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Re: Steinway Rebuild Costs Question [Re: Rafterman] #1942847
08/14/12 08:56 PM
08/14/12 08:56 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,131
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Rich Galassini Offline
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Rich Galassini  Offline
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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,131
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Larry,

No offense taken.

Please explain to me what I am misunderstanding. If a phone call is easier, by all means call me.


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: Steinway Rebuild Costs Question [Re: Rafterman] #1945204
08/18/12 08:03 PM
08/18/12 08:03 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,456
Lowell MA
Larry Buck Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Larry Buck  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,456
Lowell MA
OK,

Tell me what it is about the 1890's A or Centennial that you consider "original intent"?

1, What historical part are you not able to get from this manufacturer? If it is an action part, state exact dimensions.

2, What manufacturer today stocks any of their historical parts?





"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."
Mark Twain

E. J. Buck & Sons
Lowell MA 01852
978 458 8688
www.ejbuckpiano.com
http://www.facebook.com/EJBuckPerformances
Re: Steinway Rebuild Costs Question [Re: Larry Buck] #1945311
08/19/12 05:19 AM
08/19/12 05:19 AM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 1,810
Tennessee
E
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Ed Foote  Offline
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E

Joined: May 2003
Posts: 1,810
Tennessee
Originally Posted by Larry Buck
OK,

Tell me what it is about the 1890's A or Centennial that you consider "original intent"?

1, What historical part are you not able to get from this manufacturer? If it is an action part, state exact dimensions.


Greetings,
I think the hammers are at the heart of it. Modern Steinway hammers are a lot farther away from their 1890 hammers than several aftermarket suppliers. If I wanted my 1890 model A to play as close to the original as possible, I am not going to find the hammer to do it in New York.
Regards,

Re: Steinway Rebuild Costs Question [Re: Rafterman] #1945989
08/20/12 07:35 AM
08/20/12 07:35 AM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,456
Lowell MA
Larry Buck Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Larry Buck  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,456
Lowell MA
Good Morning Ed,

I don't know what other manufacturer makes their own hammers.

Also, I am not aware of any piano manufacturer offering historical parts of any kind, unless it is used in current manufacturing.

Is any manufacturer of pianos today offering the hammer they made/offered 120 years ago?


Regards


"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."
Mark Twain

E. J. Buck & Sons
Lowell MA 01852
978 458 8688
www.ejbuckpiano.com
http://www.facebook.com/EJBuckPerformances
Re: Steinway Rebuild Costs Question [Re: Larry Buck] #1946032
08/20/12 09:07 AM
08/20/12 09:07 AM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 1,810
Tennessee
E
Ed Foote Offline
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Ed Foote  Offline
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E

Joined: May 2003
Posts: 1,810
Tennessee
Originally Posted by Larry Buck

I don't know what other manufacturer makes their own hammers.

Also, I am not aware of any piano manufacturer offering historical parts of any kind, unless it is used in current manufacturing.
Is any manufacturer of pianos today offering the hammer they made/offered 120 years ago?
Regards


Manufacturers, no, but I have become a big fan of the aftermarket for Steinway parts. More accurate, more durable, and more consistent. The hammers available from Ronsen can come much closer to the hammers Steinway was using in 1900 than what the manufacturer will sell you today. I suppose they can make the case that maple is no different a core than the mahogany they used to use, and the felt density achieved with a soaking of lacquer is no different than the denser felt of yesteryear, and hammers that dwarf the originals deliver better response. I don't agree.

The same goes for damper felt; the originals were smaller and softer, and more evenly cut than the current offering. The key end felt being sold from the manufacturer is much harder than the original, and this hardness can be felt when the key contacts the damper, or the tray drops the underlevers on the the keys during play. If I want the softer felt for this, like the original, I have to go elsewhere.

Even the little things are maddening. The new version of the keyframe guide pin is square, which I can deal with, but the threads that go into the ends of the keyframe are smaller than the originals, so a whole, painstaking procedure has to be gone through to plug and redrill, instead of just screwing in a new pin. Damper wires recently have been made of something that is noisy and cannot be polished completely smooth.

It seems that the whole design philosophy of S&S has moved to heavier hammers, heavier boards, and longer action ratios. This seems to be accompanied by heavier plates. I wonder how much of this is due to trying to improve the response, or making production easier to accomplish. In any event, I have a lot of customers, professional ones, that make a distinction between the pre-war Steinways and the ones made since. Lots of little changes in the manufacturing process culminate in a differently responsive instrument. I am finding a market for the actions with lighter hammers and faster ratios. There is less margin of error, but there is a different response that artists like.

Couple this with the now availability of the WNG composite parts, and magic is available. We have a choice between performance and tradition, and my customers are going for performance.
Regards,

Last edited by Ed Foote; 08/20/12 09:08 AM.
Re: Steinway Rebuild Costs Question [Re: Rafterman] #1946167
08/20/12 12:53 PM
08/20/12 12:53 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,456
Lowell MA
Larry Buck Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Larry Buck  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,456
Lowell MA
Thanks Ed,

I am also a fan of Ronsen's work. Ray is a unique opportunity for all of us!

I am a fan of Steinway's current production. I am able to utilize current available parts in "antique" pianos where my clients ask for it. Knowing my starting point in the original action and having many options for going forward, I am able to achieve consistent results for my clients.

It does mean I must have SEVERAL ways of viewing my way forward in executing work on those parts. I have jigs for all of those occasions called for, make a jig where I need it and of course, voicing ??? must have an open mind there and also many options for going forward.

FWIW, voicing as I know it is rarely discussed, if ever.

I apologize for carrying on about what "I do" ..

I don;t see that Steinway is any different than any other manufacturer in the way they offer parts. In fact, that they offer a hammer that they themselves make is giving us an opportunity none of the other piano manufacturers offer.

My personal opinion is that this IS a tough business for anyone in pianos. I'd rather work from a positive point.


Last edited by Larry Buck; 08/20/12 12:59 PM.

"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."
Mark Twain

E. J. Buck & Sons
Lowell MA 01852
978 458 8688
www.ejbuckpiano.com
http://www.facebook.com/EJBuckPerformances
Re: Steinway Rebuild Costs Question [Re: ando] #1946387
08/20/12 06:40 PM
08/20/12 06:40 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 589
California
T
Thrill Science Offline
500 Post Club Member
Thrill Science  Offline
500 Post Club Member
T

Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 589
California
Originally Posted by ando
I felt like I needed to take a shower after reading that Steinway rebuild site - something very unclean about it. Parts reputed superiority was only based on price.


The other unclean thing about that was the mention of all their "Patents" -- when all the patents they mentioned have expired! That means anyone can legally sell replacement parts that have that technology, like "Diaphragmatic Soundboards" (patent granted in 1936, expired around 1954)



Robert Swirsky
Thrill Science, Inc.
Re: Steinway Rebuild Costs Question [Re: Larry Buck] #1946395
08/20/12 06:52 PM
08/20/12 06:52 PM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 5,531
Olympia, Washington
D
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member
Del  Offline
5000 Post Club Member
D

Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 5,531
Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted by Larry Buck
Good Morning Ed,

I don't know what other manufacturer makes their own hammers.

Also, I am not aware of any piano manufacturer offering historical parts of any kind, unless it is used in current manufacturing.

Is any manufacturer of pianos today offering the hammer they made/offered 120 years ago?

Actually, quite a few piano makers make their own hammers. Yamaha, Kawai, Samick and Young Chang come readily to mind. There may be others.

You're right about the historical parts, though. With some manufacturers parts for a piano made last year can be problematic.

Still, I think Rich has a point. I've encountered several elderly pianos that had been remanufactured by S&S whose performance bore little resemblance to timbral qualities they almost certainly once possessed. Perhaps this is a variable thing as is the performance of their new production.

ddf

Last edited by Del; 08/20/12 06:53 PM.

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: Steinway Rebuild Costs Question [Re: Rafterman] #1946445
08/20/12 09:12 PM
08/20/12 09:12 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,456
Lowell MA
Larry Buck Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Larry Buck  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,456
Lowell MA
Comparing re-builders to Steinway is a slippery slope.

I may not agree with you on who is in a position to criticize.

Thank You for mentioning the manufacturers that make their own hammers. Do any of these manufacturers produce their hammers from 100 years ago?



"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."
Mark Twain

E. J. Buck & Sons
Lowell MA 01852
978 458 8688
www.ejbuckpiano.com
http://www.facebook.com/EJBuckPerformances
Re: Steinway Rebuild Costs Question [Re: Larry Buck] #1946450
08/20/12 09:25 PM
08/20/12 09:25 PM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 5,531
Olympia, Washington
D
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member
Del  Offline
5000 Post Club Member
D

Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 5,531
Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted by Larry Buck
Thank You for mentioning the manufacturers that make their own hammers. Do any of these manufacturers produce their hammers from 100 years ago?

You jest, of course. In most cases it would be difficult to get hammers made the way they were made last year. In some cases that is a good thing.

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: Steinway Rebuild Costs Question [Re: Larry Buck] #1946476
08/20/12 10:25 PM
08/20/12 10:25 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,131
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Rich Galassini Offline
Platinum Subscriber
Rich Galassini  Offline
Platinum Subscriber

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,131
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Thank you Larry for responding to me. I have been away from PW since Saturday morning.

I read through what has been discussed here in the last couple of days and frankly, some of my thunder has been stolen. Thank you Ed and Del. smile

You made this statement Larry:

Originally Posted by Larry Buck
Comparing re-builders to Steinway is a slippery slope.


Why is this so Larry? Are the people who do piano restoration in Astoria not rebuilders? While we are discussing this, do you think they have "historic restoration" as a goal?

Quote
I may not agree with you on who is in a position to criticize.


Larry, I recently saw a piano in NY State that you rebuilt in partnership with Marc Wienert. There were many great parts used. The only Steinway parts I saw were hammers. (although I did not pull the action to see the back action. That could have been Steinway as well)

It was a beautiful piano Larry. It spoke as a consummate example of the Steinway tone. It played better than most rebuilds I have seen from the NY factory, regardless of the parts used - and isn't that the point in the end?

By the way, we are currently rebuilding an 1860 Style 1 for a family in Syracuse. If you ever find yourself in Philly, I would enjoy your opinion on the piano.

My 2 cents,



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:
https://www.youtube.com/user/CunninghamPiano
Re: Steinway Rebuild Costs Question [Re: Rafterman] #1946767
08/21/12 04:01 PM
08/21/12 04:01 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,456
Lowell MA
Larry Buck Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Larry Buck  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,456
Lowell MA
Rich,

As a matter of decorum, it is not for me to say what Steinway's intent is in it's rebuilding.

I maintain that it is a slippery slope. None of us are free from mistakes. I will focus my energy on rectifying my own. I trust that those who know what they are looking for only have to inspect what is offered and they are capable of making their own choices.

The inspection, evaluation, determination and execution process required for competent action work is roughly the same regardless of who's parts you use.

Choice of hammers does clearly define tonal potential.

Thank You BTW for commenting on the Steinway O in NY. I was responsible for the belly work, pinblock, plate finishing stringing etc. only.

This work was preformed to meet the specifications of my client.

I was not responsible for the action work. Just the same, the action work was also done to meet the specifications of the client. Just to be clear, if specifications stated Steinway Reps and Shanks/flanges the results would have been achieved as easily.

I have only played the finished piano once, as it was delivered to the client in NY. My understanding is that the client is thrilled with the piano.

Just to restate, the action parts choice had nothing to do with limited result via parts choice. Strictly the instructions of the client.

I do appreciate the compliments Rich, thank you. I will accept your invitation and visit next time I am in the area.


"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."
Mark Twain

E. J. Buck & Sons
Lowell MA 01852
978 458 8688
www.ejbuckpiano.com
http://www.facebook.com/EJBuckPerformances
Re: Steinway Rebuild Costs Question [Re: Rafterman] #1947076
08/22/12 05:42 AM
08/22/12 05:42 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,131
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Rich Galassini Offline
Platinum Subscriber
Rich Galassini  Offline
Platinum Subscriber

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,131
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Larry,

A few comments - you stated this:
Originally Posted by Larry Buck
As a matter of decorum, it is not for me to say what Steinway's intent is in it's rebuilding.


I respect your reservations to speak for someone else. In this case you do not have to do so. It is not a secret that Steinway will use newer designs when it is easier and possible to do so. Their company mantra is "The new Steinway is the best Steinway." Changing belly and action design in older pianos is commonplace and you don't have to declare a thing, Larry. Just speak to their staff or read their website.

Originally Posted by Larry Buck
I was not responsible for the action work. Just the same, the action work was also done to meet the specifications of the client. Just to be clear, if specifications stated Steinway Reps and Shanks/flanges the results would have been achieved as easily.


This was my original point Larry. A beautiful result can be achieved with carefully chosen aftermarket parts and we have found over time that there are better choices available than NY parts. More accurately made parts from the hammer and throughout the piano - down to the plate bolts - are available.

Our goal is the final performance and we do attempt historic restoration. IOW, where ever possible to be true to the original intent of the manufacturers of the piano.

If you desire to only use NY factory parts, I respect that. It is not the only way to achieve the finest result and in the opinion of many, it is not the best way either.

See Ed Foote's earlier comment (Ed is chief tech. at Vanderbilt, an expert on historic temperament tunings, and an old friend)

Originally Posted by Ed Foote
I don't use many factory parts because there are longer lasting, more accurately made parts available. They desperately try to tell us that it is only a Steinway if they are the only ones supplying the parts. It overlooks the fact that the modern parts are not like the originals, and branding them "Steinway" doesn't make them fit any better.
The soundboards of aftermarket rebuilders have demonstrated far superior craftsmanship t the factory restoration,(I have sent many, many pianos through that department before finding much nicer results elsewhere).


My 2 cents,


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:
https://www.youtube.com/user/CunninghamPiano
Re: Steinway Rebuild Costs Question [Re: Rich Galassini] #1947102
08/22/12 07:50 AM
08/22/12 07:50 AM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,456
Lowell MA
Larry Buck Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Larry Buck  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,456
Lowell MA
Rich,

I am going to disagree, other parts are not necessarily better.

I want to be very clear, the use of alternate parts in the Steinway you mention was not because they are better.

If anyone has the legitimate experience, Steinway parts are as easy as any other and in some cases, "clearly easier".

In the case of hammers, clearly different. AND, if that is THE sound the client IS asking for, clearly the only choice.

Again on Hammers, Ronsen is a very similar choice.

This is not to say there are not other choices that clients and technicians feel, sounds good.

To say the alternate choices are better, says only they are better for you. Strictly a subjective choice NOT a broader fact. I maintain that anyone stating "better" as a broad fact is acknowledging a lack of experience and skill.

If some choices are made for expedience, then better as an expedient is a case that can be made for that ones individual needs. If ones "individual needs are that they are only experienced in a particular manufacturers parts, well then. that can be stated as that. But this clearly limits potential results on behalf of the client.

We have, as an industry, given up so many interesting results in the name of "expedients".



"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."
Mark Twain

E. J. Buck & Sons
Lowell MA 01852
978 458 8688
www.ejbuckpiano.com
http://www.facebook.com/EJBuckPerformances
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