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#1924518 - 07/09/12 06:42 AM Piano for a recording studio
luciano Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/09/12
Posts: 3

I intend to purchase a piano for my recording studio. I have been taking a look to different brands and pianos for the last months, but still is a difficult choice… I am looking for a versatile piano that can fix with different musical styles… my budget is around 30.000 euros.
The room where the piano will be placed is a 100 square meter and 5,50 meter high (around 550m3).
I have seen a Steiway a188 (year 1890±), a Bechstein of 2,65m from 1890, a modern Yamaha C7, Steinway B from 1911…
I know that at the end i have to take the decision by myself, but as i am not an expert, i would like to hear the point of view of the people.
The piano would be played by many people, different styles, and always should be in perfect condition….

Thanks a lot in advanced.


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#1924536 - 07/09/12 07:52 AM Re: Piano for a recording studio [Re: luciano]
Rich Galassini Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9887
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Hello Luciano,

Welcome to PianoWorld.

The choice of a piano for a recording studio often depends more on the people using it than what piano is "best".

Here in the Philadelphia region we have several major recording studios. Some use only digital. Of those that use an acoustic piano, two have Steinway B's (Neither was new when they were bought), one has a Mason & Hamlin (again, it was not new) one has an Estonia 190 (new), and two have new Cunningham pianos.

Here is a question to consider - will you be doing the editing and engineering personally? If so, which piano works for you best at that level? iften that is how the engineers make a decision like this one.

No matter what, if the piano is not new, have a piano techncian examine it before taking the plunge.

Also, if you will be doing mostly pop music, the Yamaha C7 might not be your best choice musically, but it might be your safest one.

I hope that helps,
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834

#1924548 - 07/09/12 08:16 AM Re: Piano for a recording studio [Re: luciano]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1474
Loc: Tennessee
Here in Nashville, the Yamaha C7 has just about replaced every other piano in the recording studios. There were some great sounding Steinways, a Chickering, etc. in town 30 years ago, but for day in and day out recording the Yamaha has proven to be the most easily recorded and mixed sound. I don't think the pianos have a great sound, but they go into the mics with less problems than others.

#1924569 - 07/09/12 09:17 AM Re: Piano for a recording studio [Re: luciano]
luciano Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/09/12
Posts: 3
Thanks a lot for your answers, they are really helpful!

I know that is impossible to have the best piano for classic, the best for pop, the best for jazz, blues.... so at the end the decision has to be "which one could work in any kind of style" and "which one is attractive for piano players". I know that most piano players would be very happy on playing in a Steinway, but not shure if that´s the best decision for the business. The maintenance is another important point for me, the piano has to be in a great shape everyday, so guess a modern piano could have less problems than an old one?
Regarding the volume of the room (550m3), should i go for a grand piano? any particular piano size i should keep in mind?

Thanks a lot for your help again.


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#1924588 - 07/09/12 10:06 AM Re: Piano for a recording studio [Re: luciano]
Seeker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 398
Loc: Rockville, MD
More than the choice of piano is involved.

I'd stick with pianos 208cm or longer for studio use. Noble as the sound of a really good Steinway A, or even an A-III at 6'4", the "B" at 6'10" has a more robust and, to my ears, natural sounding bass. As a performer, I find that once a piano is close to 7' in size, it just sounds better.

There's a studio near me in the greater Washington DC area that has two locations, a different grand piano in each. One has a 1990's Steinway "B", the other a Yamaha C7.
Classical samples here:
Jazz samples here:

Both are work horses; both can take the kind of use they get from professional playing.

If you're the guy doing the recording, you know that the microphone and preamp choices also make a big difference. In the examples above, vintage Neumann U-87 mics in omni pattern were used, about 6" above the strings, parallel to the long sides of the piano, right and left. They ran from there into some older Focusrite preamps. The result - very bright yet warm sounds from both instruments.
Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")

#1925319 - 07/11/12 02:42 AM Re: Piano for a recording studio [Re: luciano]
luciano Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/09/12
Posts: 3

Anyone could tell me how versatile is a Bechstein? I found one from 1881, 2,65m , just restored few years ago and for a fair price. Can work properly for different musical styles?

#1925321 - 07/11/12 03:10 AM Re: Piano for a recording studio [Re: luciano]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 23203
Loc: Oakland
If it has 88 working notes, it will play just about anything anyone would want. How well depends on its condition. How well it sounds for a particular style is a matter of taste. If it sounds agreeable to the artist, it is fine for that artist, but that does not mean that it will be agreeable to another artist, even if both play the same style of music. Most musicians will adapt, however.
Semipro Tech


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