I wanted to share my exposure to the Wilhelm Steinberg Uprights.
While making an appt at Roger’s Piano in Hanover, Ma, Roger spoke of 4 brands of uprights that I was interested in trying. Wilhelm Steinberg, Shulz Pollmann, Petrof, Seidl and Sohn. There are a few favorable notes regarding the W S in the PWF, several on the SP and Petrof, none on the S and S.
I was most intriqued with his descriptions of the Wilm. Steinberg, mentioning that I would be pleasantly surprised at what a beautiful tone they have. I have liked several German pianos so far in my search: Forster, Sauter, C. Bechstein, so was anxious to try them.
First, I played one of each 4 brands mentioned above to get a feel for their tone. The second piano was a Steinberg 51. The IQ28. Roger asked me right away what I thought. I said “round”. My first impression was a nice touch and round tone. Full, balanced, and powerful. Clean and clear. I asked if he had others on the floor.
He then showed me to the UPRIGHT ROOM. Holy cow, were there ever pianos in stock there! (see post Upright Piano Search Still Continues - http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/10888.html#000000)
And almost every one was playable! Leading me to the back of the room, Roger pointed out the case pieces of the Steinberg’s. They are beautiful pieces of furniture as well. I must say that I was quite impressed with the European Cherry. Not red cherry as I found here in USA, but almost the coloring of warm antique pine. Some have an African YEW embedded in the front and/or the knee front piece. At first I didn’t know what to make of them, but immediately warmed up to the woodwork. Their website does NOT do them justice. AT ALL. Some have Poly, others like the first mahogany I played were in satin lacquer.
I then set out to try all 8 on the floor! I tried several the 51’s, and several of the 48’s, both with the tops open and closed. More mellow closed, but still with great power. For most pianists, I really think the 48 is more than enough. And the overall composition of the furniture is in good proportion
Most of those I tried were brighter rather than mellow. Roger mentioned that brightness might be one of their features. I was drawn to the mellow, which to me has more depth. During a break from uprights, I tried 2 Steinberg grands. Both were mellow and I asked about it. One had been voiced down but the other seemed to be naturally mellow and rich. So maybe, in general we could think that Steinbergs in general are a little more on the brighter side. (but not even as bright as the “mellow” Yamaha U5 I tried) . Personally, my favorite turned out to be the most mellow of the Steinberg 51’s that were available that day. It was not my favorite furniture piece however.
I had trouble with the damper pedal on all of the Steinberg uprights. The same problem that I had encountered with the August Forster that I played. It was too squishy. Too much room and I couldn’t half pedal as well. I had to angle my foot too high to clear the dampers. When one has to think too hard about pedaling “high” to not play muddy, it takes away from the enjoyment and concentration of playing. I was told this could be adjusted. I will wait and see if the pedal issue gets resolved on at least one piano that I liked before I return to play them again. (The grands did NOT have this issue.)
From their brochure:
Wilhelm Steinberg is a A German Co in business since 1877 making handcrafted pianos. The soundboards come from Val di Fiemme, Italy, where the trees grown at high altitudes makes slow growth and tight rings. The action is Renner.
Uprights are offered at 46, 48, 51 inches with nice cabinetry. I only remember playing the 48’s, IQ22, and the 51’s, IQ28. I am not sure there were the 46’s present at Rogers. Their grands are 5’8”, and 6’4” http://www.wilh-steinberg.de/Welcome/welcome.html
I am not sure how easily you will be able to find the Steinberg in your local, but if you can, I Highly Recommend that you give them a try! They are very nice, not as expensive as some tall uprights, but still will cost a pretty penny.