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Larry said. . .

Posted By: .rvaga*

Larry said. . . - 07/15/02 11:52 PM

Actually, Larry and other knowledgeable people have mentioned piano actions, and perhaps I haven't payed close enough attention to answer my own question. . .

There are many piano manufacturers (duh).

But, how many different action manufacturers are there?

The reason for my question is that Larry mentioned in another thread (he was quoting from the Fine book) about the Pramberger requiring more action work post-sales than might be normal. At least that's what I think Larry quoted, if my memory serves.

If different piano manufacturers use the same action (my assumption, may be wrong), then how can one brand require any more or less work over the years? A Renner is a Renner is a Renner. . .?
Posted By: lb

Re: Larry said. . . - 07/16/02 12:16 AM

Posted By: Jolly

Re: Larry said. . . - 07/16/02 01:24 AM

Kawai and Yamaha make their own actions, also. And doesn't Steinway make their own?

And someone please correct me if I am wrong, but I had heard that even Renner made five grades of actions, for applications in different manufacturer's pianos. In other words, the Renner in the Ritmuller(made by Pearl River), is not the same Renner action found in a top line German piano.
Posted By: MikeC65

Re: Larry said. . . - 07/16/02 01:42 AM

The New York grand actions are (currently) made by Steinway. The vertical actions are made by Renner. I think the German Steinways all have Renner actions.
Posted By: .rvaga*

Re: Larry said. . . - 07/16/02 02:57 AM

Interesting. . .

So, the same action manufacturer can make several grades of a piano action.

Seems we could label these "A," "AA" and of course:

"AAA" -- laugh

Just trying to tie it all together, hehehe.
Posted By: lb

Re: Larry said. . . - 07/16/02 12:27 PM

Posted By: Jolly

Re: Larry said. . . - 07/16/02 02:45 PM


I thought current Steinway verticals used Langer. Am I wrong? confused
Posted By: MikeC65

Re: Larry said. . . - 07/17/02 12:31 AM

Originally posted by Jolly:

I thought current Steinway verticals used Langer. Am I wrong? confused
The Piano Book says it's Renner. I tried a search on Google and came up empty. I will try to find out for sure.
Posted By: Samejame

Re: Larry said. . . - 07/17/02 04:13 PM

So, supposing I have something like and old Baldwin or Knabe grand, and I wanted to replace it with a new action, like Renner. How does one go about spec.'ing something like that to the action manufacturer? Is it simply a matter of sending a few measurements to eg. Renner and a new action for your piano arrives at your shop sometime later? Obviously, they don't purpose make an action for an instrument they did not originally supply, so it's not like an action is wating for you on the shelf at Renner. It's a custom job.

Can any action manufacturer give you an action for any piano?

Just curious, as a non tech. as to how that works.

Also, how much more would a custom action cost over a same grade of a standard action? IE, if Renner or whoever were supplying a standard action for a piano they originally supplied that action to, how much more would one expect to pay for a custom action of the same quality?

Posted By: .rvaga*

Re: Larry said. . . - 07/17/02 08:10 PM

I think that's a good question.

Is it possible to buy a complete action "off the rack" and have a tech regulate/voice it? Seems there could be a major cost savings, given it takes so many labor hours for a tech to go through an action, replacing pins, felts, leather, chunks of wood, voicing or replacing hammers, measuring, etc.

And, I would think a tech would love it too -- working with all new parts that are overall equal in that they are brand new throughout.
Posted By: JohnC

Re: Larry said. . . - 07/18/02 03:03 AM

Obviously, they don't purpose make an action for an instrument they did not originally supply, so it's not like an action is wating for you on the shelf at Renner. It's a custom job.
I could be mistaken so if I am somebody please correct me, but I thought I was told Renner makes action kits for lots of pianos that they were not the original supplier to. And yes, the action kits are sitting on the shelf at Renner for the most common ones.

As to an "action off the shelf" versus parts that your tech installs, well.......If you mean to include the whole key frame you would obviously be adding unneccessary costs there. Additionally, someone at Renner or whoever, would still have to do all the labor of assembling the "action off the rack" so you are going to pay for that one way or another. It would seem to me that you/we are better off having people like Renner make all the parts geometry specific for the piano and letting your tech/rebuilder do the exact assembly and installation specific to your piano.

Another point I failed to previously mention is that the action must be removed and replaced in the piano numerous times while the tech fine tunes all the measurements on the parts. That would not be possible with an "off the rack" action.

All in all, I don't think an "off the rack" action would be an efficient or cost effective way to buy or sell them.

But....maybe I'm wrong? eek
Posted By: .rvaga*

Re: Larry said. . . - 07/18/02 08:28 AM

I suppose mass production may not be feasible, since there would not be enough demand. And, perhaps technicians would not like such a scenario, as they make their living by using their expertise over many hours of careful, painstaking work.

I can't help but compare to the "old days" of having a car engine rebuilt. It was (still is done this way by some) a lengthy process, as each component had to be evaluated, measured, replaced if necessary, and then of course the whole had to be tuned to run.

Nowadays, you can buy a short or long-block, from the factory, replace the engine without the "overhaul" of years ago. Costs less, all new parts, much less labor involved, usually a better result.

But, it's supply and demand I suppose, at least in part. smile
Posted By: Samejame

Re: Larry said. . . - 07/18/02 04:47 PM

To add to my original question, would another option be for a rebuilder to remove the action from a piano, ship it to Renner et al, and say, "I want one of these, please." and they would build it?

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