4'11" Grand Piano
In order to create the lowest smoothest playing pianissimos and most powerful fortissimos with consistency of tone, the hammer selection is critical. A hammer, especially on a player system, must be able to endure the striking of its strings millions of times. The worlds best hammers use the world's finest virgin felt, and do not contain any chemicals, lacquers, staples or other artificial hardeners or reinforcing agents. Underfelt is used where appropriate for the proper shaping of the top felt. The hammers we use have the highest quality wool where the density and fineness of the fiber is strictly controlled , and the fine wooden moldings are consistent through out. Since we know going in that all Story and Clark pianos will be player pianos, our hammer selection is specified to meet tough commercial use standards.
Piano wire quality is largely defined by striking a balance between its tension (requiring wire of greater tensile strength or a larger diameter) and tonal quality (which requires a smaller string diameter). Its tensile strength is measured and/or commonly referred to as its breaking point/stress rate at a certain diameter. The stress rate is determined by the content of a material, its alloy properties and the quality and speed of wire drawing. Also important is that the strings complement the environment and use. So the string manufacturer that optimizes stress rate relative to string diameter will produce a consistent tone over the years. QRS specifies string manufacturers that use corrosion protection as well as have a history of market leadership in supplying and developing the finest strings.
The strings vibrating energy is converted into sound waves through the bridge of the piano and amplified by the soundboard. Spruce is used because it has a fine, straight grain, is strong and resilient and it has been known over history to faithfully reproduce the sound you want better than any other material. Technology is quickly changing though and Story and Clark continues to change with it. We utilize the new Story and Clark StoryTone II soundboard in our Heritage Series Pianos.
The bridge transmits the vibrations of the strings to the soundboard. Through the use of bridge pins and down bearing on the soundboard the energy of the string is transmitted and then converted into sound. Bridges need to be very strong to accept the pressure to maximize sound transmission and avoid splitting. Cantilevered bass allows for a greater speaking length and enhanced tone.
For the purposes of a Story & Clark Reproducing piano that are meant to be played and reproduce the most demanding performances the artist must be able to feel the music through his fingers as well as audibly. It is there so the piano can deliver the performance they are pushing for but also play it and others back the way the original artist anticipated. The material used must be strong , quiet and responsive over the extensive amount of use it gets. The keys must be weighted and balanced, the use of the finest buckskin and/or synthetics available today.
The most critical part in terms of what can go wrong in a piano. They are very expensive to repair and or replace. They hold the tuning pins witch in turn hold the string and all of the pressure required in place. Story & Clark uses a multilaminated pinblock . This type of Pinblock is denser and the most impervious to moisture, hence perform well in most climates. This is necessary for staying in tune relative to the amount of use it gets via the player piano and the environments that they are placed in. The Pinblock is 16 ply sawn winter cut rock maple laminated multi directionally to insure a tight fit and smother tuning.
Over time Sand-Cast plates manufactured with traditional techniques and virgin iron ore have been shown to deliver a much warmer tone, strength and reliability. We feel that tone is important hence we continue to use these techniques and monitor progress with others.