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Re: USA Today piece on Steinway Spirio [Re: phacke] #2725980 04/02/18 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by phacke
Originally Posted by Rich Galassini

Hmmm... Yamaha has been able to do that for the past 20 years.
So what is new here?



I think what is new here is that Steinway is moving into this market segment, and improving their business because of it.
Spiro ads claim that this play back system is something special and superior to other systems but that doesn't at all seem to be the case. In fact, the Spirio seems to be inferior since it cannot record. Rich Galassini's comment was addressing the fact that in comparison to other playback systems the Spirio system has nothing new and everything about it has been available for a long time.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 04/02/18 06:40 AM.
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Re: USA Today piece on Steinway Spirio [Re: pianoloverus] #2726004 04/02/18 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
[q] I can see why they would want to control the quality of recordings in their library available to Spirio owners, but I see no reason why they would care about the quality of personal recordings made by Spirio owners..


Their concern may be that people would distribute their home recordings and flood the market -- sort of like youtube videos.


-- J.S.

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Re: USA Today piece on Steinway Spirio [Re: GC13] #2726008 04/02/18 09:29 AM
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It's easy to make the LX / Spirio system look bad by merely cross referencing a list of features. But the fact is, player systems don't perform even basic recording and playback equally well. It's been a mixed bag for years. As of this writing, LX / Spirio playback is comparable with a Disklavier Pro-- better in some ways, worse in others. But as an example of differences, Disklavier Pro can control release velocities and silently set keys to various levels of depression, while LX / Spirio cannot. Disklavier, LX / Spirio, and SE reproduction is based on hammer velocities, but PianoDisc and QRS reproduction is based on key velocities. LX / Spirio reproduces pedaling more accurately than other systems, but soft playback will be more reliable on an SE or Disklavier Pro, which have closed-loop control. Some of the compromises with Spirio / LX were originally intended to make the system easier to retrofit to existing pianos and priced somewhat competitively with other aftermarket kits. Now that those goals are no longer factors, Steinway could expand the feature list to better compete with the Disklavier.

Re: USA Today piece on Steinway Spirio [Re: Mark Fontana] #2726047 04/02/18 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark Fontana
It's easy to make the LX / Spirio system look bad by merely cross referencing a list of features.
iIf I understand the current state for Spirio it cannot record and playback the owner's playing. So I think this is for many people a lot more than just one among a list of "features". For many, this does not allow one the two major purposes for owning a playback system. So IMO this would be a major drawback in purchasing a Sprio system for many people. Analogous to a piano that can only play music from the Romantic era.

Re: USA Today piece on Steinway Spirio [Re: JohnSprung] #2726049 04/02/18 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnSprung
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
[q] I can see why they would want to control the quality of recordings in their library available to Spirio owners, but I see no reason why they would care about the quality of personal recordings made by Spirio owners..


Their concern may be that people would distribute their home recordings and flood the market -- sort of like youtube videos.
Are you talking about amateur or professional pianists? If amateur, I doubt many people would be interested in buying. Would it be legal for any pianist to make a Spirio recording and sell it without permission?

Re: USA Today piece on Steinway Spirio [Re: pianoloverus] #2726130 04/02/18 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by JohnSprung
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
[q] I can see why they would want to control the quality of recordings in their library available to Spirio owners, but I see no reason why they would care about the quality of personal recordings made by Spirio owners..


Their concern may be that people would distribute their home recordings and flood the market -- sort of like youtube videos.
Are you talking about amateur or professional pianists? If amateur, I doubt many people would be interested in buying. Would it be legal for any pianist to make a Spirio recording and sell it without permission?


Mostly amateur, but both. And I'd expect them to be freebies, like youtube videos. The legalities? I'd expect that it would be fine unless Steinway makes the buyers of the recording units sign a contract forbidding it. And of course they'd have the usual issue with non-PD music. Rightsholders could go after them, but probably wouldn't. Just like youtube....


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Re: USA Today piece on Steinway Spirio [Re: JohnSprung] #2726138 04/02/18 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnSprung
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by JohnSprung
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
[q] I can see why they would want to control the quality of recordings in their library available to Spirio owners, but I see no reason why they would care about the quality of personal recordings made by Spirio owners..


Their concern may be that people would distribute their home recordings and flood the market -- sort of like youtube videos.
Are you talking about amateur or professional pianists? If amateur, I doubt many people would be interested in buying. Would it be legal for any pianist to make a Spirio recording and sell it without permission?


Mostly amateur, but both. And I'd expect them to be freebies, like youtube videos. The legalities? I'd expect that it would be fine unless Steinway makes the buyers of the recording units sign a contract forbidding it. And of course they'd have the usual issue with non-PD music. Rightsholders could go after them, but probably wouldn't. Just like youtube....
This doesn't seem to be a problem for other playback systems. i.e it hasn't stopped them from including a record/playback feature. When people post recordings on YT I think they are almost always live recordings.

Why would Steinway care if some amateur made a Spirio recording and posted it on YT? I don't think a recording like that would become part of the Spirio library.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 04/02/18 04:49 PM.
Re: USA Today piece on Steinway Spirio [Re: GC13] #2726161 04/02/18 07:28 PM
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What could happen is that people post youtube videos with a note linking to dropbox or some such service where the spirio file can be downloaded.


-- J.S.

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Re: USA Today piece on Steinway Spirio [Re: GC13] #2726179 04/02/18 09:06 PM
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I’m almost, but not quite, crazy enough to buy one just to reverse engineer it smile Though I suppose they probably have a license agreement not to backed up by DMCA frown


Now learning: Chopin C# minor Nocturne (posth) and C minor Prelude (big chords), Mozart Sonata in C K. 545
Instruments: Yamaha N1X, Kawai ES110, Roland GO:PIANO
Re: USA Today piece on Steinway Spirio [Re: GC13] #2726185 04/02/18 10:56 PM
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You need two things to have a good player piano system, and this is true going back even to the Ampico, Duo/Art, and Welte players of the 1920s.
1, you need a mechanical system that can play the keys in an way that can reproduce what a pianist does.
2, you need GOOD recordings that people want to listen to and that are recorded in a way that takes advantage of the mechanical system you have on the piano.

One with out the other leaves everyone disappointed in the results. So far the Spirio app which adds new music every month from Steinway artists is a big plus to the Spirio. But like any audio recording it has to be produced in a way that the end product not only sounds like a live pianist but is also music that people want to listen to. Steinway has a certain clientele that they will want to appeal to, and their sales seem to say that they are doing just that.

I’m thinking adding the ability to record on the Spirio could come with dangers. Think of a Steinway Spirio that could record is sold to a top university music department. The best pianist on the faculty sits down to record a very difficult piece. After hearing the play back could that pianist say the piano played back exactly what they just played. Anything less than “exactly what I just played” would be seen as useless and would give the Spirio a bad reputation.
I work with all the player systems that now have a record system except for the Disklavier Pro and none of them would come close to passing that test. I would be curious if anyone thought the Disklavier Pro could stand up to a test like this.
All the record systems work well and are useful and fun until a very good pianist pushes them to their limits.

Larry Hofer
Hofer Piano Works
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Last edited by Larry Hofer; 04/02/18 11:07 PM.

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Re: USA Today piece on Steinway Spirio [Re: pianoloverus] #2726189 04/02/18 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Rich Galassini's comment was addressing the fact that in comparison to other playback systems the Spirio system has nothing new and everything about it has been available for a long time.


Spirio does introduce its own set of unique features, just these features are not necessarily technology-based. My sense is these new "features" target filling a huge hole (no native player system) for prospective customers who were likely going to buy Steinway to begin with.

1. First player system installed on Steinway pianos by Steinway at their factory. Compared to aftermarket installations, this saves on delivery time, eliminates the effort and cost to transport to a 3rd party installer's shop, and improves installation quality and consistency.
2. Steinway carries the warranty for both the piano and the player hardware, aka, one throat to choke.
3. Free access to Steinway's music library. [While it is true that you can download a lot of MIDI files for free, in terms of shrink-wrapped music, none of the other player system manufacturers gives you their proprietary content for free.]
4. Free access to new music that is supposedly being created on a monthly basis by Steinway Artists.

In other words, if you're set on buying a Steinway piano that is most of the time a PSO, but some of the time, an instrument to entertain guests with, then above features are indeed new...and compelling compared to after-market alternatives.

--

By the way, before Spirio came out, I had a conversation with the manager of Steinway Restoration Center on this topic. I said to him, "Why don't you offer an option to install PianoDisc during a restoration? You have my piano all in pieces and it's the perfect time to carve on it. And, it would help you guys make more money." He agreed with what I said, but he then said it would be too hard to create a uniform installation process and uniform tooling because of the many different sizes of Steinway cases that came into their center.

John


1922 Steinway Model O, restored by Steinway Restoration Center, 2016. PianoDisc, installed 2017.
Re: USA Today piece on Steinway Spirio [Re: pianoloverus] #2726191 04/02/18 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by phacke
Originally Posted by Rich Galassini

Hmmm... Yamaha has been able to do that for the past 20 years.
So what is new here?



I think what is new here is that Steinway is moving into this market segment, and improving their business because of it.
Spiro ads claim that this play back system is something special and superior to other systems but that doesn't at all seem to be the case. In fact, the Spirio seems to be inferior since it cannot record. Rich Galassini's comment was addressing the fact that in comparison to other playback systems the Spirio system has nothing new and everything about it has been available for a long time.


I know what he thought, but he asked what is new.
This is based on the USA today piece, per the thread theme.

But you referenced ads, "ads claim that this play back system is something special and superior to other systems"
I haven't seen such ads. Which ads indicate the system is superior to other systems? Kindly provide a link.


phacke

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J. S. Bach, Toccata (G minor) BWV 915
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Re: USA Today piece on Steinway Spirio [Re: JohnSprung] #2726232 04/03/18 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnSprung

What could happen is that people post youtube videos with a note linking to dropbox or some such service where the spirio file can be downloaded.
Could this be done for the other playback systems on the market like PianoDisc, Disklavier, etc.?

Re: USA Today piece on Steinway Spirio [Re: GC13] #2726241 04/03/18 09:25 AM
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"After a gradual rollout in 2016 and 2017, the instrument already has become about 30% of Steinway’s grand piano sales, said Ben Steiner, the company's chief financial officer."

Not hard to understand. There are trophy buyers with more money than God out there, and this relieves them of the burden of having to learn how to play Chopsticks.


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Re: USA Today piece on Steinway Spirio [Re: WilliamTruitt] #2726259 04/03/18 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by WilliamTruitt
"After a gradual rollout in 2016 and 2017, the instrument already has become about 30% of Steinway’s grand piano sales, said Ben Steiner, the company's chief financial officer."

Not hard to understand. There are trophy buyers with more money than God out there, and this relieves them of the burden of having to learn how to play Chopsticks.

Does Steinway otherwise require buyers to play Chopsticks before they can purchase a piano?



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Re: USA Today piece on Steinway Spirio [Re: GC13] #2726331 04/03/18 04:14 PM
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Two years ago when I visited their show room it seemed that they just cared to sell them to whoever.


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Re: USA Today piece on Steinway Spirio [Re: GC13] #2726337 04/03/18 04:47 PM
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I got to hear the Spirio at the new Gallery in Seattle and while it WAS impressive for a player piano, I crinkled my nose when I found out you A) Couldn't record on it. WTF? and B) that it could not be retrofitted into an existing piano, not that I am interested in a five figure premium so that I can listen to MIDIs play on my instrument. This topic is always going to stir passions because of the implication of people purchasing these instruments because they CAN rather than because they can actually play. But as said above, if it keeps the grand market brisk, then whatever. Slightly OT have you guys seen those silver-plate Bs S&S has over the last couple years?? Stunning!


2012 NY Steinway Model B | Kawai MP11 | Nord Stage 3 Compact | Moog Sub 37 | Behringer DeepMind 12 | Sequential Circuits Prophet 6 | Korg Prologue
Re: USA Today piece on Steinway Spirio [Re: Markarian] #2726348 04/03/18 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Markarian
This topic is always going to stir passions because of the implication of people purchasing these instruments because they CAN rather than because they can actually play.
That may be true but I certainly don't think people should be criticized because they do not play or play poorly but can afford an expensive piano with or without a player system. People have the right to buy an expensive piano or anything costly item for whatever reason they want including purely for show/prestige, as an expensive coffee table, or as a beautiful piece of furniture. This would be true even if their purchase did not help support piano manufacture.

Re: USA Today piece on Steinway Spirio [Re: phacke] #2726349 04/03/18 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by phacke
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by phacke
Originally Posted by Rich Galassini

Hmmm... Yamaha has been able to do that for the past 20 years.
So what is new here?



I think what is new here is that Steinway is moving into this market segment, and improving their business because of it.
Spiro ads claim that this play back system is something special and superior to other systems but that doesn't at all seem to be the case. In fact, the Spirio seems to be inferior since it cannot record. Rich Galassini's comment was addressing the fact that in comparison to other playback systems the Spirio system has nothing new and everything about it has been available for a long time.


I know what he thought, but he asked what is new.
This is based on the USA today piece, per the thread theme.

But you referenced ads, "ads claim that this play back system is something special and superior to other systems"
I haven't seen such ads. Which ads indicate the system is superior to other systems? Kindly provide a link.
He asked "what is new?" after explaining that there was nothing new in the Spirio system, and, in fact, everything available in Spirio has been around for a long time. So his question was in reference to what he said before he asked that question. He was in effect saying there was nothing new despite any claims to the contrary.

Here is the link to the Stienway ad that claims it is "the world's finest high resolution piano player". I believe the print ads make the same claim and that was where I first saw this.
http://www.steinway.com/spirio

Last edited by pianoloverus; 04/03/18 07:26 PM.
Re: USA Today piece on Steinway Spirio [Re: GC13] #2726354 04/03/18 07:18 PM
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I thought it was common knowledge that the Spirio system is little more than a rebadged Live LX player system. It was Wayne Stahnke’s state of the art RnD before Steinway bought his technology. I believe the Live LX isn’t sold anymore. In fact, the LX did not record either.

Doing a quick google search on the Live LX reveals that it solves some interesting player piano issues. Foremost to me as a pianist is that the piano’s existing pedal trap work is reused. This means you don’t have to shift around the pedal lyre to accomodate the player system. I know this is still an issue on some of the other popular systems on the market. This alone would be enough to sell me as a pianist.

I didn’t end up having this LX system installed because it doesn’t have access to the Spirio library. The availability of high resolution recordings is too good to pass up! Hopefully Steinway start retrofitting this system, or somebody adapts the LX to... ahem...

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