Why Are Grand Pianos So Expensive?

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Written By Musical Scoop

Chief Music Officer

Grand pianos are expensive because of the materials used to make them. Plus, grand pianos have over 12,000 tiny individual parts. Making a grand piano with perfect acoustics is a labor-intensive process.

What is the Price Range for a Grand Piano?

The price range of a grand piano varies depending on certain factors. 

Typically, an entry-level upright piano will cost you around $3000 to $6500. High-end branded Upright Pianos will cost you anywhere between $10,000 to $25,000.

As for an entry-level grand piano – they will cost you around $7000 to $30,000, and a high-end branded grand piano will cost you around $65,000 to $ 190,000

The price of your piano depends on certain factors, as mentioned above. The factors are listed below:

  • The type of piano – As you read above, an entry-level upright piano is less expensive compared to a high-end. Plus, the grand piano is more expensive compared to an upright piano due to the features available in a grand piano. 
  • The materials used – Your grand piano or upright piano uses various parts like hardwood, metal, softwood, fabric, felt, and other materials. Plus, it has more than 12,000 tiny parts. All these contribute to the price of your grand piano. The top-notch quality materials and parts will make your piano expensive but worth it. 
  • The labor required – As you know, time is money. Making a piano with the perfect acoustics is a labor-intensive process and takes time and patience. Labor cost also contributes to the price of your grand piano. 
  • Brand of Piano – Branding automatically spikes the price of your grand piano. A brand like Yamaha, Steinway, Baldwin, and more put a lot of effort into making their brand well-known, use superior quality materials to live up to their names, and ensure stellar craftsmanship to ensure perfect acoustics in your grand piano. These affect the piano’s pricing and make it expensive. 
  • Size of Piano – The piano’s size also matters and factors into the pricing. The bigger your grand piano, the more the materials used and time required, so it becomes more expensive. 
  • Piano’s age and condition – When you buy a brand-new piano in its gleaming glory, it will be expensive. In contrast, when you buy a second-hand, used, or old piano, you might be able to procure it for a lesser rate. That is because of the age and condition of the piano, which also factors into the pricing. 

Why are Grand Pianos More Expensive Than Upright Pianos?

You might have read mentions of the Upright Piano in our article, isn’t it? Are you wondering why grand pianos are more expensive than upright pianos, and what’s the difference between the two? 

Simple- Upright pianos are vertical and produce less sound; plus, they occupy less space in your home. In contrast, Grand Pianos are huge, produce bigger and resonating tones, longer strings, and are refined. That’s why grand pianos are more expensive compared to upright pianos. Of course, each has its pros and cons. 

Upright Pianos 

The upright pianos are vertical and have 50 inches to more height. Plus, they don’t occupy much space in your homes. You can lean it on a wall, and its bench is easily positioned under the keyboard area.

As you read the pros and cons of the upright piano, you’ll realize that the cons of the upright piano make it less expensive than the grand piano. 

Pros

  • Lower Price
  • Doesn’t occupy much space
  • A digital keyboard alternative
  • Great for entry-level pianists

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a great sound quality
  • Not very appealing visually
  • Reptation mechanism is slow 

Grand Pianos 

Grand Pianos have elaborate designs and are huge. They make for an elegant piece of furniture at your home while offering you the joy of music.

You get grand pianos with ebony, satin, engraved, or other finish, making it more exciting. Further, the sound of the grand piano is spectacular. 

You’ll find the pros of the grand piano is what contributes to its expensiveness. In fact, you’ll find that despite the cons, you’ll find the grand piano worth the expense for a professional pianist. 

Pros 

  • Amazing tone quality
  • Great control and quick repetition
  • Easy to play
  • Built by hand and impeccable attention-to-detail craftsmanship

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Occupy a lot of space
  • Tougher to clean and expensive to move 

Are Grand Piano Keys the Same as Upright Piano Keys?

Now that you know the difference between Upright Piano and Grand Piano, you might wonder if the keys are different. 

Grand Pianos have 88 ivory, ivory-covered wood, or wooden keys. Even Upright Piano has 88 ivory, ivory-covered wood, or wooden keys. So, the number of keys on both are essentially the same. 

However, the action on both keys is different. The strings are placed vertically in an upright piano, and the hammer relies on the springs to return to a rest position.

So, the key repetition is slower. In contrast, a grand piano has horizontal strings and has faster repetition as its hammer returns to rest due to gravity. 

While the number and material of the keys are the same in a Grand Piano and Upright Piano, the action of the key is smoother in a grand piano. It contributes to the expensiveness of a Grand Piano. 

What are Grand Pianos Made from?

A large part of why grand pianos are expensive is due to what they are made of. The grand piano consists of 8 major parts. Each made using high-quality materials that will last long:

  • Outer lid and rim – Hardwood like maple or beech is used to make the outer rim, and the lid is also wooden.
  • Inner Frame – Heavy cast iron is used to make the inner frame. It supports the soundboard, and the brass guide screws pinblock, which supports the strings. 
  • Soundboard – Grand piano’s soundboards are made using Sitka spruce wood.
  • Keyboard – The 88 keys, including the black keys, are made using ivory, wood, or ivory-covered wood. 
  • Strings – Strings are made using tightly wound steel wire and run through the entire length of the grand piano. 
  • Piano Action – The piano action includes hammers, levers, and more to produce high-quality sound. These are made from brass, copper, felt, and wood of the highest quality.
  • Dampers – They are made of wood and have felt pads attached to them to prevent vibrations when the strings rest.
  • Pedals – Pedals are used when you want to lift the dampers and cause the strings to make music or when you want to soften the sound or sustain notes. These are made of wood and felt too. 

Summary

This string instrument is very expensive because it produces great sound and is made using the finest materials. 

While a grand piano is expensive, it is worth the expense if you are a professional pianist looking for a long-lasting instrument.