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Originally Posted by Hakki
You made your choice and you are happy with it. That is all that matters.

But why are you trying to convince other people?

Some people just prefer to buy a Bosendorfer or a Fazioli or a Steinway even it is twice the price of an S7X. They just think its worth it. And that is their choice.
Just let it go.

Hakki, you seem confused about the purpose of a forum.

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Originally Posted by Sonepica
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?).

Well then whose opinion should we value, pianoloverus? What about yours? Have you noticed a difference between pianos with different types of plates?

Before I purchased the Yamaha S7X, I went to the Fazioli dealer. Now a Fazioli would have been almost double the cost of the S7X, but if it was a far superior piano, I would have considered it. I played the 278 for a while. It was fine, but was just like an ordinary piano. Nothing about it struck me as especially beautiful. Then the dealer informed me that he had the 228 upstairs, so I followed him up the stairs to try it. The main thing I noticed about it was that it didn't have the sharp "attack" character of the Yamaha, but had a smoother, rounder sound. Of course, I can't say how much the plate had to do with the different characteristics of the piano. But after about 15 seconds of playing the Fazioli 228 I knew it was not worth the extra AU80k-100k to me. It was different. Not necessarily better unless you happen to prefer its particular characteristics. It was a lot more expensive.

As for the idea that wet sand cast plates produce better sustain, the Bosendorfers and Faziolis I played all had very little sustain in the high treble. Probably no better than that on the Yamahas. The only wet sand cast piano I played where I noticed superior sustain in the treble was the cheap Hailun 218.
You're missing the point again. Any one or two people's opinions do not mean that much because the sample size is so small, and this is especially the case when they are neither excellent pianists nor excellent techs. I think the two people whose video reviews of the S7X you posted fall in this "neither" category.

Not sure why you posted your review of Fazioli and Boesendorfer, but there are many very great pianists whose opinion about the quality of those pianos is diametrically opposed to yours.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Sonepica
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?).

Well then whose opinion should we value, pianoloverus? What about yours? Have you noticed a difference between pianos with different types of plates?

Before I purchased the Yamaha S7X, I went to the Fazioli dealer. Now a Fazioli would have been almost double the cost of the S7X, but if it was a far superior piano, I would have considered it. I played the 278 for a while. It was fine, but was just like an ordinary piano. Nothing about it struck me as especially beautiful. Then the dealer informed me that he had the 228 upstairs, so I followed him up the stairs to try it. The main thing I noticed about it was that it didn't have the sharp "attack" character of the Yamaha, but had a smoother, rounder sound. Of course, I can't say how much the plate had to do with the different characteristics of the piano. But after about 15 seconds of playing the Fazioli 228 I knew it was not worth the extra AU80k-100k to me. It was different. Not necessarily better unless you happen to prefer its particular characteristics. It was a lot more expensive.

As for the idea that wet sand cast plates produce better sustain, the Bosendorfers and Faziolis I played all had very little sustain in the high treble. Probably no better than that on the Yamahas. The only wet sand cast piano I played where I noticed superior sustain in the treble was the cheap Hailun 218.
You're missing the point again. Any one or two people's opinions do not mean that much because the sample size is so small, and this is especially the case when they are neither excellent pianists nor excellent techs. I think the two people whose video reviews of the S7X you posted fall in this "neither" category.

Not sure why you posted your review of Fazioli and Boesendorfer, but there are many very great pianists whose opinion about the quality of those pianos is diametrically opposed to yours.

Well what about all the techs at Kawai who chose to use a V cast plate for their premier Shigeru Kawai pianos? Do they fall into your "neither" category as well? The fact that there are people who do not seem to agree that a wet sand cast plate produces a superior tone, sheds doubt on whether anyone can objectively claim that it absolutely does.

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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.

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Originally Posted by Jethro
Originally Posted by Retsacnal
Quote
In layman’s terms it’s called talking out of ones ass.

Actually, it's simply having an opinion. Describing it this way seems unnecessarily inflammatory.

PW is not a peer reviewed journal, and the scientific method isn't required to support anyone's thoughts and opinions. If that were the threshold for "publication" here, we'd lose the vast majority of content, most of which is simply based on people's experience and anecdotal observations.
There's nothing wrong with having an opinion or making observations, or having theories or hypothesis- that's how good science begins. But you have to test these theories before you state them as fact.

Many tarot card readers have been in the been in the business for a long time. They've held seminars. Written books. Made hundreds of readings. They are so called experts in their field. But unless they have real empirical evidence and a firm methodology to back up what they say, there's always a good chance that someone's going to call them out as quacks.

You back up what you say with some solid research and there's a good chance that people will take you seriously.


You missed the point. I wasn't talking about "good science" or disagreeing. I was talking about the insult you added after making your otherwise valid points. Forgive me ... I sometimes forget that we don't all maintain the same level of decorum.


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Originally Posted by Sonepica
Well what about all the techs at Kawai who chose to use a V cast plate for their premier Shigeru Kawai pianos? Do they fall into your "neither" category as well? The fact that there are people who do not seem to agree that a wet sand cast plate produces a superior tone, sheds doubt on whether anyone can objectively claim that it absolutely does.
My earlier post very clearly states that a good tech would not be in the "neither" category. I haven't expressed a single opinion on wet sand cast vs. v cast so your second sentence has nothing to do with my comment you replied to.

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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.

Preferring a Steinway over an SK or the other way around are absolutely legitimate preferences. Their actions are very different. Their tonal qualities are different. This is not a thread about whether spending X amount on a Steinway, Kawai, or Yamaha will fetch a better piano. Re-reading the thread title, it concerns whether a better plate can be made with wet sand casting than with vacuum casting.

This thread clarified for me that there does not seem to be any reason for me to avoid pianos with a v-cast plate if I otherwise like the piano.


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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.

It's a bit like someone who buys a Mercedes golf cart instead of a Toyota sedan.

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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
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.
Preferring a Steinway over an SK or the other way around are absolutely legitimate preferences. Their actions are very different. Their tonal qualities are different.
Hakki's point was that a very short Steinway(not just "a Steinway) costs the same as a very long Shigeru(probably the 7'6" model). One had better love the Steinway tone an awful lot to justify spending 75K on such a short Steinway that because of its length will have major compromises compared to the much longer and very high quality Shigeru.

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That would be my preference. I also think it was articulated before that about half of NY Steinways are bought by non-pianists who want the Steinway name on the fallboard of their piano as their requirement. For such buyers, the 5'1" piano would be a cheaper way of getting that, and they would not care if a 5'1" piano had inferior sound to a much longer Kawai, Yamaha, or Mason & Hamlin of similar cost.


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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
That would be my preference. I also think it was articulated before that about half of NY Steinways are bought by non-pianists who want the Steinway name on the fallboard of their piano as their requirement. For such buyers, the 5'1" piano would be a cheaper way of getting that, and they would not care if a 5'1" piano had inferior sound to a much longer Kawai, Yamaha, or Mason & Hamlin of similar cost.

Yes. I always found it funny how Steinway marketed their Boston pianos as a way people who couldn't stomach the high Steinway prices could nonetheless "join the Steinway family".

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Originally Posted by Jethro
Originally Posted by Roy123
Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
I should point out to those here who are ignoring it or unaware, that research has shown longitudinal wave energy has a significant effect on piano tone.

This research has also shown that longitudinal wave energy is very "leaky and sneaky".

The influence of the damping character of the casting on longitudinal mode has to be significant because of how longitudinal modes behave.

So I ask of those posters who deny what I am saying: How much experience do you have examining, and shaping V-bars? How much experience do you have examining how hard a casting is? How much experience do you have studying longitudinal waves in piano strings? How much experience do you have looking at worn piano strings under microscopes? And finally: why do you think I would lie to you?

Ed, you are bringing up interesting ideas. My guess, and only a guess, is that differences between the 2 casting methods and their effect on damping longitudinal modes, for example, relate mostly to places where the strings contact the frame, where differences in surface hardness and lubricity are likely be the main contributor to the effects you describe. I think it's important to distinguish between surface effects and the bulk characteristics of the castings, specifically damping factor and Young's modulus. I suspect those 2 parameters of the bulk material probably don't vary that much between casting methods, and aren't strong contributors to tone differences. The stiffness of the various parts of the plate can easily be adjusted by changing the bracing and cross-sectional areas of various parts of the plate, so the desired stiffness can be obtained irrespective of which casting process is used. I'm not convinced that the bulk damping factor is incredibly important. I suspect the damping factor that results from the 2 casting methods is quite similar, and can be altered by the choice of the particular cast iron used, and perhaps the cooling rate. Also, the damping factor of the plate may well be less of a contributor than the damping of the wooden frame, the damping of the soundboard, the damping caused by the hammers staying in contact with the string after the initial strike, the damping of the strings' terminations, etc.. I do recall Del Frandrich reporting on successful prototype pianos that had steel plates that had been water-jet cut with welded on portions as required. That suggests to me that, if frames are properly designed for a given material, that good results can be obtained from a wide variety of material. Of course, one still has the issue of surface hardness and lubricity to deal with, which I don't want to downplay.
Yes the next step for such hard work is a study, but if all you've got to show for yourself is "pianos", well sorry but that's not going to cut it.


Cut it how? With whom?

Let me address this from two perspectives (and for a specific reason).

The first perspective is "scientist." A lot of your criticism above resonates with me. As someone who's "day job" efforts are peer reviewed, I can't just dole out unsubstantiated assertions. I have to rigorously support my observations and conclusions. And from that perspective, sometimes Ed's claims cause me to raise an eyebrow.

The second perspective is as someone who's actually played one of his pianos. Apparently most folks here have not. You can read the thoughts I shared in the moment here:

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2751134/return-and-report.html

Ed had turned a relatively mundane and unremarkable baby grand into quite a delightful piano.

Now, based on some other valid comments above, people could reasonably say that I'm just one guy, and I'm not a concert pianist, and I'm not a concert technician. But Ed had brought the piano to demo his theories and techniques, in two classes that he was leading at the conference. I attended both (hybrid wire scaling and his tempered duplex work if memory serves), and he had the rapt attention of his peers (working technicians at the PTG's national convention) for two or three hours (I forget if the sessions were 60 or 90 minutes). So, you can say they're his peers, but they clearly held him in very high esteem. And, BTW, Ed's sessions were full. And people lined up to check out his piano and ask questions.

I also attended one of David Andersen's sessions, and Ed did too. People may recall that David passed away recently (RiP), but that he's basically a rock star technician. Well, David solicited Ed's input multiple times. It was clear that David respected Ed's opinion.

So, while it may seem like Ed sometimes claims he can work magic on pianos, I can say from an experiential point of view that it seems to be true. And I can attest that he is also well-regarded amongst his peers.

Anyway, why both perspectives? Because we can't relegate other people into a breadbox of our own defining, and then deem them "unworthy" if they don't fit into it. My own two perspectives are diametrically opposed, but life is not one-size-fits-all and people are complex. Everyone's experience and perspectives are different. Frankly, it's pretty narrow minded to insist everyone else live life on our terms.

FWIW, Ed's "pianos" show pretty well. The "science" of piano building is pretty old and unimpressive. But piano building is as much art as it is science. And I think there's even room for a little magic.


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Originally Posted by Sonepica
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
That would be my preference. I also think it was articulated before that about half of NY Steinways are bought by non-pianists who want the Steinway name on the fallboard of their piano as their requirement. For such buyers, the 5'1" piano would be a cheaper way of getting that, and they would not care if a 5'1" piano had inferior sound to a much longer Kawai, Yamaha, or Mason & Hamlin of similar cost.

Yes. I always found it funny how Steinway marketed their Boston pianos as a way people who couldn't stomach the high Steinway prices could nonetheless "join the Steinway family".

I don't think non-pianists buy Boston pianos so that they can display the Boston name in their living room. Boston is actually a joint venture of Steinway and Kawai to compete with Yamaha. Kawai gets enhanced market share and Steinway profits on top of it by selling the pianos at a higher mark-up than a similar Kawai.

I suspect the main differences between, say a Boston UP-132 and Kawai K-500 are the action and soundboard, while the plates, cases and strings are the same, but just idle speculation.


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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Originally Posted by Jethro
the plate ... was introduced way back in 1825 by Alpheus Babcock in Boston with Steinway soon after adapting the design in their own pianos. It was not rocket science back then, and it's not rocket science now.

Chickering was the first company to license the patented plate and use it in pianos.

grin ha

Steinway was still in Germany in 1825. He didn't even found his first eponymous piano company there until 1835 (which still exists by the way: Grotrian-Steinweg).
He didn't emigrate to the U.S. until 1850, and started his Anglicized eponymous company (S&S) in 1853.

(All that to say...)

... Steinway didn't adapt the design soon after it was patented. wink


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You know, a Yamaha S7X kind of wallops the ear drums if you play it loud with the lid open. It's fine with the lid closed of course, although the sound quality is reduced. Perhaps it's a good thing I didn't get a concert grand.

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All the Boston scale I have seen are markedly different than all the Kawai scales I have seen. My understanding is many of the Boston scales were designed by Susan Kenagy.


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Originally Posted by Retsacnal
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Originally Posted by Jethro
the plate ... was introduced way back in 1825 by Alpheus Babcock in Boston with Steinway soon after adapting the design in their own pianos. It was not rocket science back then, and it's not rocket science now.

Chickering was the first company to license the patented plate and use it in pianos.

grin ha

Steinway was still in Germany in 1825. He didn't even found his first eponymous piano company there until 1835 (which still exists by the way: Grotrian-Steinweg).
He didn't emigrate to the U.S. until 1850, and started his Anglicized eponymous company (S&S) in 1853.

(All that to say...)

... Steinway didn't adapt the design soon after it was patented. wink

I have read that once pianos with iron plates became available, Liszt's preferred pianos were Bosendorfer and Chickering. Steinway only became a leading brand after they developed the overstrung plate, at least that is my understanding.


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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
All the Boston scale I have seen are markedly different than all the Kawai scales I have seen. My understanding is many of the Boston scales were designed by Susan Kenagy.

This video is a marketing piece, but it corroborates her substantial contribution to the design of Boston pianos.



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Out of curiosity, how doe Boston compare to Steinway? I understand they have a design which is similar in some ways to Steinways, but I'm not sure how similar. Are they almost as good at a much more reasonable price, or are they substantially lacking?

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Originally Posted by Sonepica
Out of curiosity, how doe Boston compare to Steinway? I understand they have a design which is similar in some ways to Steinways, but I'm not sure how similar. Are they almost as good at a much more reasonable price, or are they substantially lacking?

All Steinways have No-Bake castings made in their own foundry, Bostons do not. No-Bake has fewer limitations than V-Pro for plate design.

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