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#48741 - 09/15/08 06:37 PM I played Steingraeber,Bosendorfer and Bluthner concert grands today
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19644
Loc: New York City
I don't have time right now to write much of a "review", but I'm curious how others feel about the tone of these pianos(even though it has probably been discussed before).

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#48742 - 09/15/08 08:02 PM Re: I played Steingraeber,Bosendorfer and Bluthner concert grands today
Doogs Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 127
Loc: Rockaway Beach New York
What sizes and models?

Having played a Bosendorfer Imperial, I found it an otherwordly experience that really can't be compared to anything else.

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#48743 - 09/15/08 08:41 PM Re: I played Steingraeber,Bosendorfer and Bluthner concert grands today
kenny Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 7051
I'm looking forward to your review.

I've played Bosie and Bluethner concert grands and loved them both.
They have a very different sound.

I still haven't played a Steingraeber monster.
I'd especially love to play one of Steingraeber Phoenix models with that new invention that replaces the bridge pins.

I heard the recording of it, compared to a Hamburg D and a Bosie Imperial with and without that Phoenix-like bridge modification, on a Hurstwood Farms CD.
Amazing.

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#48744 - 09/16/08 12:13 AM Re: I played Steingraeber,Bosendorfer and Bluthner concert grands today
gutenberg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/05/07
Posts: 380
Loc: Wichita, Kansas
I have to say a few things about my experience with Steingraeber. Sorry, ploverus, if you saw my report last fall and this is repetitious.

I spent a lot of time with the 8'11" (E-272) and the 5'7" (168). They were both incredible in much the same way. The bass was incisive and had wonderful authority, even in the 168. Yet the registers were perfectly matched and the keyboard was seamless in tone and touch.

When I think back now, I realize the Steingraebers were the first pianos that made me visualize music in color. Man, I want one of those pianos.

Sorry to say I have not had thye pleasure of spending time with a Bosendorfer or Bluthner so as to compare. Really looking forward to your review.

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#48745 - 09/16/08 03:22 AM Re: I played Steingraeber,Bosendorfer and Bluthner concert grands today
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Of the "home sized" grand pianos:

Bluthners I find dark and moody.
Bosendorfer warm and multi-coloured.
Steingraeber heartbreakingly beautiful.
The Steingraeber 168 has to be experienced to be believed.

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#48746 - 09/16/08 06:38 AM Re: I played Steingraeber,Bosendorfer and Bluthner concert grands today
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19644
Loc: New York City
 Quote:
Originally posted by Doogs:
What sizes and models?

Having played a Bosendorfer Imperial, I found it an otherwordly experience that really can't be compared to anything else. [/b]
The largest model that each of these companies make.

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#48747 - 09/16/08 10:59 AM Re: I played Steingraeber,Bosendorfer and Bluthner concert grands today
gutenberg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/05/07
Posts: 380
Loc: Wichita, Kansas
theJourney,

I agree completely that the Steingraeber 168 is unbelievable.

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#48748 - 09/16/08 12:07 PM Re: I played Steingraeber,Bosendorfer and Bluthner concert grands today
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19644
Loc: New York City
I played all the pianos in my OP plus some Estonias and Masons at Faust Harriosn pianos yesterday. I can only give a sketchy review since I played them for just 5-10 minutes each.

Interestingly, most of the pianos had somewhat different tones than I remembered from the past although it could just be my memory is faulty.

I played the 6'3",6'11", and 9'2" Bluthners. The last time I played them(at least 6 months ago) they seemed somewhat bright for my tastes, but this time I thought the middle octaves were incredibly beautiful and clear(I spent most of my time playing a transcription of a Schumann song that stays mainly in the middle 3 octaves). The very top octave or too were perhaps a little too brilliant for my tastes, but not as bright as the Bechsteins next door.

I had previously played tons of Boesendorfors at Boesendorfer NY. The one at FH(an Imperial or 9'2") was much mellower than the ones I had played at BNY. More to my liking and again incredibly beautiful.

I saved the Steingraeber for last. I was expecting a brighter sound but the mid range was quite mellow and seemed very close to the Boesendorfer. I can't give a much more detailed description of each piano since I spent so little time with each one.

I did have to learn how to adjust my pedaling on the Bluthner because my Mason BB has a much stiffer pedal(which I don't mind at all)so that in the beginning(until I adjusted) it sounded like the right pedal wasn't working properly.

The main saleman at FH is quite amazing because besides being a performing concert pianist he is an experienced enough tech to be doing fine voicing on all these high end insturments.

I hope some people with more experience on these pianos will also offer their opinions,esp ecially about comparisons between the Boesendorfer and Steingraeber. I really love my BB, but if I had the $ I would be very tempted to push it out of the 29th floor window of my apartment for one of those three pianos!

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#48749 - 09/16/08 03:06 PM Re: I played Steingraeber,Bosendorfer and Bluthner concert grands today
esp Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/04/08
Posts: 19
I've tried them recently, but I'm still learning my vocab on describing piano tones so I hope the words I used are correct.

I tried Bosendorfers 170, 185, and 290. I find Bosendorfers very refined in every aspect. They have a warm and mellow tone, with lots of colours. The Imperial is simply amazing. The dynamic range is so wide that I found my technique is just not good enough to handle it.

Bluthners are interesting. It took me some time to get used to playing one. The tone is a bit to the bright side, especially for the top 2 octaves. The explanation I got from the salesperson is that they provide better projection, and they can be toned down a bit for home use. I tried the 6'10" and 7'8". I found the 7'8" too loud and too bright initially, but after a few minutes of playing, I started to learn the "proper" way of playing it and it sounded a lot better. The tone is very clear and refined, a little bright but certainly not lack of depth.

I tried a Steingraeber E-272 only. It has a dark, round and sweet tone that is just heartbreakingly beautiful. The moment I played it, I knew it's the tone that I liked the most.

Out of the three, the Steingraeber is my favourite, the Bosendorfers are very close. The Bluthners just don't appeal to me as well. But I can understand why it is easy to classify them as Tier 1A.

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#48750 - 09/16/08 09:41 PM Re: I played Steingraeber,Bosendorfer and Bluthner concert grands today
carpediem Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/09/07
Posts: 65
Loc: Midwest
I just got a used Bluthner model 4, the 6'10" instrument. It's been tuned about a week, and the hammers need reshaping, plus I'm not an acoomplished pianist (yet \:D ). So take this for what it's worth. Also, I too am getting used to the language, so I'm going to try a few different terms. I agree with those who call the Bluthner tone pure, clear, refined, or focused. The highest octave and a half are a little bright at this point for me, but with the voicing that will change. I'd call that range crystalline. The vast part of the middle section sounds like delighted laughter. The bass is warm, full, and round, not rumbling so much as comforting.
What do folks think - is that a little too "out there"?

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#48751 - 09/16/08 11:02 PM Re: I played Steingraeber,Bosendorfer and Bluthner concert grands today
whippen boy Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 3886
Loc: San Francisco
 Quote:
Originally posted by carpediem:
The vast part of the middle section sounds like delighted laughter.
I want one of those! \:D
_________________________
Grotrian 225
S&S Hamburg-C
M&H "A" at home

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#48752 - 09/16/08 11:57 PM Re: I played Steingraeber,Bosendorfer and Bluthner concert grands today
Norbert Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14271
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
All are incredible instruments.

Each time I had an opportunity to play one of them I always came up with different 'winners'...but *winners* they all were.

Never to be forgotten: One of the Steingraeber concert grands I once played in their Bayreuth factory back in 2004 - perhaps the best concert I ever played!

People laughed at me when I reported that here...

Or Classical Grand's' awesome Bluthner in 2004 when Alex was managing in Seattle....

Awesome!

So, who's the finest on the wall?

Never looked at walls......

Norbert \:D
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#48753 - 09/17/08 01:51 AM Re: I played Steingraeber,Bosendorfer and Bluthner concert grands today
pianistical Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/04
Posts: 1377
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
My feeling is that Bluthner has a smaller margin of error than many other brands. The hammers have to strike the strings perfectly and be perfectly voiced to bring out the depth and purity of the tone and make it fly. Other brands have many other things going for them, like rich overtones or more power.

And when Blüthners are set up nicely, for better or worse, they expose you as a pianist. I see it everyday with my Blüthners with my Steingraeber as comparison.

The Steingraeber is safer to play and may intitally be perceived as the more satisfying instrument. But when I tune into my Blüthners I reach a state of pure, sweet and beautiful articulation which I don´t reach to the same extent with my Steingraeber. You may think that it is unfair to compare grands with uprights but I believe that I am skilled enough to look beside that fact.

In contrast to the Blüthner tone, for better and worse, broader tones with rich overtones has the ability to act as an "expressive safety buffer" for the pianist.
_________________________
“There are only two important things which I took with me on my way to America, It´s been my wife Natalja and my precious Blüthner.” – Sergei Rachmaninov

1913 Blüthner model 6
1929 Blüthner model 9.
1955 Steingraeber upright.

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#48754 - 09/17/08 03:50 AM Re: I played Steingraeber,Bosendorfer and Bluthner concert grands today
mjs Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/07
Posts: 365
Loc: München, Germany
I think comparing the feel on an upright with that of playing on a grand is somewhat inconclusive and is not necessarily a good comparison between manufacturers, irrespective of the skill of the player. It is a different type of instrument.

I don't have much experience of playing on a Blüthner (I only played one of about 190cm length and I did like it quite a lot), but I definitely wouldn't say that the Steingraeber is particularly "safe" or easy to play. In my experience (now already two weeks on my own Steingraeber grand) the piano will give you everything you want, but you have to ask for it - meaning also that it will definitely expose anyone not playing well or expressive on it. This is one, if not the reason, for going for the Steingraeber.
In contrast, I found Bösendorfer grands to be comparatively easy to play: absolutely beautiful sound without effort, but not the same range of tonal expression.

In general, my experience is that the ultimately most beautiful (with that I mean flexible tone) sounding instruments are usually not the easiest to play (something Mrs S also experienced when shopping for a new flute).
_________________________
Steingraeber D-232 # 45 777
Neupert Telemann harpsichord

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#48755 - 09/17/08 02:51 PM Re: I played Steingraeber,Bosendorfer and Bluthner concert grands today
pianistical Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/04
Posts: 1377
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
mjs,

I was only speaking relatively.
Steingraeber is my favorite alongside Bluthner for the same reason, their clear, deep and flying tone. In Steingraebers case the tone being brighter and sprinkled with wonderful overtones.

Again, relative to how I perceive other brands.

And I do think I can compare an upright with a grand if I do it wisely. The essence of the piano is still there. My upright reminds me a lot of the small Steingraeber grand I played which made me a Steingraeber convert in the first place.
_________________________
“There are only two important things which I took with me on my way to America, It´s been my wife Natalja and my precious Blüthner.” – Sergei Rachmaninov

1913 Blüthner model 6
1929 Blüthner model 9.
1955 Steingraeber upright.

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#48756 - 09/17/08 09:44 PM Re: I played Steingraeber,Bosendorfer and Bluthner concert grands today
Dram Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/07/06
Posts: 84
Loc: MD
Pianoloverus:
Per your comment "I hope some people with more experience on these pianos will also offer their opinions,esp ecially about comparisons between the Boesendorfer and Steingraeber. I really love my BB, but if I had the $ I would be very tempted to push it out of the 29th floor window of my apartment for one of those three pianos!"

I don't quite get it; you have a BB, and your preference for the Bluthner, Bosie and Steingraeber is that strong?? I tried all of those brands when I was shopping this past year, and I fell in love with the M&H BB, over all of the others. I can see how, with an equivalent sized piano, one might have a general preference for one sound vs. the other, i.e., a softer or more delicate sound vs. a more powerful sound, etc. (and even with that, I always wondered how much reflected the prep vs. the piano) but I found the M&H BB to more than hold its own against those. I found the Bosie I played to be nice, but nothing extraordinary (in comparison); I didn't play an Imperial, but an Imperial vs. BB comparison isn't exactly apples to apples (the CC I played - and considered buying - was stunning; I much preferred it to the Hamburg Steinways and D's of the same size that I had tried). Likewise the Bluthner - an excellent piano, but nothing that would make me sit up and say "wow, that's really different!" Steingraeber, on the other hand, was very different, particularly in the feel of the action - a beautifully crafted feel to it; but again, the sound of the instrument didn't appeal to me nearly as much as the M&H BB; a bit muted to my ears. And so that you'll know I'm not a complete M&H fanatic, I did find the Fazioli to be an otherworldly experience - a very different piano than anything I ever played before, with a gorgeous sound, build quality, action, etc, etc.

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#48757 - 09/18/08 06:27 AM Re: I played Steingraeber,Bosendorfer and Bluthner concert grands today
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19644
Loc: New York City
Dram:
Bluthners, Bosendorfers,. Steingraebers are way out of my price range so I didn't try them much before I bought my BB.

Plus remember my OP refers to 9' models of these three pianos. A 9' piano usually sounds better than a 7' model even if the quality is the same.

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#48758 - 09/20/08 02:04 AM Re: I played Steingraeber,Bosendorfer and Bluthner concert grands today
Doogs Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 127
Loc: Rockaway Beach New York
Pianoloverus:

By sheer happenstance I was at Faust yesterday. I played these pianos, though like you very briefly.

The Bosendorfer and Steingraeber were really disappointing. I don't know what they did to that Steingraeber but its bass did not sound like a concert bass.

I didn't get to play the largest Bluthner, but the other Bluthners there were quite good.

IMHO the Mason BB they have there more than holds its own against those concert grands.

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