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
Topic Options
#608789 - 05/30/01 07:18 AM Lightening a heavy action
Diarmuid Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/27/01
Posts: 219
Just a quick question to techs. How easy/difficult is it to make a heavy action lighter and/or a light action heavier?

Thanks,

Diarmuid.

Top
(ad PTG 568) Win a Year Journal Subscription
PTG 57th Annual Convention - Atlanta
#608790 - 06/05/01 05:17 PM Re: Lightening a heavy action
Mat D. Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 512
Loc: Sterling Heights, Michigan
Easy if you have the money to do it right----"Stanwood".

Sorry, I couldn't help it. I'm not a tech, but I know it's not an easy thing to accomplish. I took the 'easy' way & hired a Stanwood tech to do it right and love the results every day.

Mat D.

Top
#608791 - 06/05/01 07:48 PM Re: Lightening a heavy action
MacDuff Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 560
Loc: Southeast, U.S.A.
Mat D.,

Might I ask, what did the "Stanwoodization" of your piano entail? Was it hammer lightening, reweighting, or major rebuilding with whippen assist strings, etc.? If I'm remembering correctly, you're the one with the big M&H fitted with Steinway hammers, right?

MacDuff

[ June 05, 2001: Message edited by: MacDuff ]

Top
#608792 - 06/05/01 08:06 PM Re: Lightening a heavy action
Diarmuid Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/27/01
Posts: 219
Thanks Matt. I suppose I should have known it wouldn't be easy (or cheap!). A shame really as it's such a personal thing it would be nice to get it just right.

Top
#608793 - 06/06/01 02:44 PM Re: Lightening a heavy action
Mat D. Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 512
Loc: Sterling Heights, Michigan
MacDuff:

Yes, all of the above. The beauty of the Stanwood system is the helper srings because there is an adjustment screw that allows changing the action weight (easily) after the entire procedure is completed. For example I had my entire piano lightened a bit on the last tech visit---it took him 35 minutes!!

It started out with replacing the hammers (Renner Blues) with Steinway D. My tech then took all the measurements for each key and plugged the data into his computer (running the Stanwood proprietary software) and came up with a target weight for key/hammer. much of this work was done on his bench. On his next visit he re-installed the action and we listened to the "raw" hammers to see what we had. This was the most interesting part of the procedure. Dan (my tech) had weighed-off the keys (non-permanantly) and had little binder clips attached here & there to the hammer shanks (to simulate added weight) to achieve his target weights. As we listened, he added & subtracted binder clips (he had measured the weight of these clips) till we heard the "piano tell us" what it wanted to achieve the tone best suited to the instrument. It was amazing the difference a gram or 2 made here & there. Just by adding or subtracting weight judiciously, we were able to "bring out" the tone of the piano--it went from a more wooden tone to a 'singing' musical tone...

Anyway, to make this long story a bit shorter, we finally found the perfect starting point. He then took the action back to his shop where he added subtracted weight permanantly (getting rid of the 'test' clips). On his next visit he re-installed the action and we were at our perfect starting point --he then proceeded to voice. The voicing was finished on his next visit and maintained a bit w/each tuning visit.

One pleasant thing that came out of my Stanwood work was that David Stanwood himself came to see my piano while he was in the Detroit last year; he was a gentleman and truly a "piano guy"!!

My piano now has a much more beautiful, rich tone. It still has plent of presence, but gone is the 'nasal', bright tone I was getting from the Renner Blues.

BTW, the action is a dream---w/the helper spring you can achieve any feel you want. I no longer struggle to play quiet passages.

I hope that helps.

Mat D.

Top
#608794 - 06/06/01 04:14 PM Re: Lightening a heavy action
N.P. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 32
Loc: Minnesota
Just curious Mat, why did you have your hammers changed? And Why Steinway Blue and not others?
N.P.

Top
#608795 - 06/06/01 05:13 PM Re: Lightening a heavy action
Mat D. Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 512
Loc: Sterling Heights, Michigan
NP:

The Renner Blues got so nasal & bright sounding after a year or so that I couldn't stand the tone. I had a couple tech work on voicing the Renners but I was never satisfied. I'm sure the Renners are fine hammers, but I didn't like the combination of my piano & those hammers. When I discovered the Stanwood system and hooked up with Dan Harteaux (my tech, the Stanwood guy) to have my action done I decided that this was a perfect time to go all the way & he suggested Steinway D's.

IMO Mason & Hamlin would do themselves a favor & change their hammer type to a softer hammer like the Steinway. Most of the new Mason & Hamlin BB's I've played have been too bright. Maybe it's just me, but I like a piano that can play "p" as well as "ff"--with those bright hammers you can only play "f" & "ff". When I play I want to here a "Rubinstein" tone, that is the ideal IMO.

Mat D.

Top
#608796 - 06/06/01 05:51 PM Re: Lightening a heavy action
N.P. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 32
Loc: Minnesota
Thanks for the reply,Mat. Another question is that why haven't piano makers figured out how to incorporate a system such as Stanwood's into their action design and save us the consumer from having to modify it in the after market? Or am I asking a $64 question?
N.P.

Top
#608797 - 06/06/01 06:28 PM Re: Lightening a heavy action
Mat D. Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 512
Loc: Sterling Heights, Michigan
NP asks:

why haven't piano makers figured out how to incorporate a system such as Stanwood's into their action design and save us the consumer from having to modify it in the after market? Or am I asking a $64 question? [/b]

Good question. Actually, I think there are many pianos whose actin is fine right out of the box (Schimmel is one I can think of--very good). I know David (Stanwood) is working on just that concept as I write this. Obviously, there is a cost attatched to this, but I am willing to pay to have what I want. Realistically though, there are many people buying pianos who don't know a "Renner" from a "Goodyear" and for them, this added cost would be a waste. I can see why some manufacturers are slow to react, but there is room for improvement among some of the "high-end" pianos and I sure wish some of these companies would implement a system such as Stanwood.

It is my understanding that David Stanwood is making some serious headway in this area & I'm sure we will be hearing more about it in the near future--If i was "King For A Day" at Mason & Hamlin, I would implement the Stanwood system on all their new pianos & also change those hammers---this would put them above the competition--we know who they are!

Mat D.

Top
#608798 - 07/03/01 07:16 PM Re: Lightening a heavy action
Norbert Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14119
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
In a grand piano action there is several ways to "lighten" or change the action.
Instead of weights [which I don't particularly like myself] you can reset all the capstans forward or backward and reregulate the action afterwards. BUT you MUST know what you're doing and do an EXACTING job! Also, takes approx. 2 days work

P.S. Of course you can only "reset" the capstans by redrilling ALL the insert holes
in the capstan screw blocks,then fill the old

[ July 17, 2001: Message edited by: Norbert ]
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

Top
#608799 - 07/05/01 06:01 PM Re: Lightening a heavy action
Chris A. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 33
Loc: Ohio
Does Dave Stanwood have a website?

Top
#608800 - 07/05/01 06:25 PM Re: Lightening a heavy action
Piano World Offline



Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 5571
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
I found this using search.com

Stanwood Piano Innovations, Inc.
Grand piano action upgrades. http://www.stanwoodpiano.com/

But when I try to go there I keep getting
"Connection Refused"

Frank B.
Piano World
_________________________
- Frank B.
Founder / Host
www.PianoWorld.com
www.PianoSupplies.com
Find Us On:
Facebook.com/PianoWorldDotCom
Twitter.com/PianoWorld
www.youtube.com/PianoWorldDotCom
Skype: PianoWorldDotCom
Estonia L-190, Yamaha P-80, Hammond XK-3, Hammond A-100, Estey 1895 Pump Organ
-------------------------
It's Fun To Play the Piano ... PLEASE Pass It On!
And please invite everyone you know to join our piano forums!
Coming to Maine? We're in Parsonsfield (southwest) let's get together!


Top
#608801 - 07/22/01 01:17 AM Re: Lightening a heavy action
Charles Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/22/01
Posts: 4
Loc: Elkhart
The biggest reason the Stanwood system isn't showing up in the marketplace as a factory done thing is because the pianos that will benefit from it the most are the ones where the consumer won't pay the cost of it. They also usually won't notice the difference. The pianos where the price isn't the real issue already pretty much have a great action by the manufacturer. But I'm not faulting them. They do make some nice improvements to some actions.

More directly to the question though, is key dip. Adding just a tiny, tiny bit more keydip will cause the brain to register it as a "heavier" action, because you're having to push your fingers further into the keyboard and it makes your brain think it's harder to push the keys, even though the actual downweight and upweight didn't change. Likewise, making the key dip a tiny, tiny bit shallower will cause the brain to think the action is lighter, since your fingers aren't having to go as far into the keyboard. I know that sounds silly, but I've had an awful lot of players convinced that I lightened the downweight on their piano when all I did was make the key dip shallower, and visa versa. It doesn't cost all that much to have a tech reset the keydip in the direction you need it to go and then reregulate the action based on the new key dip, and it might just do what you want.


Chuck

Top
#608802 - 07/23/01 01:45 PM Re: Lightening a heavy action
Mat D. Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 512
Loc: Sterling Heights, Michigan
Hi Chuck, I'm not sure I agre with you about the pianos that "need" Stanwood.

The Stanwood action upgrade is most often applied to Steinway, Mason & Hamlin & Baldwin. I beleive it's because the owners/players of these pianos are more discriminating than the actions are regulated. In other words, the manufacturers aren't doing a good enough job.

Also, i don't think David Stanwood is that interested in the lower end piano market--those buyers wouldn't know the difference anyway. Actually, "Stanwood" only really works well when the action parts themselves are of high quality to start with. I found that out when, at one time, I was going to rebuild a Mason & Hamlin CC (9')--I would have had to replace most of the action parts before having the Stanwood upgrade applied. It's not that the action was bad, it's that the parts were not of a high enough quality to warrant the work from Stanwood.

Mat D.

Top

Moderator:  Piano World 
What's Hot!!
Our latest Issue is available now...
Piano News - Interesting & Fun Piano Related Newsletter! (free)
-------------------
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.
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
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
Who's Online
129 registered (36251, accordeur, aesop, 36 invisible), 1584 Guests and 13 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
75579 Members
42 Forums
156269 Topics
2294980 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
What's "Héroïde-élégiaque"?
by Goomer Piles
07/29/14 09:01 PM
Opinions on Roland F130R
by Laerai
07/29/14 08:00 PM
M-Audio Oxygen 88 vs. StudioLogic Numa Compact
by snapdragon
07/29/14 07:02 PM
Sheet Music Retainers
by MargaretUK
07/29/14 05:20 PM
piano contest
by wkurashima
07/29/14 04:47 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
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