• 1.  Hydraulic concert bench recommendations

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 01-04-2023 18:48
    Dear CAUT community
    I have had the great honor and pleasure to serve as Bard College Conservatory of Music Lead Staff Piano Technician for the last two months.
    Currently the students are on break, affording me an opportunity to do some inventory and larger repairs..
    My Supervisor and I hate the old heavy concert benches that rock and squeak, you know the ones with the cast iron worm screw. Students, Faculty and visiting artist hate them too.
    We have 6 Steinway D's that we would like to purchase nice, comfortable, lightweight hydraulic gas benches for,
    not to mention the teaching studios.
    After searching the Jansen website, theirs seem a bit weak, but affordable.
    BenchWorld seems to offer European made benches at a premium price.
    Has anyone experimented with brands or supply companies to see what's really worth investing in?
    Thanks in advance for any advice or recommendations.
    This CAUT community has really impressed me with the level of thought and experience..
    All the best to everyone with gratitude,
    Michael Lynam RPT

  • 2.  RE: Hydraulic concert bench recommendations

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 01-04-2023 19:14
    The company is in Spain, but they have distribution in the US. They sell direct, wholesale to colleges and universities. Email That will put you in contact with  Patrycja Piechota of the export department, who is fluent in English.

    Fred Sturm
    "Art lives from constraints and dies from freedom." Leonardo

  • 3.  RE: Hydraulic concert bench recommendations

    Posted 01-04-2023 20:16
    Do they have a repair kit and/or replacement gas cylinders ? Every office chair I have ever had eventually failed to adjust because the hydraulics failed. One of the major causes of bench squeaks in artist benches and in fact regular benches seems to be the leg contact with the frame. I solved this issue on an artist bench paired with a Yamaha C7 by loosening the legs and dropping thin pieces of felt in the gap where there was polyester to polyester contact. Benches where quiet as a mouse after. Tighten all the bolts while the bench is upside down

    James Kelly
    Owner- Fur Elise Piano Service
    Pawleys Island SC
    (843) 325-4357

  • 4.  RE: Hydraulic concert bench recommendations

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 01-05-2023 07:21
    First of all, congratulations on the new job! Second, at NIU we now use either the Hidrau pneumatic benches or ones from Discacciati. Bought them all through Pianoforte Chicago, the Fazioli dealer in Chicago. The faculty love them, and other than tightening the screw once or twice a year, have been very durable and maintenance free, except for a few we purchased with a slanted top. Would advise not to do that. Pianists inevitably sit with it facing wrong way, a couple nearly fell over. Also, the " leather " on those wasn't great, had to have them recovered, which a local company did, and replaced foam so top would be flat.  Have had some of them for over 10 years, no issues with the mechanism.
    I will say, I sent one of our Jansen benches back to replace the wooden pieces the legs attach to, and they did a great job of reconditioning it. We have kept a few around, but in places they won't be moved around much- a few in practice rooms, faculty offices, classroom grands.

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

  • 5.  RE: Hydraulic concert bench recommendations

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 01-05-2023 11:10

    There is at least one Chinese made knock off of the Hidrau bench. I can't remember offhand where I bought it, but it went into a teaching studio and seems equivalent to the Hidrau, or nearly so, for about half the cost.  I wouldn't trust any of these to last like the Jansen bench does, but the musicians do overwhelmingly prefer this type.  One pianist I'm thinking of likes them because she doesn't have to turn those handles to adjust, right before playing.