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#642666 - 02/13/09 09:53 AM Hamburg Steinway?
Dave Stahl Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 1645
Hi All,

Just tuned a really nice M from 1927. I was about to start tuning when I noticed that there was no sostenuto pedal (I often use it to tune the bass). Other than that, from the outside, it looked like a New York M. When I pulled the action, the hammers were decidedly different. Not sure if they were replacements (I suspect so) or originals. The underfelt was orange-yellow.

Any of you have experience with Hamburgs?
Promote Harmony in the Universe...Tune your piano!

Dave Stahl, RPT
Piano Technician's Guild
San Jose, CA

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#642667 - 02/13/09 09:59 AM Re: Hamburg Steinway?
Steve Jackson Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/07
Posts: 700
Loc: Zichron Yaacov, Israel
Hi David:

The Hamburgs, and most European pianos did not have
sostenuto until recently. I think the Hamburgs started in the 60's with the 3 pedals. The hammers are different too. They have always used different parts and woods and sound and play different. The pinblocks are also doweled into the case at the ends, not just the stretcher.

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#642668 - 02/13/09 10:19 AM Re: Hamburg Steinway?
Peter Sumner- Piano Technician Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 852
Loc: San Francisco
Hi Dave
The cheeks on Hamburg instruments are round....square on NY instruments....
I think that applies to the era you mention.
Earlier instruments were all round cheeks...I think the styles changed in the early part of the century.

There are anomalies in reproduction styles and art case instruments....

I think!!!

Perhaps someone can straighten me out if I'm wrong.
Peter Sumner
Concert Piano Technician

#642669 - 02/13/09 10:29 AM Re: Hamburg Steinway?
Dave Stahl Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 1645
Peter, Steve,

Thanks for the information. The cheeks were square on this. On the surface, it looked NY, but I've never seen a 1927 NY without sostentuto.

As far as the action parts, they may or may not be original. I suspect not, given the instrument's age. I shaped the hammers, and the felt was amazingly easy to work with.

Usually when I get a call to service a 1927 Steinway, I expect an assortment of problems, notably verdigris. The piano was in really good shape.
Promote Harmony in the Universe...Tune your piano!

Dave Stahl, RPT
Piano Technician's Guild
San Jose, CA

#642670 - 02/13/09 11:50 AM Re: Hamburg Steinway?
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 23194
Loc: Oakland
Differences in Steinways of that period, but not necessarily definitive: Brass inlaid lettering, rather than a decal (Did any of you see the recent Woodwright's Shop with the passer drill?). Auxiliary wippen support springs. Lid prop without the Steinway scallop. Hornbeam action parts, rather than maple. Smaller knuckles, with different leather.

I have seen one Hamburg with really badly corroded drop screws.
Semipro Tech


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