Here we take a closer look at the Steinway Model M grand piano featured in our showroom. At 5′ 7″ (170 cm) in length, this piano has enough depth in the soundboard to produce some serious tone, while the action provides a responsive touch even for the most intricate of music. Described by Steinway as their ‘studio grand’, it has a smaller footprint than then the next model up, the Model A. Nevertheless when playing the Model M, there are still plenty of great aspects about the overall playability and sound that make this an ideal choice for those who would like a Steinway in the home.
A big part of the Steinway performance before any sound considerations is the touch. A piano touch that works with the pianist frees up the performance and allows the pianist to work on crafting the sound they are making. A touch that does the opposite means the pianist spends the performance trying to coax the action, taking concentration away from the overall sound being produced. It is no surprise that Steinway do put a high premium on this in their grand pianos. In the case of this model M, it is not a heavy action, definitely not a light action, so medium is the logical answer. But really, it is simply a responsive action. You get the right amount of resistance on softer chords, and plenty of quick return on faster passages. The variation of touch is very good, with one hand alone being able to accompany and play lead very effectively.
People talk of there being a ‘Steinway tone’, and a lot of this can be put down to the lyrical middle section of the piano, and often the deep chime like sounds produced in the bass. The trebles become a lot more subjective, as some players prefer more brightness in this end than others. This model M does not have tinny trebles, and they can produce quite a sparkly sound depending on the effect you go for. The middle register is very much that classic Steinway sound, open and lyrical. It is very easy to make a melody sing on this piano, to cut through the other registers so it does not get lost in big sections of music. The bass has many good qualities. The lowest few notes slightly lose something compared to the ones just a a bit further up which are full of chime. However this can partly be explained by the length of the piano, as you would expect more richness in those notes with longer strings on say a 6 foot Steinway. This should not detract from what is a very pleasing overall sound, and running octaves going up or into the bass are lovely to hear.
This piano has undergone some serious restoration, to ensure that it will be playing for decades in top form, well beyond its manufacture date of 1988. With an instrument of this calibre, it’s well worth knowing the detail of work that has gone into this instrument:
- action restoration using genuine Steinway Hamburg action felts
- full regulation
- new genuine Steinway Hamburg hammers and shanks
- damper restoration with genuine Steinway Hamburg felt
- fine voicing done by our Steinway technician
- case restoration in high gloss black polyester
- soundboard restoration and varnishing in matt
- new hitch pins and tuning pins
- new bass strings of Heller and new wire of Roslau
Depending on your exact needs, in most cases this piano is going to deliver everything you expect from a Steinway piano. It has a clarity of tone and yet richness just at the right points, all the hallmarks of a really well made instrument. This piano has had a range of musical styles and technical levels performed on it, all with ease and enjoyment. And that’s what piano playing should be about, where you are no longer focusing on the technical side of the instrument, but the music you are playing. This Steinway model M does exactly that and we highly recommend an appointment to try this wonderful instrument out.