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Agree: Ed, you always jump into threads going on and on about how great your work is, with content that has nothing to do with the subject at hand.


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As negative as this may sound, you will NEVER change the corporate mind set. They don't want things to last. In their minds that would put them out of business. They don't think idealistically (you can tell them till you're blue In the face), but rather profits now.

David Stanwood also advocated for manufacturers to adopt some of his protocols...no dice, not a one. I remember hearing him say: "manufacturers should do this, and that, and if they did this the result would be..." all beneficial to the end consumer with long term maintenance and rebuilding in mind. Not one manufacturer has listened (to my knowledge...correct me if I am wrong).

Pianos have long been designed and built with a roughly 30-40 year working lifespan in mind (manufacturers). The Stanwood approach is a micro-management of weight/friction/balance. It works, and works well. Manufacturers are not interested in this. It must be done post manufacturing, on a private level. It is hard to break long held ideas, even though they are "wrong".

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I am not convinced that any method is more or less "wrong."


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If pianists understood how negligent piano makers are, then some of them would apply pressure to them. I agree Techs applying the pressure does nothing. Pressure must come from the market.

But if we Techs banded together and promoted critical specifications for standard design features found in pianos, I believe enough buyers would go into piano stores and state that any piano they buy must meet these standards.

A few calls from dealers to factories inquiring why these standards aren't met would change the whole conversation.


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Originally Posted by P W Grey
David Stanwood also advocated for manufacturers to adopt some of his protocols...no dice, not a one. I remember hearing him say: "manufacturers should do this, and that, and if they did this the result would be..." all beneficial to the end consumer with long term maintenance and rebuilding in mind. Not one manufacturer has listened (to my knowledge...correct me if I am wrong).

Don't get me wrong, but one voodoo technician supposedly telling manufacturers something doesn't really make a case for anything.

Who were those manufacturers and what positions did the people he supposedly talked to hold at those manufacturers?

Methinks this is just another maverick full of himself without the track record of actually working in a factory, being familiar with processes in an industrial environment and proof of results that are actually available to look into from a purely scientific point of view. There's a reason why Steinway worked with Helmholtz and not with that kind of mavericks that knew it all better, including the ones that their shed-made soundboards are better than the original ones.

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Does Standwoods method shorten the lifespan of musical utility?
I want to know if my temporal life is being shortened.
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Last edited by P W Grey; 02/13/21 09:01 PM.

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"Wrong" was in quotes to signify that it is a matter of opinion. Their procedures are not wrong in themselves. They are in the business of making pianos for a market.

AFA Stanwood is concerned, the only one I personally heard him speak of was Steinway.

Del Fandrich spoke about the problem when he was in R&D at Baldwin. Often (not always though), ideas he came up with were praised but not implemented. Sales departments often override R&D departments. I don't know why...

And generally speaking they like to use processes that they themselves have developed, over someone else's...legal stuff, royalties, etc etc. Factories usually have their own good reasons for doing things the way they do. And I do respect that.

It is also possible I have taken this thread OT. Sorry.

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Originally Posted by OE1FEU
There's a reason why Steinway worked with Helmholtz...

I never knew this. Thank you for this comment and the rabbit hole I fell into afterward.
This page has a clip from the Helmholtz piano and you can clearly hear the modern Steinway tone starting to blossom.

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Originally Posted by OE1FEU
There's a reason why Steinway worked with Helmholtz and not with that kind of mavericks that knew it all better, including the ones that their shed-made soundboards are better than the original ones.

Steinway started out in his kitchen. It's a good thing for the piano industry that he wasn't too proud to start out humbly. Everybody starts somewhere. Well, at least those who've actually given something a go. wink


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Originally Posted by George Smith
Originally Posted by OE1FEU
There's a reason why Steinway worked with Helmholtz...

I never knew this. Thank you for this comment and the rabbit hole I fell into afterward.
This page has a clip from the Helmholtz piano and you can clearly hear the modern Steinway tone starting to blossom.
Thank you for posting the Hemholtz piano link. That piano SINGS in the Steinway way. Do we know if it was straight strung?


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This one is cross-strung. I am not sure whether Steinway actually built straight strung ones in concert grand size at all.

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Steinway started using cross-stringing quite some time before consulting Helmholtz. It is difficult to say whether what Helmholtz brought to Steinway resulted in any significant improvements. I think that the improvements that Steinway brought to piano design was more from experimentation than theories derived from physics, and that is probably true of all manufacturers.

I am not even certain what constitutes an improvement. Our language is so inadequate for discussing the characteristics that people use to evaluate a piano that discussion is difficult, if not impossible. Beyond that, people have different tastes.


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Originally Posted by BDB
It is difficult to say whether what Helmholtz brought to Steinway resulted in any significant improvements.

It's actually quite easy to say. Helmholtz was the one to develop the concept of passive string vibrations which led to the invention of the front and rear duplex scale.

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There is never any significant difference between the notes that have the duplex scale and the notes that do not, nothing that could be picked out in a blind test.


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There was some double blind testing of front Duplex with listeners seated in an auditorium and there was clear difference in projection of undamped front duplex treble notes. I don't recall the source to name it but it was about 20 years ago.

Helmholtz and Steinway did err in thinking that the pitch relationship between front duplex and speaking length should be whole number ratios. There are a few Steinway's from around 1872 with precisely "tuned" front duplexes and they make much "noise" when voiced for full brilliance. Later front duplex versions exhibit some degree of detuning but no reasons are to be found in the literature I have seen.

The Duplex Scale Patent of 1872 describes front and rear duplex in whole number ratios with the speaking length.

What Steinway did get correct in the 1872 patent is that the ideal string termination allows the stiff piano wire to pivot across the termination. This reduces internal damping and allows more deflection by the hammer of the shorter strings per unit of strike energy delivered. In other words it makes a short string seem more flexible to the hammer.


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Of course, even if that test was conducted properly, it was not testing what I said about duplex scales.


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Originally Posted by OE1FEU
Originally Posted by P W Grey
David Stanwood also advocated for manufacturers to adopt some of his protocols...no dice, not a one.

Don't get me wrong, but one voodoo technician supposedly telling manufacturers something doesn't really make a case for anything.

Who were those manufacturers and what positions did the people he supposedly talked to hold at those manufacturers?

Methinks this is just another maverick full of himself without the track record of actually working in a factory, being familiar with processes in an industrial environment and proof of results that are actually available to look into from a purely scientific point of view. There's a reason why Steinway worked with Helmholtz and not with that kind of mavericks that knew it all better, including the ones that their shed-made soundboards are better than the original ones.

Greeting,s
Methinks the reply indicates some ignorance about David Stanwood. Those that have familiarized themselves with his research and results, including American and European factories, are not likely to use words like voodoo or maverick to describe him or his protocols. The level of refinement he has designed is no more applicable to most piano production processes than the tolerances of a racing engine are to the family sedan, but for those of us that rebuild actions from inconsistent makers, his science is hard to beat.
Regards, .

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Originally Posted by Ed Foote
Methinks the reply indicates some ignorance about David Stanwood. Those that have familiarized themselves with his research and results, including American and European factories, are not likely to use words like voodoo or maverick to describe him or his protocols.

Enlighten me, please. Can you give any specifics about the companies, departments, persons in charge and actual changes in production, research and development involved? Has any of this ever been acknowledged, let alone published?

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