A Guide on The Best Piano Brands: Steinway and Sons

Associated with the finest pianos in the world, Steinway and Sons is one of the most recognizable piano brands. Established nearly 200 years ago in New York, Steinway and Sons pianos are revered for their unique sound and craftsmanship.

Above all else, Steinway pianos produce a sound that is unparalleled in quality. While their piano prices are also unmatched, pianists and piano technicians have mentioned they are worth every penny.

Steinway & Sons – History

Heinrich Engelhard Steinway, a famous piano and cabinetmaker from Seesen, Germany immigrated to the United States in 1850. Upon arriving Heinrich put his piano making skills to good use and established a manufacturing company named Steinway & Sons, which become a symbol of wealth and culture, in early 1900s.

In fact the fine quality of the Steinway construction process and musical designs inspired other manufacturing companies to adopt their patents. Even today, many pianists are fascinated by the features that Steinway pianos offer, some of which are rich and powerful sounds, stronger frame, and sensitive action.

From generation to generation, Steinway and Sons designed modern pianos until the 1960s. During this time, they had no heir willing to continue the business. After some time, however, CBS purchased the company in 1972.

However, running an instrument business took a toll on CBS, which is why it sold the company to an investment group. In 1996, a brass and woodwind instrument manufacturing company bought the ownership of Steinway and Sons and named it Steinway Musical Instruments Inc.

Today, the piano brand owns a factory branch in Hamburg, Germany, and is one of the largest piano makers in the world.

Steinway & Sons – Product Line

This brand manufactures a wide range of hand-crafted pianos with the finest quality. Here are some popular product lines you should consider:

1.      Upright Pianos

The Upright piano’s body has incredible support due to strong braces and beams in the back. The strings, soundboard, and plate are vertical. These pianos are ideal for rooms with limited space.

Steinway’s upright pianos are around 43 to 52 in high, taking the same amount of space on the floor. Despite being suitable for smaller rooms, the performance of these Upright pianos remains top notch.

2.      Grand Pianos

Grand pianos have horizontally positioned strings and soundboard.  The action in Grand pianos is highly responsive as it works with gravity. Needless to say, the quick response action of a grand piano is comparatively better than upright pianos. The special thing about Steinway’s grand piano is three pedals. These pedals perform different functions, which include:

  • A damper pedal to sustain tones
  • A soft pedal to soften the notes
  • A sostenuto pedal to sustain specific notes

3.      Boston Brand

In 1992 Steinway launched its Boston line of pianos, designed by Steinway & Sons and built by Kawai.

Constructed with superior wood, Boston pianos and grands have a unique and excellent sound.

Several features in the Boston piano are similar to those in the Steinway. In addition tot that, Boston grand action incorporates some of the latest refinements of the Steinway action.

Some find Boston pianos to have a little better sustain and more tonal color than Kawai pianos, though otherwise they are similar in quality. If choosing between Kawai and Boston, trust your ear and your perception of tone and touch.

4.      Essex Brand

Essex pianos are designed by Steinway & Sons engineers and are made in factories in China and Korea by both Young Chang and Pearl River.

This brand was first introduced by Steinway in early 2001.  A major relaunch of Essex was held in 2006, and a new line of 35 grand and 35 vertical models and finishes was brought to the market.

Steinway has invested a tremendous amount of time and effort into the relaunch of Essex. Steinway engineers worked on new Essex design and incorporated many Steinway-designed refinements that resulted in a well-build piano with excellent sound quality and a tone with a longer sustain.

Choosing a Piano

The sound and tone of each piano can vary based on its age, condition, and the way the piano was maintained over the years. Tone and sound are also affected by room size, tall ceilings, hard floors, and other factors. There is no "best" piano. There is only the best piano for you.

Sound and tone of every piano, even in the same model line, will be different.

The piano you choose should be based on how it feels when you play it. It should make you feel good. The quality of the bass, middle, and treble tones should be pleasant to your ear.

Be prepared to try a specific piano out, play it for a while and make a well-informed decision based on your personal impression.

Knowledgeable technician can guide you through the process of choosing the right instrument for you. If you’re looking to buy Steinway, contact Hulme & Sweeny. Call us now and talk to our experts for assistance.

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