Why Pianos Sound Different From One Another

yamaha pianos from SoCal Pianos

What Makes Pianos Sound Different From Others?

Do you ever wonder why pianos sound different from one another? Why are some tinny and others rich and deep? Do you wonder if the brands (Yamaha pianos, Steinway pianos, and others) all sound the same or if their respective models vary wildly in their character? Here’s what you need to know about piano sounds and why all pianos do not sound the same.


The brand refers to the manufacturer of the piano. A specific brand makes each piano, and it tends to have its distinct character or sound. Some of the world’s most famous piano brands are Steinway, Yamaha, and Kawai. Each of these manufacturers has a unique philosophy reflected in the sound characteristics of their pianos. For example, Steinway has a brilliant and crisp tone, resulting from the perfect action and resonance characteristics of its functions.

Similarly, Yamaha pianos have a “cheerful and bright” tone made up of powerful bass tones and bright treble tones that initially appear to be at odds but complement each other harmoniously. Kawai pianos have an extremely sweet, smooth tone that sounds “sighing” or “sad” because it’s soundboard and strings vibrate in a large range, producing a wide-spectrum sound. At SoCal Pianos, we sell exclusive piano brands such as Yamaha, Kawai, Petrof, and Hallet Davis for the residents of Ontario and Palm Desert, CA.


The age of the piano (in other words, how long it has been in use) is one reason why pianos sound different from one another. There is a large difference in the way pianos sound when they’re new and when they get old. The bass notes of a new piano are very strong, and the treble ones are very clear. The bass becomes weaker over time, and the treble gets weaker as well, but it also changes in other ways. It gets duller and loses its clarity, becoming less “shrill” while at the same time acquiring a sort of “mellow tone.” This is “character,” and it makes the piano sound different.


Pianos are built with various materials, such as wood, metal, felt, and other materials. The sounds produced by each of these parts are different, and each piano will have a distinctive sound, depending on the materials it is made from. Wood has a characteristic “warm” sound that other materials do not have. Also, a particular kind of metal produces a sound that is “blaring” (sounds loud) or “brassy,” whereas another type of metal produces a smoother sound that sounds more rich and mellow.


The instrument’s environment also plays a role in its sound production. For example, a Yamaha piano in a large and spacious hall produces more resonant and powerful bass tones than one in a small room. Also, pianos in halls with hard floors produce clearer and more brilliant tones than those in halls with carpeted floors.

Tuning Method

The piano’s tone is a complex acoustic phenomenon made up of several factors, including the resonating frequency of the soundboard and strings and the tones produced by the various parts of the action. The tuning process involves setting those tones to align them with each other. This tuning process itself plays a role in how the piano sounds and determines its overall tonal character. All the pianos we sell at SoCal Pianos are well-tuned to meet the demands of our clients in Ontario and Palm Desert, CA.

At SoCal Pianos, we sell high-quality pianos which have been well maintained. All our pianos produce quality sounds when played. Contact us today for all the information on deals and prices, including any specials on our Yamaha pianos