There is a common refrain on the internet about “The Golden Age of Steinway”.
As a practical matter, this is Not a very good guide to selecting a Steinway or any hand-crafted musical instrument. I want to replace that refrain with a new one:
“The Stradivarius Misconception”.
Fallacy: since a four hundred year old violin might be worth millions, the older vintages of Steinway are somehow also better than today. Nothing could be further from the truth.
A piano is a mechanical device with thousands of moving parts.
The only thing that moves on the Violin is the Bow!
So older is not better in most cases when it comes to pianos.
If we have better aerospace technology, better automotive technology, why is it so difficult to accept that there is currently better piano technology? My experience is this: no Steinway I have played in the past 40 years (apart from meticulous rebuilt ones) – none hold a candle to the most recent years of Steinway. In my expert opinion they’re simply getting better every year. Veritas!