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Re: Relatively quiet NY Steinway D
SMA55 #2657382 06/28/17 11:54 PM
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Not my point at all. In fact, no amount of voicing will put life into dead hammers or strings. But when you have people saying a Bösendorfer sounds like a Steinway after merely voicing it, perhaps their idea of what a Bösendorfer or Steinway sounds like is not based on the piano merely being a Bösendorfer or a Steinway.


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Re: Relatively quiet NY Steinway D
BDB #2657437 06/29/17 06:30 AM
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Is that what you think? That after the voicing the Bose sounded like a Steinway?


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Re: Relatively quiet NY Steinway D
SMA55 #2657438 06/29/17 06:35 AM
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Wow the Bosendorfor people I know would fire us if we did that to their piano! William Truitt seems to have the best advise to determine if the SB is "dead or alive" straight-up.
K D Kerman a 50's Hamburg D still has good everything? well I wonder how can that be, I am just crazy curious about those things, wish I could examine this SB to see what it's "crown shape" is with the plate out, like maybe how much and where? hey maybe we could get some numbers there, that would be a good thing. Oh yes very important ! did the Hamburg's go to dia-phlematic SB configuration like NY's at any time? I would like to know. Be cool !


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Re: Relatively quiet NY Steinway D
SMA55 #2657527 06/29/17 02:29 PM
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BDB, I thought it was as if a Bosendorfer had mated with a Chickering. You know, it sounded like a Chickendorfer!!


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Re: Relatively quiet NY Steinway D
WilliamTruitt #2657665 06/30/17 02:27 AM
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That is my point. People think that pianos of a certain make have a certain sound. However, nothing more than voicing can change that sound drastically. So how do people really know what is characteristic of the piano design, differentiated from what good voicers can do?


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Re: Relatively quiet NY Steinway D
SMA55 #2657678 06/30/17 04:34 AM
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I have not heard a single contributor say that they want to change the sound drastically. That's a red herring. I don't attempt to do that as a voicer, nor does anyone else that I can think of. Even those of us who do string rescaling and other design modifications to pianos are attempting only targeted and specific small changes. And voicing changes and design modifications are not in competition with one another. A piano functions as a multi-faceted and complex system, where changes and refinements can occur in many places.

A Bosendorfer does have a characteristic sound, as does a Steinway. I don't confuse the two, nor does anyone with a measure of skill or aural sensitivity. Rich's voicer was using tried and true voicing techniques that can achieve specific results; he knows this from the large body of experience that he has built up over time voicing many pianos. I can hear and recognize the changes he has made using compass point needling because that is part of my own voicing bag of tricks, and yields similar results.

There is no one simple answer to your question about one knowing what is characteristic of a piano design; that comes from a body of knowledge that built from experience over a period of time, along with developed voicing skills. i will say that we learn what voicing can do (and cannot do) by doing it. It is just as important to recognize where limitations exist as it is to recognize where our opportunities lie. When doing highly skilled voicing, this is a rigorous task - we are traveling down a road in our voicing, where each change we make has a price. In a perfect world, we make all the right decisions all the time. In the real world, often something less than that.

Since you so freely challenge others on these issues, how do you differentiate what good voicers do from what is characteristic of the piano design? I asked this question of you earlier using different terminology, and you still have not answered it.


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Re: Relatively quiet NY Steinway D
SMA55 #2657718 06/30/17 07:43 AM
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I don't get some answers either! I asked If the Hamburg Steinways went with the diaphragmatic SB configuration,? none yet. "anyone". BDB' to say that all pianos can sound the same with voicing, is ridiculous! if someone claims they can make an old,old,mitered case Bluthner or other makes sound like a rock-maple rimmed piano? I don't think that's possible.


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Re: Relatively quiet NY Steinway D
BDB #2657749 06/30/17 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by BDB
That is my point. People think that pianos of a certain make have a certain sound. However, nothing more than voicing can change that sound drastically. So how do people really know what is characteristic of the piano design, differentiated from what good voicers can do?


Voicing can be subtle and it can be massive. One could fill the piano with chocolate pudding and change the sound drastically. That doesn't mean the piano didn't have a characteristic sound prior to it being filled with pudding.


Keith D Kerman
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Re: Relatively quiet NY Steinway D
Keith D Kerman #2657760 06/30/17 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Keith D Kerman
Originally Posted by BDB
That is my point. People think that pianos of a certain make have a certain sound. However, nothing more than voicing can change that sound drastically. So how do people really know what is characteristic of the piano design, differentiated from what good voicers can do?


Voicing can be subtle and it can be massive. One could fill the piano with chocolate pudding and change the sound drastically. That doesn't mean the piano didn't have a characteristic sound prior to it being filled with pudding.


Perhaps some of you could help me better understand the relationship of characteristic piano sound and hammers/voicing. I pose a question.

If one took a new Bösendorfer Imperial Concert Grand and replaced the hammers with New York S&S soft hammers of the type used in the S&S D, and properly juiced them, would the Bösendorfer gain the characteristic 'growl' of the S&S D and the huge tonal shift with dynamic change, or would it still be recognized as a characteristic Bösendorfer?

Re: Relatively quiet NY Steinway D
prout #2657775 06/30/17 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by prout
If one took a new Bösendorfer Imperial Concert Grand and replaced the hammers with New York S&S soft hammers of the type used in the S&S D, and properly juiced them, would the Bösendorfer gain the characteristic 'growl' of the S&S D and the huge tonal shift with dynamic change, or would it still be recognized as a characteristic Bösendorfer?


Well, among other things, the bottom notes would not have hammers at all!

But a direct answer to your question is that I doubt you or just about anyone has an idea of what is characteristic of the sound of either a Bösendorfer or a Steinway. Even if you did, I doubt you could describe it in words. There have been tests here on this board where people have asked others to identify the make of pianos from recordings blindly, and the results are generally no better than random guesses.


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Re: Relatively quiet NY Steinway D
SMA55 #2657787 06/30/17 11:37 AM
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The other thing everyone forgets are the acoustics of the room into which it's going. My S&S 'D' was just fine in my old music room with lots of sound absorbing surfaces.

In its new music room, I play with the lid shut and the bridge duplexes felted off. It's still too lively !

Fareham


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Re: Relatively quiet NY Steinway D
BDB #2657795 06/30/17 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by BDB
[quote=prout]If one took a new Bösendorfer Imperial Concert Grand and replaced the hammers with New York S&S soft hammers of the type used in the S&S D, and properly juiced them, would the Bösendorfer gain the characteristic 'growl' of the S&S D and the huge tonal shift with dynamic change, or would it still be recognized as a characteristic Bösendorfer?


Quote
Well, among other things, the bottom notes would not have hammers at all!
Cute! laugh

Quote
But a direct answer to your question is that I doubt you or just about anyone has an idea of what is characteristic of the sound of either a Bösendorfer or a Steinway. Even if you did, I doubt you could describe it in words. There have been tests here on this board where people have asked others to identify the make of pianos from recordings blindly, and the results are generally no better than random guesses.
I agree. I definitely do not know what constitutes the 'core' sound of a particular make and model of piano, and, even if I did, would likely, as you say, do no better at blind testing than a random choice.

Re: Relatively quiet NY Steinway D
prout #2657798 06/30/17 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by prout
Originally Posted by Keith D Kerman
Originally Posted by BDB
That is my point. People think that pianos of a certain make have a certain sound. However, nothing more than voicing can change that sound drastically. So how do people really know what is characteristic of the piano design, differentiated from what good voicers can do?


Voicing can be subtle and it can be massive. One could fill the piano with chocolate pudding and change the sound drastically. That doesn't mean the piano didn't have a characteristic sound prior to it being filled with pudding.


Perhaps some of you could help me better understand the relationship of characteristic piano sound and hammers/voicing. I pose a question.

If one took a new Bösendorfer Imperial Concert Grand and replaced the hammers with New York S&S soft hammers of the type used in the S&S D, and properly juiced them, would the Bösendorfer gain the characteristic 'growl' of the S&S D and the huge tonal shift with dynamic change, or would it still be recognized as a characteristic Bösendorfer?


Definitely part of the sound one expects to hear out of a Steinway D comes from playing into the lacquer in the hammers. When you don't hear that in a Steinway, especially an American Steinway, you definitely lose part of what is characteristic to the sound. You could work with the weight and shape and tone building and voicing of NY Steinway hammers on a Bose and maybe end up with something pretty good, but it would definitely not have the growl one expects from a S&S D and also definitely you would not get the tonal shift with dynamic change that is characteristic of a good D. You would also certainly lose something characteristic to the Bose sound with hammers more appropriate to a Bosendorfer. The hammers and hammer voicing are important parts but only parts of a very complex recipe that creates the tone, tonal shape, and tonal responsiveness of a piano.


Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
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Re: Relatively quiet NY Steinway D
SMA55 #2657810 06/30/17 12:39 PM
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My memories of the differences between Bosie and SS were more involved with the materials used to construct the inner/outer rim and belly rails.
Bosie being softer wood and SS being harder wood and more massive(except the SS belly rail).
I believe this hardwood rim tends to allow less power from the board to bleed into it giving the SS its power and the Bosie, a bit less.
NY SS hammers are typically soft and not everyone lecquers them up to get the tone color, power and projection needed for a particular situation.


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Re: Relatively quiet NY Steinway D
SMA55 #2664385 07/27/17 04:16 PM
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SMA55 having just bought an Estonia 210 I admire the intelligence and thoroughness of your inquiry into the D. From what you've checked especially this post on the D's sustain, I would guess the problem is nothing major like the sound board. It's very likely that as a rental piano this weekness in the killer octaves was either not noticed or more likely ignored, no one owned it. My guess is the hammers were never properly voiced. In 2004 SS were not noted for great final final in factory prep. As to the other issue, a D in your living room. I learned the hard way ($) that there is not a definite correlation between size and "loudness". What is perceived as loudness is often the level in the dynamic range of a note when it's tone turns harsh and abrasive. This has nothing to do with piano size. Lower tier pianos often have lower dynamic ranges. The only precaution with a D outside a concert hall would be adequately voice it and the room it is in. We did this with 4 unabtrusive sound panels, and didn't initially even have to touch the hammers. We'll see what happens once they harden. Your dream size is totally appropriate, let us know that if you buy it and get it home how it works out.

Re: Relatively quiet NY Steinway D
Sanfrancisco #2664994 07/30/17 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Sanfrancisco
SMA55 having just bought an Estonia 210 I admire the intelligence and thoroughness of your inquiry into the D. From what you've checked especially this post on the D's sustain, I would guess the problem is nothing major like the sound board. It's very likely that as a rental piano this weekness in the killer octaves was either not noticed or more likely ignored, no one owned it. My guess is the hammers were never properly voiced. In 2004 SS were not noted for great final final in factory prep. As to the other issue, a D in your living room. I learned the hard way ($) that there is not a definite correlation between size and "loudness". What is perceived as loudness is often the level in the dynamic range of a note when it's tone turns harsh and abrasive. This has nothing to do with piano size. Lower tier pianos often have lower dynamic ranges. The only precaution with a D outside a concert hall would be adequately voice it and the room it is in. We did this with 4 unabtrusive sound panels, and didn't initially even have to touch the hammers. We'll see what happens once they harden. Your dream size is totally appropriate, let us know that if you buy it and get it home how it works out.

Thank you for your interest in my piano saga. Since you asked, here is how it turned out...
I continued to play the rental Steinway D that I was considering purchasing from the dealer. And it continued to sound very nice. The dealer had agreed to allow me to have the piano in my house for 1-2 weeks, to see how it sounded there, as long as I paid the moving costs. And I was all set to take the piano for this in-home trial. But then I got to thinking more about the piano and some of the things I already knew about it: even as a layman, I could see that this piano had never been adequately prepped and was going to require extensive regulation and voicing. And even after all of that, its parts would still be 14 years old, its strings somewhat rusty, its felts and buckskins somewhat worn. Plus it did have at least one minor crack in its soundboard, although daylight couldn't be seen through it. The reality is that this piano would likely not be the last I would ever buy, and I just couldn't feel 100% good about its purchase. Even the dealer, knowing me and my desire for getting the best piano I could, suggested that I not purchase it. At this same time, I discovered on Pianomart another 2003 Steinway D being sold on consignment by a dealer in Chicago. By appearances, it looked to be virtually unused--beautiful in condition! When I called and spoke with the dealer, the price he quoted me was a great one. So off I went to Chicago to check it out. It turned out that the piano was pristine in condition, inside and out. In fact, it looked like it hadn't been played much at all in 14 years. But then, after examining it and its action, I had the very disappointing experience of playing it; it was the single worst D I had ever played, its lower register sounding harsh and brittle. Someone had clearly over exuberantly lacquered the hammers. Sure, I could have had its hammers replaced, but it was anyone's guess as to how it would sound afterward. And I wasn't willing to take that risk. So I passed on it. I next considered purchasing a new Steinway D, but I was unable to find one I really liked. My local Steinway dealer offered to have me do a factory selection in NY. But the terms were that I pay first, and select afterward. I myself was unwilling to take the risk of possibly not finding a piano at the factory that met my exacting standards. So I decided against purchasing a Steinway D. As detailed in another thread, I wound up purchasing a piano with which I am very happy--a Steingraeber D232. All's well that ends well!











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