High quality pianos can look very much like poorly-made pianos! Most new pianos look shiny and beautiful but these can vary greatly in performance.
Many intricate parts must be well-designed and crafted in order to function well. In fact, making a piano is so intricate that it is really an art to build a good one!
A high quality piano made by a reputable piano company is a result of a rich piano-making heritage passed through generations. Refined and perfected as generations pass, these pianos are superior in:
Many different materials like wood, metal and felt are used. Using high quality materials is essential in producing a high quality instrument.
In the piano structure, materials used must be strong. For example, the backposts that support the back frame are often made of very rigid wood like solid spruce known for its strength and resistance to splitting. This enables the instrument to withstand the high tension from the strings and to stay well in tune.
Felt hammers inside the instrument hit the strings to produce sound when a key is struck. The shape and appropriate hardness of these hammers are crucial in producing good tone.
The soundboard amplifies sound from the strings. It should consist of a sheet of wood of even thickness and be slightly crowned in shape.
Bridges transfer vibrations from the strings to the soundboard. For them to do this well, bridges must have exact thickness from top to bottom and be accurately notched on both edges.
There are more than 5,000 moving parts in a piano. On an upright, there are 25 points of adjustment for each key. On a grand, there are more than 35! Utmost precision and skill in quality pianos is needed to keep the action smooth, accurate and durable.
Good materials used, good design and skilful workmanship are important for the instrument to perform well.