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#650974 - 07/15/02 07:52 PM Larry said. . .
.rvaga* Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 2046
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Actually, Larry and other knowledgeable people have mentioned piano actions, and perhaps I haven't payed close enough attention to answer my own question. . .

There are many piano manufacturers (duh).

But, how many different action manufacturers are there?

The reason for my question is that Larry mentioned in another thread (he was quoting from the Fine book) about the Pramberger requiring more action work post-sales than might be normal. At least that's what I think Larry quoted, if my memory serves.

If different piano manufacturers use the same action (my assumption, may be wrong), then how can one brand require any more or less work over the years? A Renner is a Renner is a Renner. . .?

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#650975 - 07/15/02 08:16 PM Re: Larry said. . .
lb Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 1731
Loc: Indiana

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#650976 - 07/15/02 09:24 PM Re: Larry said. . .
Jolly Offline
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Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14051
Loc: Louisiana
Kawai and Yamaha make their own actions, also. And doesn't Steinway make their own?

And someone please correct me if I am wrong, but I had heard that even Renner made five grades of actions, for applications in different manufacturer's pianos. In other words, the Renner in the Ritmuller(made by Pearl River), is not the same Renner action found in a top line German piano.
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#650977 - 07/15/02 09:42 PM Re: Larry said. . .
MikeC65 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/11/01
Posts: 325
Loc: St. Louis, Missouri
The New York grand actions are (currently) made by Steinway. The vertical actions are made by Renner. I think the German Steinways all have Renner actions.
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Mike Cohan
St. Louis, MO
1910 Steinway Model K

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#650978 - 07/15/02 10:57 PM Re: Larry said. . .
.rvaga* Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 2046
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Interesting. . .

So, the same action manufacturer can make several grades of a piano action.

Seems we could label these "A," "AA" and of course:

"AAA" -- \:D

Just trying to tie it all together, hehehe.

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#650979 - 07/16/02 08:27 AM Re: Larry said. . .
lb Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 1731
Loc: Indiana

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#650980 - 07/16/02 10:45 AM Re: Larry said. . .
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14051
Loc: Louisiana
Mike,

I thought current Steinway verticals used Langer. Am I wrong?
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#650981 - 07/16/02 08:31 PM Re: Larry said. . .
MikeC65 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/11/01
Posts: 325
Loc: St. Louis, Missouri
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jolly:
Mike,

I thought current Steinway verticals used Langer. Am I wrong? [/b]
The Piano Book says it's Renner. I tried a search on Google and came up empty. I will try to find out for sure.
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Mike Cohan
St. Louis, MO
1910 Steinway Model K

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#650982 - 07/17/02 12:13 PM Re: Larry said. . .
Samejame Offline
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Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 808
Loc: NL, Canada
So, supposing I have something like and old Baldwin or Knabe grand, and I wanted to replace it with a new action, like Renner. How does one go about spec.'ing something like that to the action manufacturer? Is it simply a matter of sending a few measurements to eg. Renner and a new action for your piano arrives at your shop sometime later? Obviously, they don't purpose make an action for an instrument they did not originally supply, so it's not like an action is wating for you on the shelf at Renner. It's a custom job.

Can any action manufacturer give you an action for any piano?

Just curious, as a non tech. as to how that works.

Also, how much more would a custom action cost over a same grade of a standard action? IE, if Renner or whoever were supplying a standard action for a piano they originally supplied that action to, how much more would one expect to pay for a custom action of the same quality?

Jamie
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#650983 - 07/17/02 04:10 PM Re: Larry said. . .
.rvaga* Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 2046
Loc: Portland, Oregon
I think that's a good question.

Is it possible to buy a complete action "off the rack" and have a tech regulate/voice it? Seems there could be a major cost savings, given it takes so many labor hours for a tech to go through an action, replacing pins, felts, leather, chunks of wood, voicing or replacing hammers, measuring, etc.

And, I would think a tech would love it too -- working with all new parts that are overall equal in that they are brand new throughout.

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#650984 - 07/17/02 11:03 PM Re: Larry said. . .
JohnC Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/02
Posts: 1672
Loc: Lower Left Coast
 Quote:
Obviously, they don't purpose make an action for an instrument they did not originally supply, so it's not like an action is wating for you on the shelf at Renner. It's a custom job.[/b]
I could be mistaken so if I am somebody please correct me, but I thought I was told Renner makes action kits for lots of pianos that they were not the original supplier to. And yes, the action kits are sitting on the shelf at Renner for the most common ones.

As to an "action off the shelf" versus parts that your tech installs, well.......If you mean to include the whole key frame you would obviously be adding unneccessary costs there. Additionally, someone at Renner or whoever, would still have to do all the labor of assembling the "action off the rack" so you are going to pay for that one way or another. It would seem to me that you/we are better off having people like Renner make all the parts geometry specific for the piano and letting your tech/rebuilder do the exact assembly and installation specific to your piano.

Another point I failed to previously mention is that the action must be removed and replaced in the piano numerous times while the tech fine tunes all the measurements on the parts. That would not be possible with an "off the rack" action.

All in all, I don't think an "off the rack" action would be an efficient or cost effective way to buy or sell them.

But....maybe I'm wrong?
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#650985 - 07/18/02 04:28 AM Re: Larry said. . .
.rvaga* Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 2046
Loc: Portland, Oregon
I suppose mass production may not be feasible, since there would not be enough demand. And, perhaps technicians would not like such a scenario, as they make their living by using their expertise over many hours of careful, painstaking work.

I can't help but compare to the "old days" of having a car engine rebuilt. It was (still is done this way by some) a lengthy process, as each component had to be evaluated, measured, replaced if necessary, and then of course the whole had to be tuned to run.

Nowadays, you can buy a short or long-block, from the factory, replace the engine without the "overhaul" of years ago. Costs less, all new parts, much less labor involved, usually a better result.

But, it's supply and demand I suppose, at least in part. \:\)

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#650986 - 07/18/02 12:47 PM Re: Larry said. . .
Samejame Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 808
Loc: NL, Canada
To add to my original question, would another option be for a rebuilder to remove the action from a piano, ship it to Renner et al, and say, "I want one of these, please." and they would build it?

Jamie
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