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Re: Considering a Hamburg Steinway B
Markarian #2760352 08/22/18 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Markarian
I've always wondered what happens to the piano buyer overseas that's like "No, actually like the sound of the New York ones better," when they talk to a Steinway dealer. Are they up a creek? I suppose if they're rich enough they get flown to NY for selection?

I've seen plenty of people on here in the US who wanted a Hamburg Steinway, but haven't heard much the other way around.


I grew up in Asia. From my own observation, which by no means is authoritative, I think there are several categories of people's awareness worth dissecting:

1. People who are unaware, or simply don't care, what piano(s) is being used in the concerts or recordings they listen to;
2. People who know the brand Steinway; (let's exclude people's awareness of other top-tier brands for simplicity)
3. People who know Steinways come out from two different factories;
4. People who actually know the difference of playing on a NY vs playing on a Hamburg (assuming there is really a categorical difference, which has been debated).

In my experience, numbers of people in each category are 1 > 2 > 3 >> 4.

Also, not everyone is able to buy a new Steinway; rebuilt market is not always healthy in every country. For those who can afford one and want one, probably more of them are in 1 - 3 instead of 4.

It also comes down to availability: even if an aspiring (young) pianist, with (family's, own) financial means, wants to get one, if every Steinway he/she encounters comes from Hamburg, how is he/she going to know what it is like to play on a NY Steinway, let alone to pick one?

To me personally, many recordings I listened to, when young, were by pianists based in Europe (Argerich, Pollini, Ashkenazy, etc.) The tone of presumably Hamburg Steinways, however they were prepped, was the one I was most familiar with. However two pianists' tone stood out big time (very likely due to the pianists then the pianos): Horowitz's, and Fleisher's. There was simply no opportunity to try on a NY Steinway where I grew up.


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Re: Considering a Hamburg Steinway B
Davdoc #2760358 08/22/18 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Davdoc
Originally Posted by Markarian
I've always wondered what happens to the piano buyer overseas that's like "No, actually like the sound of the New York ones better," when they talk to a Steinway dealer. Are they up a creek? I suppose if they're rich enough they get flown to NY for selection?

I've seen plenty of people on here in the US who wanted a Hamburg Steinway, but haven't heard much the other way around.


I grew up in Asia. From my own observation, which by no means is authoritative, I think there are several categories of people's awareness worth dissecting:

1. People who are unaware, or simply don't care, what piano(s) is being used in the concerts or recordings they listen to;
2. People who know the brand Steinway; (let's exclude people's awareness of other top-tier brands for simplicity)
3. People who know Steinways come out from two different factories;
4. People who actually know the difference of playing on a NY vs playing on a Hamburg (assuming there is really a categorical difference, which has been debated).

In my experience, numbers of people in each category are 1 > 2 > 3 >> 4.

Also, not everyone is able to buy a new Steinway; rebuilt market is not always healthy in every country. For those who can afford one and want one, probably more of them are in 1 - 3 instead of 4.

It also comes down to availability: even if an aspiring (young) pianist, with (family's, own) financial means, wants to get one, if every Steinway he/she encounters comes from Hamburg, how is he/she going to know what it is like to play on a NY Steinway, let alone to pick one?

To me personally, many recordings I listened to, when young, were by pianists based in Europe (Argerich, Pollini, Ashkenazy, etc.) The tone of presumably Hamburg Steinways, however they were prepped, was the one I was most familiar with. However two pianists' tone stood out big time (very likely due to the pianists then the pianos): Horowitz's, and Fleisher's. There was simply no opportunity to try on a NY Steinway where I grew up.



I was definitely going to mention recordings, Horowitz in particular. But as I seem to recall his D was a bit of an outlier in terms of tone and the way it was voiced. Whenever I mention NY vs Hamburg I usually use Rachmaninoff and Gershwin as musicians whose style was honed (at least in large part) on the NY Steinway sound.


2012 NY Steinway Model B | Kawai MP11 | Nord Stage 3 Compact | Moog Sub 37 | Behringer DeepMind 12 | Sequential Circuits Prophet 6 | Korg Prologue
Re: Considering a Hamburg Steinway B
James Guo #2760368 08/22/18 07:08 PM
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Just rarely seen NY Steinways on concert stages around the world. I don’t think it’s a question of availability, because even Yamaha concert grands are seen everywhere and much more preferred than NY Steinways


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Re: Considering a Hamburg Steinway B
James Guo #2760374 08/22/18 07:51 PM
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Markarian, both gould and horowitz had their steinways modified to suit them, specifically with their actions. gould liked horowitz's personal piano, indicating they had similar preferences. from anecdotes about 'golden age' grands (and our 1919 mason & hamlin with original action confirms the anecdotes), many had lighter and more responsive actions than what became more customary post ww-2. horowitz' 'straight/flattened finger' technique, generally not recommended for average practitioners, might be explained in terms of the lighter actions he favoured.

Re: Considering a Hamburg Steinway B
huaidongxi #2760394 08/22/18 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by huaidongxi
Markarian, both gould and horowitz had their steinways modified to suit them, specifically with their actions. gould liked horowitz's personal piano, indicating they had similar preferences. from anecdotes about 'golden age' grands (and our 1919 mason & hamlin with original action confirms the anecdotes), many had lighter and more responsive actions than what became more customary post ww-2. horowitz' 'straight/flattened finger' technique, generally not recommended for average practitioners, might be explained in terms of the lighter actions he favoured.


I have heard his action was feather light, I think my tech was telling me about it and had a chance to look at that piano at one point many years ago


2012 NY Steinway Model B | Kawai MP11 | Nord Stage 3 Compact | Moog Sub 37 | Behringer DeepMind 12 | Sequential Circuits Prophet 6 | Korg Prologue
Re: Considering a Hamburg Steinway B
huaidongxi #2760401 08/22/18 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by huaidongxi
Markarian, both gould and horowitz had their steinways modified to suit them, specifically with their actions. gould liked horowitz's personal piano, indicating they had similar preferences. from anecdotes about 'golden age' grands (and our 1919 mason & hamlin with original action confirms the anecdotes), many had lighter and more responsive actions than what became more customary post ww-2. horowitz' 'straight/flattened finger' technique, generally not recommended for average practitioners, might be explained in terms of the lighter actions he favoured.


@huaidongxi,

Yes, you are right -- as only Horowitz could play like this ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0N04Y_9bee4

Note the sigh of relief as he walks off stage!

Re: Considering a Hamburg Steinway B
James Guo #2760625 08/23/18 10:59 PM
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Gould wanted a Steinway that had the sensitivities of a Chickering action. He grew up with a Model 116 Chickering and wore it completely out. When in good order that era Chickering played very fast with superb soft control. Better than Steinway because there was no rubbing friction at the repetition or jack spring like Steinway has. Plus the Chickering was rather low on inertia.

Franz Mohr remarked to me that Horowitz was very reluctant to let him install new hammers when they had become worn. I replied that was because when the hammers got lighter, the inertia became less and this improved control and repetition. Mohr ignored my remark.


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.
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Re: Considering a Hamburg Steinway B
huaidongxi #2760668 08/24/18 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by huaidongxi
Markarian, both gould and horowitz had their steinways modified to suit them, specifically with their actions. gould liked horowitz's personal piano, indicating they had similar preferences. from anecdotes about 'golden age' grands (and our 1919 mason & hamlin with original action confirms the anecdotes), many had lighter and more responsive actions than what became more customary post ww-2. horowitz' 'straight/flattened finger' technique, generally not recommended for average practitioners, might be explained in terms of the lighter actions he favoured.

1. Lighter does not necessarily mean more responsive.
2. I think Horowitz's flat fingered technique developed long before he had a choice of how light the touch of the pianos he played on would be.

Re: Considering a Hamburg Steinway B
Joseph Fleetwood #2760773 08/24/18 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by joe80
Originally Posted by Lakeviewsteve
Originally Posted by trandinhnamanh
I wonder if Bösendorfer has an american manufacture, their american 214VC model may have a more singing tone than the clinical tone of an austrian one ha

BTW, Steinway keep saying that 97% of concert pianists choose Steinway. If it's true, I wonder how many % of those Steinways are NY made...


Bösendorfer makes all their pianos at their Wiener Neustadt, Austria factory.

Steve


It was a joke, a good humoured joke from a Hamburg Steinway owner regarding what I had said about some Hamburg Steinway B's I have come across....



Thanks for letting me in on the "joke."


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Re: Considering a Hamburg Steinway B
James Guo #2760969 08/25/18 06:11 PM
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For me, to take a car analogy, the question of either a used 2014 New York B @ 56 bucks vs. a flame new Hamburg B @ 100 bucks is to compare a used Ford against a new Benz E class....

Sorry to say.

I'd go for the Ford, provided....

...that the matter of "more consistency" in the New York pianos is a matter of "having started 2013 or earlier", and not a matter of "2015 or later"... I actually am not in the mid of the picture WHEN EXACTLY they started the process to make the New York pianos "more consistently" and adapt several Hamburg processes.

So the interesting things are two.

is the new Hamburg B the "normal new one", i.e. to select it from the Rondenbarg plant selection fleet of 8 ... 10 ... 12 new Bs..., or is it a piano which is singular.

If to be chosen in Hamburg, that seems to be a fine chance and a sure bet. There in Hamburg, Rondenbarg, looking around over 10...12 new Bs, You will always find a new Hamburg B that will please you for the rest of your life.

The other interesting thing is the year 2014, related to NYC manufacturing quality.

In the end ... it leads to ONE piano and it's characteristics.

Can you chose between two fine pianos, or between one fine used one and 10...12 fine new ones...


Pls excuse any bad english.

Centennial D Sept 1877

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Re: Considering a Hamburg Steinway B
Ed McMorrow, RPT #2760978 08/25/18 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
Franz Mohr remarked to me that Horowitz was very reluctant to let him install new hammers when they had become worn. I replied that was because when the hammers got lighter, the inertia became less and this improved control and repetition. Mohr ignored my remark.


Horowitz always had his way in regards to how the action was regulated on his Steinway D. grin

Re: Considering a Hamburg Steinway B
BerndAB #2760985 08/25/18 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by BerndAB
I'd go for the Ford, provided...that the matter of "more consistency" in the New York pianos is a matter of "having started 2013 or earlier", and not a matter of "2015 or later"... I actually am not in the mid of the picture WHEN EXACTLY they started the process to make the New York pianos "more consistently" and adapt several Hamburg processes.
IMO this is only marginally important. Even if this particular piano falls into the period of greater consistency it could still be less than great. Even if this piano falls into the period of less consistency it could be very good. An experienced tech could help decide about the qualities of this particular instrument.

Re: Considering a Hamburg Steinway B
pianoloverus #2760987 08/25/18 07:35 PM
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And one that seems less than great could end up being greater with use. That happens, particularly with Steinways.


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Re: Considering a Hamburg Steinway B
BerndAB #2760993 08/25/18 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by BerndAB
For me, to take a car analogy, the question of either a used 2014 New York B @ 56 bucks vs. a flame new Hamburg B @ 100 bucks is to compare a used Ford against a new Benz E class....


Quite right!

I'd go for the used Ford too. It's a good car anyway.

And to compare a brand new NY B vs. a brand new Hamburg B is like a new Ford vs. a new Benz E. If you have $, it's not difficult to decide!


Hamburg Steinway & Sons C-227
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Re: Considering a Hamburg Steinway B
Dave Ferris #2761034 08/26/18 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Ferris
I'm finding myself being drawn to the more American tone of the older, classic Baldwins and Masons. Might just be a current stage I'm going through. I would feel differently if I were a classical player.


@Dave,

As a classical pianist have always thought the older Baldwins and Masons sounded better than Steinway! thumb

Re: Considering a Hamburg Steinway B
pianoloverus #2761070 08/26/18 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by BerndAB
I'd go for the Ford, provided...that the matter of "more consistency" in the New York pianos is a matter of "having started 2013 or earlier", and not a matter of "2015 or later"... I actually am not in the mid of the picture WHEN EXACTLY they started the process to make the New York pianos "more consistently" and adapt several Hamburg processes.
IMO this is only marginally important. Even if this particular piano falls into the period of greater consistency it could still be less than great. Even if this piano falls into the period of less consistency it could be very good. An experienced tech could help decide about the qualities of this particular instrument.

As I said, P-L-US, non-quoted part..., "In the end ... it leads to ONE piano and it's characteristics."
;-)

The question is, to compare two pianos - and potentially make a bad decision... - , or to be able to chose between 10...12.... etc.

Or would you, equipped with the golden ticket of piano lottery, go to Hamburg to select your flame new S&S B HH make, but also take your piano tech with you "for safety purpose"..., anxiously shivering to make no false decision there in the holy selection room...

;-)


Pls excuse any bad english.

Centennial D Sept 1877

Working on Berceuse op.57
Nocturnes op. 9-1,3 15-1,2,3 27-2 32-1,2
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Re: Considering a Hamburg Steinway B
BerndAB #2761233 08/27/18 12:37 AM
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[/quote]

Bernd,
Originally Posted by BerndAB
For me, to take a car analogy, the question of either a used 2014 New York B @ 56 bucks vs. a flame new Hamburg B @ 100 bucks is to compare a used Ford against a new Benz E class....

Sorry to say.

I'd go for the Ford, provided....

...that the matter of "more consistency" in the New York pianos is a matter of "having started 2013 or earlier", and not a matter of "2015 or later"... I actually am not in the mid of the picture WHEN EXACTLY they started the process to make the New York pianos "more consistently" and adapt several Hamburg processes.

So the interesting things are two.

is the new Hamburg B the "normal new one", i.e. to select it from the Rondenbarg plant selection fleet of 8 ... 10 ... 12 new Bs..., or is it a piano which is singular.

If to be chosen in Hamburg, that seems to be a fine chance and a sure bet. There in Hamburg, Rondenbarg, looking around over 10...12 new Bs, You will always find a new Hamburg B that will please you for the rest of your life.

The other interesting thing is the year 2014, related to NYC manufacturing quality.

In the end ... it leads to ONE piano and it's characteristics.

Can you chose between two fine pianos, or between one fine used one and 10...12 fine new ones...


Bernd, as I stated before the process to bring Hamburg and New York into more consistency during manufacturing started around 2009-2010. We can safely say the B he is considering is recent enough to benefit from all the new changes (new plate cast, extra layer in case...) if it's over a year newer than mine.


2012 NY Steinway Model B | Kawai MP11 | Nord Stage 3 Compact | Moog Sub 37 | Behringer DeepMind 12 | Sequential Circuits Prophet 6 | Korg Prologue
Re: Considering a Hamburg Steinway B
Markarian #2761239 08/27/18 02:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Markarian

Bernd, as I stated before the process to bring Hamburg and New York into more consistency during manufacturing started around 2009-2010. We can safely say the B he is considering is recent enough to benefit from all the new changes (new plate cast, extra layer in case...) if it's over a year newer than mine.


It will never make NY S&S becomes Hamburg

Last edited by trandinhnamanh; 08/27/18 03:00 AM.

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Re: Considering a Hamburg Steinway B
James Guo #2761311 08/27/18 11:23 AM
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Well I must point out that an extra layer of veneer in the case will have no material effect on a piano built like a Steinway. I have had enough experience rebuilding specific models of pianos with differing rim compositions used over their history to feel confident in dispelling sales nonsense like that.

Differences in castings can be profound.


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.
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Re: Considering a Hamburg Steinway B
trandinhnamanh #2761325 08/27/18 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by trandinhnamanh
Originally Posted by Markarian

Bernd, as I stated before the process to bring Hamburg and New York into more consistency during manufacturing started around 2009-2010. We can safely say the B he is considering is recent enough to benefit from all the new changes (new plate cast, extra layer in case...) if it's over a year newer than mine.


It will never make NY S&S becomes Hamburg


Nor should it ever. There's good reasons the two are different, and like so many things on this forum it comes down to personal taste, where you live, and how rich you are.


2012 NY Steinway Model B | Kawai MP11 | Nord Stage 3 Compact | Moog Sub 37 | Behringer DeepMind 12 | Sequential Circuits Prophet 6 | Korg Prologue
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