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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
I imagine that the Kawai made UP-132 upright is a more reliable piano than the Steinway K-52 upright given the tuning stability problems that I understand have plagued the K-52, at least the NY ones. I'm not sure about the Hamburg ones. It is difficult to achieve good tone when a piano won't stay in tune. Steinway purportedly has improved the pinblock for the current version, at least that's my understanding.
According to the Piano Buyer, that problem is mostly a thing of the past:
"Technicians have always liked the performance of Steinway verticals, but used to complain that the studio models in particular were among the most difficult pianos to tune and would unexpectedly jump out of tune. In recent years, Steinway has made small design changes to alleviate this problem. The pianos are now mechanically more normal to tune and are stable, but an excess of false beats (tonal irregularities) still make the pianos at times difficult to tune."
The text I put in bold does not inspire confidence. They screwed up and the fix did not fully address the issue? It's a $40.8K piano.
Your post I commented on only mentioned tuning stability on the K52. That problem has been rectified. Your post indicated you were unaware of the changes to the K52 and were speaking of older issues that have been addressed.

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Originally Posted by Sonepica
Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
Jethro, can you bring some science to the topic? What experience do you have with piano castings?
Or are you pouring some now at the beach?

Anyone at the beach, watching sand castles get washed away by the waves, would realise that making piano frames out of wet sand is a terrible idea.
I have trouble just getting the sand out between my toes grin


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Originally Posted by Sonepica
Perhaps we should conclude this thread by agreeing that Sonepica was right about everything.

See you guys at the next wet sand vs V pro casting thread!
You've got a believer!


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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
Jethro, can you bring some science to the topic? What experience do you have with piano castings?
Or are you pouring some now at the beach?
Sure! How about taking brand new pianos strings wrap them around their termination points on a V-pro plate and a sand casted plate and put several tons of tension on them until they break. The hypothesis being that the ones wrapped around the V-pro plate should theoretically break sooner or more often given the abrasive nature of the surface. Repeat the process until you have enough controlled and random trials to show their is indeed a statistical significance to what you are theorizing. It's that simple. Without such trials you are going by only what you think you are seeing and not what might actually be happening. Ie. you might just be talking out of your ass and someone as educated and respected as you shouldn't be doing that.

Last edited by Jethro; 08/02/21 09:54 AM.

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Originally Posted by Jethro
Originally Posted by Hakki
And some people are spending their USD 75k for a Steinway S (5'1") piano instead of buying a much bigger Shigeru Kawai for the same money.
And many choose a Yamaha C7 over a Steinway.

The C7 is perhaps the most famous piano of all time and for sure the most recorded and sought after by music studios. If the C7 had such a fundamental flaw in its design- a vpro plate why do so many of these professionals want to record on it or have one in their studios?

Many people choose Steinways for the name. Nothing wrong with that, but when you take away the status symbol many of the pros would still request for the Yamaha.

Here are some comparison recordings:

https://studios301.com/steinway-vs-yamaha-piano-recordings/

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Anyone looking to do some research on the piano can get some funding through the PTG. At the very least this should allow one to purchase a few piano strings perhaps.

Money for science.


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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
I imagine that the Kawai made UP-132 upright is a more reliable piano than the Steinway K-52 upright given the tuning stability problems that I understand have plagued the K-52, at least the NY ones. I'm not sure about the Hamburg ones. It is difficult to achieve good tone when a piano won't stay in tune. Steinway purportedly has improved the pinblock for the current version, at least that's my understanding.
According to the Piano Buyer, that problem is mostly a thing of the past:
"Technicians have always liked the performance of Steinway verticals, but used to complain that the studio models in particular were among the most difficult pianos to tune and would unexpectedly jump out of tune. In recent years, Steinway has made small design changes to alleviate this problem. The pianos are now mechanically more normal to tune and are stable, but an excess of false beats (tonal irregularities) still make the pianos at times difficult to tune."
The text I put in bold does not inspire confidence. They screwed up and the fix did not fully address the issue? It's a $40.8K piano.
Your post I commented on only mentioned tuning stability on the K52. That problem has been rectified. Your post indicated you were unaware of the changes to the K52 and were speaking of older issues that have been addressed.
False beats also cause tuning issues because they muddy the water when listening for beats to set equal tempered intervals, and cause issues setting unisons. My original post suggested there was an attempt to address the issues. I incorrectly thought the tuning stability was a pin block issue, but Ed pointed out it was in incorrectly engineered v-bar on the plate, and that the speaking length of some treble stribgs was too short. Changing the design or fabrication of the plate was a chance to address both issues.

All that aside, I've never played a K-52 that was satisfactory. I believe the most recent was a 2005 model. None were Hamburg versions. Ny point was that Steinway designed two full-sized uprights, K52 and Boston UP-132 and the one with V-cast plate has been the better sounding piano.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Sonepica
Of course, I can also mention the review of the S7X by James Pavel Shawcross. Now I know some of you here will disparage his expertise by saying he is not a serious pianist, nor piano technician; however, he has played a lot of high end pianos and thought carefully about their tonal characteristics. He considered the Yamaha S7X to be one of his favourites, despite its V cast frame.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FSCZCqWe-Y
The opinions of one or two people are no more than that. In the case of JPS I think it matters greatly that he is not an advanced pianist or piano tech since those are two of the biggest indicators of knowledge. It matters little that he has played a lot of pianos and "thought carefully"(how would anyone know that and how can someone with little knowledge do that?).

You guys are way too hard on James Pavel Shawcross. Keep in mind that this kid is only 20 or 21 years old. His knowledge of some piano minutiae (e.g., the names of exotic wood veneers used on piano rims, historical details of some piano companies, etc.) is a little lacking, and his pronunciation of some German piano company names is hilarious, but his basic knowledge of the piano is quite good. As for the charge that "he is not a serious pianist", keep in mind that he has been playing the piano ever since he was 5 years old, and that he is continuing his musical studies (including piano) at Eastern Tennessee State University. (His recording studio is in Nashville.)

In summary - ease up on the kid, guys! smile

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Originally Posted by Almaviva
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Sonepica
Of course, I can also mention the review of the S7X by James Pavel Shawcross. Now I know some of you here will disparage his expertise by saying he is not a serious pianist, nor piano technician; however, he has played a lot of high end pianos and thought carefully about their tonal characteristics. He considered the Yamaha S7X to be one of his favourites, despite its V cast frame.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FSCZCqWe-Y
The opinions of one or two people are no more than that. In the case of JPS I think it matters greatly that he is not an advanced pianist or piano tech since those are two of the biggest indicators of knowledge. It matters little that he has played a lot of pianos and "thought carefully"(how would anyone know that and how can someone with little knowledge do that?).

You guys are way too hard on James Pavel Shawcross. Keep in mind that this kid is only 20 or 21 years old. His knowledge of some piano minutiae (e.g., the names of exotic wood veneers used on piano rims, historical details of some piano companies, etc.) is a little lacking, and his pronunciation of some German piano company names is hilarious, but his basic knowledge of the piano is quite good. As for the charge that "he is not a serious pianist", keep in mind that he has been playing the piano ever since he was 5 years old, and that he is continuing his musical studies (including piano) at Eastern Tennessee State University. (His recording studio is in Nashville.)

In summary - ease up on the kid, guys! smile
Sorry, but playing the piano since he was five does not make him a good pianist. Based on his playing leveI, I doubt very much he is a piano major at college. He is a not just a young person but he is a young person who is offering his opinion on pianos on countless YouTube videos. Considering his knowledge level I find that pretentious, although my guess is he's made some money from the videos.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Almaviva
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Sonepica
Of course, I can also mention the review of the S7X by James Pavel Shawcross. Now I know some of you here will disparage his expertise by saying he is not a serious pianist, nor piano technician; however, he has played a lot of high end pianos and thought carefully about their tonal characteristics. He considered the Yamaha S7X to be one of his favourites, despite its V cast frame.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FSCZCqWe-Y
The opinions of one or two people are no more than that. In the case of JPS I think it matters greatly that he is not an advanced pianist or piano tech since those are two of the biggest indicators of knowledge. It matters little that he has played a lot of pianos and "thought carefully"(how would anyone know that and how can someone with little knowledge do that?).

You guys are way too hard on James Pavel Shawcross. Keep in mind that this kid is only 20 or 21 years old. His knowledge of some piano minutiae (e.g., the names of exotic wood veneers used on piano rims, historical details of some piano companies, etc.) is a little lacking, and his pronunciation of some German piano company names is hilarious, but his basic knowledge of the piano is quite good. As for the charge that "he is not a serious pianist", keep in mind that he has been playing the piano ever since he was 5 years old, and that he is continuing his musical studies (including piano) at Eastern Tennessee State University. (His recording studio is in Nashville.)

In summary - ease up on the kid, guys! smile
Sorry, but playing the piano since he was five does not make him a good pianist. Based on his playing leveI, I doubt very much he is a piano major at college. He is a not just a young person but he is a young person who is offering his opinion on pianos on countless YouTube videos. Considering his knowledge level I find that pretentious, although my guess is he's made some money from the videos.

It's not clear that you need to be an expert pianist, or an expert piano tech, in order to evaluate the *sound* of different pianos. You just need a pair of ears and to pay careful attention. Plenty of HiFi enthusiasts are not musicians themselves.

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Originally Posted by Sonepica
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Almaviva
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
The opinions of one or two people are no more than that. In the case of JPS I think it matters greatly that he is not an advanced pianist or piano tech since those are two of the biggest indicators of knowledge. It matters little that he has played a lot of pianos and "thought carefully"(how would anyone know that and how can someone with little knowledge do that?).

You guys are way too hard on James Pavel Shawcross. Keep in mind that this kid is only 20 or 21 years old. His knowledge of some piano minutiae (e.g., the names of exotic wood veneers used on piano rims, historical details of some piano companies, etc.) is a little lacking, and his pronunciation of some German piano company names is hilarious, but his basic knowledge of the piano is quite good. As for the charge that "he is not a serious pianist", keep in mind that he has been playing the piano ever since he was 5 years old, and that he is continuing his musical studies (including piano) at Eastern Tennessee State University. (His recording studio is in Nashville.)

In summary - ease up on the kid, guys! smile
Sorry, but playing the piano since he was five does not make him a good pianist. Based on his playing leveI, I doubt very much he is a piano major at college. He is a not just a young person but he is a young person who is offering his opinion on pianos on countless YouTube videos. Considering his knowledge level I find that pretentious, although my guess is he's made some money from the videos.
It's not clear that you need to be an expert pianist, or an expert piano tech, in order to evaluate the *sound* of different pianos. You just need a pair of ears and to pay careful attention. Plenty of HiFi enthusiasts are not musicians themselves.
I don't think the analogy is so good. A HiFi enthusiast just has to press "play" to listen, and being an enthusiast doesn't mean a more advanced musician would agree with the enthusiasts' evaluations.

While anyone can press the piano's keys and listen to the tone that way, part of the piano's tone one is evaluating is a result of the pianist's skill. Without musical knowledge I don't think just paying attention when you listen will necessarily produce a high level understanding of tone because one may not know what to listen for, and that knowledge is best gained by playing at an advanced level or technical training as a tech. IOW one needs not just a pair of ears but a knowledgeable and trained pair of ears. Evaluating a piano's touch is not something that a less than advanced pianist can do at a high level because they can't test the piano with technically demanding pieces.

In the case of JPS I think things are much simpler, and one only has to listen to what he says to realize he's no expert. While being an expert pianist or expert tech is probably not be an absolute requirement, I would, in general, value their opinions much more than someone not in that category.

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A piano's tone must be evaluated by how it evolves over time after a key is pressed. People lacking musical or piano tech training will miss this vital point, and will compare tonal timbre, saying things like piano A sounds richer/brighter/warmer/etc. than piano B. And the tone cannot be disentangled from the responsiveness of the action to produce the desired dynamic and tonal properties.

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Just remember— JPS is getting paid for what he posts.


"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
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Some of his statements are naive but I quite enjoy listening to him trying out pianos which may be unavailable to me.I think he is quite capable of playing well enough for his piano demonstrations but he often plays movie music or choruses which do not really demonstrate the capabilities of the instruments.However there really are far worse pianists than himself who demonstrate pianos.He is capable!


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Regarding JPS, none of it can be taken as professional technical advice, nor can anything I say here, but I don’t think there’s any need to be bitchy about him. He’s a young piano enthusiast and that’s what we need more of even if he gets some things wrong. Who doesn’t get things wrong?


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Originally Posted by tre corda
Some of his statements are naive but I quite enjoy listening to him trying out pianos which may be unavailable to me.I think he is quite capable of playing well enough for his piano demonstrations but he often plays movie music or choruses which do not really demonstrate the capabilities of the instruments.However there really are far worse pianists than himself who demonstrate pianos.He is capable!

I was actually defending him by posting that video.As I said I do sometimes watch his demonstrations.


My piano's voice is my voice to the great unknown, out there..in other words a hymn.That is all but that is enough.

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Originally Posted by Joseph Fleetwood
Regarding JPS, none of it can be taken as professional technical advice, nor can anything I say here, but I don’t think there’s any need to be bitchy about him. He’s a young piano enthusiast and that’s what we need more of even if he gets some things wrong. Who doesn’t get things wrong?
There's a big difference between a young piano enthusiast and someone who has made probably 50+ YT reviews for which he apparently gets paid although he is lacking in piano skills and piano tech knowledge.

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Originally Posted by tre corda
Originally Posted by tre corda
Some of his statements are naive but I quite enjoy listening to him trying out pianos which may be unavailable to me.I think he is quite capable of playing well enough for his piano demonstrations but he often plays movie music or choruses which do not really demonstrate the capabilities of the instruments.However there really are far worse pianists than himself who demonstrate pianos.He is capable!

I was actually defending him by posting that video.As I said I do sometimes watch his demonstrations.


Yes I understood that much
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Joseph Fleetwood
Regarding JPS, none of it can be taken as professional technical advice, nor can anything I say here, but I don’t think there’s any need to be bitchy about him. He’s a young piano enthusiast and that’s what we need more of even if he gets some things wrong. Who doesn’t get things wrong?
There's a big difference between a young piano enthusiast and someone who has made probably 50+ YT reviews for which he apparently gets paid although he is lacking in piano skills and piano tech knowledge.

His father is actually behind the channel anyway, he’s the camera and sound guy and tries to make all the connections with shops and makers. All the makers know what he’s about.


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I'm not a big fan of JPS. At the same time, I can acknowledge that his tenacity has taken him pretty far. I don't care for the hammy gesticulation, or the "here's what I learned just before the camera turned on" production style, but that's YouTube. I also assume he retains what he learns and has probably learned a lot about the pianos he's featured, and the piano in general. As far as exposure to lots of pianos goes, I've been surprised myself that because I've had four pianos in the house for the last few months, my own sense of touch and sound (voicing, tone and tune) has become much more nuanced. So, given all the pianos that JPS has been exposed to, I would imagine he's refined his senses all the more. He might even play a little better than I do too. wink

Anyway, he's clearly growing as a college student. It's interesting to hear him share what he's learning and to credit his professor too.

This isn't the usual JPS video. Thanks for sharing it. thumb


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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Joseph Fleetwood
Regarding JPS, none of it can be taken as professional technical advice, nor can anything I say here, but I don’t think there’s any need to be bitchy about him. He’s a young piano enthusiast and that’s what we need more of even if he gets some things wrong. Who doesn’t get things wrong?
There's a big difference between a young piano enthusiast and someone who has made probably 50+ YT reviews for which he apparently gets paid although he is lacking in piano skills and piano tech knowledge.


A lesson that many people never learn is that life isn't a meritocracy. The people with the best knowledge, or most skill, are seldom the ones that "make it". In many ways life is more of a popularity contest, or up to who-you-know. At least traditionally. But sometimes it's just down to who's willing to hustle.

Does JPS "deserve" to do what he does? Who knows? Who cares? No one has to watch. And anyone who feels more "worthy" can easily set up their own YouTube channel. The barrier to entry is low. In fact, in the modern world, where anyone with a cell phone can produce video content, without the need to be "discovered", "signed", or promoted by power brokers, this pop culture stuff is closer to a meritocracy than it's ever been!

Maybe the better answer to "does he deserve [whatever]?" is "are people watching?"


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