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#2102923 - 06/15/13 02:20 PM Re: "The Steinway Promise" upgrade policy [Re: phacke]
terminaldegree Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 2627
Loc: western Wisconsin
Originally Posted By: phacke

The impression however is that if you buy replacement hammers at Steinway according to best practices, they must be purchased for the exact model you have, and that because most rebuild shops and owners don't have pounding machines to break in these new/improved low-lacquer hammers, it will take a long time of playing to manually pound in the hammer wool to get good sound. Is that your impression?


The last 3 rebuild shops I've visited all had "pounding in" machines, fwiw.
It took a couple of years of playing for the "wooly" model A in my office to start developing a nice range of tone colors, though I intentionally bought one that wasn't too loud due to space limitations and knowing it was going to get played 20 hours a week during the school year.

Techs that I speak to that work on new Steinways seem to like their current production hammers an awful lot.
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Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Casio px-200, Bechstein A190 #192939 @ home
Steinway A #585209, B #416809 @ work
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#2103341 - 06/16/13 01:21 PM Re: "The Steinway Promise" upgrade policy [Re: Hamburg-D]
LJC Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/04
Posts: 1516
Loc: New York
Ed- Whats' different about the sostenuto?

Roberta - Nice to hear from you too! Thanks for the answer. If Mr. N thought his piano good enough to buy but now does not like it I suspect his problem is room acoustics.

Re hammers - I have heard that S&S NY changed their hammers in some way. I heard this through my tech whose friend is a prominent concert artist and teacher and was asked by S&S to try the new hammer. He evidently liked it very much. After I heard this I asked a salesman about it at Steinway Hall but he knew nothing about it. I recently changed the hammers on my S&S and was quite surprised by the improvement in sound, but then as my tech says, I was driving on bald tires.

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#2103355 - 06/16/13 02:04 PM Re: "The Steinway Promise" upgrade policy [Re: Hamburg-D]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14117
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
It's interesting how much difference 'identical' hammers by same manufacturer can do.

Apparently Hamburg tries a number of sets of several for each single piano. They run of course only few hammers in the different sections of piano - not entire sets.

The hammers are exclusive made and supplied by Renner [ thinking used to be Abel..]

While playing in by machines or hand is fine, there obviously is a 'suitability' to be detected right from beginning.

What also counts is what happens later: hammers need to be shoulder sanded for evenness and voiced to piano's ideal tone
by someone competent.

Several companies I know do similar things, alas can be dangerous.

Dr. Laul ended up marrying one of the music students who was hired to play pianos in - at factory....

Norbert grin


Edited by Norbert (06/16/13 02:32 PM)
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#2103359 - 06/16/13 02:12 PM Re: "The Steinway Promise" upgrade policy [Re: LJC]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1100
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By: LJC
Ed- Whats' different about the sostenuto?

The last Hamburg piano I saw had the sostenuto rod mounted on the belly rail.


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#2103518 - 06/16/13 08:40 PM Re: "The Steinway Promise" upgrade policy [Re: Hamburg-D]
LJC Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/04
Posts: 1516
Loc: New York
The last Hamburg piano I saw had the sostenuto rod mounted on the belly rail.

I wasn't aware of that change but I think its a great idea.

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#2103631 - 06/17/13 01:30 AM Re: "The Steinway Promise" upgrade policy [Re: Hamburg-D]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21287
Loc: Oakland
It should be noted that the process of playing in hammers is not the same as aging hammers. Most materials, including felt, will change due to oxidation, and that takes time.
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