Steingraeber’s Production Principles

Are there still secrets to piano making that you can hear and feel? Absolutely! Despite the high standards for mass-producing pianos, when it comes to the very few first-class instruments on the market, nature and skilled craftsmanship remain the critical factors.

You can always expect first-class quality from us.

Steingraeber’s Principle of Integral Thinking

Acoustics, statics, cabinetry, and action: Traditional piano making views all components as a potential sound source and, without exception, uses natural, resonating materials that require custom adjustment and precision work, which in turn enables the modulation of tone.

We even go so far as to design and build piano mechanisms (including pedals) from the point of view of tangible vibration energy, akin to extensions of the human body, as it were.

Steingraeber’s Principle of Energy Retention

With all Steingraeber pianos, a series of the most rigorous ‘energy retainers’ are in operation so that your touch produces vibrations with no loss of energy: Agraffes with steel pins, drilled capo d’astro bars, cast hardening, hardened bridge pins, and 100% real-wood joints.

Furthermore we do not use elastic glues but rather urea-based and bone glues (also water-proof, synthetic bone glue; joiner’s glue is only used for veneers and dampers).

Steingraeber’s Principle of Secondary Sound Sources

Only real wood (and honeycomb-like materials as used in aircraft construction) is capable of resonating and ‘sounding’. Some manufacturers use sound-absorbing, thus counter-productive, medium-density fibreboard (MDF) and particle board.

At Steingraeber, we use beech and maple, which favour higher frequencies, as well as spruce and pine which boost lower frequencies. The same applies to our cabinet work.

The advantage? Everything resonates, even the lid, cabinet, keyboard and action.

Steingraeber’s Principle of an Individual Membrane

The vaulted soundboard, made of resonating wood, is built like a loudspeaker with tweeter, midrange and woofer. Since we are dealing with natural materials, every piece of wood we use is different.

As a result, at Steingraeber we custom-test spruce and thin out the wood by means of sand testing: Fine sand is strewn across the soundboard. By tapping on the bridge, we can identify the areas that are ‘mobile’ and those that are still ‘immobile’. This is how we create a conical-spherical soundboard..

A soundboard membrane will be fitted individually to its vaulting before being glued into place; and at Steingraeber we incorporate this constantly-varying angles. We do everything to achieve the perfect sound.

Steingraeber’s Principle of Circulating Energy and Resonance

Tension inside the body of the instrument boosts energy production. Tuning the strings sets off a chain reaction, which in turn produces tension inside the soundboard.

In grand pianos, string tension acts like a ‘force transducer’ at the belly rail and – in accordance with the principle circulation – generates a ’tilt’ in the instrument’s frame via the braces, and soundboard compression via the ribs. (For this reason, the spruce ribs are positioned against hardwood which increases their life span. On many grand pianos from other manufacturers, you will see free-standing, unsecured ribs at the belly rail). The belly rail provides non-positive coupling of 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.

Steingraeber’s Principle of Customer Orientation

Our small team welcomes each of our customers to the Steingraeber workshop spaces, where they can experience first-hand the creation of these unique instruments, choose from our array of special features, or even bring along their own ideas.

With us, you will find not only a family-run business but one that will be your known and trusted point of contact for many years to come.

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