In this world today full of hype and hyperbole the word best is often over used. Every manufacturer of quality products often self proclaims they are the best, the finest, the tops.
But, In the world of piano manufacturers there is a little known treasure thought of as the best by the likes of Franz Liszt, Robert Schumann and Richard Wagner among many others. This coveted treasure is produced in the same city in Germany for 200 years and in the same factory for nearly that whole time. This treasure is one of only a small handful of makers still owned and run by the founding family. This highly coveted treasure of the musical greats is the Steingraeber & Sohne piano.
Steingraeber has a legacy no other piano can match. Unlike nearly every other company in the luxury pianos arena, Steingraber makes no pianos any place other than their German factory. Over 93% of their parts are sourced in Germany. Like Rolls-Royce they make only one line the best they can. There are no second or third lines made elsewhere as others in the segment do. They are still handcrafting their pianos one at a time, making only 60 grand and 60 upright pianos a year. They’re made in a meticulous manner by true masters of the piano building art. Yet, even though the company is steeped in history they are not comfortable to rest on their laurels. They are constantly innovating with materials and procedures in a never ending quest for piano perfection. When Beethoven wrote Fur Elise his first instruction in the music is “con sordino”. This means with sordino. The Steingraeber piano is the only piano in the world today which offers an optional Sordino rail allowing a pianist to play a piece true to Beethoven’s intent. During the time of Mozart, piano key depth was more shallow than today. We can play the notes Mozart wrote on any piano, but the only piano which allows one to play it, hear it and feel it the way Mozart did is the Steingraeber grand with the optional “Mozart Rail”.
Each grand and upright model in the Steingraeber line is a unique melding of the traditional with the revolutionary in piano design. This combination produces some rather extraordinarily and unique instruments. As important as these unique designs are, the execution of the work by the master craftsmen is equally impressive. The factory does things no other factory does in production. Some of these practices may seem to be eccentric and overly obsessive, but it is these traits which produce the unique magic of the singing Steingraeber tone. Every piece of wood put into the piano is analyzed for tone by hitting with a percussionists mallet. Yes, even the legs and case parts one never thinks of are analyzed. Wood that does not meet the requirements is thrown out. The cast iron plate is also analyzed, hit with a mallet and if needed will have one on one extra time with a welder to achieve the right dynamic. In a world of ordinary and good enough the Steingraeber pianos shine as “extra” ordinary. Make an appointment to experience this excellence for yourself.
Steingraeber is still run and maintained by its namesake, and it hasn't altered much over the years. The company is presently run by the 6th generation of the family, and they continue to earn awards for the best grand and upright pianos in the world. Steingraeber uses the most natural materials while handcrafting only 60 grand pianos per year in what is perhaps the world's most elite piano factory. Chemicals are never used on the wood. Natural glues and colors are used exclusively. In a Steingraeber, no particle board is used. Steingraeber & Söhne, widely recognized as the pinnacle of piano builders, has been producing the finest pianos in the world for nearly 200 years.