I’ve taken on an action rebuilding project recently. The piano is a Steinway model L from the 40’s. The piano is being rebuilt by my friends and fellow PTG members Jim and Amy Tiernan of Dog House Pianos. I specialize in action work, tuning and voicing and am happy to have somebody else do the […]
A duplex scale is a length of the string, other than the speaking length, that is intended to vibrate sympathetically. That’s my definition, how they define it at the Oscar Walcker School is not known to me. There is often a rear duplex, but there can also be a front duplex, making it a triplex? The […]
Piano work can be a lonely occupation. Yes, one deals with (hopefully) a stream of customers, many of whom can be quite interesting and some of whom become friends. This connecting with individuals with whom one shares (again, hopefully) a common passion is rewarding and inspiring. But the work itself is isolated. In fact many […]
I’ve been working on building up a collection of piano tech related items on my Youtube channel. Hopefully the quality will follow a path of continuous improvement.
The soundboard is one of the most important parts of a piano. Soundboards have traditionally been made of thin planks of solid spruce, about 1/2 inch thick and the width of your hand, glued together on the edges to form a very large surface. While this traditional approach has been used throughout the history of […]
I’ve been told that I must have a good ear, usually by someone I’ve just met who has learned that I’m a piano technician, and I’ve always wondered exactly what it meant. Piano tuners do train themselves to hear components of piano tone, usually called partials or harmonics. These are pitches within pitches (the g […]
A couple of cool tools for piano technology. Richard Davenport string tools and Great hammer spacing tool from B & K. Yes, I am holding it upside down.
The Gibson Company was raided twice by agents of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, once in 2009 and again in 2010, on suspicion that Gibson had acquired ebony and other rare woods illegally. The musical instruments industry press went crazy decrying the action (apparently some agents had drawn guns!) and the laws leading to […]
I enjoyed a couple of days in Kansas City this summer at the PTG National. These annual events are a piano nerds dream, with classes, presentations and exhibits about all aspects of pianos with a focus on technology (build, repair, regulate). This was the first national convention in many years where I attended as a […]
Let’s digress for a moment and speak in gross generalizations about concepts of piano tone. I have come to the conclusion, specifically reinforced by Udo Steingraeber, that there are fundamentally 2 approaches to piano tone; high rim tension and low rim tension. (don’t bust my chops on theoretical details, remember this is gross generalization). Low […]