Steingraeber 205 vs Steinway B

Posted by: Keith D Kerman

Steingraeber 205 vs Steinway B - 03/23/12 06:11 PM

OK, you asked for it you got it. Same pianist, same music, same recording gear, same spot in the the same room. Same technician as well.

In this corner, we have a model 205 Steingraeber taking on the mighty golden age rebuilt Steinway B.

Compare, contrast, listen and hopefully enjoy! The Ravel is gorgeous.

Actually, feel free to listen to each a few times as you might notice new subtleties with both pianos with each listen. Be careful though, you will fall deeply in love with the Ravel. smile

Sorry, but both pianos are sold and in happy homes for quite a while guys!




Posted by: ScottM

Re: Steingraeber 205 vs Steinway B - 03/23/12 06:25 PM

That's really interesting. The Steinway sounds more mellow, which sometimes works well and sometimes not. It sounds like an old piano to me, although a very nice one. The Steingraeber comes across as cleaner and brighter, but the bass is amazing - with more depth and resonance than the Steinway can muster. Very interesting.
Posted by: Karl Watson

Re: Steingraeber 205 vs Steinway B - 03/23/12 06:44 PM

I've listened to both performances twice. Eric Himy is such a wonderful pianist.

Your pianos: it's impossible to rate one better than the other. I might prefer one or the other, but both are gorgeous. Your restoration of the B is world-class.

The colour is clearly different on both instruments. So glad the that B sounds like an American B with a slightly restrained treble, not at all over done. I dislike rebuilding jobs that seek to transform the character and basic nature of the instrument. That is really a dream B.

The Steingraeber seems to have every positive quality of middle-European piano building with none of the possible drawbacks. It's apparent to me that the action of the 205 is wonderfully responsive.
Posted by: Rickster

Re: Steingraeber 205 vs Steinway B - 03/23/12 07:16 PM

Well, I'm not sure just how "cultured" ( smile ) I am when it comes to assessing pianos, but I liked the Steinway B better; though the Steingraeber may have been a little cleaner and brighter, as ScottM said.

It was refreshing to see and hear a well prepped piano! (Two of them, actually smile )

Good job, Keith!

Rick
Posted by: j&j

Re: Steingraeber 205 vs Steinway B - 03/23/12 09:09 PM

Eric Himy's performance is breath-taking. I've listened to both performances twice, although it loses so much through PC speakers! If I have to pick a favorite and can't be there to really hear and feel the Ravel live, I think it would have to be the Steingraeber. I loved it's bass and it did have a slightly cleaner treble. Wonderful rebuild on the Steinway - congratulations on the spectacular work! If only I could play that well...maybe if I can live to 250 and practice 6 hours a day.
Posted by: PaintedPostDave

Re: Steingraeber 205 vs Steinway B - 03/23/12 10:20 PM

Don't have a horse in this race but it always a pleasant experience listening to (and looking at) two beautifully prepared pianos. Thanks, Keith D. Kerman.
Posted by: sophial

Re: Steingraeber 205 vs Steinway B - 03/23/12 11:03 PM

Two gorgeous pianos! and wonderful performances. I have to admit I like the soulful quality of the Steinway B better but they are both beautiful.


Sophia
Posted by: Dave Ferris

Re: Steingraeber 205 vs Steinway B - 03/23/12 11:17 PM

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Posted by: Dave B

Re: Steingraeber 205 vs Steinway B - 03/24/12 02:59 AM

Top shelf pianos and top shelf playing always add up to enjoyable recordings. Thanks! I'm sure both pianos were not on the floor for very long.

I wonder how much time the pianist spent with each piano? Both pianos seemed to possess further levels of nuance that might be realized by being more familiar with the keyboard.

The balance of the Steingraeber supports the tone in a way that frees up the player to use dynamic and tempo contrasts. I enjoyed the clarity of the lower tenor and bass sections.

The right hand notes (money notes) of the Steinway had impressive dynamic expression in a rich warm tone. Supported by a bass and tenor that crescendo waves of layered textures typical in Steinway pianos, typical yet always impressive. My only reservation is that over the last few years, I've found myself becoming less tolerant of the muddy Steinway bass; We can't have everything?

I'm not a little league coach, but both are winners in my book.
Posted by: lilylady

Re: Steingraeber 205 vs Steinway B - 03/24/12 08:35 AM

I hope that we are not suppose to 'chose' one over the other!

Both spectacular, although different.

And Mr. Himy plays so beautifully. Always! Yup, falling in love with that Ravel.

BTW, there is a higher setting I would suggest listening/watching on. It comes up on you tube as 360P but will go up to 720p for better quality. Especially nice when viewing in the large screen.

Thank goodness for my Boston speakers on the PC!

Thank you, KK. Thank you Eric!
Posted by: Bob Newbie

Re: Steingraeber 205 vs Steinway B - 03/24/12 10:41 AM

The steingraeber has the clean clear sparkle..but the "B" has that vintage old sound
which I prefer..and another thing I noticed, his playing displayed a lighter touch on the Steinway B..he used a more forceful finger depression on the Steingraeber..
Posted by: Keith D Kerman

Re: Steingraeber 205 vs Steinway B - 03/24/12 01:06 PM

Originally Posted By: Karl Watson

Your pianos: it's impossible to rate one better than the other. I might prefer one or the other, but both are gorgeous. Your restoration of the B is world-class.

So glad the that B sounds like an American B with a slightly restrained treble, not at all over done. I dislike rebuilding jobs that seek to transform the character and basic nature of the instrument. That is really a dream B.


Thanks Karl. Although we are known as a kind of hot rod shop, our first priority is to maintain the authentic voice of the piano we are rebuilding, if it has a voice worth saving, and this one certainly did. It is nice to know that came accross.
Posted by: Keith D Kerman

Re: Steingraeber 205 vs Steinway B - 03/24/12 01:10 PM

Originally Posted By: Dave B
Top shelf pianos and top shelf playing always add up to enjoyable recordings. Thanks! I'm sure both pianos were not on the floor for very long.

I wonder how much time the pianist spent with each piano? Both pianos seemed to possess further levels of nuance that might be realized by being more familiar with the keyboard.


You get an A+ for perception here. Eric pretty much sat down cold and played. We had both pianos set up to be exceptionally user friendly, and Eric is quick to adapt.
Posted by: Keith D Kerman

Re: Steingraeber 205 vs Steinway B - 03/24/12 01:19 PM

Originally Posted By: Bob Newbie
The steingraeber has the clean clear sparkle..but the "B" has that vintage old sound
which I prefer..and another thing I noticed, his playing displayed a lighter touch on the Steinway B..he used a more forceful finger depression on the Steingraeber..


I had to go back and watch again, but I think you're right. One of the hallmarks of that B is that it works really well at soft volumes and you can see Eric kind of getting into that soft sound world. Also, there is a bit less mass in our Steinway B action then in the Steingraeber action although both are balanced nearly identically.
Neat observation!
Posted by: Eric Gloo

Re: Steingraeber 205 vs Steinway B - 03/24/12 01:28 PM

What fun! For this particular piece, I prefer the Steinway B. I hear a smoothness in tone throughout that made me concentrate more on the music than the piano. I like the mid-range tone of the Steingraeber, but think the upper treble is a bit too crisp for the Ravel. I'm sure on different styles of music, I'd prefer the Steinbraeber, too.
Posted by: Robert 45

Re: Steingraeber 205 vs Steinway B - 03/24/12 02:21 PM

Mr Himy's performance on the Steinway B seemed a perfect union between the performer and the instrument. I wonder which of the two pianos he preferred playing for this Ravel piece?
Both pianos are fabulous, but I preferred the Steinway for its beautiful purity of tone and refinement of sound.

Thank you Keith for this intriguing comparison. You made that Steinway B into a heavenly sounding piano.

Robert.
Posted by: Pianolance

Re: Steingraeber 205 vs Steinway B - 03/24/12 03:51 PM

I think the Steingraeber sounded like it was trying harder to be a standout. The Steinway just seemed to know it was a Steinway and let the chips fall where they may. This would be more interesting if the audio was captured on a dedicated audio recorder with quality microphones. The video sound was good but not great. There was lots of hiss.
Posted by: RJ10

Re: Steingraeber 205 vs Steinway B - 03/24/12 06:06 PM

Steingraeber does it for me. Crisp, full, beautiful tone that is consistently beautiful across the entire piano. It starts out in full blossom from the moment the key is played. The Steinway has discernible differences between bass, midrange, and treble - and the una corda in the treble is too back of the throat sounding for my taste. Also, I felt that the Steinway tone was a bit tubby - favoring the lower partials but never really blossoming. The tone of the Steinway seemed to peak and die rather than linger like the Steingraeber. For my ear, the Steingraeber tone was fuller and rounder - more complete - than the Steinway, and it also had much crisper articulation of the notes without being percussive whereas the Steinway at times seemed to be a bit muddy.
Posted by: Entheo

Re: Steingraeber 205 vs Steinway B - 03/24/12 06:20 PM

i have to go with the steinway's rich warm, rounded sound.
Posted by: mautique

Re: Steingraeber 205 vs Steinway B - 03/24/12 08:18 PM

The pianist was able to extract more tonal colors from the Steinway.
Posted by: ScottM

Re: Steingraeber 205 vs Steinway B - 03/24/12 08:42 PM

I thought the pianist was working harder with the Steinway, but the sound of the Steingraeber just flowed out. The range of tone and dynamics sounded easier to produce on the Steingraeber. Only the pianist knows for sure.
Posted by: Sparky McBiff

Re: Steingraeber 205 vs Steinway B - 03/24/12 10:21 PM

Steingraeber for me.
It just had more of a presence and a stupendous bass to my ears.
Posted by: OperaTenor

Re: Steingraeber 205 vs Steinway B - 03/24/12 11:12 PM

I think I need to hear how both of those stack up against an Ellenburg...
Posted by: Eric Gloo

Re: Steingraeber 205 vs Steinway B - 03/25/12 10:22 AM

The truest test would be if WE could all hear the two piano recordings from the same speakers. So, where are we all going to meet? Perhaps a Piano World Listening Party! yippie
Posted by: Keith D Kerman

Re: Steingraeber 205 vs Steinway B - 04/25/14 04:15 PM

Sorry to bring back such an old thread, but someone just pointed out to me that because our youtube channel changed they couldn't access the videos here. Also, I could not edit the opening post. So, here are the same videos linked in the initial post should anyone dig up this thread again in the future smile

Same music, same pianist, same space, same recording equipment, same piano technician
Steingraeber 205 and vintage Steinway B




Posted by: Mark Polishook

Re: Steingraeber 205 vs Steinway B - 04/25/14 04:22 PM

Keith, Thanx for re-posting them. They're great vids for anyone thinking about Steinway/Steingraeber - I watched them a lot before buying my 205 from Hurstwood Farm. Of course Eric is a great pianist. I get the sense from his videos that he thoroughly appreciates and enjoys the differences between great pianos.
Posted by: wimpiano

Re: Steingraeber 205 vs Steinway B - 04/25/14 04:39 PM

When I was given the choice I would take both.. lol.
I do like the Steingraeber a lot but the Steinway sounds so perfect..
Posted by: Grandman

Re: Steingraeber 205 vs Steinway B - 04/25/14 06:55 PM

Wow, tough choices. They both sound really nice. Thanks for sharing these videos.
Posted by: lluiscl

Re: Steingraeber 205 vs Steinway B - 04/26/14 02:03 AM

Sorry, both recordings can be better: too much hiss/noise...
Posted by: otherside

Re: Steingraeber 205 vs Steinway B - 04/26/14 01:43 PM

I do like the Steinway a lot but the Steingraeber sounds so perfect smile
Posted by: dynamobt

Re: Steingraeber 205 vs Steinway B - 04/26/14 03:39 PM

Tough choice indeed!! I went in determined to like the Steinway best. Huh! Didn't work out that way. The Steingraeber is just gorgeous!!