British manufacturer Phoenix Pianos is the brainchild of engineer and inventor Richard Dain. The company grew out of Dain’s piano retail business Hurstwood Farm Pianos, founded in 2002. Both Hurstwood and Phoenix now occupy a shared site on Dain’s commercial hazelnut farm in Kent, roughly an hour outside London.
Dain (born 1928) is an accomplished pianist whose innovations for his favourite instrument began with a patented bridge agraffe system that caught the attention of German manufacturer Steingraeber & Söhne. The two companies established a partnership in 2005 and began building a new range of pianos incorporating Dain’s agraffe technology.
Dain has since gone on to develop ultrathin carbon fibre and Kevlar soundboards plus a 3D-printed hammer system made from climate-resistant materials. Phoenix Piano Systems Ltd was founded in 2010 and the company now boasts its own range of grand and upright pianos with acoustic cases and frames manufactured by Steingraeber.
CURRENT INSTRUMENTS Acoustic pianos Phoenix instruments are steadily gaining a reputation for their tonal richness and stability, resulting from the innovative
Phoenix Pianos’ concert grand Model 272 (above) and upright Model 130 (opposite)
designs and high-tech materials used in their construction. The company’s catalogue currently features four grand piano models and one upright.
Phoenix bridge agraffes play a particularly important role in determining the sound and responsiveness of the grand models. Dain’s design avoids any load being applied on the bridge, ensuring that transfer of sound energy from the strings to the soundboard is nearly twice as efficient as traditional agraffes.
Phoenix soundboards are also extremely efficient. Both carbon fibre and Kevlar have
42 International Piano Guide to Instruments & Accessories www.international-piano.com