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Are Bostons and Essexes Steinway instruments? #170838
05/10/05 05:49 PM
05/10/05 05:49 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 382
Canada
ghostclaws Offline OP
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From the thread "Should an "All Boston" school call itself an "All Steinway" school?", there seems to be differing opinions of how to classify Bostons and Essexes.

I, along with others, share the opinion that both the Boston and Essex are in fact Steinway & Sons pianos. Neither belong to the more reknowned top Steinway line but nonetheless, they are bonafide Steinway & Sons pianos.

Reasons:
1. These are, according to S&S, designed indigenously by Steinway & Sons piano designers and engineers.
2. Neither Boston nor Essex are or were separate corporations.
3. Neither Boston nor Essex line of pianos existed prior to their conception by Steinway and Sons.
4. The purpose of Steinway & Sons creating these lines, (again at least according to S&S) is apparently to make sure " the precious gift of music not be reserved for just a few"; "Steinway & Sons has expanded its selection of finely crafted instruments and to make Steinway designed pianos available to more consumers..." In other words, they are trying to create more affordable pianos for consumers shopping in different price ranges.
5. According to Steinway & Sons, the Bostons and Essexes production will not be limited to the current out-sourced producers like Kawai. In fact, they demonstrated this clearly by recently changing the contract mfg'er of the Essex from Y/C to Pearl River. They want these instruments to be identified with S&S and not their manufacturers.

Other opinions, anyone?

GC

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Re: Are Bostons and Essexes Steinway instruments? #170839
05/10/05 06:07 PM
05/10/05 06:07 PM
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Does it matter? Every instrument should be evaluated on its own merits.


Semipro Tech
Re: Are Bostons and Essexes Steinway instruments? #170840
05/10/05 06:24 PM
05/10/05 06:24 PM
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Posts: 382
Canada
ghostclaws Offline OP
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"Does it matter? Every instrument should be evaluated on its own merits."

The short answer is of course NOT. But so many people are hung up about the S&S name. Some feel that the S&S name is denigrated by mentioning Bostons and Essexes in the same breath. And yet others purchase Bostons and Essexes because of they are in fact Steinway and Sons' instruments.

That's the long and short of it.

GC

Re: Are Bostons and Essexes Steinway instruments? #170841
05/10/05 06:39 PM
05/10/05 06:39 PM
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The following quote was taken from "The Steinway Saga" by D.W. Fostle. "The new piano designed by "Steinway and Sons" was to be called the Boston. When queried on the identity of the designers, Bruce Stevens, president of Steinway at the time, stated that they were the engineers in Astoria; that none of these engineers had ever designed a piano before was candidly admitted. They had however taken a one day scale design seminar from and outside consultant and were adept in the use of computers. The design completed and prototypes sent down the Kawai line along with their regular production.

Possible Conclusions:
What take other manufacturers to do in decades Steinway accomplished in one day.

No Steinway bashing intended. Steinway instruments speak for themselves, but lets not confuse the egg with the true mother hen.


Just representing the few credible piano sales people not spoken for
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Re: Are Bostons and Essexes Steinway instruments? #170842
05/10/05 07:49 PM
05/10/05 07:49 PM
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Minneesooota
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Imagine for a moment, that Ferrari builds a line of cars with the JoeSchmoe brand name. JoeSchmoe is lesser line of car than Ferrari.

To me, what you are saying is this:

JoeSchmoes are Ferrari cars.

Here's where I agree...
A JoeSchmoe may be a Ferrari-OWNED car, true. A JoeSchmoe may be a Ferrari-MADE car, also true.

Here's where I disagree...
JoeSchmoe is not equal to Ferrari.

Here's the important part ...
Because Steinway, the company, makes a brand of piano called Steinway, the piano, it can be taken that lesser pianos made by Steinway, the company, are Steinway-made pianos. This can lead to people calling them "Steinway" pianos, when in fact, they are "Steinway-made" or "Steinway-designed" pianos. Usually, this is fine. But in this case, that is a folly because there exists a line of piano called Steinway pianos. Thus, it is inappropriate to call anything a Steinway piano unless it is a Steinway-brand piano, rather than simply Steinway-designed.

Re: Are Bostons and Essexes Steinway instruments? #170843
05/10/05 08:03 PM
05/10/05 08:03 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,288
Cincinnati
mikhailoh Offline
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To the best of my knowledge the Boston and Essex lines share no significant design features with Steinway other than ownership and perhaps the fat back end.

They are just a product built to a different price point to profit by leveraging the Steinway name.

Bostons and Essexes are no more Steinways than my Pramberger is.


Michael

====

He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'
Re: Are Bostons and Essexes Steinway instruments? #170844
05/10/05 08:21 PM
05/10/05 08:21 PM
Joined: Nov 2004
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Stamford CT, New York City .
Ori Offline
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GC,
Posts like this sometimes give me the feeling that responding here is nothing but a waste of time...I sincerely hope that you where joking posting this.

Bostons and Essex are being sold by Steinway dealers, but they are not Steinways and have very little in common with Steinway pianos.
Bostons and Essex are mass produced pianos that are not built like Steinway pianos, but rather like other mass produced pianos.
Three things will make a -piano what it is. The design, the parts and material used and the workmanship.
As for design, the basic design of the piano will be dictated first by one thing...How much money the company is willing to spend making this piano.
It doesn't matter if the piano was designed by "Steinway" or "Calvin Klein"...what matters is the decision behind who ever commissioned it. Is it going to be a piano that is meant for performance, or are we going to make compromises here in order to get the price lower.

Steinways are designed to be significantly different then Boston or Essex pianos.

The parts used are completely different. The materials used are completely different. The production methods are completely different. The workmanship is also completely different (I don't say actually that the workmanship in one factory is better then the other but it's different).

Bostons are not just more like Kawai pianos (The company that builds them), but they are also more similar in design and production to Yamaha pianos then they are to Steinway pianos.

Now here's an interesting and relevant story.
I don't know exactly why (it could be that a few decades ago, during the 50's, the Steinway dealer in this area was carrying Hardman pianos), but every once in a while I'm getting a phone call from an old lady...amazingly it's not the same lady, although the conversation is always the same.
It starts like this...
"Do you buy Steinway pianos, I have a 50 years old Steinway that I want to sell?" she is asking.
Yes, I reply, we do...What model is it that you are looking to sell?
"Oh", she reply, "It's a Hardman Steinway". A what? I ask. "A Hardman Steinway" she repeats clearly. Well, I tell her, we buy Steinway pianos but we don't buy Hardman pianos. If it's a Hardman, it doesn't have any real value and we are not interested in the piano.
"But It's a Steinway" she replies again..."When I bought it they told me that this was a Steinway".
Where did you buy it? I ask patiently. "At Steinway" she says and repeat's herself: "they told me it's a Steinway". Well, I ask again, what does it say on the fallboard?
"Hardman" she answers.
In this case I say, it's not a Steinway and we are not interested in buying it, or for that matter even taking it for free.
we would charge you the cost of the move and the dumpster fee (I don't say this exactly like this as I try not to hurt her feelings but this is the short version).

Now thinking about it...the old woman might have made a good deal. she bought a piano for a much lower budget that would be needed in order to buy a Steinway, yet she spent the next 50 years THINKING that she actually have a Steinway.
On the other hand, she probably looked pretty foolish in the eyes of her guests trying to explain them time after time that her piano is actually a Steinway. Only after 50 years she finally gets the truth. it's a Hardman and not a Steinway.
as for the Boston and Essex, asking if they are Steinway pianos is a moot point. They aren't and even Steinway doesn't think they are. If they did, they would put the name Steinway on the fallboard. Then, we could discuss here if the Kawai built Steinway pianos are really Steinway pianos and should be called Steinway's at all, or if the Korean built (soon to be Chinese built) "Steinway pianos are really Steinway pianos and should be called Steinway pianos.

Of course if this should happen it would raise the question of "what really is a Steinway piano, and what are we expecting to get when we buy one?"

Until Steinway is willing to take this step and call the pianos that are mass produced in the orient for them Steinways and put the name "Steinway" on the fall board it's rather clear that a Boston, or Essex or a hat with the logo of Steinway, or a sweatshirt with the logo of Steinway is not a Steinway piano.

By the way GC, if you want to buy a "Hardman Steinway" I could probably get you a great "deal" on one. After all...it's a "Steinway".


Ori Bukai - Owner/Founder of Allegro Pianos - NY and CT.

One can usually play at our showroom:

Bluthner, Steingraeber, Estonia, August Forster, Haessler, Kawai, Steinway, Bosendorfer and more.

www.allegropianos.com
Re: Are Bostons and Essexes Steinway instruments? #170845
05/10/05 08:33 PM
05/10/05 08:33 PM
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Very interesting story, Ori. And much great information, thanks!

Recently, for about a month I practiced on a new Boston GP-178 in my apartment while my Steinway was in the shop getting repairs. Now that I have my Steinway back, I can make some immediate comparisons between the two. This ought to sum it up: I never fully appreciated owning a Steinway piano until I had to practice on a Boston for a month smile

Re: Are Bostons and Essexes Steinway instruments? #170846
05/10/05 08:39 PM
05/10/05 08:39 PM
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Ori, for once I find myself in agreement with you! wink

Mikester,having played both Bostons and Steinways, I couldn't agree more. The Boston is "ok" but "ain't nothing like the real thing,baby", as the song goes.
cool

ciao!
Sophia

Re: Are Bostons and Essexes Steinway instruments? #170847
05/11/05 12:26 AM
05/11/05 12:26 AM
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Well, Joseph Pramberger designed the Pramberger/YC pianos. Are they Steinways? About as much as an Essex or Boston although I prefer the Prambergers over Bostons. I have never seen an Essex (made by YC).


Pramberger JP-185 Bubinga
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Re: Are Bostons and Essexes Steinway instruments? #170848
05/11/05 01:16 AM
05/11/05 01:16 AM
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Posts: 382
Canada
ghostclaws Offline OP
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ori:
My original post on this thread was somewhat tongue in cheek but none of what I stated was falsehoods either.
I have no illusion and have never claimed that either the Boston or the Essex is anything remotely like the Steinway line of pianos. When I think of Steinway and Sons, of course, I think about Steinway grands, period.
However, there is no denying that both Boston and Essex are Steinway brands.
In fact on their own website promoting the Essex, they made no less than 10 references of its Steinway and Sons origin with phrases like "the unmistakable touch of Steinway" and "The famous Steinway patented duplex scale creates a rich harmonic tonality". Those are not my words. In the section promoting the Boston's, they have a picture that says it all:

[Linked Image]

Will a Boston be worth anything in 50 years? I doubt I will be around to find out, LOL!
Not that I even bought a Boston or have any intention to.
If given a choice between a Boston or a Kawai RX of the same size, I would probably choose the latter because it's likely cheaper and have very similar musical quality and playability! But there are many who would pay a premium for the Boston because it is a "Steinway"! Brand illusion, anyone?

GC

Re: Are Bostons and Essexes Steinway instruments? #170849
05/11/05 03:26 AM
05/11/05 03:26 AM
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Philadelphia/South Jersey
Rich Galassini Offline
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Quote
2. Neither Boston nor Essex are or were separate corporations.


I would love to become more involved in this post, but time isn't allowing more than this one comment.

The Boston piano is NOT warrantied by Steinway. It is warrantied by the Boston Piano Company only.

That infers a corporate separation to me.

My short 2 cents,


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
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Re: Are Bostons and Essexes Steinway instruments? #170850
05/11/05 06:01 AM
05/11/05 06:01 AM
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,730
Stamford CT, New York City .
Ori Offline
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As to Mikester comment before about Ferrari,
Just a note...Steinway doesn't make the Boston and Essex line…so it's not a "Ferrari made" car to lower specifications but rather it is a Honda and Kia made cars that are sold by Ferrari dealers.
Even if they looked like a Ferrari (and Bostons and Essex pianos don’t look like Steinway pianos at all) they would still drive like Hondas and Kias.
One more thing...I would think of few cars that could be compared in an analogy to a Steinway (maybe Cadillac as an American icon or a Mercedes as it perceived to be the leading luxury car…actually Harley Davidson motorcycles is the probably best comparison), but somehow Ferrari isn't one of them.

GC,
I don’t go to manufacturers web sites and read their marketing stories as if they were the Bible. For the matter of the two examples you mentioned:
"the unmistakable touch of Steinway" and "The famous Steinway patented duplex scale creates a rich harmonic tonality".

I can say this: Having played enough Bostons and Steinways there is no doubt in my mind that their actions feel is not any more similar to each other then those of other manufacturers to Steinway’s action.
About the duplex scale patent…that was indeed a Steinway patent that expired many years ago. It is found on many other pianos today and not just Boston. You’ll have the same kind of duplexes in a Kawai RX, a Yamaha C series a Bohemia and many other pianos. Actually, one can find duplex scale designs that are more similar to those that Steinway used when they patented it during the late 19th century in pianos like Mason & Hamlin, Estonia or Fazioli. Steinway gave up the “moveable” front duplexes first on their smaller pianos (as it was never a feature on the baby grands O, M, L or S…starting with the introduction of the O in 1895) and later eliminated slowly also from their larger models(again, starting with the “smaller” grand the model A during the turn of the century). Now they are using a fix front duplex that is a part of the plate.


Also, regarding the Steinway "design" (as seen on the photo), we should better put this one to rest too...not only what I said in my previous post about the design is true, but also this: About what "Steinway design team" are we talking here?

Does anyone think that Steinway had some kind of design team that was sitting for the past 70 years smoking cigarettes and waiting to finally design an instrument?
The last "Steinway design" baby grand was the model "S" introduced 75 years ago.

This "design" team may be very old by now.

The only thing "designed" by Steinway with any meaning here, is how to sell Kawai RX quality and design level, as well as Young Chang quality and design level for more money.

If someone prefers a Boston to a Kawai and is willing to pay the higher price then there's nothing wrong with it.
If they are being misled to think that they are buying a "Steinway" for less...the Hardman lesson is going to catch up with them sooner or later.
In any case, I’m quite sure that they shouldn't try and present their new piano to their friends and guests as if it was a "Steinway". It may be embarrassing.


Ori Bukai - Owner/Founder of Allegro Pianos - NY and CT.

One can usually play at our showroom:

Bluthner, Steingraeber, Estonia, August Forster, Haessler, Kawai, Steinway, Bosendorfer and more.

www.allegropianos.com
Re: Are Bostons and Essexes Steinway instruments? #170851
05/11/05 06:12 AM
05/11/05 06:12 AM
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Maybe I should advertise my Chevy as a Cadillac and sell it as a Cadillac after all they are both Chevy and Cadillacs are owned by GM and share many common design elements and components. Maybe all the Chevy dealers should advertise that they are selling Cadillacs.

Re: Are Bostons and Essexes Steinway instruments? #170852
05/11/05 06:53 AM
05/11/05 06:53 AM
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Cincinnati
mikhailoh Offline
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I was trying to get a dead fish image in here, but couldn't get it done.. but anyway..

I have to echo Ori's sentiment here.. I'm not sure how one could, even should they know nothing of pianos starting out, be on here for any length of time and pose this as a serious question.


Michael

====

He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'
Re: Are Bostons and Essexes Steinway instruments? #170853
05/11/05 08:09 AM
05/11/05 08:09 AM
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baldwin,, ny
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I attended a lecture on the history of Steinway at the Long Island Steinway Hall (which is o&o by the Steinway folks.) It was a very nice lecture. They also gave out a free Jazz cd, by a pianist named Bob Winter, which is recorded entirely on Boston pianos. You can hear on the CD that the Boston piano does not have the unique Steinway sound. It sounds even on the recording like a Japanese piano. Steinway had better be careful they are engaging in brand dilution. General Motors started putting generic engines in Oldsmobiles in the late seventies. That once respected brand is dead.

Full disclosure-I own about a thousand dollars worth of share in Steinway LVB on the NYSE, mainly for sentimental reasons.


I am supposed to be working now.
Re: Are Bostons and Essexes Steinway instruments? #170854
05/11/05 08:51 AM
05/11/05 08:51 AM
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Maryland/DC/No. VA
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While recently Ori and I have disagreed, he's right on this one.

All pianos have many more similarities in their designs than differences. It is the differences in design, materials and workmanship that make each brand/model unique.

The materials used in the Steinway are roughly the same as in the Boston (albeit with several exceptions like Hard Rock Maple rims). The workmanship is totally different in that Steinway is dominantly a hand-built instrument and Boston is mass-produced. The design features that set Steinway apart (not better or worse, just different), are its soundboard design, bridge design, and scale design.

Neither Boston nor Essex (by Pearl River) have any of these features in common with Steinway.


Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

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My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.
Re: Are Bostons and Essexes Steinway instruments? #170855
05/11/05 09:01 AM
05/11/05 09:01 AM
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Posts: 382
Canada
ghostclaws Offline OP
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Rich:
"...The Boston piano is NOT warrantied by Steinway. It is warrantied by the Boston Piano Company only.

That infers a corporate separation to me..."

You are correct. My error( shocked ).The fact is evident in the following spiel on the Steinway website.

"...It began as a challenge: could a new kind of piano design eliminate the compromises in performance found in all comparably priced pianos? The Boston Piano Company was formed by Steinway Musical Properties, owners of the world's legendary piano manufacturer: Steinway & Sons. Drawing on the incomparable experience of Steinway, proven concepts and materials were adapted for the special requirements of high tech manufacturing..."

GC

Re: Are Bostons and Essexes Steinway instruments? #170856
05/11/05 09:14 AM
05/11/05 09:14 AM
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Canada
ghostclaws Offline OP
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"... It sounds even on the recording like a Japanese piano. Steinway had better be careful they are engaging in brand dilution..."

In a way, that's my point.
I am not for one minute saying that we should all believe in whatever is printed on a manufacturer's website or for that matter, on those nicely printed colourful brochures at piano dealers. Of course, these are crafted deliberately to glorify and embellish the instrument(s) referred to.

We know the motives behind the creation of the Boston and Essex lines by S&S. It brings in more revenue and that's very responsible to their shareholders; and with outsourcing the production, it saves on capital cost of setting up a modern high tech mass production facility. The truth is Steinway and Sons are using their name and their reputation to promote these pianos; and the ads (I will loosely call the materials on the website as that) do more than suggest a bloodline relationship to Steinway and Sons.

Be it brand dilution or brand illusion, I do not know; but forever, Bostons and Essexes will be identified with Steinway & Sons, like it or not. Or until they sell either or both to other concerns.

GC

Re: Are Bostons and Essexes Steinway instruments? #170857
05/11/05 09:57 AM
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To Steinway's credit, they didn't slap a Steinway name on them, as others have been tempted to do, e.g. D.H. Baldwin or the C. Bechstein vs. Bechstein. Imagine a regular Steinway and an H.E. Steinway!

If they really believed Boston and Essex were Steinways there would be no need to offer a full trade-in credit.

Re: Are Bostons and Essexes Steinway instruments? #170858
05/11/05 09:58 AM
05/11/05 09:58 AM
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Funny thing about the warranties. Kawai has a better reputation for warranty service than Steinway--another reason to save the money and buy an RX.

Re: Are Bostons and Essexes Steinway instruments? #170859
05/11/05 10:39 AM
05/11/05 10:39 AM
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Chula Vista
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When I was looking at a Boston, the dealer told me that they have a lifetime full trade (what I paid for it) towards a Steinway. I am sure that is a great selling point. I did like that the upright had an almost "grand" sustenuto to it, but after doing the research and playing better pianos, I opted out of the Boston. The dealer was firm on the price and to me it wasnt worth his asking price. He tried to convince me that it was all steinway technology, just built by kawai.


Denise
2005 Schulze Pollmann 126/e Classico Upright (Maple with Sunburst inlay)
1965 Baldwin Model L 6'3" Grand (Satin Black)
Re: Are Bostons and Essexes Steinway instruments? #170860
05/11/05 11:04 AM
05/11/05 11:04 AM
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Puget Sound, WA
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Quote


The Boston piano is NOT warrantied by Steinway. It is warrantied by the Boston Piano Company only.

That infers a corporate separation to me.

My short 2 cents, [/QB]
The Boston Piano Company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the parent company that makes and sells the SS pianos, thereby further proving that Boston is a Steinway piano. The parent corporation, Steinway Musical Properties, has incorporated three lines of pianos, each built to a different price point. Each corporation is wholly-owned by the parent corporation.

In other words, they are all from the same corporate family, all under the same ownership. Not any different than Vogel and Schimmel. Strange how nobody tries to disown the Vogel from Schimmel. More interesting is the fact that SS makes no attempt to disown Essex or Boston. They freely admit that SS designed and cause the manufacture of all THREE piano lines.

From the Steinway web site (not the Boston Piano Company web site):

"The Boston Piano is the result of our six-year commitment to set a standard of performance and quality superior to all comparably priced pianos. Many innovations in design materials and manufacturing have created an entirely new instrument with superb sound and touch. The Boston Piano offers you an unforgettable playing experience."
— Bruce A. Stevens, President, Steinway & Sons

The president of Steinway has no problem claiming the Boston as a Steinway piano--"our six year commitment." So it's clear Steinway suffers the delusion that the Boston is their piano. Somebody needs to talk to Steinway . . . .


John, and my two sons play an Estonia 190 and a Samick upright.
Re: Are Bostons and Essexes Steinway instruments? #170861
05/11/05 11:52 AM
05/11/05 11:52 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 382
Canada
ghostclaws Offline OP
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ghostclaws  Offline OP
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Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 382
Canada
"...Also, regarding the Steinway "design" (as seen on the photo), we should better put this one to rest too...not only what I said in my previous post about the design is true, but also this: About what "Steinway design team" are we talking here?

Does anyone think that Steinway had some kind of design team that was sitting for the past 70 years smoking cigarettes and waiting to finally design an instrument?
The last "Steinway design" baby grand was the model "S" introduced 75 years ago..."

Steinway never said this was the same design team that designed its last major grand piano design 50 years ago. They never even implied that.
Even if Steinway were to use a laptop computer and a generic piano design program ($99.95 special from Best Buy, LOL) to design any of their new pianos, it's their perogative. However, as soon as they put their name behind it (which by the way they did), that basically infers that the design has originated and has been approved by Steinway. That's the same for everything else in the commercial (or even personal) world. Let's suppose Allegro piano decides to put a stencil brand on the market called the Allegro brand. Regardless of what the real source of this brand is, you as the owner must have approved this particular type of piano and were happy enough with its performance and durability to market it. Furthermore, I am sure your company will be 100% behind this piano. That's corporate integrity. If you put your name behind it, you are endorsing and supporting it!

I am not making any judgement on these new Steinway designs, but if they put their name behind it, I have no doubt they have been approved by the highest level in their chain of command. Whether the venture into Boston/Essex lines has "cheapened" the term, "designed by Steinway and Sons" is totally a matter of opinion.

In sum, when they say "designed by Steinway", I think they do mean it. smile

GC

Re: Are Bostons and Essexes Steinway instruments? #170862
05/11/05 11:57 AM
05/11/05 11:57 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,110
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Rich Galassini Offline
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Rich Galassini  Offline
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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,110
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Dear hiracer,

While I respect your opinion and you have clearly stated your case, the fact remains that Steinway holds no warranty responsibility on any Boston piano.

I don't think this would happen, but S&S could pull the plug on Boston and have no further responsibility, even though they wholly owned the Boston Company.

Just an anecdote - a Campbell Soup executive recently purchased 2 pianos from Cunningham. I learned that Campbell's wholly owns Pepperidge Farms. I don't think that makes a loaf of bread the same as a bowl of soup, though. smile


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Subscribe to our YouTube channel for great content every week:
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Re: Are Bostons and Essexes Steinway instruments? #170863
05/11/05 12:11 PM
05/11/05 12:11 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 293
Puget Sound, WA
hiracer Offline
Full Member
hiracer  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 293
Puget Sound, WA
Quote
Originally posted by Rich Galassini:
Dear hiracer,

While I respect your opinion and you have clearly stated your case, the fact remains that Steinway holds no warranty responsibility on any Boston piano.

I don't think this would happen, but S&S could pull the plug on Boston and have no further responsibility, even though they wholly owned the Boston Company.

Just an anecdote - a Campbell Soup executive recently purchased 2 pianos from Cunningham. I learned that Campbell's wholly owns Pepperidge Farms. I don't think that makes a loaf of bread the same as a bowl of soup, though. smile
Ah . . . first, please don't put words in my mouth. I have not, nor has anybody else, ever claimed that the Boston or Essex pianos to be the same or equal to the SS brand, only that they are sold by Steinway.

Second, given the nature of SS's marketing of the Boston line of pianos, it would not be impossible to pierce the corporate veil and get to the parent corporation assets for warranty claims should the Boston Piano Company be shut down.


John, and my two sons play an Estonia 190 and a Samick upright.
Re: Are Bostons and Essexes Steinway instruments? #170864
05/11/05 12:44 PM
05/11/05 12:44 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 382
Canada
ghostclaws Offline OP
Full Member
ghostclaws  Offline OP
Full Member

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 382
Canada
"Just an anecdote - a Campbell Soup executive recently purchased 2 pianos from Cunningham. I learned that Campbell's wholly owns Pepperidge Farms. I don't think that makes a loaf of bread the same as a bowl of soup, though."

Apples and oranges again. I think Campbell Soup did not conceive Pepperidge Farms. In fact...

"Margaret Rudkin, a Connecticut housewife and mother of three young children, discovers one of her sons has an allergy to commercial breads that contain preservatives and artificial ingredients. So in 1937, she begins experimenting with baking her own preservative-free bread for her ailing son — ultimately perfecting a delicious whole-wheat loaf that contained only natural ingredients. Encouraged by her family and her son's doctor, she begins a small business out of her kitchen selling her "Pepperidge Farm" bread to local grocers. Named for her family's farm in Fairfield, Connecticut, consumers recognize her homemade bread's quality and buy every loaf she baked..."

Just like examples in the car world:

BMW and RollsRoyce
Ford and Jaguar
Ford and Mazda etc etc etc

The subsiduaries in question were stand-alone well established names before their takeover by the respective companies. How could they be compared to the Steinway-Boston-Essex connection?
:rolleyes:

BTW, I think Steinway makes and markets band instruments under the name Conn-Selmer. No, I would not call a Selmer tuba or flute a Steinway piano. That would be stretching it as much as calling Pepperidge farm bread, Campbell bread, LOL!

GC

Re: Are Bostons and Essexes Steinway instruments? #170865
05/11/05 12:58 PM
05/11/05 12:58 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 50
M
mypiano Offline
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mypiano  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 50
I heard lot of stuff from S&S dealer person when I was trying to decide between a Kawai and Boston, but I was not sure about the validity of most of those statements.
A few examples are:

(1)Kawai is not making Boston pianos, S&S is just renting the space from Kawai to build Bostons there.
(2)Kawais won't last as they are high tension instruments
(3)There are no 30 year old Kawai's out there
(4)There is no re-sale value to Kawai
(5)Kawai RX-2 should be compared to Boston 5'-4" not to Boston 5'-10"; the square design of Boston 5'-4" work more like a 5'-10"

Re: Are Bostons and Essexes Steinway instruments? #170866
05/11/05 01:24 PM
05/11/05 01:24 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 293
Puget Sound, WA
hiracer Offline
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hiracer  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 293
Puget Sound, WA
Is Steinway diluting the value of the brand name "Steinway & Sons" by marketing two lesser piano lines?

I think so. They try to insulate themselve from this problem by calling the piano lines different names, Essex and Boston. But so long as they use the SS name in promoting these lesser pianos, the damage is being done, IMO.

But they can't have it both ways. As long as SS promotes the pianos on the basis of SS design, then SS has to live with the consequences of selling less than world class pianos.

The reason they do this, I think is to help out their dealers. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm guessing that Steinway is trying to displace competing brands in the showrooms where their pianos are found without bankrupting their dealers. So, SS offer lesser pianos with a different stencil name. It gives the dealers something else to sell to that segment of the market that will not or cannot pay for a SS while keeping the sales proceeds within the family, so to speak.


John, and my two sons play an Estonia 190 and a Samick upright.
Re: Are Bostons and Essexes Steinway instruments? #170867
05/11/05 01:47 PM
05/11/05 01:47 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 1,254
Minneesooota
M
Mikester Offline
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Mikester  Offline
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M

Joined: May 2004
Posts: 1,254
Minneesooota
Quote
Originally posted by mypiano:
I heard lot of stuff from S&S dealer person when I was trying to decide between a Kawai and Boston, but I was not sure about the validity of most of those statements.
A few examples are:

(1)Kawai is not making Boston pianos, S&S is just renting the space from Kawai to build Bostons there.
(2)Kawais won't last as they are high tension instruments
(3)There are no 30 year old Kawai's out there
(4)There is no re-sale value to Kawai
(5)Kawai RX-2 should be compared to Boston 5'-4" not to Boston 5'-10"; the square design of Boston 5'-4" work more like a 5'-10"
Mostly marketing bits, thrown in with a few pieces of actual truths.

Here is what I know, albet not a lot:

(1) More like, Kawai is contracted by Steinway to produce Bostons in their facilities. Not sure if actual Steinway employees are building Bostons in Kawai's production facilities, I would estimate that's not the case; rather, Kawai employees are building the Bostons, which is a significant difference.

(2) Not qualified to comment on this.

(3) There are plenty of 30 year old Kawais out there. My teacher owns one. My previous teacher owns one.

(4) Kawais have rather high resale values from what I have seen and read.

(5) The facts are true, but misleading. In terms of soundboard size, maybe. But that's not the whole story. A better comparison would be between string length. Compare the longest bass string. That's a better indicator for piano size.

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