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A common topic on this forum is new Steinway vs rebuilt Steinway with new soundboard vs rebuilt Steinway with original soundboard. What do you all think of this test.

You put on a concert stage, 5 new Steinway Ds prepared to a very high concert level.

Along with them on the same stage you but 5 Steinway Ds from the 1920s rebuilt with new soundboards to a very high level from the best rebuilders. The goal of the rebuild is just to make the best piano the rebuilder thinks he can make.

Also on the same stage you put 5 Steinway Ds from the 1920s rebuild to a very high level but with the original soundboard, as judged still useable able by very experienced high level rebuilder. (I say 1920s because it it would be a “modern” D but the soundboard would be pushing 100 years old.)

Now the test part 1.
In the tenth row of the concert hall you put 15 technicians. 5 Steinway factory techs who spend all their time prepping new Steinway’s for concerts.
5 rebuilders who lean on the side of replacing soundboards. 5 rebuilders who lean to the side of keeping the original soundboard.
You blindfold them and have a concert pianist play on all 15 pianos.

The test is NOT which piano sounds best but if they could accurately tell which 5 were new, which 5 had new soundboards, which 5 had original soundboards.

Test part 2.
You put 15 people blindfolded in row 10 who are not technicians but people who genuinely love going to piano recitals. They are ask to rate which pianos they think sound best, but the results could see if there is any pattern that they would have a preference to New Steinway, “Golden Age”Steinway/New Soundboard, “Golden Age” Steinway/Original Soundboard.

Larry Hofer
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How about just asking the pianists?


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Go ahead and set it up!

But since you're going to all that trouble, you might as well add a row of concert pianists, and a row of pianophiles too. thumb


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That's 15 Model Ds?

I'd kind of like to see this test, but if you're going to all that trouble already, why not kill all the birds with that stone? Let's have another 5 Model Ds with cracked-but-not-seriously soundboards, 5 Model Ds that were purchased below SMP, and finally 5 bought at MSRP. I think that should fill up a real concert venue.


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Include 5 Ds that were rebuilt by Steinway —- not private restorers


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Originally Posted by Gombessa
Let's have another 5 Model Ds with cracked-but-not-seriously soundboards.

YES! thumb

Oh, and let's repeat all of the above with both NY and Hamburg Ds!


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Im getting a sense of a little scacasm ? laugh

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Originally Posted by SparkyNZL
Im getting a sense of a little scacasm ? laugh

Maybe a little, but these nuanced discussions come up all the time! It would be good to get definitive answers to all these questions.


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Need two sets of everything described so PianoCraft can go to town on one set with customization including Nitrous Oxide Boost.


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If the DeLorean in the background gets to 88mph you could push it back to the 1920’s…🙂

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Originally Posted by DiarmuidD
If the DeLorean in the background gets to 88mph you could push it back to the 1920’s…🙂

That'd be one way to snag a golden age piano! thumb


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5 is statistically not big enough sample size. You need 50 of each. And you have to add Ds from 1950-1960s era. And add rebuilds by Steinway.
I.e. 300-400 Steinways would make a legitimate comparison :-)


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