Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5 >
Topic Options
#2149095 - 09/12/13 11:20 PM At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"?
Almaviva Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 606
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
This question is not confined to Steinways. It could apply to any older model of any respected piano marque - Steinway, Knabe, Grotrian, Mason & Hamlin, Steingraeber, whatever.

Probably the first piano parts needing replacement would be the hammers. Later on in the life of an instrument, the strings, the action, the soundboard, maybe even the plate would have to be replaced. Some other components might have to be replaced on extremely old or heavily-used pianos as well.

I was wondering which of these components (or combination of components) which, when replaced, would affect the touch and tone of the piano so much that the character of the original piano is lost, the name on the fallboard becomes meaningless, and the quality of the restorer's craftsmanship, parts and materials are all that matter.


Edited by Almaviva (09/13/13 06:06 PM)
Edit Reason: grammar

Top
(ads 568) Hailun Pianos

 

#2149107 - 09/12/13 11:34 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
terminaldegree Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 2729
Loc: western Wisconsin
This question has a few different answers, depending on whom you ask:

Are you asking a company's marketing/advertising department, a rebuilder, or a pianist?

fwiw, I don't think anyone has ever replaced a plate in a piano as part of a rebuilding job. In very rare cases, repairs of the plate have been done (you can read about that in the tech section here).

For me, the proof's in the playing: If it works well and sounds good, I support however it got to that point. There is a fundamental problem in your last question-- it's hard to tell how much the rebuilt piano deviated from the original, because the original piano (at the time of rebuilding) is so clapped-out that you can't really tell what the "character" of the instrument was in the first place...
_________________________
Pianist, teacher, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Casio px-200, Bechstein A190 #192939 @ home
Steinway A #585209, B #416809 @ work
Schimmel 130T #339100, on loan

Top
#2149126 - 09/13/13 12:17 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
jc201306 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/21/13
Posts: 42
I will say that the plate and the rim usually last the longest so you do not need to worry about replacing them. And then there is the sound board. Some love to keep the original one as much as possible. Others prefer a new one. There is no clear winner here. It all depends on the end result.

With the original plate, the original rim, the well restored original or a well matched new sound board, I will say the piano will retain most if not all if its sound quality. As for strings, actions, hammers, etc. They are expendables and you really want them to be new.


Edited by jc201306 (09/13/13 01:17 AM)

Top
#2149145 - 09/13/13 12:49 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: terminaldegree]
PianoWorksATL Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2726
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Originally Posted By: terminaldegree
fwiw, I don't think anyone has ever replaced a plate in a piano as part of a rebuilding job.
Well...that's not...exactly correct...If you ever visit, you'll get a rare story. Fitting a new plate is quite a job even when the factory shares precisely how.
_________________________
Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Weber & Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
www.PianoWorks.com
www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta

Top
#2149168 - 09/13/13 02:06 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21665
Loc: Oakland
Back to the original question: A piano changes its characteristics according to a variety of things, like aging, the person taking care of it, the amount of use that it gets, etc. It is not the same piano once it leaves the factory. Even before then, the final finishing work will vary according to who does it in the factory, and that may change again when the dealer's technician works on it, and again when the owner's tech works on it. So it is difficult to say when it crosses the line, if indeed there is one.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

Top
#2149170 - 09/13/13 02:22 AM 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: 3334
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
The whole "Steinwas" tactic is just a very aggressive fear based marketing campaign directed towards people who know very little about pianos. It is designed to distract the buyer from focusing on how the piano sounds and plays to get them to think about everything but the actual piano's performance.
One interesting thing about Steinway is that their perceived quality is so high that when a Steinway lover plays a good one, they say " now that's a real Steinway" regardless of whether it is new, used, custom, rebuilt, reconditioned, rebuilt with authentic parts and materials, rebuilt with new Steinway parts that greatly differ from the original parts, etc etc.
_________________________
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

Top
#2149234 - 09/13/13 06:59 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
Rich Galassini Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9291
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
I think Keith hit the nail on the head.

Preserving the integrity of a really fine instrument, no matter what the brand or model, takes knowledge, passion, and lots of hard work. A truly artistic result has little to do with having factory parts. In fact, many of the factory parts available today are not meant at all to be used in models whose designs have changed substantially over the years or do not even exist today.

Often the best choice for these pianos, no matter what the brand, are boutique suppliers who make parts specifically for use in some of these instruments.

Bottom line - a remarkable instrument is not guaranteed by using a particular line of parts. It is guaranteed by a set of decisions that are made with intent by a team of experienced craftsmen who have a very specific goal in mind.

For this reason, the rebuilder and their set of skills is as important as the instrument itself.

In short, it is not the tool in the hand, but the hand that holds the tool.
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
www.cunninghampiano.com

Top
#2149246 - 09/13/13 07:23 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Rich Galassini]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1183
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By: Rich Galassini
I think Keith hit the nail on the head.

Preserving the integrity of a really fine instrument, no matter what the brand or model, takes knowledge, passion, and lots of hard work. A truly artistic result has little to do with having factory parts. In fact, many of the factory parts available today are not meant at all to be used in models whose designs have changed substantially over the years or do not even exist today.
Often the best choice for these pianos, no matter what the brand, are boutique suppliers who make parts specifically for use in some of these instruments.
Bottom line - a remarkable instrument is not guaranteed by using a particular line of parts. It is guaranteed by a set of decisions that are made with intent by a team of experienced craftsmen who have a very specific goal in mind.
For this reason, the rebuilder and their set of skills is as important as the instrument itself.
In short, it is not the tool in the hand, but the hand that holds the tool.


Yea, what those guys just said! "Steinwas" is a term used by factory reps in an attempt to denigrate anything that they did not do. We don't usually see (if ever), an example from the Steinway restoration shop at the PTG yearly institute. We see jewels from Dale Irwin, Ron Nossaman, Chris Robinson, Ron Overs etc. But, I have never seen a restored factory job that would compete with the level of musical performance from the custom builders..


Edited by Ed Foote (09/13/13 07:24 AM)

Top
#2149281 - 09/13/13 08:28 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: terminaldegree]
Almaviva Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 606
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Originally Posted By: terminaldegree
This question has a few different answers, depending on whom you ask:

Are you asking a company's marketing/advertising department, a rebuilder, or a pianist?



This question is directed at rebuilders/restorers and pianists.

Top
#2149283 - 09/13/13 08:30 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10385
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
I'm no marketer, but I have played an awful lot of Steinwases, on stages, in faculty offices, and in peoples' homes. I have also played ex-Knabes in churches, and even a few Yamahahas. I don't think Almaviva is trying to denigrate anything, and his question should not be so easily dismissed.
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

Top
#2149286 - 09/13/13 08:38 AM 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: 3334
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
I hate dignifying such a lame marketing approach with another answer, but....oh well.

I would say if there was any merit at all to the term Steinwas, it would be a description of any Steinway that was nice at one point, but no longer is for whatever reason, be it wear and tear, exposure to a bad climate, or poor work done/ bad replacement part choices from the factory or from an independent tech.

In most of the above cases, the Steinwas can become a Steinwayagain if reworked by the right folks.

Of course, a lemon Steinway from the factory that gets reworked to become a great piano goes from being Steinwayonlyinname to NowImagreatSteinway.
_________________________
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

Top
#2149303 - 09/13/13 09:08 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
Rank Piano Amateur Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/07
Posts: 1786
I really like Keith Kerman's response on this.

Another perspective: Start with two pianos made by Steinway, both of which are being rebuilt.

One is being rebuilt by a firm that carefully measures and then orders new parts from a part-maker who replicates the parts that Steinway used to make the piano originally. When the rebuild is complete, the piano will be exactly what it was when it was made. (I am leaving the actual material on the hammers out of this equation, as it is my understanding that the material is often renewed and replaced over the life of the piano.)

One is being rebuilt by a firm that uses Steinway parts that work, but that are not the same specifications as the parts that were used in the original piano.

Which is closer to the original, if that is the goal? It is my understanding that rebuilds done at Steinway use the latter approach. Is this correct?

Top
#2149365 - 09/13/13 11:23 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Piano*Dad]
Almaviva Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 606
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
I'm no marketer, but I have played an awful lot of Steinwases, on stages, in faculty offices, and in peoples' homes. I have also played ex-Knabes in churches, and even a few Yamahahas. I don't think Almaviva is trying to denigrate anything, and his question should not be so easily dismissed.


Thanks for your support, Dad. smile

Piano*Dad got it exactly right. I'm not denigrating anybody's restoration work or any piano marque.

Take a hypothetical restored piano - a 1907 Chickering parlour grand, for instance. Depending on the quality of the restoration work, the resulting piano could be one of the following:
1) a substandard instrument;
2) a fine piano, but one that does not have the same touch and tone as the Chickering when it was new; or
3) a piano that plays and sounds the same (or very nearly identical) as when it left the Chickering factory in 1907.

I am just curious as to how extensive the repairs, parts replacement, etc. can be while still retaining the touch and tone of the instrument when it was new.

Top
#2149366 - 09/13/13 11:23 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: jc201306]
Michael Sayers Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1158
Loc: Stockholms län, Sverige
Originally Posted By: jc201306
As for strings, actions, hammers, etc. They are expendables and you really want them to be new.


I'm not so sure about the hammers being expendables. Many years ago I got to both play and record on a N.Y. Steinway D with the original hammers from many decades previous, and I've never played a Steinway that offered such a range of colours and effects (and the singing tone/sustain in the treble was glorious!). The piano was past its prime in terms of sound board and strings, the ultimate bass power was gone (and the bass had some noise in the tone as well thanks to the strings), but after that experience every other Steinway I've played by comparison just seems to have been lacking in range of colour.

Some of it may have been due to the piano technician who really knows how to voice hammers for more tone than attack in the sound.

He is holding on to those hammers in case I ever return and I don't think he would do this if any set of Steinway hammers can be made to give as much as any other set of Steinway hammers.


M.

Top
#2149393 - 09/13/13 12:03 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
joe80 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1246
Steinwas is merely a buzzword that Steinway use to indicate that any one part of the piano has been replaced with a non-Steinway part. OK, Steinway as far as I know don't make their own strings....

So, technically, if you replace the hammers on a Steinway with pattern hammers not bought from Steinways, then in Steinway's eyes, the piano becomes a Steinwas.

Of course, the Hamburg Steinway uses a renner action, but Steinway still sell the Steinway-renner parts, and as far as I know you can't buy these parts directly from renner themselves.

The question would be, how important are these parts to the sound and feel of the piano. Can you buy parts that function identically to the Steinway parts and achieve the same result?

I know that when Bluthner in London buy a grand with a patent action, they send it for rebuilding and the action and keyboard are replaced with a roller action and new keyboard to fit the new action. The piano is no longer a Bluthner patent action piano, but Bluthner will say that the piano is still a Bluthner. It isn't fitted with a 'Bluthner' action, but a renner. The fact is that their rebuilds are still Bluthners because they still sound like Bluthners.

I guess if the Steinway still sounds like a Steinway and still feels like a Steinway then, it's a Steinway. Sometimes the rebuilder will go beyond the original spec of the instrument and do something which, in their view, improves the piano. They will do things to make the piano sustain better, sing more, and be more responsive. Thing is, if that makes it a Steinwas (or a Bechwas or a Bluthwas), I don't care if the piano sounds amazing.

In the UK, Steinway don't actively denegrate another rebuilders work, it's not like in America, but they do say that they don't consider the piano a Steinway if it's been rebuilt with different parts. It's a sales thing. All of the pianos they sell have Steinway parts in them, and they want to maintain consistency. They don't sell pianos that have been restored by other workshops, and that's fine. They get the business.

I disagree that a Steinway rebuilt by someone else is no longer a Steinway. Have a listen to this Steinwas model D and see what you think. It was made in 2000 but dropped. It has been given a new soundboard, (not by Steinway), and a new action (Steinway).

The piano at this stage was very very newly rebuilt and so there were still some settling issues - some dampers needed regulated etc, and it still had to undergo some tuning, but it's a nice piano:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nneO7Rmb7do

Top
#2149397 - 09/13/13 12:06 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Michael Sayers]
joe80 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1246
Originally Posted By: Michael Sayers
Originally Posted By: jc201306
As for strings, actions, hammers, etc. They are expendables and you really want them to be new.


I'm not so sure about the hammers being expendables. Many years ago I got to both play and record on a N.Y. Steinway D with the original hammers from many decades previous, and I've never played a Steinway that offered such a range of colours and effects (and the singing tone/sustain in the treble was glorious!). The piano was past its prime in terms of sound board and strings, the ultimate bass power was gone (and the bass had some noise in the tone as well thanks to the strings), but after that experience every other Steinway I've played by comparison just seems to have been lacking in range of colour.

Some of it may have been due to the piano technician who really knows how to voice hammers for more tone than attack in the sound.

He is holding on to those hammers in case I ever return and I don't think he would do this if any set of Steinway hammers can be made to give as much as any other set of Steinway hammers.


M.


I used to be a total Hamburg Steinway fan, but you know what, the New York ones have really grown on me. They have a sweeter quality, they seem to have more colour, and a larger dynamic range, and although they have great power, they are also capable of sounding like a great singer.

Top
#2149420 - 09/13/13 12:27 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: joe80]
Voltara Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/09
Posts: 127
Originally Posted By: joe80
Thing is, if that makes it a Steinwas (or a Bechwas or a Bluthwas), I don't care if the piano sounds amazing.

Or a Yamahasbeen, an Extonia, a Shamberger, a Ravenscroft Nevermore...

Top
#2149442 - 09/13/13 12:52 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
joe80 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1246
Extonia! That's the best I've heard. Actually I know someone with an Extonia, it is a 1988 9' Estonia that had a new soundboard fitted in 2007. It went from being a rough as anything sounding piano to being absolutely sublime.

Top
#2149443 - 09/13/13 12:57 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Michael Sayers]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2193
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Michael,
I wrote a book for piano technicians that covered the differences between "original" Steinway hammers and the more modern versions.

The hammers you experienced most surely were made with mahogany wood and were trimmed on the sides to be tapered and slightly narrower than what is typical in newer Steinways. (And other brands too).

Lighter hammers return from the string quicker and this reduces their damping effect hence you experience more sustain. This is especially noted in the upper half of the keyboard compass. Also the impact noise of the hammer is reduced. Lower weight hammers exhibit reduce inertia which allows the pianist to input a wider range of velocity to the hammer. This increase dynamic range.

Back to the "Steinwas" topic now: Because Steinway started to use heavier hammers post WW2, Hamburg reduced the action leverage by moving the knuckle towards the hammer. NY followed suite in about 1984. I think all those pianos can be called "Steinwas"! For over 140 years Steinways had actions with some of the highest sum total leverage. Now they don't!
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

Top
#2149452 - 09/13/13 01:09 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Piano*Dad]
Keith D Kerman Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/03
Posts: 3334
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
I'm no marketer, but I have played an awful lot of Steinwases, on stages, in faculty offices, and in peoples' homes. I have also played ex-Knabes in churches, and even a few Yamahahas. I don't think Almaviva is trying to denigrate anything, and his question should not be so easily dismissed.



I don't think his question is being dismissed at all, I think that the marketing term Steinwas is being dismissed.

I am assuming that the awful lot of Steinways that you played that you are calling Steinwases were what you consider poor performing Steinways. Had you played all of these Steinways at another point in time where they were much better? Do you consider them Steinwases because they don't have what you consider to be the characteristic Steinway tone and touch? If this is the case, is it because of wear and tear, or bad work, or neglect, or bad original parts, or poor choices in replacement parts?
_________________________
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

Top
#2149454 - 09/13/13 01:10 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14139
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
I have always thought that most of the discussions as above are not all that conclusive.

First of all, there is a very different philosophy about Steinway sound explained by Steinway itself: Hamburg Steinways are explicitly explained offering different tone from New York version. It's usually explained as "European" versus "American" preference of sound.

At same time, the pianos feel different, sound different and their finish is different.

They use different parts and components,especially hammers. One is thought "complementing" the other: in Germany I always noticed that Steinway dealers talk less than complimentary about their U.S. made counterparts.

Another curious thing is that when discussing rebuilding and replacement parts for Steinway grands, they often include same parts as are in many new pianos today.

This is not to say that a rebuilt Steinway cannot be a formidable instrument, but without its name on fallboard few if anybody would perhaps consider going to the extent buying one.

As long as the discussions keep centering around "famous names" instead of on pianos themselves, less attention is given to an instrument's tone and quality.

And this is exactly where the fastest changes are happening in today's market.

Very inconvenient for some - opportunity for others and forever remaining in great denial for everybody else.

Just take your pick.

Norbert wink


Edited by Norbert (09/13/13 06:48 PM)
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

Top
#2149480 - 09/13/13 01:37 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Voltara]
Almaviva Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 606
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Originally Posted By: Voltara
Originally Posted By: joe80
Thing is, if that makes it a Steinwas (or a Bechwas or a Bluthwas), I don't care if the piano sounds amazing.

Or a Yamahasbeen, an Extonia, a Shamberger, a Ravenscroft Nevermore...


LOL. I love these names, Voltara!

Anybody else got some catchy names for rebuilt pianos?

Top
#2149483 - 09/13/13 01:39 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: 3334
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
Originally Posted By: Almaviva

Take a hypothetical restored piano - a 1907 Chickering parlour grand, for instance. Depending on the quality of the restoration work, the resulting piano could be one of the following:
1) a substandard instrument;


It would depend on how the piano was before the work was done and if the piano still retained an authentic Chickering voice and if the work permanently ruined the piano's ability to ever again have an authentic Chickering voice. If it still had an authentic vintage Chickering voice, but the work was otherwise mediocre, you have a mediocre Chickering.
Originally Posted By: Almaviva

2) a fine piano, but one that does not have the same touch and tone as the Chickering when it was new;


I think it is most important to retain the authentic vintage Chickering voice for it to still be a Chickering. If the touch is different, but more responsive, I think that is a good thing. If the touch is different but less responisive, or if the action is identical to original but doesn't play that great, it is a bad thing.
If the piano looks like the piano did originally but the voice is different, I call this a hybrid rebuild. If it still has a recognizable Chickering voice, it is still a Chickering.
Steinway takes the hybrid approach to their rebuilding. They essentially put a new Steinway into the old case. It still has a recognizable Steinway voice, but a new Steinway voice that is different than the vintage Steinway voice. This is a valid approach and some people prefer it. The focus is making an old instrument as much like a new instrument as possible rather than trying to rebuild the vintage instrument with the purpose of it having its authentic original voice and using more authentic parts and materials.

Originally Posted By: Almaviva
3) a piano that plays and sounds the same (or very nearly identical) as when it left the Chickering factory in 1907.


This is of course undeniably authentic. If all Chickering parts were used to achieve this result, great, but if materials and parts were sourced elsewhere that gave a more authentic result, that is obviously the priority.

Sometimes people want faithful restorations to make the piano as much like new as possible, warts and all. One of the nice things about having a chance to rebuild one of these pianos is that there are usually some areas that can benefit from a but of tweaking. If the original design had a weak note amidst strong notes, it is nice to be able to get the weak note closer in performance to the stronger notes, even if this is not really authentic to the piano's original design. Pianists always prefer this.
There is certainly a point at which all of the tweaking and custom work can change the sound of the piano to no longer have the authentic voice. If the piano's original voice is worth preserving, I think it should be.

Ultimately, if the people who own the piano are happy with it, that is what matters most, whether it is an authentic rebuild, hybrid rebuild, custom rebuild etc etc.
_________________________
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

Top
#2149495 - 09/13/13 01:55 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10385
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Quote:
Do you consider them Steinwases because they don't have what you consider to be the characteristic Steinway tone and touch? If this is the case, is it because of wear and tear, or bad work, or neglect, or bad original parts, or poor choices in replacement parts?


Yes ... smile

I'm sure much of it was simple aging and lack of proper and ongoing maintenance. But some of it might very well have been poor/incomplete rebuilding work. I would not use the term to describe poor initial quality off the factory floor.

And like others here, I did not think of the term as restricted to one brand. Maybe that's the issue. I'm thinking of the term more generally, and not in the very specific marketing way that immediately strikes others. Separated by a common language!
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

Top
#2149523 - 09/13/13 02:44 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
Michael Sayers Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1158
Loc: Stockholms län, Sverige
Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
Michael,
I wrote a book for piano technicians that covered the differences between "original" Steinway hammers and the more modern versions.

The hammers you experienced most surely were made with mahogany wood and were trimmed on the sides to be tapered and slightly narrower than what is typical in newer Steinways. (And other brands too).

Lighter hammers return from the string quicker and this reduces their damping effect hence you experience more sustain. This is especially noted in the upper half of the keyboard compass. Also the impact noise of the hammer is reduced. Lower weight hammers exhibit reduce inertia which allows the pianist to input a wider range of velocity to the hammer. This increase dynamic range.

Back to the "Steinwas" topic now: Because Steinway started to use heavier hammers post WW2, Hamburg reduced the action leverage by moving the knuckle towards the hammer. NY followed suite in about 1984. I think all those pianos can be called "Steinwas"! For over 140 years Steinways had actions with some of the highest sum total leverage. Now they don't!


Why pursue a losing formula though with the reduced leverage and inferior hammers? Maybe there is a simple explanation or maybe it is in your book, and the book still is commercially available?


M.

Top
#2149533 - 09/13/13 02:59 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10385
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Originally Posted By: Almaviva
Originally Posted By: Voltara
Originally Posted By: joe80
Thing is, if that makes it a Steinwas (or a Bechwas or a Bluthwas), I don't care if the piano sounds amazing.

Or a Yamahasbeen, an Extonia, a Shamberger, a Ravenscroft Nevermore...


LOL. I love these names, Voltara!

Anybody else got some catchy names for rebuilt pianos?


How about Grotrianot.
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

Top
#2149534 - 09/13/13 03:03 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14139
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
The reason why the discussion about "original Steinway hammers" is IMHO somewhat moot based on perhaps by another interesting fact:

I know from several European/German rebuilders that obtaining an identical or 'near identical' set of Renner hammers made exclusively for Hamburg Steinway is considered highest trophy for rebuilding instruments in general..

Even if these pianos are not Steinways, but include others such as Bechstein, Bluethners etc.

Nobody I have ever spoken to however, has ever shown the slightest interest to order those hammers exclusively used for New York Steinway.

It's not exactly that there is no rebuilding going on in Europe or people there not knowing a bit about the different hammers available on market.

it just could be that all the talk about "original hammers" is less important than meets the eye.

Er...."ear"

Norbert smile


Edited by Norbert (09/13/13 06:52 PM)
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

Top
#2149555 - 09/13/13 03:44 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Norbert]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1777
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Originally Posted By: Norbert
The reason why the discussion about "original Steinway hammers" is mute is...


You mean "moot," don't you?

Tried to send a PM but the box is full.
_________________________


"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

Top
#2149575 - 09/13/13 04:12 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Norbert]
Michael Sayers Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1158
Loc: Stockholms län, Sverige
Originally Posted By: Norbert
The reason why the discussion about "original Steinway hammers" is mute is based by another interesting fact:

I know from several European/German rebuilders that obtaining an identical or 'near identical' set of Renner hammers made exclusively for Hamburg Steinway is highest trophy for rebuilding of their instruments.

Even if these pianos are not Steinways, but others such as Bechstein, Bluethners etc.

Nobody I have ever spoken to however, has ever shown the slightest interest to order those hammers used for New York Steinway.

They certainly "could" if wishing to do so.

Perhaps someone here can contradict this and cite a contradictory case from the other side of the ocean.

It's not exactly that there is no rebuilding going on in Europe or people there not knowing a bit about the different hammers available on market.

Having said this, could someone be perhaps interested in a Hamburg Steinway expertly rebuilt with entirely different, i.e. "German" hammers?

Ask yourself.

Norbert


I think what is being discussed are pre-1984 Steinway hammers, not hammers manufactured by Renner.

I would be happy to have a set of those Steinway (not Renner!) hammers, and also the higher leverage action as well that goes with those hammers.

That N.Y. Steinway D I played and recorded on was tremendous!

p.s. - I think it might have been more than just an immediately pre-1984 Steinway hammer design. This piano had the kind of sound one just doesn't hear except on recordings from the 1930s through the 1950s (with some N.Y. Steinway recordings 1960s-70s still sounding like that).


M.

Top
#2149595 - 09/13/13 04:44 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 Friend of mine had his 1916 NYC-A III rebuilt by London S&S in 2004. NYC hammers, strings, and action parts were used. It still sounds like a NY instrument and not a Hamburg. No attempt was made to change the piano into something it isn't. It is a very beautiful piano.
_________________________________________

Any piano becomes a "Was" when it has been beaten to death or is simply old. "Steinwas" is nothing more than marketing because Steinway's primary competitor is a non-Steinway rebuilt Steinway. They are trying to capture the rebuilding market, nothing more, nothing less.

(I think "Extonia" is brilliant!)
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

Top
Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5 >

Moderator:  Ken Knapp, Piano World, Rickster 
What's Hot!!
8 Live Ragtime Piano Players on the Cape!
-------------------
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
New Topics - Multiple Forums
YAMAHA U1E polished mahogany
by CYBERSPRITE
19 minutes 49 seconds ago
What did you play tonight?
by Johan B
23 minutes 3 seconds ago
Novice in love with Kawai and seeking advice!
by Ellisande
29 minutes 42 seconds ago
SF Symphony pianist at Steingraeber recital / reception
by master88er
Today at 03:31 PM
Ferdinand "???" Piano from Vienna?
by TheloniousPunk
Today at 02:20 PM
Who's Online
151 registered (accordeur, alfredo capurso, anamnesis, 37 invisible), 1581 Guests and 14 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
76631 Members
42 Forums
158446 Topics
2326886 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission