Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Purchase a Restored Steinway Grand Piano
Question: “I have read a lot about vintage Steinways vs. new. Why should I consider purchasing a restored Steinway over a new one?”
Here at Chupp’s Pianos, we often receive questions related to the differences between new and restored Steinway & Sons Pianos. After talking to our clients about the benefits and drawbacks of each type of piano, these conversations often lead up to the ultimate question: “Should I buy a new Steinway, or a vintage restored Steinway piano?”
At the end of the day, we often find that finding a second home to a restored piano is the best way to go. Restored pianos are excellent musical investments that are often superior to brand new pianos. The workmanship during the ‘golden era’ of piano manufacturing was truly standard setting. Below you’ll find the top 3 reasons considering a restored Steinway & Sons piano might be in your best interest over a new one.
Kevin Vietmeier On His Golden Era Restored Steinway
Recently we were able to fully restore a golden era Steinway & Sons Model M Grand Piano for pianist Kevin Vietmeier. We were all very pleased with the tone and touch of the finished instrument. He was kind enough to leave a five star Google Review for us which we have reprinted below.
“After searching for a grand piano in Pennsylvania and Ohio (including official Steinway stores), I stumbled across Chupp’s and drove out to play a Model M they had on sale. The owner, Dennis, was extremely patient and walked me through his restoration facility explaining the entire process of restoring a vintage Steinway. After playing some of their fully restored pianos, I was greatly impressed and decided to purchase a 1923 Model M and have them do a complete restoration.
Dennis and Tim were both upfront and honest with me throughout the entire process, and in the end I got a beautifully restored Steinway with the gorgeous tone I was expecting and unfortunately not hearing when playing brand new Steinways at other stores. I have had two technicians play the piano, and both were astounded at the excellent workmanship put into this instrument.
A Look At The Steinway Piano Rebuilding Process
A little over a year ago we released the short documentary “The Garage Piano: The Story of a Steinway.” Since then it has been viewed well over 10,000 times on Facebook and YouTube. This production details just some of the extensive work that goes into each one of our fully rebuilt Steinway pianos. If you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to take the time to learn a bit more about the piano rebuilding process.
This is the story of the restoration of a Steinway & Sons Grand Piano. This instrument was left alone and neglected in a garage for over 20 years. This short documentary follows the rebuilding process and tells the story of the piano’s full restoration and rebirth. From cosmetic details like replacing the keytops to extensively restoring the piano action and refinishing the satin ebony cabinet, this piano documentary shows the work that goes into returning a vintage New York Steinway to its former glory. The art of piano rebuilding is truly art you can feel!
The Origin and History of the Steinway Model C Grand Piano
The Steinway Model B measures 6’11” in length while the Model D is 8’11”. But what about the piano that comes in between these two? The Steinway & Sons Model C Semi-Concert Grand Piano is an instrument that is often forgotten about – at least by some of us here in North America. Here is a quick history of the lineage of the Semi-Concert Model C.
The Steinway Model C’s Origin
The 7’2” Steinway and Sons Model C was first manufactured in 1878 with Steinway #38675 being the first in the series to be completed on 8/24/1878. These seven-octave, 85-note pianos were based upon the earlier Parlor Grands built by Steinway. The Model C, 85-note piano was also known as the Style 3 in catalogues. The scale design featured a 21 note bass section and was redesigned from the earlier parlor grand piano by C.F. Theodore Steinway. The Model C was introduced during a time of advancement for the Steinway Company. The early Model C was first produced with a sectional case design, and in 1880 production of Model Cs with a more modern style bent-rim case began. The 85-note Model C/Style 3 was in production until 1886.
Stephen Baker of Bethany Lutheran Church Selects Steinway Concert Grand
Recently Chupp’s Piano Service provided Bethany Lutheran Church of Spencer, Iowa with a pre-owned Steinway Model D 9′ Concert Grand Piano. Music Director Stephen Baker was kind enough to send in the following testimonial.
I searched all over the Midwest looking for a used concert grand for our church, and after playing dozens of pianos in Minneapolis, Iowa, and Michigan, I didn’t find a better piano or a better value than at Chupp’s in Indiana.
When the piano arrived, the word spread throughout town and people were so excited that a couple dozen people showed up just to watch the piano get unloaded and installed in the sanctuary. People who had never seen a 9′ Steinway were actually moved to tears at just the sight of it!
Steinway Model M Grand Pianos | Their Past, Present, & Future
The Steinway Model M is a fantastic grand piano, and has been since its creation in 1911. But before we tell the tale of the Steinway Model M, we need to understand the historical context under which this Steinway piano was invented. Things had begun to shift and change during the early part of the 20th Century.
The piano had quickly become THE luxury item that every family yearned to own. Hundreds of thousands of grand and upright pianos were manufactured and sold yearly during this industry ‘golden age’ in the United States alone. This increasing popularity with the general public led companies to begin to look at crafting instruments that fit inside of smaller rooms and within slightly smaller budgets.
Over 160 Years of Fine Pianos | Quick Facts about Steinways
For over 160 years, the name “Steinway” has represented the finest quality in the piano industry. Founded by Henry E. Steinway, the company quickly became a leader in both craftsmanship and innovation. Over a century and a half later Steinway & Sons continues to expand and grow. With the slogan “The Instrument of the Immortals” Steinway pianos became the preferred choice of over 90% of professional concert pianists due to their unmistakable touch and tone. Scroll through the handy infographic to learn more about the rich history and work that goes into pianos bearing the name of Steinway.
Fully Rebuilt Steinway Model M | Fine Restored Pianos for Sale
The pre-WWII era of piano manufacturing saw the growing American industry reach its height in both size and quality. This golden age of piano manufacturing saw incredible quality and innovation become the standard as hundreds of makers competed for the hearts (and wallets) of a piano loving public.
Into this era of craftsmanship Steinway Model M #250775 was born. Built in 1927 at the New York Steinway & Sons factory, this 5’7″ instrument features an overstrung scale designed by Henry Ziegler. Scaled down from the larger Model O, this instrument was originally designed to give the public a smaller option in Steinway’s lineup of grand pianos. Until the introduction of the 5’1″ Model S, the Model M was the smallest grand piano that Steinway produced.
Joyce Brown of Edwardsburg, Michigan sent in this very nice letter to the editor to The Elkhart Truth about the historic Baldwin Model M Grand Piano we rebuilt and presented at the Ruthmere Museum in Elkhart, Indiana. The piano was originally built in 1938 at the Cincinnati Baldwin piano factory and was the personal piano of the Deputy family, the last residents of the Ruthmere Museum. This instrument was donated to be placed in the museum by the Deputy family and was fully rebuilt by the team here at Chupp’s Piano Service.
The Steinway Model D Benchmark
The Steinway & Sons Model D grand piano is one which signifies an instrument’s grace, power, and delicacy unlike any other. Measuring at 8’11 3/4″ in length, the Model D towers above regular grand pianos, which are usually around 5’6” to 6’ long. Truly the pinnacle of Steinway’s historic dedication to innovation and top shelf craftsmanship, the thousand pound Model D-274 truly is the standard by which other concert pianos are judged against. Decades of craftsmanship and development, signified and represented by one instrument it has long been considered the first choice of concert pianists.
The Steinway Model O vs. the Model L | What’s the Difference?
Question: “The Steinway Model O and the Model L grand pianos seem to be about the same? What is the difference?
Similar Yet Different | Steinway Model vs. Model L
There are many differences between the various models of pianos bearing the name of Steinway & Sons. From the diminutive 5’1″ Model S to the imposing 8’11” Concert Model D, Steinway pianos run a wide range of sizes and sound. Each size of piano has its place and purpose. However there are models that are considered to be very similar and the Model O and the Model L are two of those. The Model O and the Model L are both about the same size and have actually both replaced each other during various periods in the Steinway & Sons company history.
About the Steinway Model B Grand Piano
The First Model B Grands | 85 Notes
The Steinway & Sons Model B is considered by many to be a perfect balance of size and power making it a very versatile instrument. Measuring 6’11” in length, 58″ in width and weighing well over 700 pounds these pianos are much larger than a Steinway Model S, M, or L. (And a bit larger than the somewhat comparable Model A-II.) The Model B ‘Music Room Grand’ was introduced in 1878 as a replacement for the piano that Steinway called the Monitor Grand. This instrument is considered to be the first modern piano ever built by Steinway. (The first several Model B pianos were built in the style of these Monitor Grands.) These early Model B Grands featured an 85 note keyboard and were offered in various art case cabinet styles. A capo d’astro bar was utilized in place of agraffes for notes 52 to 85. In 1891 #73212 the first Model B with an 88 note keyboard was introduced and in 1897 the Steinway factory in Hamburg, Germany began production of the Model B.
Model D #269017 | A Unique Steinway Piano
In the early 1980s, I had a long conversation with Fred Drasche the former head service technician at Steinway. As we discussed the history of Steinway and their instruments, he told me that around 1950, Steinway produced two Model D grand pianos with Western Red Cedar soundboards. The red cedar was used in place of the regular spruce soundboards.
His words were “those were two of the best sounding Steinway Ds I ever heard.” For many years, we here at Chupp’s Pianos wanted to install a western red cedar soundboard. This goal was something which we were finally able to accomplish recently! Out of five pianos in which we installed western red cedar soundboards, Steinway Model D #269017 is the most powerful of them all. Some of the finest acoustic guitars incorporate western red cedar tops to obtain optimal tonal quality so utilizing this material in musical instruments is not uncommon. Attached is a link to more information about the piano and photos are embedded below.
Steinway & Sons | A Basic History
In the early part of the 20th century there were more than 300 piano manufacturers in the United States alone, churning pianos out of factories large and small at a rapid pace. A piano was THE luxury item that everyone wanted in their home. If you didn’t have one already you wanted one and if you had one, you probably wanted to upgrade to a better one. Today, few of these companies remain in business, victims of changing taste and economic swings. However Steinway & Sons continues on.
The Steinway name is everywhere. From the cabinets of living room baby grand pianos to the foremost concert venues in the world, the mention of Steinway still commands a deep respect for the instruments and the music artists create with them. Here is a basic history of this famed business.
The Founding of Steinway:
The company was founded on March 5, 1853 by Henry Engelhard Steinway. An immigrant from Germany, he had already built 482 pianos by the time he founded the new company in New York, New York. His first Steinway & Sons piano sold to a local family for the price of five hundred dollars.
The company grew rapidly. So rapidly that within a year he moved the business to a larger facility on Walker Street. By the 1860s a new factory housed the piano manufacturing and a workforce of 350 were producing over 1,800 pianos a year. In the early days of Steinway, new ideas and innovation were key to their success. The famed duplex scale, overstrung bass strings and many other industry changing designs were developed during this time. The Steinway piano did battle against other popular brands during this time, including Mason & Hamlin, Chickering and Sons and more. The company secured many awards at various trade fairs, which bolstered the reputation of the instruments. The Steinway name had been cemented as one linked to quality and new ideas.
Expansion and the World War:
It was clear at that point that Steinway pianos were there to stay and the company continued to push through rapid growth. To reach the European market, William Steinway and C.F. Theodore Steinway built a factory in Hamburg, Germany in the year 1880. Hamburg Steinway Pianos share many of the same innovations and techniques as their New York brothers, and designers share ideas between the two factories. However there are differences that make these instruments unique and sometimes preferred by artists. Speaking of artists, in the early 1870s the Steinway artists program was born. This program where pianists are supplied the best Steinway & Sons pianos is a useful promotion for both the company and the artist themselves. (Other companies have utilized the same formula, but Steinway has had the most success by far.)
Cheyenne Civic Center’s Piano Ready for Upcoming Shows:
Recently Chupp’s Pianos restored a Steinway & Sons Model D Concert 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.