Buying a new piano can be an overwhelming experience. With so many brands, styles and features, where do you start? Well, at the beginning:
Ability and Level
Always buy a piano that is better than your ability; that way it keeps you practicing and keeps you wanting to play it. This is very important, as you will not want to play a piano once you have 'outgrown' it and then your progess is hindered. In general, a more expensive piano will hold its value better than a cheaper instrument.
Upright pianos need about a 5 feet wide x 5 feet deep area (including space for the pianist and stool)
Grand pianos need a space about 5 feet wide. The length required will range from
4 1/2 to 9 1/2 feet, depending on the model, plus another 2 feet for the pianist and stool.
Make sure the piano can be placed away from sources of heat and cold like radiators, heating vents, air conditioners, direct sunlight and fireplaces. So long as your piano doesn't back directly onto a radiator then this will not be a problem as all modern pianos are virtually tropicalised. When considering sunlight, always remember that all pianos will fade except black.
Buy the tallest upright or the longest grand that you can afford. The longer the strings and the bigger the soundboard, the better the tone and the more you will want to play it.
Grand or Upright?
Space, money and proficiency will be the deciding factors here. Grand pianos are generally superior instruments to uprights. The action of a grand piano allows for faster repetition of notes, and for better, more subtle control of expression and tone than upright pianos. The exception to this rule is the "Baby grand". Any grand piano under 5 feet long should be avoided as a serious instrument. A full sized upright will sound better, at a cheaper cost.
What Brands Are Best?
Today's piano market is flooded with thousands of pianos coming from countries like the U.S., Austria, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, China and Russia. With so many models and price points offering different features for different segments of the public, it is impossible to generalise the quality of one brand over another. The best thing to do is try as many pianos as you can, and decide for yourselves, or if you feel unqualified to judge, ask a member of staff for some advice.
Although it is important for you to be happy with a beautiful-looking instrument, don't let it be the deciding factor in purchasing a fine quality musical instrument. Let the quality of construction, the tone and the feel of the keyboard be the final judge.
Make sure the warranty is for both parts and labour. Take a copy of the warranty home and note what servicing is required by you in order to comply with the terms. Post your warranty registration card if required to obtain the warranty extensions. All our new pianos come with a 5 year parts and labour guarantee. Kawai pianos comes with 10 year parts, 5 year labour.