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1915 Baldwin Model ST Grand Piano

Subject: Soundboard Installation with Refinished Cabinet & New Piano Action

Piano: 1915 Baldwin Model ST Grand Piano 5'6"

Owner(s) Mr. & Mrs. Mark Walton

Seminole, Florida


Parts & Process:

Custom Soundboard Install W/ Recapped Bridges

Pinblock with Mapes Gold Treble Wire and Custom Bass strings

New Damper Felt, Tokiwa Action Parts

Vintage Ronsen Weickert Felt Piano Hammers

High Performance Weigh-Off

Custom Voicing Protocol


December 7th, 2013


I want to thank you so much for the outstanding refurbishing job on my grand piano. It looks and sounds great! I love playing it. Everything you did was perfect. The detail work is exceptional. The 1915 piano probably looks and sounds as good, if not better, than it did 100 years ago!

As you know, the piano's history as a special meaning. I just wish my mother was alive to see it now.

I really appreciate your taking such good care of my family treasure.

Thanks again,



1915 Wm. Knabe Grand Piano

Subject: Soundboard installation with Refinished Cabinet & New Piano Action

Piano: 1915 Knabe Grand Piano 5'2"

Owner(s): Dr. and Mrs. David Ciesla

Tampa, Florida


Parts & Process:

Custom Soundboard Install W/ Recapped Bridges

Pinblock with Mapes Gold Treble Wire & Custom Bass Strings

New Damper Felt, Tokiwa Action Parts

Vintage Ronsen Weickert Felt Piano Hammers

High Performance Weigh-Off

Custom Voicing Protocol


October 7th, 2011

Dear Starr,

Our rebuilt baby grand is spectacular. Your care, precision and craftsmanship are obvious throughout. It is a focal piece in our home and the joy we feel when our children play is immense.

Your patience as we shared the history and sentiment attached to our 1915 Wm. Knabe was commendable. Your honesty as to its value and commitment to restore was the deciding factor to choose YOU to complete the rebuild. Your attention to detail and commitment to near perfection is evident down to the tiniest detail. The sound is beautiful as it resonates through our home. The final result far exceeded our expectations - our piano is stunning.

Similiarly, your professionalism and customer service is exceptional. Your follow through and promptness are so appreciated as was your diligence to complete the rebuild with subsequent fine tuning.

Starr, we offer you the most sincere and strongest of references. You are an expert in your field.

With such gratitude,

Mrs. Alexis Ciesla


1926 Steinway Model B

Subject: Soundboard Installation & Action Work For Local Piano Technician

Piano: 1926 Steinway Model B 6' 10 1/2"

Owner: Mr. Bob Horton


Parts & Process:

Custom Soundboard Install W/Recapped Bridges

Pinblock with Mapes Gold wire and Custom Arledge Bass Strings

New Damper Felt, Abel Action Parts, Regulation

High Performance Weigh-Off


April 2009


Bob Horton RPT
430 Timber Lane
Palm Harbor FL 34683

(727) 784-7361

Starr Taylor
Re: Thanks for your excellent work on my Steinway

Dear Starr,

I just wanted to write and say thanks for your excellent work on rebuilding my 1926 “B”. The transformation is amazing. We actually have a performance piano again that sings and feels great. I appreciate your attention to detail and tenacity at keeping on schedule to meet our deadline. It was a pleasure working with you. I was totally confident in your knowledge and skill. I learned a lot regarding moisture content control for the soundboard, variable rib designs and the high performance weigh-off of the action. I am also very happy with the bass strings from Arledge Bass Strings. Keep up the good work.

Musically Yours,

Bob Horton RPT
Registered Piano Technician
Piano Technicians Guild Inc.



1972 Steinway Model B

Subject: Piano Action Rebuild

Piano: 1972 Steinway Model B 6' 10 1/2"

Owner: Mr. Stephen Kline

Sarasota, Florida


Parts & Process:

Ronsen Weickert Hammers, Abel Shanks & Flanges

New Repetition Springs, Regulation, Key Bushings

High Performance Weigh-off

1st Level voicing.


August 7th 2009

Hi Starr,

It's been a week since you were here and I feel I should provide you with some feedback on the work you've done.

There's a lot that's easy to say. The action is responsive in a way that it has never been. I have better control of the sound and color on the piano than I've ever had. The weigh-off has equalized the key pressure requirements that make playing it more predictable and controllable. I like that very much. The adjustments you made on the dip have helped as well. There is a uniformity now that was missing before - and I didn't know it. So, all that has improved the piano very much.

To be honest, I don't yet know how to evaluate the new hammers. That is not to disparage that work in anyway. It's just that that I don't fully understand what effect the changes are having on me. The piano is moving around a good bit, as you know it would. I"m betting that when it settles down, it will be splendid. The hammers are developing at different rates, so the voicing is now becoming uneven, but nothing serious. I've been playing with the lid at 1/4 stick. I used to play with the lid down because I couldn't stand the sound. I played chamber music on Saturday after you were here and again on Tuesday, both with string players. They both liked the sound of the piano and neither complained because the lid was up. I can now use the soft pedal to add color or make a timbre change, rather than to reduce the volume of sound. That is a huge improvement. And, I can control the sound down to pianissimo without undue effort.

All in all, I'm very happy with the piano. As it and I continue to square off, we will come to know each other intimately and discover how to play each other!

I look forward to seeing you on the 27th.

Best regards,



Additional Letter from Mr. Steve Kline:

November 3, 2009

Hi Starr,

I have news.

On October 16th my friends Leander Bien and his wife arrived for a visit. He is a professional pianist in Washington, DC and has been both my teacher and friend for more than a dozen years. He has a singular ability to play well on almost any kind of instrument, regardless of condition. As a parting gift to me when we left Washington in 2005, he and his wife (a violinist with the NSO) played a recital at my house on this Steinway. Needless to say, it was a very touching moment for me. The only hitch in the works was that he found the piano to be unsatisfactory, saying that he found it unresponsive and hard to control. Nevertheless, it was a fine recital and no one but he and I ever discussed the shortcomings of the piano.

So, notwithstanding my own satisfaction with the "new" piano, it was a with some trepidation that I introduced him to it. After playing for a bit, he summed it up nicely by saying that it was a completely different instrument, easy to play, perfectly regulated, and concert-hall-ready. Aside from anything he had to say, it was perfectly evident by the sound of it that the piano is now transformed.

I am playing daily now, sometimes for extended periods, so it will not be long before I ask you to come back and tune and tinker. Thank you for your fine workmanship and for your friendship!

Steve Kline


1986 Yamaha GH-1

Subject: Piano Action Rebuild

Piano: 1986 Yamaha GH-1 5' 3"

Owner: Mrs. Paula Coggins, Piano Teacher

Land O Lakes, Florida


Parts & Process

Ronsen Weickert Hammers W/Existing Shanks

Regulation, High Performance Weigh-off

1st & 2nd Level Voicing


September 26th, 2009

Dear Starr,

Thank you so much for your fine work in the replacement of my piano hammers. After 23 years of use, my Yamaha sounded so brassy and loud.There is such a beautiful difference with the new ones that I often leave the lid completely open - something I could not do before. Since you also made the hammers heavier, the resistance in the touch is better for both me and my students. I thank the Lord for your God-given talent, hard work and friendly manner. It was a pleasure to learn new things about the complexity of sound and the piano.This was a worthwhile investment. You will be highly recommended to my friends and students.

Sincerely yours,

Paula Coggins

P.S. I almost forgot to thank you for getting that buzz out of my B note - you're a great piano surgeon!

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