Stability and durability are major factors when choosing a piano bench. Context is important though; what is good for a teaching setting may not be equally as good for practicing and playing at home.
Multiple elements come into play in evaluating the stability and durability of a piano bench, and we must consider them all when looking to buy.
For first-time owners, understanding and prioritizing those elements can be especially challenging. They want a good return on investment, meaning they don’t want to have a poor experience while playing nor see their expensive piano bench break down after a few months of use. Yet, it can be hard to know what to look for to achieve that.
As experienced manufacturers of market-leading piano benches, we will share our understanding of the most important factors to consider before making a purchase. In this article, we will try to answer the questions and doubts related to the stability and durability of a piano bench.
Why is Stability So Important and Are We Taking It for Granted?
Many people might think, “isn’t a piano bench always supposed to be stable? That should be a guarantee, right?”. Of course, the core concept of a piano bench is to be a stable seat for the artist as they play an instrument that requires a high level of concentration and engagement. However, as you start searching and testing some of the piano benches available on the market, you may find yourself unpleasantly surprised.
You may find some features or characteristics we take for granted, such as stability. A poorly-constructed piano bench (something we may not notice until after purchasing and using it for a while) will strike us as unstable, especially after a few uses. Poor construction will unavoidably lead to the loosening of parts, screws, and bolts. This is especially true of benches that also offer adjustable height (we will address this point in detail later).
A squeaky or wobbly piano bench is not only annoying and distracting but may affect the ergonomics and posture of the player. Consequently, poor posture can cause pain and severe injuries to the pianist. This will all be noticeable in terms of both comfort and performance. So, avoid poorly constructed benches to prevent pain and injury from affecting your playing and life.
A good, stable piano bench will, for example, offer legs that are screwed or glued to the frame, which guarantees that no stability-related element will get loose over time. The fewer bolts and screws in the product that is able to come loose with wear, the greater stability we are going to experience overall.
In the lower segments, we can still find good options for stable piano benches. For example, the bench may offer easily adjustable legs for the user to fix any potential instability themselves. This tightening should take no effort from the user. Our Hidrau Academy piano benches are designed to be easily adjusted in only a few seconds in case any issue should arise.
What to Consider in Terms of Durability?
Now, we all want to get a good return on our investment. Piano benches are no exception. Some users will want to use the bench in their homes, while others will use it in a teaching studio or on a stage. In any case, we want a piano bench that will last long enough to feel that it was worth the money, meaning it can take frequent use without suffering too much wear, damage, or structural loosening, as we mentioned before.
Besides the quality of the structure and build, another important factor that affects durability is materials. For heavy use, it’s always recommended to use piano benches made of either metal or high-quality wood.
In the case of wood, do not doubt the extraordinary experience this material can offer. Wood is beautiful and delivers the most striking appearance. However, you may think that wood is necessarily going to be less durable than metal. That’s not the case.
High-quality wood, such as the European beech wood used in the Classy series of Hidrau piano benches, does deliver an outstanding degree of durability and shock resistance. Therefore, if you are choosing a quality bench made of wood, durability should not be a concern.
Another material to take into consideration is the leather, fabric, and other elements used in the upholstery. Wear will be especially visible on the seat, so it’s important to invest in quality materials that will look and feel great for years.
But we must close this argument by emphasizing something of critical importance: the bench’s assembly will be far more influential to durability than the materials used. It will not matter if the product you choose includes the most exclusive materials if the assembly is poor or even mediocre. Achieving this requires an expert manufacturer. So dig into the brand’s history and reputation, trying to figure out if its assembly quality is up to the challenge.
Height Adjustment and Stability
Finally, as promised, we must address the element of height adjustment mechanisms. These mechanical and hydraulic systems are composed of many moving parts that sometimes operate in complex ways. Over time, such mechanisms are liable to experience maladjustment or even failure. The likelihood of this happening will depend, of course, on the quality of the system.
Cheaper height adjustment mechanisms are more prone to suffer issues and thus affect the stability and overall experience for the user. Beware of low-end piano benches that offer such mechanisms as they may become the cause of future problems.
In the case of Hidrau, we developed the Hidrau Tech System, a unique innovation in the piano bench market that guarantees a seamless, idealized experience of height adjustment. Besides the benefits that we always discuss regarding this technology, one we have overlooked publicly is the peace of mind that users enjoy, knowing that the mechanism will continue operating longer and more reliably than any other option in the market.
Remember, a lot comes back to stability and durability. By understanding these two factors, you are guaranteeing a positive experience with your future piano bench. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to piano benches; there is much more to learn about this essential part of your piano practice. To answer many of the other questions that buyers and players have on piano benches, we created an in-depth guide that you can read here.