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#1126201 - 05/08/04 11:37 AM Re: Scale Design - tension
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5328
Loc: Olympia, Washington
 Quote:
Originally posted by Grotriman:
 Quote:
Originally posted by JPM:

Del, please do write that book some day. Undoubtedly, it will be of great interest to all that love pianos and an enduring legacy that will remain useful and relevant for a very long time to come. [/b]
If only so you don't have to spend so much time responding to our requests for more information!

BTW - Where are your seminars given?

Thanks. [/b]
Mostly at various Piano Technicians Guild conferences and conventions. But I have also done a number of one-day events organized by individual PTG chapters. I've also done seminars in Europe, Asia and Australia. (I'm always open to suggestions.)

These are generally promoted primarily to piano technicians but they are always open to anyone (including non-technicians) who hears about them and wants to attend. And who is willing to pay the registration fee which varies depending on the type of event. Registration at the annual PTG convention is several hundred dollars whereas a one-day seminar is generally $50 to $75. (Depending on projected attendance.) Sometimes including lunch.

Del
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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Piano & Music Accessories
#1126202 - 05/08/04 11:45 AM Re: Scale Design - tension
ChickGrand Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 3251
Loc: Midwest U.S.
Del,

I understand your point that no one met the challenge of "musical" at 5'3" or under, but would be curious what make or model you think came closest--how close did they come to musically acceptible? What did they do right, and, more interestingly, where did they made their mistake or compromise--or what do you think they should have explored and experimented with to even out their design?

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#1126203 - 05/08/04 01:27 PM Re: Scale Design - tension
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5328
Loc: Olympia, Washington
 Quote:
Originally posted by chickgrand:
Del,

I understand your point that no one met the challenge of "musical" at 5'3" or under, but would be curious what make or model you think came closest--how close did they come to musically acceptible? What did they do right, and, more interestingly, where did they made their mistake or compromise--or what do you think they should have explored and experimented with to even out their design? [/b]
There are a lot of questions up there. Way more than I have time or space to answer here — besides, that is what the book is all about.

I haven't yet come across any very small grands that I've thought really fit the criteria. Even in so-called high-end piano lines the very small piano has been considered an afterthought. An instrument no real musician would purchase and use. Yet increasingly good pianists are finding it necessary to look for smaller instruments as homes become smaller and other stuff intrudes.

Del
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#1126204 - 05/08/04 01:34 PM Re: Scale Design - tension
ChickGrand Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 3251
Loc: Midwest U.S.
Then I'll just look forward to your book. Keep us updated on its progress toward release and about the distibutor. There doesn't seem to be much on-line nor in book form discussing issues of design differences between makes and how they benefit/detract/compromise in any kind of systematic and meaningful way. \:\)

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#1126205 - 05/08/04 03:31 PM Re: Scale Design - tension
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21926
Loc: Oakland
 Quote:
t was prompted by a little book I pulled, wet and mangled, out of a trash pile at a company I used to work for. Titled “Piano Scale Making” it was published in 1927 and in about 80 pages of sparse, but mostly concise prose, it explains how to ‘design’ and build a 5-foot piano. “A sample of which has been built and pronounced good.”
An obscure book indeed! I was able to find it in the Library of Congress catalog, but that's about it.

I wonder if the piano described was like one that I restrung some years ago. That particular one was an Everett, with 32 bass notes, although I later saw an identical piano marked Story & Clark. It stood out because you could see exactly where the wire gauges changed by the notching in the bridge, which to me, is as it should be. It was a fine little piano.
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#1126206 - 05/08/04 04:15 PM Re: Scale Design - tension
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5328
Loc: Olympia, Washington
 Quote:
Originally posted by BDB:

An obscure book indeed! I was able to find it in the Library of Congress catalog, but that's about it.

I wonder if the piano described was like one that I restrung some years ago. That particular one was an Everett, with 32 bass notes, although I later saw an identical piano marked Story & Clark. It stood out because you could see exactly where the wire gauges changed by the notching in the bridge, which to me, is as it should be. It was a fine little piano. [/b]
Not exactly but probably close. This instrument had a 30 note bass section with three sections overall. It was 4' 11 3/8" long (the lid would have a 5/8" overhang bringing it up to an even 5'). I expect its intended market was just a bit below either the Everett or the Story & Clark.

The design is very generic but functional. And it has most of the design weaknesses of most of the small pianos of the era. Which makes it a good starting point for discussion.

Del
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#1126207 - 05/09/04 01:45 PM Re: Scale Design - tension
dbm Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/24/04
Posts: 166
Del,

A belated thank-you for explaining so patiently to my naive questions on sustain. It is people like you who make this forum so educational and valuable --- from parents who simply want to buy a starter piano for their children to professional pianists to people like me who are just intrigued by the magnificent instrument. I am so glad that a book is in the works and am looking forward to its publication.

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#1126208 - 05/10/04 10:59 AM Re: Scale Design - tension
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5328
Loc: Olympia, Washington
 Quote:
Originally posted by BDB:

One should never underestimate the cheapness of manufacturers. Wound strings are more expensive than plain strings!

It's ridiculous in some respects. Piano strings, even the wound ones, are dirt cheap compared to other stringed instruments.

That's speculation on my part! [/b]
BDB,

I found the quote I was thinking of over the weekend. On page 23 of “A Treatise on the Ari of Pianoforte Construction” (1916 edition), Samuel Wolfenden writes:
“The thickness of the covered strings below this point [the highest wrapped string on the bass bridge] often depends upon the number of pounds of copper the maker can afford to use.”

With the price of copper now considerably lower than it was during WW I labor makes up a much higher proportion of the cost of wrapped strings and they are more likely priced on a per-string basis rather than on the actual amount of copper used. But still....

Del
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#1126209 - 05/10/04 11:09 AM Re: Scale Design - tension
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21926
Loc: Oakland
It's like steel pillars in automobile design. Whether the pillars at the corners of the top were wider "for more strength" or narrower "for better vision" depended on the relative price of glass versus steel.

I was intrigued by the information about longitudinal resonance of bass strings in Five Lectures on the Acoustics of the Piano. Mr. Conklin had criteria for bass string design which his recordings backed up as making an audible difference.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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