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MMD > Archives > December 1996 > 1996.12.24 > 12Prev  Next

Re: Australian Stewart Piano
By John A. Tuttle

I have read the articles about the Stewart piano with great interest and can't wait to hear more about this innovative instrument.

I love new ideas especially where they concern pianos. But in this case, reading Robbie's comments about the instrument generated a deeper concern. I'm no rocket scientist and I certainly don't claim to be a physicist but it seems entirely possible to me that with today's technology, an instrument sounding extremely similar to even a high class piano could be created utilizing principals that are so far removed from the norm that they actually work.

I am a bit surprised that Robbie would apparently rely entirely upon his understanding of the existing principals of piano technology to draw a conclusion on an as yet unknown piano. Personally and professionally, I would reserve judgment until after the facts are presented and then make an educated comment. (And I'm not saying that I thought Robbie's comment was uneducated. Just that it was based on existing technology and principals.)

As evidence that we work in a profession that is constantly changing, I suggest to every tuner/technician I know that they read the book, "The Educated Piano" by Ed McMorrow. The book introduces new techniques and brings new understanding to numerous aspects of piano technology. Who would have thought twenty or less years ago that big 16 lb. hammers are causing problems in the sub-bass register.

I think we have to remain very open minded when it comes to new technology and not simply judge a book by it's cover. Where would we be today if we listened to everyone who said, "That can't be done!" It's really not so inconceivable that a better mouse trap has been made. Thank God! I hate fixing split bass and high-treble bridges, and it's expensive too! Give the company a fair chance to prove themselves. I feel certain that many piano builders were initially sceptical of Joseph Chickering's over- strung scale but it significantly changed the way pianos are constructed. Maybe it's time for another BIG change. I would be thrilled to say it happened in my lifetime.

Musically, John A. Tuttle

[ You seem dismayed that I don't share your hopes of yet-to-be-discovered
[ technology, John. I'm sorry -- I'm just dubious; my opinion is based
[ upon my admittedly limited knowledge. I hope that the facts, and
[ understandable explanations, will come from the piano experts. Then
[ I can form a better-educated opinion. -- Robbie

(Message sent Tue 24 Dec 1996, 13:31:07 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Australian, Piano, Stewart

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