Pianist Nery Wainz at the Knabe 6’4” which was recently rebuilt with a Stanwood Precision TouchDesignTM action.
Below are the words of those who wished to express their opinion about the service they received, including Dr. Larry McFatter, Dr. Alexandra Pierce, Nery Wainz and Jo Ellen Vandruff.
Dr. Larry McFatter, CSUSB Professor of Music Theory and Director of the Piano Department, posted to the Pianotech list this endorsement after his piano action had received a Stanwood Precision TouchDesign action from Shull Piano:
Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2002 14:08:24 -0800 From: Larry E McFatter Subject: Thanks from a pianist A little over a year ago I sent a message to the list asking for your advice on what action components and new hammers should go into the rebuilding of the action on my (mostly renovated) ca.1918 Mason & Hamlin A piano. In that message I described the tone and touch characteristics that I hoped to achieve as a final result. I want to thank the many technicians and pianists from around the world who took the time to write back to me with excellent, detailed suggestions and advice. From that exchange a direction emerged that seemed like it might lead to what I wanted from the piano. I discussed your messages with my piano technician, Bill Shull (http://shullpiano.com/), and we made a plan to proceed. The work on the piano has just been finished. It is now a superb instrument that is truly "better than new" because it combines the best of three worlds: 1. The remarkable resonance of a vintage M & H piano; 2. The rich tonal palette of New York Steinway hammers; 3. The wonderful control and even touch possible with Precision TouchDesign by David Stanwood. Kudos and my enthusiastic thanks to those who did the renovation work: 1. Bill Shull in consultation with David Stanwood (action rebuilding and hammer installation/voicing, Precision TouchDesign); 2. Brian Alexander of KeyOne Piano Service in Los Angeles (case and soundboard refinishing, pin block and string replacement, etc.). Larry McFatter, DMA California State University, San Bernardino
Dr. Alexandra Pierce, Emeritus Professor of Composition, University of Redlands:
Bill Shull has cared for the fine German pianos in my home studio for many years. First there was a Schiedmayer 7’3", and now a Sauter, 7’3". I have great respect for his work. His ear is keen. He sets the piano at an accurate pitch level, it holds its place, and his tuning is well-tempered over the entire instrument, even in the very outer octaves. His voicing is likewise excellent. His broad experience with piano maintenance and tuning, his own fine playing, singing, and choral conducting, his enthusiasm for the history of pianos gives him sympathy for the peculiar beauties and problems of each instrument.
He is skillful at trouble-shooting the small but vexing details which can arise—the mysterious clicks, vibrations, pedal noises, isolated sluggish repetitions, and other matters of regulation. And he is resourceful at solving such difficulties. His work for several years on the Steinway grand pianos in my teaching studio and classrooms at the University of Redlands was careful, prompt, and well proportioned to other piano needs in the School of Music.
I have been impressed that in the last few years he has earned a Master of Music degree.
Nery Wainz, Pianist/Teacher, B.Mus., U of Redlands, while playing a rebuilt Knabe 6’4” grand with our Stanwood Precision TouchDesignTM Action:
This piano plays easier than any other piano I have played....I can bring out the melody even in fast fingerwork passages....It is responsive, yet light!
JoEllen Vandruff, Pianist/Teacher for over 25 years, Member of MTAC and National Guild of Piano Teachers, B.M. (Piano Performance) from Northern Illinois University, M.M. (Piano Performance) from University of Miami, Florida:
Bill Shull has been taking care of my pianos since 1980, and I have always been extremely pleased with his work. The great thing about Bill is that he is not only a master technician but also an excellent pianist. He cares about every detail, not only in the working of the mechanism, but in the ultimate quality of the sound, and he is not satisfied unless everything is “just right.”
He is a genius concerning Steinways. He rebuilt my 1925 Steinway (model L) in 1992, and he refined the action until I was completely satisfied. It was already a lovely instrument, but after he finished, it was truly top notch!
Living in south Orange County, I have access to many piano technicians, however, I will always have Bill do the tunings and upkeep of my Steinway and Kawai. I have referred all of my students to him as well.