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#2034916 - 02/17/13 06:36 PM Re: It is Hard to Overcome Physics [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5173
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
Surely we must include Young-Chang as a company with a troubled finances and some at times horrendous sounding pianos. I look forward and am planning a trip to hear the improvements that Del and YC have achieved in sonic results.

Of course. I was just commenting on those you were holding up as examples of stellar design.

ddf
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#2034969 - 02/17/13 08:26 PM Re: It is Hard to Overcome Physics [Re: Steve Cohen]
Norbert Offline
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Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
The strength of a theory is always the measure of the predictions you can make from it.


To me it's outcome and end result.

Few people really care how one gets there.

Norbert
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#2034990 - 02/17/13 09:06 PM Re: It is Hard to Overcome Physics [Re: Norbert]
Hoosier Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/20/07
Posts: 25
Loc: California
On the subject of musicality...a question...is it time to open design debate around tuning temperaments, even interval design, and maybe tone?

I know nothing about piano design and I'm not even a pianist. As a singer, I use the piano for practice on pitches and as partner instrument in performance.

Some of the newer solo and, for sure, choral music is incorporating more and more "world" music elements that are not entirely based on western scales--for sure not in the harmonies. Composers tend to notate grace notes, slides, etc. to try to get the effect. Even the tones/sounds that are being requested are very new.

Should this/will this influence piano design? Or maybe for these purposes, electronic is best?

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#2035168 - 02/18/13 09:20 AM Re: It is Hard to Overcome Physics [Re: Norbert]
Roy123 Offline
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Registered: 09/20/04
Posts: 1708
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: Norbert
Quote:
The strength of a theory is always the measure of the predictions you can make from it.


To me it's outcome and end result.

Few people really care how one gets there.

Norbert


Scientific theories are most often proven or disproven based on the theories' ability to provide accurate predictions. For example, Einstein's theory of gravity allowed physicists to predict the motion of celestial objects. Those objects could then be observed to see if they moved in the way the theory predicted. If so, such evidence provided strong support for the veracity of the theory. If the objects did not move as predicted by the theory, it would have been the beginning of the end for the theory.

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#2035195 - 02/18/13 10:30 AM Re: It is Hard to Overcome Physics [Re: Steve Cohen]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1863
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
ROY123, I'am not a prepared lecturer in basic physics and I appreciate your comment but if I remember correctly; Newtonian physics are adequate for explaining the motion of planets around their suns. Einstein's relativity involves the behavior of light and what he needed to prove that part of his theory with was a direct observation of space/time curvature. This was accomplished by measuring the change in apparent location of stars directly behind the edge of our sun. The stars position changed when their light passed close by our sun on it's way to the observation point. This test could only be done at a location on earth that was in full solar eclipse.
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#2035285 - 02/18/13 01:39 PM Re: It is Hard to Overcome Physics [Re: Steve Cohen]
SoundThumb Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 03/28/10
Posts: 334
Loc: San Diego, CA
Well, it is all a matter of the accuracy to which the planet's position can be measured. Nowadays the accuracy is so good that you must include relativistic effects not only for planets, but for objects in earth orbit and other spacecraft.

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#2035443 - 02/18/13 07:06 PM Re: It is Hard to Overcome Physics [Re: Norbert]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5173
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Norbert
This is not what Mr. Thomma told me but perhaps it doesn't matter. We all know that "new" is not automatically "better" unless the designer has a vested interest to accomplish this.

I don't see a contest in terms of "who's designed the most" but "who has accomplished the most doing whatever he was doing. The net result is all that counts.

Nor do I. And I do not want to detract from the work Mr Thomma has done but the pianos you are promoting do not illustrate the kind of progress I’m talking about. Nor, as I said earlier, do the Young Chang/Weber pianos that I have just redesigned.

When we are given these assignments—redesign these pianos to make them sound better—there are always constraints; they are not clean computer screen efforts. And the results, while they may well be improvements over the originals, tend to be moderately evolutionary rather than revolutionary. Even though—when we are all through—the marketing people will talk about the end result as if everything is completely new it never is.

We hope the improvements we are making will give the products we sell a slight competitive edge over those of our competitors as we see them. Unfortunately, we live in a rapidly changing world and the competition for piano sales is no longer coming simply from the pianos built by other manufacturers. And these are the questions and issues I discuss in my upcoming article.

None of these pianos are indicative of the kinds of changes I believe need to be made—especially in the small grand piano market. But don’t worry; if history is any indicator most of what I write about will be dismissed as the ravings of an out-of-touch lunatic and nothing will be done. And piano design will continue to be restrained by those who “understand” the piano market and sales will continue to decline. Design lethargy, after all, is a problem that has afflicted the piano industry for at least a century now.



Quote:
Most manufacturers are not committed that way at least not for their smaller pianos - why offer someone a 'smaller' great piano when there's [generally] more money to be made on larger ones?

Well, maybe there is. Small grand pianos make up for the vast bulk of grand sales. If the companies making them are not making money on them they aren’t pricing them right.

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
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Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#2035500 - 02/18/13 09:21 PM Re: It is Hard to Overcome Physics [Re: Steve Cohen]
jawhitti Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/12
Posts: 235
Del what is stopping an aggressive newcomer from breaking with tradition and using someone like you to design it? Surely it wouldn't cost *that* much to do a prototype or two. Maybe 500,000? I would think you could find the capital and if the performance really is that good sell it to some manufacturer looking for an edge?

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#2035522 - 02/18/13 09:57 PM Re: It is Hard to Overcome Physics [Re: jawhitti]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5173
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: jawhitti
Del what is stopping an aggressive newcomer from breaking with tradition and using someone like you to design it? Surely it wouldn't cost *that* much to do a prototype or two. Maybe 500,000? I would think you could find the capital and if the performance really is that good sell it to some manufacturer looking for an edge?

Well, vision for one thing. Conventional manufacturers have shown little interest in developing or building anything that deviates very far from the centuries-old architecture they inherited (or copied) from their predecessors.

Prototypes can be had for a lot less than that but no matter how successful the prototype convincing a manufacturer to step outside its comfort zone and build—and market!—something different from the traditional norm is something else altogether.

Still, I do continue to prod at the status quo….

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

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#2035728 - 02/19/13 09:09 AM Re: It is Hard to Overcome Physics [Re: Del]
Steve Cohen Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Del
Originally Posted By: jawhitti
Del what is stopping an aggressive newcomer from breaking with tradition and using someone like you to design it? Surely it wouldn't cost *that* much to do a prototype or two. Maybe 500,000? I would think you could find the capital and if the performance really is that good sell it to some manufacturer looking for an edge?

Well, vision for one thing. Conventional manufacturers have shown little interest in developing or building anything that deviates very far from the centuries-old architecture they inherited (or copied) from their predecessors.

Prototypes can be had for a lot less than that but no matter how successful the prototype convincing a manufacturer to step outside its comfort zone and build—and market!—something different from the traditional norm is something else altogether.

Still, I do continue to prod at the status quo….

ddf


Del is spot on here.

It comes down to marketing and marketing risk. There is simply too much risk in deviating too far from the norm.
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#2035777 - 02/19/13 10:52 AM Re: It is Hard to Overcome Physics [Re: Steve Cohen]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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I think that if the touch and tone were superb-AND you could demonstrably show significant improvement in durability and stability-a "new" piano could get traction in the market. The low profit margins of piano makers cannot support the R&D needed though.
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#2035800 - 02/19/13 11:12 AM Re: It is Hard to Overcome Physics [Re: SoundThumb]
bengera Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/14/13
Posts: 23
Loc: ca
For all practical purposes, Newton still holds in the visible world. All satellites and launches still use good old Newton and the Hamiltonian.
Einstein comes in mainly in particle research which 99.99999% of us don't understand ANYWAYS.

Of course Einstein changed the way we think about space and time but has no relevance to piano design, I think.

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#2035810 - 02/19/13 11:25 AM Re: It is Hard to Overcome Physics [Re: bengera]
CC2 and Chopin lover Offline
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Registered: 01/12/06
Posts: 1981
Del,
I am curious as to what would stop you from building your own prototype that you could then effectively use to demonstrate the superiority of the design changes you espouse? I would think that it would then be hard to argue, or call the inventor a "lunatic", once that kind of evidence is tangible and no longer theoretical. As far as the cost consideration, I know there are investors who put their money in a lot less exciting and less promising things than a revolutionary new piano design. Or maybe I am way behind here and you have already pursued this avenue?
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#2035825 - 02/19/13 11:55 AM Re: It is Hard to Overcome Physics [Re: Steve Cohen]
Swarth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/28/11
Posts: 366
Loc: SF Bay Area Ca.
All throughout history the established have resisted those wishing to push on to new frontiers. It's not for everyone and it takes as Del mentioned, vision. The abilty to see past the dollars and sense and just dream, make your ideas reality. It takes an idea and then a manifestation of that idea. Then it's most likely back to the drawing board for lot's of tweaking. This all take time and lots of money. It takes someone with the courage, drive and passion to fail 5 times (or more) before he gets it "right". These atributes are usually not present in corporate culture, and these types of risks are just not acceptable to the bottom line.

IMO the "new" piano will come from outside tradtional companies, and when it does, the mfgs. will scramble to put out a similar product in no time. They will then most likely market it better and produce it cheaper than the inventor who will end up making cigar box banjos. You will be able to watch the whole story played out on your Betamax. Real innovation seems to be at this time too risky.


Edited by Swarth (02/19/13 11:56 AM)
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#2035844 - 02/19/13 12:33 PM Re: It is Hard to Overcome Physics [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
Roy123 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/04
Posts: 1708
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
ROY123, I'am not a prepared lecturer in basic physics and I appreciate your comment but if I remember correctly; Newtonian physics are adequate for explaining the motion of planets around their suns. Einstein's relativity involves the behavior of light and what he needed to prove that part of his theory with was a direct observation of space/time curvature. This was accomplished by measuring the change in apparent location of stars directly behind the edge of our sun. The stars position changed when their light passed close by our sun on it's way to the observation point. This test could only be done at a location on earth that was in full solar eclipse.


Newtonian mechanics are, in general, adequate for predicting motion of the planets, but Newton's theory starts to accumulate small errors over time and as the mass of the objects in question get larger and larger. This quote, "For centuries Isaac Newton's law of universal gravitation worked well enough to explain gravity on Earth. But astronomers eventually saw discrepancies in the way larger objects such as planets interacted." can be found in this article.

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#2035846 - 02/19/13 12:36 PM Re: It is Hard to Overcome Physics [Re: Steve Cohen]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7218
Loc: Rochester MN
May I now assume that a sluggish grand action is due to quantum mechanics in relation to Alpha Centauri IV?
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Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2036047 - 02/19/13 06:40 PM Re: It is Hard to Overcome Physics [Re: Steve Cohen]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5173
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
Del is spot on here.

It comes down to marketing and marketing risk. There is simply too much risk in deviating too far from the norm.

This is certainly the most common reason I hear but increasingly I question its validity.

What, exactly, is the marketing risk involved in introducing a new product that is demonstrably superior to its predecessors and to its competition in many clearly identified ways. Marketing people in other industries would drool over the prospect. Yet in the piano industry we shrink back in fear.

I would suggest that this fear is traceable to the technical inability of most modern consumer-oriented piano makers to actually do something like this. To conceive a totally new product, design it, prototype it, test it and develop it and bring it to market. It is the unknown that gives birth to and feeds fear, not knowledge, competency and experience.

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

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#2036048 - 02/19/13 06:43 PM Re: It is Hard to Overcome Physics [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5173
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
I think that if the touch and tone were superb-AND you could demonstrably show significant improvement in durability and stability-a "new" piano could get traction in the market. The low profit margins of piano makers cannot support the R&D needed though.

Not all that much R&D support is necessary. Besides, companies spend millions buying other defunct companies whose products have a known history of failure. A fraction of that would bring new product on line.

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

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#2036055 - 02/19/13 06:56 PM Re: It is Hard to Overcome Physics [Re: CC2 and Chopin lover]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5173
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: CC2 and Chopin lover
Del,
I am curious as to what would stop you from building your own prototype that you could then effectively use to demonstrate the superiority of the design changes you espouse? I would think that it would then be hard to argue, or call the inventor a "lunatic", once that kind of evidence is tangible and no longer theoretical. As far as the cost consideration, I know there are investors who put their money in a lot less exciting and less promising things than a revolutionary new piano design. Or maybe I am way behind here and you have already pursued this avenue?

Well, it's a little bit like the "Lockhorns," Leroy and Loretta. They are, as usual, arguing when Loretta finally says to Leroy, "I don't know why you keep arguing about this...it's going to take more than facts to convince me."

Some have seen the results of modern design and have readily acknowledged that aesthetically and acoustically it is superior to what they are building but in the end their comfort zone wins out.

As for me, I've reached a stage in my life at which I should be well and comfortably retired but I couldn't quite bring myself to join the ranks of the elderly doing nothing of interest and challenge. So I took on one of the most challenging and wide-ranging projects of my career to date. Go figure....

ddf


Edited by Del (02/19/13 07:24 PM)
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

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

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#2036099 - 02/19/13 09:19 PM Re: It is Hard to Overcome Physics [Re: Del]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1863
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Del,
R&D of significantly improved pianos using new materials would involve making several generations of models to gain the subtle proportioning elements that would ensure success. Unless you expected marketing to sell every prototype and accept the burden that would place on brand identity. Seems an unrealistic expectation to me.
Truly next generation piano technology could cost several million dollars over five to seven years. Thats just my seat of the pants guess-I don't think that is a small amount of R&D for the profits available now for piano makers-but maybe I am wrong!
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2036103 - 02/19/13 09:26 PM Re: It is Hard to Overcome Physics [Re: Steve Cohen]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7218
Loc: Rochester MN
Mr McMorrow,

I'm curious of your countering of Mr. Fandrich's postings. How many of your designs are currently in production by major manufacturers?

I'm not convinced that a "seat of the pants guess" would have the same validity as someone who is respected as one of the finest piano designers available anywhere.
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Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2036119 - 02/19/13 10:11 PM Re: It is Hard to Overcome Physics [Re: Steve Cohen]
Dave B Offline
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Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1890
Loc: Philadelphia area
You can have tons of torque and a thousand horses but can you get all of it through the tire and onto the road? I think each scale design has its optimum size.

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#2036151 - 02/19/13 11:24 PM Re: It is Hard to Overcome Physics [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5173
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
R&D of significantly improved pianos using new materials would involve making several generations of models to gain the subtle proportioning elements that would ensure success. Unless you expected marketing to sell every prototype and accept the burden that would place on brand identity. Seems an unrealistic expectation to me.
Truly next generation piano technology could cost several million dollars over five to seven years. Thats just my seat of the pants guess-I don't think that is a small amount of R&D for the profits available now for piano makers-but maybe I am wrong!

I’m not sure how you could possibly spend that much developing a basic new piano design. I suppose if you really wanted to reinvent the whole thing the cost could get up there some but for a basic new design? No.

New design comes from experience and imagination. It gets crafted in the imagination of someone and then it gets worked out on paper or in software. Once the basic drawings are made rim presses—unless you want an automated, RF heated press—are relatively easy things to make. String frame patterns are a little more complicated but even these are not all that expensive to have made. In the United States a new pattern might run $25,000 to $30,000; in China less than half that. I’m still talking about relatively standard construction technologies so there is not much of an investment there. Unless you plan to start from scratch and construct a whole new factory. But then the money is in the factory, not the design or the prototype.

Both of the Walter grands were designed (by me) and brought into production by Walter, a company with no prior grand piano manufacturing experience, for a fraction of the sums you are talking about. Including presses, string frame patterns and most of the factory equipment. And in less than a year from start to finish for each. Sure, more time and money would have been nice but they got the job done. I have no idea what you think of these pianos but there are more than a few folks who consider them to be among the best pianos of their size available to date. Could the stand further refinement? Of course. But in the meantime they are making quite a few folks very happy.

New pianos are designed, prototypes are built and refined and ultimately produced. It’s a process. It doesn’t—at least shouldn’t—take millions to accomplish this. It is unlikely that any initial prototype will be exactly what the designer was after but, assuming he/she knew something about piano design—acoustical cause and effect—it should come pretty close. After suitable refinement and tweaking it goes into production. Will the result be perfect? Probably not but, after 150 years of production and continual refinement are Steinways perfect? Or Bösendorfers? Or any other piano in current production? I thought not.

I have a sign in my office that someone gave to me many years back: “In the life of every new piano there comes a time when you have to shoot the designer and build the piano.” There is some truth there.

The industry is running out of options here. You may have noticed that the piano market is shrinking. There are many reasons for this but at least one of them is that little or nothing is being done to entice its already established base back into the showroom. No industry of this kind can survive without evolving its product lines enough to bring existing customers back into the marketplace.

In the piano business it is even worse—Steinway’s major competitor is not some other piano maker but themselves! Their own old pianos are being rebuilt in large numbers and then being marketed directly against the new product. In many cases these rebuilt instruments outperform the new piano of the same model. This should not be possible!

Right now the Chinese market is dominating worldwide piano sales. Best estimates are that this will be true for some time to come but this market is also finite; the day will come when it also is saturated. As the market shrinks there will come a breaking point—a point of no return—when the market will no longer be able to support some of the specialty suppliers we depend on now. When this happens the cost of both piano making and piano rebuilding is going to go up by a lot! There will be no more “entry-level” pianos available and, ultimately, no more “entry-level” pianists. To be sure, this won’t be in our lifetimes—at least not mine—and there will long be a dwindling supply of old, used pianos but even so it is not a scenario I am willing to accept with equanimity. If I can do something about it before I leave this good earth I will.

There are always seemingly good reasons for doing nothing. I’m attempting to provide a few good reasons for doing something.

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

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#2036160 - 02/19/13 11:41 PM Re: It is Hard to Overcome Physics [Re: Steve Cohen]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1863
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Del,
I did say "new" materials. But thanks for thinking of me.
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#2036211 - 02/20/13 02:36 AM Re: It is Hard to Overcome Physics [Re: Steve Cohen]
Norbert Offline
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Registered: 07/03/01
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Quote:
Probably not but, after 150 years of production and continual refinement are Steinways perfect? Or Bösendorfers? Or any other piano in current production? I thought not.



In this case my own ambition would be to make pianos [my own or others..] perfect or at least 'more' perfect.

Why reaching another half-way point?

P.S. what does 'perfect' actually mean?

Luckily I'm not a piano designer...

Norbert


Edited by Norbert (02/20/13 02:44 AM)
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#2036257 - 02/20/13 07:38 AM Re: It is Hard to Overcome Physics [Re: Norbert]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5173
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Norbert
... P.S. what does 'perfect' actually mean?

Excellent question. To bad there is not an equally excellent answer....

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

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#2036258 - 02/20/13 07:41 AM Re: It is Hard to Overcome Physics [Re: Steve Cohen]
Roy123 Offline
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Registered: 09/20/04
Posts: 1708
Loc: Massachusetts
I don't work in the piano industry, but have worked in other industries all my life. I would have to say that the poor quality control, the acceptance of mediocre designs, the lack of will to make improvements, the unwillingness to use modern materials, the lack of real knowledge, and the continued promotion of dumb ideas in the piano industry is just amazing to me. I am currently reconditioning a 1956 Steinway M (my own piano). (Lest some of you scream that an amateur shouldn't touch a Steinway, I have been consulting with Larry Buck throughout the process, and he does any work that I feel is beyond my ability. Besides, based on my profession and orientation, I'm good at solving such problems.) It seems that almost everything in the piano that I touch has some problem. It truly astonishes me. In any other industry, a company that built a product with so many quality-control problems and poorly designed systems would be rewarded by being put out of business in short order.


Edited by Roy123 (02/20/13 07:50 AM)

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#2036261 - 02/20/13 07:54 AM Re: It is Hard to Overcome Physics [Re: Del]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1918
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: Del
Originally Posted By: Norbert
... P.S. what does 'perfect' actually mean?

Excellent question. Too bad there is not an equally excellent answer....

Going back to the title of this thread the best pianos will not overcome physics. On the contrary they will use it in many ways to achieve some optimum balance. That is as close to perfection as anyone can get today but there is always tomorrow.
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2036316 - 02/20/13 09:51 AM Re: It is Hard to Overcome Physics [Re: Roy123]
jim ialeggio Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 593
Loc: shirley, MA
Originally Posted By: Roy123
Besides, based on my profession and orientation, I'm good at solving such problems.) It seems that almost everything in the piano that I touch has some problem. It truly astonishes me. In any other industry, a company that built a product with so many quality-control problems and poorly designed systems would be rewarded by being put out of business in short order.


Though a piano is a physical object and must obey physical requirements in order to function well, there are emotional aspects to this business which often tend to overwhelm the basic physical realities.

In many ways spending the kind of money that the purchase of a nice piano requires, is really really hard, even for a dedicated musician to justify. After all, a piano has "no apparent utilitarian value". Its purchase can seem awfully close to frivolous pleasure seeking. Financial resources could/should, we are told, be spent more prudently on "less frivolous" items. You "need" a car to get to work...but you don't "need" a piano for basic day to day existence (except of course for those who, like me, who would shrivel up and lose compass without that sound to energize my life).

In order to convince even fine pianists to spend the kind of money required in the purchase of a fine piano, they need to get past the nagging voice labeling the purchase as "frivolous". This requires motivation which the recitation of engineering specs and manufacturing efficiency does not provide...folks need to have their mystique genes turned on.

We may be designers, rebuilders and fine physical technicians, but we can't remove ourselves from the emotional needs of our clients and customers, and their needs seem to require some level of mystique. This can tend to leave manufacturers and technicians needing to believe in the mystique and branding themselves...a bit of a grand neural loop.

All this tends to take us away from some very simple physical design facts into la-la land...but there you have it...its the human brain,and that's all we have to work with.

In this business, one ignores the need for mystique at one's own peril. The trick is to acknowledge the mystique openly, while focusing clearly on the physical realities that will actually help create instruments that will satisfy the essential musical needs that inspired a client to purchase a piano in the first place.

Jim Ialeggio


Edited by jim ialeggio (02/20/13 10:02 AM)
_________________________
Jim Ialeggio
www.grandpianosolutions.com
advanced soundboard and action redesigns
978 425-9026
Shirley Center, MA

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#2036351 - 02/20/13 11:02 AM Re: It is Hard to Overcome Physics [Re: jim ialeggio]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 1863
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Jim Ialleggio,
Well said! Pianos are emotion communication machines for use by a very small subset of the population of communicators.

Roy123,
Good luck on your M. There is a bit of elegance to standard piano design in that there is seldom any superfluous parts, and all the woodworking considerations must also serve the sound and function. I have often felt that if you make the best woodworking decision you also get the best sonic result.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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