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Topic Options
#1606456 - 01/27/11 01:12 AM steinway action
1bigbird Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/30/08
Posts: 107
Loc: everett wa
Hello Evereyone, I'm thinking of buying an older Steinway B . If I didn't like the action but the piano was in good shape how much would it cost to put a new Steinway action in ? Can anyone tell me any good years for Steinway ? 1920's, 1930's ? Thanks for your help. Sincerely, Steve

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#1606461 - 01/27/11 01:20 AM Re: steinway action [Re: 1bigbird]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 23194
Loc: Oakland
If you have questions of this sort about an older Steinway (or any piano, for that matter), you should have it checked out by a technician before you buy. It may be that the piano needs nothing more than some regulation. If it does need more than that, the technician should be able to give you a quote.
Semipro Tech

#1606468 - 01/27/11 01:42 AM Re: steinway action [Re: 1bigbird]
Rod Verhnjak Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 3670
Loc: Vancouver B.C. Canada
If I may suggest, you could contact Darrell & Heather at
They could give you ideas of prices and also inspect the piano for you.

I can highly recommend their action work.

Verhnjak Pianos
Specializing in the Restoration, Refinishing & Maintenance
of Fine Heirloom Pianos

Verhnjak Pianos Facebook

#1606501 - 01/27/11 04:30 AM Re: steinway action [Re: 1bigbird]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5315
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Is Steinway now in the action business? I thought they used Renner actions.

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#1606515 - 01/27/11 05:50 AM Re: steinway action [Re: Dave Horne]
crogersrx Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/25/08
Posts: 712
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
Is Steinway now in the action business? I thought they used Renner actions.

According to the book "Piano: The making of a Steinway Concert Grand" by James Barron, Steinway has been using Renner actions for some time now.
Cary Rogers, PharmD
San Francisco, CA
1887 Knabe 6'4" (Rebuilt)

#1606524 - 01/27/11 06:45 AM Re: steinway action [Re: crogersrx]
Rich Galassini Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9886
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Originally Posted By: crogersrx
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
Is Steinway now in the action business? I thought they used Renner actions.

According to the book "Piano: The making of a Steinway Concert Grand" by James Barron, Steinway has been using Renner actions for some time now.

Hello Cary,

This is partially true. When there is a piano that a NY action will fit, then NY will use that action. However, when the geometry of the action is different than what NY Steinway provides in their present action design, then they choose a Renner part designed for the specific piano.

The additional consistency that the Renner action offers is an added benefit.
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834

#1606530 - 01/27/11 07:06 AM Re: steinway action [Re: 1bigbird]
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
There is a difference in the actual action geometry of that of Hamburg and New York Steinways. Hamburg uses Renner parts exclusively including the hammers. NY uses NY action parts including the present traditional prelacquered cold pressed NY hammers.

Steinway does still sell what they classify as Pre1984 action parts which are manufactured by Renner for the NY Steinway in that era when the machinery in the NY factory was worn out so to speak. They basically modified the Hamburg shankflange and wippen body to conform to the NY dimensions. So in essance Steinway does market and sell Renner parts for the NY Steinway. Whether they fit is another issue.

Now RennerUSA is not really the same entity as Steinway Renner and the dimension of the Steinway parts are different again. This is somewhat complicated but in the end the independent rebuilder hopefully utilizes the parts that fit the actual piano if we are talking restoration. wink
Largest selection in the USA
100+Steinway and M&H grands
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Hailun dlr.818-255-3145

#1606562 - 01/27/11 08:51 AM Re: steinway action [Re: 1bigbird]
Larry Buck Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 2431
Loc: Lowell MA
Good years for Steinway, or any piano of that age are pianos that have survived the years well. There is a great range of condition for any of those years. Pianos that have not survived well, will, be significantly more costly to restore.

Good action work begins with a good evaluation of your needs and an honest inspection of the current parts and piano.

"List Shopping" this new part or that one is, in my opinion, backwards shopping. I recommend, from the perspective of a non technician and pianist, getting to know the art of action building. The cost of action work is labor intensive. Parts may only be a fifth of the total cost. Therefore the ultimate cost of action work lays in the choices regarding labor.

Certainly include a discussion on parts and get to know the "personalities" of the different choices of parts.

If your taste is very general then you may be able to save a little money. If you have stronger more defined taste then it would be critical to shop "results". The cost of the work then becomes the cost of those specific results.

"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."
Mark Twain

E. J. Buck & Sons
Lowell MA 01852
978 458 8688

#1606583 - 01/27/11 09:33 AM Re: steinway action [Re: 1bigbird]
Les Koltvedt Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 3198
Loc: Canton, MI
Interesting post Larry, nicely stated.
Les Koltvedt
LK Piano
Servicing the S. Eastern Michigan Area
PTG Associate

#1606760 - 01/27/11 02:18 PM Re: steinway action [Re: BDB]
1bigbird Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/30/08
Posts: 107
Loc: everett wa
I will have a tech check it out. It's too much money not to have that done. Money well spent. Thank you. Steve

#1606761 - 01/27/11 02:21 PM Re: steinway action [Re: Rich Galassini]
1bigbird Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/30/08
Posts: 107
Loc: everett wa
Thank you. I do believe they build there own action. Sincerely, Steve

#1606764 - 01/27/11 02:22 PM Re: steinway action [Re: pianobroker]
1bigbird Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/30/08
Posts: 107
Loc: everett wa
I can't thank you enough for your reply. Sincerely, Steve

#1606769 - 01/27/11 02:28 PM Re: steinway action [Re: Larry Buck]
1bigbird Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/30/08
Posts: 107
Loc: everett wa
Thank you very much. I know replacing the action can cost thousands of dollars. I have seen famous jazz artist own a 1900 something Steinway and they just love it. The model C is a nice model but a little on the high end. I think a D would be over kill for my home. Thanks again for your help. Sincerely, Steve

#1606801 - 01/27/11 03:15 PM Re: steinway action [Re: Rod Verhnjak]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3484
I second this. Lovely people, top notch work.
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer


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