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Topic: Review of VintAudio Steinway Boston Upright

  1. #1

    Review of VintAudio Steinway Boston Upright

    Just received this in the mail today, and felt compelled after playing for two hours to comment:

    1. Wow. Wonderful sound. Very good samples all across the board at every velocity. A well balanced instrument right out of the box. I was thihking of this as a piano I\'d use mainly for blues, but I have to say that I\'ll use it all the time.

    2. I\'m not sure about the mic placement for these samples, so this impression may be subjective, but I had a very full sense that the resonating strings were coming from the same position they would be at if I were sitting at the actual piano. The effect is very, very nice. To play an argeggio with the pedal down puts you in the center of a massive field of vibrating strings. (I was smoking nothing.) The creator has said that he used a little reverb on the demos, but the reverb isn\'t really needed to achieve this effect. At the same time, the sound doesn\'t appear oddly focused when you play midi files using this instrument. It seems to sit in a player\'s perspective while sounding fine from a listener\'s perspective. Not a distant, hall perspective, but still fine.

    3. When I first sat down to play, I did some blues. Very very nice, even with my playing. Found that the samples had a crisp but unmetallic attack, without any of that plucky sound (badly sampled nylon string guitar sound?) that can ruin a piano sample set. Then I started laying down minor tenth chords with the pedal down. Then some arpeggios. That\'s when I realized how lovely those vibrating strings sounded. (The creator of this set should record some mpgs of a few slow arpeggios with the pedal down.)

    This is not at all a piano that I\'d use only for blues or rock. It has many nuances, and sounds great playing the little jazz I can play.

    So I\'m gushing over this piano, I find. Sorry, but this is great. (Note that I\'m speaking only of the Steinway Boston Upright. I haven\'t made it to the Clinton Upright yet.)Thanks VintAudio. This is a very serious piano.

  2. #2

    Re: Review of VintAudio Steinway Boston Upright

    Thx for the nice comments Jake, i\'m really glad you\'re enjoying the Steinway Upright [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Nice in depth user review, thats the kind of info people need to make sample library buying decisions, it would be great to see the same kind of in depth reviewing for other libraries as well. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Any comments on the Clinton Upright ?

    Vintaudio Prod.

  3. #3

    Re: Review of VintAudio Steinway Boston Upright

    Stayed up too late playing the Clinton Upright last night. (No one else has made any references to Monica Lewinsky in speaking about this instrument, so I too will avoid jaded commentary.)

    I have to admit that at first, because I\'d been playing the Steinway, I was put off just a little by the edgier timbre of the Clinton. Once I forgot the more liquid timbre of the Steinway, however, the Clinton opened up to me and I began to like the sound. (Did I just write \"liquid timbre\"? Sorry.) The Clinton was never overly crisp. The lower velocities are lovely, although if you hit it hard enough you get a very aggressive rock attack. Good for blues, but also good for everyhing else I tried. In fact, after making the changes I mention below, I found myself playing around with some quartal chords and doing a lot of soft stuff--the Clinton comes out really clearly on soft passages, and I didn\'t notice any abrupt shifts in timbre as I decreased or increased pressure on the keys: I was very surprised, since I\'d assumed it would be more of a barrelhouse sound or too metallic for soft pieces. Sounds great.

    (I almost think I should apologize for sounding like such a cheerleader for these pianos, but these are sounds I\'ve been wanting for a long time.)

    Two changes I\'ve made:

    1. I\'ve extended the Decay setting in both pianos. The notes were fading a little too fast for me. Once the Decay was increased, (to .35 for the Steinway and .48 on the Clinton, which I know may seem like a lot), I found it very hard to stop playing these pianos. These settings of course make the decay more gradual, but in these pianos didn\'t create a loose-key sounding problem when playing faster runs. More than once, the keys seemed to be made of real wood.

    2. On both pianos, the Infinite setting was checked in the Editor. I didn\'t find this to be a problem on the Steinway Boston. On the Clinton, the sound on some keys, after Decay 1, seemed to continue on a little unnaturally if I pressed a key and held it, to my not always wonderful ears. I unchecked Infinite. (The samples are long enough that the sound continues, but dies away nicely.) Once this was done, and the Decay 1 setting increased as above, I was very, very pleased. Try a few Bill Evans chords with a few notes or two on top. Try a soft blues in F. On other sampled pianos, I\'ve played (see note below), Bud Powell 7/3 comping chords sound very thin. They sound great on both these pianos.

    I should say, however, to be fair to other people reading this, that I don\'t own any of the big four pianos--in no particular order, the Art Vista Malmsjo, the Post Grandioso, the Post Bos, and the Bardstown Bos. (And maybe after this glowing review I should make clear that I\'m not affiliated in any way with Franky or Vintaudio.) Clearly, these uprights are intended as very different instruments from the full grands, so they won\'t have the same sound. On the other hand, I\'d really like to read comparisons of the grands with these uprights, made by people who have both these grand samples and the uprights, so I could have some idea how they might sound playing similar music.

    In any case, very nice work, Franky. I really feel as though I can stop trying to tweak my Splendid Grand and Gigapiano and others, and just sit down and enjoy playing. Other people with more extensive knowledge of sampled pianos may find things I missed, (many of the people on this forum are far more experienced and knowledgable, bless them), but I do love these pianos.

  4. #4

    Re: Review of VintAudio Steinway Boston Upright

    Really glad you\'re enjoying both pianos Jake [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] , i must say it\'s hard to convey to others how good the library really is because they\'ll all think, well ya he\'s selling it of course he thinks it\'s great... this is one of the things i\'ve done in my life i\'m most proud of, the sound is simply unmatched when it comes to any Upright Piano library out there today imho.

    I would also like to hear from others who bought the library.

    Jake, would you mind if i used some of the stuff you wrote in here and use them as quotes ?

    Vintaudio Productions

  5. #5

    Re: Review of VintAudio Steinway Boston Upright

    Not at all, Franky. Great pianos.

  6. #6

    Re: Review of VintAudio Steinway Boston Upright

    That\'s great, i think i\'ll start a user comments section.

    You guys think it\'s a good idead and do you look at those and consider them or not ?

    Vintaudio Productions

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