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Originally Posted by Karl Watson
Friends:
In fact, a tour of the Astoria factory does not inspire the same confidence as do similar tours in middle-Europe. There is no doubt that the NY piano has improved recently, and significantly so, but in my opinion it is still far from the work that comes out of Hamburg.
Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY


Hello, Mr Watson-
Can you please put some specifics and dates on these observations? Recall, the OP was intersected in changes post-Paulson takeover.

best wishes-


phacke

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Originally Posted by phacke
Originally Posted by Karl Watson
Friends:
In fact, a tour of the Astoria factory does not inspire the same confidence as do similar tours in middle-Europe. There is no doubt that the NY piano has improved recently, and significantly so, but in my opinion it is still far from the work that comes out of Hamburg.
Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY


Hello, Mr Watson-
Can you please put some specifics and dates on these observations? Recall, the OP was intersected in changes post-Paulson takeover.

best wishes-


There was a big article linked in a recent thread about these changes, dated from 2011, but apparently they've been in effect since 2008 if I'm reading this thread correctly? I dunno smirk


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Originally Posted by phacke
Originally Posted by Karl Watson
Friends:
In fact, a tour of the Astoria factory does not inspire the same confidence as do similar tours in middle-Europe. There is no doubt that the NY piano has improved recently, and significantly so, but in my opinion it is still far from the work that comes out of Hamburg.
Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY


Hello, Mr Watson-
Can you please put some specifics and dates on these observations? Recall, the OP was interested in changes post-Paulson takeover.

best wishes-


Hello, Mr Watson-

Goings twice.

What did you see such that the "Astoria factory does not inspire the same confidence as do similar tours in middle-Europe"

and, to understand its relevance to the present, when were these observations made?

Many thanks-


phacke

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phacke:

Thank you for your last. You are quite right to insist I state just when I visited the Astoria factory last. Well, it was before the Paulson purchase and so I must defer to Sally's superior experience and judgement.

It doesn't change my belief that their restoration facility is to be avoided, that their uprights and smaller grands are mediocre and that everything that I've seen coming-out of the Hamburg factory has been so very much better, with the exception of the Ds. Astoria seems to make a major effort on those pianos and many fine Ds are produced there. The Hamburg and Astoria Ds have a different feel but both can be superb tonally, that sound of masculine authority and solidity, of heroic volume that defines a concert grand piano for so many of us.

It certainly does NOT please me to criticise the American Steinway and to observe that they have two quality standards, one for Ds and the some few Bs and another for everything else. This policy does not obtain in Germany.

Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY

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Quote
This policy does not obtain in Germany.


Of course not.

Criticism, especially of others' work, is a national sport there.

For each person in a factory 2 others are lurking over his shoulder. To watch each and every detail of possible wrong doing.

I once hired one of those and had her work here for a while.
But then she fired me - the owner! grin

It's so much nicer living over here.

In peace.....

Norbert thumb

Last edited by Norbert; 03/07/15 08:23 PM.

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Greetings, Mr Watson-
Thanks for your comments. My data of a year and a half ago will confirm that management in the sales channel (not one from my locale) holds (if not drives) this thinking of performance quality emphasis on the Bs and Ds (what about the rest...?). There is also no mistake that things are getting better in NY these very days.

I suppose when you wrote about impressions during the factory visits (NY vs Europe), I thought you were thinking of specific manufacturing problems you could observe in the workmanship based on the factory inspections. That's why I followed up. Maybe I misinterpreted.

Best wishes-


phacke

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Thanks for these updates Sally, I have not been to the factory selection room since Fall of 2010 and our purchase on that visit of 3 pianos , 2 'D's and one 'B'. Is it still policy that the local Steinway dealer from your area accompany each visiting group to the selection room, or has this archaic protocol changed? I have recommended occasional visits just to check current inventory in case there is that one 'special' piano available at that time......


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My last visit to Steinway Hall was last year, specifically to walk through the building again before they vacated the location.

I definitely saw differences in the fit and finish of the pianos. I have spoken with Sally about what she has seen and observed there and what other respected technicians I know have had to say.

There is still room for improvement, especially when comparing the product to other spectacular European offerings. They have definitely not yet arrived where they ought to be, IMHO, but I hope to see this trend continue.


Rich Galassini
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Originally Posted by Rich Galassini

There is still room for improvement, especially when comparing the product to other spectacular European offerings. They have definitely not yet arrived where they ought to be, IMHO, but I hope to see this trend continue.


Greetings, Mr. Galassini -

Thanks for your comments.
Two thoughts,

I understand that some people are most comfortable in the realm of opinions and generalities. In this case, I was curious if there were any specifics, with pictures perhaps. Examples would be the flaking lacquer and bad resonances reported on these pages in some Estonia pianos, and failing particle board cabinet pieces of some Sauter pianos, also previously reported on these pages. This is not to drag them through mud, but to have all the facts and see from that what people actually see (and care about) as the shortcomings.

Second thought is that it might not make business sense for S&S NY to do business in the highest quality/prestige category--like some European shops--if they want to keep the volume. S&S Hamburg already covers that, and they have Boston and Essex too to fill the channels of the various market segments. S&S NY supports institution buyers, and I don't see that it makes sense that institutional buyers (schools, colleges) pay for 'boutique'-type instruments.

My 2c.

Best wishes-





phacke

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Originally Posted by JohnSprung
Originally Posted by SMHaley
The story, as I recall, there was a fire or something in Hamburg and forced a re-tooling (in the late 50's was it?).


Steinway's Hamburg branch was established in 1885, primarily for tariff and transportation reasons. The Nazi's confiscated the materials and some of the tooling early in WWII, and the RAF and 8th Air Force wiped out what was left later in the war. It was all rebuilt in the late 1940's and 1950's under the Marshall Plan.



John: Steinway opened their Hamburg branch/factory in 1880, not 1885.


Charles R. Walter 1520 QA Mahogany #531739 w/ High Polish, Renner and Quiet Pedal
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