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#2026435 - 02/03/13 05:40 PM Can a 9 foot concert grand be used at home?
adak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 282
Loc: Canada
what is the typical size for a grand piano to be used at home? i always thought 9 feet grands were super loud and can fill a concert hall. would that be too loud for home use? what size grand pianos are good?

5 foot? bad?
6 foot, bad?

7 foot ok/borderline?

8 foot good?
9 foot good?
10 foot good?


Edited by adak (02/05/13 12:33 AM)
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#2026440 - 02/03/13 05:47 PM Re: Can a 9 feet concert grand be used at home? [Re: adak]
BDB Offline
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A well-regulated, well-voiced piano will play at a variety of tonal levels that will fit into any room. The tone is purer in larger pianos, so that they can be less annoying than smaller ones. So quality matters more than size, although larger pianos are capable of better quality.
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#2026444 - 02/03/13 05:53 PM Re: Can a 9 feet concert grand be used at home? [Re: adak]
bennevis Online   content
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Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5273
I've played concert grands (Yamaha CF-IIIS and CFX) in a room 15ft by 25ft, and they've sounded great - from the pianist's perspective. I've also sat in the same room as a member of the audience, when it does sound rather loud when the pianist goes for it.

Personally, I'd have the concert grand anytime, even in such a room at home (if I could afford one), just for its full sound and tonal range.
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2026445 - 02/03/13 05:54 PM Re: Can a 9 feet concert grand be used at home? [Re: adak]
jawhitti Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/12
Posts: 235
The standard advice is that the perimeter of the room holding the piano should be 10 times the lengt of the piano. So for instance a 20x30 foot room has a perimeter of 100 feet which would be big enough. That's a very rough rule though - I have a 7 footer I a room that size and it is quite loud. The room is bright though with lots of hardwood. A similar sized room with heavy carpets and cloth would be much quieter. PianoBuyer.com always has a sizing article but I am too lazy to go find it.

If you have a space that can take a nine footer there are good deals to be had because performance halls by and large don't want to buy used pianos, so they are hard to move. However I have a very large room with a pretty high ceiling and no way would I put a nine footer in there. I just asked my wife about it and she says they don't make thick enough earplugs for her to allow that.


Edited by jawhitti (02/03/13 06:00 PM)

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#2026463 - 02/03/13 06:25 PM Re: Can a 9 feet concert grand be used at home? [Re: adak]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19460
Loc: New York City
I think it's very dangerous to take advice about this topic because each room and each piano is so different. For example, the Piano Buyer rule assumes the room is completely enclosed except for a small doorway, but often that's not the case. A big consideration is how the lid will be configured(from completely up to completely closed). I personally don't at all agree that an extremely large piano in a very small room would work as long as the piano is well regulated and voiced.

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#2026507 - 02/03/13 07:49 PM Re: Can a 9 feet concert grand be used at home? [Re: adak]
adak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 282
Loc: Canada
so are grand pianos less than 7 feet inferior?

and if you have high cielings you better have a huge room else the piano sound will rock you away?
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#2026542 - 02/03/13 09:23 PM Re: Can a 9 feet concert grand be used at home? [Re: adak]
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12044
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Generally speaking, I think that the concert grands each company is going to put their best in that. Of course, "best" varies from company to company, but within the company's standards, that seems to be the case.

I have a 9'2 Petrof in my home. It did take some getting used to when I first had it in my 12 x 14 room with a large open doorway into the next room. Now it's in a 14 x 18 room, but it's an open concept home, so really the sound has farther to travel. I like the sound much better here. Petrofs are a warmer sound than say a Yamaha, so I'm sure the particular sound of the instrument plays a large part in how loud it is perceived.
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#2026591 - 02/03/13 11:37 PM Re: Can a 9 feet concert grand be used at home? [Re: adak]
Chopinlover49 Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/11
Posts: 640
I agree with posters that the room and its acoustics have much to do with how any piano, of any size, will sound. I have a 7 foot M & H BB in a small bedroom and play it with the door shut. It is fine. I have usually played it with the lid down or half-stick, but also play it fully open. Carpet, books on bookshelves, closed blinds--they probably all help. Not sure how a nine-footer would do because I don't think it would fit, even at an angle, but I considered a 9 footer a while back when I had a slightly bigger room. I think it depends a lot on how you play and on the piano, too. I know a lot of previous posts about questions like this will bring up the formula in the books, and I guess it doesn't hurt to be careful. If you buy a concert grand, it can be hard to change your mind and sell it, I imagine. In music schools they often have practice rooms that are tiny and barely can hold the pianos, but they seem to do ok. Maybe not ideal, though. How fussy are you?

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#2026670 - 02/04/13 03:17 AM Re: Can a 9 feet concert grand be used at home? [Re: adak]
JohnSprung Offline
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Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 1444
Loc: Reseda, California
I have a 9 ft. Knabe at home, it's no problem at all. The purity of the bass is well worth it.
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#2026701 - 02/04/13 04:41 AM Re: Can a 9 feet concert grand be used at home? [Re: adak]
backto_study_piano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 452
Loc: Australia
I considered a D Steinway - very very seriously (used). Bought 7'4" Grotrian instead. My experience is that it's no louder than the previous 5'11" Schimmel - it's easier to control, and easier to play softly. Yes, if I want to play ffff, it will become LOUD, but in a home situation, it's not the way I would play anyway. I've a carpeted room, drapes over all glass, and 4 doorways open to the rest of the house.
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#2026704 - 02/04/13 04:48 AM Re: Can a 9 feet concert grand be used at home? [Re: adak]
musicpassion Offline
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Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 1043
Loc: California, USA
Originally Posted By: adak
so are grand pianos less than 7 feet inferior?

No. Smaller isn't neccessarily inferior. Inferior is inferior. If all other things are equal, then the larger piano is better. But often all other things are not equal.

I would rather play a superb 5'7" (such as a Steinway M), than a poor 9' - and there are plenty of poor concert grands out there.

If you're seeking the ultimate expression of piano building art, yes IMHO it will be found at the concert grand size. But be prepared to spend very real cash for it.
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#2026715 - 02/04/13 05:33 AM Re: Can a 9 feet concert grand be used at home? [Re: adak]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5273
Bright-sounding pianos definitely sound louder, especially in smaller venues, than mellower ones. I've played 9ft Blüthner concert grands which sound softer than bright 6ft Yamahas.

The 'loudest' piano I've ever played was a Yamaha CF6 - it sounded even louder than the CFX because it was voiced very bright.
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2026758 - 02/04/13 08:43 AM Re: Can a 9 feet concert grand be used at home? [Re: adak]
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
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Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I forgot to mention that I have 9' ceilings and hardwood floors. The open-floor plan opens to tiled areas, but I think having the hardwood floors with curtains on the windows, an area rug, and a leather couch set helps absorb some of the sound. We used to have wall-to-wall carpeting in the room, and with my warm-sounding piano I didn't like it at all. The hardwood flooring really brought out the richness.

So essentially, if you find a piano you love that is a concert grand, then there are things you can do to the room to help the sound if needed.
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#2026884 - 02/04/13 12:29 PM Re: Can a 9 feet concert grand be used at home? [Re: adak]
Cy Shuster, RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/18/05
Posts: 3448
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
I service three customers with 9' concert grands in their homes. Any piano can be played loudly (like with your fists); only a quality piano in good regulation can be played pianissimo.

Remember that the keys on a concert grand are usually two feet long, which gives you excellent leverage and control compared to shorter pianos (see photos on my website).

Regulation is the one piano service that most people don't know about. It's the process of adjusting the motion of the keys and hammers back to factory specs. They get out of adjustment through wear. It's a gradual process, like tire wear, but if you've ever put new tires on a car, you feel the big difference in control right away. The easiest symptom is to put your eyes at key level, and sight along to see if they're even. If they're off by even half the thickness of the keytop, you'll notice it.

It usually costs about three or four tunings, but it lasts for five to ten years, and makes a huge difference in control, dynamic range, repetition speed, and evenness across the keyboard. I just regulated a 25-year-old Yamaha upright in good condition, and the owner felt the difference as soon as she touched the keys.

--Cy--
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#2026896 - 02/04/13 12:45 PM Re: Can a 9 feet concert grand be used at home? [Re: Cy Shuster, RPT]
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1731
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
Can a 9 feet concert grand be used at home?

In my case, yes. My room is 20' X20' with an A Frame type ceiling starting at around 7' on the side and peaking at just over 15' at the top. The floor of the room is around 60% low nap carpeting and 40% hardwood floor (on which the piano sits) . It's raised maybe a foot off the cement foundation.

I could use some thicker absorption panels and diffusors as I have a fairly ugly slap-back echo thing going on from the parallel walls. But when you sit at the keyboard, playing, it's not really noticeable.

I play with the lid down and the piano cover on most often, not so much for decreasing the sound but simply because I'm too lazy to put it up. Also between the lid down and the cover, it does keep the strings and the rest of the inside looking brand new.

Sure it would sound better in a bigger room but as it is, it's fantastic! I feel very fortunate to have both the piano and the space...especially in a place like LA. wink
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2005 NY Steinway D, Yamaha CP4, CP5 (home use) , RCF TT08A, TT22A speakers

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#2026959 - 02/04/13 02:47 PM Re: Can a 9 feet concert grand be used at home? [Re: adak]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5316
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: adak
what is the typical size for a grand piano to be used at home? i always thought 9 feet grands were super loud and can fill a concert hall. would that be too loud for home use? what size grand pianos are good?

You’re asking two entirely different questions here. By far the largest selling grands in the United States market are those between 150cm and 160 cm (4’ 11” ‒ 5’ 3”) in length. And this by a considerable margin. From here sales decline dramatically as the overall sizes increase for obvious reasons. Most families are unwilling—or unable—to devote entire rooms just to the piano and most families are unwilling—or, again, unable—to stand the cost of longer, usually more expensive instruments.

Many manufacturers are now producing quite pleasant-sounding short grands; they are no longer the acoustical atrocities they once were. Still, there are distinct limitations inherent in shorter pianos.

Generally the advice given to piano shoppers is to get the longest piano they have room for (and/or can afford). The point of this advice is not that they will be getting a louder piano but that the longer piano will have the potential, at least, for producing a more articulate, cleaner sounding bass. Concert-sized pianos—usually considered by manufacturers to be everything from about 230 cm (≈ 7’ 6”)—do not have to be either designed or voiced to be sonically overpowering in the average home.

ddf
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Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
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Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#2027030 - 02/04/13 05:21 PM Re: Can a 9 feet concert grand be used at home? [Re: adak]
jawhitti Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/12
Posts: 235
Somewhat off-topic - I bought a C6 a few months ago and one of the most popular questions I get is "what kind of piano is it? A baby grand? A full grand? A concert grand?" I'm never sure what to tell them - the people that ask generally are the ones that know nothing at all about pianos.


Edited by jawhitti (02/04/13 05:21 PM)

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#2027035 - 02/04/13 05:27 PM Re: Can a 9 feet concert grand be used at home? [Re: adak]
BerndAB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/10
Posts: 544
Loc: Germany
A concert grand CAN be used at home.

I don't swear so much on the perimeter rule, this is a very generalized rule which may proof false in single cases. Our living room for our nine footer is slightly L shaped, perimeter may be a little lower than this "thumb rule".

A concert grand - and every "too loud" piano can be modified - in cases that this is necessary or that it makes sense -, can be "de-tuned" in regard of dynamic range, to give up the chance for MAX SOUND, being ultra loud (which is not only unnecessary at home, but may be also annoying family members or neighbours...

And to get a much better pianissimo control: You can modify the lever lengths for this purpose. The mechanism of my Centennial D is directly designed! (THX Theodore S in heaven) to move the capstan screws. My dragon beast has very looong s-curve-shaped saddles under the repetitions - useful for exactly THIS purpose.. (Maybe dependent of the fact that the invention of capstan screw swas some months earlier only in March 1875.. Was it a test run? A little bit "banana hardware" to ripen at the customer's..?.. ;-)) ) Was it a wise decision to spend some cents more to get flexibility..?..

In radical cases it is possible to install a lighter set of hammers ad/or offset/modify the leverage. And/or (maybe) the need of re-weighening the keys with the lead plugs..

THE MOST efficient modification will be done in the near future: besides of a smoothened bass leverage by setting off the capstan screws by 5-6 mm there willcome soon a further de-tuning with a set of much more original lighter super old hammers.

We had a test installation of three of these super old hammers, and it was - PHEEEW.. Blowin' away. WHAT a nice, controlled, light touch. What a fine singing of the grand. And - on an american concert grand - a touch & feel near a viennoise Hammerklavier.

Re-installing the old concert BIG BLAST sound will be possible at every time coming.

But I will ever keep the advantage of super looooong strings with the purest sound.

The one and only little disadvantage remaining will be the slightly heavier damper puppet weights on the loong concert grand strings.
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#2027036 - 02/04/13 05:27 PM Re: Can a 9 feet concert grand be used at home? [Re: Del]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1117
Loc: chicago, il
Originally Posted By: Del
By far the largest selling grands in the United States market are those between 150cm and 160 cm (4’ 11” ‒ 5’ 3”) in length. And this by a considerable margin.


that is quite surprising. what would comprise, say, the top 3 to 5 brands?
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#2027043 - 02/04/13 05:43 PM Re: Can a 9 feet concert grand be used at home? [Re: adak]
jawhitti Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/12
Posts: 235
Entheo I'm not really that surprised. I would speculate that the top reasons for a piano are a) lessons for little Brayden and Brianna (who will likely abandon them by the time they're 12) and b) because a piano [shaped thing] would look so lovely in this room. Not many people play, and even fewer care enough to buy a good instrument and even fewer of those can actually afford it. And the ones that ARE really good probably have access to university pianos, or concert hall pianos, or any number of pianos that keep them from needing a good instrument at home.

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#2027090 - 02/04/13 07:22 PM Re: Can a 9 feet concert grand be used at home? [Re: jawhitti]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5316
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: jawhitti
Somewhat off-topic - I bought a C6 a few months ago and one of the most popular questions I get is "what kind of piano is it? A baby grand? A full grand? A concert grand?" I'm never sure what to tell them - the people that ask generally are the ones that know nothing at all about pianos.

If my history is accurate, the term "Baby Grand" was first used to describe a 5' grand introduced by Weber in 1900.

Personally, I don't use the term but if I did I would apply it to pianos 5' (or shorter). What you have is a grand piano that is ___ feet/inches or ___ cm long.

ddf
_________________________
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Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#2027094 - 02/04/13 07:29 PM Re: Can a 9 feet concert grand be used at home? [Re: jawhitti]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5316
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: jawhitti
Entheo I'm not really that surprised. I would speculate that the top reasons for a piano are a) lessons for little Brayden and Brianna (who will likely abandon them by the time they're 12) and b) because a piano [shaped thing] would look so lovely in this room. Not many people play, and even fewer care enough to buy a good instrument and even fewer of those can actually afford it. And the ones that ARE really good probably have access to university pianos, or concert hall pianos, or any number of pianos that keep them from needing a good instrument at home.

Or people who actually do play but live in 900 sq. ft. condominiums or 1400 sq. ft. houses with three bedrooms, two baths and Brayden and Brianna and who still would like a grand piano.

This cynical view of the performance of short pianos--which I fully shared 20 years ago--no longer holds. Several makers of very short pianos are working hard to improve them and that work is paying off in significantly improved musical performance.

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#2027100 - 02/04/13 07:48 PM Re: Can a 9 feet concert grand be used at home? [Re: adak]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
I don't know dudes. A piano with nine feet???? If it didn't like the way you played very well, it would have 9 feet to run away with!!!! And quickly at that!!
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#2027107 - 02/04/13 07:55 PM Re: Can a 9 feet concert grand be used at home? [Re: Del]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: Del
If my history is accurate, the term "Baby Grand" was first used to describe a 5' grand introduced by Weber in 1900.

Personally, I don't use the term but if I did I would apply it to pianos 5' (or shorter). What you have is a grand piano that is ___ feet/inches or ___ cm long.


Leaving Orchestra Hall in Chicago, having just heard a Brahms piano concerto, a woman next to me in the lobby exclaimed; "Wasn't that a beautiful baby grand?"
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Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2027110 - 02/04/13 08:00 PM Re: Can a 9 feet concert grand be used at home? [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT
I don't know dudes. A piano with nine feet????

Haven't you heard of the new Pediola? It's made by Footzioli.
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Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2027112 - 02/04/13 08:20 PM Re: Can a 9 feet concert grand be used at home? [Re: adak]
Anne'sson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/25/12
Posts: 149
Loc: El Paso, TX
Good one, Marty!
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El Paso, TX

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#2027114 - 02/04/13 08:31 PM Re: Can a 9 feet concert grand be used at home? [Re: adak]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Yes, I have. It leaves foot prints in the sand and it's running way making its grand, 9 foot sprints.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#2027142 - 02/04/13 09:34 PM Re: Can a 9 feet concert grand be used at home? [Re: Del]
adak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 282
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Del
Originally Posted By: jawhitti
Entheo I'm not really that surprised. I would speculate that the top reasons for a piano are a) lessons for little Brayden and Brianna (who will likely abandon them by the time they're 12) and b) because a piano [shaped thing] would look so lovely in this room. Not many people play, and even fewer care enough to buy a good instrument and even fewer of those can actually afford it. And the ones that ARE really good probably have access to university pianos, or concert hall pianos, or any number of pianos that keep them from needing a good instrument at home.

Or people who actually do play but live in 900 sq. ft. condominiums or 1400 sq. ft. houses with three bedrooms, two baths and Brayden and Brianna and who still would like a grand piano.

This cynical view of the performance of short pianos--which I fully shared 20 years ago--no longer holds. Several makers of very short pianos are working hard to improve them and that work is paying off in significantly improved musical performance.


ddf


does this mean that second hand baby grands at the moment are not viable option if you want a quality instrument? only buy new if you want a baby grand. but a new baby grand would cost about the same as a used non-baby grand.
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#2027154 - 02/04/13 10:04 PM Re: Can a 9 feet concert grand be used at home? [Re: adak]
jawhitti Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/12
Posts: 235
Del I didn't mean to imply that short pianos necessarily sound bad. I nearly bought a 5'8 Knabe and played an SK-1 that just blew me away. What I meant was that a lot of pianos appear to be bought as status symbols more that as instruments. Kind of like pool tables. I always wanted a pool table and was thrilled to find that the house I'm in now was willing to leave it. I played it for about a month and now it sits collecting dust. When I move I'll leave it for the next guy. I've seen houses for sale around me that seem to have the same thing going on with their pianos. If they are played at all it is by the player system installed on it...

There certainly are people that love to play, but I don't think they're the majority of the market. I am not a piano retailer though so I may just be projecting my own ignorance.

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#2027202 - 02/05/13 12:10 AM Re: Can a 9 feet concert grand be used at home? [Re: adak]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5316
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: adak
Originally Posted By: Del
This cynical view of the performance of short pianos--which I fully shared 20 years ago--no longer holds. Several makers of very short pianos are working hard to improve them and that work is paying off in significantly improved musical performance.


does this mean that second hand baby grands at the moment are not viable option if you want a quality instrument? only buy new if you want a baby grand. but a new baby grand would cost about the same as a used non-baby grand.

Well, as I say, 20 years ago I'd have whole-heartedly agreed. But within the past five years or so several piano makers have upgraded their small grand piano lines. None of these have the low bass performance of longer pianos but neither are they tubby, unmusical atrocities of the bad old days.

As far as used instruments are concerned, what you see (or hear) is what you get. Look and listen. Don't accept junk sound no matter the size or age of the piano. Listen for clarity in the low bass, musically transparent bass-tenor breaks, dynamic tenors and treble sections that are bright without being harsh.

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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