Renner Piano Action FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is the piano action?
The piano action is a complex assembly of over 8,000 components, special levers, delicate surfaces, and mechanisms, which all work in tandem to transmit the energy and musical expression of the player through the rest of the instrument. Made from natural materials, the special woods, leathers, and felts used in the action, must be carefully selected and aged for the desired strength, durability, and responsiveness.
Why are piano actions produced by Renner considered superior?
Actions produced by Renner have been used by the world’s finest piano manufacturers, rebuilders, and technicians, for 135 years in over 80 countries. They are produced exclusively in Germany, to each piano manufacturer’s own specifications, and represent the finest in German engineering, craftsmanship, and quality, utilizing only the finest materials and state-of-the-art precision tooling and manufacturing equipment.
Does Renner use plastics, composites, or other substitute materials, in their actions in place of natural wood?
Renner uses only natural woods in their actions, as are used in all the major components in the piano, including the soundboard, bridges, ribs, pin block, inner and outer rim, keyboard, and the case. These components must all work together in harmony to produce the extraordinary tone and performance found in top quality pianos. The special woods used in the action are grown in Germany, properly aged and conditioned over several years, and have the optimum density, flex, and bending strength required to achieve the maximum responsiveness of the action for which Renner is world-renowned.
How to choose the right replacement action parts for my piano.
It is important to replace the action with action parts having the same dimensions as used originally in order to maintain the original design and excellence of the instrument. Renner produces a Sample Parts Kit, available to professional technicians, which contains sample action parts which can be test fitted and regulated in the piano to assure that the correct dimensions are maintained.
What is meant by “original dimensioned” action parts?
Simply stated, original dimensioned action parts are produced to the same dimensions as used when the piano was originally produced. Some dimensions have changed over the years, and our philosophy is to restore each piano to its original design and excellence which requires using the original dimensions which may no longer be available from the manufacturer. This is particularly important with Vintage pianos produced during what is often described as the “golden era”, as they were crafted differently from what is done today and often resulted in different action dimensions being used which we continue to produce.
Do Renner hammerheads require lacquer?
Renner hammerheads are voiced using traditional voicing techniques, as have been used for well over a century, and do not require the use of lacquers, chemicals, or other artificial hardeners. The special hammer felt used in the Renner hammer is produced by the Würzen Felt Company, in the former East Germany, which supplied vintage Steinway and other quality pianos their special hammer felt for over 100 years. The felt became unavailable for several decades following World War II, during the Russian occupation, and became available again with the reunification of Germany. It continues to be the finest hammer felt produced in the world, resulting in the widest possible harmonic and dynamic tonal range with a minimum of voicing required.
How to identify counterfeit and fake parts labeled and sold as Renner?”
As happens with many top quality brands like Rolex and Gucci, Renner parts are sometimes copied and counterfeited by unscrupulous manufacturers using cheaper materials. These imitation or “knock off” parts may be packaged to look like they were made by Renner in Germany, but here are two ways you can tell the difference. First, Renner uses laser engraving to imprint its famous oval logo into the hornbeam wood on wippens and shanks and flanges sold to piano technicians and rebuilders. You can see how that appears in the first image of the Renner Action on the Renner USA website home page. The iconic logo is also burned into the walnut moldings of the Premium Blue and Blue Point Hammerheads, which will be visible out of the package before tapering is done. Secondly, Renner USA is the only factory agent authorized to distribute genuine Renner action parts in the Americas, so if you see Renner parts advertised by resellers or other distributors, you cannot be certain you are purchasing genuine Renner parts.