Spinet vs Console Piano vs Upright – 7 Piano Types and Differences Between Them

Modern pianos come in all shapes and sizes, from the smallest spinet pianos to large concert grand pianos. We recently told you about the difference between modern pianos and harpsichords. In this article, we will tell you about the types of piano and the differences between them (console piano vs upright and others).

How Many Types Of Pianos Are There?

Firstly, all pianos are divided into two main typesvertical or upright pianos and grand pianos. The difference between them lies in the arrangement of the strings. They are horizontal and parallel to the floor. On an upright piano, the strings are arranged vertically.

Vertical pianos are much more compact than grand ones. They are 5 feet high, while most grand pianos are 5 to 9 feet long.

In addition, the mechanics of grand pianos are more sensitive and give us more variety and richness in sound.

In the upright piano, after pressing a key and hitting the strings with hammers, they return to their original position with the help of a spring.

On the grand piano, the hammers return to their original position solely under the influence of their own weight. This allows you to repeat the same note much faster and makes the instrument’s mechanics more responsive to the pianist’s playing.

Upright Pianos

All vertical pianos can be divided into several types according to their size.

console piano vs upright

What Are The Different Types Of Upright Pianos?

Depending on the size, there are 4 types of vertical pianos – spinet, console piano, studio, and professional upright piano (professional grand). At the same time, the spinet will be the smallest and most compact piano with the quietest chamber sound, and the professional piano will be the largest.

What Are The 3 Types Of Upright Pianos?

Also, all pianos can be divided into three types according to their design and method of operation. These are acoustic, hybrid, and digital piano. Acoustic traditional piano  – completely mechanical musical instrument, digital work only on electricity. Hybrid combines the features of a mechanical and digital instrument.

1. Spinet Piano (36-40”) 


The spinet piano is the smallest, lowest, and most compact of all types. Its height is less than 40 inches (less than 101 cm) when measured from the top of the lid to the bottom of the piano. The mechanism is located lower inside the spinet piano than in other types of piano, and the keys themselves are shorter.

2. Console (40-44”)


Console pianos are also quite small and suitable for a small room. In these instruments, the mechanism is located, as usual, above the keys.

Spinet vs Console Piano – What Is The Difference?

Spinet and console differ primarily in height. Also, the mechanism is located much lower. Both instruments are suitable for small spaces and have a quiet chamber sound.

Console Piano vs Upright – What Is The Difference?

The main difference between these types is their size. The height of the console is about 40-44 inches, and a professional upright can be up to 60 inches or more in height. Also, the upright piano has a louder and richer sound, while the console has a quieter sound and is only suitable for home use in small rooms.

How Does A Console Piano Work?

On a console piano, the strings are placed vertically at the back of the piano, and the hammers strike them while moving horizontally. Unlike spinet, console have a conventional mechanism.

The mechanism is located directly above the keys, and the hammers are placed vertically rather than in a lowered position. After the hammers hit the strings, the key is released and the hammer returns to its place.

Are Console Pianos Good For Beginners?

A console piano takes up little space and usually costs less than an upright grand. However, there is less richness and variety in its sound. It is quite suitable for beginners, but for professional piano lessons, it is better to choose a larger and more expensive upright piano.

Are Upright Pianos Better?

Yes, this type is better. They have a more responsive mechanism of action. They have a richer and more beautiful sound palette and a larger volume range.

3. Studio Pianos (43-47”)


Studio uprights are larger than the spinet pianos and console pianos and are already approaching a professional piano. They are often used in schools and music studios. They are more expensive but win in terms of sound quality.

Studio Piano vs Upright  – What Is The Difference?

These two types are very close both in size and in their structure and mechanism. The studio piano is a slightly lower, and slightly smaller range of possible volume.

Studio Piano vs Console – What Is The Difference?

The console piano is more compact and low, and a little tired of the studio piano in quality and rich sound. For amateur home use, for hobby players, a console piano is a great option, and for professional use, a studio piano is more suitable.

4. Full-size or Professional Upright Piano (47-60”)


This is the ideal home acoustic piano for both professional pianists and piano learners. Yes, this piano is the largest and tallest of the vertical piano and more expensive then other upright pianos, but it has the richest, brightest, and most diverse sound, and excellent sound quality.

Grand Pianos


We talked about all types of vertical or upright piano and their differences. Now let’s briefly learn about the types of grand pianos.

There are three types – baby grand piano, medium grand piano, and concert grand piano.

1. Baby Grand (4½-6′)

This is the smallest, most affordable, and most popular type of grand piano. Of course, baby grand pianos take up much more space than any uptight piano. But if your budget and space allow, you’ll get an instrument with wonderful rich sound and responsive action. This is a great option for home use by professional musicians and even small concert halls.

2. Medium Grand (5½-7½’)

This is an intermediate type between a baby grand piano and a concert grand piano. On average, its length is about 6 feet. It can be found in many small concert halls around the world.

3. Concert Grand (7-9½’)

This is the largest type with a rich, clear, and beautiful sound. This is a professional instrument that is used in large concert halls around the world. This is the most expensive type of piano, the price of which can reach up to 3 million dollars.


Here we have come to the end of our article. We talked about 4 different types of upright pianos – spinet, console, studio upright, professional piano, and 3 types of grand pianos.

I hope you were interested to know the features of these musical instruments. If you choose a piano for yourself, I hope my article will help you choose the best option.

If you have more questions about acoustic piano, I invite you to read my article about types of piano pedals.

But if you are going to buy a digital instrument, don’t forget to read our comparison of the 10 best options under 1000$.

Best regards, your Lucy.

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