In the early nineteenth century, the 'Sordino' was a popular feature in both Graf (Vienna) and Erard (Paris) pianos. Today, owing to Jura Margulis' encouragement, Steingraeber & Söhne is reintroducing this historic sonority. A very thin strip of felt put between the hammers and strings produces the sordino sound effect, permitting sound alterations as stated by Schubert's "fp" notation.
The Sordino feature can be activated in a variety of ways, depending on the preferences of the pianist. The most common application is to use the middle pedal to engage the Sordino, rendering the sostenuto pedal briefly inoperative. A fourth pedal or a knee lever are further options. Watch the video below to see it in action.
Steingraeber's innovative features frequently borrow from older iterations of design elements, such as the Mozart Rail (DGB 20 2014 003 845.7), which may be used as a hand pedal or a knee lever. In this case, key depth in the grand piano is decreased to 8mm, while the distance from hammer to string is reduced to 36mm, allowing for softer pppp articulation and faster repetition.
The resulting instrument is quicker and more 'Mozart-like,' with a tiny and silvery tone that is also more sustained. The Mozart Rail comes in two varieties: a knee lever for use while playing and a hand rail for adjusting it between 8 and 10 mm before starting to play. Watch the video below to see how it works.
In the realm of music, electronics are not always employed to assist artistic and creative expression. They are frequently employed for muting, or in 'playing pianos,' and in pop music, when the sound often merely blasts out directly from the piano's soundboard. A musical improvement? Hardly!
However, there are a plethora of professional applications that electronics can offer music, as demonstrated by Steingraeber in a series of trial runs* by composer Robert HP Platz from the University of Musik Würzburg and pianist Clara Murnig from the Beethoven Institute at the University of Music Vienna. This transducer technology was developed through a cooperation between Robert HP Platz and IRCAM Paris, and was then refined in SWR's (Südwestrundfunk) Experimental Studio in Freiburg. The shockingly accurate grand piano sound is due to the physical modeling method of piano sound 'Guru' Philippe Guillaume and his business Modartt/pianoteq, rather than out-of-date sampling techniques.
The 40th anniversary of digital sampling is just around the corner and the small but traditionally innovative piano manufacturer Steingraeber & Söhne is about to spell out its end. At least as far as piano sampling is concerned, a process which has never been able to replicate faithfully the actual professional sound quality of an acoustic piano. Such was digital sampling’s limited memory capacity that it was necessary to make extensive use of so-called ‘derivative sounds’. As a result not only was the true dynamic breadth of the piano inadequately realised but jumps and gaps in the reproduction of chromatics and overall dynamics furthermore defined the sampled piano experience, especially over headphones. These inadequacies are now a thing of the past.
The world lightest concert grand lid: An amazing innovation that may seem marginal, yet one which makes an intense sound projection possible. Materials from aircraft constructions are used to reduce the weight of the lid by more than 45 percent, compared to a conventional industrial model, and to enhance the lid’s ability to vibrate.A solution that, in addition, makes it easier for pianists to lift the lid.
A climate-resistant alternative to spruce wood, carbon fibre soundboards are extremely dynamic and stable. This wood-substitute is ideal for extreme climatic conditions, such as those found on board ships or even in the desert. The British engineer Richard Dain developed the concept in collaboration with Steingraeber. There are 3 variants available:
1. Pure carbon fibre;
2. Acoustically adapted with maple veneer (top and bottom)
3. Acoustically adapted with maple veneer (top only)
We offer carbon fibre soundboards in all of our grand and upright pianos (subject to additional cost).
The touch of grand pianos and that of upright pianos are fundamentally different. For example, a grand piano action allows fast repetition due to the horizontal direction of its mechanism. Such repetition did not used to be possible in upright pianos with common piano actions. However since 2007, Steingraeber & Söhne has been offering a ‘grand-piano’ feeling with fast repetition as a feature in its upright pianos. Four years of development led to the innovative Steingraeber-Ferro-Magnet (SFM) Action.
1.‘grand-piano’ feeling with fast repetition
2. enjoyable, soft playing experience
3. when pressing the left pedal: reduced key depth (comparable to a Dolce Pedal)
As compared with other top piano manufacturers, Steingraeber offers an unparalleled selection of alternative actions for professional musicians. Steingraeber’s PS action (Profi Studio) is one out of three alternatives. It offers fastest repetition and a standard 3rd pedal Sostenuto (sustain pedal).Steingraeber & Söhne have had their eye on young professionals since 1991, the year in which our most successful model, the 130 Profi Studio, was first introduced. Steingraeber joined forces with the Renner company in 2017 to upgrade this model, the results have been tested by numerous professionals, beginning at the 2017 Bayreuth Festival, and they’ve pronounced it even better than the original model. in 2018, it was presented to the public.
Richard Wagner had supernatural, strange sounds in mind for the leitmotif of the Temple of the Grail in his ‘Bühnenweihfestspiel’ (Festival Play for the Consecration of the Stage), Parsifal, and he required a new instrument that could produce them. He called this instrument ‘Grail Bells’. The motif of the Grail in the first and third acts of Parsifal originates in the deepest bass register and is designed to send a sacred shiver through the listener. The powerful, bell-like notes lie at almost unattainable depths: C – G1 – A1 – E1. Steingraeber has now built a replica of this historic instrument, and it is ready to be played in Bayreuth.
Christian Thielemann was impressed during his visit to Steingraeber Haus in July 2015, when he called them “the best Parsifal Bells I have ever heard.”