Questions, Studio Business

Forum Q&A | What is your favorite piano brand(s)?

Last week’s Forum Q&A was all about the benefits of joining a professional organization such as MTNA.  There are some very interesting comments, so please take a moment to read them by clicking here!

This week’s Forum Q&A was inspired by Leah.  😉  I will be piano shopping over the summer, and am starting to think ahead about what kind of piano I’d like to buy!  I’d love to hear about what kind of piano you have in your studio, and what piano brand(s) are your favorite.  So, please tell us:

What kind of piano do you have in your home?  Do you have more than one?  =)

What piano manufacturer/brand(s) are your favorite and why?

Do you know of any good tips about buying pianos?

It would be so fun to see photos of what kind of pianos everyone has!  Perhaps if you have a blog, you could post a picture of your piano and share a link to it in the comments below.  If you don’t have a blog, feel free to email me your picture (admin[at] and perhaps I could put together a photo collage of sorts and post it next week!  This will be so fun!!

Photo Credit: shawnzrossi | CC 2.0


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19 thoughts on “Forum Q&A | What is your favorite piano brand(s)?”

  1. I have a D.W. Karn and Company, a vintage piano made in the late 1800s. It was given to me and is still in good shape considering its age. However, it leaves something to be wanted with response from the keys(or lack of) when I play classical. Because of its age, its hard to get the utmost expression out of the instrument. I am definitely looking to upgrade in the future.
    You can see pics of my piano on my blog and read the specs about this make at this link

    If I had the money, HANDS DOWN I would get a Steinway baby grand- their living room model. I have read a lot about how they are made and I couldn’t be more impressed.

    I am slowly saving towards this dream of having a baby grand. It probably won’t end up being a Steinway, but I also know what make I WILL NOT buy. I will never buy a Yamaha. In reading up a little on them and observing the quality for myself at our local music store, they seem more cheaply made than other brands. I feel that Yamaha has broadened their lines of production so much that the quality suffers. It doesn’t give me much peace of mind that the same company who makes a motorcycle can make me a piano….haha! 🙂

    I would consider buying a Kawai, which I played on often in college. Also our church currently has a Chickering, which I LOVE the feel of.

    When piano shopping in the past (for used ones), I have always tried to find out as much history as I can regarding how it was taken care of. If it has just sat in someone’s house and has been simply a piece of furniture, I’m a little leery of it.

  2. Last October I purchased a Hailun baby grand. I have been extremely pleased with my purchase. Hailun is fairly new to the United States – they are Korean piano’s modeled after Steinway. The upper range on the piano is beautiful, crisp and clear due to the duplex scale. It is definitely a piano that should be considered!

  3. This is fun! I own an upright Yamaha P-22 that, I believe, was built in the 1980’s. I purchased it used and it was well cared for by the previous owners. It’s not my ideal piano–it’s a little bright and forward-sounding, so it’s a challenge making it sound nice sometimes. But, I like the wide range of tone that it can get compared to some other pianos…. you just have to learn how to handle it.

    Here’s a black & white photo of my piano on my blog:

    Although I’m not particularly partial to my piano, I have liked a lot of other Yamaha’s that I’ve played and would consider upgrading to a Yamaha Grand at some point. I’d definitely consider Steinway or Kawaii, as well. But, who knows, it’ll be a few years until I’m able to upgrade, so my thoughts and preferences will probably change by that point!

    Good luck in your searching! That’s exciting! What are you thinking about purchasing in terms of pianos?

  4. I’m also a Yamaha girl! I have a lovely YUS5 (didn’t have the space for a grand) in my studio and a Clavinova in another part of the house. Interestingly, I did have a Kawai for many years – it was okay at the beginning but not good long-term and for a lot of advanced playing. My kids are all into music so besides these two pianos we also have a Yamaha trumpet, oboe and guitar. I should have bought shares…..

    This blog post shows my piano in my studio.\
    This you-tube video is my son showcasing the marvels of the Clavinova. He laid down the bass track, then the piano, then recorded the trumpet lines, then the vocal, then put it all together with the visual. It was all done with the Clavinova, his laptop, and a Flip video recorder (an amazing and inexpensive device!).

    Thanks for the forum, Joy – this IS fun!

  5. I would buy a Kawai for short-term, and a Steinway for my big commitment. I love the Kawai’s richer tone versus the bright Yamaha tone. Of course, since I have no piano right now, I would play on anything 🙂

  6. I’m blessed to have my grandfather’s Steinway L (5’11”), so I’m quite spoiled. But if you’re looking for a good and more affordable alternative, my church purchased a Boston grand. It is designed and sold by Steinway but is mass-produced so the cost is significantly less. It’s a beautiful instrument with a wonderful sound and I would recommend it to anyone.

  7. I am very fortunate to own the Boston GP178. My husband was very sweet to purchase it at a very low point in my life and after I’ve waited for over 15 years.
    It is a beautiful instrument and I think I am definitely content with keeping this for the rest of my life. I love the Boston’s warm and lush tone and its profoundly rich bass. I’ll add a post with pictures soon….
    Good luck with shopping….this must be exciting!

  8. I’m shopping for a piano right now. After 13 years of waiting and a year of looking, I’ve finally found one I really like and will hopefully get it soon!

    It’s important to remember that every piano is unique. I originally went to the piano store with very definite opinions about different brands, but found I did much better when I set those thoughts aside and just played a bunch of pianos. I’ve never really cared for Yamahas, but . . .(you know where this is going!) I fell in love with a slightly used Yamaha C1. Quite honestly, it sounds and feels quite different from all the other Yamahas I’ve tried. (No offense to Yamaha lovers!) It is just plain fun to play, and I actually dreamed about it for a couple nights after I found it at the store. 🙂

    Going with a used piano can definitely help your budget! If you take time, you can find some good deals that way. Also, if you haven’t already done so, you should really check out (Larry Fine’s online version of The Piano Book.) Fine gives some really helpful tips on the piano buying process, as well as basic information about brands.

    Good luck on your piano search!

  9. If I had my druthers I would definitely own a Steinway. I grew up playing on a Steinway baby grand which still lives at my parents home but is in deteriorating condition and in dire need of some rebuilding. Someday! Currently, I practice and teach on a Seiler, a German-made piano which I got through San Francisco Opera’s annual piano sale. I don’t know if other musical organizations do such an event, but it is a good place to look for a nice instrument!
    I just posted a picture of my home teaching space on my blog here:
    At the SF Conservatory where I also teach, most practice rooms have Yamahas. Some of them I love, others not so much, but they do seem to be surviving the tremendous abuse of being practice room pianos!
    Good luck in your search for the perfect instrument for you!

  10. I am in love with my Yamaha baby grand. I never thought I’d buy Yamaha, but when I started looking and playing, it was a good feel for the right price. Now, I can’t imagine having had any hesitations about it! If I ever bought again, I would definitely look at a Mason & Hamlin, or Charles Walters, which I played when I was looking for my current piano. I absolutely loved the touch, but it was out of my price range.

  11. I have a Yamaha C3. I was raised with a Steinway upright. It was too bright for me in a home. I love the rich and more mellow tones from the Yamaha. Of course my students love it. I’d like to know an upright that would compare.

  12. Wow, it was so fun to read about everyone’s pianos! I am definitely planning to buy a used piano, and definitely a baby grand. I’m open to many brands, especially since my budget is $3000-5000. My goal is to find an American-made piano. Ideally, I will probably be looking at Boston, Kawai, and Yamaha.

    My dream piano, of course, is to get a Steinway (cliche, I know – haha!). I few years ago, I was in New York City and managed to find the Steinway store there. Talk about heaven for pianists!!! There were so many beautiful instruments there. And they all sounded so different! Next year’s MTNA conference is in New York City……let’s hope the Steinway store puts on a fancy shindig just like Hal Leonard did this year. We can hope!

    1. What did you end up buying? I would have thought it was impossible to even buy a grand, much less a half way decent one for the budget you put here

  13. I took a huge risk when I bought my Boston grand (GP 156, 5’1). It was a practice piano at Utah State University (where I did my undergrad) and I called one of my professors to ask him what he would pay for this particular piano. I was working at a music store in VA and the prices seemed quite high. My professor then told me that he had a deal for me and proceeded to tell me that one of their Boston grands – that was on loan from a Music store was up for purchase. I never thought I would EVER purchase a piano without playing it first, but I did. My friend, who is a piano technician, put a new shine on it and shaved the hammers down. It’s hard to believe that it is used and was probably played on for hours and hours a day for an entire year. It has beautiful tone/color and I don’t think I could pick something out as nice on my own. I love it! I also have a yamaha clavinova that I use as my second piano. It’s a great resource and I love it’s midi capabilities.

  14. I’ve had a Kawai KG-2D grand since 1989. I love it and it’s been a real great workhorse.
    For concerts, I actually prefer the Yamaha 7′ or 9′ over Steinway.
    I’m looking right now at a couple of Bosendorfer 200 models.
    I know the rave for most professionals has been Steinway, but I feel like the inconsistency in quality has kept me preferring Yamaha grands for concerts. The action and consistency from one piano to the next is almost unbeatable.

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