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Joined: Apr 2018
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At long last I've installed the Touchrail and made an installation and review video. Spoiler alert: the Touchrail rocks.

Here's the video. If anyone has questions about it, feel free to ask!

Ps: thanks to MarkL for turning me onto that Keith Jarrett interview about the effect of breakaway friction on a piano action, and PW Grey for his experience with the product. This made me brave enough to give it a try!


Last edited by Emery Wang; 01/25/21 05:29 AM.

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Nice video Emery, I was wondering if you'd had the time to try one. Its very tempting.


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Highly interesting! Nice advice at 4:00.


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I know almost nothing about this device except what I learned in your video, but my first thoughts are:

1. Haven't most pianists' techniques been developed to deal with the kind of friction and initial effort needed to start the key moving that are present in pianos without the the touchrail?

2. If this is device is so good why don't the top piano makers use it on their pianos? I'm not aware of other top pianists besides Jarrett who have installed this on their pianos. Are there many others and, if not, why?

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Very well made video, Emery. Thanks for introducing me to the TouchRail.

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Thanks for producing and posting this excellent exposition. Great job.


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Thanks everyone. As for pianolover's questions, yes, pianists obviously do fine without this device. Further, not everyone desires a light touch. This may be why action balancing protocols like Stanwood and Fandrich-Rhodes Weightbench are not widely incorporated by manufacturers, even though implementation should be relatively cheap and easy at the manufacturing phase. The existence of magnetic actions, however, may indicate that there is some market desire for a product like the Touchrail. But, maybe there are not enough customers asking for this, and for the vast majority of people, normal piano actions are "good enough." I would also guess that most piano players don't know a piano's touch can be altered, and if they did, won't spend the money to do so.

I've also read on PW that some pianists prefer that initial "bite" the static friction gives. Some of my pianist friends specifically want heavy actions.

I think this is a niche product that caters to a small segment of pianists who are seeking a lighter action than they're finding on most grand pianos, and for them, this is an inexpensive and reversible solution.


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Excellent video, Emery! You are indeed a man of many talents! smile

The Pitclock Touchrail is interesting, but not something I'd be interested in, at this point in time, anyway.

You should make more videos, because they are so well done and interesting, and your charisma shines forth, as does that of your kids!

Rick


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Thanks Rick. I am up to 22 YouTube subscribers now so destiny is definitely calling...


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Originally Posted by MarkL
Nice video Emery, I was wondering if you'd had the time to try one. Its very tempting.
I think it would work great on an M3 action Mark, but WNG capstans and cut punchings may get you there.


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Good video! What is the effect of fully tightening down the screws. Do the keys start to dip?
Ian


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Great info, thanks, I was not aware of this product. Two questions:

1) Did you speak with you technician before going this route and if so, what did they say?

2) Where did you get it and how much did you pay for it, given that http://pitchlock.com/touch-rail/ is 404 error?

I subscribed, so now you're at 33. Only a few millions to go and you can make a living off YouTube :-)

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Emery,

Nice work! I'm glad you did it. I laughed hysterically at your dry humor about cutting the fallboard. I can only IMAGINE......😆

I have had two installed now for well over three years and there does not appear to be any deterioration in it's effect. I have another coming up soon.

AND my absolute favorite music playing in the background!

👍👍

Peter Grey Piano Doctor

Last edited by P W Grey; 01/25/21 11:43 AM.

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Originally Posted by Emery Wang
Originally Posted by MarkL
Nice video Emery, I was wondering if you'd had the time to try one. Its very tempting.
I think it would work great on an M3 action Mark, but WNG capstans and cut punchings may get you there.
I would have to mail you my fall board to make the cut, it would be like cutting my arm off.


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Originally Posted by Beemer
Good video! What is the effect of fully tightening down the screws. Do the keys start to dip?
Ian

Thanks. Going down too far with the screws will cause the keysticks to hit the bottom of the washers. You could install without washers, but there will come a point when the aluminum Touchrail bottoms out against the top of the keysticks. I'd say you want the normal 1/8" or so gap between the bottom of the rail and your keysticks, like you had with the keystop rail.


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Originally Posted by Del Vento
2) Where did you get it and how much did you pay for it, given that http://pitchlock.com/touch-rail/ is 404 error?
If you go to the Home Page it says he closed his online store but you can still order by email.


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Originally Posted by Del Vento
Great info, thanks, I was not aware of this product. Two questions:

1) Did you speak with you technician before going this route and if so, what did they say?

2) Where did you get it and how much did you pay for it, given that http://pitchlock.com/touch-rail/ is 404 error?

I subscribed, so now you're at 33. Only a few millions to go and you can make a living off YouTube :-)

Hi Del Vento. Didn't talk to a tech, except Peter Grey via PW forum. I figured the risk was small: if it doesn't work, take it off and put your keystop rail back on. Would be like it never happened.

I got it from Pitchlock. Try pitchlock.com, that URL should work. Email or call Scott Jones at Pitchlock, I think he makes each one himself. Cost was less than $400 with shipping.


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Emery,

That was an excellent video - very well produced. And, loved your playing too!!

Osho


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Very interesting and nicely done video! And omg the advice 😂😂😂

I'm probably one of the people who prefers the initial static friction and a slightly heavier action. I think I like having a little "meat" in the touch.

By the way, noticed that you are also in Portland!


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Yes twocats, as is Osho above you. We should do a Portland PW meet up one of these days. If anyone else is nearby, give a shout out. Hopefully it will be safe to venture out just as the spring flowers go into full bloom.


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