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#1309707 - 11/21/09 10:53 AM Re: More factories; Förster, Steingraeber (again) and Feurich [Re: Steve Cohen]
EltonRach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/20/09
Posts: 95
Loc: Singapore
Thank you BoseEric for your time and effort to write-up your experiences. I enjoyed it and hope there'll be more.

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#1322470 - 12/10/09 08:24 AM Re: More factories; Förster, Steingraeber (again) and Feurich [Re: EltonRach]
Fritz Heberlein Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/17/09
Posts: 5
Sorry for intruding into this thread from outside the US. I just want to say that it has inspired me to extent my search for an new upright to Feurich, a brand I was familiar with in my youth but wich I had lost sight of since. Well, after a visit to the Feurich shop at Gunzenhausen, after listening to the full and warm sound of the Feurich 123, and after an "introduction to piano building for bigdummies" by Julius Feurich, I decided that I had arrived at the end of my searching odyssey, and last week the F 123 was delivered to my home.

Thank you BoseEric for your interesting perspective on traditional piano manufacturing!

BTW. Somebody wrote here he believed that the Feurich pianos be "not all of the same quality". This is true, in a sense: for customers with a limited budget, Feurich offers a downgrading option to an asian made action and keyboard instead of the Renner action and the Heuss keyboard. The other way round, you can also, for a price, upgrade to a very impressive Fandrich action. These differences are clearly stated in Feurich's printed material (less so, regrettably, on his somewhat outdated web site). The crucial point is that every variant is build at Feurich's in Gunzenhausen, and not, as is rumoured sometimes, in China.


---
Dr Fritz Heberlein
Dept. of Classics,
University of Eichstaett-Ingolstadt, Bavaria

Feurich 123 (2009), Arnold 130 (1933)


Edited by Fritz Heberlein (12/10/09 08:25 AM)

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#1322491 - 12/10/09 09:06 AM Re: More factories; Förster, Steingraeber (again) and Feurich [Re: Fritz Heberlein]
BoseEric Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 731
Loc: Fairfield County, CT
Congratulations on your new Feurich, Dr. Heberlein! I'm sure it is a beautiful piano and that you will be very happy with it. The tradition here at PianoWorld is for you to post photos!


Best

Eric
_________________________
RPT. In the business: Feurich pianos, Neupert harpsichords, Hidrau benches, piano technician

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#1322614 - 12/10/09 12:08 PM Re: More factories; Förster, Steingraeber (again) and Feurich [Re: BoseEric]
Fritz Heberlein Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/17/09
Posts: 5
Originally Posted By: BoseEric
The tradition here at PianoWorld is for you to post photos!



Hm ... I'm an old fashioned guy and do not own a digital camera (have bought a piano instead...). But i can offer a picture made for me by Julius Feurich, which shows "my" model at display in his shop:



Best

Fritz (who has a stiff neck from playing too much ... )

---
Dr Fritz Heberlein
Dept. of Classics,
University of Eichstaett-Ingolstadt, Bavaria

Feurich 123 (2009), Arnold 130 (1933)



Attachments
klavier.gif (16 downloads)



Edited by Fritz Heberlein (12/10/09 12:11 PM)

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#1322667 - 12/10/09 01:24 PM Re: More factories; Förster, Steingraeber (again) and Feurich [Re: Fritz Heberlein]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
hope your neck holds out.

congratulations on your piano Fritz - it fits nicely in this thread.


Edited by apple* (12/10/09 01:26 PM)
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1323127 - 12/11/09 02:41 AM Re: More factories; Förster, Steingraeber (again) and Feurich [Re: apple*]
AJF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/18/06
Posts: 1622
Loc: Toronto
Congratulations! A genuine Feurich- wonderful pianos. If you DO get a digital camera in the future, your piano would be a good specimen for some photos:)

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#1323161 - 12/11/09 06:22 AM Re: More factories; Förster, Steingraeber (again) and Feurich [Re: AJF]
Terry5758 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/13/09
Posts: 348
Loc: Vero Beach,Florida
Beautiful Feurich Fritz! The wood is amazing. Congrats on your purchase of one of the finest pianos made. I absolutely love my Feurich and the Julius Feurich Family. They are very nice people.
_________________________
Proud owner of a fully restored Feurich concert grand built in 1912 with Phoenix System.
Gotta love that German technology

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#1323228 - 12/11/09 09:38 AM Re: More factories; Förster, Steingraeber (again) and Feurich [Re: Terry5758]
Fritz Heberlein Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/17/09
Posts: 5
Originally Posted By: Terry5758
Beautiful Feurich Fritz! The wood is amazing.


The sound is even more! Of course, I would have prefered a grand F 227 myself (I saw one at the Feurich shop), but ... doughter studying at Princeton for a year, money saved for a grand piano vanishes into tuition fees ...

Best,

Fritz

--
Dr Fritz Heberlein
Dept. of Classics
University of Eichstaett-Ingolstadt, Bavaria

Feurich 123 (2009), Arnold 130 (1932)

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#1323592 - 12/11/09 06:40 PM Re: More factories; Förster, Steingraeber (again) and Feurich [Re: Fritz Heberlein]
Norbert Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14138
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
NOW GO OUT AND BUY A HIGH END, EUROPEAN BUILT PIANO!!


In Europe it's not "high end" but "normal".

It's all they know.....

Norbert thumb
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#1323611 - 12/11/09 07:03 PM Re: More factories; Förster, Steingraeber (again) and Feurich [Re: Norbert]
Terry5758 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/13/09
Posts: 348
Loc: Vero Beach,Florida
Good point Norbert!
_________________________
Proud owner of a fully restored Feurich concert grand built in 1912 with Phoenix System.
Gotta love that German technology

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#1323627 - 12/11/09 07:38 PM Re: More factories; Förster, Steingraeber (again) and Feurich [Re: Norbert]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7199
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: Norbert
Quote:
NOW GO OUT AND BUY A HIGH END, EUROPEAN BUILT PIANO!!


In Europe it's not "high end" but "normal".

It's all they know.....

Norbert thumb


Proof positive?

Yamaha is Europe's largest selling piano brand. grin


Congratulations on your find, Doctor Heberlein!
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#2315250 - 08/14/14 12:37 AM Re: More factories; Förster, Steingraeber (again) and Feurich [Re: BoseEric]
phacke Online   content

Gold Supporter until November 11 2014


Registered: 10/18/12
Posts: 539
Loc: CO, USA
Steingraeber visit (Bayreuth, Germany), continuing on the theme of the Steingraeber visit here by BoseEric.

At that time of BoseEric's post, workshop pictures were apparently allowed. When I visited they were not, according to the sign on the door, so images are of finished pianos, or obtained elsewhere.

The approach,


Factory tour was given by Albin Steingraeber

Only about 38 people work there. It is really quite amazing to have reached the level they have with so few people. Standard outsourcable parts are outsourced, locally. For example they get their cast plates from two companies in Germany, one just 80 km away, the other on the other side of Germany (or so). I think a key factor in the ability of the not so large German piano makers to achieve success is the local, close (locational and collaborative) working relationship they have to the upstream (and probably downstream too) value chain entities.

All technical people can do one anothers jobs.

The short of it all is that they are a very fine business and wonderful people. Udo Steingraeber came by and did a meet & greet. Udo and Albin are different style people, but my impression is Albin can carry the Steingraeber tradition superbly.

Technical observations:

Agraffes
I have seen on these pages complaints about Klinke agraffes. Steingraebers solution to strengthen them is to reinforce them with a steel pin. This is outsourced. I dont know exactly where that steel pin sits with respect to the string position.

Long bridge
Small steps chiseled in at the bridge pins. This was explained as an intermediate geometry between Steinway (bevel only) and Fazioli, (step only) :


Bass bridge.
Interesting key-holes and a bit of a slot off to the right indicating some cantilever in that areas (see shots by BoseEric above). Obviously, these key-holes were explained to me as helping to improve the sound, but the mechanism was not clear to me:


The bass bridge did not have small steps chiseled in, just an acute slope:

This got me looking at other bass bridges:
Bluthner, in their Leipzig showroom. Looks like one can drive a (toy) truck under the bass bridge. (Predominantly lower cost Bluthners at this showroom, even Bluthner-labeled digitals):


Bosendorfer, at the Mendelssohn house in Leipzig, some similarities to Steingraeber. This particular Bosendorfer didnt sound that good to me, kind of thin:


C Bechstein, at the Frankfurt airport for all to play, solid bass bridge. Sounded good to me:


I folded the lid back after this photo of it. (I) couldn't bare the stress:


Action
Hammer shanks tuned. Hardest (highest resonance frequency) placed in the high treble, lowest are placed in the bass. 2% are rejected as being too soft and sent back to Renner for credit. Renner gets a visits very frequently from Steingraeber.

I think of Mr McMorrrow writing he cannot get Klinkes attention. It seems you have to physical show up and get in their face to get attention, and your piano workshop being in the same country helps for that. You can see by what Steingraeber is doing (with the insertion of the steel pins), others also see room for improvement beyond the baseline product.

They are studying the WNG action (it was on display) and may include it for those customers wanting it, but they said they do not anticipate nor seek a general move to it.



Tuning pins. Drilled in to desired depth with a machine, pounding not involved.

General plate and cabinet item: effort to make all parts musical and resonant at the appropriate frequency.

Duplex bar (rear/backscale). On the plate we were looking at (a smaller grand), this was molded right into the plate for the bass section, I believe. After casting, they said they heat treated it with locallizeds induction heating to harden it as much as possible.

Grand piano lid.
Honeycomb aluminum bounded by a fiberglass with 1.5 mm veneer on each face. (random picture from the web here). They said they like the acoustic behavior of it. Im not a convert on that just yet, but Im sure they would make me plywood one if requested.
http://www.simonliuinc.com/html/fiberglass.php

Soundboard: German, valley grown spruce (because the wind of the mountain buckles the grain), tuned and optimized with sand for observation of the modes, as observed by the previous PW reports.

Albin volunteered the information that the wood they use is from sustainable sources. I did not ask about this, and I was not wearing my tree-hugger tee shirt. I of course jumped on this because this is an interest of mine, and proposed that they advertise this to the maximum, and make coalitions with other manufactures who do this considering the death and destruction that goes into collection of some woods. He said he would think about it, but the worry is that people would get the impression of it (the sustainable wood) being an unnecessary extra cost (though he did not worry about it when telling me).

This is the map of Steingraeber dealers (North America here) . He called out a few people that frequent these pages in the USA. He mentioned there was a hole in dealerships in the central US, such as Texas (opportunity?) . Udo mentioned there used to be someone in Boulder, Colorado who retired (too bad for me).



The selection room had two Bs and a C. The C was great, with all the butter and thunder you want:


The Bs there, Im sorry, did not have much of it at all. The auditorium had a Steingraeber E, Excellent, obviously. I was however surprised how the lower octaves sounded with a strong element of the sound of metal strings fundamentally vibrating when played above p. This is not a criticism, it was just its natureand it was satisfying and beautifully harmonious. You can hear this nature I am talking about here:
https://soundcloud.com/five-stars-1/steingraeber-e-272-brahms-sonate-op-5-f-moll

Here is the Steingraeber C label. The higher price is for the carbon fiber soundboard option. Albin quoted the carbon board as being most suitable for jazz and humid climates (used in much less than 5% of pianos):



For the money you save by passing up on this (photo at the zoological garden mall/Berlin) , I can get two Steingraeber Cs:

I sincerely thank Albin and the Steingraeber team for the wonderful visit.
I welcome any corrections.


Edited by phacke (08/17/14 01:28 AM)
_________________________
phacke

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

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#2315325 - 08/14/14 06:35 AM Re: More factories; Förster, Steingraeber (again) and Feurich [Re: phacke]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3588
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Wow, what a post, Phacke! Very interesting. smile

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