STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR

Posted by: LJC

STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 10/14/08 01:55 PM

Our resident Steinway representative Mr. Bob Snyder has graciously agreed to host a tour of the New York factory. The dates are not yet set but we are looking at November or December. We need at least 6 people and that shouldn't be a problem because I could probably provide 6 myself. Please post your your interest in attending the 2008 Steinway Factory Tour and state what date you would like. We will then settle on a date or even two if there is enough interest. Many thanks to Bob!!
Posted by: Mechanical Doll

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 10/14/08 06:28 PM

While I'm interested, I'm not at all sure I'll be able to attend due to my work schedule. I'll check back to see what date you decide on.
Posted by: tenders

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 10/14/08 07:14 PM

I would love to do this and would take time off to attend if at all possible.
Posted by: DarkGreenChocolate

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 10/14/08 07:36 PM

Interested pending schedule. Are they still not giving regular tours?
Posted by: jerryho

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 10/14/08 10:05 PM

I'm in...... but it really depends on the schedule....
Posted by: Rich Galassini

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 10/14/08 10:43 PM

Im in... been there before, but I am always up for a piano afternoon!
Posted by: pianokeys135

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 10/15/08 09:56 AM

I'd be interested in going, but I can probably only make it on weekends due to my work schedule.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 10/15/08 12:02 PM

I'm interested.
Posted by: Bob Snyder

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 10/15/08 12:44 PM

As you are considering dates, please note that the weeks of November 17 and December 22 will not work. Pretty much any week day of any week other than the two mentioned above could work out. I'm sorry that we cannot offer any Saturday tours.

I look forward to putting this together - and I hope we can get a good group.

thanks everyone,
Posted by: musdan

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 10/15/08 11:50 PM

I'm interested any day but Tuesdays are fine with me and I'll be visiting family the first week of November.


This is something I've always wanted to do.
\:\)
Posted by: LJC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 10/17/08 03:57 PM

We now have the date, Thursday December 11. Please arrive at the factory by 9:00. Bob will be in from the West Coast so we can all meet the man that made this possible. I will be away next week but the week after I will be compiling a list of those that will attend. So far there is pleanty of room for those who want to see the Steinway factory in action.
Posted by: Stevester

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 10/17/08 05:08 PM

Do you have an address I could use for mapping? 9:00 may be early for me but I would like to consider it.

Thanks.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 10/17/08 06:14 PM

If you go on the tour three times is it true that Steinway gives you your choice of any piano you pass by during the tour(including the ones in the selection room where the tour ends)?
Posted by: Bob Snyder

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 10/17/08 07:22 PM

The factory is at 19th Avenue and 38th Street, in Astoria. It's close to LaGuardia airport.
Our actual address is One Steinway Place, Long Island City, NY. But if you get to the corner of 19th Ave and 38th Street, you're there.

Here's a mapquest link:
http://www.mapquest.com/maps?name=Steinw...RESS&id=1374846
Posted by: Rod Verhnjak

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 10/17/08 07:30 PM

I wish I could get a cheap price on a flight.

My technician, is there as we speak, doing one of the technician courses.

He is having a blast.
Posted by: James Maxwell

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 10/17/08 08:03 PM

I am definitely interested; please count me in!
Posted by: Piano World

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 10/17/08 08:38 PM

LJC, thanks for taking the lead on this.

Bob, thanks for representing Steinway in this.

Here are some comments and picts from our 2007 tour...
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?/topic/1/17985.html

After we took this tour, Kyle Kirkland was kind enough to call and ask for my reaction.

I told him it was wonderful to see the production (and the old factory, now used for restoration). But...
We had a hard time hearing our host, and were a little disappointed at the restrictions on picture taking (only allowed in the hot box where they cure the rims).

He assured me the next time would be better.

So...
I'm hoping that either means they've adopted wireless headphones (like Mason & Hamlin uses) or are planning to have someone with a really big voice do the tour.

I also hope it means there will be additional areas open to picture taking.

While I realize Steinway doesn't need much help with brand recognition (although younger generations may not be quite as cognizant as others). But, it would be appreciated by our 35,000+ registered members, and hundreds of thousands of guests if they could get a good picture of the operation.

Wish I could join you, but I've recently moved to Southern FL. My next trip will be to NAMM (in Jan.).
Posted by: me4dt

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 10/17/08 11:02 PM

Please count me in.

... and I would like to take lots of pictures. IS THAT ALLOWED?

Thanks.
Posted by: LJC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 10/18/08 08:55 AM

Thanks to all who have responded. I'm sure we will have a great group of piano lovers on this tour. As for pictures I will let Bob comment on that, picture taking was restricted on past tours.
Posted by: Stevester

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 10/18/08 11:18 AM

Bob,

Many thanks for the mapping directions. I am in southern most NJ and it might be a bit of a long ride for a 9:00 start taking into account traffic uncertainties. Hopefully I can make it.

Regards,
Steve Ries
Posted by: Stevester

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 10/18/08 11:30 AM

As for photos. With a background in industrial marketing and sales I can understand and I fully respect Steinway’s policy. I have been in facilities where people won’t even answer questions let alone let you bring a camera so I think we should be happy just to get inside. I am sure Steinway will make what allowances they feel comfortable with. Again, I think it best to fully respect Steinways’ wishes.
Posted by: Piano World

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 10/18/08 11:37 AM

All,

If you have never been on a factory tour before, keep in mind:

~ Wear comfortable walking shoes (or sneakers).
You will do a lot of walking and the floors are hard.

~ Although the factory is clean, there will be some sawdust (as expected in a working factory), and there is always the possibility of brushing up against some equipment so...

I would recommend wearing clothes you don't mind getting dirty. It probably won't happen, but if it does you won't be upset with yourself:-)

~ Speaking of clothing, it should be obvious but I'll mention it anyway. Loose clothing and or jewelry is not a good idea around working machinery.
Your hosts will of course do everything to keep you out of harms way, but people still tend to wander a bit.

~ And speaking of wandering, please don't :-)
Stay with the group, your host will let you know when it's ok to go somewhere on your own.

And please do not try to pet/feed/ or talk to the working employees. They are doing the job they are paid to do, you shouldn't be interrupting them.

Bob, if you want to add anything or correct anything I've said, please feel free to jump in.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Stevester:
As for photos. With a background in industrial marketing and sales I can understand and I fully respect Steinway’s policy. I have been in facilities where people won’t even answer questions let alone let you bring a camera so I think we should be happy just to get inside. I am sure Steinway will make what allowances they feel comfortable with. Again, I think it best to fully respect Steinways’ wishes. [/b]
Steve is right about this one.

I keep teasing Steinway hoping they might open up a little more (as we've experienced with some other companies tours). However, it is their house and their right to set the policies.

I'm happy to see another Steinway tour being organized, I'd like to see it become at least a yearly event. Wish I could join you for this one.
Posted by: LJC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 10/18/08 11:08 PM

Steve if youre late I'm sure you can still join the group. Frank- Sorry you can't make it. Me4dt and James youre both counted in. Rich-Theres a particular Steinway I'd like to show you while youre in NY but its not at the factory. As for everyone else, let me know if you guys can make it. CC2 is coming as well and my tuner/tech/friend Kong Lee.
Posted by: Piano World

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 10/19/08 01:17 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by LJC:
Steve if youre late I'm sure you can still join the group. Frank- Sorry you can't make it. Me4dt and James youre both counted in. Rich-Theres a particular Steinway I'd like to show you while youre in NY but its not at the factory. As for everyone else, let me know if you guys can make it. CC2 is coming as well and my tuner/tech/friend Kong Lee. [/b]
Thanks LJC, funds are a little tight from my having just moved to FL or I'd be there :-)

You might want to discuss parking arrangements too (for those driving in).

I had bright organge warning stickers plastered on my windshield when I got back from the tour last year (bugger to get them off).
Could have been worse, at least my car was still there :-)
Posted by: hotkeys

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 10/19/08 07:01 PM

I am interested. December 11 is perfect (I am off from work on Thursdays). Count me in.

- Mark
Posted by: jrcallan

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 10/20/08 07:09 PM

Please add jrcallan (James Callan) and Jon Dumont.

Thanks.
Posted by: Doogs

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 10/23/08 10:55 PM

Count me in.
Posted by: Bob Snyder

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 10/24/08 11:52 AM

I certainly look forward to meeting all you folks! LJC - please get me a total number when we get close to the date - - and I'll make sure that we're prepared.

If this goes well, we may want to make this an annual event.
Posted by: LJC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 10/25/08 09:47 AM

OK I'm back from my business trip. Heres the list so far:
1) LJC
2) Rich Gallassini
3) James
4) Me4dt
5) Stevester
6) CC2 and Chopin lover
7) Kong Lee
8) Joan Lee
9) James Montelbano
10) hotkeys
11) James Callan
12) Jon Dumont
13) Doogs

In addition here is the list of interested parties;

1) Mechanical Doll
2) tenders
3) DarkGreen Chocolate
4) Jerryho
5) pianokeys135
6) pianoloverus
7) musdan

Those on the possible list who want to be moved to the definate list please advise. Frank wanted a comment on parking, all I can say at this point is that parking is a problem and on the last tour I finally found a legal spot about 2 blocks away, so if youre driving leave extra time to find a spot. As for making this an annual event, that would be great!
Posted by: Confucian

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 10/26/08 09:52 PM

Count me in!

Confucian (Yuwei Li)
Posted by: LJC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 10/27/08 06:00 PM

Heres the updated list:

1) LJC
2) Rich Gallassini
3) James
4) Me4dt
5) Stevester
6) CC2 and Chopin lover
7) Kong Lee
8) Joan Lee
9) James Montelbano
10) hotkeys
11) James Callan
12) Jon Dumont
13) Doogs
14) Rich Crucet
15) Mrs. LJC
16) Confucian
17) Jon

In addition here is the list of interested parties;

1) Mechanical Doll
2) tenders
3) DarkGreen Chocolate
4) Jerryho
5) pianokeys135
6) pianoloverus
7) musdan
Posted by: JeffBC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 10/29/08 08:20 PM

On 10/18 I asked for myself and my daughter in the original thread ( http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/22/178.html ).

Please let me know if we make the cut...
Posted by: Bob Snyder

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 10/30/08 08:58 AM

JeffBC - of course you're welcome! We do have an age limit I'm afraid - - how old is your daughter?
Posted by: JeffBC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 10/30/08 07:06 PM

Bob,

Age limit huh, my guess is she won't pass muster then, but let me know.

Photos of her and I on the Mason & Hamlin tour back in May are at http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/22/147/3.html (scroll down to where it says, "Alanna and Dad (JeffBC)."

She was 4 on the M&H tour and she'd be 5 on the Steinway Tour. She's been studying Piano at the Yamaha School in Lexington, MA since she was 3. (All her idea BTW, I'm not trying to turn her into a pianist - she's genuinely interested hence she stayed attentive throughout that entire 15 hour day (tour+afterparty).
Posted by: Piano World

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 10/30/08 07:55 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Snyder:
JeffBC - of course you're welcome! We do have an age limit I'm afraid - - how old is your daughter? [/b]
Bob,

I can tell you Jeff's daughter was better behaved than most of the adults, and lasted longer. (As he suggested, see the pictures/stories from the M&H tour)

I also know she stays with Dad, and does what she's told.

If it's possible to allow her to attend, she will be fine.

Best,

Frank B.
Posted by: JeffBC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 10/30/08 10:36 PM

Thanks for the kind words Frank.

Given how much fun we had at M&H, we decided we'd like to visit all remaining USA piano factories. If we get to Steinway, we'll be halfway there (Baldwin and Charles Walter being the other two) - isn't that sad - only 4 left (Rubenstein isn't big enough (yet)).
Posted by: Axtremus

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 11/06/08 01:01 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by LJC:

1) LJC
2) Rich Gallassini
3) James
4) Me4dt
5) Stevester
6) CC2 and Chopin lover
7) Kong Lee
8) Joan Lee
9) James Montelbano
10) hotkeys
11) James Callan
12) Jon Dumont
13) Doogs
14) Rich Crucet
15) Mrs. LJC
16) Confucian
17) Jon
Adding myself:
18) Axtremus[/b]
Posted by: Bob Snyder

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 11/06/08 05:06 PM

Hello again JeffBC -
we look forward to both you and your daughter joining us for the tour... and as a dad, and a grandfather - - I will particularly enjoy meeting your little girl. What you're doing is wonderful - and it reminds me of a whole ton of years ago, when I took my own daughter (about 8 then, 33 now) on a business trip with me. It's a precious memory that no one can take away - and I'm honored to play a small part in what will hopefully become a special day for you and your daughter.
Posted by: jscomposer

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 11/06/08 05:34 PM

Is it too late to count me in? I'd love to go. At NYU I had the privilege of performing on a Horowitz Steinway--best piano I ever played, as you can imagine! I'm still in NYC. I make my own hours, so whenever you settle on a date and time, I'm good. Just let me know. Thanks!
Posted by: LJC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 11/06/08 06:38 PM

AS a reminder the tour is Thursday December 11, 2008 at 9:00. The Steinway factory is at 19th Ave and 38th St. Astoria, NY.

Heres the updated list;

1) LJC
2) Rich Gallassini
3) James
4) Me4dt
5) Stevester
6) CC2 and Chopin lover
7) Kong Lee
8) Joan Lee
9) James Montelbano
10) hotkeys
11) James Callan
12) Jon Dumont
13) Doogs
14) Rich Crucet
15) Mrs. LJC
16) Confucian
17) Jon
18) Axtremus
19) Jeffrey
20) Jeff BC
21) Jeff BC's daughter
22) JSComposer

In addition here is the list of interested parties;

1) Mechanical Doll
2) tenders
3) DarkGreen Chocolate
4) Jerryho
5) pianokeys135
6) pianoloverus
7) musdan
Posted by: LJC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 11/06/08 06:39 PM

AS a reminder the tour is Thursday December 11, 2008 at 9:00. The Steinway factory is at 19th Ave and 38th St. Astoria, NY.

Heres the updated list;

1) LJC
2) Rich Gallassini
3) James
4) Me4dt
5) Stevester
6) CC2 and Chopin lover
7) Kong Lee
8) Joan Lee
9) James Montelbano
10) hotkeys
11) James Callan
12) Jon Dumont
13) Doogs
14) Rich Crucet
15) Mrs. LJC
16) Confucian
17) Jon
18) Axtremus
19) Jeffrey
20) Jeff BC
21) Jeff BC's daughter
22) JSComposer

In addition here is the list of interested parties;

1) Mechanical Doll
2) tenders
3) DarkGreen Chocolate
4) Jerryho
5) pianokeys135
6) pianoloverus
7) musdan
Posted by: LJC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 11/07/08 12:48 PM

As a reminder the tour is Thursday December 11, 2008 at 9:00. The Steinway factory is at 19th Ave and 38th St. Astoria, NY.

Heres the updated list;

1) LJC
2) Rich Gallassini
3) James
4) Me4dt
5) Stevester
6) CC2 and Chopin lover
7) Kong Lee
8) Joan Lee
9) James Montelbano
10) hotkeys
11) James Callan
12) Jon Dumont
13) Doogs
14) Rich Crucet
15) Mrs. LJC
16) Confucian
17) Jon
18) Axtremus
19) Jeffrey
20) Jeff BC
21) Jeff BC's daughter
22) JSComposer
23) Tenders

In addition here is the list of interested parties;

1) Mechanical Doll
2) DarkGreen Chocolate
3) Jerryho
4) pianokeys135
5) pianoloverus
7) musdan
Posted by: Bob Snyder

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 11/11/08 11:20 AM

Hello everyone -
With regard to parking, we have arranged for reserved parking for you, in our Foreman's parking lot - which is right there at the factory. We have about 30 spaces - so this should cover it.

I look forward to meeting you all - and our President, Ron Losby, also will be there and looks forward to saying hello. Additionally, I'd like to invite my colleague from the Northeast to come and say hello as well.

Thank you.
Posted by: Mario Bruneau

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 11/11/08 06:23 PM

Hi everyone,

Mmmm, pretty tempting.

What about (reasonnable) hotels, accomodations in Manhattan or Queens? Or maybe a B&B. Those of you from NY must have an idea. Any help appreciated.
Posted by: LJC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 11/11/08 10:22 PM

Bob, The parking news is great and will be a big help in getting things underway on time! I look forward to meeting you, Ron Losby and your colleague.

Hi Mario, There's lots of Hotels in the area. The Steinway factory is not far from LaGuardia airport. As for reasonable, well this is New York. I could look into it if you like. I hope you can make it.
Posted by: jazzyprof

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 11/17/08 01:59 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by LJC:
As a reminder the tour is Thursday December 11, 2008 at 9:00. The Steinway factory is at 19th Ave and 38th St. Astoria, NY.

Heres the updated list;

1) LJC
2) Rich Gallassini
3) James
4) Me4dt
5) Stevester
6) CC2 and Chopin lover
7) Kong Lee
8) Joan Lee
9) James Montelbano
10) hotkeys
11) James Callan
12) Jon Dumont
13) Doogs
14) Rich Crucet
15) Mrs. LJC
16) Confucian
17) Jon
18) Axtremus
19) Jeffrey
20) Jeff BC
21) Jeff BC's daughter
22) JSComposer
23) Tenders
[/b]
This looks like fun. Please count me in!
jazzyprof
Posted by: LJC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 11/17/08 04:31 PM

UPDATE

1) LJC
2) Rich Gallassini
3) James
4) Me4dt
5) Stevester
6) CC2 and Chopin lover
7) Kong Lee
8) Joan Lee
9) James Montelbano
10) hotkeys
11) James Callan
12) Jon Dumont
13) Doogs
14) Rich Crucet
15) Mrs. LJC
16) Confucian
17) Jon
18) Axtremus
19) Jeffrey
20) Jeff BC
21) Jeff BC's daughter
22) JSComposer
23) Tenders
24) Jazzyprof
Posted by: Emanuel Ravelli

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 11/19/08 11:12 PM

Is there room for one more? I'd sure like to attend if there is.

Thanks,
Posted by: LJC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 11/20/08 12:49 PM

UPDATE

1) LJC
2) Rich Gallassini
3) James
4) Me4dt
5) Stevester
6) CC2 and Chopin lover
7) Kong Lee
8) Joan Lee
9) James Montelbano
10) hotkeys
11) James Callan
12) Jon Dumont
13) Doogs
14) Rich Crucet
15) Mrs. LJC
16) Confucian
17) Jon
18) Axtremus
19) Jeffrey
20) Jeff BC
21) Jeff BC's daughter
22) JSComposer
23) Tenders
24) Jazzyprof
25) Emanuel Ravelli
Posted by: Jeff Bauer

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 11/20/08 04:12 PM

I'm in if there is still room
Posted by: fingers

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 11/20/08 06:20 PM

I think I can make it.

fingers
Posted by: LJC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 11/20/08 07:07 PM

Fingers,That would be great, please let us know.
Posted by: LJC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 11/20/08 07:08 PM

UPDATE

1) LJC
2) Rich Gallassini
3) James
4) Me4dt
5) Stevester
6) CC2 and Chopin lover
7) Kong Lee
8) Joan Lee
9) James Montelbano
10) hotkeys
11) James Callan
12) Jon Dumont
13) Doogs
14) Rich Crucet
15) Mrs. LJC
16) Confucian
17) Jon
18) Axtremus
19) Jeffrey
20) Jeff BC
21) Jeff BC's daughter
22) JSComposer
23) Tenders
24) Jazzyprof
25) Emanuel Ravelli
26) Jeff Bauer
Posted by: Piano World

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 11/20/08 07:20 PM

Ok, now I'm starting to feel left out.

Please take pictures wherever/whenever you are allowed, but particularly get some group shots.

We traditionally get a group shot under/over/around a grand (see most any forums party, or other tours).

I'm hoping you get into the tryout room this tour too (it was being used when we toured last year).

I'm jealous. If I wasn't 1400 miles away I'd join you :-)

Have fun everyone, and don't forget to give us a full report afterwards.
Posted by: Horowitzian

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 11/20/08 07:26 PM

Frank, I'm with you! I'd LOVE to go, but I'm just too far away. \:\(

Make that group shot around a D. :p \:D

Have fun, everyone who is going!
Posted by: LJC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 11/21/08 09:34 AM

Frank and Horowitzian, Theres still time to make flight arrangements!
Posted by: Bob Snyder

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 11/21/08 12:43 PM

Please note we've added another to the list:

1) LJC
2) Rich Gallassini
3) James
4) Me4dt
5) Stevester
6) CC2 and Chopin lover
7) Kong Lee
8) Joan Lee
9) James Montelbano
10) hotkeys
11) James Callan
12) Jon Dumont
13) Doogs
14) Rich Crucet
15) Mrs. LJC
16) Confucian
17) Jon
18) Axtremus
19) Jeffrey
20) Jeff BC
21) Jeff BC's daughter
22) JSComposer
23) Tenders
24) Jazzyprof
25) Emanuel Ravelli
26) Jeff Bauer
27) Ron Claiborne
Posted by: Horowitzian

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 11/21/08 12:46 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by LJC:
Frank and Horowitzian, Theres still time to make flight arrangements! [/b]
LJC, I'm afraid that I'm too far away and too busy this year. \:\(

Maybe another year.
Posted by: Piano World

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 11/21/08 01:43 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by LJC:
Frank and Horowitzian, Theres still time to make flight arrangements! [/b]
My travel budget is going for NAMM :-)
Posted by: CTPianotech

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 11/21/08 10:11 PM

Sign me up, if there's still room.

(do we know what the max number is??)
Posted by: LJC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 11/22/08 05:20 PM

1) LJC
2) Rich Gallassini
3) James
4) Me4dt
5) Stevester
6) CC2 and Chopin lover
7) Kong Lee
8) Joan Lee
9) James Montelbano
10) hotkeys
11) James Callan
12) Jon Dumont
13) Doogs
14) Rich Crucet
15) Mrs. LJC
16) Confucian
17) Jon
18) Axtremus
19) Jeffrey
20) Jeff BC
21) Jeff BC's daughter
22) JSComposer
23) Tenders
24) Jazzyprof
25) Emanuel Ravelli
26) Jeff Bauer
27) Ron Claiborne
28) CTpianotech
Posted by: fingers

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 11/22/08 07:21 PM

OK, I'm good to go along with the son of fingers.

fingers
Posted by: Ori

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 11/22/08 07:36 PM

Count me in as well!

There is no way I'll miss meeting/seeing again everyone when I’m only 40 minutes away...
Posted by: LJC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 11/23/08 10:06 AM

1) LJC
2) Rich Gallassini
3) James
4) Me4dt
5) Stevester
6) CC2 and Chopin lover
7) Kong Lee
8) Joan Lee
9) James Montelbano
10) hotkeys
11) James Callan
12) Jon Dumont
13) Doogs
14) Rich Crucet
15) Mrs. LJC
16) Confucian
17) Jon
18) Axtremus
19) Jeffrey
20) Jeff BC
21) Jeff BC's daughter
22) JSComposer
23) Tenders
24) Jazzyprof
25) Emanuel Ravelli
26) Jeff Bauer
27) Ron Claiborne
28) CTpianotech
29) Fingers
30) Son of Fingers
31) Ori
Posted by: JeffBC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 11/24/08 11:09 AM

For those of us who are GPS enabled, what address should we use for the destination? Alanna and I will come down the night before - any suggestions where we should stay? Does Steinway have a relationship with a local hotel that would benefit the long distance travellers?
Posted by: Bob Snyder

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 11/24/08 07:01 PM

I'm adding Joe Day to the list... bringing it to a total of 32. I think we need to have this as our group - - and if there are more, let's put together another tour in the future. But for December 11th, here is the list:

1) LJC
2) Rich Gallassini
3) James
4) Me4dt
5) Stevester
6) CC2 and Chopin lover
7) Kong Lee
8) Joan Lee
9) James Montelbano
10) hotkeys
11) James Callan
12) Jon Dumont
13) Doogs
14) Rich Crucet
15) Mrs. LJC
16) Confucian
17) Jon
18) Axtremus
19) Jeffrey
20) Jeff BC
21) Jeff BC's daughter
22) JSComposer
23) Tenders
24) Jazzyprof
25) Emanuel Ravelli
26) Jeff Bauer
27) Ron Claiborne
28) CTpianotech
29) Fingers
30) Son of Fingers
31) Ori
32) Joe Day
Posted by: Bob Snyder

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 11/24/08 07:03 PM

For GPS, 19th Avenue and 38th Street will get you there. the address is 1 Steinway Place.
Also, feel free to call our factory for directions if need be: 718-721-2600.

thanks everyone,
Posted by: jrcallan

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 11/29/08 04:55 AM

My apologies. Jon Dumont and I [James Callan] had a business involvement come up that won't permit us to be part of the tour.

Please enjoy the tour and take copious notes for the forum.

Thanks.
Posted by: LJC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 11/29/08 08:56 AM

1) LJC
2) Rich Gallassini
3) James
4) Me4dt
5) Stevester
6) CC2 and Chopin lover
7) Kong Lee
8) Joan Lee
9) James Montelbano
10) hotkeys
11) Doogs
12) Rich Crucet
13) Mrs. LJC
14) Confucian
15) Jon
16) Axtremus
17) Jeffrey
18) Jeff BC
19) Jeff BC's daughter
20) JSComposer
21) Tenders
22) Jazzyprof
23) Emanuel Ravelli
24) Jeff Bauer
25) Ron Claiborne
26) CTpianotech
27) Fingers
28) Son of Fingers
29) Ori
30) Joe Day
Posted by: LJC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/01/08 09:48 PM

For GPS, 19th Avenue and 38th Street will get you there. the address is 1 Steinway Place.
Also, feel free to call our factory for directions if need be: 718-721-2600.

Parking is in the Foreman's parking lot.

12/11/08 @ 9:00

1) LJC
2) Rich Gallassini
3) James
4) Me4dt
5) Stevester
6) CC2 and Chopin lover
7) Kong Lee
8) Joan Lee
9) James Montelbano
10) hotkeys
11) Doogs
12) Rich Crucet
13) Mrs. LJC
14) Confucian
15) Jon
16) Axtremus
17) Jeffrey
18) Jeff BC
19) Jeff BC's daughter
20) JSComposer
21) Tenders
22) Jazzyprof
23) Emanuel Ravelli
24) Jeff Bauer
25) Ron Claiborne
26) CTpianotech
27) Fingers
28) Son of Fingers
29) Ori
30) Joe Day
Posted by: Piotr S

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/02/08 11:28 AM

Hello everyone
I'm new to this forum but Steinway Factory Tour sounds very tempting. It looks like it is in a couple of days (Dec 11) but if there is any chance to join you that day we'll be just happy... 2 persons, me and my friend/pianist Tomasz Walski
Posted by: Janaina

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/02/08 06:46 PM

Will you be having a factory tour of Steinway? I must know so that I can mapqwest myself over there or have my husband go with me. Please respond for today is Tuesday and soon it'll be Thursday.

Janaina Klang
Posted by: LJC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/02/08 09:38 PM

I am sorry Piotr and Janaina but this tour is filled up. On the bright side it will be an annual event so keep watching. Also its next Thursday the 11th.
Posted by: Marty Flinn

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/03/08 08:41 PM

Bob,
Jeff Bauer is a spy. Don't let him in. He's got tiny little cameras everywhere and a recording device. Ori too probably.
Just kidding. I remember my tour through the factory. You guys are sooooo lucky to be going. I hope you all have a great time!
Posted by: Axtremus

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/08/08 01:26 AM

My apology for the late notice.

It looks like I won't be able to make the trip after all.

I hope some one can make use of this "slot."

Have a great tour, every one.
Posted by: JeffBC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/08/08 02:50 PM

How early should/can we get into the parking lot? Is there a breakfast place nearby (within walking distance maybe)?
Posted by: LJC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/08/08 07:28 PM

Thats too bad Ax! Jeff, i dont know probably, maybe someone else can comment.
Posted by: jakedog

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/09/08 05:13 PM

THE STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR IS A VERY WORTHWHILE EXPERIENCE - We went last December and had a blast!

It amazes me the number of people who respond with their various "excuses" of why they can't attend. If you want to be there, you will --- just that simple.

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.

As to taking pictures there - remember that it is a workplace (if nothing else) -- would you want tourists at you workplace taking pictures? So, take the tour, be thankful you can take a look, enjoy Bob's commentary, and live with your memories.

David
S/N 271960 - 1931 "L"
Posted by: LJC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/09/08 09:12 PM

For GPS, 19th Avenue and 38th Street will get you there. The address is 1 Steinway Place.
Also, feel free to call our factory for directions if need be: 718-721-2600.

Parking is in the Foreman's parking lot.

Thursday 12/11/08 @ 9:00

1) LJC
2) Rich Gallassini
3) James
4) Me4dt
5) Stevester
6) CC2 and Chopin lover
7) Kong Lee
8) Joan Lee
9) James Montelbano
10) hotkeys
11) Doogs
12) Rich Crucet
13) Mrs. LJC
14) Confucian
15) Jon
16) Jeffrey
17) Jeff BC
18) Jeff BC's daughter
19) JSComposer
20) Tenders
21) Jazzyprof
22) Emanuel Ravelli
23) Jeff Bauer
24) Ron Claiborne
25) CTpianotech
26) Fingers
27) Son of Fingers
28) Ori
29) Joe Day
Posted by: me4dt

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/09/08 11:36 PM

Sorry somthing comes up and I can't go. Please remove me from the list.

Wish you all well and have a wonderful time!
Posted by: Rich Galassini

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/10/08 09:20 AM

My apologies to all.

Sorry for the late notice, but I cannot make the tour tomorrow. Please enjoy it and I hope someone can use my place. Take pictures where you can.

Cheers,
Posted by: Stevester

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/10/08 01:16 PM

My apologies as well. Hopefully another tour.

Have fun everyone!

Regards,
Steve Ries
Posted by: Doogs

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/10/08 06:50 PM

Does anybody know about what time the tour will be ending up? Any post-tour festivities planned?

Just as importantly, will we have opportunities to try out some of the pianos that are available for sale?
Posted by: LJC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/10/08 06:53 PM

For GPS, 19th Avenue and 38th Street will get you there. The address is 1 Steinway Place.
Also, feel free to call our factory for directions if need be: 718-721-2600.

Parking is in the Foreman's parking lot.

Thursday 12/11/08 @ 9:00

1) LJC
2) James
3) CC2 and Chopin lover
4) Kong Lee
5) Joan Lee
6) James Montelbano
7) hotkeys
8) Doogs
9) Rich Crucet
10) Mrs. LJC
11) Confucian
12) Jon
13) Jeffrey
14) Jeff BC
15) Jeff BC's daughter
16) JSComposer
17) Tenders
18) Jazzyprof
19) Emanuel Ravelli
20) Jeff Bauer
21) Ron Claiborne
22) CTpianotech
23) Fingers
24) Son of Fingers
25) Ori
26) Joe Day
Posted by: LJC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/10/08 06:58 PM

For GPS, 19th Avenue and 38th Street will get you there. The address is 1 Steinway Place.
Also, feel free to call our factory for directions if need be: 718-721-2600.

Parking is in the Foreman's parking lot.

Thursday 12/11/08 @ 9:00

1) LJC
2) James
3) CC2 and Chopin lover
4) Kong Lee
5) Joan Lee
6) James Montelbano
7) hotkeys
8) Doogs
9) Rich Crucet
10) Mrs. LJC
11) Confucian
12) Jeffrey
13) Jeff BC
14) Jeff BC's daughter
15) JSComposer
16) Tenders
17) Jazzyprof
18) Emanuel Ravelli
19) Jeff Bauer
20) Ron Claiborne
21) CTpianotech
22) Fingers
23) Son of Fingers
24) Ori
25) Joe Day
Posted by: Doogs

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/10/08 08:40 PM

(Double post-please excuse)
Posted by: LJC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/10/08 10:10 PM

Linda, probably around 1:00. We might get to try out pianos, there is a small selection room. Last time we couldnt go in because someone was busy picking out a concert grand. See you in the morning!
Posted by: lilylady

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/11/08 04:31 PM

OK, OK, OK, we have been patient...

'tis 4:30 PM and the tour must have ended by now...and we are all waiting for reports! and pics!

unless you are all out partying, and then we will patiently wait a little longer for your tales of the day...
Posted by: tenders

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/12/08 01:04 AM

It was a class act -- they pulled out "all the stops" for us, and showed us everything from brute force to absolute precision. What a fascinating company and an enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and committed management and customer service team. They bent a frame for us. They flipped a piano for us. They showed us the selection room jam-packed with 20 or more completed pianos just waiting to be plucked, like so many berries on a bush. They gave many of us felt hammers (I think that had failed quality control) as souvenirs, not to mention lunch afterwards. We saw the hot drying room for the frames and the other drying room for the lumber. They showed us the CNC milling machine going to town on four giant pieces of wood at a time. They shared a Steinway SECRET with us.

Most of what we saw was wood, wood, wood, wood, wood, and more wood -- a termite's delight. But we also saw the laquer finishing section, the action assembly section, the stringing section. It was just awesome. JeffBC's daughter was a shy delight and hung on for all four hours, ending in a much better mood than the needlessly belligerent piano tech who monopolized the Q&A after lunch with obnoxious leading questions...after having been almost as overbearing during the tour itself.

[My apologies but a special aside is in order here. Dude, I don't know who you are, or how many brilliant posts you've made or what kind of following you've got on this message board, but next year, make your own tour arrangements. For shame. To behave that way after all the kindness, patience, and enthusiasm those guys put into entertaining, informing, and feeding us from 9am-2pm was the epitome of rudeness. I cleared out early once I'd had enough of you -- my initial impression was that you made the whole group look bad, but on further reflection you were such an outlier I don't think the group's reputation was at all harmed. You were successful in conveying yourself as an abrasive font of knowledge. If that was your objective, mission accomplished, but I'd never hire or work with you in any capacity. End of rant.]

The rest of the group was great -- what an interesting bunch of folks had been assembled. Professional pianists, technicians, students, and even a few total hacks like me. There was a fascinating two-way discussion afterwards about the future of Steinway and the trajectory of the public's interest in pianodom in a different world order than was experienced in the last 150 years. I left with a very strong impression that Steinway knows its business profoundly clearly and what it is as a brand name...and isn't.

To address some of the comments made from previous tours...

They were very clear on the photo protocol, which I thought was entirely reasonable. Some of the explanations did get drowned out in the noise, but it's a shop -- it wouldn't have been the same if the tour had happened on a weekend when there were no moving parts!

I thought it was perfect. Standing O to Bob Snyder, the rest of the Steinway team, and LJC for organizing everything.

I have a few photos but I'm traveling and will have to figure out how to post them later.
Posted by: Doogs

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/12/08 01:14 AM

I don't know about partying, but I stayed til five pm trying out pianos.

I wasn't impressed with the preparation of the pianos. Most needed a lot more work than had been put into them.

Question: if a group picture wasn't taken (and I'm not aware that one was), did the tour really happen?
Posted by: Neptune

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/12/08 01:19 PM

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.
Posted by: Jeff Bauer

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/12/08 01:37 PM

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.
Posted by: Doogs

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/12/08 01:44 PM

 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?
Posted by: Piano World

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/12/08 02:20 PM

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).
Posted by: tenders

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/12/08 02:28 PM

> 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.
Posted by: Piano World

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/12/08 02:33 PM

Interesting, is David related to Kyle?
Posted by: jscomposer

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/12/08 05:30 PM

It was great. I would've liked more time in the action department, but my hammer-reject souvenir will have to suffice.
Posted by: James Maxwell

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/13/08 08:49 AM

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.
Posted by: LJC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/13/08 09:56 AM

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!
Posted by: LJC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/13/08 12:23 PM

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.
Posted by: Stevester

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/13/08 03:18 PM

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?
Posted by: Janaina

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/13/08 06:16 PM

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!!!
Posted by: Stevester

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/13/08 08:05 PM

"This piano acquiring business is turning out to be the most complicated and tricky endeavour" - ain't that the truth?
Posted by: fingers

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/14/08 11:40 AM

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
Posted by: hotkeys

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/14/08 02:19 PM

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
Posted by: Doogs

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/14/08 02:25 PM

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!
Posted by: LJC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/14/08 03:49 PM

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.
Posted by: Emanuel Ravelli

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/14/08 10:20 PM

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.
Posted by: Bob Snyder

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/15/08 11:32 AM

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.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/15/08 12:57 PM

 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!
Posted by: James Maxwell

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/15/08 01:45 PM

 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.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/15/08 02:22 PM

 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.
Posted by: LJC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/15/08 07:17 PM

"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.
Posted by: Piano World

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/15/08 07:30 PM

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 \:\)
Posted by: LJC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/15/08 07:40 PM

I'll see you there Frank.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/15/08 08:28 PM

 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.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/15/08 08:32 PM

double post
Posted by: Piano World

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/15/08 08:45 PM

 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 :-)
Posted by: LJC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/16/08 12:36 PM

" 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.
Posted by: James Maxwell

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/16/08 02:41 PM

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.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/16/08 02:49 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by LJC:
" 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. [/b]
To start with your tone is very nasty. Do you really think the tour you were on is so different from all the others? You're just nitpicking. Can you be so naive as to not realize there is spin on every factory tour from every manufacturer?

Do you think the endlessly repeated sales pitch that "Steinways increase in value" is true also?

All my points about the original post I objected to and my reasons stand and I notice you didn't respond to those. Even the owner of PW agreed with me.
Posted by: LJC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/16/08 06:37 PM

Like I said you werent there and you don't know what youre talking about. Talk about nasty and nickpicking....geez.
Posted by: LJC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/16/08 06:40 PM

Good post James, it refreshing to see a well thought out post after having to read one by Pianonooneloveshim.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/16/08 07:02 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by LJC:
Like I said you werent there and you don't know what youre talking about. Talk about nasty and nickpicking....geez. [/b]
Only trouble with your "reply" is I wasn't nasty or nitpicking. You were.

Not going to read any more of your replies. They're just filled with sarcasm and nastiness.
Posted by: LJC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/16/08 07:24 PM

Good. Its better if youre not here either.
Posted by: JeffBC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/16/08 11:17 PM

Sorry, we've been without power/heat since the tour due to an ice storm and things are just now beginning to get back to normal.

Thanks to everyone at Steinway for a VERY fun and informative tour. Both Alanna and I had a great time. Thanks for the reserved parking too!

I'll post the pictures I took of people soon (sorry Frank, no group shot).

Regarding the one who caused all the hubbub at the Q&A session (who nobody has named yet, so I won't either): Alanna and I stopped by his place in CT on our way north after going to my companies office in NJ (the same day as the tour). He opened up just for us, at 9PM(!), and was still going strong at 1AM when I had to reluctantly leave. While he may have been a bit forceful in his dialog with the folks at Steinway his premise did have merit. Would I have asked the questions they way he did, no. I even tried to rephrase his core question in a slightly more palatable way - but I too got the same answer. That not withstanding, he is one of the most knowledgeable people I've ever met regarding pianos. He has at his disposal 2/3 of the tier 1A brands, 1/3 of the 1Bs, 1/2 of the 1Cs, 2/3 of the 2As, 1 3A, 1 4A - and I'm sure I missed a few. On top of that, man can he PLAY. All the pianos were perfectly setup too. I'm not trying to start a fan club - but there's more to the story than what you saw in NY. I'd recommend seeing him on his own turf before passing final judgement.

A special thanks to the folks at Steinway for Alanna's book - she really enjoys it.
Posted by: jman37

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/17/08 12:20 AM

well if his premise had so much merit what would be wrong with providing who he is and what questions were posed?
Posted by: Rich Galassini

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/17/08 12:24 AM

LJC and James,

While I absolutely respect the "branding" that Steinway has achieved over the past century and more, James's post is very one-sided and in the interest of balance, I feel compelled to respond.


 Quote:
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).
Your first point is dead on. S&S has made some great pianos. However, the Boston concept is not revolutionary, nor is it new. It was called an imitation of Baldwin by many when the the piano first hit the marketplace. Yes, Steinway sells Bostons and Essex pianos. But Baldwin was selling Howards, Hamiltons, and Ellingtons before Bruce Clarke was born.

Also, just to remain factual - the project now called the Brodmann was abandoned by Bosendorfer because of lack of interest from upper management. It was not wanted in Vienna by them. When the manager who did the development of the idea parted ways with Bosendorfer the project was dropped. It was never more than a manager's idea in Vienna and the fact that it did not happen had nothing at all to do with ability to implement it.

 Quote:
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.
I will give you this. I will also add that the inconsistency of pianos from S&S confuses many would be buyers. It is well established that the "Steinway Sound" is not evident in many of their pianos. For this reason, I think it is reasonable to assume that the "branding" is what is purchased by some.

 Quote:
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.
It is possible that you just did not speak to the right person, James. Today, and for years, S&S, Boston, and Essex pianos have been discounted to consumers. Yes, the first price is sometimes ABOVE retail (at least here in Philly) but discounts of over 20% are possible on S&S. These are simply the facts. Maybe that was not true years ago.

 Quote:
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.
True - you forgot Indonesia.

My thoughts - is it fair to call Boston and Essex pianos premium? You may have to pay a premium to buy them (if you pay retail), yes, but they have been consistently compared to other makes and brands that I don't think I would call "premium".

 Quote:
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.
Again, true. This is the result of over a century of placing pianos (many for free), giving away pianos, bribing judges to win awards, which in turn heavily influenced possible buyers, etc.

This is all documented stuff but at the time it was happening it was only known by those involved - until the bribing hit the newspapers. That was apparently quite a scandal. Read "The Steinway Saga" by Fostle and "Steinway & Sons" by Lieberman. Both of these men are quoted in Barron's "Piano" as well and some of these things are touched upon in his book as well.

This is powerful marketing that has resulted in lots of "branding". It has resulted in a generation of pianists, particularly American pianists, who are terribly undereducated on what is available to them - present company accepted, of course. However, there have been ensembles opting for other pianos recently and dropping S&S. This may be a trend to watch as some other top tier brands begin to produce more concert grands.


 Quote:
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.
True. But are they what they seem to be?
1) Paderewsky was paid over $38,000.00 in the early 1900's to play only S&S, while S&S themselves claimed to NOT be paying him a dime for his choice. (This is well documented). Could this have happened later? Could it have influenced others who did not know the truth?

2) If discounts make this an appropriate choice for a school, then who am I to argue? Frankly, there are many beautiful voices out there. Only offering one of them, particularly when the mission is to educate, seems irresponsible at best. It may also be a testament to how influential the early 20th century "pay for play" times were for Steinway.

I personally agree with the administrator of a music school that I spoke with who simply stated, "I see no need to become an all Steinway school. It does nothing to help us. Our reputation is based on our faculty, programs, and graduates. The only one who would be helped by us becoming an all Steinway school is Steinway."

3) Placing pianos in the right place is a great way to gain "branding". S&S loans lots of Ds. We know this. It has worked for them for a long time. They may loan more concert grands than most other Tier 1 companies even make. Do you think people are ever under the impression that loaned pianos were bought? Might that "untrue" impression influence them?

My thoughts. I would love some counter point.
Posted by: JeffBC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/17/08 07:23 AM

jman37, I'm hoping he replies - he is a member here afterall.

The root issue was why hasn't S&S introduced/designed a new piano in the past ~80 years (I can't remember the exact number). Other comparable manufacturers have, why not S&S?

I reformed his questions into something along the lines of, "If S&S where to take a clean-sheet approach and design a brand new piano would they be able to improve upon their older designs will still retaining the Steinway sound - surely new manufacturing techniques and the knowledge that's been gained over the past 100 years could be incorporated into a new design."

Their response was along the lines of "their pianos incorporate hundreds of improvements since their initial production, their designs aren't static."
Posted by: James Maxwell

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/17/08 11:20 AM

Rich G, My previous posting was a quick summary of my thoughts related to the factory tour, not meant to be a comprehensive dissertation that included historically accurate accounts of the company. All I was saying was that Steinway has got all the basics right in this tough piano business, as they have highly effective strategies in every aspects of the business.

I have no affiliation with the piano industry, let alone the Steinway co. I just think Steinway is one of the many American success stories, along with others companies such as the Hewlett Packard, Harley Davison, Cannondale Bicycle Co., Microsoft, Walmart, etc. One does not need to like their products to notice their successes. Their successes are not the results of accidents, but the results of highly effective strategies. And I understand that these companies, their products, their successes, and particularly their strategies are often feared and/or attacked by their competitors who are usually less successful.

Honestly I am not sure what points you are trying to make. Therefore I will not offer any counter points, except an explanation on the “discount game”: Does Steinway offer discounts? Surely they do. However they routinely sell some (do not ask me for statistics because I have none) Steinway brand pianos at the list prices, which therefore serve as useful reference price points. No other piano company sells even one of their pianos in retail at their list price – This makes their list prices completely useless, thus I call it “discount game”. Also legally, in this country at least, one can not claim a “sale” price unless some units of the product are sold at the “regular” price. Oh well, who is going to catch the violators when all companies but one in the industry are doing this?
Posted by: Keith D Kerman

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/17/08 12:00 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by JeffBC:

The root issue was why hasn't S&S introduced/designed a new piano in the past ~80 years (I can't remember the exact number). Other comparable manufacturers have, why not S&S?[/b]
I hear this question from some very bright people in the industry. It is a legitimate question. However, it is my very strong opinion, and I am not alone in this, that several of the top tier makers who have radically changed their designs from what they had 80 - 100 years ago have resulted in pianos that are tonally inferior. And not by a little. Of course this is totally subjective. Some of these companies have certainly made some real objective improvements. They just don't sound very good to me. I honestly think that several of the Steinway designs of 100+ years ago were the stuff of real genius, and they were way ahead of most. Most of the new designs that I try are brilliant on computers, but the final product just doesn't sound that good, and I wish they would go back to the amazing designs that they had 100 years ago.

 Quote:
Originally posted by JeffBC:
I reformed his questions into something along the lines of, "If S&S where to take a clean-sheet approach and design a brand new piano would they be able to improve upon their older designs will still retaining the Steinway sound - surely new manufacturing techniques and the knowledge that's been gained over the past 100 years could be incorporated into a new design."

Their response was along the lines of "their pianos incorporate hundreds of improvements since their initial production, their designs aren't static." [/b]
Steinway's answer makes a lot of sense to me, even if it doesn't always show in their final product. PianoCraft is well known for doing lots of custom work when we rebuild Steinways. But we are always striving to keep the authentic voice of the original instrument. We don't want to change its voice, we just want to make sure that, for instance, the piano doesn't feel out of balance towards the bass, or have weak spots in the killer octave etc. Sometimes, in order to achieve this, we use ideas or technology that weren't around when Steinway designed these instruments. Just as often, we use an idea or technique that we learned from taking apart and rebuilding a 100 year old instrument that just worked better in that particular area. Sometimes, we use a feature of design from one Steinway on another Steinway.

I know I am not being very specific here, but I hope it makes some sense. It is difficult to be specific here without giving away the farm.
Posted by: sophial

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/17/08 01:01 PM

JeffBC

I'm going to make a general statement since I wasn't on the tour and did not see what happened. But IMHO it seems someone's character is not revealed so much by what they do on their own turf when trying to impress potential customers/supporters but rather how they deal with people with whom they disagree and with people who have opened their doors and given their hospitality to him.
Posted by: Rich Galassini

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/17/08 02:13 PM

 Quote:
Rich G, My previous posting was a quick summary of my thoughts related to the factory tour, not meant to be a comprehensive dissertation that included historically accurate accounts of the company. All I was saying was that Steinway has got all the basics right in this tough piano business, as they have highly effective strategies in every aspects of the business.
[/b]

James,

I thought that might be the case and you are right on the money. They've gotten lots of things right.

I just needed to give my thoughts on the subject.
Posted by: Furtwangler

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/17/08 02:24 PM

One thing is certain:

In the "Pantheon of brand names" if there is one, Steinway ranks way up there on the list - with the likes of Coke, Xerox, Kleenex, and other brands that have fantastic equity.
Posted by: jman37

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/17/08 07:37 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Furtwangler:
One thing is certain:

In the "Pantheon of brand names" if there is one, Steinway ranks way up there on the list - with the likes of Coke, Xerox, Kleenex, and other brands that have fantastic equity. [/b]
..and whats even more amazing is the manner in which they accomplished this. Steinway is, dont quote me on this, only a $~300,000,000 company. PEANUTS compared to the others listed. What an amazing success story, one to which every American and immigrant can look to with awe and aspiration.
Posted by: schwammerl

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/18/08 01:41 AM

 Quote:
..and whats even more amazing is the manner in which they accomplished this
Apparently they some some help by the circomstances of history:

http://archives.chicagotribune.com/2008/apr/30/business/chi-piano-war-0430apr30

schwammerl.
Posted by: tenders

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/18/08 10:31 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by JeffBC:

Regarding the one who caused all the hubbub at the Q&A session (who nobody has named yet, so I won't either): He opened up just for us, at 9PM(!), and was still going strong at 1AM when I had to reluctantly leave. While he may have been a bit forceful in his dialog with the folks at Steinway his premise did have merit. Would I have asked the questions they way he did, no. I even tried to rephrase his core question in a slightly more palatable way - but I too got the same answer. That not withstanding, he is one of the most knowledgeable people I've ever met regarding pianos. He has at his disposal 2/3 of the tier 1A brands, 1/3 of the 1Bs, 1/2 of the 1Cs, 2/3 of the 2As, 1 3A, 1 4A - and I'm sure I missed a few. On top of that, man can he PLAY. All the pianos were perfectly setup too. I'm not trying to start a fan club - but there's more to the story than what you saw in NY. I'd recommend seeing him on his own turf before passing final judgement.
[/b]
I hear where you're coming from, but consider: do you think he would have been as patient as the folks at S&S were if, when you walked in, his shop had 20 other potential customers in it and while eating his food you took it upon yourself to repeatedly question his skill and integrity, and the quality of his product, in a loud voice in front of everyone?

He should have aired his issues, real or imagined, in a forum like you spent with him -- in PRIVATE.

I have since learned who he is, which quite surprised me. It was bizarre. I don't doubt his knowledge--just his motives, his professionalism, and his judgement. In short, I saw enough!
Posted by: jman37

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/18/08 10:33 AM

I suppose anyone can make up there own ideas as to the reasons for their success..
Posted by: LJC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/18/08 04:58 PM

Rich I don't necessarily agree 100% with James post, I only remarked that it was well thought out.
Posted by: jscomposer

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/19/08 03:19 PM

Enough already!

Posted by: tenders

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/23/08 10:55 AM

Yeah, it is worthless.

(1) Panorama of the Steinway campus
The place was much, much bigger than I expected it to be! This was several photos stitched together.
http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/SteinwayPanorama.jpg

(2) Pseudo group shot
This was taken in the selection room. That's JeffBC and his daughter in the foreground. William Youse, director of technical services, is describing the room, and at the moment of the photo I think was discussing the purchase of the Cincinnati conservatory's very recent purchase of 160 Steinway pianos.
http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/100_3990.JPG

My other pictures are just like the others from previous tours -- tons of drying rims in a dark, hot room!

Thanks again to Bob Snyder, LJC, and the rest of the folks at Steinway for putting together a GREAT adventure.
Posted by: lilylady

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/23/08 12:06 PM

Wow! the factory does not look at all like what I was expecting - the old factory part of the building!!!

And look at all those cars. Workers?
Posted by: tenders

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/23/08 03:40 PM

> And look at all those cars. Workers?

Almost certainly. We had to drive into a private, fenced lot labeled for employees only. There are, I think, over 300 people who work there (down from 350 perhaps? They just had suffered through a round of layoffs.)
Posted by: LJC

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 12/23/08 06:53 PM

They just had suffered through a round of layoffs.)

There were 11.
Posted by: CTPianotech

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 01/07/09 01:56 PM

Sorry I didn't chime in sooner---holiday season was quite busy, and I've since come down with a bit of 'walking pneumonia'!

Just would like to thank the people of Steinway for providing us with a great tour. While I enjoyed last years tour as well, I think this one was made all the more enjoyable by our very knowledgeable guide(s).

I especially enjoyed touring the restoration area... It was interestinf noting differences in the process that take place in making new vs restoring the old. (soundboard and pinblock fitting comes immediately to mind..)

Rich


(aside to JeffBC---hope things are going well in your neck of the woods--would love to see some of those pics if you have them \:\) )
Posted by: fingers

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 01/07/09 06:21 PM

Rich,

Could you please elaborate on those differnces?

Thanks,
fingers
Posted by: CTPianotech

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 01/07/09 07:19 PM

Sure.

For fitting the boards to the inner rims on new Steinways, they have a special machine that is able to measure or "trace" the contour of the piano for each instrument.

The boards for restored pianos are fit in what I suppose could be called the more 'traditional' way. When the old board is removed, the new board (still oversized) is placed on top of the "upper rim" of the piano. It is then traced out by hand, and cut to size. After that, there is some additional in and out, to fit the board more precisely to the rim. Both old and new get the 'diaphragmatic' soundboard.


With respect to the pinblocks---I think you'll recall seeing how the plate is repeatedly lowered in and out and pushed against the front of the block. High marks, as shown by spots of graphite, are ground down until block is fitted sufficiently tight against the front flange of the plate.

There was a period of time (i don't recall for how many years) when Steinway would also fit the top of the block to the plate in a similar way. One of the methods they used for achieving this was through the use of a special 'transfer router' that would effectively trace the contour of the bottom of the casting to the top of the block. After running that machine, some additional hand fitting would complete the job. Today, instead of that device, Steinway actually machines the underside of their castings to be much flatter than they previously were--thus simplifying the overall 'top fitting' process. They no longer, for instance, use the transfer router, and as you may have noticed in the tour, their are no graphite markings to be found on the top of the block. This is a process that originated at the Hamburg factory, I am told.

I wasn't able to determine the exact method for how they fit the older blocks to the castings, except that they do not machine the plate. Perhaps the area around the plate webbing is not felt to be sufficiently thick enough for this..maybe the newer plates start out slightly thicker in this area--I'm not quite certain--someone will have to ask next year! In any case, what this means is that the restored instruments are either roughed in with the transfer router, then fit by hand, or simply fit entirely by hand... more questions for next time! \:\)


EDIT: does anyone else find it just slightly ironic that the PW spell checker does not have 'soundboard' and 'pinblock' in it's vocabulary :p
Posted by: fingers

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 01/08/09 09:50 AM

Thanks Rich for your detailed reply.

fingers
Posted by: Robert H

Re: STEINWAY FACTORY TOUR - 01/08/09 10:25 AM

Hi all,...

I've been checking this thread each time it popped back up to the top hoping to see pictures from the tour,...

Was taking pictures prohibited during this tour?

Regards,

Robert