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Joined: Nov 2010
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hag01 Offline OP
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Hopefully I will have a grand piano somewhere in the next few years.
I'm starting to learn about the instrument already.

I live in an apartment building, and my apartment attached to a few other apartments so can't play too loud, also I don't think I would enjoy to play at home with a concert hall volume, and beside my neighbors it will disturb my family as well.

Of course I can play piano in a moderately high(but reasonable) volume, at day time for a few hours a day.

So what grand piano size would you suggest me to aim for?
Baby grand could be very easy in terms of volume, price, and space.
But if I'm going on a baby grand would it still be better than a good upright, or I better aim for a good upright?

Would it be reasonable to aim for a medium size grand piano, about 5'6 feet, considering my conditions?

Last edited by hag01; 04/29/17 12:03 PM.
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There is another option - we got the Pianodisc player with the optional mute rail. This is a sensor under the keys, and a rail that keeps the hammers from striking the strings when it is active. You can then use a headset and hear yourself play, but no one else hears anything.

This would be useful for practice at hours when you want no neighbors hearing, and maybe during the day you can play normally without an issue.

It is a bit pricy, but it is a complete solution whereas just buying a smaller piano is not going to provide all that much change in what they hear.

I expect there are other brands, but we are happy with the Pianodisc (no affiliation other than as a customer).

Note you do not need the player system installed to use the mute rail, we happen to have both.

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This topic comes up frequently and usually the question is about piano length. Which is unfortunate.

The volume—the shear acoustical power—produced by a piano is more a function of design and construction than of length. A 190 cm grand designed with a reasonably low-tension scale, a compatible soundboard system along with suitably lightweight and resilient hammers will not produce as much impact power—the type of sound that usually travels readily through walls and annoys the neighbors—as a shorter 150 –160 cm piano using a more highly-tensioned scale and more massive and harder hammers. The tone quality of the longer piano will be much better but it will not necessarily be louder.

Listen to the piano before you sign on the dotted line. If it sounds sharp and loud on the showroom floor it is going to sound much sharper—i.e., harsh and strident—and louder in your living room.

Listen for dynamics, for control when playing pianissimo, for a full-bodied—but not harsh—forte. And then learn to control your touch within the piano’s natural limits. Your music will thank you.


Delwin D Fandrich
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ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

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if you start with a grand with a mellower personality and sound, avoid placing it above or adjacent to hard bare surfaces and in a furnished room, and cover its body except the music desk opening when you need to be cautious about sound out put, it output amplitude is considerable suppressed. [heavy padded piano covers muffle the sound quite a bit]. past that, it's a matter of whether unsympathetic/sensitive neighbors are immediate adjacent on the other side of the wall/floor/ceiling, but you're o.k. 'til around 2200 in most municipalities, later in some big cities.

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Personally, I think if you want a piano that will play softer, you generally need one which is bigger, not smaller. A larger piano may play a little louder if you wail on it, but most of the time, the extra weight of the strings is going to take more energy to move more.


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A Steingräber 170 with Sordino pedal an thick carpets...

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Originally Posted by Del
The volume—the shear acoustical power—produced by a piano is more a function of design and construction than of length.


+1. My brother in law has a console upright that's much louder than my concert grand. So, go by your ears, not your tape measure.

For an apartment, also look at digitals. I've heard good things about the Kawai's with the wooden actions. That way you can use headphones and play as loud as you want at any hour.

You might do well to have both a digital and an acoustic.



-- J.S.

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Originally Posted by JohnSprung

You might do well to have both a digital and an acoustic.

That's what the mute rail in the system I bought does, though a conventional digital would be cheaper. On the other hand, the mute rail with sensors on the keys lets you have the (almost) feel of the acoustic.


Moderated by  Ken Knapp, Piano World 

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