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#103542 - 01/20/08 11:50 AM Re: Steinway D versus Yamaha CFIIIS
Paulwbenn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/13/07
Posts: 53
Loc: Dallas
 Quote:
Of course this new company was steeped in German tradition...
Of course, at that time Germany wasn't exactly the engineering and industrial powerhouse that we know today. It was hardly even a country \:\)

With all due respect to its German roots, Steinway & Sons is a thoroughly American success story. As for its pianos, they were actually shaped through early and intense competition with names like Chickering and Mason & Hamlin - not Bosendorfer or Bechstein.

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#103543 - 01/20/08 01:51 PM Re: Steinway D versus Yamaha CFIIIS
PoStTeNeBrAsLuX Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/05
Posts: 2618
Loc: Geneva, Switzerland
Paulwbenn:
at that time Germany wasn't exactly the engineering and industrial powerhouse that we know today. It was hardly even a country \:\)

Indeed. It was still merely a Confederation of 40 odd entities at the time old Heinrich climbed aboard the boat for the New World... though we all know the results a few generations later when it did become united and industrialised... twice in fact \:\(

Anyway, it's time to eat here in Yurrup, so I think I might tuck into a pizza... hold on, I hear that you have them over there too, so surely that's another fine traditional American product as well? I suppose especially so if the Italian who made it emigrated after the age of fifty...buon appetito! \:D

Michael B.
_________________________
There are two rules to success in life: Rule #1. Don't tell people everything you know.

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#103544 - 01/20/08 08:58 PM Re: Steinway D versus Yamaha CFIIIS
LJC Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/04
Posts: 1518
Loc: New York
"changed his name to a more anglo-sounding one and founded his new piano company in New York."

Thats correct. In other words he became an American and started an American Company.

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#103545 - 01/21/08 03:50 AM Re: Steinway D versus Yamaha CFIIIS
PoStTeNeBrAsLuX Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/05
Posts: 2618
Loc: Geneva, Switzerland
LJC:
In other words he became an American and started an American Company.

"Despite" having been German for the previous 54 years? ;\) . I could start calling myself Michel/Mikaël, and even take the passport, but it wouldn't really make me Swiss. If I started a company e.g. blending and making tea, if that was the professional and skill I had practiced in England beforehand, it wouldn't make it a Swiss tea company either.

Of course, I am well aware that the United States (perhaps more than many other countries) is a nation of relatively recent immigrants and a that the ideal of an overarching American national identity has developed (and/or been imposed) for many socio-economic and political reasons. It is fun occasionally to tease LeftPonders about such things, though some display more (or less) of a sense of humo(u)r than others \:\)

Michael B. (also in an immigrant!)
_________________________
There are two rules to success in life: Rule #1. Don't tell people everything you know.

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#103546 - 01/21/08 05:52 AM Re: Steinway D versus Yamaha CFIIIS
AJB Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/05
Posts: 3655
Loc: Surrey, England
The English like few things better than baiting Americans about history. Disgraceful. The English sardonic or dry humour is often not grasped or appreciated by our friends across the pond. And double standards abound.

At present I am involved in a corporate transaction with some American gentlemen who are seeking to invest in a controlling share in a little business in Europe.

I had dinner with six of them just before Christmas and we were talking about ancestry. Each of the six was passionate about his European origins. Three claimed Irish ancestry. They were the ones who liked potatoes. Two claimed Italian ancestry. They were the ones who liked pasta. The sixth claimed English descent and he was the one with a sense of humour.

Had one of them had German forbears, I am sure he would have agreed with us that Steinways are in fact German pianos through and through. With maybe a few recent (i.e. 100 years ago) US touches here and there.

With kind regards

Adrian
_________________________
S&S Hamburg D, Yamaha CLP 280


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#103547 - 01/21/08 08:46 AM Re: Steinway D versus Yamaha CFIIIS
TLuvva Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/24/07
Posts: 394
Loc: Athens, Georgia
For a complete list of things American, take a listen to the song, "America, F*** Yeah from the American movie Team America.

Included are such American staples as sushi and Taco Bell. (Steinways are not included). Check out the entire list and don't you forget it!

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#103548 - 01/21/08 10:45 AM Re: Steinway D versus Yamaha CFIIIS
Starting Over Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 1290
Loc: Toronto
Steinways are American pianos.

So there!
_________________________
Buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it.
Will Rogers


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#103549 - 01/21/08 01:01 PM Re: Steinway D versus Yamaha CFIIIS
insanity Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/06
Posts: 147
Loc: Switzerland
 Quote:
Originally posted by Starting Over:
Steinways are American pianos.

So there! [/b]
Do you mean ALL Steinways or just NY Steinways?
_________________________
Hamburg Steinway B

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#103550 - 01/21/08 02:30 PM Re: Steinway D versus Yamaha CFIIIS
Starting Over Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 1290
Loc: Toronto
I mean all Steinways. Steinway is an American company that builds some pianos in their factory in Germany.

I have yet to hear someone refer to a Camry as anything other than a Japanese car. This, despite the fact that every Camry you see on the road in the US and Canada is built in Kentucky.

Works both ways.

There you go. ;\)
_________________________
Buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it.
Will Rogers


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#103551 - 01/21/08 02:35 PM Re: Steinway D versus Yamaha CFIIIS
AJB Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/05
Posts: 3655
Loc: Surrey, England
Sadly Starting Over you are deluding yourself.

And it is just as well for Steinway. If people in Europe thought these things were, horror of horrors, American (we in Europe know just how truly dreadful American cars are - great in a straight line, briefly, but hopeless around corners) - Steinway would be lucky to sell any pianos over here at all.

A Camry, on the other hand, is definitely American. No question about that. Honestly, how could anyone doubt it. Have you driven one?

Kind regards

Adrian
_________________________
S&S Hamburg D, Yamaha CLP 280


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#103552 - 01/21/08 02:41 PM Re: Steinway D versus Yamaha CFIIIS
Mr_Kitty Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/07
Posts: 667
Loc: Toronto
Is there a problem here?
There are American Steinways, and there are German Steinways.
The original Steinweg family were Germans who moved to the States.
Hamburg Steinways and New York Steinways are very different in the ways they sound.

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#103553 - 01/21/08 03:48 PM Re: Steinway D versus Yamaha CFIIIS
Starting Over Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 1290
Loc: Toronto
Well AJB, I guess it's lucky for Steinway that Europeans don't know then. \:D

Btw, I trust you know a Camry is a Toyota. Just checking. And yes, I have driven one and it's a pretty good car actually. I think it's still the best selling mid-size sedan in the US. My wife had one before trading it for her Subaru, another Japanese car. It was built in Indiana.

As for the Hamburg Steinways being so different, I think that's a bit overdone. They look like the same piano to me other than the finish and I don't hear much of a difference; they're both wonderful (yeah, I know Renner etc.). Two NY Bs can be as different from each other as from a Hamburg B.
_________________________
Buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it.
Will Rogers


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#103554 - 01/21/08 03:50 PM Re: Steinway D versus Yamaha CFIIIS
Barbara G Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 495
Loc: N. Texas
Adrian,
I have enjoyed reading much of this. I understand that your university is going to chose between these two pianos. However you have asked for the issues that others see. As I understand it the Steinway is the design that was developed about 100 years ago. Steinway in the late 1800s collected the best ideas from around Europe and the US and came up with was was often thought to be the best designs in the world. The Steinway D was the most acclaimed piano in the world. But my understanding is that it has remained the same for the last 100 years. Meanwhile others have continued to work to improve pianos. Especially in the last few decades the modern science of piano engineering has been able to create better pianos. The reason you have been so impressed with Steingraeber and Sons, as I have, is that they have really worked with modern science and engineering to developer better pianos. In the US, Mason and Hamlin has also developed pianos which are now better than the wonderful pianos they made 100 years ago. It is also my understanding that Fazioli has also been able to develop and design better pianos now than old designs. Even Yamaha keeps working to design better pianos. Bosendorfer and Bechstein today are better sounding pianos than 40 years ago because they have worked at improving their designs while Steinway proudly keeps making the same old designs thinking that they cannot be improved upon.

Truly a big issue for your University to consider is do they want a new 100 year old designed piano or the best that modern piano designers and builders can create. Ask your committee in what areas of their lives do they prefer 100 year old designs. A piano is a very complex music machine which deserves to be the best that modern designers can create.

It is my understanding that Pleyel hired Steingraeber to design them new concert grands which they believe will be the best in the world. They displayed the prototype last spring. (I do not know the details and if they are now for sale.) However, it is exciting to realize that better pianos can be made and are being made and the world does not have to live with 100 year old designs. Steinways Ds are wonderful to play and to listen to, but they are not the end all, be all.

Of course my creations and opinions are... \:D

--
_________________________
Master of Music, School Teacher, Church Musician- See "Our Adventure to a New grand" thread... http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/18212.html

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#103555 - 01/21/08 04:58 PM Re: Steinway D versus Yamaha CFIIIS
LJC Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/04
Posts: 1518
Loc: New York
If I started a company e.g. blending and making tea, if that was the professional and skill I had practiced in England beforehand, it wouldn't make it a Swiss tea company either.

It would if it was incorporated in there.

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#103556 - 01/21/08 05:00 PM Re: Steinway D versus Yamaha CFIIIS
LJC Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/04
Posts: 1518
Loc: New York
If I started a company e.g. blending and making tea, if that was the professional and skill I had practiced in England beforehand, it wouldn't make it a Swiss tea company either.
It would if were incorporated there despite its English heritage.

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#103557 - 01/21/08 05:13 PM Re: Steinway D versus Yamaha CFIIIS
LJC Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/04
Posts: 1518
Loc: New York
American cars are - great in a straight line, briefly, but hopeless around corners) -

I guess you never drove a Corvette. I remember people saying that if you bought a Jaguar you had to put a new room on your house for your mechanic. Fortuantely they are much improved now, except if you have to drive in the snow.

I also remember the British motorcycles like the BSA. They were alot of fun if you could get them to start. The Triumph's were better, another fun bike but they leaked oil all over the place. Plus they had the shift and the rear brake on the wrong side. The Norton was lot of fun too. You just had to let the car in front get a hundred yards ahead before starting off the light because if you didnt stand on it off the line it stalled.

BTW- I have a German heritage and Steinway is still American though the Hamburg is less so.

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#103558 - 01/21/08 05:37 PM Re: Steinway D versus Yamaha CFIIIS
Starting Over Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 1290
Loc: Toronto
 Quote:
American cars are - great in a straight line, briefly, but hopeless around corners
It doesn't matter. There are no corners in North America. Our roads are all perfectly straight.
_________________________
Buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it.
Will Rogers


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#103559 - 01/21/08 06:49 PM Re: Steinway D versus Yamaha CFIIIS
Mr_Kitty Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/07
Posts: 667
Loc: Toronto
hey buddy you from toronto too? lol I'm just around the "corner" ;\)

but what's this thread about? Didn't the people get the Steinway?

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#103560 - 01/21/08 07:10 PM Re: Steinway D versus Yamaha CFIIIS
Starting Over Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 1290
Loc: Toronto
Good one. \:D
Yes, I am and they did buy the Steinway.

I'd have to read back through the thread to see exactly how we got this far into the weeds. I think it was something about the War, then Paulwbenn called a Steinway an American piano.

He was correct of course... :p
_________________________
Buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it.
Will Rogers


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#103561 - 01/21/08 08:26 PM Re: Steinway D versus Yamaha CFIIIS
Paulwbenn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/13/07
Posts: 53
Loc: Dallas
 Quote:
I'd have to read back through the thread to see exactly how we got this far into the weeds. I think it was something about the War, then Paulwbenn called a Steinway an American piano.

He was correct of course...
Oops, I think I did get this off track somehow. Glad to see that we've finally settled the Steinway issue though \:D

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#103562 - 01/22/08 05:05 AM Re: Steinway D versus Yamaha CFIIIS
PoStTeNeBrAsLuX Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/05
Posts: 2618
Loc: Geneva, Switzerland
LJC:
It would if were incorporated there despite its English heritage.[/b]

Aha, herein lies the problem. How would you parse the phrase "Swiss tea company?"

Is it:

(1) a Swiss-located company (owned and run by a recent immigrant of English, i.e. non-Swiss origin) that blends and sells (arguably English, given the heritage and methods of the owner) tea,

or is it:

(2) a Swiss company that makes Swiss tea[1]?

I think this could be yet another case of the British and Americans being divided by a common language ;\)

Michael B.
[1] Not that such a thing exists, obviously \:\)
_________________________
There are two rules to success in life: Rule #1. Don't tell people everything you know.

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#103563 - 01/22/08 07:22 AM Re: Steinway D versus Yamaha CFIIIS
AJB Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/05
Posts: 3655
Loc: Surrey, England
I doubt if a Swiss tea company would do very well.

In my experience, the Swiss are fond of coffee.
_________________________
S&S Hamburg D, Yamaha CLP 280


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#103564 - 01/22/08 04:58 PM Re: Steinway D versus Yamaha CFIIIS
insanity Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/06
Posts: 147
Loc: Switzerland
I am Swiss - and I drink tea and coffee (not simultaneously of course)
_________________________
Hamburg Steinway B

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#103565 - 01/22/08 05:00 PM Re: Steinway D versus Yamaha CFIIIS
insanity Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/06
Posts: 147
Loc: Switzerland
And just to warm up the cold coffee --> Steinways are definitely not American.
_________________________
Hamburg Steinway B

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#103566 - 01/22/08 05:45 PM Re: Steinway D versus Yamaha CFIIIS
LJC Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/04
Posts: 1518
Loc: New York
Michael B. You can parse it anyway you want if its your company.

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#103567 - 01/22/08 06:07 PM Re: Steinway D versus Yamaha CFIIIS
PoStTeNeBrAsLuX Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/05
Posts: 2618
Loc: Geneva, Switzerland
LJC:
You can parse it anyway you want if its your company.[/b]

Indeed. Though it wouldn't change the tea, obviously \:\) .

Anyway, methinks you doth protest too much for its American-ess, perhaps because of (or indeed 'despite') having chosen a Hamburg (and not a NY) D? ;\)

-Michael B.
_________________________
There are two rules to success in life: Rule #1. Don't tell people everything you know.

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#103568 - 01/24/08 06:33 PM Re: Steinway D versus Yamaha CFIIIS
LJC Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/04
Posts: 1518
Loc: New York
Despite..

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#2027222 - 02/05/13 12:52 AM Re: Steinway D versus Yamaha CFIIIS [Re: Patrick Hinves]
phacke Online   content

Gold Supporter until November 11 2014


Registered: 10/18/12
Posts: 549
Loc: CO, USA
I was browsing this old thread and noticed:

Patrick Hinves wrote>:D well I'm sure the same will be said in a few years about the CFIIIS when compared to the " new CFIIIS triple "S" turbo" !!!! If they got it right in the first place, there won't be any need for changing the models name every few years!

You got that right, the CFIIIS, according to this Yamaha page accessed Feb, 2013, is stated as being discontinued.

http://usa.yamaha.com/products/musical-i...iis/?mode=model
_________________________
phacke

Steinway YM (1933)
...Working on:
G. F. Händel: Suite in G minor (HWV 452)
J. S. Bach, Sonata No. 1 in B minor (BWV 1014) duet with violin

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#2038694 - 02/24/13 09:32 PM Re: Steinway D versus Yamaha CFIIIS [Re: LJC]
R Hufford, RPT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/04/09
Posts: 27
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
I have reproduced here, with some alterations, a post put up several years ago on this subject. There are many, many other relevant details all of which militate to the conclusion that Steinway pianos of either NY or Hamburg, are, in the words of their own original builders and designers, "American" pianos. Of course, the natural pressure to make sales leads toward the creation of whatever impression may be useful. This is, in my opinion, merely marketing and does not address the actual issue.

There are, no doubt, many reasons why German products MAY be better, and, particularly, more carefully assembled than similar products from some other countries. However, with regard to grand pianos, German pianos have never been superior designs, with the exception of a few courageous experimenters of the present time, like Steingraber, etc. to those in the US.
With their cast iron plates, bent rims, felted hammers, acoustic dowels, laminated maple bridges, etc, etc, German pianos ARE American designs, as are those of virtually every other company of today. The actions of all are, in their final form, French, as is the use of agraffes as well.

Even though Germany, to a lesser degree England, and, especially Austria, were particularly the focus of piano design systems immediately after the period of Cristofori these systems are quite different than the modern piano. They were abandoned ultimately in favor of an English kind of piano with, finally, a comprehensive, innovative redesign and adaptation by Americans of the European antecedents of the time.

For a hundred and fifty years the piano industry had developed substantially in France and England. By the early 19th century more pianos were built in these two countries than the rest of the world combined. Germany was a minor, insignificant contributor of what were considered, in general, a cheap, inferior product.

Then in mid century first Chickering, and then Steinway, notwithstanding the misconceptions of some, a thoroughly American company building a thoroughly American product completely distinct from the inferior German production of the time, developed a series of innovations the collective effect of which was to transform the piano into the modern piano. This was known in Europe particularly, as is pertinent to this discussion, as the American System. With its bigger tone, superior tuning stability, long lived sound, and other virtues it presented a competitive problem to the big French and English companies and an opportunity for the backward German industry.
The Germans seized upon this system and in so doing expanded their industry tremendously. The well established French and English designs only gave ground grudgingly. They were slowly forced by competitive pressures over time to adopt various aspect of the American system, particularly overstringing and the use of continuous rims. Their industries declined to bit player status and were completely eclipsed by those of the US and Germany.

The Steinways, beginning first with their own name, relentless combated any suggestion their product was not distinctly American. The idea that their pianos were somehow of German origin and similar to the few pianos built in the kitchen of Henry Steinway which enabled a technology that they brought to the US is a misconception. The Pianofortefabrik in Hamburg began as a private operation of William and Theodore in which components were assembled locally after shipment from NY some twenty five years or so after the family had emigrated. For a generation virtually no manufacture was allowed. The Steinways made their reputation first and foremost building square grands, a type of piano only very infrequently produced in Europe. Thoughtful minds might enquire why a "German" piano, produced indeed in Germany and intended to be, and, sold in various dealers showrooms in Germany and other European companies displays, at least in earlier iterations of the plate, cast English words as part of the plate, identical to those used on similar models in N.Y. at the time. The answer is obvious: the pianos were intended to be represented as what they in fact are and which comports with the family's history, intentions and declarations - American pianos.

American cast iron techniques were superior even at the time to those of Europe. Julius Bluthner sent his son to the Chickering factory in 1853 to learn piano construction.

Even though it is, of course true that the antecents of the piano were in Europe, the fecundity of the American industry in the period from 1840 or so to 1930 far exceeded that of Europe where the standard of living was not as high and were less instruments could be sold. The result was that American instruments set the standard for innovative association into production of a slew of advancing design features, many, if not most of which, in concept had antecedents in Europe. That result was a standard, which, hopefully, can be said without accusation of jingoism, which still continues in the examples all around of high quality instruments from these periods. Their superiority of materials, execution and original amalgamation of design factors are still apparent to those that will look and listen.

Now, however, for several generations, that superiority of design execution has indeed passed to Germany, and subsequently to Japan, but there seems to me, very little that is truly original other than the use of carbon fiber in boards - not essentially a quantum leap, as occurred, for example, in the introduction of cast iron frames by Chickering, or the vertically laminated rim, overstringing in grands and the vertically laminated bridge by Steinway. The much-ballyhooed bridge agraffes of late
are neither unprecendented nor novel in design, having been employed in Europe and N. America as early as the late 19ths and early 20th century. The real problem with such things are the added costs of production viz.-a.viz. the products of the competition.
Regards, Robin Hufford, RPT

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#2039366 - 02/26/13 12:00 AM Re: Steinway D versus Yamaha CFIIIS [Re: AJB]
TomazP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/09
Posts: 105
Loc: Ucluelet, BC Canada
There is Hamburg Steinway. Everyone else is fighting for second place!

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