\"\"
Piano Forum logo

Small grand or large upright? (Read 3806 times)

Offline whistlestop

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 31
Small grand or large upright?
« on: June 08, 2015, 10:24:21 AM »
Moving house in a few months and also have the chance to upgrade the piano.
The room it will sit in is only 11'x8' so it would have to be the smallest grand I can get; I want a Sauter so it would have to be the Alpha 160, and even then it would be a bit cramped.
Would I be better sticking with my Masterclass 130, acoustically? A bit of a bummer having this decision when I've wanted a grand for so long but I don't want to do something expensive and silly that I might regret later.

Offline michael_sayers

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1252
Re: Small grand or large upright?
«Reply #1 on: June 08, 2015, 10:44:41 AM »
Moving house in a few months and also have the chance to upgrade the piano.
The room it will sit in is only 11'x8' so it would have to be the smallest grand I can get; I want a Sauter so it would have to be the Alpha 160, and even then it would be a bit cramped.
Would I be better sticking with my Masterclass 130, acoustically? A bit of a bummer having this decision when I've wanted a grand for so long but I don't want to do something expensive and silly that I might regret later.

Hi Whistlestop,

I would suggest saving up for a while for the grand piano . . . and if that becomes burdensome, then so too might payments on such a piano.

And then if you decide to do it, a big down payment would make a good difference in the size of the payments and the total amount you would end up paying.


Mvh,
Michael

Offline whistlestop

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 31
Re: Small grand or large upright?
«Reply #2 on: June 08, 2015, 11:40:24 AM »
Hi Michael - thank you for answering. The problem is not the cost of the thing (for once in my life - yay!) but the sound quality coming from such a small grand; really, is the sound from my existing large upright going to be just as good (or better, perhaps) than would come from a grand of such small dimensions? Is there really an advantage to a grand when the soundboards are of a similar size?  And given that the room that will be containing it is not very big; am I letting my heart rule my head?

I plan to teach in the room so am wondering if it would be better using the space for a table or a chair for pupil's parent to sit on, or for bags to be dumped.

Offline stevensk

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 641
Re: Small grand or large upright?
«Reply #3 on: June 08, 2015, 01:28:17 PM »



     ;)

Offline dogperson

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1375
Re: Small grand or large upright?
«Reply #4 on: June 08, 2015, 02:09:25 PM »
You might want to look at the postings by Del Fandrich in the post below 

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/254802/1.html

Offline whistlestop

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 31
Re: Small grand or large upright?
«Reply #5 on: June 08, 2015, 03:51:58 PM »
Thank you; quite a long discussion there and I'll read it properly later when I'm not at work. ;)

Thing is, it's an old conundrum but a new one to me. FWIW I wouldn't be swopping a good upright for a cheap grand; hopefully the quality would be equivalent as they would be the same make. Just need to decide if the leap is likely to be worthwhile.

Offline iansinclair

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1472
Re: Small grand or large upright?
«Reply #6 on: June 09, 2015, 01:41:54 AM »
Since I own both a couple of rather nice grands -- a Steinway A and an M -- and a rather nice Big upright (also a Steinway)... a comment.

The sound and dynamic range A outranks the other two.  The M is the easiest of the three to play really delicately on (it has a newer action -- 1924 -- than the A -- 1898, not rebuilt).  But the upright is no slouch in either regard (it's also an antique -- 1903 -- and not rebuilt) and is very pleasant to play. 

And the bottom line: pick the piano you are happiest playing.  Doesn't matter what shape or size it is, assuming that it fits your space at all.  You are creating music -- not displaying an art object.
Ian

Offline michael_sayers

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1252
Re: Small grand or large upright?
«Reply #7 on: June 09, 2015, 07:22:04 AM »
Hi Michael - thank you for answering. The problem is not the cost of the thing (for once in my life - yay!) but the sound quality coming from such a small grand; really, is the sound from my existing large upright going to be just as good (or better, perhaps) than would come from a grand of such small dimensions? Is there really an advantage to a grand when the soundboards are of a similar size?  And given that the room that will be containing it is not very big; am I letting my heart rule my head?

I plan to teach in the room so am wondering if it would be better using the space for a table or a chair for pupil's parent to sit on, or for bags to be dumped.

Hi Whistletop,

I don't have very much experience with grands less than concert grand size, so unfortunately I can't do much of a comparison involving the smaller model grands.

It seems like Sauter and Pfeiffer uprights might be nice, if one judges by YouTube videos.


Mvh,
Michael

Offline outin

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 8212
Re: Small grand or large upright?
«Reply #8 on: June 09, 2015, 07:27:38 AM »
It all depends on what you use the piano for and what your priorities are... As explained in the link above, if one want to perfect one's technique and play certain repertoire, a small grand even with slightly inferior sound qualities is much better than an upright IMO. But if you already know how to play what you want to play and just play for pleasure, then the sound qualities can be more important.

But of course the acoustics of the space are just as important as the piano itself for the final results...which makes it difficult to select the perfect instrument...

Offline visitor

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 5091
Re: Small grand or large upright?
«Reply #9 on: June 09, 2015, 09:53:39 AM »
Never heard anyone exclaim
"Glad I got that big upright over the smaller grand"
I hear lots of times
" wish I had gotten the grand vs settling for that upright"

+1 to above on the action and needing to play on grand for certain development

If sound quality is key Ie larger surface area sound board for recording the prob ok w upright

If for personal enjoyment,  get the absolute highest quality small grand you can afford.

Ie the little Estonia is prob the best little gran you can get
But also consult w fazzioli. , bosey. Shigeru, steingraeber, bluthner, steiny, etc

Offline blackonwhite

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 89
Re: Small grand or large upright?
«Reply #10 on: June 10, 2015, 11:49:40 PM »
You should upgrade to a bigger upright about 150 centimeters tall .uprights at this size tend to have a better sound quality than cheap small grands
The piano a string instrument controlled by means of percussion.

Offline irrational

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 165
Re: Small grand or large upright?
«Reply #11 on: June 11, 2015, 08:57:29 AM »
I think a good upright is worth it.
I recently posted 2 long posts on my Bosey 130 purchase. At the time the owner had a Steinway M I also tried. I preferred the bosey. It has very big sound.

Where it is now, there is also a Steinway K upright. It is a very large 5-bedroom house.
Both have  no problem filling the house with sound, the Steinway perhaps having a more powerful bass. But the Bosey fills the space with sound, almost too much for the room. I think its certainly on par with a small grand, although a grand's action may be better, but its not a given.
Both of these are 152cm tall uprights and beautiful to listen to.

I think a fuller 6ft grand will be better and sweet sounding, but a smaller one not necessarily so.
What I would not do in your situation is settle for something small.

It seems like you have a dream of a good grand. Then buying a small grand now you will always be thinking you would rather want a 2m grand. I have been in that situation where I buy something at the "middle of the range" instead of exactly what I want due to cost or space. I always regret it. So I stopped doing that. I would perhaps stick with the upright for now and plan for a future with a Bosey 225, Steingraeber C-212 or Steinway B. 8)

Offline anie

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 16
Re: Small grand or large upright?
«Reply #12 on: June 19, 2015, 02:54:02 PM »
I wanted a new or different upright and went to trade-in mine but realized I could fit a baby grand into my space.  Although I bought the 5' 3" Ritmuller GH-160, they make a 4' 10" GH-148 that is very popular and gets a staff recommendation from the pianobuyer.com guide, with a rating of 'musical standout' and words that it has "Amazingly good performance for such a small piano."
  http://www.pianobuyer.com/spring15/45.html

   Also, it was reviewed by Larry Fine (after the release of the newly designed models by Luther Thomma) with the help of James Carney (and others for other pianos) for an article on many recent grand pianos UNDER 5' -- and the results are at
   https://www.pianobuyer.com/fall09/w2.html

   Carney checked out the Ritmuller and 5 other pianos and Larry Fine quotes him as saying, "I tested the 4' 10" Ritmüller GH-148R, which I found lovely overall. The keyboard and action on this piano, complete with real ebony-wood sharps, was my favorite of all the instruments I played, with a refined feel and excellent controllability. The top three octaves of the GH-148R have a front and rear duplex scale, and the workmanship of the plate finishing, bridges, tuning pins, and stringing resembles that found on much more expensive instruments. The very high quality of the bass tone extended all the way down to note A1, a trait I rarely encounter on pianos of any length..."

  And that's the smaller Ritmuller 'Premium' Grand by Thomma.

If you have a store nearby that sells Ritmuller (made by Pearl River), you should try it to see if it's something you want to hear and to see if it would fit your space.

I did try out what's considered to be the best lower-cost upright, which 'won' a shootout-style vote, with Larry Fine in attendance, and was deemed better-sounding than uprights 3 times its cost.  But despite that, I far preferred the baby grand I bought, which -- even for a 5' 3" -- one costs less than that lower-cost highly rated upright (a Kayserburg KA-132).

Hobbyist - intermediate level (SoundCloud)
Enjoy both digital and acoustic pianos

Offline breakup

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 19
Re: Small grand or large upright?
«Reply #13 on: July 03, 2015, 10:29:39 PM »
The room is as important as the instrument you put in it, tryout the instruments in a room that approximates the size of the room you will put it in to be sure it will suit.   I was lucky to have a large space for a grand, (Baldwin model R) and it sounds good.   I also had a Sohmer model 57 that was too much for the space I had, but it sounds good in a church with the lid closed, approximately 60' by 60' with a high ceiling.   I have the Baldwin's lid open, and it still doesn't overpower the space it is in, which is open to the room above, (really high ceiling for a house).  

Offline whistlestop

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 31
Re: Small grand or large upright?
«Reply #14 on: July 08, 2015, 12:20:21 PM »
I think the room probably is very important as my existing upright sounds far louder in my carpeted sitting room (about 12' square) which has floorboards, than it did in the showroom.

In an act of faith I've ordered a 5' 3" grand unseen based on experience of the make, and hope that the fact that it's final resting place in my next house will have a concrete floor (covering as yet undecided - probably wooden laminate) will modify the sound somewhat, or at least reduce the transmission to other parts of the house.  A 'big' sound is often seen as a plus whereas I'd prefer it a little mellower for a domestic environment.

All I have to do is wait 4 months until it's ready. Thank you all for your thoughts.  :)

Offline pytheamateur

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 645
Re: Small grand or large upright?
«Reply #15 on: July 08, 2015, 06:02:48 PM »
Hi Whistletop,

I don't have very much experience with grands less than concert grand size, so unfortunately I can't do much of a comparison involving the smaller model grands.

It seems like Sauter and Pfeiffer uprights might be nice, if one judges by YouTube videos.


Mvh,
Michael
How fortunate are you! Even Kissin had to be content with a Steinway A as a practice piano at one point, assuming he is not using one now.
Beethoven - Sonata in C sharp minor, Op 27 No 12
Chopin - Fantasie Impromptu, Nocturn in C sharp minor, Op post
Brahms - Op 118, Nos 2 & 3