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#2155183 - 09/21/13 06:49 PM Fazioli and Steinway - side by side  
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pppat Offline
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I just thought I'd like to share this pic with you. It's a Fazioli 278 and a Steinway D in our new concert hall here in Jakobstad, Finland.

[Linked Image]

They are both stunning grands, but very different. The Fazioli has a really low iH, so it needs to be tuned with a very different approach than the D. Soundwise, the Steinway D is round and full, the Fazioli crisp, projecting and powerful, with a really long sustain that seems to go on forever.

The Fazioli, as some of you might know, has a patented fourth pedal that acts pretty much the same way as the left pedal in an upright. It shifts the hammers closer to the strings, but naturally takes advantage of gravity, a real edge grands have over uprights.

One can also tune the duplex area by moving small aluminum blocks under the strings. This is said to be one explanation to the outstanding sustain of the instrument.

Given the choice between the grands, the concert pianists visiting the hall have favored the Steinway to the Fazioli roughly 2 times out of 3.

It is a true pleasure to care for these two pianos!

Last edited by pppat; 09/22/13 02:41 PM. Reason: uploaded pic to PW gallery

Patrick Wingren, RPT

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#2155203 - 09/21/13 07:21 PM Re: Fazioli and Steinway - side by side [Re: pppat]  
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Hi Patrick,

I hope you don't mind that I linked this thread from the Piano Forum. It is just too tempting to pass.

Thanks for posting the photo!


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2155204 - 09/21/13 07:22 PM Re: Fazioli and Steinway - side by side [Re: pppat]  
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Patrick--

That is like showing a thirsty man a glass of cool water!!! Recordings?!?! wink grin

(Good to hear from you Patrick! It's been awhile!)


I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.
#2155230 - 09/21/13 07:55 PM Re: Fazioli and Steinway - side by side [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
Hi Patrick,

I hope you don't mind that I linked this thread from the Piano Forum. It is just too tempting to pass.

Thanks for posting the photo!


No, I don't mind at all, just go ahead and link it as much as you want! smile


Patrick Wingren, RPT

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#2155233 - 09/21/13 08:00 PM Re: Fazioli and Steinway - side by side [Re: Cinnamonbear]  
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Originally Posted by Cinnamonbear
Patrick--

That is like showing a thirsty man a glass of cool water!!! Recordings?!?! wink grin

(Good to hear from you Patrick! It's been awhile!)


Hi Andy,

Yes, I really really hope that this year (now that we are past all kinds of inauguration ceremonies for our brand new campus over here) I will be able to return to my normal role here - participating, and learning. I miss you folks! smile

Without doubt I will post some recorded examples in the feature!


Patrick Wingren, RPT

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#2155367 - 09/22/13 04:46 AM Re: Fazioli and Steinway - side by side [Re: pppat]  
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Both are wonderful instruments. Arguably the top two produced in Europe today. The Fazioli sustain is an awesome experience. Not surprising about the 2 out of 3 choice. Look forward to recordings. Thanks for posting.


Bob W.
Retired piano technician
Conway, Arkansas
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com
#2155374 - 09/22/13 05:06 AM Re: Fazioli and Steinway - side by side [Re: bkw58]  
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Originally Posted by bkw58
Arguably the top two produced in Europe today.

That would be quite an argument about superlatives.


Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 140cm
Ibach, 1905 F-IV, 235cm
#2155388 - 09/22/13 05:57 AM Re: Fazioli and Steinway - side by side [Re: Withindale]  
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Originally Posted by Withindale
Originally Posted by bkw58
Arguably the top two produced in Europe today.

That would be quite an argument about superlatives.


Indeed it would. And has. And shall forever be. Especially here. smile



Bob W.
Retired piano technician
Conway, Arkansas
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com
#2155393 - 09/22/13 06:18 AM Re: Fazioli and Steinway - side by side [Re: pppat]  
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Both great pianos. But for me Steinway is still just a little step forward from Fazioli. It has a little bit more "faces" , still, I like the way Fazioli can be controlled, it has a very big tonal palette but Steinway in my opinion offers more colors, difficult to say, they are just both great!

#2155400 - 09/22/13 06:52 AM Re: Fazioli and Steinway - side by side [Re: pppat]  
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I did find the sound projection of Fazioli not so good, mostly as if the tone goes straight to the ceiling, not in circles as with higher iH pianos

I seem to understand that the duplexes are not tuned to the ih of the wire, but to the theoretical ih of the note (using only the zero strech pitch)

as the stretch is almost nil that may not make a real difference anyway



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#2155432 - 09/22/13 08:59 AM Re: Fazioli and Steinway - side by side [Re: pppat]  
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Fazioli has a huge dinamic range, it is very hard to get to the saturation point, but you are right, the sound is projected somehow straight, but it has a much much more tonal variety from Yamaha, steinway on the other side has more shadows between colors, it offers more tonal mixtures, I dont know how to explain it, but I equally enjoy playing both of them.

#2155468 - 09/22/13 10:44 AM Re: Fazioli and Steinway - side by side [Re: pppat]  
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Time for me to play dumb, what's iH?

Also, where's the photo?

Last edited by Steve Chandler; 09/22/13 10:46 AM.
#2155473 - 09/22/13 11:00 AM Re: Fazioli and Steinway - side by side [Re: Steve Chandler]  
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Originally Posted by Steve Chandler
Also, where's the photo?

It's not working on my computer either.


Everything is possible, and nothing is sure.
#2155481 - 09/22/13 11:09 AM Re: Fazioli and Steinway - side by side [Re: Steve Chandler]  
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Originally Posted by Steve Chandler
Time for me to play dumb, what's iH?

Also, where's the photo?


iH stands for inharmonicity, which is the deviation of the partials from their theoretical frequencies. This is why pianos need to be "stretched" sharper in the high treble.


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#2155566 - 09/22/13 02:42 PM Re: Fazioli and Steinway - side by side [Re: patH]  
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Originally Posted by patH
Originally Posted by Steve Chandler
Also, where's the photo?

It's not working on my computer either.


Steve, patH - i uploaded the pic to the PW gallery instead. Can you see it now?


Patrick Wingren, RPT

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#2155574 - 09/22/13 03:00 PM Re: Fazioli and Steinway - side by side [Re: pppat]  
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[Linked Image][Linked Image]

Fazioli 278 and Steinway D look a little bit different from below.

Will you be posting some recordings, Pat?


Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 140cm
Ibach, 1905 F-IV, 235cm
#2155693 - 09/22/13 06:25 PM Re: Fazioli and Steinway - side by side [Re: pppat]  
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Originally Posted by pppat
Steve, patH - i uploaded the pic to the PW gallery instead. Can you see it now?

Yes, I can see it. Beautiful sight indeed. smile


Everything is possible, and nothing is sure.
#2158740 - 09/27/13 06:21 PM Re: Fazioli and Steinway - side by side [Re: Withindale]  
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Originally Posted by Withindale


Fazioli 278 and Steinway D look a little bit different from below.

Will you be posting some recordings, Pat?


Yes, Ian, I plan to. We have a festival coming up next week, so I'll try to record something shortly after that!


Patrick Wingren, RPT

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#2165276 - 10/12/13 01:30 PM Re: Fazioli and Steinway - side by side [Re: pppat]  
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Hi Patrick,

Enjoyed your post about these 2 great pianos.

Last year, I attended a concert in one of the premier Piano stores in NYC. While I was waiting to go into the concert, I struck up a conversation with one of the tuners the store uses, and who was on call that night to tune the piano being used. I commented on the large Fazioli grand on the floor that was for sale. His view about it was neutral, and it was not his favorite sounding piano, he preferred Steinway. It goes to show you how subjective this subject is.

Look forward to hearing both, and what type of tuning you use for them. All the best, GP

#2165721 - 10/13/13 04:25 PM Re: Fazioli and Steinway - side by side [Re: pppat]  
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Quite something to see those two together.

It may be fair to say that concert grand pianos are more encountered via recordings than they are live in the concert hall.

I have wanted to love Fazioli but in various CD recordings I have, I find a coolness, and I can't love them more than, or maybe as much as, a good Steinway D.

I heard Angela Hewitt live playing Book One of Bach's 48 Preludes and Fugues, quite near the piano in good seats. I wouldn't say that in that recital the piano was cold or uninteresting. I don't know what it is about recordings.

I am extremely impressed by the sound on the Shigeru Kawai EX10 concert grand in Earl Wild's later CDs. Warm and velvety and beautiful.

#2166436 - 10/15/13 01:41 AM Re: Fazioli and Steinway - side by side [Re: pppat]  
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Originally Posted by pppat
They are both stunning grands, but very different. The Fazioli has a really low iH, so it needs to be tuned with a very different approach than the D.

I've heard others say this as well and I wonder where it comes from. Inharmonicity is a function of scaling (string length, diameter and tension) and since the scaling is similar—not identical but not all that different—for both instruments inharmonicity will also be similar.

ddf


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#2166524 - 10/15/13 07:23 AM Re: Fazioli and Steinway - side by side [Re: Del]  
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Originally Posted by Del
Originally Posted by pppat
They are both stunning grands, but very different. The Fazioli has a really low iH, so it needs to be tuned with a very different approach than the D.

I've heard others say this as well and I wonder where it comes from. Inharmonicity is a function of scaling (string length, diameter and tension) and since the scaling is similar—not identical but not all that different—for both instruments inharmonicity will also be similar.

ddf


So you did compare precisely the scale with a similar length instrument ? What is considered standard level and progression by octave, for you ?

Regards


Last edited by Olek; 10/15/13 07:24 AM.

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#2166545 - 10/15/13 08:29 AM Re: Fazioli and Steinway - side by side [Re: Olek]  
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Originally Posted by Olek
Originally Posted by Del
Originally Posted by pppat
They are both stunning grands, but very different. The Fazioli has a really low iH, so it needs to be tuned with a very different approach than the D.

I've heard others say this as well and I wonder where it comes from. Inharmonicity is a function of scaling (string length, diameter and tension) and since the scaling is similar—not identical but not all that different—for both instruments inharmonicity will also be similar.

So you did compare precisely the scale with a similar length instrument? What is considered standard level and progression by octave, for you?

I have not measured the Fazioli note-by-note but I have examined them fairly carefully and, after 50+ years of examining piano string scales, I’m experienced enough at this to be aware of significant differences if they existed.

The comparison here is between two instruments of similar length—both concert grands—and with very similar scaling. That is, their note-by-note string lengths do not differ by all that much. Certainly not enough to justify the claim that the Fazioli has “really low” inharmonicity. There are certainly differences in their design and construction that account for their performance variances but their stringing scales are not all that much different. The Fazioli probably has a smoother inharmonicity curve—the sweep of the bridge looks to be a little closer to a log progression—but that is not the same thing as having “really low” inharmonicity. So, again, I’m just curious why so many people believe this to be the case.

ddf


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#2166561 - 10/15/13 09:06 AM Re: Fazioli and Steinway - side by side [Re: pppat]  
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Del, thank you for answering

The low iH is noticed when tuning, with beat speed progression

Now if pat could "measure" the iH constant with a software, for A4 , 5 6. That may be could give us a clue.

AFter reading what Klaus Fenner wrote on the relation between lenghts lenghts progression, tension progressions, stretch level, it seem that iH does not need to change so much to be perceived as low.

As you may know, differnt types of progression have been used, that will provide differnt iH progressions.

What Fenner state is that the ear is expecting a certain amount of iH that help to sustain the pitch impression for the ear, and that when the iH is lower (the tone is cleaner, and more "straight" it can be perceived as a lack of coloration.

The amount of dynamic nucances also depend a lot of the lenght of the scale, tension, and stretch.

Surprising, the stretch is considered as an important parameter as it relates to the amount of energy transmission (hence small pianos having a very efficient scale if well designed)

Simply stated it is the too long string that will be too supple and will not provide a rigid enough strike point, then, part of the impact energy is absorbed in the wire and turn to heat, not tone.

I understandthat some counter act that by making stiffer soundboards, but seem to me the German makers are more subtle in regard of the scaling and will make low tension or high tension scales with the corresponding panel assembly.

High tension can provide low iH depending of the wire diameters .

I believe that a certain amount of iH progression is planned in any case.

I would not be surprised that the scaling was changed also at some point, any piano maker expect his pianos to evolve.

I tuned Faziolis that where having some iH, low indeed (a little less than Yamaha for instance)possibly at the edge of acceptability and obtained with high tension hence a very good energy use.

If by chance you have lenghts of the A's I would be interested to see them.

Tone coloration is obtained with the case, plate, certainly more than we think.

It is very interesting to compare good pianos from different eras and the same brand.

From 1900 xx to 1970 you can hear the tone getting cleaner and cleaner.

Asking all the "tone" job to the soundboard seem to appear at some point. It gives the same result as those fiber glass drums (congas) with a synthetic leather.

Any wooden one have a warmer tone.

Tone warmness is partially located in the hammer, but a piano can only give what he produce, at some point, the voicer mostly can hide what is displeasing.

Best regards










Last edited by Olek; 10/15/13 09:08 AM.

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#2166597 - 10/15/13 10:14 AM Re: Fazioli and Steinway - side by side [Re: pppat]  
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Quote
Originally Posted By: pppat

'They are both stunning grands, but very different. The Fazioli has a really low iH, so it needs to be tuned with a very different approach than the D. '

I agree with this. Tuning a Fazioli, aurally, is an experience as unique as the instrument itself. I cannot explain the low iH phenomenon. It's a part of the Fazioli mystique.


Bob W.
Retired piano technician
Conway, Arkansas
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com
#2166609 - 10/15/13 10:38 AM Re: Fazioli and Steinway - side by side [Re: pppat]  
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The thing you notice is that you can forget "adding stretch" .
That make those pianos easier to tune for some tuners that are more used to "pure" octaves.

I would bet that this tendency to add 1/3 beat or more relates to the very little slipping of the instrument that occur.

When the pin setting is not locking perfectly the upper segment this may even be noticed more so the enlarged octave is at the same time helping to obtain more easily the progressiveness of fast beating intervals and gives some leeway for the lowering due to tensionning.

There is also (to be proved) metal memory and reaction. probably Nil with impact tuning levers, but some may remain with usual tuning, and the pin release some stress once the note is tuned.

It would be interesting to measure precisely.


Last edited by Olek; 10/15/13 10:42 AM.

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I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
#2166615 - 10/15/13 10:42 AM Re: Fazioli and Steinway - side by side [Re: bkw58]  
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Originally Posted by bkw58
Quote
Originally Posted By: pppat

'They are both stunning grands, but very different. The Fazioli has a really low iH, so it needs to be tuned with a very different approach than the D. '

I agree with this. Tuning a Fazioli, aurally, is an experience as unique as the instrument itself. I cannot explain the low iH phenomenon. It's a part of the Fazioli mystique.


Pardon the intrusion, but is this low iH phenomenon on Faziolis a measured phenomenon, or a subjective one? By that I mean, are the harmonics actually different between the Fazioli and the Steinway - as measured by an ETD? Or if what Del says is correct and the scaling is very similar, is it perhaps the relative strength of the fundamental and prominence of other specific harmonics which leads to the Fazioli having a more pure sound, and thereby, an apparently lower iH? Could this be considered more of a construction/soundboard thing which emphasises the fundamental and certain harmonics, rather than an outright difference in iH?

#2166647 - 10/15/13 12:13 PM Re: Fazioli and Steinway - side by side [Re: pppat]  
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Inharmonicity can only be detected in comparison with other instruments, including electronic measuring devices. There may be a few people whose pitch sensitivity is so acute that they could detect a difference, but those people are few and far between. So whenever somebody talks about hearing the difference in inharmonicity in different pianos, I get very skeptical.


Semipro Tech
#2166677 - 10/15/13 01:55 PM Re: Fazioli and Steinway - side by side [Re: ando]  
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Originally Posted by ando
Originally Posted by bkw58
Quote
Originally Posted By: pppat

'They are both stunning grands, but very different. The Fazioli has a really low iH, so it needs to be tuned with a very different approach than the D. '

I agree with this. Tuning a Fazioli, aurally, is an experience as unique as the instrument itself. I cannot explain the low iH phenomenon. It's a part of the Fazioli mystique.


Pardon the intrusion, but is this low iH phenomenon on Faziolis a measured phenomenon, or a subjective one? By that I mean, are the harmonics actually different between the Fazioli and the Steinway - as measured by an ETD? Or if what Del says is correct and the scaling is very similar, is it perhaps the relative strength of the fundamental and prominence of other specific harmonics which leads to the Fazioli having a more pure sound, and thereby, an apparently lower iH? Could this be considered more of a construction/soundboard thing which emphasises the fundamental and certain harmonics, rather than an outright difference in iH?



Thanks for the post, ando. It is no intrusion. Del's guesses are better than most techs' facts, including my own. I would not dispute him. The science is clear enough.
I can only go by what I hear. "Low iH" occurs when the partials are closer to being harmonics; in other words, the degree to which the frequencies of partials vary from the fundamental in the Fazioli appears to be much less than in other pianos when tuned aurally.



Last edited by bkw58; 10/15/13 01:59 PM. Reason: typos

Bob W.
Retired piano technician
Conway, Arkansas
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com
#2166695 - 10/15/13 02:37 PM Re: Fazioli and Steinway - side by side [Re: pppat]  
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Do others find the Faziolis 'cold' sounding, in recordings?

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