~ Perfect Touch for your Grand Piano ~


Stanwood Adjustable Leverage Action "SALA"
Registered US Patent

My name is David Stanwood and my colleagues and I would like to tell you about my new invention for pianos, the "Stanwood Adjustable Leverage Action," also known by the acronym SALA.  

We feel that it is an extremely powerful, expansive, magical tool to enable pianists to "customize" the touch and tone of the instrument "on the fly," even during performance.

Historically the key leverage point, which determines in large part the "feel," the resistance or plangency of the action, is built in and part of the immutable structure of the piano. "The touch is the touch."  "That's just the way the piano is..."

Piano builders and restoration experts know that changing the leverage point of a piano keyboard can be a powerful tool in producing pianos that feel lighter or heavier to the touch. Changing leverage points requires redesigning and restructuring the entire piano action-a time-consuming and expensive job, which produces another static touch. Lighter or heavier, perhaps, but immutable.

The Stanwood Adjustable Leverage Action changes all that.  Elegant in design, complex in execution, and simple in function, SALA allows the pianist to simultaneously move the entire key leverage point of the keyboard by simply turning two knobs set into the key frame.  These control knobs, one at the bass end and one at the treble end, are revealed by lifting up the key slip.



".. an idea that might someday become the norm. Bravo!” Leon Fleisher 

Turning the knobs moves a completely customized, proprietarily-fabricated rail under the keys, attached to which are sliding pivots, which move back and forth under each key.  Using SALA, the pianist actually alters the key balance point, the leverage point, of the entire action, which immediately and profoundly changes the relationship between the piano and the pianist.

Turning the knob to the right moves the leverage point of the keys towards the player.  Turning to the left moves them back.  A half turn produces a noticeable change to the action/tone.  A range of 5 full turns is possible, producing an astonishingly wide range of change.

Turning both knobs equally in or out produces equal change across the keyboard.  Turning them unequally makes for a "slanted" effect, allowing different feels for the left and right hand.

An indicator gauge on either side of the key frame allows the pianist to see at what position the leverage point is and allows for returning settings to  the preferred or default position.


The normal function of the piano is not interfered with in any way. Regulation settings are automatically maintained throughout all the ranges. This gives the player a visceral sense of security, coupled with a quick and magical change in the voice and feel of the instrument.

Artists who have experimented with the SALA have reported experiencing a "delicious paradox:" feeling a reliable and unchanging platform (stable regulation specs: key travel, aftertouch, letoff and drop) on which exciting and lightning-fast changes (in "resistance," "heaviness," "lightness,"tone and timbre") are taking place.

In the long history of the instrument, pianists have always had to "take what they get," to not only make do, but to make inspiring art on an often less-than-inspiring or not-appropriate-for-the-program piano. SALA changes all that by offering multiple piano tones and touches within one instrument-available at the turn of a knob.

We have a dozen working SALA devices across the U.S., and are in talks with both noted and famous rebuilding shops and the premier piano stores around the country and the globe to help us bring this revolutionary tool to the concert stage, the recording studio, the piano teacher's studio, and the player's home.


Frederick Hodges Tests SALA CLICK TO VIEW

Every single good piano player who has sat down and taken a SALA test drive has uttered the same one-word response:


Hear and see for yourself what a radically powerful tool for creativity and expression the SALA can be. Contact us any time for more info and the nearest SALA location.

"A fascinating application of an idea that might someday be the norm"
Leon Fleisher

"Wow...it's dramatic (the change)....David, what can I say?  Brilliant..."
Michael Spreeman, creator of Ravenscroft Pianos

"I think this is truly significant."
Ted Sambell, (Glen Gould's collaborator and piano technician)

"Makes one able to feel multiple pianos, multiple levels of volume and touch... Magnificent." Matthew Pearson

"Piano history isn't over. You're writing the next chapter: SALA!  Thanks!"
Laurence Libin, Curator Emeritus, Metropolitan Museum of Art - Keyboard Collection

Stanwood Piano Innovations Inc.
Box 1499, West Tisbury, MA  02575 USA
Phone (508) 693-1583 | FAX(508) 629-0056