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Shigeru and Mason Thoughts #2890942
09/16/19 11:16 AM
09/16/19 11:16 AM
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 7
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Mr.Motown Offline OP
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Hi Everyone,

I'm currently in the market for a piano and wanted to get some general thoughts and opinions. I recently had the opportunity to play a Shigeru Kawai SK-3 which I really really liked. I'm also planning on visiting a dealer soon to check out first hand Mason and Hamlin. I'm specifically looking to play the model AA. What are your general thoughts on the two in terms of tone, touch, quality? Which would you choose and why?

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Re: Shigeru and Mason Thoughts [Re: Mr.Motown] #2890948
09/16/19 11:40 AM
09/16/19 11:40 AM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 52
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D959 Online content
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I've always much preferred the tone of the Mason. Shigeru Kawais (and Kawais in general) feel strange to me. The action is very mechanical (to me) and the tone is very bright, which can be a good or bad thing, depending on your preferred sound. The Mason on the other hand, feels like a natural extension of the body. The tone is much more mellow and has less of a "zing" to it, if you will. One thing about the Masons though is that the voicing in the bass is very important. I've played on some that were voiced beautifully and had a wonderful, clear bass. Others sound muddy and gross. Keep this in mind when testing them.
As for quality, both are extremely well-built and will last many lifetimes, if cared for. However, Mason and Hamlin uses hard maple wood for their frames, while Kawai uses spruce. Some people swear that spruce is a good wood for structural builds, but as someone who has done much woodworking and is the son of a professional carpenter, I can say with 100% certainty that when compared to hardwoods like maple, the spruce is inferior in terms of longevity. It's just a soft wood. That said, it probably won't make much difference in longevity unless you plan on hitting it with things. I just get some sort of absurd pleasure from knowing my piano is built like a tank with hardwoods.

Ultimately though, both are very high quality pianos and either one would be an excellent choice. It's just going to come down to your preferred sound. Let us know what you think after you try the Mason!

Re: Shigeru and Mason Thoughts [Re: Mr.Motown] #2890949
09/16/19 11:40 AM
09/16/19 11:40 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 25,797
New York City
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Both are very good and similarly priced instruments so it will be mostly personal preference about touch, tone, and appearance.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 09/16/19 11:43 AM.
Re: Shigeru and Mason Thoughts [Re: D959] #2890953
09/16/19 11:49 AM
09/16/19 11:49 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 25,797
New York City
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Originally Posted by D959
I
As for quality, both are extremely well-built and will last many lifetimes, if cared for. However, Mason and Hamlin uses hard maple wood for their frames, while Kawai uses spruce. Some people swear that spruce is a good wood for structural builds, but as someone who has done much woodworking and is the son of a professional carpenter, I can say with 100% certainty that when compared to hardwoods like maple, the spruce is inferior in terms of longevity.

According to a recent edition of the Piano Buyer, Shigeru uses rock maple and mahogany for its rims.

Re: Shigeru and Mason Thoughts [Re: Mr.Motown] #2890964
09/16/19 12:37 PM
09/16/19 12:37 PM
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In the end, it will be which piano you think is better, not what anyone else thinks.


Semipro Tech
Re: Shigeru and Mason Thoughts [Re: BDB] #2891030
09/16/19 03:47 PM
09/16/19 03:47 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 3,009
In the Ozarks of Missouri
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Originally Posted by BDB
In the end, it will be which piano you think is better, not what anyone else thinks.


Exactly! It is which piano you prefer the most.


[Linked Image]
Re: Shigeru and Mason Thoughts [Re: pianoloverus] #2891236
09/17/19 08:57 AM
09/17/19 08:57 AM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 52
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D959 Online content
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by D959
I
As for quality, both are extremely well-built and will last many lifetimes, if cared for. However, Mason and Hamlin uses hard maple wood for their frames, while Kawai uses spruce. Some people swear that spruce is a good wood for structural builds, but as someone who has done much woodworking and is the son of a professional carpenter, I can say with 100% certainty that when compared to hardwoods like maple, the spruce is inferior in terms of longevity.

According to a recent edition of the Piano Buyer, Shigeru uses rock maple and mahogany for its rims.


I did not hear about this. Thanks!

Re: Shigeru and Mason Thoughts [Re: D959] #2891307
09/17/19 11:59 AM
09/17/19 11:59 AM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,470
Urbandale, Iowa
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Steve Chandler Online content
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Originally Posted by D959
I've always much preferred the tone of the Mason. Shigeru Kawais (and Kawais in general) feel strange to me. The action is very mechanical (to me) and the tone is very bright, which can be a good or bad thing, depending on your preferred sound. The Mason on the other hand, feels like a natural extension of the body. The tone is much more mellow and has less of a "zing" to it, if you will. One thing about the Masons though is that the voicing in the bass is very important. I've played on some that were voiced beautifully and had a wonderful, clear bass. Others sound muddy and gross. Keep this in mind when testing them.
As for quality, both are extremely well-built and will last many lifetimes, if cared for. However, Mason and Hamlin uses hard maple wood for their frames, while Kawai uses spruce. Some people swear that spruce is a good wood for structural builds, but as someone who has done much woodworking and is the son of a professional carpenter, I can say with 100% certainty that when compared to hardwoods like maple, the spruce is inferior in terms of longevity. It's just a soft wood. That said, it probably won't make much difference in longevity unless you plan on hitting it with things. I just get some sort of absurd pleasure from knowing my piano is built like a tank with hardwoods.

Ultimately though, both are very high quality pianos and either one would be an excellent choice. It's just going to come down to your preferred sound. Let us know what you think after you try the Mason!

My opinion of the Shigeru is completely different from yours. To my ear they are most definitely NOT bright and the action has always been one of the most controllable of any piano I've played. Having said that I've also enjoyed the new Masons I've played. Frankly, both are wonderful instruments and ultimately the choice comes down to touch and tone (and looks). Your comment about spruce in the frame of the Shigeru is absolutely wrong, but even if it were correct Bosendorfer uses spruce for the bodies of their pianos (the intent being to extend the soundboard) so you could hardly call that a design flaw. But Kawai's intent is to have a rigid frame and body so that sound transmission is the job of the sound board alone.

Last edited by Steve Chandler; 09/17/19 12:02 PM.
Re: Shigeru and Mason Thoughts [Re: Mr.Motown] #2891368
09/17/19 02:18 PM
09/17/19 02:18 PM
Joined: Jun 2017
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I think that after you've played both pianos, you should find you have a pretty distinct preference. They are quite different instruments. Both quality pianos, though.

Re: Shigeru and Mason Thoughts [Re: Steve Chandler] #2891605
09/18/19 09:19 AM
09/18/19 09:19 AM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 52
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D959 Online content
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Originally Posted by Steve Chandler
Originally Posted by D959
I've always much preferred the tone of the Mason. Shigeru Kawais (and Kawais in general) feel strange to me. The action is very mechanical (to me) and the tone is very bright, which can be a good or bad thing, depending on your preferred sound. The Mason on the other hand, feels like a natural extension of the body. The tone is much more mellow and has less of a "zing" to it, if you will. One thing about the Masons though is that the voicing in the bass is very important. I've played on some that were voiced beautifully and had a wonderful, clear bass. Others sound muddy and gross. Keep this in mind when testing them.
As for quality, both are extremely well-built and will last many lifetimes, if cared for. However, Mason and Hamlin uses hard maple wood for their frames, while Kawai uses spruce. Some people swear that spruce is a good wood for structural builds, but as someone who has done much woodworking and is the son of a professional carpenter, I can say with 100% certainty that when compared to hardwoods like maple, the spruce is inferior in terms of longevity. It's just a soft wood. That said, it probably won't make much difference in longevity unless you plan on hitting it with things. I just get some sort of absurd pleasure from knowing my piano is built like a tank with hardwoods.

Ultimately though, both are very high quality pianos and either one would be an excellent choice. It's just going to come down to your preferred sound. Let us know what you think after you try the Mason!

My opinion of the Shigeru is completely different from yours. To my ear they are most definitely NOT bright and the action has always been one of the most controllable of any piano I've played. Having said that I've also enjoyed the new Masons I've played. Frankly, both are wonderful instruments and ultimately the choice comes down to touch and tone (and looks). Your comment about spruce in the frame of the Shigeru is absolutely wrong, but even if it were correct Bosendorfer uses spruce for the bodies of their pianos (the intent being to extend the soundboard) so you could hardly call that a design flaw. But Kawai's intent is to have a rigid frame and body so that sound transmission is the job of the sound board alone.


I'm actually right, according to the Kawai website. They use spruce for the beams and use a hybrid spruce and hardwood combination for the frame. That said, you are correct about the Bosendorfers using spruce. Also, if you read my entire comment you'd see that I didn't believe it makes much of a difference.

https://www.kawai-global.com/product/sk-3/

Re: Shigeru and Mason Thoughts [Re: D959] #2891617
09/18/19 09:44 AM
09/18/19 09:44 AM
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Posts: 25,797
New York City
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Originally Posted by D959
I'm actually right, according to the Kawai website. They use spruce for the beams and use a hybrid spruce and hardwood combination for the frame.
For Shigeru or regular Kawai?

Re: Shigeru and Mason Thoughts [Re: Mr.Motown] #2891639
09/18/19 10:57 AM
09/18/19 10:57 AM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 5,018
Georgia, USA
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From their site:

"The exclusive Konsei Katagi rim uses a blend of distinctive hardwoods to achieve an ideal balance of tone. For the inner rim, small-pored hardwoods that provide superior brightness and projection are interlaminated with dense, large-pored hardwoods offering warmth and fullness. This synergy of structurally divergent hardwoods produces a powerful, well-rounded richness of tone that is the hallmark of the Shigeru piano."

regarding the beams:

"Spruce is known for its outstanding ability to conduct and conserve sound energy. However, it is generally considered too precious for use as a structural material. For the Shigeru pianos, all of the underside beams are made entirely of the highest quality spruce."

What does M&H make their beams out of, D959? I'm not asking about the rims.


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: Shigeru and Mason Thoughts [Re: terminaldegree] #2891663
09/18/19 12:12 PM
09/18/19 12:12 PM
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Posts: 41
Maine
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During the factory tour a few years ago M&H were using poplar for the beams.

Re: Shigeru and Mason Thoughts [Re: Mr.Motown] #2891724
09/18/19 02:51 PM
09/18/19 02:51 PM
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Posts: 356
CA
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Bringing up beam material is an interesting point in this thread. It's true the final sound quality of a piano supersedes the issue of choices of quality of it's components. But it's also true that the choices of the quality of material components are a good insight into cost savings the manufacturer took in construction. You can argue that poplar beams, soundboards with irregular, widely spaced growth rings, fiberboard lids and even assembly line construction doesn't condemn a piano to inferior sound, but the combination of these and other cost saving factors certainly makes it harder to achieve the highest levels of sound quality.





Last edited by Sanfrancisco; 09/18/19 02:53 PM.
Re: Shigeru and Mason Thoughts [Re: Mr.Motown] #2892102
09/19/19 06:35 PM
09/19/19 06:35 PM
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Usa
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Grandman Offline
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Well, both pianos are quite different and excellent in their own way. The SK uses cold pressed hammers, which are quite soft, so I don't find them to be bright at all. I am told the MH currently uses Abel selects or naturals. Voicing is the key with these hammers. With a good tech, the MH can be outstanding pianos. Love them both. A PW member, Wolfgangmeister, posts often on his journey with his MH. In my opinion, it is one of the finest pianos available, as is the SK.


One bit of misinformation that is often heard on PW is that the SK is simply a Kawai GX with better quality parts. There is a lot more to it than just that. Here is an old post by a PW member (Almaviva) that details the differences between the pianos, including the rim material (hard rock maple and matoa) as explained by Kawai Don:

#2350403 - 11/14/14 10:31 PM Re: KAWAI EX VS SHIGERU KAWAI SK-EX [Re: AnimistFvR]

Almaviva
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Loc: Richmond, Virginia "KawaiDon", the Director of U.S. Field Services for Kawai, sent me an e-mail explaining the differences between the Kawai GX and the Shigeru Kawai lines.

Here is the gist of what he sent me:

"Thanks for writing back to me. Here are the differences I am aware of. By the way, many of these also apply to the Boston grands, which are made at the same level as the GX in terms of production processes and many materials.



- Shigeru string tension is lower than the GX models.

- Shigeru soundboard wood is much higher grade spruce, aged 5 years or more before final stabilizing in the kilns. Production models are not naturally seasoned before the drying kilns.

- Shigeru soundboard ribs and bridges are attached in hand-operated soundboard presses, not by machine.

- Shigeru soundboard is hand tapered for the best tone possible from each board. Production models are cut to spec by machine.

- Shigeru bridges are hand planed and notched for more precise string pressure (called string bearing) on the soundboard (Production models are machine cut)

- Shigeru iron plates are supported on adjustable studs for fine adjustment of the plate height as needed later in life. Production are not.

- Shigeru inner rims are now being made from hard maple and hard matoa woods, GX are beech and callophylum (an Asian open pore hardwood).

- Shigeru outer rim inner facing is birds-eye maple, fully finished and polished. Production models use open pore makore.

- Shigeru beams are hand fitted to each inner rim individually for a very tight fit, production beams are cut to spec and installed.

- Shigeru hammer shanks are individually shaved for precise flexibility, matching the mass of the hammers for optimum power and easy or playing.

GX are just standard shanks.

- Shigeru hammers are cold pressed in hand operated presses, and made with higher grade wool. These provide a much wider tonal palette than the production pianos.

- Shigeru actions are individually weighted by experienced technicians after the action is installed and regulated, production pianos are weighted by machine testing early in the production process making them less even in touch.

- Shigeru damper system functions differently than production pianos, giving a much more sensitive � pedaling control.

- Shigeru bass strings are made by hand-feeding the copper wrap for ideal wrap tension, GX pianos use computer controlled string wrapping.

- Shigeru pianos have the actions hand fitted to each piano and receive multiple days of individual regulation, voicing and tuning with extra settling processes as compared to the production pianos. This work is done by the most experienced concert technicians at Kawai (our MPAs, similar in experience to the technicians at other company�s concert and artist departments), as opposed to standard production technicians having just a few hours of final preparation in the factory.



There are other differences that are cosmetic in nature, of course. And I may be forgetting some things . . .but I believe this is fairly complete.



One of the advantages that we do have is that some aspects of the piano�s construction can be done in an efficient way, along with the production pianos. For example, we do use our computer controlled finish spraying equipment for the Shigeru and production pianos. The Shigeru is merely programmed for a thicker coating. Also, the strings are installed in the standard production line area, and the pianos receive the same seasoning steps and initial tensioning of the strings along with the production pianos. These do lower our production costs slightly as compared to companies that are only set up for low volume. This is one of the very intelligent factors that Mr. Kawai used in planning the factory layout � the hand-work area is off to the side of the main production are of our factory, so it is easy to move the pianos into the production area for some work, and back into the hand-work area for the hand production steps.



Finally, the differences between who makes the pianos is also important to consider. While a few steps in the process are carried out alongside the production instruments, the important ones are all done in the hand work area by our most experienced craftspeople - and this contributes tremendously to the final results. The attention to detail in all of the fine points of the piano construction cannot easily be seen, but definitely contribute to the sound and feel of these pianos."

I hope you find this useful.






Last edited by Grandman; 09/19/19 06:38 PM.
Re: Shigeru and Mason Thoughts [Re: Grandman] #2892411
09/20/19 04:39 PM
09/20/19 04:39 PM
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 248
CT
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Thank you Grandman,

This was a very informative post and I learned a lot about how Shigeru Kawai differs from the GX series and why many Shigeru's that I've heard or played have such a beautiful singing tone!

Regarding "cold"-pressed hammers vs. "warm"-pressed hammers vs. hot-pressed hammers, there is a lot of marketing around these terms... and as a pianist I have been eagerly trying to understand what goes into a skilled rebuilder's hammer selection for a given make's scale design (or more precisely) design characteristics, since I had experienced a pretty successful update of my 37 year old Yamaha C3 redone with Abel Natural hammers and WN&G CF shanks and composite flanges. Grandman is correct in that newer Mason & Hamlin's that utilize the WN&G CF action, also use either Abel Select or Natural hammers... the latter of which Abel markets as "cold"-pressed. There was an excellent PianoWorld thread some eight years ago where our good friends Keith Kerman, Rich Galassini, Steve Jackson, BDB, Larry Buck and especially Del Fandrich contributed as to what were the defining characteristics of a "cold"-pressed hammer and the impact that "hot"-pressing has on a hammer... Also part of this thread was an excellent discussion of the practical limits of voicing down 'too hard', or voicing up 'too soft' hammers. I hope those interested find the following thread educational...

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/1617016/cold_press_hammers.html

P.S. Thought I also might share that a good friend of mine recently purchased a beautiful 32 year old Bosendorfer 200, that is currently having new Renner Blue Point Weickerts hammers installed, along with new Renner flanges and Renner hammer shanks, by our good friend RPT Boaz Kirschenbaum. This selection was done after evaluating the unique action geometry of this instrument, trial hanging of six or more different types of felt (including OEM Bosendorfer Renner spec) and evaluating the sound of each first before selecting these fine hammers for her instrument. Looking forward to playing it when it is finished!


Jason Solomonides
Mason & Hamlin 7' BB 93623
Yamaha 6'1" C3 (w/WNG) D3010008
My Piano Recordings:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7aJcfJZZvg&list=PLkP65I5BsNirTcv-nAHm4BXXsCbB_EbAJ
Mason & Hamlin Artist
Re: Shigeru and Mason Thoughts [Re: Mr.Motown] #2892420
09/20/19 05:25 PM
09/20/19 05:25 PM
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 248
CT
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Mr.Motown - Great question.

Relative to your original post, there is not one right answer. Every person has a different ideal of what they are looking for. Almost all Shigeru Kawai's I've heard or played have a very well balanced tone from bass to soprano and "sing" beautifully! They also use a very advanced Millennium III ABS-carbon action that is well regarded in the industry. Almost all Shigeru owners I've talked to love their instruments. Mason & Hamlin pianos, such as the Model AA, are representative of a more "American" scale design sound, with a high degree of overtones; my own 2013 M&H Model BB has a deep and beautiful tenor/alto section, a melodic and ringing soprano, and large and powerful growling bass. The touch of my own BB's equally advanced WN&G carbon-fiber/composite action is quick and precise with excellent control of dynamics from pianissimo to fortissimo. This partly due to an excellent action design, but also partly due to the work of a great technician, skilled in the application of David Stanwood's Precision Touch Design (PTD) protocol. Anyway, I selected my piano amongst three BB's at the factory in Haverhill, MA in 2015. Although similar, this particular instrument had the best ring time, a very balance tone and bloom, and was the one that best matched my piano ideal and playing style. I am still drawn to practice and play on it each and every day. In the end of the day, that's what matters. Good luck in your search!


Jason Solomonides
Mason & Hamlin 7' BB 93623
Yamaha 6'1" C3 (w/WNG) D3010008
My Piano Recordings:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7aJcfJZZvg&list=PLkP65I5BsNirTcv-nAHm4BXXsCbB_EbAJ
Mason & Hamlin Artist
Re: Shigeru and Mason Thoughts [Re: Mr.Motown] #2892421
09/20/19 05:32 PM
09/20/19 05:32 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 761
San Mateo, CA
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Of course, I'm biased. I think it is safe to say that Shigerus are in a different league, most pianists agree. The new Mason and Hamlins are not the same pianos made 20 years ago.


San Mateo Piano
Kawai Piano Dealer San Francisco Bay Area
www.sanmateopiano.com
Re: Shigeru and Mason Thoughts [Re: Mr.Motown] #2892445
09/20/19 06:53 PM
09/20/19 06:53 PM
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MHs are excellent world class pianos when prepped at the hands of a skilled technician. Thank you Wolfgangmeister for all the wonderful insight you always provide in sharing your ongoing journey with your MH BB. Your contributions are valuable for all of us who love MH pianos. I have learned much from your posts and insights. Please continue sharing with all of us.

To add further to my post above, Wolfganmeister mentioned "Stanwoodizing" his MH action. SK does something similar. Kawaidon shared some insight into the refinement and weighing that goes into the prepping of the SK action in this post that I think some might find interesting and again goes beyond the standard production pianos (I've also attached a link to the entire thread for those interested in further reading below):

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CC2, it is not likely you would accept any answer I would give. To clarify my reply, please consider the specifics of my original message again. You stated no manufacturer evaluates the touch to the same degree as done in the Stanwood system, and I took exception to this statement. I explained why I disagreed, and I asked you for evidence to back your statement. Your subsequent effort to not answer my question simply was a deflection of the discussion away - I asked you for proof, and you declined to give it. Then you accuse me of avoiding the issue! You made a badly exaggerated claim which cannot be supported, and you should retract it and admit that you don't really know if it was correct.

Now, next time you have a Shigeru Kawai 6, 7, or EX piano in front of you (or, if it is a newer one, even the smaller models), pull the action, lift the hammers up, and look at the bottom of the hammer shanks. You will see a hand-written number there, near the knuckle. That number represents something which is beyond what Mr. Stanwood and his proponents do in their actions - it is a degree of refinement not even touched upon in the Stanwood system. It is another step beyond.

As for weighing each component, I believe I stated that there is no need to weigh every part of every action when they are already consistent by design. Weighing the hammers IS done in the hand made Kawai and Shigeru pianos, and has been for years - long before David Stanwood started proposing this to technicians. Weighing individual wippens in a composite action is not needed - they are already within a fraction of a gram in mass from one to the next. The leverages within these actions is also very well known and very well controlled in the design and manufacturing process. When knuckles are made accurately and fastened into the shanks precisely, and capstans are located where the designer intended them, one does not need to measure all of the ratios on a piano in the factory. So the refinement and precision of the action is already there, without the need for the process of measurement in every part of every piano. But the manufacturer knows and understands the importance of these factors, and builds them into the piano.

Besides Kawai, I have also observed similar attention to detail in the actions of Fazioli pianos, and I have had discussions regarding their action refinement techniques with their consulting technicians. I have not visited their factory to observe this first hand, so cannot state positively what steps they take. But this is a second manufacturer who meets the requirement in terms of degrees of refinement.

If one evaluated the actions of some of the other very high-end pianos, one would find the same consistency and precision. But this is based only on my observation of their actions when servicing them, and the consistency and sensitivity of the touch when playing on them. I would group these kinds of actions into the category of "no need for Stanwood unless you want them made to play different."

Some manufacturers have understood for a very long time the importance of individual mass within components. They know what the mass curve should be in a set of hammers, and do pay attention to these kinds of details. It would not make sense when building a new piano to use the exact procedures that are outlined in Stanwood's system, because the manufacturer will have their own procedures for achieving equivalent results. And besides, if anyone used his exact methods, David would probably try to collect royalties . . . :-)

CC2, stating superiority over all piano makers was arrogant, and shows that you are not aware of what the state of the art in piano design and manufacturing is today. This kind of writing takes away from the validity of everything you write.

For the record, I will say that the Stanwood system of analysis and modification / refinement of piano actions remains an excellent process developed by an extremely intelligent person. When implemented properly by a skilled technician on those pianos which will benefit from the refinement, and for those clients who seek the changes in touch that can be provided by it, it is highly recommendable. Mr. Stanwood is not the first, nor the only, person in the piano business to every make these kinds of analyses. He is the first person I know of to work them out separately from a manufacturer, and to develop a way to apply action design concepts to modify any grand piano action.

For those who might seek an extension of this discussion, arguing semantics or superiority of details, I will have to respectfully decline in advance."

Link to thread: http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/173683/stanwood-precision-touch.html

Last edited by Grandman; 09/20/19 07:00 PM.
Re: Shigeru and Mason Thoughts [Re: Kurtmen] #2892453
09/20/19 07:41 PM
09/20/19 07:41 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 935
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DanS Offline
500 Post Club Member
DanS  Offline
500 Post Club Member
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Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 935
Originally Posted by Kurtmen
Of course, I'm biased. I think it is safe to say that Shigerus are in a different league, most pianists agree. The new Mason and Hamlins are not the same pianos made 20 years ago.


I would agree that Shigerus and MH are in different leagues, but not in the same way you mean it. I've played several Shigerus recently and have been quite underwhelmed. The couple of new MH's I've played over the last couple of years have all been fantastic, especially the BBs. I don't think the SK7 comes close.

But to each their own! I'm sure the OP will find an instrument to his liking.

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