Piano lore can be summarised thus: there are good and bad pianos. This is the basic fact in a pianist’s life. Both kinds are to be found in all sizes, from all manufacturers, at any price point. A concert grand costing more than £100,000 can be bad. Smaller can be better than larger, but between two good pianos, the sound of the larger will be richer and more present.
One can get used to any piano, even when the instrument is terrible, but the better the piano, the less time is required, and vice versa. Spending time with a good piano is rewarding: there is always something more to discover in its tone. A bad piano functions in what-you-see-is-what-you-get mode, producing the same sound even after hours of practice. And each piano is unique. Manufacturing involves hundreds of processes and adjustments, most done by hand, all affecting the final tone. As a result two pianos of the same model, made in the same year, will sound different to the untrained ear, despite their outward sameness. The contrast in sound between different models, or between pianos made in different years or from different companies will be even more apparent.