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Does anyone know if the inner rims on the Brodman PE grands and Ritmuller grands are hardwood (maple)? And the soundboards spruce? I'm having trouble pinning down the info from searching online. TIA!

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The Ritmullers have maple rims (and maybe a walnut on some models) and solid spruce soundboards. They also have ebony wood sharps. Their online blurb is here: http://www.ritmullerusa.com/performance.html

I am pretty pretty sure Brodmann also has maple or walnut rims, but I seem to recall they may have had some laminate soundboards on lower models.

Last edited by mikeheel; 03/22/12 05:15 PM.

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If the soundboard were made of laminated kelp leaves and the rim made of concrete foam, would you not buy it even if it were the best-sounding, cheapest piano you had ever tried?


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Originally Posted by BDB
If the soundboard were made of laminated kelp leaves and the rim made of concrete foam, would you not buy it even if it were the best-sounding, cheapest piano you had ever tried?


Plus - add a little balsamic vinegar and those laminated kelp leaves also make a great salad!


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Having a maple rim is a big deal. Even if it doesn't affect the sound, a maple rim will last decades longer than a laminate or walnut


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Watching the Baldwin and Steinway promo films on YouTube, I see them using maple on the rims and they are laminated. I hope that is not what the disparaging word means in the above post.

Not looking for an argument, I assure you.

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Originally Posted by syxbit
Having a maple rim is a big deal. Even if it doesn't affect the sound, a maple rim will last decades longer than a laminate or walnut


Has anyone here seen a rim fall apart or fail? If so, what was it and how old was it?


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Originally Posted by syxbit
Having a maple rim is a big deal. Even if it doesn't affect the sound, a maple rim will last decades longer than a laminate or walnut


But if a non-maple rim lasts 2100 years and a maple rim lasts 2140 years, a few decades is not that big a deal.


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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Originally Posted by syxbit
Having a maple rim is a big deal. Even if it doesn't affect the sound, a maple rim will last decades longer than a laminate or walnut


Has anyone here seen a rim fall apart or fail? If so, what was it and how old was it?


The only rims I have never seen fail are the ones made of concrete foam with laminated kelp leaf soundboards. grin


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Originally Posted by syxbit
Having a maple rim is a big deal. Even if it doesn't affect the sound, a maple rim will last decades longer than a laminate or walnut


Just because a rim is maple does not mean it is not laminated.
And those layers can be maple. Or did you mean something else by "laminate"?

This webpage tells you how many laminations there are in various model Steinway grands.

http://www.steinwaypianos.com/kb/how-it-works/rim-bending

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With only a few noted exceptions, all grand pianos are currently made with laminated hardwood rims. The choice of woods like maple, walnut, oak, birch, beech or luan have the greatest affect on the rim density (an in turn are part of the piano's design). The density is a factor in the overall performance. While cost is a factor, the manufacturing process, not the species of wood, affects the longevity.


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Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
With only a few noted exceptions, all grand pianos are currently made with laminated hardwood rims. The choice of woods like maple, walnut, oak, birch, beech or luan have the greatest affect on the rim density (an in turn are part of the piano's design). The density is a factor in the overall performance. While cost is a factor, the manufacturing process, not the species of wood, affects the longevity.


Well said Sam, and thank you for not falling into a cheap joke as others have. wink

I will add that the theory behind the use of a dense rim has to do with tone projection and stability. A laminated rim will be less likely to move with a change of humidity. The lack of a rim built in this way does not result in a simple failure, but in more movement over time.

Movement can cause all sorts of things in pianos. Stability is a good thing.


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Isn't the laminated continuous rim a major development in piano design?


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Originally Posted by Dave B
Isn't the laminated continuous rim a major development in piano design?
Yes, but there are many executions of this now old idea as well as other successful (yet difficult) ways make quality piano rims.


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My point, of course, was that the materials and method of assembling components of a piano should not be a concern of the buyer. Both Rich and Sam sell expensive pianos that have softwood rims, for instance.


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Quote
They also have ebony wood sharps.

I stand to be corrected,but isn't ebony rare and very expensive?
I'm not aware of it being on many pianos today.
Steinway?


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There are lots of types of ebony, some of which are more scarce than others. The ebony used for piano keys has always been expensive, because it is difficult to harvest and ship.


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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
Originally Posted by syxbit
Having a maple rim is a big deal. Even if it doesn't affect the sound, a maple rim will last decades longer than a laminate or walnut


Has anyone here seen a rim fall apart or fail? If so, what was it and how old was it?

Yes, but it's rare. We've had several Steinway's—and a few others who also bent both inner and outer rims simultaneously in a single press—from the early 1900s come in with the inner rim delaminating from the outer rim. It’s not a big deal; with the rim upside down we flow in a bit of epoxy, let it cure and sand it down and finish it. The rims would undoubtedly work just fine without the repair but it looks better without the crack showing.

ddf


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Those rims might be the period when Steinway was using laminations with different species of wood.

I remember tuning a Grotrian with a built-up rim where the difference in the grain direction had telegraphed through the outer veneer. You could see where the corner blocks were by a change in the level of the veneer.


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I think Yamaha uses ebony sharps for the CF series. Steinway probably has ebony sharps. I can't think of many companies that use them today.

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