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Originally Posted by Withindale
Originally Posted by I. Bruton
The 1894 I posted....was it rebuilt with Steinway parts? Someone mentioned a different hammer setup I think.

Tokiwa parts, according to their colour, they said. No way a Steinway anymore!

In the same way that putting Pirelli tires on a Corvette insures that it is no longer a Corvette. The entire PR drive to discredit anything or anybody but the original manufacturers of Steinway if they do anything to the piano is simply a maker's attempt to make their product so "special" that it is synonymous with original artwork. Each of them is unique,(though, not by intent) but simply being unique doesn't make it art. These are production units being turned out of a factory. The concept of original parts hits a rocky road when we ask how to authentically restore a 1966 piano when there are no Teflon (small), sets of parts to do that with? And, no fiber knuckles to replicate the original. Renner parts were once all it took for a Steinway to become a Steinwas in the eyes of the factory, yet now, Renner parts are required.... It is an attempt to glorify a uniqueness, to protect some sort of holy embracement around their brand, and to discredit a huge market supply of rebuilt Steinways.


I would defy any pianist today to ascertain which whippens in a Steinway piano were OEM and which were Tokiwa, Abel, or WNG. These parts all perform alike, but their durability is quite different. Perhaps, after 10,000 hours of play, differences could be found, as the wooden parts would be worn out and the WNG parts would still be about where they were when they started.

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It's interesting Ed as I think this rebuilt Steinway market is mainly a US thing. I am in the UK and the Steinways are virtually all Hamburg. There are a few people who rebuild them in very small numbers (most "rebuilds" being a bit of a tart up) but it is not fashionable here, in the Netherlands or in Germany (we live partly in Germany).

There are dealers who trade old pianos, and some of them talk about "vintage" Steinways as if they mature over the decades like fine wine. My experience is the best pianos are bought by enthusiasts or professionals, and they get a lot of use. And wear, but also plenty of technician care. The rest gradually suffer through decay and neglect (all brands).

I usually go along to the London Piano Auctions (no longer in London in fact) - as it happens there is one on 5th April, and have a look / play. Often a friend is wanting to buy a piano (people upgrade) and I am forever steering them away from the ancient stuff.


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[/quote]

When is a Steinway no longer a Steinway when restored or rebuilt? The 1894 I posted....was it rebuilt with Steinway parts? Someone mentioned a different hammer setup I think
.[/quote]

Why is this only a concern about Steinway? No on talks about Mason and Hamlin, Yamaha, Bosendorfer, or Baldwin when they are restored or rebuilt.

I understand that you can remove the stencil from the fall board. But how to do you remove all the Steinway markings on the cast iron plate?

I don’t really care what the “Evil Empire” says!


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Originally Posted by Sidokar
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Interstingly enough, I've never heard any rebuilder of Steinways claim their rebuilds sound better than new Steinways because the wood in those cases has been seasoned for a long time. Some rebuilders have claimed that their rebuilds sound better than new Steinways because of the plates used in them that are different from the new plates but that is debatable.

Here is an interesting analysis about which parts of a piano contribute most to the sound and in which proportion. You can skip the math part and go to the conclusion. Essentially the test was done on a Bodendorfer. Beside the Sundboard, the next overall biggest contributor is the inner rim. But the caveat is that in the case of the Bosendorfer the inner rim is built out of spruce. If it was made of laminated wood, it would be different. In any case, the db level is about 20 to 30 db lower, so even though it is quite audible, one can say that the main element is still the sounboard.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjEwfyxzOv2AhUKxYUKHcSjDp8QFnoECCAQAQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ica2016.org.ar%2Fica2016proceedings%2Fica2016%2FICA2016-0171.pdf&usg=AOvVaw3i1YPZfymyMAkIQxag8JMY

Interesting. So if the output of the rim compared to soundboard is actually measured at say -25db (taking the mid point of your range) there would be 99.7% of the sound coming from the soundboard and just 0.3% of the sound from the rim. That sort of fits with my purely guesswork assumption that heat treating the rim might well change the sound but it would be unlikely to be all that significant overall. Now start heat treating the soundboard itself and it might be a whole different ballgame :-)

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Originally Posted by gwing
Originally Posted by Sidokar
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Interstingly enough, I've never heard any rebuilder of Steinways claim their rebuilds sound better than new Steinways because the wood in those cases has been seasoned for a long time. Some rebuilders have claimed that their rebuilds sound better than new Steinways because of the plates used in them that are different from the new plates but that is debatable.

Here is an interesting analysis about which parts of a piano contribute most to the sound and in which proportion. You can skip the math part and go to the conclusion. Essentially the test was done on a Bodendorfer. Beside the Sundboard, the next overall biggest contributor is the inner rim. But the caveat is that in the case of the Bosendorfer the inner rim is built out of spruce. If it was made of laminated wood, it would be different. In any case, the db level is about 20 to 30 db lower, so even though it is quite audible, one can say that the main element is still the sounboard.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjEwfyxzOv2AhUKxYUKHcSjDp8QFnoECCAQAQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ica2016.org.ar%2Fica2016proceedings%2Fica2016%2FICA2016-0171.pdf&usg=AOvVaw3i1YPZfymyMAkIQxag8JMY

Interesting. So if the output of the rim compared to soundboard is actually measured at say -25db (taking the mid point of your range) there would be 99.7% of the sound coming from the soundboard and just 0.3% of the sound from the rim. That sort of fits with my purely guesswork assumption that heat treating the rim might well change the sound but it would be unlikely to be all that significant overall. Now start heat treating the soundboard itself and it might be a whole different ballgame :-)
If the article talks about which parts are contributing to the volume of the sound, I personally couldn't care less about that since it is not an issue in a home environment. What I might care about is what parts "contribute most" to the particular quality of the sound although I don't know if one could measure that or even define what that means since it's all the parts working together plus the scale design that determines the sound..

Last edited by pianoloverus; 03/30/22 02:13 PM.
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
What I might care about is what parts "contribute most" to the particular quality of the sound although I don't know if one could measure that or even define what that means since it's all the parts working together plus the scale design that determines the sound..

What is most often changed by ill fitting parts is not the sound, but the action response. Poor geometry resulting from wrong vintage parts, even though "authentic", is very common on rebuilt Steinway actions I have seen. It also seems to be common that "rebuilders" are installing pre-hung factory hammer and shank sets, regulating it, and calling it a day. The factory hammers are expected to be filed, and left as delivered will be far too heavy. Anyone that has played a rebuilt truck with the S&S logo on it may have encountered this.

Steinway hammers have their own sound, but they have always had their "own" sound and that sound has changed over the last century. Using Grandt instead of Mapes, using Abel instead of Renner, or using WNG instead of factory will not change the sound and the piano will still respond like a Steinway. Often, more responsive if a fanatical rebuilder has taken the time to assemble it like the designers intended, instead of a collection of compromises and corrections like a unit that has cogged its way through the various departments of the factory.

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Originally Posted by Ed Foote
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
What I might care about is what parts "contribute most" to the particular quality of the sound although I don't know if one could measure that or even define what that means since it's all the parts working together plus the scale design that determines the sound..

What is most often changed by ill fitting parts is not the sound, but the action response. Poor geometry resulting from wrong vintage parts, even though "authentic", is very common on rebuilt Steinway actions I have seen. It also seems to be common that "rebuilders" are installing pre-hung factory hammer and shank sets, regulating it, and calling it a day. The factory hammers are expected to be filed, and left as delivered will be far too heavy. Anyone that has played a rebuilt truck with the S&S logo on it may have encountered this.

Steinway hammers have their own sound, but they have always had their "own" sound and that sound has changed over the last century. Using Grandt instead of Mapes, using Abel instead of Renner, or using WNG instead of factory will not change the sound and the piano will still respond like a Steinway. Often, more responsive if a fanatical rebuilder has taken the time to assemble it like the designers intended, instead of a collection of compromises and corrections like a unit that has cogged its way through the various departments of the factory.
Interesting but my comment was about new pianos, not rebuilt pianos.

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Originally Posted by gwing
That sort of fits with my purely guesswork assumption that heat treating the rim might well change the sound but it would be unlikely to be all that significant overall.

The study aimed to measure the volume of sound coming from each part of the piano.We could do with another study to determine their effects on the sound from the soundboard. Not much sound comes from the rim itself but the the Yamaha SX engineers found its resonances could have a marked effect of the tone of the piano. They say they made 30, or was it 50, prototypes and 100 measurements on each them.


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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
What I might care about is what parts "contribute most" to the particular quality of the sound although I don't know if one could measure that or even define what that means since it's all the parts working together plus the scale design that determines the sound.

That's a good question. Whether we are talking new or old the overall answer seems to be the same, everything that is not replaced in a full rebuild: the plate and the body (outer rim, inner rim, backposts). For instance what Ed Foote says here, Using Grandt instead of Mapes, using Abel instead of Renner, or using WNG instead of factory will not change the sound and the piano will still respond like a Steinway.

At Hurstwood Farm (Phoenix Pianos) Richard Dain has put his thin soundboards (spruce, carrbon fibre, kevlar) into Bosendorfer, Steingraeber, Bluthner and Steinway pianos. They sound like Bosendorfers, Steingraebers, Bluthners and Steinways.

Joseph Fleetwood has described how Yamaha change one element at a time to assess its effect on tone. For the new CFX they say have changed the plate, rims, backposts and method of construction. No doubt they have developed hammers to bring out their resonances.

Maybe someone will be able to disentangle the acoustics waves to show the contribution of the the components to the whole, one day.


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Originally Posted by Withindale
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
What I might care about is what parts "contribute most" to the particular quality of the sound although I don't know if one could measure that or even define what that means since it's all the parts working together plus the scale design that determines the sound.

That's a good question. Whether we are talking new or old the overall answer seems to be the same, everything that is not replaced in a full rebuild: the plate and the body (outer rim, inner rim, backposts).
The hammers(and their voicing) and strings have a major effect on the sound as does the scale design.

For example, M&H fairly recently changed the hammers they use with the goal of improving/changing the sound. Piano hammer manufacturers like Renner and others all have many varieties of hammers available. There would be point in having different hammers available if they had no effect on the sound.

There have been different types of strings developed recently(Paullelo is one) with the goal of improving or giving a different sound. Again, there would be no point in all these developments if the strings didn't effect the sound.

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Yes, of course, everything is important. I mentioned the importance of hammers, and taking it as read that good piano makers and rebuilders will choose appropriate strings. I would like to try Paulello or something in the treble of my Ibach one day.

Neverthelees, Ed's statement about Steinways sounding like Steinways stands. By all accounts that's quite a wide spectrum.


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Originally Posted by Withindale
Yes, of course, everything is important. I mentioned the importance of hammers, and taking it as read that good piano makers and rebuilders will choose appropriate strings. I would like to try Paulello or something in the treble of my Ibach one day.

Neverthelees, Ed's statement about Steinways sounding like Steinways stands. By all accounts that's quite a wide spectrum.
That depends on what he meant about Steinways sounding like Steinways. I certainly don't think he meant the Steinways would sound exactly the same but perhaps somewhat close because the rest of the scale design hadn't changed. NY Steinways and Hamburg Steinways have a different sound and I think one reason is they have different hammers(unless that has recently changed).

I don't think many techs, dealers, or pianists would say the strings and hammers don't have a pretty big or even major effect on the sound. Why would some people change hammers on their piano(not talking about changing because the hammers are worn) to a different type if they didn't think it would get a different sound they'd prefer? Why would people start threads asking which hammers they should use if they are having their old hammers replaced if the hammer didn't effect the sound?

Why would Renner and the other hammer makers produce different kinds of hammers if they all sounded the same? If good rebuilders and makers will "choose appropriate strings"(and hammers) that certainly implies different strings will produce different sounds. I think I can safely say you want to try Puallelo on your Ibach because you think it would sound different from your present strings.

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Originally Posted by Panama
[/quote]

When is a Steinway no longer a Steinway when restored or rebuilt? The 1894 I posted....was it rebuilt with Steinway parts? Someone mentioned a different hammer setup I think
.

Why is this only a concern about Steinway? No on talks about Mason and Hamlin, Yamaha, Bosendorfer, or Baldwin when they are restored or rebuilt.

I understand that you can remove the stencil from the fall board. But how to do you remove all the Steinway markings on the cast iron plate?

I don’t really care what the “Evil Empire” says![/quote]

On this premise, I guess could also argue that my Yamaha C3 is no longer a Yamaha. I have Abel hammers! So, my piano is now German! 🤪

Last edited by I. Bruton; 03/30/22 07:30 PM.

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Originally Posted by I. Bruton
Why is this only a concern about Steinway? No on talks about Mason and Hamlin, Yamaha, Bosendorfer, or Baldwin when they are restored or rebuilt.

Sure we do. smile


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Originally Posted by I. Bruton
Originally Posted by Panama

When is a Steinway no longer a Steinway when restored or rebuilt? The 1894 I posted....was it rebuilt with Steinway parts? Someone mentioned a different hammer setup I think
.

Why is this only a concern about Steinway? No on talks about Mason and Hamlin, Yamaha, Bosendorfer, or Baldwin when they are restored or rebuilt.

I understand that you can remove the stencil from the fall board. But how to do you remove all the Steinway markings on the cast iron plate?

I don’t really care what the “Evil Empire” says![/quote)

On this premise, I guess could also argue that my Yamaha C3 is no longer a Yamaha. I have Abel hammers! So, my piano is now German! 🤪[/quote Bruton]


Does your Yamaha speak German now? 😃 One poster not too
long ago bought a Schimmel grand with Yamaha hammers.and action.Perhaps it was the International model,.made in Germany with action parts sourced from different countries?

Someone termed it a "Schimama" or was it a Schimhaha?" Aparently the piano sounded fine although the model was a mystery.

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Might I suggest to Holly to consider Chinese manufactured "German" pianos? I understand your preference over the Steinway over Kawai. I personally feel German pianos sound and play better than Kawai. (I have not played a Steinway.) There are those German sub brands that you can consider that fall in similar price ranges of Kawai. Some of these are W. Hoffman, Zimmerman, Ritmuller, Kayserburg.

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I think people don’t obsess about other brands such as Mason & Hamlin simply because, for the average consumer, Steinway overshadows everything else by a mile. Most American concert venues have Steinways these days, so that’s what people know.

I’ve always (half) joked that the typical person only knows three musical brand names, and they all start with “S”: Steinway, Suzuki, and Stradivarius. I became convinced while teaching violin that many parents automatically asked if I was a Suzuki teacher even if they knew nothing about the method.

There are other violins that rival or exceed Stradivarius, but the average person has never heard of Bergonzi or Guarneri.

Ditto for Rolex and many other brands.

Vintage violins and bows are steeply devalued if they have non-original parts, even if their musical performance is unaffected

In the case of pianos, many people probably assume that, like a Rolex, if you swap the parts out it’s not a Rolex anymore. They wouldn’t be wrong, would they? Who would want a Swiss watch with a Miyota movement? Or a Porsche with a Kia engine?

So in this sense, it’s perfectly logical that a Steinway won’t be considered the same if it’s moving parts aren’t Steinway.

In the case of pianos though, the fact that the action parts don’t matter, assuming the geometry is correct and it was properly regulated, is somewhat of an exception for a high-end product.

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Originally Posted by Scott Cole, RPT
I think people don’t obsess about other brands such as Mason & Hamlin simply because, for the average consumer, Steinway overshadows everything else by a mile. Most American concert venues have Steinways these days, so that’s what people know.

I’ve always (half) joked that the typical person only knows three musical brand names, and they all start with “S”: Steinway, Suzuki, and Stradivarius. I became convinced while teaching violin that many parents automatically asked if I was a Suzuki teacher even if they knew nothing about the method.

There are other violins that rival or exceed Stradivarius, but the average person has never heard of Bergonzi or Guarneri.

Ditto for Rolex and many other brands.

Vintage violins and bows are steeply devalued if they have non-original parts, even if their musical performance is unaffected

In the case of pianos, many people probably assume that, like a Rolex, if you swap the parts out it’s not a Rolex anymore. They wouldn’t be wrong, would they? Who would want a Swiss watch with a Miyota movement? Or a Porsche with a Kia engine?

So in this sense, it’s perfectly logical that a Steinway won’t be considered the same if it’s moving parts aren’t Steinway.

In the case of pianos though, the fact that the action parts don’t matter, assuming the geometry is correct and it was properly regulated, is somewhat of an exception for a high-end product.

I found my violin teacher, a Russian, in a Suzuki school. At my first lesson, he said, I will teach you my way, not the Suzuki way. His criticism of Suzuki centered around how it put off shifting for far too long, and included ridiculous fingerings to avoid shifting.

At one point, I owned an expensive French violin made by Paul Bailly. I learned that the value of violins is determined by the certificates that have been written against them, certainly not the label, which is often fake.

The certificate is signed by an expert, and includes pictures of the violin, which is identified by the wear patterns.

Many violins, even expensive Italian violins such as Strads or Guarneris, were altered over the years, cut down, so that they would project more sound in large concert halls. You are right though that composite violins are worth fair less than violins with all original parts, mainly the top and back.

Bows don’t have many parts, three lol, but I assume a non-original frog would reduce the value. I had a beautiful gold mounted bow but no stamp from the maker so its value was reduced over one with a maker stamp. A bow maker uses gold wire and fittings on the best bows, silver for the next level, and nickel for the lowest level of quality.

My YUS5 is of Japanese-German heritage, with its German strings and German Wurzen felt.

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Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by I. Bruton
Why is this only a concern about Steinway? No on talks about Mason and Hamlin, Yamaha, Bosendorfer, or Baldwin when they are restored or rebuilt.

Sure we do. smile
I have never heard anyone remotely imply that a rebuilt/restored Mason & Hamlin is a Mason & Hamwas. Or Yamaha being a Yamawas. 😂😂😂


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Originally Posted by ebonyk
I have never heard anyone remotely imply that a rebuilt/restored Mason & Hamlin is a Mason & Hamwas. Or Yamaha being a Yamawas. 😂😂😂
Careful there. Hire the wrong tuner and you could be left with a Cunninghas-been!


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