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!

Gifts and supplies for the musician
SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
Ad (Piano Sing)
How to Make Your Piano Sing
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
Who's Online
129 registered (alans, 36251, Alexander Borro, ALEXANDER DYKER, 32 invisible), 1568 Guests and 19 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
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 & Music Accessories
*Music School Listings
* 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
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Pianos
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: 622
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: 2818
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 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2771
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 Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21905
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: 3347
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: 9396
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: 1237
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: 622
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: 10422
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: 3347
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 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/07
Posts: 1793
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: 622
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 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1278
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: 1437
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: 1437
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 Online   content
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: 1437
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: 2409
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: 3347
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: 14262
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: 622
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: 3347
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: 10422
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 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1278
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: 10422
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: 14262
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: 1834
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 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1278
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
#2149598 - 09/13/13 04:47 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Michael Sayers]
Keith D Kerman Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/03
Posts: 3347
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
Originally Posted By: Michael Sayers


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.


I am beyond delighted that you wrote this. To me, that is the Steinway sound. The sound you hear on recordings from the 30s through 50s by Horowitz, Kapell, Fleisher, Van Cliburn, Rubinstein, Gould, I could go on and on.

This is the authentic, real Steinway sound. Sweet and growling and colorful. Thank you so much for your post. The sound of Horowitz's piano in the fugue from the Barber sonata, is my recorded reference for this.
_________________________
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
#2149618 - 09/13/13 05:33 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Michael Sayers]
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3489
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: Michael Sayers
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.


Michael,
Can you post a link to your recording on that piano?

Thanks!

Top
#2149641 - 09/13/13 06:03 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Piano*Dad]
Almaviva Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
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?


LOL. Very good, Dad. The only ones I could think of were "Bluthner Blunder" or "Hairy Baldwin". sick


Edited by Almaviva (09/13/13 06:04 PM)

Top
#2149647 - 09/13/13 06:13 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
Jean Claude Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 393
Loc: France


Bösenduffer?

Top
#2149653 - 09/13/13 06:23 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3489
Loc: US
Byebyebach ?

Top
#2149657 - 09/13/13 06:23 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
Jean Claude Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 393
Loc: France


Or for those in the UK, Welmarred, Beknighted or Challenged.

Top
#2149660 - 09/13/13 06:29 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
dynamobt Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 737
Loc: NH
Mason & Hemlock??
_________________________
1918 Mason & Hamlin BB





Top
#2149669 - 09/13/13 06:48 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
Jean Claude Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 393
Loc: France


Or perhaps Mason and Has-Been.

Top
#2149739 - 09/13/13 10:54 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
Swarth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/28/11
Posts: 386
Loc: SF Bay Area Ca.
Love the names...
Baldlose
Knobe
Bosenosir
Samsuck..oh never mind
_________________________
Quid est veritas et mendacium, cum orbis terrarum.

Top
#2149808 - 09/14/13 01:37 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: sophial]
Voltara Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/09
Posts: 127
Originally Posted By: sophial
Byebyebach ?

Very nice. We also have the Charles R. W-altered, the Young Changed, and let's not forget the Humbug Steinway.

Top
#2149818 - 09/14/13 01:51 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Norbert]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2409
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Norbert,
Have you ever installed and tone-regulated a set of new hammers on a Steinway?
I mean do the work yourself?

I do find your constant Eurocentric refrain tiresome.

The "classic" Steinway had lighter hammers and higher action leverage than most pianos made today including Steinways both Hamburg and NY. The present NY hammer is typically slightly lighter and has less dense felt than the Hamburgs.

If one seeks the "original" Steinway tone-you must employ a technician who is skilled in tone regulation by hammer shaping and stiffening. Mind you factory new Hamburgs and NY can sound and play very well-they just are not as robust as the older style tone. Hence you have salesmen and technicians referring to a particular piano as a "chamber" instrument if the tone is not as loud-and a "Concerto" instrument if it is loud, (and almost impossible to play softly).
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

Top
#2149829 - 09/14/13 02:10 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
Withindale Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 2089
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
The present NY hammer is typically slightly lighter and has less dense felt than the Hamburgs.

Out of curiosity, what would happen if you swapped the hammers between a NY and a Hamburg sitting side by side? Would the Hamburg sound like a NY and vice versa?
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

Top
#2149876 - 09/14/13 06:15 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: sophial]
Michael Sayers Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1278
Loc: Stockholms län, Sverige
Originally Posted By: sophial

Michael,
Can you post a link to your recording on that piano?

Thanks!


At one time most of these recordings were available, but eventually these and all later recordings became unavailable for various reasons. In the future I hope to revisit that piano with these hammers reinstalled. By then it should have been restrung so that the bass strings won't put any noise into the tone.

It is in the U.S. and I live in Sweden, and after one particularly negative experience with the T.S.A. I stopped flying to the U.S. and have not been back since as I am not going to answer inappropriate personal questions so that I can have permission to get into the country (U.S.A.) where I am a citizen. My hope and assumption is that at some date in the future the T.S.A. won't be around any longer.

In addition I have a very big fear that somehow I will get "stuck" in the U.S. even though I reside with obligations over here in Sweden, and I am not going to take a chance on this happening.

I still remember the story about that U.S. citizen who was flying from Japan to the mainland U.S. and got stuck in Hawaii!

I really do hate being confined to this side of the Atlantic.

One day, hopefully, things will have gone back to the way they used to be, and then I'll rerecord with that piano and the boxed away for now hammers!


M.

Top
#2149892 - 09/14/13 07:18 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Rich Galassini Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9396
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty

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,

I don't think that the factory is trying to capture the rebuilding market as much as they are trying to eliminate this true competition for their new product. They are putting precious little resources in that direction and IMHO, if the factory were near capacity they would not be doing it at all, unless they reopened their rebuilding facility. Doing rebuilding right alongside new production is less than ideal at best.

As an example, the last three clients of mine that chose one of our rebuilt Steinway pianos had also shopped new Steinway in their respective markets.

PS - I also love "Extonia".
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
www.cunninghampiano.com

Top
#2149941 - 09/14/13 09:45 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
Hence you have salesmen and technicians referring to a particular piano as a "chamber" instrument if the tone is not as loud-and a "Concerto" instrument if it is loud, (and almost impossible to play softly).

Have you ever played a S&S-D, Hamburg or NY? I would guess not.

Your classification of the difference between "Chamber" and "Concerto" is odd at best. They are musical and compositional styles and not piano distinctions.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

Top
#2149959 - 09/14/13 10:44 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Rich Galassini Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9396
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
Hence you have salesmen and technicians referring to a particular piano as a "chamber" instrument if the tone is not as loud-and a "Concerto" instrument if it is loud, (and almost impossible to play softly).

Have you ever played a S&S-D, Hamburg or NY? I would guess not.

Your classification of the difference between "Chamber" and "Concerto" is odd at best. They are musical and compositional styles and not piano distinctions.


Marty,

I understand Ed to be referring to the variability of performance from piano to piano that Steinway had issues with for some time and the way they were described to the public by salespeople.
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
www.cunninghampiano.com

Top
#2149968 - 09/14/13 11:12 AM 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
Rich,

The distinction between the two is more of tonal structure which would be appropriate for a given type, and era, of music rather than volume level. Mr. McMorrow made a blanket statement with which I don't agree. If one is speaking of volume level and projection, it should be stated in those terms. There is no such thing as a "Concerto" piano. Being appropriate for the performance of any given concerto is a totally different concept.

My biggest concern with Mr. McMorrow's statement was the part that I emphasized in bold typeface. I could have just as easily used a Steingraeber E-272 as an example. Fine, full length pianos are not at all "almost impossible to play softly." To say so in a sales transaction would be totally misleading.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

Top
#2149969 - 09/14/13 11:13 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Rich Galassini]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2409
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Exactly Rich! Thanks.

I should have referenced the descriptions as coming from Steinway representatives.

And yes Marty, I have played, and serviced both Hamburg and NY flavors. Thanks for asking though!
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

Top
#2149975 - 09/14/13 11:21 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Withindale]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2409
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
There are other differences between the pianos that varied over time. I only know of some of them. So swapping hammers will not completely swap tone. This is true of any two pianos. Each piano has it's own sound but the distinctions can get pretty fine between them. And much of the difference is action feel.

Properly tone-regulated the typical softer lighter NY hammer will be more stable over use. It will brighten up less and be more capable of being adjusted for wear related brilliance compared to typical Hamburg.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

Top
#2150010 - 09/14/13 12:05 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Voltara]
BerndAB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/10
Posts: 545
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: Voltara
Originally Posted By: sophial
Byebyebach ?

Very nice. We also have the Charles R. W-altered, the Young Changed, and let's not forget the Humbug Steinway.


Better a W-altered than a W-atered...

I'll think about to rename my ex Steinwas ex Strad as a TenCentDenial...
_________________________
Pls excuse any bad english.

D 1877 satin black plain

Top
#2150017 - 09/14/13 12:19 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: 14262
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
Norbert,
Have you ever installed and tone-regulated a set of new hammers on a Steinway?
I mean do the work yourself?



Not myself but some of the technicians we had brought before form Germany. Still remembering how difficult it was to get authentic hammers for Hamburg Steinways.

One of the suppliers even changed colour of the underfelt not to be caught - they were making these hammers, they had "exclusive" contract...

And this particular tech had very special relationship with that company..

The results later were pehomenal.

Still have letters by the customers thanking one particular tech [well known person..] profusely.

It's not a contest Ed.

Have no doubt you achieve great results with your own work.

Today we don't rebuild at all and concentrate on those new pianos with all "the right stuff" inside - to begin with.

Let's all do the best for our customers without being religeous about things.

Mind you, I find much more "religion" being preached on this side of the ocean than the other...

Norbert wink


Edited by Norbert (09/14/13 12:43 PM)
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

Top
#2150032 - 09/14/13 12:56 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
Withindale Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 2089
Loc: Suffolk, England
Thanks, Ed. So there's a bit more to turning a Hamburg into a New York than switching hammers; as, no doubt, Mr Paulson and his team are about to discover. Let's hope any "Steinwas" event is confined to LVB shares.


Edited by Withindale (09/14/13 01:02 PM)
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

Top
#2150531 - 09/15/13 01:02 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
joe80 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1437
Ian, I think that the USA and Hamburg build basically the same piano in terms of size and measurements, they use the same plate and soundboard, but the construction of the rim is different. I seem to remember that the US steinway uses alternating wood types which makes the rim either softer or harder in comparison to the German one. Can't remember which way round it is! Also the Hamburg does not use the accelerated action so it has a completely different touch.

There are those who say the Hamburg is stronger built, I'm not sure if that's true. Both are excellent pianos, the Hamburg seems clearer and brighter, the new York seems warmer and darker with more sustain. I'm not sure what I prefer, I think its great there's a choice. I could be persuaded to buy a new York D if I had the cash! Stephen Hough says the American steinway is his favourite, although I know many who seem to prefer Hamburg.

I would quite like a pianocraft steinwas if the funds were available, even if it had to say 'pianocraft' on the lid. I don't know exactly what he does to rebuild, but the sustain and singing tone I hear in his videos.... Not a dry se..... Eye on the house!

Top
#2150541 - 09/15/13 01:27 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3489
Loc: US
joe, I think it's actually the other way around-- New York Steinway has used hard rock maple in their rims and Hamburg used to use alternating wood types, I believe. I think they may have switched to the NY style rim now? not sure about that. The New York rims are about as solid as tanks and time-tested-- I doubt there is much that is stronger out there.

Top
#2150547 - 09/15/13 01:56 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
joe80 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1437
Ah ok, well I knew one was different. When I say some people say the Hamburg is stronger, read "I have no idea of the facts but pianists in Europe are biased to the Hamburg and say the new York piano is weaker"

Pianists say many things, and all we really know is whether we like one piano or not, we generally don't know how to build them! Horowitz preferred NY, Glenn Gould preferred that one particular piano, Uchida has four Hamburg steinways. Im listening to Horowitz right now and thinking that his sound is just sublime. There aren't really that many new York steinways in Britain sadly. There is always at least one in steinway hall in London, which is company policy.

Top
#2150590 - 09/15/13 03:29 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3489
Loc: US
I think of the characteristic NY sound as having more color and depth and the Hamburg as having more clarity and brilliance-- rather than "stronger" or "weaker". BUt of course individual pianos can be voiced very differently, and the build is very similar- certainly not weaker in NY.

Top
#2150644 - 09/15/13 05:04 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: 1237
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By: joe80
Also the Hamburg does not use the accelerated action so it has a completely different touch.


Greetings,
This is news to me. I mean, about the accelerated action being completely different. I have yet to find a pianist that recognizes the difference in fulcrum shape in these pianos. It doesn't make that much difference in comparison to other factors between the two.
Regards,

Top
#2150656 - 09/15/13 05:16 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: 14262
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
Also the Hamburg does not use the accelerated action so it has a completely different touch.



Hamburg Steinway have without doubt one of the "most accelerated" actions imaginable. It's a piano used on virtually every concert stage outside the U.S.

This is not where I would see the difference, it's definitely more with sound.

Er.."sound preference" meaning...

Norbert wink
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

Top
#2150676 - 09/15/13 05:52 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
BerndAB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/10
Posts: 545
Loc: Germany
Regd. rims:

to my knowledge the old US rims were made of alternating maple and birch untile the 1920ies.

That was at a time when the outer and inner rim were fabricated separately and then glued together. They then had the idea to glue the whole L shape rim in one piece, but when they started to test this procedure, they found out many cracks.

They got it at last, when they omitted the cheaper birch layers and made the whole rim of maple only.
_________________________
Pls excuse any bad english.

D 1877 satin black plain

Top
#2151059 - 09/16/13 04:58 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
joe80 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1437
Hi Norbert, and Ed Foote.

I mean the 'accelerated action' as in the name that Steinway give to their piano action in America. Certainly I don't mean that the Hamburg Steinway has a slower action than the US counterpart. If it did, then Hamburg would have switched over! The keys rest at a slightly different angle on the NY Steinway etc. A man in Steinway Hall in London showed me the differences when he had a NY Steinway to recondition for a customer, but I can't remember off hand all the differences. I do know they feel different, and I certainly feel the difference between the two pianos. However, there are differences between ANY two pianos, so that probably has more to do with it.

Yes Norbert, I know the differences are more to do with tone. In fact, in Steinway Hall in the UK about four or five years ago, there was a New York D in the C and A dep, and they fitted it with a Hamburg action. I don't know why they did that, they probably made the decision for reasons of servicing the piano - perhaps it was easier for them to have all the pianos the same. Anyway, this piano was still most definitely a New York Steinway, even with the Hamburg parts on it.

The New York/Hamburg question might not seem so relevant to the OP's question, but actually if you think about it, at what point does a Steinway become a Steinwas? Well, there are two Steinways anyway, and some of them are Hybrid between the two factories, so Steinway themselves make changes that don't follow the original intentions of the instruments at times.

The CEO at Bluthner said to me 'Yes, this piano has been rebuilt, but the one thing you can't really change is that it's a Bluthner. The fundamental design of the piano has a lot to do with its character'

A sales rep at Steinway also said to me 'No matter what, you can't make a Bechstein into a Steinway or vice versa, the Steinway will still be a Steinway. It might be better or worse than it was originally, but it is still a Steinway piano. You can't really get away from that'.

Sophial, certainly I don't believe one is stronger than the other, but the perception of pianists - which unfortunately is often based on prejudice rather than experience - has been that one is better built than the other. Depending on who you talk to it could be the Hamburg or the NY. I'm pretty certain that they're all built to one quality standard, and what the pianist is actually feeling is a greater or lesser degree of preparation.

Many pianists are pretty closed minded when it comes to pianos. They don't realise the impact that regulation and set up have on a piano's performance. They see 'good' and 'bad' pianos. I played a perfectly set up Pearl River baby grand recently, and it was nice to play. It wasn't the best piano in the world but there was nothing wrong with it. I played the same model that hadn't been set up well and it was horrible. The same thing happens with Steinways and any other pianos. The piano factory makes the instrument, but then it takes a great technician to really make the piano work well. We should have much more respect for our techs and trust their ears and hands more than we do. Of course, another problem is that many pianists (not the top touring pianists) are just not that subtle when it comes to their touch, and so what they perceive to be problems in the piano are actually problems in their technique. I have found some pianos very difficult and heavy to play, but even these pianos, if you approach them in the right way, are capable of a good response. It's just that it's far more tiring on a poorly set up instrument.

Top
#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: 2089
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)

Top
#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: 2409
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

Top
#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: 1237
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,

Top
#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: 1437
I guess that counts as pretty solid build quality then!

Top
#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: 1237
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,

Top
#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: 1437
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.

Top
#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: 1278
Loc: Stockholms län, 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.

Top
#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: 1437
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?

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

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7417
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

Top
#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.

Top
#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: 3489
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.

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

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7417
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

Top
#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: 2409
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

Top
#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: 21905
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

Top
#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.

Top
#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: 3347
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

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

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7417
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

Top
#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.

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

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7417
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

Top
#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.

Top
#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: 3347
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

Top
#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 Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7417
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

Top
#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: 3347
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

Top
#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: 1278
Loc: Stockholms län, 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.

Top
#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 Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7417
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

Top
#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: 2089
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)

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

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7417
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

Top
#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: 2089
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)

Top
#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.
_________________________
Gene Korolev, RPT
President, Master Piano Rebuilder

PIANO SOLUTIONS XXI
Exclusive Piano Restoration, Custom Piano Design and Sales
http://www.pianosxxi.com | http://www.custompianodesign.com
Contact: 818.503.0800

Top
#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: 1437
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.

Top
#2155991 - 09/23/13 06:37 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
Withindale Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 2089
Loc: Suffolk, England
Joe, yes I agree but what about improvements to a new piano? Signor Fabbrini's Steinway D's for instance.

What if someone were to put additional braces in the frame like those in the Fazioli 278 perhaps in an attempt to reduce the "saturation" effects at fff/ffff that Kalee reported when comparing a Hamburg with a Steingraeber?


Edited by Withindale (09/23/13 04:51 PM)
Edit Reason: Editing
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

Top
#2156651 - 09/24/13 05:05 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
joe80 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1437
Now, could someone tell me what exactly what Signor Fabbrini does to his Steinways? I think they are made like that in the Hamburg factory for him, aren't they? Also they say Steinway/Fabbrini on the side so they are double named pianos.

I suppose the question is really a philosophical one - what makes a Steinway a Steinway? What makes a New York or a Hamburg Steinway? What makes an 1890 Steinway, a 1950 Steinway, a 2013 Steinway? What are the differences? Should we try to make an 1890 Steinway into a 2013 Steinway? etc etc etc......

For the performing pianist, in the concert venue, the important question is 'Will this piano do exactly what I want it to?' or 'Can I do exactly what I want to, on this piano?'

For other types of application - when you want a window into the past for instance, it's more important to try to retain the original design of the instruments so that they sound as close as possible to when they were new. For others, it's important to have the best quality of instrument and the question of whether it's vintage or not is less important.

I guess you could say that Fabbrini and other people who are changing things are making modified Steinways. I know some people change the bracings on the soundboards to improve tone etc. Are these pianos still Steinways? Well, I guess they are certainly MAINLY Steinways, but what matters mostly is how the pianos sound.

From Steinway Hall's point of view, they wouldn't offer a modified Steinway (that wasn't modified BY Steinways I mean...) because they want to sell "100 percent Steinway". Perhaps there's a practical point there - it's easier for them to guarantee work that is 100 percent their own, but then, other firms outsource their rebuilding....

Top
#2156787 - 09/24/13 11:23 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3489
Loc: US
No, I don't think the Hamburg factory customizes for Fabbrini. I believe he takes Hamburg Steinways from the factory and customizes them in his own shop and puts his name prominently on the piano.

Top
#2157322 - 09/25/13 08:54 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: sophial]
Withindale Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 2089
Loc: Suffolk, England
This article outlines what Fabbrini does with Hamburg D's.

My question is whether the cross bracing in this photograph is in all Hamburg D's or are they just for Fabbrini's instruments?



The photograph is in this presentation of Fabbrini's 200th Hamburg D in production.
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

Top
#2157388 - 09/25/13 11:11 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2409
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
The bracing and rim in this picture seem stock to me.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

Top
#2157394 - 09/25/13 11:25 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
Withindale Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 2089
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
The bracing and rim in this picture seem stock to me.

I asked because the horizontal cross braces, about half way up the frame, are not in this photo but I suppose they could be added later.



Edited by Withindale (09/25/13 11:28 AM)
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

Top
#2157458 - 09/25/13 01:35 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Withindale]
Withindale Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 2089
Loc: Suffolk, England


Yes, OK, it seems that those bracing bits are fitted, as Ed said. Thanks to Trinity University for the shot.

In a recent thread in the tech forum there was a discussion about Mason & Hamlins and the rigidity of the rim. The Fazioli 278 has a couple of substantial braces to the long side of the rim but the Steinway D does not.

I wonder if the 19C design of the Steinway D is beginning to lose out to more recent designs such as the Fazioli, Steingraeber and, dare I say it, Yamaha CFx.

The Steinway C occupies a hole in the range and, I gather, a new design is long overdue.

Once the euphoria of the acquisition has subsided, perhaps Mr Paulson will come round to the view that all of today's Steinways should become Steinwas's, to be replaced with evolutionary designs that stand comparison with all competitors in every respect. The transition would have to be handled with some deft marketing of course.

So, Almaviva, my answer to your question in the title, if not quite the text, is that it could and perhaps should be "Now".


Edited by Withindale (09/26/13 06:20 AM)
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

Top
#2157842 - 09/26/13 06:41 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
joe80 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1437
Hi Ian,

Outside London in the concert halls the norm is pretty much Steinway and Yamaha, more so Steinway though. In London we are starting to see more Bosendorfers (notably Valentina Lisitsa in the RAH), Bechsteins (recently in the Wigmore), Fazioli (frequently at the Wigmore), Bluthners (Artur Pizarro has championed the use of Bluthners in the concert hall, as well as Yamahas), and the Yamaha CFX is also gaining a strong foothold. I haven't seen any Steingraebers or Phoenix in concert halls yet, but I'm sure it will happen, and I see far less Kawais, but I've played a few Kawai EX on the continent.

All of these instruments are good, they all have their own particular beauties, strenghts, etc, they all have wonderful actions and are capable of beautiful tone, but in my experience as an audience member and a performer, Steinway is the one that is best at projection in a large hall. I don't know exactly why, but Steinway seem to have mastered building pianos that can be heard above an orchestra or project in the largest halls, whereas some of the others just don't have quite the same ability in that direction. Granted, it's not the only thing you need from a piano, and in fact you don't always want that level of projection.

Some will make the argument that you shouldn't need one piano for concertos and one for recitals, and that may be true, but some concertos are really heavily orchestrated - like Bartok 3, Rachmaninoff 3, Prokofieff 2, and they do require instruments that will be heard above an orchestra. Mozart, Beethoven, even Brahms and Tchaikovsky you can use a 'smaller' sounding piano, but I think if I was playing a large 20th Century concerto, in a large hall, with a heavy orchestral force behind me, I would want a Steinway. If I was performing Mozart sonatas in the Wigmore Hall (which I haven't done, but you never know, I might), then I would want something clear and sweet like a Bluthner. (I would want that, many others wouldn't).

Top
#2157980 - 09/26/13 11:57 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: joe80]
Withindale Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 2089
Loc: Suffolk, England
Hi Joe,

Thank you for reminding us about Steinway's projection in concert halls. That could be the foundation stone of the brand.

A $64 question is whether Steinway pianos would have developed more over the past 125 years had C F Theodore Steinway been immortal. My guess is that they would. I'd suggest it's a question Mr Paulson should not ignore. The majority of his sales will be to individuals and there will be no lack of competition for their custom. Projection and standing up to symphony orchestra could be the last things on their wish list.

Your mention of a C. Bechstein instrument at Wigmore Hall is interesting. The Bechstein company built it around 1900, as many forum members may know.

"Whither Steinway?" has been an interesting topic since Kohlberg's offer was put on the table. Now, I think, we will have just wait and see what the future holds, and leave our esteemed rebuilders to revive the past under a Steinway banner.

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

Top
#2158598 - 09/27/13 01:22 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
joe80 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1437
Hi Ian,

Exactly, In my home I wouldn't want a piano that was built for projection in a concert hall, it would be too much. Also, some of the concerts I've heard in the Wigmore with a Steinway D have been truly overpowering.

In marketing terms I'm not sure it would be wise for Steinways to change things. I think their attitude is that they've stuck to a formula that has worked. Incidentally it's not that Steinway hasn't changed things over the years - various things have changed but there's been nothing radical, hence the Steinway of 1893 can be rebuilt to 2013 specifications. So, from a marketing perspective I think that Steinway will want to keep Steinway a Steinway. Whether that's right from a musical perspective I don't know, but the bottom line is their instruments still sell, people still want the Steinway as it is. You and I might and probably do think there are other more musical instruments, instruments that are better suited to other purposes than the Steinway, but it seems to be the case that a venue owner will buy a Steinway if they want a new piano, and if they can't afford a Steinway, they'll get a Yamaha. We're starting to see a few Shigeru Kawais and Faziolis out there too, and some Bosendorfers.

Some venues buy these other instruments because they truly prefer them, and others because they go to Steinway Hall and realise they just can't afford a Steinway, and don't really want a Boston. Shigeru Kawai, Fazioli, Yamaha and Bosendorfer are not stand ins for the Steinway, they are different pianos in their own right and have something else to offer.

It is an interesting point though, that many people modify Steinways because they love the Steinway piano but there are some things that they don't like. Usually people that modify them are all going for the same things - a little more sustain and a better quality of sound - but they love the projection of the D.

Yup, I know that Bechstein built the Wigmore Hall and it was renamed in WW1 (or 2? was it?). There is still a 'bechstein room' in the Wigmore Hall, and I think there may even be some Bechstein uprights downstairs. The hall owns 3 Steinway Ds that are maintained by Steinway Hall, and I think they are never more than ten years old. I wonder if concert halls are actually loosing out by replacing their pianos after a short period? There's a lot to be said for a 20 or 30 year old Steinway, especially for chamber music, when it's mellowed out and relaxed a bit. Rebuild the action, replace the strings and it will be ready to go, no?

Top
#2158605 - 09/27/13 01:52 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: joe80]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3367
Originally Posted By: joe80
Rebuild the action, replace the strings and it will be ready to go, no?


It's not that simple. Plus, the piano has to be taken out of service for such work to be performed, and that can be difficult for institutions.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

Top
#2158617 - 09/27/13 02:22 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: joe80]
Withindale Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 2089
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: joe80
In marketing terms I'm not sure it would be wise for Steinways to change things.

I'm not sure it would either, but I am certain it would be foolhardy to do nothing.

Luckily for him, Mr Paulson can enjoy the luxury of perfecting the current range as it is. All because he has a golden opportunity to introduce a superlative new version of the Model C.

Steinway's main market is the home. On the evidence of this forum, there are many pianists interested in a 7'6" instrument and plenty of German and Japanese models to choose from. People say the original NY Model C has design faults but Marty for one is still singing its praises. I think Marty will also tell you the Steingraeber D-232 is a very fine instrument.

What Mr Paulson could say is build a new Steinway Model C that every pianist will rate as highly as any other piano in that range. Joe may still choose a Bluthner or a Fazioli but that should only be on grounds of tone and taste. People who listen to the D in public should aspire to the C at home. By the way, the new C should also be perfect for the Wigmore Hall.

There you have it, the 21c Model C, the new Steinway flagship. The Model D and Model B would then be vying to come up to the same standard.

Just a thought.


Edited by Withindale (09/28/13 09:32 AM)
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

Top
#2158649 - 09/27/13 03:35 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: 14262
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
The hall owns 3 Steinway Ds that are maintained by Steinway Hall, and I think they are never more than ten years old. I wonder if concert halls are actually loosing out by replacing their pianos after a short period? There's a lot to be said for a 20 or 30 year old Steinway, especially for chamber music, when it's mellowed out and relaxed a bit. Rebuild the action, replace the strings and it will be ready to go, no?


Many concert Halls like the Berlin Philharmonic do this every 2 years. These pianos apparently get special documentation and as result have wide appeal to pianists worldwide.

Prices paid for these used instruments are approximately same as concert halls pay for new replacements, so no rebuilders need apply.

It's a formula seemingly working well for those directly involved.

Norbert
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

Top
#2158730 - 09/27/13 06:08 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Norbert]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2409
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
If the piano market place had more information about how standards of tone regulation affect wear-the prices for used and new would reflect this. Instead we see the situation as Norbert describes.

The fact that ten years of "real"use of todays new piano will destroy the action-demolishes the investment value some promote.

An action tone regulated along the lines of the "shape up to lighten and open the tone" compared to "needle down new hammers", will last far longer under the same conditions of use.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

Top
#2158959 - 09/28/13 08:36 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
joe80 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1437
Ian, there's still a model C in Hamburg, although Steinway Hall haven't sold one in about a decade. I really like the Steinway C, actually. We had one at the RSAMD and it was amazing. Sadly, because it wasn't a D, the powers that be allowed people to use it as a practice piano, and it wasn't given the same care and attention from the technicians as the model Ds were, so it became tired out and in poor regulation quickly. It's been sold now as far as I know but it was a beautiful sounding piano, and could be again.

The idea of a lighter touch weight appeals to me, Ed, because it allows some real music making to go on. Quite often I find that I'm battling with pianos that I perform on, and the heavy touch means that the dynamic range is limited in both directions, and the possibility of producing a true legato cantilena is almost removed. It can be very frustrating.

Beethoven986 - yeah I know it can be difficult for institutions but when the institution/concert hall has three or four concert grands, it becomes easier. I know there's a bit more to it than what I described, but in such a young piano there shouldn't be too many problems providing it has been kept as close to concert ready as possible.

Somebody at Steinway told me, and I suspect this ISN'T true but perhaps you can tell me otherwise, that after ten to fifteen years, the RIM (not the soundboard but the RIM!) looses its ability to project the sound effectively, therefore rendering the piano unsuitable for use in a large hall. However, the piano remains suitable for small halls and pianists to use for their personal instruments.

I suspect having seen that Horowitz used a 1910 Steinway for his 1982 Festival Hall recital, that this might be Steinways way of continually selling new model Ds to high profile well-funded venues. Please, tell me if I'm wrong here.

Top
#2158976 - 09/28/13 09:19 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: joe80]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1237
Loc: Tennessee
[quote=joe80

Somebody at Steinway told me, and I suspect this ISN'T true but perhaps you can tell me otherwise, that after ten to fifteen years, the RIM (not the soundboard but the RIM!) looses its ability to project the sound effectively, therefore rendering the piano unsuitable for use in a large hall. However, the piano remains suitable for small halls and pianists to use for their personal instruments. [quote=joe80

I suspect having seen that Horowitz used a 1910 Steinway for his 1982 Festival Hall recital, that this might be Steinways way of continually selling new model Ds to high profile well-funded venues. Please, tell me if I'm wrong here.[/quote]

Greetings,
I wouldn't suspect the rim loses anything that would cost you projection and power. I would be more inclined to say that soundboard collapsing or falling was the responsible party. Perhaps one out of seven Steinways has a decent board after 80 years, the rest are terribly compromised.

I was given the chance to inspect Horowitz's piano, shortly after it was returned to the Steinway factory following his death,(before it was totally de-regulated on orders from higher-up), and then, again, after it was "restored" and sent back out on tour. When it was here at Vanderbilt, I got a chance to measure the bearing and found that the board was nearly flat through much of the middle, with just a few thousandths down bearing in the fifth octave. It was still a very resonant board, though. An exception, not a rule.
Regards,


Edited by Ed Foote (09/28/13 09:20 AM)

Top
#2158987 - 09/28/13 09:38 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: joe80]
Withindale Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 2089
Loc: Suffolk, England
Joe,

Interesting about the model C sounding amazing - that's what Marty says of his own (doesn't he?) - and Hamburg not selling a model C for 10 years. Time for that new model, with Ed McM to consult on design!
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

Top
#2158996 - 09/28/13 09:54 AM 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
Yes, I am very pleased with my 'C'. Keep in mind that it was recently totally rebuilt and it has alterations from what would have been available in 1906.

I'm a little curious about only one 'C' coming out of Hamburg in the last ten years, however. I have three friends who have purchased new ones within that time span. One was purchased in the USA, one in Vienna, and one is in Prague. The new ones are magnificent instruments. I think that Steinway has done a great job using their own designers. Unlike the USA, the 'C' from Hamburg has had steady improvement across the years.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

Top
#2159029 - 09/28/13 11:10 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Minnesota Marty]
terminaldegree Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 2818
Loc: western Wisconsin
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
The new ones are magnificent instruments. I think that Steinway has done a great job using their own designers. Unlike the USA, the 'C' from Hamburg has had steady improvement across the years.


Hi Marty,

I've never seen a new C, and being based in the US, have only played a partially rebuilt one that was good... while the rest were just shells in need of restoration. I am unaware of the design evolution of the model C - could you fill us in on the details as the forum's resident model C enthusiast?
_________________________
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
#2159035 - 09/28/13 11:22 AM 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
Hi TD,

I didn't mean to imply that there was a major design change, but the same evolution and upgrades that parallels the other models. Strings and scaling differences, action changes (accelerated), hammers and hammer weight, that sort of thing. Hamburg never experienced the Teflon trap.

It is interesting that mine has the NY overtone timbre and produces the "American" sound. It is easy to hear that difference compared to the "Hamburg" versions. Mine does not have the accelerated action, but I have never found that to be a problem with any well regulated Steinway.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

Top
#2159651 - 09/29/13 01:09 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
joe80 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1437
What I meant was Steinway Hall in London haven't sold or stocked a model C in about a decade. They're still very popular in smaller venues on the continent. I played a few in Germany, where they seem to like to go for pianos that fit the size of the hall!

I played a New York B in Steinways the other day, and yet again I fell head over heels for the touch and sound. The only thing that would put me off buying it is the fact that I can't afford it! I don't know why I prefer it to the Hamburg B, it seemed to sing more and it seemed to be more even in tone, and the action played itself in a way that I haven't come across very often. Yeah. I want it.

Top
#2159699 - 09/29/13 03:06 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
S. Phillips Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 328
Loc: Forte Farm, Lexington, KY
I just put a new board in my 1901 C. You'll all just have to come down here and play it when I get the new action in it. I just tuned it for the first time this week using the old action until the new parts arrive. I love my B and the C but this one (long involved story) has a special sound that you just can't get from either the B or D. The concept of the tone is really unique. So right now I have three Steinways in the living room and it's sort of getting ridiculous. You just have to throw those discussions about how large a piano you can fit in any given room right out the window.
_________________________
Sally Phillips
Piano Technician
One can always find something to improve.
2 Steinway Os, Steinway B & C, C. Bechstein A
Phillips Piano Tech
Contributor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
New Federal and State Ivory Regulations and Pianos
http://www.pianobuyer.com/articles/ivory.html

Top
#2159708 - 09/29/13 03:28 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8585
Loc: Georgia, USA
Originally Posted By: S. Phillips
So right now I have three Steinways in the living room and it's sort of getting ridiculous. You just have to throw those discussions about how large a piano you can fit in any given room right out the window.

It just depends on your priorities... smile

Can't wait to see, hear and play the Steinway C, Sally!

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

Top
#2159834 - 09/29/13 09:07 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
newgeneration Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 428
Loc: Richmond Hill, Ontario
I've only read through the first two pages of this thread but I imagine pages 3 and 4 are similar.

And it has suddenly occurred to me....
Steinway as a company is like Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. MLSE is somehow able to sell to sports fans its 'fantastic' franchises such as the Maple Leafs, TorontoFC and Toronto Raptors - fans clamour for tickets and merchandise and follow their team with the utmost loyalty touting them against all others. But the reality is for so long (and it pains me to say this), our Toronto teams have underperformed. Consider every ten games or so that any of these MLSE teams play in, maybe 3-4 at the most are stellar value for the paying fan. The owners are not athletes, they are business people and experts in marketing and monopolizing the market (surrounding regions of Toronto are pleading for additional NHL and NFL teams, but somehow it is always being strong-armed into oblivion).

Now consider Steinway today, equally a loyal following by its fans. Yet surprisingly, it is not uncommon to hear those choosing a Steinway must try about 10 and find that only 2 or 3 of these really impress. Consider the ownership of the Steinway company, as it has been bought and sold over the last decades. Held by music lovers no doubt but the ownership is definitely business based, with tremendous attention to their marketing and advertising - far greater than any other piano builder out there.

The similarities are uncanny. smile

In terms of rebuilding, the Maple Leafs can acquire 'hard hammers' but lately have a tendency to be going with 'soft hammers'. The brand remains a blue and white Maple Leaf as the face of the franchise.
Steinway likewise have changed their 'line up' of parts over the course of the last century, but the name on the fallboard remains branded as Steinway.

I wonder if Coca-cola tastes the same today as it did 30 years ago? Maybe there are chemists that cater to this and could produce Coke as it was years ago? I've heard that the recipe is altered depending on where in the world you find Coca-Cola but I'm not sure if it is true or not.

Luckily, there are very fine brands considering all sorts of varied merchandise that today are producing their products with the same attention and consideration as when they were first founded over 100 years ago. At least with these, we can be sure of what we are getting - albeit usually at a slight premium - but well worth the consideration and peace of mind that the investment was a good one.
_________________________
John
J.D. Grandt Piano Supply Company
Steingraeber & Söhne (Canada) www.facebook.com/SteingraeberCanada
Lomence Modern Crystal Piano (North America) www.facebook.com/LomencePianos
Piano Bass String Manufacturing Specialist (Worldwide) www.jdgrandt.com

Top
#2159906 - 09/30/13 02:53 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: newgeneration]
Withindale Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 2089
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: newgeneration
I've only read through the first two pages of this thread but I imagine pages 3 and 4 are similar.

And why, pray, would you imagine that?
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

Top
#2160092 - 09/30/13 01:48 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: newgeneration]
Withindale Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 2089
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: newgeneration
Luckily, there are very fine brands considering all sorts of varied merchandise that today are producing their products with the same attention and consideration as when they were first founded over 100 years ago.

You refer to Steingraeber, among others?

In what ways have Steingraeber improved the characteristics of their instruments, such as (say) tonal clarity, over the last 25 - 50 years to set themselves apart from their competitors?
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

Top
#2160098 - 09/30/13 01:54 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Withindale]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3367
Originally Posted By: Withindale


In what ways have Steingraeber improved the characteristics of their instruments, such as (say) tonal clarity, over the last 25 - 50 years to set themselves apart from their competitors?


Uhhh... Phoenix System? Lol.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

Top
#2160150 - 09/30/13 04:29 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: beethoven986]
Withindale Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 2089
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Originally Posted By: Withindale


In what ways have Steingraeber improved the characteristics of their instruments, such as (say) tonal clarity, over the last 25 - 50 years to set themselves apart from their competitors?
Uhhh... Phoenix System? Lol.

Quite so but, to be clear, I meant the general characteristics of Steingraeber pianos Grand Piano House Inc sells.

That would exclude the points on Steingraeber's innovations page

Earlier in this thread I suggested that a few competitors were getting ahead of Steinway, such as the Steingraeber D-272 compared to the Steinway D. It would be interesting to hear how that has been achieved, if it has, from someone who should know.


Edited by Withindale (09/30/13 04:54 PM)
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

Top
#2160163 - 09/30/13 05:12 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Withindale]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3367
Originally Posted By: Withindale
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Originally Posted By: Withindale


In what ways have Steingraeber improved the characteristics of their instruments, such as (say) tonal clarity, over the last 25 - 50 years to set themselves apart from their competitors?
Uhhh... Phoenix System? Lol.

Quite so but, to be clear, I meant the general characteristics of Steingraeber pianos Grand Piano House Inc sells.

That would exclude the points on Steingraeber's innovations page

Earlier in this thread I suggested that a few competitors were getting ahead of Steinway, such as the Steingraeber D-272 compared to the Steinway D. It would be interesting to hear how that has been achieved, if it has, from someone who should know.


It would be difficult to compare, at least regarding concert grands. If memory serves, Steingraeber did not make a 9' class instrument until relatively recently. That said, I have played a few older Steingraebers (older than 50 years), and the difference is striking... the new instruments are much more powerful. Now, I would also say (and I think those who have experienced these instruments will agree) that the model 232 is as, or even more powerful, than the D.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

Top
#2160169 - 09/30/13 05:39 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: 14262
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
In what ways have Steingraeber improved the characteristics of their instruments, such as (say) tonal clarity, over the last 25 - 50 years to set themselves apart from their competitors?


Every German company I know [including Estonia] pays special attention to the market segment they are already successful in.
And those they're *not*

They study their success there and then see how they can transfer the experience later onto other models.

People who have traveled lots and visited the various factories are aware of this making for fascinating conversations when there.

Talking in overly general terms by "brand" only, IMHO oversees the little nuggets most of the makers have in their line up.

Which, when identified can put these pianos truly in a class of their own.

Thinking this being true of course for most brands, but also very much German/Europeans.

Few I know would dare to put their own 5'7 grands besides a Steingraeber A 170

I wouldn't, luckily don't carry that [exact] size with any of ours...

Norbert whome



Edited by Norbert (09/30/13 10:08 PM)
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

Top
#2160193 - 09/30/13 06:53 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Withindale]
newgeneration Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 428
Loc: Richmond Hill, Ontario
Originally Posted By: Withindale
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Originally Posted By: Withindale


In what ways have Steingraeber improved the characteristics of their instruments, such as (say) tonal clarity, over the last 25 - 50 years to set themselves apart from their competitors?
Uhhh... Phoenix System? Lol.

Quite so but, to be clear, I meant the general characteristics of Steingraeber pianos Grand Piano House Inc sells.

That would exclude the points on Steingraeber's innovations page

Earlier in this thread I suggested that a few competitors were getting ahead of Steinway, such as the Steingraeber D-272 compared to the Steinway D. It would be interesting to hear how that has been achieved, if it has, from someone who should know.


Withindale, I'm unsure what you ask? Indeed the Phoenix model is one which I carry in my showroom, in fact just this past weekend it was part of a concert series gala in downtown Toronto. The sordino pedal, which you refer to in the hyperlink of your post, is a brand new (resurrection) that is literally only months old as being introduced by Steingraeber in Germany.

I think what you are getting at is the 'traditional' (non-Phoenix, etc) Steingraeber concert grand (which is E-272, not D-272) how has it gained ground versus popular brands such as Steinway and their model D?
To answer this, it would be an error on my part to begin by inferring that Steingraeber pianos are gaining ground because they are superior in certain specific areas then say the Steinway D - this would be the wrong approach since there are plenty out there that would adamantly insist that 'nothing can beat a Steinway' period.

So let me offer the best answer I personally can to your question by pointing out that Steingraeber is a rare piano builder. Rare for the following reasons:

1. Their dedication to the 'voice' of their pianos is one aspect that puts them all alone on the stage of piano builders. Every piano builder has 'its' voice that it is striving for and which it can be recognized by. For example, Bosendorfer, NY Steinway, Fazioli - these all have distinct tones, all different, and all wonderful. Steingraeber (because of their close relations with Franz Liszt AND Richard Wagner) come from an entirely different heritage and mindset. They strive to produce a piano, a percussion instrument as it is, recognizing the demands of the virtuoso solo pianist, while at the same time bringing the tone (not the piano) to life so-to-speak. This is why at least one of the world's current top soprano soloists is pleased to perform with a Steingraeber at her side. There is something magical that happens as the Steingraeber is more of a back-up chorus then an accompanying percussion piano.

2. Although you dismiss the Phoenix system and perhaps the new sordino pedal, in consideration to the overall influence and impact a company will have within an industry, it is directly related to said company being a leader in their industry rather than a follower. For example, Steinway used to be this type of company over 100 years ago. They developed and patented aspects that today are quite common in piano building. The reality though is they have replaced their innovative drive from the 1800-1900's with focus on marketing and at all costs being recognized as ...'the concert stage piano'. This I believe is really the greatest answer to your question.
Both companies, Steingraeber and Steinway are building formidable instruments, however one of these companies quietly goes about its business while at the same time, pushing the limits by experimenting with new materials and other engineering designs. They are very much aware of the competition, but do not feel threatened by it. The other one puts all of its efforts in maintaining market share by its brand name, based on past success (and in this case, success from practically a century ago).

There are numerous technical things to discuss, but they are all in the Steingraeber brochure available online and too numerous to list on PW. Just use this link and you can compare all the technical details regarding what makes Steingraeber pianos a competitive option.
http://www.steingraeber.de/files/Main_Brochure.pdf

I hope I understood and accurately addressed what you were asking - in the best way I can describe.
_________________________
John
J.D. Grandt Piano Supply Company
Steingraeber & Söhne (Canada) www.facebook.com/SteingraeberCanada
Lomence Modern Crystal Piano (North America) www.facebook.com/LomencePianos
Piano Bass String Manufacturing Specialist (Worldwide) www.jdgrandt.com

Top
#2160389 - 10/01/13 09:17 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
Withindale Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 2089
Loc: Suffolk, England
John

Thank you for your answer to my question.

Earlier in this thread, in the part you didn't read, I suggested the new owner of Steinway will find, sooner or later, that he has to update his instruments as well as improving their quality.

Building an entirely new Steinway C is an obvious starting point and Beethoven's comment on the D-232 indicates why. It would be immediately recognizable as a Steinway and equally as good if not better than a Steingraeber in every other respect.

That exercise should lead to some of Norbert's nuggets that would rub off on the other models.

The Steingraeber E-272 came out ahead in a recent "head to head" with a Steinway Hamburg D because it offered more musical possibilities to the pianist who was choosing between them. His original aim was to move up from his Steinway B to a D. Eventually he found the characteristics of the Steingraeber were better for him. I was interested to know why you thought that might be.

It's clear Mr Paulson has not bought Steinway purely for business reasons. Likewise, people do not buy football clubs if they have no interest in the results on the pitch.

Pianists want to buy pianos because they are the best of the best (in their view), not because the others are no good. Just as the fans want their team to beat worthy opponents. And you never know which of the fans might want to buy a piano tomorrow.

Which is better, talking up the opposition or talking it down?

By the way, in London the other day I played a couple of Steingraebers in a noisy showroom (it was Saturday morning and several five year olds were trying out Bechsteins and Bosendorfers). Their tone reminded me of my 1925 Schiedmayer. Was it Norbert who said Udo would regard his company as continuing the Golden Age (Blauzeit) into the 21st century?

Just saying, as they say round here.
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

Top
#2160433 - 10/01/13 11:32 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14262
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
This is a good discussion and I agree with both above posters. AS non-dealer, I like how John described Steingraeber's position, a smal but highly succesful company. You visit their place and you see history in action. Nice...in fact VERY nice!

Quote:
Pianists want to buy pianos because they are the best of the best (in their view), not because the others are no good.


Unfortunately for many decisions are often induced by salesmen, not the pianos themselves.

In case people keep shopping or comparing pianos after having made their purchase, the often inevitable situation arises that their decision was perhaps not the best one originally hoped for.

Especially when the voice of instruments are heard - instead of those by salesmen.

Surprisingly a not too uncommon yet rarely 'happy' occurrence...

Norbert


Edited by Norbert (10/03/13 05:55 PM)
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

Top
#2160490 - 10/01/13 01:40 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Norbert]
Withindale Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 2089
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: Norbert
Quote:
Pianists want to buy pianos because they are the best of the best (in their view), not because the others are no good.


Unfortunately for many decisions are often induced by salesmen, not the pianos themselves.


Even at Tier 1 level, Norbert, furniture buyers excepted?
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

Top
#2160508 - 10/01/13 02:31 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
joe80 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1437
Ian, I guess there will always be some people who buy a piano they don't like, even at tier 1 level. I've heard of a few people who have been unhappy with their pianos after purchase, but it's pretty rare at tier 1 level. Most people are delighted with their Steinways etc.

Perhaps people become less enthusiastic with their pianos as they settle in and they need a technician's hand on them, and the customer often thinks 'what's wrong with my piano? I've made the wrong decision!' rather than 'I really must get my piano serviced'

I heard of someone on the UK forum who bought a Bluthner model 4 and wished he'd gone with a Yamaha. I suspect there were reasons for that, and I suspect the reason wasn't the piano. Bluthners really need to be set up a particular way for them to be in optimum condition. Also, because of the way Yamaha's sound works, most players sound good on a Yamaha. Bluthners on the other hand are so clear that they reveal all faults in the piano playing and so it can be a soul destroying experience to play one. The trick is to practise more and improve your tone and then it becomes a very rewarding experience.

I've found this with Fazioli, certain Steinways, Bosendorfers, Bechsteins - they really force you to reassess your piano playing and listen to exactly what is going on, because they are so responsive they play exactly the way you do. Yamaha seems to have a little more room to manouvre on the tone, or at least the C-series Yamahas that I was playing in the 90s and early 2000s did.

Top
#2160587 - 10/01/13 07:48 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
Withindale Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 2089
Loc: Suffolk, England
Joe, I once heard from a friend of a fellow who had driven his new BMW direct from the dealer to trade it in at the Mercedes showroom. I suppose that could happen with pianos too.

My immediate impression of Bösendorfers is that they leave everything to the pianist, in a way neither Steinway or Steingraeber do. One concert pianist said he preferred Steinway over Steingraeber until the wind direction or his mood changed.

Originally Posted By: newgeneration
Both companies, Steingraeber and Steinway are building formidable instruments, however one of these companies quietly goes about its business while at the same time, pushing the limits by experimenting with new materials and other engineering designs. They are very much aware of the competition, but do not feel threatened by it. The other one puts all of its efforts in maintaining market share by its brand name, based on past success (and in this case, success from practically a century ago).

You can take this comment about Steinway two ways but, when you read Dolge's contemporary account of Theodore Steinway's achievement in making the world's finest piano, one can only marvel at his masterpiece.

Dolge says Theodore was tireless in his application of the science and technology that enabled him to make far greater strides than the "empiricists". You might say marketing and sales were all that remained but, to repeat what I said in another post, it seems certain Theodore would have taken advantage of twentieth and twenty first century science and technology too.

Mr Paulson said he read a history of Steinway before tabling his offer. I'd be most surprised if he isn't fully aware of what maintaining the quality of the brand will mean.
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

Top
#2160598 - 10/01/13 08:32 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Withindale]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2409
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
The discipline of the Steinway family members regarding applying known science to their pianos was recognized by the industry. This helped get them publicity because many of the leading intelligentsia of the day would pay attention. Plus, they were supreme tone-regulators so combining their robust designs with fine musical work, produced a superior musical experience.

The challenge Steinway now faces is to evolve the Steinway design to improve quality and reduce manufacturing cost while increasing the core musical value. This would give people a reason to replace old Steinways with new ones. Easier said than done!


Edited by Ed McMorrow, RPT (10/01/13 10:09 PM)
Edit Reason: remove redundancy
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

Top
#2160629 - 10/01/13 10:22 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
schwammerl Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/06
Posts: 2012
Loc: Belgium
Quote:
The challenge Steinway now faces is to evolve the Steinway design to improve quality and reduce manufacturing cost while increasing the core musical value. This would give people a reason to replace old Steinways with new ones. Easier said than done!


At least I believe Steinway management is on top of the understanding of the global marketing needs:

Steinway improves global sales insight

schwammerl.

Top
#2160687 - 10/02/13 12:52 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
Gary Fowler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/27/13
Posts: 375
There are awesome Steinways. And there are some not so great Steinways. A Steinway piano is only as good as its upkeep. If you use it as a practice piano for 10 -12 hours a day, every day of the week, it will be shot to shiite in no time
_________________________
Making the world a better sounding place, one piano at a time...

Top
#2160737 - 10/02/13 05:27 AM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
joe80 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1437
Gary that's true, but it will last longer with proper servicing.

Regarding the development of the Steinway design: There are so many pianists who love Steinways the way they are, and wouldn't really like it if things changed too much, so a redesign might not be in Steinway's agenda. Perhaps the introduction of a new model set apart from the others. A model E? a Model D-2 or something? As long as a majority of concert halls and pianists are happy to use Steinway as they are, I can't see that happening. I mean, things HAVE changed in the action, the position of things, the set up, the weight of the hammers etc. Whether they are improvements is a matter of taste. What is true is I've played some beautiful new Steinways, and some beautiful old Steinways, and some really not great new and old ones - possibly due to the set up.

Ian, I've known of people to trade their Steinway for a Bluthner, their Bosendorfer for a Bechstein, while the pianos have still been very new. Also, many people trade their Bluthners, Bechsteins etc for Steinways. For some it may be the name that sways them, and for others it will be the quality of the instrument according to their needs.

I'm happy that Steinway are making some great pianos as is, and I'm also happy to see and hear the latest offerings from Steingraeber, Bosendorfer, Yamaha, Shigeru Kawai, Bechstein, etc etc etc, Petrof (I'd love to try the new Petrofs), etc because I think it's important for pianists to have a choice of piano. Sometimes you want certain things in one instrument, and certain things in another. Look at Andras Schiff touring with a 1929 Bechstein for instance!

Top
#2161285 - 10/03/13 04:31 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
Withindale Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 2089
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
The discipline of the Steinway family members regarding applying known science to their pianos was recognized by the industry.

Dolge wrote Theodore [Steinway] set to work to bring to life in his piano the discoveries of Helmholtz, Tyndall and others. Who I asked myself was Tyndall? Last night I had my answer. The BBC recounted how Sir James Tyndall had worked out why the sky is blue while walking in the Alps and listening to sound carrying across the valleys.

In 1867 Tyndall delivered Sound: A Course of Eight Lectures at The Royal Institution in London. It's a fascinating document that must have contributed in some measure to the sound and projection of the Steinway D.
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

Top
#2161297 - 10/03/13 04:48 PM Re: At what point does a Steinway become a "Steinwas"? [Re: Almaviva]
RealPlayer Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 2358
Loc: NYC
I have an old hardbound book "On Sound" by Tyndall, with old-fashioned line drawings. I'll bet it's the same guy.
_________________________
Joe

www.josephkubera.com

Top
#2161335 - 10/03/13 05:59 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: 14262
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
Even at Tier 1 level, Norbert, furniture buyers excepted?


Even at tier one - and especially there.

For example how can a piano be called "incomparable" when every other one is as well?

It's like saying Mercedes is "incomparable" to all other top cars.

Hearing Porsche, Audi, BMW and a bunch of others whispering "thanks God" in background...

Norbert wink
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

Top
Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5 >

Moderator:  Ken Knapp, Piano World, Rickster 
What's Hot!!
Christmas Header
- > Gift Ideas for Music Lovers < -
From PianoSupplies.com a division of Piano World.
-------------------
The December Free Piano Newsletter
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(ad) Yamaha CP Music Rest Promo
Yamaha CP Music Rest Promo
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Seiler Pianos
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
(ad) Piano Music Sale - Dover Publications
Piano Music Sale
Sheet Music Plus (125)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Salesperson Dilemma
by RGibson
12/18/14 12:01 PM
Fast scale and trills in Chopin Nocturne op.62-1 in B major
by ppianist
12/18/14 11:10 AM
Kenny Barron and Dave Holland
by jjo
12/18/14 10:13 AM
Coming around the backstretch...
by RonTuner
12/18/14 09:11 AM
A new clip of Don Pullen in action
by rintincop
12/17/14 11:03 PM
Forum Stats
77340 Members
42 Forums
159951 Topics
2349052 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
Gift Ideas for Music Lovers!
Find the Perfect Gift for the Music Lovers on your List!
Visit our online store today.

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