Climate-control action department

Problem: Action specifications such as the tightness of action centers and the dimensions of action parts vary slightly with changes in humidity. This contributed to a lack of uniformity among instruments, as well as the need for greater adjustment in the field.

Solution: Humidity control was integrated into the action department's closed-loop dust-collecting system.

Replace buckskin with Ecsaine

Problem: Buckskin, a natural suede-finished leather made from the hides of deer or sheep, was used in several places in the action where a tough, smooth material is needed, but it varied in thickness and quality from skin to skin. These variations affected critical action dimensions and made a consistent action regulation more difficult.

Solution: Buckskin has been replaced by Ecsaine, a synthetic material with the same tough, suede-like, low-friction properties as buckskin, but which is uniform from batch to batch. Shown here, covered in Ecsaine, are the hammershank knuckles. A side benefit of the change has been reduced action noise.

CNC-machined keybed

Problem: Although it appears flat to the naked eye, the keybed is actually very slightly curved to optimally fit the key frame, on which the keys move. Planing and sanding the keybed to produce this curvature was done by eye, with much variation from piano to piano. This resulted in additional adjustments in the factory and in the field to properly "bed," or fit, the key frame to the keybed, and to adjust the key height.

Solution: The keybed is now machined with CNC equipment to ensure greater uniformity from one instrument to the next. Less work is required to bed the key frame, and key height is more uniform.

Online Readers: Click here for video of keybed CNC machine in action.

Adjustable music rack

Problem: The angle of the music rack was fixed and did not suit all players.

Solution: The angle of the music rack can now be adjusted to the player's preference.