THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A GERMAN AND AN AMERICAN STEINWAY PIANO
Opinions do vary even amongst top dealers and restorers as to whether the German or American Steinway pianos are the best, though since about 1945 quality control is generally reputed to be better in the Hamburg factory. In the UK about 95% post 1900 are German Steinway pianos. The American Steinway can be recognised as it generally has a square shaped “fall board” or “lid” over the keys, whereas the German Steinway fall board is rounded as in most makes of grand pianos found in the UK. The German Steinway pianos are usually more mellow in tone and the American Steinway pianos are more strident, though it is not the same of the pre 1900 pianos, as the German Hamburg factory began after the American one and developing their own characteristic was a gradual process. However, there are exceptions to these differences as hammers vary from piano to piano.