Originally Posted by honkytonkpiano
The benefit of the longer string length in the bass of the D compared with the B should mean that the overtones are more in tune with the fundamental. Shorter bass strings suffer because local stiffness of the string due to the copper windings menas that the overtones are sharper than they should be compared with the fundamental. It's one reason why small pianos sound bad in the bass compared with large pianos, other things being equal. I'd suggest that the comfort of the pianist is an over-riding consideration which will also take account of the state of the hammers and the action regulation. Otherwise, use the D if possible, as that is the sound most people will be used to on classical CDs.
There was a previous comment which was unflattering about the Model B, but I have still to encounter an alternative piano of that size which is superior - although the Yamaha S model comes close.
In my experience, the biggest problem with "short" piano's is their ability to actually sound the fundemental, not the overtones.
All piano's have weaknesses, I used a nice concert "D" not long ago with a great middle and good top end, however, the bass was lean, My Grotian Steinweg concert grand has a fantastic bottom and decent mid, but the last half octave at the top isn't good. Equally a collegue of mine has a really nice Yamaha 6ft with a great midrange, though the bass obviously suffers.
When I was looking for a 7' grand piano, I tested several Steinway Bs and a Steingraeber 205 (meanwhile replaced by Steingraeber C-212). I preferred the Steingraeber. I tested also the Yamaha S6, which I found very close to the C6, whith this distinctive Yamaha sound signature, slightly nasal, rather different from the Steiway one.
My father who was in the trade most of his life, always aid that there wasn't much to compete with a good German piano and I tend to agree with him. I do find most Steinway's pretty consistent, though not as consistent as Yamaha's, it's the good Steinways that set their reputation. I don't know much about teh Steingraeber, however, having listened to a couple of clips on their website, if they are representative, it's a very fine piano, certainly I perfer it to Fazioli's I've heard and worked with.