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Steinway's have over 138 patents since their inception. Not to mention the aggressive marketing control on professional players that are endorsed by Steinway. Most professional pianists that play on Steinway's usually have to only play Steinway pianos. Of course, this is debatable, but I do believe reading a few articles from time to time that mention something of that nature. In a lot of ways, it does make sense to have that type of agreement. It's "good business" after all. I also believe they have shifted their marketing in making sure people buy new pianos rather than restored. Since pianos usually lose value as soon as they are purchased, I'm pretty sure that would be a smart move to try and capitalize on. I remember briefly reading something that mentioned this. I'll dig up some reads and see if I can post them in here. There's no denying the quality of those pianos however. Of course, with 138 patents that is probably not hard to do. They are still iconic, regardless of the aggressive marketing strategies they have enveloped over the years.

Last edited by ul7; 12/06/20 02:38 AM.
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Steinway's are indeed a name that we will remember. They probably had some of the best marketing strategies at every given point since their inception, though I'm sure it will decline slowly in time. After all, the digital and computer science world of things is a monster to compete with. Some of these digital pianos in today's market sound so incredible, that it's almost creepy. Not to mention all the conveniences of technology and integration for all kinds of artists around the world. Acoustics will still never die though. After all, I mean come on! Look at those beauties! Some of those are so beautiful, I wouldn't even want to touch them. lol....

Last edited by ul7; 12/06/20 02:52 AM.
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Originally Posted by ul7
Some of these digital pianos in today's market sound so incredible, that it's almost creepy.

It's ironic that you'd use the word "creepy." There's a phenomenon in AI called the "uncanny valley," where as a system appears more and more human, real humans recoil, and their acceptance of it dips dramatically (and graphing the response looks like a valley).


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Steinway has it all, as has been pointed out -

- full range of quality instruments including concert hall (D), chamber (B), all the way down to practice room sizes.
- expert logistical support in every major venue to provide high performance instruments less than five years old prepped for however the artist likes them to sound and feel
- quality instruments up to the task which meet the requirements of artists, orchestras, venues and audiences
- fully integrated regional and local sales offices which support the program in every way
- support from hundreds of dedicated artists who probably played Steinways in college and have them at home
- brilliant American-style marketing which ties together the entire value chain from artists to housewives of Atlanta to churches and music schools
- global brand recognition that is probably the highest of any low volume product (ie. very few people will ever buy a Steinway and yet it is commonly known as the gold standard, sort of like Cadillac was in the 50s, only global)
- brand value protection schemes which enable strong pricing on new instruments which provide support for other aspects of the brand activity

No other piano maker can offer everything on this list and quite a few can not even get past the first bullet.

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Yep there's pretty much nothing they aren't ready for. I think they even have 2 sister companies (Boston & Essex). I could be wrong on that, but I'm pretty sure that's right. Boston & Essex are the more consumer grade/lower-middle end market share, so they pretty much cover their butt in every way. Pretty smart, if you ask me.

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Originally Posted by ul7
Yep there's pretty much nothing they aren't ready for. I think they even have 2 sister companies (Boston & Essex). I could be wrong on that, but I'm pretty sure that's right. Boston & Essex are the more consumer grade/lower-middle end market share, so they pretty much cover their butt in every way. Pretty smart, if you ask me.

Boston and Essex are more than sister companies.......

https://www.pianobuyer.com/brand/boston/

https://www.pianobuyer.com/brand/essex/

https://www.pianobuyer.com/brand/steinway-sons/


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Originally Posted by oldMH
Steinway has it all, as has been pointed out -

- full range of quality instruments including concert hall (D), chamber (B), all the way down to practice room sizes.
- expert logistical support in every major venue to provide high performance instruments less than five years old prepped for however the artist likes them to sound and feel
- quality instruments up to the task which meet the requirements of artists, orchestras, venues and audiences
- fully integrated regional and local sales offices which support the program in every way
- support from hundreds of dedicated artists who probably played Steinways in college and have them at home
- brilliant American-style marketing which ties together the entire value chain from artists to housewives of Atlanta to churches and music schools
- global brand recognition that is probably the highest of any low volume product (ie. very few people will ever buy a Steinway and yet it is commonly known as the gold standard, sort of like Cadillac was in the 50s, only global)
- brand value protection schemes which enable strong pricing on new instruments which provide support for other aspects of the brand activity

No other piano maker can offer everything on this list and quite a few can not even get past the first bullet.

thumb Nice comprehensive summary!


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Steinway D's have a real nice sound. I've listen to the 2015 Chopin competition in its entirety, and you can hear the Steinway D, Yamaha CFX, Fazioli, Shigeru Kawai EX all recorded under nearly the same conditions. Even on a recording, the Steinway stands out from say a Shigeru or Fazioli. Personally, I feel the D and the CFX stood out for their tonal color and expressiveness.

Steinway took a great product, the D, and then used it to build itself as the "premier" brand, sometimes with lots of arm twisting. Check out the technician form for details.

I find all Steinways smaller than a B not all that great, besides very occasional gems. Do you know what the best selling model of Steinway is? The S. Literally the only thing going for that model is the graphic on the fallboard. That says something about piano buyers.

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Originally Posted by redfish1901
Do you know what the best selling model of Steinway is? The S. Literally the only thing going for that model is the graphic on the fallboard. That says something about piano buyers.

I've always heard that the M was their best selling model. Not that this would change your point.

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Originally Posted by redfish1901
I find all Steinways smaller than a B not all that great, besides very occasional gems. Do you know what the best selling model of Steinway is? The S. Literally the only thing going for that model is the graphic on the fallboard. That says something about piano buyers.

I'm not nearly that severe. Steinway pianos tend to get interesting for me starting at the model O and up, though I'll admit I've only serviced and played lots of NY production model S and M pianos from various decades, but never a Hamburg one. I've seen and played a decent number of the rest of the lineup from both factories. There are model O pianos that I've found charming, I think a good A makes an ideal home or teaching studio piano, the B is one of the easiest pianos to tune, the C is either rebuilt, clapped out, or vaporware in much of the US, and a good D is very special (while a bad one is...frustrating).


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Originally Posted by GC13
Originally Posted by redfish1901
Do you know what the best selling model of Steinway is? The S. Literally the only thing going for that model is the graphic on the fallboard. That says something about piano buyers.

I've always heard that the M was their best selling model. Not that this would change your point.
I thought the M was the best selling model as well - however, with the prices of the entire line being so ridiculously high, perhaps most people can only afford an S these days. A new S can cost anywhere between $73,300 and $127.000 depending on the finish. Absurd.

Last edited by Carey; 12/07/20 01:38 AM.

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In Europe there simply wasn't another manufacturer that could compete with Steinway after WWII. By the '60s Steinway pianos could be found on all the concert stages in Europe, decades before Bechstein and Blüthner had recovered. These companies are doing very well now, and have regained their prewar prestige, but that's not necessarily going to be reflected on the concert stage for a long time.

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Originally Posted by Vikendios
So here is my controversial point : Steinways rule for two reasons : they are pimped-out to shine on brightness, volume and glamour; and they make up for the deficiencies of the huge concert halls built in the early twentieth century.

Thank you all for explaining the marketing and market reasons. At the end of the day I think what Vikendios says is on the other side of the coin.


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Originally Posted by Joseph Fleetwood
Originally Posted by OE1FEU
In 1985 Horowitz had a Hamburg Steinway C in his hotel room in Milano where he played a lot of excerpts from stuff he never fully performed in public such as Rigoletto and Don Juan Fantasy by Liszt. And in Moscow in 1986 he played Scriabin's Bechstein.

THAT'S what I've seen yes.

David, I didn't know there was a Danemann in the Mitchell Library. I knew there was a Steinway D but I think that belongs to the RSAMD.

As far as the Cavendish being mostly Chinese, I don't know. I don't want to make claims about its origin but I would like if someone from Cavendish came on to the forum and spoke about it the pianos. I'm interested in hearing that one with the solid oak cabinet and green frame.

At the moment I am giving consideration to purchasing a baby grand and putting Cavendish on the short list. Forum readers may remember that I have previously reported on some visits that I made to the Cavendish workshop and also posting of a video that followed, to some extent, the building of a Cavendish upright. I believe the managing director/owner of Cavendish has told me that he gets the frames from Scotland, the strings are made by a UK string maker, the hammers are Renner and the video shows the case and part of the soundboard assembled in the UK. This leaves lots of components that could come from China. If I do decide to audition the Cavendish baby grand I will be sure to find out.

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