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Model S

Baby Grand
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At 5' 1" (155 cm), this piano is the smallest of the Steinway grands. This design was introduced in the 1930s to invite the majesty of Steinway sound into almost any space.


“Probably the central thing about Steinway for me is the singing, sustaining tone... The tone that has personality, that's human, that's not ‘just a sound’ but seems to have a kind of life of its own.”

JEREMY DENK

STEINWAY ARTIST

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Specifications and Design

DIMENSIONS

Length: 5′ 1″ (155 cm)
Width: 57¾” (147 cm)
Net Weight: 540 pounds (252 kg)

BRACES

3 solid spruce with a volume of 1,050 cu. In. (17,202cm3); Spruce provides tensile strength with less weight. Maple dowels fasten braces to rim & cross-block producing a single homogenous foundation upon which is built the tonal component. Note: Treble bell is not required in smaller grands of lesser tensions.

SCALE

Overstrung; combination agraffe; Front AND rear duplex.
Tension: 32,332 lbs. (14,550 kg)

RIBS

Made from durable, resinous sugar pine to assure strong and constant support of string down-bearing on the soundboard; rib ends are hand-fitted.

TUNING PINS

Premium blued steel; rust-resistant, nickeled heads

STRINGS

Treble: Twelve whole & one-half sizes from high-tensile Swedish steel.
Bass: Swedish steel core wire wound with pure copper.
Longest: Agraffe/bridge: 45½” (116 cm)

HAMMERS

Premium wool top felt and under felt; treated to resist insects and moisture. Compression-wired to maintain permanent shape. Hard rock maple hammer mouldings and shanks.

DAMPERS

Horizontal-cut premium wool for effective dampening with maple heads for endurance.

KEYS

European spruce, individually weighed-off. Chip-proof, stain-resistant coverings for naturals; slip-proof, abraded ebonized sharps. Durable Linden wood buttons reinforce keys over balance rail, permitting maximum tonal power with every strike. Longest key: 19″ (48.3 cm).

KEYBED

Made from planks of quarter-sawn spruce. Horizontal and vertical birch planks present a vented system for humidity escapement. Crowned and reverse-crowned action frame gives a snug fit, intensifies key movement and prevents “slapping” during heavy playing. Large maple dowel ends provide a solid mount for adjustable brass touch-regulating screws. Thickness: 1¾” (4.45 cm).

PEDALS

Heavy, solid brass. Soft, sustaining, and full sostenuto.

The one-piece continuous bent rim, 2 1/4″ thick, is one of the most significant technical innovations in piano building. The rim provides the foundation for the beauty, stability, and quality of each Steinway grand piano. The rim of the Steinway Model S is comprised of 10 layers of Hard Rock Maple — with both inner and outer rim being pressed together in a single operation — which provides the structural integrity that enables a Steinway piano to endure for generations. This unique rim construction has been an integral part of every Steinway grand piano since it was developed and patented by Steinway & Sons in 1878.

The soundboard lies at the heart of a Steinway grand or upright piano, which is why great care is needed both in its design and in the selection of the wood. To meet the highest quality standards, only superior Sitka spruce with a regular grain and prescribed minimum number of annual growth rings is acceptable. The production of the Steinway Diaphragmatic Soundboard is based on a 1936 patent to achieve optimum performance in dynamic range and maximum sustain. Under this patent, the soundboard is gradually tapered from the centre to the edge, permitting freedom of movement and creating a sound of unparalleled richness, sonority, and sustain.

Created like the soundboard of violins to give a free and even response throughout the entire scale, the Steinway Model S soundboard is 8 mm thick in the centre and tapers to 5 mm as it approaches the rim and outer case before being double crowned. The design permits complete freedom of movement while displacing a greater amount of air, creating a richer and more lasting tonal response. Close-grained, quarter-sawn Sitka spruce — which has unusual stability and vibrance under stress and vibration — is used exclusively for the soundboard.

The better the materials, the better the sound. Steinway & Sons construct its soundboard bridges exclusively from vertically laminated hardwood with a horizontal grain, capped with solid maple. Each bridge is notched by hand for precise, individual string-bearing. This design ensures optimal sound transmission from the strings to the soundboard, resulting in a sustained, resonant tone—creating the inimitable Steinway Sound. In 1963, Steinway introduced the Hexagrip Pinblock, which is engineered to enable pianos to hold their tuning longer and with incredible precision.

The Hexagrip patented design features 7 laminations of quartered Hardrock maple stock. The grain is symmetrically distributed at successive angles of 45º and 90º, employing uniform grain direction around the circumference of the tuning pin to provide ultimate pin gripping. The exclusive design provides the tuning pin with smoother movement under torque, a more uniform retaining action, and a piano that holds its tuning longer.

Treble bridges are hard rock maple vertical laminations capped with solid hard rock maple; they are planed, graphite coated, drilled and notched by hand for precise individual string bearing, with a design that defies splitting.

Up to 20 tons of string tension is being exerted within a piano at all times. It is the function of the cast iron plate to accommodate this extraordinary force and provide strength and stability throughout the life of the piano. Steinway & Sons uses its own “bell-quality” casting to support this string tension and reduce vibration, which in turn enhances the sound. This component is so integral to the construction of a Steinway piano that Steinway & Sons owns and operates its own foundry, which produces cast iron plates to its exacting specifications. The plate is sturdy grey iron; filled CNC–milled, and sealed; bronzed and lacquered.

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