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Re: Steinway K-52 upright
Sweelinck #2983698 05/25/20 12:52 PM
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Well I suppose the K-52 is a nice upright, although I only played Hamburg models.

I have played on many Steinway uprights in music school, and all of them were terrible. It is probably because they were beaten, out-of-tune practice pianos, but still, I have lost all positive thoughts towards Steinway uprights.

Another subjective thought is that I just don't see the point in premium uprights - I would rather spend that money on a medium-sized grand. I get it, size, and lust for a big brand, but I just don't see it... smile

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Re: Steinway K-52 upright
Sweelinck #2983701 05/25/20 01:01 PM
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About 3 years ago I tried a used Steinway K52. Owner said it was only about 12 years old. I was not impressed with this piano. The action seemed really soft, like it had been played way too much for a 12 year old piano. The mid to lower range was a bit muddled. Perhaps a good regulation and/or voicing could of made this piano a top notch contender. I also played a 15 year old Sauter 122. Way too bright for me, again some voicing could of brought it to a quality standard.


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Re: Steinway K-52 upright
Patronus #2983709 05/25/20 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Patronus
...

.... .Another subjective thought is that I just don't see the point in premium uprights - I would rather spend that money on a medium-sized grand. I get it, size, and lust for a big brand, but I just don't see it... smile


Choosing an upright, of any grade, can be as simple as lack of room for a grand.


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Re: Steinway K-52 upright
Sweelinck #2983728 05/25/20 01:34 PM
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...and the practicality of having a practice pedal, for late night sessions during my apartment dwelling days.


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Re: Steinway K-52 upright
Keybender #2983758 05/25/20 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Keybender
Originally Posted by gwing
Originally Posted by Keybender
Not disclosing their prices? At least in Switzerland a lot of shops have new ones, and used ones are also fairly common. I have yet to see one without a price tag... They're just above 40k CHF new (~34k GBP) which is roughly what you'd pay for a Bösendorfer 130 or Grotrian 132 and less than a Steingräber 138.
Steinways policies are indeed strange and reason enough to exclude the piano from any shortlist.

I did find a dealer that listed prices for the Boston and Essex but not the 'real' Steinways they sold. Steinways UK don't advertise the prices and there is a limit to how much time I wanted to spend looking :-)

I get that. It's just really odd they don't list them. Is that a UK aristocracy thing? If you have to ask, you can't afford it anyway? smile Maybe in our rich Switzerland, 40k just isn't considered a high price;)
Piano prices are not mentioned in Canada either. Usually one has to phone or go down to the dealer.
Some dealers here will also send an email message.with the prices, others will not.

Last edited by Lady Bird; 05/25/20 02:09 PM. Reason: Spelling
Re: Steinway K-52 upright
Sweelinck #2983794 05/25/20 03:26 PM
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My impression is that Steinway dealers in the US don’t discount from list prices very much. A new K-52 lists for $39-40K in the US and you probably will pay about the same as you would for say a Grotrian Concertino which lists for $50K. I suspect in the US, the K-52 struggles the most from competing against Kawai and Yamaha verticals.

My understanding is that a few years ago Steinway in the US decided that if a dealer wants to be a Steinway dealer, they can only sell new pianos that are Steinway. This led to a big shuffling of which dealers carry which brands in our area. I think Steinway was unhappy that dealers would say “we can offer you a bigger discount on this other brand”. On the other hand, if Steinway sets list prices with a narrower margin so that it is reflective of the price you will pay, it is less like the car dealer experience most dealers of new pianos use. But that only is helpful if the price is reflective of value.


My chronological list of the top 20 composers: Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann, Wagner, Verdi, Brahms, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Debussy, Bartok, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich.
Re: Steinway K-52 upright
Chordo24 #2983804 05/25/20 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Chordo24
I wonder how the Hamburg and New York K52/132 etc differ. At all? As Hamb D and ACD?

Thanks
If the Hamburg vertical rivals a Bechstein Concert 8 or Bluthner Model S then I doubt it is the identical piano to the US K-52. I assume one significant difference between the NY and Hamburg verticals is with the hammers used.


My chronological list of the top 20 composers: Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann, Wagner, Verdi, Brahms, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Debussy, Bartok, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich.
Re: Steinway K-52 upright
Sweelinck #2983806 05/25/20 03:59 PM
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Here is some info on the differences between NY and Hamburg Steinways:

https://davidandersenpianos.com/hamburg-steinway-vs-new-york-steinway-the-real-differences/


My chronological list of the top 20 composers: Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann, Wagner, Verdi, Brahms, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Debussy, Bartok, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich.
Re: Steinway K-52 upright
Sweelinck #2983810 05/25/20 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Here is some info on the differences between NY and Hamburg Steinways:

https://davidandersenpianos.com/hamburg-steinway-vs-new-york-steinway-the-real-differences/
Great link thanks! So never mind my comments about the sound - I almost certainly played a Hamburg one.

Re: Steinway K-52 upright
Sweelinck #2983818 05/25/20 04:21 PM
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Steinway bought the Renner company in the last year or so. Don’t know if that will lead to a change in the hammers used with NY Steinways.


My chronological list of the top 20 composers: Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann, Wagner, Verdi, Brahms, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Debussy, Bartok, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich.
Re: Steinway K-52 upright
Sweelinck #2983834 05/25/20 05:10 PM
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Between NY and Hamburg the hammers are different, the action geometry is slightly different, the soundboards are slightly different (the amount of tapering is different and the wood species might be different) and some other things.

The "accelerated action", "diaphragmatic soundboard", "hexagrip pin block" are things that only appear on New York Steinways. The Hamburg soundboard specification is different, still tapered but it's a different way of doing it that contributes to quite a different tone. The Hamburgs don't growl or distort so easily which for some is desirable and others is not. Whether the pin block is "hexagrip" and just not called that on Hamburgs I don't know, and as for the accelerated action, how much difference that makes on an upright I don't know, but while the Hamburg and NY parts are as similar as to be almost identical now, the set up and weighing off is very different.

It's probably a matter of preference as to which is better. I prefer Hamburgs generally, but other pianists of equal and much greater ability than me swear by NYs.

Re: Steinway K-52 upright
Sweelinck #2983847 05/25/20 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
My impression is that Steinway dealers in the US don’t discount from list prices very much. A new K-52 lists for $39-40K in the US and you probably will pay about the same as you would for say a Grotrian Concertino which lists for $50K. I suspect in the US, the K-52 struggles the most from competing against Kawai and Yamaha verticals.

My understanding is that a few years ago Steinway in the US decided that if a dealer wants to be a Steinway dealer, they can only sell new pianos that are Steinway. This led to a big shuffling of which dealers carry which brands in our area. I think Steinway was unhappy that dealers would say “we can offer you a bigger discount on this other brand”. On the other hand, if Steinway sets list prices with a narrower margin so that it is reflective of the price you will pay, it is less like the car dealer experience most dealers of new pianos use. But that only is helpful if the price is reflective of value.
Yes perhaps the higher end Yamaha and Kawai verticals and I think European uprights.This is what
I was told by two people in the buisiness.

Last edited by Lady Bird; 05/25/20 05:42 PM. Reason: Spelling
Re: Steinway K-52 upright
Sweelinck #2983867 05/25/20 06:47 PM
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I have played quite a lot of Hamburg K-132 (made around 1960s to this day). Some are very nice, some are wonderful.

I have tried just 3 or 4 New York K-52, in pristine or showroom brand new. Quite horrible for an upright of that size and price. What a shame on the name of Steinway!


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Re: Steinway K-52 upright
Sweelinck #2983879 05/25/20 07:28 PM
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So sorry I arrived at this conversation so late. This is a good thread. I do have something to add.

To be clear, I do not work in the NY Steinway factory and I have no direct affiliation with them. Cunningham Piano Company is a completely separate organization. But I do know several people that currently work there, and I know people who know many people who currently work there.

My understanding is that NY has not been making vertical pianos at all for many months now. Their warehouse is full of upright pianos that they are having a bit of trouble selling so it does not make sense to build anymore. I do not know for how long this has been or for how long it will remain so, if this is a temporary situation or a permanent one.

My 2 cents,


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
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Re: Steinway K-52 upright
trandinhnamanh #2983880 05/25/20 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by trandinhnamanh
I have played quite a lot of Hamburg K-132 (made around 1960s to this day). Some are very nice, some are wonderful.

I have tried just 3 or 4 New York K-52, in pristine or showroom brand new. Quite horrible for an upright of that size and price. What a shame on the name of Steinway!
Well CBechstein Academy uprights get a fair amount of criticism, not the same price as a K52
(they are certainly not cheap however) but I have never heard anyone say shame on Bechstein !

The Bechstein Academy I know does not make a 130 size upright, (tallest is 124 ) The criticism with those pianos always seem to be based on the comparison to the regular, higher priced Bechstein models. I do not not know, I have never played the Academy line ,only the regular 124 and C 8
I notice that the Hamburg 132 is also sold in Hong Kong. (so is the Bosendorfer 132 )
Canada only has the K52 and the NY grands ,although the website of the dealer has mentioned one
model of the Hamburg Steinway grands.I do not know if this model is in stock.

Re: Steinway K-52 upright
Lady Bird #2983883 05/25/20 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Lady Bird
Originally Posted by trandinhnamanh
I have played quite a lot of Hamburg K-132 (made around 1960s to this day). Some are very nice, some are wonderful.

I have tried just 3 or 4 New York K-52, in pristine or showroom brand new. Quite horrible for an upright of that size and price. What a shame on the name of Steinway!
Well CBechstein Academy uprights get a fair amount of criticism, not the same price as a K52
(they are certainly not cheap however) but I have never heard anyone say shame on Bechstein !

The Bechstein Academy I know does not make a 130 size upright, (tallest is 124 ) The criticism with those pianos always seem to be based on the comparison to the regular, higher priced Bechstein models. I do not not know, I have never played the Academy line ,only the regular 124 and C 8
I notice that the Hamburg 132 is also sold in Hong Kong. (so is the Bosendorfer 132 )
Canada only has the K52 and the NY grands ,although the website of the dealer has mentioned one
model of the Hamburg Steinway grands.I do not know if this model is in stock.

I tried many other prestigious brands' full uprights too. My opinion about some of them:

1/ Steingraeber K-138 with SMF: king of kings. Each one is a great work of art.
2/ C. Bechstein Concert 8: very nice. And very different from one to another.
3/ Hamburg K-132: as I mentioned, some are very nice, some are wonderful, specially the ones from their Crown Jewels collection, wow!!!
4/ Bösendorfer 130CL: what a gorgeous upright!
5/ Yamaha SU7: nice, but not so "wow".
6/ Sauter 130 M-Line: very nice, but a bit too bright to my taste, too light action, too.
7/ Blüthner Model B: nice, but for that price tag: no, thanks!
8/ Blüthner Model S (the giant one): it made me scare a bit.

AND

9/ New York K-52: eww


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Yamaha Stagea Electone ELS-02X
Re: Steinway K-52 upright
Sweelinck #2983888 05/25/20 08:11 PM
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I have never heard anyone ever describe the key resistance if a Sauter as too light.This I think this is because of the double repetition action. Believe me I had a Kawai grand for many years which in its later years even though it was well regulated had a very heavy key resistance.
I excluded very quickly from my choice any upright which had a slack touch.Sauter's are voiced either in a "traditional "or a "modern" voicing. The traditional is more mellow and the modern is
brighter.There were some Sauter uprights I did not like as much as the one I chose.
Just my view Trandinhnamanh.

Last edited by Lady Bird; 05/25/20 08:17 PM. Reason: Spelling
Re: Steinway K-52 upright
Rich Galassini #2983901 05/25/20 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Rich Galassini
So sorry I arrived at this conversation so late. This is a good thread. I do have something to add.

To be clear, I do not work in the NY Steinway factory and I have no direct affiliation with them. Cunningham Piano Company is a completely separate organization. But I do know several people that currently work there, and I know people who know many people who currently work there.

My understanding is that NY has not been making vertical pianos at all for many months now. Their warehouse is full of upright pianos that they are having a bit of trouble selling so it does not make sense to build anymore. I do not know for how long this has been or for how long it will remain so, if this is a temporary situation or a permanent one.

My 2 cents,
This is interesting! I wonder perhaps if this is related to the Covid 19 crisis ? I was told that the NY
Steinways factory has not been making any pianos for quite a while during the Lockdown.One wonders about the affect the pandemic has had on many manufacturers.

Re: Steinway K-52 upright
Sweelinck #2983918 05/25/20 10:05 PM
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Additionally to the the many differences already mentioned vs the Hamburg version, the front panel of the US K-52 can open, with the keyboard tucking behind (I think only the top lid opens on the Hamburg).

I actually happen to have owned a US K-52 for over a decade. This piano was wonderful but not without flaws: the action was heavy (to my taste, caveat: I am an advanced amateur but nowhere near pro level), under some circumstances there was a high-pitch buzzing which needed placing a heavy load of books on top of the piano, and the tuning stability was not the best (although much better than the small Samick I had before it).

Other than that, when the planet aligned it was a magnificent instrument. With a big bold sound and amazing basses. It made me progress a lot, learning how to layer sounds etc... This is the type of instrument with a strong personality that pushes you further, and that can be very hard to control. This piano could be so hard to control sometimes that switching to other instruments was generally easy.

We brought this piano to Europe after we left the US, and it became a curiosity to the local Steinway dealer/tuner as he had never seen one before. I was told on many occasions that it was a great instrument, but was not as good as the Hamburg version (I recall the tuner complaining about the response to voicing, although there may be difference training/technique from both sides of the Atlantic involved here).

The biggest problem with this piano: when I decide to “upgrade” to a grand, because I got so used to that deep growling bass (and learnt how to control it) there is nothing under 6ft that cut it for me.

Re: Steinway K-52 upright
Lady Bird #2983927 05/25/20 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Lady Bird
This is interesting! I wonder perhaps if this is related to the Covid 19 crisis ? I was told that the NY
Steinways factory has not been making any pianos for quite a while during the Lockdown.One wonders about the affect the pandemic has had on many manufacturers.

Oh yes. Steinway in NYC has not been open due to Covid. We can't order parts right now, for instance.

But I am referring to months before that. Sorry for the lack of clarity.


Rich Galassini
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