buying.But I agree, taste in the look of the piano was what it was all its about .

Re: Why Baby Grands?
Retsacnal #2833102 03/30/19 04:16 PM
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Ah, a translation of the French:
- the grand piano, which may exceed 3 meters;
- the half-tail, about 2 meters;
- the quarter-tail, about 1.70 meters;
- le crapaud (the toad), very short-tailed. The toad is usually shorter than wide. Typically, a toad measures an average of 1.40 meters wide (keyboard width) for 1.30 meters in length.

For some reason I can't help being amused by 'le crapaud,' but would hate to meet a toad that big shocked
It's all a bit confusing. Not really sure where a 'baby grand' fits in to all this, and I've also heard the term 'boudoir grand.'

In answer to the original question, though, I don't love, hate or want one (but wouldn't say 'no' if there was a good one going cheap, or better still, free - but that goes for a good upright too). As long as I have something that I can play on I'm happy. I guess it's a matter of one's ambitions and expectations in life, and at the moment mine are pretty basic.


regards
Pete
Re: Why Baby Grands?
petebfrance #2833119 03/30/19 05:08 PM
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"le crapaud"

Thank you so much.

At last I have words to describe MY baby grand.

Karl Watson

Re: Why Baby Grands?
Retsacnal #2833147 03/30/19 06:45 PM
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Hakki,
I am not trying to be critical of why a different look of piano was so important. I just wanted to hear if you wanted to add more.
I agree that a baby grand can look really nice in the home.Just really
curious why they are so popular.I am talking about really small grands.

Re: Why Baby Grands?
Retsacnal #2833199 03/30/19 11:29 PM
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I remember being young and playing tons of bad upright pianos of all sizes - spinets, consoles, and uprights. There were a few that I liked better than others. I had the impression that all grands were better. I think that's the general consensus of the uneducated public. There are good "baby" grand scale designs and bad one -- as it is with pianos of all sizes, including uprights. The idea of a grand piano has a sense of status and prestige that goes along with it, much like owning a Steinway. It's all about the priorities of the purchaser, and the shape of the grand piano has a certain mystique to it that appeals to all musicians, especially the uneducated public. Just the name itself "grand piano".

I was in one of our local showrooms a few weeks ago (I wrote about that experience here on PW), and there was a family choosing a small baby grand for their daughter. The mom was pushing for the grand (high gloss bright cherry red) one of the cheaper asian-made stencil brands b/c it matched her other furniture. The piano was atrocious - the action stiff and the tone was nasally. There was a decent Baldwin L for a comparable price just across the room that I believe had tons of potential, but I knew they wouldn't choose it b/c the cabinet was a bit tattered and the black satin finish didn't appeal to the lady of the house.

I had played a couple of nice grands in my younger years - a nice Baldwin artist grand owned by one of my piano teachers, and an excellent Steinway B that was the house piano in our local performing arts center . Those were my first exposures to grands, so I compared all pianos to those 2 instruments. Our church came into a beautiful well-preserved old full upright that was close to 100 years old back in the 1980's with very little mileage on it, and that was the first time I realized that an upright could rival a grand. The tone and action were wonderful on that piano. After I left home for college, I was exposed to playing a wide variety of grands, and that's when I really began to realize that a grand was not always all that "grand".

If I remember correctly, the upright piano was developed very late in the evolution of the piano in the 1800's, and many piano makers were making much smaller grands before the upright really took off.

Re: Why Baby Grands?
Retsacnal #2833221 03/31/19 01:25 AM
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At what size is a baby grand a baby grand?


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: Why Baby Grands?
rolex67 #2833239 03/31/19 03:31 AM
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Rolex67 I agree with you on touch and projection . Thank you for the reminder.

Re: Why Baby Grands?
Lady Bird #2833241 03/31/19 03:35 AM
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Lady Bird as Bruce pointed out it is just an opinion hence the IMO.
Maybe someone from the industry might chime in to explain why they are popular.

Re: Why Baby Grands?
Retsacnal #2833261 03/31/19 05:59 AM
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johnstaf, Retsnacal:
Thanks for the correction about "inharmonicity". That's the word I was looking for.

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
My comment was not about classifying the piano as a baby grand or not. It was in reference to the false idea that there is some magical length at which pianos somehow become good or OK or whatever word wants to use.

See the comment by johnstaf. Maybe the "magical length" is the limit for the inharmonicity from unpleasant to pleasant. However, people disagree on how much it is.
Karl Watson said 190 cm; I read 170 cm; outo mentioned that it can be influenced with widening of the tail part. In the end, a piano is a package.


My grand piano is a Yamaha C2 SG.
My other Yamaha is an XMAX 300.
Re: Why Baby Grands?
GC13 #2833263 03/31/19 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by GC13
I remember being young and playing tons of bad upright pianos of all sizes - spinets, consoles, and uprights. There were a few that I liked better than others. I had the impression that all grands were better. I think that's the general consensus of the uneducated public. There are good "baby" grand scale designs and bad one -- as it is with pianos of all sizes, including uprights. The idea of a grand piano has a sense of status and prestige that goes along with it, much like owning a Steinway. It's all about the priorities of the purchaser, and the shape of the grand piano has a certain mystique to it that appeals to all musicians, especially the uneducated public. Just the name itself "grand piano".

I was in one of our local showrooms a few weeks ago (I wrote about that experience here on PW), and there was a family choosing a small baby grand for their daughter. The mom was pushing for the grand (high gloss bright cherry red) one of the cheaper asian-made stencil brands b/c it matched her other furniture. The piano was atrocious - the action stiff and the tone was nasally. There was a decent Baldwin L for a comparable price just across the room that I believe had tons of potential, but I knew they wouldn't choose it b/c the cabinet was a bit tattered and the black satin finish didn't appeal to the lady of the house.
Fact is: A piano is a piece of furniture. And if the buyer doesn't want to look at it because it looks unpleasant, then they'd better not buy it.
People buy pianos for all kinds of reasons. It's their money to spend, so it's within their right to set up priorities. Or to use a shorter and tried phrase: The customer is always right.

Originally Posted by GC13
I had played a couple of nice grands in my younger years - a nice Baldwin artist grand owned by one of my piano teachers, and an excellent Steinway B that was the house piano in our local performing arts center . Those were my first exposures to grands, so I compared all pianos to those 2 instruments. Our church came into a beautiful well-preserved old full upright that was close to 100 years old back in the 1980's with very little mileage on it, and that was the first time I realized that an upright could rival a grand. The tone and action were wonderful on that piano. After I left home for college, I was exposed to playing a wide variety of grands, and that's when I really began to realize that a grand was not always all that "grand".
As I said above: It's up to the buyer to decide what is important to them.
Do they want a practise instrument with good action, where the sound is not that important? Go for a hybrid digital, or a small grand with silent system.
Do they want an instrument to make good sounding piano music, but are limited spacewise? Go for a big upright.
Do they want an instrument for their children, but don't know if the children will stick to it? Rent a good instrument.
Do they just want a piece of furniture? Buy a piano-shaped object. Like a red stencil from China.
Are there no limitations to space and money? Go for a very good grand with at least 225 cm length.


My grand piano is a Yamaha C2 SG.
My other Yamaha is an XMAX 300.
Re: Why Baby Grands?
patH #2833312 03/31/19 10:23 AM
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The reality is, no matter which acoustic piano is chosen for whatever reason, the piano is an instrument that is the size of a couch, desk, or a whole living room set. Every single piano buyer must make space for their new piano. Even a stencil grand is more expensive than a “Sears guitar” or an old guitar from the pawn shop. By comparison to other popular instruments, acoustic pianos are relatively expensive. Baby Grands are a compromise many people are willing to accept and many piano dealers are certainly willing to stock because baby grands sell.
I don’t know about other posters here but nearly every time I check into Piano World, I suffer from Piano Inadequacy Syndrome 😁.


J & J
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