Are there still hearable and feelable secrets in piano making? Yes, because though production line pianos have reached a high standard, nature and the craftsman’s art play the decisive role when it comes to those few instruments of exceeding excellence. And at Steingraeber & Söhne you can expect legendary quality!Steingraeber's principle of integral thinking Steingraeber's principle of energy preservation Steingraeber's principle of secondary sound sources Steingraeber's principle of the individual membranes Steingraeber's principle of circulating energy and resonance Steingraeber's principle of customer orientation
Acoustics, statics, cabinetry, and action mechanism: Classic piano building views ALL components as sound sources and, without exception, uses natural, resonating materials that require custom adjustment and precision work. This is where the ability to modify the sound comes from. This even extends to the action mechanism and pedals, which are built with a mind to perceptible resonating energy, like an extension of the human body.
Your touch is meant to produce vibrations without energy loss. With Steingraeber pianos, a series of extremely strong measures for “energy retention” are firmly in place: agraffes with steel pins, drilled capo d'astro bars, cast hardening, hardened bridge pins. Furthermore 100% real wood joints, no elastic glues, only uric and bone glues, and water-proof, synthetic “bone glue”. We only use white glue for veneers and dampers.
Only real wood (sometimes special aircraft materials) is capable of resonating and
producing sound. Others use sound-absorbing and counter-productive, medium density fiberboard and particle board. At Steingraeber, beech and maple favour higher frequencies, while spruce and pine
boost lower frequencies ... and the same goes for the cabinetry.
The advantage? Everything resonates! Even the lid, cabinet, keybed, keyboard, action mechanism …
The vaulted soundboard, made of resonating wood, is built like a loudspeaker with tweeter, midrange and woofer. And every piece of wood varies in how it measures up!
Thus, Steingraeber custom tests spruce and thins out the wood by means of sand testing: Fine sand is strewn over the soundboard. By tapping on the bridge, we can identify the areas that are “mobile” and those that are still “immobile”. This is how a conically spherical soundboard comes into being.
We individually match the braces of the soundboard membrane to the conical vaulting before gluing them in place and must work them into a curved line with constantly varying angles.
Tension in the body of the instrument fosters energy production. Tuning the strings sets off a chain reaction that produces a great deal of tension in the soundboard. In grand pianos, string tension acts like a “force transducer” at the belly rail and - in accordance with the “circulation principle” - generates a rim tilt via the braces and soundboard compression via the ribs.
For this reason, the spruce ribs are positioned against hardwood, which just happens to increase their life span; on many grands from other piano manufacturers, you can see freestanding, unsecured ribs at the belly rail. The belly rail couples the bass and treble sides.
In upright pianos, the same tension builds among various components, including the frame, braces, sound board braces, bottom rail, and sides.
Our small team
welcomes each of our customers to the Steingraeber workshops, where they can bring their own ideas into the mix and experience the [nearly] matchless quality of our instruments.
Steingraeber’s trained technicians and customer service representatives are available worldwide to assist you after delivery.