I'm writing to express to you my gratitude and my appreciation for your work. You saved my Steinway model C from being sold for firewood, and you saved me thousands of dollars in therapist bills (physical therapists, and the other kind). My story...
In 1991, I purchased the piano of my dreams -- a Steinway C that was originally build in 1887. Even before the piano was rebuilt, it seemed to possess a beautiful and powerful tone. After the rebuilding job was finished, the piano reminded me of angels singing, of waterfalls in the Canadian wilderness, of sipping an excellent cognac with Sophia Loren in a French Restaurant. A beautiful instrument indeed, but it had a tragic flaw -- the action was too damn stiff. The rebuilder (a very well known man in the field) suggested that I needed to adjust to the piano, so I simply struggled along with it for the first few months. This aggravated my old tendonitus problem (apparently, my adjusting skills were not quite up to snuff). I had the action rebuilt again by another legend of the piano technician world. Upon completion, it was still too stiff. When I informed the technician of this fact, he replied, "no. It's perfect" Heartbroken, I was ready to sell the piano. Then you entered the picture.
I had my doubts about your work because it was so revolutionary. After playing a couple of Stanwood actions, I knew that you could radically alter the way a piano responds. I describe to you what I wanted, using the typically vague and mind-boggling terminology of musicians: "I want the action to be light and responsive, but not too light." Somehow you managed to deliver EXACTLY WHAT I WANTED. My piano responds to my touch quickly and enthusiastically, yet still offers just the right amount of resistance to allow me to "dig in". The action is also completely even from top to bottom. Everyone who has played the piano(jazz and classical pianists) loves the way it feels. Because of your work, I was able to keep this beautiful instrument, to play it without physical pain, and to sip cognac with Sophia Loren.
David, I think that over the next few years your action will come to be regarded as the industry standard. You offer pianists an intelligent choice in the way their instruments function and respond.
To anyone considering a Stanwood Action, but hesitating for fear of trying something so different (as I did), I invited you to come to Brooklyn and try my piano. Put your doubts to the test -- you'll be convinced. You CAN have the instrument of your dreams!!
All the best,
Brooklyn, New York July 1995