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Steinways of Hamburg manufacture
#327544 07/09/03 04:25 AM
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Although I am mainly a Bosendorfer fan, and contemplating purchasing one fairly soon, I am curious about the Hamburg Steinways.

For Klavier Bauer, or anyone else that might be qualified to answer, or offer an opinion,.. what is the difference between the New York Steinway and he Hamburg Steinway (and I don't mean simply where they are made)?

And MORE importantly... is it possible to find and purchase new Hamburg Steinways in the United States? And if so, what is the price ranges?

-Just curious.
cool

Re: Steinways of Hamburg manufacture
#327545 07/09/03 06:19 AM
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A neighbor of mine bought a Hamburg Steinway a year ago. Here's what happened, as best I recall:

He was looking at American-made Steinways, and didn't like the sound. Because he's German and from a family where several people play the piano, he asked a brother in Germany to try some Steinways over there. His brother picked out three that he thought my neighbor would be pleased with, then my neighbor flew back to Germany and reserved one.

The local Steinway dealer was willing to handle the sale, but the cost was too high; my neighbor bought the Hamburg piano without going through the local dealer.

Re: Steinways of Hamburg manufacture
#327546 07/09/03 09:09 AM
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Take a look at the Steinway Web site:

www.steinway.com/steinway/specs.shtml

The site lists both New York and Hamburg pianos which have, at least as far as the published specs, identical designs. Having said this, there are supposed to be some subtle regulation and voicing differences that make the Hamburg pianos more "European" in tone.

Larry Fine's book also suggests that there are some significant quality control issues between the New York and Hamburg factories with the latter generally getting higher marks for finish and pre-sale fit, regulation, and adjustment of the action and other components. Apparently the German craftsmen are a bit more meticulous than their American counterparts.

Robert in Dallas

Re: Steinways of Hamburg manufacture
#327547 07/09/03 09:54 AM
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Hamburg also still makes the A. My teacher has an A and I've come to adore it. It's a great scale. Though the same size as my S-P, the bass is bigger (I like my treble better, though). If you want an A in America, you have to buy an old New York Steinway, or a really, REALLY expensive new one (they're only available in limited art cases ... did I read somewhere their price comes close to six figures?).


It's too bad, because it's a perfect size for the home. I've encountered few Ls or Ms that are worth the money.

penny

Re: Steinways of Hamburg manufacture
#327548 07/09/03 10:45 AM
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Hamburg also makes the C. It is slightly larger than a B and is, I think, about 7'5".

Best,

-Steve O.

Re: Steinways of Hamburg manufacture
#327549 07/09/03 11:23 AM
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One difference is that the Hamburg instruments have Renner actions, whereas the NY ones have Steinway's own action.

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#327550 07/09/03 11:44 AM
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The most noticeable difference is in the sound. For a side-by-side comparison, see if you can find a Steinway dealer that has the Tricentennial Artcase Model A. This sounds more like the Hamburg models. Play it, and then play any of the others next to it, and you'll notice immediately a difference in the tone. This piano (unfortunately $85,000) and a rebuilt Hamburg O are the only Steinways that I've played in my recent search that I really like.

Deborah

Re: Steinways of Hamburg manufacture
#327551 07/09/03 11:52 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by Freeman:
One difference is that the Hamburg instruments have Renner actions, whereas the NY ones have Steinway's own action.
Hmm. I believe that our Astoria B (ca. 1988) has a Renner action.

Re: Steinways of Hamburg manufacture
#327552 07/09/03 01:13 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by MichaelP:
Quote
Originally posted by Freeman:
[b] One difference is that the Hamburg instruments have Renner actions, whereas the NY ones have Steinway's own action.
Hmm. I believe that our Astoria B (ca. 1988) has a Renner action. [/b]
For a while Steinway NY used Renner actions because the plant where they manufactured their own was shut down, or being retooled, or something of the sort.

Re: Steinways of Hamburg manufacture
#327553 07/09/03 01:45 PM
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To answer the first question,
you can't really compare NY to Hamburg, because they aren't really comparable instruments. The Hamburg is what the Steinway was meant to be. High level of quality control, materials, and craftsmanship.

To answer your second question, no, there is nowhere you can buy a NEW Hamburg Steinway in the US. There are a few dealers who bring in slightly used models to sell. But the only way to legally sell them in the U.S. is used. Because of the territorial nature of Steinway, Hamburg doesn't have any dealers in the U.S.
Some people don't understand this though, and think that the Hamburg models they play here are new. They may in fact not be used, but they are not new in the sense that they are supported by the factory.

Hope that helps.

KlavierBauer

Re: Steinways of Hamburg manufacture
#327554 07/09/03 01:58 PM
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From a post elsewhere:

The main difference between them is that the NY S&S has cold pressed hammers which have to be fortified with acetone/lacquer solution to build up the tone, whereas when the Hamburg hammers are made they are a hard as they will be and have to be toned down with neeeding, only about 200 times per hammer - easy job laugh


Brian Lawson, RPT
Johannesburg
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http://www.lawsonic.co.za
Re: Steinways of Hamburg manufacture
#327555 07/09/03 02:46 PM
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As to the actual sound, I have played a few D's, and the Hambourg one is usually a bit brighter in the treble, while the NY one is more dark. I do think that the German made one is better though, overall it seems they are more balanced.

Re: Steinways of Hamburg manufacture
#327556 07/09/03 03:01 PM
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In regards to the action in the Steinway Hamburg,it is of the same design as the it's New York counterpart,except the action parts are manufactured by Renner.In the early 1980's New York imported Renner action parts for the B&D grands because the action manufacturing machinery was in drastic need of refurbishment.The Hamburg actions are also set up a bit differently than the New York models. smile


G.Fiore "aka-Curry". Tuner-Technician serving the central NJ, S.E. PA area. b214cm@aol.com Concert tuning, Regulation-voicing specialist.
Dampp-Chaser installations, piano appraisals. PTG S.Jersey Chapter 080.
Bösendorfer 214 # 47,299 214-358
Re: Steinways of Hamburg manufacture
#327557 07/10/03 09:06 PM
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Hamburg Steinway rims are made of beech, whereas New York Steinways are made of maple, which will resonate differently. Also, Hamburg Steinways use multiply Delignit beech pinblocks, whereas American Steinways use 7 ply maple blocks. It's not a matter of one being better than the other, with regards to these specs, its just a matter of which woods hardwoods are most available in America and Europe

Re: Steinways of Hamburg manufacture
#327558 07/11/03 03:35 PM
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I couldn't figure out how to link it here, but there is a thread I started on March 14, titled something like "The differences between Hamburg Steinways and NY Steinways" that may be of interest.


Keith D Kerman
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