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Joined: Jul 2001
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Folks -- I came across a news item about a performance hall in England that was closing (what else is new these days?). Anyway, the hall apparently was sponsored by Phoenix pianos, a UK piano maker with a Steinbgraeber partnership. Does anyone know anything about this manufacturer? Their biggest grands are in the 60k pound range. Here is the website: https://www.phoenixpianos.co.uk

Last edited by cfhosford; 07/21/20 05:27 PM.

1978 Chickering Patrician, 5-feet 8-1/2
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I should add that one of the most eye-opening items on the Phoenix website is the following; "Elephant ivory is rightly no longer available for pianos but we can offer mammoth tusk ivory as an option on all Phoenix pianos. The finger grip and security of ivory is achieved. The standard key top is ivorine or ceramic."


1978 Chickering Patrician, 5-feet 8-1/2
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I have played every size available and Mr Dain very kindly accommodated my request to put an equivalent Steinway And Boesendorfer of equivalent dimension under one roof and gave me as long as I need to decide for myself.

It only needed a few minutes......

You have to do this side by side comparison and you will stop wasting time reading internet evaluation.

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If you do a forum search for "phoenix," you'll find multiple previous threads about that piano. Also if you search for "mammoth" or "mastadon," there are mentions of the various piano makers that have used that material for their keytops.

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Do a search. We have 5 forum members here that I know of who have them, myself included. If I have the money, I plan to get a Carbiano at some point down the line; I like Richard Dain's design philosophy.

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Phoenix pianos was to supply pianos for Fairfield Halls, including a Model 272 concert grand. Due to Corona-19, this did not happen...

[Linked Image]

The principle mind behind Phoenix pianos, Richard Dain, is interviewed about this arrangement in the following video



Richard Dain is a piano collector, and it was in a demonstration of his instruments to Udo Steingraeber that the unusual co-operation came about. I visited the London display room back in 2018, but if you are serious about it, or seriously curious, the best is to head for the Hurstwood Farm Piano Studios in south of England.

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I had the pleasure of visiting Richard Dain and Doug Chapman three years ago. There, I got to see a Steingraeber 272 and a Phoenix with its carbon fibre soundboard side by side. They sounded a little different, with the Phoenix possessing slightly longer sustain, but they were both lovely instruments.

That the carbon fibre soundboard didn't sound drastically different from a traditional soundboard is a really good thing. Not sure if the carbon fibre soundboard is cheaper (made in the same place as McLaren race cars, apparently) but the engineering seemed sound.

Doug Chapman is also an excellent technician. There was a smaller Phoenix which was equipped with WNG actions which he installed / regulated. I was never fond of WNG action pianos, but the precision with which the piano was set up was quite memorable. Certainly crisper than traditional actions with a more direct feel, but the lack of friction in the actions made the piano more responsive, with the high upweight making the keys "stick" to the finger tips. It was arguably the best WNG action set up I've ever encountered.


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