A piano may seem like a simple instrument, but it is anything but. Pianos are complicated instruments comprised of several moving parts that collectively contribute to the overall sound. As such, pianos vary greatly in quality depending on the craftsmanship that went into construction.
This blog post will focus on some key piano features and the hallmarks of great piano construction so you can determine a high quality piano from a lesser quality instrument.
The piano case houses all the inner workings. But, since it is made from natural materials, it’s subject to damage. A five-ply case construction will guarantee the case does not warp and crack over time. These cases are more stable and require nearly zero upkeep.
Pianos with brass pedals have two advantages. First, brass is more durable than other materials and so the pedals are less likely to break. Secondly, brass is simply more attractive than other options.
Pianos are large pieces of furniture, in addition to being an instrument, and so the final finish matters. A genuine lacquer finish is much more durable and easy to touch up. A lacquer finish is also the standard in fine furniture finishes and this finish on a grand piano acknowledges the investment you made.
The back frame is one of the most important piano features because it supports the cast iron frame and keeps the piano from warping and twisting from the high tension of the strings. The best back frames use dovetail joints to create a strong frame, which also helps in tuning stability.
The pinblock holds the tuning pins and so this piece of wood has to be strong enough to withstand as much as 40,000 pounds of tension. A four-ply pinblock is stronger and indicates the pinblock is constructed with more wood and less glue and will grip the pins tighter and for longer.
Ribs or Braces
Ribs attach to the bottom of the soundboard. They stiffen and strengthen the soundboard without making it too rigid. Notched ribs more fully support the soundboard and help the soundboard retain more resonant tonal qualities.
Understanding the key piano features of this amazing instrument will help you become a better consumer of pianos and understand your own instrument better. In the next post, learn about keybeds and why reputable companies are worth the cost.