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Carbon Fiber Actions in M&H? #55708
06/26/08 12:29 PM
06/26/08 12:29 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,815
West Coast
Craigen Offline OP
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I overheard a conversation about a presentation at the recent PTG convention regarding carbon-fiber actions in new Mason & Hamlins. I didn't attend that seminar and wondered if anyone out there knows more. Last I heard M&H had gone away from Renner actions and parts in favor of their own proprietary label of Wessel, Nickle and Gross. They plan to supply other manufacturers with carbon-fiber action parts as well.


Piano Technician, member Piano Technicians Guild.
Piano & Music Gifts & Accessories (570)
Piano accessories and music gift items
Re: Carbon Fiber Actions in M&H? #55709
06/26/08 02:40 PM
06/26/08 02:40 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 39
Sacramento, CA, USA
Cecil Ramirez Offline
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Craigen,

The new composite action parts are a product of Wessell, Nickel, and Gross, which is a subsidiary company of Mason & Hamlin/PianoDisc. These high-performance action parts are being offered to piano rebuilders and piano manufacturers in the industry.

New Mason & Hamlin pianos still feature the current non-composite Wessell, Nickel, and Gross actions that we've been using for the last few years. We exhibit the Wessell, Nickel, and Gross composite action on Mason & Hamlin pianos at the PTG National Convention simply because that is the piano that we manufacture and it's convenient.

Cecil


Cecil Ramirez
National Sales Manager
Mason & Hamlin
Re: Carbon Fiber Actions in M&H? #55710
06/26/08 04:39 PM
06/26/08 04:39 PM
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West Coast
Craigen Offline OP
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Thank you Cecil for clearing up my misconception quickly. Sorry I missed your exhibit. I will check it out at NAMM if you are there.


Piano Technician, member Piano Technicians Guild.
Re: Carbon Fiber Actions in M&H? #55711
06/26/08 04:55 PM
06/26/08 04:55 PM
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Posts: 3,745
Vancouver B.C. Canada
Rod Verhnjak Offline
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I saw the parts at the convention.
Looks interesting. Perhaps they are onto something. I'm not sure if they are.
I checked out the M&H with the carbon parts, they seemed fine. I can't tell a difference in the performance and the tone is subjective.
They had a great booth this year and I wish them the best.


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Re: Carbon Fiber Actions in M&H? #55712
06/26/08 05:50 PM
06/26/08 05:50 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 24,411
New York City
pianoloverus Online content
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Quote
Originally posted by Cecil Ramirez:
Craigen,

The new composite action parts are a product of Wessell, Nickel, and Gross, which is a subsidiary company of Mason & Hamlin/PianoDisc. These high-performance action parts are being offered to piano rebuilders and piano manufacturers in the industry.

New Mason & Hamlin pianos still feature the current non-composite Wessell, Nickel, and Gross actions that we've been using for the last few years. We exhibit the Wessell, Nickel, and Gross composite action on Mason & Hamlin pianos at the PTG National Convention simply because that is the piano that we manufacture and it's convenient.

Cecil
So is Mason Hamlin planning to eventually use the composite action in their pianos?

Re: Carbon Fiber Actions in M&H? #55713
06/26/08 06:02 PM
06/26/08 06:02 PM
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Posts: 3,745
Vancouver B.C. Canada
Rod Verhnjak Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by pianoloverus:
Quote

Cecil
So is Mason Hamlin planning to eventually use the composite action in their pianos? [/QB]
I would think so since they want rebuilders and other manufactures to purchace their parts.
They believe they are the best so I would expect them to use them, themselves.


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Re: Carbon Fiber Actions in M&H? #55714
06/26/08 06:27 PM
06/26/08 06:27 PM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,490
CT
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CTPianotech Offline
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CT
Mason is also not immune to what happens on piano sales floors... "Oh those Masons have plastic actions! etc, etc"

There was one at the factory with a composite action. Like Rod, I don't know that I could tell the difference in how it felt. (though when it comes time to start tightening screws in winter I bet there'd be a difference...)

Mason & Hamlin will supply a piano with a composite action upon request for a dealer.


Rich Lindahl
Piano Restorations in Central CT
www.rivervalleypiano.com
Re: Carbon Fiber Actions in M&H? #55715
06/26/08 08:54 PM
06/26/08 08:54 PM
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,586
New York
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LJC Offline
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New York
Good now lets see a M&H with a carbon fiber sound board!

Re: Carbon Fiber Actions in M&H? #55716
06/26/08 10:29 PM
06/26/08 10:29 PM
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Posts: 3,546
US
sophial Offline
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I ask this question with some trepidation but I really am curious: where are these carbon fiber action parts made?
help

Sophia

Re: Carbon Fiber Actions in M&H? #55717
06/26/08 11:59 PM
06/26/08 11:59 PM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 221
cm2872 Offline
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This makes no sense to me. Why manufacture carbon fiber action parts for OTHER manufacturers to use?

If these parts are better than traditional wooden parts, wouldn't M&H want to make them proprietary - only for their pianos?

Is M&H changing their business model to also compete with Renner, etc., by being an action parts manufacturer?

confused

Re: Carbon Fiber Actions in M&H? #55718
06/27/08 01:03 AM
06/27/08 01:03 AM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,745
Vancouver B.C. Canada
Rod Verhnjak Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by colorado936:
This makes no sense to me. Why manufacture carbon fiber action parts for OTHER manufacturers to use?

If these parts are better than traditional wooden parts, wouldn't M&H want to make them proprietary - only for their pianos?

Is M&H changing their business model to also compete with Renner, etc., by being an action parts manufacturer?

confused
whome


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Re: Carbon Fiber Actions in M&H? #55719
06/27/08 06:40 AM
06/27/08 06:40 AM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,869
Massachusetts
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Roy123 Offline
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Massachusetts
Wood is a pretty poor material for piano actions in comparison to the many extraordinary synthetic materials available today. The market for expensive grands is limited, and maybe M&H sees an opportunity for additional business by selling superior action parts.

From some of the posts I've read in the Tuner-Tech area Renner may be an emperor without many clothes on. I've been told by more than one tech that Tokiwa action parts are better made than Renner parts. So perhaps the world of pianos would be open for an improvement, especially from a company like M&H. Kawai has surely opened the door.

Re: Carbon Fiber Actions in M&H? #55720
06/27/08 10:25 AM
06/27/08 10:25 AM
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Posts: 2,215
Old Hangtown California
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Gene Nelson Offline
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I do not believe that the new WNG action parts are carbon fiber - think they are nylon-glass fiber.
I did take Bruce Clark's class and think that his design of the whips is superior. They are much more than a synthetic copy of the standard wood whip and they do have some innovative aspects - same for the back checks. The hammer shanks had a bit of a stiff feel on the demo piano but it was not bad - just different - the shanks do not flex near as much as wood.
I think M&H is onto a great idea here and I have started using their parts - I think it will catch on in the future.
How many techs would have bought Kawai synthetic action parts for other than Kawai action jobs if they would have been available?


RPT
PTG Member
Re: Carbon Fiber Actions in M&H? #55721
06/27/08 12:30 PM
06/27/08 12:30 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,815
West Coast
Craigen Offline OP
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There is no question that Yamaha invoked a lot of controversy in the 1960's with their plastic jacks in uprights, then Kawai followed suit in a bigger way. Mosts techs line up on the side of modern synthetics, yet the controversy rages. It was not my goal to cast doubt on M&H, I am a real fan. I just wanted clarification on what I had heard. We got it from the horses mouth from Cecil.


Piano Technician, member Piano Technicians Guild.
Re: Carbon Fiber Actions in M&H? #55722
06/27/08 12:37 PM
06/27/08 12:37 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,983
boston north
lilylady Offline
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boston north
There were several attendees at the 2008 Mason Hamlin Factory tour who were in for a surprise presentation of this new technology for the 'after the tour have a go at several instruments set up to play until we all just pooped out affair'.

Me, being a social scatterbrain that day, did not hear the introduction of which instrument it was installed on.

Well, it turned out to be on the AA that I had not tried by the end of the afternoon. I own one, so had gravitated towards others.

Just as I was about to leave and totally overwhelmed and exhausted, someone suggest that I try 'that' piano to see what I thought.

Others were still having their 'go at it' but I did get to try a challenging piece that really lets one know the action and regulation of an instrument - Schubert's Impromptu in Gb

It was indeed an enjoyable instrument to play!

After I played, I was told 'what' I had just played. ;-)

Sidenote -

There was one attendee that did not want to give up her position at that piano. I thought for sure she was going to find a way to take it home that night, even it if meant renting a trailor!

We were told that it still needed some perfecting. I appreciate that - good, very good, great, but let's still work on it to make it better.

My type of company.


"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."
Re: Carbon Fiber Actions in M&H? #55723
06/27/08 01:21 PM
06/27/08 01:21 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 3,886
San Francisco
whippen boy Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by sophial:
I ask this question with some trepidation but I really am curious: where are these carbon fiber action parts made?
help
And does this increase, or decrease the piano's "carbon footprint"?

laugh


M&H "A" at home
Bösendorfer Imperial
Re: Carbon Fiber Actions in M&H? #55724
06/27/08 01:25 PM
06/27/08 01:25 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,051
K
kenny Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by whippen boy:
Quote
Originally posted by sophial:
I ask this question with some trepidation but I really am curious: where are these carbon fiber action parts made?
help
And does this increase, or decrease the piano's "carbon footprint"?

laugh
Nyuck Nyuck Nyuck

Re: Carbon Fiber Actions in M&H? #55725
06/27/08 02:25 PM
06/27/08 02:25 PM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,745
Vancouver B.C. Canada
Rod Verhnjak Offline
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Rod Verhnjak  Offline
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Vancouver B.C. Canada
We have a new tax coming July 1 called the carbon tax. Beware!!!!! M&H wink

We will be paying another .16 a gallon over and above our already $6.00 a gallon we are paying. frown

The Canadian government is try to slow down the use of fossil fuel. Like the current prices have not done that yet. mad

I thing some of our leaders are smokin


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Re: Carbon Fiber Actions in M&H? #55726
06/30/08 04:36 PM
06/30/08 04:36 PM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 5,531
Olympia, Washington
D
Del Offline
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Olympia, Washington
Quote
Originally posted by Gene Nelson:
I do not believe that the new WNG action parts are carbon fiber - think they are nylon-glass fiber.
I did take Bruce Clark's class and think that his design of the whips is superior. They are much more than a synthetic copy of the standard wood whip and they do have some innovative aspects - same for the back checks. The hammer shanks had a bit of a stiff feel on the demo piano but it was not bad - just different - the shanks do not flex near as much as wood.
I think M&H is onto a great idea here and I have started using their parts - I think it will catch on in the future.
How many techs would have bought Kawai synthetic action parts for other than Kawai action jobs if they would have been available?
Gene is correct; WNG parts (except for the tubular hammershank) are not carbon fiber but a filled nylon composite.

I have just received my first set of wippens, shanks and backchecks from M&H. If my experience with them measures up to my expectations this will not be my last. These are very new parts from—as I understand it—their first production runs. As such they still look a bit rough. Not bad, mind you, but I expect their detailing will improve with time and experience.

One reason why I am interested in these parts is their reduced reciprocating mass. The hammershank is both lighter and stiffer than a comparable wood part. The shank itself is a standard, tubular carbon fiber component. The overall weight of the wippen is actually about the same as its wooden counterpart but, due to its design, it has a lower reciprocating mass—all of which is perfect for the piano they will be going into. The bushings on my set are just a bit on the firm side but I expect them to respond to normal easing techniques. I also expect this will improve as the company gains experience with the technology. We’ll see. They seem to be working pretty hard to make these things work. I’m quite impressed so far with what I see.

I’m now in the process of designing a new set of action brackets for the piano they will probably be going into. This action will also be using new laminated wood rails. In all, it is shaping up to be an interesting project. Even more so now that I have a suitable action for the piano.

ddf


Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon
Re: Carbon Fiber Actions in M&H? #55727
06/30/08 06:41 PM
06/30/08 06:41 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,277
Tomball, Texas
J
John Pels Offline
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Tomball, Texas
Del, how are they bonding the bushings to the carbon fiber wippen? Composites are sometimes tricky in what will bond to what. Or, are they using the carbon fiber itself as a bushing, in which case, what sort of tool will be up to the task of reaming?
Thanks much.

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