The Hamburg Steinway Factory – A Historic Report of Differences – ft. Excerpts from a Report by William T. Steinway
An Historic Glimpse Into the 70's Hamburg Steinway FactoryOne of the most unique parts of the Steinway story, is the tail of two factories. Although with a name like Steinway (originally Steinweg), one could not be blamed for initially thinking that Steinway & Sons is a German company, transplanted to the United States. In fact, that is almost reversed. Founded in 1853 in the city of New York,Steinway & Sons was the brainchild of German immigrant Henry E. Steinway. Launching his new piano business into one of the most cutthroat and competitive businesses of his day, Henry and his offspring would quickly grow the company into one of the powerhouses of modern day music. As demand increased in the United States, demand increased overseas as well. The decision was made to open a factory overseas and the Steinway name returned to Germany - the City of Hamburg, to be exact. In 1880, C.F. Theodore and William Steinway founded the Hamburg Steinway Factory. A wholly owned venture, this new factory allowed them to avoid high import tariffs and allowed for easier distribution of their newly built pianos throughout the European market. Today, the Hamburg division continues to serve this purpose and most of the countries outside of North America are supplied with instruments crafted in Hamburg. Here in the United States, Hamburg Steinway pianos are often viewed as more 'exotic' and are known to posses a different tonal quality when compared to their New York factory brethren.
FIND YOUR DREAM PIANO – FROM YOUR COUCH!
During this unprecedented time, we are still able to assist you in your search for your dream piano! Via phone, Facetime, Skype or email, a member of the Chupp’s Pianos team can take you on a virtual journey through our showroom selection of premium rebuilt Steinway & Sons and new Kawai pianos. Interested? Call us at 888-831-5820 or connect with us via our contact form below.…
Statement on COVID-19 and How To Set a Showroom AppointmentChupp’s Piano Service values the health and well being of both our team and our clients. We have taken continued steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (aka Coronavirus) in our area. Our team is still working in the shop on piano rebuilds and repairs. We ask that if you are interested in playing/evaluating one of the instruments we have for sale, that you contact us ahead of time to set up a private selection appointment. This allows us to maintain a minimum number of people inside the piano showroom area at any one time.
Testimonial - Long-Distance Client Finds Their Dream SteinwayOne of the things that we assist with quite often, is the selection of a piano by a client who lives well outside of our local region. The team here at Chupp's Pianos was recently fortunate enough to be able to provide a beautiful Steinway & Sons Model B Grand Piano to one of these customers. We worked with them via email and phone to ensure they received an instrument that met their expectations. Our network of expert piano delivery specialists allows us to deliver across the entire country - and even overseas! They were kind enough to send in a testimonial about the piano and their experience working with Chupp's Piano Service.
Why should you consider springing for a larger piano? What do the pedals on a Steinway piano do? What about a 'free' upright piano? In today’s blog post, we cover a few of the piano-related questions we receive here at Chupp’s Piano Service.
What Is The Benefit of a Large Grand Piano?Besides the amazing focal point that a large grand piano can give any room, there are a number of benefits that come with the purchase and use of a large grand piano over their smaller cousins. The first benefit you may notice when you begin to play is the superior level of control many large concert grands provide. Much of this can be traced back to the longer key sticks. What is a piano keystick? Traditionally crafted from a premium pine or spruce, the long wooden keys are capped with a keytop. (It is important to note that a piano key extends in length far beyond the small part at the front that is touched by the pianist.) Pianos of yesteryear boasted keytops of genuine ivory and ebony. Today, the most common materials are high-grade plastics and polymers. These materials are more environmentally friendly and less prone to cracking or yellowing. The larger key bed and action cavity space in a concert grand gives enough room for the length of the keys to be extended to their optimum length. The longer piano keys allow for greater precision and control over each note.
What is a 'Boston' Piano? - Designed by Steinway?
Question: I've been looking at purchasing a new piano. What is the deal with Boston pianos? I was told they were Steinway pianos, but I also heard they are built in Japan. It is getting a bit confusing!It is first good to know a bit of the back story behind the Boston piano brand. In the early-1990s, Steinway & Sons decided that they wanted to have their dealers offer what they considered to be a full line of pianos. This would range from the highest tier Steinway & Sons, down to entry-level uprights. The introduction of the Boston pianos in 1992 was the first salvo in their battle for a wider range of the piano market. Steinway & Sons contracted with Kawai Musical Instruments in Japan to build pianos under the Boston name. Kawai had, and continues to be a strong competitor to Steinway around the world. Kawai builds the Boston piano for Steinway in Japan, without many of the innovations and improvements that are standard in Kawai instruments. (Including the Millennium III ABS-Carbon Action, keybed reinforcement, etc.) Boston pianos were 'designed' by a group from Steinway that had little experience in actual piano manufacturing. A few little things were changed such as string size, case design, etc. Today, as it was then, Boston pianos have much more in common with real Kawai instruments than Steinway & Sons pianos. As they are built by Kawai, Boston pianos are of solid, good quality - there is no debate on that.
"I would like to emphasize that this is not a Steinway & Sons project." - Bob Dove, Boston Piano General Manager, 1992
Ring In The Holidays With a New Kawai Piano
As an authorized Kawai Piano Dealer, Chupp’s Piano Service is pleased to offer Kawai’s Holiday Sale Event financing. Both 0% interest and low-interest plans are available on select models of Kawai Grand, Upright and Digital pianos. Now is the perfect time to bring a piano into your home.
Contact us today for more information via email or phone @ 574.831.5820
NOTICE: This offer ENDS on December 31, 2019 – don’t delay!
North Carolina Family on their Chupp's Pianos Kawai GrandWe were recently fortunate enough to be able to provide a beautiful Kawai Grand Piano to a family in North Carolina. They were kind enough to send in a testimonial about the piano and their experience working with Chupp's Piano Service. It is always a joy to be able to help pair up a 'perfect piano' to a new home!
If you haven’t watched Chupp’s video, “The Garage Piano,” I encourage you to do so. This video showed me Mr. Chupp’s integrity and the heart of this family business, and I immediately knew that I wanted them to rebuild my circa 1891 grand piano. I contacted them right away via their website. Tim Chupp called me back, and we discussed the rebuilding process and the costs involved.
White House Steinways - Since 19031600 Pennsylvania Ave in Washington, D.C. The home of the President of the United States... and multiple pianos? Like other countries, music is rooted in American history, so it is no wonder that pianos of various makers have found their way into one of the world's most well known political residences. Since 1903, the showpiece grand piano in the White House has been a Steinway Model D. Read on for more!
The Current Piano - Steinway #300000Steinway & Sons recognized the honor, prestige, and yes, marketing value that came with having their instrument reside in the home of the President of the United States. The most well-known piano in the White House is a 1938 Steinway & Sons Art Case Model D Concert Grand #300000 veneered in mahogany. Resting on legs resembling American Bald Eagles, this piano features motifs depicting traditional American music.
Renner Joins the Growing Family of Steinway Musical Instruments' Owned SuppliersIn July of this year, it was announced that John Paulson's Steinway Musical Instruments had completed the purchase of Louis Renner GmbH & Co. KG. Renner is widely respected as one of the finest producers of piano action parts still in existence. Numerous makes of pianos, including Hamburg Steinways use Renner parts. Below is the Steinway & Sons announcement letter and below that are our thoughts on the issue.
Why Are My Piano Keys Sticking?
Behind each ivory, ebony or plastic topped key stick resides almost every moving part in a piano. All of these moving parts creates the potential for annoying sticking and binding, causing notes not to function. There are a number of reasons this may occur and can usually be quickly diagnosed by a qualified piano technician. Here are a few of the most common reasons.
- Debris. The gaps between the keysticks allow for small debris to fall between them. Over time, this can cause keys to bind together. Each key pivots on metal pins. If the rail pins become dirty or filled with debris, this can cause keys to feel sluggish. With a grand piano, pencils and similar items can often fall between strings and into the piano's action. (This author has dealt with that a time or two on his personal piano...) The fix for this usually involves removing the action stack or keys to get to the issue, removing any junk and thoroughly cleaning the action. If possible, keep small items stored away from where they could accidentally fall into the piano's action cavity or between the key sticks.
- Humidity swings can cause wooden key sticks and action parts to expand and shrink, causing parts to bind. We highly recommend that you take steps to control the humidity levels within and around your piano. The best way to do so is to invest in either a whole room or whole house humidification control system. As a nice side benefit, this will also greatly increase the comfort level of your home. We also recommend the consideration of a Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver System installed directly onto the piano. The combination of these steps will ensure that you receive the longest service and most enjoyment out of your musical instrument.
- Broken parts. There is a chance there may be broken action parts which are keeping your piano from functioning. Lost screws, flattened knuckles, broken wippens. These are just a few of the issues that may be causing your piano keys to jam or not return properly. Again, this would be an issue for your piano technician to diagnose and repair.
Steinway & Sons New York and Hamburg | What's the Difference?
Question: “What's the difference between Steinway pianos built at the company's New York Factory and their Hamburg Factory?"
An American Company
While Charles Dicken's novel A Tale of Two Cities dealt with the cities of Paris and London, this comparison deals with New York and Hamburg. Specifically, their shared role as the home for Steinway & Sons pianos. This unusual situation has resulted in key differences between the American and European variants of these legendary musical instruments.
Contrary to the belief of some, Steinway & Sons is not a European company and have always been an American company first and foremost. Founded by German immigrant Henry E. Steinway, the New York-based company grew quickly from its modest founding in 1853 to quickly become the leading piano maker in North America. This led to increased demand for their products in both the United States and around the world. As this demand for pianos grew, the decision was made to open a factory overseas and the Steinway name returned to Germany - the City of Hamburg, to be exact.
"Beauty cannot be measured, you see. It must be perceived."The following paragraphs are taken from an article by Lili Földes entitled The Other Masters of the Keyboard. Through the experience of being married to a concert pianist (Andor Földes) and the keen eye of a journalist, Mrs. Foldes pulls back the curtain on the unsung artists of the keyboard - and the rest of the instrument we know as the piano.
"We can’t believe what a beautiful instrument it is; exactly as represented"Recommendations and reviews from our friends and clients is always a great encouragement. Read on to view two recent reviews left on our Google Business listing. Thank you to Franklin and Diana for your kind words!
"We purchased our piano from Chupps in 2003 and it has been one of the best purchases we have ever made. We really had to save to buy and restore the Steinway B, but Dennis Chupp patiently helped us to find exactly what we were looking for and he restored it to perfection. The cost was less than what others had quoted us and the quality of Chupp's work was first-class. Our piano tuner (who is quite noted herself) said it is one of the finest restorations she has seen. She loves voicing and tuning our Steinway.
Little Rock, AR Clients on their Chupp's Piano Service Vintage Steinway Grand Piano
We were recently fortunate enough to be able to provide a beautiful vintage Steinway & Sons Grand Piano to Sam & Kim Vallery of Little Rock, Arkansas. They were kind enough to send in a testimonial about the piano they purchased from us along with some beautiful photos, which we have included below.
"What a delightful experience it was to come and see your pianos. We had scoured our area (Little Rock) in search of the perfect piano for me, but were left disappointed. We then hit the road. We ended up in Elkhart IN, visited several stores, and saved the best for last. Dennis gave me free rein to play whatever piano I wanted. No pressure, no time frame.