Here at Amro Music, one of the questions we hear most often is, "How much does a baby grand cost?" The truth is, there's no "one-size-fits-all" answer. You could spend as little as a few thousand dollars or as much as $100 thousand if you wanted. With so much information readily available on the Internet, it can be a bit overwhelming to know where to start your search or what questions to ask. You should know that all pianos are not created equally, even if they look similar. Here are a few factors that can affect the price:
- Size - For grand pianos, we're talking about the length. For uprights, we're talking about the height. Better pianos tend to be slightly larger, which gives them a more desirable touch and tone. But there are also materials and construction differences that can make a piano cost more. Even if you don't notice the difference as a beginning player or listener, as your ears and playing skills develop, you'll generally appreciate the sound of larger pianos, more.
- New vs. Used. Sure, this one is obvious. However, most people don't realize there may be new pianos which offer a better playing experience, at a better price, than some used pianos.
- Brands. This isn't a Hatfields vs. McCoy's discussion on which brand is better. The top three manufacturers (Steinway, Yamaha, Kawai) all build quality instruments in a variety of price points. However, you might notice different pricing strategies at different stores. Some brands adhere to a standardized price while others set an artificially high MSRP and then reflect a false "discount" to make it look like a major discount to the consumer. What's important to investigate is which line within the brand you're looking at and compare its quality to other manufacturers' pianos in similar tiers. Once you have truthful information, it's easier to compare two pianos by different
- Color. The different wood veneers used for the exterior of the piano can greatly affect the price of new pianos, in particular. Walnut, Mahogany, and exotic finishes like Bubinga tend to be more expensive than satin ebony (flat black) or polished ebony.
- Buying from a Store vs. Individual. You'll probably pay a bit more from a retail store, but you'll also have peace of mind with fully-insured movers and a warranty. Plus, the store can provide tuning and service, both right after the sale and for years to come, often at a better price than if you weren't a customer.
There can be many other factors that affect the price of the piano. Your best bet to getting the best deal is to move slowly and learn about what you're buying. Most people only buy one piano in their lifetime, so it's an investment purchase that warrants your attention and the service of a trustworthy sales person.