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#28989 - 12/12/08 01:19 PM Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR
Neptune Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/30/08
Posts: 8
Loc: New York, NY
Doogs, you arrived 2 hours late for the tour and then stayed all afternoon playing untuned pianos in their warehouse on the back lot. What was that about? I'm surprised they didn't call security.

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#28990 - 12/12/08 01:37 PM Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR
Jeff Bauer Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/03
Posts: 1718
Loc: Los Angeles
A big THANK YOU to Bob Snyder for puting this together. The factory tour was great, very informative, and just the right length.

Good pizza too!

There were two Steinway Representatives that helped us through the factory, William Youse - director of technical services, and the other who's name I have regretfully forgotten. Maybe someone else here who collected his card could make a mention of his name. They were both fantastic, enthusiastic, and enduring through questions they have probably answered thousands of times before.

There were some interesting discussions during the tour, and after, regarding the use of teflon in the 60s & 70s, which morphed into the new bushings they use now. Regarding old designs vs. new designs, why haven't any new models been invented since the S in 1936, and the true function of the Rim.

Even as the answers were challenged & debated, the Steinway guys kept their cool and answered with respect and dignity.

It was fun to watch and listen. I doubt anyone knows I was there, because I was the one who stood in the background and kept his trap shut \:\) .

I have no pictures to share, as the picture taking policy was made clear and I left my camera in my coat. So, as was mentioned earlier, this could all just be made up

On a side note, this wass a very reserved group. JeffBC and his daughter were the only ones sporting a name badge that I noticed (maybe there were others). I should have thought of having one for myself, and it would have been nice for us all to agree to put our real names + PW monikers on a tag. There was also no group picture taken. So, not one for the history books, but fun & informative nonetheless.

Speaking of history - there is a 'library' of ring binders in the main office area, which takes up an entire wall, containing every decision, part change, design implement, and so on, ever done in the company. There must have been about 80+ binders there, all indexed by number for reference.
_________________________
Jeff Bauer | Keyboard Concepts

Yamaha | Schimmel | Bösendorfer | Knabe | Seiler | Restored Steinway

BauerHouse Productions

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#28991 - 12/12/08 01:44 PM Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR
Doogs Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 127
Loc: Rockaway Beach New York
 Quote:
Originally posted by Neptune Accord:
Doogs, you arrived 2 hours late for the tour and then stayed all afternoon playing untuned pianos in their warehouse on the back lot. What was that about? I'm surprised they didn't call security. [/b]
I was only one hour late, and that only because the person who designed the layout of Queens streets was Satan himself.

As for the pianos...where they keep the tuned ones?

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#28992 - 12/12/08 02:20 PM Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR
Piano World Offline



Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 5587
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
Nobody took the group picture?
\:\(

OK, everybody get back in place for the group picture around a grand :-)

Did you get to take any pictures?

What pianos did you get to play?

Was it NY style thin crust pizza? (sorry couldn't resist, I love NY pizza).

Looking for more reports, and any pictures.

Nice to hear you had two tour guides.
Were you able to hear them ok? (I know it tends to be a bit noisey in a working factory).
_________________________
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-------------------------
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#28993 - 12/12/08 02:28 PM Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR
tenders Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 73
Loc: Westchester, NY
> There were two Steinway Representatives that helped us through the factory,
> William Youse - director of technical services, and the other who's name I have
> regretfully forgotten.

The other tour guide was David Kirkland, Customer Satisfaction Administrator, dkirkland@steinway.com.

The pizza was what I think of as solid Ray's-style NY pizza, not the John's-style very-thin-crust NY pizza. There was some thicker-crust square pizza in which I didn't partake.

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#28994 - 12/12/08 02:33 PM Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR
Piano World Offline



Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 5587
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
Interesting, is David related to Kyle?
_________________________
- Frank B.
Founder / Host
www.PianoWorld.com
www.PianoSupplies.com
Find Us On:
Facebook.com/PianoWorldDotCom
Twitter.com/PianoWorld
www.youtube.com/PianoWorldDotCom
Skype: PianoWorldDotCom
Estonia L-190, Yamaha P-80, Hammond XK-3, Hammond A-100, Estey 1895 Pump Organ
-------------------------
It's Fun To Play the Piano ... PLEASE Pass It On!
And please invite everyone you know to join our piano forums!
Coming to Maine? We're in Parsonsfield (southwest) let's get together!


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#28995 - 12/12/08 05:30 PM Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR
jscomposer Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/08
Posts: 537
Loc: The Boogie Down
It was great. I would've liked more time in the action department, but my hammer-reject souvenir will have to suffice.
_________________________
Joshua Seth plays Joshua Seth

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#28996 - 12/13/08 08:49 AM Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR
James Maxwell Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/18/02
Posts: 103
It was indeed great. The hosts were extremely gracious & helpful, and the tour itself very interesting & informative.

Since I am in the DC area, my original plan was to drive to NYC Wednesday afternoon and stay overnight in a nearby hotel. However I had a commitment that kept me from going until 11:30 pm Wed. evening. So I had to change my plan and took an over-night bus instead, leaving DC at 1:30 am and got to NYC at around 7am (I was the first one to arrive at the factory). Needless to say I was quite tired. On top of that, I had a terrible cold. Let me just say “the spirit was willing, but the flesh was weak”.

I had seen the movie “Note by Note”, so I had some idea what to expect to see. However the movie was no replacement for the tour in which production activities could be seen first hand and questions answered interactively. While I will not repeat the interesting things we saw that Tenders and other already covered, the following is a summary of my impressions of the high lights.

Although I had never doubted Steinway’s commitment to quality, it was still refreshing to see Steinway’s genuine efforts to constant strive for quality improvement. The emphasis on quality was very evident throughout the factory. There were postings in every department with headings of “Quality, Cost, Delivery, Safety” with updated statistics under each heading. A good example that illustrated their efforts was the giant CNC machine they brought in to production in recent years for making parts like the piano legs, that replaced the use of manual labor. It brought improvements in all the four categories: Quality was improved because the CNC machine was more accurate and eliminated human errors; cost was reduced and delivery was up because it took minutes to make parts that used to take hours if not days by hand; safety was assured that eliminated accidents and injuries associated with manual work.

One of the questions I had, and could never get straight answers from my local Steinway dealer, was regarding the “new” model B. The tonal improvements were very apparent to my ears (because of it I bought a new B last year), but the dealer insisted there was no change at all in either the design or production process. Change, if any, was only in the voicing, according to the dealer. During the tour one of our tour guides David told me that in addition to changes in production processes that brought them more in line with the German factory, there was indeed a minor bridge design change that brought the bridge design basically the same as the German model.

Overall I am very impressed by the way Steinway runs their business. They know their products, the markets, their customers, their suppliers, and their competitors. They constant look for ways to improve their standing in all aspects. I wish them well, and hope they stay in business, and stay in US production in particular, for ever. The only regret I have is that I did not take any pictures. It was my first tour of the factory, but definitely not the last one.
_________________________
Weber WC-46, Kawai RX-2, Steinway B

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#28997 - 12/13/08 09:56 AM Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR
LJC Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/04
Posts: 1518
Loc: New York
You take a day off from work and it takes days to catch up enough to post. I did try to think of what to write about and I conclude theres no way I can cover everything. You folks that didn't go sure missed a grand tour. I want to start by thanking STEINWAY & SONS and in particular our designated hosts. I deeply appreciate your hospitality. I was looking forward to talking with Bob Snyder and we did shake hands but he was tied up in meetings all day. Many thanks to Bob for he is the one that made this possible. We could not have had more informative tour guides than third generation employee Bill and Robert. I tended to be nearer Bill for most of the tour and tried to hang on every word Bill said, placing myself near where I could hear. Every step of the way Bill explained the building process in a way that only someone with a TOTAL knowledge of building pianos could. My understanding of pianos and how they are built has increased dramatically as well as my appreciation for the skills involved. I noticed Robert did his best to get my tech and his wife caught up on the tour as they arrived late. They were both so excited to see the factory having been staunch S&S supporters as long as I have known them (25+ years), I enjoyed seeing them enjoy. Well what did we see; the library of Steinway with all its secrets and experiments within (shouldnt you folks at Steinway but that on DVD?), a model A rim bent into shape. Bill told me that the core of the molds are original but the other parts are replaced from time to time. I was thinking how all those Steinways I have played started life in that room. I wanted to help tighten those clamps myself. We saw all the major operations, the wood carving, the wood preparation and cutting depts, the soundboard molds, the special veener room, the curing room, the vacuumbagging of veneer onto case parts, the carving of parts, the case completion dept, there are parts and raw materials stacked on carts everywhere, the installation of the plate, the method to set the bridge height, the installation of strings and tuning pins, the action installation, the assembly of actions, the finishing room, the showroom, the rebuild area, we even inspected ancient machines no longer in use having been replaced in many cases with automated machinery (but I guess sentimental to the company). In addition to clear and detailed explanations of every step in the process Bill would explain some of the ways S&S has gained efficiency in rearranging the placement of tools and parts. I noticed that whole departments were rearranged since my last visit. Finally at tours end we had many discussions on the future for pianos and Steinway. While sales are off at Steinway as they are for just about every company it seems to me that Steinway will survive. It is clear they are working to improve not only efficiency but the product itself. ..Heres some tidbits of knowledge I learned. Hamburg uses the rib crowning method while New York uses that other method, Hamburg will be getting New York actions with parts machined on computer guided equipment once NY can increase production. Hamburg will not go to the accelerated action, they will continue to use Renner hammers. Hamburg has already or will use Mapes strings as does New York. Other unspecified efforts are underway to align the two factories. The S&S secret we cannot tell will be announced within a month or two. Alicia Keys filmed a video at the factory recently but built a room so you can't tell it was the factory. Steinway firmly believes that their product is better than in the past since many small improvements have been made. Boston and Essex pianos have designs that are based on S&S designs of old but improved in areas including scale design. Bill has traveled to the Orient to explain the way S&S wants the finishes to be done. R&D has pianos on hand for inspection to see what other manufactureres are doing. S&S tries new ideas. They have built a piano with a Wappen bridge but found no advantage. S&S had David Stanwood in who concluded the older actions would benefit from the Stanwood treatment but not the new ones. S&S agrees with this assessment. S&S built the improved A2 rather than the A3 because after building an experimental A1, A2 and A3 artists that were brought in thought that the A3 was very close to the model B. The A2 filled the gap in the line up better. New York has considered building the C again but feels that the market does not call for it. Hamburg does not sell very many of them. New York feels no need to create a whole new design and Steinways are the best piano on the market. The market resists change, some of the special models have not sold well, buyers generally prefer the traditional look. Steinway will collaborate with electronic makers but will not build them.

My apologies for no pictures, my camera was left in the kitchen. Sorry! Frank you just have to take care of this yourself next time!

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#28998 - 12/13/08 12:23 PM Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR
LJC Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/04
Posts: 1518
Loc: New York
PS- 2 other S&S experiments, carbon fiber action parts-found to flex too much, carbon fiber sound board, did not produce the sound S&S is looking for.

Here is a point I made during our discussion. Harley Davidson makes sure a new model sounds like a Harley, its even more importatnt that every Steinway model sounds like a Steinway. I have no doubt they will.

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#28999 - 12/13/08 03:18 PM Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR
Stevester Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/03
Posts: 2851
Loc: New Jersey
This sounded like a great tour and I am sorry I missed it; hopefully it will be available again next year.

It is good to see Steinway is moving ahead and continually working to build the best product it can. Anyone who is aware of the history of Steinway knows this was the policy in the beginning and it is good to see it alive today.

I am very, very happy to hear Steinway is building its own parts instead of outsourcing.

It was interesting to read about the model A scale and why they choose the A2, many thanks for that information.

Were you able to see the rebuilding facility?
_________________________
"The true character of a man can be determined by witnessing what he does when no one is watching".

anon

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#29000 - 12/13/08 06:16 PM Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR
Janaina Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/30/08
Posts: 5
Loc: Elka Park, NY
After reading the positive of the Steinway tour I am rethinking the Steinway upright, around $20,000 bucks, vs. the pianos recomended in group 2A, 2B and 2C in Larry Fine's 2008 - 2009 Annual Supplement to The Piano Book.
This piano acquiring business is turning out to be the most complicated and tricky endeavour, gee I hope I spelled that correctly! I fell in love with an Essex EUP 123 but have since read that it is built in China and that the pianos in group 4C of Larry Fine's supplement are of the Medium quality consumer-grade pianos to be compared to these automobiles: Kia, Hyundai and Chinese-made cars!!!
_________________________
Jana

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#29001 - 12/13/08 08:05 PM Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR
Stevester Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/03
Posts: 2851
Loc: New Jersey
"This piano acquiring business is turning out to be the most complicated and tricky endeavour" - ain't that the truth?
_________________________
"The true character of a man can be determined by witnessing what he does when no one is watching".

anon

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#29002 - 12/14/08 11:40 AM Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR
fingers Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/08/04
Posts: 799
Loc: Westchester, NY
I'd like to thank team Steinway for a most informative factory tour (and, of course, the pizza). While this was my third tour, I still learned many new things about the art of piano manufacture.

Thanks again,
fingers
_________________________
Playing piano at age 2, it was thought that I was some sort of idiot-savant. As it turns out, I'm just an idiot.

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#29003 - 12/14/08 02:19 PM Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR
hotkeys Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/07
Posts: 788
Loc: Massapequa, NY
I like to thank the folks at Steinway and Sons for having us over. It was nice that Gary and Bill were able to answer questions after the tour, but I get a sense that they got some feedback (which at times can step over people's shoes and invoke confrontations) from us which is important.

I learned that their limited budgets does not allow them for a mass marketing campaign and they are dependent on their artists, technicians and grass roots for spreading via word of mouth.

As far as buying, the jury is still out.

- Mark
_________________________
...The ultimate joy in music is the joy of playing the piano...

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#29004 - 12/14/08 02:25 PM Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR
Doogs Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 127
Loc: Rockaway Beach New York
What stuck me with was our main tour guide saying that some of the best C& A pianos have been found to have negative crown.

Also their defense of teflon bushings, saying that the problem was that techs did not want to change their old ways to work with them. They said there was no problem with the teflon.

And when I asked whether the design changes in the newer B resulted in a change in sound that anyone would be able to notice, they said no (contrary to what someone who owns a B posted
here).

But the highlight (?) had to be Ori giving all the Steinway reps such a hard time with his questions and comments!

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#29005 - 12/14/08 03:49 PM Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR
LJC Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/04
Posts: 1518
Loc: New York
What stuck me with was our main tour guide saying that some of the best C& A pianos have been found to have negative crown.

Also their defense of teflon bushings, saying that the problem was that techs did not want to change their old ways to work with them. They said there was no problem with the teflon.

Bill said one in demand C&D was taken apart to see why it sounded so good and was found to have a negative crown. Bill also said it was the techs that didnt know what not to do with the teflon bushing that caused them to ruin the teflon bushings.

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#29006 - 12/14/08 10:20 PM Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR
Emanuel Ravelli Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 687
Loc: Virginia
Like LJC, I'm weighing in late because it took me a while to get caught up on work and other things that got neglected during my travels to NYC.

The tour was fantastic. Everyone else has described in detail the light and dark sides of our day at the factory. (One word of advice -- if you ever take the Steinway tour, stay close to your guide; the factory complex is a labyrinthine complex of busy shops, empty rooms and dark passages, and finding your way out if you got lost might be close to impossible.) Most of the credit for this amazing day goes to our hosts at Steinway, who really extended themselves to share the history and business philosophy that underlies their firm. They also fed us boxes of tasty pizza.

I also think we all owe a debt of gratitude to LJC, who kept track of the headcount as we were organizing the tour and helped keep us moving so the tour would end before the day shift did.

I must confess that, like Tenders, my enjoyment of the pizza and the lunch discussion was dimmed by the boorish questions and verbal jousts of one of our number. I think I know who he was, but I can't be sure so I won't take a chance on insulting an innocent party by using his name here. I'm a lawyer, and I'm pretty well used to bad behavior and pontificating. But in my 30 years of knocking heads with some fairly disagreeable characters, this encounter stands out as one of the rudest displays of self-aggrandizement I've ever seen. It's perfectly all right to hold strong views to the effect that Steinway builds pianos of inconsistent quality and has done little in the way of design innovation in the last 60 years. But it's quite another to accept Steinway hospitality for a long morning, eat Steinway pizza for lunch, and then endlessly berate them notwithstanding their gracious, patient efforts to answer your pointed, repetitious questions.

I left the lunch early because I couldn't bear to listen to this anymore. I gave myself the whole weekend to cool off before writing this, but apparently it wasn't enough. Nonetheless, let's keep things in perspective. All in all, this was a wonderful way to spend a rainy winter day, learning about how one of the world's great piano makers goes about its business and getting to know the faces that go with some of the screen names I see here so often. Thanks again to all for a memorable outing -- with one notable exception I would just as soon forget.
_________________________
Phil Bjorlo

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#29007 - 12/15/08 11:32 AM Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR
Bob Snyder Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/30/08
Posts: 162
Loc: West Coast
Hello everyone -
It was good to meet you this past Thursday - and at least have a chance to say hello. We did our best to provide you with a good tour - a tour that was somewhat customized toward what a "piano technician" would be interested in seeing, and hearing. I'm sorry I didn't have a chance to come and speak to you afterwards.

I heard (and this forum seems to confirm this) that the majority of the folks had a good time... something for which I'm grateful. For the very few of the group that seemed to not enjoy their time with us at all, I apologize - we did our best to make you all feel welcome.

Finally, I was especially pleased to meet JeffBC's daughter - who was delightful, and who reminded me again of what it truly important, and what isn't.

thanks again everyone - and I hope we can do this again.
_________________________
Bob Snyder
Senior District Manager
Steinway & Sons

rsnyder@steinway.com
www.steinway.com

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#29008 - 12/15/08 12:57 PM Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19347
Loc: New York City
 Quote:
Originally posted by jakedog:
Once you take the tour, you will realize (as did my 13 y/o daughter) why the Steinway is the premier instrument and all other discussions will be over.
[/b]
???????
Close down the Piano Forum. All discussion of the relative merits and personal preferences when it comes to pianos is irrelevant!

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#29009 - 12/15/08 01:45 PM Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR
James Maxwell Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/18/02
Posts: 103
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianoloverus:
 Quote:
Originally posted by jakedog:
Once you take the tour, you will realize (as did my 13 y/o daughter) why the Steinway is the premier instrument and all other discussions will be over.
[/b]
???????
Close down the Piano Forum. All discussion of the relative merits and personal preferences when it comes to pianos is irrelevant! [/b]
Relax. I happen to agree with jakedog that Steinway is the premier instrument, and I might add from an exceptionally well managed company that has superior strategies in every aspect of the piano business. What we saw during the tour were not just personal preferences but facts: they were constantly looking for ways to improve the quality of the products while reducing the costs simultaneously. They have statistics to back up the facts.

By the way, there is NO implication that all other bands are bad in his statement.
_________________________
Weber WC-46, Kawai RX-2, Steinway B

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#29010 - 12/15/08 02:22 PM Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19347
Loc: New York City
 Quote:
Originally posted by James:
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianoloverus:
 Quote:
Originally posted by jakedog:
Once you take the tour, you will realize (as did my 13 y/o daughter) why the Steinway is the premier instrument and all other discussions will be over.
[/b]
???????
Close down the Piano Forum. All discussion of the relative merits and personal preferences when it comes to pianos is irrelevant! [/b]
Relax. I happen to agree with jakedog that Steinway is the premier instrument, and I might add from an exceptionally well managed company that has superior strategies in every aspect of the piano business. What we saw during the tour were not just personal preferences but facts: they were constantly looking for ways to improve the quality of the products while reducing the costs simultaneously. They have statistics to back up the facts.

By the way, there is NO implication that all other bands are bad in his statement. [/b]
But there was the clear statement(not even implication)that Steinway is "*the* premier instrument", hence better than all others. Then it was followed up by "all other disscussions will be over".

What you got during the tour is, of course, sales spin, the same you would get at the tour of any piano factory.

Finally, I really don't need to "relax" because I found the post I quoted almost laughable(hence my reply which you apparently didn't realize was supposed to be a joke)in terms of its one sidedness. There is no best piano.

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#29011 - 12/15/08 07:17 PM Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR
LJC Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/04
Posts: 1518
Loc: New York
"What you got during the tour is, of course, sales spin, the same you would get at the tour of any piano factory."

How do you know what we got on the tour? I know who was on the tour and you weren't there. You have no basis to say this. You have no idea what you are talking about. Please take your disagreeable comments to your own thread. Jakedog is entitled to his opinion as are the thousands who agree with him.

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#29012 - 12/15/08 07:30 PM Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR
Piano World Offline



Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 5587
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
You shouldn't confuse "spin" with pride.

Sure they are biased, as they should be, it's their company.

I've taken the Steinway Tour, and the Mason & Hamlin Tour. I was impressed with both.

I consider it a privilege to be allowed to take these tours, not all piano companies are willing to take the time and effort to conduct an hours long tour of their facilities.

And they both know going in that our group will be quite vocal on the Internet, posting reactions and opinions on these forums.

That in itself tells me they believe in their products.

You can sign me up now for next years tour \:\)
_________________________
- Frank B.
Founder / Host
www.PianoWorld.com
www.PianoSupplies.com
Find Us On:
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Estonia L-190, Yamaha P-80, Hammond XK-3, Hammond A-100, Estey 1895 Pump Organ
-------------------------
It's Fun To Play the Piano ... PLEASE Pass It On!
And please invite everyone you know to join our piano forums!
Coming to Maine? We're in Parsonsfield (southwest) let's get together!


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#29013 - 12/15/08 07:40 PM Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR
LJC Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/04
Posts: 1518
Loc: New York
I'll see you there Frank.

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#29014 - 12/15/08 08:28 PM Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19347
Loc: New York City
 Quote:
Originally posted by LJC:
"What you got during the tour is, of course, sales spin, the same you would get at the tour of any piano factory."

How do you know what we got on the tour? I know who was on the tour and you weren't there. You have no basis to say this. You have no idea what you are talking about. [/b]
I have been on the Steinway tour at least twice so I know exactly what they are like. I would hope and expect the person giving the tour has pride in his product, but to think that there is no spin involved in these tours(or the tour of any other piano factory)is incredibly naive.

Again, what I objected to was the outrageously extreme and one-sided statment to the effect that "Once you take the tour you'll know why Steinway is the premier piano and all other discussion will be over". It's as if the other truly great piano manufacturers don't even exist. And the poster even mentioned how impressed his 13 year old daughter had been as if that made his statement stronger.

I wouldn't even expect the most rookie Steinway salesman to claim that there is no point in even bothering to discuss whether (NY)Steinway was or wasn't superior to Boesendorfer, Bechstein, Bluthner, Steingraeber, Fazioli, Mason Hamlin,
Sauter, Hamburg Steinway etc.

Can you imagine saying to a Boesendorfer owner that Steinway is superior to Boesendorfer end of discussion?

I think Steinways are very excellent pianos but trying to claim (and expressing one's opinions as if they were facts) that they are "the premier piano and all other discussions will be over" is one of the least knowledgable statements I have read on this forum.

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#29015 - 12/15/08 08:32 PM Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19347
Loc: New York City
double post

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#29016 - 12/15/08 08:45 PM Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR
Piano World Offline



Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 5587
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianoloverus:
 Quote:
Originally posted by LJC:
"What you got during the tour is, of course, sales spin, the same you would get at the tour of any piano factory."

How do you know what we got on the tour? I know who was on the tour and you weren't there. You have no basis to say this. You have no idea what you are talking about. [/b]
I have been on the Steinway tour at least twice so I know exactly what they are like. I would hope and expect the person giving the tour has pride in his product, but to think that there is no spin involved in these tours is naive.

Again, what I objected to was the incredibly extreme and one=sided statment to the effect that "Once you take the tour you'll know why Steinway is the premier piano and all other discussion will be over". It's as if the other truly great piano manufacturers don't even exist. And the poster even mentioned how impressed his 13 year old daughter had been as if that made his statement stronger.

I wouldn't even expect the most rookie Steinway salesman to claim that there is no point in even bothering to discuss whether (NY)Steinway was or wasn't superior to Boesendorfer, Bechstein, Bluthner, Steingraeber, Fazioli, Mason Hamlin or Hamburg Steinway.

Can you imagine saying to a Boesendorfer owner that Steinway is superior to Boesendorfer end of discussion?

I think Steinways are very excellent pianos but trying to claim (and not even saying it was an opinion) that they are "the premier piano and all other discussions will be over" is one of the least knowledgable statements I have read on this forum. [/b]
Ok, I'll give you that one.

There is no such thing as "the best Piano", and the discussion (as evidenced by the 1,097,968 posts and counting) on these forums ... ain't ever over :-)
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#29017 - 12/16/08 12:36 PM Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR
LJC Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/04
Posts: 1518
Loc: New York
" I have been on the Steinway tour at least twice so I know exactly what they are like. I would hope and expect the person giving the tour has pride in his product, but to think that there is no spin involved in these tours(or the tour of any other piano factory)is incredibly naive."

But you werent on this tour and you don't know what you're talking about.

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#29018 - 12/16/08 02:41 PM Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR
James Maxwell Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/18/02
Posts: 103
Way back when I was still in college (too long ago to remember exactly when), I was taught that one of the basics of selling any product was called the “6 P’s of Marketing”, namely Products, Production, Pricing, Place, People, and Promotion. Of course there are other important or vital aspects to a business, but these 6 P’s are the basic of the basics. Now it seems to me that Steinway has superior strategies in all of the 6 P’s:

1. Product – From day one they carved out a niche market, namely the high end with premium pianos, which they have managed to maintain to this day. Recognizing the changing factors (consumer taste, competition from cheaper labor parts of the world, etc), they created a new business model by adding two less expensive lines – the Boston and Essex. Apparently this strategy is very successful, which is imitated by some but not exactly successfully (remember Brodmann? which started as a less expensive line of another premium piano co., but was abandoned because obviously they could not successfully implement it, and it is now a completely separate company).

2. Production – By combining modern production methods with traditional craftsmanship, they constantly cut costs and improve quality, while maintaining the characteristic “Steinway Sound” that its fans love.

3. Pricing – They are the only company in the piano world that does not play the “discount game” which tends to confuse most potential consumers, some of whom also tend to feel deceived. The discount game may be OK for low-end markets, but has no place in the high-end market. Personally this was a big factor in deciding to buy a Steinway piano.

4. Place – Steinway has evolved to be a true global company with production strategically located in the US, Germany, and OEM in Japan and China, and sales in every major market serving the end consumers. No other premium pianos have this kind of globalization.

5. People – They have the largest army of famous pianists as “Steinway Artists” to serve as their marketers to “pull”, and famous people including the members of the Steinway family to “push”. They are unmatched in this area by any other premium brands, at least size-wise.

6. Promotion – again they are unmatched in this area. Their key strategies, all are highly effective to the delight of some and chagrin of others, are (1) the above mentioned “Steinway Artists” program, (2) “All Steinway Schools” that dominate music schools, and (3) Dominance of performance stages especially those large and famous ones.

The factory tour served to let us take a peek (through a tiny little window) of the production side. And what I was highly impressed by what I saw.
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