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#2016002 - 01/17/13 09:00 AM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: belsha]
pianoloverus Offline
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Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19097
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: belsha
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 think you will always have a big problem(especially at PW!) when you state that one of two pianos of a very high class is superior to the other as if it were a fact rather than an opinion.

For example, even if one agrees with your statement that the Fazioli has more power and more projection, I think these are of no importance in the home setting where these pianos would usually appear. Also, technically more advanced isn't always superior.

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#2016127 - 01/17/13 12:57 PM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: boyonahill]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1467
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
I think the issue with the C is how to get the soundboard to be as responsive as the B and D usually are.
I have one that I rebuilt about 15 years ago that if I remember correctly was too heavily ribbed. The C board was ribbed more like a D, I moved the rib dimensions closer to a B and the result was spectacular.
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In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2016132 - 01/17/13 01:01 PM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: boyonahill]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1467
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
As regards Seinway Innovation; their greatest competition is old Steinways, until they give Steinway players a credible reason to replace their existing Steinway with a new improved design, that problem will remain.
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#2016182 - 01/17/13 02:44 PM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: TunerJeff]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5065
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: TunerJeff
... 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!).

You are welcome.

And if you are attending WestPac in Phoenix this year you can try out at least the smaller pianos. I don't know exactly which models will be on display but YC will be showing some of them. As well, I'll be presenting a class describing and explaining at least the major design and construction changes being made.

ddf
_________________________
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#2016203 - 01/17/13 03:32 PM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
boyonahill Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 90
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
As regards Seinway Innovation; their greatest competition is old Steinways, ...


But is that due to marketing success, or a truly superior product?

Let's compare with Rolex - no doubt a very successful company and regarded by the majority of people in the industrialized world as maker of the worlds finest watches. Much like Steinway.

There's no doubt that Rolex make fine watches, but perhaps not the best in the world. That title belongs to other watchmakers, if the title is not for best marketer or salesmanship. Then Rolex wins.

I mean, take a look at the videos in this thread
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...grand%20pi.html
Do you believe that Steinway is truly superior to all other brands, in all areas? I don't!
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#2016215 - 01/17/13 03:53 PM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: boyonahill]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 6097
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: boyonahill
Do you believe that Steinway is truly superior to all other brands, in all areas? I don't!

No piano is "truly superior" to all others. We often forget that Steinway built its international reputation when the "New World" was unaware of the European counterparts. Today, all of the great instruments are available to play and test at our whim.

Steinway, with a 150 year tradition, still manufactures superb instruments. Is it better than all others? No, but it remains, and justifiably so, ranked with the finest pianos of all time.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2016265 - 01/17/13 05:55 PM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: boyonahill]
Thrill Science Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 505
Loc: California
Recently?

A quick search of patent applications (applied for but not yet granted) shows these assigned to "Steinway Musical Instruments" You can go to the USPTO and read the full applications

1 20120240743 HAMMER STOPPERS FOR PIANOS HAVING ACOUSTIC AND SILENT MODES
2 20100269665 Hammer Stoppers And Use Thereof In Pianos Playable In Acoustic And Silent Modes
3 20090282962 Piano With Key Movement Detection System
4 20090277318 Wrestplanks
5 20090211425 PIANOS PLAYABLE IN ACOUSTIC AND SILENT MODES
6 20090165628 Upright piano
7 20080190261 PIANO

The period covered here is from 2008-present. (It can take 3 or more years for a patent to grant. A 5 year old application of mine just granted...)


Edited by Thrill Science (01/17/13 05:56 PM)
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#2016275 - 01/17/13 06:20 PM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: boyonahill]
Norbert Online   content
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Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 13971
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
No piano is "truly superior" to all others. We often forget that Steinway built its international reputation when the "New World" was unaware of the European counterparts. Today, all of the great instruments are available to play and test at our whim.


+1

Norbert
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#2016355 - 01/17/13 09:29 PM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1467
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted By: boyonahill
Do you believe that Steinway is truly superior to all other brands, in all areas? I don't!

No piano is "truly superior" to all others. We often forget that Steinway built its international reputation when the "New World" was unaware of the European counterparts. Today, all of the great instruments are available to play and test at our whim.

Steinway, with a 150 year tradition, still manufactures superb instruments. Is it better than all others? No, but it remains, and justifiably so, ranked with the finest pianos of all time.


Edited by Ed McMorrow, RPT (01/17/13 09:29 PM)
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In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2016360 - 01/17/13 09:32 PM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1467
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Europeans were stunned by how strong, durable, musical and beautiful the early American pianos by first Chickering and then Steinway were. They set the standard for future evolution of the european makes.
_________________________
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#2016741 - 01/18/13 01:45 PM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: boyonahill]
John Pels Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/31/07
Posts: 1253
Loc: Tomball, Texas
I think everyone tends to forget that Steinway was the prototypical "modern" piano. Every piano made since has been to a greater or lesser degree a copy of that, some so much that even the stringing scale (Yamaha 9') was at one time identical to the Steinway D. They were the one to beat initially and basically still are. They spent more time way back when, refining their offerings. I recall at one time reading in a re-stringing book that the "M" scale was lauded as one of the best. It was my understanding that they had at one time Hermann Helmholtz on the payroll as well. They were exceedingly committed to making the best pianos in the world from the inception of the company. Is it possible that Fazioli and Steingraeber effectively compete? Of course it is. Should Steinway maybe invest in R&D or at least let Del work some of his magic? Certainly they should, but this nonsense about them just being a marketing machine with inferior instruments is total balderdash. Anyone that plays at a high level knows the reality of Steinway. I have played and enjoyed them for 50 years. I have also played and owned others I loved as well.

Also, that paragraph about Steinway being insular, is total nonsense. The Hamburg factory opened in 1880. This allowed them European distribution,and I would bet that just as much mimicry went on in Europe as well. They were not functioning in a vacuum. I believe it was none other than Franz Liszt that credited Steinway with doing more to promote things piano than any other maker. Yes, there are other decent pianos being made. Whether they prove better still remains to be seen. For years, I have had season tickets to the symphony. I have yet to hear a piano that projects better in a hall, and I don't just mean brightness, I mean an instrument that can cut through and orchestra in a romantic concerto and be heard, not just in the first 20 rows, and that includes Yamaha's latest offering. Anything can sound decent in your living room.

Anything can be improved with continual development, but they are pretty darned good as they are. Before you can make a slam at Steinway be sure that you are in a position to be taken seriously as a judge. I think that a little inward reflection might be in order with some of these posts.

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#2016767 - 01/18/13 02:50 PM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
BerndAB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/10
Posts: 533
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
Europeans were stunned by how strong, durable, musical and beautiful the early American pianos by first Chickering and then Steinway were. They set the standard for future evolution of the european makes.


+1

The modern piano is an american inventionand development.

In the 1820ies Alpheus Babcock from Boston invented the one-part cast iron frame.

In the 1840ies Jonas Chickering applied this in his straight-strung grands.

1856 the Steinways (Dad Henry sr., son Henry jr.) began to adopt the design criteria derived from the (up-to-then world class) Erard grands and to convert them with the one-piece cast iron frame.

1859 Henry jr. managed to build the first overstrung grand.

1869 His bro Theo started to build grands with covered pinblock, prototypes of the A model from 1878.

1875 Theo built the first concert grand w. overstringing and covered pinblock, with capstan screws and capo d'astro, and w. integrated duplex scale.

THE modern concert piano.

1876 this model won the competition at the Centennial world exhibition. The Centennial D concert grand, grand grand father of nearly every modern grand piano. A super old piano but of modern, still valid design criteria.

One single thing added: the contiguous rim which 1878 the new A and B models got, and which was integrated into the Centennial D model in 1880/81.

Dot.

The modern grand piano - an american development.

Me a german bows down in honor to great american piano designers.

..of german origin. ;-)
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Pls excuse any bad english.

D 1877 satin black plain

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#2016771 - 01/18/13 02:53 PM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: boyonahill]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20763
Loc: Oakland
More than anyone else, Steinway put it all together!
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Semipro Tech

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#2016792 - 01/18/13 03:56 PM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: boyonahill]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 6097
Loc: Rochester MN
A very intresting book is "The Steinway Saga" by D. W. Fostle.

It is an indepth study of the family, the achievements, and all of the intrigue during the early development period of the "modern" piano. At over five hundred pages of text, and with an extensive bibliography and notes, it is a major volume.

It was a very different era and this book is a great way to understand the whole evolution of the piano within its historical context.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2017006 - 01/19/13 12:26 AM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: pianoloverus]
belsha Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/23/10
Posts: 48
Loc: Paris, France
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: belsha
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 think you will always have a big problem(especially at PW!) when you state that one of two pianos of a very high class is superior to the other as if it were a fact rather than an opinion.

For example, even if one agrees with your statement that the Fazioli has more power and more projection, I think these are of no importance in the home setting where these pianos would usually appear. Also, technically more advanced isn't always superior.


I think we can very well distinguish what is a matter of fact and what is a matter of opinion, taste or preference, and we do this even concerning our own preferences, as way can prefer something although we know that it is of lesser quality (for example, I can love my wife but admit some other woman is objectively more beautiful). So this is somewhat of a red herring to me...

As I have stated elsewhere, I myself owned a 1900 Steinway A, while my father had a Fazioli 183. I personally much preferred my (a lot cheaper !) used Steinway than my fathers new Fazioli, athough I admitted that the Fazioli is indeed the better piano. Why? Maybe because I was victim of the "Steinway mystique", because the Steinway's sound is more dirty, raunchy, earthy than the maybe too perfect, pristine, clean Fazioli ?

And one could argue that the older, circa 1900-1920 Steinway A's were actually better than the newer ones, that somehow lack character. My old model A was extremely powerful, with huge basses and a very round, warm, thick and a bit compressed sound, a little like the sound you can hear on old Art Tatum or Bud Powell records.

So I find this whole discussion or precaution about the "subjectivity" of our opinions and tastes a little bit contrived, especially since nobody here has yet pretended that the Model A is a stellar piano, and everyone agrees that the A's and C's are inferior to the B's and D's.
_________________________
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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#2017115 - 01/19/13 07:27 AM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: belsha]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19097
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: belsha
So I find this whole discussion or precaution about the "subjectivity" of our opinions and tastes a little bit contrived, especially since nobody here has yet pretended that the Model A is a stellar piano, and everyone agrees that the A's and C's are inferior to the B's and D's.
Your opinions about the different Steinway models are just opinions...nothing more. "Everyone agrees" about nothing. If you are comparing an a A to a B, then you are comparing two models of different lengths so comparisons have little meaning. Of course, most's A don't sound as good as most B's. If they did then few would be willing to pay the extra close to 10K for the larger B.


Edited by pianoloverus (01/19/13 01:15 PM)

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#2017119 - 01/19/13 07:47 AM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: boyonahill]
Rich Galassini Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 8977
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Originally Posted By: belsha
...especially since nobody here has yet pretended that the Model A is a stellar piano, and everyone agrees that the A's and C's are inferior to the B's and D's.


I think we may have to agree to disagree on these points.

I have played several "long scale" A models that I prefer over many Bs that I've played. Additionally, the C can be a beautiful piano.

I know I took this quote out of context with the rest of your post, but I simply disagree.

My 2 cents,
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#2017123 - 01/19/13 08:05 AM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: pianoloverus]
BerndAB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/10
Posts: 533
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Of course, the A doesn't sound as good as the B.


Of course, that might be true - in most cases. As a generalization. But do we play a "generalized" piano? We do not.

What matters? The single piano. And there is an overlap - a bad B-211 might sound worse than a good A-188. (No, there are no "bad" B. They wouldn't have left the factory. There exist some "not-so-very-good" B.)

The individual piano matters. Dot. No "evaluations", no generalizations, the owner should have a piano which is good for him. And I know proud owners of good A, who won't exchange, and proud owners of B who won't change their piano. Me owning a super old D and I won't change, even if you'd offer to exchange against a flame new D.

Who wants to hear a "bad" D? Go to the Deutsches Museum in Munich, evaluate the "honey pot" in the historic piano dept. - the one piano with the only bench there, to prevent the visitors from abusing the super old wooden things.. The Munich Museum D is a quite-new D - which is of a anyhow "tiny" voice.. A very good piano indeed - but not for the big stage. Sry. Anything went wrong when this lady voice once was built.

Every piano is a personality, especially when we hear into pianos of world-class standards. High tensions, wood as a nature's product which cannot be "standardized" nor "generalized". If pianos were built from steel and the cases were homogenizied in a kiln then it might be that the one "steel A" is same as the other "steel A", and that every "steel B" is better than every "steel A".

But pianos are built from wood..

So the qualities of their voices overlap.


Edited by BerndAB (01/19/13 08:06 AM)
Edit Reason: yping terrors
_________________________
Pls excuse any bad english.

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#2017404 - 01/19/13 04:53 PM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: BDB]
master88er Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/07
Posts: 789
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Originally Posted By: BDB
More than anyone else, Steinway put it all together!


Hmmmm..... I wonder how Georg Friedrich Karl Grotrian would feel about that comment

Many, if not most of the "innovations" that Steinway incorporated were actually employed in early Grotrian-Steinweg instruments.
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#2017415 - 01/19/13 05:10 PM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: boyonahill]
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1675
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
Originally Posted By: boyonahill

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


I don't know about the innards. Actually couldn't be happier in that area.

However my year really has a lame cabinet finish. It was like they were doing the final touches and one of the workers said...hey should we hit this D with another coat of lacquer ?...looks kinda thin there. Then the foreman said...nah, let's take a lunch, it's close enough for jazz.. wink

I've kept the thing covered from day one (actually bought it when it was 9 months old) and the finish looks to be at least 20 years old. In fact I've seen 25 year old pianos look better. It's terrible ! frown

Luckily I'm more particular about sound then appearance. cool At one point I'd like to have it gone over though .
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#2017496 - 01/19/13 07:55 PM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: master88er]
BerndAB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/10
Posts: 533
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: master88er
Originally Posted By: BDB
More than anyone else, Steinway put it all together!


Hmmmm..... I wonder how Georg Friedrich Karl Grotrian would feel about that comment

Many, if not most of the "innovations" that Steinway incorporated were actually employed in early Grotrian-Steinweg instruments.


Mr. Grotrian senior (coming home from Russia) became partner to C.F. Theodore Steinweg/Steinway 1856. He died in 1860. His son who had inherited his father's hsares was additionally one of the three buyers of Theo's shares when Theo had to follow his father's call to come to New York City in 1865 after the death of two brothers. The technical head at C.F. Th. Steinweg pianofortes in Seesen, Wolfenbüttel and Braunschweig was C.F.Th. Steinweg, until 1865 - when he also emigrated to the U.S. and sold his shares of the german company which were formerly owned by his father.

Mr. Grotrian sr. was also an experienced piano maker but in the partnership he was probably financial and commercial manager.

Theodore Steinway and the C.F.Th. succcessors in Brunswick had a share-selling contract which included a cooperation of the two companies lasting for ten years 1865-75: the Brunswick pianomakers were interested in setting forth the excellent reputation of the Steinweg brand.

They had the right to use technical innovations and to brand the pianos “Grotrian, Helfferich und Schulz”, underlined “ C. F. Theodor Steinweg Nachf.” (Nachf. = Nachfolger = successors).

I think there was no invention in these years (1857 to 1875) which were not developped by C. F. Theodore Steinweg. Most probably Mr. Grotrian senior organised the business needs, Theo Steinweg was inventing and experimentating.

So, yes,Russell, you are right, the developments were found in the Grotrian pianos.

But until there were no patent writings et cetera saying clearly other inventor names than Theo Steinweg - I believe that all relevant inventions were ideas of Theodore Steinweg.
;-)


Edited by BerndAB (01/19/13 08:55 PM)
Edit Reason: shortened..
_________________________
Pls excuse any bad english.

D 1877 satin black plain

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#2017520 - 01/19/13 08:41 PM Re: Steinway & Sons - are they doing any product development? [Re: Dave Ferris]
boyonahill Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 90
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
Originally Posted By: boyonahill

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


I don't know about the innards. Actually couldn't be happier in that area.

However my year really has a lame cabinet finish. It was like they were doing the final touches and one of the workers said...hey should we hit this D with another coat of lacquer ?...looks kinda thin there. Then the foreman said...nah, let's take a lunch, it's close enough for jazz.. wink

I've kept the thing covered from day one (actually bought it when it was 9 months old) and the finish looks to be at least 20 years old. In fact I've seen 25 year old pianos look better. It's terrible ! frown

Luckily I'm more particular about sound then appearance. cool At one point I'd like to have it gone over though .


Makes you wonder how much care they gave parts that isn't that easily judge with the eye... Or they might have failed in some step of the production - or failed to have the correct climate when doing the paint.

But it could also be due to other reasons, perhaps it got a really bad treatment those first 9 months? Or the cover you use might have some chemical in it? Or the climate in your house?

Have you looked into it? Would be interesting to hear what Steinway thinks!
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Sold: Yamaha M5J Walnut
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Midi controller with a good keybed under 1000$
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