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#2088979 - 05/26/13 01:31 AM NY Steinway S vs. M vs. O?
Roy Roy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/15/13
Posts: 9
Do you notice major differences between S, M and O?

Which one of the following would you think is true most of the times:
- Steinway O >> M >> S
- Steinway O >> M > S
- Steinway O > M >> S
- Steinway O > M > S

(">>" means significantly better, and ">" means slightly better.)

Looking forward to your opinions and experience!


Edited by Roy Roy (05/26/13 01:32 AM)

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#2089003 - 05/26/13 04:03 AM Re: NY Steinway S vs. M vs. O? [Re: Roy Roy]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
NY Steinway has not achieved the consistency of Yamaha where you could or should compare entire range of model to another (Yamaha C1 v. C2 v. C3). With NY Steinway, you should always choose the specific piano. Some Model M are just awesome while others are OK. Same could be said about the O. The price of the S is too similar to the M to be worth consideration unless you live in a small condo.
_________________________
Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

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#2089029 - 05/26/13 06:05 AM Re: NY Steinway S vs. M vs. O? [Re: Roy Roy]
Rich Galassini Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9190
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
OK,

I will only speak in generalities here and my opinion is by no means universal.

The S was designed and began to be manufactured with the specific idea of building a more affordable piano. It may have significantly helped S&S (along with borrowed money) get through The Depression when others did not. The year this model was introduced it outsold all other models of Steinway. Today, not many are made, Steinway themselves do not push it, and members of the Steinway family have gone on record saying they do not like the piano.

For the past 100 years, Steinway has sold more M's than any other single model they make. I think this has to do with a blend of performance and $$.

Of the instruments you asked about, the O has the most potential. I have played many tremendously musical model O Steinways in my lifetime, but to be fair, very few of them were new pianos, which brings me to another point.

If you have not yet considered this, I would recommend considering a properly rebuilt Steinway. It is possible that you may find a piano you enjoy more than a new instrument if you choose the piano carefully.

Full Disclosure = My company does high end rebuilding work, so I may be biased on my recommendation to consider rebuilt pianos.

Good luck and I hope that was helpful.

My 2 cents,
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Get Cunningham Piano Email Updates

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#2089047 - 05/26/13 07:32 AM Re: NY Steinway S vs. M vs. O? [Re: Roy Roy]
Rich D. Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/27/01
Posts: 1246
Loc: Rehoboth Beach De. USA
So Roy, which pianos are you looking at and/or have played? Are you in the market to purchase a grand? What is your opinion of the grands you've played?

Rich
_________________________
Retired at the beach (well maybe not completely)

"Life is like a piano....what you get out of it depends on how you play it"
Anonymous


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#2089051 - 05/26/13 07:44 AM Re: NY Steinway S vs. M vs. O? [Re: Rich Galassini]
Dara Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/18/09
Posts: 1029
Loc: west coast island, canada
Originally Posted By: Rich Galassini
I will only speak in generalities here ...
Full Disclosure = My company has a large expert staff that is known for our rebuilding work.


I enjoyed reading your informative post Rich.
The full disclosure part though comes across as simply an advertisement for your business.

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#2089059 - 05/26/13 08:10 AM Re: NY Steinway S vs. M vs. O? [Re: Dara]
Rich Galassini Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9190
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Originally Posted By: Dara
Originally Posted By: Rich Galassini
I will only speak in generalities here ...
Full Disclosure = My company has a large expert staff that is known for our rebuilding work.


I enjoyed reading your informative post Rich.
The full disclosure part though comes across as simply an advertisement for your business.


Thank you Dara. I meant for my disclosure to communicate my perspective and possible bias. I will change it.
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Get Cunningham Piano Email Updates

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#2089068 - 05/26/13 08:38 AM Re: NY Steinway S vs. M vs. O? [Re: Roy Roy]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7285
Loc: Rochester MN
Roy Roy,

I am assuming that you are referring to new pianos on the floor of a dealership. This assumption comes from the fact that you did not refer to an 'L.' Using your designation, I would rate them O >> M >> S. However:

The S is not a great piano and there have always been better pianos in that size. With all of the recent innovations, designs, and additions, there are many more instruments which far surpass it.

The M is a very fine piano. It is a proven piano. When you find one that 'speaks to you,' it might be the perfect piano for smaller rooms. It is the standard by which other mid-five foot pianos are judged.

The new issue O's are quite special. NY-S&S seems to be saying "Hey look at me!" as they are putting out a very beautiful instrument. The new ones are examples of what Steinway was and should be. I've played three of them at three different dealerships, and they all sang with the true 'Steinway Sound.'

As an aside, I never liked the L. It always struck me as a piano which wasn't comfortable with itself. The upper and lower registers just glared at each other with arms crossed. It just never learned to "play nice" with itself.

This could trigger the endless battles of the "Steinway Sound" and by that I mean the American Steinway Sound. Listen to the streaming performances from the Cliburn Competition and you will clearly hear the difference between Hamburg and New York.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2089070 - 05/26/13 08:41 AM Re: NY Steinway S vs. M vs. O? [Re: Rich Galassini]
Dara Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/18/09
Posts: 1029
Loc: west coast island, canada
Originally Posted By: Rich Galassini

Thank you Dara. I meant for my disclosure to communicate my perspective and possible bias. I will change it.

All in good spirit Rich. Not trying to be a stickler.
And you have responded to the OP's inquiry , whereas I am not experienced in this topic.

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#2089144 - 05/26/13 11:33 AM Re: NY Steinway S vs. M vs. O? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1996
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
The main problem with the L is that the layout of the plate was never done correctly to assure that the string spacing could be proper. If properly done the L design is superior to the O. The square corner at the straight side improves the bottom few notes of the bass and tenor bridge, (notes 1-6 and 27-31). But Marty is correct most L's have a very uneven sound across the compass, especially the upper treble is full of bad sounding notes.

Like Rich, I do rebuilding, so my take on the fine piano market is that the best value is a superbly rebuilt piano. Especially from a rebuilder who in addition to producing pianos with superbly done workmanship; has the freedom and skill to incorporate the best design evolution protocols available today in the industry. Workmanship does trump design tricks, so just having a rebuilder who knows the science of pianos, but has low skills in workmanship, will not guarantee a great result.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2089164 - 05/26/13 12:16 PM Re: NY Steinway S vs. M vs. O? [Re: Dara]
Almaviva Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 595
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Originally Posted By: Dara
I enjoyed reading your informative post Rich.
The full disclosure part though comes across as simply an advertisement for your business.


Dara,

I think Rich was simply trying to tell the reader that he is in the piano reconstruction business, and thus to warn the reader that he might be biased. The governing body of this forum routinely asks piano professionals to indicate in their posts that they are "in the business".

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#2089213 - 05/26/13 01:55 PM Re: NY Steinway S vs. M vs. O? [Re: Dara]
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3459
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: Dara
Originally Posted By: Rich Galassini
I will only speak in generalities here ...
Full Disclosure = My company has a large expert staff that is known for our rebuilding work.


I enjoyed reading your informative post Rich.
The full disclosure part though comes across as simply an advertisement for your business.



Actually, I thought Rich's disclosure was really appropriate in that his company does not sell new Steinways but does restore and sell used ones, so gets any potential bias in his posting out in the open.

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#2089221 - 05/26/13 02:14 PM Re: NY Steinway S vs. M vs. O? [Re: Roy Roy]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7285
Loc: Rochester MN
Roy Roy,

Are you asking about new instruments or 'vintage,' either restored or original?
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2089242 - 05/26/13 02:40 PM Re: NY Steinway S vs. M vs. O? [Re: Roy Roy]
pianocritic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/04/13
Posts: 68
Loc: Midwest
I find most rebuilt steinways to be preferable to a new one. Just my opinion. There seems to be a great deal of difference from one new steinway to another.
_________________________
Piano Critic-A player and listener. Musician-Bachelors and Masters in Music. Retired from Professional life and just enjoying Music.

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#2089298 - 05/26/13 04:36 PM Re: NY Steinway S vs. M vs. O? [Re: Roy Roy]
patH Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/13
Posts: 561
Loc: Germany
One suggestion is missing:
Steinway M > O > S.

I haven't tried out Steinway O and S, so I don't know. But I've tried Bechstein A.190, A.175 and A.160, and I'd sort them the following way, assuming they are to be used in a 24 m² room:

A.175 > A.190 >> A.160.
_________________________
Everything is possible, and nothing is sure.
XXXI

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#2089311 - 05/26/13 05:01 PM Re: NY Steinway S vs. M vs. O? [Re: patH]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: patH
One suggestion is missing:
Steinway M > O > S.


That is, in fact, what I was suggesting in my previous post, that when it comes to NY Stineways many possible combination is possible including the one you give.
_________________________
Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

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#2089601 - 05/26/13 11:00 PM Re: NY Steinway S vs. M vs. O? [Re: Roy Roy]
Dave B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1955
Loc: Philadelphia area
I'm thinking that fortunately we have choices. Each model offers different qualities that we choose to our preferences.

How about the list as O = S >>> M.

I really like the "O" and am happy that Steinway reissued the model. It's a warm and expressive piano that works in many styles. A pleasure play.

The classic Steinway sound that echos around in my head is the model "D". The legendary status that is well known and well deserved puts it on a pedestal well above all other Steinway models. Among other qualities, the model "D" creates a balance between the right hand and left hand that is unique and superbly musical. Now, this is where some might think I've lost it. I find the model "S" is very close to creating the same balance between the right and left hands as the "D" offers.

I know it doesn't have the sustain or depth of sonority of the "D". The S, when properly prepared, has a crisp, clear, and well balanced sound with a rhythmic immediacy and agility that works in all styles of music. I find it an energizing and fun piano to play.

It's my preference. I also know and respect players who prefer the "M". As Rich pointed out earlier in the tread, Steinway has sold more model "M"s that any other model; So what do I know? I'm just thankful we have choices.

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#2089653 - 05/27/13 12:16 AM Re: NY Steinway S vs. M vs. O? [Re: Dave B]
Karl Watson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/11
Posts: 323
I share your thoughts on the D and the S and have kept quiet about it for many, many years especially as most pianists regard the B as the ideal piano.

It is said that the S was Josef Hofmann's favorite.


Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY

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#2090015 - 05/27/13 04:46 PM Re: NY Steinway S vs. M vs. O? [Re: Roy Roy]
Anne'sson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/25/12
Posts: 143
Loc: El Paso, TX
Dave and Karl,

I agree with you that the Steinway S--at least my Steinway S--can be a versatile and satisfying instrument. Mine is a 1939 example, recently rebuilt (mostly: it has the original soundboard, which is still doing a heck of a job). I'm playing Bach, Chopin, Beethoven, Brahms, Debussey, and "As time goes by" and all sound good. I would like more bass for fortissimo passages as in The Engulfed Cathedral, but otherwise I'm happy.

This is probably the vintage of the S's Hoffman loved. My guess is that with low production numbers and the sense that this model would be the banner bearer for the brand during the depression, extra care went into those early Examples of the S.

I'm not sure the few S's being built today would have these qualities. With this model in particular, I'd recommend a rebuild of a pre WW 2 piano.
_________________________
Anne'sson
El Paso, TX

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#2090327 - 05/27/13 10:52 PM Re: NY Steinway S vs. M vs. O? [Re: Roy Roy]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1996
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Wilhelm Furtwangler had a Hamburg S which Is now with a family that studies piano with my wife. I have replaced hammers and it could use some new strings and related parts but overall it is a nice piano.

A well done Baldwin M, (which is 1 inch longer) will outshine a well done Steinway S, and not because of the extra inch, but because of the bridge /string layout not being forced to fit its bigger brothers action. Steinway S, M, O, and L all use the same action, this does not allow sweeping the angles of the strings along the bridge in the most advantageous way for tone in the smaller Steinways.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2090368 - 05/27/13 11:50 PM Re: NY Steinway S vs. M vs. O? [Re: Roy Roy]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7285
Loc: Rochester MN
How does 5'-1" compared to 5'-7" get reduced to a 1" difference?
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2090390 - 05/28/13 01:01 AM Re: NY Steinway S vs. M vs. O? [Re: Roy Roy]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21431
Loc: Oakland
A Steinway S is 5'-1", a Baldwin M is 5'-2". I think the M and the R share roughly the same action.

I was working on a Yamaha C6 today, but the keyframe said C7. Manufacturers take advantage of the economy of scale.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2090491 - 05/28/13 07:54 AM Re: NY Steinway S vs. M vs. O? [Re: Roy Roy]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7285
Loc: Rochester MN
Sorry - I missed that it referenced Baldwin. This is a thread about S&S and wasn't expecting a curveball throwing the thread outside of its context. It then just becomes another argument about which is the best piano in the world, rather than a comparison of three of the models from Steinway.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2103586 - 06/16/13 11:20 PM Re: NY Steinway S vs. M vs. O? [Re: Rich D.]
Roy Roy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/15/13
Posts: 9
Originally Posted By: Rich D.
So Roy, which pianos are you looking at and/or have played? Are you in the market to purchase a grand? What is your opinion of the grands you've played?

Rich

I've played almost all tier 1 and 2 pianos, and Steinway is among the best ones I have played.

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#2103588 - 06/16/13 11:21 PM Re: NY Steinway S vs. M vs. O? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Roy Roy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/15/13
Posts: 9
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Roy Roy,

Are you asking about new instruments or 'vintage,' either restored or original?

New pianos only...Not asking about vintage / older pianos as they are too many circumstances to take into consideration.

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#2103589 - 06/16/13 11:22 PM Re: NY Steinway S vs. M vs. O? [Re: Karl Watson]
Roy Roy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/15/13
Posts: 9
Originally Posted By: Karl Watson
I share your thoughts on the D and the S and have kept quiet about it for many, many years especially as most pianists regard the B as the ideal piano.

It is said that the S was Josef Hofmann's favorite.


Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY

Is there any reference about Steinway S being Hofmann's favourite? Thank you!

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