How to choose a new piano

How to choose a new piano

Musical life | No comment | Tags:

pianoSo here it is, you are close to your dream: owning you own new piano. You get the impression to reach a stage, but I tell you, the adventure has only just begun. You will see that choosing a piano isn’t that easy. What range of price, which size? It is not that easy to find one’s way around as each manufacturer has very convincing argument points.

Having played hundreds of pianos, I can tell you how they can be different. The brand plays a crucial role for certain standards, but the piano preparation is essential. If the quality of the used materials, the finishing or the manufacturing are very important parameters, the technician who performed the tuning and harmonization operations is just as important. Of course, many other components are involved, but the harmonization is really the step that gives its own identity to the piano. The harmonization can even affect our perception of mechanics, for example, a smooth or soft sound can gives us the impression of a “lazy” and heavy keyboard.

As for the pianos of a same brand and same model, there is an infinite number of shades, caused by factors outside the production itself. Let’s take the example of the environment: according to different rooms, the piano will not sound at all alike. Similarly, the size of the piano is to adapt to the volume of the available room. The Steinway D is a mythical instrument, but placed in a 30 square meters room, the myth shatters… Designed for rooms of large volume, it needs plenty of space to express itself!

Finally, choosing a piano is quite like choosing a car. It is necessary to define your needs in advance, as well as your budget. Just as a formula 1 requires a professional driver, some exceptional pianos require experienced pianists to deliver the best of themselves. I met some people, who were mistakenly thinking that buying a Steinway would automatically enable them to have Lipatti’s sound. Moreover, just as a formula 1 (again), these pianos require a very expensive and very frequent maintenance to stay on top of their performance. It is therefore necessary to not only consider the purchase but also maintenance costs, which can be fairly high.

But the most important in all this is to choose a piano that you really like. Whatever the brand, or what’s being said, if you have a crush on it, do not hesitate. Once identified, ask to be delivered the precise instrument you have tried. As I told you, two pianos of the same model and same brand may be very different. Write down the serial number and leave your mark on the piano (sign the underside, for example) and check on delivery that it is the piano you have chosen, and if all goes well, then you will enjoy many happy years with your instrument!

September 11th, 2009

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