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#185781 - 06/06/07 07:16 AM Ravenscroft Piano
jperiod Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 52
Loc: Columbia, MD
Anyone ever heard of the Ravenscroft Piano?


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#185782 - 06/06/07 11:36 AM Re: Ravenscroft Piano
Gene Nelson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 1570
Loc: Old Hangtown California
Jim Coleman Sr interviews Mike Spreeman in the May 07 PTG Journal.
He will probably show his custom made pianos at the Kansas City National conference.
PTG Member

#185783 - 06/06/07 03:52 PM Re: Ravenscroft Piano
Catlady Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/03
Posts: 460
Loc: Arlington,VA
Michael is a terrific technician and his pianos certainly reflect this. (full disclosure: we are friends \:\) )
The pianos are started at the Sauter factory, then they are sent to Michael to be "pimped out" to the nth degree. They are as beautiful to look at as they are to play. I wish he made more of them -- I would love to sell these gorgeous creatures in my shop.
You should call the number on his website and have a chitchat with him. Tell him Cathy said hi.
Cathy Harl - former piano dealer and tech.
Currently making and designing jewelry.

#185784 - 06/29/07 03:14 PM Re: Ravenscroft Piano
Michael Spreeman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 38
Loc: Scottsdale, Arizona
Hi, I'm Michael Spreeman. Yes, I've heard of the Ravenscroft piano .

The Ravenscroft Model 220 shown in the manufacturers showcase in KC is the result of a 4 year endeavor which included extensive R&D, traveling to Europe to locate, inspect, and secure the highest quality materials and suppliers, and countless hours in the studio. It is the 2nd Model 220 which we have built and took about 6 months to constuct. The 220 and 275 rims and cases are manufactured in Spaichingen Germany to our specifications by Carl Sauter Pianofortemanufaktor. The plates are Sauter based and then modified here in our Scottsdale facility. Both models feature soundboards which are created with exquisite spruce from the Val di Fiemme forest in Northern Italy, and the Renner actions/ Kluge keys and keyframes are custom CAD designed for each indivual instrument. Yes, the price point is high, but every piece of the piano is hand selected and meticulously construced by my son and I. It is our goal to offer limited edition, handcrafted pianos to the public. Please visit our website for further information and feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Unfortunately, we are currently building a brand new site which should be completed by next week, so please check back from time to time to watch as it develops. We are working on the Ravenscroft 220 and 275 pages last, so there are not many photos or information up yet about these models.

Best regards,

Michael C. Spreeman
Michael C. Spreeman, RPT, Klavierbauer

#185785 - 06/29/07 09:43 PM Re: Ravenscroft Piano
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012

Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17849
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Hi Michael, welcome to the forum! It is a treat to hear from you.

This is probably a difficult question to answer, but how would you describe the tone of the Ravenscroft? More American or European?
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

#185786 - 06/30/07 12:22 PM Re: Ravenscroft Piano
Michael Spreeman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 38
Loc: Scottsdale, Arizona
Hi Monica, thanks for the welcome, it's nice to finally come out of hibernation and have the opportunity to interact with people and discuss what we're doing.

I wanted an “ocean of sound”. Piano sound is incredibly subjective, so this is a difficult question to answer. Each of the high end pianos on the market today has unique and wonderful qualities to their sound. I have found that I may prefer the treble of one brand, the tenor of another, and perhaps the bass of yet another. What I have attempted to produce is an instrument which exhibits an accentuated version of each of these aspects. It’s very important to me that a piano has long duration and power in the 5th octave which can project through a strong and powerful bass and tenor. Another important attribute of a piano is the ability to offer a broad dynamic spectrum. Some pianos have an incredible lyric capacity at the very soft range, but then the sound distorts and breaks up, like an inexpensive stereo speaker, at higher volumes. Other pianos are absolute power houses at the higher volumes, but have little to offer when played very softly. I wanted a piano that will offer both the soft lyric capabilities while having no threshold or distortion when played at high volume.

I received tons of feedback from the exhibit in KC about the sound of the piano. If I were to characterize it myself, I would say that, yes, there is that "European" flavor but without the thinness. I think the Euro sound comments have to do with the clarity of the sound profile. There is a lush, warm,full, velvety quality in the very soft ranges and it becomes increasingly more articulate when played up through the higher volumes. It has an unusually "open", or projective flavor throughout the volume ranges, yet doesn't break up or distort when taken to the limits. I voiced it a little bright for the convention because it was in a carpeted, dead area, but I don't think it ever approached being harsh or metallic. There are no chemicals in the hammers, so even with being a little bright on exteemly hard blows, there remains a fullness, or strong fundamental sound.

James Coleman Sr., a master concert tech in Tempe, AZ, had this to say about it in a recent PTG Journal article:

"I was amazed first at the clarity of sound in the Bass and Tenor section. Gone were the brash sounds we are accustomed to hearing in that area and yet there was no sacrifice of power. In fact the power seemed greater. As I played chords and melody on up into the 5th and 6th octave (the killer area), I was pleasantly surprised by the great duration and clean tone. This continued on up to the top."

Thank you for you kind inquiry, I hope this provides you with, at least, some idea of what I was after with this specific 220.

One of the unique things about what we are doing is to offer the option of designing the instruments for individuals who are desiring a specific sound. It should be a fun, challenging ride!

Michael C. Spreeman, RPT, Klavierbauer

#185787 - 06/30/07 12:43 PM Re: Ravenscroft Piano
Wzkit Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 1005
Loc: Singapore
Hi Michael,
Was there any specific reason why Sauter was chosen to manufacturer the rims and cases? In what areas does the tone of the Ravenscroft differ from the equivalent sized Sauter?
Sauter 185 Delta with accelerated action and burl walnut fallboard

#185788 - 06/30/07 03:00 PM Re: Ravenscroft Piano
Michael Spreeman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 38
Loc: Scottsdale, Arizona
Thank you for your interesting questions.

I chose to work with Ulrich Sauter because of the design parameters of their 220 and 275 models. I met with several German manufactures who have wonderful platforms with which to work, but when it came right down to requesting specific design changes, the staff at Sauter was one of the few companies willing to make changes in their construction to meet my specifications.

Your question about any similarities in sound is very good. One of the large obstacles to overcome in finding a manufacturer to work with me was a concern that I would be duplicating their designs, which of course, would result with the Ravnescroft sounding like their piano.

The Ravenscroft sounds and feels nothing like the Sauter models, so I would have to say there are no similarites in the sound. My soundboard panel thickness and grain angle, ribbing layout and dimensions, bridge materials and design, scale design, and action design are all Ravenscroft specific and manufactured in our Scottsdale facility.

The Sauter sound is wonderful, and well worth duplicating, but this was never my intent or the direction I wanted to go with this new endeavor.
Michael C. Spreeman, RPT, Klavierbauer

#185789 - 06/30/07 08:02 PM Re: Ravenscroft Piano
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3940
I too was impressed with this piano in KC. The tone was incredible, and it was my pick for "best of show". The action was very fast and light, almost too light. Nice job, Michael.

#185790 - 07/02/07 09:57 AM Re: Ravenscroft Piano
Greeb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/28/06
Posts: 120
Loc: Tallahasse,
Just curious. What is the cost of these pianos? I couldn't find the price on the partially down web sight.

#185791 - 07/02/07 09:43 PM Re: Ravenscroft Piano
Michael Spreeman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 38
Loc: Scottsdale, Arizona
Yes, the site is being completely redesigned and we are nearing completion; sorry for any inconvenience. It’s been quite a time consuming process. Pricing information will not be on the site, however, due to the rapidly increasing market value of our instruments. Having just recently read the "Piano Industry Pros -- Please READ THIS!" post, I think we should take any discussion about the specifics of pricing, ordering, manufacturing time, and other “sales related” topics off line. Please feel free to contact me to discuss any of these items. In the meantime, I think it is important that I respect the requests of Frank B. and only answer specific, non sales related, inquiries. Thank you for understanding this decision.

Most sincerely,
Michael C. Spreeman, RPT, Klavierbauer


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