Tag Archives: precision touch design

college conservatory of music: fred hersch enjoys piano’s feel and response

college conservatory of music

Eric Wolfley, Stanwood Precision TouchDesign Installer and concert piano technician for University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music of Music Wrote:

Hi David,

Just wanted to let you know… Fred Hersch was here at the Conservatory last Sunday for a solo concert and he selected the 1929 D (Stanwood/Wapin) over our new (1999) NY D.

He said the new piano was better than a lot of the Ds in the basement at Steinway but the feel and response didn’t match the Stanwood action.

I don’t know how much the quality of sound is due to high strikeweights with Hamburg hammers or the “Wapin” effect (the combination definitely works), but that is the sweetest sounding piano Fred herschthat still has more than enough power to kick ass I’ve had occasion to work on.

I sat in the last row, of the 280 seat Mary Emery Recital Hall and when he was playing pianissimo the sound still filled the ears like you were wearing headphones or were standing right next to the piano.

Very nice!

I received many compliments on the piano and heard a lot of people talking about it afterward.

Nothing makes you feel better than to be riding down an elevator (anonymously) and hear people discussing not just how wonderful the music was but also how the piano was the best they had ever heard!

Thanks for all your great work and the tools you are giving us to do our best work!

Eric Wolfley

Russell Sherman plays Mason & Hamlin with a beauty of tone

Sherman2-300October 29, 2000

With great pleasure and admiration, may I report that the Mason and Hamlin piano which I have played on Martha’s Vineyard has demonstrated a remarkable range and beauty of tone.

Once again David Stanwood has worked his magic, by a process which is mysterious to me but concretely explicit in the sound of the instrument.

Yours Truly,

Russell Sherman

the piano book: the transformation stanwood gives is likely to be miraculous

the piano book

Excerpt from “The Piano Book”
By Larry Fine

Stanwood Touch Designs for the grand piano

Pianists agree that piano actions vary widely in their characteristic feel and in the way they respond.

Of course, regulation of the action and tone of the instrument have a significant effect on what the pianist experiences. But there exist more basic underlying elements in piano action design that no amount of regulation or voicing can change.

This fact is most pronounced in pianos with unusually heavy action that “play like a truck”.

Research and study of piano actions carried out by David C. Stanwood has shed a whole new light on the subject of piano action design and led to the development of Stanwood precision touch design for the grand piano action. (Stanwood Co., RFD 340, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568; (508) 693-1583).

Stanwood’s system has been known to improve even some of the finest pianos, so if your piano plays like a truck, the transformation is likely to be miraculous.

The Stanwood Touch Design System is installed in the piano by modifying the pianos action parts. It is available in a variety of stock or custom touch designs.

Each touch design is a special recipe which specifies for each note the exact proportions of hammer weight, hammer leverage, key balancing weight, and frictional resistance.

Once calibrated to these rigid specifications, the piano takes on the expected characteristic feel, with an extremely consistent response from note to note.

Touch designs are chosen based on tonal projection needs and desired characteristic feel.

The higher hammer weight designs have a firmer feel with
more powerful tonal projection, as required in concert halls.

The lighter hammer weight designs have a lighter feel and give a lower tonal projection appropriate for smaller rooms and studios.

Stanwood says the advantages of his precision touch design include reducing, or in some cases stopping, repetitive stress injury due to inordinate physical stress; increasing the value of the piano; facilitating the purchase and sale of pianos; and generally improving pianistic ability and expression.

Stanwood is currently licensing, and training technicians around the country to install his touch designs, which have received strong endorsements from concert artists and technicians.

– Larry Fine

keith jarrett : upgrades his steinway c says invention transformed his piano


“Your treatment transformed my piano… It opens the Microdynamic possibilities.”

Keith Jarrett, November 1997

Keith Jarrett, the world famous pianist, noted for his improvisations, recently had the Hamburg Steinway C c1978 in his home studio upgraded with a custom designed high performance Stanwood Precision Touch Design.

Chris Solliday, the Licensed Stanwood Touch installer from Deleware Water Gap, PA, worked with David C. Stanwood on the installation of Stanwood Touch and performed the fine voicing and regulating of Keith’s piano.

music director, national public radio says the piano responds to her touch

kimberlea daggy

Kimberlea Daggy, Music Director of WFDD Public Radio, Wake Forest University, NC.

Gave her written testimonial on the newly rebuilt Steinway D concert piano rebuilt by Foy Piano Corp, with Sound Board by John Hartman and Precision TouchDesign by Stanwood.

“Why I love your piano”

“I’ve just finished playing Chopin, Brahms and Debussy on your gorgeous piano. I really like the way the instrument responds to not only my touch, but my thought.

This action is so friendly – it seems to ask to be played.

The more I play, the more it wants to be played.

It responds to the loudest and firmest playing just as well as soft, intimate playing. I don’t have to do anything extra to have the piano sound the way I hear it in my mind.”

Kimberlea Daggy