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#1125204 - 05/10/04 11:06 AM Re: Hammer Hardness Measurement
Rick Clark Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/04/03
Posts: 1810
Loc: North County San Diego CA
Since there doesn't seem to be any women looking at the moment, I guess I can throw in my own bit of geek knowledge here...

I think humidity needs to be factored in these hardness measurements. Although there seems to be a common notion that hammers in higher humidity are more "soggy" sounding, I find the situation in fact the opposite, at least in the case of modern hammers with significant tension in them. I find them brighter and believe they are harder. I believe I have also observed a correlation with the tendency of them to break strings.

Wool is hygroscopic and I believe there is a swelling that results from high humidity, making the tension higher. Wool is a kind of hair, of course, and look what happens to the hair on your head when you go from a place of low humidity to one of high humidity. For many of us, we find we have a new, unexpected hairstyle.

Regards,

Rick Clark
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#1125205 - 05/10/04 12:26 PM Re: Hammer Hardness Measurement
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5484
hi, rick (woman lurking here, but not sure where the offense lies ).

i had wondered about the role of humidity myself. and the hair analogy is a good one (speaking as one who has naturally curly hair).

when humidity is around 53 percent, my piano sounds its best. in lower humidity, say around 42, i didn't like it as well. derick i think has also posted that his piano (the falcone) had longer sustain at lower humidity.

of course, since my treble hammers were replaced, i'm not noticing an "improvement" at higher humidity any more. but the tonal qualities do still change with even slight shifts in humidity. i find higher humidity confers a warmer richer sound. and lower humidity seems to have a tone with slightly less dimension to it.

i'm only experiencing this within a ten percent range, mind you.
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piqué

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#1125206 - 05/10/04 02:07 PM Re: Hammer Hardness Measurement
Rick Clark Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/04/03
Posts: 1810
Loc: North County San Diego CA
Hi Pique,

My comment relates to a comment I made earlier in the thread.

Humidity also affects the way sound propagates through the air. So when there is a tonal change along with humidity change, one would guess that part of it is due to the change in hammer felt tension (for the tensioned *type* of hammer anyway) but also part of it is due to differences in the air itself.

However, I'm getting altogether too geeky here and must end it now.

Better to listen to music than listen to acoustics.

Regards,

Rick Clark
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#1125207 - 05/10/04 02:34 PM Re: Hammer Hardness Measurement
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5484
 Quote:
Better to listen to music than listen to acoustics.
that would make a great tag line.

thanks for the insights, rick. hadn't thought about the density of the air itself being a factor.
_________________________
piqué

now in paperback:


Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey

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#1125208 - 05/10/04 06:14 PM Re: Hammer Hardness Measurement
Grotriman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/07/04
Posts: 724
Loc: New York City
 Quote:
Originally posted by piqu:
 Quote:
Better to listen to music than listen to acoustics.
that would make a great tag line.

thanks for the insights, rick. hadn't thought about the density of the air itself being a factor. [/b]
Believe it or not, air is less viscous when it is humid. This has to do with the fact that the oxygen molecules are polar and have "magnetic" interaction with each other. When it is humid, the water molecules interfere with this attraction between oxygen molecules. In my experience, high frequencies are heard better in humid environments.
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Grotriman

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