2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments. Over 100,000 members from around the world.
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)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
42 members (dhull100, bohemiatotal, beeboss, aesop, Evgeny 85, EB5AGV, CharlesXX, Doug M., David Boyce, 9 invisible), 515 guests, and 477 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 2 1 2
My 1886 Steinway B - finally back from the workshop!
#3052075 12/02/20 02:48 PM
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 602
O
OE1FEU Online Content OP
500 Post Club Member
OP Online Content
500 Post Club Member
O
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 602
This is a Steinway B, S/N 60103, pre-assembled in New York with final assembly done in the Hamburg factory in 1886.

The instrument got a complete - and badly done - overhaul in 1978, including new strings, shims for the cracked soundboard, with the soundboard screwed to the ribs. New hammers in 2012, done by someone who didn't know that back checks in 1886 were different and didn't go well with new hammers.

In 2018 complete rebuild of the action with new capstans, repetition levers/whippens, making hammers lighter by sanding the sides, new strike line for 42 hammers, polishing all metal parts. It played just beautifully after that, but it also became painfully obvious that the acoustic assembly has some weaknesses that over the past couple of months became to obvious to ignore: 40 year old strings with each unison having a different set of harmonics per string, cracks in the bridge with one particular note that stood out like a sore thumb, so I've finally given in and took a rather generous offer from a close friend for a rebuild the acoustic assembly, i.e. new pins, strings, agraffes and new bridge caps from top to bottom.

It came back to my home yesterday and now is played and tuned alternately to make it settle into some sort of equilibrium as possible. Next week a concert technician will come and give the hammers a thorough workout and voice them into something beautiful.

This is from today after little practice and lots of tuning:


Last edited by OE1FEU; 12/02/20 02:51 PM.
Re: My 1886 Steinway B - finally back from the workshop!
OE1FEU #3052079 12/02/20 02:54 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 6,376
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 6,376
Thanks for being brave and uploading a video-- I'm not able to listen to it carefully right now, but it would be fun to hear a recording of the exact same thing after the next round of work by the technician. Although I know I've heard your piano before the latest work was done to it, you don't happen to have a recording of the same Brahms for that time?

Could be fun to track the evolution of the piano.


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: My 1886 Steinway B - finally back from the workshop!
OE1FEU #3052092 12/02/20 03:10 PM
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 602
O
OE1FEU Online Content OP
500 Post Club Member
OP Online Content
500 Post Club Member
O
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 602
The Brahms is indeed my signature piece to document the evolution of the piano. I've always recorded a version of it whenever something was done to the piano and recording equipment, right from the very first day of its arrival, including really rusty playing after not practicing for more than 20 years. Might actually be a fun idea to create kind of a 'collage' with this piece.

Re: My 1886 Steinway B - finally back from the workshop!
OE1FEU #3052100 12/02/20 03:30 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 6,376
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 6,376
That's what I thought you had sent me once, a while ago. It could be pretty educational to show people what sorts of investments yield what degree of results.


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: My 1886 Steinway B - finally back from the workshop!
terminaldegree #3052102 12/02/20 03:35 PM
Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 299
K
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
K
Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 299
Originally Posted by terminaldegree
That's what I thought you had sent me once, a while ago. It could be pretty educational to show people what sorts of investments yield what degree of results.


Absolutely.

Also: awesome piano, great playing.

Re: My 1886 Steinway B - finally back from the workshop!
OE1FEU #3052123 12/02/20 04:17 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 13,761
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 13,761
The vintage S&S B sounded nice, as did your playing.

A bit of a twang on a few notes here and there, but I don't think I've ever heard any piano, ever, that didn't have a bit of a twang here and there somewhere. smile

All the best!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: My 1886 Steinway B - finally back from the workshop!
Keybender #3052125 12/02/20 04:18 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 5,705

Platinum Supporter until Feb 18  2015
5000 Post Club Member
Offline

Platinum Supporter until Feb 18  2015
5000 Post Club Member
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 5,705
Originally Posted by Keybender
Originally Posted by terminaldegree
That's what I thought you had sent me once, a while ago. It could be pretty educational to show people what sorts of investments yield what degree of results.


Absolutely.

Also: awesome piano, great playing.

Yes, it’d be interesting to see the progression.


January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month
Re: My 1886 Steinway B - finally back from the workshop!
OE1FEU #3052145 12/02/20 05:32 PM
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 2,742
W
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
W
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 2,742
Great!


Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 140cm
Ibach, 1905 F-IV, 235cm
Re: My 1886 Steinway B - finally back from the workshop!
OE1FEU #3052146 12/02/20 05:33 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 12,319
Platinum Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Platinum Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 12,319
So happy you've finally had it returned. Congratulations. thumb

I hear a fine voice but I also hear the unevenness that can come from strings that are not quite mated to the hammers, maybe some uneven wear, etc.

I would like to hear the same piece after the hammers are worked on.


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila., Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Visit our Online Store
The Science Channel documents our piano restoration
Re: My 1886 Steinway B - finally back from the workshop!
OE1FEU #3052163 12/02/20 06:23 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 87
G
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
G
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 87
While appreciating all the work that has gone into it over the years, I'm still amazed that something that is 135 years old can play and sound so good. Not to mention that someone (probably a person although it could have been a church or something) got that piano new that long ago and I'm sure they were as pleased as we are today.

Re: My 1886 Steinway B - finally back from the workshop!
George Smith #3052166 12/02/20 06:30 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 7,262
Silver Subscriber
7000 Post Club Member
Offline
Silver Subscriber
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 7,262
Originally Posted by George Smith
While appreciating all the work that has gone into it over the years, I'm still amazed that something that is 135 years old can play and sound so good. Not to mention that someone (probably a person although it could have been a church or something) got that piano new that long ago and I'm sure they were as pleased as we are today.


I have a 1903 grand and I have often wondered who was the original owner and something about all the people that owned it. I was willing to try to track records but there does not seem to be any records at all.


"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: My 1886 Steinway B - finally back from the workshop!
OE1FEU #3052184 12/02/20 07:30 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 87
G
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
G
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 87
My Steinway book has a reprint of an 1888 price list. It shows the B as selling for $1300.

Re: My 1886 Steinway B - finally back from the workshop!
George Smith #3052189 12/02/20 07:45 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 7,262
Silver Subscriber
7000 Post Club Member
Offline
Silver Subscriber
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 7,262
Originally Posted by George Smith
My Steinway book has a reprint of an 1888 price list. It shows the B as selling for $1300.


Wonderful!


"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: My 1886 Steinway B - finally back from the workshop!
George Smith #3052222 12/02/20 09:25 PM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 1,204
L
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
L
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 1,204
Originally Posted by George Smith
My Steinway book has a reprint of an 1888 price list. It shows the B as selling for $1300.

Inflation is always hungry that would be ~36k$ today


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

Casio GP-400
Schimmel SP-182T "I wish I had the room to keep you around"
August Forster 215
Re: My 1886 Steinway B - finally back from the workshop!
OE1FEU #3052241 12/02/20 10:56 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,745
E
5000 Post Club Member
Offline
5000 Post Club Member
E
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,745
The tone is ever so more solid now from what you have previously posted. Congratulations!


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: toneman1@me.com
Re: My 1886 Steinway B - finally back from the workshop!
Rich Galassini #3052275 12/03/20 02:22 AM
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 602
O
OE1FEU Online Content OP
500 Post Club Member
OP Online Content
500 Post Club Member
O
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 602
Originally Posted by Rich Galassini
So happy you've finally had it returned. Congratulations. thumb

I hear a fine voice but I also hear the unevenness that can come from strings that are not quite mated to the hammers, maybe some uneven wear, etc.

I would like to hear the same piece after the hammers are worked on.

It is indeed still a work in progress and your fine ears hear that rather well.

We'll need to see how well the tuning holds and then decide how to proceed in this regard, but I have a good feeling about it. There may be like 3-5 pins that need fastening, but other than that it feels good tuning the beast.

As to the hammers matching the strings: Spot on and rather than trying to match the strings to existing grooves by brute force, the hammers will get the appropriate filing and needling treatment next week. They've been uneven before, which is normal for a brand new set of hammers that initially were as stiff as concrete. I've played the piano a lot since the initial voicing sessions last year, so in terms of timing, now is a good opportunity to go about it thoroughly again. I like my hammers a little softer and since I am adamant about not putting any chemicals into the heads, we'll probably need more than one session, which is fine by me.

As I said, it's a work in progress and it's deeply satisfying to se and hear all those step by step improvements, knowing that I haven't reached the end of the journey yet.

Re: My 1886 Steinway B - finally back from the workshop!
George Smith #3052277 12/03/20 02:34 AM
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 602
O
OE1FEU Online Content OP
500 Post Club Member
OP Online Content
500 Post Club Member
O
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 602
Originally Posted by George Smith
While appreciating all the work that has gone into it over the years, I'm still amazed that something that is 135 years old can play and sound so good. Not to mention that someone (probably a person although it could have been a church or something) got that piano new that long ago and I'm sure they were as pleased as we are today.

I have actually found out that the piano was delivered from the Hamburg factory to Berlin on April 28 in 1887 and that the recipient was a certain Mr. Oscar Agthe. Mr. Agthe was a piano builder and Carl Bechstein's step brother and used to be head of the Bechstein production facilities for more than ten years. He then started working with Steinway and became their representative in Berlin.

I couldn't find any reference about the actual sale back then, but fact is that the piano spent its first decades in a dance school near Stuttgart Germany. For ease of transport the initial elephant legs were replaced with rather sturdy ones, but since that's pure cosmetics, I've decided to leave them as they are.

In 1978 the piano was bought by a very close friend of mine who I first met at the Brussels competition in 1987 where he was participant in the final round. So I've known the piano for almost 30 years and always enjoyed is peculiar tone. For all it's life it has been a true workhorse being played on a daily basis for anything between 6 and 12 hours by a professional pianist, which obviously helped to keep the substance alive. The repairs done were simply a result of regular wear and tear of an otherwise well maintained instrument.

Re: My 1886 Steinway B - finally back from the workshop!
OE1FEU #3052288 12/03/20 03:37 AM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 7,262
Silver Subscriber
7000 Post Club Member
Offline
Silver Subscriber
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 7,262
OE1FEU
I am so pleased for you! How wonderful to have a classic piano that you love and that has been carefully restored... (and great piano history story)

Here’s hoping for many wonderful hours with your new piano 😊


"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: My 1886 Steinway B - finally back from the workshop!
OE1FEU #3052323 12/03/20 06:05 AM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 256
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 256
OE1FEU

My congratulations for a long time awaited piano, an old love that meets your tastes and expectations. It sounds really nice and well played. Hope you can enjoy it for many lasting seasons. Best!


Fluxo

Sauter V 182
C Bechstein 8
Re: My 1886 Steinway B - finally back from the workshop!
OE1FEU #3052383 12/03/20 09:59 AM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 779
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 779
Beautiful piano OE1FEU. So glad you are helping keep these great old pianos alive.


Daily driver: Kawai MP11SE
First crush: Kawai GL10
Current fling: Petrof III
Foster child: 1927 Kurtzmann upright
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  Ken Knapp, Piano World 

Link Copied to Clipboard
What's Hot!!
News from the Piano World
100,000!
---------------------
NEW! Sell Your Piano on our world famous Piano Forums!
---------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Fingerings for Visual Expression
by IntermedPianist - 01/16/21 06:35 AM
Efficient Arpeggio Playing, tips & tricks
by Denis Zhdanov - 01/16/21 03:58 AM
Yamaha or Rolan Or William rhapsody
by Belma - 01/15/21 11:22 PM
Kawai GX2 vs Shimmel 180
by tony3304 - 01/15/21 10:51 PM
N3X Lid Pin Sticking Out?
by tierce_de_picardie - 01/15/21 07:45 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums42
Topics204,281
Posts3,047,180
Members100,069
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 - 2021 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