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Phone: 813.234.1141

E-mail: Starr Taylor:

 

saint.piano@verizon.net

1973 Steinway Model B Grand Piano

Subject: Action Rebuild: New Steinway Shanks & Weickert Hammers

 

Piano 1973 Steinway Model B Grand Piano 6' 10 1/2"

 

Owner: Mr. Rick M

 

Land O Lakes, FL

 

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Parts & Process:

 

Install new Steinway Shanks & Weickert Piano Hammers

 

High Performance Weigh-Off

 

Custom Voicing Protocol

 

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What A Difference! (via email) August 28th, 2019

 

Starr,

 

Nit picky stuff first - the top section is way too bright but of course that was to be expected.  I'll keep playing it so hopefully it is ready to voice when you come back.

Now the good stuff - this action work and new hammers brought about a complete transformation of the instrument.  Even better, it bought a joy of playing that I feared might never return.  Over the years I had settled into a smaller and smaller repertoire as things seemed to get more difficult to play.  Last year I learned 1 piece and 3 hymns for a church service, but it was a huge struggle and took weeks.  I just figured I'm old now and that's the way it's going to be.  But playing today, the action got out of the way and I was able to breeze through pieces that I haven't done in 20 years. Suddenly the instrument was expressive and there was music where before there was just a series of notes.  Music is so much easier to play when it comes out like it sounds in your head!  So I cannot thank you enough for all the work and care that you put into the piano.  For the sound, for the mechanics, and most of all for the fun.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Rick

 

1982 Steinway Model B Grand Piano

Subject: Soundboard Installation & New Hammers and Shanks

 

Piano 1982 Steinway Model B Grand Piano 6' 10 1/2"

 

Owner Mr. David Sutherland

 

Monrovia, Maryland

 

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Parts & Process:

Custom Soundboard Install W/ Recapped Bridges

Pinblock with Mapes Gold Treble Wire and Custom Bass strings

New Steinway Damper Felt & Steinway Action Parts

Vintage Ronsen Weickert Felt Piano Hammers

High Performance Weigh-Off

Custom Voicing Protocol

 

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9-16-19

Starr,

I can’t tell you how much better my piano is now that you have completely rebuilt it.  It is now, in my opinion, the best model B on planet earth.  When I purchased it used (a 1982 model) a few years back, I thought it was a solid piano only to realize after about a month that it had some major flaws.  Most prominent among its flaws was a very annoying lack of sustain with E5, an issue that was nearly impossible to work around.  Ultimately over time, the problem with E5 became something that I was simply unwilling to live with.   It’s noteworthy to mention that a parade of 5 different well-respected area technicians attempted to remedy the problem with E5 over a two year period with no positive results.   The jury was out…. REBUILD WAS THE ONLY OPTION! 

Now that the total re-build is complete, the annoying problem with E5 has been 100% remedied.  But in addition to that I now have a piano that is 10 times more responsive than before and with a much more robust and stable bottom end.  As you are aware, I play mostly Chopin.  Chopin loves slurs.  With this new rebuild the ability to slur notes is more effortless and expressive than any piano I have ever played.  Anybody can make a ‘fast’ action but how many can you say are ‘expressive’?  Finally, are the amazing Ronsen hammers.  If there ever was a hammer that was compatible with my ears, these are it.  They sound amazing!  Mellow as a sleeping cat when you need them to be but also powerful without being overbearing. 

Thanks again for your excellent workmanship and great communication.  I look forward to enjoying this piano for many many years to come.

David Sutherland

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1970 Yamaha Model G1 Grand Piano

Subject: Refinish Soundboard, Restring with New Hammers & Shanks

 

Piano: 1970 Yamaha Model G1 Grand Piano

 

Owner: Mrs. Jo Ann Hartley

 

Lakeland, FL

 

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Parts & Process:

 

Remove Rusted Wire, Refinish Soundboard & Rebronze Piano Plate

 

Install New Pinblock with Mapes Gold Wire & Bass Strings

 

Install new Tokiwa Damper Felt & Rebush Damper Rails

 

Rebuild Piano Action: Rebush keys with New Underfelt and install New Tokiwa Shanks & Weickert Hammers

 

High Performance Weigh-off

 

Custom Voicing Protocol

 

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(Via Email) June 6th, 2015

 

Good Evening,

 
I am attaching several pictures of my piano before I sent it to you last December.  As you can see, it was, I thought, beyond repair.  Even though it was a special instrument to me, I had not taken care of it the way I should.  Thank goodness I found you.
 
When you brought my piano back to me several weeks ago, I could not believe it.  It was more beautiful than it had been when it was new--over forty years ago.  It is now my pride and joy.  Not only is it beautiful, but it sounds more beautifully than I can ever remember it sounding.  You have performed a miracle on my piano, and I believe you are both an artist and a genius.  Thank you so much for enriching my life by your gift for working on pianos.
 
If anyone ever questions your abilities or needs a reference for your work, please have them contact me.  I have nothing but praise for what you do!
 
I look forward to the tuning on Friday and our lunch.  See you then.
 
Thanks so much!
 
Jo Ann Hartley
 
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1983 Yamaha C7- D Series

Subject: Taper Existing Soundboard, Restring & Action Work

 

Piano 1983 Yamaha C7 D Series

 

Owner: St. Timothy Catholic

 

Lutz, Florida

 

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Parts & Process:

 

Taper Existing Soundboard from the Top & Refinish with Decal

 

New Pinblock with Mapes Gold Wire & Bass Strings

 

New Damper Felt & Tokiwa Action Parts

 

Vintage Ronsen Weickert Felt Piano Hammers

 

High Performance Weigh-Off

 

Custom Voicing

 

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St. Timothy Catholic

17512 Lakeshore Road

Lutz, FL 33558

 

July 3rd, 2014

 

Starr Taylor

St. Piano Rebuilders

Tampa, FL 33610

 

Dear Mr. Taylor

 

I realize that after taking delivery of a freshly over-hauled grand piano, one should probably wait at least a few weeks before making any judgments about the work that was done. You will receive this letter only a few short days after returning our battered Yamaha C7 to us, because I stand in awe of the craftsmanship and skill that went into rebuilding it. Last night, I sat in the church playing the piano for 4 hours before I realized that any time had passed. Never, in my wildest imagination, did I expect that you could take such a mess of a piano and turn it into a magnificent instrument....

 

I want you to be rest assured of my most sincere and humble appreciation. What you have done with the piano is nothing short of miraculous. You took a very difficult instrument and didn't rest until it was perfect. I admire your detailed approach to your work. I appreciate the opportunitites I have to learn about my instrument when you're around, and I thank you for always taking the time to educate me. Moreover, I'm humbled to have such an amazing piano technician at my disposal. I look forward to experiencing the "settling in" of our new C7 Grand; I know it will become even better over time. I thank you. The church thanks you. God bless you.

 

Sincerely,

 

Chase White

Director of Music

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

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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

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December 7th, 2013

Starr,

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,

Mark

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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April 2009

HORTON PIANO SERVICE

Bob Horton RPT
430 Timber Lane
Palm Harbor FL 34683

(727) 784-7361
Horton.piano2@verizon.net
FULL SERVICE TUNING AND REPAIR

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.

TUNING TAMPA BAY SINCE 1985

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1972 Steinway Model B

Subject: Piano Action Rebuild

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

Owner: Mr. Stephen Kline

Sarasota, Florida

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Parts & Process:

Ronsen Weickert Hammers, Abel Shanks & Flanges

New Repetition Springs, Regulation, Key Bushings

High Performance Weigh-off

1st Level voicing.

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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,

Steve

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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

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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

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Parts & Process

Ronsen Weickert Hammers W/Existing Shanks

Regulation, High Performance Weigh-off

1st & 2nd Level Voicing

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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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