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#2414218 - 04/26/15 03:08 PM VISIBLE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HAMBURG & NY STEINWAYS
MICHAEL122 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/22/15
Posts: 1
Can anyone please advise on visual differences between Steinways built in NY and those built in Hamburg?
It should be reasonably expected that the word "Hamburg" would appear on the harp, but the understanding is that this is not always true.
It has been suggested that shape of the arms, the part of the case at either end of the keyboard is a possibility. NY arm curves end in a sharp corner & Hamburg’s are rounded.
Also, there is an indication that NY hammers are made at the factory and have “Steinway” printed on them.
Hamburg never uses these, opting for Renner, but this was not the case in past decades.
It has also been posed that only Hamburg made Model O's, but this seems too simple to be true.
Can anyone confirm any of this or have other ways to tell a NY from Hamburg models?
Please avoid comments about rich/full sound, as sound doesn't have anything to do with visibility.
Thanks
Michael

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#2414268 - 04/26/15 05:27 PM Re: VISIBLE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HAMBURG & NY STEINWAYS [Re: MICHAEL122]
Rich D. Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/27/01
Posts: 1285
Loc: Rehoboth Beach De. USA
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1175477/Visual%20differences:%20Hamburg%20vs.html

Rich


Edited by Rich D. (04/26/15 05:30 PM)
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#2414283 - 04/26/15 06:10 PM Re: VISIBLE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HAMBURG & NY STEINWAYS [Re: MICHAEL122]
joe80 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1818
The visual differences are slightly different since that thread appeared in 2009.

The US pianos still have square arms, and a fall board with a folding lip on the top, but now they come in polished ebony too, and their music desk is adjustable much like the Hamburg one.

Both instruments use the same frame, although sometimes the Hamburg factory puts a little badge on the frame cast (before the frame is cast) at the hitch pin end of the bass strings that says "made in Hamburg, Germany". I've never studied a US Steinway inside to check if it had a Made in Astoria badge or anything.

I expect if New York wanted to make their pianos look identical to the Hamburg ones, they could, and vice versa, and sometimes with art case models you might find the odd one produced in both factories and they are identical apart from the differing technical specification. Many of the art cased models I have seen in London however, have actually come from the New York factory. The models that imitate some of the late 19th Century case designs have all been New York models as far as I'm aware. Just thought I'd throw that in there, even though we're probably just talking about the standard models!

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#2414285 - 04/26/15 06:12 PM Re: VISIBLE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HAMBURG & NY STEINWAYS [Re: MICHAEL122]
PianoWorksATL Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2877
Loc: Atlanta, GA
2 Questions: How old are the pianos you are looking at? What hemisphere are you in? Encountering NY Steinways outside the Western Hemisphere is rare. While you do see the occasional Hamburg Steinway here in the West, the overwhelming majority are still from NY. You will encounter more Hamburg D's here on stages. Here, Hamburgs tend to become more rare as the models get smaller.

There is a simple visual difference for any standard case built since ~1908. Square arm = NY. Rounded arm = Hamburg.

There are other visual differences over time, but not some of the ones you mentioned. The next most simple visual cue is the inner rim of a black piano. If it is also black, then it is NY. If it is veneered (typically mahogany), then it is Hamburg.

Stamps on the Hammers may or may not be there. The plates don't really offer a clue. NY is the originator of all Steinway models, but changed or discontinued certain models that Hamburg did not.

Other visual differences will be pertinent to certain models of certain years. Like decals. On NY decals, the lyre is above the name. On some older Hamburg decals, the lyre was below the name.
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#2414286 - 04/26/15 06:22 PM Re: VISIBLE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HAMBURG & NY STEINWAYS [Re: MICHAEL122]
joe80 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1818
Oh did the lyre below the name only happen on the Hamburg pianos? You learn something new every day! I've seen it on a very old new york Steinway from 1880, but I think the piano had been refinished at some point (most likely in the '20s actually) and given a new decal.

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#2414298 - 04/26/15 06:50 PM Re: VISIBLE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HAMBURG & NY STEINWAYS [Re: MICHAEL122]
WhoDwaldi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/13/08
Posts: 346
Loc: The Deep South
I often wonder on rebuilds if it is ethical to modernize the decals (use later ones on earlier instruments).
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#2414802 - 19 minutes 21 seconds ago Re: VISIBLE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HAMBURG & NY STEINWAYS [Re: WhoDwaldi]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2784
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Some customers of rebuilds/refinish choose fallboard decals that are not original design. Some like the contemporary logo on older pianos. Some like the Victorian logo on newer pianos.
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