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!

Gifts and supplies for the musician
SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
Ad (Piano Sing)
How to Make Your Piano Sing
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
Who's Online
160 registered (accordeur, acollins, ajames, 36251, 51 invisible), 1654 Guests and 22 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
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 & Music Accessories
*Music School Listings
* 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
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Pianos
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 >
Topic Options
#650171 - 04/25/02 11:31 AM Stanwood?
Grotius Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/11/02
Posts: 100
For the past month, I have been shopping for a new piano, and as of now these are my top choices: a Bluthner, a Mason & Hamlin A, a Bosendorfer Conservatory, an Estonia, and a Steinway L or B. I like the action on all the European brands, but I'm not so sure about the action in the Masons and Steinways.

Which (if any) of the above models would be most appropriate for Stanwood? And, more generally, what do you think of Stanwood? I wrestle with hand pain, so anything that reduces friction in the action appeals to me. Finally, the Stanwood tech I have in mind would charge somewhere between $2800 and $3800. Is that range in the ballpark?

Top
(ad PTG 757) The Value of PTG Membership
The Value of a PTG Membership
#650172 - 04/25/02 02:38 PM Re: Stanwood?
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14051
Loc: Louisiana
Shoot Derick an email or search in The Piano Forum on "stanwood". Derick just had a Falcone "Stanwoodized" last month.
_________________________
www.coffee-room.com

Over 1,000,000 posts where pianists discuss everything. And nothing.

Top
#650173 - 04/25/02 04:52 PM Re: Stanwood?
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
Hi Grotius,

As Jolly said I had my Falcone 'Stanwoodized' in March. I can't comment on Estonia as I've never played one, but I do find the Hamburg Steinway and the Boesendorfer to have very nice actions that need little or no alteration (IMO).

Some new American Steinways have nice actions (though it's rare). I don't care for M&H actions but at least the 'problem' is consistent; the actions are too heavy.

If I were looking at either of these pianos, I would plan on adding the Stanwood system; unless you get lucky and find a nice sounding Steinway with a nice action. The quote you were given to "Stanwoodize" sounds about right.

I'd also, and I know this will cause a flap, plan on yanking off the Renner hammers on the M&H. Folks claim they can be voiced properly by a skilled tech. I don't doubt them, but I have never found a tech that could get the 'harshness' out of either the M&H or Falcone with Renner hammers. I had my hammers replaced when I put on the Stanwood upgrade.

Just my own personal opinion. I'm not a concert pianist, or piano tech, just an opinionated engineer geek. So take it for what it's worth and where it comes from.

BOL,
Derick
_________________________
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

Top
#650174 - 04/25/02 06:02 PM Re: Stanwood?
Grotius Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/11/02
Posts: 100
Thanks for your replies. Derick, I'm glad you confirm my own intuition -- that Stanwood seems more appropriate for a Steinway or Mason & Hamlin than a Bosendorfer or Bluthner. I'm also glad to hear that my tech's quote is in the right ballpark.

I'm also glad you mentioned your preference for hammers in the Mason and Hamlin. I love the model A, but occasionally the treble gives me doubts. As it happens, I will be playing it again tomorrow, and I will ask the tech and salespeople about the hammers.

I gather, then, that you like your Stanwood system?

Regards, Grotius.

Top
#650175 - 04/25/02 06:44 PM Re: Stanwood?
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
Grotius,

Yes, I like the Stanwood system very much. The action is flawless. I can now do things I never thought possible before.

I can't comment on the M&H A (never have played one), but the BB's that I have played sound very 'boomy' in the base and very sharp in the treble. Which is the same problem I had with my Falcone. I replaced the Renners with Abels. Someone else on this board did the Stanwood upgrade and put Steinway hammers on his M&H BB. He, too, is pleased with the results.

Of course, voicing is a matter of preference. So you may want to stick with the Renners. Best to wait until you have it in your house for a few months before replacing the hammers (figure another $2000 or more for that job). But when all is said and done, you will have one heck of a nice piano.

Derick
_________________________
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

Top
#650176 - 04/25/02 10:10 PM Re: Stanwood?
JohnC Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/02
Posts: 1672
Loc: Lower Left Coast
Derick, or anybody,

I am curious about the Stanwood. From my limited education on it, I understand it to be a matter of balancing all the action parts, recognizing that from the factory (and/or perhaps from wear over time) hammers, shanks, flanges, wippens and *whatever* are subject to variations in the weight of the materials used, thereby creating potential individual key inconsistencies depending on the actual specific action in question.

First of all am I even close on my definition? If not could someone supply a definition? If I am close would this be considered *somewhat* like rebuilding the action, except many parts are not actually replaced but rather *balanced* by tweaking (highly technical piano term \:D ) each key's components relative to the others?

And how does this compare to a completely rebuilt action where all parts are replaced and assuming the job is done by a highly competent tech? Isn't this supposed to give you a smooth, properly balanced touch and feel? Would either of these processes (Stanwood or rebuild) yield the same result?

Enquiring minds want to know! ;\)
_________________________
There are few joys in life greater than the absence of pain.

Top
#650177 - 04/25/02 10:45 PM Re: Stanwood?
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
John,

You pretty much have the idea. Weight and ratios figures heavily into it process as you can see from text below that I lifted from David Stanwood's website. You can also see how much is considered when making the 'adjustments'.

I do know that some parts in my action were replaced, springs, key shanks, additional springs were added, but I'm not sure what else.

Can a competent tech rebuild an action and make it as good as a 'Stanwoodized' action? He can probably come close. But I think it would cost a lot more to rebuild an action than to 'Stanwoodize' an existing one. Maybe one of the techs can answer this.

The most amazing part of a Stanwood action is the complete evenness of voicing through out the entire keyboard.

As I said, I had new hammers put on when I had the action upgrade done. It took the tech about 1.5 hours to voice the piano. I think that is incredible considering that these were brand new hammers. I've had techs work an entire day on my old hammers and I was never happy with the outcome. To be honest, the piano isn't perfect, 1 note is a little bright!

Derick

BALANCE WEIGHT (BW) - The amount of weight placed on the measuring point that causes the key to be balanced.

Found as: BW = (D + U)/2

DOWN WEIGHT (D) - The minimum amount of weight, to the nearest gram, placed on the measuring point that causes the key to drop while maintaining a slow controlled motion of the hammer.

EQUATION OF BALANCE

The algebraic expression that describes the working key in a state of balance in terms of the New Touchweight Metrology. Described in the June 1996 PTG Journal as:

BW + FW = (WW X KR) + (SW X R)

FRICTION WEIGHT (F) - The minimum amount of weight added to the balance weight that causes the key to drop while maintaining a slow controlled motion of the hammer or the minimum amount of weight taken away from the Balance Weight that causes the key to rise while maintaining a slow controlled motion of the hammer.

Found as: F = (D - U)/2

FRONT WEIGHT (FW) - The amount of static weight, to the nearest 0.1 gram, that the level key, tipped on its balance pin point, exerts at the measuring point.

KEY FRICTION WEIGHT (KF) - A component of Friction Weight which is the minimum amount of weight, to the nearest gram, placed on the measuring point of a key that causes the key to fall, with the Front Weight(FW) set to zero with temporary weight and with the key on its frame and the stack removed.

HAMMER WEIGHT (HW) - The weight of the hammer with shank removed.

KEY WEIGHT RATIO (KR) - The ratio of downward force on the capstan/heel versus the corresponding upwards force at the measuring point as translated through the key or the amount of weight at the measuring point needed to balance 1.0 grams of weight at the capstan/heel contact point.

MEASURING POINT - The datum point on the top of the key 13mm or " back from the front lip of the key. Weights are centered on this point when measuring Up Weight and Down Weight. When measuring Front Weight(FW) the key rests on a roller bearing on the scale pan. The point at which the front of the key rests on the bearing is directly below the Measuring Point. Any measures that contain the term to Balance Weight refer to static up or down forces at the front of the key through the Measuring Point.

SHANK STRIKE WEIGHT (SS) - The amount of weight to the nearest 0.1 gram, of the shank, pivoted without friction at the hammer center with shank level, measured at
the strike line radius.

STRIKE BALANCE WEIGHT (SBW) - The upward static force at the measuring point resulting from the static weight of the hammer and shank, leveraged through the shank, wippen, and key: Found as: TBW - WBW

STRIKE WEIGHT (SW) - The amount of weight
to the nearest 0.1 gram, of the shank and hammer, pivoted without friction at the hammer center with shank level, measured at
the strike line radius.

STRIKE WEIGHT RATIO (R) - The ratio of downward force at the hammer versus the upwards force at the measuring point as translated through the shank, wippen, and key, or the amount of weight placed on the measuring point needed to balance 1 gram of Strike Weight (SW). Found as: SBW/SW

SUPPORT SPRING BALANCE WEIGHT (BWS) - The difference between the balance weight with the wippen support spring disengaged and with it engaged.

TOP ACTION BALANCE WEIGHT (TBW) - The combined upward static force at the measuring point resulting from the static weight of the wippen leveraged through the key and from the static weight of the hammer and shank, leveraged through the shank, wippen, and key. Found as: BW + FW

UP WEIGHT (U) - The maximum amount of weight, to the nearest gram, placed on the measuring point that the key can lift while maintaining a slow controlled motion of the hammer.

WIPPEN BALANCE WEIGHT (WBW) - The upward static force at the measuring point resulting from the static weight of the wippen leveraged through the key, found as: KR x WW

WIPPEN WEIGHT (WW) - The amount of weight, to the nearest 0.1 gram, of the level wippen, pivoted without friction, at the wippen center, and measured at the capstan/heel contact point.
_________________________
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

Top
#650178 - 04/25/02 11:01 PM Re: Stanwood?
reblder Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/21/01
Posts: 1237
Loc: Sherman Oaks, Calif.
In reference to the above comments about hammers and the Mason & Hamlins, on the few occasions I've heard them with Renners(on the BB models)I found the tone to be much too "glassy" sounding.
So on a model A that we have in our shop we achieved excellent results with Abel hammers. And a BB we have has Tokiwa hammers(actually called "Pacific Gold" hammers as they're made to meet the specs of the local piano supply house here in L.A.)and it too has the warm sound that characterizes the better sounding M & H's.

Mark Mandell
www.pianosource.com

Top
#650179 - 04/26/02 12:07 AM Re: Stanwood?
JohnC Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/02
Posts: 1672
Loc: Lower Left Coast
 Quote:
The most amazing part of a Stanwood action is the complete evenness of voicing through out the entire keyboard.

As I said, I had new hammers put on when I had the action upgrade done. It took the tech about 1.5 hours to voice the piano. I think that is incredible considering that these were brand new hammers. I've had techs work an entire day on my old hammers and I was never happy with the outcome. To be honest, the piano isn't perfect, 1 note is a little bright!
I would think your pleasure with the voicing is perhaps more a reflection on the skill of your tech than anything in the Stanwood design. Or no? Top notch techs are not easy to find. Hold on to that one! \:\)
_________________________
There are few joys in life greater than the absence of pain.

Top
#650180 - 04/26/02 10:11 AM Re: Stanwood?
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
John,

I'm sure that the skill of the tech has a lot to do with it. But, on the Stanwood website they discuss how the system greatly aids in voicing.

My former tech is very well known. But after getting really ticked at him, I decided it was time for a new tech. I called Faust-Harrison asking for a tech recommendation, the ONLY name I was given was his. In fact I called several places in NYC and my former tech's name came up over and over again.

Since I am so ticked at the former tech, I'm going to be very blunt. He knows nothing about how touch weight in an action works. My Renners were not replaced just because I felt like it, they had to be replaced because he shaved so much felt off the hammers, in an attempt to lighten the action, that he destroyed them.

I had many techs after that look at the piano. Some said shaving felt was one approach to action lightening, other's suggested adding weights in the keys, but they all agreed the hammers were shot.

After spending a ton of money only to wind up with a piano with a slightly lighter action but ruined hammers I decided to listen to what Mat D. (the M&H BB owner with Steinway hammers) did and to seriously look into the Stanwood upgrade.

Of course, I didn't just jump into this. I checked into the idea of shaving hammers and adding weights to the keys and there seemed to be no clear consensus as to what approach to take. When I looked at the Stanwood website it was clear that every aspect of the action was focused on and key weighting/hammer weights are only one piece of the puzzle.

When I found the Stanwood tech in my area I checked out his work; which he was more than happy to show off. A concert hall, a recording studio, and two private owners. The concert hall had a Steinway D, the private owners both had Steinway B's, and the recording studio had a Falcone 74. All were flawless. He had Tokiwa hammers on all the Steinways, Abel's on the Falcone.

At that point I knew I was making the right decision. If you play my piano and then play a Hamburg Steinway C, it would be very difficult to feel and hear the difference. And that's how it should have been since the scale designs are the same.

As I said, I'm not a concert pianist or piano tech, all I can do is base things on my experience. And, in my experience, Stanwood is the best thing to come along for pianos in a long, long, time. And Renner hammers do not deserve the praise they've been given (IMO). Petrof is another piano that needs to dump the Renners. It would be so much nicer without them.
Add Stanwood and they'd be giving the big boys a serious run for their money.

Again, these are just my opinions. I don't want anyone to think I'm putting down their piano. My preferences are just that, my preferences. There are a lot of very good pianos out there, but I think few are at their full potential.

Derick
_________________________
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

Top
#650181 - 04/26/02 10:34 AM Re: Stanwood?
JohnC Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/02
Posts: 1672
Loc: Lower Left Coast
Derick,

Thanks for the further info. You went through a lot and obviously did your homework. I'm glad to see it worked out so well for you. As I said before, really good techs are hard to find.
_________________________
There are few joys in life greater than the absence of pain.

Top
#650182 - 04/26/02 11:23 AM Re: Stanwood?
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
John C.

I scanned some of the charts I was given on touch weights of my piano before Stanwood and after Stanwood and sent them to you. Check your email.

Derick
_________________________
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

Top
#650183 - 04/26/02 05:31 PM Re: Stanwood?
Grotius Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/11/02
Posts: 100
Today I got a chance to compare a Stanwoodized Mason and Hamlin BB with a "normal" BB, and I did notice a difference. For one thing, the touch on the Stanwoodized model was a bit lighter. For another, it seemed easier to play softer on the Stanwoodized model. If I get a Mason & Hamlin, I think I will get it Stanwoodized.

Top
#650184 - 04/26/02 05:44 PM Re: Stanwood?
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5484
derick, your experiences with your former tech are ringing some bells. would you mind posting just his initials here?
_________________________
piqué

now in paperback:


Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey

Top
#650185 - 04/26/02 06:07 PM Re: Stanwood?
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
Grotius,

One of the great things about Stanwood is that the touch is adjustable. If that Mason felt a bit too light, it wouldn't take long for a tech to make it heavier.

You just reminded me of the other great thing about Stanwood and that is how soft you can play the piano. Come to think of it, I don't think I've played any piano that can be played as softly as a 'Stanwoodized' one can.

Derick
_________________________
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

Top
#650186 - 04/26/02 06:08 PM Re: Stanwood?
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
pique,

His initials are MM. Is this the tech you are thinking of?

Derick
_________________________
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

Top
#650187 - 04/26/02 10:26 PM Re: Stanwood?
Grotius Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/11/02
Posts: 100
Derick,

I'm glad to hear that I wasn't imagining things -- I was amazed at how softly I could play the Mason Hammond BB that had been Stanwoodized. I played another BB, this one without Stanwood, and I just couldn't play it as softly.

-- Grotius.

Top
#650188 - 04/27/02 12:25 AM Re: Stanwood?
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
Grotius,

I've had the Stanwoodized piano about 6 weeks now, and I'm still discovering what the piano is capable of now that it wasn't capable of before. I hate to sound like the poster-boy for Stanwood, but it is *VERY* rare that I am completely satisfied with anything. This is one of those rare times.

Derick
_________________________
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

Top
#650189 - 04/27/02 09:19 AM Re: Stanwood?
Mat D. Offline
500 Post Club Member

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

Derick is right on about Stanwood.

I had my M&H BB upgraded w/Stanwood & Steinway hammers about 1.5 years ago, and it is everything Derick says---you can play beautifully at any volume, and completely control the piano---you forget about the mechanics and concentrate on the music.

There are 2 reasons I had the Stanwood upgrade done; first of all, my Renner blues were getting very "nasal" sounding and after having 3 techs try to voice the piano to my liking (they couldn't get the warm M&H tone I was looking for) the hammers had been beat up so bad they needed replacement. Secondly, the action on the BB was very heavy and the procedure that other techs were suggesting seemed primitive and I wasn't willing to take a chance on hacking up my keyboard w/weights etc. on a trial & error approach. I then did lots of research, talked to Del Fandrich and others asking about my 2 problems----bright Renner Blues & heavy action; all roads pointed to David Stanwood.

I called David up and we talked about my situation & he was intimately familiar with my problem since he owns a Mason & Hamlin BB himself. When he explained the system to me it all made so much sense I was ready to go. Fortunately I have a wonderful Stanwood tech near me (Dan Harteau)--he recomended Steinway D hammers & "full" Stanwood (with hepler springs) and he went to work... All I can say is, I'll never go back---The Stanwood sytem is a scientific approach to action touch-weight regulation and it works!

Why Mason & Hamlin uses the 'historic' scales and old-world building techniques and then puts Renner Blues on the pianos, I'll never understand. I know they've been approached about this by several people (including me), but they seem ignore the obvious-----maybe they're getting Renner hammers at a special discount!?! It doesn't make sense.

Grotius, you are taking a very logical approach to your piano buying. If you end up w/the Mason & Hamlin and go with Stanwood, you won't be sorry. I just wish M&H would wake up and fix these 2 annoying problems (especially the hammers)before they get to the customer, but what do I know?

Mat D.

Top
#650190 - 04/27/02 10:18 AM Re: Stanwood?
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5484
hi, derick,

thanks for the reply. no, i'm thinking of mw.

my piano is new, with renner blues on it. i think there are some big voicing issues with those hammers. my tech really doesn't like the hammers (i suspect he is a ny steinway type of guy). they were heavily needled at the factory in an attempt to bash the harshness out of them, and he says this ruins them; the treble has never really been right. the tech says it will take two more voicing sessions, spaced a year apart. he's able to make them beautiful for about a day, and then they go back. my only other option, he says, is to replace the hammers--which he isn't necessarily recommending.

btw, he also doesn't think there is much difference between renner and abel hammers when it comes to this hardness problem. he says what is happening in the hammer industry is that the piano manufacturers are demanding a hammer that performs great right out of the box, that is pre-voiced. good voicers are a rare species, and the good ones are expensive. the hammer manufacturers are trying to meet this demand by compressing the wool so much, that it creates a very harsh and bright sound (which is evidently what most of the public likes).

i understand that ny steinway may be the only ones who aren't doing this and still have soft hammers. that is why new steinways that haven't been voiced sound so muffled. you have to juice the hammers to harden them, then needle them back up to just the right point to get the sound most people expect. dealers have to pay $500 a piano to have this done, if i remember right.

anyway, i am wondering how much it would cost just to replace a set of hammers (the action on my piano is fabulous and i honestly can't imagine being able to play any softer or with more control on any piano than i can play on mine). and if you did replace a set of hammers on a piano that was designed with renner blues, what would you use? i love the tone everywhere on my piano EXCEPT in octave 6.
_________________________
piqué

now in paperback:


Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey

Top
#650191 - 04/27/02 12:29 PM Re: Stanwood?
the artist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/02
Posts: 757
Loc: Tulsa, OK
 Quote:
Originally posted by Derick:
Petrof is another piano that needs to dump the Renners. It would be so much nicer without them.
Add Stanwood and they'd be giving the big boys a serious run for their money.
Derick[/b]
Derick:
I'm glad to find out about this early in my shopping process. My only concern with the Petrof II, that I otherwise loved, was the extreme brightness in the top 2 octaves. I was told by the seller that that could be voiced down considerably so I temporarily put aside my reservations about it. I had also heard on this forum a lot about voicing, so I naturally thought this would be fixable.

Now, I'm not so sure. I knew the piano had Renner action, I didn't know who made the hammers, I just knew it was too bright in the treble. So would you say that if one thinks the sound of the Petrof II is way too bright for his personal preference it's probably not going to be possible to sufficiently voice the piano with the original hammers?

Thanks,
Brad

Top
#650192 - 04/27/02 01:12 PM Re: Stanwood?
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
To all -

I have probably come on too strong about Renner hammers. Last night I was talking to someone who has an old, completely rebuilt Steinway with Renner hammers which he is very happy with. However, he did say his rebuilder stated that whoever does the voicing on Renner hammers really needs to know what they are doing. I got the impression that the rebuilder was indicating such voicers are few and far between. I have never run into such a voicer, and apparently Mat D. hasn't either; but obviously, they must exist.

Derick
_________________________
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

Top
#650193 - 04/27/02 01:17 PM Re: Stanwood?
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
pique -

My experience with my Renners was exactly as you said, they'd be ok for a day or two and then they got bright again.

Not being a tech, I can only say this about the Abel's, very little needling was done to my hammers. My tech worked on the notes around breaks in the strings, other than that he touched very few.

I do not like bright pianos at all. My piano is now rather dark, but if I hit it very hard I'll get that 'metallic' sound out it. Based on what you've said before, I think you'd like the voicing of my piano.

IMO, Steinway makes a huge mistake by not voicing the hammers. An instrument should be right when you buy it, not a year or two later. From day one, M&H sound much better than S&S because you can 'hear' them. But they need to be toned down (IMO) to reach their full potential.

Falcone was willing, and did voice, two pianos to my preference. I think high-end manufacturers should do this, or at least have a selection of differently voiced pianos. My $02.

I certainly am in no position to say what kind of hammers should be put on your piano. But my hammers were Renner Blues and they were replaced with Abels. There is also Tokiwa, they may be a bit softer than Abels, I'm not sure.

Replacing the hammers on my piano cost $2000. Yep, a lot of money.

BTW, you should check out the Stanwood website. There is a graph of the touch-weights of a Grotian-Steinweg showing the how uneven it is. (I am not criticizing your piano by the way. I believe he picked Grotian to show that even very high-quality pianos can benefit from Stanwood).

I also must say that with the new hammers and the Stanwood system ALL the voicing problems vanished. I'm sure the hammers had something to do with it, but I believe that the Stanwood system had maybe even more to do with it.

Think of a hammer moving upwards just slightly faster than the one adjacent to it. Or find two adjacent notes on your piano that sound the same when you hit them. Then just hit one slightly harder and notice the difference in sound. Especially in Octave 6. Try it. I think you'll find a huge difference in how they sound. Let me know what you think.

Derick
_________________________
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

Top
#650194 - 04/27/02 01:32 PM Re: Stanwood?
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
Hi Brad,

I think, not sure, that Petrof uses Renner hammers. As I said above, there are techs who can voice Renners but finding those techs may be difficult.

The Petrof's I've played that have had minimal preparation are too bright for me, particularly in the treble as you stated. I have played a few that have had new hammers put on them and they were extremely nice instruments.

Keep in mind that the Petrof's I have played are in my area (where no one knows how to voice Renners!).

Assuming you would buy the piano if the upper octaves were as you liked them, I would ask the seller to tone them down stating you will buy it if you are happy with the sound.

Not being a dealer I don't know how that would fly. But if I were in the market for a piano today, I would find one I thought needed no changing, or ask that they make it right before buying it.

If you purchase that piano and then find out that the upper octaves can't be voiced to your satisfaction, you are going to have to live with it or shell out big bucks to have new hammers installed on the piano. I don't think that is right. And based on my and few other's experience, voicing issues don't seemed to be resolved without spending big $$$.

I hope I'm not offending any dealers. As I said, I'm not in the business and just stating what has been my personal experience.

As the saying goes, YMMV.

Derick
_________________________
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

Top
#650195 - 04/27/02 03:10 PM Re: Stanwood?
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5484
 Quote:
Think of a hammer moving upwards just slightly faster than the one adjacent to it. Or find two adjacent notes on your piano that sound the same when you hit them. Then just hit one slightly harder and notice the difference in sound. Especially in Octave 6. Try it. I think you'll find a huge difference in how they sound. Let me know what you think.
hm, derick, i'm not sure what you are driving at here, but i tried what you suggested and they really don't sound any different.

actually, my problem is that octave 6 sounds weak and thin, kind of wooden sounding, strikingly different than the lush sound of the rest of the scale. there's no depth, the bell-like richness of the rest of the piano is missing. it was not like that in the showroom, and it was not like that right after my tech came out and worked on it, but it soon went back to being that way again.

my tech said that 99 percent of what he did to rectify the problem was giving the piano a good tuning (he tuned it twice in one day, and it sounded incredible that night). there was very little voicing involved. he said voicing at this stage of a piano's life has a very short shelf life, and it really has to wait at least six months, maybe a year is better.

at this early stage, the piano begins going out of tune almost immediately after tuning (of course, you have to have a very good ear to hear this, i don't think it would be readily apparent to most people) because it is still an infant piano.

anyway, if i can stand to wait until the season changes stabilize, i'm getting the piano tuned again in june and i'll be better able to judge then if tuning is 99 percent of the solution, or if i need to get my voicer back out here sooner rather than later.

i don't doubt from what everyone has written here that the stanwood is a fantastic system. sounds like it would have been worth it to buy a kawai and then fit it with a stanwood--you'd save a lot of money!

but even if they do improve the grotrian action (which i am willing to allow), it really cannot be by very much. i played a lot of pianos during my search, and i did not find an action as fine as a grotrian's on any other piano. it is much nicer than a steinway or m&h action. sorry to sound like a grotrian snob, but don't knock it until you have tried it!

the grotrian's biggest weakness is that section of the treble, and i wonder if the make of the hammers is really the issue. if it were, then wouldn't all the hammers sound as bad?

i did ask my tech the next day if he would work on that section some more, but he declined, saying that at this early stage of the piano's life it is important to just play it, enjoy it, and live with it as it is until the instrument has stabilized in its new environment. only then does further voicing become appropriate.

if any techs here have comments on any of the above, of course i'd be very interested and appreciative.
_________________________
piqué

now in paperback:


Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey

Top
#650196 - 04/27/02 03:59 PM Re: Stanwood?
Mat D. Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 512
Loc: Sterling Heights, Michigan
I really don't think the problem is Renner per se---If I'm not mistaken, Renner makes the hammers that are used in the Hamburg Steinway C & D-----Obviously these are made to the STeinway spec---Mason & Hamlin (Petrof, for that matter) ought to take note & have Renner make some 'cold-pressed' for them like the Steinways in Hamburg.

If anyone knows more about this, I'm curious.

As for the Renners I've come across, they sound fine for a while, but after a month or so, go right back to the nasal tone we all hate. I know that M&H had some techs go around to the dealerships to teach them how to properly voicce a Renner hammer, but I haven't noticed too much difference in their more recent pianos.

Top
#650197 - 04/27/02 07:03 PM Re: Stanwood?
reblder Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/21/01
Posts: 1237
Loc: Sherman Oaks, Calif.
I think that voicing technique has alot to do with the sort of tone a tech can get. In my own case, for instance, I've tended to expand on what was the conventional multiple jabbing approach(directed primarily at the shoulders and crown)to a more complete technique that encompasses the entire hammer which is done in a radial fashion. I first learned of this when attending a class given on voicing which was presented by a Schimmel piano factory tech at a Piano Technicians Guild Convention years ago. Subsequently I came across an article on this same technique in an issue of the Piano Technicians journal whose author is a well respected tech in Connecticut. Following this, I didn't suddenly abandon the way I was voicing but periodically would try out this new method. I've found that it is especially good in creating a "rounder", more expansive sort of tone but actually supplements the more traditional approach that's geared toward cutting down on excess tonal brilliance.

Mark@pianosource.com

Top
#650198 - 04/28/02 03:41 PM Re: Stanwood?
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
To the guy who emailed me earlier:

I tried replying but my email was returned as undeliverable. However, the tech you named is not the tech that 'worked' on my piano. I have not heard of the tech you mentioned.

BOL,
Derick
_________________________
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

Top
#650199 - 04/29/02 11:57 PM Re: Stanwood?
Chris W1 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/26/01
Posts: 915
Loc: Boston
Great thread. Hammers mean so much.

-Abel's don't sound that much different from Renners, IMO. They are widely available to techs, they are cheaper than Steinway hammers and are good right out of the box. So, their popularity isn't all about the final result.

-I recently checked out the new Bechstein dealer nearest me and was amazed how bad a b-208 sounded with its Renners. It was completely outclased by the Walter 190 next to it. The renners found on Bosie's are phenominal. Its mostly staying on top of voicing. I do wonder how long a Bosendorfer would keep that sweet full, incredibly dynamic, sound over the course of 100 plus hours of heavy playing.

-While I have heard it said that top quality hammers can be voiced to sound alike, I would tend to disagree. Cold pressed hammers with lacquer take on a resiliance all their own, IMO. I know of an old piano where the hammers are dirty, they are grooved, but they sound fantastic, as if worn in like a perfect set of 88 baseball gloves. That's what I want.

Chris W
...just signed P&S on a house that will finally fit a grand!
_________________________
Amateur At Large

Top
#650200 - 04/30/02 01:24 PM Re: Stanwood?
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
Steve,

I, as a non-piano tech, can buy a set of Steinway hammers with walnut molding for $325 at stevespianoservice.com. I don't know how much Abel's cost since I couldn't find any place willing to sell them.

If Abel's are readily available to techs, Steinway's must be even more so as they are available to the general public.

Regarding the sound... replace the Renners on your Schimmel with Abel's and let me know if you still believe there is no difference in the sound.

In addition to comparing my piano with Renners and Abels, I have also played 3 Steinway L's, one with Renner, one with Abels, and one with Steinway hammers; same store, right next to each other. Tone is a matter of preference so I won't get into that, but I will say all three sounded different.

Derick
_________________________
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

Top
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 >

Moderator:  Piano World 
What's Hot!!

Trade Regrets:
Barry "Bear" Arnaut

(ad) Yamaha
Yamaha
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
(ad) Piano Music Sale - Dover Publications
Piano Music Sale
Sheet Music Plus (125)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
New Topics - Multiple Forums
The DGX 650 Club
by beebop
11/24/14 01:13 PM
You must remember this...
by pianoloverus
11/24/14 11:00 AM
Best way to learn Czerny
by Medden
11/24/14 10:47 AM
Setting up the room
by cullam
11/24/14 10:18 AM
Saint-Saens 2nd concerto - best edition (fingering)?
by Barly
11/24/14 07:09 AM
Forum Stats
77024 Members
42 Forums
159315 Topics
2340282 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
Gift Ideas for Music Lovers!
Find the Perfect Gift for the Music Lovers on your List!
Visit our online store today.

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