Quality made spinet piano...is there such a thing?

Posted by: nowiesubs

Quality made spinet piano...is there such a thing? - 10/21/09 08:10 PM

This is my first post.
I need help from people who have access to a lot of pianos and have experience with small pianos.
I need to know which spinet piano models stand out from the rest.
The type that is well built and sounds great.
I live in a small house and I have to bring the volume down but not the sound quality.
I have a feeling my wife and kids are not too thrilled at my playing difficult passages over and over again.
Digital piano is out of the question because I am a die hard acoustic.
I got to have an actual hammer at the end of the keys I am pushing.
I also don't like the felt that goes between the hammer and the strings.
My mission is to find a spinet that is as close to a grand piano, only softer.
Is this impossible?
Posted by: TSPhillips

Re: Quality made spinet piano...is there such a thing? - 10/21/09 08:25 PM

Spinet pianos have much smaller soundboards than other pianos, so none of them are going to sound as good as a larger upright, and none will come close to the sound of a grand. I usually recommend Yamaha or Kawai. Steinway and Schimmel also have budget lines of pianos that are made in China, but should have better quality control than other Chinese pianos. Yamaha also makes a silent piano that can be played like an accoustic upright or silenced and you can listen to the sound of a synthesized piano through headphones.
Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: Quality made spinet piano...is there such a thing? - 10/21/09 08:25 PM

In a word....no.

The string length and soundboard area of even the best spinet couldn't come close to even a baby grand.

Why not consider a console or studio upright and baffle the back/ Or, get a good piano with a Quiet-Time" system, available from PianoDisc and QRS. This would allow for silent play when needed with good touch.
Posted by: MAKitt

Re: Quality made spinet piano...is there such a thing? - 10/21/09 08:42 PM

subs
I don't think a spinet is even built today, to my knowledge. But for used pianos look at the Wurlitzer and Acrosonic spinets. I buy most I can lay my paws on and they are frequently better than taller consoles.
Regards
Mike
Posted by: Marty Flinn

Re: Quality made spinet piano...is there such a thing? - 10/21/09 08:43 PM

Spinets as a catagory were discontinued over 20 years ago. The best built and performing were Acrosonic by Baldwin. Most of these are over the hill at this point. Console pianos are the norm now in smaller verticals with better and more responsive key actions and better tone and sustain.
Posted by: nowiesubs

Re: Quality made spinet piano...is there such a thing? - 10/21/09 09:00 PM

Thanks for the replies.
I would be looking for consoles then.
Posted by: Eric Gloo

Re: Quality made spinet piano...is there such a thing? - 10/21/09 09:43 PM

I regularly service a few Yamaha spinets. They are much nicer than most of the other spinets out there.
Posted by: 88Key_PianoPlayer

Re: Quality made spinet piano...is there such a thing? - 10/21/09 11:18 PM

Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
In a word....no.

The string length and soundboard area of even the best spinet couldn't come close to even a baby grand.


Really?? A Baldwin Acrosonic would be blown away by a Kimball LaPetite?? Based on my limited experience playing said pianos at retirement homes my grandma has lived at (Acro is at current place), I MUCH prefer the '51 Acro over the few-decade-newer LaPetite!

Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
Why not consider a console or studio upright and baffle the back/ Or, get a good piano with a Quiet-Time" system, available from PianoDisc and QRS. This would allow for silent play when needed with good touch.


My vote for a studio upright would go to the Baldwin Hamilton. The ones built before 1987 (be sure to look under "Hamilton", not "Baldwin" for dating by serial number) are some of my favorite vertical pianos.
Posted by: Larry Larson

Re: Quality made spinet piano...is there such a thing? - 10/22/09 12:12 AM

Check out this guy playing some boogie woogie on a 1942 Baldwin Acrosonic. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGh0aXD2_bE
Posted by: BDB

Re: Quality made spinet piano...is there such a thing? - 10/22/09 02:42 AM

A spinet is not especially less loud than a larger upright, and often gives less control over the dynamics, so you cannot play them as softly.

It may be counterintuitive, but you probably should consider a studio upright. A piano with a full-sized action gives the best control. Studios are the smallest pianos that offer that.
Posted by: lilylady

Re: Quality made spinet piano...is there such a thing? - 10/22/09 08:43 AM

Have you yet heard about a MUTE pedal on the newer uprights?

I would suggest that you look at 48-52 inche uprights of better qualities to get something that will sound very nice to you and see if they also have this MUTE pedal which would allow you to play very softly while practicing those measures over and over again. You push down the MUTE pedal and all the keys will play softly.

I have often recommended the newer Yamaha U series, the best now being the YUS5 (hope I have that number correct)

They will range in the $10,000 plus

Less $ might be the tall Charles Walter uprights.

German uprights will usually cost quite a bit more. Beautiful tones though.
Posted by: turandot

Re: Quality made spinet piano...is there such a thing? - 10/22/09 09:45 AM

Originally Posted By: Marty Flinn
Spinets as a catagory were discontinued over 20 years ago. The best built and performing were Acrosonic by Baldwin. Most of these are over the hill at this point. Console pianos are the norm now in smaller verticals with better and more responsive key actions and better tone and sustain.


Old Acrosonics may be over the hill, but if they are, the slope downhill is very long and gradual. I got one when when it was age 38 and sold it at age 50. I'm sure I went downhill faster during that time. The darned thing held a tuning really well and never had a mechanical issue. During the 12 years of use, my 'better' piano was in storage because I couldn't afford to fix it. Granted, the old Acro had a muted muffled quality to the tone, but my wife was extemely fond of the non-intrusive nature of that old Acro. She sometimes still mentions it in a gently passive aggressive way. grin


Nowie,

How much money do you want to put into this? If less than 1k, an old Acro is the way to go. Plenty available too in most markets. For .8k to 1.5k, a used Kawai CE series console would be an even better choice. If you're thinking new, shop consoles around 116 cm. Even some of the so-called percussive Asian pianos have something quiet in this price range, and they are not compromised by the extreme build-to-a-low-pricepoint approach that you find in some of the stuff betweeen 108 and 112cm.
Posted by: TX-Dennis

Re: Quality made spinet piano...is there such a thing? - 10/22/09 01:22 PM

I'll second what BDB said about spinets not being lower in volume than bigger pianos. I played a Baldwin Acrosonic spinet for many years. It was a pretty nice little piano (for its size)-- BUT --- BIG BUT - - -

It was VERY loud. Due to the extremely light action I found it quite difficult (my wife would say impossible) to play quietly. If you want quiet get something with longer keys that will give you more control and more feel to the action.
Posted by: Eric Gloo

Re: Quality made spinet piano...is there such a thing? - 10/22/09 10:09 PM

A new set of hammers on an old LOUD Acrosonic can do wonders.