2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
Who's Online Now
67 members (Anna B., CyberGene, AZNpiano, clothearednincompo, anotherscott, Beowulf, Carey, 1906Weber, Animisha, 11 invisible), 517 guests, and 391 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 3 of 4 1 2 3 4
Re: Best Steinway model and year to look for
Carey #1383009 02/25/10 10:01 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 164
C
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
C
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 164
I'm embarassed to say that I didn't know that I had a private message area, I thought it was going to go to my personal email and I was looking for it there yesterday. My wife was good enough to point out to me the little flashie thing at the top of the page.

I'll definitely try out that shop.

As an interesting note: I saw Mason & Hamlin being built on "How It's Made", Steinway NY on "Some Assembly Required", and Steinway Hamburg on "How Do They Do It?" (I have them all saved on my DVR), plus something somewhere on Petrof. They all have very different methods for building their instruments. Seems to work for them though.

Regards and thanks,
James

Re: Best Steinway model and year to look for
Del #1383029 02/25/10 11:10 PM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 8,453
8000 Post Club Member
Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 8,453
Originally Posted by Del
Originally Posted by Horowitzian
...The C does have a D action in it.

It does? Well, I suppose so in the sense that all Steinway grand pianos share a common action that varies only in action center spacing and in the placement of action brackets. Key lengths are, of course, quite different.

ddf


I've been told that the action stack, keys, and hammers are the same between the C and the D. In fact, I very much recall being disabused of the contrary some time back! wink


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
Re: Best Steinway model and year to look for
Horowitzian #1383038 02/25/10 11:26 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 115
T
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
T
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 115
I have a 1967 Hamburg Steinway B that I just love. The action is Renner so there is no "teflon" issue. The piano just keeps getting better! (However, if someone offered to trade me straight across for a Fazioli f212 I might be tempted.)

Re: Best Steinway model and year to look for
Horowitzian #1383042 02/25/10 11:36 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 47
H
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
H
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 47
Originally Posted by Horowitzian
Originally Posted by Del
Originally Posted by Horowitzian
...The C does have a D action in it.

It does? Well, I suppose so in the sense that all Steinway grand pianos share a common action that varies only in action center spacing and in the placement of action brackets. Key lengths are, of course, quite different.

ddf


I've been told that the action stack, keys, and hammers are the same between the C and the D. In fact, I very much recall being disabused of the contrary some time back! wink



I have also been told the key lengths on the C and the D are the same by more than 1 Steinway rebuilder. Not true???




Re: Best Steinway model and year to look for
pianobroker #1383074 02/26/10 01:03 AM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 5,534
D
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member
Offline
5000 Post Club Member
D
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 5,534
Originally Posted by pianobroker
It is not just the build quality of the core piano that I think can be compromised but the piano itself. ex.wood quality of the keyset,acrylic sharps,harp. Take a look at the harp of a vintage Steinway vrs. a newer harp. Though an all "orginal" vintage Steinway can be worn out,one can still discern it's original build quality in it's dilapidated state. So...Newer is not always better! wink

Odd, I think, that you should list the plate, or frame, in your list. As I see things this, especially, is an area where the new piano has it all over the older production.

I can't remember rebuilding an older S&S that did not have elongated platebolt holes—ground out by hand and required because the dimpled and drilled holes could not possibly line up with the inner rim. This is no longer the case.

It is rare to find an early plate that has a consistent gap between the edge of the bolt flange and the outer rim. This is much better in current production pianos.

The location of the V-bar in early plates was not always precisely held; it could drift some contributing to the well-known hammer strikepoint problems in many early models. V-bars are now cast oversize and milled—using NC machines—to precise and accurate shape and location.

Hitchpin drilling is, at best, inconsistent in older plates. With NC drilling this is now much more consistent.

Tuning pin drilling in old plates is also inconsistent. Again, with NC drilling it is now much better.

Agraffe drilling on early plates was often inconsistent. This is now done by NC machines and is much more accurate.

Flatness along the bottom of the tuning pin panel on old plates was poor; they were often bowed up. Sometimes quite a lot. This surface is now milled at the foundry along with the surface of the pinblock flange which makes the pinblock fit—and, ultimately, locating the plate in the rim, much more precise.

Control of the mix of the iron is now much more tightly controlled. When we're told we're getting Grade 30 iron we can be pretty sure it is actually Grade 30 iron (which is considerably better and stronger than the hit or miss iron of yesteryear.

These are just a few of the improvements that have been made in the plates that I have noticed as a casual observer. I expect somebody from the factory and/or the foundry could expand this some.

Not everything about the “good old days” was really all that good. But maybe I'm nissing something...?

ddf

Last edited by Del; 02/26/10 01:06 AM.

Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon
Re: Best Steinway model and year to look for
Del #1383330 02/26/10 12:08 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 164
C
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
C
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 164
Del,

I saw a video of the Steinway Hamburg factory and they definitely use NC drilling and milling of the plate as well as the bridges and pinblocks. In a video I saw of the NY factory it showed them hand-punching and drilling the bridge, but nothing regarding the plate. Do you know if they use use NC machining on their plates there as well? I would assume that they would because it eliminates (or at least greatly reduces) inconsistencies and variations that would make tuning and regulation difficult. I know that Steinway has always been known as a "hand-built" product, but some things you just don't want to leave to somebody's hand/eye coordination. I wouldn't even think of drilling a printed circuit board by hand, especially in a production environment where your reputation is only as good as your latest product issue. It would be asking for trouble.

I've seen that there are differences in some of the mfg techniques between the NY and Hamburg facilities, but do they use the same plates and/or scale designs?

James


Re: Best Steinway model and year to look for
Chloe J. Scott #1383358 02/26/10 12:38 PM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 5,534
D
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member
Offline
5000 Post Club Member
D
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 5,534
Originally Posted by James Scott
Del,

I saw a video of the Steinway Hamburg factory and they definitely use NC drilling and milling of the plate as well as the bridges and pinblocks. In a video I saw of the NY factory it showed them hand-punching and drilling the bridge, but nothing regarding the plate. Do you know if they use use NC machining on their plates there as well? I would assume that they would because it eliminates (or at least greatly reduces) inconsistencies and variations that would make tuning and regulation difficult. I know that Steinway has always been known as a "hand-built" product, but some things you just don't want to leave to somebody's hand/eye coordination. I wouldn't even think of drilling a printed circuit board by hand, especially in a production environment where your reputation is only as good as your latest product issue. It would be asking for trouble.

I've seen that there are differences in some of the mfg techniques between the NY and Hamburg facilities, but do they use the same plates and/or scale designs?

James


I've not been in the Steinway factory for years. I'm just commenting on things I've noticed in the plate foundry and in newer instruments. You'll have to check with folks who follow Steinway more closely than I.

ddf


Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon
Re: Best Steinway model and year to look for
Del #1383795 02/27/10 02:33 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,346
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,346
Originally Posted by Del
Originally Posted by pianobroker
It is not just the build quality of the core piano that I think can be compromised but the piano itself. ex.wood quality of the keyset,acrylic sharps,harp. Take a look at the harp of a vintage Steinway vrs. a newer harp. Though an all "orginal" vintage Steinway can be worn out,one can still discern it's original build quality in it's dilapidated state. So...Newer is not always better! wink

Odd, I think, that you should list the plate, or frame, in your list. As I see things this, especially, is an area where the new piano has it all over the older production.

I can't remember rebuilding an older S&S that did not have elongated platebolt holes—ground out by hand and required because the dimpled and drilled holes could not possibly line up with the inner rim. This is no longer the case.

It is rare to find an early plate that has a consistent gap between the edge of the bolt flange and the outer rim. This is much better in current production pianos.

The location of the V-bar in early plates was not always precisely held; it could drift some contributing to the well-known hammer strikepoint problems in many early models. V-bars are now cast oversize and milled—using NC machines—to precise and accurate shape and location.

Hitchpin drilling is, at best, inconsistent in older plates. With NC drilling this is now much more consistent.

Tuning pin drilling in old plates is also inconsistent. Again, with NC drilling it is now much better.

Agraffe drilling on early plates was often inconsistent. This is now done by NC machines and is much more accurate.

Flatness along the bottom of the tuning pin panel on old plates was poor; they were often bowed up. Sometimes quite a lot. This surface is now milled at the foundry along with the surface of the pinblock flange which makes the pinblock fit—and, ultimately, locating the plate in the rim, much more precise.

Control of the mix of the iron is now much more tightly controlled. When we're told we're getting Grade 30 iron we can be pretty sure it is actually Grade 30 iron (which is considerably better and stronger than the hit or miss iron of yesteryear.

These are just a few of the improvements that have been made in the plates that I have noticed as a casual observer. I expect somebody from the factory and/or the foundry could expand this some.

Not everything about the “good old days” was really all that good. But maybe I'm nissing something...?

ddf
Del,I actually was making reference moreso in the actual prep involved along with the precision esthetic castings of the vintage plates compared to the modern casted plates of Steinway. If regilded at a high level they are none the less stunning.
You had me contemplating as for,if this elevated standard as for precision NC consistency obviously(not just the harp) can potentially make for the better piano, why is it that this stoneage standard as for the earliest of the vintage modern pianos can sound superior to newer. I can't dispute the fact that CNC precsion obviously is not gonna faulter as for that miscalculated drilled plate bolt hole. An occassional human mishap occurs every now and than but not every hole. grin

My rebuilder's efficiency and precision level is as hightech as it comes so I am a firm believer as for any innovative jigs and machines to increase one's efficiency,precision and consistency level. In restoration it can make that difference overcoming that less than precision era shortcomings. I don't really see a true craftsman not being able to overcome a hurdle as for fitting a pinblock to a vintage era plate flange or ?. Actually ,I don't really see the outstanding results in the modern piano considering the higher technological edge nowadays in production.

Del,you were the one that proclaimed Steinway gradually compromising their quality standard even before that dreaded CBS era. What in your opinion,were these shortcomings that attributed to Steinway's gradual decline in quality pre CBS.

I value your opinion. Always grasping all the knowledge, I can squeeze out of the pros. grin

Now does this harp analogy apply to other manufacturers other than Steinway. Is there a technological edge of a newer Aeolian harp of the 70s-80s as it applies to Knabe or Mason & Hamlin over their vintage era pianos pre Aeolian. Was the shortcoming the scarcity of bondo in the later years. frown



Last edited by pianobroker; 02/27/10 02:51 AM.

www.pastperfectpiano.com
Largest selection in the USA
100+Steinway and M&H grands
Warehouse showroom Onsite Restoration
Preowned & Restored
Hailun dlr.818-255-3145
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z8RvhXGKzY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Voo0zumHGgE
Re: Best Steinway model and year to look for
pianobroker #1384051 02/27/10 03:33 PM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 5,534
D
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member
Offline
5000 Post Club Member
D
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 5,534
Originally Posted by pianobroker
Del,I actually was making reference moreso in the actual prep involved along with the precision esthetic castings of the vintage plates compared to the modern casted plates of Steinway. If regilded at a high level they are none the less stunning.
You had me contemplating as for, if this elevated standard as for precision NC consistency obviously(not just the harp) can potentially make for the better piano, why is it that this stoneage standard as for the earliest of the vintage modern pianos can sound superior to newer. I can't dispute the fact that CNC precision obviously is not gonna falter as for that miscalculated drilled plate bolt hole. An occasional human mishap occurs every now and than but not every hole. grin

NC precision should result in a more consistent structure. The misalignment of those plate bolt holes had several causes but fundamentally it came from a lack of coordination between the plate patterns and the rim presses. Given the manufacturing technology of the day this is understandable on a few instruments; it is inexcusable to have it repeated year after year. The plate patterns could/should have been corrected but this would have cost money.

Let us not confuse manufacturing precision with product, or acoustical, design. In rebuilding old Steinway pianos you are starting with a basic core that has not changed all that much over the decades. And this has given rise to what I see as one of the major challenges facing the Steinway company today. In my opinion the build quality of the instruments today is at least as good as it has ever been. Probably better. We can quibble over aesthetics; what I am referring to the structure and materials. But, again in my opinion, design has not kept pace and this leaves it still possible for rebuilders such as yourself to often equal, if not surpass, the performance of a new instrument of the same model. It has, I think, long been the case that one of Steinway's major competitors has been its own older production that have been rebuilt and are being successfully sold against the new instruments.



Quote
My rebuilder's efficiency and precision level is as hightech as it comes so I am a firm believer as for any innovative jigs and machines to increase one's efficiency,precision and consistency level. In restoration it can make that difference overcoming that less than precision era shortcomings. I don't really see a true craftsman not being able to overcome a hurdle as for fitting a pinblock to a vintage era plate flange or ?.

Of course a skilled and efficient craftsman can fit a pinblock to a less than perfect plate flange. And do it well. A skilled and experienced craftsman should be able do all parts of piano rebuilding efficiently and well. He or she will not be able to do this with the speed and efficiency of a well designed machine-centric production process.

Nor will the craftsman be able to do any complex and sophisticated task repeatably day in and day out without making a few mistakes. In the rebuilding process these mistakes will be noted and corrected (hopefully by the person making the mistake) before the job moves on. In the factory setting they may not be detected and the results on down the line can (and do) seriously affect performance. The best manufacturing policy is to eliminate the potential for mistakes wherever and whenever possible. There is a reason why even the builders of high end—those so called handcrafted—piano makers are implementing CNC machinery as rapidly as their budgets will allow.

Having done both I would suggest that rebuilding an old piano is some different—and considerably less complicated—than the building of a new piano. The rebuilder is faced only with more-or-less duplicating what had been done (usually) many decades back. Most of the raw materials are already there. Most of the labor has also already been invested—pressing the rim, all that veneer work, all that cabinetry, etc. And still the cost of rebuilding an old piano exceeds that of building—just building, not including distributing, marketing and selling—many new pianos of similar size.



Quote
Actually, I don't really see the outstanding results in the modern piano considering the higher technological edge nowadays in production.

Then you have not looked closely at the many inexpensive new instruments available today. We keep hearing about how it is the low cost of foreign labor that has made the reasonably good quality grand pianos possible and that is certainly part of the equation. But equally important are the efficiencies made possible by precision and automated (or even semi-automated) machinery. The fact that we can sell a reasonably well made and competently performing 185 cm grand for less than $15K is, in my opinion, astounding.



Quote
Del,you were the one that proclaimed Steinway gradually compromising their quality standard even before that dreaded CBS era. What in your opinion,were these shortcomings that attributed to Steinway's gradual decline in quality pre-CBS.

I think the problems that afflicted the Steinway company prior to its acquisition by CBS were similar to those that other U.S. companies were having at the time. Aeolian is another classic example. Owners and top management took as much as possible from them for as long as possible without reinvesting in infrastructure. Profits down? Push production workers harder, increase production quotas, cut the cost of materials, cut machine maintenance, cut facilities maintenance. Little thought was given to the long-term health of the company. Even less to the growing reality of foreign competition.

It wasn't until CBS took over that new kilns were installed, machines were being given much needed and long past due maintenance and work was going into giving the workers better, and also much needed support. And this trend has, I think, continued under subsequent ownership and management.



Quote
Now does this harp analogy apply to other manufacturers other than Steinway. Is there a technological edge of a newer Aeolian harp of the 70s-80s as it applies to Knabe or Mason & Hamlin over their vintage era pianos pre Aeolian. Was the shortcoming the scarcity of bondo in the later years. frown

It wasn't a lack of Bondo, it was a lack of competent and farsighted, management. The same points apply to Aeolian. Maintenance to plate patterns was postponed, or simply ignored—pattern maintenance costs money, money that could much better be spent on bonuses. Maintenance to jigs and fixtures—same thing. Baldwin was a little, but not much, different. When I redesigned the Baldwin Hamilton in 1985/86 it was obvious—to me, at least—that a new plate was necessary. But a new pattern would have cost around $12,000. With annual revenues somewhat in excess of only $150,000,000, sorry, we just can't squeeze the astronomical sum of $12K out of the budget. It might have to come out of somebody's $10,000,000 year-end bonus. So I had to make due with minor modifications to the original plate with all of its inherent shortcomings.

ddf


Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon
Re: Best Steinway model and year to look for
Del #1384063 02/27/10 03:59 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,269
C
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
C
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,269
Originally Posted by Del
Baldwin was a little, but not much, different. When I redesigned the Baldwin Hamilton in 1985/86 it was obvious—to me, at least—that a new plate was necessary. But a new pattern would have cost around $12,000. With annual revenues somewhat in excess of only $150,000,000, sorry, we just can't squeeze the astronomical sum of $12K out of the budget. It might have to come out of somebody's $10,000,000 year-end bonus. So I had to make due with minor modifications to the original plate with all of its inherent shortcomings.

ddf


Wow, that story makes me less sorry that Baldwin ultimately failed. Interesting - it's amazing to think about how little bits of corporate culture like this contribute to the larger picture of who is left on the playing field.


Semi-pro pianist
Tuesdays 5-8 at Vince's West Sacramento, California
Re: Best Steinway model and year to look for
charleslang #1384081 02/27/10 04:24 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,604
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,604
There is no industry that I can think of that have more mythology surrounding it as the piano business. The list is long and multifaceted. As stories are repeated enough to become "fact". It is important for industry veterans to tell the reality as they lived it to set the record straight.


Co-Author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Buying A Piano. A "must read" before you shop.
Work for west coast dealer for Yamaha, Schimmel, Bosendorfer, Wm. Knabe.
Re: Best Steinway model and year to look for
Marty Flinn #1384102 02/27/10 04:54 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,757
AJB Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,757
The whole old versus new Steinway thing is very difficult.

When I was originally searching for a concert grand a few years ago I played everything available in the UK and Germany. This included new D's, ex-studio D's from the 60's and 70's, old D from around the turn of the last century (give or take 20 years) and so called "golden era" instruments".

(We bought a used Fazioli for a studio and I passed over several Hamburg D's for a Boesendorfer Imperial that was a mistake.)

Amongst all the D's I played (and I was less picky then) I invariably concluded that the new ones were by far the best. The 100 year old ones lacked power. The golden era ones did too, despite beautiful rebuilds, the ones from 60's/70's were sometimes pretty good, but a good, new D blew them all away. Power and control appealed to me far more.

After foolishly selling the Faz (great piano) as part of a business deal, and turning my back on the Imperial (I wanted to love it but didn't) a modern Hamburg D was unexpectedly sent to me as an alternative to putting it in storage. A storage loan became a permanent loan in rather sad circumstances, and this instrument, which is now some 8 years old, has taught me that although the modern D is not perfect, it is pretty damn close.

I agree totally with whoever said that the best Steinway is the one that has just been made. I have no idea about New York Steinways, but a good new and well prepped Hamburg D is very hard to beat as a flexible "do it all" instrument. It will whisper or roar at will.

But I still hold the view that we all make too much of the differences between pianos/brands/sizes. We get used to whatever we have and by far the most important factor is the PLAYER.





Currently playing 2017 C212 with carbon fibre soundboard, WNG action. Working on Bach, Beethoven, Grieg mainly.
Re: Best Steinway model and year to look for
AJB #1384846 02/28/10 03:15 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 115
T
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
T
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 115
Play as many Steinways as you can. The right one will find you. Mine did. 1967 Hamburg B.

Re: Best Steinway model and year to look for
AJB #1384851 02/28/10 03:19 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,346
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,346
Again,I can't dispute the technological advances that have changed piano production leaps and bounds. Obviously it has bought down the $ of what is obtainable,especially in the cost effective inexpensive piano market. Even the higher end piano market,the smarter manufacturers are investing whatever and wherever they can in CNC increasing their efficiency,precision and consistency benefiting in the long term.

Politically in the piano world,restoration may be a dying art whereas the industry on the whole promotes most to pursue the route of a new piano. Restoration technology is stiffled whereas most manufactures do not want the restoration industry to become to good for obvious reasons. Steinway supports restoration to a certain extent in helping keep that Steinway legacy alive.
It is intersting that Steinway Restoration is technically not a prosperous venture for Steinway in that it really only caters to those private individuals wanting to restore their personal heirloom piano. I was told that for the authorised dealer network,it doesn't really make sense in that one can acquire new at wholesale for lesser than restoration of an acquired vintage piano.

While conversing with my rebuilder,I have succumb to the fact that Steinway is more than just an inert entity that one might consider,in sampling different piano manufactures in search of that perfect performance instrument. It is an actual institution built upon for more than a century. It is no different than acquiring a piece of art, so to me the estheics are just as important or even moreso than comparing it's performance specs againest that of a lesser $ piano alleging to be more bang for the buck. It is much more gratifying to me to see a vintage piece restored to it's full glory than uncrating a ?. It's a totally different mindset and everyone has got their own priority that floats their boat.

I actually see it differently as for comparing a fully remanufactured D at a high end to be just as much piano as a new one. Again when assessing different D(s) at the factory you got 20-30 to choose from and there will be some barkers among them.
I do feel when persons refer to Hamburg quality and it being superior to NY in their own subjective view, they are refering to newer Hamburg pianos in particular.

Very simple "You play it ,you like it,you buy it! You don't like it , move on"
wink

Last edited by pianobroker; 02/28/10 03:25 PM.

www.pastperfectpiano.com
Largest selection in the USA
100+Steinway and M&H grands
Warehouse showroom Onsite Restoration
Preowned & Restored
Hailun dlr.818-255-3145
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z8RvhXGKzY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Voo0zumHGgE
Re: Best Steinway model and year to look for
AJB #1384928 02/28/10 05:17 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,207
D
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
D
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,207
.


https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D
Yamaha CP4
Re: Best Steinway model and year to look for
Dave Ferris #1384978 02/28/10 06:53 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,757
AJB Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,757
I agree 100% with Dave that input from a really good tech makes a huge difference. The Hamburg D I play was originally chosen by a good friend from several that he was offered (it was new). The buyer was heavily influenced by a tech (ex Steinway senior tech) that he had used for some years and he was apparently very insistent that this was the best one and that it had great potential.

Once the piano was delivered and settled in for a while, he spent the best part of two days (in two separate visits) doing things to it that I am told transformed the instrument.

When, a few years later, it was re-located to my house in stead of just going into storage, the same technician spent two longish days sorting it out again to suit me. By that time the instrument was about six years old I guess had probably had the best part of 8,000 hours of use, if not more. In my house it needed voicing down a bit and I wanted a mellower tone, but he did a fantastic job and once again I was reminded how much difference technicians make to pianos.

It is tuned at least four and probably more realistically six times a year (and if I could justify it I would have it done every month) as every time it is tuned it sounds so "fresh".

I really like the way technicians can tweak these things to suit our personal peccadillos as players.

Adrian














Currently playing 2017 C212 with carbon fibre soundboard, WNG action. Working on Bach, Beethoven, Grieg mainly.
Re: Best Steinway model and year to look for
AJB #1385790 03/01/10 06:30 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 164
C
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
C
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 164
My take on restored/rebuilt/remfg (etc.) vs. new is this: If you have a piano company and you want to make money, obviously you need to sell pianos. Since you only get the income from a sale once, you need to sell new pianos. So you try to convince prospective buyers that yours is the best, for whatever attributes they're looking for (touch, tone, looks, prestige, whatever). Many experienced players will buy based on touch and/or tone, but many other people will buy based on looks, prestige, and resale value. If you are a brand that has been around for a long time like Steinway has then there are going to be a lot of pianos that are still hanging around from long ago. It works in your best interest to have people still hanging on to them and passing them on for generations, and having them lovingly restored.

You can say, "Mr. Customer, you can buy a new piano from us and I guarantee that when you want to sell it you can get a great price toward another one, it doesn't loose it's value." Look at all of the examples; a "core" model from a hundred years ago is still selling from $5K to $10K, and might still need $15K to $20K of work/parts to put into it's pristine condition, then sell it for $30K to $40K as fully rebuilt, virtually new. There are only a handful of makes that can make this claim like M&H, Bosendorder, lots of German makes, and yes, even Baldwin (. Just look at all of the shops that are dedicated to restoring Steinways, and some others doing some of the other top-tier makes, and whatever else the customer is willing to pay for.

So it's really a double-edge sword. You want to sell new pianos, but you need to have the reputation that your pianos will last virtually forever with the right care.

That's my two-cents, for what it's worth.

James

Re: Best Steinway model and year to look for
Chloe J. Scott #1385795 03/01/10 06:34 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 164
C
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
C
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 164
Just two more stupid questions, if I may:

I've heard that some people say to disregard "ex-players" as undesirable. Is this true?

And what about ones that were once say mahogany or something, but has since been ebonized?

What are your views on either of these scenarios?

Thanks,
James

Re: Best Steinway model and year to look for
Chloe J. Scott #1385802 03/01/10 06:41 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,604
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,604
The players had key sticks that were inches longer than the non-players. They never played as good then or now. It is faster and easier and cheaper to refinish pianos in satin black. Often wonderful wood look cabinets are covered over in black. This has nothing to do with tone. As a woodworker, it is sad to me to cover up that beautiful vineer.


Co-Author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Buying A Piano. A "must read" before you shop.
Work for west coast dealer for Yamaha, Schimmel, Bosendorfer, Wm. Knabe.
Re: Best Steinway model and year to look for
Marty Flinn #1385848 03/01/10 07:40 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 164
C
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
C
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 164
How do they ebonize anyway? Because I've seen ads that say "ebonized, can convert to original upon request" or words to that effect. I'd think that if it was something like a stain that gets into the veneer then it would be quite difficult to remove the coloring without destroying it.

Page 3 of 4 1 2 3 4

Moderated by  Ken Knapp, Piano World 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Karsten Collection
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
What's Hot!!
News from the Piano World
Our October 2020 Free Piano Newsletter is Here!
---------------------
3,000,000+!
------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Counting sixteenth notes
by Prestzie - 10/24/20 02:09 PM
Best D Piano/Controller under 600 US Dollars.
by RudessJR - 10/24/20 01:13 PM
Wrist/forearm rotation
by treefrog - 10/24/20 12:31 PM
Kawai Grand Piano 5’10 - asking $7,000
by Anna B. - 10/24/20 12:00 PM
Used Yamaha vs brand new Kawai?
by danlightbulb - 10/24/20 08:52 AM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums41
Topics202,382
Posts3,016,661
Members99,006
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers


Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2020 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4