What sort of finish has been used for my instrument?
Varnish was used in the early years before 1925. After 1925, art lacquer became the standard. Since circa 1960, both lacquer (American market) and polyester (European market) have been in use. Until approx. 1960, the black high-polish surface consisted of shellac. Since then until today, lacquer or polyester has been used for the surfaces. If you provide us with the serial number of your instrument, we can give you details regarding the original finish.
Is it advisable to place a Steinway in a room with underfloor heating?
Yes, as soon as the recommended relative humidity of approx. 50% and 20° C can be kept. In dry winter months, it is advisable to use a humidifier. You should place a hygrometer near the instrument to control the ambient conditions.
What sort of sound-absorbing measures exist for a Steinway in apartment/rented houses?
You can use special cups for the casters which are filled with rubber to reduce the noise on the floor. Furthermore, carpets, curtains and furniture help to reduce the sound, whereas smooth surfaces like wooden floors, stone floors, large windows and high walls amplify the sound. It is possible to install a so-called “moderator” (a felt strip in front of the strings) which reduces the sound significantly. Another alternative would be the installation of a silent sound system, which allows you to play without making any sound. The player can hear the tones electronically via headphones. Please ask your local dealer about these systems.
How often do I have to tune my Steinway?
Your piano should be tuned at least twice a year to balance the influences of the seasons (dryness in winter and humidity in summer). Further tunings are recommended according to how frequently the instrument is played. Professional use generally requires 4 to 6 tunings per year. Whenever it feels or sounds like your Steinway needs a tuning you should consult your technician.
Where was my Steinway built, how old is my instrument?
Please give us the serial number of your instrument and we can have a look into our archives. Sometimes we can even give you information about the history of your piano.
What is the current value of my Steinway?
This can only be judged after having examined the inner and outer condition of your instrument. Please contact your local dealer. Their technicians can evaluate your piano. Besides the condition, the age of the instrument and the original and current price are of importance for the evaluation. And don’t forget the current market situation.
Does Steinway buy old instruments back?
Occasionally, yes. Either a current certificate or an evaluation by a technician has to be presented to evaluate the inner and outer condition of the piano. You should contact your Steinway dealer if you are interested in selling or trading in your piano.
How should I clean the keys?
Use a slightly moistened, soft cloth. Don’t use cleaning solvents. In case of heavy dirt, please contact your service technician.
How can I clean the surface of my Steinway?
This depends on the finish, age and condition of the instrument. Since 1853, the year of the foundation of Steinway & Sons, there have been different sorts of finishes used. In general, you should only wipe your piano with a soft, dry piece of cloth. Dust and little soiling can be removed easily. Lacquer and polyester finishes in fine condition can also be cleaned with a slightly moistened cloth. When in doubt, please consult your Steinway dealer/technician for the best method to clean your Steinway.
Is it necessary that only original Steinway spare parts are used?
Yes, because only the original Steinway parts can fulfill our quality criteria. All materials which have the high quality standard for the new Steinways are also used as spare parts for repairs. This is the best way for a successful repair of your old Steinway.