Are tall pianos too loud?

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ConfusedCustomer
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Are tall pianos too loud?

Post by ConfusedCustomer » 10 Feb 2014, 18:03

There seems to be a consensus that the taller the better when it comes to uprights. But can taller pianos be too loud for a modern domestic living room (say 5m x 5m with a ceiling height of about 3m)? It's one of those things that you can't really test in a dealer's showroom so I'd be grateful for any views.

Thanks

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Colin Nicholson
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Re: Are tall pianos too loud?

Post by Colin Nicholson » 11 Feb 2014, 01:52

How tall is tall?

A good pianist should be able to control all levels of dynamics and tone, even on a 9ft concert grand piano, and adjust accordingly to each venue. Some tall uprights are around 56" in height.

The height of a piano varies according to the length of the bass strings and the customer taste. The height of the mechanism is adjusted with longer or shorter key capstans for the correct hammer height.

Also depends on your flooring/ furnishings etc.
Difficult to know exactly the loudness compared to a show room because there are other pianos & possibly different flooring.

Can be softened with carpet flooring/ curtains, and even a blanket behind the piano to absorb the sound. Personally, I prefer a piano with a louder tone, then I can bring it down with my touch on the keys.
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Withindale
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Re: Are tall pianos too loud?

Post by Withindale » 11 Feb 2014, 11:33

Colin is spot on.

I have a 140 mm high piano in a room about 2m x 3m x 3m with a relatively small opening where some sound can escape. It's too loud only when you try to fill the Royal Albert Hall.
Last edited by Withindale on 11 Feb 2014, 12:50, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Are tall pianos too loud?

Post by Colin Nicholson » 11 Feb 2014, 12:37

Here is another alternative.

Well, its not very common to "test drive" a piano on the open road.... or is it?

Have a word with your dealer, and perhaps they may offer (or you could suggest) to temporarily move it to your home (assuming normal access) for a short period of time to test it out.
A deposit may be required for "accidental damage" - and if you like it, pay the balance, and it's yours.
If not, then lose some of or all your deposit to cover collection fees/ fuel/ 2 man labour & van?? Might be worth that approach, and you are not lumbered with a 'loud' piano.
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Re: Are tall pianos too loud?

Post by ConfusedCustomer » 11 Feb 2014, 13:41

Thanks for the responses. By tall I mean about 130cm (say Yamaha U3 or Kawai K6), compared to about 120cm (Yamaha B3, Kawai K3). Of course there are lots of other factors to take into account (not least price).

I like the idea of a home trial, which I guess will be more likely with a used piano.

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Re: Are tall pianos too loud?

Post by Withindale » 11 Feb 2014, 17:16

Perhaps we should ask you, Confused Customer, what types of piano you are considering.

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Re: Are tall pianos too loud?

Post by ConfusedCustomer » 11 Feb 2014, 21:34

Thanks for the responses. I like the sound of a test drive.

I asked the question because for my budget (about £4k) it looks like the choice will be between a new, shorter piano (about 120cm, e.g. Yamaha B3) or a used taller one (about 130cm, e.g. Yamaha U3). Of course there are lots of other things to consider, but they seem to have been debated to death elsewhere. It was really this issue of loudness that I wasn't sure about. Certainly sounds like it's not something I need to worry about.

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