Sara Mullen. Benches. January 12th , 2018.
A Jansen artist bench is the Cadillac of benches, and it is reflected in the price. Compared to other benches however, even those made by other American manufacturers, it is definitely worth the price, and like everything else is life, you get what you pay for. Take into account, that their benches are meant to last for many years, if not decades (they do use a thick, heavy duty polyester foam which will not break down), and that you are placing the piano bench next to a multi-thousand dollar instrument. When the piano is the focal point of your room, you do not want to put something cheap next to it, and putting a cheap bench next to a Steinway piano, it will definitely stick out.
The most popular, elegant and well known pianos in the world are made by Steinway & Sons, who have a tradition of making their top-of-the-line instruments for over 150 years. Steinway however, is solely a piano bench manufacturer, and do not make their own piano benches to go along with their pianos. They in fact contract out to Jansen & Son exclusively to make benches for their products. Thus, if you are looking for a Steinway piano bench, you are in fact looking for a Jansen piano bench. A brief history about Jansen: they are an American piano bench manufacturer in Wisconsin, who have been in business for over 50 years. They are known across the globe for making the highest quality benches available, using superior maple hardwood (from the East Coast of the United States or Canada), and thick, furniture quality vinyl. Jansen is best known for their artist benches, which features their heavy-duty, silent "micro-adjustable" raising mechanism (which is the best adjustable mechanism on the market).
The first is a stationary grand piano bench (Duet Bench) is 35 inches wide and 19 inches high. With the duet bench the width is proportioned to the size of the piano and the bench will easily seat two people. The traditional standard upright bench is 30 inches wide by 19 inches high and is a fine piece of furniture to use with all upright pianos. For smaller pianos such as spinets, I would consider a 25-inch-wide piano/keyboard bench to be just the right size. I will often recommend an adjustable bench for families (and teachers) with multiple players and pianists concerned with posture might select an adjustable or a high level Artists bench.
Piano Bench Tops. The most common type of piano bench top is the hardwood bench top. Most have an optional model available with a music storage compartment that is very handy for sheet music or other music accessories (my kids will hide things in our bench all the time). Fancier and more expensive seat tops will be upholstered in fabric or even leather. Most bench manufacturers have lots of fabric choices to select from and they can be made to match your interior décor without issue. Vinyl is a nice substitute for real leather if budget is a concern. I personally like the fabric seat over a leather or vinyl seat top because of the capability of the fabric to breathe.
If you plan to purchase a bench, then there are some important things to keep in mind. A teak bench must be properly cared for, especially if it spends time out in the elements. Here are some important tips to keep in mind when caring for a teak bench. Teak Protector If you do not want the lovely brown color of the bench to fade to the light grey color, then there are some products which are made to protect the original color of the teak. Kingsley-Bate makes a wonderful product that will help the bench keep its original teak color for much longer than it would otherwise. A teak protector will need to be reapplied about once per year in order for the bench to retain its same color year after year. You might be able to get away with doing it a little less often if the bench is kept indoors all of the time.
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