It has been some months since I last wrote, but spurred on by a customer last week who said they liked my blog I thought I’d have another go. The picture here shows part of a Kawai upright piano action. On their older instruments the plastic parts used to be wood coloured. Now they make a feature of them, they’re black, but not just to make them stand out, but because they’re carbon fibre. The great thing about CF is that it’s lightweight, rigid, strong and not prone to warping, shrinking or swelling like conventional wooden parts. I read an article the other day about a whole piano that had been made from carbon fibre. There are good reasons for using this material. A CF soundboard won’t crack or lose its downbearing. A low friction climate resistant cf/composite felt-less action won’t suffer from the troubles humidity can cause to wood and felt. The CF piano (still at the experimental stage) weighs in at about a third the weight of a conventional piano. Still fairly hefty then, but not as costly to move and therefore more possible to take with you to a gig in a van. And it does sound like a piano.
So, for the piano, the future’s bright, but the future’s also… well, black!