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Re: Steingraeber A170 vs. Steinway M - appreciate helpful input [Re: Steve Ramirez] #2354976
11/26/14 10:04 AM
11/26/14 10:04 AM
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Posts: 280
Midwest US
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ElaineAllegro Offline OP

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It's helpful to hear the RPT, teacher, and musician perspectives. My takeaways: play both pianos a lot more, maybe set up camp at the dealers. This is THE serious upgrade, my piano for life, not anyone else's. While I'd love to be rearranging the living room right now, thank you for reminding me to take the time needed.

I do play ~weekly, mostly informal settings. By now I've had a chance to get familiar with a wide range of pianos so I'm less thrown by the differences in action than a few years ago. So...no need for a Steinway D. :-(

While the room may handle a larger piano, for the two brands I've narrowed it down to (after trying a wide range of contenders), my budget won't go beyond "living room" size.

To Mark Polishook: Thank you for weighing in. Your previous posts and videos were very helpful in my shopping process.

Interesting, one of Steinway's sales points is that its model M has been consistent for umpteen years, vs. Steingraeber's focus on consistent innovation where effective. Both can be virtues from different perspectives, I guess.

Back to practicing...

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Re: Steingraeber A170 vs. Steinway M - appreciate helpful input [Re: ElaineAllegro] #2354981
11/26/14 10:13 AM
11/26/14 10:13 AM
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Karl Watson Offline
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I have to say that the only response to the salesman is that the M has been consistently and invariably mediocre, an instrument that has, from my perspective, virtually nothing to recommend it.

Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY

Re: Steingraeber A170 vs. Steinway M - appreciate helpful input [Re: ElaineAllegro] #2354992
11/26/14 10:53 AM
11/26/14 10:53 AM
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Suffolk, England
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Withindale Offline
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Elaine

I can't advise you but what I'd think about is the one I'd regret not having. I'd know what my answer would be!

The other thing I'd consider is a trip to Bayreuth. Have you done the virtual tour on YouTube?

Good luck.


Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 140cm
Ibach, 1905 F-IV, 235cm
Re: Steingraeber A170 vs. Steinway M - appreciate helpful input [Re: ElaineAllegro] #2354995
11/26/14 11:01 AM
11/26/14 11:01 AM
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Northern California
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plumpfingers Offline
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I agree with all of those who have stressed that this decision is purely personal, but having played a number of Steingraebers of many different sizes, I was always struck that each "punched above its weight" in that each sounded like a larger model. I own a Steingraeber 238 that holds its own with any concert grand I've played or owned. Good luck with your choice and you will undoubtedly get years of joy from whichever you choose.

Re: Steingraeber A170 vs. Steinway M - appreciate helpful input [Re: ElaineAllegro] #2354996
11/26/14 11:02 AM
11/26/14 11:02 AM
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CO, USA
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phacke Offline

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CO, USA
Greetings, ElaineAllegro-

Regarding the smooth and consistent Steingraeber action, they are very meticulous when putting the action together, and voila, the results.

Regarding where to put the violinist with respect to the Steingraeber, the one I play with likes to stand behind me, so that is an idea for you folks.

On the S&S, the lack of RH volume is something I've seen at the dealers and on naively made rebuilds. Multiple techs, such as Mr. McMorrow, indicate that the out of box S&S hammers need trimming to get their weight in synch with the pitch so that they don't damp the sound. My S&S M is great in the melody. It seemed to me that S&S coming off the line right now were better in this regard too. Anyhow, S&S has to deal with that.

Some plains states S&S dealers don't invest in tech preparation of the pianos, so even if you asked for optimizations to your concerns (lack of treble, touch), they may or may not even know how to improve it. But, why not ask so you can evaluate? If it were me evaluating an S&S, I would check out some of the specialists in the costal states for new and rebuilt ones.

Finally, there are the fundamental differences in the philosophy of the sound.

It is the Steingraeber C212 and S&S A3 and B that get interesting, personally.

Best wishes-


Originally Posted by ElaineAllegro
Thank you all for your responses. Here are my admittedly non-technical, intermediate adult student impressions:

Steingraeber pluses: Incredibly easier to play, I didn't want to stop, very responsive, amazing quality of sound that washes over me directly so I can track what works when I practice, projects tone well across entire range bass to treble, even the very top notes seem to have distinct and full tone (vs. "toy piano" sound on some other pianos I tried). Not "cookie cutter."

Steingraeber concerns: If it's that easy to play and makes me sound so much better (per friends who listened), will it really help me further develop my technique if there's no struggle? Will I develop sufficient technique that will carry over to performing on less responsive pianos? Depth of sound washing over pianist might start to feel overwhelming in a long practice session. A170 shape is wider than most pianos of its size, less curve; where do you put the singer or string player? [This is really a minor quibble.] How will it wear over time? I hadn't heard of it until a few years ago, so I am not aware of how they hold their quality or value? If I ever needed to trade it in, would it command a competitive price vs. Steinway?

Steinway pluses: The Steinways I've liked best are ones I've played at other peoples' homes, recital halls, etc., and seem to be from the 1930s through 1950s. I don't know if their lovely touch and sound is due to age and use, or differences in manufacture. The new Steinway Ms sound lovely from the listener's location, but less full from the player's bench. There seems to be variation in "precision?" for want of a better word, depth, tone or muddiness, across the piano. Bass seems overly loud vs. treble, and less clear, in several I've tried. (My teacher says that is good for me as I will learn to tone down LH and project RH more, but...) Other pluses: my teacher prefers it, and most places where I have recitals or attempt to perform have Steinways, so it may be worth being more comfortable with that action. Universally known, holds resell or trade-in value.

Steinway concerns: Didn't grab me at first. Now that I've tried several for longer periods of time, I feel more comfortable and confident with it.

The difference is almost like love at first sight (sound) vs. a relationship that develops over time. If I could have a Steinway to practice on and a Steingraeber to perform on, that would be the best of all possibilities, but...

Other thoughts in response to the above?


phacke

Steinway YM (1933)
...Working on:
J. S. Bach, Toccata (G minor) BWV 915
(and trying not to forget the other stuff I know)
Re: Steingraeber A170 vs. Steinway M - appreciate helpful input [Re: ElaineAllegro] #2355001
11/26/14 11:12 AM
11/26/14 11:12 AM
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Seattle, WA USA
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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ElaineAllegro,
You should find out if your teacher will be paid a commission by the dealer. Some teachers do take/ask for commissions.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com
Re: Steingraeber A170 vs. Steinway M - appreciate helpful input [Re: ElaineAllegro] #2355004
11/26/14 11:15 AM
11/26/14 11:15 AM
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 545
Germany
MRC Offline
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Germany
You're going to spend hours a day with your piano. The more you love the sound and the feel of the piano, the more you'll want to practice on it.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that a piano that makes you struggle harder will be more beneficial to your technique: it will only make you more frustrated. Take the piano you fall in love with.


Steinway A grand (1919), Richard Lipp grand (1913), Yamaha P2 upright (1983), Casio PX-150 digital (2013)
Re: Steingraeber A170 vs. Steinway M - appreciate helpful input [Re: ElaineAllegro] #2355290
11/26/14 11:59 PM
11/26/14 11:59 PM
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Dwscamel Offline
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I noticed that your Steinway "pluses", for the most part, weren't pluses at all. "My teacher likes it more, resale value, I like OTHER PEOPLE's STEINWAYS." Who cares about other people's Steinways? All that matters is how you feel about the one that you might end up with . . . !

I agree with the other poster that lamented the power of the brand name to sway people's opinions . . . after all, the only "truth" is your reaction to playing the pianos. It looks like a no-brainer to me to get the Steingraeber; the fact that it's easier to play than most of the pianos you'll encounter should be a plus, not a minus, because you'll enjoy it that much more than you would other pianos. Don't diminish your own enjoyment to accommodate the mediodcrity of lesser pianos.


Beethoven - Op.49 No.1 (sonata 19)
Czerny - Op.299 Nos. 5,7 (School of Velocity)
Liszt - S.172 No.2 (Consolation No.2)

Dream piece:
Rachmaninoff - Sonata 2, movement 2 in E minor
Re: Steingraeber A170 vs. Steinway M - appreciate helpful input [Re: Dwscamel] #2355295
11/27/14 12:32 AM
11/27/14 12:32 AM
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 280
Midwest US
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ElaineAllegro Offline OP

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ElaineAllegro  Offline OP

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Midwest US
Dwscamel, you are right (about my "plusses" and the power of brand). Thank you for putting my comments into perspective. I was hoping this thread would help with that. It's sometimes hard to see clearly when inside the decision; probably that's why there are so many "this piano vs. that piano" threads. I'm going to enjoy checking out my hunches a few more times, and will plan to post pictures of the outcome.

Re: Steingraeber A170 vs. Steinway M - appreciate helpful input [Re: ElaineAllegro] #2355299
11/27/14 12:36 AM
11/27/14 12:36 AM
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California
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phantomFive Offline
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Originally Posted by ElaineAllegro
and will plan to post pictures of the outcome.

yay!


Poetry is rhythm
Re: Steingraeber A170 vs. Steinway M - appreciate helpful input [Re: ElaineAllegro] #2360286
12/10/14 01:35 PM
12/10/14 01:35 PM
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 280
Midwest US
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ElaineAllegro Offline OP

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Midwest US
Hello-

I thought I'd share an update. After all this back and forth, (and literally running back and forth playing the same piece on different pianos in the showroom for a few hours) I finally made a decision! The new piano will arrive in ~2 weeks. What is it, you ask? Well, it has:

-170 cm length
-black satin finish
-88 keys (I didn't count them)
-3 pedals (no half-blow pedal this time; I tried one and it was fun, though not sure I would use it enough)
-carbon fiber soundboard
-Phoenix system in bass (long complicated explanation around why only in bass; can add to treble later if I feel it's needed)
-other cool features you will see after it arrives and I can send pics
-name starts with Stein...

Photo and maybe audio updates after I get it set up and acclimated. I really appreciate the helpful input from this group.

Happy holidays to all!

Re: Steingraeber A170 vs. Steinway M - appreciate helpful input [Re: ElaineAllegro] #2360288
12/10/14 01:41 PM
12/10/14 01:41 PM
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joe80 Offline
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Well I'm guessing the Steingraeber.

I would have picked that one too. Whether I'd have gone for the Phoenix system and Carbon Fiber board or not, I don't know.

Anyway I could be wrong and you could have picked a rebuild Steinway.... but I don't think so ;-)

Congrats on your piano x

Re: Steingraeber A170 vs. Steinway M - appreciate helpful input [Re: ElaineAllegro] #2360289
12/10/14 01:44 PM
12/10/14 01:44 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,431
Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
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Congrats!

I think you will be most impressed by your new piano!

Norbert smile


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
Re: Steingraeber A170 vs. Steinway M - appreciate helpful input [Re: ElaineAllegro] #2360357
12/10/14 05:18 PM
12/10/14 05:18 PM
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Leicester, UK
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Mark Polishook Offline
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Congratulations Elaine!

Sounds like a wonderful piano! Thrilled for you smile ...

Re: Steingraeber A170 vs. Steinway M - appreciate helpful input [Re: ElaineAllegro] #2360535
12/11/14 05:28 AM
12/11/14 05:28 AM
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Eindhoven, The Netherlands
chopinoholic Offline
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Congratulations. I guess it's the Steingraeber too.

Promise you will post pictures as soon as it arrives! smile


Paul

[Linked Image][Linked Image]
Re: Steingraeber A170 vs. Steinway M - appreciate helpful input [Re: ElaineAllegro] #2360538
12/11/14 05:57 AM
12/11/14 05:57 AM
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Seattle Area
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Markarian Offline
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These carbon fiber Steingraebers are kind of a mysterious beast. You simply must post pics and recordings, the world must know!


2012 NY Steinway Model B | Kawai MP11 | Nord Stage 3 Compact | Moog Sub 37 | Behringer DeepMind 12 | Sequential Circuits Prophet 6 | Korg Prologue
Re: Steingraeber A170 vs. Steinway M - appreciate helpful input [Re: ElaineAllegro] #2360541
12/11/14 06:15 AM
12/11/14 06:15 AM
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The Netherlands
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WimPiano Offline
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Congratulations!!

Re: Steingraeber A170 vs. Steinway M - appreciate helpful input [Re: ElaineAllegro] #2360580
12/11/14 10:23 AM
12/11/14 10:23 AM
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Posts: 280
Midwest US
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ElaineAllegro Offline OP

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Midwest US
Thank you all - your guess is correct! @Markarian, yes, it is very different looking inside (well, darker) and sounds different from a similar model with traditional soundboard. Maybe a cleaner sound - not sure how to characterize it? BTW, it's a few years old model, not brand new, but still new for me. I'll try for pics and audio soon.

Re: Steingraeber A170 vs. Steinway M - appreciate helpful input [Re: ElaineAllegro] #2360599
12/11/14 11:33 AM
12/11/14 11:33 AM
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Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
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Quote
and sounds different from a similar model with traditional soundboard.


Perhaps you could pick up the difference easier than me:
Udo enjoyed fooling me last time I was in factory: really couldn't tell the difference between the models..

http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/Cellphonepictures168.jpg

Norbert wink

Last edited by Norbert; 12/11/14 11:39 AM.

www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
Re: Steingraeber A170 vs. Steinway M - appreciate helpful input [Re: ElaineAllegro] #2360603
12/11/14 11:42 AM
12/11/14 11:42 AM
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Lowell MA
Larry Buck Offline
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Lowell MA
Congratulations Elaine, Well Done !!

We are looking forward to pictures.


Larry


"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
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