Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ???

Posted by: musicmad

Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/05/13 07:04 AM

Hi

If you were given the choice to record a solo piano album of "slow soundtrack" music on a full size concert grand or a baby grand, what would you choose ?
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/05/13 08:29 AM

It depends on the condition of both pianos. If they are both in top condition, I'd choose the concert grand most likely just for the fact that the bass notes will be much clearer and the feel of the concert would probably be more to my liking. Chances are the concert would also have better dynamic control. The style of music I'm playing doesn't really come into consideration.
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/05/13 11:05 AM

As Morodiene says, if the two pianos are in equally good condition, there is no question that the concert grand is the better choice.

Regards,
Posted by: Thrill Science

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/05/13 11:35 AM

For recording, the room, the microphones, and the microphone placement are as important as everything else.

That being said, unless I was going for a specific effect, the longer the better! For one thing, the piano will be able to be tuned with fewer compromises.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/05/13 12:58 PM

BTW (and I'm sure the people doing the other replies knew this too), there's a lot of room between "concert grand" and "baby grand." And also, even after 200 years with pianos, including probably having owned a "baby grand" or two ha I don't know what's the dividing line between baby grand and grand, even before we get to "concert grand." I consider them all simply "grands," just in all kinds of different sizes. We have a Steinway B and a Kawai GE20 which is 5'1". To me they're both simply "grands."

Anyway grin ....I would hope to use a piano that's at least about the size of a Steinway B (6'10.5"). Depending on the size of the space it might even be preferable to larger grands. In a large enough space I'd always prefer a "concert grand" but I'd never feel terribly deprived with a B or larger.

More about "baby grand": There are actually a lot of people who think it means exactly the same thing as what I'm calling a "grand" (really!) -- i.e. any piano with that rounded shape and with a lid that goes up diagonally like that, even a concert grand. It comes from having been used to people having mainly just uprights in their homes, and the few people who had grands having mostly just smaller ones and calling them "baby grands," so it came to be understood as any piano like that. They barely notice the word "baby"; it's just part of the name.
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/05/13 01:17 PM

Perhaps among the uninitiated "baby grand" is just part of the name, and I, too, have heard it used to apply to pianos considerably larger than "baby", but I think that that term drops as soon as you get to those who know something about grand pianos. According to Larry Fine :

"Grands less than 5' long are the musical equivalent of spinets and consoles; that is, they are musically compromised and are mainly sold as pieces of furniture. Grands between about 5' and 5-1/2' are very popular. Although slightly compromised, they can reasonably serve both musical and furniture functions and are available in many furniture styles. (By the way, professionals prefer the term small grand to baby grand. Although there is no exact definition, a small grand is generally one less than 5-1/2' long.) Above 5-1/2', pianos rapidly improve becoming professional quality at about 6'. Pianos intended for the home or serious professional top out at about 7' or 7-1/2'. These sizes may also satisfy the needs of smaller concert venues. Larger venues require concert grands, usually about 9' long."

Other standard designations that I often come across :

Baby Grands - up to 5-1/2 feet
Medium or Parlor Grands 5-1/2 feet to 6-1/2 feet
Semi-concert Grands 6-1/2 to 7-1/2 feet
Concert Grands - 9 feet

Regards,
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/05/13 01:38 PM

Good post, and I think those groupings at the end are a lot better than just baby grand and grand (or, as in this thread, baby grand and concert grand). Best of all is just saying grand and specifying the size; otherwise we're never sure exactly what someone is talking about, even if we think we are. When someone says baby grand I figure it probably means less than about 6'3 but it absolutely can mean anything up to that, and sometimes larger. And heck, on this thread, it was used for anything less than 9'!
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/05/13 02:08 PM

Musicmad: Don't worry about this terminology stuff -- lots of people say baby grand. It's just a little project of mine. ha

Although....it might be helpful if you want to say what are the actual sizes of the grands you're talking about. I think people are assuming the "concert grand" is 9'. We don't really know what size of other piano you mean but I think people are assuming it's in the low or mid 5's.
Posted by: beet31425

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/05/13 02:17 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
When someone says baby grand I figure it probably means less than about 6'3...
My guess is that to most people, "baby grand" implies significantly smaller than 6'3. Like in the 5' range max, as Bruce indicated.


-J
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/05/13 02:20 PM

Originally Posted By: beet31425
My guess is that to most people, "baby grand" implies significantly smaller than 6'3. Like in the 5' range max, as Bruce indicated.

To most people here it certainly means that, and among fairly serious pianists it does (although many probably are uncomfortable with the term at all). Otherwise, IMO all we can be sure of 'with a reasonable degree of certainty' is up to about 6'3.
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/05/13 02:27 PM

I have seen real estate ads for luxury residences often showing what looks like a 7-footer in an oversize living room with the comment : "Look! There's even room for your baby grand!"

As I said : among the uninitiated ....

But, back to what the OP was contemplating ....

Regards,
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/05/13 03:03 PM

Most people (in my experience) attach "baby" next to grand for almost any piano. Several times I've been told what a nice baby grand I have although my piano in a 7' Mason Hamlin.
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/05/13 03:14 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
BTW (and I'm sure the people doing the other replies knew this too), there's a lot of room between "concert grand" and "baby grand." And also, even after 200 years with pianos, including probably having owned a "baby grand" or two ha I don't know what's the dividing line between baby grand and grand, even before we get to "concert grand." I consider them all simply "grands," just in all kinds of different sizes. We have a Steinway B and a Kawai GE20 which is 5'1". To me they're both simply "grands."

Anyway grin ....I would hope to use a piano that's at least about the size of a Steinway B (6'10.5"). Depending on the size of the space it might even be preferable to larger grands. In a large enough space I'd always prefer a "concert grand" but I'd never feel terribly deprived with a B or larger.

More about "baby grand": There are actually a lot of people who think it means exactly the same thing as what I'm calling a "grand" (really!) -- i.e. any piano with that rounded shape and with a lid that goes up diagonally like that, even a concert grand. It comes from having been used to people having mainly just uprights in their homes, and the few people who had grands having mostly just smaller ones and calling them "baby grands," so it came to be understood as any piano like that. They barely notice the word "baby"; it's just part of the name.


True, I call my 9' Petrof my "big baby" laugh .
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/05/13 03:16 PM

I'd be quite happy with a baby Bösendorfer Imperial 290. I'd even prefer this little baby to a full-sized Steinway D concert grand......
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/05/13 03:18 PM

Originally Posted By: bennevis
I'd be quite happy with a baby Bosendorfer Imperial 290. I'd even prefer this little baby to a full-sized Steinway D concert grand......

ha

For anyone who doesn't know: The Bosendorfer is about 100 feet long. grin




(9'6"....or is it 9'8"? I always thought 9'6 but I just did the math and it comes out 9'8!)
Posted by: AldenH

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/05/13 04:16 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C

(9'6"....or is it 9'8"? I always thought 9'6 but I just did the math and it comes out 9'8!)


You may have miscalculated:

290 cm / 2.54 in/cm = 114.17 in

114.17 in / 12 in/ft = 9.51 ft = darn close to 9'6".
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/05/13 09:48 PM

Originally Posted By: AldenH
You may have miscalculated....

I DID!!

I often rounded off the factor from 2.54 to 2.5 for quick calculations -- and somewhere along the line I just FORGOT that's it's not exactly just 2.5!

(Thank you!) smile
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/05/13 09:55 PM

Well, the Bosendorfer Imperial is the model 290 which means 290cm. Using a precise conversion calculator : 290 cm = 9.1548 feet or 114.1473 inches.

Regards,
Posted by: btb

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/06/13 03:26 AM

But is “bigger” better? ...
all this elevated chat about Grands has me groping for my six-shooter ... who to pot first?

But heck ... those damn 230cm things take up so much space ... and when not in use, the deserted creepy home settings have the echo of a graveyard ... why not employ a standby undertaker? ... just in case someone develops apoplexy revving up the final run of a dreaded Chopin Etude.

I’m happy with my Grotrian Steinweg upright ... no need to mess around with the settled furniture ... all neat and tidy ... or take out a 2nd bond to house the monster.

Why don’t you chaps save the cash and go small ...
you could save enough loot to visit the Greek Isles in July.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/06/13 06:09 AM

Originally Posted By: btb
But is “bigger” better? ...
all this elevated chat about Grands has me groping for my six-shooter ... who to pot first?

But heck ... those damn 230cm things take up so much space ... and when not in use, the deserted creepy home settings have the echo of a graveyard ... why not employ a standby undertaker? ... just in case someone develops apoplexy revving up the final run of a dreaded Chopin Etude.

I’m happy with my Grotrian Steinweg upright ... no need to mess around with the settled furniture ... all neat and tidy ... or take out a 2nd bond to house the monster.

Why don’t you chaps save the cash and go small ...
you could save enough loot to visit the Greek Isles in July.


You are by far the most... interesting poster I've seen here.
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/06/13 06:22 AM

While on the subject of big grands, I believe the Fazioli F308 is the longest, but Stuart & Sons concert grand 290 (102 keys) is the broadest at 1.75m/5' 9'' among production pianos.

Would anyone like to 'improve' on those? wink
Posted by: Michael_99

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/06/13 07:31 AM

I am ignorant. I know what an upright is. What is a piano that opens up whether it be 4 feet for 9 feet long?

The funny thing is that no matter how much the condo/apt costs - millions or billions, people complain about pianos being played!

Don't 7, 9 foot pianos cost hundreds of thousands of dollars? What joe who plays a piano has that kind of money, huh? What average joe has a house that can accommodate a 7 foot piano? Rich people, of couse, can and do.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/06/13 07:53 AM

Originally Posted By: Michael_99
I am ignorant. I know what an upright is. What is a piano that opens up whether it be 4 feet for 9 feet long?

The funny thing is that no matter how much the condo/apt costs - millions or billions, people complain about pianos being played!

Don't 7, 9 foot pianos cost hundreds of thousands of dollars? What joe who plays a piano has that kind of money, huh? What average joe has a house that can accommodate a 7 foot piano? Rich people, of couse, can and do.


Hahaha... almost! A good 7 foot Steinway usually goes for 30-40 thousand. Not 'hundreds of thousands'. smile

And much less for a good 7 foot Yamaha. You could grab one of those for around 15-22 thousand. Obviously this ain't cheap but it's a lot better than hundreds of thousands!
Posted by: musicmad

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/06/13 08:00 AM

OP here. To put it in perspective i was referring to a Baby Grand medium 6- 1/2 compared to a full Concert Grand 9-feet.

In your opinion what would be the overall benefit in sound and performance recording on a full Concert Grand as opposed to a medium Baby Grand ? I ask because I've been given the option to record on either both these pianos.

After trialing the two I'm more comfortable with the Baby Grand giving a more authentic ambiance feel upfront that overall suits my style of music. That being said the Concert Grand is a beast being to over powerful with a completely different attack being difficult to express that gentle touch.

As btb quoted,

Quote:
But is "bigger” better"
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/06/13 08:11 AM

Originally Posted By: musicmad
OP here. To put it in perspective i was referring to a Baby Grand medium 6- 1/2 compared to a full Concert Grand 9-feet.

In your opinion what would be the overall benefit in sound and performance recording on a full Concert Grand as opposed to a medium Baby Grand ? I ask because I've been given the option to record on either both these pianos.

After trialing the two I'm more comfortable with the Baby Grand giving a more authentic ambiance feel upfront that overall suits my style of music. That being said the Concert Grand is a beast being to over powerful with a completely different attack being difficult to express that gentle touch.

As btb quoted,

Quote:
But is "bigger” better"


If you prefer one over the other, why ask those who have never played either piano? It is quite possible the smaller grand is better than the concert, and you would know best what your music sounds like on it. A lot has to do with the brand and the maintenance of each. Generally speaking, however, the larger the grand, the clearer the bass notes and more room for dynamic contrast.

Can you record the same piece (or a segment of one) on each piano and compare the recordings before deciding?
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/06/13 12:07 PM

Originally Posted By: JoelW
Hahaha... almost! A good 7 foot Steinway usually goes for 30-40 thousand....

Actually about double!

But you're right, it's not hundreds of thousands.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/06/13 12:08 PM

Originally Posted By: musicmad
OP here. To put it in perspective i was referring to a Baby Grand medium 6- 1/2....

Everybody take note. grin

When you see "baby grand," you can't assume. Even my liberal upper border of 6'3" didn't cover it!
Posted by: JoelW

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/06/13 12:53 PM

Yeah, I wouldn't exactly call 6'6 a baby grand... When I hear "baby grand" I think anything UNDER 6'.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/06/13 03:09 PM

Originally Posted By: Morodiene
....Generally speaking, however, the larger the grand, the clearer the bass notes and more room for dynamic contrast....

....and the richer the tone.

As per what you said, he should just judge according to how the pianos seem to him. But I'm guessing he was also wanting to learn some general things about different sized grands, and hopefully we've helped him do that.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/06/13 03:14 PM

When it comes to pianos, generally bigger IS better... that's why we have 9' pianos anyway... If it wasn't so, we'd never have to build 9' pianos.
Posted by: jeffreyjones

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/06/13 03:46 PM

Originally Posted By: JoelW
When it comes to pianos, generally bigger IS better... that's why we have 9' pianos anyway... If it wasn't so, we'd never have to build 9' pianos.


Bigger pianos are certainly better, because the strings are longer. That means 1) they don't have to be stretched as much to produce the same pitch, and 2) there's more metal resonating, which gives you a superior dynamic range and control. The same rule applies to uprights, which I probably should have considered before I bought my 120cm Schimmel. It definitely has soul to make up for the lack of power though.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/06/13 04:42 PM

Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
Originally Posted By: JoelW
When it comes to pianos, generally bigger IS better... that's why we have 9' pianos anyway... If it wasn't so, we'd never have to build 9' pianos.


Bigger pianos are certainly better, because the strings are longer. That means 1) they don't have to be stretched as much to produce the same pitch, and 2) there's more metal resonating, which gives you a superior dynamic range and control. The same rule applies to uprights, which I probably should have considered before I bought my 120cm Schimmel. It definitely has soul to make up for the lack of power though.


I believe it's the opposite. The longer the string, the MORE is must be stretched to reach the same pitch, but this results in a rounder, more full tone. Am I wrong?
Posted by: jeffreyjones

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/07/13 01:36 PM

Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
Originally Posted By: JoelW
When it comes to pianos, generally bigger IS better... that's why we have 9' pianos anyway... If it wasn't so, we'd never have to build 9' pianos.


Bigger pianos are certainly better, because the strings are longer. That means 1) they don't have to be stretched as much to produce the same pitch, and 2) there's more metal resonating, which gives you a superior dynamic range and control. The same rule applies to uprights, which I probably should have considered before I bought my 120cm Schimmel. It definitely has soul to make up for the lack of power though.


I believe it's the opposite. The longer the string, the MORE is must be stretched to reach the same pitch, but this results in a rounder, more full tone. Am I wrong?


You are correct. And now that I do more reading, it seems that because of this increased tension, the bass strings on concert grands have a lighter gauge than those of smaller instruments. The goal of piano makers is to use strings as long, as tense, and yet also as light as possible (for elasticity).

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...html#Post909463
Posted by: jawhitti

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/07/13 05:41 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
IMO all we can be sure of 'with a reasonable degree of certainty' is up to about 6'3.


Man 6/3 is Baldwin L territory. Not what I'd call "baby" by any stretch. But I've had family ask if my 7' Yamaha is a baby grand, so what do I know smile
Posted by: jawhitti

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/07/13 05:45 PM

Originally Posted By: Morodiene
I call my 9' Petrof my "big baby"


I call my 7-footer "Vincent" or "Victor" depending on my mood, but my wife calls it "the monstrosity" either way.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/07/13 06:07 PM

I think any specific guess(like up to 6'3" or any other number) about what the general public calls a baby grand is speculation and just silly.

As far as the other classifications go, most people are unfamiliar with terms like parlor grand, semi concert grand, and concert grand. Non pianists often don't even know the difference between a grand and a vertical.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/08/13 12:09 AM

Originally Posted By: jawhitti
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
IMO all we can be sure of 'with a reasonable degree of certainty' is up to about 6'3.

Man 6/3 is Baldwin L territory. Not what I'd call "baby" by any stretch. But I've had family ask if my 7' Yamaha is a baby grand, so what do I know smile

Exactly! ha

And heck, the OP here was talking about a six-and-a-half-foot when he said baby grand!
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/08/13 12:14 AM

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I think any specific guess(like up to 6'3" or any other number) about what the general public calls a baby grand is speculation and just silly....

Yes indeed -- because I'm the one who said it. ha

Sure, it's speculation, but it's not silly. It's based on experience. And, assuming you know how to read fairly well ha if you go back, you'll see that what I was really saying was that because of the varied concepts of the term, we have essentially no idea what someone means by it. The "6'3" figure I gave wasn't any assertion; it was to say that if you want to guess at all what someone means, you absolutely can't have any confidence that someone means a piano of any lesser size than that.

I await your apology. grin
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/08/13 12:53 AM

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
[...]Non pianists often don't even know the difference between a grand and a vertical.


As the saying goes, they just don't know which way is up!

Cheers!
Posted by: pianomouse

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/10/13 05:28 PM

(Hamburg) Steinway A-188 (cm) is considered the smallest concert grand. Steinways 180 downwards are called 'Stutzflügel', don't ask me how to translate this into English.
A-188 have already a very balanced sound, although for an average smaller concert hall, I would always recommend a Steinway B-211.
Grands which are shorter than an A-188 often have almost to no sound on the high strings, because they're just too short to vibrate well.

But the length of a grand doesn't only influence the sound, also the action feels quite different, if you play an A-188 / B-211 or a D-270. C-230 are not very popular around here, their action is often considered to feel a bit unbalanced.

By the way, here in Europe, a new Hamburg Steinway B-211 costs over a hundred-thousand $...
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/10/13 06:23 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I think any specific guess(like up to 6'3" or any other number) about what the general public calls a baby grand is speculation and just silly....

Yes indeed -- because I'm the one who said it. ha

Sure, it's speculation, but it's not silly. It's based on experience. And, assuming you know how to read fairly well ha if you go back, you'll see that what I was really saying was that because of the varied concepts of the term, we have essentially no idea what someone means by it. The "6'3" figure I gave wasn't any assertion; it was to say that if you want to guess at all what someone means, you absolutely can't have any confidence that someone means a piano of any lesser size than that.

I await your apology. grin
Your explanation is just as silly as your original assertion.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/10/13 06:26 PM

Originally Posted By: pianomouse


By the way, here in Europe, a new Hamburg Steinway B-211 costs over a hundred-thousand $...



Yeah but who the heck buys a piano NEW, unless they just have wads of cash to wipe their rear ends with.
Posted by: BDB

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/10/13 07:32 PM

Originally Posted By: pianomouse
Grands which are shorter than an A-188 often have almost to no sound on the high strings, because they're just too short to vibrate well.


The highest strings of all pianos are about the same length, no matter what the size of the piano. In proportion to the pitch of the piano, the highest notes have the longest strings, which is one of the reasons why they are more likely to break than lower strings.
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/10/13 07:35 PM

Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: pianomouse


By the way, here in Europe, a new Hamburg Steinway B-211 costs over a hundred-thousand $...



Yeah but who the heck buys a piano NEW, unless they just have wads of cash to wipe their rear ends with.


Many of us have bought our pianos new, although, admittedly, never a Steinway "B", in my case, but I take strong exception to the vulgarity of your statement. I saved for a long time and did without some luxuries in order to buy my pianos new.

Regards,
Posted by: JoelW

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/10/13 07:51 PM

Originally Posted By: BruceD
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: pianomouse


By the way, here in Europe, a new Hamburg Steinway B-211 costs over a hundred-thousand $...



Yeah but who the heck buys a piano NEW, unless they just have wads of cash to wipe their rear ends with.


Many of us have bought our pianos new, although, admittedly, never a Steinway "B", in my case, but I take strong exception to the vulgarity of your statement. I saved for a long time and did without some luxuries in order to buy my pianos new.

Regards,



I'm sorry that I offended you, but I disagree with buying any piano new. Even if one has the money for a brand new piano, a brand new piano doesn't sound or play any better than an equal quality used piano that's been prepped well. It's just an economically bad choice in my view. The only reason I can see why someone would want to buy a brand new piano is for the novelty of it.

All statements are of course only my opinion.

I've also heard that with many hand-made pianos, they take a long time to 'break in', which would be an advantaged of buying a well-prepped used instrument of the same quality.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/10/13 09:45 PM

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Your explanation is just as silly as your original assertion.

If I'd had you as a teacher and you made comments like that on what I turned in, I'd show them to the principal and you'd be demoted for not understanding what your students write. ha

That's for humor.
This is for serious: Much goes over your head.
Posted by: John Pels

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/11/13 12:53 AM

"Yeah but who the heck buys a piano NEW, unless they just have wads of cash to wipe their rear ends with."

Hmmm...kind of one of those wonderfully ignorant if not juvenile statements. Why does anyone buy anything new? Well...it's generally because one has a certain expectation of longevity, whether it be a car, boat, piano or washer/dryer, television, take your pick. The same is certainly true of pianos. They may be wonderfully taken care of, tuned on a regular basis, yadda yadda yadda, but none of this will add to longevity. Most folks do not believe in trading pianos like changing socks. They want and EXPECT it to last. If you are faced with a deficit money-wise when buying a piano, your options are limited. It would be the same thing if for instance you wanted to buy a new Corvette. You either plunk down the dough, or you opt for used. For myself, I thought I would be better off learning about rebuilding, so that I could theoretically own whatever piano I wanted for a much reduced quantity of cash. The same analogy would hold true for a Corvette, if you still couldn't afford to buy it used, maybe you could buy one needing work. I have done this as well. There are other ways of securing material things without having to go into debt for them plus you get the satisfaction of actually learning something. It also beats the heck out of insulting folks that ARE able to afford what they want when they just walk into a store and drop copious amounts of money. You can manipulate the capitalistic market in your favor regardless of where you find yourself on the ladder. Resentment is NOT the way to go.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/11/13 01:00 AM

Originally Posted By: John Pels
"Yeah but who the heck buys a piano NEW, unless they just have wads of cash to wipe their rear ends with."

Hmmm...kind of one of those wonderfully ignorant if not juvenile statements. Why does anyone buy anything new? Well...it's generally because one has a certain expectation of longevity....

For what it's worth, that's not at all true for me (although neither is the wipe-the-rear-end thing). ha
I've mostly bought new pianos, but out of resignation, not preference. I prefer older pianos, but only once did I succeed in finding a suitable older piano in a reasonable condition. The other times, after a while I just sort of shook my head and bought a new piano.
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/11/13 02:04 AM

The JoelW's of the world might well be at least mildly grateful that some of us do buy pianos new - for whatever reasons (some of which are based on pretty solid research) - otherwise they would never have used pianos to buy, now, would they?
Posted by: stores

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/11/13 04:24 AM

Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: BruceD
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: pianomouse


By the way, here in Europe, a new Hamburg Steinway B-211 costs over a hundred-thousand $...



Yeah but who the heck buys a piano NEW, unless they just have wads of cash to wipe their rear ends with.


Many of us have bought our pianos new, although, admittedly, never a Steinway "B", in my case, but I take strong exception to the vulgarity of your statement. I saved for a long time and did without some luxuries in order to buy my pianos new.

Regards,



I'm sorry that I offended you, but I disagree with buying any piano new. Even if one has the money for a brand new piano, a brand new piano doesn't sound or play any better than an equal quality used piano that's been prepped well. It's just an economically bad choice in my view. The only reason I can see why someone would want to buy a brand new piano is for the novelty of it.

All statements are of course only my opinion.

I've also heard that with many hand-made pianos, they take a long time to 'break in', which would be an advantaged of buying a well-prepped used instrument of the same quality.


Clearly, you've not played many pianos young man.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/11/13 07:54 AM

Originally Posted By: John Pels
"Yeah but who the heck buys a piano NEW, unless they just have wads of cash to wipe their rear ends with."

Hmmm...kind of one of those wonderfully ignorant if not juvenile statements. Why does anyone buy anything new? Well...it's generally because one has a certain expectation of longevity, whether it be a car, boat, piano or washer/dryer, television, take your pick. The same is certainly true of pianos. They may be wonderfully taken care of, tuned on a regular basis, yadda yadda yadda, but none of this will add to longevity. Most folks do not believe in trading pianos like changing socks. They want and EXPECT it to last. If you are faced with a deficit money-wise when buying a piano, your options are limited. It would be the same thing if for instance you wanted to buy a new Corvette. You either plunk down the dough, or you opt for used. For myself, I thought I would be better off learning about rebuilding, so that I could theoretically own whatever piano I wanted for a much reduced quantity of cash. The same analogy would hold true for a Corvette, if you still couldn't afford to buy it used, maybe you could buy one needing work. I have done this as well. There are other ways of securing material things without having to go into debt for them plus you get the satisfaction of actually learning something. It also beats the heck out of insulting folks that ARE able to afford what they want when they just walk into a store and drop copious amounts of money. You can manipulate the capitalistic market in your favor regardless of where you find yourself on the ladder. Resentment is NOT the way to go.


If you are talking about machine-made pianos, then I guess I see your point. But not when talking about instruments of higher quality. A relatively new 'used' Steinway that's in perfect condition and receives good maintenance will outlive everyone here on PW including myself.

When I say "used" I don't mean "very old". The very second a 'new' piano is purchased it becomes 'used' and its resale price significantly drops. That's the way the market works. So you tell me, is it really worth paying thousands of dollars more for a piano that says 'new' on the price-tag over a piano that was 'new' 1 year ago in the same condition?
Posted by: John Pels

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/11/13 11:42 AM

Joel, the only way a piano will outlive you is if it is maintained at a high level. I have played Steinways with flat soundboards that weren't as old as I am. It just depends on how that particular piano has spent its years. The average life of bass strings is roughly 30 years plus or minus. You can wear out a set of hammers in a few years time given hours a day of practice. The more a piano is tuned, the sooner it will need a pinblock. Metal threaded pins living in hardwood will do that. Pianos are not much different than other consumer items. The more they are used the more they wear. In addition, many folks these days won't buy anything without a warranty. The factory warranty is often only applicable to the original purchaser. Will the warranty ever be needed during the warranty period? It's anybody's guess, but it's an expectation when you spend the big bucks. As to whether it's "worth it", well only the buyer can determine that. Some buyers won't buy anything used, they're just hooked up that way. Others may be more pragmatic, and I tend to be at the other end of the scale that specializes in total restorations of darned near anything. In the end, it will really come down to what are your resources and how will you use them. There is no right or wrong answer to new vs. used.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/11/13 11:51 AM

Originally Posted By: JoelW
....A relatively new 'used' Steinway that's in perfect condition and receives good maintenance will outlive everyone here on PW including myself....
The very second a 'new' piano is purchased it becomes 'used' and its resale price significantly drops. That's the way the market works. So you tell me, is it really worth paying thousands of dollars more for a piano that says 'new' on the price-tag over a piano that was 'new' 1 year ago in the same condition?

Some of what you said can be argued with (and we are) grin but I hope the true things you're saying won't get neglected. This thing is true. And also there are other arguable advantages of 'non-new' pianos which is why I would always prefer to get one, if I find an available well-maintained one that I love, which unfortunately usually hasn't happened.

Originally Posted By: John Pels
....As to whether it's "worth it", well only the buyer can determine that.

Provided the used piano meets what Joel said, it's hard to imagine that it could be, except for....

Quote:
....Some buyers won't buy anything used, they're just hooked up that way.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/11/13 12:15 PM

I agree with Joel that a piano less than around 5-10 years old that has been well maintained can be a much better buy than purchasing new. Over that amount of time there is a steep depreciation in cost and relatively little depreciation in condition if the piano is well maintained and not played eight hours a day.

I think the problem was with how he initially phrased his opinion about purchasing a new piano.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/11/13 12:19 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Your explanation is just as silly as your original assertion.

If I'd had you as a teacher and you made comments like that on what I turned in, I'd show them to the principal and you'd be demoted for not understanding what your students write. ha

That's for humor.
This is for serious: Much goes over your head.
The problem is that you are assuming you are correct.
Posted by: JoelW

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/11/13 12:47 PM

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I agree with Joel that a piano less than around 5-10 years old that has been well maintained can be a much better buy than purchasing new. Over that amount of time there is a steep depreciation in cost and relatively little depreciation in condition if the piano is well maintained and not played eight hours a day.

I think the problem was with how he initially phrased his opinion about purchasing a new piano.


This is probably true.

I can come off sounding like a jackass without realizing it sometimes. I admit it.
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Concert Grand Or Baby Grand ??? - 02/11/13 03:37 PM

Originally Posted By: JoelW
"Yeah but who the heck buys a piano NEW, unless they just have wads of cash to wipe their rear ends with."
[...]
When I say "used" I don't mean "very old". The very second a 'new' piano is purchased it becomes 'used' and its resale price significantly drops. That's the way the market works. So you tell me, is it really worth paying thousands of dollars more for a piano that says 'new' on the price-tag over a piano that was 'new' 1 year ago in the same condition?


I can't tell from this whether you are speaking from experience or from a theoretical point of view. How many high-end pianos have you seen for sale that are nearly new?

In my long shopping experiences for my first pianos, in areas that had several piano dealerships that featured high-end pianos, those pianos that were "new 1 year ago" were not high-end, performance pianos but, rather, pianos that had been bought because someone thought they (or their child) wanted to learn to play and then decided against doing so. In too many cases, they were production-grade pianos and, although "nearly new," were not worth purchasing at their "nearly new" prices.

The higher-end performance pianos I encountered, including those that had been totally rebuilt were considerably older pianos - 15, 20, 30 years old, or older which raised the question of longevity.

I don't think that many people who buy the more expensive instruments plan on re-selling them within a year or two. Only unusual circumstances surround such sales and, in my experience, they were so rare as to be virtually non-existent.

Moreover, as JP has pointed out, most new pianos come with a limited, non-transferable warranty that can be an added incentive to buying new. I know that in two cases where I had issues with pianos I bought new, those issues were covered under warranty. One involved a long-distance trip from a Yamaha specialist, a visit that would have cost me not only the repair but a couple of hundred dollars in travel expense had the visit not been covered by a warranty.

In another warranty issue, a new part was shipped to me from the factory without question.

I don't think that anyone would argue - I certainly wouldn't - that there certainly can be much to consider in favour of buying a used performance-class instrument in excellent condition, on the rare occasion that one can find such an instrument. Similarly, much can be said for buying new : dealer-manufacturer incentives, genuine (not contrived) stock clearances, warranties.

Regards,