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#1156903 - 03/04/09 12:27 AM Studio Upright vs. Upright Piano
Trang Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/01/09
Posts: 23
I don't know much about piano. Can anyboby explain to me what the difference is between Upright and Studio Upright piano? Is Studio Upright is good choice for a beginner?


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#1156917 - 03/04/09 01:10 AM Re: Studio Upright vs. Upright Piano [Re: Trang]
guest1013 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/07
Posts: 1239
Upright is a general term for a piano whose soundboard is perpendicular to the floor, versus a grand piano whose soundboard is parallel to the floor. Studio refers to the height, generally 44" or taller. That would be fine for a beginner or anyone, because generally the taller the upright, the better potential for longer strings and larger soundboard area for a nice tone. There are exceptions depending on the manufacturer, but it is a general rule of thumb, a starting point. You may like to read through these tips in PW and from The Piano Book by Larry Fine Buying a Piano

Edited by guest1013 (03/04/09 01:11 AM)

#1156974 - 03/04/09 05:36 AM Re: Studio Upright vs. Upright Piano [Re: guest1013]
88Key_PianoPlayer Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/02
Posts: 1928
Loc: El Cajon, CA
I thought it was something like:

Spinet - usually 36-38" tall, sometimes as tall as 40", sometimes as short as 34". Not currently being manufactured (good riddance, except for the Baldwin Acrosonic). Known for their difficult-to-service drop actions.
Console - usually 41-43" tall, give or take an inch or two. Has a direct (non-drop) action with miniaturized action parts to make it fit into a cabinet that small.
Studio - usually 44-47" tall or so, with a full-size action sitting directly on the keys. A few recent pianos as short as 43", like a Baldwin Acrosonic model (not to be confused with the older Acrosonic spinet), have a full studio action in a cabinet that small. My personal favorites in this category are the Baldwin Hamiltons built from around 1949 to about 1961 or so.
Professional - usually around 47-52", although a few makers make them up to 55" (Heintzman makes a 55" in China and Steingraeber makes a 54" in Germany). These have full-sized actions usually on dowel capstans.
Upright - typically around 54-60", although I've heard of a few that were taller. These typically had extended actions on stickers. They are unfortunately not being made today, and I wish they were as I think especially the large ones, when properly designed, would have a very impressive sound rivaling all but the large concert grands. (I used to have one that was 57" tall, and the bass on it would match many 7 foot grands I've played, and it wasn't all that well made.)
Giraffe - usually around 7 to 8 feet tall or so, often with the strings not going all the way down to the floor. I don't think these have been made since the mid-to-late 1800s. It's probably just as well, though, as it'd be hard to fit one in my house, and tuning it would be a pain in the you-know-what.
Klavins - a one-of-a-kind upright built by David Klavins that's a little over 12 feet tall, about 370cm.

As for grand sizes... here's my basic opinion(s):
Petite grand - a grand that's too short to match the bass of the Rubenstein R-371.
Baby grand - a grand, that when its scale and soundboard are properly designed, is still not at least 50% longer & larger than that of the tallest upright that was ever made. (Note: I personally wish that no grand piano was manufactured that, assuming it was properly designed, didn't have bass strings at least 33% longer and soundboard at least 33% larger than those of the tallest uprights ever produced, including the 60" tall uprights from the early 1900s.)
Concert grand - a grand that is equivalent to the longest piano setting in PianoTeq.

Edited by 88Key_PianoPlayer (03/04/09 05:37 AM)
Associate Member - Piano Technicians Guild
1950 (#144211) Baldwin Hamilton
1956 (#167714) Baldwin Hamilton
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#1157008 - 03/04/09 08:26 AM Re: Studio Upright vs. Upright Piano [Re: 88Key_PianoPlayer]
guest1013 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/07
Posts: 1239
Trang, 88 has provided a detailed explanation. I should have used the term vertical in place of upright. Are you considering a used piano? The tallest verticals may be some seventy to a hundred years old so if you are considering used pianos, you will want to find out the serial number and manufacturer.

Edited by guest1013 (03/04/09 08:30 AM)

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#1157069 - 03/04/09 10:38 AM Re: Studio Upright vs. Upright Piano [Re: 88Key_PianoPlayer]
Trang Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/01/09
Posts: 23
Thanks 88 for the very detailed explanation. Have you heard of Schubert piano? Do you know how much a brand new upright Schubert would cost?


#1157078 - 03/04/09 11:00 AM Re: Studio Upright vs. Upright Piano [Re: Trang]
guest1013 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/07
Posts: 1239

#1157090 - 03/04/09 11:24 AM Re: Studio Upright vs. Upright Piano [Re: guest1013]
Trang Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/01/09
Posts: 23
Thanks Guest. That was very helpful. I saw a for sale by owner Schubert studio upright 47" for $950. The add doesn't indicate series or model number, it only says "made in Europe". Do you think this is good deal? Thanks!!

#1157097 - 03/04/09 11:33 AM Re: Studio Upright vs. Upright Piano [Re: Trang]
guest1013 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/07
Posts: 1239
If it was truly made in Europe by a Russian company, the piano may date back to 1995 or earlier, if the information I found above is correct. I don't know for sure, but generally Russian piano manufacturers do not have a reputation for high quality. I would be concerned that the Schubert piano you're interested in is a cheap poorly made thirteen plus years old item. I would want to look for other brands with a better reputation within your budget and then compare among them. Condition will then be very important in deciding whether a particular piano is a good deal. An experienced independent piano technician can help you determine the condition of a used piano and/or its value.

If you pursue it, you would want to find out the serial number and the manufacturer, the store from which it was bought in case it is still under warranty. If it is a newer piano, it is possible the owner does not know where or when it was made. At least find out the year it was purchased and from whom. Many of the parts indeed may have been made in Europe and assembled in China by Pearl River, I don't know.

Edited by guest1013 (03/04/09 11:54 AM)

#1157119 - 03/04/09 12:05 PM Re: Studio Upright vs. Upright Piano [Re: guest1013]
bluekeys Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/07
Posts: 1337
Others have defined piano types more than adequately. As for whether an upright is suitable for a beginner, I would say yes, but only if you get a good used one at a good price. The market for uprights has been killed by better and better digitals. I made the mistake of buying a high quality new upright a year ago, when I'd been playing about a year and a half, and now I'm kicking myself because I want a grand and my pockets are empty. The piano stores will tell you that they'll give you full trade-in value towards a grand within x number of years, but that's a scam. Pianos are sold like cars, where the sticker price is higher than the actual price, so they just require a higher price for a trade-in deal than they would for cash.

If you are in the US, check your local Craigslist. You can get a good used upright for less than $2K, maybe a lot less. Just have someone who knows pianos check it out first, even if you have to pay someone.

Alternatively, you can just get a digital until you're ready for a grand (if ever). I personally think it's helpful to play an acoustic when you're leaning, but opinions on that question vary.

Good luck!

#1157127 - 03/04/09 12:20 PM Re: Studio Upright vs. Upright Piano [Re: guest1013]
guest1013 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/07
Posts: 1239
If you are looking on the Orange county craigslist, I see that it is very difficult to evaluate and compare. You will need to learn more in order to be sure about the quality of a used piano.
This appears to be similar to the Schubert ad you mentioned. Pearl River full size Upright example

I would be curious about this Yamaha below, and if the seller is desperate to move, they might accept a lower price, but for all of these, I would want to know the age and serial number and condition. Then hire a tech to check it out. Yamaha used

Edited by guest1013 (03/04/09 12:23 PM)

#1157216 - 03/04/09 02:06 PM Re: Studio Upright vs. Upright Piano [Re: guest1013]
guest1013 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/07
Posts: 1239
Trang, bluekeys makes a good point about your budget/digital /waiting to buy a grand piano. If your budget is really closer to $1K instead of $2K, and you are in a big hurry, you should also look at the best digital pianos with weighted keys, by Yamaha, Roland, Kawai, even Casio. These are discussed in the Digital forum. Finding a good quality inexpensive used upright piano can take a long time.

Edited by guest1013 (03/04/09 02:06 PM)


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