• 1.  Hidrau Benches

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 10-05-2021 10:09
    Our Hidrau pneumatic benches are finally showing their ages. They have served very well, but are wearing out both mechanically and cosmetically.

    I am having a bit of sticker shock over the cost of new ones.

    Of course, in this pandemic world, I'll simply be really happy if there are still new ones to be had.

    Is there any recent experience with a good source of these benches, purchased several at a time?

    Kent Swafford
    Lenexa KS

  • 2.  RE: Hidrau Benches

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 10-05-2021 10:17
      |   view attached

    The best prices and more efficient contact with Hidrau is directly at the factory.  Attached below is an ad I received a while ago that might still be useful.  Otherwise, I also copied below the contact of the person you want to deal with.  I think she is still in that position, but if not they will help you. 
    The only problems we have had so far is the screws coming loose, but some blue loctite solved that problem.  


       Patrycja Piechota

              Export department



             Hidrau Model S.L.

             Rabal de San Roc 44

    46680 Algemesi- Valencia (SPAIN)

         Phone 0034 96248 11 82

           Fax  0034 962481306


        skype: hidraumodel-export

    Dennis Johnson
    Piano Technician / Music
    St. Olaf College
    Office: 507-786-3587Mobile: 612-599-6437 
    1520 St. Olaf Avenue Northfield, MN 55057


    MEGA DEAL US SCHOOLS.pdf   661 KB 1 version

  • 3.  RE: Hidrau Benches

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 10-06-2021 06:20
    I am curious what the mechanical issue is. We have quite a few of this type of bench and other than lubing the square stock from time to time, they seem to be fine. Cosmetically, I do have one that needs a new top, which is apparently available for purchase, though I may just have a local company recover it.

    David Graham
    Graham Piano Service, Inc.
    512 S. Main St.
    Sycamore IL 60178

  • 4.  RE: Hidrau Benches

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 10-06-2021 17:43
    Intermittent godawful squeaking that tends to only show up in the middle of a faculty recital is the killer issue.

    What do you use to lube the square stock, and is the lube for smooth operation, squeaks, or both?

    Kent Swafford
    Lenexa KS

  • 5.  RE: Hidrau Benches

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 10-08-2021 13:54

    We have had occasional squeaking, either from loose feet, or at the top of the post.  The top of the post is a little more work, but not bad.  Removing the seat will allow access to the bolts at the top of the two posts.  A dab of a penetrating lubricant at the bolt quiets the squeak.  I have only had to do this twice, and the squeak has not returned.  We have 40 of these benches and have had very little maintenance - a huge improvement over constantly rebuilding the Jansen benches.  As for the tops, we ordered 20 new tops about a year ago and are replacing when necessary.  The cost was $53 -  well worth it in my opinion, as it is a quick turn around and we get new foam as well.  We also only order the velour fabric, as it breaths better, is quieter on stage, and does not stick to legs.  Patricya is easy to work: I pay with my visa purchasing card and the order shows up within two weeks, as they are shipped by air.

    Rick Florence
    Gilbert AZ

  • 6.  RE: Hidrau Benches

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 10-08-2021 16:25

    Kent, although I'm not a fan of these benches--try some Houdini spray lubricant. Stuff is INCREDIBLE!
    i started using it on Jansen benches and so forth at Texas Tech and sort of fell "in love" (eye roll) with this stuff. 

    Try it on one or two of your worst ones and if they don't "EXPLODE" or something you may have found a way to buy a little time. 

    (the hydraulic benches that Jansen offers (or did,,) seems like a much greater value. Even when they go bad or need upholstered, their service is amazing & affordable !!)

    Kevin Fortenberry
    Registered Piano Technician
    Longview, TX 75602

  • 7.  RE: Hidrau Benches

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 12-20-2021 13:55
    We have about 40 of them here at NU, all purchased 6 years ago. The ones in studios are pristine, but the workhorses in the piano major practice rooms have had covers starting to fail. I've made sure to address this while the surface of the factory vinyl is peeling and before it wears through and starts to degrade the padding. It takes half a yard of vinyl fabric of much better quality than the factory used at $12/yd and 30 minutes of my time to simply cover over the existing fabric. It should last much longer than the original. My apologies if the pic is upside down. No matter which way I save or orient things it keeps uploading that way.

    My larger problem is hydraulic cylinder failure. We had one of the 40 (actually 80 at 2 cylinders per bench) fail about a year in, and they replaced the bench frame. I'm told these aren't repairable. I was able to get the failed one apart with some minor destruction and now that I know how it's made I think I could drill out the detents and get everything apart and reassemble with some short 1/4" cap screws to provide an upward stop. However, it appears the cylinders are a custom assembly, with the valve in the end of the actuator rod. 6 years in I have discovered 2 more of the 40 with a leaking cylinder. Does anyone else have enough of these to help determine if this is just statistical failure of a couple of components or if we're seeing an indication of the life span of these benches in a high use music school? I plan to reassemble at least one of them using the good cylinder from my initial trashed one, but if these will have any kind  of significant failure rate and I can't find a replacement source I'm going to have to rethink our mix of Hidrau vs. Jansen benches. These have their own issues and are a little more expensive, but can usually be fixed for decades.
    Hidrau bench recovered in

    David Anderson
    Yorkville WI