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#2106466 - 06/22/13 09:38 PM Steinway: world's finest?
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14139
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Today it would be nice to hear from people sincerely thinking Steinway being world's finest piano.

I noticed when word Steinway is mentioned, many people reading - nice to have high count... yippie

No, you will not be ridiculed or criticized: long live free speech!

Please give specific reasons or beliefs.
Kindly state if familiar with other makes and models - fine if *not*.

And please not only 9' concert grands - Steinway's recognized flagship.

Review of any size warmly welcomed.

Let's make this a glory thread: nay-Sayers and Steinway critics please refrain...

Remember: why "best"?

Let's go.....

Norbert smile


Edited by Norbert (06/22/13 10:24 PM)
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#2106470 - 06/22/13 09:52 PM Re: Steinway: word's finest? [Re: Norbert]
jazzyprof Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 2634
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
For starters, if you changed the thread title from "word's finest" to "world's finest" you might get more response. smile
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#2106474 - 06/22/13 09:56 PM Re: Steinway word's finest piano? [Re: Norbert]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
My position is well known here.

I like all three, or maybe now four, S&S. Steinway-NY, Steingraber-Au Natural, Steinway-Hamburg, and I don't know about Steingraeber-Phoenix. (Probably a contender, from what I hear-tell.)

For general home use, I think the absolute best is the reintroduced NY-S&S-O. I like the American Steinway sound. I tend to prefer Steingraeber to the Hamburg instruments in the smaller sizes.

I have hopes that S&S-NY will reintroduce the C. The Hamburg version is at the top of my list, and if it had the NY tonal structure, it would be my perfect new piano.

However, I do own a 1906 NY-C which has been totally rebuilt, inside and out, so I consider myself to be fortunate to already own the perfect piano!
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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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#2106556 - 06/23/13 03:50 AM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Norbert]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5271
Having revisited Steinway Hall yesterday after a prolonged absence (during which I mainly played on a Fazioli F278 or Yamaha CFX, when I wanted to play a concert grand), I can say that I really love the B and D. (The C can only be obtained by special order). All Hamburgs of course, as I'm somewhere in Europe grin . I could happily live with either of them as my only piano.

But the best? Hmmm.....

Leaving aside the Bösendorfer Imperial 290, which was, and will always be my first love wink , let's stick to the three S&S in the piano world: Steinway & Sons, Steingraeber & Söhne, and Stuart & Sons.
I've only played a Steingraeber once (and it wasn't their concert grand), and I've never seen a Stuart & Sons. But Hurstwood Farm is on my list of holiday destinations grin (though it's probably only an hour's drive away), along with Bayreuth, so this gap in my pianistic amour should be plugged in due course. In the meantime, I can only judge by their respective sounds, as heard on my several well-engineered CD recordings.

Forced to choose between the three, I'll probably take the Stuart & Sons. Just by a whisker, because its tone is truly unique in a way the other two aren't.
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#2106607 - 06/23/13 07:58 AM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Norbert]
fingers Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/08/04
Posts: 799
Loc: Westchester, NY
Interesting question Norbert.
I haven't played all pianos from all makers so I don't know if I should attempt an answer.

I do know that Mason & Hamlin claims to make the world's finest piano(it says so in their literature). Maybe that's the answer.

Didn't you at one time sell them?

fingers
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#2106611 - 06/23/13 08:17 AM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Norbert]
joe80 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1237
Steinway is certainly one of the best pianos available, and at their best they are consistent, have exceptional touch, wonderful full sound, and are capable of reproducing the pianist's every thought.

They are not the only piano capable of doing this, but they are one of the few.

The other good thing about them is that they easily disclose all the flaws of the pianist, so it encourages good playing, if one is really listening.

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#2106636 - 06/23/13 09:41 AM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Norbert]
williambonard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/22/11
Posts: 111
Loc: Essex, UK
This is such a controversial topic and like all subjects on pianos, it's a matter of opinion and preference.

Steinway, clearly is known for how well built they are and how great an instrument they really are for the pianist. However, when choosing a piano, most go on how it feels to play and how it sounds. Therefore, one may prefer how a Bösendorfer sounds and plays. Of course, this doesn't mean that suddenly Bösendorfer are the finest made pianos just because one prefers them over a Steinway - if that makes any sense at all; I do apologise!

Due to the high demand of Steinways it does make me wonder if they really are all hand-built as they claim they are. I mean, how can a company produce a rather large output but still maintain all of their products to be 'hand-built'? Please tell me I'm not the only one who wonders about this? Therefore, maybe some of the standards of their products slip? If so, they can't have dropped much because Steinways are still absolutely beautiful to play!

I recently was fortunate enough to play a couple of Steingraeber & Söhnes. My goodness, were they phenomenal!? The first model I played was the A-170 (note: these were the Steingraeber-Phoenix models I played) and I was utterly blown away by the amount of power a 5'7" piano had! The tone was absolutely beautiful too - so sonorous. It was everything I've ever wanted in the tone of a piano.

Having played the Steingraebers, it's made me ponder on what I think about Steinways. Maybe I prefer Steingraeber over Steinway now? Maybe the Steingraebers are better built? We all know that the Steingraebers are totally hand-built - it certainly shows.

William
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#2106638 - 06/23/13 09:45 AM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Norbert]
Rank Piano Amateur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/07
Posts: 1786
In a world where all is subjective, this seems like an odd topic for a thread. A lot of people have explained their love of Steinway (or a Steinway) in other threads. The only thing on which we can all agree (I hope) is that the concept of "best" is a matter of individual taste. So is "finest," the word used in the original question.

There are all kinds of ways in which a piano can be the best or the finest. Does the question ask about Steinway as a brand, or a Steinway as an individual piano? Finest for concerts, finest tone, finest touch, finest for a church, etc.? Finest compared to what? Some comparison is clearly required at some level for anything to be classified as the finest or best anything.

I know that there are a lot of Steinway fans out there, and indeed Steinways can be great. That is not the same thing as classifying them as the "finest," though. Perhaps Norbert meant to ask those who adore Steinway to explain their love of the brand. Explaining why one subjectively loves something is unassailable; trying to justify a claim that a brand is the finest subjects one to all kinds of challenges.

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#2106644 - 06/23/13 10:01 AM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Norbert]
terminaldegree Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 2729
Loc: western Wisconsin
Top-tier pianos are individuals, so I'll answer as such: if I think back on my "top 5" playing experiences of all time, and sort them based on size--

9' class: 2 S&S NY D's, one Hamburg (3/5)
7-9' class: none (0/5)
6-7' class: 1 Hamburg B, 1 rebuilt NY "long" A (2/5)

This is tough because the piano brand and model alone is but one part in what makes the impression of a high-end piano being good or bad. I'd define the "recipe" thus:

30% - selection of make and model (design/materials)
10% - execution in building that individual piano
30% - quality and amount of tech work done to the piano
30% - the player's personal preferences
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#2106648 - 06/23/13 10:11 AM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Norbert]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1183
Loc: Tennessee
Greetings,
It all depends on what you mean by "finest".

To the musician," finest" means how they feel when they play; (the response of the instrument). To the status conscious, it means the most expensive. To the seller, finest means the piano that will sell itself, but to the tech, finest means how well designed AND how well executed is that design.
Steinway has an unrivaled design.
Regards,

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#2106658 - 06/23/13 10:39 AM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Norbert]
LJC Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/04
Posts: 1518
Loc: New York
I think you need to compare only pianos of the same size. It would not be fair to compare an S&S model M to a Steingraeber concert grand. Not sure what you mean by the finest either. I happen to like the Steinway sound. I like the Steingraeber sound too. Bosendorfer is just not for me but if that sound floats your boat I am not going to tell anyone its not a great piano because it is. Its just not my style. I've played a few Bechsteins I thought were great...and some ones I hated, same with Grotrian. There's all the other great makes out there at the high end. Just choose whats right for you in the size range your looking for. Don't forget to factor in the price. At the top of the scale S&S is a bargain.

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#2106661 - 06/23/13 10:42 AM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Norbert]
joe80 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1237
Hi Ed,

Can you explain what you mean by 'Steinway has an unrivaled design' more fully please? Why do you think this is the case? Which of their features contributes to this?

There are some technicians who think that Steinway is the best piano by far, and there are others who think that some of Steinways designs are questionable - I hear many don't like the tubular metallic action rails for instance, but others love them.

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#2106676 - 06/23/13 11:11 AM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Norbert]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
One of the things I have noticed at PW is the difference between Piano Forum and the Tuner/Tech Forum when it comes to Steinway.

In this forum it is fashionable to bash S&S, whether one has played one or not. In the Tech Forum, the vast majority of tuner/techs service them regularly, and they are held in high regard.

This statement, by LJC, is worth repeating:

"At the top of the scale S&S is a bargain."
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2106699 - 06/23/13 11:48 AM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Norbert]
Dave B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1973
Loc: Philadelphia area
Terminalgegree, I very much appreciate your opinion. The model "D"s can be absolutely exquisite and I occasionally come across surprising examples of other models.

I don't think it is logical to under value the "execution in building that individual piano" at only 10%. I'm thinking 90% is more appropriate. That with a luck factor at 75% and good materials at a strong 40% - 60 %. And the design and engineering has to be factored in too.

Yogi Bera said he will go over the math with me sometime next week.

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#2106707 - 06/23/13 12:08 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Norbert]
terminaldegree Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 2729
Loc: western Wisconsin
Hi Dave,

Although I agree the various percentages in that formula are worthy of debate, I'm also happy people like you appreciate that there are "dogs" and "gems" and everything in between, at the top, even among the same models. Some are more consistent but no two are exactly the same.

I sometimes worry when I look at the age demographic of the concert techs in my corner of the US. I hope there will be enough younger people interested in doing this at the highest level to service the needs of concert/high-end pianos, as I've seen good work transform an instrument significantly. Back to the original topic, we both know the importance of the tech's skills are an ongoing part of the success of a great Steinway with years and use.


Edited by terminaldegree (06/23/13 12:13 PM)
_________________________
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#2106712 - 06/23/13 12:19 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Norbert]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1382
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
Steinways I have Known (and Loved...)


1966 Hamburg "D"- this was being sold in an estate sale recently, and I was looking for my contractor who had a client wanting something just like this for a really big new house. An absolutely amazing instrument in every way, the most resonant "D" I'd played in about 10 years, a huge sound, a bass like a jet engine, a mid-range that brought Fischer-Diskau back to life, and an unearthly treble that sang with the angels. She sold it for $48k strictly because of its age. If only I could have raised the money...

Early 1980s American "B"- a bad vintage for American S&Ss, turned into a glorious, one-of-a-kind instrument by Ed McMorrow that sounded more Steinway than Steinway. And Responsive! OY! It's so extraordinary, it makes you think the most indecent thoughts. Now, if only I could raise the money...

1950s Hamburg "C"- this is probably my favorite model, especially for my house. I played this at a dealer in Los Angeles who had just got it back from the rebuilders, and he wanted $85k for it. It was so juicy! If only I could have raised the money...

1899 American Art Case "B"- brought back to life by Bruce Stevens in Long Beach CA. The original soundboard was in good shape, so he did what he usually does with the scale design and action geometry. The bass needed to be played in a bit as he had just finished the thing, but the tenor and treble registers were the most beautiful thing I've ever heard, with a seemingly limitless number of colors in a decay that just wouldn't stop. And responsive, oh my god! Right away, I was able to get the first few pages of the Ravel Ondine really "ppp" without spending an hour learning to control the action. Debussy sounded JUST LIKE IT WAS SUPPOSED TO! The thing was so wonderful, it left nothing to the imagination, and then stimulated fresh imaginings of the most novel sort. If only I could raise the money...

1990 Hamburg "D". I was one of the staff accompanists at a lieder master class at the Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris, given by my teacher there as part of a summer-long Robert Schumann Festival. This piano was brand new when I played it in the Amphitheatre Richelieu during the class recitals. It had the most beautiful, golden timbre, and an enormous palette, just like a really old bottle of Chateau d'Yquem. It made me sound so good, and went so well with the singers! I could never have raised the money...

As I've said many times before, I'm very partial to the more lyric timbre of the Bosendorfer and the Bechstein. I'm quite fond of my Bechstein even though it needs some work. But cela va sans dire, as the French say, that Steinway can produce the most amazing pianos. All these instruments make me want to switch, and I'm one of the pickiest shoppers out there.

Now, how can I go about raising the money...


Edited by laguna_greg (06/23/13 12:29 PM)
Edit Reason: oops clarity!
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#2106716 - 06/23/13 12:35 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Norbert]
Thrill Science Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 520
Loc: California
Is this thread meant to be tongue-and-cheek?

Anyway, while Steinway does make some great pianos, there are only a few real reasons why people buy them.

- For the home, people buy them because they can't afford Bösendorfer or Fazioli.

- For professional/institutional use, people buy or spec them because they're contractually obligated to, and have negotiated a deal contingent on the use of Steinway manufactured or specified and imported by Steinway.


One gap in their product line: New York Steinway doesn't make a piano in the 7' range. The "B" is only 6' 11". I think this is a big gap in their American product line, and they should think about making a ~7'6" piano for the U.S. market. This size is a good size for many homes.


Edited by Thrill Science (06/23/13 12:43 PM)
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#2106719 - 06/23/13 12:41 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Norbert]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4215
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
One of the things I have noticed at PW is the difference between Piano Forum and the Tuner/Tech Forum when it comes to Steinway.
In this forum it is fashionable to bash S&S, whether one has played one or not. In the Tech Forum, the vast majority of tuner/techs service them regularly, and they are held in high regard.


One of the things I have noticed about PW forums is certain members, who are not technicians, seem to think it appropriate to speak for technicians; further to attempt to inform PW about what technicians think, when in actual reality all of the technicians I know of on this board have the ability and opportunity to speak for themselves.
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#2106723 - 06/23/13 12:49 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Norbert]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14139
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Pianists, technicians and general public all may have their own reasons why they may like Steinway best.

It's nice to hear from all of them, including their particular perspective "why".

Nice to hear from European members, obviously talking about Hamburgs there.

Nothing 'tongue in cheek' - just good honest opinions.

Norbert smile
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#2106730 - 06/23/13 12:56 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Norbert]
Hamburg-D Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/13
Posts: 513
I think this question is a bit unfair because words such as best or worst when it comes to pianos are interpreted as subjective ones.

If you wanted to use words such as best or worst you must find a way to judge a piano in its objective charectoristics. These charectoristics should be a unanimous agreement between all people who play and understand the piano.

For example:
Build quality
How long it lasts
Sustain length (I assume everyone agree longer is better)
Dynamic range (more is better)
Percentage of key press translating to sound (friction)?


Everything else is subjective. Arguing about which sound is better is pointless. There is no doubt that in each of our minds we all have a favorite sound, but to try to debate or argue over the best sound is pointless just as attempting go debate regarding the best color smile

But there is one exception. Which I believe would tend to have the most votes for the Steinway sound. I think psychologically you find things beautiful when you have been accustomed to them at an early age. In a sense a childhood brainwashing if you will. A child who hasn't eaten many carrots as a child will likely never enjoy the taste if carrots. Same with sounds. Perhaps most of us who like classical have been introduced to this type of music since an early age. Those who haven't heard classical music till their late 40s will be less likely to have a passion for vlassical music.

So going back to steinways, the fact is that steinways marketing is far superior to any of the other manufacturers. That's not subjective. It's difficult to disagree.

Part of their marketing strategy is the c&a program and how most pianists perform on Steinway. Steinway may want you to believe that it's not marketing and the pianists prefer Steinway because they simply prefer the pianos, but then you hear about a pianist being outcasted by Steinway for performing on a yamaha one single time at a venue which he/she could not find a Steinway to their liking. Seems very insecure of Steinway doesn't it?

Getting back to my point, whether is marketing or just simply that pianists prefer Steinway, odds are that the tecording of the impromptu you are working on has been recorded on a Steinway. Naturally the recording will probably be your goal and to achieve the same technical degree of the pianist in the recording be ause after all - he is a profession and we are armatures. So naturally we would also want our piano to sound the same. So you walk into a Steinway store and play 30 seconds of your impromptu and your eyes light up because this time, your playing sounded like the recording more than ever before. And there you have - your favorite sound.

Now I'd like to say that pianists who donor participate in classical music would be less brainwashed than us who have listened to recordings of Polini, Horowitz, or Zimmerman and perhaps their opinion will be more objective. But the opinion of a jazz pianist may mean very little to a person who's geared towards playing classical.

After all, a Steinway may work for a certain Chopin nocturne, and a bechstein may work best for the schertzo no.2

Best should also be measured in value. Sound/build quality per dollar. When a piano costs 2x as much, it should sound 2x better. A Steinway B is an incredible instrument. A D costing twice as much should blow your mind! If it doesn't, it's value is not proportionate to its quality/sound so it's not a good piano.

For me personally, I love the Steinway sound. When I hear one single lonely note on a good Steinway, it makes me feel.

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#2106734 - 06/23/13 01:07 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Hamburg-D]
BrainCramp Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/12
Posts: 260
Loc: USA
Noam,

Coincidentally, I was thinking about you this morning, wondering if you were able to trade your unsatisfactory piano in for one you like better.

Have you been able to make progress on that situation?

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#2106740 - 06/23/13 01:20 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: BrainCramp]
Hamburg-D Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/13
Posts: 513
Originally Posted By: BrainCramp
Noam,

Coincidentally, I was thinking about you this morning, wondering if you were able to trade your unsatisfactory piano in for one you like better.

Have you been able to make progress on that situation?


Thanks for caring smile But I really don't want to "jack" this thread with my situation. Lets just say that i'm on hold right now waiting to hear something. If I like what I hear, I will probably be too busy playing my piano to even say anything on this forum smile If i'm not pleased with customer service, lets just say that I'll be making alot of noise smile Afterall, without a great piano to play, I have ALOT OF TIME on my hands. Races only happen on the weekends. Mon-Fri I'm bored!

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#2106751 - 06/23/13 01:36 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
One of the things I have noticed at PW is the difference between Piano Forum and the Tuner/Tech Forum when it comes to Steinway.
In this forum it is fashionable to bash S&S, whether one has played one or not. In the Tech Forum, the vast majority of tuner/techs service them regularly, and they are held in high regard.


One of the things I have noticed about PW forums is certain members, who are not technicians, seem to think it appropriate to speak for technicians; further to attempt the inform PW about what technicians think, when in actual reality all of the technicians I know of on this board have the ability and opportunity to speak for themselves.

It is nothing more than an observation of the difference in evaluation between the forums. One doesn't need to be a technician or a pianist to simply read comments and detect a trend.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2106758 - 06/23/13 01:43 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Hamburg-D]
BrainCramp Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/09/12
Posts: 260
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: noambenhamou
Lets just say that i'm on hold right now waiting to hear something. If I like what I hear, I will probably be too busy playing my piano to even say anything on this forum smile If i'm not pleased with customer service, lets just say that I'll be making alot of noise smile


Do let us know how it turns out in the end, at the least.

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#2106765 - 06/23/13 01:53 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Hamburg-D Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/13
Posts: 513
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
One of the things I have noticed at PW is the difference between Piano Forum and the Tuner/Tech Forum when it comes to Steinway.
In this forum it is fashionable to bash S&S, whether one has played one or not. In the Tech Forum, the vast majority of tuner/techs service them regularly, and they are held in high regard.


One of the things I have noticed about PW forums is certain members, who are not technicians, seem to think it appropriate to speak for technicians; further to attempt the inform PW about what technicians think, when in actual reality all of the technicians I know of on this board have the ability and opportunity to speak for themselves.

It is nothing more than an observation of the difference in evaluation between the forums. One doesn't need to be a technician or a pianist to simply read comments and detect a trend.


I don't agree with this. There seems to be an ongoing battle between the technicians and the players. The players have an opinion, and some technicians seems to think the pianists have to RIGHT to critique a piano because - they just play - they don't work on the pianos.

I couldn't disagree with this more.
It's like asking your car mechanic which car is best for the race track. 99% would have no clue!!! A car mechanic would recommend the Honda because it's reliable and provides alot of bang for the buck. It's easy to work on and very reliable.

But has a car mechanic ever taken a Porsche, a BMW or Ferrari to the racetrack? And even if they did, are they capable of driving those cars even 80% to their limit? Probably not. The opinion of the racecar driver matters MOST! In truly professional top tier situations, the mechanic / technician would not dare argue with the pianist or driver. I don't see the mechanics of MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi arguing with him when he doesn't like the behavior of the bike. I don't see the technician of Polini arguing that the piano is fine when Polini complains. Their job is to fix it. To make it into what the driver/pianist wants, not to argue or form an opinion.

Make the specific piano the best it can be, for the person playing it. That's the magic of a good technician. Not to form an opinion, but to make a special relationship between the piano and pianist.

I don't know how many technicians are on this forum with the mindset that us piano players don't have a clue, maybe 5%, I don't know. But it's not right.

The best technicians I've had spent more time listening to me and the piano, than making their own opinions.


Edited by noambenhamou (06/23/13 01:54 PM)

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#2106775 - 06/23/13 02:07 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Thrill Science]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1382
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
Hi Thrill,

"- For the home, people buy them because they can't afford Bösendorfer or Fazioli."

I don't think that's necessarily true. Lots of people like the Steinway sound, or what they think the Steinway sound is. I know many faculty members at colleges and universities, and the majority of them prefer the Steinway sound which is why they tell their schools to buy them. My teacher in Paris had two matched Hamburg "C"s in his studio, and he wouldn't have anything else and said so often. And that's a guy who, at the time I was studying with him, gave 60+ concerts and did at least 3/4 recording projects a year.
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2106793 - 06/23/13 02:26 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Norbert]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
noam,

I have no idea what you are disagreeing with or what you are trying to say.

Isn't a mechanic who regularly services many brands of cars able to make a comparative judgment on the quality and serviceability of the various brands? Isn't a piano technician able to make the same type of assessment?

My only statement was that there was much less S&S bashing in the tech forum.

That is my simple observation, nothing more.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2106795 - 06/23/13 02:28 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Hamburg-D]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2192
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
The owner/pianist IS the ultimate judge of how adequate a piano they have is-and how adequately the service it is getting meets his/her needs. But technicians must have a very good sense of what pianists in general expect out of a piano. It is a two way street-communication between both parties must be based on trust and respect. I am very uncomfortable working for any pianist/owner that I sense doesn't trust me. I prefer if they tell me what they want the piano to do or not do when used in certain ways, and let me prescribe the remedy. That way I am responsible for the outcome. If a pianist tells me to do some specific adjustment or service-I often feel like just renting them my tools so they can do it.

Most pianist/owners consider their piano a long term investment. They want it to perform well for a long time and not have to spend money and downtime having it gone over frequently. Your race care analogy doesn't fit well with this. Race cars just have to get the driver over the finish line first! Many big time race teams have multiple cars for the race season. I don't know of any piano venues except the competition circuit and a few top tier performance halls that meet the race car analogy.

I do know that what makes a good race car mechanic is one that can explain what the possibilities in performance are, can interpret the drivers descriptions quickly, and what ways to reach these goals can be achieved given the circumstances. This is exactly what a good piano technician does. They don't necessarily need to be able to drive a race car at it's limits to understand what is going on.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2106801 - 06/23/13 02:38 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Hamburg-D Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/13
Posts: 513
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty


Isn't a mechanic who regularly services many brands of cars able to make a comparative judgment on the quality and serviceability of the various brands? Isn't a piano technician able to make the same type of assessment?


100% correct. A technician will be the best former of opinion as to the quality and serviceability of a piano.

Unfortunately, this is not what the original post was asking. I interpreted the original post as a more subjective question as to which piano was best - as in sound and touch.

Maybe there are pianos out there that have amazing quality, and easy to work on, but not necessarily produce the most beautiful sound. Or is it your opinion that those are tightly coupled?

In another way or asking the same question: Is the best quality piano would produce the most beautiful sound?

In my opinion no. I think the quality of Yamaha speaks to itself. The fact that they are all identical out of the factory speaks to its quality and consistency.

Is ease of maintenance and lack of need for constant maintenance necessarily a good thing?

Ducati motorcycles need a valve adjustment every 5,000 miles. Is that due to bad quality workmanship or the fact that the engine is so high performance that it needs constant tuning and attention?

A piano is a luxury item of passion. Ferrari's need a timing belt every 20,000 miles. A honda - every 100,000 miles. So which is better? Well, if cars are your passion, the Ferrari of course.

I don't know much about the mechanics of a piano, but most top end luxury items require alot of maintenance to keep them in optimum condition. There seems to be a correlation between reliability and beauty. The more beautiful, and more passionate, the more maintenance and less practical. Sounds like some women I know smile hahahaha

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#2106818 - 06/23/13 03:02 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Norbert]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
noam,

For some unknown reason, you are trying to divine some hidden meaning from my simple statement.

My opinions of S&S were addressed early in this thread.

You might also read my signature line.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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