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For more than a century and a half, the world’s most accomplished pianists have preferred to express their musical genius on Steinway & Sons pianos. The list includes the giants in classical, jazz, and popular music; the men and women who have shaped the world’s musical heritage. Today, more than 98 percent of the world’s active concert pianists choose to perform on Steinway pianos. The joy of playing and owning a Steinway piano, however, is not the exclusive domain of the virtuosi. Rather, it is a world open to all who share a love of music, fine craftsmanship and enduring quality.
That which distinguishes Steinway pianos, more than all else, is summed up in our dedication to a single ideal: make the finest pianos in the world. It has never entered our minds to compromise quality. Where some have substituted mass-produced, synthetic components to speed production or reduce costs, we apply technologies and new materials only when they provide proven enhancements in the piano. We adhere to these principles for one reason — compromise quality, and you risk the sound, the touch, and ultimately, the integrity of the instrument.
While we adhere to the traditional values of craftsmanship, Steinway & Sons has also consistently led through innovation. The very earliest pianos crafted by Steinway were distinguished by their inventive features — many of which helped define the modern piano. Today, each Steinway piano is a summation of our commitment to innovation. Each incorporates over 125 patented features and processes, including our patented Diaphragmatic® soundboard, Accelerated Action® and Hexagrip® pinblock.
A Steinway grand piano takes nearly a year to create. Nothing is hurried. Even the carefully selected woods that make up the rims, top, soundboards, and actions cure for months in our yard, kilns, and conditioning rooms before they stabilize at a rigidly specified moisture content. The rim of the instruments consists of layers of hard rock maple and with our bell-quality, full cast-iron plate, withstands the enormous amount of tension exerted by the strings. The finest acoustic-quality spruce is fashioned into the delicate curve of the Diaphragmatic® soundboard, which tapers gently from the center to the edge, assuring the full, rich Steinway sound.
Ultimately, the pieces — massive and delicate — come together through the interweaving of the craft and technology until the instrument is complete. However it is not a Steinway until voicing gives it the special quality that makes it unique. Here, every subtle nuance is drawn out by balancing and adjusting the keys and shaping, hardening or softening each hammer. In the end, the new piano is transformed from more than 12,000 individual parts into an instrument… and from an instrument into a Steinway.