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Re: Piano Sound Qualities by Manufacturer
cmb13 #2809158 01/31/19 08:09 PM
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Are we only talking of grand pianos ?It would be nice to know .

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Re: Piano Sound Qualities by Manufacturer
cmb13 #2809169 01/31/19 08:42 PM
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About Steinway prep:

What I had heard - and I have absolutely no idea about the degree or lack of truth to the statement - was that Steinway dealers didn't do extensive prep to their showroom pianos, because the degree and direction of prep (including voicing) depended upon the taste of the purchaser. The corollory to that being that the Steinway name was enough to get the serious purchaser in the door and that s/he, the purchaser, would have the piano prepped to the desired result.

I repeat - I have no idea whether this is true or whether I am just perpetrating an urban legend. However, the myth/fact remains that Steinway is not noted among those I've spoken to for extensive prep to their showroom pianos.

Regards,


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Re: Piano Sound Qualities by Manufacturer
BruceD #2809171 01/31/19 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
About Steinway prep:

What I had heard - and I have absolutely no idea about the degree or lack of truth to the statement - was that Steinway dealers didn't do extensive prep to their showroom pianos, because the degree and direction of prep (including voicing) depended upon the taste of the purchaser. The corollory to that being that the Steinway name was enough to get the serious purchaser in the door and that s/he, the purchaser, would have the piano prepped to the desired result.

I repeat - I have no idea whether this is true or whether I am just perpetrating an urban legend. However, the myth/fact remains that Steinway is not noted among those I've spoken to for extensive prep to their showroom pianos.
They didn't or don't do a lot of prep because many of their customers can't tell if the piano is well prepped or not. That is one advantage of their highly successful advertising and reputation. Since a Steinway dealer is going to have many examples of each model, the dealer could prep one bright and another one mellower etc. but each example to a high level if they wanted to.

Even in the flagship Steinway Hall store in NYC one had to go to special location on the second floor many people did not even know about if one wanted to play B's that were reasonably well prepped. It's possible things have changed in the past few years but I wouldn't be surprised if that's not the case.

Re: Piano Sound Qualities by Manufacturer
BruceD #2809172 01/31/19 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
About Steinway prep:

What I had heard - and I have absolutely no idea about the degree or lack of truth to the statement - was that Steinway dealers didn't do extensive prep to their showroom pianos, because the degree and direction of prep (including voicing) depended upon the taste of the purchaser. The corollory to that being that the Steinway name was enough to get the serious purchaser in the door and that s/he, the purchaser, would have the piano prepped to the desired result.

I repeat - I have no idea whether this is true or whether I am just perpetrating an urban legend. However, the myth/fact remains that Steinway is not noted among those I've spoken to for extensive prep to their showroom pianos.
They didn't or don't do a lot of prep because many of their customers can't tell if the piano is well prepped or not. That is one advantage of their highly successful advertising and reputation. Since a Steinway dealer is going to have many examples of each model, the dealer could prep one bright and another one mellower etc. but each example to a high level if they wanted to.

Even in the flagship Steinway Hall store in NYC one had to go to special location on the second floor many people did not even know about if one wanted to play B's that were reasonably well prepped. It's possible things have changed in the past few years but I wouldn't be surprised if that's not the case.

Re: Piano Sound Qualities by Manufacturer
cmb13 #2809205 01/31/19 10:55 PM
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Quote
They didn't or don't do a lot of prep because many of their customers can't tell if the piano is well prepped or not. That is one advantage of their highly successful advertising and reputation. Since a Steinway dealer is going to have many examples of each model, the dealer could prep one bright and another one mellower etc. but each example to a high level if they wanted to.


This is a very common subject always resulting in a wide range of opinions. In my opinion, many years ago, Steinway found a good strategy to mask the limitations of their pianos and manufacturing procedures. If we focus purely on large grand pianos, makers such as Bosendorfer, Fazioli, Shigeru Kawai, Yamaha CF have a consistent curve of developing in their designs, then prepping (even though a delicate procedure); it is not a factor in making the piano better or leaving the piano poorly performing.
There are multiple reasons (not worth mentioning) why until now Steinway pianos still called world-class instruments, by the pure merits of the piano they are NOT.
(Mellow or bright to keep things simple) ALL Steinway pianos even those so call (good-ones), regardless if there is an enormous volume range; these pianos always due to the design and prepping techniques, in between pianissimo and forte they all have one segment that is less desirable. To make my statement clear, I have listened and played Bosendorfers, Faziolis, Shigerus Kawai and Yamaha CF all with gradual changes in tonal quality from pianissimo to forte, and even though there are small differences between same models within these brands, all pianos are delightful and musical. I have never listened or played a Steinway have such a refinement. Actually, when you find a Steinway (so call a good one) it is great in certain sector of the range and very average in some segments, or to the point where the tonal quality is linear as it only changes in volume but the tone is crude and simple, which the safety zone call (even tone).

Last, I wonder... what Rubinstein, Horowitz, Ashkenazy, Argerich, Kissin, Yuja Wang how would they sound, playing truly FINE pianos.


San Mateo Piano
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Re: Piano Sound Qualities by Manufacturer
cmb13 #2809221 02/01/19 12:05 AM
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I have the answer, my Schimmel sounds really nice






Saving for a Bösendorfer.


When you play, never mind who listens to you. R.Schumann.

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Re: Piano Sound Qualities by Manufacturer
Learux #2809264 02/01/19 03:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Learux
I have the answer, my Schimmel sounds really nice






Saving for a Bösendorfer.

Your Schimmel may do better than Steinways, just tell me when or where I will be in the audience. (I hope it's loud enough against an orchestra )
Play an early Mozart or a Haydn concerto Learux .

Re: Piano Sound Qualities by Manufacturer
ThomasG #2809281 02/01/19 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by ThomasG
Kawai is know for rather warm, mellow pianos.

This is something I can't agree with. Kawai is known for very bright sound, almost as bright as of the old Yamahas. And in some countries (my country included) Kawais are usually prepared in such a way that they even exceed old Yamahas in brightness.

If we're talking about mellow pianos, I think Bluthner is a good example of beautiful mellow sounding piano.

Re: Piano Sound Qualities by Manufacturer
Iaroslav Vasiliev #2809308 02/01/19 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by ThomasG
Kawai is know for rather warm, mellow pianos.

This is something I can't agree with. Kawai is known for very bright sound, almost as bright as of the old Yamahas. And in some countries (my country included) Kawais are usually prepared in such a way that they even exceed old Yamahas in brightness.

If we're talking about mellow pianos, I think Bluthner is a good example of beautiful mellow sounding piano.

I agree, Iaroslav! This is a popular myth that is constantly recycled, "Yamahas are bright, Kawais are warm". I think it's complete rubbish and it only gets stated so often because people are recycling the same opinion without really checking it out for themselves. I think it has ultimately been harmful because it affects the people who are already doubtful about their own judgement. A lot of people are sensitive to the opinions of others - and they might end up making a choice that not only goes against their own judgement, but doesn't even represent the truth. I've played a lot of Kawais that were brighter than a lot of Yamahas. The individual instrument is what counts because the variation is too great to assign such broad attributes to either brand.

Re: Piano Sound Qualities by Manufacturer
cmb13 #2809315 02/01/19 08:01 AM
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The most interesting manifestation of these type of ideas is the one that NY and Hamburg Steinways are different enough that each has specific applications and aderents. Thus, every serious concert hall MUST have two Steinway Ds - one American and one European. Marketing genius! But mostly marketing, I imagine, as opposed to reality.

Re: Piano Sound Qualities by Manufacturer
cmb13 #2809318 02/01/19 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by cmb13
Originally Posted by outo
What I love about the Bösendorfers I have played/heard play is the smooth roundness and fullness of tone without the extravagance and harsness or at the other end muddiness I often hear in some other well known brands. Yet the sound can be very colourful.

What I love about my Bluthner is that the sound is soft and clear at the same time. Especially the middle register sings really well. When not in condition the upper registers can be too piercing, but with proper tuning and voicing it's possible to bring out the voices clearly without anything getting harsh.


That Blüthner must be awesome!

Well mine is to me smile

My room longest diagonal is 26feet so my 49" high Model A has good bass volume and tone. I tune it myself using Easy Piano Tuner. It's now three years old this month and it could do with more voicing to take it back to how I liked it when it was new. I've only had to voice it across the break but in the Spring I will do some light needling on the treble

Ian


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2016 Blüthner Model A
Re: Piano Sound Qualities by Manufacturer
cmb13 #2809322 02/01/19 08:21 AM
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This thread shows just how diverse pianos and owners are. Each persons "taste" (preference) is really different. Keeps life interesting.



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Re: Piano Sound Qualities by Manufacturer
cmb13 #2811006 02/05/19 01:21 PM
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I am quite late to this thread. I often found discussions on PianoWorld very information, with the exception that when the topics were specific about the piano tone. It is not because posters were not genuine about their opinions; it is because such descriptions are inherently subjective and essentially impossible for another person to feel exactly the same.

There were makers that others vouched to be "dark" while I found to be quite bright, "full" ones that I found to be thin, etc.

It gets even harder to translate the feeling as the player, combining both touch and tone.


1969 Hamburg Steinway B, rebuilt by PianoCraft in 2017
2013 New York Steinway A
Kawai MP11

Previously: 2005 Yamaha GB1, 1992 Yamaha C5
Re: Piano Sound Qualities by Manufacturer
Kurtmen #2811018 02/05/19 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Kurtmen

This is a very common subject always resulting in a wide range of opinions. In my opinion, many years ago, Steinway found a good strategy to mask the limitations of their pianos and manufacturing procedures. If we focus purely on large grand pianos, makers such as Bosendorfer, Fazioli, Shigeru Kawai, Yamaha CF have a consistent curve of developing in their designs, then prepping (even though a delicate procedure); it is not a factor in making the piano better or leaving the piano poorly performing.
There are multiple reasons (not worth mentioning) why until now Steinway pianos still called world-class instruments, by the pure merits of the piano they are NOT.
(Mellow or bright to keep things simple) ALL Steinway pianos even those so call (good-ones), regardless if there is an enormous volume range; these pianos always due to the design and prepping techniques, in between pianissimo and forte they all have one segment that is less desirable. To make my statement clear, I have listened and played Bosendorfers, Faziolis, Shigerus Kawai and Yamaha CF all with gradual changes in tonal quality from pianissimo to forte, and even though there are small differences between same models within these brands, all pianos are delightful and musical. I have never listened or played a Steinway have such a refinement. Actually, when you find a Steinway (so call a good one) it is great in certain sector of the range and very average in some segments, or to the point where the tonal quality is linear as it only changes in volume but the tone is crude and simple, which the safety zone call (even tone).

Last, I wonder... what Rubinstein, Horowitz, Ashkenazy, Argerich, Kissin, Yuja Wang how would they sound, playing truly FINE pianos.



I am quite curious about your sweeping statement; to me it reads like a Steinway-attacking propaganda. The shortcomings you mentioned can pretty much apply to all brands; there are no laws of physics that would make one brand stand out, good or bad, among others in this particular way. It all comes down more to the pianists than those instruments.

Not very long ago I posted on PW about my experience in NYC that within the same day, I visited Steinway Hall and Faust Harrison and played a Hamburg Steinway Model C and a Fazioli F228, respectively. I, an average amateur, considered that Steinway C superior to that F228. The mid/high tenor of that F228 in the range of mp to mf had something in its tone that was too noticeable to me, and not because of tuning. Should I draw a sweeping conclusion about Fazioli?

BTW I have great respect for the brands you represent. My wife's childhood Kawai grand still plays like a charm, and I was enamored by Shigeru Kawai in a showroom at Bay Area before your company carries it; too bad I couldn't afford it back then and I don't have easy access to it now. And I came quite close to buying a Steingraeber 192 although my current ownership may suggest that I am a Steinway fanboy.

Last, excluding Rubinstein and Horowitz since they are no longer here, and Wang since she is still the younger generation. At least Ashkenazy and Argerich had played on other brands (Fazioli, Steingraeber to my knowledge), and add Brendel who is never shy about playing on other instruments. With their stature they could "afford" not being in the Steinway roster. Why do you think they stay mostly in the Steinway camp?

Last edited by Davdoc; 02/05/19 01:49 PM.

1969 Hamburg Steinway B, rebuilt by PianoCraft in 2017
2013 New York Steinway A
Kawai MP11

Previously: 2005 Yamaha GB1, 1992 Yamaha C5
Re: Piano Sound Qualities by Manufacturer
cmb13 #2811118 02/05/19 07:25 PM
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I have never played a Bösendorfer grand .Yet I HAVE played a Bösendorfer grand ! It happened in a music store .The piano was
a used ,perhaps even rebuilt and was a beautiful to look at .It had a
rosewood type of finish .
When I tried it playing a Debussy piece I stopped .The tone had no clarity .I tried more pieces ,then tried the Kawai (not Shigeru )SO much better ! The notes may have sang more in the Bosendorfer ,well perhaps .But no clarity .I realise that there was was something wrong with that piano !


Last edited by Lady Bird; 02/05/19 07:27 PM. Reason: Extra word
Re: Piano Sound Qualities by Manufacturer
cmb13 #2811119 02/05/19 07:35 PM
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We all need blind tests, listening to different piano's. I think most (if not all of us) will be very surprised what we actually like.


When you play, never mind who listens to you. R.Schumann.

Casio GP-400
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Re: Piano Sound Qualities by Manufacturer
cmb13 #2811133 02/05/19 08:10 PM
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Lady Bird, as you suspect, something was wildly amiss if the complaint on a Bösendorfer is lack of clarity.

Re: Piano Sound Qualities by Manufacturer
cmb13 #2811136 02/05/19 08:12 PM
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Bosendorfers tend toward the heavy end of things, better suited toward large, powerful musicians. The sound, equally, is strong but lacks the nuance of a typical Steinway.

Re: Piano Sound Qualities by Manufacturer
Learux #2811145 02/05/19 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Learux
We all need blind tests, listening to different piano's. I think most (if not all of us) will be very surprised what we actually like.


Very true, Learux! I have typically been a Baldwin and Yamaha guy throughout my life. So I surprised myself when I was taken by my Steinway Model B over the Yamaha C7 and Baldwin L in the same showroom.

Re: Piano Sound Qualities by Manufacturer
dhull100 #2811151 02/05/19 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by dhull100
Lady Bird, as you suspect, something was wildly amiss if the complaint on a Bösendorfer is lack of clarity.

I agree .,because so many love this piano. If however the piano was not as iconic as Bosendorfer , I probably would have just said I cannot stand the Bosendorfer tone and lack of clarity! So I cannot wait to try another Bosendorfer.

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