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#2014776 - 01/15/13 06:16 AM Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development?
boyonahill Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 90
Loc: Europe
Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development?

I went to their homepage,
http://www.steinway.com/
and looked, and I took a quick look through their news section.

I couldn't find any information about product news or new patents etc.

Some alternatives:
a) Is this a natural effect of the fact that the (Steinway) grand piano is a "finished product", already developed until perfection?

b) Steinway and sons do have product development, but I couldn't find info about it / they don't write about it.

c) Steinway and sons doesn't develop their product and they risk having a subpar product in the long run.


As a total piano novice I'm leaning towards c). But what do I know? Well, their homepage and the selling points presented looks like another respected company, Montblanc fountain pens.

http://www.montblanc.com/en-US/Flash/Def...sex/meisterstck

I'm met with a message of prestige, famous people using the product and a lot of limited editions.

So, to reiterate my question:
Is Steinway doing any product development? If not, should they?


Well, as a startingpoint for a discussion lets look at patent applications (I hope I got the correct company and that they don't file under several different names)

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&tbo=d&tbs=sbd:1&tbm=pts&tbm=pts&q=inassignee:%22Steinway+Musical+Instruments,+Inc.%22


and lets look at Yamaha and restrict searches to "grand piano"

http://www.google.com/?tbm=pts#q=inassignee:%22Yamaha+Corporation%22+%22grand+piano%22&hl=en&tbo=d&tbs=sbd:1&tbm=pts

I did a quick look at number of patents since 2008, and I looked at how many different persons that did apply for the patents - giving me a hint at how big their R&D operation is.

Yamaha seems fo file 4 times as many patents, employing circa 4 times as many people.

Looking back further, since 2003 Steinway has only had very few different persons file for a patent.

Please note that in these results both companies have "electronic" and acoustic innovations.

Here's a nice Yamaha example, the patent text seems to be good and could teach you how Yamaha sees the physics of the piano.

http://www.google.com/patents/EP2226791A1

And a patent from Steinway
http://www.google.com/patents/US20090277318


Kawai seems to fall in-between the two mentioned above
www.google.com/search?tbm=pts&hl=en&q=kawai&btnG=#q=inassignee:"Kabushiki+Kaisha+Kawai+Gakki+Seisakusho"&hl=en&tbo=d&tbs=sbd:1&tbm=pts&psj=1

I couldn't find any patents for Fazioli.

So, to reiterate my question:
Is Steinway doing any product development? If not, should they?
_________________________
Current: Casio SA-46 + looking for a nice electronic piano
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#2014821 - 01/15/13 08:14 AM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: boyonahill]
Rich Galassini Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9285
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Of course Steinway has done and is doing product development. Many of the standard features on an acoustic piano have stemmed from their development over the past 150 years.

They have also brought out two new models here in the United States in the past decade or so. They have a staff of engineers.

One thing to remember, Steinway has had a line up of models that have been incredibly successful for many many years. They are at the "top of the heap" and their R&D focuses on process, materials, and tweaking those successful models - at least in NY.

Also, more patents does not always equal more R&D. It sometimes equals more attempt at differentiation. These are not the same thing.

My 2 cents,
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
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#2014827 - 01/15/13 08:20 AM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: boyonahill]
Steve Cohen Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10490
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
The violin has not changes all that much since the age of Strativari.

Steinway is a traditional instrument. One whose designs, when well executed produce an very fine instrument with a characteristic "Steinway tone".

Why change?
_________________________
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My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

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#2014879 - 01/15/13 11:17 AM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: Steve Cohen]
BDB Offline
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Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21658
Loc: Oakland
Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
The violin has not changes all that much since the age of Strativari.


I doubt you would find many violin makers or knowledgeable violinists who would agree with that statement!

Every Strad used in today's music has been extensively modified to contemporary standards. There is a lot of violin music that could not be played on an original Strad.
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#2014888 - 01/15/13 11:54 AM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: boyonahill]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Registered: 05/29/01
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Almost none(or maybe none)of the piano maker webites have much(or any) news about product development. Unless it's some big change or new model(relatively rare)it wouldn't be of much interest to most readers and it wouldn't be understood by most readers.

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#2014897 - 01/15/13 12:23 PM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: pianoloverus]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1951
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Almost none(or maybe none)of the piano maker webites have much(or any) news about product development. Unless it's some big change or new model(relatively rare)it wouldn't be of much interest to most readers and it wouldn't be understood by most readers.

Really? Have you explored Bechstein, Bluthner, Kawai/Shigeru, Yamaha and Mason & Hamlin websites and paid attention to Del's posts about his consultancy activities?


Edited by Withindale (01/15/13 02:39 PM)
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Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2014983 - 01/15/13 03:12 PM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: boyonahill]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5316
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Neither the lack of patent activity nor the lack of announcements and/or technical analysis on a company’s website is an accurate indicator of development activity.

I just completed one of the most extensive redesign projects undertaken by any pianomaker in recent decades. Every piano in the product line has a new stringing scale (along with what were often extensive changes to the frame castings), new soundboard and rib designs, new bridges, changes to the actions; even new methods of hammer pressing. Through all of this there were no new patents applied for. And, even though some of the new models have been in production for a year or so the company’s websites do not yet say much of anything about the features of the new designs.

Patents are not always an indicator of real and substantive progress. Ideas that look really good on paper do not always translate into significant—or even noticeable—improvements in performance. As well, concepts that do make real improvements in performance may not be patentable; they may be too close to undeveloped prior art or they may be classified as “obvious to one skilled in the art.” Even though, after some three centuries of evolution it wasn’t obvious to anyone else.

I have, in my computer, several fresh, new designs for pianos that may or may not ever be built. Even though these designs are somewhat different than the basic, century-old designs common today there is little about them that is actually patentable. I am exploring the possibility of patenting several things included in their designs but I’ve not yet convinced myself that it will be worth the financial investment. While it might be worth it for a company that would gain the marketing attraction of patented features they are unlikely to be of significant financial benefit to me; at least not enough to offset the high cost of obtaining the patents.

While I lament the lack of innovative new design work—as opposed to the evolutionary refinement of the century-old core technologies the “modern piano” is based on—the lack of patent activity is not a good indicator of the problem. It is more a lack of courage it takes to be the first one to do something really new and innovative. Another way of putting that, of course, is to label it “prudent caution;” an unwillingness to open oneself up to a firestorm of criticism. Think back, for example, on the mostly misleading and inaccurate barrage of misinformation about the so-called “plastic” actions introduced by Kawai some 40+ years back. Thankfully they stayed the course and toughed out that firestorm of criticism and today the Kawai composite actions are recognized as being precise and reliable.

As may be, there is a great deal of innovative development that can be done without developing any new, patentable ideas or technologies. It remains to be seen whether or not it will be done.

ddf
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#2015039 - 01/15/13 05:15 PM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: pianoloverus]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3347
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Almost none(or maybe none)of the piano maker webites have much(or any) news about product development. Unless it's some big change or new model(relatively rare)it wouldn't be of much interest to most readers and it wouldn't be understood by most readers.


FWIW, Stephen Paulello has been a busy man, lately: http://stephenpaulello.com/
_________________________
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M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
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#2015087 - 01/15/13 07:06 PM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: beethoven986]
LFL Offline
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Registered: 12/06/12
Posts: 72
Wow....thanks for the link. Amazing what people are working on....
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#2015090 - 01/15/13 07:17 PM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: Withindale]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19451
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Withindale
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Almost none(or maybe none)of the piano maker webites have much(or any) news about product development. Unless it's some big change or new model(relatively rare)it wouldn't be of much interest to most readers and it wouldn't be understood by most readers.

Really? Have you explored Bechstein, Bluthner, Kawai/Shigeru, Yamaha and Mason & Hamlin websites and paid attention to Del's posts about his consultancy activities?
I'm pretty familiar with those sites. I know that Yamaha has the new CF series and that Mason Hamlin added the B and AA models ( but quite a few years ago) and introduced the WNG action. But I think those changes were included in my comment about new models which is relatively rare in my view.

My point was that except in the case of major new models most of the minor changes are not usually mentioned on the websites for the reasons I mentioned. Steinway, for example, has made many improvements in the production in their NY factory, but I don't think any of those are mentioned on their website(perhaps because they would be seen as indications that things were not ideal before those changes).


Edited by pianoloverus (01/15/13 07:26 PM)

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#2015142 - 01/15/13 09:33 PM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: beethoven986]
Seeker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 360
Loc: Rockville, MD
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
====snip====

FWIW, Stephen Paulello has been a busy man, lately: http://stephenpaulello.com/


Thanks, Beethoven986, for the link o Stephen Paulello's website.

I downloaded and listened to three of the samples there. The piano sounded, to my ears, like... a VERY GOOD Steinway! Had I not known what type of piano was being played, Steinway, and I mean a very well prepped Steinway "D", would have been my guess.

I didn't take out the sheet music to follow along with the Bach-Liszt, so I don't know if there were octave doublings to take advantage of the extended bass on the SP piano. Again - the bass was evocative of the best bass I've heard on the big Steinways.

What's interesting to me, having read a bit on the SP website about his many innovations, is that at the end of it, the sound is, again to my ears, at least for those recordings, as GOOD as Steinway at its best. And Steinway has been making pianos that sound that GOOD for... generations now.

One man's opinion... on the StephenPaulello piano as it relates to the OP's question and Steinway pianos.

Now as to whether or not Steinway should be improving - I guess the Devil is in the details. The "B" and "D" are industry standards in the classical music business. I'm in favor of incremental refinements - things that improve on the greatness of what is already there, be it tone, or touch, or frequency of required maintenance. As for the manufacturing process, as long as the workers are paid and treated well enough, and the factories aren't horribly profligate in how they treat and dispose of their hazardous wastes, that we're not killing animals for their ivory for the keys any more, cutting the very last of a particular breed of tree to the ground for its wood, etc., it doesn't matter to me as a player how the thing is made. What I care about is how a piano feels and sounds (and looks), and Steinway has been doing a good job at those things for generations.
_________________________
Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")

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#2015159 - 01/15/13 10:11 PM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: boyonahill]
burkorobe Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/15/13
Posts: 6
Loc: Banned
The violin has not changes all that much since the age of Strativari.
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#2015225 - 01/16/13 01:12 AM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: beethoven986]
Kieran Wells Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/07/08
Posts: 240
Loc: Saint Paul, MN
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Almost none(or maybe none)of the piano maker webites have much(or any) news about product development. Unless it's some big change or new model(relatively rare)it wouldn't be of much interest to most readers and it wouldn't be understood by most readers.


FWIW, Stephen Paulello has been a busy man, lately: http://stephenpaulello.com/


Nice link--an interesting perusal.
_________________________
Wells Pianos
wellspianos.com
new: Sauter, Hailun, Brodmann, Charles Walter
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651-695-1000
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#2015253 - 01/16/13 02:51 AM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: Seeker]
belsha Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/23/10
Posts: 48
Loc: Paris, France
Originally Posted By: Seeker

Now as to whether or not Steinway should be improving - I guess the Devil is in the details. The "B" and "D" are industry standards in the classical music business.


Yes, the "B" and "D" are almost perfect pianos, but the "A" and "C" models really aren't that good and could benefit of many improvements.

It's obvious that due to its dominant position, Steinway has less impetus to do research than, say, Fazioli, Yamaha and Steingraeber, that concede huge efforts just to take a small piece of Steinway's pie. While nobodoy would say, for instance that the Fazioli F212 is a better piano than the Hamburg Steinway B — even though it has some technical improvements, is more even and more powerful — I think it is undisputable that the Fazioli F183 is a much better piano than the 188cm Steinway A.
_________________________
1950 Hamburg Steinway Model D
1980 Hamburg Steinway Model B
"Galaxy Vintage D" on my laptop when travelling (amazing sample of the 1930 Steinway D at Bauer Tonstudios, Germany) Almost feels like home!

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#2015300 - 01/16/13 06:41 AM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: belsha]
Rich Galassini Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9285
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Originally Posted By: belsha
While nobody would say, for instance that the Fazioli F212 is a better piano than the Hamburg Steinway B...


Although the Hamburg Steinway B is a fine instrument, there ARE musicians who do prefer the Fazioli F212 to it.
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
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#2015334 - 01/16/13 08:13 AM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: boyonahill]
woodfab Offline
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Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 368
Loc: Stoneham, MA
Someone I know did some high-speed slow-motion video for Steinway on something to do with hammers about ten years ago. Due to a confidentiality agreement he was unable to talk about it.

I played a Steingraeber 212 Phoenix W/(Carbon fiber sound board)and instead of the traditional bridge pins it uses bridge agraffes. It sound quite nice.


Edited by woodfab (01/16/13 08:15 AM)
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#2015428 - 01/16/13 11:31 AM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: belsha]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1951
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: belsha
Originally Posted By: Seeker

Now as to whether or not Steinway should be improving - I guess the Devil is in the details. The "B" and "D" are industry standards in the classical music business.

Yes, the "B" and "D" are almost perfect pianos, but the "A" and "C" models really aren't that good and could benefit of many improvements.

Belsha,

What are the main improvements would you make to the "C"? I am interested to know how you would compare it to other semi-concert grands.
_________________________
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Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2015458 - 01/16/13 12:34 PM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: Withindale]
Karl Watson Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/11
Posts: 347
Many years ago I was confessing my love of the C scale pianos and a quite high-powered RPT, a graduate of the North Bennett outfit insisted that it had a fundamental design defect, although I don't remember just now what it was.

Does anyone have knowledge of this ?

Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY

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#2015722 - 01/16/13 07:10 PM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: belsha]
Seeker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 360
Loc: Rockville, MD
Originally Posted By: belsha
Originally Posted By: Seeker

Now as to whether or not Steinway should be improving - I guess the Devil is in the details. The "B" and "D" are industry standards in the classical music business.


Yes, the "B" and "D" are almost perfect pianos, but the "A" and "C" models really aren't that good and could benefit of many improvements. =====SNIP====
While nobodoy would say, for instance that the Fazioli F212 is a better piano than the Hamburg Steinway B — even though it has some technical improvements, is more even and more powerful — I think it is undisputable that the Fazioli F183 is a much better piano than the 188cm Steinway A.


With respect, I'm sure there's somebody, some good pianist somewhere, who will dispute the "undisputable". smile Our likes, and dislikes, are rather subjective, wouldn't you agree?

I named the "B" and the "D", because they really are wonderful instruments. I'm not fond of the 188cm "A"; but I have absolutely LOVED a number of restored "long A's" which, as I understand things, Steinway stopped making, because they were taking potential customers away from their "B" sales.

As to the "C", I think you're right. As I recall, and I can't recall the details now since it's been a while since I've played a "C", the scale has some odd transitions in it, and it probably would benefit from some redesign work.

Perhaps for another thread - can somebody explain to me the rationale for having the "C" in the line up? I get that the "D" can be played louder, project more, than the "B" - has extended bass. Was the "C" for smaller halls? bigger than what a "B" could work in, but smaller than where a "D" would be required? I really don't know, and it would be interesting to learn about this.

Probably said too much already. Steinway doesn't need me to defend them, and they certainly aren't paying me to do it. Good night to all.
_________________________
Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
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1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")

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#2015731 - 01/16/13 07:27 PM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: boyonahill]
BDB Offline
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Registered: 06/07/03
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Loc: Oakland
The C has the same action as the D, with the heavier hammers. So you get a similar feel in a smaller package. But Steinway has not seen fit to produce them in the US for many years.
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#2015749 - 01/16/13 07:47 PM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: boyonahill]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5264
I heard the (Hamburg) C played in concert once, in a small hall. In that venue, it sounded almost indistinguishable from a D, with plenty of power and bass. It did help that the pianist was Benjamin Grosvenor (who played Ravel, Chopin and Liszt, and pulled no punches).
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#2015771 - 01/16/13 08:32 PM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: boyonahill]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
I own a 1906 NY S&S-C. It is the 7'-5" version and was totally rebuilt/restored in 2004. The new Steinway hammers were shaped and sanded to match the specs from the era. They are lighter than the contemporary hammers used on the D's and it became a very fast action. The key length and geometry are exactly the same as its big brother. Tonally it is like the D without the sheer, blazing power. The bass is spectacular and unless you were competing with an orchestra in a 2,000 seat auditorium, you would not notice the difference. Production ceased in the U.S. in 1936. Hamburg has always manufactured the C.
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Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2015813 - 01/16/13 10:03 PM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: boyonahill]
fingers Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/08/04
Posts: 799
Loc: Westchester, NY
A few months ago in NY, I accidentally attended a tech seminar given by one of Steinway's chief techicians, if not chief technician. He spoke about several significant changes being implemented. Perhaps a tech in the know can explain the changes in detail.

Also, the plate on the "B" has been modified over recent years.
Don't know one way or another about any other models.

So yes, S&S is involved in product development.

fingers
_________________________
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#2015849 - 01/16/13 11:47 PM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: boyonahill]
TunerJeff Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 479
Loc: Oregon Coast
Several years ago I had an interesting situation. A Steinway D from 1957 that had a cracked capo, at the extreme top end of the piano, it was cracked at each end of the upper section and completely unstable in tuning. Without much hope, I called Steinway in New York and asked; 'Have you got a plate for a 57'-D behind the coffee-maker somewhere?'. To my immense surprise...they told me that the plate had not changed in the intervening 50+ years, and they would be happy to install the new plate and restring the piano.

This told me that research and development were not high on their list. They have a product, they like selling it; salesmanship and the 'cachet' of the Steinway line are what moves their product. Not 'innovation' and research and development.

Just an opinion!
Methinks,
_________________________
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Oregon Coast Piano Services
TunerJeff440@aol.com

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#2015864 - 01/17/13 12:36 AM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: boyonahill]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21658
Loc: Oakland
Except that since 1957, Steinway has gone through adding Teflon to their actions, and then changing the way that they do that. They have changed their keys, most noticeably the tops perhaps as many times. They have changed the geometry of their actions, and the composition of their hammers. There are probably many other changes that we know about, but just have decided that they do not count.

Then there are other changes that may have happened that are not part of Steinway's research. For instance, I think the current Mapes piano wire is far superior to what we were getting when I started working on pianos years ago, and Steinway, as far as I know, uses that.
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#2015888 - 01/17/13 02:18 AM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: BDB]
TunerJeff Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 479
Loc: Oregon Coast
Dear BDB,

You are absolutely correct. I was a little over-the-top there...

But...unchanged in decades? Dating to far before our current understanding of inharmonicity, scaling, and soundboard properties? Is the 'D' really so perfect in fundamental design?

Please understand that I am quite happy with the last several years of Steinway production! I tune and care for several very fine D and B pianos in performance venues and homes. But, I look at Yamaha, Kawai, Steingraber, Mason-Hamlin, Fazioli, and others for innovation...not Steinway. Young Chang is where Del brought that wealth of change and innovation into small grands...not at Steinway. I have, unfortunately, not been able to put an ear onto the new Young Chang models he refers to! Dangit. I feel Del best expresses how the piano manufacturing world works...as he has been part of it for most of his career. I always appreciate his input in these discussions (thanks, Del!).

Steinway? Their latest 'new' was a retro-looking Model 'O', trying to tap the 'good 'ol' days' market. Is Steinway good? Absolutely. Are they a source of innovation and forward thinking in the last 25 years? Show me!

Smiling,
and being,
cantankerous,
to see what people say,
I am,
_________________________
Jeffrey T. Hickey, RPT
Oregon Coast Piano Services
TunerJeff440@aol.com

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#2015900 - 01/17/13 02:58 AM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: boyonahill]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21658
Loc: Oakland
Actually, the new model O has a different case than the old one. The lid prop fits in differently.

A place I work at just got a new D, which has some sort of special treatment around the edge of the lid to prevent damage as it is moved around. It also has the new big casters for moving around. I have not had a chance to check it out carefully, as construction is still going on, but those are some innovations I know about.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2015915 - 01/17/13 03:56 AM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: Withindale]
belsha Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/23/10
Posts: 48
Loc: Paris, France
Originally Posted By: Withindale


What are the main improvements would you make to the "C"? I am interested to know how you would compare it to other semi-concert grands.


I can't really pin this down precisely- I'm a pianist, not a piano technician — but I've always felt awkward playing the Model C's, which seemed to me to be rather stiff and unexpressive. This may have to do with the fact that it has a much larger pianos mechanics, while it is barely longer than the Model B. But I really don't know, but I have noticed that many pianists and technicians also rather dislike the Model C.

In this 3/4th grand range, at a similar length than the Steinway C, I think the Boesendorfer 225 really is a very nice instrument, certainly the best of the non-Imperial Boesendorfers.

This is probably a question of balance; Boesendorfers — compared to Steinway — generally lack power, that's why the extra length of the 225 Model versus the 2 meter model (lacking in the bass) is really appreciative. On the other hand, the Model C just seems unbalanced to me, awkwardly stuck in between the B and the D which are both perfect.

Considering the much lower price, the lowly Yamaha C7 is also very nice instrument, I think you can get a lot out of it with the right prepping/voicing (I'm not saying it's better than the C, but it is 3 times cheaper). This is just to say that the 2m20-30 range is not intrinsically bad, but that Steinway hasn't found the right combination for that instrument.

I generally think that every manufacturer has a piano length where he really shines...
_________________________
1950 Hamburg Steinway Model D
1980 Hamburg Steinway Model B
"Galaxy Vintage D" on my laptop when travelling (amazing sample of the 1930 Steinway D at Bauer Tonstudios, Germany) Almost feels like home!

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#2015918 - 01/17/13 04:04 AM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: Seeker]
belsha Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/23/10
Posts: 48
Loc: Paris, France
Originally Posted By: Seeker
Originally Posted By: belsha


Yes, the "B" and "D" are almost perfect pianos, but the "A" and "C" models really aren't that good and could benefit of many improvements. =====SNIP====
While nobodoy would say, for instance that the Fazioli F212 is a better piano than the Hamburg Steinway B — even though it has some technical improvements, is more even and more powerful — I think it is undisputable that the Fazioli F183 is a much better piano than the 188cm Steinway A.


With respect, I'm sure there's somebody, some good pianist somewhere, who will dispute the "undisputable". smile Our likes, and dislikes, are rather subjective, wouldn't you agree?



I actually had a 1899-1900 Steinway A fore many years - until the soundboard cracked all over during a particularly cold and dry winter - and absolutely adored it.

But despite the subjectivity of our likes and dislikes, we can say that the F183 is indeed a much better piano than the Model A - it's technically more advanced, has more power, more projection, more dynamics. I don't think many people are in love with the Model A, or that Steinway is loved because of that model. People buy Model A's because they can't afford or don't have the space for a Model B— and I don't think the savings of 23 cm or 10 000$ are worthwhile when you can afford the already very expensive A.

I concede that you may prefer the "Steinway sound" to the "Fazioli sound" (which is my case) , and thus prefer the lesser piano with the sound you like to the better piano with the sound you like less...


Edited by belsha (01/17/13 07:38 AM)
_________________________
1950 Hamburg Steinway Model D
1980 Hamburg Steinway Model B
"Galaxy Vintage D" on my laptop when travelling (amazing sample of the 1930 Steinway D at Bauer Tonstudios, Germany) Almost feels like home!

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#2015995 - 01/17/13 08:39 AM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: belsha]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1951
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: belsha
Originally Posted By: Withindale
What are the main improvements would you make to the "C"? I am interested to know how you would compare it to other semi-concert grands.


I can't really pin this down precisely- I'm a pianist, not a piano technician — but I've always felt awkward playing the Model C's, which seemed to me to be rather stiff and unexpressive. This may have to do with the fact that it has a much larger pianos mechanics, while it is barely longer than the Model B....

In this 3/4th grand range, at a similar length than the Steinway C, I think the Boesendorfer 225 really is a very nice instrument, certainly the best of the non-Imperial Boesendorfers....

This is probably a question of balance; Boesendorfers — compared to Steinway — generally lack power, that's why the extra length of the 225 Model versus the 2 meter model (lacking in the bass) is really appreciative. On the other hand, the Model C just seems unbalanced to me, awkwardly stuck in between the B and the D which are both perfect.

Considering the much lower price, the lowly Yamaha C7 is also very nice instrument, I think you can get a lot out of it with the right prepping/voicing (I'm not saying it's better than the C, but it is 3 times cheaper)....

I have a 1905 Ibach 235 at the moment. It happens to be contemporary with Marty's Model C.

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
I own a 1906 NY S&S-C. It is the 7'-5" version and was totally rebuilt/restored in 2004. The new Steinway hammers were shaped and sanded to match the specs from the era. They are lighter than the contemporary hammers used on the D's and it became a very fast action. The key length and geometry are exactly the same as its big brother. Tonally it is like the D without the sheer, blazing power.

The gentleman who restored the Ibach a few years ago described it as a "late Romantic instrument". That seems to accord with Marty's lighter hammers from that era.

Seeing the comments about the C having a D action I checked the Ibach. Its keys are about 21" long like a B and the longest string is 69" (agraffe to bridge) half way between the B at 59" and D at 79".

While the reasons for D keys and action in a shorter instrument are clear, who knows if a C with a B action and longer strings might have been more popular?


Edited by Withindale (01/17/13 11:13 AM)
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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