In 1995 Michael Wathen was employed at the University of Cincinnati
Conservatory of Music as a piano technician. After completing a required
physics course for an advanced degree in mathematics, Michael chose
to study how a string vibrates.
With the help of Physics Project Technician Richard Harris, Wathen
constructed a monochord that electronically recorded the modulations
of a piano string. After the experiments were done on a traditional
piano monochord, Wathen decided to conduct the tests using a non-traditional
perpendicular front bridge pin. The results were an explosion in sound.
Wathen immediately went to the Conservatory piano shop and retro-fitted
a Baldwin M grand into the first Wapin bridged piano. The upper treble
was retro-fit only. The first piano faculty to try the piano couldn't
leave the piano. Wathen now knew he had something special. Upon several
other successful retro-fits the University of Cincinnati Department
of Intellectual Property started the process of obtaining a patent.
It is now U.S. Patent 6,100,457.
Wathen could see the potential for the bridge, but needed help. Enlisting
the aid of piano technicians Tim Coates and Bill Springer, Wapin Company
LLP was formed and the world wide rights to distribute the Wapin Bridge
The name Wapin was coined by Don Gibbs of Gibbs Piano located in Milford,
Ohio. Don's shop has done many of the Wapin installations for the Cincinnati
Conservatory of Music. In the first few months of working with the new
bridge design Don found it cumbersome to use a very long scientific
name for the new bridge design. He used the first two letters of "Wathen"
and combined it with the word "pin" to create "Wapin".
Now Wapin Bridges are Creating Quality Piano Sound on a very regular