Which Pianos Are Better Than Others?
One of the most common questions we get asked is "Which types of pianos are the best?" It's an obvious enough question, especially from people looking at purchasing their first piano. However, it's also an extremely difficult question to answer. Much like with cars, there are a range of considerations to make, as well as a lot of brand loyalty that gets mixed into the picture.
In short, the question really shouldn't be "What are the better types of pianos?" but rather, "Which types of pianos are better for me?"
Considering What You Need In a Piano
For example, take the decision as to whether to get a grand piano or an upright model. Ostensibly, when you're comparing the top-of-the-line pianos, one would have to rule that grands are better. They are larger, giving them better sound, and they are what you always see in concert halls.
Yet, not everyone has the space to devote to a nine-foot concert grand piano, which effectively demands its own room. Money is also a significant factor, since they are far more costly than the average person is willing to spend. For customers on a budget, or with space considerations, there are many upright pianos that still produce excellent sound and can be a treasured instrument for years to come.
Different Types of Pianos For Different Types of People
Another important consideration is, "Who is this piano for?" Many people, for example, look to buy a piano for their child to learn on. A newcomer probably doesn't need a huge or overly-expensive piano, especially if you're uncertain how long their interest in the instrument may last. It's sadly common for a piano to go unused in the corner of a room because its player has moved onto other hobbies.
Someone who is more experienced, or knows that they're considering buying a future heirloom, would look at significantly different types of pianos. In this case, you would be looking at elements such as reliability and durability, as well as the overall sound quality. What is best for one person isn't necessarily best for the next.
Brand Awareness in Pianos
If you ask someone on the street to name the "best" types of pianos, chances are, they'll say "Steinway" While Steinway & Sons do make many very good instruments, they also tend to ride on their brand awareness, which increases the price accordingly. Ask some experienced pianists if a Steinway is truly worth the money, and you're likely to get a wide range of conflicting answers.
There are hundreds of piano manufacturers worldwide, and several dozen popular ones which are commonly found. They each emphasize different elements of production, and utilize different crafting methods. If you care more about sound than looks or brand recognition, there are a number of less-known companies who produce absolutely world-class instruments which come in a slightly more plain package. Other manufacturers focus on looks and styling, producing artistic instruments that are meant to serve as conversation pieces as much as musical instruments.
Pianos Are A Personal Choice
So, while there are "better" types of pianos, it really boils down to what is better for you. This is why, when you're looking to buy a piano, you should visit an experienced piano dealer who carries a wide range of instruments and can talk you through the process of finding the one that best suits you and your needs.
There's the perfect piano waiting for everyone who walks in our door. We just have to work with them to discover what it is. Wouldn't you want someone with experience to help you meet your piano match?