What Is A Console Piano?

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There are many different types of pianos available, from baby grand pianos to full grand pianos, and three different types of upright pianos from spinet to console pianos. So, what exactly is a console piano and how does it differ from other upright pianos?

Kawai console piano

What Is A Console Piano?

A console piano is a large type of upright piano, but it is different from a grand piano as the hammer on string action is set vertically rather than horizontally. Most console pianos are between 40” to 44” tall, so are still compact and space-saving, but have a better sound and quality than smaller upright pianos such as spinets.

Upright pianos are made with vertical strings and are therefore much smaller, thinner, and compact than a grand piano. But it’s not just the look that is different. Upright pianos are slightly different in sound due to their size and design, but they can still provide a very rich, powerful sound.

There are four different kinds of vertical, upright pianos. These are (from shortest to tallest) the spinet, console, studio, and upright piano. Each type of vertical piano has a different design, dimensions, and sound. So, let’s take a look at all of the various types of vertical pianos to see how the console piano compares.

For instance, the spinet piano is the smallest of the upright piano and is typically less than 40 inches tall from the floor to the lid. When it comes to the spinet, the action is located below the keys, which are operated by vertical wires attached to the back.

Due to their small size, spinet pianos are perfect for smaller spaces and tend to be less expensive. The spinet is designed for learning how to play the piano and getting to know the configuration of the keys and strings.

In comparison, the console piano is the next size up from the spinet piano and generally measures between 40 to 44 inches tall. Unlike the spinet, the action sits on top of the keys and has smaller hammers and strings stretching downwards.

With a great sound and an easy and simple nature, the console is perfect and a popular type for home pianists and those who play the piano as a hobby rather than a professional.

The next size up is the studio piano, which is about 44 to 47 inches tall, but is very similar to a console piano, but with a different feel. Finally, we have the upright piano, which is the image of a traditional piano. It is the tallest of the vertical pianos and has a great, resonant sound with simple playability and incredible action.

After considering the whole range of vertical pianos, the console piano is a sort of middle ground option, and is a medium-sized upright, vertical piano with great sound, better performance than a spinet but is still space-saving and responsive.

What Is A Console Piano For?

The console piano is a larger version of an upright piano. It is still compact and space-saving like other smaller upright pianos, but it does not compromise on sound. As a result, the console piano is perfect for home pianists and advanced piano players, with a great quality of sound that is much greater than a spinet, but not as resonant or rich as a grand piano.

If you’re unsure whether a console piano is for you, then you should know that it is an absolutely satisfactory instrument for most home pianists. Unlike smaller vertical pianos such as spinets, the console piano has normal action that sits on the top of the keys, and hammers that sit in an upright rather than dropped position.

As the action of the console piano involves the striking of the string, it is not as responsive, nor does it have the tonal quality and dynamic sound of a grand piano, but it is an exceptional choice of vertical or upright piano that further expands on the spinet’s quality.

How Does A Console Piano Work?

As mentioned above, upright pianos have strings placed vertically at the back of the case, as the hammers strike them by moving horizontally. Different from spinet pianos, console pianos have normal action that simply sits directly on top of the keys, with the hammers sitting upright, not in a dropped position. Therefore, when the hammers strike and hit the strings, and the key is released, the hammer is pulled back into position.

What Is The Difference Between A Console Piano And An Upright Piano?

A console piano is actually a type of upright, vertical piano, but it is not a traditional upright. The main difference is the size of the piano, as the console is about 40-44 inches tall, but an upright piano can be very large from 44 to 47 inches tall or more.

In addition to this, an upright piano will have a more rich tone, resonant and powerful sound, whereas the console has a more direct action than smaller vertical pianos, but not as impressive of a sound as larger upright pianos or grand pianos.

For a very versatile and impressive home piano, an upright piano will be the best option, suitable for learning pianists and advanced, professional pianists, whereas the console piano is a smaller sized vertical piano with a satisfactory, bright sound and tone suitable for home pianists.


To summarize, a console piano is a type of vertical piano that is larger than a spinet, but not as large as a traditional upright or studio piano. Whilst the console piano is between 40 to 44 inches tall, it is still space-saving, compact and perfect for smaller homes, but with great sound and action wonderful for home pianists and those who love playing piano as a hobby or pastime.

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