SPINET PIANOS | South Florida Piano Sales

Sorry but those old spinet pianos need to be retired and not re-sold. Spinet pianos have not been made for 30 years and for several good reasons. Do not discourage your budding young pianist by starting them out with an old spinet. Learn what a spinet is, why you should avoid them, and what are some better solutions.

For a beginning student, the best solution is a new piano or high-quality used piano, but when budget is an issue, people commonly seek out less expensive options. Spinet pianos are cheap, small, they look like other pianos and the thought is that with just a little work, they could be good enough for a beginner. Don’t fall into this trap.

A young beginner needs a piano with a good, in-tune sound for ear training. A young beginner needs a piano with a good, consistent feel to develop muscle memory and hand strength. An intermediate player needs a piano with a good sound to develop musicality and dynamic control. Again, proper feel is needed to develop dynamic control and better playing techniques.

A spinet piano is a very small upright piano. They have several disadvantages over console and studio upright pianos. Spinet pianos can be identified by their height. Pianos 40″ and shorter are spinets, 41″ – 44″ tall are consoles, 45″ and taller are studio uprights. The tallest studio uprights (48″+) are often called professional or upright grands.

A spinet has a different kind of action than better pianos. The spinet drop action is a pull-type rather than a push-type and this makes them too light and imprecise for students. The spinet action combined with the piano’s small stature allow for almost zero dynamic control. Spinets were always cheaply made, so as they age, they are even more likely to have tuning problems. Technicians dislike working on spinets because you can’t get out the effort you put into them. For these reasons, a spinet makes a poor, inadequate and discouraging starter piano.

Another subtler point is that these hand-me-down pianos often send the wrong message to children. If your attitude toward the piano is that it is nothing special, your children will pick up on this. Students need encouragement, and a good instrument will help.

While nothing will replace a high-quality acoustic piano, often a better budget choice is a digital piano for the reasons stated. Digital pianos like the models BOBB’s Pianos & Organs sell; have good consistent feel, they are in tune, they provide dynamic control. They have the benefit of needing no maintenance, and they are fun and interesting for the player. This makes them a great medium term solution until you are ready to invest in a good acoustic piano as a long term solution.

The History of Kawai Pianos – South Florida Piano Sales

Bobb’s Pianos is happy and excited to announce that we are the oldest Kawai dealer in the country! With decades and decades of Kawai sales, we are proud to be part of the Kawai family.  It was well over one hundred years ago in Japan when an organ builder was struggling to build an upright piano with imported parts. He was surprised to see his neighbor’s son riding down the street on a pedal-driven cart, the first of its kind!

When the piano builder found out that the boy had designed and built the cart himself, he immediately brought him on board as an apprentice. From this moment, a dream was born and Koichi was on his way to building his first piano. The following years would reveal Kawai’s extraordinary genius for design and innovation. He lead the way to introducing piano’s to his home country of Japan.

He later became the first person in Japan to design and build a complete piano action, receiving many patents for his designs and inventions. During the 1920’s the piano industry in Japan began to slow down and the company that Koichi worked at was struggling to keep its doors open. So Koichi set out to start his dream and in 1927 he and seven colleagues formed Kawai Musical Instrument Research Laboratory. Today this small company in Hamamatsu Japan grew into a $1 billion a year empire.

The early years proved to be tough as finding skilled craftsman, the scarcity of quality materials, and challenges of networking dealers to reach customers. Th determined company and employees prospered and never gave up. By the 1950’s they had grown to 500 employees and 1,500 pianos a year. There was nothing stopping this little start up that has become a staple in the music world.

If you have any questions about Kawai Pianos please don’t hesitate to call Bobb’s Pianos & Organs at (561) 683-6700!

Piano Maintenance – Piano Care in South Florida

Just like you take your car to the shop for an oil change, there are things you need to do in order to keep your piano in the best shape. Doing these things will help make your piano last longer and play more beautifully.

Tuning

You should tune your piano at least every six months, more if you live in a place with a lot of humidity, as this is what causes a piano to go out of tune. The longer you go without tuning your piano, the more it loses its tonal quality. If you find that you are having to tune your piano too frequently, you can install special equipment underneath or inside of your piano to regulate humidity. This does not mean that you never have to tune your piano again though.

Voicing

Over time the felt hammers in your piano harden, the felt becomes compressed due to repeated impact, and grooves form on the strings. A harder hammer produces brighter tone quality which gives off a harsh and undesirable sound. A piano technician can use voicing needles to soften the hammers and help you get that beautiful sound back.

Regulation

Over time your pianos performance will decline naturally. This is due to many things, including the compression of felt, warping of the wood, etc. This means that your piano will need adjustments, such as sanding down a wooden surface, to keep it in the best shape. There are four major types of regulation.

  • Key weights: A piano technician can add, remove, or change lead weights in keys to change how heavy the keys feel to a player. This helps control the inertia of the keys.
  • Let-off: This refers to the point when the hammer disengages from the jack and flies freely. If the let-off is too small, notes can sound pinched. On the other hand, if the let-off is too large, it can be difficult to play powerful fortes or achieve pianissimo.
  • Drop: This refers to how far the hammer falls back after the let-off and affects the responsiveness of action.
  • Repetition spring: This type of regulation is for grand pianos. Repetition spring is what allows the hammer to repeatedly strike with minimal lifting of a key. It the spring is too springy, it can cause double-strike. If it is not springy enough, it becomes difficult to repeat the note.

If you have any questions about how to properly care for your piano or if it’s time for a new one, please don’t hesitate to call Bobb’s Pianos & Organs at (561) 683-6700!

Therapeutic Benefits of the Piano – Piano Sales in Miami, FL

Most people associate music therapy with children or teenagers. However, music therapy can be great for people of all ages and backgrounds. In particular, the piano can be a great instrument to use as a therapeutic tool.

Playing the piano, whether as an experienced pianist or as a beginner, requires immense focus. You cannot play the piano while simultaneously thinking about all the homework you need to get done or how many bills you have due. This break from the constant stress of daily life is so important for everyone but can be especially therapeutic for those with anxiety disorders.

For children, the piano can be a great teaching tool for therapy and life skills alike. Not only does the piano provide children with a way to access and express emotions that they may not have known were there, but it can help them learn to communicate those feelings to others. While this alone could improve a child’s social skills, the piano also teaches coping skills and eye contact that may have a positive impact on their interactions with peers.

While social interactions can have a huge impact on a child’s mental health, bad grades can be equally as damaging. The focus that the piano teaches will help many students, but what if that isn’t the problem? Students who are struggling to develop motor skills or are having trouble with memorization, especially those with special needs, may also see improvements in those areas.

Many of the benefits that the piano can have for children, are also relevant for adults. The biggest difference that the piano makes for adults is that, while many adults do have repressed emotions that they need to uncover, many others already know the things they struggle with the most. Perhaps they have already tried talk therapy and feel that they are stuck in their emotional growth. Maybe they have never even attempted to deal with those things and have decided that there is no better time than the present. Either way, the piano can be a new and unexpected way for them to explore those things they struggle with the most.

Whether you are ready to start music therapy or just want to explore the therapeutic benefits of the piano on your own, you are going to need a piano! Don’t hesitate to call BOBB’S Pianos & Organs at (561) 683-6700! We would love to help you find the perfect piano for you or answer any questions you may have!

How the Piano Changed Music – Piano Services in South Florida

Before Bartolomeo Cristofori invented the piano, in 1709, most composers wrote a majority of their pieces for either the harpsichord or the clavichord. The harpsichord produced a louder, brighter sound whereas the clavichord produced a quieter sound with more vibrato. Neither of these instruments could play both soft and loud sounds very easily because the internal design was similar to that of a stringed instrument. No matter how hard you plucked the strings, the volume would remain the same. This limited the kind of music that composers could write.

The piano, though similar in appearance to both the harpsichord and the clavichord, incorporated a hammer-and-lever mechanism that would strike the string with the same force as the human finger on the key. This created a wider range of volume and a better variety of notes as well as the ability to hit multiple notes at once. This allowed composers to get a better idea of how multi-instrument orchestral pieces would sound. Because of this, the piano became the universal tool for composing music.

The impact of the piano went beyond just the use of composing though. Before the phonograph and radio were invented, families had to entertain themselves and their guests. Many families did this by playing instruments and singing. The piano took this to a new level for many families because it allowed them to play a wider variety of music with less instruments. Composers noticed this and many of them started to write more music for families and less for orchestra’s.

Prior to the invention of the piano, music was very limited. Today, we have many technologies that allow us to create many genres of music for each individuals taste. In a way, the piano started all of this and completely changed music for the better.

If you’re ready to buy a piano or are interested in learning more about them or any of our services, please contact BOBB’S today! We look forward to being your piano experts!

Benefits of Digital Pianos – Pianos for Sale in South Florida

Technology is a wonderful thing. It has allowed us to 3D print organs, send people to the moon, and let people read blogs. But is technology any replacement when it comes to pianos? Digital pianos can’t have that same, unique sound that emanates from acoustic pianos, can they?

We admit it heavily comes down to personal preference, but don’t tune out the digital piano just yet. There are many good reasons to choose one, and we’ll look at a few here.

Digital Pianos don’t need Tuning

It can be a hassle getting an acoustic piano tune. If you don’t tune it regularly, the sound will deteriorate until it doesn’t even sound like a piano at all. Move a piano? Time to tune it. Have a piano sitting around? Probably time to tune it. Plus tunings can be costly. If you don’t know how to tune one yourself or you’re not confident in your abilities, you have to call a professional. Unfortunately not all professionals are, well, professional. All too often we’ve heard horror stories of pianos being destroyed by improper tuning and unskilled tuners. We still get nightmares about it.

Digital pianos offer the specific advantage of not needing to be tuned. Just plug a digital piano into an outlet, and it will sound as good a year from now as it did on the day you bought it. You can move it without worrying about messing up the sound or needing to call an expert.

Digital Pianos are Lighter

Digital pianos are great if you need to move your piano frequently. They take up a pretty minimal amount of space. You won’t need an entire room dedicated to just your instrument. Maybe have it aside in a corner or on display. It’s up to you. And if you feel like moving it, just grab it and go.

Customization and Options

Digital pianos can create any number of sounds, so you won’t be limited to just what a standard piano can play. Want to switch to a honky-tonk sound or a pipe organ? No problem! Just flip a few switches and you’re done. Plus you can record music directly to your computer and save it as a file. Digital pianos afford you so much when it comes to maximizing your investment.

If you are thinking about buying a digital piano or are ready to test a few out, contact us today! We look forward to helping you!

Piano Tuning Tools – Piano Services in South Florida

While we recommend that you only have you piano tuned by a professional to ensure the proper tuning and that you do not cause any damage to the instrument, you might be interested to learn how the tuning process works. In this article, we’re going to look at the steps involved and how a tune can go from sounding dull and flat to vibrant and lively. In subsequent articles, we will look at the reasons why you might have to have your piano serviced and how to professionals use these tools to tune a piano, but for now, let’s focus on the tools themselves

Tuning a piano requires three special tools:

  • Piano Tuning Lever
  • Chromatic Tuner
  • Mutes

The tuning lever is the most important of these items. It is specifically designed to fit onto piano pins. To ensure accurate and safe tuning, the lever must fit securely on the pin while having a firm handle. This requires a professional-grade, high-end tuning lever. While you can buy some for $20 or $30, they will more than likely cause your piano extensive damage. We have seen it happen: someone’s phenomenal piano ruined by amateur tuning abilities and inferior tools. Don’t fall victim to this.

The chromatic tuner will allow you to accurately tune the keys to the proper tones. A professional, dedicated piano tuner is ideal. A reliable, quality tuner will run at least $500 and can go well over $1000. This is not an area to skimp on. Tuning a piano is not like tuning a guitar or a violin. It is a difficult job. And if it’s poorly done, the results can be catastrophic.

There are a number of different sized mutes, but for our purposes we’ll keep it simple. The mutes allow you to keep other strings in a set muted, thus stopping the vibration. This allows you to tune one string at a time without interference from others.

If you have any questions about piano tuning, want to get your piano tuned, or have any other inquiries, contact BOBB’S Pianos & Organs. We look forward to helping you!

History of Steinway Pianos – Pianos in South Florida

Steinway has become a leading name in quality pianos. The brand has become a household name and is synonymous for high-end, high-quality pianos. Here we will take a quick look at where this leading brand started and how it evolved.

US-Born from German Roots

The Steinway & Sons company was created in 1853 in New York City. Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg (his last name literally meaning “stone path” or “stone way”), a German immigrant from Wolfshagen im Harz, Germany, trained as a carpenter. He eventually began making instruments, starting with zithers and guitars before moving to pianos. Leaving the political climate of mid-19th century Germany behind, he moved to America and changed his name to the English variant: Henry Steinway.

First Awards

Only two years after the founding of the company, Steinway received a gold medal in 1855 fat the American Institute Fair. Over the next twenty years, the company would amass nearly forty medals and recognitions.

In the same time period, the company started making piano cases designed by artists, ensuring the brand’s association with luxury and quality. The 100,000th grand piano produced was gifted to the White House in 1903, where it still remains an iconic, defining piece.

Continued Success

Steinway pianos have nearly always increased in growth year-over-year. The notable exceptions include the Great Depression for the United States factories and World War II for the factories in Hamburg. And even despite these political and economic downturns, the company has always rebounded stronger. Despite strikes and legal struggles along the way, the company has continued to produce masterfully-crafted instruments.

The company produced its 500,000th piano in 1988. Into the new millennium, Steinway has diversified and grown. The company developed Spiro, series of digital player piano series. And as the new century unfolds, Steinway will undoubtedly continue to change and make excellent pianos.

Come look at our selection of Steinway pianos if you’re in the South Florida area or call us at 561-683-6700. We look forward to hearing from you!

What Gives Pianos Their Unique Sound? – Pianos for Sale in South Florida

What creates those clear, resonating notes that strike our ears and hearts so deeply when a piano is played? We uncover the beauty for you below.

What are Pianos Made of?

This question has probably crossed the mind of anyone whose fingers have glided across the ebony and ivory keys of a well-crafted piano. There are a few factors to consider when it comes to the sound and construction of these beautiful instruments; the first and most important is the components.

Main Piano Components:

Pedals

There are usually a total of three pedals, but it is not uncommon to see a piano with only two. These pedals control both the length and intensity of the notes played, with the ability to louden, soften, and elongate sounds. Pianos were originally called Pianofortes – this comes from the Italian “piano” meaning “soft,” and “forte” meaning loud- for their ability to play a diversity of sounds ranging from the light, twinkling notes to the deep, resonating notes in many stunning arrangements and combinations. The production of these notes depends on how hard the pianist presses the keys and uses these pedals.

Keys

There are 88 keys on a traditional piano: 52 white and 36 black. The materials that composes these keys depends on the individual piano. Many older piano keys are made of sugar pine wood. Newer keys can be made of either spruce or basswood. (Ivory hasn’t been used for construction of piano keys since it was banned in the 1930s, so the white keys are often made of hard plastics.)

Hammers

Piano hammers vary in size, depending on the pitch of the note being played and therefore the width of the string being struck. Each hammer is made of a piece of wood that is covered by a piece of thick, condensed felt.

Strings

The strings have been made of tempered high-carbon steel, also known as spring steel, since 1834. The spring steel has since replaced the iron material, which was used prior.

The latter three components (keys, hammers, and strings) working together actually create the piano’s unique sound. Each of the 88 keys is connected to its own little felt-covered hammer by means of a string. When a key is played, the hammer is moved, striking the string and making it reverberate through the body of the piano.

Any other questions you have about pianos or ready to check some pianos out? Contact BOBB’S Pianos & Organs for more information at: (561) 683-6700!

The History of the Piano – Piano Services in South Florida

The piano as we know it is has a long and winding history. Pipe organs date back to Greece in the 3rd century BCE. As it turns out, the word organ itself is derived from the greek word organon, which refers to any general instrument, tool, or item. This word was eventually ported into Latin in the form of organum, specifically referring to a type of small, portable organ.

Hammered dulcimers using strings to generate sound have been around since Medieval times, and throughout the Middle Ages there were attempts to create stringed keyboard instruments. Despite these instruments, none of them could really be defined as a piano by modern terms. The modern piano has been credited to Bartolomeo Cristofori, an Italian who was employed as the Keeper of the Instruments by Ferdinando de’ Medici.

Although it is not clear exactly when Cristofori invented the piano, it existed by the turn of the 1700s. While Cristofori was an experienced harpsichord maker, he was familiar with a wide range of stringed keyboard instruments. Using the breadth of his instrument knowledge, he was able to solve the mechanical problem of playing an instrument with hammers that strike the strings to produce notes. The hammer had to not remain on the string after hitting it, or else the hammer would dampen and mute the sound.

Interestingly, despite his creation, Cristofori’s invention was largely unknown until the Italian writer, Scipione Maffei, wrote an vibrant article about the instrument in 1711. The article was translated into German, which led to a large distribution. The article, which included diagrams of the piano, became a standard document for instrument makers across western continental Europe. As the influence grew, so did the development of the piano into the instrument we know and love today.

If you are interested in learning more about pianos or want to find a piano that’s right for you, contact BOBB’S Pianos & Organs today. We look forward to helping you with all of your piano needs!