The Making of a Steinway - A Steinway & Sons Factory Tour Narrated by John Steinway

you are about to see those distinctive

details of material construction and

precision engineering that make a

Steinway piano whether a grand or a

vertical different from any other piano

in the world the difference that makes

Steinway pianos so intuitively

responsive so incomparable and sound

they are chosen by 95% of the world's

performing artists I'm John Steinway and

welcome to a tour of our Long Island

City New York Factory and the making of

a sine wave

85% of the piano is wood we inspect

every piece of lumber that arrives at

our factory to be certain that only the

top grade of each port used will be

built into every Steinway piano the

lumber is air dried for up to one year

and then kiln dried to remove any

tendencies for warping and cracking now

our basic construction begins with the

most basic and dramatic procedure of all

bending the rim

straight grained hard rock paper is

laminated and glued together in flat

grain sets flat grinding gives a 47

percent improvement of vibrational

characteristics of a cross-grained

plywood style sets sideways unique

system is to bend both an inner rim and

algorithm at the same time this is the

method that achieves ultimate strength

and durability and the quality of sound

distinctive to Steinle the sets of maple

about 20 feet long are carried to the

press and clamped into position the

press an invention of C F Theodore

Steinway was patented in 1880 they work

around from the center outwards

tightening the clamps what results is a

homogeneous foundation of unified inner

and outer rim capable of standing the

fermentis tensions of spring

each rim is removed from the press and

stored upright in a conditioning room

for several months depending on size a

glued and dialed assembly of case

cornice and rest plank are glued into

the rim the rest plank is made of seven

layers of maple laminated and glued so

that the Graydon's cross at 45 degree

angles this is our patented hexa grip

construction it is still ours alone and

the gripping power that this hexa Group

construction provides gives every

Steinway piano attuning stability is by

far the strongest in the industry

the next important components of a


and bridge the soundboard is made of

slow grown Sitka spruce a tall evergreen

from the northwest and Alaska we use the

highest criteria to select the finest

grade available it has wonderfully

closed grains and the logs are quarter

sawn so that the grain runs straight

down the length of the board nothing

else comes close to the acoustical

qualities of this wood to the native

properties of the wood we add an

exclusive and distinctive feature our

famous diaphragmatic taper

it is fitted into the piano slightly

crowned this allows vibrations to travel

freely along the grain to the center

moving more air increasing the sound and

projecting it the bridged glow to the

top of the soundboard is made a vertical

laminated maple just like the Grand

River the bridge transmits vibrational

energy from the strings to the

soundboard one important component is

the iron plate cast from Bell quality

iron in one piece from our exclusive

patterns the soundboard with its bridge

and the cast iron frame are now

assembled inside the piano rim or the

belly of the piano by a man called the

belly man it is an involved process to

get the soundboard correctly placed and

the bridge height precisely determined

so that the fueler Swedish steel strings

we use will have the correct downward

pressure or bearing on the bridge

all across the scape the next step in

making a piano is adding the strings the

traditional method of stringing by hand

is combined with modern technology

the center and other strings three for

each note are stopped off by the duplex

and a precise relative length to the

main string speaking length and

vibrating arm this duplex scale patent

delivers a richness of sound that is

characteristically Steinway the action

assembly is mounted on the tubular

metallic action frame another Steinway

distinctive patent and feature the

hammers for the action assembly are cut

from a tapered sheet of felt the set of

hominis is placed in a press the felt

forced into shape for gluing to hammer

moldings all Steinway hammers are made

in the Steinway factory after hammers

are glued to the hammer shanks whole

action assembly that the key frame must

be carefully put together and fit it

into the instrument careful precision is

important here because the position of

the hammers is vital for their proper

striking point on the strings measuring

the depth of keys travel is another

important phase of the regulating

process special gauges are used to

measure the proper depth of touch key

depth travel is critical

one of the main features of the grande

action is those important little half

round bearings on which the keys balance

they're shaped so that the touch point

where the key rests on the bearing moves

backwards as the key is depressed this

allows for fast return to playing

position another sine wave patent it's

called the Steinway accelerated action

when all adjustments have been made the

piano is moved to a soundproof room to

meet an 80-acre of a fingertip

mechanical device to break in the action

over the entire scale and now for the

voicing the resiliency of each hammer is


each is tried note by note and the

action removed and the hammer subjected

to a sticking with the three needle

device to adjust its resiliency the

action is put back and own tested again

this process is repeated until the

entire keyboard is even in tone quality

in expert hands the Steinway piano is

brought to tunnel perfection actually HP

Anna will have its own tonal flavor with

various predominant qualities such as

brilliance mellowness warmth rounds of

dome and the lake

I think that now you have a more

complete picture of our company the way

we build our pianos and why a Steinway

piano is different from any other piano

in the world I'm John Steinway thank you

for watching