There is a divide amongst dealers and restorers as to who manufactures the better Steinway piano the Germans or the Americans? From around 1945 quality control has generally been reputed to be better coming from the Hamburg factory. The UK has about 95% of its Steinways from Germany(post 1900). The American Steinway can be recognized by a square shaped fall board or “lid” over the keys, this is in contrast to the German Steinway’s “rounded” fall board; a common feature found in most makers of grand pianos with in the UK.
The German Steinway pianos are normally more mellow in tone while the American Steinway piano is often more strident. Though the same cannot be said of the pre 1900 pianos for, the German Hamburg factory began operating after the American one and gradually developed their own characteristic. However, there are exceptions to these differences as the hammers tend to vary from piano to piano.