If you were going to purchase a new laptop, you would probably take plenty of time to learn about your options. Even before going to the electronics store to check out available models, you would probably do a little research on each manufacturer. You might want to know basics, such as – what makes a iMac run differently than a PC? Which kind of processor is most efficient? What size hard drive would work best for your needs? In many ways, purchasing a piano is much like purchasing a new laptop – you need to know more about its inner workings before you can truly decide which one is best for your home.
Just as with electronics, all pianos are not created equal and some piano manufacturers cut corners. One such area in which this is done is in the ribs. A piano’s ribs are extremely important to the construction of the piano, so warrant attention in regards to piano features. Glued to the back of the sounding board, the ribs serve three important purposes – the support the crown, secure the joints and spread vibrations over larger areas. If ribs are not made well, this will affect the sound of the piano. For example, if they are cheaply made or not fastened correctly, this will cause uneven vibrations and a strange buzzing sound.
Some piano manufacturers choose to use short, feathered ribs rather than the standard size, longer ribs because they use less material and the liner does not have to be notched, which also results in substantial savings in labor. However, the best and most top quality grand pianos, such as concert pianos, use full-length ribs. In addition to being sturdier, they provide a much better sound.
So next time you’re piano shopping, take the ribs into account. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s important to know everything about the investment you’re making before you make the purchase.
Now, you tell me: Even though longer ribs are proven to work better, why do you think some manufacturers still use short ribs?