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date: 16 November 2019

Astin-Weightlocked

  • Edwin M. Good

Extract

American piano manufacturer. It was founded by Edwin R. Astin (b Burnley, England, 1918) and Donald L. Weight (b Salt Lake City, UT, 1930) in Salt Lake City in 1956, five years after Astin immigrated from England; production began in 1959, by which time Edwin’s son Raymond Astin (b Accrington, England, 1941) was also active in the business. The firm was incorporated in 1971, and Raymond became president in 1978, with Weight remaining as vice-president; Edwin Astin retired to Southern California, where he pursued his interest in the history of religion and wrote The Wicked Bible (Lincoln, NE, 2001).

Astin-Weight is known for idiosyncratic designs. In its two sizes of upright pianos (104 and 127 cm tall; the 104-cm was discontinued), the most obvious innovation is the absence of wooden posts at the back of the case. Instead, a massive cast-iron perimeter frame is claimed to prevent destabilizing reactions to humidity changes. The wrestplank is mounted in front of the soundboard, which extends to the top of the case, allowing a much larger vibrating area giving a particularly loud and rich sound; this arrangement was patented ...

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