Grand Pianos vs Uprights: What’s The Difference?

Grand Pianos vs Uprights: What’s The Difference?

A piano is a piano, right?

If you’re in the market for a new piano, chances are you’ve been looking at both grand pianos and upright pianos. Both come in a variety of sizes. Both come with a variety of options. All of which will ultimately impact the way the instrument sounds.Grand Pianos vs Uprights: What’s The Difference?

In general, the larger a piano, the longer its strings are, the larger its soundboard. While grand pianos will increase in width, an upright piano will increase in height. And as the piano grows in size, the tone of the piano improves with it.

The grand piano is thought to be the purest form of the piano. Upright pianos were designed after the fact as a way to save on both cost and space. Because they take up less room, they have a lower cost. But this alone doesn’t make upright inferior.

The quality and volume of sound produced by a piano is a function of several factors. It depends on the quality of materials, the craftsmanship, the length of the strings, the size of the soundboard, and the scale design of the instrument. An upright can sound equally as good as a grand, even produce a higher quality sound if the attention to detail is factored in. Of course, the more you move up in capabilities, the more craftsmanship you put into the final product, the more improved sound you will get.

So if an upright can equal in sound quality to a grand, what pushes many to move to a grand over time?

The answer lies in the action.

The action is the mechanical component that connects your finger to the keys, to the hammer striking the strings and making the final sound. On a grand piano, this action moves up and down using gravity to reset the action into resting position. On an upright piano, the parts move horizontally in direction, meaning springs are used to move the components back into resting position.

These springs wear over time, factoring into the final sound a piano will create.

This process doesn’t happen quickly. And an upright can be a great choice for many years to come. Yet it is a reason that many pianists, especially as they more into professional status, turn to a grand piano to create music.

With today’s new pianos, most are manufactured in the United States, Europe, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, and China. You’ll find them distributing pianos under a variety of brand names, many you’ll probably recognize from your youth, such as Yamaha, Baldwin, and Steinway.

Within each brand, you’ll find a variety of models and makes, all with different furniture design, wood finishes, options and price tags.

When evaluating a grand piano and upright pianos, preference is almost always a determining factor. Stop by and listen to the difference. You’ll be amazed.