Grand Piano Overview – Why buy A Grand Piano?
There are many situations where an upright piano is the right option, for those instances where space, budget and level of proficiency are in a certain balance, a good quality upright piano can be more than enough to provide decades of enjoyment. However, there are certain advantages that only Grand pianos can bestow. Aside from the obvious aesthetic appeal that a Grand Piano brings there are weighty technical reasons for choosing a Grand piano over an upright.
The horizontal design of Grand pianos enables the harmonic content produced from the body of the piano to be distributed in a uniquely satisfying manner. The sound waves can freely envelop the pianist and the audience instead of remaining shut within the cabinet. This is one of the reasons concert artists always play Grand pianos. The construction of the action in a Grand Piano also means that gravity plays a helpful role in keeping the action stable and consistent. Because the hammers are striking the strings from underneath, the action on a grand piano can feel quite different to that of an upright. It is generally believed that the action on a grand piano allows for more reliable repetition of notes as well as offering more opportunities for nuance in tone and dynamics. This is why once pianists reach a certain level, a Grand piano action is preferable. However, if the budget for a grand piano is tight do not be tempted to compromise with the instrument you buy as you will most likely end up with a second rate piano that leads to disappointed expectations. An inferior Grand piano can easily prove to be more expensive in the long term than a cheap upright, so do be wary of cutting corners with a grand piano. At the Piano Shop Bath we are able to offer our customers a range of Grand Piano options and here we take a look at two popular models from respected piano manufacture Kawai.
THE KAWAI GL10
The smallest of Kawai’s Grand Piano offerings this updated Baby Grand model delivers on several fronts. If there exists a better quality grand piano than the GL10 at the same price point, than we are yet to find it. At 153cm long and 150cm wide the compact dimensions on offer here allow it to fit easily into homes where space is an issue. The size of any piano is one of the most important factors in determining its tonal qualities. In the past some people have been wary of the smaller grand pianos, fearing that the shorter bass strings would not provide a rich enough playing experience. However, the quality of the materials used to manufacture the Kawai GL10 negate that issue and the bass on the GL10 packs a mighty punch. Playing is believing of course, but most people, once they’ve tried it, find the bass on this baby grand piano a delight. The tapered solid spruce soundboard and hardwood bridge (solid maple or beech) ensure optimal tonal transfer and go some way towards explaining how the GL10 is able to produce such a resonant, satisfying tone. Small but mighty, the GL1O grand piano from Kawai should be an essential to try for anyone in the market for an entry level Grand piano.
THE KAWAI GL50
At 188cm long and 152cm wide this substantial Grand piano is a serious musical offering from Kawai. Built to high specifications utilising cutting edge design and technology this Grand piano recently won the dealers choice award from Musical Merchandise Review magazine. Part of the reason these pianos are highly regarded within the industry is they are so reliable and consistently good. Kawai provide their industry beating 10 year warranty with all the GL series Grand pianos, it is not hard to see how they are able to confidently offer such a warranty. Built with an emphasis on strength, allowing the piano to thrive over time the GL50 has a multi grip pinblock with tuning pins made from carbon steel and nickel plated to enhance longevity. The pianos keybed is reinforced with a steel support beam that adds rigidity and prevents energy loss. The frame, or plate is the iron superstructure of the piano across which the strings are tensioned and this is designed to maximise the strength and stability of the whole piano. The GL50 also features Kawais CORE system, which focuses the pianos strength centres (the rim, the plate and underside beams) on one central point at the heart of the instrument. This improves the tonal power of the piano because it helps to maximise the reflective capabilities of the inner rim. All of these carefully thought out structural aspects allow the piano to really sing, the duplex scaling on the GL50 adding yet another layer of depth and beauty to this fine piano. Overall, the GL50 is an impressive Grand piano that is a huge credit to Kawai. The GL series cements Kawai’s reputation as a manufacturer committed to building exceptional pianos that will be around for the long haul. The Piano Shop Bath always has a good range of Kawai grand pianos in stock, to check availability please do call us on 01225 427961.