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#2151137 - 09/16/13 09:06 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
Withindale Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 2048
Loc: Suffolk, England
Joe, In summary I suppose you are saying, "Once a Steinway, always a Steinway".

Googling for rim manufacture in Hamburg I came up with this video and this New York Times article from 2003.

There was also this video of Emmanuel Ax playing both NY and Hamburg D's from the Carnegie Hall instrument bank.

Ten years ago Hamburg seemed to think New York had some way to go catch up. I imagine all this has been mentioned before but here is a link to the archive:

http://www.nytimes.com/ref/nyregion/PIANO_INDEX.html
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2151772 - 09/17/13 01:25 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: BerndAB]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2332
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
I don't think I have ever seen anything other than maple in a NY Steinway rim. I have serviced and rebuilt over a 1,000 different ones in my 40 plus year career.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2151925 - 09/17/13 07:28 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1228
Loc: Tennessee
[quote=Ed McMorrow, RPT]I don't think I have ever seen anything other than maple in a NY Steinway rim. I have serviced and rebuilt over a 1,000 different ones in my 40 plus year career.[/quo

Me neither. I have placed a 1915 rim, sans sound board, against the fence. It took almost 5 years for the laminations to begin separating, (in the rain and weather). They were all maple. I don't remember seeing anything in the Steinway lumber yard that would have been sufficient quantities of beech for rim use when I got a behind the scenes tour.
regards,

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#2151987 - 09/17/13 09:33 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
joe80 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1340
I guess that counts as pretty solid build quality then!

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#2152116 - 09/17/13 12:08 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: joe80]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1228
Loc: Tennessee

Originally Posted By: joe80
I guess that counts as pretty solid build quality then!


I agree. I thought the hide glue joints in the case would let go pretty quick, but nothing happened for the first two years outside. It makes me wonder why people get so upset about washing a piano case with soap and water.
Regards,

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#2152770 - 09/18/13 06:08 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
joe80 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1340
I clean my piano with disinfectant spray after teaching, and usually at least once after practising. I dampen a cloth with it so I'm not allowing it to drip into the keyboard and it's been fine.

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#2154156 - 09/20/13 01:12 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
Michael Sayers Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1230
Loc: Stockholms lšn, Sverige
I checked on the Steinway D that was used - it is a 1916 Steinway (which explains the very slight action noise audible in pianissimo playing). It is amazing that the hammers, now boxed away, still were and maybe even now are in such good condition.

I prefer the vintage American wine and gold colours which are sweeter and offer more heart, warmth and romance, than either the deep chocolate and bronze colours of the Hamburg hammers or the recent decades of the American hammers.

Something has been lost since 1940 or 1939 . . . or even 1950.


M.

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#2154206 - 09/20/13 04:59 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
joe80 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1340
do you think it's just the hammers that make the difference or do you think it's the whole piano? I'm sure the hammers are quite an important factor, but do you think that there could be other contributing factors?

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#2154611 - 09/20/13 04:53 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7407
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
FWIW and only MHO, pianos are stringed instruments played percussively. I play, or more accurately, used to play both violin and viola. We change strings regularly and don't consider our instrument a "new" brand; we select bows (hammers) independent of our instrument purchase. We replace bridges regularly; we move the sound post around for best sound. We replace the pegs, nut, tail piece, etc., on an as needed basis, and still consider our instrument the original make. What would we have to change to "spoil" our fiddle? Replace the front plate, ie, the soundboard. The front plate is carefully tuned, as is the back plate, and is the main ingredient giving each violin its distinctive timbre. With that in mind, I would suggest you could replace anything on a piano, with the exception of the soundboard, and still consider it "original."
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#2154629 - 09/20/13 05:12 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


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

With that logic, and I agree with your use of "original," contrary to S&S marketing, a piano rebuilt and re-boarded in the Steinway shops would also be a "Steinwas." However, that doesn't seem to be the point of contention.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2154648 - 09/20/13 05:52 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3485
Loc: US
But if the soundboard is replaced by the original maker (whether a violin or piano) is it not still the product of that maker? "Original" -- meaning all the original parts-- is not necessarily the same as the brand identification.

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#2154711 - 09/20/13 07:31 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7407
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
John,

With that logic, and I agree with your use of "original," contrary to S&S marketing, a piano rebuilt and re-boarded in the Steinway shops would also be a "Steinwas." However, that doesn't seem to be the point of contention.

It would be a rebuilt, but still a Steinway. If I could have my Andrea Guarneri fiddle rebuild by Andrea Guarneri, I'd consider it an original, but rebuilt. If rebuilt by someone else, then I guess I'd consider it firewood. Well, maybe not, but definitely no longer a Guarneri.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#2154730 - 09/20/13 08:14 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2332
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
The violin analogy has limits. The soundboard and back of a violin are carved to shape. A piano soundboard is glued to shape. If a Steinway soundboard looses its shape-it is a Steinwas. In this case the soundboard must be replaced to restore the original utility.

Steinway talks a lot about "building in tension". When that tension is destroyed by repeated cycles of significant humidity change-it goes away.

The proof is how does a piano sound and play and how long do those qualities endure with use.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2154732 - 09/20/13 08:22 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21811
Loc: Oakland
There was a time when top plates in violins were replaced. Today it is frowned upon, to say the least. That may happen with piano soundboards.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2154738 - 09/20/13 08:42 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
A number of years ago I believed that a rebuilt piano, with a new board, couldn't possibly retain the characteristics of the "original," and certainly not the signature sound of the maker. I have now played lots of rebuilt pianos, from various talented artisans, and their rebuilt pianos retain the essential qualities of the instruments whose name is on the fallboard.

Does this always happen? Of course not. With proper care, an Extonia needn't remain in exile, however. It can be brought back to "original."
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2154739 - 09/20/13 08:49 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
Keith D Kerman Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/03
Posts: 3341
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
This is such an effective marketing tactic I have to admit it is frustrating.

Even with the sophisticated folks here at PW, it sometimes works. Well, it can get in their heads a bit. It is really a shame, because the people who fall for this sales tactic are likely to buy an inferior instrument for a lot more money, and being stuck with it.

Don't pay attention to how the piano sounds. Don't pay attention to how the piano feels. Don't pay attention to how the piano performs. Don't pay attention to the service or warranty or support for the piano.

Boooo!!!!! You haven't even bought the piano yet.......think about selling it! Don't think about its performance, think about how some imaginary person in the future who also wont consider its performance might be scared of buying it from you because of all the scary stuff we are trying to convince you of!

If you don't like the performance of a piano, don't buy it. New, used, factory, custom, whatever. Doesn't sound good? Dont buy it. Doesn't play well? Don't buy it. Doesn't look good? Don't buy it. Bad service? Don't buy it. Bad warranty? Don't buy it.

If you like the performance of a piano, the support that comes with it, and you can afford it, that might be the piano that you will be happy owning. And guess what, that is how intelligent people buy pianos! And in the future, if you want to sell it, if it sounds good, looks good, performs well, and is priced fairly, an intelligent person will buy it!

The people who are scared away from this piano or that piano by sales pitches which take focus away from performance are not as numerous as the people who buy pianos based on performance within their budget.

Please. Don't be suckers ( sorry to use such a harsh word ) and buy a piano for reasons other than how it sounds, how it plays, how it looks, how it is supported and if you can afford it.
_________________________
Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales of vintage and pre-owned Steinway and Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Charles R. Walter, Brodmann, Feurich
www.pianocraft.net
http://www.youtube.com/user/pianocraftchannel/videos

keith@pianocraft.net 888-840-5460

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#2154790 - 09/20/13 10:51 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7407
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Marty, if you want to get down to the basic physics of the subject, the sound board is nothing more than a transducer, an impedance matching device, which takes the mechanical motion of the strings, via the bridge, and matches the impedance of the air (Fourier transforms, any one?). Important, however, is that mechanically, it matches a choke/capacitor combination in electrical circuits, and introduces frequency filtering. It's this filtering which gives each instrument it's unique signature (along with a couple thousand other variables). If I were rebuilding, I would attempt to reuse the original sound board it at all possible.

While the piano sound board is under tension, the violin is actual under a bit of tension as well. Obviously scaled way down. When you insert the post between the back and front plates, you introduce a very small amount of tension on the front plate. The back plate is a hardwood, usually cherry or equivalent. The front plate is a soft wood, usually a spruce variety. And as noted before, both plates are usually tuned to a resonance, on F and the other G. This gives the violin a really rich sound when playing in certain keys.

A major difference between the piano and violin, besides the method used to vibrate the strings, is how the bridge works. On a violin, the bridge works to transform horizontal string movement. The bridge pivots on one foot or the other, to impart a vertical motion to the sound board, which then acoustically couples the sound to the surrounding air. On a piano, the string motion is almost completely vertical, so the bridge is merely a coupling device, not a motion changing device (my college physics was nearly 50 years ago, so forgive me if I am faulty in some of the terminology).

Interestingly, on a grand, the back wave, which would cancel out the front wave, reflects off the hardwood floor and returns to either vibrate the sound board sympathetically or cancel certain frequencies. This is what happens on a violin. With a carpet underneath, the back wave is absorbed to a great degree, and the major sound component is coming off the top of the sound board. Would you believe, some genius in Tacoma, put a hardwood board under the piano, to duplicate the piano lid, but knew so little about physics as to not realize that he was perfectly cancelling out the bottom and top wave for most listeners. I went to a concert once, and the pianist was sweating gallons of perspiration to be heard, and the piano was almost silent!
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#2154794 - 09/20/13 11:08 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


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

I'm not arguing with you at all. All I wanted to interject was the concept of what 'rebuilt' is, rather than "original parts" or the use of the term "original." Nothing more, nothing less.

The discussion had been about soundboard replacement and if a rebuilt can match the same quality that the instrument was when it was first built. I believe that it can.

What the idiot in Tacoma did is irrelevant! And nobody is suggesting that a piano should use a soundboard for a case lid or a lid for a soundboard.

Violins and pianos are two different animals.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2154801 - 09/20/13 11:21 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7407
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Marty, I wasn't suggesting we disagreed at all. I was trying to expand on the topic and add some color and background information. As a player of both instruments, I find more similarities than differences.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#2154803 - 09/20/13 11:23 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Gotcha!
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#2154809 - 09/20/13 11:41 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Keith D Kerman Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/03
Posts: 3341
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
If I were rebuilding, I would attempt to reuse the original sound board it at all possible.


It is always possible to use the original board. It is not always possible to use the original board and get a good result. It is always possible to replace the board. The trick is knowing when to do which. To put it mildly, it takes a lot of experience and expertise with both approaches to be able to make a good decision.

Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
On a piano, the string motion is almost completely vertical, so the bridge is merely a coupling device,


The bridge has an enormous effect on the soundboard's impedance in addition to being a coupling device.
_________________________
Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales of vintage and pre-owned Steinway and Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Charles R. Walter, Brodmann, Feurich
www.pianocraft.net
http://www.youtube.com/user/pianocraftchannel/videos

keith@pianocraft.net 888-840-5460

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#2154928 - 09/21/13 09:14 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Keith D Kerman]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7407
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: Keith
The bridge has an enormous effect on the soundboard's impedance in addition to being a coupling device.

Of course it would. Anything touching a vibrating membrane affects it's impedance and thus colors the sound. Which is why bridge placement is so crucial on any stringed instrument. Master builders and rebuilders would be well aware of this and would apply their knowledge and critical hearing skills to proper bridge placement.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#2154934 - 09/21/13 09:28 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Keith D Kerman Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/03
Posts: 3341
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Originally Posted By: Keith
The bridge has an enormous effect on the soundboard's impedance in addition to being a coupling device.

Of course it would. Anything touching a vibrating membrane affects it's impedance and thus colors the sound. Which is why bridge placement is so crucial on any stringed instrument. Master builders and rebuilders would be well aware of this and would apply their knowledge and critical hearing skills to proper bridge placement.


Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
the bridge is merely a coupling device,


I was responding to this. I thought it was important to point out that the bridge is much more than just a coupling device. In addition to bridge placement, the varying stiffness of the bridge itself has an enormous effect on the soundboard's impedance. I was concerned that people were reading your statement and getting the wrong idea about how complex all of this is.
_________________________
Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales of vintage and pre-owned Steinway and Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Charles R. Walter, Brodmann, Feurich
www.pianocraft.net
http://www.youtube.com/user/pianocraftchannel/videos

keith@pianocraft.net 888-840-5460

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#2154935 - 09/21/13 09:35 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: joe80]
Michael Sayers Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1230
Loc: Stockholms lšn, Sverige
Originally Posted By: joe80
do you think it's just the hammers that make the difference or do you think it's the whole piano? I'm sure the hammers are quite an important factor, but do you think that there could be other contributing factors?

With new Steinway hammers installed and the original hammers now boxed up I am told that it sounds a lot like a lot like a contemporary production N.Y. Steinway - so maybe hammers are as important as anything.


M.

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#2154950 - 09/21/13 10:33 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Keith D Kerman]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7407
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: Keith D Kerman
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Originally Posted By: Keith
The bridge has an enormous effect on the soundboard's impedance in addition to being a coupling device.

Of course it would. Anything touching a vibrating membrane affects it's impedance and thus colors the sound. Which is why bridge placement is so crucial on any stringed instrument. Master builders and rebuilders would be well aware of this and would apply their knowledge and critical hearing skills to proper bridge placement.


Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
the bridge is merely a coupling device,


I was responding to this. I thought it was important to point out that the bridge is much more than just a coupling device. In addition to bridge placement, the varying stiffness of the bridge itself has an enormous effect on the soundboard's impedance. I was concerned that people were reading your statement and getting the wrong idea about how complex all of this is.


Keith, "complex" would be the understatement of the year!
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#2154964 - 09/21/13 11:00 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Withindale Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 2048
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
On a piano, the string motion is almost completely vertical, so the bridge is merely a coupling device, not a motion changing device (my college physics was nearly 50 years ago, so forgive me if I am faulty in some of the terminology).

It is now known that horizontal motion is not always insignificant and that longitudinal waves store most of the potential energy in a vibrating string.
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2155079 - 09/21/13 03:49 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Withindale]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7407
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
One shouldn't confuse horizontal with longitudinal. Look up longitudinal and transverse waves on wiki for an understandable presentation.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#2155086 - 09/21/13 04:00 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Withindale Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 2048
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
One shouldn't confuse horizontal with longitudinal.

Quite right. Please read what I wrote again.

Horizontal and Vertical Motion
- http://www.speech.kth.se/music/5_lectures/weinreic/motion.html

Longitudinal Waves and Potential Energy
- https://ccrma.stanford.edu/~jos/pasp/Longitudinal_Waves.html
- http://iopscience.iop.org/0143-0807/34/2/225/article

Note: copy and paste the Stanford longitudinal waves link into your browser, if necessary.


Edited by Withindale (09/21/13 07:40 PM)
Edit Reason: sample references
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2155886 - 09/23/13 12:26 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
pianosxxi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/21/08
Posts: 218
Loc: Southern California
Almaviva,

Your question is very important in this day and age for piano industry. Its important especially for those who invest huge deal to preserve our herigage and keep legacy alive.

To answer this fundamental question, we'll need to conduct series of scientific experiments and interpret them the right way.

Regarding SOUND

Today at my shop, with my fellow piano technicians we conduct a simple experiment to give you an example.

1. On a Steinway Model A3 that was rebuilt. We connect the center of the soundboard to the concrete floor with a stand using 12 tons jack and a block with a mute. The sound to our surprise was not effected, sustain remained the same.

2. We put a large foam material between soundboard and the beam that should have muted the sound. Unfortunately, nothing happened, the sound remained the same.

I have to admit that we don't have any electronic equipment that would catch the partial sounds and give you the whole envelope of the sound waves. Most likely nobody has this equipment. I'd like to see if someone does.

This should give you some understanding at what level we can talk about the sound of piano. Totally subjective!


Regarding PARTS & MATERIALS

Its very obvious that we are not able to match the materials used in the last century. In addition to that, all materials go through dramatic structural change with time, this could mean wood or cast iron. Unfortunately traveling to the past is still impossible.

I might be wrong, but from my experience the Steinway piano built around the unique Steinway cast iron plate. During many years of rebuilding hundreds of Steinways, I strongly feel that Steinway casting is so unique by design as well as their cast iron excellent quality. This may just be a key factor to determine the authenticity of Steinway piano. All Steinway cast iron plates carry Steinway trademark and the name of the company. More than it, if you look on the left bass section location of the plate, you can find the cast numbers that are all different on each piano.

It shows you that all Steinways are different.

At some point you have to come to conclusion that by the poor regulating, by wear and tear on piano parts and action. By condition of the hammer heads or condition of piano's soundboard as well as strings. You can completely be at loss when trying to identify true Steinway sound.

The question is: Who can rebuild vintage Steinway to make it a fine piano? It can be done by Steinway factory and it can be done by independent rebuilder. If you look back in history and observe Steinway production and especially their Crown Jewel collection of pianos. You will notice that Steinway is not just basic piano, but a custom piano. The same model, can be done in different designs and different finishing.

So what is Steinwas? It's an obsurd 'nickname' for a Steinway piano, most likely created by a Steinway dealer. Someone who is dishonest and eager to make quick buck and confuse potential piano buyer.
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#2155974 - 09/23/13 05:53 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
joe80 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1340
The short answer is, in marketing terms, a 'Steinwas' is any piano that was rebuilt/reconditioned using parts NOT from Steinway, even if the parts are known to function identically.

The real answer is, the Steinway is still the Steinway, and as long as it has been rebuilt well, it will sound excellent, whether it was rebuilt by Steinway or not.

Any Steinway before a certain time, I think 1935 or something, does not have the patented 'diaphragmatic' soundboard, so any time that Steinway install a diaphragmatic soundboard into a pre-1935 piano, they are deviating from the original design of that piano. It is now a modern Steinway in the old case, or thereabouts.

The question of whether rebuilding should strive to change and improve the original instrument, or strive to preserve the original design at all costs, is a matter of opinion and functionality, I guess.

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