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New Steinway hammers (Read 11077 times)

Offline Steinwayman

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New Steinway hammers
« on: February 19, 2003, 02:33:02 AM »
Pretty soon I'll need to replace the hammers on my Hamburg Steinway.  Right now I'm up in the air about German hammers vs. New York hammers. My question is: can I put New York Steinway hammers on the German piano and, if yes, do I necessarily lose the sound characteristics of the Hamburg?  Are the hammers all compatible, anyway?

I want as fat and lyrical a tone in the treble as possible with a huge ringing bass but without the "wooliness" you sometimes get with brand new NY pianos.

Also, what's the difference between German Steinway hammers and Abel hammers in terms of sound, longevity etc.?

Any one else out there have or have played a Hamburg with NY hammers?

Offline G.Fiore

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Re: New Steinway hammers
«Reply #1 on: February 20, 2003, 04:47:02 AM »
Steinwayman,depending how old your piano is,I would not put N.Y. hammers in a Hamburg.Yes you will kill the the distinctive tone of the Hamburg.The hammers used by Hamburg are made by Renner,and are known as a dense hard hot pressed hammer which is needled when voiced to achieve resilience, and bring out a balanced somewhat brighter tone.The NY hammer is a semi -cold pressed hammer which is doped during voicing to harden the shoulders and the crowns in the treble to achieve their tone.In short two different hammers,two different voicing methods,two different types of tone.If you used an Abel hammer,which  generally has the same voicing characteristics as a Renner hammer,you would also be happy with the tone of your piano.Abel at one time or another was the supplier for Hamburg,and there are still a lot of Hamburgs out there with Abel hammers in them.Hamburg plays this down of course,as it is not an important fact,and like many manufacturers switched between Renner and Abel when they could purchase Abel for less than Renner,and Renner for less than Abel etc.Finally ,I would use a set of hammers that the piano was designed for.You could use the NY hammers,but in my experience you would not be happy.Choose wisely!George
George Fiore /aka Curry
 Piano Technician serving the central New Jersey area

Offline tosca1

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Re: New Steinway hammers
«Reply #2 on: February 20, 2003, 07:23:25 AM »
To me it seems logical and sensible to replace the hammers of your piano with hammers which are the same as the original ones.
In that way the structural integrity of the instrument is upheld and the voice of the piano will not be compromised.
If the New York Steinway hammers have to be doped to develop tone and to avoid "woolinesss" of sound then surely the Hamburg Steinway hammer would be preferable, especially for the German built piano.