1. Spinet Shortest of the vertical category, no longer in production. Height: approximately 36” to 39” Example: Spinet (Baldwin Acrosonic)
Spinets have compressed actions, small soundboards, large-diameter bass strings, and shortened keys. These pianos also have ‘indirect blow’ actions which add more parts per key, making them more difficult to remove and work on when necessary. The sound and tone quality is generally poor and weak. Note: Spinets are not recommended by most in the industry given their size, sound, inferior action performance, & their difficulty to make repairs. These pianos were built to accommodate the entry level student at an affordable price but after years of trial, have found them to be subpar instruments.
2. Console Height: approximately 39” to 44” in height Example: Console (Kawai Queen Anne Style)
Consoles have a ‘direct blow action’, meaning the action sits on top of the keys. The keys are longer than spinets, as are the action components. The string diameter is thinner than the spinets, resulting in a slightly better tone, pitch, & performance. Great for beginners and intermediate levels.
Studio Upright Piano
3. Studio Upright Dubbed 'semi-professional” or "institutional pianos" Height: approximately 45” to 48” Example: Studio Upright (Schumann in Polished Mahogany)
Studio uprights are traditionally used in institutions & teachers homes. The action boasts longer parts & keys, offering a more refined touch and sound. The soundboard surface area is greater than spinets & consoles, with longer strings helping to produce a fuller tone. Great for beginners, intermediate, and professionals.
4. Full Sized Upright Dubbed 'Professional Uprights" or simply, Uprights Height: approximately 48” + Example: Professional Upright (Yamaha U1 in Satin Walnut)
The scale (plate & string design) is far better than most all other verticals. They have longer strings, larger soundboards, longer action parts, and longer keys. These pianos are frequently chosen by professionals for their all-around advanced sound and performance. Great for all levels of performers.
Concert Grand Piano
(Sizes are approximated) Petite Grand: 4'6" - 4'10" Parlor Grand: 5'7" - 6'1" Conservatory Grand: 6'2" - 6'10" Semi-Concert Grand: 6'11" - 8'6" Concert Grand: Over 8'6"
Grand pianos typically measure in length from approximately 4’5” (for petite/baby grand) up to over 9’ (concert grand). They are measured from the tip of the keyboard (front) to the farthest tip of the curved end (tail). Example: (Concert Grand - Photo left)
Wippen & Repetition Lever
The strings & soundboard run parallel with the floor, rather than perpendicular in vertical pianos. The feature which typically causes a well-regulated grand piano to outperform any vertical, other than gravity and inertia, is the repetition lever. This lever allows each of the 88 hammers to quickly reload as they rebound from the string for fast repetition, as seen in the photo right.
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