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Sunday, May 07, 2006

What's the difference between an Upright Piano and a Console Piano?

Actually, a console is a smaller type of upright piano. The soundboard on an upright and console sit vertically as opposed to a grand pianos horizontal soundboard. The upright piano itself has a larger soundboard equal to that of a grand piano and stands up to 52" tall. This allows for a much bigger and fuller sound. (The picture on the left is a Baldwin upright piano and a Baldwin console piano to it's right).

A console is usually between 44" and 45" tall. When purchasing a piano and given the choice of the two, there are several things to consider. How much space do you have? Will you be able to bring it through a doorway, up stairs, etc. Do you have neighbors in a condo or apartment building to consider? As far as the space issue goes, a console is about the same depth, just a different height. The trick is getting the upright through the door. If you have a small space, the piano mover may have to hoist it with a crane and this could cost a lot more than you will pay for the piano. However, the are great features that both pianos have that many people don't know about.

Piano manufacturers including Steinway, Baldwin, Kawai and Yamaha have a mute pedal on specific console and uprights models. This is an excellent idea for someone who must consider close neighbors and late night practicing! If you are an accomplished pianist, you may agree that the upright is the fuller sounding piano. However, sometimes we can't afford every luxury and may have to opt for the smaller of the two. My suggestion is to always take time playing and trying out a piano before you buy it.


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