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Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal

Posted By: Keith D Kerman

Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/25/19 02:47 PM

Here is the original thread http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2829189/1/semi-concert-grand-blind-test.html

Here are the videos in the same order as those of the original thread. I had a very fascinating experience of the videos sounding different to me than the recordings without video even though I had all of the information and was part of the recording session, piano prep etc etc.

There were some interesting and insightful observations in the first thread and again, thank you all for participating. I will be very interested to learn about listener's experience as to whether their perceptions changed with seeing the video as opposed to just listening, as mind did.

Piano 1 - Steingraeber D-232 Piano 2 - Estonia 225 Piano 3 Bosendorfer 225



Posted By: tend to rush

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/25/19 03:03 PM

I imagine Estonia must feel pretty good about this.
Posted By: Karl Watson

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/25/19 03:25 PM

K:
Interesting.
I guessed 1 & 2 but hadn't a clue about 3, which I liked best !
Satisfying, somehow, as I've always loved that particular model, some more than others, of course, but I've always regarded the 225 as one of the best pianos.
What is the vintage of the 225 ?
This test was fun.
Thanks so much.
K
Posted By: redfish1901

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/25/19 03:47 PM

Hey, I got 2 out of 3. Where do I collect the prize piano? smile

#3 was my favorite, and I liked #1 better than #2.

Posted By: WimPiano

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/25/19 04:17 PM

Very interesting outcome. The Steingraeber is not really a surprise. I was not expecting the Bösendorfer although it matches my expectation that No 3 would probably do better (quite a lot I suppose) with a different repertoire. I was pleasantly surprised by the Estonia bass but could not care about the tenor and treble.

Thanks a lot for doing this and of course also to the pianist that put down a very solid performance, not once but three times (and with a very constant tempo as the performances match almost to the second).
Posted By: Carey

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/25/19 04:27 PM

Originally Posted by tend to rush
I imagine Estonia must feel pretty good about this.
Particularly given the significant price differential between the Estonia 225 and the other two instruments. smile
Regarding the artist, Hai Jin…….."Jin is a D.M.A. candidate at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and she is the assistant conductor of the Maryland Lyric Opera. She is an active concert pianist, chamber musician and orchestral soloist and is a member of the Sassmannshaus Piano Trio. She has performed across the U.S. and Asia."
Posted By: jazzyprof

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/25/19 04:32 PM

Even with my eyes closed, the video recordings sound different from the audio ones, especially the Steingraeber. The video recording sounds somewhat muted compared to the audio. I wonder whether the addition of video makes it necessary to do more compression in order to transmit the data. Or is it just my ears deceiving me?

Great pianos, prep, and performances!
Posted By: Keith D Kerman

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/25/19 04:46 PM

Originally Posted by jazzyprof
Even with my eyes closed, the video recordings sound different from the audio ones, especially the Steingraeber. The video recording sounds somewhat muted compared to the audio. I wonder whether the addition of video makes it necessary to do more compression in order to transmit the data. Or is it just my ears deceiving me?

Great pianos, prep, and performances!


The Steingraeber take on the video is different than the one from the recording. The Bose might be as well. Pianist's preference. Also, I had to transfer the recordings without video slightly differently than the videos since you cannot directly upload a recording to YouTube and the Videos were not yet ready.
Posted By: Rich D.

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/25/19 04:57 PM

Originally Posted by tend to rush
I imagine Estonia must feel pretty good about this.


I have to agree. Listening to the Estonia 225 was a real eye opener to me. It certainly should be on everyone's list to try when shopping for a piano of this size.

Rich
Posted By: j&j

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/25/19 05:28 PM

Thank you so much Keith, this was fun. So my favorite was the Bosendorfer! Of course.
The reality is I’ll never get a Bösendorfer and I will never play as well as the pianist in those videos. But it is fun to dream.
Posted By: BruceD

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/25/19 05:30 PM

Just accounting for first choices among those who voted in the initial thread:

Steingräber = 9 votes
Estonia = 9 votes
Bösendorfer = 6 votes

Most interesting results!

Regards,
Posted By: sroreilly

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/25/19 08:58 PM

I'm happy my suspicion about #2 being the Estonia was correct,
Originally Posted by Karl Watson
K:
Interesting.
I guessed 1 & 2 but hadn't a clue about 3, which I liked best !
Satisfying, somehow, as I've always loved that particular model, some more than others, of course, but I've always regarded the 225 as one of the best pianos.
What is the vintage of the 225 ?
This test was fun.
Thanks so much.
K



That bosie looks like an 80s bosie to me. I never guessed a Bosie would be one of the three, but, in wanting to be right I used the pianocraft lineup to decide there was probably a Steinway, an Estonia, and Steingraber. I was right about the Estonia sound, at least!
Posted By: DiarmuidD

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/25/19 09:52 PM

My favourite turned out to be the Bosie also. I didn't have the courage to actually guess though wink The only thing I was confident of was that there were no Yamaha's or Fazioli's in the mix. Easy to say now of course...
Posted By: WhoDwaldi

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/25/19 10:16 PM

I favored #2; interesting that it is Estonia. The Steingraeber is different (more mellow) than the examples of the brand that I have heard on other vids. I like mellow, but I think--musically--the Estonia is probably easier to play (from the tone perspective).

Which goes to show that every piano must be considered as an individual. 😁
Posted By: dhull100

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/25/19 10:17 PM

Very interesting, and thanks for this. I preferred the Bosendorfer and Estonia, which is a surprise to me. Never played a Steingraeber.
Posted By: Erchoukyrie

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/25/19 10:58 PM

Keith,

Just wanted to thank you for taking the time to put this together for us. Most educational as well as entertaining.
Posted By: Sanfrancisco

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/25/19 11:00 PM

Originally Posted by Rich D.
Originally Posted by tend to rush
I imagine Estonia must feel pretty good about this.


I have to agree. Listening to the Estonia 225 was a real eye opener to me. It certainly should be on everyone's list to try when shopping for a piano of this size.

Rich


Keith thank you so much for all the work you put into this very enlightening project. Jin's playing of "The Maiden...no4" was so instructional. Here's an interesting point: Comparing the Estonia 225 to my 210 on the same few measures of The Maiden, the scaling on the 210 is very different. The 210 is more focused with I feel a better treble/bass balance.
I'm usually very methodical with big decisions but I bought the 210 in an out of town showroom (with a plane to catch) after playing it for the first time for only 1/2 hour! The owner drove me in his car at breakneck speed to the airport. The only other major decision I've made at that quickly was when I first met my wife.....
Posted By: sroreilly

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/26/19 01:28 AM

I wonder if the performer had any insights on the instruments?
Posted By: WilliamTruitt

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/26/19 02:15 PM

Keith, this has indeed been very interesting. Some comments if I may.

This is high level voicing at its best, the result of a collaboration between a pianist and technician where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. It is informed by the perspective of each, and moves towards a common goal. This can be an immensely satisfying partnership for both pianist and technician.

The best voicers are more than a master of technique and the range of choices available to them. I think they must also be aestheticians, whereby they search for the beauty that lies within an instrument (sometimes hidden), have the ear to know when it is beginning to emerge, and then bring it towards its best voice. And so the collaboration with the artist begins.

I hear an overarching tonal aesthetic that is common to the three instruments. Certainly a desire for a brilliant and clear treble is one of them. That said, I believe the individuality of each instrument has been respected within the work, and they do sound different to my ear. Each has a different set of strengths.

Of the three, I think the Steingraeber is the better piano, but not the best voiced. I much favor the bass and tenor, but find the treble overly bright, even brittle in a few places, and somewhat discontinuous with the rest of the piano. To my ear, the Bosendorfer sounds the most of a piece, but lacks excitement. The Estonia is a revelation in how good it sounds, "better than it has any right to be."

I hope my comments do not come across as negative, as I greatly respect the quality of the work you have done. These are deliberate choices on the part of the technician and the artist here. They are not right or wrong. And the ears of piano voicers can be as different as those of musicians. I say the world is a better place when we have this variety.





.
Posted By: Karl Watson

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/26/19 03:37 PM

Keith:
Despite such wonders as the RCA Horowitz Barber Sonata and Cortot's Chopin recordings which sound so beautiful to me, in their very different ways, I believe a smaller sound is always easier to record, more microphone-friendly, just as it is in the vocal world.
Bosendorfers typically record very nicely and I stand by my preference for this particular recording (#3).
In a large concert hall, I think that I'd still want to play or hear a fine D.
Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY
Posted By: Chrispy

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/26/19 04:47 PM

Of course I picked the Steingraeber as my favorite. Why do I have to like the ridiculously expensive pianos so much?
Posted By: sroreilly

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/26/19 06:51 PM

Originally Posted by WilliamTruitt
The Estonia is a revelation in how good it sounds, "better than it has any right to be."
.



I don't think I understand this point. Steingraebers and Bosendorfers are more expensive instruments to be certain. But an Estonia 225 is still a VERY expensive instrument by just about anyone's standards. I cannot think of a person who would pay more than 50k US dollars for a piano and not expect a top level performing instrument.
Posted By: AaronSF

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/26/19 07:30 PM

Very interesting. I chose #3, then #1, then #2 -- but I thought they were all pretty great. I'm not surprised the Bösendorfer was my first choice! cool
Posted By: noyes

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/26/19 11:58 PM

Originally Posted by sroreilly

I don't think I understand this point. Steingraebers and Bosendorfers are more expensive instruments to be certain. But an Estonia 225 is still a VERY expensive instrument by just about anyone's standards. I cannot think of a person who would pay more than 50k US dollars for a piano and not expect a top level performing instrument.


What would be a realistic price for a new Estonia 225? At a local dealer I was quoted $42k for a new Estonia 190, Hidden Beauty finish. This was after the owner had lowered the asking price two times. So I am interested in knowing whether it's realistic to get a new 225 for $50k.
Posted By: sroreilly

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/27/19 12:23 AM

Originally Posted by noyes
Originally Posted by sroreilly

I don't think I understand this point. Steingraebers and Bosendorfers are more expensive instruments to be certain. But an Estonia 225 is still a VERY expensive instrument by just about anyone's standards. I cannot think of a person who would pay more than 50k US dollars for a piano and not expect a top level performing instrument.


What would be a realistic price for a new Estonia 225? At a local dealer I was quoted $42k for a new Estonia 190, Hidden Beauty finish. This was after the owner had lowered the asking price two times. So I am interested in knowing whether it's realistic to get a new 225 for $50k.


Probably not. I am just saying as a ballpark number, I can't think of a person who would spend more than 50k on an instrument that isn't a top performer.
Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/27/19 02:40 AM

I am surprised so many people liked the Steingraeber. Every one I have experienced had that "thuddy" sound and I could just "hear" the action feel through the slight inflexibilities heard in her playing on that piano. In my opinion they are a very overrated make. They sound like a heavy hammer piano that has been "worked" to the max to get what tone is possible with that style of action setup. I do know their tone character changes rapidly with use.

The Estonias that I have experienced have a more Steinway like warmth as do many of the smaller Sauters.
Posted By: Lady Bird

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/27/19 06:51 AM

Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
I am surprised so many people liked the Steingraeber. Every one I have experienced had that "thuddy" sound and I could just "hear" the action feel through the slight inflexibilities heard in her playing on that piano. In my opinion they are a very overrated make. They sound like a heavy hammer piano that has been "worked" to the max to get what tone is possible with that style of action setup. I do know their tone character changes rapidly with use.

The Estonias that I have experienced have a more Steinway like warmth as do many of the smaller Sauters.

I said I enjoyed no2 the most which I did.If I ever win the lottery (which is doubtful since I never buy tickets) I would have to think about an Estonia ! I bet that made your day BruceD ?
Posted By: WimPiano

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/27/19 09:44 AM

If there is one thing I found lacking in the Estonia tone it was warmth.
Posted By: Roy123

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/27/19 04:52 PM

Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
I am surprised so many people liked the Steingraeber. Every one I have experienced had that "thuddy" sound and I could just "hear" the action feel through the slight inflexibilities heard in her playing on that piano. In my opinion they are a very overrated make. They sound like a heavy hammer piano that has been "worked" to the max to get what tone is possible with that style of action setup. I do know their tone character changes rapidly with use.

The Estonias that I have experienced have a more Steinway like warmth as do many of the smaller Sauters.


I played a Steingraeber once. The action definitely had a high moment of inertia, supporting your diagnosis of heavy hammers. I must say it sounded very good, but I only spent a few minutes with it.
Posted By: Keith D Kerman

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/27/19 05:50 PM

Originally Posted by WimPiano
Very interesting outcome. The Steingraeber is not really a surprise. I was not expecting the Bösendorfer although it matches my expectation that No 3 would probably do better (quite a lot I suppose) with a different repertoire. I was pleasantly surprised by the Estonia bass but could not care about the tenor and treble.

Thanks a lot for doing this and of course also to the pianist that put down a very solid performance, not once but three times (and with a very constant tempo as the performances match almost to the second).


Thank you for your observations. If the repertoire was Mozart, the Bose would have won hands down. After playing the Bosendorfer a bit to get used to it, the pianist launched into some Mozart sonatas and it just sounded perfect.
Posted By: Keith D Kerman

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/27/19 05:51 PM

Originally Posted by redfish1901
Hey, I got 2 out of 3. Where do I collect the prize piano? smile

#3 was my favorite, and I liked #1 better than #2.



We sent the prize to you with 2/3 of the necessary postage! smile
Posted By: Keith D Kerman

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/27/19 05:53 PM

Originally Posted by jazzyprof
Even with my eyes closed, the video recordings sound different from the audio ones, especially the Steingraeber. The video recording sounds somewhat muted compared to the audio. I wonder whether the addition of video makes it necessary to do more compression in order to transmit the data. Or is it just my ears deceiving me?

Great pianos, prep, and performances!


Thank you very much for your observations. FWIW, in order to get audio to YouTube it had to go through an additional program. Also, the Steingraeber take and the Bose take may be different in the video than in the audio.
Posted By: Keith D Kerman

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/27/19 05:55 PM

Originally Posted by Rich D.
Originally Posted by tend to rush
I imagine Estonia must feel pretty good about this.


I have to agree. Listening to the Estonia 225 was a real eye opener to me. It certainly should be on everyone's list to try when shopping for a piano of this size.

Rich


I think so! If I listed the tier 1 and 2 pianos we have had traded in on Estonias some would be shocked.
Posted By: Keith D Kerman

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/27/19 05:56 PM

Originally Posted by j&j
Thank you so much Keith, this was fun. So my favorite was the Bosendorfer! Of course.
The reality is I’ll never get a Bösendorfer and I will never play as well as the pianist in those videos. But it is fun to dream.


But my dream it to help you get a Bosendorfer ( or other great piano ) some day! smile C3s are pretty sweet in the mean time.
Posted By: Keith D Kerman

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/27/19 05:57 PM

Originally Posted by BruceD
Just accounting for first choices among those who voted in the initial thread:

Steingräber = 9 votes
Estonia = 9 votes
Bösendorfer = 6 votes

Most interesting results!

Regards,


Thanks for the tally. Saved me the trouble!
Posted By: Keith D Kerman

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/27/19 05:58 PM

Originally Posted by DiarmuidD
My favourite turned out to be the Bosie also. I didn't have the courage to actually guess though wink The only thing I was confident of was that there were no Yamaha's or Fazioli's in the mix. Easy to say now of course...


Next time I put put a Yamaha or Fazioli in the mix! Muahahahaha!
Posted By: Keith D Kerman

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/27/19 05:59 PM

Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
I favored #2; interesting that it is Estonia. The Steingraeber is different (more mellow) than the examples of the brand that I have heard on other vids. I like mellow, but I think--musically--the Estonia is probably easier to play (from the tone perspective).

Which goes to show that every piano must be considered as an individual. 😁


The pianist found the Estonia a bit more difficult to play than the Steingraeber but nothing that couldn't be addressed.
Posted By: Keith D Kerman

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/27/19 06:01 PM

Originally Posted by dhull100
Very interesting, and thanks for this. I preferred the Bosendorfer and Estonia, which is a surprise to me. Never played a Steingraeber.


I hope you get a chance to play a Steingraeber one day. At PianoCraft of course! smile Thanks for comments.
Posted By: Keith D Kerman

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/27/19 06:01 PM

Originally Posted by Erchoukyrie
Keith,

Just wanted to thank you for taking the time to put this together for us. Most educational as well as entertaining.



You are very welcome. It was most educational and entertaining for me as well.
Posted By: Keith D Kerman

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/27/19 06:04 PM

Originally Posted by Sanfrancisco
Originally Posted by Rich D.
Originally Posted by tend to rush
I imagine Estonia must feel pretty good about this.


I have to agree. Listening to the Estonia 225 was a real eye opener to me. It certainly should be on everyone's list to try when shopping for a piano of this size.

Rich


Keith thank you so much for all the work you put into this very enlightening project. Jin's playing of "The Maiden...no4" was so instructional. Here's an interesting point: Comparing the Estonia 225 to my 210 on the same few measures of The Maiden, the scaling on the 210 is very different. The 210 is more focused with I feel a better treble/bass balance.
I'm usually very methodical with big decisions but I bought the 210 in an out of town showroom (with a plane to catch) after playing it for the first time for only 1/2 hour! The owner drove me in his car at breakneck speed to the airport. The only other major decision I've made at that quickly was when I first met my wife.....


As pianos get larger, balance often becomes more difficult. I have pointed out many times how few manufacturers have what I consider to be successful concert grands even though they may have fantastic smaller pianos.

The Estonia 210 is more consistent than the 225 out of the box but with the right approach the 225s can really shine. Congrats on your 210. We love that piano!
Posted By: Keith D Kerman

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/27/19 06:11 PM

Originally Posted by Karl Watson
Keith:
Despite such wonders as the RCA Horowitz Barber Sonata and Cortot's Chopin recordings which sound so beautiful to me, in their very different ways, I believe a smaller sound is always easier to record, more microphone-friendly, just as it is in the vocal world.
Bosendorfers typically record very nicely and I stand by my preference for this particular recording (#3).
In a large concert hall, I think that I'd still want to play or hear a fine D.
Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY


I think you know I consider the Horowitz Barber Sonata recording my reference for the best Steinway sound on recording. I also just love Cortot, so great minds think alike or maybe there is no accounting for taste for both of us!

The owner of this Bose is actually an exceptional pianist/recording engineer who chose it for his recording studio instead of a Steinway D.
Posted By: Keith D Kerman

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/27/19 06:13 PM

Originally Posted by Chrispy
Of course I picked the Steingraeber as my favorite. Why do I have to like the ridiculously expensive pianos so much?


We have taken Avant Grands on trade towards Steingraebers twice recently. Just sayin.....:) Thanks for comment!
Posted By: Keith D Kerman

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/27/19 06:13 PM

Originally Posted by AaronSF
Very interesting. I chose #3, then #1, then #2 -- but I thought they were all pretty great. I'm not surprised the Bösendorfer was my first choice! cool


Thanks for comments and participating!
Posted By: Keith D Kerman

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/27/19 06:17 PM

Originally Posted by WilliamTruitt
Keith, this has indeed been very interesting. Some comments if I may.

This is high level voicing at its best, the result of a collaboration between a pianist and technician where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. It is informed by the perspective of each, and moves towards a common goal. This can be an immensely satisfying partnership for both pianist and technician.

The best voicers are more than a master of technique and the range of choices available to them. I think they must also be aestheticians, whereby they search for the beauty that lies within an instrument (sometimes hidden), have the ear to know when it is beginning to emerge, and then bring it towards its best voice. And so the collaboration with the artist begins.

I hear an overarching tonal aesthetic that is common to the three instruments. Certainly a desire for a brilliant and clear treble is one of them. That said, I believe the individuality of each instrument has been respected within the work, and they do sound different to my ear. Each has a different set of strengths.

Of the three, I think the Steingraeber is the better piano, but not the best voiced. I much favor the bass and tenor, but find the treble overly bright, even brittle in a few places, and somewhat discontinuous with the rest of the piano. To my ear, the Bosendorfer sounds the most of a piece, but lacks excitement. The Estonia is a revelation in how good it sounds, "better than it has any right to be."

I hope my comments do not come across as negative, as I greatly respect the quality of the work you have done. These are deliberate choices on the part of the technician and the artist here. They are not right or wrong. And the ears of piano voicers can be as different as those of musicians. I say the world is a better place when we have this variety.



Thank you for the very nice comments as well as constructive criticism. All three instruments can continue to improve and be refined with additional attention. This recording process gave us insight into the sound and performance of all three instruments that we would not have otherwise had and more work is being done!
Posted By: Keith D Kerman

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/27/19 06:22 PM

Originally Posted by Roy123
Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
I am surprised so many people liked the Steingraeber. Every one I have experienced had that "thuddy" sound and I could just "hear" the action feel through the slight inflexibilities heard in her playing on that piano. In my opinion they are a very overrated make. They sound like a heavy hammer piano that has been "worked" to the max to get what tone is possible with that style of action setup. I do know their tone character changes rapidly with use.

The Estonias that I have experienced have a more Steinway like warmth as do many of the smaller Sauters.


I played a Steingraeber once. The action definitely had a high moment of inertia, supporting your diagnosis of heavy hammers. I must say it sounded very good, but I only spent a few minutes with it.


The Steingraebers do have heavier hammers when compared with the weight of NY Steinway hammers from the 1950s and earlier for sure. But so do the Estonias and Bosendorfers and pretty much every other current high quality ( and low quality instrument )

I don't think Steingraebers, Estonias, Bosendorfers, Steinways, Yamahas etc are for everyone but I will say that it has been our experience with Steingraeber that the better the pianist and the better their ears and the more experienced they are the more respect they have for the Steingraebers even if they prefer or are used to another piano style.
Posted By: Keith D Kerman

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/27/19 06:26 PM

Originally Posted by sroreilly
I wonder if the performer had any insights on the instruments?


The performer liked the sound on the Steingraeber best and the action on the Bosendorfer best and liked the Estonia sound quite a bit. The performer loved the Bose for 18th century repertoire particularly Mozart and felt that the action on the Steingraeber would be her preference if she was practicing a lot for more concerts ( she is ready for concerts with little notice right now but I don't think she is practicing 4+ hours a day at the moment )
Posted By: BDB

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/27/19 06:36 PM

I think that what this really proves is that different people have different tastes, and it is a good thing that there are several manufacturers to choose from.
Posted By: Lady Bird

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/27/19 07:34 PM

Originally Posted by WimPiano
If there is one thing I found lacking in the Estonia tone it was warmth.

Is there any contradiction between warmth and clarity?
Some people feel clarity of tone as being cold.I do not feel this at all so am a bit puzzled ?
Posted By: Keith D Kerman

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/27/19 07:48 PM

Originally Posted by Lady Bird
Originally Posted by WimPiano
If there is one thing I found lacking in the Estonia tone it was warmth.

Is there any contradiction between warmth and clarity?
Some people feel clarity of tone as being cold.I do not feel this at all so am a bit puzzled ?


It could just be semantics. What you recognize and describe as clarity, warmth, cold etc in terms of piano tone is likely to not be necessarily the same as someone else and even if it is your approach to piano playing might mean that one piano works better or worse for you than another with a different approach.
Posted By: WilliamTruitt

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/27/19 08:50 PM

Sadly, too few otherwise good pianos in the rest of the piano world get the kind of attention that you are devoting to these instruments. In part, that is due to the fact that getting the very best from an instrument is an ongoing process that is best spread over a period of time. Instruments of this caliber deserve this attention, and the piano will reward the voicer and pianist by ever continuing to improve.. There are too few piano dealers or makers who are willing to pay for this level of attention.

Regarding warmth and clarity, one of the things that has most impressed me about the Steingraeber is that it gives the player more of both of these seemingly contradictory qualities of piano tone.
Posted By: WhoDwaldi

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/27/19 08:59 PM

I'm very impressed with the Steingraeber's tone in this video, where it seems just about perfect for Beethoven. This is a concert grand in a reverberant hall at a Swiss school, though. And the quality of Mr. Hanselmann's playing helps, of course. smile



Posted By: Karl Watson

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/27/19 09:56 PM

With respect, I don't care for this playing AT ALL, and I don't like the piano, not even a little.
Just my opinion.

Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY
Posted By: Keith D Kerman

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/27/19 10:06 PM


Originally Posted by Karl Watson
With respect, I don't care for this playing AT ALL, and I don't like the piano, not even a little.
Just my opinion.

Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY


Hi Karl,

I wonder if you prefer this Steingraeber Concert grand which is prepared differently.


Posted By: Piano90X

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/27/19 10:13 PM

Keith,

I loved this. These kinds of videos keep people honest. With all the ambiguous talk about how XYZ piano has such and such a tone, it's really helpful to hear them blind like this. I hope you'll continue to do more of these--especially to showcase your amazing inventory.
Posted By: Lady Bird

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/27/19 11:47 PM

They are totally different pieces.The recordings are also different.
I have never had the chance to play either Steingraeber or Estonia.
Not sure a better pianist will always choose Steingraeber however,judging by the pianos great pianists in past preferred.
One day I hope to try a Steingraeber,not that I am not virtuoso pianist!
Posted By: NobleHouse

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/28/19 12:27 AM

I think this total exercise was very interesting and fun! I agree with BDB that this shows every one has different tastes. As I said in my earlier post, I would be thrilled to have any of the three pianos!
Posted By: Lady Bird

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/28/19 01:34 AM

Originally Posted by NobleHouse
I think this total exercise was very interesting and fun! I agree with BDB that this shows every one has different tastes. As I said in my earlier post, I would be thrilled to have any of the three pianos!

Thank you yes I agree!
Posted By: WhoDwaldi

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/28/19 02:47 AM

Originally Posted by Karl Watson
With respect, I don't care for this playing AT ALL, and I don't like the piano, not even a little.
Just my opinion.

Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY


Well, bless your heart, with all due respect. 😁 I do tend to like clarity of articulation (which means "fingery" and "notey" to some people) for Beethoven. 😁
Posted By: Carey

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/28/19 04:15 AM

Originally Posted by Karl Watson
With respect, I don't care for this playing AT ALL, and I don't like the piano, not even a little.
Just my opinion.

Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY
What, specifically, do you not like 1) about the pianist's playing, and 2) the piano?
Posted By: WimPiano

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/28/19 08:46 AM

Originally Posted by Lady Bird
Originally Posted by WimPiano
If there is one thing I found lacking in the Estonia tone it was warmth.

Is there any contradiction between warmth and clarity?
Some people feel clarity of tone as being cold.I do not feel this at all so am a bit puzzled ?

No I don't think there is conflict between clarity and warmth. In my opinion the Estonia's treble and tenor are more stringy, metallic sounding, not perse really cold but just not warm. I don't intend to say stringy and metallic about the Estonia in an extreme way as those words may sound, it's all relative. As a more extreme example you might consider the tuning of Horowitzes Steinway or the piano of Richard Clayderman. Although Horowitz could make it sound fantastic it was pinged out to the max.

If two ends of a scale are Blüthner and a plucked instrument (such as a harpsichord) I consider the Steingraeber to be quite a lot closer to the Blüthner than the Estonia although the Steingraeber and Blüthner are hard to compare as they have very different sound profiles. The weird thing is that I really like the Estonia's bass.
Posted By: WimPiano

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/28/19 10:18 AM

One other note:

I think that clarity is more affected by design than by other things. I think that tone is more affected by hammers, strings, tuning etc.
Of course they interact with each other but a straight strung grand piano has the ultimate clarity in tone but can still sound very warm. If that same instrument has hard hammers and and an extreme tuning it will no longer sound as warm but it will still be very clear.
Posted By: Karl Watson

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/28/19 01:27 PM

Carey:
To be absolutely clear about it -
the pianist, so called, is type-writing, not playing a musical instrument.
There is no TONE.
Musically, formally, the playing just lurches from pillar to post.
He might be sight-reading.

Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY
Posted By: Karl Watson

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/28/19 01:35 PM

Keith:

I think that this young fellow plays BEAUTIFULLY and I like the piano very much.
I admire his quiet repose at the instrument.
The Clementi is one of my desert island pieces.
Thank you very much for posting.

Karl
Posted By: Karl Watson

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/28/19 01:56 PM

Keith:

Can you tell us something about Yi Cheng, please ?
Is he at The Peabody ?
Your Steingraeber concert grand is a beaut, a really gorgeous piano.
One has a sense that it has MANY possibilities, colours, et al.
Does the dynamic range compare to a D ?
Do your technicians like working on them ?

Karl
Posted By: Retsacnal

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/28/19 03:19 PM

I was thinking "mechanical," but I like Karl's typewriter analogy.

I realize that talent and skill are necessary to play with absolute precision (far more than I possess), but as a listener, I'd prefer a performance with more expressiveness, like in the video Keith posted.
Posted By: Carey

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/28/19 03:19 PM

Originally Posted by Karl Watson
Carey:
To be absolutely clear about it -
the pianist, so called, is type-writing, not playing a musical instrument.
There is no TONE.
Musically, formally, the playing just lurches from pillar to post.
He might be sight-reading.

Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY

Ah come on Karl, give the guy a break (ha ha).

Here's his youtube channel. Lots of good stuff here - on better sounding pianos.
https://www.youtube.com/user/mikado568

As for tone....
https://youtu.be/ECGekViujYQ

Nevertheless, while I submit he wasn't sight-reading or type-writing, his interpretation of the Waldstein 1st movement does have a "pillar to post" quality about it which I don't particularly care for. So, yes, I agree with you.

Cheers !
Posted By: Keith D Kerman

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/28/19 04:02 PM

Originally Posted by Karl Watson
Keith:

Can you tell us something about Yi Cheng, please ?
Is he at The Peabody ?
Your Steingraeber concert grand is a beaut, a really gorgeous piano.
One has a sense that it has MANY possibilities, colours, et al.
Does the dynamic range compare to a D ?
Do your technicians like working on them ?

Karl


At the time ( 2 years ago ) he was I believe a Freshman at Peabody studying with Boris Slutsky ( who is just a fantastic musician and teacher if you are not familiar with him ) This performance really got my attention. FWIW, the Steingraeber concert grand in our video came to us sounding pretty much exactly the way the one you didn't like sounded. The thing about Steingraebers is they have lots of energy and color so we can coax a tone out of them that is more to our aesthetic. The particular D-232 semi concert grand Steingraeber that I began these threads with is actually a nicer piano ( IMO ) than either of these concert grands, but the concert grand in the video with the Clementi that you like was more developed and matured. Ultimately, the D-232 will be more in that direction unless a client buys it first and wants something else smile Here is another performance on that same piano ( played by Yi Cheng ) in completely different repertoire ( another Slutsky Freshman student here ) that hopefully you will enjoy and it shows another entire side of this piano.


Posted By: WhoDwaldi

Re: Semi Concert Grand Blind Test pt 2 Reveal - 03/28/19 04:15 PM

Originally Posted by Carey

Ah come on Karl, give the guy a break (ha ha).

*******

Nevertheless, while I submit he wasn't sight-reading or type-writing, his interpretation of the Waldstein 1st movement does have a "pillar to post" quality about it which I don't particularly care for. So, yes, I agree with you.

Cheers !


Just goes to show that one should make more faces during a movement without a lot of contrasts, to get across that interpretation is going on. 😁

I would think THE MUSIC requires the "pillar to post" quality. 😁 There are two other movements:

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