Steinway & Sons Model O Parlor Grand Piano

Steinway & Sons Model O Parlor Grand Piano

Steinway & Sons 5′-10″ Crown Jewell Collection Grand Piano.

This 1917 Steinway & Sons model O parlor grand piano is one of the finest musical instruments ever built.  It is the largest of Steinway’s “smaller” pianos.  This was the golden era of American piano building and Steinway & Sons was the piano that every other was judged by.  It is handcrafted and took a full year to build.  The Steinway factory held most of the important patents in the industry and the family participated in all of the significant operations.  In the world of musical instruments, there are pianos – and then there are Steinway & Sons. The model O features the classic “Steinway sound”; having a strong, singing treble and a powerful bass, rich in high harmonics.  The duration of tone (sustain time) is lengthy, which enables legato phrases to be enjoyed.  The dynamic range is wide, allowing the pianist to play expressively and emotively.  It is neither overly mellow and dull or overly bright and tinny.  The mid-treble, where most of the melody lines are played “sings” and doesn’t disappear under the background of an accompaniment.  It has the power that most pianos aspire to but not the brash “loudness” that often results.  This instrument is suitable for the more advanced player, larger living room and many school, teaching and institutional situations.

The piano was completely restored recently in our restoration shop.  The very finest materials were employed in this extensive eight month process.  Bolduc is the company that produces the current Steinway pinblocks so it received a new 5-ply premium hard rock maple Bolduc pinblock.  New premium Renner Blue Point hammers, shanks and flanges replaced the old ones.  New Renner damper felts and wires replaced the old ones.  The repetition levers and springs were replaced with Renner also, as were the let-off buttons and backchecks.  It was re-strung with new Steinway bass strings and music wire.  The flame-mahogany cabinet and the original bench were beautifully refinished.  The original, genuine ivory keytops were painstakingly bleached and cleaned.  They are in gorgeous condition with a warm, soft-white lustrous glow.  The wooden sharp keys were re-lacquered and are perfect.  The action has been well-regulated and ready now for concert performances.  All of the cabinet hardware, bolts and casters were re-plated.  Complimentary local, first-floor professional delivery and setup is included.

This is truly a historical piece of Americana.  The piano was purported to be shipped by railroad to New Mexico shortly after being built.  It was most recently sold in 1991 by Riedling Music, the sole New Mexico Steinway & Sons dealership for 75 years.  The soundboard was also refinished and the original decal was replaced with the same decal showing the medallions of pre-WW1 countries and kingdoms whom owned Steinway & Sons pianos in their official buildings.  This important serial number (187812) is one of the last Steinway grands to sport this decal because shortly afterward, the war ended and some of those governments no longer existed.  The factory ceased applying soundboard decals at this point in deference to this historical change.  The Steinway company no longer allows these official decals to be sold to rebuilders.  They consider the patented Steinway & Sons brand to be proprietary intellectual property and they are enforcing their legal rights in this matter.  This is one of the last decals of its type to be legally acquired, nationally.   88 Keys Piano Warehouse & Showroom price – $45,000.

Current Steinway & Sons model O 2019 MSRP – $101,800.

Steinway & Sons model O 2018 MSRP – $95,800.

Steinway & Sons model O 2017 MSRP – $90,200.

Steinway & Sons model O 2009 MSRP (10 years ago) – $66,800.

Steinway & Sons model O Parlor Grand Piano factory page

Steinway & Sons model O Parlor Grand PianoSteinway & Sons model O Parlor Grand Piano

 

 

 

 

 

Exquisite Steinway & Sons model O Parlor Grand Piano in flame-mahogany.

Steinway & Sons model O Parlor Grand PianoSteinway & Sons model O Parlor Grand Piano

 

 

 

 

 

Genuine, original ivory keytops adorn this Steinway & Sons model O Parlor Grand Piano

Steinway & Sons model O Parlor Grand PianoSteinway & Sons model O Parlor Grand Piano

Steinway Upright Pinblock Replacement

Steinway Upright Pinblock Replacement

One of the biggest challenges involved in  restoring uprights is replacing the pinblock.  To remove the plate without tearing out the keybed, etc., can be impossible.   A 40″ Steinway console with loose tuning pins came to our shop this summer.  With no other option than pinblock replacement we set about to just that.  This particular Steinway was a 1953 100 year anniversary edition,  so taking apart the cabinet wasn’t an option.  Instead we used a drill press w/ 1.5″ Forster drill bit to remove the original pinblock.  The block did not have a ‘notch’ , but  was butted against the plate along a simple straight line.  Drilling out the old block was a slow, painstaking process which required patience.

Steinway O Action Project

Steinway O Action Project

It was decided to replace the existing hammers which were not actual Steinway parts but probably some sort of asian knock-offs.  All the the balance/front rail felts had to be replaced.  Therefore, it was necessary to set the key height to the requisite 2.594″ above the keybed, etc., etc.  Plan on spending some time because everything changes with the new felt.  Genuine Steinway hammers (NY improved)  turned out to be an impact player – tall that brittle harshness was now gone.  Tonal colors could now be discerned, even prior to the shaping & voicing to come.

Piano Restoration Albuquerque: Soundboard decal for Mason & Hamlin

Piano Restoration Albuquerque: Soundboard decal for Mason & Hamlin

Applied the soundboard decal to the Mason A.  It came in 2 parts that had to be done separately.  The largest w/the eagle was an alcohol transfer; it was challenging to lay precisely over the shadow of the orig.  The word Boston was simply a stick on.  A good spray coat of lacquer sealer soft sanded w/ 180 grit served as the base for the decal(s).  Just the right amount of denatured alcohol must be used for a perfect transfer to the soundboard.  As a last step to seal a light coat of lacquer was shot over the area.

Steinway Restoration: 1918 model O

Steinway Restoration: 1918 model O

Presently working on a 1918 model O. It’s soundboard has a series of cracks running along both bridges – esp. the treble. Close inspection revealed rib separation from the s. board at various points which were epoxyed and clamped. Fortunately most of these cracks are under the plate, so the area w/decal can be left alone.

Client wasn’t open to installing a new soundboard, and the orig., still has decent bearing & crown. The piano had been re-pinned and strung at some point; a variety of pin sizes were used – #4 and #5 down in the bass, even. Will replace pinblock with a 5 ply Bolduc. Both bridges are in good shape w/o cracks, they will be scraped and refinished.