Since 1853, Steinway & Sons have consistently crafted pianos that resonate with an unparalleled depth and richness of tone. Musicians, piano aficionados and anyone with a discerning ear for quality have long appreciated the unique auditory experience Steinway pianos provide.
But what makes Steinway pianos stand out? The answer lies in the combination of craftsmanship, technology and a history of relentless pursuit for perfection.
Unraveling the Rich Tone of Steinway & Sons’ Pianos
The quality of sound in a Steinway piano begins with the selection of the finest materials. The soundboard, often referred to as the ‘heart of the piano,’ is made from solid spruce with a specific grain density, which is carefully selected for optimal sound. The ‘bellymen’ at Steinway are craftsmen who possess the rare skill to shape this wood into a curved surface that further enhances its acoustic properties.
Steinway’s patented process called ‘diaphragmatic tapering’ means that the soundboard is thinner towards the edges, allowing it to vibrate more freely and responsively. This attribute contributes significantly to the piano’s capacity to sustain notes longer and generate a rich, full-bodied sound.
The bridges, where the vibrating strings transfer sound to the soundboard, are also critical in creating Steinway’s signature sound. Crafted from vertically laminated hardwood capped with solid maple, the bridges further complement the resonance of the piano.
Moreover, Steinway’s patented duplex scaling, a system that adds length to the speaking part of the strings, provides additional harmonics, thereby enriching the tonal quality of the piano’s higher notes. This innovation is a hallmark of Steinway’s attention to detail that makes each piano a masterpiece.
Steinway’s precision cast-iron plate, or ‘harp’, is designed to withstand the massive tension exerted by the strings, while its intricate design further contributes to the unique sound quality.
Underpinning all this is Steinway’s exemplary manufacturing process. Even today, much of the work is done by hand to ensure perfection in every detail. Skilled artisans take nearly a year to assemble a single Steinway grand piano, a testament to the company’s commitment to quality over speed.
Lastly, the Steinway ‘touch’ plays an equally crucial role. The company’s accelerated action design allows the hammers to rebound faster, offering players an enhanced control of dynamics and nuance. The rich sound and tone of Steinway & Sons’ pianos is not a product of chance. It is the result of the finest materials, innovative designs, meticulous craftsmanship and a tradition of excellence that spans over 170 years. It’s a symphony of elements working in harmony to produce a sound that transcends the realm of ordinary.
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