It’s important to remember that pianos are all about personal preference. In the end, it comes down to what the player wants to hear and feel as they play the piano. While I have complied a list of 13 of the best grand pianos that are also budget-friendly options, it is still highly recommended you physically try out the pianos before committing to a purchase.
Another thing to consider is the model of the piano. Many manufacturers release a series of pianos that have multiple models. Some may be a little higher priced than others. In this list, we have mostly focused on just one model from a series, however it would be worth checking the other models’ prices and differences as well.
|Yamaha CLP-765GP||Features GrandTouch-S Weighted Keys|
|Yamaha NU1X||High-end Hybrid Piano|
|Yamaha CLP-795GP||Real Grand Expression 2 conveys very slight variations in touch|
Best Grand Piano for Home
A noteworthy grand piano for any home should be based on a family’s personal preferences and the size of the home. For most homes, a full grand piano of 6’ (6 feet) is too big, so families may want to try and find smaller sizes, like those closer to 5’5” (5 feet, five inches).
For those families looking to make the best aesthetic grand piano choice to their home, pianos come in all shapes and sizes. Different finishes don’t really affect the sound or playability of a piano, so that should not bar you from finding the absolute right fit for your home.
Best Grand Pianos for Under $10,000
With a $10,000 budget, most piano purchases might want to consider looking into upright pianos that are a bit cheaper. If your heart is absolutely set on a grand piano, then looking into local listings for a used one is a good idea.
That being said, there are some great options in the baby grand piano and digital hybrid department as well. Baby grand pianos are a bit smaller lengthwise than their counterparts but don’t significantly otherwise. Digital pianos give its customers everything a grand piano does with less strings and more acoustic options.
1) Yamaha Clavinova CLP Line
The Yamaha Clavinova CLP-500 line is a collection of digital hybrid pianos meant to be an affordable option for students of all kinds. Aside from the utmost discerning musicians or reviewers, the differences between this collection and those of a true acoustic grand piano are slight and aside from the obvious digital aspects, students won’t be able to hear the difference.
In addition, there is also a Yamaha Calvinova CLP line for digital grand pianos, as well. These are excellent choices if you want the look, touch and feel of an acoustic grand piano, but you love all of the benefits that digital technology provides and you never want to have to deal with the potential mainteance of an acoustic piano.
In that instance, something like the Yamaha CLP-765GP is worth consideration.
The appearance of both of these lines of pianos is a bit more physically discreet than grand pianos, and the digital aspect of each piano is not overwhelming. It feels as if the student is sitting at an acoustic piano rather than a digital keyboard.
The CLP line has weighted and graded keys meant to reproduce the authentic touch and response of a natural grand piano. Unlike most digital keyboards it is able to capture the difference between staccato and legato playing. The tones are generated through digital recordings of real acoustic pianos making the tones sound more authentic.
2) Suzuki MDG-400
The Suzuki MDG-400 Baby Grand Digital Piano is exactly what the name explains, a baby grand digital piano. It has the look and feel of a real piano including the hood with all of the enhancements of a digital keyboard.
It’s 88 keys are graded-hammer actions meaning they respond well to dynamic differences and feel as if they are real piano keys connected to a string. The keys ensure that no notes are dropped when handling complex piano passages, which is more than can be said about even some acoustic grand pianos.
In terms of digital aspects the full color 4.3” LCD screen gives users easy access to settings including practice tools such as recording your own playing and play along songs. The Bluetooth onboard gives users access to music, lessons and even demonstrations wirelessly via the internet along with the ability to connect any iOS or Android device.
3) Casio Celviano Grand Hybrid Series
Even though the hybrid piano is housed in an upright piano-style case, the Casio Celviano Grand Hybrid series plays and sounds as if it is a grand piano. It incorporates tones developed from three world-famous grand pianos notable for the clear ringing tone, rich sound and impressive low range.
The Casio Celviano Grand Hybrid Series has a keyboard action that was designed in partnership with an acoustic piano manufacturer. This is the key to giving this series a step up when compared to other pianos.
Unlike other hybrids, this series has real piano keys that are connecting to a moving mechanism that actually throws a hammer, just like a real grand piano. It makes a world of difference when comparing it to other digital keyboards in terms of touch playing because it will respond closer to an acoustic piano rather than a digital.
Casio also uses its trademarked Grand Acoustic System to imitate the projection of an acoustic piano. It’s six speaker and four channel audio system spreads the sound out similar to an acoustic. The stereo is additionally adjusted specifically when users decide to plug headphones in to keep that acoustic resilience.
The hybrid piano from Yamaha once again strives to combine the acoustic instruments with digital technology. It’s refined, compact design is great for almost any home. It uses the acoustic mechanics of an upright piano to ensure the same response as a grand piano would give the player.
The Yamaha AvantGrand NU1X is all about making sure the player feels like the piano is authentically acoustic. This includes the sound, the feel and the response through the use of natural wood keys and upright mechanics. Additionally, it’s sampled sounds from the CFX full concert grand piano reproduces the resonance and vibrations felt when playing a real acoustic.
The piano also features a damper pedal which is unique for most hybrid pianos. The damper pedal allows players to do the same half pedaling technique that can be done on a grand piano including a detailed control over sustain and reverberation.
In terms of the digital aspects, the best part of the Yamaha NU1X is the partnered app. Through this app students have access to transposing the keyboard, tuners and chord practice hooked up to their music library. Additionally, there is USB recording that can be helpful for listening to a student’s own playing and perhaps taking tracks to their own teacher for help.
You can read out Yamaha NU1X review here.
Best Grand Pianos under $20,000
$20,000 is a sizeable budget for a new grand piano. Most average grand pianos can fall between $10,000 and $20,000 without feeling like a cheap purchase. That being said, when buying a new piano, it is important to also consider the costs of maintenance like tuning and moving it as well.
5) Kawai GL-10 Baby Grand
The Kawai GL-10 Baby Grand piano is one of the best pianos a player can find for under $20,000. It was named product of the year by MMR Magazine and is one of the most popular pianos in the global music products industry.
It has multiple finish options ensuring it fits into any type of home. Even more, the soft-fall close system helps to make sure that houses with little kids are not hearing the screeching of pinched fingers.
This is also a great piano for more advanced players.
It has longer keys for greater control on the softer end and faster repetition speed with more fluid action. The solid spruce soundboard gives a more clear and better sustained sound for a more complex tone. Combined with the under felted hammer the baby grand sounds quite similar to a full grand.
6) Yamaha GB1K Baby Grand Piano
The Yamaha GB1K is one of the top grand pianos for beginning and intermediate students. The main reason for this is because the tones are bit more simplistic than other grand piano options. Additionally, more advanced players may need a piano with a bit more control over the keys in terms of repetition playing.
That being said, the Yamaha GB1K offers a crisp and pleasant tone with an all-spruce soundboard. It uses a standard balanced action with wooden materials and hammers which mimics the more traditional grand piano mechanics.
Given that it is a baby grand, this model is more compact than other Yamaha piano options being its second smallest grand piano Yamaha offers. However, that has not stopped it from becoming one of the leading choice for many entry level pianists. Its slow close cap also means those younger beginners won’t crush their fingers after playing ensuring they can keep playing day after day.
7) WG 50-Baby Grand Series
The WG 50 Baby Grand piano series is very similar to most other baby grand pianos. It’s compact size is perfect to fit in a household and a slow close fall board prevents fingers from being smushed.
It has a spruce soundboard meant to help the tone be crisp and clear when playing and a pure iron ore plate. The keys are balanced and weighted so that players have more control over their dynamic range. However, this also means that repetition speed may not be as fast making it a bit difficult for more advanced players who need fast repetition for many pieces.
The unique part of this series it the German wool hammers. Essentially this means instead of wood hammers striking the string in the back, those hammers are covered in wool that is striking the strings. This helps this piano create a more unique sound that other baby grand pianos, but not necessarily in a bad way since the string vibrates at a different frequency.
8) Wyman WG170
Wyman pianos are quickly growing more and more popular on the global piano market. Backed by the same people who began manufacturing Baldwin pianos, Wyman is one of the most preferred brands by professionals and beginners alike.
The WG170 in particular is the closest length to a grand piano on this list thus far. It measures 5’7” meaning the tone of the bass in particular will resonate within the players and the audience more than the shorter piano options. However, this length also means that families may need to clear out a room for the piano given it is bigger than most piano options.
It’s spruce soundboard and hard rock maple rim help the sound be as clear as possible and project without distortion or other complexities. The WG170 has all the prestige of a grand piano with the price that is affordable for most.
9) Story & Clark H60
This piano is another great option built for lasting and to get the best sound. It is 5’3”, so on the smaller side for a grand piano, however the size does not sacrifice for the elegance.
The Story and Clark H60 uses 100% double felted virgin wool on their hammers meaning the dynamic range a player can obtain from the keys is large. Without an artificial hardener, a pianissimo can be as quiet as possible, and a fortissimo will sound more natural without the banging quality of other pianos.
Similar to the other pianos on this list, this one has a spruce soundboard. However, when combined with its veneered membrane to prevent cracking and maple bridge to project the sound, it will be able to last longer than some other piano options.
Best Grand Pianos for Under $30,000
$30,000 is a more realistic budget if you are looking for a full grand piano. For the most part these pianos will be built with beginning and early intermediate students in mind meaning slower repetition speed and less dynamic control. That does not mean they are bad pianos, but as a reminder it all depends on student preference.
10) Yamaha GC1 or GC2 Grand Piano
For the GC series, Yamaha successfully took all the amazing parts of their C series (full grands) and found ways to make it cost-effective and more affordable. For the most part this just meant downgrading some of the material such as a plywood keyboard instead of solid wood.
This means that the GC series is a great option for those looking for the grand sound with a smaller keyboard. The only difference between the GC1 and then GC2 is a bit in price and the GC2 is about 5” longer than the GC1. In general, when buying a piano, longer is always better for sound quality, but in this case depending on the budget they are both great options.
These pianos have sweet mellow tones sure to entice any crowd including the player themselves. The other enticing part of these pianos is they hold their value for years. As long as the players take good care of them and tune them every 6-12 months, this piano can last a long time.
11) Baldwin BP165
The Baldwin BP165 is one of the most popular midsized grand pianos on the market right now. It is a great addition to any living room, standing at a 5’5” length making it bigger than most of the other options on this list. And remember, longer is always better.
The Alaskan spruce soundboard helps this piano have a crisp bell-like sounds and a reverberating bass line. It also has a hard maple rim, most others do not, that helps project the tones without distortion. This means players have a great dynamic range to use within the depth of the BP165.
The keys also make a world of difference on this piano. The genuine ebony sharps ensure that there is no felt difference when in the black range. Additionally each key is individually weighted giving players even more control over their own playing as the weight on each key is proportional to the string’s length.
12) Boston GP163
Developed by the usually more-expensive brand Steinway & Sons, the Boston GP163 is another amazing option for most homes. It was built with the idea of performance in mind meaning it has improved materials for specification and performance.
The Boston GP163 is 5’4” long meaning it will fit inside most homes. However, despite it being shorter than most grand pianos, it has a wide tailed design to help give a grand piano sound. The wide tail allows the piano to have a larger soundboard leading to a deep, rich sound, longer sustainment and greater tone quality.
The spruce soundboard is also tapered to allow for freer vibrational movement once again leading to that rich sound projection making it feel as thought players are at a full grand piano. It’s use of a duplex scale also ensures there is a richness to all the harmonies played.
This piano is meant for players of all skill levels as it has the features of advanced players and is still made for beginners to fall in love.
13) Johannes Seiler GS160
The Johannes Seiler GS160 is a slightly cheaper and great alternative to the Kawai GL full grand piano or Yamaha GC1. It has a woodier tone than other pianos lending itself a non-metallic base tone and clear treble with a typical sustain. The GS160 also employs a wide tailed design.
The GS160 also employs German Abel Hammers in combination with the spruce core soundboard produces a slightly darker, warmer and powerful sound. The soundboard itself has a spruce layer on top as well as vertically laminated bridges, a technique formerly associated with cheaper pianos, but now can be seen into the $30,000 range.
The stiffer soundboard increases resonance as well as tuning stability and strength through varied climates. Most of the time colder weather can affect the strings in the piano and it can become out of tune. However, this piano’s resilience to the different weathers marks it as one of the best grand pianos for players who want a low maintenance piano and one that can go a while between tunings.
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