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Spinets, which are 36" to 40" high, have a recessed, or “drop,” action that is connected to the keys with long “stickers” of wood or metal.These actions are difficult — and thus expensive — to repair.Students don’t have enough experience to distinguish between a bad piano and their own lack of ability.When a piano’s action can’t be regulated to the correct touch, or its strings tuned to a harmonious sound, the student, unable to duplicate what was taught in a lesson, will become frustrated and discouraged, and will lose interest.In some instances, buyers fascinated by old uprights see them as an opportunity to tinker with and learn something about pianos.There’s nothing wrong with this — as long as a young student is not saddled with it.
In addition, small pianos, especially spinets, were heavily promoted for their cabinet styling at the expense of their musical qualities.
However, a bad purchasing decision at this point in a student’s learning tends to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
In many cases a piano that is too old, too small, or simply not good enough will soon become useless to the student.
Spinets were usually the least expensive entry-level pianos a company would manufacture, and most are not worth repairing.
Many of these small, cheap pianos were so poorly designed and constructed that, even when new, and regulated and tuned as well as possible, they played poorly and sounded terrible.