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New York and Hamburg:


Many of the great pianists of the past and some active pianists today have expressed a preference for Steinway pianos produced in New York or Hamburg. Vladimir Horowitz played a New York model D; Arthur Rubinstein preferred the Hamburg model D. Sergei Rachmaninoff owned two New York models in his Beverly Hills home and one New York model D in his New York home; however, he chose a Hamburg model D for his Villa Senar in Switzerland.[55] The difference between the New York and Hamburg Steinway pianos is less noticeable today.[56] Pianist and Steinway Artist Emanuel Ax says that "... the differences have more to do with individual instruments than with where they were made."[56] Some visual differences are well known,[56] for example: the New York models have a black satin finish and square or Sheraton corners; Hamburg models have a high gloss polyester finish and rounded corners.[56]

At present, 2,500 Steinway pianos are built in New York every year, and 1,500 are built in Hamburg. The market is loosely divided into two sales areas: the New York Steinway factory supplies North and South America, and the Hamburg Steinway factory supplies the rest of the world. At all main Steinway showrooms across the world, pianos can be ordered from both factories. The New York and Hamburg factories exchange parts and craftsmanship in order to "make no compromise in quality", in the words of Steinway's founder Henry E. Steinway.[57] Steinway parts for both factories come from the same places: Canadian maple is used for the rim, and the soundboards are made from Sitka spruce from Alaska. Both factories use similar crown parameters for their diaphragmatic soundboards. Steinway has acquired some of its suppliers in order to maintain high quality: The German manufacturer Kluge in Wuppertal, which supplies the keyboards, was bought in December 1998; in November 1999, Steinway purchased the company which supplies its cast-iron plates, O.S. Kelly Co. in Springfield.[58]

Components:

Each Steinway grand piano consists of 12,000 specific parts assembled by 450 people.[59] It takes one year to build a Steinway piano.[60] Yearly, Steinway builds around 3,000 grand pianos and 600 upright pianos.

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