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#2106881 - 06/23/13 06:08 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Hamburg-D]
master88er Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/07
Posts: 841
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Originally Posted By: noambenhamou

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.

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?

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,


Noam:

You are obviously very passionate and knowledgeable about cars. And if I were shopping for a new car, you would be on my list of advisers. But with pianos ...... smirk

You alluded, in an earlier post, to a child being indoctrinated (or not) to the taste of carrots, claiming that one who has not eaten many carrots would not aquire a taste for them. Well, having eaten many a Tsimmes (carrots ala Jewish mother) in my time, the over-exposure can (in my case) also have the opposite effect, where I try to avoid them. Now, if one had only carrots to eat, imagine the palate awakening when introduced to a Beet, or roasted Fennel!!

A similar response can be expected when those proclaiming one brand of piano to be the exalted grand-poobah, are introduced to pianos absolutely equal in build quality, but having a different approach. In my shop, we are fortunate to retail several top quality pianos, each with impeccable build quality and each with their own sense of what good tone and response should be like. One cannot say that any of these is "better" than the other, they are just different.

IMHO, I cannot say the same about the American Steinways I have seen in recent years. However, I would say that, IMHO, the Hamburg Steinway is of comparable build quality to the top pianos I represent. However, my opinions are formed by tuning the instruments and making the comparisons based on my own ears, fingers and playing experience, coupled with the time I have spent tuning, voicing and regulating these pianos and many Hamburg and American Steinways.

So, you have formed your opinions based on you experience selecting your American D, and having recently played 5 Hamburg D's. Have you played or heard 5 Sauters, Grotrians, Bosendorfers, Bluthners, Steingraebers or Bechsteins? I would bet not.

AND, I would bet that MOST (certainly not ALL) who pro-port the big S as the be-all catch-all of the piano world have not had the opportunity to experience other instruments of similar build quality.

You are right about advertising and marketing. S&S has done a very good (some would say dictatorial) job of excluding comparable brands from visibility in the USA. As a piano dealer, it is often frustrating and difficult to work with clients who have a mindset based on nothing more than myth. Yet, when given the opportunity to compare - side by side - with other brands consumers often (luckily) come to agree that, amongst equals, there are certainly more choices than one - even some that don't start with an "S", and two others that do!!


Edited by master88er (06/23/13 06:10 PM)
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#2106891 - 06/23/13 06:45 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Norbert]
dynamobt Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 640
Loc: NH
Sort of along the theme of indoctrination, my piano tech tells me that my Mason & Hamlin sat for sale for quite awhile before I bought it. And it's not that people weren't impressed when they played it. The were impressed. And what surprised them the most that a piano other than a Steinway could sound so well. But, time and time again my piano was passed over all because it didn't have the "correct" name on the fallboard. It's this that I think is a bit of a shame. Any individual piano should stand on its own right regardless of make. A good piano is a good piano!!! But, their loss was my gain!!!


Edited by dynamobt (06/23/13 07:27 PM)
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1918 Mason & Hamlin BB





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#2106897 - 06/23/13 07:02 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: dynamobt]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1169
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
Hi Dyna,

Thank goodness you know, and can hear, the difference.
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C
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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#2106908 - 06/23/13 07:20 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Norbert]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1908
Loc: Suffolk, England
There is a suggestion in another thread in this forum (not the technician's as first stated - edit) that a Model O may lose its crown and downbearing if allowed to stand unplayed in Europe for 40 years. Would one of the world's finest pianos do that?


Edited by Withindale (06/24/13 02:16 AM)
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Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2106910 - 06/23/13 07:22 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Withindale]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7109
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: Withindale
There is a suggestion on the technician's forum that a Model O may lose its crown and downbearing if allowed to stand unplayed in Europe for 40 years. Would one of the world's finest piano do that?

Yes - It can happen to any brand, not just Steinway.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2106926 - 06/23/13 07:52 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Norbert]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21195
Loc: Oakland
I am convinced that there is more fraud than fact when people talk about loss of crown and downbearing.
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Semipro Tech

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#2106945 - 06/23/13 08:30 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Norbert]
SBP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/12/12
Posts: 258
My opinion is that Steinway is a remnant of a past era in piano building. While they were better than their competitors in the early 20th century (Lester, Chickering, Knabe, Mason and Hamlin, Chas. Stieff, Steinert, Vose, etc.), Steinway had the luck to survive the Depression and avoided getting taken over by Aeolian or AMPICO, which allowed them to keep on going as usual long after the other brands had died out. They are the ol' reliable of pianos, and this makes them desirable compared to the ever-improving Asian pianos or stodgy and/or obscure west-European pianos.

That being said, they are definitely one of the best. They just feel good to play when well prepped, and they always put a big dumb grin on my face (a hard feat, I assure you). I'm 90% it's just a placebo or an ego boost from playing "the best", but they are still amazing pianos.

It's also a shame that people ignore fine pianos like Mason and Hamlin or Petrof or Yamaha just because they're not Steinways. Steinways sell fairly well for their price-range, while [US] Baldwins, Bechsteins, Mason & Hamlins, and other high-end pianos just sit on the floor 'til they're marked down ridiculously low and maybe snatched up after more haggling. For example, I saw a late US Baldwin player grand in the front of a store that was marked from $40K+ down to $25K because it just wouldn't sell. Had it been a Steinway, I'm sure it would've flown out the door years ago.


Edited by SBP (06/23/13 08:35 PM)
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#2106956 - 06/23/13 09:00 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: SBP]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19199
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: SBP
My opinion is that Steinway is a remnant of a past era in piano building. While they were better than their competitors in the early 20th century (Lester, Chickering, Knabe, Mason and Hamlin, Chas. Stieff, Steinert, Vose, etc.), Steinway had the luck to survive the Depression and avoided getting taken over by Aeolian or AMPICO, which allowed them to keep on going as usual long after the other brands had died out. They are the ol' reliable of pianos, and this makes them desirable compared to the ever-improving Asian pianos or stodgy and/or obscure west-European pianos.

That being said, they are definitely one of the best. They just feel good to play when well prepped, and they always put a big dumb grin on my face (a hard feat, I assure you). I'm 90% it's just a placebo or an ego boost from playing "the best", but they are still amazing pianos.

It's also a shame that people ignore fine pianos like Mason and Hamlin or Petrof or Yamaha just because they're not Steinways. Steinways sell fairly well for their price-range, while [US] Baldwins, Bechsteins, Mason & Hamlins, and other high-end pianos just sit on the floor 'til they're marked down ridiculously low and maybe snatched up after more haggling. For example, I saw a late US Baldwin player grand in the front of a store that was marked from $40K+ down to $25K because it just wouldn't sell. Had it been a Steinway, I'm sure it would've flown out the door years ago.
I think you have many factual errors here.

In the early part of the 20th century, I don't think there is any factual basis for saying Steinway was better than Mason Hamlin and possibly some other makers you mentioned like Chickering.

I don't think Steinway and many other makers wee ever in danger being taken over by Aeolian.

Steinway sales and production have decreased quite dramatically in recent years so saying they sell fairly well is not so accurate. They certainly don't "fly out the door". It is true that the Steinway flagship store in Manhattan is apparently moving to another location.

Yamaha sells far more pianos than Steinway by probably more than a factor of 20. It is not true that Mason or the other brands you mentioned are marked down "ridiculously low" before getting sold. If this was the case, dealers wouldn't carry them. It is true that Steinways sell at a greater profit margin than other pianos.


Edited by pianoloverus (06/23/13 09:07 PM)

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#2106958 - 06/23/13 09:08 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Norbert]
zhengy4 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/22/12
Posts: 21
I had a D274 at my school, it was certainly awful, maybe due to lack of maintenance.

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#2106962 - 06/23/13 09:19 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: pianoloverus]
SBP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/12/12
Posts: 258
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I think you have many factual errors here.

In the early part of the 20th century, I don't think there is any factual basis for saying Steinway was better than Mason Hamlin and possibly some other makers you mentioned like Chickering.

I don't think Steinway and many other makers wee ever in danger being taken over by Aeolian.

Steinway sales and production have decreased quite dramatically in recent years so saying they sell fairly well is not so accurate. They certainly don't "fly out the door". It is true that the Steinway flagship store in Manhattan is apparently moving to another location.

Yamaha sells far more pianos than Steinway by probably more than a factor of 20. It is not true that Mason or the other brands you mentioned are marked down "ridiculously low" before getting sold. If this was the case, dealers wouldn't carry them. It is true that Steinways sell at a greater profit margin than other pianos.

Well, they were on the same level as Steinway, but it's honestly just apples-to-apples there.

Steinway did have business with Aeolian during the '20s when Aeolian installed Duo-Art players into Steinways and other brands (Stroud, Weber, Steck, etc.), most of which were eventually absorbed into Aeolian-American. I guess I wasn't clear on that last point. While Yamahas do sell more than Steinway, Steinway generally outsells Mason & Hamlin, Bechstein, Chas. Walter, and/or Fazioli. And I have seen with my own two eyes high-end pianos sitting on dealer floors for years and getting marked down considerably before any sale takes place. I was wrong on those other points, however.
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2012 Kawai K3

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#2106965 - 06/23/13 09:25 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Norbert]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7109
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: zhengy4
I had a D274 at my school, it was certainly awful, maybe due to lack of maintenance.

No, it's true, Steinway has never been in the same class as Ritmuller.
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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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#2106967 - 06/23/13 09:37 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Norbert]
Dara Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/18/09
Posts: 1021
Loc: west coast island, canada
"Those who are the most competent to judge, concede that the Steinway Piano is the best in the world; presenting to it's admirers a completeness, an artistic finality sought for in vain in other pianos."

Excerpted from a Steinway Ad that Marty posted last week.
Steinway is perhaps the finest piano company in the world in regards to smugness.

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#2106970 - 06/23/13 09:53 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Dara]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7109
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: Dara
"Those who are the most competent to judge, concede that the Steinway Piano is the best in the world; presenting to it's admirers a completeness, an artistic finality sought for in vain in other pianos."

Excerpted from a Steinway Ad that Marty posted last week.
Steinway is perhaps the finest piano company in the world in regards to smugness.

Ahem - The ad was from 1905. Hardly unlike any ads from the period for any product. Kitchen gadgets received the same glowing treatment.

Please remember, Norbert didn't set this up as a Steinway Bashing Thread, but the temptation seems to be insurmountable. For what end?

I do believe it is time to start bashing the bashers.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2106976 - 06/23/13 10:16 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Norbert]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14101
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Like the fact that judging by up to now, this is not exactly turning out the most boring thread to date.

But not sure yet if it's going to turn out "best ever"....

Norbert grin


Edited by Norbert (06/23/13 10:18 PM)
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#2106977 - 06/23/13 10:20 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Dara Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/18/09
Posts: 1021
Loc: west coast island, canada
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted By: Dara
"Those who are the most competent to judge, concede that the Steinway Piano is the best in the world; presenting to it's admirers a completeness, an artistic finality sought for in vain in other pianos."

Excerpted from a Steinway Ad that Marty posted last week.
Steinway is perhaps the finest piano company in the world in regards to smugness.

Ahem - The ad was from 1905. Hardly unlike any ads from the period for any product. Kitchen gadgets received the same glowing treatment.

Please remember, Norbert didn't set this up as a Steinway Bashing Thread, but the temptation seems to be insurmountable. For what end?

I do believe it is time to start bashing the bashers.


smile
Marty, you posted this ad, in which this statement was at the very beginning of your Steinway thread.

I don't notice a lot of Steinway bashing on PW. I have noticed several piano companies 'put through the wringer' on various occasions here on PW.
For myself, this is the first reference I've ever made to Steinway in my postings on PW.

Your bashing the bashers idea sounds brilliant.
frown wow

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#2106993 - 06/23/13 10:52 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Norbert]
RickG1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/09/10
Posts: 301
Loc: TX
After playing many wonderful Bosies, Bechsteins, Mason-Hamlins, and Bluethners, I can tell people that Steinway is one of many fine top tier pianos. But, it is certainly "not the only game in town". After all, I have one. :-)
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Mason-Hamlin "A"
Steinway "B"
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#2107006 - 06/24/13 12:15 AM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Norbert]
Hamburg-D Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/13
Posts: 513
In business, if you have a great product and no marketing, you have NOTHING!
You can make the best piano in the world in your garage but if you can't market it, you have nothing.

I don't see it so impossible that Steinway besides building what I feel is the most beautiful sounding piano, also happens to be a pure business and marketing genius!

This is very frustrating to the other manufacturers but not to all...

Steinway is only geared towards the customers who want and can afford the "best" (and want the name). This is a relatively a small portion of the entire piano market pool and perhaps less profitable due to the fact that the volume is not there.

Perhaps Yamaha and Kawai is happy being what they are. They sell ALOT more pianos per year and in the end, due to shier volume, they make way more money.

The problem is the manufacturers who are also trying to build the "best" piano. What they are learning is that simply building a great piano which may or may not be as good as a Steinway just isn't good enough. It's actually not even close.

For a competing company such as Bosendorfer to compete for Steinway's potential customers, they must penetrate the market which is an extremely hard task! It's like trying to compete with Facebook by making a new facebook but slightly better - NEVER GOING TO WORK!

Bosendorfer would have to pierce through the establishment of Steinway by not only making a great piano, but a piano that will just blow the doors off the Steinway. Side by side, the Steinway must feel, play, and sound like garbage compared. In addition, they will also have to spend loads of money on marketing to open the minds of the so-called brainwashed individuals such as myself to even try a Bosendorfer on the showroom floor and provide extremely price aggressive incentives. In other words, Bosendorfer (as an example) would have to make a piano at least 50% better and be 50% less expensive than a steinway to penetrate that market. A market which in fact is not all that profitable to begin with.
The truth is that most people are not making over 150k / year and can afford a Steinway. What's the average nowdays? 75k/yr? Majority of the public can and will only spend 10-20k on a piano, and Yamaha is happy to greet them with a fine instrument...

So why would Bosendorfer fight so hard in this endless uphill battle against the stigma, and in my opinion - the truth of a Steinway being an incredible instrument. In my opinion, they are trying to make a better piano, and in my opinion, they don't. It simply doesn't sound as good. Perhaps there are various patents which are prohibiting them from creating such sound via the technology, but why fight so hard, with very little chance of success, where they can make way more money, and have much better success if they just gear towards the general public and compete with Yamaha. Correct me if I'm wrong, but a person looking at a Yamaha is much more open minded about another brand than a person shopping for a Steinway...

To answer my question - pride. Although I've played Bosendorfer, Bechstein and haven't been blown away and the steinway always sat a bit higher in regards to my personal taste and the sound it produced, I have alot of respect for those companies. If they wanted to make alot of money and keep the investors happy, they can build a "Yamaha", but they want to build a great instrument.

In a way, this in my opinion keeps Steinway in check. Without competition, Steinway could easily start cutting corners on the manufacturing and increase profit, but they know those companies are lurking just waiting for Steinway to screw up.


It's human nature to speak harshly of No.1 In car racing - No.1 is always the cheater who has the cheater engine. Microsoft is an evil empire. But could it be that Steinway which is commonly considered as No1 by pianists and people who even don't play the piano can recognize the Steinway brand. Could it be that it's No.1 because it's simply great? Could the No.1 fastest driver in the race truly be the most talented???

I'm happy that this thread didn't turn into a Steinway bashing.
In the end, survival of the fittest will do the trick. Fittest piano, with the fittest marketing. An unfit piano with very good marketing would have NEVER lasted 150 years.

(what I present above are my opinions)

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#2107011 - 06/24/13 12:41 AM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Dara]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1169
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
Originally Posted By: Dara


I don't notice a lot of Steinway bashing on PW.



Oh Dara, I've bashed Steinway plenty. So have lots of people here.

Just not this last week, maybe.
_________________________
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1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C
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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#2107015 - 06/24/13 01:20 AM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Norbert]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14101
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
The problem is the manufacturers who are also trying to build the "best" piano. What they are learning is that simply building a great piano which may or may not be as good as a Steinway just isn't good enough. It's actually not even close.


From a German/European perspective I found this is not being necessarily true.

While there has always been a natural rivalry among the manufacturers, their markets and areas of influence - especially "locally speaking" - are long established.

Companies have learned over the years to respect each other.

Steinway may sell the most concert grands to world's stages, but Grotrian, Steingraeber, Sauter,Bluethner, Bosendorfer etc also sell all they [can] make.

In fact they seem more concerend to not imitate each other, trying to be more unique [if possible..] emphasizing on their own historical roots and identity instead.

Nobody there looks down on another one because these guys know full well there's "nothing to look down to"

Secretly they may mull "mine being finer than yours" but it's certainly not spoken out loud. Nor believed among themselves..

During piano shows you will often find these guys sitting together having a coffee or beer. Or at least shake hands and chat in the hallways.

Claims of supremacy are far less expressed over there because they know nobody would [easily] believe it.

These guys have been around a long time and know "who is who"
Their fathers, grandfathers knew each other and they've been at this game for a long time. Many of those who were trained by one end up working later for another....

In fact, traditionally speaking, there have always been established fan clubs for the Bluethner, Bechstein, Bosendorfer etc crowd.

"Live and let live", if you like.

"Vive la difference", is another...

Norbert smile


Edited by Norbert (06/24/13 01:37 AM)
_________________________
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Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#2107016 - 06/24/13 01:31 AM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Norbert]
Hamburg-D Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/13
Posts: 513
Originally Posted By: Norbert
Quote:
The problem is the manufacturers who are also trying to build the "best" piano. What they are learning is that simply building a great piano which may or may not be as good as a Steinway just isn't good enough. It's actually not even close.


From a German/European perspective I found this is not being necessarily true.

While there has always been a natural rivalry over there, companies have also learned over the years to respect each other.

In fact they seem most concerend to not imitate each other and emphasize on their own historical roots and identity instead.

Nobody there looks down on another one because these guys know full well there's "nothing to look down to"

Secretly they may mull "mine being finer than yours" but it's certainly not spoken out loud. Nor believed among themselves..

During piano shows you will often find these guys sitting together having a coffee or beer. Or at least shake hands and chat in the hallways.

Claims of supremacy is far less expressed over there because they know nobody there would believe it.

These guys have been around a long time and know "who is who"

Many of those who were trained by one end up working for the other.

In fact, traditionally speaking, there have always been established fan clubs for the Bluethner, Bechstein, Bosendorfer etc crowd.

"Live and let live", if you like.

"Vive la difference", is another...

Norbert smile


Interesting post. It makes me think maybe it's just the american public that is a die hard Steinway consumer. Maybe because it's so rare that this country is making a truly great product. If not for Steinway, all we are left with is Chevy and Ford hahahaha smile

God Bless America, we have our own BMW right here in town!!!!

Can anyone on this forum perhaps confirm Norbert's post that lives in Europe? Is the Steinway the end all be all over there? Also, on a personal note, how much demand do you guys have for a NY made Steinway having the NY sound? Do you guys "dig" this? smile

(this is like talking to aliens, wow!!! There is a different world apart from the USA? No WAY!!!!!)

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#2107025 - 06/24/13 02:07 AM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Norbert]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21195
Loc: Oakland
Originally Posted By: Norbert

Steinway may sell the most concert grands to world's stages, but Grotrian, Steingraeber, Sauter, Bluethner, Bosendorfer etc also sell all they [can] make.
...

Norbert smile


Steinway cannot sell all the pianos that they can make. Sometimes they have a backlog, and they reduce production. I suspect that is true of all of those other manufacturers as well. There is often more manufacturing capacity for high-end pianos than there are buyers.
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#2107052 - 06/24/13 04:41 AM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Hamburg-D]
bennevis Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 4739
Originally Posted By: noambenhamou
Can anyone on this forum perhaps confirm Norbert's post that lives in Europe? Is the Steinway the end all be all over there? Also, on a personal note, how much demand do you guys have for a NY made Steinway having the NY sound? Do you guys "dig" this? smile

(this is like talking to aliens, wow!!! There is a different world apart from the USA? No WAY!!!!!)


Steinway is undoubted the most popular piano brand amoung concert pianists in the UK and Europe, but many more pianists here will (prefer to) play other brands, if they have access to them. It's just that most concert venues have Steinways, and the access to servicing etc that Steinway provides.

When a festival venue acquired a Bösendorfer Imperial a few years ago, they had several calls from concert pianists asking to be included in their program. Long-established Steinway Artists have also taken the opportunity to play other brands in concert, including Yamaha, when they had the chance. Steinway doesn't have the same stronghold on their Artists the way it has in USA. And there are pianists who prefer Fazioli.....and so on.

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#2107080 - 06/24/13 06:50 AM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Norbert]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1703
Loc: London, England
On both sides of the Atlantic, much depends on the ranking and visibility of the venue. Nobody is going to stop an artist from getting work where they can.
_________________________
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

Eschew obfuscation.



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#2107151 - 06/24/13 11:22 AM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: BDB]
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2252
Loc: Huntington Beach, CA
Originally Posted By: BDB

Steinway cannot sell all the pianos that they can make. Sometimes they have a backlog, and they reduce production. I suspect that is true of all of those other manufacturers as well. There is often more manufacturing capacity for high-end pianos than there are buyers.


Steinway is ramping up production in Hamburg. They say their bottom line was negatively impacted last year since the Hamburg plant was not able to meet the demand.
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Gary Schenk

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#2107164 - 06/24/13 11:56 AM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: pianoloverus]
Thrill Science Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 513
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus


Steinway sales and production have decreased quite dramatically in recent years so saying they sell fairly well is not so accurate. They certainly don't "fly out the door". It is true that the Steinway flagship store in Manhattan is apparently moving to another location.



I got some "spam" from Steinway today announcing a big, blowout sale of pianos used during the Cliburn

http://www.steinwaypianos.com/piano-sale

So obviously they're not flying off the shelves.
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Robert Swirsky
Thrill Science, Inc.

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#2107172 - 06/24/13 12:18 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Plowboy]
Hamburg-D Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/13
Posts: 513
Originally Posted By: Plowboy
Originally Posted By: BDB

Steinway cannot sell all the pianos that they can make. Sometimes they have a backlog, and they reduce production. I suspect that is true of all of those other manufacturers as well. There is often more manufacturing capacity for high-end pianos than there are buyers.


Steinway is ramping up production in Hamburg. They say their bottom line was negatively impacted last year since the Hamburg plant was not able to meet the demand.


In your opinion, is there a relationship between increased production and reduction in quality control? In other words, now that they have to rush making more pianos, will the quality suffer?

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#2107179 - 06/24/13 12:25 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Plowboy]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1908
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: Plowboy
Originally Posted By: BDB

Steinway cannot sell all the pianos that they can make. Sometimes they have a backlog, and they reduce production. I suspect that is true of all of those other manufacturers as well. There is often more manufacturing capacity for high-end pianos than there are buyers.


Steinway is ramping up production in Hamburg. They say their bottom line was negatively impacted last year since the Hamburg plant was not able to meet the demand.

Any figures?
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2107183 - 06/24/13 12:36 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Norbert]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21195
Loc: Oakland
For some of the makes, you can check the serial numbers in the Piano Atlas for an approximation. The named manufacturers' production varies quite a bit from year to year.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2107190 - 06/24/13 12:50 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Thrill Science]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7109
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: Thrill Science
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus


Steinway sales and production have decreased quite dramatically in recent years so saying they sell fairly well is not so accurate. They certainly don't "fly out the door". It is true that the Steinway flagship store in Manhattan is apparently moving to another location.



I got some "spam" from Steinway today announcing a big, blowout sale of pianos used during the Cliburn

http://www.steinwaypianos.com/piano-sale

So obviously they're not flying off the shelves.

So obviously, if you received the "spam," you joined the mailing list from the DFW Steinway Halls.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2107192 - 06/24/13 12:55 PM Re: Steinway: world's finest? [Re: Thrill Science]
LFL Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/12
Posts: 69
I had the opportunity to talk with one of the Steinway brass at the Cliburn finals. They are "marketing" the Cliburn pianos (including those used at the host homes) as "limited edition", I believe. Not sure what is special about them, other than the potential historical significance. They might have a special marking.
_________________________
Shigeru Kawai SK5L

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