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#11526 - 08/24/01 10:17 PM Dampp-Chaser Cost
patdad Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/23/01
Posts: 8
I'm considering a Dampp-Chaser for whatever upright I finally wind up buying. Our indoor relative humidity levels can range from 30% to 60% depending on the season.

Does anyone have a ballpark figure for the cost of the unit and installation for uprights? Are we talking $100? $300?

Thanks!

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#11527 - 08/24/01 11:09 PM Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3789
For the complete unit, (dehumidifier, humidfier, and control, expect to pay $300 +. Make sure to keep the unit plugged in, the tank filled, and change the paper towel wick occasionally.
_________________________
www.PianoTunerOrlando.com






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#11528 - 08/25/01 06:56 AM Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17674
Loc: Victoria, BC
PatDad:

I was quoted $450.00 for the installation of a complete Dampp-Chaser system.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190 in satin ebony
Writing from Paris until 15 May, 2014

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#11529 - 08/26/01 11:17 PM Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost
Chris A. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 33
Loc: Ohio
The $450 quote sounds a lot more in the ballpark than the $300 price. IMO, the Dampp-Chaser is a wise investment. But don't expect to skimp on tunings because of the improved tuning stability you'll likely experience.

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#11530 - 08/27/01 04:14 PM Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost
Lenny Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/16/01
Posts: 4
I just had the complete system installed in a new piano by the dealer for $275.

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#11531 - 08/27/01 08:55 PM Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost
patdad Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/23/01
Posts: 8
Wow - $275 to $450! It's more expensive than I thought. At least now I'll be able to budget more accurately for the purchase of the piano, the DC, ongoing maintenance...

Thanks for your help.

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#11532 - 08/28/01 04:31 AM Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17674
Loc: Victoria, BC
PatDad:

By the way, I would not buy the Dampp-Chaser system for my - or any - grand.
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190 in satin ebony
Writing from Paris until 15 May, 2014

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#11533 - 08/28/01 08:33 AM Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost
Beth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/21/01
Posts: 151
Loc: Atlanta Area
Why not, Bruce?

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#11534 - 08/28/01 09:54 AM Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost
AndrewG Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2506
Loc: Denver, Colorado
Me too! BruceD. I'd like to know your reason for objection...

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#11535 - 08/28/01 03:04 PM Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17674
Loc: Victoria, BC
Beth and Andrew:

Given that the humidity affecting a grand piano - any piano for that matter - is that of the room in which the piano is located, and given that it is virtually impossible to create a micro-climate under the (open) underside of a grand piano, all the Dampp-Chaser is doing when dehumidifying is creating two (or three, depending on piano size) strips of heated air immediately adjacent to the sound board, but only in those areas where the strips are located. The rest of the sound-board is subject to the ambient temperature and humidity of the air circulating within the room. The temperature of the room could be considerably lower than that of the air next to the heater bars under the piano. I would argue - I do argue! - that you are doing more harm than good to a piano to have two (or three) narrow strips of the sound board heated to a higher temperature than the rest of the sound board.

It seems to me that humidification would be similarly narrowly localized, although I think the effect on the piano might - I say might - be less damaging.

On an upright, however, although the interior is not hermetically sealed from the ambient room humidity and temperature, there should be a better chance of a Dampp-Chaser creating a somewhat uniform microclimate inside the piano, just by the nature of its being an enclosed structure.

Now, ask me why Dampp-Chaser has been such a successfully marketed product and why so many individuals and institutions use it for thousands of pianos, I will simply have to say I don't know. It defies any elementary logic that I can devise. It makes more sense to me to work on ways of controlling room temperature and humidity than to try to control the humidity and tempoerature under a grand piano. However, I'm not known for the brilliance of my intellect, and I'm willing to be convinced, if I can be convinced, of the efficacy of such a system for a grand piano. Others more informed than I have argued this question on this forum at other times, and I remain unconvinced by their logic. Does any one else care to enlighten my dim-witted stance?

Cheerfully ignorant regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190 in satin ebony
Writing from Paris until 15 May, 2014

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#11536 - 08/29/01 04:37 PM Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost
Chris W Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 29
Loc: Boston
BruceD,

I can't enlighten any better than you did, but I totally aggree with you. With two digital gauges in and out of an upright, one of the biggest things I noticed was just how hard it was to approach a microclimate, where the heater rods could take effect. I can only assume one should forget it with a grand and realize that any thingy's put in it/around it will be a *distant* second to simply controling the room.

The humidistat I bought for my home spun internal system would look very nice on, and, indeed, was meant for a wall. You'd be violating code to do that yourself (BTDT \:D ), but with success you'd really have something to show the forum.

Johnson Controls makes them. Because of a human hair element, they literally signal on/off during bad hair days :).

Chris W

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#11537 - 08/29/01 05:25 PM Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost
EricL Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 140
Loc: Upstate NY
There is no question that controlling ambient temperature and humidity are a lot more effective in perserving the integrity of the soundboard than trying to create a microclimate on just one side of the soundboard. If the humidity on one side of the soundboard is very different compared to the other side, a humidity gradient is likely to be created across the thickness of the soundboard (bear in mind that it takes time for moisture to 'migrate' through the soundboard). The result is the development of internal shear stress in the soundboard (the more humid side tries to expand, but is restrained from doing so by the less humid side). This is definitely not desirable. Despite what people say about the effectiveness of the Dampp-Chaser System, I, like BruceD, will not contemplate its installation.

Eric

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#11538 - 08/29/01 10:19 PM Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3789
I agree that Dampchasers are probably limited in their ability to control humidity. The pianos I see still change in pitch, and customers always forget to keep the tank filled. There is no substitute for controlling the ambient humidity.
_________________________
www.PianoTunerOrlando.com






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#11539 - 08/29/01 11:22 PM Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost
Beth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/21/01
Posts: 151
Loc: Atlanta Area
OK. I'm convinced. Now, how to retract that order for a damp-chaser I already sent to Santa......

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#11540 - 08/30/01 06:27 AM Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17674
Loc: Victoria, BC
Beth:

I have it on fairly good authority that Santa orders are retractable up to the third week of November, this year. You should have no problem!

Cheers!
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190 in satin ebony
Writing from Paris until 15 May, 2014

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#11541 - 08/31/01 01:49 PM Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost
Ivars Galenieks Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/03/01
Posts: 38
Loc: Latvia
I agree that if not full climate control in room, it makes difficult to keep all piano in optimal conditions.

But,partially, There are some very simple and some more complicate ways of humidity control in piano.

The simpliest and oldest is putting water tanks either in uprigt or near it, or under Grand.This method I think has both good and bad sides. The good is that water tank 1 to 3 liters dry out quiet a long time and there is not trouble that customer ,if forgot to fill, in mid of heating season occures dry and instrument has more problems,than without.The bad side is that to close to uprights strings it leads to rusting. Also pinblock with years may have problems.
But these systems do not make any profit to technician.And seems too archaic to many technicians.

Another kind of humidifiers are those filled with hygroscopic material. They also work for local area, but are quiet welcome for uprights in pinblock zone.

Third type is device like Dampp-Chaser. Of course it must take time in many years to find it's pluses and minuses. I also have doubts in the locality of the effect,so I'm still going around it But this is most profitable item for making money.Plus-minus 100$ You are not able to make profit from hygroscopic device or inserting water tanks.

One thing is common to all types: warm air circulation is ascending, so this fact makes narrow application of each of them.

The most problematic thing is to keep in good condition great grands.

In grands, moisture moves throgh whole wooden mass starting from open pores to resoning board and pinblock. In that case,effect will be most stable.
If to choose, which way of application to use , one should follow idea,that more important is to keep instrument in enough moisture, that avoids quick loosing of tuning and resonator from cracks and loosing belly.If to say roughly, it is less damage for whole piano if there appears some micro rust,than whole wooden construction dries and cracks. The guarantee terms for strings is approximately 15-20 years.


P.S. Then, what is better to do? - what's better for instrument.

Ivars

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#11542 - 08/31/01 02:09 PM Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost
AndrewG Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2506
Loc: Denver, Colorado
Let me sound a different tone about Damp-Chaser. I had mine the first day my little beloved grand moved into my living room. I could not be happier since. My piano holds the pitch so good that I only need to have it tuned once a year. I know, I know, normally once a years is kind of less than the widely accepted minimum. Honestly, that's all I need. I do have sentitive ears to the pitch. All I'm saying is for.. well, just to tip the balance a bit. ;\)

AndrewG

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#11543 - 08/31/01 03:14 PM Re: Dampp-Chaser Cost
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17674
Loc: Victoria, BC
AndrewG:

I think I'd rather have two or three tunings a year, and have less concern about what possible damage the Dampp-Chaser might be causing to my piano over the long run. Furthermore, I enjoy my tuner/tech's visits.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190 in satin ebony
Writing from Paris until 15 May, 2014

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