High-grade, straight-grained, quarter-sawn spruce is selected for its resonant qualities and high strength-to-mass ratio. The soundboard is solid and not laminated, which creates the best resonance and projection of sound. In 1936, Steinway patented the diaphragmatic soundboard, which is thicker in the middle and gently tapered to the edges. The Essex soundboard is tapered from bass to treble resulting in a stronger, richer, fuller tone.
Essex backposts are massive — providing a solid foundation for the resonating soundboard and tensioned vibrating strings, thus helping create a beautiful tone. Essex backpost locations are staggered — located where the string tension is greatest, instead of neatly equidistant. Massive staggered backposts help provide superb tone and maximum stability, ensuring the piano will last, tunings will be more stable, and piano tone will be enhanced for the years and decades to come.