Steinway Model S vs. Model M Pianos – The Battle of the Baby Grands
At Chupp’s Piano Service, it’s our goal to help you find the piano that fits your desires in terms of tone and responsiveness. We’re proud to offer a wide variety of pianos of all types, from Steinway restored pianos to pre-owned Yamaha pianos. A piano can be quite an investment so we want you to be equipped with all the information necessary for you to make an educated decision on which one is the best for you. That’s why we’ll always be here to help you make the right choice. For your convenience, we’d like to give you a quick rundown of two of our more popular pianos, the Steinway Model S and the Steinway Model M. Both are small grand pianos and are the smallest of the company’s ‘baby’ grand pianos. Because of their manageable size, these have become the preferred Steinway models for a number of smaller venues and personal piano owners.
Steinway Model S
At 5’1” (155 cm), the Steinway Model S is the smallest of the Steinway grand pianos. Steinway Grand #280968 was built in New York and holds the distinction of being the first of the Model S Grands. Upon its introduction in 1935, it became the smallest Steinway Grand in production – a place this model of piano still occupies. The Model S was launched with much fanfare by the company. The Model S design is based upon and scaled-down from the larger 5’7″ Model M. The smaller size and lower cost of this piano are considered by many to be the Steinway company’s savior during the financial hardships of the Great Depression. (Although in internal memos, Henry Z. Steinway noted that company sales did not necessarily increase following the launch of the Model S.)
Its main advantage is its small size. This model is perfect for those who want the grand feel of a Steinway piano, but don’t have the room in their house for a larger instrument. While the sound is excellent for a model of its small stature, it doesn’t quite match the tonal quality of longer pianos. Although they are fine instruments when properly prepped, we’ve heard many musicians and piano enthusiasts alike state that they miss the richness of tone and powerful bass that a larger piano is capable of. Cosmetically, they look very similar to the Model M with the main interior difference being that the cast iron plate has five plate cooling holes instead of the six on the M.
Steinway Model M
At 5’7” (170 cm), the Steinway Model M piano is one of Steinway’s most popular pianos. First introduced in 1911, the Model M design is scaled down from the larger 5′ 10 1/2″ Steinway Model O. While the Model M piano is approx. six inches larger than the Model S, it is a good bit smaller than the Model O/L. The response from musicians and piano enthusiasts alike has been overwhelming for the Steinway Model M piano due to its combination of manageable size and surprisingly rich quality of tone. With this considered, it shouldn’t be surprising that the Model M is a very popular piano and is the most commonly seen out of all pianos built by Steinway & Sons. These pianos are often placed in both homes and institutions – mainly as practice or studio pianos.
The Steinway Model M is one of the best pianos of its general size. One of the reasons for its popularity is because it not only offers professional-level quality but it’s also small enough so that it’s appropriate for a home or small stage in terms of both size and acoustics. While the Model M piano is at times a little more expensive than the Model S piano or large upright pianos, the Model M offers better tonal quality and it’s a full-featured piano that can be brought up to a higher level. The longer case allows for longer bass strings, greatly enhancing the richness of this section.
The Finest Selection of Restored Steinways in the Midwest
While the Steinway & Sons Model M offers a richer quality of tone, the truth is that you can’t go wrong with either and it will entirely depend upon the size of your home and the space you have available. If you happen to be interested in our pianos, feel free to explore our vast inventory—we are able to ship anywhere in the mainland United States at affordable rates. If you’re interested in our premier Steinway piano restoration services, we encourage you to contact us. We’re looking forward to hearing from you and finding the piano that’s perfect for you!
Chupp’s Piano Service & Restorations | Serving the Piano Needs of the Musical Community Since 1975