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Meyer Music’s Buyer’s Guide for Grand Pianos

Dec 03, 2014

There are very few musical instruments that carry as much significance or are as impressive as a grand piano. When investing in one, it is crucial to find the grand piano that not only lives up to your expectations, but also its manufacturer’s reputation. From used 6’ baby grand pianos to 9’ concert hall varieties, these magnificent pianos come in a wide array of choices, so buying the perfect grand piano for your home and enjoyment is an exercise in comparisons and personal preferences. Like all investments, there are a few factors that should come into play when purchasing any piano, but especially a grand piano.

Keep an eye on quality

Often the first question relates to quality. While it may seem like a new piano will always be the best choice, this is not the rule. Another viable and often affordable option is to look for a used instrument from a trusted piano store. In general, new pianos will have fewer issues with condition, but they may not be as high quality as older, higher-end grand pianos. Usually, a new medium-grade piano and a used top-quality piano are comparable in price. It’s not uncommon for the used grand piano to be the better choice. However, new pianos do have the benefits of new technology and manufacturer warranties.

Choose a size that fits

The right-sized grand piano is another crucial factor. Smaller grand pianos usually start around 5’ in length and the larger styles can run up to 9’. The ideal size for you depends on the amount of space you have available and intended use. Even in a small space, a smaller baby grand will produce quality sound, while in a larger space a slightly longer variety will suit the space better. The larger the room, the larger the piano. That being said, the vast majority of grand pianos sold today for personal enjoyment range between 5’5” and 5’9’.

Use our grand piano template to get a feel of the scale for sizing different sized grand pianos, and help determine what is right for your space.

Listen for tone

Improvements in tone are generally most notable when you are looking at better-known piano manufacturers’ brands. Higher end pianos can have the tone adjusted, but this is usually something one would wait and do after the grand piano settles into its home environment. A qualified technician would be necessary for such adjustments to tone.

While most grand pianos look great when new, the tone of the piano can be relevant to the price of the instrument. Also, how the piano holds the tone and gets richer with age can be directly related to the higher priced instruments. This isn’t an exact science, however, even the novice ear can generally hear the difference in tone between instruments. Select a piano that fits both the sound you are looking for and the budget you have in mind.

Consider the appearance

Although less important than the sound, the case and visual aspects of the piano are often the most important considerations. Grand pianos come in all colors, from traditional black polish to a natural finish and even cherry red. Most grand pianos today have a shiny, ebony polish. Manufacturers are crafting grand pianos in fewer colors than in the past based on sales and decorating trends. Gleaming black grand pianos are elegant and fit nearly every décor, and this finish is popular with resellers should you decide to upgrade later. While the visual appeal of the piano doesn’t affect the tone quality, it is important to keep in mind the appearance you desire.

Ask for a professional opinion

You’re bound to have questions as you navigate through the process of finding the right grand piano for your situation. Ask for a professional opinion to help guide you. Our experts are always available to answer your questions at any stage of the buying process to ensure that you purchase the highest quality grand piano within your budget.

Plus, Meyer Music carries a full line of Yamaha grand pianos ranging from 5’ up to 9’ concert grands. Most of the time, we also have a selection of used grand pianos that can be more affordable when you need to stay within a budget.