Vertical or Grand?
Probably the most basic decision to make when buying a piano—and one
you may have made already—is whether to buy a vertical or a grand. The
following describes some of the advantages and disadvantages of each.
- Takes up less space, can fit into corners
- Lower cost
- Easier to move
- Sound tends to bounce back into player's face, making subtle control of musical expression more difficult.
is not as advanced as grand; repetition of notes is slower and less
reliable in most cases, and damping is sometimes less efficient.
- Keys are shorter than on grands, making subtle control of musical expression more difficult.
- Cabinetwork is usually less elegant and less impressive.
Vertical pianos are suitable for those with simpler musical needs,
or where budget and space constraints preclude buying a grand. Despite
the disadvantages noted above, some of the larger, more expensive
verticals do musically rival smaller, less expensive grands. They may
be a good choice where space is at a premium but a more subtle control
of musical expression is desired.
- Sound develops in a
more aesthetically pleasing manner by bouncing off nearby surfaces and
blending before reaching player's ears, making it easier to control
sophisticated action than in a vertical. Grand action has a repetition
lever to aid in the speed and reliability of repetition of notes, and
is gravity-assisted, rather than dependent on artificial contrivances
(springs, straps) to return hammers to rest.
- Longer keys provide better leverage, allowing for significantly greater control of musical expression.
- Casework is usually more elegant and aesthetically pleasing.
- Takes up more space
- Higher cost
- Harder to move