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#1329885 12/20/09 03:14 PM
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Can anyone explain which pianos have a Steinway bell, and which do not? I understand that they were developed to accentuate the treble of the piano. I was told they stopped using the bell some years ago, but in "Note By Note" you can see what appears to be a (black) bell attached to the rim of the L1037. Is it used only on D's nowadays? Does it really make a difference? Is it used to balance out the power of the bass of a concert grand?

Thanks in advance for your input and knowledge.

nylawbiz #1329893 12/20/09 03:23 PM
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The "bell" is used in the larger sizes, from the model A and up. I cannot remember if the Ls had it. It is a part of the disign and still remains. Part of its function is to provide an additional mounting point for a plate bolt. The claim has always been that it tends to focus music energy as well.

Yamaha has adopted the use of a bell under the S6 while not on the same size C6.


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Thank for the info Marty.

nylawbiz #1330587 12/21/09 12:11 PM
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Yes the bell is used to augment the greater string tension on the treble end of the piano, this effectively keeps the piano from torquing or literally twisting due to the greater tension and number of string in the treble compared to the bass. As Marty said, the "bell" is used on the models A, B & D.


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WHAT is this "bell" thing? i.e. What does it look like (do you mean "bell" literally?), and exactly where on the rim is it?

I've had 2 Steinway B's (including one right over there <<<) smile ......and I'm not sure if I have any idea.

The one right here is from 2002, the other was from 1986. In what years did Steinway do it, and ......could someone maybe tell a little more about what it is? It doesn't seem like we can really tell from the above description unless we already know about it, or at least I can't.

Thanks in advance. smile

Mark_C #1330606 12/21/09 12:35 PM
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Mark,

Look under the curve on the treble side.

[edit] Here's one on a Hamburg intrument:

[Linked Image]

Last edited by Horowitzian; 12/21/09 12:36 PM.

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The bell is a cast Iron arm located on the treble side of the piano under the soundboard. It is attached to the Maple Rim. A bolt is fed through the plate and soundboard and secured to the "Bell".

If you look under your "B" on the treble side you will see it.


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I think it might be fair to call the "bell" a goof fixup. It increases stiffness in a part of the piano in which the plate and other structural elements were insufficiently stiff, and may also function by effectively adding mass to this same area. The large grands from other companies don't require this part, due, one supposes, to designs that are sufficiently stiff without it.

Calling it a bell is a marketing ploy, I assume. It is a stiffening element, or beam, but calling it a bell makes it sound so much more exotic.

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It looks like a solid device which adds structural stability to these wonderful pianos.
Do you mean Jonathan, when you said that it "augments" the greater treble string tension, that it supports greater treble string tension?
Apart from the fabulous sound, Steinways appear to be built more solidly than other pianos.

Happy Christmas!

Robert.

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Originally Posted by Horowitzian
Mark,

Look under the curve on the treble side.

[edit] Here's one on a Hamburg intrument:

[Linked Image]

THANK YOU!!!!!!

I had no idea they were talking about UNDER!!

Yes, I've got one. BTW......mine is black. I like gold better. smile

I've never heard of this thing in all my 200 years. ha

P.S. Extra bonus: I found a little spider web when I went under there to look......

nylawbiz #1330661 12/21/09 01:49 PM
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BTW......I wonder if any composers have made use of it. ha

I mean, guys like Henry Cowell and whomever went inside the piano and did whatever, so why not......

P.S. It might also somehow be useful for PDQ Bach's "Concerto for Horn and Hardart." smile
I mean, we'd have to detach it and all, but.....

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It is called the Glocken.
It is just another mount for anchoring the plate to the frame similar to a nose bolt.
If the nut above is adjusted correct it will help minimize energy bleeding from strings into plate.
Search the Piano Tech archives for an informative write up on it by Del Fandrich.


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Originally Posted by Roy123
I think it might be fair to call the "bell" a goof fixup. It increases stiffness in a part of the piano in which the plate and other structural elements were insufficiently stiff, and may also function by effectively adding mass to this same area. The large grands from other companies don't require this part, due, one supposes, to designs that are sufficiently stiff without it.

Calling it a bell is a marketing ploy, I assume. It is a stiffening element, or beam, but calling it a bell makes it sound so much more exotic.


Perhaps these large grands from "other companies" require less stability and longevity out of their pianos compared to Steinway.


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Let all your Glocken be rockin' in the new year!


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Quote
Apart from the fabulous sound, Steinways appear to be built more solidly than other pianos.


Care to give examples from the same price range? Just how are Steinway's more solidly built than a Bechstein, Boesendorfer or Grotrian?

Quote
Perhaps these large grands from "other companies" require less stability and longevity out of their pianos compared to Steinway.


Ditto.

We've had a bunch of threads in which people complain about Steinway 'bashing.' As a number of us have argued, the supposed 'bashing' often happens after lines like these are challenged.


Mark_C #1330693 12/21/09 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by MarkCannon
Originally Posted by Horowitzian
Mark,

Look under the curve on the treble side.

[edit] Here's one on a Hamburg intrument:

[Linked Image]

THANK YOU!!!!!!

I had no idea they were talking about UNDER!!

Yes, I've got one. BTW......mine is black. I like gold better. smile

I've never heard of this thing in all my 200 years. ha

P.S. Extra bonus: I found a little spider web when I went under there to look......


No problem. smile Yes, the NY bells are black while the Hamburg ones are gold to match the stained wood appearance they use underneath.


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Originally Posted by Piano*Dad
Quote
Apart from the fabulous sound, Steinways appear to be built more solidly than other pianos.


Care to give examples from the same price range? Just how are Steinway's more solidly built than a Bechstein, Boesendorfer or Grotrian?





If you are comparing old models from those brands to similar vintage Steinway models, the statement probably is true. However, European pianos have gotten a lot more massive in recent decades.


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If massive = better then we should just weigh the pianos, n'est ce pas?

Mason & Hamlin wins!

Beware the offhand line that equates Steinway's characteristics du jour with better quality. I have seen no argument here that this 'bell' offers any quality advantages at all independent of the rest of the design of which it is a part. In other words, adding such a bell to other designs need not improve those designs. The bell may be, in fact, a way to make up for some other issue (or even problem) in the design. As Roy123 notes, adding stiffening where needed does not recommend the bell to other makers whose designs did not need the extra stiffening to begin with.


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Or old Chickerings! eek

Designs are all different; there's nothing 'wrong' with Steinway using a treble bells as there is nothing 'wrong' with other makers not using them. To suggest otherwise smacks of an agenda. I don't think there's much abjectly wrong with Steinway's designs. Otherwise I don't think that they would have the reputation for being very fine pianos that they do.

...and as long as we are on this subject, it seems to me that M&H's tension resonator could be said to also be of dubious value. smile


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Originally Posted by Piano*Dad
If massive = better then we should just weigh the pianos, n'est ce pas?
Mason & Hamlin wins!


That's what I would have thought, but in some relatively recent thread Del said older Knabes(don't remember the year exactly) were actually heavier than similar sized Masons.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 12/21/09 04:28 PM.
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