I learned a couple of interesting things about Forster pianos during my visit. Click on each thumbnail to enlarge.
They have this cool slot cut in the inner rim that allows it to resonate somewhat separately. I’ve seen a number of Forster pianos over the years but had never noticed it, not that it is easy to notice on the completed piano. You’d have to look carefully at the very bass end where the soundboard meets the inner rim and ask yourself why there appears to be a very precise gap there.
Imagine my surprise (just imagine!) when I saw that Forster uses a variation of the solid inner rim rather than the layered or laminated construction used by most other makers. I’ve been under the impression that nobody does this except Bosendorfer! Forster uses thin “sticks” of beech, edge glued together which is different from the larger planks of solid spruce ala Bosendorfer, but it requires the same kind of vertical kerfs to be cut to allow it to follow the curved shape of the inner rim. This is the same “low rim tension” concept championed by Bosendorfer and Bluthner. Just imagine!
Forster also has a very precise way of notching the bridge. Usually the bridge pin bisects the notch; that is, the pin is half in the notch and half on the top of the bridge. Forster very precisely puts the pin completely in the notch. I did not really notice this until I was looking at my photos so I did not get a chance to ask the reason. The opposite (pin mostly on the top of the bridge) can cause buzzing problems and one would think there might be some theoretical reason to not have the pin all the way in the notch, but there it is, very precise and consistent.
I love this kind of detail!