In considering options for a suitable acoustic piano there are 3 main elements to take into account. These directly define piano value and suitability for purpose:
1. Inherent brand quality. This relates to the brand quality as defined by quality of materials, design, build quality and production volume, which has a direct impact on the amount of hand work and care in finishing that goes into a piano.
2. Size. Assuming that the inherent quality is good, size is an important aspect. This does relate to the size and acoustic properties of the space the piano is intended for. More importantly, however, is the impact of size on tone quality. Longer strings and a larger soundboard make the tone richer and purer.
3. Age. If points 1 and 2 are comparable, a new or young piano is superior to something older. The reason for this is that all pianos go through a slow but steady deterioration as they age. This particularly affects the tone quality due to the natural ageing of the soundboard, which can’t be remedied. An older instrument will have lost some degree of its dynamic range.