PTM 2020 

Turbo-Charging a Grand Action

w/ Jude Reveley

Sat 21st November 2020, 4pm ET

Turbo-charging a grand action with an emphasis on, and explanation of, balance weight as a defining target

What You Will Learn: 

1. Learn about Jude's unique Design-Driven Restoration™ approach. 

2. Understand why Balance Weight is the centerpiece of balancing and optimizing grand action function.

3. Learn collateral techniques that complement and support one another to create a turbo-charged action.

4. Bring your questions to the conversation and get inside the head of a renowned rebuilder.

Live from Jude's workshop in Lowell, MA

Join us Saturday 21st Nov, 4pm ET time online. 

Length - 2 hours.


Left: A clip of Jude in his Lowell workshop playing a restored Steinway O.

Course Details:

Turbo Charging A Grand Action, Part 1:

Practical Applications of Balance Weight


Has a client ever asked you, “what can be done to make this piano action play better?” Most of us have asked ourselves this question on a myriad of occasions and it all starts with Balance Weight. Balance Weight is rightfully becoming the primary metric by which we evaluate the way an action feels, what we technically refer to as Touch Weight. It can inform us of key information, not just about friction, but also about weight, leverage, and regulation. Building upon the excellent work of Steve Schell, Bruce Stevens, and David Vanderslip of using paired weights to evaluate Balance Weight, we will demonstrate practical applications of Balance Weight by comparing mathematical and action models with David Stanwood’s Equation of Balance. This is a potent diagnostic tool that we can use to refine any action.



About Design Driven Restoration ™...

(an excerpt from


You may encounter many terms as you search for answers about what to do with your old piano. They include repair, refurbish, rehab, remanufacture, redesign, restore, replicate; the list goes on, but what do they really mean and how do you know what is best course of action.


Piano restoration may be distinguished by three basic approaches. The first approach is piano refurbishing, whereby the piano is repaired using as much of the original piano and parts as possible. While this may be appropriate for historical instruments, it is rarely a good idea even for the budget conscience and the outcome will most likely be a disappointment.


The second approach is restoration by replication and is the most common. Here the work is generally more extensive and an attempt is made to restore the instrument by replicating and replacing various components with new ones. The downside is that no effort is placed on examining whether the design was correct in the first place; or assuming the design was correct, it is very unlikely that new parts have the exact same qualities as the original. A classic example would be replacing old hammers with new ones. Even if the new hammers are made by same manufacturer as your piano, they may have such contrasting qualities as the originals as to cause tonal and touch-weight problems. The same applies to rib dimensions and soundboard construction methods. It is imperative to understand the sum of the parts as well as the individual components if we are going to have a controlled and successful outcome.


At Absolute Piano, we have developed an approach of Design-Driven Restoration™. This process begins with a thorough examination and analysis of the original design; nothing is assumed nor taken for granted. Careful measurements are taken and entered into custom built programs that help us to understand the intention of the original makers. We then work with our clients to achieve a desired outcome, relying on both the mastery of traditional techniques and an understanding of piano design and innovation to reach this goal. There are always improvements that can be incorporated into a rebuilt piano. If the design is sound, the extent of deviation from the original might be moderate or even non-existent. In other cases, major design changes may be executed to make an ordinary piano extraordinary. This does not mean that every piano is a candidate for such extensive work, but it does indeed present more options and possibilities. It really all comes down to you, our client, having all the options.


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A Stellar Reputation in the Piano Industry

"The piano is now finished and delivered, and we are extremely happy with the results. The job was done within the estimate and well within the projected timeframe. We cannot speak too highly of the quality of the work, the professional, friendly manner of Jude and everyone at the shop, and the beautiful tone of the piano, with its newly-built soundboard, pinblocks, refinished frame and new strings. No hesitation at all in recommending Absolute Piano Restoration to anyone in need of piano repair or restoration!"

Client Review

John Zimmerman via Google Reviews

"One of the industry's most successful and innovative rebuilders."

Piano Technicians Guild Journal

Co-Owner Cunningham Piano Company, Philadelphia, PA

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Ron Moore

Moore's Piano Service

Fort Wayne, IN

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