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 Post subject: STEINWAY PIANOS
PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 5:41 am 
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Are steinway pianos the best pianos in the world? How do Yamaha and Kawaii pianos compare to them? :roll:

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 12:57 pm 
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In my opinion, yes. Steinway are in general the best pianos in the world. But there are pianos which are more specific that can beat Steinway in specific things, like Sauter, Petrof, Estonia etc. just to mention a few. I think Yamaha and Kawai are the same type of piano as the Steinway (universal), but not that great quality. For the price, however, they are a bargain.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 2:39 pm 
steinways are not bad. most responsive touch in the world, supposedly.

yamaha is trashy. i broke 3 loops of strings in less than 365 days, juiced countless tuning pins, broke 1 spring, dislocated 1 centre-pin, made the tone go from mellow to harsh in a year, and loosened a few keys here and there. and made the low D slightly stuck.

in my opinion, boesendorfer makes really hardy pianos. give them the right conditions, they're a machine. almost unbreakable.boesendorfers and faziolis have gigantic soundboards. fazioli got uber long piano :D 3 metres!

stuart and sons also coming in. looks excellent. beautiful custom made pianos. i can go to their website for half a day and just listen to the beautiful music and drool.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 11:42 am 
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Quote:
yamaha is trashy. i broke 3 loops of strings in less than 365 days, juiced countless tuning pins, broke 1 spring, dislocated 1 centre-pin, made the tone go from mellow to harsh in a year, and loosened a few keys here and there. and made the low D slightly stuck.


burobbi, are you sure that your key touch is ok? What you wrote sounds so terrible that I would avoid letting you play on my piano, really...

1. In my opinion, size does matters for grands (and uprights!). I would prefer a concert grand yamaha by far before a baby grand steinway, for instance.

2. The quality of the action. There are good and bad ones. A new Renner action works wonder even on old grands, I know from own experience. Steinway provides Renner action, same seem to do some other manufacturers.

3. The quality of the tone. Is there a long sustain for all keys or does the tone disappear fast? Is the sound too harsh, too mellow, can the sound color be changed through the dynamic ranges? For instance, on the treble strings there is an area the strings ring with double frequency on the bridge. If one hits the key and plugs this additional string area e.g. with a plectrum, one can compare if it rings with double frequency. If it is so, the sound will be enriched, if not, some piano tuners prefer to damp that area with felt instead having wolfes tones. Steinway grands are known for their crystal clear treble sound, maybe because the frame is excellent balanced for that.

If I were in a position to choose a grand piano I would check above mentioned points, and not a certain brand, and not a certain age. Maybe one can save lot of money that way. At the end what counts is if one feels very comfortable while playing and if it sounds good and not that there is a certain brand label on the keboard flap!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 1:51 pm 
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I bought my Yamaha C2 grand piano brand new six years ago, and I still love it. It has beautiful sound and I've never had a problem with it.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 2:08 pm 
my piano is second hand, just a few years old, but reconditioned.

perhaps i play too hard on my piano. for the past year i've been playing things like islamey, la campanella, rigoletto paraphrase, and trying things like don juan fantasy.

most people do complain that i trash pianos much. sometimes i'm afraid to play too loud on a piano because i know i've broken strings before and i'm afraid to break other people's strings. so unless yours is a boesendorfer or a really heavy hardy piano, don't let me play those technical warhorses on it! (:

but think of it, my piano might have been too light. i know a piano teacher in singapore, also a concert pianist- ong lip tat- he uses a boesendorfer WITH ADDED WEIGHTS (:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2006 4:11 pm 
For some reason a 6 foot Mason and Hamlin can sound better than a 9 foot Yamaha. Mason and Hamlin's have a very juicy tone quality unique to any piano I've ever played.

One thing about Stienways is they have longevity... we use one to this day at our school from the 1930's and its one of the nicest in the fleet...

Also it is a personal choice, jazz musicians tend to prefer the brilliance of the Yamaha... I personally find it hollow... yet Sviatoslav Richter preferred Yamaha and was an amazing classical pianist... I believe Marta Argerich used Yamaha as well... so its ultimately a personal choice...

Avoid Chinese and Korean pianos however, for some reason when they come over seas they are no good.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2006 4:20 pm 
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I have seen that freddy kempf playing on a yamaha and wibi C bechstein. I think they are all very well.

I love boesendorfer. In my heart I feel something boiling if I hear the name boesendorfer

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 10:07 am 
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rachmaninoff wrote:
I love boesendorfer. In my heart I feel something boiling if I hear the name boesendorfer


I just thought this was funny :D


anyway.. I own a keyboard at my house that I practice on, and then I mess with pedals, etc at school on one of the pianos they have around there... my practicing is really weird... If i knew what the piano I like to play on was, though, I would tell you. It's really wonderful and when I press the keys, I don't really have to press too hard. However, no matter how hard I press, the sound kind of goes away pretty quick.. but I prefer it because I'm so far the only person in that damn school that can make it actually sound good.

Just a question since we're talking about pianos..

do they ever say "this piano brand is perfect for playing Chopin" or "This is the best Bach piano" or assign like.. you know.. like which pianos get a REALLY awesome effect from the music played?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 10:27 am 
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A 'Chopin piano' hehehe that would be nice.
When I bought my Gaveau grand I was told it was especially suited to French music. Why that should be so has always eluded me (except that it is a French make of course). It sounds just as well in Rachmaninov and Bach although for Bach it should be a bit brighter and lighter.

In the end though, it is probably the player rather than the piano making the difference.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 12:35 pm 
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I remember reading that Chopin preferred Pleyel piano to anything else but he also liked Erard. The reasons were that when he was feeling weak, he played on the Erard because it had a ready tone (not sure what that means) maybe it's because it has a very light touch? He played Pleyel pianos when he really wanted to pour out his emotions and command the piano; make it do all that he asked of it. (which is a lot!) Anyway I hope I don't have this information mixed up. Can't find where I read that right now.

Just another thought: When I am sitting at my piano, it sounds a certain way to me, but when someone else is playing and I am across the room, it sounds very different. Accoustics have a lot to do with the piano tone too.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 7:37 pm 
I've played on yamaha, kawai, and steinway, and I myst say steinway is far better than the other. True, its expensive, but what's brilliant about steinways is that the value rises year by year because steinway purposely does not produce enough pianos to meet market demand. That's why I play on a 1750's model m steinway.

absolutely wonderful. rich, thick tone, with enough resistance to produce small, subtle tones perfect for impressionistic works.

just for the record - steinways account for 93% of the world's leading concert halls. There must be a reason for this.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 8:32 pm 
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britishaznerd wrote:
That's why I play on a 1750's model m steinway.


1750's? Really? I didn't know Steinways were around then. :?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 4:14 pm 
woops meant 1950 steinway


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 11:35 pm 
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I add weights behind the piano keys(yamaha g3) for last 15 years. Its around 10% heavier compared to full size grand. Even now days, my finger is strong so as my kids-they all trained on the same grand. When comes to stage, I have no worries to excute my reportories with ease. Of couse, gravity playing is the key point.
For those, playing so hard that break the strings...by force. I can not imagine the sound they tried to project...

Sound shoud be either melow(very close to the keys) or crisp but not harsh....

Even now days, I against anyone "bang on the piano" or its just the wrong approach. We aimed to make music thru the piano but not to make "mechanical sound" that is HARSH, and unberable...

Perhaps, you should write your own style " heavy metallica"....

Sorry for the pianos who has been bashed. Pehaps you should use a hammer smash up all the keys.... or give the piano to me instead.

Thans for reading and hopefuuly you are not taking this personal.


John


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2006 4:49 am 
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I have never broken a string (or anything else) on a piano/grand for my entire life. But my son did break a string on one of my pianos when he was 2 years old. Not because he banged the key, rather that it would break anytime anyway. But I know I do not play hard and never bang the keys. Still, I have never felt a problem with playing any grand while some have been pretty heavy. Cannot produce the sound of Horowitz though ;).

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2006 12:08 pm 
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johnmar78 wrote:
I add weights behind the piano keys(yamaha g3) for last 15 years. Its around 10% heavier compared to full size grand.John



How do you add weights? I've never heard of that. Is that a common practice? My Yamaha C2 grand has fairly stiff keys and I don't think my fingers could handle it if there were weights. And I would worry about the tendonitis in my wrists. But I am curious. If, as you say, it helped you to build finger strength, then it sounds like a good thing. I hope more people weigh in (pun intended) on this subject.

I too have never broken a string on a piano. I can't even imagine the force it would take to do that. And I wonder what happens when a string breaks. If your piano lid is open like mine is all the time, does the string shoot out the top?


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 7:18 am 
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johnmar78 wrote:
I add weights behind the piano keys(yamaha g3) for last 15 years. Its around 10% heavier compared to full size grand. Even now days, my finger is strong so as my kids-they all trained on the same grand. When comes to stage, I have no worries to excute my reportories with ease. Of couse, gravity playing is the key point.


Normal downweight is about 50 grams, measured on keytip with pushed sustain pedal. Difference between downweight and upweight should be as small as possible, about 20 grams.

If someone puts additional weights in the keys, regardless on which side, on can reduce or enlarge the downweight. Unfortunately, the more weight, the less responsive will be the key. That means, the key cannot move that fast anymore. That results in a tenacious key feeling.

If I would be used to play on such a heavy action, I would surely also have no worries with a heavy downweight on other pianos. But I would have trouble to play pianissimo. If I am used to push down 60 gram, that is another thing as beeing used to push down 50 gram!

I don't think it is a good idea to play all the time on heavier actions. It will ruin the soft touch, and a soft touch is much more difficult to reach than hard playing, just my opinion.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 7:28 pm 
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good one, i didntb relealze you actually "measured" the weights. regarless of thye weight i added. I was comparsion the "actuall touch" of mine vs 250000$ full size grand when I was able to access the Town halls Grand. You are right about the touch of PP or ppp. Thats the whole point--"control of your touch". But again, if you know how ultrlize your free "gravity playing". You actatually can sense the keys at slow playing.

Over doing the weights is BAD. I only add enoght weights that is just a friction heavier than the yamaha full size grand.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 11:56 pm 
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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
What is the difference between Steinway Hamburg and Steinway New York? I know that here in the states Steinway Hamburg are sought after and sell very quickly. How about overseas does the Steinway New York model sell quicker than the Hamburg?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 6:07 pm 
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I actually prefer Yamahas to Steinways. Im at a university that has many pianos, so I play on many types frequently. There are 2 Yamaha grands that are the most beautiful I have ever played. The steinway grand is nice, but I don't feel the same sense of perfect control over the dynamics when I play it. There are also 2 upright Yamaha's that are okay. One of them has the nicest touch I have seen. I played on a steinway grand at a recital once, but I felt that the dynamic range between the bass and treble was out of synch. The base notes were much, much louder than the high ones when applying the same amount of force.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 1:09 am 
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For playing Chopin in a living room, Kawai is the best by far. They have a clear deep bass and a smooth, slightly silvery sound in the treble. Also, the dynamic minimum is the lowest possible (ppppp).

The dynamic maximum is ff, fff's sound harsh and dissident. (But in a living room, f is all that is needed)

The thing I like most about Kawais, besides their dynamic range, is their delicacy of touch. This lightness enables the pianist to create gently intertwining overtones and harmonies, without ever being aware that these sounds are from a mechanical device, you only hear the music. Chopin would love its nuances.





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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 2:10 am 
Well, Steinway probably makes the very best concert grands in the world. From what I've heard though the reality is that when it comes to smaller instruments they really aren't that much better. So yea, in the realm of the mighty 9 foot concert grands steinway is king, but there are a great many other piano manufacturers who make fine instruments as well. My own Seiler is a spectacular piano, and I'd take it over my dad's 9 foot Steinway D any day (well, most days). At the university's faculty of music here that I attend they have a great many Yamahas and I like them as well. They have a Yamaha concert grand that is great to play on. They also have some Kawai grands that are good too. Today I played on two different Yamaha grands and they sounded nothing alike, though I'm not sure if they were the exact same model, and the one did seem like it was a fair bit older than the other.

So yea, I think there's probably not going to be much argument over Steinway having the best concert grands, but not every piano with Steinway on it is necassarily better. Bottom line is you should find an intrument that suits your tastes. You may find you don't like Steinways. I like their sound (the concert grands I mean), but the light action doesn't suit me very well. You also of course have to look at what your budget is too, but remember that pianos are far more likely to appreciate than they are to depreciate if you take care of them, so they are a worthwhile investment (in more ways than one).


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 7:37 pm 
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robert wrote:
I have never broken a string (or anything else) on a piano/grand for my entire life. But my son did break a string on one of my pianos when he was 2 years old. Not because he banged the key, rather that it would break anytime anyway. But I know I do not play hard and never bang the keys. Still, I have never felt a problem with playing any grand while some have been pretty heavy. Cannot produce the sound of Horowitz though ;).


I broke 2 in 2.5 weeks on my 6 years old yamaha haha

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:17 pm 
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I've played on several Steinways - and they vary greatly!

The one I like best is a 1920's model, concert grand, which has been maintained by an EXCELLENT piano technician. It's very responsive and voiced beautifully. (Luckily it's also the one I still get to play the most - would you believe it's in a high school auditorium!)

In college I played on a newer 7' and really disliked it - very stiff action.

The others I've played all fell somewhere inbetween - though most were on the higher end of the scale.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 3:02 am 
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steinways aren't all that they're cracked up to be, probably because I am such an amateaur pianist, I LOVE my BOHEMIA to death!!! beautiful


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:58 pm 
on www.1001pianos.com most of our piano music available for download is made with Steinway and Boesendorfer pianos ...


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:40 pm 
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I believe that New York Steinway pianos are excellent, although they require much dealer preparation to bring out their full potential. The German Steinway's are considered to be even better by most. Steinway's are ranked as high performance instruments by Larry Fine in The Piano Book Supplement 2008. I once owned a Model M (5'7") and was quite happy with it, but later traded it in for a Baldwin Model L Artist Grand (6'3"), with which I'm even more happy. I do not believe that the Japanese mass-produced so called "precision" grands are in the same class as Steinway, which is more hand crafted, particularly the larger NY B and D models. Yamaha C Series and the Kawai RX Series are ranked as quality consumer grade instruments by Larry Fine.

I've tried out Yamaha C Series grands at dealer showrooms and have been largely unimpressed. I do like the very even action along with the material they use for their key coverings. But... I dislike the woody bass, the overly bright tenor, and the brittle treble. It sounds like playing three pianos instead of one where the scale is well blended. The Kawai RX grands tend to have a firm action, and I'm OK with that as it affords firm control, but others dislike it. As for the sound, to my ears, and this is subjective, it is just plain vanilla, nothing special. It seems to lack a really distinctive, characteristic sound of its own. The Shigeru Kawai grands are hand crafted and are reputedly in a class above the RX Series, but I've not come across one to try, so have no personal experience with it.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 10:01 pm 
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I tend to disagree to an extent with the above post. In Chopin, Liszt, even some later stuff like Rachmaninoff, the tone should be rich or bright but never harsh. However... Some music is meant to be scary, and I think a harsh tone is absolutely necessary (in some Prokofiev, some Ravel, Schoenberg... heck, Corigliano even marked some things in his Etude-Fantasy as "harsh" or "brittle")

As for the "perfect" piano... The closest I've ever found was a Fazioli I played at a competition once. It did whatever I told it to do. Yamahas are generally easy to play in my opinion, but they sound like crap. Steinways are beautiful, but from my experience it's a crap-shoot whether or not it will be nice to play... some are incredible, some are crappy. They're just inconsistent I guess.

I played a Boesendorfer at a competition I was at last year... I really liked it. Everyone said that the action was supposed to be heavy or whatever, but really it seemed quite easy to play for me.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 10:02 pm 
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AH when I said "the post above mine" I was refering to the last post on page 1... I didn't see there was more than one page :oops:

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:30 pm 
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r590 wrote:
I actually prefer Yamahas to Steinways. Im at a university that has many pianos, so I play on many types frequently. There are 2 Yamaha grands that are the most beautiful I have ever played. The steinway grand is nice, but I don't feel the same sense of perfect control over the dynamics when I play it. There are also 2 upright Yamaha's that are okay. One of them has the nicest touch I have seen. I played on a steinway grand at a recital once, but I felt that the dynamic range between the bass and treble was out of synch. The base notes were much, much louder than the high ones when applying the same amount of force.

I searched for a thread on Steinways because I wanted to see if this problem was as common as it appears to be with Steinways. There are 5 Steinway concert grands at my school, and I have played on all of them, two of them in particular (the two best ones). I have noticed that all of them have this dynamic irregularity - the bass notes are extremely responsive, but the notes around 1-2 octaves above middle C are not very responsive at all. Or, they can be, but you have to be accustomed to the piano to know how to bring out that range. It's quite odd. My piano teacher says she thinks it is a characteristic of Steinways, and another pianist at my school mentioned the same thing. I wonder if there is some sort of logic to designing the pianos this way, because you would think they could have fixed a flaw like this over time - my teacher was speaking on 40 years of experience with Steinways.

That being said - one of the two best Steinways at my school is perfect for Chopin: it has a warm, rich tone and a very responsive dynamic range. And though I love playing Bach on that piano also, the other of the good Steinways seems better for Bach in some ways. It's less responsive dynamically, and the keys are lighter. When I practice on the newer one, the one that's good for Chopin, and then go to the older one, I always notice how much easier it is to play Bach.

In any case, the quality of the Steinway in question most definitely depends on the quality of its maintenance. I'm not very impressed with my school's piano technician at all. :x

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 12:25 am 
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I wouldn't say any one brand is better than another because one piano is better than another piano. Steinways simply meet a higher standard more often than most other brands. Not all Bosendorfers are incredible either (and that's saying something). Personally, the best pianos I have ever played have been Baldwins (for their incredible overtones, heavily sonorous and wider notes; very provocative instruments) and Bosendorfers (ultimate clarity, sweet, wonderful tone; Very sensitive instruments). And, for a little clarification, in saying that the notes were a bit wider with Baldwins, you can see what I meant if you pluck a few chords on an average acoustic guitar, and than with a wide bridged classical guitar. You'll definitely notice that the notes have distinctly different qualities. The pitch has a bit more of broad avenue and is perfect for overtones. A high end Baldwin has just worlds of depth. They have to be my favorite pianos by far.

As for Steinways, it's just a really reliable brand. You don't find very many Steinways that don't satisfy you, and the great ones truly are great. You might say they're somewhere between a Bosendorfer and a Yamaha. Not so bright or flat toned, just a bit of texture and extra sonorous quality compared to a Yamaha.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 5:39 am 
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So, Lukecash, you've had good experiences with Baldwin grands? I've "met" absolutely stunning Bosendorfers and Steinways, but, out of only two or three middle-age Baldwins, I haven't been able to form a stellar opinion of them. Perchance, are the newer ones better?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 4:20 am 
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My grandfather and I have done some restoration work and tuning, so I've seen my fair share of old Baldwins. They really are wonderful, expertly made instruments. And the higher quality Baldwins being constructed nowadays can be every bit as intoxicating as an excellent Bosendorfer.

Also, I would definitely refer the Knabe brand as a fantastic manufacturer of pianos, at least. Just listen to this wonderful Knabe 6'2" grand: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gtXp3zc ... B0&index=0

It has some really delightful qualities to it :!:


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:08 pm 
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Okay, I'll have to go to a store and take a look at some of the new Baldwins. You've got my curiosity up now.

That Knabe is definitely a gorgeous instrument! The person playing it has got some good technique too. :D I recently played a Knabe that was made about two years ago or so, and but I was told that the old American Knabe name was recently bought by Sejung (Knabe apparently went belly-up some time ago, I am led to believe) and Sejung is now making fairly low-level instruments under the name. The piano wasn't fantastic - somewhat mushmouthed with a fundamental tone - but it was okay. Nothing like the piano in the video you posted, though. All of this name-buying and swapping makes me very confused!

It's neat that you've done some restoration work. I think having that experience would be very helpful, as well as fascinating. Thanks for answering my question!

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:56 pm 
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Location: Manteca, CA
That's more than a little disappointing. It's sad to see the Knabe brand go, but it had a good run. I still come by good ones all the time, though. And we restore some here and there.

It's a great way to make money, actually. My grandfather's long time friend used to use horse shoe nails (they have blunt ends) and dig them into the string pins so that you could get back all of the string tension you lost from the aging wood. Than he would resell the pianos he worked on for a whole lot more than he payed for them. We even used to get them out of junkyards. Just some repairs and the horseshoe treatment, and you could fetch quite the price. You wouldn't believe the pianos that people throw away.

He didn't have the money to patent it, so he decided to be a good Christian and spread the trade secret to other tuners and piano technicians, but they were taken aback and said that he was brutish idiot for putting horse shoe nails in a piano. It's too bad, really.

But this was all just a decade after the Great Depression, so I never got to meet him. Who knows, it might make for a good invention nowadays.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 1:42 pm 
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Horseshoe nails! Well, I bet folks who lived through the Great Depression learned to be crafty and use their heads (we could use some of that nowadays :D ). Your grandfather's friend sounds like he was just a facinating person.

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 2:04 am 
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Location: Houston, TX
Anonymous wrote:
....That's why I play on a 1750's model m steinway.


Steinway & Sons began producing pianos in the US in 1853. Henry Englehard Steinweg,founder of Steinway & Sons,
was born February 17, 1797 in Wolfshagen im Harz, Duchy of Brunswick (modern Germany).

I'm just sayin'

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1887 Knabe 6'4" (Rebuilt)


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 2:16 am 
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Location: Houston, TX
Lukecash wrote:
....Also, I would definitely refer the Knabe brand as a fantastic manufacturer of pianos, at least...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xr4nHwaJ ... re=related

I love Knabe's. (I own one, so I'm a bit prejudiced... LOL) This isn't a great recording, I did it with my iPhone, but it sorta captures the characteristics. Knabe's of the old days had a really wonderful quality to them. I love my piano.

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1887 Knabe 6'4" (Rebuilt)


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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 2:37 pm 
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crogersrx wrote:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xr4nHwaJu3s&feature=related

I love Knabe's. (I own one, so I'm a bit prejudiced... LOL) This isn't a great recording, I did it with my iPhone, but it sorta captures the characteristics. Knabe's of the old days had a really wonderful quality to them. I love my piano.

That is a nice looking instrument - insofar as one can see it in this bad video. Sounds good too, not unlike my Gaveau in fact.
How come the sound is so much better than the picture quality ?

Now for some real music to be played on it, instead of this endless doodling ...

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 Post subject: Re: STEINWAY PIANOS
PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:59 am 
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I agree with Lukecash's opinions on Baldwin Artist Grands. If properly prepped by a dealer, they can be absolutely incredible pianos. As I mentioned above, I have a Model L (6'3"). If only my music room were larger, I would definitely have the SF10 (7'), which reputedly has the best scale that Baldwin ever designed for any of their pianos. An SD10 (9') would be to die for, of course, but not many people can fit one into their homes. These Artist Grands are truly high performance quality pianos meant to be appreciated by serious pianists.

I should point out here that Gibson (Baldwin's owner) has been under financial strain during the recession. They moved all of their upright piano production to Zhongshan, China. Their line of consumer-grade Baldwin grands (perhaps more suited for casual or budget-conscious pianists) are now made at Dongbei, China. Fortunately, Artist Grand building remains at the plant in Truman, AK. But these grands are no longer automatically built and shipped to dealers. Instead, there is just a small crew of piano makers on hand there who build for custom manufacture only by special orders. I hope that the Artist Grands do not move to China, but others argue that it would make sense, while requiring compliance with specifications under on-site inspection by Baldwin personnel. The theory is that quality could in fact be fully maintained, while enabling pricing to be more competitive. But what about freight costs--grand pianos are heavy! I'm not yet convinced. I think it should remain in the U.S.

David

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