Originally posted by pianomanrsn:
Here are a few ideas that may have some merit, but I have no idea if any of them have been the subject of experiments and discarded:
1) More use of composites in place of wooden action parts. They are stronger, lighter, and far more dimensionally stable than wood. I'm not talking about ABS (Kawai whipens), but carbon/epoxy tubular, 2-axis weave formed, or 3-axis weave materials that can be machined.
2) Electronically regulated actions to provide a more precise delivery of the hammers for a given keying effort. Some user defined options would be possible.
3) Non rusting strings and single crystal strings that do not stretch out of shape.
4) Electronic monitoring of pitch. Perhaps something like a small diode above a key that comes on if tuning adjustment is required (both absolute and relative pitch between adjacent notes or octaves could be factored in).
5) Actions with many fewer parts. It is hard to believe that some clever group of engineers cannot redesign actions to eliminate half of the 55 or so parts in a (grand) action.
6) Use of polyethylene glycol (PEG). Woodworkers have for years soaked pieces of wood in PEG as a way of displacing water trapped in the cellular structure. When dry, PEG is a wax-like material that completely prevents reabsorbtion of water. It would probably not be appropriate for soundboards, bridges, and pin blocks, but for many other wooden parts it would greatly improve stability.
7) Use of evaporative type metal coatings (applied in a vacuum) using a material like aluminum to seal the soundboard
As I said, these are just ideas.
Robert in Dallas [/b]