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Trip to choose my Steingraeber #2921239 12/09/19 10:43 AM
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The Hound Offline OP
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So I had my trip to Bayreuth and as mentioned earlier in the thread I'm going to post a write-up.

This was a trip-of-a-lifetime type affair, and I had been barely able to contain my excitement, despite being a jaded old 40-year-old (as of yesterday). I've worked hard to get to this point, but I know it's nonetheless a huge privilege, and I haven't lost sight of that; in fact it's made me appreciate it all the more.

I had chosen to buy a B192. If you are a serious customer buying a new piano, Steingraeber/the authorised dealer will basically fly you over there to choose one (normally there are around two "newborn" pianos of the size you are after to choose between) and put you up in a flat/apartment in Steingraeber Haus, a historic palace where the Steingraeber family live and where the local showroom is. The building is across the road from their factory. The room was only available for one night out of my 3, so I stayed in a nearby hotel for the other 2.

I was picked up from Nuremburg Airport (about an hour's drive from Bayreuth) by a young apprentice tech when I landed at about 6pm on the Monday. About an hour later we arrived and I was greeted by the company owner, Udo Steingraeber - a fascinating and delightful man who as you might expect lives and breathes pianos. He gave me a key to Steingraeber Haus, giving me access to the showroom and several selection rooms, with various pianos. Right outside the door to my studio flat there was a Steingraeber 272 - more on that in the photos. Mr Steingraeber had an imminent meeting, so after he found me a local restaurant I had dinner, then met him again later that evening to be shown round Steingraeber Haus, including the very piano in the very room that Liszt would give concerts on (I even got to play on it the following day) and then over the road to the factory to see the two pianos that were available. After a play with both, we went back over the road, as it was late and I had 2 full days to play the pianos and choose. I wanted to fit in some sightseeing, but in the end my terrible indecisiveness, coupled with the importance of the decision, meant I did not do this in the end.

The following day I was given a tour of the factory by Mr Steingraeber, who bombarded me with fascinating information about how they make their pianos, most of which I've forgotten, not being an engineer and being somewhat overwhelmed by how cool the whole thing was. Then I played pianos all day. One of the pianos was warmer, and louder; the other cooler and quieter but slightly clearer. I discussed the instruments with the master technician, Anton, who was hanging around, and we both preferred the warmer one, though I commented that it was a bit loud for the room.

Next day Mr Steingraeber took me for lunch, then I played pianos all day again. That morning, Anton had made the clear piano a bit warmer, and worked on the action also, making pianissimo as easy as it was on the other instrument. It really helped my indecisiveness and made the quieter one the clear choice, which I confirmed at the end of the day, leaving some final prep instructions for Anton, before being dropped at the airport next morning by the same young apprentice who'd collected me.

Overall they were a lovely bunch of people and, although by the end I was a bit sick of the six or so pieces I was using to evaluate the pianos, the experience was just incredible.

[Linked Image]
Front visitors entrance to Steingraeber Haus

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
The view from the door to my studio flat, and another view of the 272 concert grand. This piano was spectacular, probably the nicest I've played on, including several Steinway Model Ds. As such, I deliberately limited my time on it, so as to maximised my excitement for the smaller instrument I was buying.

[Linked Image]
Piano showroom in Steingraeber Haus

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
The piano on which Liszt gave performances, and me playing it!

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Another Steingraeber which Liszt actually purchased, along with the bill of sale. Sadly he died before getting to play it.

[Linked Image]
The factory

[Linked Image]
Piano in embryo form

[Linked Image]
Attaching what I think is the pinblock support to the frame

[Linked Image]
Bass strings have a core, around which they wind copper. Treble strings, being thinner, do not have this process.

[Linked Image]
Seasoning soundboards in a very dry, warm room.

[Linked Image]
The actions are ordered to Steingraeber's specification from Renner. When they arrive they are taken apart and quality-tested, before being reassambled, attached and tested further.

[Linked Image]
The keyframe and keybed have narrow points of contact to reduce sound/vibration loss. Here those points of contact are being tested.

[img]https://i.imgur.com/2GQzjH9l.jpg[/img]
The two 192s on the left and middle are the ones I was choosing from. The other one was much less far along in construction, although I could have chosen it I supposed if I'd really wanted. The legs and proper lids were yet to be attached on any of them.

[img]https://i.imgur.com/6plgJnll.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i.imgur.com/jOBSIc2l.jpg[/img]
My new piano!

[img]https://i.imgur.com/2cJg6dfl.jpg[/img]
Udo Steingraeber playing my new instrument.


I received an email from Anton yesterday confirming he'd prepped the piano according to my final instructions and expressing his hope that I enjoy it. Visiting the factory, having time with Mr Steingraeber, and with a master tech like Anton to set up the piano according to my liking, was a spectacular experience and one I won't ever forget. Now the short but agonising wait until the 16th when I take delivery.


Working on:
Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ("Pastoral") First two movements; Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53 ("Waldstein") First movement
Schumann/Liszt - Widmung
-------------
Steingraeber B-192
Kawai CA97
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Re: Trip to choose my Steingraeber [Re: The Hound] #2921241 12/09/19 10:48 AM
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Very very cool. Links not working for me, though.

Re: Trip to choose my Steingraeber [Re: The Hound] #2921244 12/09/19 10:58 AM
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Great pictures! Interesting thread! Congratulations! smile

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Trip to choose my Steingraeber [Re: tend to rush] #2921247 12/09/19 11:10 AM
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Beemer Offline
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Originally Posted by tend to rush
Very very cool. Links not working for me, though.

Me neither. I think we have to be a subscriber to Imgar before images can be seen.
Ian


I'm all keyed up
2016 Blüthner Model A
Re: Trip to choose my Steingraeber [Re: The Hound] #2921251 12/09/19 11:14 AM
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The Hound Offline OP
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What's weird is some of them are displaying on the page but the last 4 are links only. I copy pasted this post from another site, where it worked perfectly, all images displayed on the page.

May I ask, for those who are having issues, is it all the links or just the last 4?

You shouldn't have to be subscribed to Imgur - I'm not even subscribed myself!


Working on:
Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ("Pastoral") First two movements; Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53 ("Waldstein") First movement
Schumann/Liszt - Widmung
-------------
Steingraeber B-192
Kawai CA97
Re: Trip to choose my Steingraeber [Re: Beemer] #2921253 12/09/19 11:15 AM
Joined: Feb 2019
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LarryK Offline
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Originally Posted by Beemer
Originally Posted by tend to rush
Very very cool. Links not working for me, though.

Me neither. I think we have to be a subscriber to Imgar before images can be seen.
Ian


I think the poster has to be sure to Copy Post Link from Imgur and the images will show up inline. I don’t think other people have to subscribe to Imgur.


Yamaha U1 Silent Piano
Re: Trip to choose my Steingraeber [Re: The Hound] #2921254 12/09/19 11:15 AM
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Good for you, how nice to pick up a piano that way.


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

Casio GP-400
Schimmel SP-182T
Re: Trip to choose my Steingraeber [Re: LarryK] #2921255 12/09/19 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by LarryK
Originally Posted by Beemer
Originally Posted by tend to rush
Very very cool. Links not working for me, though.

Me neither. I think we have to be a subscriber to Imgar before images can be seen.
Ian


I think the poster has to be sure to Copy Post Link from Imgur and the images will show up inline. I don’t think other people have to subscribe to Imgur.


The code should be correct, and indeed on my screen the pictures show up within the posts, except for the last 4. On the other forum I posted this it all showed up within the post.

Indeed I also used Imgur to post some pics of my museum trip, which all worked on here. Maybe there are too many (this board seems to use pretty dated software) for the forum's liking.


Working on:
Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ("Pastoral") First two movements; Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53 ("Waldstein") First movement
Schumann/Liszt - Widmung
-------------
Steingraeber B-192
Kawai CA97
Re: Trip to choose my Steingraeber [Re: The Hound] #2921269 12/09/19 12:16 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
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LarryK Offline
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Originally Posted by The Hound
Originally Posted by LarryK
Originally Posted by Beemer
Originally Posted by tend to rush
Very very cool. Links not working for me, though.

Me neither. I think we have to be a subscriber to Imgar before images can be seen.
Ian


I think the poster has to be sure to Copy Post Link from Imgur and the images will show up inline. I don’t think other people have to subscribe to Imgur.


The code should be correct, and indeed on my screen the pictures show up within the posts, except for the last 4. On the other forum I posted this it all showed up within the post.

Indeed I also used Imgur to post some pics of my museum trip, which all worked on here. Maybe there are too many (this board seems to use pretty dated software) for the forum's liking.


Try posting the missing pictures in another post.


Yamaha U1 Silent Piano
Re: Trip to choose my Steingraeber [Re: The Hound] #2921281 12/09/19 12:54 PM
Joined: Oct 2011
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The Hound Offline OP
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First post continued:


[Linked Image]
The two 192s on the left and middle are the ones I was choosing from. The other one was much less far along in construction, although I could have chosen it I supposed if I'd really wanted. The legs and proper lids were yet to be attached on any of them.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
My new piano!

[Linked Image]
Udo Steingraeber playing my new instrument.


I received an email from Anton yesterday confirming he'd prepped the piano according to my final instructions and expressing his hope that I enjoy it. Visiting the factory, having time with Mr Steingraeber, and with a master tech like Anton to set up the piano according to my liking, was a spectacular experience and one I won't ever forget. Now the short but agonising wait until the 16th when I take delivery.

Last edited by The Hound; 12/09/19 12:55 PM.

Working on:
Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ("Pastoral") First two movements; Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53 ("Waldstein") First movement
Schumann/Liszt - Widmung
-------------
Steingraeber B-192
Kawai CA97
Re: Trip to choose my Steingraeber [Re: The Hound] #2921289 12/09/19 01:08 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
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Wonderful! Congratulations! I love seeing the photos, and what a special experience indeed! I love the look on your face where you point to the one you chose! smile

Re the photos, I thought there was a limit on the number of photos allowed in one post? In the original post, I can see all photos except the last four, and then I can see those by clicking on the links.


In any case, thank you for sharing these photos with us! Be sure to post again when it's delivered!


Started piano June 1999.
Proud owner of a Yamaha C2

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Re: Trip to choose my Steingraeber [Re: The Hound] #2921304 12/09/19 01:35 PM
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I am so excited for you, I wouldn't mind picking one out!


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

Casio GP-400
Schimmel SP-182T
Re: Trip to choose my Steingraeber [Re: The Hound] #2921308 12/09/19 01:47 PM
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How much does this cost? Steingraeber pianos sound amazing, congrats!

Re: Trip to choose my Steingraeber [Re: navindra] #2921314 12/09/19 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by navindra
How much does this cost? Steingraeber pianos sound amazing, congrats!


I don’t think you want to know. It’s only money. Now, a piano like that, that’s really something!


Yamaha U1 Silent Piano
Re: Trip to choose my Steingraeber [Re: The Hound] #2921350 12/09/19 03:54 PM
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What an experience. What a piano.

Congratulations!

Re: Trip to choose my Steingraeber [Re: The Hound] #2921372 12/09/19 05:15 PM
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What a wonderful experience! Thank you so much for sharing the pictures and your story of buying this wonderful piano!

Last edited by Lady Bird; 12/09/19 05:17 PM. Reason: Missing word
Re: Trip to choose my Steingraeber [Re: Lady Bird] #2921375 12/09/19 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Lady Bird
What a wonderful experience! Thank you so much for sharing the pictures and your story of buying this wonderful piano!

Exactly!!! You are now probably the most envied person on PianoWorld. You’ve done the very thing on every piano lover’s bucket list! Congratulations!!!! What a beautiful instrument!


J & J
Estonia L190 Hidden Beauty
Casio Privia PX-330
Pianos - the reason God made trees!
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Re: Trip to choose my Steingraeber [Re: The Hound] #2921380 12/09/19 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by The Hound
First post continued:


[Linked Image]
The two 192s on the left and middle are the ones I was choosing from. The other one was much less far along in construction, although I could have chosen it I supposed if I'd really wanted. The legs and proper lids were yet to be attached on any of them.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
My new piano!

[Linked Image]
Udo Steingraeber playing my new instrument.


I received an email from Anton yesterday confirming he'd prepped the piano according to my final instructions and expressing his hope that I enjoy it. Visiting the factory, having time with Mr Steingraeber, and with a master tech like Anton to set up the piano according to my liking, was a spectacular experience and one I won't ever forget. Now the short but agonising wait until the 16th when I take delivery.

Hey congratulations! I suppose you did end up choosing the piano with the brighter/clearer tone?

A little OT, I'm about to start working on the Schumann/Liszt Widmung. Which publisher did you go with if I may ask?


Working on:

Bach/Busoni Chaconne in D minor BWV 1004
Chopin: G Minor Ballade
Schumann/Liszt Widmung

Shigeru Kawai SK2
Kawai VPC-1
Re: Trip to choose my Steingraeber [Re: Jethro] #2921410 12/09/19 07:11 PM
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Thank you all for your warm-hearted comments. I realise how lucky I am - indeed I've been on cloud 9 since deciding on the 192 and beginning this process, and I'm a jaded, hard man to please these days, with a touch of anhedonia on the side! But aside from my children (and wife and dog), not much could give me the unbridled joy this will.

Originally Posted by Jethro

Hey congratulations! I suppose you did end up choosing the piano with the brighter/clearer tone?

A little OT, I'm about to start working on the Schumann/Liszt Widmung. Which publisher did you go with if I may ask?


Yes, although the tech warmed it up a touch between days, giving it a lovely best-of-both blend.

For Widmung, as almost everything really, I use the Henle Verlag edition. Can't go wrong. Avoid the Schirmer one. Good luck with it - it's such a wonderful piece to play!

Last edited by The Hound; 12/09/19 07:13 PM.

Working on:
Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ("Pastoral") First two movements; Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53 ("Waldstein") First movement
Schumann/Liszt - Widmung
-------------
Steingraeber B-192
Kawai CA97
Re: Trip to choose my Steingraeber [Re: j&j] #2921423 12/09/19 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by j&j
You are now probably the most envied person on PianoWorld. You’ve done the very thing on every piano lover’s bucket list! Congratulations!!!! What a beautiful instrument!
There are many pianos I and many others would rank in the same class as Steingraeber and even more that are very close.

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