From what size does a grand piano make sense?

Posted by: boyonahill

From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/26/13 11:51 PM

A big upright Piano like the Yamaha U3 is 131 cm (51 1/2") high.

A small grand like the Yamaha C1 has a depth of 161cm (5'3") (and there are even smaller grands).

The depth measurement for the grands includes the keyboards, so I guess the C1 and U3 have a pretty similar size on their soundboards?.

So, from what size does a grand piano make sense compared to a nice upgright piano like Yamaha U3 or U1? Something like the C1? Or bigger, perhaps like the C3 186cm (6'1")?
Posted by: AJF

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/27/13 12:04 AM

There is more to the comparison than just size. A grand's action is almost always better (more sensitive and dynamic) than an upright's.

That being said, I've liked the sound of many large uprights more than small grands.

My grand is 5'10 and I would want to go any smaller (unless it was a Steingraeber with a carbon soundboard--those are a whole different animal)
Posted by: musicpassion

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/27/13 02:17 AM

Large uprights can sound great. I've been impressed with the Yamaha U3.

I wouldn't go smaller than 5'0" on grands. Smaller than this they tend to have a "small grand" sound that I don't like. No, the smaller grands don't sound the same as a concert grand. For me the goal for a piano isn't to sound like a concert grand (IMHO even most 7' pianos don't sound like concert grands). The goal is to be a wonderful musical instrument. Many grands in the 5'7" range to the 5'10" are stunning, superb musical instruments (Steinway M, Baldwin R, etc.)

As already mentioned, grands have an advantage with the actions. Another important advantage is how the sound projects from the instrument. Most uprights throw their sound straight into the wall. Grands have the soundboard suspended in the room, where sound can project from both the top and the bottom.

So to answer your question directly: I think the C1 makes plenty of sense.
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/27/13 08:49 AM

Personally, I would not bother with a grand smaller than 5'5 or so. The bass notes will be disappointing on smaller grands. Of course, the action on a good grand, even smaller ones, is often better than uprights just due to the fact that the hammers have to be altered to hit vertical strings rather than horizontal.

So given a choice between the C1 and the U3, I'd probably still go with the C1 just for the feel...and look to upgrade in a few years to a larger grand smile.
Posted by: wouter79

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/27/13 09:58 AM

The smallest grand I heard with pretty good sound was 5'8". Below that they usually sound not so good. But uprights sound not so good either so the answer could also be 'any size'.

But regarding the action, a grand might make sense for the smaller sizes as well
Posted by: turandot

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/27/13 10:21 AM

This is really a personal decision that goes beyond string length, board surface, projection, and action geometry. Each of the members who has replied has given you a sincere thoughtful response. Yet the responses are quite different.

At least in my market, a new C1 costs considerably more than a U3, That may be a factor. Whether you want your piano to boom and roar is another factor. Most members here value a deep resonant bass highly. Even so, there are players, quite good players, who find that quality annoying in a home piano. Power sells. Balance and whisper ability don't exert the same pull on most shoppers.

There are also subjective and even subconscious factors that are valid considerations in making a decision. If you go against your own instincts to the extent that the piano you buy can only be thought of as transitional and you then spend a lot of time dreaming of your next piano, you are setting yourself up for chronic upgrade fever (which is a boon to piano retailers but a curse to piano buyers).

Whatever it is you choose, make sure it can play quietly without effort and makes your fingers feel secure and expressive.
Posted by: rlinkt

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/27/13 11:43 AM

Don't worry about the size. If you like the sound -- its big enough. Once you listen to them in the store, what you like would be obvious.
Posted by: malkin

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/27/13 12:23 PM

It has to fit in your house!
Posted by: boyonahill

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/27/13 05:58 PM

Originally Posted By: malkin
It has to fit in your house!


First, thank you all for your answers!

Malkin: Yes, so now I'm thinking about which wall to remove! cool
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/27/13 07:06 PM

Originally Posted By: rlinkt
Don't worry about the size. If you like the sound -- its big enough. Once you listen to them in the store, what you like would be obvious.
Although your point is reasonable, I think you're missing the point.

When people ask questions like this it's because they're looking for generalizations/guidelines that can help them select a piano. Many buyers are not that confident in just using their own ears and fingers to decide. If they were the much of the discussion on the Piano Forum and books like The Piano Buyer would not be around.
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/27/13 07:46 PM

"From what size does a grand piano make sense?"

rlinkt's answer makes the most sense and nails the point. If an owner is perfectly happy with a 4'-8" grand, there is no need to respond with a grand case of pianist envy.
Posted by: Norbert

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/27/13 07:54 PM

The standard position for grands has often been same as for cars: "bigger is better"

Today, this is not necessarily true at least not to the same extent as often is suspected.

Some makers actually do offer very viable musical options at smaller sizes while others [most...] simply offer entry level at that size.[ same is true sometimes for uprights...]

IMHO it's all *intent* and *willingness* by manufacturer.

Don't forget grands around 5' or slightly above are generally 'less profit making' so there often is a "built in bias" by the maker. This can easily be seen when design, parts and components are very different between the different sizes.

However, smaller grands can indeed be very nice musical instruments provided they have been specifically designed for this purpose.

You just have to find the right one: luckily those pianos *do* exist in today's market.

Norbert
Posted by: personne

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/27/13 08:02 PM

I played a Steinway baby grand at a store (it is around 5' I believe), and it sounded very nice to me. Better than all verticals they had in the showroom (but they all were lower priced though).
But some other 'babies' did not sound better.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/27/13 08:06 PM

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
"From what size does a grand piano make sense?"

rlinkt's answer makes the most sense and nails the point. If an owner is perfectly happy with a 4'-8" grand, there is no need to respond with a grand case of pianist envy.
The reason people ask questions like the one the OP did is often that they do not think they have the experience or expertise to know how to judge a piano's tone and touch. They do not feel they are making an informed decision based just using "do you like it?" as the criterion. And I think their hesitation to just use their own judgement is very reasonable since most pianists don't have extensive experience playing and auditioning many different pianos.
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/27/13 08:30 PM

And that's why it is necessary to bolster their confidence in making their own choice. If they like a given piano, of any shape or size, they will have made the best decision for themself, not for others.
Posted by: personne

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/27/13 08:39 PM

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
And that's why it is necessary to bolster their confidence in making their own choice. If they like a given piano, of any shape or size, they will have made the best decision for themself, not for others.


Sometimes you start finding pitfalls after hours of playing, but do not notice them at first.
At least I find advice like from pianobuyer.com regarding the size useful.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/27/13 08:47 PM

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
And that's why it is necessary to bolster their confidence in making their own choice. If they like a given piano, of any shape or size, they will have made the best decision for themself, not for others.
Can't agree at all.

They may have made a reasonable decision but I think a very limited decision based on a very limited exposure to a small number of pianos and based on their current level of playing and discernment of piano tone/touch. Even if they visit a store 10 times and play the pianos for an hour each time(something few will do). I think that is a very short period to learn about pianos. The average tech might play more pianos in a week than the average pianist plays in their lifetime.

Many people realize that they want their decision to be one they will be happy with for a long time, not just one that they like based on very limited experience. They also realize that even if they are confident about their evaluation of tone there are technical issues about a piano they do not understand that may be important in the decision making process.
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/27/13 09:11 PM

If that were the case, unless a person is a piano tech or concert artist, a piano should not be purchased by anyone.

It's time to hire the consultants with hourly fees.
Posted by: boyonahill

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/27/13 09:48 PM

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
"From what size does a grand piano make sense?"

rlinkt's answer makes the most sense and nails the point. If an owner is perfectly happy with a 4'-8" grand, there is no need to respond with a grand case of pianist envy.
The reason people ask questions like the one the OP did is often that they do not think they have the experience or expertise to know how to judge a piano's tone and touch. They do not feel they are making an informed decision based just using "do you like it?" as the criterion. And I think their hesitation to just use their own judgement is very reasonable since most pianists don't have extensive experience playing and auditioning many different pianos.


Well, I think you've got my situation right. It takes time to learn what you like, and you want to avoid making costly mistakes. Let me compare to other areas where I'm a little more experienced. Buying my first finer watch I bought a much to showy one. Buying my first HiFi I focused too much on the low freq. reproduction, only to find there were no high end freq. in my new speakers...

Often as a beginner you are wowed by the extremes, and only later you learn to appreciate the subtle differences more refined products bring. This process can easily cost you much money, I try to fast forward by asking experienced people in this case!
Posted by: 4evrBeginR

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/28/13 01:06 AM

Playing a grand piano is a very different experience from playing an upright. A C3 sound and feels like a big piano while the C2 and the C1 sound and feel like small pianos. I would rather have a C1 than a U3 even with the small grand piano sound and feel because grand pianos are just better in terms of quality. I know lots of people disagree, because they care only about bass, the bigger the bass the better sort of thing. I care far more about quality than just bass power. Having said that, I would get the largest grand piano my home and wallet could tolerate.
Posted by: Norbert

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/28/13 01:55 AM

As long as stores keep reinforcing the premise "larger is better" selecting their pianos accordingly, people may be discouraged to even try smaller pianos.

In many cases people simply don't have the room and spending the extra $$ to consider a larger grand: does this mean they can't get a real nice one?

Of course not.

The "quality" of piano is not just to be measured by the "volume of its bass", something sales people are often glad to demnostrate, but also very much by the singing quality of its treble. Which most are *not*...

However the fact remains that good quality grands can have as much tonal quality in that crucial section - REGARDLESS of size.

One just needs to specialize in and show those which *do*

Sold 2 smaller pianos this weekend to fairly advanced pianists who both came with the intention of buying much smaller and more expensive grands.

Both left very happy with good chunk of money still left in their pocket.

Nice to be owner-operator...

Norbert wink
Posted by: bennevis

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/28/13 07:07 AM

Last year, I helped out a couple choosing their first piano. Neither of them played, and the piano was for their little daughter, and they knew next to nothing about pianos or piano music (or even music...).

They wanted a new baby grand - no more than around 5 ft, to fit into their living room. I normally avoid playing such small grands, but we trudged around various showrooms playing on Essexs, K Kawais, Yamahas....and all had amorphous thuds substituting for so-called bass notes, with barely any fundamentals. There wasn't much to choose in terms of action (and I easily adapt to almost any action anyway) or even sound (to my mind, the Essex was the marginally the worst, though the most expensive), so in the end, I just told them to choose which sound they liked most - after all, they are the ones living with it. They actually went for the one whose dealer gave them the best deal.....
Posted by: ClsscLib

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/28/13 08:15 AM

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
If that were the case, unless a person is a piano tech or concert artist, a piano should not be purchased by anyone.

It's time to hire the consultants with hourly fees.


I did just that. And he STILL said, "Go out and play a lot of pianos and see what you think about their sound and action."

It was the right advice, too.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/28/13 09:39 AM

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
If that were the case, unless a person is a piano tech or concert artist, a piano should not be purchased by anyone.

It's time to hire the consultants with hourly fees.
Wrong again IMO.

There is a huge difference between the intelligent approach of asking lots of questions and not just using "I like it" as the only criteria vs. only buying a piano if one has the playing/listening experience of a tech or concert artist. And there is nothing wrong with hiring someone to help in the decision making process probably best done after one has spent some time trying out pianos first. If a dealer or salesperson is both very knowledgeable and honest this probably won't be be as they could give reliable answers to a buyer's questions.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/28/13 09:59 AM

Originally Posted By: Norbert
As long as stores keep reinforcing the premise "larger is better" selecting their pianos accordingly, people may be discouraged to even try smaller pianos.
"Larger is better" is in general correct so stores that say this are giving good advice.

Of course, there may be a few exceptions, but as one moves up in size for a given manufacturer the piano's tone and touch gets better. If this was not the case, buyers would soon catch on that buying the larger model was a rip off. Of course, one has to be comparing apples to apples and not a smaller Tier One piano to a larger piano of much lower quality.

Most people are intelligent enough to realize that buying a piano usually involves some compromises unless one has 100K to spend. So they will realize that they may not be able to afford a larger piano and try a smaller one. I can't imagine that dealers who sell smaller grands tell their customers "You really shouldn't buy a grand this small" when they realize what their budget is.

The simplest internet investigation or reading of The Piano Buyer will also convince buyers that improvements in smaller pianos mean that previous statements about all very small pianos being terrible are no longer true.
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/28/13 10:02 AM

PLU - Have you not figured out that my answers are directed specifically at your convoluted and evasive replies? They are commentary and cannot be considered "right" or "wrong."

You might check a definition for "scarcasm" since you seem to not be able to detect it.
Posted by: hmrnmky

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/28/13 10:12 AM

Boyonahill,

I had a Yamaha U3 and it had a very nice sound. It was positioned on a hardwood floor, no rug and played with the lid opened. I really wanted a grand when I bought it so a year latter I was upgrading to a 5'8" grand.

During the search I played a newly rebuild Steinway S, 5'1" that was incredible and a new Steinway M, 5'7" that lacked alot to be desired.

It is true that bigger is not always better however don't buy an upright it you really want a grand. It is better to get the piano you want and can afford than settle.
Posted by: Plowboy

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/28/13 10:16 AM

Lots of good advice here. My 2 cents is that even a smaller grand will sound better than a larger upright. Just something about it. The grand will be more fun to play, too.

Originally Posted By: turandot

There are also subjective and even subconscious factors that are valid considerations in making a decision. If you go against your own instincts to the extent that the piano you buy can only be thought of as transitional and you then spend a lot of time dreaming of your next piano, you are setting yourself up for chronic upgrade fever (which is a boon to piano retailers but a curse to piano buyers).

Whatever it is you choose, make sure it can play quietly without effort and makes your fingers feel secure and expressive.


Truer words were never written.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/28/13 11:07 AM

Originally Posted By: hmrnmky
Boyonahill,During the search I played a newly rebuild Steinway S, 5'1" that was incredible and a new Steinway M, 5'7" that lacked alot to be desired.

It is true that bigger is not always better however don't buy an upright it you really want a grand.
When people say bigger is better they mean in general. For two specific pianos that are relatively close in size and especially ones as variable as Steinways seem to be, it is certainly possible that the smaller one could sound better but it would not generally be true.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/28/13 11:09 AM

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
PLU - Have you not figured out that my answers are directed specifically at your convoluted and evasive replies? They are commentary and cannot be considered "right" or "wrong."

You might check a definition for "scarcasm" since you seem to not be able to detect it.
I don't think my replies have been convoluted or evasive in the slightest. The whole idea of relying only on oneself is probably not a good idea for many and maybe most piano buyers. This is one reason why the Piano Buyer and the Piano Forum are popular. Most people realize they need at least some help beyond their own fingers and ears when buying a piano.
Posted by: A441

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/28/13 11:25 AM


The Mason & Hamlin model "B" at 5'4" I find very impressive.
Posted by: Del

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/28/13 11:31 AM

Originally Posted By: boyonahill
A big upright Piano like the Yamaha U3 is 131 cm (51 1/2") high.

A small grand like the Yamaha C1 has a depth of 161cm (5'3") (and there are even smaller grands).

The depth measurement for the grands includes the keyboards, so I guess the C1 and U3 have a pretty similar size on their soundboards?.

So, from what size does a grand piano make sense compared to a nice upgright piano like Yamaha U3 or U1? Something like the C1? Or bigger, perhaps like the C3 186cm (6'1")?

It might seem odd to the purely objective observer but, in my experience, at least, most piano buyers do not make their buying decision between grands and verticals purely on the basis of tone performance. If this were the case large vertical pianos would outsell small grand pianos but, at least in the product line I’m most familiar with, they do not.

People buy small grand pianos for a variety of reasons; aesthetics being high among them. Action performance is also high on the list.

Many years back in the bad old days it was true that most small grand pianos—those shorter than, say, 160 cm (5’ 3”)—sounded pretty bad. Their scales were unbalanced and, in a misguided attempt to obtain more “power” excessively massive hammers were used. Not only was the lowest half-octave pretty much useless, the whole bass sections often sounded dull and tubby. The bass-to-tenor transitions were usually rough and uneven sounding. These were, by most every standard, un-musical atrocities that had rightfully earned their somewhat derisive Piano Shaped Object titles.

But, that was then and this is now.

Times have changed. Piano designers (and manufacturers) have taken another look at these instruments and the modern small grand piano is often quite nice. Despite what the traditionalist might tell us, there is a growing selection of relatively short—say 175 cm (5’ 9”) and below—grand pianos now available. You may have to look beyond the large, traditional manufacturers to find them, however. And some of them—to cite just one example, the Walter 175—will hold their own against traditional pianos that are significantly longer and larger (and, for that, more expensive).

As well, there are a growing number of 150 cm (4’ 11”) grand pianos that are earning reputations as credible musical instruments in spite of their diminutive length. And in spite of their often very low prices. There is a growing selection of very nice short grand pianos available for less than $10k. It might pay to broaden your search.

The market has changed and it is no longer accurate to simply write these pianos off solely because of their length.

ddf
Posted by: turandot

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/28/13 05:22 PM

Quote:
It takes time to learn what you like, and you want to avoid making costly mistakes......

Often as a beginner you are wowed by the extremes, and only later you learn to appreciate the subtle differences more refined products bring. This process can easily cost you much money, I try to fast forward by asking experienced people in this case!

The experience of other people is certainly worthwhile, but without a specific understanding of what's most important to you (for example, what you find lacking in your M5J), other people's experience will be hit and miss in relation to your best possible choice.

You have a basic Yamaha vertical. The examples you've chosen are a tall Yamaha artist vertical and a smallish Yamaha artist grand. What is it that you would hope to get out of one of those pianos that you don't have in your M series? It seems that you're willing to give Yamaha a shot at selling you another piano, so I guess you don't hate Yamaha. grin, and it could be useful too to understand what you like about Yamaha pianos.
Posted by: Norbert

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/28/13 06:21 PM

Dell:

+1

Norbert thumb
Posted by: Chris H.

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/28/13 06:37 PM

A grand piano makes sense if you have enough money to buy one and a big enough room to put it in.

Otherwise a U3 will do just fine.
Posted by: malkin

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/28/13 08:26 PM

Originally Posted By: Chris H.
A grand piano makes sense if you have enough money to buy one and a big enough room to put it in.

And if you also want it.

Originally Posted By: Chris H.
Otherwise a U3 will do just fine.
Posted by: boyonahill

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/28/13 09:10 PM

Again thank you all for your comments!

The Yamaha M5J was sold some time ago, so keeping that is no option. Yes I like Yamaha, well I'm sort of a fanboy, but I will make sure to try some other brands before I commit to any purchase. I will probably, like the last time, buy a used piano to minimize the price and loss if I change my mind.

Adding to that my next acoustic piano probably will be bought 2014, the earliest, but I like to plan ahead and know my options. Plus in this case plan ahead on the money and physical floorspace. My plan was to still my piano hunger with a Yamaha "P-165" but namm2013-thing was introduced.


Originally Posted By: bennevis
Last year, I helped out a couple choosing their first piano. Neither of them played, and the piano was for their little daughter, and they knew next to nothing about pianos or piano music (or even music...).

They wanted a new baby grand - no more than around 5 ft, to fit into their living room. I normally avoid playing such small grands, but we trudged around various showrooms playing on Essexs, K Kawais, Yamahas....and all had amorphous thuds substituting for so-called bass notes, with barely any fundamentals. There wasn't much to choose in terms of action (and I easily adapt to almost any action anyway) or even sound (to my mind, the Essex was the marginally the worst, though the most expensive), so in the end, I just told them to choose which sound they liked most - after all, they are the ones living with it. They actually went for the one whose dealer gave them the best deal.....


Always interesting to hear your comments! On the sounds and their choice, I guess there are 4 ways to spend money...

There are four ways in which you can spend money. You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why then you really watch out what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money. Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well, then I’m not so careful about the content of the present, but I’m very careful about the cost. Then, I can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody else’s money on myself, then I’m sure going to have a good lunch! Finally, I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get. [political analysis removed...]


http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Friedman,_Milton
Posted by: rlinkt

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/28/13 09:51 PM

Originally Posted By: boyonahill

There are four ways in which you can spend money. You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why then you really watch out what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money. Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well, then I’m not so careful about the content of the present, but I’m very careful about the cost. Then, I can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody else’s money on myself, then I’m sure going to have a good lunch! Finally, I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get. [political analysis removed...]
http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Friedman,_Milton

While on that subject, one of my favorites:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Armchair_Economist
"[m]ost of economics can be summarized in four words: People respond to incentives."

The book is a worthwhile read.
Posted by: 4evrBeginR

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/28/13 10:19 PM

What I hate about economists is that they believe the whole world runs on incentives; and what I hate even more is that they are probably right.
Posted by: rocklandpiano

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/29/13 12:12 AM

A big upright Piano like the Yamaha C5, (719 × 750) high.

A small grand like the Yamaha C1 has a depth of 161cm (5'3") (and there are even smaller grands).

The depth measurement for the grands includes the keyboards, so I guess the C1 have a pretty similar size on their soundboards?.

So, from what size does a grand piano make sense compared to a nice upgright piano like Yamaha U2 or U1? Something like the C1?
_________________________
Current: Casio SA-47 + looking for a nice electronic piano
Sold: Yamaha P114GS in Walnut
Playing ability: Absolute.
Posted by: turandot

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/29/13 01:15 AM

Originally Posted By: boyonahil

The Yamaha M5J was sold some time ago, so keeping that is no option. Yes I like Yamaha, well I'm sort of a fanboy, but I will make sure to try some other brands before I commit to any purchase. I will probably, like the last time, buy a used piano to minimize the price and loss if I change my mind.

Adding to that my next acoustic piano probably will be bought 2014, the earliest,


I don't mean to be harsh, but your comments about being a fanboy and about your philosophy of spending are not helpful in getting a fix on what you want out of a piano - musically. Even if you sold the Yamaha a while ago, and especially if you're a fan of the brand, you should be able to express what you liked about that piano and what you hope your next piano can give you - musically - that the M was unable to deliver.

By 2124, you will have gone a considerable time with no acoustic piano. That, and your comments on spending on yourself, give me a sense that this is to be a trophy purchase, in which case the performance characteristics of the piano chosen may not be the determinant in making the choice.
Posted by: boyonahill

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/29/13 02:26 AM

Originally Posted By: turandot
Originally Posted By: boyonahil

The Yamaha M5J was sold some time ago, so keeping that is no option. Yes I like Yamaha, well I'm sort of a fanboy, but I will make sure to try some other brands before I commit to any purchase. I will probably, like the last time, buy a used piano to minimize the price and loss if I change my mind.

Adding to that my next acoustic piano probably will be bought 2014, the earliest,


I don't mean to be harsh, but your comments about being a fanboy and about your philosophy of spending are not helpful in getting a fix on what you want out of a piano - musically. Even if you sold the Yamaha a while ago, and especially if you're a fan of the brand, you should be able to express what you liked about that piano and what you hope your next piano can give you - musically - that the M was unable to deliver.

By 2124, you will have gone a considerable time with no acoustic piano. That, and your comments on spending on yourself, give me a sense that this is to be a trophy purchase, in which case the performance characteristics of the piano chosen may not be the determinant in making the choice.


So the performance of a trophy wife / husband is of no importance?

:-)

With my playing ability you bet a Yamaha C3 is a trophy purchase - I'm not ashamed of that or that I've spent most of my life studying and working instead of playing the piano. And if you do a search and read posts on this site you will find that I because of my hearing will do most of my playing at low volume on a digital piano - making the a C3 even more of a show piece, that I nonetheless will enjoy looking at and experience every day.

And even if I hardly can play any songs, I love playing the piano, mostly playing what a kind person would call improvisation. And I do love the sound of a good piano, trying to get a little help from this site finding one.

I hope I will live in 2124, but I'm not sure I will. If I'm dead perhaps I'm playing a CFX in heaven :-)
Posted by: Chris H.

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/29/13 04:03 AM

Actually I think it makes perfect sense for someone with modest playing ability to focus mainly on Yamaha. Yamaha make great pianos. Not saying other manufacturers don't but they have a strong reputation for quality and consistency and are one of the best know brands in the industry. Also, if boyonahill was planning to buy a used piano it's likely there will be more yamahas on the market than anything else.

Musically there is a big difference between the MJ5 and a more modern Yamaha U series upright not to mention the C series grands.

I have to say that I own a 12 year old U1 and have always been very happy with it. It gets 20+ hours playing a week by myself and my pupils and has never given me any problems. The sound suits my modest room and the touch is even and easy to control. Not to mention the fact that I bought it six years ago for a bargain price, much cheaper than than the most basic budget upright available at the time.
Posted by: turandot

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/29/13 05:38 PM



Quote:
With my playing ability you bet a Yamaha C3 is a trophy purchase - I'm not ashamed of that or that I've spent most of my life studying and working instead of playing the piano. And if you do a search and read posts on this site you will find that I because of my hearing will do most of my playing at low volume on a digital piano - making the a C3 even more of a show piece, that I nonetheless will enjoy looking at and experience every day.

And even if I hardly can play any songs, I love playing the piano, mostly playing what a kind person would call improvisation. And I do love the sound of a good piano, trying to get a little help from this site finding one.



Dont misunderstand me. When I wrote on this thread that there are many subjective, even subconscious factors that are VALID determinants in making a decision, I wasn't kidding. There's nothing at all wrong with that, and I'm fairly certain that almost no purely objective decisions are made regarding pianos because even their objective qualities are partly subjective.

Also, level of ability should not be a limitation on the level of piano owned. Everyone is equally entitled to the best he can reasonably prvoide for himself.

It's just that when an inquiring member who asks for advice will not divulge what he actually values musically in a piano, and instead provides information about his life of study and hard work and his philosophy of spending on himslef and on others, there isn't much advice that can be given him from a musical perspective. All that can be said (at least by me) is that everyone is entitled to pursue his own dream and make his decision according to the weighting of his personal objectives. Whatever piano grabs you and sustains your interest will be the right one, but based on the information provided by you, I have no idea what it might be.

In Fine's Pianobuyer, his categories (mistakenly referred to as ratings) are based on price, prestige, and to a certain extent, performance capabilities of the instruments. It's probably a good resource companion for you in the year ahead.

Posted by: wouter79

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/31/13 11:11 AM

>Actually I think it makes perfect sense for someone with modest playing ability to focus mainly on Yamaha. Yamaha make great pianos.

This sounds to me like "It makes perfect sense to eat only carrots because carrots are healthy".
Posted by: Norbert

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/31/13 11:27 AM

Quote:
Times have changed. Piano designers (and manufacturers) have taken another look at these instruments and the modern small grand piano is often quite nice. Despite what the traditionalist might tell us, there is a growing selection of relatively short—say 175 cm (5’ 9”) and below—grand pianos now available. You may have to look beyond the large, traditional manufacturers to find them, however. And some of them—to cite just one example, the Walter 175—will hold their own against traditional pianos that are significantly longer and larger (and, for that, more expensive).



Here's a another, perfect example of this:



Norbert
Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/31/13 11:42 AM

Originally Posted By: Del
Originally Posted By: boyonahill
A big upright Piano like the Yamaha U3 is 131 cm (51 1/2") high.

A small grand like the Yamaha C1 has a depth of 161cm (5'3") (and there are even smaller grands).

The depth measurement for the grands includes the keyboards, so I guess the C1 and U3 have a pretty similar size on their soundboards?.

So, from what size does a grand piano make sense compared to a nice upgright piano like Yamaha U3 or U1? Something like the C1? Or bigger, perhaps like the C3 186cm (6'1")?

It might seem odd to the purely objective observer but, in my experience, at least, most piano buyers do not make their buying decision between grands and verticals purely on the basis of tone performance. If this were the case large vertical pianos would outsell small grand pianos but, at least in the product line I’m most familiar with, they do not.

People buy small grand pianos for a variety of reasons; aesthetics being high among them. Action performance is also high on the list.

Many years back in the bad old days it was true that most small grand pianos—those shorter than, say, 160 cm (5’ 3”)—sounded pretty bad. Their scales were unbalanced and, in a misguided attempt to obtain more “power” excessively massive hammers were used. Not only was the lowest half-octave pretty much useless, the whole bass sections often sounded dull and tubby. The bass-to-tenor transitions were usually rough and uneven sounding. These were, by most every standard, un-musical atrocities that had rightfully earned their somewhat derisive Piano Shaped Object titles.

But, that was then and this is now.

Times have changed. Piano designers (and manufacturers) have taken another look at these instruments and the modern small grand piano is often quite nice. Despite what the traditionalist might tell us, there is a growing selection of relatively short—say 175 cm (5’ 9”) and below—grand pianos now available. You may have to look beyond the large, traditional manufacturers to find them, however. And some of them—to cite just one example, the Walter 175—will hold their own against traditional pianos that are significantly longer and larger (and, for that, more expensive).

As well, there are a growing number of 150 cm (4’ 11”) grand pianos that are earning reputations as credible musical instruments in spite of their diminutive length. And in spite of their often very low prices. There is a growing selection of very nice short grand pianos available for less than $10k. It might pay to broaden your search.

The market has changed and it is no longer accurate to simply write these pianos off solely because of their length.

ddf
Del is spot on. Check some of the reviews of small grands in the Piano Buyer archives. Some of the under 5'0 grands were surprisingly well accepted and consider an excellent value alternative.
Posted by: Chris H.

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/31/13 03:05 PM

Originally Posted By: wouter79
>Actually I think it makes perfect sense for someone with modest playing ability to focus mainly on Yamaha. Yamaha make great pianos.

This sounds to me like "It makes perfect sense to eat only carrots because carrots are healthy".


Not really...

More like if you are going to buy a vegetable then why not get a carrot?
Posted by: Norbert

Re: From what size does a grand piano make sense? - 01/31/13 05:26 PM

Everybody knows Yamaha makes very good pianos, some of them world class and competing with the best there is.

But at lower, entry level type price point, others can and IMHO "are" doing better.

Much better....

It's for consumers to find out which brands and models offer hopefully superior options at that level in today's market, particularly in the 10-15k price range.

Happy hunting.

Norbert smile