A baby grand piano is not something you buy every day, so you need to think carefully before you make a purchase this big. Also, try to consider all the factors before deciding what you want, from the piano appearance to the sound quality.
There are not many items whose price range is as wide as for a baby grand piano. Nowadays, you can find this instrument for $5,000 or even $100,000. Basically, how much is a baby grand piano will depend on its quality and the brand.
What is the Baby Grand Piano?
There are several types of a grand piano, including the baby grand, medium or parlor grand, and concert grand piano. When it comes to the smallest model history, there are two controversial versions of the right inventor and design time.
The Steinway website states that Steinway & Sons invented the first baby grand piano in 1905, better known as the Model A. However, other sources show that the credit goes to Hugo Sohmer, the founder of Sohmer and Co, who made it in 1884.
Indeed, the middle social class was increasingly interested in music at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Since the grand piano was too big for small salons, the need for a smaller instrument caused an inventing of the baby grand piano. This instrument was an excellent solution with a length of 5 to 6 feet (1.5 – 1.8 m).
Although smaller than the original grand piano, the baby grand doesn’t lag in the sound quality. A virtuoso pianist can play a composition on this type of instrument just as effectively as on a Ballroom piano. The baby grand is still popular because its size and price make it affordable to the average family.
Old vs. New Instrument Cost
Price is not a definitive indicator of piano quality. In general, the cost difference between the new and used baby grand piano is about 30%. That means if you choose a $9,000 model, there is a good chance that you can find the same but used instrument for about $6,000.
Remember that you should buy an instrument that can last over 80 years. Thus, the fact that the piano is used for 15 or 20 years won’t significantly affect the sound quality it produces. You may find that the final layer of varnish has cracked, and the instrument will likely need tuning, but you can get a decent piano after little repairs.
On the other hand, some old baby grand pianos can cost several times more than new models. The seller can easily ask as much as $20,000 for a quality piano from a well-known manufacturer. Contrary, new instruments made in China and Indonesia are available online for approximately $5,000.
Keep in mind that some pianos have a personal history, which exceeds their monetary value. One of the most expensive pianos ever is the baby grand that belonged to Marilyn Monroe. Mariah Carey bought this famous white piano at auction in 1999 for $662,500, even though it was estimated at $10,000 to $15,000.
Remember that it is difficult for the average person to estimate the price of a used instrument. It is usually a matter of agreement between the buyer and seller or dealer. If you consider purchasing a used piano, seek the assessment of an expert who can determine its condition and value.
Factors That Affect the Piano Price
The price of a baby grand piano depends on several technical details, including the type of wood used for the piano box. The manufacturer, who plans to sell the piano at a low price of about $8,000, will use cheap material.
The most common choice is Sitka Spruce, but always keep in mind that a poor quality soundbox will drastically reduce the sound quality. The high-quality piano usually has pricey maple or beech parts, which provide a superior sound.
The piano rim is also one of the parts you need to think about. It is the outer wooden frame around the soundbox, which thickness affects better sustain and more intense sound projection. So, a quality rim made of dense wood will raise the instrument’s price.
The color of the piano is also essential when it comes to the final price. You may not care about the topcoat on your instrument and whether you have satin ebony or mahogany piano. However, the difference in that detail can cost you a few hundred dollars.
Further, there are drastic differences in the price of similar models depending on the brand name. For Steinway baby grand, you need to plan a minimum of $50,000. The Macassar model with ebony finish goes up to $99,000. On the other hand, decent Baldwin baby grand range $22,000 to $35,000.
Tips for Choosing the Perfect Baby Grand Piano
Although most models have no many visual differences, you should compare baby grand piano characteristics before making a final decision. Keep in mind several things:
- Instruments of the same or similar quality can vary in price, even tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the manufacturer. Consider whether you want to buy a particular brand or the sound the piano produces is everything you need.
- A piano old 20 or 30 years, can be in the perfect condition if appropriately maintained. Since piano models don’t change every year, like computers or cars, you can purchase the used baby grand without hesitation and concern.
- If you opt for a used piano, it is wiser to go to a trustworthy dealer shop than to buy directly from the seller. Many sellers offer inherited pianos they know nothing about and easily rate them as more expensive than they are really worth. Plus, dealers often tune and restore the used piano before selling.
- Plan your investment carefully so that you won’t make a mistake. Keep in mind that the pianos’ mass-production decreases the sound quality to allow an affordable price tag.
You can buy the baby grand piano for $5,000 but also for more than $100,000. The price range is wide and depends on the quality of the material, the brand, and the piano’s age. In general, you can save money by choosing the old, used instrument, but you need a technician to inspect its condition.