Advancing the Arts Through Science

The MAGIC of Precision Touch Design(tm) by Stanwood

In the 1990s David C. Stanwood of Stanwood Piano Innovation Inc. carried out extensive scientific studies of piano actions. Stanwood found that the former methods of measuring and creating the "feel" of pianos were inadequate, so he invented a whole new system of units and measures to explain why pianos "feel" the way they do.

It's called "The New Touch Weight Metrology" . This elegantly logical measurement system has revealed a whole undiscovered body of knowledge about how and why pianos feel the way they do and led to the development of Stanwood Precision TouchDesign(tm)

Every Piano has a Touch Design...
....What is a Touch Design?

"Touch Design" is a recipe for the feel of the pianos' touch, and consists of the measured, leverage, and friction in each key, using the new touchweight metrology.

David Stanwood's studies found that Touch Design recipes vary widely from piano to piano, and that when touch design parameters are very consistent from note to note, the response of the keys will be very consistent as well.

Stanwood also discovered that the combined levels of touch design parameters will indicate if the piano will feel too heavy, too light, or just right. In addition he found that touch design parameters will tell if a piano is producing full tonal energy.

He learned that when the touch design of one piano was reproduced in another, the "feel" of that piano is reproduced as well.

Stanwood calls this "Touchweight Cloning".



Precision Touch Design(tm) - The Highest Standard

What is a Precision Touch Design? Stanwood studied the touch designs of   many pianos and correlated the data with pianist opinions. From these studies he developed idealized touch design specifications in a variety of standard or customized design configurations which he calls "Precision TouchDesigns(tm).

Stanwood Precision Touch Designs(tm) may be used to reconfigure the touch of any grand piano thereby creating a degree of perfect touch and tone that is higher than any achieved before.

The Task Of Playing Piano Is Made Easier

Think of playing the piano as artfully dancing up and down a staircase. With Precision TouchDesign(tm), the steps are very even and the staircase is just the right steepness. Without it the steps are uneven and the stair may be too steep or too shallow, requiring more difficult technique to negotiate. 

Similarly, in a piano with Precision TouchDesign(tm) the multiple weight components such as hammer weight and lead weights in the keys are made to a highly accurate standard thereby guaranteeing smooth transitions from note to note with an ideal voicing of the tone. The action leveraging is designed to be not too heavy or too light but matched to the physique of the player.


A Brighter Future For Pianos

When asked why no one thought of this before, Stanwood replied: "All this became possible because I spent years taking, graphing, and correlating touchweight data with the aid of computer analysis.  This gave me vision for my inventions. Our piano making forefathers did not have personal computers in their shops."

Stanwood says he was inspired by Gottfried Leibnitz and Sir Isaac Newton who both invented Calculus because the existing mathematics did not give answers to problems that needed solving.

Similarly, the new touchweight metrology is spawning a whole new range of techniques for improving the feel of pianos that were unimaginable before its inception.

Letters from Stanwood Precision Touch Design clients.


Benefits Of The PrecisionTouch Design(tm) System
  • Pianos upgraded with Stanwood Precision Touch Design are highly prized.
  • Upgrading your piano with Stanwood Precision Touch Design will make you a better pianist.
  • Stanwood PrecisionTouchDesigns(tm) can help pianists who are prone to stress injury
  • Makes finding the "ideal" piano easier because now any piano can feel perfectly incredible

Miracle in a Box - a Piano Reborn
56 minute Documentary film by John Korty and narrated by John Lithgow
Featuring David Stanwood and Precision Touch Design
Introduction by Todd Oppenheimer, editor of Craftsmanship Magazine

Glen Barkman interview on

Article in Piano & Keyboard Magazine entitled:
"The Weighting Game"
*This is the best article for gaining an understanding of it all!*

Excerpt from "The Piano Book"

 Stanwood Makes Boston Globe Regional Headlines

Article in Sheet Music Magazine entitled:
"The Right Touch"

Stanwood Precision Touch Designs Featured in September 2000 KEYBOARD MAGAZINE

Trade Journal Publications by Stanwood at:
Piano Technician Journal Publications by Stanwood

Stanwood makes pilgrimage to Cuba

For more information contact
DAVID C. STANWOOD on the Island of Martha's Vineyard.
Email: Phone: (508) 693-1583 

Check the List of Licensed Precision TouchDesign(tm) Installers.


"Precision Touch Design" is a trademark of Stanwood Piano Innovations Inc.

Stanwood Piano Innovations Inc.
Box 1499, West Tisbury, MA  02575 USA
Phone (508) 693-1583