2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.9 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Petrof Pianos
Petrof Pianos
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Karsten Collection
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Who's Online Now
65 members (Beemer, AmagicalFishy, albydooby, 36251, Alex Hutor, anotherscott, Beowulf, 14 invisible), 517 guests, and 377 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
I was about to give up on New York Steinway when....
#2883334 08/25/19 02:08 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,483
J
3000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
3000 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,483
So far every NY Steinway I've played here has been awful. Discounting the ones in the practice rooms which are completely shot to shreds, (later I found out they'd had their actions replaced by a trainee technician who didn't know what they were doing....) even the new ones were under-prepared leaving them feeling flimsy and unreliable.

BUT THEN....

The sound engineer here let me play a newer model B in the recital hall. Its serial number is 590XXX so that I think makes it about 8 years old. It is kept in excellent stable relative humidity and it is beautifully regulated and voiced. It's far more even sounding than any Hamburg B I've played, it has a full bodied sound throughout the register, and the action is like silk. I have noticed actually on all of them, that with the accelerated action it's much easier to play fast although the point of sound tends to happen deeper in the key travel. Slightly different technique of playing but I'm adapting.

I may do some recording on this piano in the not-so-distant future. Frankly I loved it. The only thing that will take some getting used to is the fact that the sound swell is much more than I'm used to. European pianos don't go in for that kind of sound. That's merely a matter of taste and not a comment on the quality of the piano.

All the model Ds here are now cracking on a bit, with the youngest one being from 1987 which is a shame. They're OK but they sound a bit dead from the fifth octave up. That's not a NY vs Hamburg thing that's a 32 years in a music school thing.

Anyway whoever prepared that little B in the recital hall, well done. I'm looking forward to visiting Sally Phillips some time to hear some even better prepared examples of NY Steinways. You guys may just convert me yet......

I haven't yet seen a Mason and Hamlin, a Baldwin of any description, or a Charles Walter, and there are no European pianos in the school from any maker.

(ad int) Petrof Pianos
Petrof Pianos
Re: I was about to give up on New York Steinway when....
Joseph Fleetwood #2883338 08/25/19 02:17 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 5,304
5000 Post Club Member
Offline
5000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 5,304
Remind me which school you're at? When I was in grad school (though not for music), the practice room pianos were so, so, so horrible.... They were so bad, it would have been funny if it wasn't so heartbreaking!


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Re: I was about to give up on New York Steinway when....
Joseph Fleetwood #2883400 08/25/19 05:23 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 5,199

Platinum Supporter until Feb 18  2015
5000 Post Club Member
Online Content

Platinum Supporter until Feb 18  2015
5000 Post Club Member
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 5,199
Glad to hear you found a good one! Sadly, practice pianos at institutions can be both neglected and over worked. At the institution where I teach (not music), there's a staff person hired to maintain most pianos, while those reserved for performances are maintained by a local working professional (i.e. they bring someone in for those). The staff job is apparently a revolving door "training" position for people who will move on once they've built up some experience (I've met two of them over the years).



Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see
~Mark Twain
Re: I was about to give up on New York Steinway when....
Joseph Fleetwood #2883403 08/25/19 05:26 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 6,250
Silver Subscriber
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
Silver Subscriber
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 6,250
Hi Joe
Great news! I hope when you make a recording you will post it here so we can drool


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It's ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: I was about to give up on New York Steinway when....
Joseph Fleetwood #2883419 08/25/19 05:57 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 4,101
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 4,101
A good NY piano is a thing of beauty. I've never met Sally Philips, but I've heard recordings of some pianos she's worked on, and I think you're in for a treat.

Re: I was about to give up on New York Steinway when....
Joseph Fleetwood #2883425 08/25/19 06:19 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,612
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,612
As have often said, each piano needs to be assessed on strictly individual basis, often regardless of “make” The more famous the brand, the more opportunity there often is for ‘disappointment’. It’s something we dealers have heard & experienced countless times! The opposite is also true. Glad you found a good specimen! Congrats & enjoy!!
Norbert👍

Last edited by Norbert; 08/25/19 06:24 PM.

www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
Re: I was about to give up on New York Steinway when....
Joseph Fleetwood #2883541 08/26/19 07:05 AM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 225
N
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
N
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 225
In my experience both as a technician and pianist the output of the NY factory has been improving steadily over my four decade career. I believe that they have always produced good and bad examples of all models, but that the ratio of good pianos to bad maybe at or near an all-time high. The factory continues to tighten up on tolerances and make small tweaks in materials and processes. Just as importantly, the quality of finish and prep work is much better than in years past. Of course, the larger models get the most attention and are likely to shine more as a result,

Now, keeping a piano at that level of performance can be challenging under the wrong environmental conditions, regardless of playing hours. Add in high usage and a limited maintenance budget and the finest instruments will of course degrade rapidly.


Mark Dierauf, RPT
NH Pianos
Piano technician & rebuilder since 1978
www.nhpianos.com
Re: I was about to give up on New York Steinway when....
Joseph Fleetwood #2883619 08/26/19 11:15 AM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 3,049
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 3,049
Recital Hall in UA's Moody Music Building? I remember that it had wonderful acoustics when I played there in a couple of regional competitions during my student days. That helps any piano's sound, of course.

It looks like a 1980s shopping mall with high school gym lighting, though. 😆

https://music.ua.edu/about/facilities/

(And I don't remember the big hall having movable acoustic reflectors over the stage.)


WhoDwaldi
Howard (by Kawai) 5' 10"
Re: I was about to give up on New York Steinway when....
Joseph Fleetwood #2883864 08/27/19 12:22 AM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,483
J
3000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
3000 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,483
I mean.... these are good pictures right, the halls don't really look like that in the flesh...

The acoustics are OK, I heard a couple of students playing on the piano today. The air-conditioning was set very cold unfortunately, and I think the students playing were struggling with that a bit. The piano is good though, it sounds very nice in the hall. I'm kind of getting to grips with the whole NY Steinway thing, it's a different flavour and style of playing, thicker sound really, although to be honest that newer Steinway B in the hall didn't sound so far off a Hamburg.

Re: I was about to give up on New York Steinway when....
Joseph Fleetwood #2883956 08/27/19 08:01 AM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 909
G
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 909
Originally Posted by joe80
I mean.... these are good pictures right, the halls don't really look like that in the flesh...

The acoustics are OK, I heard a couple of students playing on the piano today. The air-conditioning was set very cold unfortunately, and I think the students playing were struggling with that a bit. The piano is good though, it sounds very nice in the hall. I'm kind of getting to grips with the whole NY Steinway thing, it's a different flavour and style of playing, thicker sound really, although to be honest that newer Steinway B in the hall didn't sound so far off a Hamburg.



I've never played a Hamburg Steinway so I can't compare. But my neighbor down the street just bought a lovely, brand new 2018 NY B, and I have my 1981 B. We get together often and play them back to back to compare. They definitely sound very similar in some ways yet very different in others. I enjoy both of them.

Re: I was about to give up on New York Steinway when....
Joseph Fleetwood #2884000 08/27/19 10:20 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 27,419
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 27,419
I think the whole idea of considering giving up on NY Steinways makes little sense. They are played on in concert and owned by many of the world's greatest pianists.

I understand that the reason why Steinway has a lock on performances by most world class pianists is not because they are necessarily superior to other great pianos but because of factors like their century plus long artist program of making their pianos available and the destruction of competing German factories of other makers during WW2. But if their pianos were really only worthy of giving up on, I don't think great pianists would play on them just because they were easily available.

I have noticed that, in my experience, the most renown pianists do tend to perform on Hamburg Steinways quite a bit more the NY Steinways. But there are still a lot of top pianists that play on the models from NY.

Re: I was about to give up on New York Steinway when....
nhpianos #2884050 08/27/19 12:21 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 3,048
P
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 3,048
Originally Posted by nhpianos
In my experience both as a technician and pianist the output of the NY factory has been improving steadily over my four decade career. I believe that they have always produced good and bad examples of all models, but that the ratio of good pianos to bad maybe at or near an all-time high. The factory continues to tighten up on tolerances and make small tweaks in materials and processes. Just as importantly, the quality of finish and prep work is much better than in years past. Of course, the larger models get the most attention and are likely to shine more as a result,

Now, keeping a piano at that level of performance can be challenging under the wrong environmental conditions, regardless of playing hours. Add in high usage and a limited maintenance budget and the finest instruments will of course degrade rapidly.


👍👍

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: I was about to give up on New York Steinway when....
Joseph Fleetwood #2884132 08/27/19 03:17 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 3,049
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 3,049
Originally Posted by joe80
I mean.... these are good pictures right, the halls don't really look like that in the flesh...

The acoustics are OK, I heard a couple of students playing on the piano today. The air-conditioning was set very cold unfortunately, and I think the students playing were struggling with that a bit. The piano is good though, it sounds very nice in the hall. I'm kind of getting to grips with the whole NY Steinway thing, it's a different flavour and style of playing, thicker sound really, although to be honest that newer Steinway B in the hall didn't sound so far off a Hamburg.


Granted it was a long time ago, but the recital hall struck me for having really fine on-stage acoustics for the player to gage what the listeners were hearing. (Small halls should sound good; but, remarkably, it's possible for an architect to really mess up a small hall.) The piano they had back then was a B condemned for sounding too "tubby" (which wasn't my impression at all, go figure 😁).

The big hall was acoustically best in the state until UAB built the Stephens Center in B'ham. The plexiglass is troubling (it takes at least 10 years for people to recognize all of the acoustical worms that come out of the woodwork).

Emanuel Ax did a video comparing Hamburg and New York Steinways, sided by side, some time ago (I wish that I could still find that on YouTube). The difference in the tenor area was striking, as well as the "brassiness" of the bass. I remember something about Brendel specifically preferring the New York ones when playing in Avery Fisher Hall (since that's a big, dead hall).



It is said that all these differences are slowly being "homogenized" between the Hamburg and New York products.



WhoDwaldi
Howard (by Kawai) 5' 10"
Re: I was about to give up on New York Steinway when....
Joseph Fleetwood #2884170 08/27/19 04:53 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 3,049
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 3,049
Speaking of Baldwin, the particular one in this vid used to find it's way around all over the place for Baldwin artists. This was specially filmed in UA's big hall before the ASO (based in B'ham) debuted at the Kennedy Center.

That was Baldwin's heyday--capable of big, thunderous sound and delicacy. That piano might just be around somewhere in North Alabama (rebuilt).



WhoDwaldi
Howard (by Kawai) 5' 10"
Re: I was about to give up on New York Steinway when....
WhoDwaldi #2884346 08/28/19 07:36 AM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 3,487
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 3,487
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Speaking of Baldwin, the particular one in this vid used to find it's way around all over the place for Baldwin artists. This was specially filmed in UA's big hall before the ASO (based in B'ham) debuted at the Kennedy Center.

That was Baldwin's heyday--capable of big, thunderous sound and delicacy. That piano might just be around somewhere in North Alabama (rebuilt).






What a sweet sounding piano.



[Linked Image]
Re: I was about to give up on New York Steinway when....
Joseph Fleetwood #2884365 08/28/19 08:14 AM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 909
G
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
G
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 909
That is a gorgeous sounding SD-10. My favorite concert grand is still an SD-10 from that era. Ones from that period are exceptional in my opinion.

Re: I was about to give up on New York Steinway when....
Joseph Fleetwood #2884630 08/28/19 09:43 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 95
A
Silver Supporter until Feb 1 2020
Full Member
Offline
Silver Supporter until Feb 1 2020
Full Member
A
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 95
We spent an afternoon with Dave and Iola Brubeck in their home in Connecticut in the summer of 1987. He had an SD-10 which my wife got to play. It's been a long time, but my memory of it is quite positive. Unfortunately, Dave didn't play for us. He was showing us the religious piece he was composing for the Pope's mass at Candlestick Park in San Francisco for later in the year. Quite a marvelous afternoon.

We were on our way to the Salzburg Festival in Austria (our first and only visit there). There were quite a few medium sized venues and the Bosendorfer 225 was featured in several of them, as I recall, in chamber groups playing there. The solo performances had the concert grands. We saw Pollini playing Debussy Etudes and I think he was playing a Hamburg Steinway Model D.

Last edited by astrotoy; 08/28/19 09:48 PM.

Boesendorfer 225 (1985)
Yamaha S400E (predecessor to CF4) Disklavier (1992)

Moderated by  Ken Knapp, Piano World 

Link Copied to Clipboard
Hand Sanitizer for Musicians
Hand Sanitizer for Musicians
Musician's Hand Sanitizer available in our online store (and our Maple Street Music shop in Cornish Maine). Antibacterial, 62% ethyl alcohol. Hand Sanitizer for Musicians
Tons more music related products in our online store!
What's Hot!!
News from the Piano World
Where Did The Buttons Go?!
----------------------
Our April 2020 Newsletter Available Online Now...
The Piano World During the Pandemic!
----------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Squeaky hammer rollers
by Dr Adam - 07/04/20 08:28 AM
Pianoteq question
by Bachus - 07/04/20 07:44 AM
Speakers and Headphones at the same time
by petebfrance - 07/04/20 07:24 AM
Praise for Bastien Intermediate Course
by IntermedPianist - 07/04/20 06:05 AM
Some problems in articulation.
by Classical Lover - 07/04/20 05:41 AM
Forum Statistics
Forums41
Topics200,015
Posts2,976,653
Members97,646
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers


Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2020 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4