Regarding Andy Taylor's question about the production costs of tall
vs. short pianos: the fact is that every additional inch or two in
height adds hundreds of dollars to the cost of the piano. It is hard
to believe, I know, but there is a lot more involved than leaving some
spruce boards a few inches longer and using a few more feet of wire in
the stringing process.
Everything becomes more expensive, starting from the raw material,
shipping, storage, actions, keys, labor -- you name it. Factor into
that the smaller runs because of the higher price, and the individual
instrument becomes even costlier!
Yamaha and Kawai, for example, don't price their tallest pianos at well
over $10,000 because that is how much they can "extort" from the buyers
-- it costs that much to build a big piano. And in that price range,
they are competing with cheap Asian baby grands.
If manufacturers could make a good 48" piano at a 10% higher cost than
a 42", why wouldn't they bring it on the market? As D. L. Bullock's
price list shows, it can't be done.
PS: I would be interested to know if there are any other piano-related
forums on the net. Thanks.