Testimonials / Endorsements
Ann Arbor, Michigan
'A revolutionary grand piano I have seen out here'
"I’ve been thrilled by a new experimental piano, the ARNO-284, which is revolutionary in several ways.
For example, the case is designed in an unusual shape to give far more sounding board room to the bass strings (which in the A-284 are not overstrung) and much greater clarity to the top octaves, the latter being probably its most dramatic difference: In most pianos, even the most expensive, the top octave sounds more like woody thumps than pitches; not so with the ARNO, where each top note rings clearly and beautifully, with strikingly less key noise.
In fact the fact that the 9-foot-plus piano is not overstrung is possibly the principal reason why there is no muddiness in the bass.
To achieve this, Patin redesigned the butt to be much wider than normal pianos (maybe that's partly why my 1903 Chickering has such a clear bass - the wide butt). The piano continues the curve toward the back, describing a very lyrical curve all the way toward the keyboard instead of the usual straight side, leaving a large space between the bass strings and the side as well.
What is really remarkable is that EVERY pitch is clear, the clearest I've ever run into, plus a rich but not muffled tone. You can also discern every upper note right up to the top C, which I've actually never found elsewhere with such little woodiness. To show this Arnaud played a Debussy prelude which features notes in the highest octave played FF, and in most pianos you'd hear mostly 'thunk thunk' up there - not this one. Same at the bottom - every note crystal clear with no fogginess.
Mr. Patin, a Frenchman living in Portland, Oregon, is its inventor. All I’ve seen of his work is the one piano he was working on here in Michigan. It is hoped M. Patin has begun on more ARNO pianos — for me they could become the piano of the future."
Scott Harker, RPT
Head Piano Tuner & Technician
UBC School of Music
"It was so good to see you in Chelsea and it was a great treat to finally see and hear your piano!
It really did exceed my hopes and expectations; the piano is both beautiful and remarkable.
I think it’s real strength is that if offers a new take on the modern piano as it has a completely different voice than any other piano I’ve heard.
When I first sat down to it and played that lone F in the tenor I knew immediately that this was a new sound. The tone was complex and dense with color, but clear and focused in a way that is new and almost startling. The treble is brilliant, the mid-range is warm and rich, and the low tenor and bass has an openness and transparency unknown in other pianos. And there is a clarity, note to note and section to section, which is unmatched, all supported by a sustain, top to bottom, which seems to go forever.
I really am very impressed!"
Gate City Studios
I wanted to give a belated report regarding the Chickering concert grand for which you designed the scale this summer. I'm pleased to report that it turned out fantastically! I'd say the results even exceeded expectations.
I have heard from reputable pianists things like, "this is the nicest piano I've played in a long time" or "I actually prefer this piano to the Fazioli I just played". And whenever a potential client comes to "try out the piano" I am confident they will be pleased.
Thank you for your help in making such a big (and fairly inexpensive) improvement! "
Dr. Marjorie Janove, NCTM
Professor of Piano
"Arno, thank you for the exquisite work on the Fazioli. It was a joy to play it this evening. It has a depth of tone that is so rich... The piano sounds unbelievable! I am astonished at how incredible it now feels and sounds. Thank you so much for your amazing work!"
Piano & Music Teacher/Owner of Elaine Soldo Piano Studio
"Thanks to Arno’s meticulous work, my students and I are now thrilled with the tone and the touch of my two studio Yamaha grand pianos.
The difference between ‘before’ and ‘after’ is tremendous and has inspired my students. I have found that teaching with significantly more sonorous and responsive pianos, students naturally experience more pleasure in playing and feel motivated to progress. As a direct result, we all enjoy a much richer musical experience.
I didn’t realize all the beautiful possibilities, but Arno knew exactly what to do to reveal the instruments’ ultimate beauty and at a reasonable price. He upgraded them by replacing the hammers, performing several layers of voicing and regulating until everything was perfect.
Arno’s extraordinary dedication to his art, his high level of craftsmanship, knowledge and expertise are uncommon. I highly recommend his work for anyone on a musical path in piano playing."
San Diego, CA
" Arno is a true master of his craft. He is knowledgeable and professional, and he shared his passion for the piano with my entire family.
He did an extensive work on the harmonic block and the action of our Steinway.
He is a perfectionist, and I am delighted with the result!"
Pianist - International Concert Artist
"The ARNO-284 is an extraordinary achievement, a summation of a profound understanding of piano technology and aesthetics. It reveals a previously unseen horizon of expressive possibilities in performance and offers a genuine, long-overdue step in the evolution of the modern keyboard instrument."
Professor of Music and Coordinator of Piano Studies
Texas Woman's University
"I'm back in Ann Arbor this weekend with Joel and I played the Arno piano for 3 hours today. It's fabulous and I love it. I enjoyed it so much. Congratulations on an AMAZING accomplishment!!! There needs to be more ARNO pianos in the world. Best of luck!!!"
Registered Piano Technician
Farmington Hills, Michigan
"In the several years I have known Arno, I have been continually impressed with his dedication to improving the artistic qualities of the grand piano and thus the musical arts in particular. In the related disciplines of 'Old World' craftsmanship and modern Research & Development, his practical experience supplants his equally profound knowledge of piano acoustics and engineering. Furthermore, his training in piano performance has allowed him to bridge the gap between the musical artist and those who provide the means of performance."
July 29, 2013
Registered Piano Technician, Piano Restorer
Bridgewater, New Hampshire
"The Steinway B that Arno Patin re-scaled for me turned out spectacularly well. Clearly, this is audibly the best piano wire I have used, and the differences are not small. The bass was clear, resonant, growly all the way through, and was warm and full of color. A wonderful contrast and compliment to the plain wire. The lower tenor was rich, creamy and liquid. Overall, the piano was wonderfully balanced, and transitioned seamlessly throughout the scale. The treble was a wonderful surprise – this was the cleanest, clearest treble I have heard on a Steinway. The melody line in the 5th and 6th octave was crystal clear and very present – the right hand was an equal partner to the left. The wire had a wonderful, homogeneous bloom with a hint of sweetness. Unisons were as pure as the driven snow.
The piano sounds gorgeous, and my customer loves it. It is still getting better. "
August 8, 2013
Pianist and Piano Teacher, Vancouver, BC Canada
“When I initially contacted Arno, his personality showed very high personal standards and convinced me it was safe to give him the job of rebuilding my 1906 Knabe. Clearly, it was the combination of his knowledge, technical expertise, and passion to produce an exquisite sound that assured me he could produce an exceptional piano. Arno stayed in close contact with me throughout the ensuing months and I am enthralled with the end result.
I would highly recommend Arno for any undertaking!”
December 15, 2011
Professor of Piano
Eastern Michigan University
“I have played on four Steinway model D pianos, in which Paulello wire that Arno supplied, were installed. There is something particularly special about this group of instruments and one can sense that it’s the energy, color, and life coming from the strings. The feeling I have as a player is that there is less thud from the hammer, a more immediate tone and vibration, and that the tone rides throught the air with much more freedom. The strings also seem to give more color and personality to the tone. While the character of each instrument that I played was radically different, I could feel that they each shared these great musical qualities. I’m quite convinced these strings enhance the qualities of a Steinway piano and make them more alive and inviting to listen to and play.”
September 26, 2012
Registered Piano Technician
Dave Conte Piano Service
Fort Worth, Texas
"Arno is exceptionally knowledgeable in the physics of piano resonating bodies and has given me insightful feedback on my own piano rebuilding work."
Embedded Systems Design, Real-Time Specialties, Tune-Lab Pro
“Arno did a major rebuilding job on our church's Steinway grand piano - new strings, hammers, keyboard tops, action regulation, and case refinishing. It now performs like a new piano and sounds like a Steinway should sound.”
Owner 'Come Dancing' Dance Studio
Ann Arbor, Michigan
"I feel very fortunate to know Mr. Patin and have him work on my piano. He literally transformed my piano with every tuning, something no other piano technician was able to do. I love the sound he gets out of my Steinway with his tuning and his playing. I was even more impressed with his piano rebuilding skills and deep knowledge of piano construction. I'm deeply appreciative of his rare expertise and artistry."
December 2, 2011
CEO, President and Owner of Akervall Technologies Inc.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
"Mr. Patin came highly recommended when I was looking for a skilled piano tuner for our Gaveau grand.
I couldn't have been more pleased. The craftsmanship and skill that Arno Patin showed is quite extraordinary. Not only did my old childhood baby grand come back to a beautiful life, but I also learned a great deal about how to take care of my treasure. It's my pleasure to highly recommend Arno to anyone who wants a first class tuning and/or renovation of their piano."
November 30, 2011
James H. Vincent PhD, DSc, FRSC
Professor Emeritus, Department of Environmental Health Sciences,
School of Public Health,
University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI
Linda and I went to J. S.'s house yesterday afternoon for the 4th — and last — recital in Joel Schoenhals’s Bach/Brahms series. This was the first time I seen or heard your instrument. It is a fantastic — and very unusual — instrument and I was especially impressed with how Joel has mastered it. The previous week, he had given the same recital at my house in front of 40 people, and I said at the time that his performance that afternoon was his best yet. But, yesterday, on ‘your’ piano, he was even better.
Later in the afternoon I had the chance to play it. And that was when I discovered how truly unique it is. It was a beautiful experience. I realized right away, of course, that there were some technical challenges, in particular in relation to the pedaling. The uniquely long ‘sustain’ that you have built into the design means that careful attention to pedaling becomes even more important. For me, it would take longer exposure to the instrument to even begin to master what is needed. Joel certainly has mastered it. Indeed, long before I got my hands on it, I noted during his performance that his pedaling was distinctly different to when I have seen/heard him on other instruments.
So, congratulations on producing a fabulous concert grand piano. I really do hope that there will be others like it under the ‘ARNO’ banner, incorporating the new concepts that you have factored into the design of this first one. I also hope that it will not be too long before we start to see featured in recordings by distinguished artists.
Good luck in your future projects."