NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff

Posted by: Piano World

NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/17/09 08:59 PM

It's day three and we're a little tired, but will follow up with some pictures and details soon.

~ M&H showed a grand lid that you can pull the stick out from under, and it won't fall on your head/hand

They also showed HD Blue-Ray PianoDiscs with amazing graphics and some other neat features.

~ Fazioli has a 4 pedal grand on display. The 4th pedal actually lifts the action closer to the strings (at the same time lowering the keys to maintain balance with no lost motion).

~ Perl River talks about their new German designed pianos

~ YC is working with Del F. (or is it Del is working with YC?) on some new scale designs. Interesting developments

~ Estonia had their "hidden beauty" piano on display, and hearing some guest pianist play it provided some beauty of it's own.

Because of the new T-Shirts we wore this year, people were spotting us from 50' away.
(Del Fandrich / Me / Yoke (forums member) at Young Chang)


Met lots of members wherever we went, and collected lots of interest in advertising on PW from industry pros (a good thing, to keep us going and growing).
Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/17/09 09:19 PM

Have fun!

Oh, BTW, the natives are restless. ;\)
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/17/09 09:25 PM

Sounds like great fun, Frank! \:\)

When you're back and rested, I'd love to hear a more detailed explanation of how that M&H grand lid works. I tried to visualize it but couldn't.

...And are those nifty PW t-shirts for sale on your PianoSupplies site? I want one!
Posted by: Piano World

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/17/09 09:32 PM

Here my friend Kathy demonstrates what happens when Tom L. of M&H pulls out the stick...

Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/17/09 09:44 PM

Levitation!
Posted by: Stephen Lacefield

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/17/09 09:48 PM

I had a great time at the show. Loved the Faz 308, the Shigeru Kawai SK EX 9', and Gene Simmons at the Thursday Breakfast.
Posted by: Piano World

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/17/09 09:53 PM

A Baldwin in the Gibson room.

Gambling with the companies future?

Posted by: FogVilleLad

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/17/09 10:34 PM

Did Del show his 208?
Posted by: whippen boy

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/17/09 10:35 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano World:
~ Perl[/b] River talks about their new German designed pianos
Frank, your webmaster side is showing. ;\)
Posted by: tanjinjack

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/18/09 12:30 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Steve Cohen:
Levitation! [/b]
No, it's magic! \:D \:D
Posted by: Del

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/18/09 02:26 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by FogVilleLad:
Did Del show his 208? [/b]
No. Actually, it will be a 200 (and a 250).

I went down a day early to tune and voice the new YP 275 which was being shown for the first time in the U.S. This piano is not quite the production piano but is more like a second prototype. The production pianos will follow sometime later this year.

The company intends to show the also newly redesigned 208 and 228 grands at the Frankfurt show later this spring.

The vertical pianos we have been working on will show up sometime later.

ddf
Posted by: FogVilleLad

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/18/09 02:59 AM

That is very good news for Young Chang. I hope that you were able to persuade them to accept at least some of your belief in pianoforte.

Are you at liberty to say whether they'll incorporate your long backscales and aggressive bass cutoffs in the shorter grands? (I'm thinking of an exchange - between you and Ron O., I think - on the PTG archives re the appropriateness of cutoffs on pianos longer than seven feet.)

Not sure why I thought that yours was a 208. Still a laser cut steel plate?
Posted by: Kenny Blankenship

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/18/09 10:07 AM

Chang added a few great reps recently and seem to be amping up, should be interesting when/if the market rebounds.
Frank, whats the hailun stuff look like?
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/18/09 10:15 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano World:
A Baldwin in the Gibson room.


[/b]
I like its understated elegance.
Posted by: Del

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/18/09 11:13 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by FogVilleLad:
That is very good news for Young Chang. I hope that you were able to persuade them to accept at least some of your belief in pianoforte.

Are you at liberty to say whether they'll incorporate your long backscales and aggressive bass cutoffs in the shorter grands? (I'm thinking of an exchange - between you and Ron O., I think - on the PTG archives re the appropriateness of cutoffs on pianos longer than seven feet.) [/b]
Now that Young Chang has made its introduction, yes, I am at liberty to discuss at least some of the changes that are being made.

Yes, the backscales in all of the models that I have worked on have been lengthened. I don’t know what I will do with the smaller pianos (if I am asked to do anything at all) but I can tell you that the three larger models—the 275, the 228 and the 208—all have “aggressive” soundboard cutoff bars. They also have crowned ribs and the soundboards have a revised thicknessing specification; they are no longer “diaphragmatically” tapered. The rims have a couple of extra braces and nosebolt in the upper tenor and treble sections. These vary by model but they all get something.

The string scales are new along with new bridges and corrected hammer strikelines. This latter—along with removing the tuned duplex “feature” and revising the hitchpin locations—required extensive plate pattern changes. The capo tastro V-bar has been replaced with half-agraffes. As well, the aesthetic styling of the plates has changed to give them a bit more commonality throughout the product line.

The 275 action geometry has been revised slightly to give it a slightly “crisper” feel.

The Weber and the Young Chang versions of each model are no longer the same. The Young Chang versions have moderately higher-tensioned scales and use Abel “Natural-felt” hammers with a harder press. The Weber versions have a lower-tensioned scale with Abel “Natural-felt” hammers with a softer press. I am trying to define a new corporate “voice” for the company and for the two product lines. Both will be toned down some from the past. Yes, I’m working on improving performance at pianissimo levels—particularly so with the Weber line.

The piano (a YP 275) shown at NAMM is still a pre-production prototype. There are still a few relatively minor changes that need to be made to the plate. As part of the work I’ve been doing with the company a number of changes to the production process are also being made, several of which were not evident in the piano on display (at least not to me).

One goal of these changes is to improved product consistency. The company is working very hard to improved product consistency as well as overall product “quality,” however you might define the word.

A final note: each of these three pianos had a lineage that could be traced directly to a piano once built by some other company of the past. This is no longer the case. Pretty much all traces of that ancestry have been left behind; they no longer look, feel or sound like their predecessors.

 Quote:
Not sure why I thought that yours was a 208. Still a laser cut steel plate? [/b]
For my own piano? Yes. Either laser cut or waterjet cut.

ddf
Posted by: Mark Fontana

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/18/09 11:49 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano World:
M&H showed ... HD Blue-Ray PianoDiscs with amazing graphics and some other neat features[/b]
Was just the video HD or the piano playback too? There have been rumors for the past few years that PianoDisc would be introducing a high-resolution playback system soon.
Posted by: Piano World

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/18/09 12:14 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Mark Fontana:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano World:
M&H showed ... HD Blue-Ray PianoDiscs with amazing graphics and some other neat features[/b]
Was just the video HD or the piano playback too? There have been rumors for the past few years that PianoDisc would be introducing a high-resolution playback system soon. [/b]
Mark,
I have a meeting with them this morning, I'll try to find out.
Posted by: Piano World

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/18/09 12:41 PM

The Air Force Band "Mobility".

Man, did they rock!


Posted by: Ric Overton

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/18/09 01:20 PM

I enjoyed NAMM. I saw quite a number of interesting things while I was there from the Mfg as well as the dealers.

Folks people are still buying pianos. I am excited for the future of the business. There are some very creative things going on that will empower the dealerships and in turn the customers.

Stay focused and we will be fine.

Ric Overton
Posted by: KawaiDon

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/18/09 02:03 PM

It was nice speaking with you again, Frank. Thanks for visiting our booth.
Posted by: FogVilleLad

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/18/09 02:44 PM

Del,[/b] this is all very good news for Young Chang, for their dealers and prospective dealers, and for consumers.

Corporate culture is established at the top. Saw a statement by the CEO, B. J. Park, to the effect that YC must change everything and do suspect that he was the guy who decided to put the world's foremost authority on piano design on the case. That Park himself has music in his background - church choir singer - is a plus. Long term success requires commitment and passion.

Larry Fine said in his supplement that Young Chang is in a group whose QC is variable. IMO the best advice they could receive is, "Buy CNC machines and slow down."

Did you have to sell YC on product differentiation? No matter how it was done, IMO it's a good thing for consumers. Never did really like the Petrof/Weinbach approach and much prefer Steinway's Family of Pianos concept - three different tonal palettes at three different price points. (Sorry that Ronsen will not be suppying the hammers.)

Extra bracing and elimination of the tuned duplex - the former is easy to understand, but how in the world did you persuade YC to let go of that front duplex? Someone there must really respect you.

Many decry the loss of interest in acoustics, but IMO do not take sufficient note of the interest in digitals. Lots of creativity among the young is being expressed in the digital realm. There was a time when Kurzweil was a premier brand. Hope that Park can make it so, again.

Re your own pianos, I posted that the steel plates would be water cut, but was corrected by a tech! Ho, hum. Any release date?
Posted by: Dave Ferris

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/18/09 03:01 PM

.
Posted by: Piano World

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/18/09 05:48 PM

At the Bluthner booth...

Me / Christian / Alex Hernandez

Posted by: RickG

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/18/09 07:16 PM

Thanks Frank for the reports. Keep them coming!!
Posted by: charleslang

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/18/09 07:40 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano World:
Here my friend Kathy demonstrates what happens when Tom L. of M&H pulls out the stick...

[/b]
A wonderful innovation. Congratulations to Mason and Hamlin!!
Posted by: Piano World

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/18/09 08:54 PM

Some guy we ran into... (recognize him?)

Posted by: Piano World

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/18/09 11:15 PM

That's some case on this Bluthner...
(take a guess at the approx. retail)

Posted by: Piano World

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/18/09 11:17 PM

Clearly a concept piano...

Posted by: dsch

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/18/09 11:19 PM

$275K +/- 50K.
Posted by: Diaphragmatic

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/18/09 11:25 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano World:
That's some case on this Bluthner...
(take a guess at the approx. retail)

[/b]
Is that a poly finish?
Posted by: charleslang

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/18/09 11:28 PM

$175K +/- 50K.
Posted by: Piano World

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/18/09 11:32 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by charleslang:
$175K +/- 50K. [/b]
Good guess Charles.
It would be + (and a little more)
Posted by: Piano World

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/18/09 11:38 PM

Know what this is called?

Posted by: CTPianotech

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/18/09 11:45 PM

A good excuse to leave early?


j/k! Hope you had a successful trip Frank.
Posted by: Piano World

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/18/09 11:46 PM

The view from the terrace at the NAMM show.
(Going to try the rides tomorrow/Monday)...

Posted by: Piano World

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/18/09 11:50 PM

Sejung gives Baldwin a challenge...




Posted by: Hale KAWAI

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/19/09 12:54 AM

Great to finally meet you and Kathy Frank, I will send you your Mr. Kawai photos soon!
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/19/09 10:32 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano World:
That's some case on this Bluthner...
(take a guess at the approx. retail)

[/b]
Is it a new model or a rebuillt Bluthner?
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/19/09 10:34 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano World:
Clearly a concept piano...

[/b]
The concept being no one can sneak into the room while you're playing without being seen.
Posted by: Bob Newbie

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/19/09 11:18 AM

hmmm..I kinda like that blue color..not so much the dolphins the blue grows on you..reminds me of Kenny Burrells Blue guitar.. \:D
Posted by: Ken S.

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/19/09 11:50 AM

Your wind instrument looks like a big didgeridoo.
Posted by: Bear 1

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/19/09 12:03 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Ken S.:
Your wind instrument looks like a big didgeridoo. [/b]
Yup, looks like a didgeridoo (also known as a didjeridu or didge)

Bear
Posted by: Rod Verhnjak

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/19/09 12:17 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by pianoloverus:
QUOTE]Is it a new model or a rebuillt Bluthner? [/b]
The piano is new and the finish is lacquer.
Posted by: TTigg

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/19/09 12:18 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano World:
Some guy we ran into... (recognize him?)

[/b]
Hey you met Mr Houston (The "Piano" Guy)
Posted by: SteveJacobson

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/19/09 12:38 PM

Is there any more information on the possibility of a high definition playback system from PianoDisc that was discussed in an earlier post?
Posted by: piqué

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/19/09 02:47 PM

looks like so much fun!

were there any piano parties this year?
Posted by: DragonPianoPlayer

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/19/09 03:13 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by pianoloverus:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano World:
Clearly a concept piano...

[/b]
The concept being no one can sneak into the room while you're playing without being seen. [/b]
That would be a piano finished with mirrors.

To me this is the ultimate case finish - all finish, no case. \:D

Rich
Posted by: Loki

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/19/09 04:17 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano World:
Sejung gives Baldwin a challenge...




[/b]
I'm quite impressed with the artwork on there.
Posted by: Ori

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/19/09 04:47 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by pianoloverus:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano World:
That's some case on this Bluthner...
(take a guess at the approx. retail)

[/b]
Is it a new model or a rebuillt Bluthner? [/b]
This is a new Bluthner model 2 (7'8).
It is a Rosewood veneer with a French polish.


Frank,

It was great seeing you again, and meeting with Kathy at NAMM.
Perhaps we'll meet again sooner than next year!

Ori
Posted by: James Senior

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/19/09 04:59 PM

I'm not sure if it is a french polish - it was discussed in a previous thread somewhere, and Rod said it was laquer...?

Either way, whilst the piano is STUNNING to look at, I find the finish disappointing.

It's milky, as if applied in a damp environment.

When I learnt to french polish I made this mistake early on, and it's not a pleasant effect sadly \:\( It would look a million dollars done with a Button or Garnet polish!

My opinion only of course...


Posted by: VGrantano

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/19/09 07:42 PM

That is not a french finish.
Posted by: Norbert

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/19/09 08:12 PM

 Quote:
That is not a french finish.
Of course not - it's *German*.... ;\)

I admit.. must hand it to Bluethner....

Norbert
Posted by: Del

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/19/09 08:41 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by FogVilleLad:
Corporate culture is established at the top. Saw a statement by the CEO, B. J. Park, to the effect that YC must change everything . . . . Long term success requires commitment and passion. [/b]
Time will tell. So far he has followed through with everything he has told me. That really is his long-term plan and vision. He has been remarkably open to suggestion.


 Quote:

Larry Fine said in his supplement that Young Chang is in a group whose QC is variable. IMO the best advice they could receive is, "Buy CNC machines and slow down."
[/b]
The company actually has a large number of CNC machines. Part of my work there is integrating the design with the capabilities of the machinery and then working to improve those areas that do not lend themselves readily to machine operation.


 Quote:

Did you have to sell YC on product differentiation? No matter how it was done, IMO it's a good thing for consumers. Never did really like the Petrof/Weinbach approach and much prefer Steinway's Family of Pianos concept - three different tonal palettes at three different price points. (Sorry that Ronsen will not be supplying the hammers.)
[/b]
Yes. Just as I have to sell them on any design or process change I recommend. I would not want them accept everything I tell them without question. Anyone working in my capacity—an independent consultant who does not have a long history with the company and who does not even speak the same language—must expect this. As long as I can give good, sound reasons for the decisions I make they have been open to them.


 Quote:

Extra bracing and elimination of the tuned duplex - the former is easy to understand, but how in the world did you persuade YC to let go of that front duplex? Someone there must really respect you.
[/b]
It might have been the performance of the first prototype that was convincing.


 Quote:

Many decry the loss of interest in acoustics, but IMO do not take sufficient note of the interest in digitals. Lots of creativity among the young is being expressed in the digital realm. There was a time when Kurzweil was a premier brand. Hope that Park can make it so, again.
[/b]
He is certainly working toward that end. I, however, am not qualified to comment on whether or not progress is being made with the digital instruments.

A side note: One of the side benefits of this work is the opportunity to meet some interesting people. While at the NAMM show I met Ray Kurzweil and was able to chat with him at some length—a very interesting man.


 Quote:

Re your own pianos, I posted that the steel plates would be water cut, but was corrected by a tech! Ho, hum. Any release date? [/b]
Well, it may end up being cut by abrasive waterjet. This gives a slightly smoother cut surface. For me the biggest advantage of going with laser cutting technology is that the job shop doing this work is just down the street.

No date as yet. I work on the project as time and resources permit.

ddf
Posted by: Norbert

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/19/09 08:48 PM

The discussion reminds me on the time Joseph Pramberger tried to build a much better piano at Y.C. called then after himself.

I once spoke to Joe [when he was still alive...] and asked him exactly about the difficulties he encountered when doing his project in Korea.

Joe was very open about this: interestingly enough, it had nothing to do with *machines* or *equipment*.

Perhaps things have changed since: the last time I saw Y.C pianos at NAMM 2007 I was actually quite pleasantly surprised.

Perhaps another example that bar is constantly being raised and the stakes in the industry moving upwards...

Norbert
Posted by: Ori

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/19/09 11:01 PM

Posted by: Piano World

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/20/09 12:00 AM

At the Kawai Dealer Reception (thanks for the invite Hale, enjoyed meeting you and the others).




The rest of the table...


[Still waiting for my pictures with Mr. Kawai...]
Posted by: Piano World

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/20/09 12:14 AM

A few other pianos from the show...











If you move quickly, you can see a bunch of pictures and videos on the NAMM web site.

If I get a chance I'm going to try to download/copy some of them.

http://www.namm.org/thenammshow
Posted by: charleslang

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/20/09 12:37 AM

Wowsers. Apparently Yamaha shelled out some dough to raise the profile of those little digital grands:

http://www.namm.org/namm-show-live/articles/namm-show-2009-video-alicia-keys
Posted by: FogVilleLad

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/20/09 04:59 AM

Norbert posted,
 Quote:
I once spoke to Joe about the difficulties he encountered when doing his project in Korea. Joe was very open about this: interestingly enough, it had nothing to do with *machines* or *equipment*.
I think the key element is the new CEO's attitude. Bringing in Del Fandrich shows some smarts and going for lower tension scales, especially on the Weber line, shows an awareness of product differentiation.

This guy did a great job turning around the auto division - and he's a music lover.

As has been discussed several times in threads re Chinese-made pianos, intent is decisive - as in, IMO, "Slow down."
Posted by: 88Key_PianoPlayer

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/20/09 10:11 AM

Del, are you at liberty to disclose any details of the scale design changes being made to the YC pianos? I assume you're shortening the speaking lengths and increasing the backscale, but is the arrangement of the strings - bass/tenor break, which notes have 1, 2 and 3 strings each, which (if any) are trichord wrapped, etc?
Posted by: Bob Newbie

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/20/09 10:17 AM

I'm not thrilled by the poly finishes on some of the pianos that are not black.. on the carved pianos most of the defintion is lost..like cornice molding with too many coats of old white paint..
Posted by: James Senior

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/20/09 10:52 AM

I agree Bob,

It does seem strange that the manufacturers are prepared to put such little time into case finishing - especially as it makes or breaks the look of the thing.
I understand that a real french polish, applied over many weeks, is far too expensive for your average piano. However for a special Bluthner like that, costing over $100k, you'd think it was worth it.

I've always hated the look of fine woods hidden under a sheet of cheap plastic.

It's as bad a seeing restored Rolls Royces where they use thick two-pack curing paint instead of multiple coat, hand rubbed cellulose finishes.

Crying shame.
Posted by: pianobroker

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/20/09 12:01 PM

When one finishes very ornate art case pianos as well as furniture,the chances of it being clearer as in not killing the grain,polyester or polyurethane is gonna be a better bet nowadays.Most refinishers doing lacquer whether satin or high gloss have a hard time in not killing the grain(too much sealer)milky effect. I think the new polyurethane is better than polyester in achieving the razor sharp edges and art case detail.Polyester rounds out the edges which most don't notice. Many manufactures don't do polyester on 100% of the piano. ex.Yamaha legs,music rack,lyre etc.
Observations over the years ;\)
Posted by: Del

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/20/09 03:19 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by 88Key_PianoPlayer:
Del, are you at liberty to disclose any details of the scale design changes being made to the YC pianos? I assume you're shortening the speaking lengths and increasing the backscale, but is the arrangement of the strings - bass/tenor break, which notes have 1, 2 and 3 strings each, which (if any) are trichord wrapped, etc? [/b]
I'm at liberty but, and more to the point, short on time. To answer your questions in detail would take more than I have available.

Each piano presents its own challenges and opportunities. Many of these pianos come from different heritages and, at least at one time, had different tone and performance character. I am attempting to change that and give them all some commonality.

I will be giving each of them as much backscale length as is practical. In general I am not changing the arrangement of the strings as that would require entirely new plate patterns. Right now we are concentrating on changes that can be made more quickly by modifying the plates. Some of these are rather extensive modifications but basic pattern continues. None of the redesigned scales will use tri-chord wrapped strings.

They are all getting new scales, new tenor and bass bridges, corrected hammer strikelines, etc.

ddf
Posted by: tanjinjack

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/20/09 09:45 PM

Del,

Does the change on YC limit on the scale only?

Any changes in the manufacturing methods and also the choice of materials?
Posted by: Del

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/21/09 01:53 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by tanjinjack:
Del,

Does the change on YC limit on the scale only?

Any changes in the manufacturing methods and also the choice of materials? [/b]
The changes are fairly extensive. See my earlier posts under this topic for some indication of what has been done.

I have made a number of changes in the assembly process to improve parts registration and alignment all designed to improve performance and, to some extent, appearance. The most significant materials change so far has been with the hammers. They are now Abel "Natural Felt" hammers; hard-press for the YC and medium-press for the Weber. (I should mention that their definition of "hard" is not nearly as hard as most. I wish there was another word they could use to describe them.) Some other materials may be changing as well but that is for another day.

ddf
Posted by: Del

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/21/09 02:07 PM

Before this topic fades into oblivion I’d like to comment on some of the entertainment that is available offsite, but within walking distance, of the NAMM Convention Center.

On Saturday evening (if memory serves—everything NAMM becomes a blur after a while) we attended the Sauter reception and performance at the Hyatt about five or six blocks down Harbor Blvd. Ulrich had this new concert grand set up in a small hall where an absolutely outstanding jazz trio (piano, bass and drums) played for a couple of hours. The piano was (is) incredible, the music world-class and the food delicious, plentiful and fattening.

Attendance was disappointingly light but those who were there were enthusiastic and were treated to a memorable event.

I don’t know where that piano is going next but it’s an instrument worth following.

ddf
Posted by: thecoldeye

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/21/09 04:54 PM

I hate to complain, but we want more photos. It seems to me you guys have done more drinking at this year's show--and not enough picture taking.
Posted by: Del

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/21/09 06:34 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by thecoldeye:
I hate to complain, but we want more photos. It seems to me you guys have done more drinking at this year's show--and not enough picture taking. [/b]
And eating...don't forget eating.

ddf
Posted by: 88Key_PianoPlayer

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/21/09 07:12 PM

I'd have to agree with el ojo frio.

next time you guys need to take a full-frame dSLR camera.... then spend at least as much on memory cards as you spend on the camera... fill them with pics of the PIANOS at NAMM... then post them on here. \:D
Posted by: Piano World

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/21/09 07:49 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by 88Key_PianoPlayer:
I'd have to agree with el ojo frio.

next time you guys need to take a full-frame dSLR camera.... then spend at least as much on memory cards as you spend on the camera... fill them with pics of the PIANOS at NAMM... then post them on here. \:D [/b]
Ok, you want pictures, I got pictures (but I did get to eat and drink too:-)



















Posted by: FogVilleLad

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/21/09 08:00 PM

Frank, [/b]t-dot suggested reportage re introductions. IMO this would generate interest on PW and would help us with our recommendations. Manufacturers also might like reportage. Perhaps a photographer might accompany the reportageur(s) - not that there's anything wrong with your snaps, as Seinfeld might say;-)
Posted by: Piano World

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/21/09 08:04 PM








It's not all pianos...










Posted by: Piano World

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/21/09 08:10 PM












Posted by: tanjinjack

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/21/09 10:09 PM

I wish there's videos or recordings of those beautiful pianos. \:\(
Posted by: 88Key_PianoPlayer

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/22/09 07:15 AM

tanjinjack you beat me to it!
Anyhow was David Rubenstein there?
Posted by: Bob Newbie

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/22/09 08:31 AM

what grand is that make/model? (solo shot) on the red carpet? I love that 2 tone effect of the burlwood.. \:D
Posted by: tanjinjack

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/22/09 08:36 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Newbie:
what grand is that make/model? (solo shot) on the red carpet? I love that 2 tone effect of the burlwood.. \:D [/b]
It seems to me that the fallboard name is covered. If you look at the picture more carefully, you will find that the place where we usually have the decal is slightly different in colour.

Anyway, it seems like it's a big model, judging from the over-sized casters.
Posted by: Piano World

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/22/09 11:26 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Newbie:
what grand is that make/model? (solo shot) on the red carpet? I love that 2 tone effect of the burlwood.. \:D [/b]
Fazioli
Posted by: Piano World

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/22/09 11:30 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Del:
Before this topic fades into oblivion I’d like to comment on some of the entertainment that is available offsite, but within walking distance, of the NAMM Convention Center.

On Saturday evening (if memory serves—everything NAMM becomes a blur after a while) we attended the Sauter reception and performance at the Hyatt about five or six blocks down Harbor Blvd. Ulrich had this new concert grand set up in a small hall where an absolutely outstanding jazz trio (piano, bass and drums) played for a couple of hours. The piano was (is) incredible, the music world-class and the food delicious, plentiful and fattening.

Attendance was disappointingly light but those who were there were enthusiastic and were treated to a memorable event.

I don’t know where that piano is going next but it’s an instrument worth following.

ddf [/b]
If I'd known, we certainly would have attended (could have snuck out of the NPTA party early).

Guess my invitation must have arrived after I'd left Pompano Beach ;\)

Even though I'm an old rock musician, I get tired of the rock groups blasting so loud in the hotel lobbys that you can't hear yourself think.

I have to say though, the NPTA had a nice jazz trio, and a few of the talented members sat in and did a great job.
Posted by: tanjinjack

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/22/09 12:35 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano World:
Here my friend Kathy demonstrates what happens when Tom L. of M&H pulls out the stick...

[/b]
How is this achieved? Hydraulic jack?
Posted by: 88Key_PianoPlayer

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/22/09 12:47 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano World:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Newbie:
what grand is that make/model? (solo shot) on the red carpet? I love that 2 tone effect of the burlwood.. \:D [/b]
Fazioli [/b]
That's what I thought it was. Was it the 308 or the 278?
Posted by: pianobroker

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/22/09 12:56 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by 88Key_PianoPlayer:
tanjinjack you beat me to it!
Anyhow was David Rubenstein there? [/b]
He was there Friday but not his piano.I got him his badge. \:D

If the two tone effect (burlwood) floats one's boat you could buy the Hailun (above pic) and pocket the remaining 200K.
The NAMM show was in Anaheim.In that I am the Hailun dealer in Southern CA. I wonder who bought that piano after the show. :rolleyes: ;\)
Posted by: kluurs

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/22/09 04:47 PM

Did anyone stop by the Baldwin booth - anything you can tell us?
Posted by: Piano World

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/22/09 05:08 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by kluurs:
Did anyone stop by the Baldwin booth - anything you can tell us? [/b]
The Baldwin "booth" was in with Gibson guitars.

They had quite a few pianos on display, including a couple of the wacky designs (but also including traditional cabinets).

I couldn't get anyone's attention to ask questions. I did see one young lady (employee) dressed in jeans talking to some people about the pianos.

I keep hoping someone with official ties will jump on the forums to give us some info.
Posted by: Piano World

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/22/09 05:12 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by tanjinjack:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano World:
Here my friend Kathy demonstrates what happens when Tom L. of M&H pulls out the stick...

[/b]
How is this achieved? Hydraulic jack? [/b]
Details to follow.

They have some other interesting things in the works too. More information and pictures as they are available, likely in a few weeks.
Posted by: Piano World

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/23/09 01:26 PM

From the Kawai Dealer Reception...

Hirotaka Kawai, President Kawai, Me, Kathy (LadyFord), Naoki Mori Exec. Vice President KAWAI America



Our thanks to Hale Ryan (National Marketing and Product Development Manager North America Acoustic Division
KAWAI America) for inviting us to the reception.
Posted by: Hale KAWAI

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/23/09 02:20 PM

Frank, truly a pleasure meeting you and Kathy! I will make sure Mr. Kawai will see this on my trip to Japan late next week.
Posted by: doremi

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/23/09 07:07 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano World:
I did see one young lady (employee) dressed in jeans talking to some people about the pianos.[/b]
In the pictures, I miss the girls sitting on the pianos, talking to people about the pianos they are sitting on :rolleyes:



Edited to add cartoon
Posted by: Piano World

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/24/09 09:46 AM

An overview of our impressions from NAMM 2009

In addition to piano manufacturers continuing to introduce new models, we found there were individuals developing new ideas.

Scott "the Piano Guy" Houston has some interesting projects in the pipeline (to be announced later).

Larry Fine (author of The Piano Book) also has some interesting projects in the works.
We talked about working more closely together in the future, something I'm looking forward to.
If all goes well, we should be hearing some news from him by late spring/early summer.

We ran into Robert Estrin of Living Piano.
Robert brings the music of historic pianos alive by performing on the original instruments, often in period costumes. ( www.LivingPiano.com ).
I suggested he get to know the Fredericks of Frederick's Museum fame ( www.frederickcollection.org/ ).

We also had the pleasure of meeting a number of members, wherever we went. It was great fun to walk into a display space or even a hotel lobby and have people come up to introduce themselves as members of our forums.

My overall impression is that the industry is cautiously optimistic.

Many manufacturers indicated they were having a good show. How much that is true, and how much of it was because they knew it would end up on the forums, I don't know.

I can say we chatted candidly with many dealers, and while none of them said business was great, most were satisfied with the previous year, and looking forward to better times.

The most optimistic of them were the ones who are proactively developing business by reaching out to their communities. Of prime importance: Offering lessons, giving great service, getting involved in community activities, hosting piano forums parties (ok, I snuck the last one in).

And then there were the performers!

Including the 14 year old boy who's mother works for Gibson. He went from piano to piano, playing wonderful performances of Chopin and other classical pieces. We happened to be in the booth when he proclaimed Fazioli to be his choice.

Too bad, his mother could probably have gotten him a nice deal on a Baldwin Hummer.

We were also treated to performances by our own Indrek Laul (Pres. of Estonia), Cecil from M&H, and Craig Smith of SMC. Each with their own unique style, and each amazing pianist in their own right.

EDITED: Craig pointed out to me that Cecil has a CD available on his web site ( www.cecilramirez.com/ ) I didn't even realize Cecil had a web site (sorry Cecil).

Then of course there are all the musicians wandering the floors of the show. NAMM is one big smorgasbord of great musical experiences, and as always, more than worth the trip.

I'm hoping some other attendees post to this thread later. I'll mention it in our next newsletter.

In the meantime, our thanks to all the people who make the show possible, to all the exhibitors who provide those wonderful toys to play and hear, and to all our friends old and new for their friendship and their music.

See you all at NAMM 2010!
Posted by: Numerian

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 01/30/09 06:52 AM

This was a very enjoyable thread but I am still waiting for the photos of the Picts. Were they accompanied by any Druids?
Posted by: Piano World

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 02/12/09 07:09 PM

I mentioned the Fazioli with the 4th pedal earlier in this thread.

Just found out Keyboard Magazine has posted a video with Russian classical pianist Natalia Kartashova explaining the fourth pedal on a Fazioli...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLJqhRYk6lw

We (Kathy and I) had her Natalia play the same piece, the girl can play.
Posted by: schwammerl

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 02/12/09 09:56 PM

The 4th pedal is not something exclusive to Fazioli and in fact not all that new.

Quite a few Wendl & Lungs, e.g. 178, 218 have been equiped with a fourth pedal. Series production shoud start any time soon now:

http://www.wendl-lung.com/jart/prj3/wend...rve-mode=active

This patenetd system was developed by Denis de La Rochfordiére; enjoy his website with a few videos aswell:

http://www.harmonicpianopedal.com/index-en.php

schwammerl.
Posted by: Piano World

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 02/13/09 06:43 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by schwammerl:
The 4th pedal is not something exclusive to Fazioli and in fact not all that new.

Quite a few Wendl & Lungs, e.g. 178, 218 have been equiped with a fourth pedal. Series production shoud start any time soon now:

http://www.wendl-lung.com/jart/prj3/wend...rve-mode=active

This patenetd system was developed by Denis de La Rochfordiére; enjoy his website with a few videos aswell:

http://www.harmonicpianopedal.com/index-en.php

schwammerl. [/b]
True, 4th pedals have been around a long time.
But, this is the first time I've seen one in a grand that lifted all the hammers closer to the strings.
Posted by: CJM

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 02/14/09 05:55 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano World:
True, 4th pedals have been around a long time.
But, this is the first time I've seen one in a grand that lifted all the hammers closer to the strings.
Stuart & Sons pianos have had this feature from the beginning (1990).

http://cjmoore.blogs.exetel.com.au/index.php?/archives/9-Four-pedals-but-Ive-only-got-two-feet.html

Regards
Chris
Posted by: Piano World

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 02/14/09 08:54 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by CJM:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano World:
True, 4th pedals have been around a long time.
But, this is the first time I've seen one in a grand that lifted all the hammers closer to the strings.
Stuart & Sons pianos have had this feature from the beginning (1990).

http://cjmoore.blogs.exetel.com.au/index.php?/archives/9-Four-pedals-but-Ive-only-got-two-feet.html

Regards
Chris [/b]
Thanks Chris.

I just took their web site tour (the Flash version). Interesting pianos, very pretty.
http://www.stuartandsons.com/

Are they only available in Australia?
Do they exhibit at NAMM?
Posted by: Numerian

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 02/14/09 09:54 AM

Reading their promotional material, it appears that there are four left pedals available now.

1) The traditional una corda, which shifts all the hammers so that not all the strings are struck by the hammer, and so that the strings strike a softer part of the hammer (off the strike point). The effect is a tonal diminution as well as a subtle change in tone altogether.

2) The Fazioli fourth pedal, which is a half-blow mechanism that moves all the hammers half way closer to the strings. The effect mutes the sound so that you get tonal diminution, but since the hammers and strings are meeting in their usual place, the una corda change in tone is lacking.

3) The Stuart & Sons fourth pedal, which is also a half blow mechanism working the same way as the Fazioli fourth pedal. However, whereas the Fazioli fourth pedal is a distinct distance from the una corda, the Stuart & Sons fourth pedal is placed the same distance from the una corda as the sostenuto on the right. This allows the player to maneuver the left foot on to both the fourth and una corda pedal, so now you can create multiple qualities of tone in combination with the mute effect of the fourth pedal.

4) The Wendl & Lung fourth pedal, called the harmonic pedal. This appears to be a combination of the half-blow pedal with a sostenuto affect. In other words, you can play a chord with a half-blow tone, but hold it using the fourth pedal while playing on the rest of the keyboard without the half-blow muted affect. This allows many overtones of the chord to be subtly added to the rest of the music.

All the manufacturers emphasize that the half-blow mechanism on their grand pianos is different from the same mechanism found on some uprights. On uprights the effect seems to be to create a quiet but rather deadened tone, or as one manufacturer put it, a quiet tone that won't have the neighbors complaining. The richness of the tone disappears, but on a grand piano the richness remains.
Posted by: CJM

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 02/14/09 05:44 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano World:

Thanks Chris.

I just took their web site tour (the Flash version). Interesting pianos, very pretty.
http://www.stuartandsons.com/

Are they only available in Australia?
Do they exhibit at NAMM?
The 'prettiness' is not restricted to the veneer :-)

Stuart pianos are available world-wide, but only directly through the factory in Newcastle, north of Sydney. They don't exhibit at NAMM.

Regards
Chris
Posted by: CJM

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 02/14/09 05:59 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Numerian:
The Stuart & Sons fourth pedal, which is also a half blow mechanism working the same way as the Fazioli fourth pedal. However, whereas the Fazioli fourth pedal is a distinct distance from the una corda, the Stuart & Sons fourth pedal is placed the same distance from the una corda as the sostenuto on the right. This allows the player to maneuver the left foot on to both the fourth and una corda pedal, so now you can create multiple qualities of tone in combination with the mute effect of the fourth pedal.
This is correct and unique to the Stuart. It takes a bit of getting used to, but it is now very natural (and very effective) for me.

If you check out the video on the Fazioli, you will see that this is not possible on that piano.

Regards
Chris
Posted by: charleslang

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 02/14/09 06:01 PM

I wonder if anyone has experimented with a pedal that changes the hammer strike point line. You could make it affect only part of the line maybe, or maybe all of it (I'm thinking if you did all of it the high tenor would get disproportionately affected).
Posted by: CJM

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 02/16/09 12:42 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano World:
Fazioli has a 4 pedal grand on display. The 4th pedal actually lifts the action closer to the strings (at the same time lowering the keys to maintain balance with no lost motion).
 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano World:
Just found out Keyboard Magazine has posted a video with Russian classical pianist Natalia Kartashova explaining the fourth pedal on a Fazioli...
Listening to this again, I find it interesting that she demonstrates this pedal simply to provide a quieter sound. In fact, in the Stuart & Sons piano this is only a minor part of the whole philosophy behind the fourth pedal. Like the Fazioli, not only are the hammers moved closer to the strings but the key depth is reduced. This is not to 'maintain balance' as quoted above, but is a consequence of the fact that the distance the hammer and the key travel are vital in the production of certain harmonics which are translated into what we hear and feel as the sound’s attack and decay transients.

In the normal context of the correct regulation of the grand piano action, a reduction or narrowing of the hammer’s striking distance from what is considered the minimum distance (45mm) for so-called normal function affects the sound envelope by reducing certain harmonic developments which give the sound a particular warm or cloistered effect and removes the vertical driving projection from the sound envelope. This can be interpreted and indeed, experienced as a more lateral projection of the sound envelope. This peculiar effect can give the sense of a more distant, less aggressive sound. A similar effect can be obtained by reducing the travel of the key only. This is the reason this pedal is called the 'dolce pedal'.

It must be noted that decreasing both the striking distance and the key depth in this way by depressing the fourth pedal magnifies the combined outcome and produces a distinctive quality that cannot be achieved by finger control alone. This is the result of mechanical dynamics in a leverage system designed to convert kinetic energy into an acoustic response disregarding the nature of the playing technique employed. This is something many players do not fully appreciate, understand or like to hear as it means that there are certain mechanical limits to the artistic aspirations of the pianist. This is also a factor in the Steingraber Phoenix's combination of the two functions in the one pedal - clearly a very limited attempt to harness a very wide tonal pallette.

What the Fazioli misses by the somewhat obscure pedal placement, and Steingraeber in their 'two into one' pedal mechanism, in their approaches to a fourth pedal function is the crucial importance of independently utilising both the dolce or kinetic moderator function of the fourth pedal together with the shift or reduction in the number of strings struck function of the third pedal. These functions have significant potential to reveal a whole new sound pallette for musical interpretation and from my own and others' experience on these pianos, only those who have mastered the concept of the two pedals on the Stuart piano can have any idea of this importance and significance. Those who fully understand the function and can hear the results have been ardent supporters of this advanced addition to influence the dynamic and textural aspects of a composition. To bring together such potential for artistic sensitivity hitherto unavailable in the standard piano must surely be an advantage.

Regards
Chris
Posted by: Piano World

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 02/16/09 12:48 AM

Interesting Chris,

But why couldn't one just depress both the 4th and 3rd pedals on the Fazioli, which would then move the hammers closer and also shift the strike point?

Fazioli claims they designed their 4th pedal this way on purpose, so one could create the pianissimo effect while retaining the harmonics of all the strings (my awkward attempt at explaining it as it was explained to me).
Posted by: CJM

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 02/16/09 02:45 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano World:
Interesting Chris,

But why couldn't one just depress both the 4th and 3rd pedals on the Fazioli, which would then move the hammers closer and also shift the strike point?

Fazioli claims they designed their 4th pedal this way on purpose, so one could create the pianissimo effect while retaining the harmonics of all the strings (my awkward attempt at explaining it as it was explained to me).
If you look at the video closely, you'll see that the arrangement of the two pedals makes it virtually impossible to control both at the same time with the left foot. Why they designed it this way is beyond me.

This is not the case with the Stuart, where control of the two pedals is simply a case of rolling the ankle slightly since the pedals are right next to each other.

Regards
Chris
Posted by: Numerian

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 02/16/09 06:18 AM

I think Frank is asking why wouldn't you use your left foot on Fazioli's fourth pedal and your right foot on the third, or una corda pedal to produce the same affects you can achieve on a Stuart.

In my limited experience playing a Fazioli fourth pedal, this certainly crossed my mind, and I did find a whole other range of dynamic affects were available using two feet on each pedal at the same time.

But then you give up the use of the right foot on the damper pedal, and that is not desirable in most music.

The ideal situation is as Chris describes: right foot on the damper, and left foot simultaneously toggling the fourth and third pedals. It shouldn't be beyond the skill of most talented pianists to learn how to do this and use the two left pedals to maximum advantage. Organists, after all, have to learn foot dexterity as a fundamental part of their craft.

Unfortunately, this benefit may be consigned only to the talented amateurs who can afford a Fazioli or Stuart, and to their friends who may be fortunate enough to hear them play privately using these innovations. It would take an exceptionally brave or secure professional artist to do this publicly. Given all the other demands for perfection in piano performance, professionals would not want to jeopardize a concert's success by using a fourth pedal. I suspect there would also be a few antedeluvian purists who might complain that they could no longer compare artistic performances because the playing field was no longer level.

It's hard enough getting concert artists to break away from the security of playing a Steinway, or to get teachers from insisting that serious students should only practice on Steinways because that is all they will see in the concert world. Fazioli doesn't even offer the fourth pedal as standard equipment on its concert grands; it only comes standard on the 308 model, and even here the buyer gets two separate lyres so that they can put the fourth pedal in storage if it is just too risky or daunting for them.
Posted by: CJM

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 02/16/09 07:45 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Numerian:
I think Frank is asking why wouldn't you use your left foot on Fazioli's fourth pedal and your right foot on the third, or una corda pedal to produce the same affects you can achieve on a Stuart.
My apologies ... I missed that interpretation, and that is certainly possible, but as you say ...

 Quote:
But then you give up the use of the right foot on the damper pedal, and that is not desirable in most music.
In any piano music, IHMO. In practice, I use the right foot for the damper pedal and the left for the other three.

 Quote:
In my limited experience playing a Fazioli fourth pedal, this certainly crossed my mind, and I did find a whole other range of dynamic affects were available using two feet on each pedal at the same time.
Which is precisely what you get with the Stuart, but you can do it with only one foot... In fact Mark Gasser has been known to use all four pedals at the same time. Now that _is_ a feat...(pun intended).

 Quote:
The ideal situation is as Chris describes: right foot on the damper, and left foot simultaneously toggling the fourth and third pedals. It shouldn't be beyond the skill of most talented pianists to learn how to do this and use the two left pedals to maximum advantage.
Correct. My students don't have any trouble with this.

 Quote:
Unfortunately, this benefit may be consigned only to the talented amateurs who can afford a Fazioli or Stuart, and to their friends who may be fortunate enough to hear them play privately using these innovations. It would take an exceptionally brave or secure professional artist to do this publicly. Given all the other demands for perfection in piano performance, professionals would not want to jeopardize a concert's success by using a fourth pedal. I suspect there would also be a few antedeluvian purists who might complain that they could no longer compare artistic performances because the playing field was no longer level.
A number of pianists here in Australia, including Ian Munro, Michael Kieran Harvey, Simon Tedeschi and Mark Gasser, have recorded/concertised on the Stuart piano with great success - particularly with 20th century repertoire such as Messaien, Elliot Carter, and Carl Vine. And then of course there's Gerard Willems' monumental Beethoven cycle. I have a recording of one of these concerts which is absolutely stunning both in terms of pianism and pianistic sound.

 Quote:
It's hard enough getting concert artists to break away from the security of playing a Steinway, or to get teachers from insisting that serious students should only practice on Steinways because that is all they will see in the concert world. Fazioli doesn't even offer the fourth pedal as standard equipment on its concert grands; it only comes standard on the 308 model, and even here the buyer gets two separate lyres so that they can put the fourth pedal in storage if it is just too risky or daunting for them.
Your point is well made. Stuart & Sons don't adopt the Fazioli approach in this regard. Every Stuart piano has four pedals.

Seriously, once you get used to it you'll never go back to a three pedal piano.

Regards
Chris

PS my apologies to all for wandering off-topic.
Posted by: Numerian

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 02/16/09 08:13 AM

I've said this before but it is worth repeating.

For anyone reading this thread it is highly recommended that you access Dr. Christopher Moore's personal blog which he provides as a link in his tagline (see the post above).

Read all six pages. You'll find an intelligent and perceptive accounting of his love affair with the Stuart & Sons piano. It reflects the qualities of a pianist who embraces the enormous variety to be found in the piano repertoire, and who is eager to exploit the benefits of the many innovations Wayne Stuart has brought to the instrument.

Of course, you'll be salivating to own one of these pianos...
Posted by: CJM

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 02/16/09 05:52 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Numerian:
I've said this before but it is worth repeating.

For anyone reading this thread it is highly recommended that you access Dr. Christopher Moore's personal blog which he provides as a link in his tagline (see the post above).

Read all six pages. You'll find an intelligent and perceptive accounting of his love affair with the Stuart & Sons piano. It reflects the qualities of a pianist who embraces the enormous variety to be found in the piano repertoire, and who is eager to exploit the benefits of the many innovations Wayne Stuart has brought to the instrument.

Of course, you'll be salivating to own one of these pianos... [/b]
Thank you.

Regards
Chris
Posted by: CJM

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 02/18/09 01:19 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Numerian:
It's hard enough getting concert artists to break away from the security of playing a Steinway, or to get teachers from insisting that serious students should only practice on Steinways because that is all they will see in the concert world. Fazioli doesn't even offer the fourth pedal as standard equipment on its concert grands; it only comes standard on the 308 model, and even here the buyer gets two separate lyres so that they can put the fourth pedal in storage if it is just too risky or daunting for them.
What you are saying is consistent with my view that there is considerable evidence of a deep seated fear of change by performers and teachers at all levels and the fixation on and exploitation of that innate fear of change by the major players in the market. This is precisely why pianists, in this context, can and should be considered as practicing a dead art form. Any so-called art form where the participants are afraid of change to the extent they shun innovation has got to be fundamentally decadent. The reason why Fazioli has taken such a circuitous approach to the fourth pedal is buried in this fear. Bosendorfer covered and then coloured the subcontra octave – out of fear from the conservative reaction. Richard Dain combined the two soft pedal functions into one on the Phoenix because he felt pianists would be more comfortable with three rather than four pedals. How can any art form seriously progress given such restrictions?

 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano World:
An overview of our impressions from NAMM 2009
In addition to piano manufacturers continuing to introduce new models, we found there were individuals developing new ideas.
Frank, how much _serious_ innovation was there at NAMM? I'm discounting the Mason & Hamlin gravity-defying piano lid (that's just an amusing gimmick with no real value to the practicing musician), the Fazioli fourth pedal (because it doesn't really go far enough as we've noted in this thread), the 'prettying' of a piano by weird and wonderful finishes (or lack thereof) and 'improving' the design of some pianos because the current designs were not up to scratch in the first place.

Surely an industry facing the current economic downturn would turn to a forward thinking and innovative approach to recovery and development. From what you've shown, I can't see any evidence of this.

Regards
Chris
Posted by: Gtrist

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 02/18/09 02:15 AM

That's some cool stuff.

I'd love to go to a NAMM show, but as it's not open to the general public--I'd need a new job.

That Burl under the top of the grand back a few pages was beautiful.

One of my favorite things about NAMM though--is the oddities .
Posted by: Piano World

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 02/18/09 11:23 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by CJM:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano World:
An overview of our impressions from NAMM 2009
In addition to piano manufacturers continuing to introduce new models, we found there were individuals developing new ideas.
Frank, how much _serious_ innovation was there at NAMM? I'm discounting the Mason & Hamlin gravity-defying piano lid (that's just an amusing gimmick with no real value to the practicing musician), the Fazioli fourth pedal (because it doesn't really go far enough as we've noted in this thread), the 'prettying' of a piano by weird and wonderful finishes (or lack thereof) and 'improving' the design of some pianos because the current designs were not up to scratch in the first place.

Surely an industry facing the current economic downturn would turn to a forward thinking and innovative approach to recovery and development. From what you've shown, I can't see any evidence of this.

Regards
Chris [/b]
Chris,

There is a big difference between true "innovation" and novelty.

We are talking about an instrument that has been around for over 300 years. Most of the major innovations were made in its first 250 years.

I'm not sure changing something just because you can is reason enough. Big changes like the overstrung design, full plates, etc. are harder to come by.

While some of the "innovations" over the years were interesting, they hardly proved practical, or acceptable to the playing public at large.









Even the "4th pedals" we've been discussing may or may not survive. While there functionality is interesting, I'm guessing the average pianist wouldn't consider it a reason to purchase one piano over another.

You can bet with thousands of manufacturers (over the last 300 years), many things have been tried, and many have failed.

Changes now seem to be less dramatic

As for what "innovations" were displayed at this years NAMM show, I'm sure there were things I missed.
There were other people in attendance who have a keener eye for these things than I do.
I'm thinking of folks like Del Fandrich, Marty & Jennifer Flinn (authors of The Complete Idiots Guide to Buying a Piano), Larry Fine (author of the Piano Book), and many more.

And yet changes do continue to happen.

I'm thinking of things like the Stanwood Action, or the Wapin Bridge, or more recently the Wessell, Nickel & Gross composite action.

However, if you are talking about extreme changes, things that effect the way the instrument is played... At what point do you start to morph into an instrument that is no longer a piano in the traditional sense?

(Still, I'd like to have tried one of those Janko keyboards \:\) )
Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 02/18/09 12:33 PM

The piano is a "classic" instrument. I don't hear a clammering for innovation in the violin, sax, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, etc.

The innovation front in musical instruments is slanted to the electronic instruments like digital pianos, synths, and somewhat in electric guitars.
Posted by: Mario Bruneau

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 02/22/09 10:16 PM

Hi all,

Here is what I know about the fourth pedal on a Wendl&Lung grand piano.

It was invented by the french Denis De La Rochefordière and is know improved and applied by the other french piano designers Stephen Paulello and Claire Pichet.

When completely depressed to the flor, the Harmonic Pedal behave just like the sustain pedal, i.e. raising all the dampers from the strings. BUT if you release it half way, and keep it in this position, all the dampers are still raised but from now on, all the notes you play will have their dampers going down to the string thus killing its sound.

As you can see, it is a sort of "inverted full sostenuto pedal" I mean, the Harmonic Pedal does the exact oposite of the full sostenuto pedal.

Hope it helps!
Posted by: rachmad

Re: NAMM 2009 - Picts & Stuff - 10/31/09 04:56 AM

Originally Posted By: Numerian
Reading their promotional material, it appears that there are four left pedals available now.

Steinbraeber-Phoenix has an array of innovative features, carbon fibre soundboard, bridge agraffes (virtually zero downbearing), adjustable hitchpins and finally a double-blow softpedal. This combines the standard soft for the first part of the travel and the raising of the hammers for the remainder:
http://steingraeberpianos.com/news/phoenix.html