Trying and buying a new piano directly off the off the piano store floor is a wonderful buying option.
You get hands-on experience with that instrument and a great feel for how it is going to perform in your home.
However, you must take into consideration that a new piano fresh from the box will change its tonal characteristics over time because of the break-in period every new piano experiences.
This process goes on for months as it settles into its permanent environment.
Pianos will " brighten up" or get more treble sounding as they mature, and the hammers are compressed with use.
If a piano is voiced too bright when it is new, there is a strong chance it will become glassy and produce overtones as it is played in the future. This too-bright sound will require a voicing down if it gets too bad.
Buying a piano that is voiced a little mellower when new will grow into its designed sound which will be more resonate and natural to that piano.
Some dealers and some manufacturers purposely have their pianos brighter out of the box because they seem to have more presence in the sound on the sales floor. Rest assured that it is probably not the same sound that you will hear in your home a year from purchase so be careful with this as you shop for your new piano.
If it's very bright when new it could be too bright and brassy and have that "tinny sound" down the road.
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Many people these days seem to be interested in the industries heavily promoted “hybrid pianos" as an alternative to acoustic models.
Most of the instruments sold as hybrids are actually digital pianos with regular piano actions to get a closer to acoustic feel. The digital manufacturers have been improving the actions since day one to try to come as close to an acoustic experience while playing as possible, and this is the ultimate outcome.
Other than diamond rings and fine jewelry there are not many gifts that can last for years to come. Even then, they may be put in a drawer and forgotten.
A gift you can give that has proven to pass the test of time is an acoustic piano.