Best of the Best 2007: Audio: Steinway Music System
Steinway Music System
While developing its first music system, Steinway & Sons was concerned more with pleasing piano owners than with satisfying hard-core audio enthusiasts. The company partnered with Danish audio maven Peter Lyngdorf, who designed a state-of-the-art system that displays Steinway’s timeless aesthetics.
The Steinway Music System centers on a pedestal that contains a CD player, input modules for analog and digital sources, and electronics that automatically adjust the sound to suit a room’s acoustics. A large volume control on the face of the pedestal includes a digital readout in its center. Other audio source devices, such as a record player, may be connected to the system.
Digital cables link the pedestal to a pair of 7-foot-tall speakers, each of which incorporates a module with two 400-watt digital amplifiers. Although almost all speakers enclose the backs of their woofers and tweeters to increase efficiency and improve bass response, the Steinway’s digital technology and the brawn of its eight 12-inch woofers and high-powered amplification make such enclosures unnecessary. All of the system’s drivers are free to disperse a remarkably enveloping, natural sound.
Perhaps just as important, the system, which is priced from $125,000, looks like a Steinway product. Layer after layer of rich black lacquer produces a deep luster that duplicates the finish quality of Steinway’s pianos. Gold accents reference the plating of the keyboards’ hardware, and thin strings of rubber—an allusion to the strings of a Steinway piano—shroud the speaker drivers.