New York Production Models
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The Steinway Grand Piano Model S

Steinway S Specifics

Length: 5'1"
Width: 57 1/2"
Weight: 540 lb
Rim: 12 hard rock maple laminations, 2 1/8" thick
Keys: Bavarian Spruce
Finish: various
What Technicians Say
"The Steinway S is a small grand piano that is good for those with space limitations. If you have a small playing or listening space, the S or M might work better for you than a larger piano that might be both too big and too loud. The S sounds very good in a small room. You want the sound to fill the room without overpowering it." -- Robert Callaghan, RPT, University of Nevada, Reno.
The Model S Saves the Day

Design sketches for the Steinway Model S were drawn by Henry L. Ziegler sometime before World War I and later finished by Paul Bilhuber during the Great Depression. James Barron claims that the Steinway Model S "saved Steinway" from financial ruin because "it had the voice of a larger grand, but did not take up as much room. Nor did it cost as much." Since piano sales during this time had dropped dramatically (Barron claims by as much as 90 percent), a smaller, but still powerful grand was well suited to the piano orders coming into the Steinway factory at the time. During the Great Depression, many piano companies would close due to lack of sales, but Steinway was able to hold on with the help of the Steinway S and other smaller models including uprights.

The Steinway Model S is considered by many to be the quintessential "baby grand piano." At just over five feet in length, this piano is often used as a "concert piano" for small venues, churches, apartments, living rooms, music rooms and music parlors. Its mechanics are as exacting as any of the Steinway grand models, with excellent tone and the famous Steinway piano action touch response (with legato, presto, prestissimo, staccato and monotone techniques easily achieved). Its range of volume -- from pianissimo to forte to sforzando -- is excellent when played within a proper space, and of course, when expertly tuned and regulated.

Sources (Click to Open/Collapse)
Barron, James. Piano: The Making of a Steinway Concert Grand. New York, Henry Holt and Company, LLC, 2006.
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© 2008 - 2009 Michael Sweeney Piano Craftsman
Michael Sweeney is a Craftsman Member of the Piano Technicians Guild
and the Master Piano Technicians of America.

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