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Piano Advice

Why modern pianos are best

An old piano is not only inferior to a new instrument due to its wear and tear over the years, but lacks so much innovative design and precision manufacturing.

Central Heating

Wear and tear aside, to focus on the difference in design, older pianos were typically built with animal and water-based glues, which do not cope so well with fluctuations in humidity and temperature. Structural, tonal and mechanical wooden parts have more moisture content, as the older pianos were built for a cold, damp room, with a fireplace. Central heating creates a consistently comfortable temperature, but, unfortunately for early pianos, an artificially dry environment too.

The wooden action parts, soundboard and bridge, wrest plank (tuning pin block), keys and key-frame, and backposts/beams in quality innovative modern pianos, such as Yamaha pianos, are ‘seasoned’ (dried) prior to assembly in a computer controlled kiln so the wood is suitable for a modern home. Felts and leathers covering action and keyboard components can be specially treated, the use of aircraft grade glues and multi-laminated hard-woods, all offer substantially more resilience to humidity and temperature fluctuations.

Tuning stability, consistency and reliability in touch response and retention of the soundboard’s crown for continued tonal quality, are all vital factors in ensuring trouble-free performance from your piano.


The piano has evolved over hundreds of years. Major improvements in design for a more efficient and responsive touch, extended dynamic range, broader and more contrasting tonal sonority, consistent pronunciation, durability and reliability are still being implemented today. Therefore, a 1920’s grand by a prestigious manufacturer may indeed perform to a much lower standard, as well as suffering the structural strain of up to 20metric tonnes for such a duration.


As detailed above, older pianos are inferior in design and not built for a modern home. Also, an older piano that has been extensively restored to the highest standards will still sound ‘old’ and, worst of all, the structural areas such as the frame and the beams / backposts have been subject to huge amounts of string tension, and the soundboard and bridge which deliver the resonance are likely to split as they suffer great amounts of down-bearing from the strings. The frame could develop hairline cracks when re-strung, which would involve costly repair. An older piano simply cannot last as long as a quality new one.

Based on 28 reviews
Riley Phillips
I bought a Yamaha piano 6 months ago and since then I have received incredible customer service which has been delivered quickly and professionally. I would definitely recommend to anyone whether they need any help with pianos or are looking to purchase and all the pianos are of incredible quality and are clearly cared about.
Derren Felber
Venable Pianos are simply amazing! I am a Pianist and Vocal Coach and have been fortunate enough to work on TV Show’s like “BBC Let it Shine” and “THE Voice UK” as well as many national theatre productions. Earlier this year I needed to replace my pian o as it was beyond economical repair, so I contact Venable Pianos for help. I chose the Venable & Sons Custom 200 which is a 6’5” Grand Piano. Initially the piano sounded amazing, but it didn’t quite match what I wanted in terms of Bass and how the vocals would blend with the treble. After speaking to the highly knowledgeable Will, he instantly knew what sound I wanted and how to achieve the desired tonal characteristics that I needed. Will made all the changes (hammer voicing) in front of me and you could really see how great he is at getting perfection from the instrument. THE PIANO WAS TRANSFORMED!!! The piano jumped into life exactly as I wanted it too and I was sold on the piano! The build quality is superb and with German strings and Top-quality German Hammers I would confidently put this up against any well-known brand and come out on top! I have coached, recorded and played this piano for quite some time now and I can honestly say it’s the BEST piano I have ever owned!!! The piano blends into the vocal range very well, and when you need a solo or more power (for the piano to become the main point) its so capable to do so. One feels like ZEUS with lightening bolts because the instrument responds so well! The detail in the refinement of casework is also outstanding, even their used instruments look brand new!!! The level of care that goes into the preparation is like no other! Will really understands your needs and the showroom and environment are wonderful. I can honestly say Venable Pianos are the best piano shop I have ever been to or worked with and their pianos are outstanding! I cannot recommend them highly enough!!!!!!!!!!
Katherine Rabey-Bennett
Fantastic customer service and we love our new piano! Will was so helpful, extremely knowledgeable and not at all pushy. We had a great experience browsing the pianos in the store after calling half an hour before popping in. We spent quite a while chatting to Will about the different models and he gave us plenty of time to try them. Frequent updates on timescales after ordering and the delivery team was very polite and efficient. Highly recommend for anyone looking for a piano in the region!
Roy Chilcott
Perfection is very important to the company. Highly recommended!
Kayoed Owner
I bought my Yamaha SU7 from Will, the experience was right up there with the very best purchasing experiences I’ve ever had. I can’t recommend Venables highly enough. My only regret is that I’m unlikely to buy too many more pianos so won’t often get the opportunity to benefit from their awesome customer centric service.
Mark M
I didn’t buy a piano at the time because my plans have been uncertain for a while and it looks like I have to relocate soon but Chris was so attentive and accommodating that I plan to buy from him as soon as I am in a position to. Top notch service and expertise. Preparation is absolutely immaculate and to your taste if you choose to ask for it. Legendary attention to detail if you are buying - what else do you need to know?
Ian Howlett
I bought a Yamaha YUS5 upright in 2013, and ten years on it’s still going strong, and is playing better than ever, with the tone developing nicely. The service I received at the time was fantastic, including having the showroom to myself to evaluate the pianos. The piano was set up perfectly, which probably helps to explain why I’ve had ten years of trouble-free enjoyment of an excellent instrument. Highly recommended.
I've a piano finish speaker sent to Venables Pianos seeking for their help to repair it. They finished in two weeks and the damaged corners are like new now. Really professional and responsible.