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STEINWAY PIANOS

Discussion in 'The Piano' started by jesus_loves_u, Jun 20, 2006.

  1. r590

    r590 New Member

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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.
     
  2. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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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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  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    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).
     
  4. rachmaninoff

    rachmaninoff New Member Piano Society Artist

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

    Paradisi New Member

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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.
     
  6. romanza

    romanza New Member

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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
     
  7. Anonymous

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    on www.1001pianos.com most of our piano music available for download is made with Steinway and Boesendorfer pianos ...
     
  8. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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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.
     
  9. diminished2nd

    diminished2nd New Member Piano Society Artist

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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.
     
  10. diminished2nd

    diminished2nd New Member Piano Society Artist

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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:
     
  11. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    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
     
  12. Lukecash

    Lukecash New Member

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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.
     
  13. sarah

    sarah New Member

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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?
     
  14. Lukecash

    Lukecash New Member

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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 :!:
     
  15. sarah

    sarah New Member

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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!
     
  16. Lukecash

    Lukecash New Member

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    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.
     
  17. sarah

    sarah New Member

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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.
     
  18. crogersrx

    crogersrx New Member

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    Re:

    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'
     
  19. crogersrx

    crogersrx New Member

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    Re:

    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.
     
  20. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Re: Re:

    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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