In the July/August, 2011 issue of International Piano, Wessell, Nickel & Gross piano actions, used in new Mason & Hamlin pianos, are the subject of an in-depth piece in the Piano Makers section of the magazine.
The article begins with an overview of the 300-year history of the piano and the traditional use of wood in the manufacture of piano action parts despite wood’s acknowledged shortcomings in durability and uniformity. Then the article states that the wood tradition is being challenged by new materials and technology developed by the Wessell, Nickel & Gross company. The article says that as no two trees are alike, no two wood hammer shanks or repetition parts are either. Composite parts on the other hand---made of mostly carbon fiber and nylon---are not only consistent in manufacture, but also afford 10 times the strength of wood and are impervious to moisture and atmospheric changes that are wood’s worst enemies.
Wessell, Nickel & Gross Executive Vice President, Tom Lagomarsino, cited the benefits of composite actions---low maintenance and longer instrument life---to pianos in schools and institutions, as well as those in the home.