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Advice

Grand vs upright pianos

Among piano technicians, there is not very much debate when it comes to which is better. Grand pianos have a better action, are easier to work on, and generally have a fuller tone. When equal in construction and design, in most cases a grand is better.

Small spaces can sometimes welcome an upright piano, or where a piano must be placed on a second floor, it is much easier to delivery an upright upstairs than a grand piano, even though, it can be done.

To make matters a little more complicated, pianos have their own unique tone, and the decision between two pianos can quickly become a difficult choice. 

Find the richest sounding piano possible that responds well to your touch.

Pianos for sale

The importance of tone

Tone is the shape, texture, resonance of the instrument. All pianos make music, but does the piano you are looking at make music that is pleasing to you?

Why we don’t recommend buying spinet pianos. This video illustrates some of the reasons. 

Some thoughts about buying a piano, whether to go acoustic, digital, grand, or upright.

Celeste rails can be very useful when you are trying to practice late into the evening with children sleeping, or when your child is practicing the same piece multiple times, it can reduce the sound by quite a bit!

How long will a piano last

The structural parts of pianos, the frame itself is built to last a long time, and rarely ever cracks. Other parts such as felts, and woods will last as long as the humidity is constant and does not fluctuate too broadly.

Other wear will come with playing, friction between parts will wear felts, hammers, and leathers. However, the return of playing a lot will outweigh the cost of repairs. With 30 minutes to an hour of daily playing, parts will need adjusting.

Pianos naturally go out of alignment over time, regular maintenance by a skilled technician is advised to not only tune, but regulate, reface, and look after your piano.

What are some questions that are less obvious?
  1. Pianos have a fixed height. Investing in an adjustable bench can help you align your wrists at the correct height and accommodate multiple pianists. If you’re taller, we have a stocklist that indicates legroom. While pianos can be raised slightly with casters, there’s a limit, so ensuring your comfort is more crucial than you might think.

  2. Voicing is a factor that can be adjusted if a hammer’s tone is too soft or too hard. The hammer’s voicing determines the tone’s hardness. While a brighter, harder sound may appeal to some, most prefer something in the middle or mellow spectrum. Consider pianos within this range when trying them. Listening to the sound from both a hard/soft and rich perspective allows you to see the bigger picture.

  3. Invest in a padded bench; you’ll appreciate it later. Woodtop benches aren’t very comfortable. Benches with well-padded tops make playing more comfortable and reduce fatigue from long sitting sessions.

What kind of work is done on the pianos?

We follow a checklist for parts and mechanism alignment, including pedal hardware, action components, and other elements that ensure the piano functions correctly. Our goal is to set up each piano meticulously. We continuously learn and treat each piano individually. We provide a guarantee in case any work is inadvertently overlooked during the preparation process.

Should I buy an acoustic or digital piano

I’d like to share a personal story from years ago when I was in the UK. I encouraged my father to introduce a digital piano department at his store. During my time at university, I used digital pianos for recording and performances. I still believe they’re the best choice for many traveling musicians. Digital marketing is significant, and numerous videos suggest it’s easier to maintain. It’s true; they have greatly benefited many players.

However, over time, I became somewhat disappointed. Digital pianos don’t produce the same quality of sound as acoustic ones. There’s a common saying that top-end digital pianos now have soundboards, new models feature piano actions, and the only thing missing is strings. Real pianos encourage more playing. Even world-class musicians often use acoustic pianos for inspiration and composition. They might even travel with acoustic or upright pianos, despite the need for a technician. Acoustic pianos offer a superior and more enjoyable experience. I have more stories to share, but I’ll save them for another time.

Do you offer delivery?

Yes, we coordinate delivery for your convenience. We work with various providers chosen to match your area and delivery needs. Additionally, we can handle some upright piano deliveries ourselves.

Benches

One of the simplest upgrades that can be made when buying a piano, is to upgrade your bench. If the piano we stock doesn’t include a bench, we often purchase a padded adjustable bench to go with it.

A padded adjustable bench is optimum for the reason that: as an adjustable bench it is adjustable to each player, and being padded it will make it easier for the time to split away without causing any strain on your lower back. 

Are pianos an investment?

Spending on a piano should not be seen as an investment. High brands such as Steinway or Mason & Hamlin do keep their value for longer, however, private sale prices do not reflect store prices. We recommend viewing a piano purchase as an investment in upgraded lifestyle, rather than financial investment. For instance, when you go skying, you are unlikely to have a financial return, you purchase the skis, the pass, the flights, the hotel. And you have built experiences. Music is similar in that, the instruments retail and private values don’t match, but the memories are some of the most important ones. Ask me how many times pianos are restored as they are a vital part of a families memories of a loved one. Music is somehow intrinsically linked to a family members personality.

Piano action