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Blog from PTG-KC

Posted By: KawaiDon

Blog from PTG-KC - 06/21/07 01:14 PM

This is a new topic for reports from the Kansas City PTG.

I've met a few 'Piano Worlders' here (Rod, Bill Bremmer, and Bob to name a few). Overall attendance at the convention is quite high! There were about 60 in my voicing class yesterday - and Bob even won a little door prize. whome

Kawai is sponsoring a concert on Friday night, with Ory Shihor performing Beethoven on the Shigeru Kawai EX. Should be great!
Posted By: Dave Stahl

Re: Blog from PTG-KC - 06/21/07 01:41 PM

Don,

I'm not there, though I should be...have a great time, say hi to Paul and Mark.

Did Bob get the string lifter or the flange spacer?
Posted By: R Barber

Re: Blog from PTG-KC - 06/21/07 06:16 PM

Hi Don, Dave!
Its my second day here in Kansas City- I took tuning exam prep course all day yesterday: that was great! Hands on experience and demonstrations of the PACE temperament was the best part. The day was a process of discovery that I can actually count beats per second.
This morning I took Veneer Repair with David Snyder- also great great class- overflowing with students.

The exhibit hall is nice- I like the way Pianotek and Schaff are layed out with people walking thru a little store-like area instead of fighting to see a table like feeding cattle. I'm just surprised they don't have security cameras.

I actually got to tune a piano in the hall again for $$. I went in with my ETD yesterday at 7am, tuning it quickly in about 45 minutes so I could make my class on time. Of course, I overheard one of the other manufacturers setting up his display tell his colleague "now there's a lazy tuner". I pretended not to hear, and didn't bother to look who it was. Thanks for that, guys.
I thought the tuning was great, one of my best- so did the client.

My favorite instrument here is the restored Chickering with the glossy black plate, and original damper heads.

My new tools- hammer shank bending iron, Fujan lever.

I have a half hour until the next period- Id like to go learn about grand dampers for the rest of the day.

What is that wierd dissonant music coming from upstairs? I heard some great Rachmaninoff a minute ago?
Posted By: paukenspieler

Re: Blog from PTG-KC - 06/21/07 07:20 PM

If anyone gets a chance, there are two pianos that I would enjoy hearing reactions about.

One is a Fandrich & Sons 126V, a Klima-based 50" vertical. I almost bought its "twin brother" last month but instead chose the Wilh. Steinberg IQ22 with the Fandrich Vertical Action. To me, the modified IQ22 had a warmer/richer tone which I thought would be most appealing over the long run, but the 126V was awfully nice (sometimes they call it a 125V, fwiw).

The other is a Feurich F123, also with a Fandrich Vertical action. I'm not sure whether this instrument is being displayed by Fandrich & Sons or by the Feurich importer. It was sitting next to my IQ22 the last time I played it at Fandrich's shop. The Feurich wasn't yet playable, because its action was in the process of being retrofitted with the Fandrich parts. At about twice the price of my IQ22, I am very curious to know what it sounds like!

paukenspieler
Posted By: Keith Roberts

Re: Blog from PTG-KC - 06/22/07 02:53 AM

Hey Don, I'm not surpised you had so many for your class. You present a great class. Well put together and relaxed. I think the first class I took from you was at the Reno national in '01 and I make it a point to get to your classes when I can be at a convention. I've attended 3 or 4 of your classes. Those lucky guys that can be there... f
Posted By: Bob

Re: Blog from PTG-KC - 06/22/07 03:26 AM

Thanks to Don for a great class! My door prize was the "hammer spanker"..... a huge voicing paddle. Can't wait use it! The Shigeru pianos are absolutely incredible. Looking forward to the concert.
Posted By: Bob

Re: Blog from PTG-KC - 06/22/07 03:27 AM

Double post
Posted By: R Barber

Re: Blog from PTG-KC - 06/22/07 11:00 PM

Timpani-player:
I tried the new Feurich 122 they have here. Very warm, dark bass, and gets progressively brighter in the treble. It was very well voiced. The retail quote for the 122 was $31,000. Either way, you've got a piano with the repeating, turbo-charged action- the dynamic range possible with this vertical action surpasses anything else, IMHO.
Posted By: Rod Verhnjak

Re: Blog from PTG-KC - 06/22/07 11:03 PM

Gary,

Heather says hi. She is siting here as I type this. We are good friends.
The Feurich sounds and plays amazingly good. And they have sold it today to a client that came here today from Minneapolis specially to see this piano. The Fandrichs are quite pleased to have sold the first one to the first client that had a chance to play it.
Mr. Julius Feurich was present at this time of purchase and signed the piano.
Posted By: Rod Verhnjak

Re: Blog from PTG-KC - 06/22/07 11:06 PM

Posted By: R Barber

Re: Blog from PTG-KC - 06/22/07 11:10 PM

Thats great that it sold- it was still being offered when I played it this morning, I was even told it may be had for a little less because it was the first! To edit the post- click on the pencil and paper icon in the dateline at the top of the post.
Posted By: paukenspieler

Re: Blog from PTG-KC - 06/23/07 12:13 AM

Rod and Richard,

Wow, thanks for the report! I look forward to playing the other Feurich sometime after Heather and Darrell return from the convention. I haven't played any other German pianos besides my IQ22, and am curious about the tonal similarities and differences. Mine has a rather unique sound to my ear, and not much like the descriptions others have made of the W. Steinberg verticals. But then, Darrell changed the hammers and voiced it to his preference, so it's no surprise. Also, the tone has evolved during its first month of play. I'm anxious to discover where it ends up.

Of course, Heather knows exactly who I am! I registered as "paukenspieler" while I was in the shopping process so I could feel free to discuss pianos on the forum without dealers knowing who I was, but I no longer have any concern about anonymity. I still like the screen name, though, because I am certainly more of a timpanist than a pianist. But that's why I bought a piano--to give me a chance to develop my skills. A nice piano makes it so much more enjoyable!

Gary Dahl ("paukenspieler")
Assistant Conductor
Personnel Manager
Principal Timpanist
Bremerton Symphony Orchestra
http://www.bremertonsymphony.org
Posted By: BDB

Re: Blog from PTG-KC - 06/23/07 12:33 AM

Quote
How do you edit a post?
Click on the little paper and pencil.
Posted By: Rod Verhnjak

Re: Blog from PTG-KC - 06/23/07 04:57 AM

Thanks guys for the edit info. I could have used this feature many times but never knew how.

Gary, I hope you didn't mind me using your first name. Heather mentioned it and it was fast to type.
Posted By: KawaiDon

Re: Blog from PTG-KC - 06/23/07 12:22 PM

Hello all,

It's Saturday morning and I finally have a little free time to write again, and hopefully to actually see the exhibit hall!

I was able to play a little on the Ravenscroft piano yesterday, and it was interesting - very European, reminded me somewhat of a Fazioli in tone, strong and rather bright.

I played the Steinway D before and after Eric Shandall prepped it for their concert (Gryphon Trio - very nice), and enjoyed hearing Eric's excellent work. The piano was so even and nicely voiced afterwards.

The Kawai concert was a great success last night, with Ory Shihor playing 2 Beethoven sonatas for us (the Op.2 #2, and the Appassionata). That banquet hall was huge! It was the largest that the PTG has ever had, I think, but the piano carried very well all the way to the back.

During the banquet there was a brief performance by Edwin Good on the Cristofori piano replica. The replica was very, very nicely made, and is a very sweet little piano very carefully replicating Cristofori's original - the one in Rome, which I think (?) was made in the 1720s.

Unfortunately I missed the PTG Auxilliary scholarship recital, in which 2 young pianists from Iowa performed. I heard great things about their playing, though.
Posted By: paukenspieler

Re: Blog from PTG-KC - 06/23/07 03:18 PM

Quote
Originally posted by Rod Verhnjak:
Gary, I hope you didn't mind me using your first name. Heather mentioned it and it was fast to type.
Rod,

Of course I don't mind...it was a fun way to receive Heather's greeting through you, and my wife commented "It's a small world, isn't it?"

I took the opportunity to look at your web site. The shop photos are great! And I noticed Heather in one of them, looking over an 1898 nine-foot Steinway. Was that picture taken in Fandrich's shop?

I hope to meet you sometime, either in Stanwood or at your shop.

Gary
"paukenspieler"
Posted By: R Barber

Re: Blog from PTG-KC - 06/23/07 03:27 PM

Don, that was a great concert last night- bravo on the EX Kawai! I assume you did the tuning and prep?

--
A few other classes I took deserve kudos: David Anderson's "Open String Whole Tone Tuning": Wow! I've been wanting to see this class for a while, after reading all the back-n-forth on pianotech. David is a great coach for relaxing, allowing you to physically reach the top of your game. Most of the class was a demonstration of his temperment setting, using a single felt wedge, tuning unisons as you go, great hand-outs. A lot of focus on hearing unisons, consistent P4s, and not so much beat counting as in the PACE temperment.

Jack Wyatt's "Turbo-charging the Vertical Action": Mr. Wyatt was this year's Golden Hammer recipient. The class started off with a lot of humor and anecdotes, I was really wondering what is going on in here? Quickly after that he dove into the material, which was enlightening: we analyzed four antique-ish vertical actions that were significant for their quantum leaps toward a repeating vertical action. We all learned an extremely valuable technique that allows vertical actions repeat by adjustments only, performable within a service call. He also detailed the difference between the propaganda-ish "What they say" and the scientific/mechanical facts. They being the manufacturers (Not Kawai, btw Don)- which I quickly confirmed by walking into the exhibit hall and striking up some conversations with their representatives.

Walt Connell's "Epoxy bridgecap repair"- very excellent.

3 more classes before returning to California!
Posted By: Rod Verhnjak

Re: Blog from PTG-KC - 06/23/07 08:52 PM

Gary,

The picture of Heather leaning over the Steinway is there shop in Stanwood. The pictures of the work being done are from my shop. They hired me to install the soundboard, bridges pinblock and refinish the plate. They recommend me often for this type of work.

If you ever in my area please give me a call. I would enjoy showing you around. I'm 5 minutues from the border and one hour from the Fandrichs
Posted By: RoyP

Re: Blog from PTG-KC - 06/24/07 02:19 AM

Hi guys. It's good to hear all of the reports, and I wish I could be there. I am at the Interlochen Arts Camp in northern Michigan now, which isn't so bad a place to be. Kawai puts alot of pianos up here for the summer. It is over 100. Thanks to Don and Kawai for all the pianos they provide. It really is nice for the kids to have good pianos to play on.
Posted By: Bob

Re: Blog from PTG-KC - 06/24/07 03:24 AM

The PTG Chorus did a great job and was followed by a big band reception where I met Cy Shuster. Nice to meet you, Cy!
Posted By: KawaiDon

Re: Blog from PTG-KC - 06/25/07 04:17 AM

Yes, the chorus sounded great! Unfortunately I was too tired to stay up for the Yamaha reception last night. I crashed into bed and had a good long sleep, then got up and flew home this morning.

Another great PTG convention finished. I'm taking a couple of days off now.
Posted By: Cy Shuster, RPT

Re: Blog from PTG-KC - 06/25/07 04:51 AM

Don, the EX sounded great, even in that huge hall. And thanks again for making space for Jurgen at your booth.

The Cristofori replica was amazingly harpsichord-like! It was a very good reminder of how far we've come.

Jack Wyatt has left us a great legacy by preserving and/or creating action models of past designs. It was great to see them at PTG headquarters.

I got to spend some great tutoring time with Bill Bremmer, the first time I've met him in person, as well as catch up with friends. And it was great to meet Bob from this list, too.

--Cy--
Posted By: Rod Verhnjak

Re: Blog from PTG-KC - 06/25/07 05:14 PM

Cy,

I tried to find you a few times with no success. Hope to meet you in California next year.
Posted By: Mark Purney

Re: Blog from PTG-KC - 06/25/07 05:42 PM

What a great convention. Got to meet Cy (congrats on your reclassification). I got very little sleep the whole time, staying up until 3AM talking to other techs and taking turns playing and admiring some of the pianos on the 3rd floor. I also got the crazy idea on Wednesday night to take the written exam the next morning so I stayed up most of the night reading my Reblitz book to cram for it. I'm still exhausted from the trip, but it was worth it.

As for that strange dissonant "music" coming from upstairs, there was someone banging harshly on the art case Fazioli. I don't believe this person knew how to play piano, or had any concept of how horrible it is to pound on any piano, let alone a piano with a price well into the 6-figures. Another technician came up with a brilliant idea to get him to stop, which was to start asking him questions about his playing. We then discovered that his ability to communicate verbally was rather impaired, so I'm not sure what the story was with him, or why he was there.
Posted By: Bill Bremmer RPT

Re: Blog from PTG-KC - 06/25/07 09:16 PM

Thanks for mentioning my name, Don. The Shigeru Kawai that you provided for the exam room I worked in was truly a delight to work with. It gave me what I needed to produce the best Master Tuning I have ever presided over to date, especially with two other long tenured CTE's on the committee.

The two people I examined also did extremely well, with some of the highest scores I have ever seen. Of course, they had studied and practiced very well. They were both quite active on this forum and the PTG ExamPrep List. Both scored well above what is required to train as examiners themselves. I heard the cleanest, purest unisons I have ever heard anywhere from both of them. Both of their temperaments were flawless as well.
Posted By: KawaiDon

Re: Blog from PTG-KC - 06/28/07 04:17 AM

Quote
Originally posted by Mark Purney:
(snip) As for that strange dissonant "music" coming from upstairs, there was someone banging harshly on the art case Fazioli. I don't believe this person knew how to play piano, or had any concept of how horrible it is to pound on any piano, let alone a piano with a price well into the 6-figures. Another technician came up with a brilliant idea to get him to stop, which was to start asking him questions about his playing. We then discovered that his ability to communicate verbally was rather impaired, so I'm not sure what the story was with him, or why he was there.
Oh man, that guy was really getting to me. He seemed to take great pleasure in whacking out those "cluster" chords. Even our pianist Ory Shihor heard him and screwed up his face and asked, "what is that?" I told him it must be the waves breaking around that "yacht" Fazioli design. ;-)

When I tried to talk to the fellow, I sort of felt bad for him and I decided that he was really getting a lot of enjoyment trying to play the nice pianos. Maybe they were the best he had every seen, so he had a few days of joy to remember.

Then again, he may tune in concert halls! Let's hope his tuning is a little, well, cleaner sounding than his playing. eek
Posted By: Supply

Re: Blog from PTG-KC - 06/28/07 08:02 PM

I think I have just about recovered from the Convention by now - lots of burning the candle at both ends going on there...
Thanks again to Don Mannino and Kawai America for forfeiting some of their exhibit space so that I could squeeze into the exhibit hall with my own booth.

They say what goes around comes around, but no one expected Don's good deed to come around again so quickly - at the banquet, all exhibitor's names are entered into a draw for a free booth space at next year's convention in Anaheim. The free booth space was won by Kawai America. I was very gratified to see this, no one deserved it more.
Posted By: KawaiDon

Re: Blog from PTG-KC - 06/29/07 04:16 AM

Jurgen,

Yes, that was a surprise to win the free booth - I may just be able to use that! I see the booth partially as a means of supporting the PTG, though, so getting a free one creates a little conflict as to how to best use it.

I also appreciate that really nice capstan tool you gave me - I used it today, and really like it! Very nice.
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