Blüthner style 4a
The definition of a baby grand is usually anything up to about 5ft 7in (170cm). Generally the longer the piano the better, so when you’re buying, set out with your maximum length in mind. The name “baby grand” is said to have been coined by the British firm Challen, who made by far the greatest number of small grands in the UK in the 1920s and 30s, starting from 4ft 3in long by 4ft 4in across the keyboard. The best of these have a pleasing tone and touch, though perhaps 50% of them are not of good quality or need extensive reconditioning. Many experts will say that it’s better to buy a tall upright than a small grand, as the string length is no longer on a small grand. However, the action on a grand is generally better than an upright as uprights “throw” the hammer at the string whereas grands “lift” the hammer towards it. The exception to this is the simplex grand action which doesn’t have a proper repetition lever. This is found mostly in the smallest – 4ft 3 – 4ft 6in.
Choosing the best grand piano for a small space
Grand Piano Types
Longer than 5ft (150cm)
Up to 6ft 1in (185cm) – The best common traditional ones are Steinway, Bechstein and Bluthner; we usually have these in stock. We also try to source other top German/Austrian makes such as Bosendorfer, Lipp, Seiler, Steingraeber and Sauter. Please check our stocklist.
New baby grand pianos
We stock new Kawai and Feurich who offer baby grand pianos from 5ft to 6ft. The Kawai GM10 at 150cm (4ft 11in) is very suitable for study or teaching if you have a small space.
Modern used baby grand pianos
Unless by a top maker such as Feurich, Kawai or Yamaha, modern baby grands up to 6ft are often inferior. If buying elsewhere, we recommend seeking the advice of a tuner or teacher before buying. For more pianos for sale please view our stocklist.
Challen Baby Grand Pianos
Challen baby grands account for over 20% of all baby grands available in the UK. As they specialised in them, the pianos are generally well made, and the best ones are fair. However, perhaps 60% of them are mediocre. Please see our Challen page for more details. Other British makers whose very small baby grands can be reasonable are, in rough order of availability: Chappell, Cramer, Alison Welmar and Rogers. Reconditioned grands of this quality are from £3000-£6000. We don’t normally stock this range of baby grand but can source them if required.