A generalization useful to understanding the piano market is that pianos can be divided into two types, Performance Grade and Consumer Grade, both of which are necessary to meet the needs of the wide variety of piano buyers.
Performance-grade pianos generally have several of the following attributes:
Performance-grade pianos are divided here into three subcategories, based on our perception of their reputation in both the musical and technical spheres of the piano business. The first subcategory is reserved for a few brands whose prestige figures prominently in their value. Of course, this prestige is based in large part on their extremely high quality, but marketing success and historical accident also play important roles in the reputations of these and other high-end brands. Also, preferences among performance-grade pianos in general are greatly dependent on musical taste in tone and touch. For these reasons, a number of brands in the second subcategory have as devoted a following as those in the first and, practically speaking, are probably just as good despite not having as much prestige associated with their names. The brands in the third subcategory are considered runners-up; however, most of these are also considerably less expensive, and may be a better value when the highest levels of quality or prestige are not needed.
The Definitive Piano Buying Guide for
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