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#149200 08/23/05 01:26 PM
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I will being touring the factory. I do not know if I will have the chance to ask questions but I will try. What questions would you ask? (respectful questions only, please)

#149201 08/23/05 09:13 PM
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1) Can I take pictures
2) With such a high run compared to other high end manufactures how do you insure consistence of sound/touch feel. What do you see as well is probably more interesting then what they might say.
3) What is it with the common preception that you need to play hundreds to find that special Steinway. Is it not better to hold to tight outgoing consistency vs. depend on a variable dealer network to prep and uphold the steinway quality..

#149202 08/24/05 08:07 AM
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IH--No pictures are allowed. You are questioning consistency. That I will attempt to get a read on without asking because asking is assuming there is no consistency and is a question that would probably not be regarded as respectful. As for having to play hundreds that assumes an utter lack of production quality and is not my perception at all.

#149203 08/24/05 09:24 AM
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LJC,
I have no particular questions for you. I've been through the Steinway factory several times. All I want to say is enjoy yourself! My favorite area is where they store their veneers. Don't be afraid to ask questions. The workers are to a man (or woman) very helpful.

when is your tour?

#149204 08/24/05 11:23 AM
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Justme- its next week. This will be my first tour. I am not shy about asking questions and I have no agenda.

#149205 08/24/05 12:15 PM
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After I visited earlier this year, someone here on PW posted that they thought that NY actions would either be Renner or contain Renner parts at some point; and that this was part of a more general standardization effort for NY and Hamburg pianos. (That is consistent with what one of the techs there said when I selected my B, that the plate change last year was so that NY and Hamburg Bs shared the same plate.)

I'm curious if they might comment further about this.


2005 Steinway B
#149206 08/24/05 12:58 PM
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I've given this some thought and here's what I'd really like to know.

How many pianos does the NY factory produce each year, and which models are biggest sellers?

How many workers does NY employ who perform final regulation and voicing work on pianos at completion?

Thanks for asking.

#149207 08/24/05 01:03 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Steve Ramirez:
How many pianos does the NY factory produce each year, and which models are biggest sellers?
I was told there earlier this year that they make more Bs than any other model. Can't give a ranking though. Maybe LJC can track down #2 and #3 smile .

Also, if you look at http://www.steinway.com/technical/how_old.shtml you can see that they make no more than 3000-4000 pianos a year total. (The ending serial number is rounded up, so you can't tell exactly what the count is.)


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#149208 08/24/05 01:12 PM
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Good questions and I will try to get the answers.

#149209 08/25/05 10:10 PM
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All,

LJC was any reason given for why no pictures? I know Mason and Bosendorfer appear to have a take all the picture you like.

Anyone know about the other factories that give tours. I figure its a contradiction, I will show you my factory, answer your question, but damm if you take any pictures. I find it hard to believe that there could be something in the picture that the tourer wouldn't pick up that would be tradesecret or result in that "Steinway Sound"

Sorry about the bluntness of my other question. It is a huge curiosity of mine. Where I work and being an engineer by training you get to the point with direct and blunt questions.. My wife got embarrased with my many questions in Vienna. I find the whole piano buidling process about as amazing in its details as my professional one in chip making..

How does one get a Steinway factory Tour. I got a free set of roundtrip tickets on an airline near bankruptcy. I was saving them for that next Mason Tour, but the no pictures policy sounds like an interesting thing to go see "the factory" I won't be the shy coy question asker eek

Thanks

#149210 08/26/05 01:40 AM
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Ask to sample the wares.

No winery tour without some tasting.... thumb

norbert


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
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#149211 08/26/05 08:14 AM
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TO IH-Steinway factory tours are by invitation. If you want to go on one I would suggest you give Steinway a call and make the request. I do not know why they do not allow pictures. It simply said so on the invitational letter. I don't think its worth asking, it is their policy and probably has been so for many years.....Norbert-That is what I had in mind. I haven't tried the new model A. I would suggest they resurrect the Model C while they are at it.

#149212 08/26/05 08:46 AM
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The no-pictures thing isn't uncommon. I worked for a large, well known technology company some time ago (in its own way equivalent to Steinway) that had very tight restrictions on cameras throughout the company for visitors and employees alike, and still does. Not sure what they do about camera phones these days smile .

LJC, not sure you'll get to play an A unless its accidental. They only have Bs and Ds in the selection room. Otherwise, as pianos come from final voicing they sit in a line waiting for packaging and shipment as you enter the factory. Maybe you will run across an A there like we did.

Norbert, that's how I got in smile . After we picked a B, we asked the tech to show us around. Even though it was unplanned, the tech was gracious and even forfeited his lunch hour to do a complete tour. Sure we just bought a piano smile but I was still impressed with the personal tour and gracious customer service. (Just a little to my surprise, every dealing I've had with the company has been like that - a very good experience that exceeded my expectations.)


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#149213 08/26/05 09:15 AM
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No pictures? Strange. I had no problem taking pictures at the Hamburg factory during my tour a couple of years ago. Ditto for other German manufacturers. In fact, they're proud of what they do and how they do it. These craftsmen seemed to enjoy photo opportunities.

Questions:

In what areas are S&S designers/managers currently focusing their R&D efforts? What innovations/new features does S&S anticipate will go into production pianos in the near term (next 1-3 years)?

Is the Model A being produced entirely by the NY factory (or does the Hamburg factory do part of the work)? And/or -- What quality assurance procedures has the NY factory recently implemented to improve quality control? (I suggest asking these two questions because the new Model A I played had a better fit and finish than the other models NY produces. I wonder why that is the case.)

JP


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#149214 08/26/05 09:23 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by JPM:
Is the Model A being produced entirely by the NY factory (or does the Hamburg factory do part of the work)?
That's what we were told. I wasn't looking out for this specifically but we also saw As in various stages of completion.

I want to think I noticed the same thing you mention about the A here at the dealer. Unlike the Bs that show up here it also sounded pretty bright, more to my liking, like the hammers were juiced up. Not sure that's the general case though.

Sorry for jumping in on your thread LJC.


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#149215 08/26/05 11:39 AM
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Baroque- No problem. I don't feel like I own it. You know I know someone else that actually likes the A better than the B. Maybe for the bright sound? JPM- these are some good questions, I will see what I can find out and report back (after next week)

#149216 08/26/05 12:06 PM
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I'd like to know how many S&S employees own Steinways.


Jonnie P.
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#149217 08/26/05 01:41 PM
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When I take factory tours I *grill* them about things.
For me, the *outcome* is what counts - walking and hiking trips I can take in the mountains...

Others take factory tours simply to give applause.

Or be expected to.....

norbert


www.heritagepianos.com
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#149218 08/26/05 02:02 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Norbert:
For me, the *outcome* is what counts...Others take factory tours simply to give applause.
I'm not a piano pro, I'm an engineer. I also do some woodworking (wookhacking?) as a very occasional hobby. So in my case at least it was facinating to see what goes on from an engineering and hobbyist's perspective. (I think my tech picked up on this as well as on some of the details folks pick up after hanging around PW a while, and I got a more informative presentation as a result.)

The Steinway factory is a factory, not like the almost-a-hobby Steingraeber sort of operation which I expect is very different. I'm sure I'd enjoy that as much.

Every person I spoke with there was helpful and informative. But I don't remember seeing an across-the-board, zen-like, inscrutable smile that I thought I remember Norbert describing at a place or two in Germany smile .


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#149219 08/26/05 02:32 PM
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Baroque:

I'm glad you had a good experience with your tour and that's all that counts.

Factory tours are always interesting [except for people working there every day...]

It brings not only a little excitement for those taking the tour, but sometimes also the feeling of *showcasing* for people working there.

If you go on a Rhine tour you can visit dozens of wineries and sample 100's of wines.

Of course for those who *do*, I won't be surprised that when they return from their trip -it's French Bordeaux - they packed along..... wink

norbert


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