Store Hours:  Mon – Sat 10AM-6PM  •  Sunday 1PM-5PM
1600 W. 13th St  •  Houston, TX 77008


Why is Steinway considered the “instrument of the immortals?” After all, they didn’t invent the piano. This briefly summarizes our “Debt to Steinway.” A recent Music Trades article states that Steinway didn’t invent the piano, but “they blended the design advances of others to create the grand piano as we know it today . . . (The Steinways) took the overstrung scale, added the cast-iron plate, the one-piece rim and then introduced the duplex scale.” All together, creating a powerful, nuanced piano sound that continues to be a highwater mark in piano design and sound.

And they built a network of supportive dealers and technical support for the pianos. Further, they nurtured a roster of acclaimed pianists to demonstrate these fine instruments. And now, “the Steinway trademark and sound continue to resonate after 165 years, in production systems, dealer distribution, and a global approach,” October 30, 2018 issue of Music Trades.

steinway grand


Many people compare a New York Steinways with Hamburg Steinways—and European pianos. Are these fair comparisons? What’s the real story? The architecture and engineering on a NY Steinway is nearly identical to the Hamburg Steinway, but there are differences:

Quality of materials—German felt, particularly from builders Abel and Renner, are specially selected and
refined for the most powerful FFF’s, and the greatest finesse of silvery ppp’s in every German piano, including the rebuilt ones at Houston Piano.

Expertise of the artisan builders—European builders *must* undergo a four-year apprenticeship program to
get certification as a Masterbuilder (sometimes referred to as a Klavierbauer). This technical proficiency ensures a finely tuned, voiced and regulated instrument.

Ultimately, this voicing and regulation finesse mastery of nuance—is what makes a European build, rebuild, and European pianos in general, so special. And the rebuilt Steinways you see at Houston Piano have been completely built in Europe by these highly skilled  Klavierbauerin.

Nothing compares to that workmanship. But, you’ll have to experience that firsthand. Come on in. Compare our selection of preowned Steinways, side-by-side here at Houston Piano Company.  New York, Hamburg and Euro-Steinways—all meticulously restored in Europe.



A few details on these innovations—and what these technical innovations do for piano sound. And lastly, a few nods to these “Steinway features” appearing in other manufacturers’ pianos, without a “too geeky” explanation.

OVERSTRUNG SCALE—this overlap of tenor strings above the bass strings amplifies the vibrations of both tenor & bass registers. Made possible by the strength of a cast-iron plate, the string vibrations carry throughout the body of the piano. And, if you look at any 5’7” grand and larger, you’ll notice a striking similarity in design—this design works, it has power, it *sings* (notice the overlapping tenor and bass strings—rich vibrations reinforcing and amplifying each other).


Pre-Owned Steinway Pianos

steinway grand II

CAST-IRON PLATE—as mentioned, the cast-iron plate gives strength for literally twenty tons of string tension.
This tension makes it possible for piano sound to project and fill a concert hall with sound, without amplification, no matter what size the venue.

ONE-PIECE RIM—this, too, adds to the strength of the piano body and the sound, and allows the entire piano
to vibrate

steinway grand III

DUPLEX SCALE (diagram)—in the 1870’s, Steinway noticed that the sound in the upper treble strings, being much shorter, and pulled much more tautly, died away much too quickly. So, in 1877, they developed a “cheat” in which the active part of the string is hit by the hammer—but then allows a passive vibration to occur in strings beyond the bridge. This “passive vibration” is carefully tuned and calibrated, so each and every note supplies overtones for a richer, fuller sound. Ask for a duplex demonstration when you come into the store. While you’re here, note these “Steinway-esque” features appearing in other grands. And this innovation continues; Schimmel goes one better, improving this duplex phenomenon by using a Triplex scale, with even greater clarity, singing tone, and harmonics.

So, come celebrate our fine selection of pre-owned, and Euro-restored fine Steinways, here at Houston Piano Company.

Do we really owe a debt? Probably. Come hear these singable, powerful pianos!