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Steinway B - too big for a small room? #2877846
08/08/19 09:49 PM
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Rakvsv4301 Offline OP
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I am purchasing a Steinway B that is 6’11” long but the only space I can put it in will be a small room that measures 12’ by 13’ with 10’ high ceiling. Will this piano overwhelm the space? I will have a rug and a small settee for sitting and that’s it. Thanks for your advice!

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Re: Steinway B - too big for a small room? [Re: Rakvsv4301] #2877852
08/08/19 10:06 PM
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Does the room open up into other room(s) with openings wider than a normal door with?

Are you willing to play with the lid down and lid hinge folded back or even with the lid completely closed?

Last edited by pianoloverus; 08/08/19 10:10 PM.
Re: Steinway B - too big for a small room? [Re: Rakvsv4301] #2877859
08/08/19 10:18 PM
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I'm in a similar boat. Was planning to purchase a 5.5 to 6 ft but ended up getting a 7 ft. My living room is 12x20.
People in NYC have grands too large for their space all the time!

Last edited by Anne Shirley; 08/08/19 10:19 PM.
Re: Steinway B - too big for a small room? [Re: Rakvsv4301] #2877863
08/08/19 11:01 PM
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Foster City, CA, US
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Ken Iisaka Offline
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Just play more softly, and have the piano regulated well.

There is no such thing as a piano that's too large for the room, unless it doesn't fit.

Re: Steinway B - too big for a small room? [Re: Rakvsv4301] #2877865
08/08/19 11:05 PM
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Yes, one wall is entirely open to the foyer - so the opening is about 12 ft

Re: Steinway B - too big for a small room? [Re: Rakvsv4301] #2877866
08/08/19 11:10 PM
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I have a piano that's around that size (a couple of inches smaller) in a room that's smaller than yours, and I have no problem with it. If you have a lot of soft furnishings and curtains etc. it makes a huge difference.

Re: Steinway B - too big for a small room? [Re: Rakvsv4301] #2877884
08/09/19 12:48 AM
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My Grotrian is about "B" size - and it's fine in a room slightly bigger than yours (though has 3 openings) with only 8' ceilings. Mine is ½ carpeted.

But - ensure that it's regulated quite fine, and voiced well, so that you can play it pp easily.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: Steinway B - too big for a small room? [Re: Rakvsv4301] #2877914
08/09/19 03:33 AM
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With my 7’6” Steinway C in my living room, I learned how to play more softly perfectly well. So yes, there’s no such thing as a piano that’s to large for a room, unless it doesn’t fit.


Hamburg Steinway & Sons C-227
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Re: Steinway B - too big for a small room? [Re: trandinhnamanh] #2877939
08/09/19 05:53 AM
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If there was no such thing as a piano that's too large for a room, there wouldn't be so many threads on PW saying that the poster's piano was too loud or asking how their piano can be made quieter. There are limits to how softly a piano can be played without playing ghost notes. If the dynamic is f do you really want to have to play the passage with a touch that would normally produce a p dynamic in a larger space?

The effective space for a piano is often much larger than the size of the room if the room opens up into other rooms with openings larger than the width of a door. So I think many people whose pianos are not too loud are playing in rooms that are effectively much bigger than they think they are.

While I agree with the general consensus that larger pianos aren't necessarily louder, I don't think pianos work well in very small rooms.

I have a 7' Mason BB in my living room. The room is 12'x18'x8' but opens to the foyer, hall, kitchen and dining area so the effective space is more like 20'x18'. I play with the lid down and flylid folded back. If I played with the lid up in any position I don't think it would be possible to play pp consistently. If my piano was in say a fully enclosed 8'x10' room I don't think it would be possible to play pp.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 08/09/19 06:02 AM.
Re: Steinway B - too big for a small room? [Re: trandinhnamanh] #2877940
08/09/19 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by trandinhnamanh
With my 7’6” Steinway C in my living room, I learned how to play more softly perfectly well. So yes, there’s no such thing as a piano that’s to large for a room, unless it doesn’t fit.
How big is your living room? How high is the ceiling? Does it open into other rooms?

Re: Steinway B - too big for a small room? [Re: Rakvsv4301] #2877945
08/09/19 06:15 AM
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We have our model B in a 9' x 15' room with ceilings of about 7'. Certainly not ideal, but I won't be trading it in on a smaller piano that "fits" better. About the only time I play it with the lid up is when I'm recording. Otherwise I usually practice with the lid completely closed whereas my wife plays with the flylid open. The piano is not voiced down to be particularly soft-toned, but it's not excessively bright either.


Mark Dierauf, RPT
NH Pianos
Piano technician & rebuilder since 1978
www.nhpianos.com
Re: Steinway B - too big for a small room? [Re: nhpianos] #2877978
08/09/19 07:46 AM
08/09/19 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by nhpianos
We have our model B in a 9' x 15' room with ceilings of about 7'. Certainly not ideal, but I won't be trading it in on a smaller piano that "fits" better. About the only time I play it with the lid up is when I'm recording. Otherwise I usually practice with the lid completely closed whereas my wife plays with the flylid open. The piano is not voiced down to be particularly soft-toned, but it's not excessively bright either.
Does the room open up into other rooms?

Re: Steinway B - too big for a small room? [Re: pianoloverus] #2878062
08/09/19 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
If there was no such thing as a piano that's too large for a room, there wouldn't be so many threads on PW saying that the poster's piano was too loud or asking how their piano can be made quieter. There are limits to how softly a piano can be played without playing ghost notes. If the dynamic is f do you really want to have to play the passage with a touch that would normally produce a p dynamic in a larger space?


How many of those threads are started by people who have large pianos? I suspect very few.


Semipro Tech
Re: Steinway B - too big for a small room? [Re: pianoloverus] #2878076
08/09/19 01:42 PM
08/09/19 01:42 PM
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Foster City, CA, US
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Ken Iisaka Offline
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
If there was no such thing as a piano that's too large for a room, there wouldn't be so many threads on PW saying that the poster's piano was too loud or asking how their piano can be made quieter. There are limits to how softly a piano can be played without playing ghost notes. If the dynamic is f do you really want to have to play the passage with a touch that would normally produce a p dynamic in a larger space?


Some pianists don't have the technique to play pp. Some pianos aren't regulated well enough to be played pp.

Longer keys of larger pianos make it easier to play softer, as well.

I would contend that the 10' monstrosity in my living room can be played more quietly than the 7' piano of the same manufacturer right next to it, even though they are maintained to the same standards by the same technician. I also ask to set the let-off to be closer than the usual for better control in pianissimo.

Good regulation makes it possible to play more softly. Softening the hammers makes the piano softer when played more loudly.

Re: Steinway B - too big for a small room? [Re: BDB] #2878077
08/09/19 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by BDB
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
If there was no such thing as a piano that's too large for a room, there wouldn't be so many threads on PW saying that the poster's piano was too loud or asking how their piano can be made quieter. There are limits to how softly a piano can be played without playing ghost notes. If the dynamic is f do you really want to have to play the passage with a touch that would normally produce a p dynamic in a larger space?


How many of those threads are started by people who have large pianos? I suspect very few.
You may very well be correct that many of those posters didn't have large pianos. It's possible that voicing, regulation, acoustic treatment, or better technique from the pianist could improve the situation. But I also think it's also possible that none of those would help and that no grand would have worked out in the space.

In the later part of my post(not quoted above) I said I mostly agreed with the idea that larger pianos aren't necessarily louder. But I think that some rooms, if very small and without any large opening to other rooms(which would make the space effectively much larger), are too small for almost any grand.

I couldn't imagine having my BB in a fully enclosed 8'x10' room and not having it too loud for the space.
IOW I disagree with the poster that said as long as the piano can fit in the room it's not too large for the room.



Last edited by pianoloverus; 08/09/19 01:55 PM.
Re: Steinway B - too big for a small room? [Re: BDB] #2878078
08/09/19 01:50 PM
08/09/19 01:50 PM
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Ken Iisaka Offline
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Originally Posted by BDB

How many of those threads are started by people who have large pianos? I suspect very few.


I have the same suspicion. I've even seen some equations to "determine the optimal size of the pianos" for a given room. Absolute nonsense.

The biggest piano that can fit in the room is the biggest one that can fit inside the room , leaving a 1 meter space so that a technician can work on it.

Re: Steinway B - too big for a small room? [Re: Rakvsv4301] #2878122
08/09/19 04:54 PM
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I’ve been told but haven’t completely proven it to myself yet but a longer piano that’s well voiced and regulated should be able to let a trained player to achieve greater dynamic range. A concert grand is expected to go from a whisper to a trumpet blast between measures. The typical mistake people make is bigger pianos are louder. But bigger pianos can be played more softly more easily than small grands. A big piano does eat up floorspace so that if you stuck a big piano in a small room, the only seating would be the piano bench.
Just my thoughts.


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Re: Steinway B - too big for a small room? [Re: Rakvsv4301] #2878198
08/10/19 12:54 AM
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Musically it shouldn't be too much piano. The other consideration is aesthetics. You might think that it overpowers the room. This is less likely if the room isn't used for anything elsebut music. Only you can decide on a question of taste.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: Steinway B - too big for a small room? [Re: Rakvsv4301] #2878356
08/10/19 04:17 PM
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It's one of those threads where I wish that the US would finally leave the group of the last three countries remaining on earth not using the metric system.

I understand that Liberia and Myanmar are important countries, but seriously?

Re: Steinway B - too big for a small room? [Re: OE1FEU] #2878359
08/10/19 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by OE1FEU
It's one of those threads where I wish that the US would finally leave the group of the last three countries remaining on earth not using the metric system.

I understand that Liberia and Myanmar are important countries, but seriously?


a lifelong US citizen, I totally agree about the advantages of metric....but switching here will probably happen when pigs fly 🐷 . I work in an industry that uses metric, and it is much easier to mentally see measurement relationships. Sad but true that we won’t switch


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