Today, the 6’11” Steinway & Sons Model B Grand Piano is commonly referred to as ‘the perfect piano’. However, before this legendary piano rose to prominence, there was another instrument that helped push Steinway pianos toward being the world-class instruments they are known as today. Designed by C.F. Theodore Steinway, the Style 1, commonly referred to as the ‘Monitor’ was first put into production in 1871. It bears a marked resemblance to a scale design he created prior to joining his family at Steinway & Sons.
When listing the makers of fine concert level grand pianos, the name “Everett” is normally not among them. Mainly known for their upright pianos built in New Haven, Michigan, Everett was later purchased by Yamaha in one of the Japanese company’s forays into the North American market. However, prior to this, Everett was a Boston based company that manufactured heavily built, premium quality upright and grand pianos. Unfortunately, much of the information regarding the early days of Everett have passed into history.
The Steinway & Sons Model D is the concert piano which all others are judged against. Number 51257 was the first Model D to be completed on January 31st, 1884. Steinway Model D #53671 was built a short time later and was among the first of these legendary pianos to be built. Completed on July 21st, 1885, this New York built Concert Grand is one of the finest examples of ‘golden age’ piano making that we have ever seen. According to Steinway New York Factory records, this piano was sold to its first owner in the fall of 1918, so we are assuming this instrument was utilized as an early Concert & Artists instrument during the intervening years.
Built at the New York Steinway Factory in 1917, this Steinway Model B is a wonderful example of historic Art Case piano design. The Model B has long been considered to be one of the world’s most ‘perfect pianos.’ Measuring just under seven feet, these semi-concert instruments are often chosen due to their wonderful balance of size and sound. Steinway Model B #180473 was crafted during the pre-WWII ‘golden era’ of Steinway Factory quality. The quality of workmanship and the materials available resulted in some of the finest grand pianos ever manufactured. As the development of the modern piano began to culminate, more and more work was put into turning the cabinet of the piano into a work of visual art.
In 1980, Ed Hendricks of Hendricks’ Keyboards in Downers Grove, IL invited Dennis Chupp and Walter L. Boshart up to the Chicago area to meet John Steinway. John joined Steinway & Sons in 1939 and worked his way through various positions, eventually serving as the company Chairman.
John Steinway is pictured signing the Steinway Service Manual for Dennis. Through the great assistance of the late Ed Hendricks, Dennis would later have the opportunity to train at the New York Steinway Factory in March of 1981.
Before the well known Steinway Model D Concert Grand ruled the concert stage, there were a number of ‘Early Scale’ grands which were amazing instruments in their own right. A few years ago we rebuilt an 1868 Steinway & Sons Style 4 (Fancy) Early Concert Scale grand piano for the Lodge & Spa at Three Fork’s Ranch in Wyoming. This Early Concert Scale design was the first Steinway 88-note grand piano scale and was designed by company founder and patriarch Henry E. Steinway and his son Henry Steinway Jr. This era of Style 4 Concert Grands measure 8’5″ in length and a ‘full’ 7 1/4 octaves.
Built in 1917, this golden era Model A-3 was manufactured at the New York Steinway & Sons Factory. Measuring 6′ 4 1/2″ in length, these ‘stretch A’ parlor grands boast a range of tone that exceeds what one would expect from a piano of its size. It is considered to be very on par with the 6′ 11″ Steinway Model B. These grand pianos feature a superbly crafted scale design and are considered to be some of the finest instruments ever produced by Steinway. We have fully rebuilt this premium piano and it a fine, concert level instrument. With a stunning cabinet and a rich tonal quality, this piano is a wonderful example of historic Steinway & Sons Factory quality.
Goshen College’s Sauder Concert Hall is incredibly respected and admired for its beautiful design and outstanding acoustic qualities. With a design inspired by the great concert halls in Europe, it seats 900 and is one of the leading performance venues in the Midwest today. A hall of this elegance and sound standard deserves the best pianos possible. Chupp’s Piano Service fully the vintage Steinway & Sons Model D-274 9′ Concert Grand Piano for Goshen College. These 9′ pianos are beautiful both visually and as musical instruments. The original soundboard was repaired and refinished, the actions were fully rebuilt, the pianos were refinished in a premium closed pore lacquer finish and much more.
Steinway Model D #233201 was built in 1924 at the New York Steinway Factory. This is well within what is considered to be the ‘golden era’ of quality within the American piano industry and the Steinway company itself. This half ton instrument is capable of producing a magnificent range of tone. Fully rebuilt and restored by Chupp’s Piano Service this instrument features a new custom fitted spruce soundboard, a new custom fitted pinblock, a fully rebuilt and regulated action, a refinished and lettered cast iron plate, a luxurious hand rubbed, closed pore lacquer finish and much more. This 8’11” grand piano is truly worthy of bearing the Steinway name.
The Steinway & Sons Model A-III is one of our favorite Steinway scale designs. Many pianists and experts agree that the Model A-III is a piano that is capable of a much larger sound than what its 6’4″ stature would initially indicate. The advanced scale design and extra length when compared with the smaller A-1 and A-2 models puts it more on par with Steinway Model B Grands than its smaller brethren. Reliable industry sources say that the Model A3 was discontinued by Steinway due to the competition it was creating for the more expensive Model B.
This historic Baldwin Model M Baby Grand Piano was fully rebuilt by Chupp’s Piano Service. Built in 1938 at the Cincinnati Baldwin piano factory, this grand piano was a
family heirloom of the Deputy family, the last residents of the historic Ruthmere Mansion in Elkhart, Indiana. (In fact, one of their family portraits at the museum shows the family sitting at this very piano.) The piano is believed to have been moved out of the mansion in 1969. The Deputy family generously donated the piano to the Ruthmere Museum.
The Steinway & Sons Model D-274 is truly a standard setting instrument. Measuring 9′ in length and weighing a thousand pounds, these imposing and beautiful pianos are truly a work of art in and of themselves. Steinway Model D #275187 is one of the many concert grand pianos we have had the pleasure of fully restoring and rebuilding. Built in 1932 at the height of Steinway quality, this ‘golden age’ instrument boasts an incredibly responsive action and a powerful, concert level sound. This piano received a custom fitted solid spruce soundboard, a new custom fitted pinblock, a fully rebuilt action, a satin ebony, closed pore lacquer finish and so much more. The piano features incredibly rare, like new one piece genuine ivory keytops, making this piano extra special. The action has been fully regulated to top concert standards and expert tone regulation has been performed to bring out the very best from this piano.
Steinway & Sons produced Jacobean style pianos from the mid 1920s to the mid 1940s. This very distinctive style is quite rare to find, let alone in full rebuilt condition. Steinway & Sons Model B #271043 was manufactured at the New York Steinway factory in 1931 and was fully rebuilt by us here at Chupp’s Piano Service. This instrument underwent an extensive restoration process to return it to its former glory. Painstaking cabinet repair was undertaken and the curved connecting arms between the individual legs were expertly re fabricated. The piano was refinished in a premium hand rubbed, closed pore lacquer to return the instrument to the factory authentic condition and color. This is just one of the many unique pianos that we have rebuilt over the years. Click to read more about this piano!
This stunning, truly one of a kind Steinway & Sons Model A-II Art Case Grand Piano was manufactured at the New York Steinway factory on June 30th, 1903. This incredibly rare piano features a cabinet in a fancy sketch #425 Renaissance Design carved and darkened with special markings. This one of a kind piano was the only sketch #425 piano ever produced. This piano was manufactured by Steinway and was sent to another New York based company, Hoffstettler to have the case work done. For its intricately wrought scroll work on the legs and case, the Hoffstettler Company brought in a master craftsman from Germany to hand carve the gorgeous Tiger Oak. Click to read more about this extraordinary piano!
Steinway & Sons Model D #269017 was built in 1929. This unique and powerful concert grand piano has been fully restored by Chupp’s Piano Service. This piano features a Western Red Cedar soundboard which gives this piano a powerful and unique sound. In the early 1980s Master Technician Dennis Chupp talked with Fred Drasche a veteran of the Steinway & Sons company. During this conversation Fred told Dennis that Steinway manufactured two Model D grands in the 1950s that featured Red Cedar soundboards. He said “…those were two of the best sounding Steinway Ds I ever heard.” Ever since then it has been one of our goals to install a Red Cedar soundboard, a goal we were able to complete recently.
In the spring of 1985, owner/master technician of Chupp’s Pianos, Dennis Chupp has the opportunity to receive extensive training from legendary Steinway & Sons master technician Fred Drasche. Fred began work at the New York Steinway & Sons factory back in 1922 and continued with the company for over 75 years.
Fred Drasche was a vital part of the Steinway company and was inducted into the Piano Technicians Guild Hall of Fame. Dennis has always been appreciative of the opportunity to receive training, insight and knowledge from this legend of the piano industry.
The pin block in a grand piano is obviously an important component to both the stability of tone and structural integrity of the instrument. Logically, care must be taken during the manufacturing and re-manufacturing process to ensure a secure and tight fit between the pin block and the cast iron plate. Recently we have come across a number of pianos where care was NOT taken during the factory manufacturing process. We have begun/completed work on a number of Young Chang grand pianos where the fit between the plate and the pin block quite frankly was almost nonexistent as you can see in the photos. Young Chang utilizes a very fine quality pinblock, so the bad fit is rather unfortunate. We utilized an advanced compound to fill the gap and ensure structural and tuning stability in these fine pianos.
This extraordinary 1901 Steinway & Sons Model B Grand Piano was fully rebuilt and restored by us. Featuring a new soundboard & bridges, new pinblock, new German music wire, tuning pins, custom made bass strings, new German Renner wippens, new hammers, shanks and flanges and much more. This pre-World War II ‘golden age’ Steinway piano is in a rare, Quarter Sawn Oak veneer. This piano received a premium closed pore, hand rubbed finish that brought out the unique and detailed grain pattern. The action was fully regulated by our expert piano technicians and it was weighed off to exacting Steinway specifications. This is a stunning, concert level instrument and is a great example of the work we regularly do here at Chupp’s Piano Service!
We recently completed the full restoration of this gorgeous Hamburg Steinway & Sons Model D Concert Grand Piano. This piano features a stunning and rare Brazillian Rosewood piano. A new soundboard and bridges were installed as well as a new custom fitted pinblock, new premium German music wire and tuning pins and custom manufactured bass strings. The original ivory key tops were restored. The action received a full re-build with new German Renner Wippens, new Genuine Hamburg Steinway Hammers, Shanks and Flanges. The semi-gloss closed pore lacquer finish was hand rubbed to bring out the distinctive grain detail. The action was weighed off to Steinway & Sons specs for maximum responsiveness and speed. This instrument is a gorgeous piano and we were honored to restore and provide this to a client.
This 1914 Steinway & Sons Model A Grand Piano was fully rebuilt by us. A new soundboard, bridges, pin block, premium German music wire, turning pins, custom produced bass strings, damper felts, German Renner wippens, hammers, shanks, flanges and keytops were installed. The original plate was regilded and hand lettered. The damper back action was fully restored and the action underwent a full concert regulation. The finish received a premium closed pore, hand rubbed satin finish. This is a great example of the quality work we do on a regular basis here at Chupp’s.
Many of the pianos that we are asked to restore come from homes and estate sales in fairly decent condition. This Steinway was an exception. Stored in a garage for years, this instrument received one of the most extensive restorations we have ever undertaken. Every aspect of this piano was inspected and painstakingly restored. From the action, to the keytops to the cabinet repair, care was taken on every aspect of this project. It is the subject of a short documentary we produced. Link: https://youtu.be/CH6mabIucUc
In 2015 we restored a vintage Steinway & Sons Model D Grand Piano for the Cheyenne Civic Center. The piano was carefully rebuilt and regulated by our expert piano technicians to bring back the iconic Steinway tone we all know and love. Tim Chupp recently traveled out to Cheyenne, Wyoming to make some finishing touches to the instrument in its new home. Attached below is a photo of the instrument sitting on the concert venue’s beautiful stage.