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.
Pre-Owned Upright Pianos for Sale | Refurbished Pianos2019 is underway! Whether your New Year's resolution has anything to do with music or not, we just might have the piano that is right for you. Along with our selection of rebuilt/restored grand pianos and new Kawai upright, grand and digital instruments, we also have a fine selection of pre-owned instruments at astounding prices. Here are just a few of them!
Partnering With The Ruthmere to Restore Local HistoryThis 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 around this very piano.) The piano is believed to have been moved out of the mansion in 1969. Recently, the Deputy family generously donated the Baldwin piano to the Ruthmere Museum, returning it to its former home. This is the story of a historic piano’s full restoration. Producer/Shooter/Director: Benjamin Rogers - Music Written & Performed by Philip Balke - Special thanks to The Ruthmere Museum of Elkhart, IN.
Why Pianos Slip Out of Tune
A piano is made up of thousands of individual parts. A dizzying number of components constructed of wood, metal, and cloth all combine to create one musical instrument. In one way, all acoustic pianos are equal - they require tuning. Today, the standard pitch to which pianos are tuned is A440. Here are some of the reasons your piano will slip out of tune.
Question: Why do pianos go out of tune? What has the greatest affect on my piano's tuning stability?
- Humidity Swings: The biggest factor that affects a piano's stability of tuning are swings in humidity. Traditionally, a piano's pinblock, soundboard and bridges are all made of wood. Wood can be very susceptible to swings in humidity which cause the wood to expand and contract. Constant swelling and shrinking combined with the thousands of pounds of tension created by the strings, causes the piano to quickly slip out of tune.
- Maintaining Consistency: A humidity range between 40% and 50% is optimal for your acoustic piano. The best solution is to maintain a constant humidity level in your home by using a whole house or room humidification control system. We also highly recommend the use of a Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver System installed on the instrument to help create a stable 'microenvironment' around and inside the piano. These systems are available for both upright and grand pianos.
Four Pianos, Hundreds of Years of HistoryWe recently had several pianos lined up in our Rebuilding Facility that spanned the near entirety of what is considered the golden age of Steinway & Sons Factory quality. When we saw what we had set up, we couldn't help but snap some pictures to share! For lack of a better word, this was just plain cool! From the early days of modern piano building to the style of instrument most popular today, it's all represented! Here is some detail regarding these fine grand pianos.
Steinway & Sons Model D #52626 was completed in early 1885. This means that construction of this piano began at the New York Steinway Factory in 1884. This is the first year that Steinway ever made what is now known as the king of concert grand pianos, the Model D! Veneered in a rich cut of rare Brazilian Rosewood and as one of the very first Model D Concert Grands ever built by Steinway, this piano marks the beginning of an era. It is a rare find indeed! The piano features a then typical round arm art case design with double narrow moldings around the case, a figured music desk with 'old-style' fretwork, hand-carved Victorian fluted flowerpot legs with hidden casters and a large box pedal lyre with carved pillars. This instrument was originally purchased for use at the DuPage County Library near Chicago, IL. This concert grand piano is currently located at our New Paris Rebuilding Facility and is available for selection and purchase. [Click Here to Read More About This Piano.]
Quality Used Upright Pianos Available
Find The Piano For You in our Fall Selection!The new school year is in full swing and many are starting back into music lessons as well. Now is the perfect time to consider the purchase of that upright piano you have been thinking about! We have assembled a selection of high quality, used upright pianos that run the gambit of budgets and tastes. Sitting alongside our selection of new upright pianos, these used instruments are all in excellent condition and come with a Three Year Warranty and free local ground floor delivery!
"One of my wife's lifelong dreams has been to own a Steinway piano, as her parents and grandparents did. Playing the piano has always been a huge part of my wife's family's life. Although not a musician myself, but one that can appreciate quality and fine art, I approached Dennis Chupp to help me with the purchase of a Steinway Model O for my wife's birthday. Dennis not only took the time to explain his experience and the business to me, but walked me through the intricacies of why a Steinway along with his restoration business is second to none. After much research and reference calls, we made the decision to proceed with a complete restoration of a 1921 Model O. This included having the finish changed from mahogany to ebony and a piano player system added.
How much does a piano weigh?The combination of thick pieces of lumber, the heavy cast iron plate (sometimes called a harp), and numerous other components make the piano one of the heaviest instruments on the market today. Pianos vary greatly in weight depending on their type and size. For example, a Steinway & Sons Model B which measures 6’11” in length weighs approx. 750 lbs. while smaller upright pianos such as consoles and spinets, usually weigh in the 300 to 500 lbs range.
"I spent hours at the store deliberating between a few pianos and, after much deliberation, chose a rebuilt 1926 Mason & Hamlin."Chupp’s Piano Service of New Paris, Indiana recently had the pleasure of working with Lorraine S. of Central Indiana. She was kind enough to provide the following testimonial regarding the restored Mason & Hamlin Model AA Grand Piano she purchased and her experience working with us.
I recently inquired about a used piano that I saw on Chupp’s Pianos website. Dennis promptly replied and invited me to visit the showroom. I mentioned that I would be traveling near their showroom over a holiday weekend so he and his son, Tim, were kind enough to open the store on the holiday to accommodate my schedule (now that is customer service!). Tim was extremely patient as I spent hours at the store deliberating between a few pianos and, after much deliberation, chose a rebuilt 1926 Mason & Hamlin. Tim also gave me a tour of the piano restoration workshop, which I really enjoyed. As a former piano major, piano teacher, and church musician, I had not owned a piano for over five years since moving into my new home. Buying a grand piano is a major investment, so I had plenty of trepidation as to the cost, new versus used, and the brand after having searched online over a period of time. Overzealous salespeople are a real distraction to me, so I liked that Tim did not pressure me into buying anything, but instead let me browse and discuss at my leisure.