What are the Differences Between Performance & Consumer Graded Pianos?

Many people are surprised to learn that some grand pianos can cost as much as a supercar.  With some performance grand pianos costing as much as $150,000, there is a world of difference between these works of sophistry and your living room upright piano. There are numerous piano brands and models, but the gaps in price, prestige, and performance are huge between high-end performance pianos and consumer pianos. What are some of these differences?

Quality of make

The biggest concern for manufacturers of consumer-grade pianos is quality control, I.e. each piano must be as good as the next one. The parts have to work as well, and there are no flaws that could interfere with the sound production by the instruments. These pianos are made well but uniformly meaning there is no distinction from one to the next.

The mass production of consumer pianos demands that manufacturers make them with the most affordable products. That is why these pianos will feature lots of plastic or less quality material to keep production prices low.

Performance pianos are made with the quality of sound in mind. These pianos are made entirely from natural material, with lots of wood in use. Making a high-end grand piano is akin to the way supercars are handcrafted. Because of this, performance pianos are of high quality and unique in appearance as well as sound.

Tonal quality

Performance pianos are made to sing. This makes music performances more expressive by connecting one note to the next. A piano should be consistent from note to note within the same register and the instrument should transit from one register to the next smoothly across the same range. Different pressure produces very marked differences in tonal harmony and volume in these finely tuned instruments.

In consumer grade pianos, the tonal quality is good but not excellent. These instruments are good for casual practice and performance where the tonal quality is not of much importance as the spirit of the music. The casual uninitiated listener cannot tell the difference between the sound of the performance and consumer piano, but the music aficionado can tell.

No matter performance or consumer level of piano you’re about to purchase.  For the players, they pay more attention to tone and touch.  And for the none players beside the price always look out for the options, such as who stand behind the piano, what is the length of warranty, how is the reputation of the seller and so forth. 

If you have any questions about how to find the right piano for your home, please contact me at 832.594.7267 or maggie@chinesepianolady.net.

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