Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#1952761 - 09/01/12 08:42 PM Stanwood Touch Design question
Dktenor Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/01/12
Posts: 6
Can anyone tell me the pros and cons of the Stanwood Touch Design action?

I am looking to purchase a rebuilt high end grand piano and I have heard of this type of action but don't know much about it. One piano technician whom I trust has advised against it. I have seen a few comments suggesting that there may be some controversy surrounding this product.

I am a intermediate player who is returning to the piano after a long absence. I have never owned a grand piano but know what touch and tone I prefer.

Thanks for any input. (I dont want to stir up a hornets nest. )

Top
(ad PTG 568) Grand Action Regulation in 37 Steps
Grand Action Regulation in 37 Steps
#1952802 - 09/01/12 11:12 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Dktenor]
beethoven986 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3337
There is no "Stanwood Touch Design action" in the same sense that there is a "Renner action" or "Steinway action," etc. The Stanwood method essentially optimizes the mass of the hammers (often referred to as strike weight) and the various leverages in the action to produce the desired touch response. The concept is sound, and whoever says otherwise is an idiot, IMO. However, it's a time consuming process, and therefore expensive.

An arguably more practical approach is to use the Fandrich-Rhodes "Weight Bench" method, which utilizes an action inertia calculator and micro-balancing software to predictably and quickly adjust the touch of a piano. The downside to this is that it being new technology, the vast majority of technicians are unaware of it, and fewer have access to the necessary equipment.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

Top
#1952854 - 09/02/12 04:16 AM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Dktenor]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7563
Loc: France
the 2 methods use the same concepts. only PTD provide a weighted hammer. hence sone hammers are lightened but others are made heavier.

a progressive curve of Strike weights can be felt and is sound tonally, but having lead inserted in the hammer wood make it have a different attack tone than without. what I check is the resonance of the shank and hammer assembly. I try to avoid spikes there .
The Weightbench is useful to work from a graph and weighting can be faster. But the more the weight is near balance pin the less precise the measure is because friction raise... good workeable zone a 50 mm from the edge of the key.
The most noticeable resistance and mass sensations are due to inertia vs acceleration. Weighting is an almost static process. What Stanwood finely analysed was the relation between Strike weight and action ratio. A huge improvement as no precise method existed to check hammer weight in case of hammer change or existing action.
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


Top
#1952856 - 09/02/12 04:22 AM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Dktenor]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7563
Loc: France
Inertia calculator ? Yet sold ?
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


Top
#1952858 - 09/02/12 04:23 AM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Dktenor]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7563
Loc: France
Inertia calculator ? Yet sold ?
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


Top
#1952921 - 09/02/12 10:08 AM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Dktenor]
Jim Frazee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/31/06
Posts: 393
Loc: Westchester County, New York
All the words in the world, all the formulas, etc. cannot compare to actually playing an instrument on which this has been done. If you can locate one near you, or if you can find a PTG chapter near you to tell you about a piano that has been done, go for it. I was shocked, amazed and highly covetous once I played one. Go for it! thumb
_________________________
PianoPerfection
Teacher, performer, technician
Westchester County, NY

Top
#1952958 - 09/02/12 11:27 AM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Jim Frazee]
TunerJeff Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 471
Loc: Oregon Coast
The important thing here is that the Stanwood and Rhodes methods are both using the original action and parts...but carefully analyzing and adjusting them for maximum performance.

They are essentially finding the best possible performance from any given instrument. It's rather like having a race-car 'blueprinted' and fine tuned to the edge!

I would lean towards the Rhodes analysis, having attended seminars by both. John Rhodes and Darrel Fandrich are measuring not just the weight, but that actual inertia of the parts; how much energy is required to get them moving. A far more important factor in determining the feel of action performance than the 'leverage/mass' equations used by the Stanwood Method.

The Rhodes approach allows you to predict the 'feel' of the keys with some real precision. The Stanwood will provide an extremely even action (...all the weights/leverage are steamlined), but sometimes the end result is 'heavier' than the numbers you'd expect...because it does not compute the inertia of the parts. See? Rhodes measures the energy required to get things moving, while Stanwood is calculating mass/leverage.

I should point out that John Rhodes is in my Chapter...so I've seen what they are doing! It is amazing, and a step up in truly understanding action performance.

Either case; both offer tremendous improvement in the touch and feel of any fine instrument. Both are highly respected and both offer real improvements to control and eveness of performance.

Respectfully,
_________________________
Jeffrey T. Hickey, RPT
Oregon Coast Piano Services
TunerJeff440@aol.com

Top
#1952986 - 09/02/12 01:00 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Olek]
beethoven986 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3337
Originally Posted By: Kamin
Inertia calculator ? Yet sold ?


Yes. It's available as an update to the WB software. Contact Darrell Fandrich.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

Top
#1952994 - 09/02/12 01:36 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Jim Frazee]
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3466
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: Jim Frazee
All the words in the world, all the formulas, etc. cannot compare to actually playing an instrument on which this has been done. If you can locate one near you, or if you can find a PTG chapter near you to tell you about a piano that has been done, go for it. I was shocked, amazed and highly covetous once I played one. Go for it! thumb


Which one are you referring to? Stanwood or Rhodes?

Top
#1952998 - 09/02/12 01:43 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: sophial]
beethoven986 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3337
Originally Posted By: sophial
Originally Posted By: Jim Frazee
All the words in the world, all the formulas, etc. cannot compare to actually playing an instrument on which this has been done. If you can locate one near you, or if you can find a PTG chapter near you to tell you about a piano that has been done, go for it. I was shocked, amazed and highly covetous once I played one. Go for it! thumb


Which one are you referring to? Stanwood or Rhodes?


Well, it doesn't really matter. Playing an instrument that has had either modification is no guarantee that you will like the touch of that piano. With either method, you could design really light or really heavy touch (or somewhere in between), so if you don't like whatever touch was designed, you're not going to like it.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

Top
#1953021 - 09/02/12 02:45 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: TunerJeff]
jim ialeggio Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 637
Loc: shirley, MA
Originally Posted By: TunerJeff

I would lean towards the Rhodes analysis, having attended seminars by both. John Rhodes and Darrel Fandrich are measuring not just the weight, but that actual inertia of the parts; how much energy is required to get them moving. A far more important factor in determining the feel of action performance than the 'leverage/mass' equations used by the Stanwood Method.

The Rhodes approach allows you to predict the 'feel' of the keys with some real precision. The Stanwood will provide an extremely even action (...all the weights/leverage are steamlined), but sometimes the end result is 'heavier' than the numbers you'd expect...because it does not compute the inertia of the parts. See? Rhodes measures the energy required to get things moving, while Stanwood is calculating mass/leverage.


I completely agree here, regarding Stanwood actions tending to the heavy side, or more precisely they seem to generally have more inertia built into them. That feel, though dead nuts even, steered me away from the Stanwood approach in all my action work, and I approach it rather from the optimized geometry side and hammer weight control side of things.

To be sure though, both of these protocols offer techs something that they have craved for years, that is the ability to quantify what the devil was going on in a problem action, or an action that was not satisfying the pianist.

One of my fears regarding the Rhodes/Fandrich is that the thing that bugs me about the Stanwood approach could happen to the Rhodes. That is, by defining a touch range as "Touch to die for", in the hands of techs in the field, the data will be used to tailor the action to some predicted ideal rather than helping a individual discover the touch that turns them on subjectively and individually.

Though the Stanwood in theory helps a competent tech achieve whatever touch they and their client have determined they want to shoot for, despite this fact, all of the Stanwood actions I've played were shooting at a particular feel, as Jeff said which ended up being on the heavy side. So the adjustability of at least the Stanwood seems to be undermined in practice. This could easily happen to the Rhodes/Fandrich.

Also ,to the OP, keep in mind tonal and belly issues often masquerade as action issues. Pianos which are not tonally responsive are quite often perceived as having action problems. However, amazingly the "action" issues go away when the belly/tone regulation side of the equation has been dealt with. So make sure your tech looks at the tonal part of the experience and addresses it before assuming action redesign is in order. I have played Stanwood actions, on old worn out bellys. The tonal experience was completely uncontrollable despite the action modifications...this because the tonal problem was ignored and assumed to be exclusively action related.

Jim Ialeggio


Edited by jim ialeggio (09/02/12 03:40 PM)
_________________________
Jim Ialeggio
www.grandpianosolutions.com
advanced soundboard and action redesigns
978 425-9026
Shirley Center, MA

Top
#1953034 - 09/02/12 03:21 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Dktenor]
Gene Nelson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 1484
Loc: Old Hangtown California
In regard to the first phase of the Stanwood design - an even strike weight progression - I have found that a quality new hammer set that is consistently machined, tapered and tails arced should give an even hammer strike weight within the Stanwood tolerence from note to note.

Top
#1953089 - 09/02/12 06:32 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: jim ialeggio]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1309
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: jim ialeggio
Originally Posted By: TunerJeff

I would lean towards the Rhodes analysis, having attended seminars by both. John Rhodes and Darrel Fandrich are measuring not just the weight, but that actual inertia of the parts; how much energy is required to get them moving. A far more important factor in determining the feel of action performance than the 'leverage/mass' equations used by the Stanwood Method.

The Rhodes approach allows you to predict the 'feel' of the keys with some real precision. The Stanwood will provide an extremely even action (...all the weights/leverage are steamlined), but sometimes the end result is 'heavier' than the numbers you'd expect...because it does not compute the inertia of the parts. See? Rhodes measures the energy required to get things moving, while Stanwood is calculating mass/leverage.


I completely agree here, regarding Stanwood actions tending to the heavy side, or more precisely they seem to generally have more inertia built into them. That feel, though dead nuts even, steered me away from the Stanwood approach in all my action work, and I approach it rather from the optimized geometry side and hammer weight control side of things.

To be sure though, both of these protocols offer techs something that they have craved for years, that is the ability to quantify what the devil was going on in a problem action, or an action that was not satisfying the pianist.

One of my fears regarding the Rhodes/Fandrich is that the thing that bugs me about the Stanwood approach could happen to the Rhodes. That is, by defining a touch range as "Touch to die for", in the hands of techs in the field, the data will be used to tailor the action to some predicted ideal rather than helping a individual discover the touch that turns them on subjectively and individually.

Though the Stanwood in theory helps a competent tech achieve whatever touch they and their client have determined they want to shoot for, despite this fact, all of the Stanwood actions I've played were shooting at a particular feel, as Jeff said which ended up being on the heavy side. So the adjustability of at least the Stanwood seems to be undermined in practice. This could easily happen to the Rhodes/Fandrich.

Also ,to the OP, keep in mind tonal and belly issues often masquerade as action issues. Pianos which are not tonally responsive are quite often perceived as having action problems. However, amazingly the "action" issues go away when the belly/tone regulation side of the equation has been dealt with. So make sure your tech looks at the tonal part of the experience and addresses it before assuming action redesign is in order. I have played Stanwood actions, on old worn out bellys. The tonal experience was completely uncontrollable despite the action modifications...this because the tonal problem was ignored and assumed to be exclusively action related.

Jim Ialeggio


The Rhodes/Fandrich is a better -- but still interim -- approach to touch design issues. Stanwood's patent -- and the assumptions that follow from it -- have been demonstrated to be scientifically invalid and in actual practice unable to provide accurate diagnosis nor reliable prediction of action "feel".
_________________________
Keith Akins, RPT
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

Top
#1953106 - 09/02/12 07:08 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Dktenor]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7563
Loc: France
@Gene. Yes weight progression can be nice from the start.
What is useful is to locate the SW range.
The bass hammers are generally thinner, on European pianos I heard you prefer them the same size than treble.
That should add some mass . Is it the case ?

Totally agree with Jim about geometry and. Other tonall issues.


Edited by Kamin (09/02/12 07:14 PM)
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


Top
#1953130 - 09/02/12 09:02 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Dktenor]
Dale Fox Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 1061
Loc: Nor California Sacramento area
Both systems have some validity. Consistent action work is still the most important factor though. If these protocols help some one achieve consistent results that is a good thing. However,neither system is more important than a thorough understanding of what makes an action function properly. They are,in the end, just another tool in the tool kit.

As Jim alludes to, the action is only as good as the rest of the piano allows it to be. (My interpretation, with apologies to Jim.)
_________________________
Dale Fox
Registered Piano Technician
Remanufacturing/Rebuilding

Top
#1953139 - 09/02/12 09:34 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: kpembrook]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3583
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: kpembrook


The Rhodes/Fandrich is a better -- but still interim -- approach to touch design issues. Stanwood's patent -- and the assumptions that follow from it -- have been demonstrated to be scientifically invalid and in actual practice unable to provide accurate diagnosis nor reliable prediction of action "feel".


That's a pretty damning assessment, Keith. I've spoken to a few people who have played or own a Stanwood modified action and all are extremely satisfied with it. They say it improved the evenness and performance of their action no end. I don't think they were concerned about how the theory was expressed in any document or the completeness of the details, but rather the fact that their action had been adjusted for great evenness of response and that it was adjusted to suit their preferred weight. In the end, isn't that what counts?

Also, shouldn't you provide evidence of all this demonstration of invalidity, since you've stated it so forcefully? At least direct us toward a scientific breakdown of the failing you speak of. (ie. link to site or journal). Or your own explanation. Otherwise you really haven't actually said anything and what you've said is borderline slanderous.

Top
#1953156 - 09/02/12 10:33 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: kpembrook]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1165
Loc: Tennessee
>>The Rhodes/Fandrich is a better -- but still interim -- approach to touch design issues. Stanwood's patent -- and the assumptions that follow from it -- have been demonstrated to be scientifically invalid and in actual practice unable to provide accurate diagnosis nor reliable prediction of action "feel". <<

Greetings,
It seems someone (too many quotes, I don't know who said the above). doesn't totally understand what "feel" is. The feel of a piano is as dependent on the sound as the physical effort involved in pressing the key, ie. I can totally change the feel of a piano with voicing needles or lacquer;. This is because the "feel" is dependent on what the brain senses of the relationship between effort and result. Does the Rhodes/Fandrich approach measure the spectra? Does it measure the alteration of the sound with increasing force? Does it measure the tonal range of the hammer? If not, it isn't dealing with "feel", but rather the effort aspect, and that is only half of what determines "feel".

Pianists sense a piano's response as a result of what they are getting, aurally, for the effort required. A brilliant 58 gram action feels lighter than a dull 50 gram action. I don't think either of the two approaches deals with that.
Regards,


Edited by Ed Foote (09/02/12 10:33 PM)

Top
#1953157 - 09/02/12 10:37 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: ando]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1309
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: ando
Originally Posted By: kpembrook


The Rhodes/Fandrich is a better -- but still interim -- approach to touch design issues. Stanwood's patent -- and the assumptions that follow from it -- have been demonstrated to be scientifically invalid and in actual practice unable to provide accurate diagnosis nor reliable prediction of action "feel".


That's a pretty damning assessment, Keith. I've spoken to a few people who have played or own a Stanwood modified action and all are extremely satisfied with it. They say it improved the evenness and performance of their action no end. I don't think they were concerned about how the theory was expressed in any document or the completeness of the details, but rather the fact that their action had been adjusted for great evenness of response and that it was adjusted to suit their preferred weight. In the end, isn't that what counts?

Also, shouldn't you provide evidence of all this demonstration of invalidity, since you've stated it so forcefully? At least direct us toward a scientific breakdown of the failing you speak of. (ie. link to site or journal). Or your own explanation. Otherwise you really haven't actually said anything and what you've said is borderline slanderous.


It's a bold statement, but bold doesn't mean untrue. And please read each word carefully. I did not state that every piano on which the Stanwood approach has been used has resulted in a bad-playing piano.

For the first statement about scientific validity, reviewing a high school physics text would be one place to start. Or attend a Fandrich/Rhodes presentation. But I have additional assessments from a professional engineer in hand which will be published in due course.

The second statement is that it is not a reliable approach for either diagnostic or touch design purposes. That is because there are instances where people have followed the procedure to the letter and the piano feels weird and others where people have followed the same procedure and the piano feels fine. I am simply reporting the facts.
_________________________
Keith Akins, RPT
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

Top
#1953158 - 09/02/12 10:40 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Ed Foote]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1309
Loc: Michigan
Quote:
Pianists sense a piano's response as a result of what they are getting, aurally, for the effort required. A brilliant 58 gram action feels lighter than a dull 50 gram action. I don't think either of the two approaches deals with that.
Regards,


You have correctly identified one of several significant factors that are not currently addressed by any current approach.
_________________________
Keith Akins, RPT
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

Top
#1953252 - 09/03/12 05:13 AM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Ed Foote]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7563
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Ed Foote
>>The Rhodes/Fandrich is a better -- but still interim -- approach to touch design issues. Stanwood's patent -- and the assumptions that follow from it -- have been demonstrated to be scientifically invalid and in actual practice unable to provide accurate diagnosis nor reliable prediction of action "feel". <<

Greetings,
It seems someone (too many quotes, I don't know who said the above). doesn't totally understand what "feel" is. The feel of a piano is as dependent on the sound as the physical effort involved in pressing the key, ie. I can totally change the feel of a piano with voicing needles or lacquer;. This is because the "feel" is dependent on what the brain senses of the relationship between effort and result. Does the Rhodes/Fandrich approach measure the spectra? Does it measure the alteration of the sound with increasing force? Does it measure the tonal range of the hammer? If not, it isn't dealing with "feel", but rather the effort aspect, and that is only half of what determines "feel".

Pianists sense a piano's response as a result of what they are getting, aurally, for the effort required. A brilliant 58 gram action feels lighter than a dull 50 gram action. I don't think either of the two approaches deals with that.
Regards,


What you say is true but the mind simply make mix between the tactile sensations and what the ear is hearing..

tactile sensations seem to be weighted fo more or around 60% of what makes the "good quality piano"

But in the end the best touch will provide a better tone and a better comfort to the pianists.

we cannot see one side without the other.

in the middle of that is the real mass of parts, and the way the weight on one side isbalanced at the other

plus, more importantly the way the acceleration occur and how the differnt braking moments are felt (damper start, , letoff, hammer catch

The acceleration curve of a piano action is something that should be interesting to investigate as regulation and change of parts dilmension have an influence on that.

We are often talking of action ratio as if it was a fixed ratio. The differnce betwenn ratio at rest and at the moment the hammer leaves the jack can be as much as 30% and the way the breaking moments are felts differ depending of the "magic line" placement in the key stroke.

all that to provide in the end some of kinaesthesic mix to the pianist






Edited by Kamin (09/03/12 06:52 AM)
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


Top
#1953266 - 09/03/12 06:50 AM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Dktenor]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7563
Loc: France
see for instance that the hammers at rest have a 16-18° inclination , so the mass of the hammer locates differenly depending of the hammer travel distance, hammer bore and rake angle, the mass of course is then higher with tall hammers (they are raére those days)

reduction in leverage at the roller level during stroke will depend of the roller size but also the height of the hammer center location in regard of the spread line.

I was told once that a Renner action that have a good mechanical setup, will react at each gram added, for instance, the hammer raise a hair with 48 g a little more with 49, 50 , etc.
In any case that shows how the "down weigh" is evolving during the stroke (which is expected, as we have a ratio change occuring)

A well balanced action will rise slowly and evenly under the exact weight, but that weight progression is certainly something we could examine and use.
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


Top
#1953354 - 09/03/12 12:07 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Dktenor]
Dave B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1969
Loc: Philadelphia area
All I can say is that I've played two actions with the adjustable system installed. Both tuned, voiced, and played very nicely. I didn't have the time or the inclination to change the settings so I don't know the extent of variations available. The Steinway "D" is one of the most responsive actions I've ever played.

Top
#1953417 - 09/03/12 02:03 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Dave B]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3583
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Dave B
All I can say is that I've played two actions with the adjustable system installed. Both tuned, voiced, and played very nicely. I didn't have the time or the inclination to change the settings so I don't know the extent of variations available. The Steinway "D" is one of the most responsive actions I've ever played.


Keep in mind that the Standwood adjustable action is not the same thing as the Standwood Touch Design modification. The adjustable action is much more expensive and offers the ability to change the weight of the action whenever you like, whereas an action that has been treated using the Stanwood Touch Design approach is one which has been measured, calculated and regulated to perform at its best - presumably with input from the customer as to what characteristics they are looking for.

Top
#1953613 - 09/03/12 11:36 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Dktenor]
Gene Nelson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 1484
Loc: Old Hangtown California
@Gene. Yes weight progression can be nice from the start.
What is useful is to locate the SW range.
The bass hammers are generally thinner, on European pianos I heard you prefer them the same size than treble.
That should add some mass . Is it the case ?
____________________________________________________________________________________
The only time that I can imagine a need to have thinner hammers in the bass than the tenor/treble is for spacing. When the hammers are bored to come close to or match the angle of the bass strings, spacing may become an issue but I don't angle much more than 6 - 8 degrees regardless of the string angle so there is no reason to have thinner hammers in the bass.
_________________________
RPT
PTG Member

Top
#1953653 - 09/04/12 02:31 AM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Dktenor]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7563
Loc: France
I would guess it is mostly for tone reasons, so the basses are not covering the mediums too easily.

it may also help with weight, avoiding too much lead in the basses.
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


Top
#1953747 - 09/04/12 10:27 AM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: ando]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1309
Loc: Michigan
Quote:
[The adjustable action is much more expensive and offers the ability to change the weight of the action whenever you like, whereas an action that has been treated using the Stanwood Touch Design approach is one which has been measured, calculated and regulated to perform at its best - presumably with input from the customer as to what characteristics they are looking for.


Specifically, the adjustable action offers variable inertial resistance and hammer velocity. May or may not be appropriate depending on other aspects that Stanwood system doesn't reveal. I'm aware of one that has received decidedly mixed reviews.

Measurements and calculations of Stanwood Touch Design are not reliable -- again, because of factors that are not measured or taken into account.
_________________________
Keith Akins, RPT
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

Top
#1953766 - 09/04/12 11:30 AM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Dktenor]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1165
Loc: Tennessee
Greetings,
David Stanwood woke us all up to a level of quantification that I wasn't aware of before, and I haven't seen an action yet that the application of even some of his ideas doesn't help, (even though I use a different approach, the instructor that taught both of us mistook my action for his when he played it).

What works for me is a pair of curves. One is the front weight of the keys, which, if not consistent, will cause inertial discrepancies during fast play that nothing else will correct. The other is the strike weight, which can vary a very slight amount if necessary, but in a perfect world would be as even as FW. However, the 88 individual ratios in the action must be consistent for these two curves to be mated in such a way that the response is even. This is where the quality of the parts enters into the fray, since in terms of even response, the consistency of the parts is a prime parameter.

What I have found is that the WNG action parts produce the most consistent set of ratios, key to key, I have ever seen. (I am not a dealer or agent for any brand of parts, and I have used them all of them over the decades). Their lack of variability makes building actions with them far more consistent, and it shows up in how closely the two curves can be left at their ideal consistency when the action is assembled. Get the right match and you get beauty. The imperviousness to humidity is a strong asset in the school environment, where keeping 130 pianos on budget is much easier without having to constantly re-space, travel, burn, or tighten the actions. That the pinning seems to be far more stable than the cloth is also a plus. This is another type of "performance" that has to be considered, too.
regards,

Top
#1953802 - 09/04/12 01:28 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Dktenor]
Numerian Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 1075
I have an adjustable action STD and consider it the best investment I've made in the instrument. It gives me as responsive an action as any I've played on other grands, it's made my playing much better, and if I wish I can make the weight heavier or lighter on any note or range of notes by adjusting the magnets front and/or back. As a customer, it is irrelevant to me whether the measurements and calculations are accurate enough - the action and end result are proof enough that the system works.

Top
#1953816 - 09/04/12 02:05 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: kpembrook]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3583
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: kpembrook
Quote:
[The adjustable action is much more expensive and offers the ability to change the weight of the action whenever you like, whereas an action that has been treated using the Stanwood Touch Design approach is one which has been measured, calculated and regulated to perform at its best - presumably with input from the customer as to what characteristics they are looking for.


Specifically, the adjustable action offers variable inertial resistance and hammer velocity. May or may not be appropriate depending on other aspects that Stanwood system doesn't reveal. I'm aware of one that has received decidedly mixed reviews.

Measurements and calculations of Stanwood Touch Design are not reliable -- again, because of factors that are not measured or taken into account.


It seems like you are after the piano equivalent of a Grand Unifying Theory in physics - and if you are, I applaud you for your ambition. But even though there is no GUT yet, it doesn't stop physics from advancing and producing very useful results. It might also be that Mr Stanwood is well aware of what is not in his theory but chooses to leave it out because he is working with what he considers to be the most important variables. I have no affiliation with Stanwood other than I've met people who swear by the work he did on their actions - and in particular the evenness and touch. If he were really leaving out such vital details, I fail to see how he could have produced such good results.

Top
#1953894 - 09/04/12 04:47 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: kpembrook]
Larry Buck Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 2339
Loc: Lowell MA
Originally Posted By: kpembrook
Quote:
[The adjustable action is much more expensive and offers the ability to change the weight of the action whenever you like, whereas an action that has been treated using the Stanwood Touch Design approach is one which has been measured, calculated and regulated to perform at its best - presumably with input from the customer as to what characteristics they are looking for.


Specifically, the adjustable action offers variable inertial resistance and hammer velocity. May or may not be appropriate depending on other aspects that Stanwood system doesn't reveal. I'm aware of one that has received decidedly mixed reviews.

Measurements and calculations of Stanwood Touch Design are not reliable -- again, because of factors that are not measured or taken into account.



I believe Stanwood's measurements are very reliable.

The various technicians using the measurements make choices I disagree with.

But, the measurements themselves, reliable and useful. Again, depending on HOW you use them, determines the feel of the action.

Now, SALA changing the inertia of the action ?? I suspect, not at all. Changing the pianists leverage against it ... maybe. Velocity differences .. again totally dependent on the pianist.

Perhaps one of the engineers that post here can elaborate?
_________________________
Has Anyone Seen My Glasses ?

E. J. Buck & Sons
Lowell MA 01852
978 458 8688
www.ejbuckpiano.com
facebook.com/E. J. Buck & Sons Performances

Top
#1953907 - 09/04/12 05:20 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Numerian]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1309
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: Numerian
the action and end result are proof enough that the system works.




Not a logical statement. Keep in mind I never said they were all failures. There are certainly a greater-than-random number of successes out there from folk using those formulas -- and you appear to be one of those.

What I did say was that the process is not reliable -- that is, its use does not guarantee either correct diagnosis nor accurate prediction of actual response. Sometimes it appears to work. But sometimes it definitely doesn't.

If something is truly "proof", it will always be repeatable-- or we will understand why it doesn't. There are people that are not happy with certain instruments that have had the same treatment that worked in other cases.

Stanwood made a great contribution in getting people dealing with action geometry issues. However, the limitations are becoming more apparent as time goes along. We have further work to do to isolate all the variables that affect piano touch.
_________________________
Keith Akins, RPT
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

Top
#1953920 - 09/04/12 05:36 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: kpembrook]
beethoven986 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3337
Originally Posted By: kpembrook
Originally Posted By: Numerian
the action and end result are proof enough that the system works.




Not a logical statement. Keep in mind I never said they were all failures. There are certainly a greater-than-random number of successes out there from folk using those formulas -- and you appear to be one of those.

What I did say was that the process is not reliable -- that is, its use does not guarantee either correct diagnosis nor accurate prediction of actual response. Sometimes it appears to work. But sometimes it definitely doesn't.

If something is truly "proof", it will always be repeatable-- or we will understand why it doesn't. There are people that are not happy with certain instruments that have had the same treatment that worked in other cases.

Stanwood made a great contribution in getting people dealing with action geometry issues. However, the limitations are becoming more apparent as time goes along. We have further work to do to isolate all the variables that affect piano touch.


I'm not going to argue that you're wrong, but I do think it is important to remember that with the Stanwood TD, as with anything else in piano work, the end result is largely due to the skill of the technician performing the task, as well as the desires of the owner. I've played a lot of Stanwoodized pianos (in addition to my own) and they all feel different, and I feel like that the results are largely due to the goal of whoever was doing the work. Mine is kind of a "middle of the road" touch, but I've played some where you could practically blow on the keys to make them play, and I've played others that feel like mine. Now that the Fandrich-Rhodes thingy is out, that is definitely the service I will offer my clients.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

Top
#1953972 - 09/04/12 07:14 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Dktenor]
Larry Buck Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 2339
Loc: Lowell MA
The Stanwood process is a tool. It is a well thought out and accurate tool.

Like any "tool", it is only as effective as the person using it.

To suggest the responsibility lays in the tool, is disingenuous and misleading.

I will agree that knowing how to manipulate that particular tool does not insure the technician will apply it appropriately.
_________________________
Has Anyone Seen My Glasses ?

E. J. Buck & Sons
Lowell MA 01852
978 458 8688
www.ejbuckpiano.com
facebook.com/E. J. Buck & Sons Performances

Top
#1954058 - 09/05/12 12:55 AM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Larry Buck]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1309
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: Larry Buck
The Stanwood process is a tool. It is a well thought out and accurate tool.


It is neither well thought out nor accurate:
*It involves assumptions that are contrary to basic physics.
*It substitutes precision for accuracy.
*It fails reliably to predict actual touch experience.
*It is based on static measurement of "what's happening
when nothing is happening" rather than dynamic events
that unfold as key and hammer actually move.

It provided an excellent application of the formula to determine weight-scale accuracy to friction in piano actions. But it is time for us to recognize the limitations of this procedure which served well to introduce many to action touch issues and move on to other more valid and effective approaches.
_________________________
Keith Akins, RPT
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

Top
#1954140 - 09/05/12 07:54 AM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Dktenor]
Roy123 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/04
Posts: 1715
Loc: Massachusetts
Stanwood recognized the importance of strike weight and action ratio in determining how heavy a piano action feels. However, as far as I've seen, he offers no analytical basis for his observation. That is certainly the case in his patent, in which he only describes static balance, or, as he calls it, his "equation of balance." He seems to claim some proprietary ownership of that equation, which is a bit absurd, because calculating the static and inertial forces in a lever system is simple physics and has been understood and applied for many, many centuries.

As it turns out, strike weight and action ratio are the primary determinants of an action's moment of inertia, which can easily be shown by some simple math. I have done this math and published the result on the internet for anyone to see. Fandrich-Rhodes seem to explicitly recognize the issue of moment of inertia, which they are calling the "inertial touch force," and claim to include software that can calculate it. Given the straightforward and well known method of calculation, I would have no a priori reason to doubt their claim. They further claim that "nothing has been written about how to identify, quantify, and correct inertia problems in the grand piano action," which seems to be a bit of a stretch. My published analysis dates back to 2007, and surely can't be the only one in existence.

Top
#1954170 - 09/05/12 09:36 AM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: kpembrook]
Larry Buck Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 2339
Loc: Lowell MA
Originally Posted By: kpembrook
Originally Posted By: Larry Buck
The Stanwood process is a tool. It is a well thought out and accurate tool.


It is neither well thought out nor accurate:
*It involves assumptions that are contrary to basic physics.
*It substitutes precision for accuracy.
*It fails reliably to predict actual touch experience.
*It is based on static measurement of "what's happening
when nothing is happening" rather than dynamic events
that unfold as key and hammer actually move.

It provided an excellent application of the formula to determine weight-scale accuracy to friction in piano actions. But it is time for us to recognize the limitations of this procedure which served well to introduce many to action touch issues and move on to other more valid and effective approaches.


I will reiterate, it is a well thought out tool.

Unfortunately, many technicians place responsibility for failure on everything but their own experience.

Understanding what pianists need is a matter of considerable experience. More than most know or are willing to admit.

Stanwood's "tool" is not a substitute for that experience.

In my opinion, true client satisfaction comes best when "tools" are applied wholly and completely for the benefit of the client.

As a related example, we see failures at the clients expense when we say "such and such" replacement piano hammer is the BEST and ONLY one for you.

The reality is, that hammer is the one the technician has the most experience with or benefits from selling. Neither of these treats the client unbiasedly and only benefits the client serendipitously.

Stanwood's work has suffered the inexperience of a great many folks using it.

Truth is, in the right hands, any tool has value. In the wrong hands, no tool has value.






Edited by Larry Buck (09/05/12 09:39 AM)
_________________________
Has Anyone Seen My Glasses ?

E. J. Buck & Sons
Lowell MA 01852
978 458 8688
www.ejbuckpiano.com
facebook.com/E. J. Buck & Sons Performances

Top
#1954252 - 09/05/12 01:22 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Roy123]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1165
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By: Roy123

*snip*
As it turns out, strike weight and action ratio are the primary determinants of an action's moment of inertia, which can easily be shown by some simple math. .


Greetings,
What am I missing? I have always kept the key weight (FW) as a prime component of the inertia a pianist deals with. Those leads move before anything else in the action.

SW and action ratio combine to define the resistance the key must propel, however, the research (Anders-Askenfeldt) shows that the key is often on the punching before the hammer has finished accelerating. My logic is that the mass of the key determines the first resistance the pianist feels, and that resistance increases rapidly, (geometrically? exponentially? logarithmically? somebody help me out here..) as the force applied increases. A heavy key gets hard to play at high speed, regardless of what is sitting on the back of it.
Or, was something else intended by the post?
Regards,

Top
#1954313 - 09/05/12 02:59 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Roy123]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1309
Loc: Michigan
Quote:
I have done this math and published the result on the internet for anyone to see.


Can you direct me to the location?
_________________________
Keith Akins, RPT
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

Top
#1954356 - 09/05/12 04:13 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Ed Foote]
beethoven986 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3337
Originally Posted By: Ed Foote
Originally Posted By: Roy123

*snip*
As it turns out, strike weight and action ratio are the primary determinants of an action's moment of inertia, which can easily be shown by some simple math. .


Greetings,
What am I missing? I have always kept the key weight (FW) as a prime component of the inertia a pianist deals with. Those leads move before anything else in the action.

SW and action ratio combine to define the resistance the key must propel, however, the research (Anders-Askenfeldt) shows that the key is often on the punching before the hammer has finished accelerating. My logic is that the mass of the key determines the first resistance the pianist feels, and that resistance increases rapidly, (geometrically? exponentially? logarithmically? somebody help me out here..) as the force applied increases. A heavy key gets hard to play at high speed, regardless of what is sitting on the back of it.
Or, was something else intended by the post?
Regards,


According to Fandrich and Rhodes' research, strike weight is the overwhelming source of inertia: measurements from note A49 on a Steinway B revealed that the hammer was responsible for 81.8%, followed by the key (10.1%), lead weights (5.6%), and wippen (2.3%). Removing .6g of mass from this hammer reduced the overall inertia by 7% and a 4mm capstan moved reduced inertia by 14%. Altering the lead weights produced a nominal effect, except for removing them altogether and installing a strong turbo spring, which reduced inertia by 6%.

They're also supposed to be doing a multi-series article on their research in the Journal, hopefully starting this month, which should answer many of our questions.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

Top
#1954367 - 09/05/12 04:33 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Ed Foote]
Roy123 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/04
Posts: 1715
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: Ed Foote
Originally Posted By: Roy123

*snip*
As it turns out, strike weight and action ratio are the primary determinants of an action's moment of inertia, which can easily be shown by some simple math. .


Greetings,
What am I missing? I have always kept the key weight (FW) as a prime component of the inertia a pianist deals with. Those leads move before anything else in the action.

SW and action ratio combine to define the resistance the key must propel, however, the research (Anders-Askenfeldt) shows that the key is often on the punching before the hammer has finished accelerating. My logic is that the mass of the key determines the first resistance the pianist feels, and that resistance increases rapidly, (geometrically? exponentially? logarithmically? somebody help me out here..) as the force applied increases. A heavy key gets hard to play at high speed, regardless of what is sitting on the back of it.
Or, was something else intended by the post?
Regards,


Sorry, but it's not the key weight that dominates. As felt by the pianist, the moment of inertia of the hammer and its shank gets multiplied by the square of the action ratio. Let's take a typical action ratio of 5.7. In that case, the hammer's moment of inertia, as felt by the pianist, would be multiplied by 32.5 times.

I think people often assume key weights are the problem because lots of key weights are required when hammers are heavy and/or the action ratio is high. You might say key weights are an indicator of the problem rather than the problem itself. You can read my derivation here . If you can find a mistake in my math, I'll be happy to change my mind.

Top
#1954374 - 09/05/12 04:40 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: beethoven986]
Roy123 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/04
Posts: 1715
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Originally Posted By: Ed Foote
Originally Posted By: Roy123

*snip*
As it turns out, strike weight and action ratio are the primary determinants of an action's moment of inertia, which can easily be shown by some simple math. .


Greetings,
What am I missing? I have always kept the key weight (FW) as a prime component of the inertia a pianist deals with. Those leads move before anything else in the action.

SW and action ratio combine to define the resistance the key must propel, however, the research (Anders-Askenfeldt) shows that the key is often on the punching before the hammer has finished accelerating. My logic is that the mass of the key determines the first resistance the pianist feels, and that resistance increases rapidly, (geometrically? exponentially? logarithmically? somebody help me out here..) as the force applied increases. A heavy key gets hard to play at high speed, regardless of what is sitting on the back of it.
Or, was something else intended by the post?
Regards,


According to Fandrich and Rhodes' research, strike weight is the overwhelming source of inertia: measurements from note A49 on a Steinway B revealed that the hammer was responsible for 81.8%, followed by the key (10.1%), lead weights (5.6%), and wippen (2.3%). Removing .6g of mass from this hammer reduced the overall inertia by 7% and a 4mm capstan moved reduced inertia by 14%. Altering the lead weights produced a nominal effect, except for removing them altogether and installing a strong turbo spring, which reduced inertia by 6%.

They're also supposed to be doing a multi-series article on their research in the Journal, hopefully starting this month, which should answer many of our questions.


My own work, which I referenced above in my response to Ed Foote, showed that at middle C in the particular Steinway B that I analyzed, that hammer inertia was 83% of the total, the key and its lead weights was 14% of the total, and the wippen was 1.5% of the total. In general, my measurements and calculations correlate very well with those of Fandrich and Rhodes.

Top
#1954420 - 09/05/12 06:21 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: beethoven986]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1165
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By: beethoven986

According to Fandrich and Rhodes' research, strike weight is the overwhelming source of inertia: measurements from note A49 on a Steinway B revealed that the hammer was responsible for 81.8%, followed by the key (10.1%), lead weights (5.6%), and wippen (2.3%). Removing .6g of mass from this hammer reduced the overall inertia by 7% and a 4mm capstan moved reduced inertia by 14%. Altering the lead weights produced a nominal effect, except for removing them altogether and installing a strong turbo spring, which reduced inertia by 6%.


Interesting, however, I have to question the completeness of information. Is strike weight the overwhelming source of inertia at all levels of play? I think as the speed of movement increases the mass of the key becomes more influential, so at what speed does Fandrich and Rhodes' research make the claim? Any speed, or something specifically slower that full blast?
Regards,

As the Five Lectures info describes it, the key is moving well before the hammer, so inertial levels of the hammer may as well be infinite in relation to accelerating the key.

Top
#1954432 - 09/05/12 06:48 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: beethoven986]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1309
Loc: Michigan
Quote:
hammer was responsible for 81.8%


Actually, the value is closer to 89%
Fandrich/Rhodes is onto something but not quite there . . .
_________________________
Keith Akins, RPT
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

Top
#1954452 - 09/05/12 07:54 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Ed Foote]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5297
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Ed Foote
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
According to Fandrich and Rhodes' research, strike weight is the overwhelming source of inertia: measurements from note A49 on a Steinway B revealed that the hammer was responsible for 81.8%, followed by the key (10.1%), lead weights (5.6%), and wippen (2.3%). Removing .6g of mass from this hammer reduced the overall inertia by 7% and a 4mm capstan moved reduced inertia by 14%. Altering the lead weights produced a nominal effect, except for removing them altogether and installing a strong turbo spring, which reduced inertia by 6%.


Interesting, however, I have to question the completeness of information. Is strike weight the overwhelming source of inertia at all levels of play? I think as the speed of movement increases the mass of the key becomes more influential, so at what speed does Fandrich and Rhodes' research make the claim? Any speed, or something specifically slower that full blast?

As the Five Lectures info describes it, the key is moving well before the hammer, so inertial levels of the hammer may as well be infinite in relation to accelerating the key.

There are a couple of things at work here. Roy is quite right in his analysis of the effect of the different components of the piano action; hammers are, by far, the biggest contributor to the overall inertia of the action. As Roy also points out, key leads are an indicator of an inertia problem; they are not all that much of the problem in and of themselves.

The article by Anders Askenfelt & Erik Jansson, ”From Touch to String Vibration,” tells only a small part of the story when it comes to explaining how the piano action works. In all piano actions there is a time delay between the initial key strike and the motion of the hammer. How much of a delay between the key strike and the motion of the hammer—and then the actual acceleration curve of the hammer—depends on many factors including the length, shape and stiffness of the key, the compliance of the many felt and leather components in the action, the stiffness of the various wood action components and, most significantly, the mass of the hammer itself. None of these are constants.

When a key is struck very lightly the lag between key motion and hammer motion is relatively small. That is, there is little key bending, little compression—beyond the static compression—of the felt and leather parts and little bending in the wippen levers and the hammershank. The motion of the hammer tracks the motion of the key fairly accurately.

When the key is struck with a very hard blow the lag between the motion of the key and the resultant hammer motion is significant. Indeed, in all piano actions there will be a point at which a harder key strike will no longer result in any additional hammer velocity. This is the point at which the key actually strikes bottom before the hammer starts to move. This is called the point of ”action saturation.”

The point of action saturation is different in every action and, indeed, from key to key within a given action. Action saturation will be reached sooner with keys having a significant dogleg than in keys that are relatively straight. It will be reached sooner in an action using thick, soft balance rail punchings. Sooner in an action—like the concert grand action I looked at last week—using relatively soft felt under the knuckle leather. Sooner in an action using heavy hammers. Etc.

All other things being equal, action saturation will occur sooner in an action using heavier hammers than in an action using lighter hammers. This, because the inertia of the hammer is so great that it takes more force to accelerate it and the action components are only capable of transferring so much energy from the keys to the hammers. Beyond this they simply twist, bend and compress.

Generally in these discussions we tend to think of the energy transfer from the key front to the hammer as 100% efficient and instantaneous; it is not. How energy is stored and released within the various action components is greatly affected by hammer mass. A relatively compliant action that works very nicely with light hammers will be quickly saturated with heavy hammers. In this case the quality of touch and/or feel has nothing to do with how well the action is going to function; it is going to be overwhelmed fairly early on no matter how many leads there are or are not in the keys.

ddf
_________________________
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

Top
#1954453 - 09/05/12 07:55 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Dktenor]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7563
Loc: France
the key have a chance to rebound from the punching under heavy staccato playing. probably the hammer have those 89% value.

as the key react to an impact, only its initial inertia may be of some interest (?)
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


Top
#1954454 - 09/05/12 07:59 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Del]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7563
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Del


Generally in these discussions we tend to think of the energy transfer from the key front to the hammer as 100% efficient and instantaneous; it is not. How energy is stored and released within the various action components is greatly affected by hammer mass. A relatively compliant action that works very nicely with light hammers will be quickly saturated with heavy hammers. In this case the quality of touch and/or feel has nothing to do with how well the action is going to function; it is going to be overwhelmed fairly early on no matter how many leads there are or are not in the keys.

ddf


ABsolutely smile very well stated Del .
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


Top
#1954473 - 09/05/12 08:41 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Dktenor]
Dave B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1969
Loc: Philadelphia area
Del, Your getting into explaining why harder is not louder. When the enthusiastic teenager starts breaking strings, I tell them to view the piano like a drum head. Any knucklehead can put a stick right through the drum head. It takes a skilled musician to make it sound like a gun shot.

Top
#1954484 - 09/05/12 09:07 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Dktenor]
jim ialeggio Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 637
Loc: shirley, MA
I don't see any mention of the rebound portion of the stroke.

Mostly, so far the discussion is, at least as I read it, concerned with the "effort" part of the stroke, which I interpret to mean the part of the stroke which ends at the key bottoming on the punching.

From the the pianist's perspective, especially in rapid play,the kickback imparted by the parts already in motion, which have a mind of their own at this point, is a significant factor in what an action feels like in play...at least that's my take.

Although the SW has been mentioned as the determining source of inertia, a concept that is kind of "duh" science, in play, the returning key, with shank in free motion and then the reversing of that weighted key's direction impart significant information that determines how a pianist reads the action in play.

The SW/ratio/friction determines how much lead is going into the key, but once the lead is in the key, the key's momentum and/or inertia (if these are not the same things...physicists?)becomes a significant factor in determining the dynamic touch....No?

Jim Ialeggio
_________________________
Jim Ialeggio
www.grandpianosolutions.com
advanced soundboard and action redesigns
978 425-9026
Shirley Center, MA

Top
#1954569 - 09/06/12 02:28 AM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Dktenor]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7563
Loc: France
Not so much, probably the "free key" behavior have its importance on touch, but even somewhat large difference in leading can remain discrete.
Yesterday I worked on a piano (Steinway O) from 1908

in the high basses a white key have zero lead, while the neighbors (white too) have 3 leads. [edit : I am sorry I only looked on one side, possible half leads are used...]

One would expect the difference in touch to be fairly noticeable, it is not, at last in most basics mode of play.

I will be there today, and I will check against fast staccato play, and slow forceful, so to say, other modes, and I let you know the differences I can perceive.

There are no assist springs on that Steinway (from the start visibly) the action is light but with a good balanced feel.

When I talk of the rebound it is more or less anecdotal, but a key without lead on an action with assist spring will have little inertia, possibly not enough to be at ease in some modes of play (but it can be also appreciated by some pianists, as I have been told yet, to my surprise, just feeling a "transparent key") .If the assist springs where not prejudicial to the upward motion of key/action I would have used them more often.

I understand now that even if they lower/suppress the whippen inertia, this last have not a really noticeable inertia.

What count more in action is probably the quality of acceleration progression between levers. indeed assuming the hammer SW is well related to the action ratios.

(changing from 4.5:1 to 5.5:1 between rest and let off moment, for instance...)

(dont know if is a good ratio "evolving" but this is what can be find in a short grand action, for instance.


Edited by Kamin (09/06/12 05:34 AM)
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


Top
#1954606 - 09/06/12 05:32 AM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Roy123]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7563
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Roy123
Originally Posted By: Ed Foote
Originally Posted By: Roy123

*snip*
As it turns out, strike weight and action ratio are the primary determinants of an action's moment of inertia, which can easily be shown by some simple math. .


Greetings,
What am I missing? I have always kept the key weight (FW) as a prime component of the inertia a pianist deals with. Those leads move before anything else in the action.

SW and action ratio combine to define the resistance the key must propel, however, the research (Anders-Askenfeldt) shows that the key is often on the punching before the hammer has finished accelerating. My logic is that the mass of the key determines the first resistance the pianist feels, and that resistance increases rapidly, (geometrically? exponentially? logarithmically? somebody help me out here..) as the force applied increases. A heavy key gets hard to play at high speed, regardless of what is sitting on the back of it.
Or, was something else intended by the post?
Regards,


Sorry, but it's not the key weight that dominates. As felt by the pianist, the moment of inertia of the hammer and its shank gets multiplied by the square of the action ratio. Let's take a typical action ratio of 5.7. In that case, the hammer's moment of inertia, as felt by the pianist, would be multiplied by 32.5 times.

I think people often assume key weights are the problem because lots of key weights are required when hammers are heavy and/or the action ratio is high. You might say key weights are an indicator of the problem rather than the problem itself. You can read my derivation here . If you can find a mistake in my math, I'll be happy to change my mind.



This is a very well produced document, I like the analysis (did not go thru the numbers of course but the reasoning is easy to follow)

Thanks for providing the result of your work, it is so interesting.

To me what make action feel is the good relations between the leverage progression , we expect the hammer gravity center to move in a predictable way at each note same, that is what gives control on the acceleration, with a very tiny moment at the end of the stroke where the breaking induced by the jack friction during let off, allow to correct or manipulate a little more the acceleration in some modes of playing.

the way the hand take control on the acceleration is all but a "yes or no" thing.

the pianists hand mass is managed with its own inertia so to match the action inertia, but then muscles manage acceleration.
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


Top
#1954633 - 09/06/12 07:36 AM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: jim ialeggio]
Roy123 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/04
Posts: 1715
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: jim ialeggio
I don't see any mention of the rebound portion of the stroke.

Mostly, so far the discussion is, at least as I read it, concerned with the "effort" part of the stroke, which I interpret to mean the part of the stroke which ends at the key bottoming on the punching.

From the the pianist's perspective, especially in rapid play,the kickback imparted by the parts already in motion, which have a mind of their own at this point, is a significant factor in what an action feels like in play...at least that's my take.

Although the SW has been mentioned as the determining source of inertia, a concept that is kind of "duh" science, in play, the returning key, with shank in free motion and then the reversing of that weighted key's direction impart significant information that determines how a pianist reads the action in play.

The SW/ratio/friction determines how much lead is going into the key, but once the lead is in the key, the key's momentum and/or inertia (if these are not the same things...physicists?)becomes a significant factor in determining the dynamic touch....No?

Jim Ialeggio


I'm not so sure that kickback or rebound, as you called it, is much of a factor in the action feel as the key and other action components return to their rest positions. The hammer does bounce off the string with some energy--energy which, of course, depends on how hard the hammer strikes the strings. However, most of that energy is lost during check; the hammer tail scrubs against the backcheck, turning the hammer's rebound energy into heat. What's left is only the energy stored in the balancier's spring. I suppose the motion of the hammer as it leaves check is somewhat felt in the key, but I'm not so sure that it is significant.

Once again, however, we find that hammer mass and action ratio are significant, as they greatly affect the time it times for the action parts to reset. Forgetting any effects of hammer and felt rebound for the moment, the only force trying to reset the action is the up weight. This force has to accelerate the action components. Think back to Newton's famous formula f = ma, or in the world of rotating components, T = Ia, where T is torque, I is moment of inertia, and a is angular acceleration. We see that the acceleration of the action as it resets is inversely proportional to moment of inertia. We can go further and solve for the time it takes to reset, and find that
t = sqrt(2*alpha*I/T), where alpha is the angular travel of the key.

BTW, your description of the hammer mass as dominating the moment of the inertia as duh science seems a bit gratuitous. Like lots of things, it's only after someone makes the effort to do the numbers that it seems obvious. It's also obvious that many, if not most, people in the piano community are not aware of this fact.


Edited by Roy123 (09/06/12 07:39 AM)

Top
#1954650 - 09/06/12 08:08 AM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Dktenor]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7563
Loc: France
the pianist can throw a key that have enough mass, so the jack follows the roller (or does not loose the contact too long) and the end of the move is just obtained by the key mass.

on the other side (DW) sure nothing remains of the initial move unless some energy can stay stored within the action stack and key frame. (something may happen at the back of the keyframe, too)


Edited by Kamin (09/06/12 08:15 AM)
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


Top
#1954660 - 09/06/12 08:36 AM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Roy123]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1165
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By: Roy123

<snip> Forgetting any effects of hammer and felt rebound for the moment, the only force trying to reset the action is the up weight. This force has to accelerate the action components.


Um, the spring, compressed and held at check is a major player in the reset speed of the action. It accelerates the key, and since upweight is usually measured with the spring out of the equation, I don't think we can ascribe exclusive force of resetting to upweight, alone.

Top
#1954690 - 09/06/12 09:32 AM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Ed Foote]
Roy123 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/04
Posts: 1715
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: Ed Foote
Originally Posted By: Roy123

<snip> Forgetting any effects of hammer and felt rebound for the moment, the only force trying to reset the action is the up weight. This force has to accelerate the action components.


Um, the spring, compressed and held at check is a major player in the reset speed of the action. It accelerates the key, and since upweight is usually measured with the spring out of the equation, I don't think we can ascribe exclusive force of resetting to upweight, alone.


Well, I'm not so sure about that. As long as the hammer is held in check, the spring exerts no force. As the hammer starts to leave check, some of the spring's energy is dissipated as friction between the hammer tail and the back check. Finally, any spring energy that's left can supply force only as long as the hammer is accelerated upward or there is contact between the end of the balancier and and the drop screw. But, we must take into account the fact that friction at the balancier action center, which is usually pinned quite tightly, absorbs more of the spring's energy.

I thinks it's obvious that there's enough complexity here to require measurement and analysis before a firm conclusion can be reached.

Top
#1954744 - 09/06/12 10:44 AM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Roy123]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1165
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By: Roy123
[ As long as the hammer is held in check, the spring exerts no force. As the hammer starts to leave check, some of the spring's energy is dissipated as friction between the hammer tail and the back check. Finally, any spring energy that's left can supply force only as long as the hammer is accelerated upward or there is contact between the end of the balancier and and the drop screw. .


I have to disagree. As long as the hammer is held in check, the spring is exerting its maximum force. It is potential, not kinetic. It is this force, acting against the checked hammer,via the rep/knuckle contact that is mainly responsible for the key's upward speed. When the key is released, in fast repetition, the hammer remains motionless, acting as the inertial resistance to the spring, which dumps all of its potential,(minus friction), into moving the key upwards. It is still motionless when the jack resets, (at least, according to the high-speed films I have seen of fast repetition).

I repeat: under even moderately fast repetition, the hammer only moves upward when the jack returns and sends it up. You can observe this by playing a hammer into check, and then sliding you finger off the front of the key, allowing it to rise unimpeded. You will see the hammer drop, not rise. And it may be a quibble, but the drop screw is only in contact with the repetition lever between the beginning of let-off and the hammer's first 1/16" or so rebound from the string and has little effect on repetition, ( unless it allows the hammer to be struck by the vibrating string and impels it below check,causing catastrophic repetition failure.)
Regards,

Top
#1954764 - 09/06/12 11:18 AM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Ed Foote]
Roy123 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/04
Posts: 1715
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: Ed Foote
Originally Posted By: Roy123
[ As long as the hammer is held in check, the spring exerts no force. As the hammer starts to leave check, some of the spring's energy is dissipated as friction between the hammer tail and the back check. Finally, any spring energy that's left can supply force only as long as the hammer is accelerated upward or there is contact between the end of the balancier and and the drop screw. .


I have to disagree. As long as the hammer is held in check, the spring is exerting its maximum force. It is potential, not kinetic. It is this force, acting against the checked hammer,via the rep/knuckle contact that is mainly responsible for the key's upward speed. When the key is released, in fast repetition, the hammer remains motionless, acting as the inertial resistance to the spring, which dumps all of its potential,(minus friction), into moving the key upwards. It is still motionless when the jack resets, (at least, according to the high-speed films I have seen of fast repetition).

I repeat: under even moderately fast repetition, the hammer only moves upward when the jack returns and sends it up. You can observe this by playing a hammer into check, and then sliding you finger off the front of the key, allowing it to rise unimpeded. You will see the hammer drop, not rise. And it may be a quibble, but the drop screw is only in contact with the repetition lever between the beginning of let-off and the hammer's first 1/16" or so rebound from the string and has little effect on repetition, ( unless it allows the hammer to be struck by the vibrating string and impels it below check,causing catastrophic repetition failure.)
Regards,


Consider the hammer held in check. The rep spring is trying to move the hammer upward by pushing on the knuckle. The hammer, while in check, is effectively connected to the back of the key. So, while in check, the rep spring is trying to hold the back of the key up. Therefore, in this condition, the rep spring is at least partially inhibiting the back of the key from falling, or at least not adding any force at all to the reset process. It is only after the hammer leaves check that the rep spring can help in action reset. When one subtracts out friction and considering the fact that the force of the rep spring is only applied for a portion of the key travel, I'm just not sure how significant it's force is. As I said before, I believe some measurements and analysis needs to be done before any firm conclusions can be reached.


Edited by Roy123 (09/06/12 11:21 AM)

Top
#1954806 - 09/06/12 12:44 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Roy123]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1165
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By: Roy123


Consider the hammer held in check. The rep spring is trying to move the hammer upward by pushing on the knuckle. The hammer, while in check, is effectively connected to the back of the key. So, while in check, the rep spring is trying to hold the back of the key up. Therefore, in this condition, the rep spring is at least partially inhibiting the back of the key from falling, or at least not adding any force at all to the reset process. It is only after the hammer leaves check that the rep spring can help in action reset. When one subtracts out friction and considering the fact that the force of the rep spring is only applied for a portion of the key travel, I'm just not sure how significant it's force is.


I am real sure how significant it is, having dealt with hundreds of actions that were not repeating very well.

I think the difference here is one of perspective:

Consider the hammer in check. The rep spring is trying to move the key back up by pushing against the whippen. And it will begin to do this the instant it is released from check. It is only after the check leaves the hammer that the key rises and the spring moves the key rather than the hammer. It is significant because the spring accelerates things faster than gravity alone, and added acceleration at the very beginning of the return is most valuable. I haven't found that strengthening the spring to excessive levels speeds up the action nearly as much as the checking height. It just makes escapement a ruder interruption than it needs to be at ppp levels of play. This is a waste of sensitivity, since inre repetition speed, is not usually important whether the spring causes as rapid a hammer rise as possible without feeling it or whether it creates a detectable recoil as it throw the knuckle off the jack, repetition will be the same.

I am building fast actions with gentle springs, tight balancier pinning, and 5/8" checking heights. A pianist that requires faster repetition and doesn't need a lot of power in them can usually be satisfied by raising the check height to 3/8", or less if you can get it. There is less power in a stroke that short, but it allows the key to reset without so much upward travel. It can make up for poor technique, I am told.

Regards,

Top
#1955001 - 09/06/12 06:42 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Dktenor]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7563
Loc: France
I could test on that Steinway O, in the end there are 2 white keys without any lead, at a fourth interval.


All other keys around them have 3 leads (I made some pics.

The main difference lies in the tone, which is stronger with the lead.

It is also harder to play fast the leaded keys the non leaded ones are easier, the 3 leads can be felt as braking the keys when one want to play rapidly.
seem to slow the rise of the key as the lowering.

Out of that, even knowing the fact, differences are not easy to feel in the fingers at slower speeds.

The tone, yes, the touch, not really...




Edited by Kamin (09/06/12 06:44 PM)
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


Top
#1955274 - 09/07/12 07:55 AM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Olek]
Roy123 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/04
Posts: 1715
Loc: Massachusetts
I did some experiments using an action model. As usual, I found out something that was unexpected.

Test 1
I pressed the key down until just before the start of letoff and before the balancier was displaced by the drop screw. I held the key in this position and then measured the amount weight it took to just start the key in its upward move. This amount of weight was less than what is normally considered the up weight.

Test 2
I slowly lowered the key to the bottom of the stroke. Because of the slowness, the hammer was not in check. I once again measured the amount of weight that it took to just start to raise the key. It was about 5 grams higher than in the first test.

Test 3
I fully depressed the key and manually put the hammer into check. In this case, the weight required to just get the key moving was the same as in case 2. The reason for this is that the hammer was released from check very rapidly.

Result
For the particular key I tested, the compression of the balancier spring provided about 5 extra grams of up force, but only over a very short distance, because the hammer resets quite quickly, using only a small portion of the key stroke.

Unexpected result
I found that the compression of the front-rail felt provided lots more rebound force than the balancier spring. This effect is hard to quantify because the force provided depends on how hard the key is pressed, and how quickly it is released. I would make the tentative conclusion that the felt compression can be a significant factor in how quickly the key resets. If this is true, it would suggest that soft front-rail felts would be more effective than stiff felts, because the soft felts, by compressing more, store more energy. This result is quite interesting as it suggests that front-rail felt could be fabricated and selected based on this criterion as well as its contribution to action feel.

Once again, a quick experiment has potentially revealed information that is poorly understood in the piano community. Experiments beat jaw flapping by a mile any day (and I'm not excepting myself).


Edited by Roy123 (09/07/12 07:55 AM)

Top
#1960903 - 09/18/12 10:36 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Dktenor]
Dktenor Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/01/12
Posts: 6
I'm the OP. This discussion quickly went beyond my understanding.

Larry Fine, in his Fall 2012 Piano Buyer's Guide (which I read on the web) lists the Stanwood Touch Design under "problem solving".

One of the reasons that my technician was not so keen on this is that (in his words ) it can be used to mask problems with an action. When I mentioned that a piano with Stanwood touch design played very well, his response was - "yes, but for how long?" Is this a valid comment? And if so, would a technician that I bring to inspect a potential purchase be able to opine on whether the Stanwood method applied to the piano I am considering is masking a problem or is in fact an enhancement to an acceptable action?

Thanks
Doug

Top
#1960938 - 09/19/12 12:28 AM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Dktenor]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1309
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: Dktenor
I'm the OP. This discussion quickly went beyond my understanding.

Larry Fine, in his Fall 2012 Piano Buyer's Guide (which I read on the web) lists the Stanwood Touch Design under "problem solving".

One of the reasons that my technician was not so keen on this is that (in his words ) it can be used to mask problems with an action. When I mentioned that a piano with Stanwood touch design played very well, his response was - "yes, but for how long?" Is this a valid comment? And if so, would a technician that I bring to inspect a potential purchase be able to opine on whether the Stanwood method applied to the piano I am considering is masking a problem or is in fact an enhancement to an acceptable action?

Thanks
Doug


I think YOU are the one to determine if there is a problem -- since you will be the one playing the piano. If you don't detect a problem with playability, then as far as you are concerned, there is none. Your technician can then advise you about things you can't so easily determine such as tuning stability, condition of parts, general condition of piano, etc.

If you do determine that there is a playability issue, the it becomes your technician's task to understand your experience and diagnose what in the action (or elsewhere) may be causing what you perceive.
_________________________
Keith Akins, RPT
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

Top
#1960948 - 09/19/12 01:22 AM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: kpembrook]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1940
Loc: Suffolk, England
As well as following Keith's advice, Doug, I suggest you read between the lines of Ed Foote's post #1953766 on the first page of of this thread. A piano that will benefit from the Stanwood treatment has inconsistencies between the notes due to design, manufacture or wear. You may want to think twice about buying such a piano.

_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

Top
#1961024 - 09/19/12 08:46 AM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Dktenor]
jim ialeggio Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 637
Loc: shirley, MA
Doug,

As well as the above 2 suggestions, remember, that if you do perceive a playability or comfort issue, or are looking for a particular touch you are not getting from your piano, Stanwood's protocol is only one approach amongst a whole host of other approaches...with Stanwood's solution being the more complex (unto anal), while many of the other approaches will be somewhat simpler and often considerably less expensive.

Because the action and belly are so interactive, touch issues and solutions often acquire a complexity which is simply unnecessary. Give the piano a chance, and if it suggests you need to address something, be it touch or tone(remembering that, from a pianistic perspective the two are sometimes really hard to separate), find a tech with the chops to address your complaint directly, rather than determining the solution before you have clearly defined the problem.

Jim Ialeggio
_________________________
Jim Ialeggio
www.grandpianosolutions.com
advanced soundboard and action redesigns
978 425-9026
Shirley Center, MA

Top
#1961025 - 09/19/12 08:49 AM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Withindale]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1165
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By: Withindale
As well as following Keith's advice, Doug, I suggest you read between the lines of Ed Foote's post #1953766 on the first page of of this thread. A piano that will benefit from the Stanwood treatment has inconsistencies between the notes due to design, manufacture or wear. You may want to think twice about buying such a piano.


I hope I wasn't misunderstood. All pianos have inconsistencies, some much more than others, and the "handbuilt" ones are the most erratic of them all. The Stanwood approach is, for me, primarily an approach to achieve evenness. Using something like it, I can create actions that are massive or nimble, it depends on what weight hammer I want to couple with a desired front weight. The system is sound, and used properly, allows a wide variety of actions to be built to a specific result.
Having a Standwood action doesn't indicate a liability. There are a lot of pianos with them that are performing at the very extreme ends of artistic demands.
Regards,

Top
#1961026 - 09/19/12 08:52 AM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Dktenor]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7563
Loc: France
Agreed with that above, I finalized the voicing of an old Steinway A yesterday. That provided THE touch, as noticed the pianist, without it something was yet missing.

nice focused and long ppp, a hammer that is rebounding naturally on the strings for any dynamic range, give yet 50% of the touch quality (even enough to hide somewhat some action design flaws or limits, hopefully)
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


Top
#1961047 - 09/19/12 09:47 AM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Ed Foote]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1940
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: Ed Foote
Originally Posted By: Withindale
As well as following Keith's advice, Doug, I suggest you read between the lines of Ed Foote's post #1953766 on the first page of of this thread. A piano that will benefit from the Stanwood treatment has inconsistencies between the notes due to design, manufacture or wear. You may want to think twice about buying such a piano.


I hope I wasn't misunderstood. All pianos have inconsistencies, some much more than others, and the "handbuilt" ones are the most erratic of them all. The Stanwood approach is, for me, primarily an approach to achieve evenness. Using something like it, I can create actions that are massive or nimble, it depends on what weight hammer I want to couple with a desired front weight. The system is sound, and used properly, allows a wide variety of actions to be built to a specific result.


I too hope you were not understood, Ed.

The OP says he is looking to purchase a rebuilt high end grand piano and knows what touch and tone he prefers. It makes sense either to find a piano that already has the evenness you describe or find a rebuilder who can provide it, starting with an unrestored instrument.

What does not make sense, at least to me, is to buy a newly rebuilt piano that then needs further work on its action.


Edited by Withindale (09/20/12 07:45 AM)
Edit Reason: starting point
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

Top
#1961386 - 09/20/12 02:02 AM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Dktenor]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5297
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Dktenor
One of the reasons that my technician was not so keen on this is that (in his words ) it can be used to mask problems with an action. When I mentioned that a piano with Stanwood touch design played very well, his response was - "yes, but for how long?" Is this a valid comment? And if so, would a technician that I bring to inspect a potential purchase be able to opine on whether the Stanwood method applied to the piano I am considering is masking a problem or is in fact an enhancement to an acceptable action?

I'm curious--what, exactly, does your technician expect to change?

I don't use Stanwood's techniques in my own work--I prefer my own method of balancing actions--but from what I understand of his procedure there is nothing that will wear out or change at rates that are any different than normal wear and tear on a mechanical piano action in normal use.

ddf
_________________________
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

Top
#1961434 - 09/20/12 07:11 AM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Dktenor]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7563
Loc: France
The keyboard being the part we are the less likely top modify (while sometipme moving the capstan may be possible) it is what limits the amount of "optimizations" or personalizations.
The front lever of the key will remain the same unless you order new keys and have the keyframe modified by a specialist.

Then differences in key ratio as small as 1,9:1 to 2.1:1 are enough to change the key dip and the weigh of the hammers, no amount of equalization will modify that. (many keyboards have now a different ratio in bass and treble, also)

Not really interesting to buy a piano with touch problems and expect them to be sorted out, if that is the point.
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


Top
#1989246 - 11/21/12 06:56 AM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Dktenor]
David C. Stanwood Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/28/04
Posts: 9
Loc: Martha's Vineyard, Massachuset...
Dear DKtenor,

I've read your question about Stanwood Touch Design and even though this thread is a little cold I'd like to address your concern. I can offer this specific warning: It is not uncommon for enthusiastic purveyors of pianos to falsely report that an instrument they are representing or selling has a legitimate Stanwood Touch Design. It's easy to check this. If the Touch Design was installed by a licensed Stanwood installer the design will be on file by me. Simply provide me with the Make Model and Serial number and I will confirm wether or not the Design is legitimate or falsely claimed. If it is legitimate I can tell you specifically what was done in terms of customized action balancing and I can provide you with replacement hammer weight specifications if need be.

A distinct advantage of buying or owning instruments with Stanwood Touch Design is that the integrity of balance is maintained when hammers are replaced and the replacement hammers are made to the Precision specifications. With other key balancing systems, when the hammers or action parts are replaced the integrity of balance is diminished if the keys are not re-balanced. With Stanwood Touch Design the key weighting does not have to be changed when parts are replaced.

In regards to the Hornet's nest which was stirred up. It is very interesting and informative for me to read the various responses and if you like I'd be happy prepare a detailed response of my own to help give a "balanced" historical prospective to help in understanding the issues raised. It'll take me some time to prepare a careful and thoughtful response.

Hope this helps.

Regards,

David Stanwood
_________________________
http://www.stanwoodpiano.com

Top
#1989543 - 11/21/12 06:10 PM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Dktenor]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19351
Loc: New York City
I have some more basic questions about the various action modifications discussed so far in this thread. I am speaking as someone who has never played a Stanwood modification or any of the other modifications mentioned. I'm just theorizing.

It seems to me that these modifications are mostly suitable for either extremely advanced pianists or to cure pianos with very serious problems that can't be fixed with basic regulation.

1. Can any but the most advanced pianists(those in say an artist diploma program at a top conservator)even feel the difference between a piano with good regulation/standard touchweight and one with these modifications? Can an advanced pianist, but not one at conservatory level, really benefit from such a precise modification if their piano's touchweight is within the normal range and their piano is well regulated? It seems like one would already have to possess a terrific technique and super professional touch sensitivity to benefit.

2. But even for the most advanced professional pianists, assuming they can't perform on their own piano, what is the advantage of owning one of these super precise actions if they will most likely be performing on pianos without these modifications? I'd guess it could even make things more difficult if the piano they performed on was less precise in feel than their own piano?

Comments appreciated.

Top
#1989665 - 11/22/12 04:51 AM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: pianoloverus]
beethoven986 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3337
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Can any but the most advanced pianists(those in say an artist diploma program at a top conservator)even feel the difference between a piano with good regulation/standard touchweight and one with these modifications?


A handful of the Steinways at my alma mater were Stanwoodized and I don't think any of the pianists had any idea. One of them was also Wapinized, and no one could tell the difference, either. Advanced pianists don't always notice things.

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Can an advanced pianist, but not one at conservatory level, really benefit from such a precise modification if their piano's touchweight is within the normal range and their piano is well regulated?


It's debatable. Possibly not, but I like to think that professionals and amateurs alike can benefit from all the help they can get. However, most pianos have higher than ideal inertia in their actions. If a given piano has:

1. carefully controlled friction (key pins, capstans, action centers, and knuckles)

2. hammers with the appropriate mass for the given action ratio

3. good regulation

you will likely be happy enough with the piano's performance. If you want to go several steps more refined than that, there are a few different methods of doing so, namely Stanwood or Fandrich/Rhodes' Weightbench system. The Ravenscroft folks have their own proprietary method, too.


Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
But even for the most advanced professional pianists, assuming they can't perform on their own piano, what is the advantage of owning one of these super precise actions if they will most likely be performing on pianos without these modifications? I'd guess it could even make things more difficult if the piano they performed on was less precise in feel than their own piano?


Because they want it. Why do pianists buy Steinways, Schimmels, M&H, etc.? If you're happy with your own instrument, you're more inspired, and thus more productive. Conservatory-trained pianists are used to playing all sorts of instruments in varying stages of disrepair, and can compensate for that within reason. There is a point at which one cannot compensate effectively, and in these situations, it won't matter whether your piano is Stanwoodized or not.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

Top
#1989677 - 11/22/12 05:35 AM Re: Stanwood Touch Design question [Re: Dktenor]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7563
Loc: France
if the desired DW on a grand piano is attained with the use of a lot of leads (as I noticed on a few NY Steinway I have encountered) ,
any method that allow to reevaluate the action ratio, at the time of a rebuild, will be appropriate.

Similarely, on an old model mounted with light parts and hammers if the installation of modern parts means that the key dip have to be enlarged a lot , I am unsure the piano is then at its optimum.

Then, once the correct parts are selected, and when they provide adequate geometry and weight, it is not so much more work to check their weight , eventually some peaks will be noticed, but good hammers often have a progressive weight and dont need to be too much worked.

Once fitted, the hammers are also shaved, the tails worked, so a few tenth of grams will be lost at that time also.

Also, there is so much difference between a nicely regulated piano and a basic regulation, the first one allow for touch modifications that can be done to please a given pianist.

Yamaha grands have some sort of "Stanwoodization" from the start, due to the precision of the industrial process.
The inertia of their keys is progressive, there you can try to feel if this is a so huge advantage.
A properly done key weighting provide yet part of the job, if done on a hammer set with evened weight.

But in the end what counts is more the final tone and abilities of the instrument, even if the touch is half of the comfort impression for the pianist, the tone quality is yet the second half.
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


Top
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >

Moderator:  Piano World 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
ad (Casio)
Celviano by Casio Rebate
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Seiler Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
New Topics - Multiple Forums
I can only Trill well on good grand pianos....
by Paul678
09/22/14 11:48 PM
Is Bondfix just as good as Hotstuff CA glue?
by Paul678
09/22/14 10:42 PM
What's up with Paulello?
by jim ialeggio
09/22/14 10:13 PM
Kawai RX-2 and RX-2 BLAK
by myip
09/22/14 08:15 PM
UVi Grand Piano, cant get the MIDI Files help?
by JungleJim
09/22/14 06:23 PM
Who's Online
84 registered (AEMontoya, Baroque Style, AZNpiano, 26 invisible), 1004 Guests and 17 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
76290 Members
42 Forums
157700 Topics
2316389 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission