Are 2 pianos, same make and model, going to sound . . . .

Posted by: peterws

Are 2 pianos, same make and model, going to sound . . . . - 01/31/13 06:00 PM

. . . pretty much identical?

If not, then the one you like in the shop must be the one you receive.

And your home? How on earth do you allow for the sound characteristics of te room where it`s going before you receive your piano? And your smiling dealer`s response when you feel the need to reject it? There has to be some leeway here, I`d think.

I do find these subjects fascinating.
Posted by: Bob

Re: Are 2 pianos, same make and model, going to sound . . . . - 01/31/13 06:14 PM

It depends on the brand - Yamaha and Kawai can often be fairly close but all other brands can be very different. If sound or touch is important....always play the piano you are buying before signing on the deal.

There is usually some difference between the store and your home, if nothing else, the room volume is greater in the store. Carpet and tile make a difference.
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: Are 2 pianos, same make and model, going to sound . . . . - 01/31/13 06:23 PM

We never have this discussion with cameras. A marked difference between two different cameras that are the same model would indicate sloppy manufacturing techniques; with pianos, we call that ... an individual character.

I bought my C3 many years ago sight unseen. The dealer called me up if I wanted to witness the uncrating ... I passed.
Posted by: Rich Galassini

Re: Are 2 pianos, same make and model, going to sound . . . . - 01/31/13 07:27 PM

There are members that have bought pianos sight unseen here and been happy... and many who have not been happy.

Safe advice - play the piano you are receiving BEFORE you buy it.
Posted by: piano_deb

Re: Are 2 pianos, same make and model, going to sound . . . . - 01/31/13 10:01 PM

As Dave noted, there can be individual variances from piano to piano. This is particularly true with brands that are still made largely by hand. Keep in mind that there are 10,000 moving parts in a piano (and slews more that aren't supposed to move). Also much of the instrument is made of wood, felt, copper and steel — materials that can react to varying environmental conditions during shipping, storage and on the showroom floor. Pianos are simply not comparable to things that one normally buys new in the box, like a camera or TV or coffee pot. Those are mass-produced and should all be identical and unchanged by their journey to the store and then to your home. smile

That said, yes, some people buy pianos new in the crate and are very happy with them. Generally, however, dealers like to take delivery and uncrate/prep pianos for sale. That way, the dealer's tech can ensure that the instrument hasn't been damaged in shipping, can remove all the shipping materials (including anything used inside the piano to prevent undue movement of the action during shipping) and, of course, to put the piano in optimal playing condition. I've read some descriptions of dealer prep that were quite eye-opening in terms of the number of things that really should be checked/adjusted before the piano is even tuned the first time.

This is all rather tangential to your original questions, to which I say:

It's generally best to play any piano before buying. As for how it will sound in your home ... almost certainly louder. smile It may also sound brighter/harsher if you have a lot of solid flat surfaces. There are myriads of threads in these forums about making a piano that sounded wonderful in the dealer's giganticus showroom sound just as good (and not overwhelming) at home.
Posted by: Norbert

Re: Are 2 pianos, same make and model, going to sound . . . . - 01/31/13 10:56 PM

From my experience it has never mattered how "identical" two different pianos are or are "not" - but how to prep each individual piano to a specific customer's own liking.

One can certainly have a different "starting point" as pianos do arrive in somewhat variable conditions but in the end still manage to get virtually same or "very similar" outcome.

Rather than focusing on the often alluded "vast differences" between identical pianos [salespeople thrive on this stuff...] the key, at least from our own experience, is a top notch technician who knows what he's doing.

Just ask Franz Mohr under how many different, often totally contractictory conditions he had to deliver consistently "same results" to his various masters....

Norbert wink
Posted by: wouter79

Re: Are 2 pianos, same make and model, going to sound . . . . - 02/01/13 06:55 AM

>We never have this discussion with cameras. A marked difference between two different cameras that are the same model would indicate sloppy manufacturing techniques; with pianos, we call that ... an individual character.

Yes, pianos are made of wood and hand work, while cameras of plastic and machine made.
Posted by: TigerRad

Re: Are 2 pianos, same make and model, going to sound . . . . - 02/01/13 09:39 AM

In NY at Steinway Hall, I played 4 (or 5?) Bs and 4 Ds all in the same room. Each model was remarkably consistent and I'm pretty sure I would never have been able to distinguish between them blind.

Of course, they were probably all prepped by the same person in the same way.