The soundboard lies at the heart of a Steinway grand or upright piano, which is why Steinway & Sons takes great care in its design and in the selection of the wood used. The soundboard is critical component in producing the imitable “Steinway Sound” you desire.
About the Sound Board
Closed-grained, quarter sawn Sitka spruce, with a prescribed minimum number of annual growth rings is the wood used for Steinway soundboards. These close-grained lines enable the sound-producing energy to travel more efficiently to the end of the soundboard. When combined with the soundboard being gradually tapered from the center to the edge, which permits the freedom of movement, it creates a sound unparalleled richness, sonority, and sustain.
Steinway Never Sells Its Soundboards
Steinway sells their soundboards to no one, since the skills, expertise and machinery necessary to replace a soundboard is only available at the Steinway factory. So if a used Steinway was restored somewhere other than the Steinway Restoration Center, it may still have the Steinway & Sons trademark logo on it, but if it doesn’t have a genuine Steinway & Sons soundboard, it has lost the internal magic that makes it a Steinway.
Soundboards From Scratch
Steinway d0es not buy their soundboards, instead the buy the spruce planks to the make their soundboards. Steinway’s strict standards for soundboard spruce and their yield factor on the prime-grade planks they purchase is only 50% . Meaning, of all the spruce that Steinway inspects and purchases, only 50% of that spruce goes into the making their soundboards. This allows Steinway to build each soundboard to their standards not the lumber supplier’s.
From A Grand Guide to Buying A Used Steinway Piano-Casey Saliba