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#1167077 - 03/23/09 12:36 AM Front Duplex Steinway "A"
Rod Verhnjak Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 3659
Loc: Vancouver B.C. Canada
I've never noticed this before. whome
I was prepping for paint the front duplex segments for this Steinway "A". The third one from the right is made of brass, the rest are steel. It's only four unisons. It definitely had deeper string grooves than the rest being of a softer metal.

I have assumptions on why Steinway did this. Duplex noise suppression. smirk

Does anyone else have reasons?



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#1167088 - 03/23/09 01:03 AM Re: Front Duplex Steinway "A" [Re: Rod Verhnjak]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
I know nothing about your question, but Steinway front duplexes don't look anything like that these days. Are they individually adjustable or something?
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#1167090 - 03/23/09 01:10 AM Re: Front Duplex Steinway "A" [Re: Horowitzian]
Rod Verhnjak Offline
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Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 3659
Loc: Vancouver B.C. Canada
They are adjustable somewhat.
Before I remove them for painting I mark their original placement and put them back where I found them.

Once the strings are on, you can't adjust them.
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#1167092 - 03/23/09 01:19 AM Re: Front Duplex Steinway "A" [Re: Rod Verhnjak]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Interesting. As far as I can tell on my B, the front duplexes are cast into the plate rather than being separate pieces.
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#1167093 - 03/23/09 01:27 AM Re: Front Duplex Steinway "A" [Re: Rod Verhnjak]
Rod Verhnjak Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 3659
Loc: Vancouver B.C. Canada
I did this Model "A" last year and it had the current type of front duplex.

This one is 4 years newer than the one above.



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#1167104 - 03/23/09 02:12 AM Re: Front Duplex Steinway "A" [Re: Rod Verhnjak]
Keith Roberts Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 1984
Loc: Murphys, Ca
What year are they?

I have never seen ones that are screwed in and adjustable like that. What A is it? The long A? A2 A3? Maybe that was one of the first of a scale/length change. Once they decided where they went, they cast them into the plate.
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#1167106 - 03/23/09 03:12 AM Re: Front Duplex Steinway "A" [Re: Keith Roberts]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21664
Loc: Oakland
I suspect that they decided the separate ones were not worth the trouble and discontinued them. The brass one may have been an odd one that they needed to cast to complete a set when they were using up old stock. Reasons like that tend to be more likely than anything else.
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#1167164 - 03/23/09 08:13 AM Re: Front Duplex Steinway "A" [Re: BDB]
Les Koltvedt Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 3195
Loc: Canton, MI
The 1909 A I just purchased has the FDuplex like the later photo. Rod, what year is that?
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LK Piano
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#1167203 - 03/23/09 09:58 AM Re: Front Duplex Steinway "A" [Re: Les Koltvedt]
Zeno Wood Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/20/07
Posts: 451
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
I've tuned an 1883 model D with that style of front duplex configuration.
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Zeno Wood, Piano Technician
Brooklyn College

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#1167235 - 03/23/09 11:26 AM Re: Front Duplex Steinway "A" [Re: Rod Verhnjak]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Originally Posted By: Rod Verhnjak
I did this Model "A" last year and it had the current type of front duplex.

This one is 4 years newer than the one above.










I see. smile Both of those pianos are drop-dead gorgeous! Nice job. cool
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#1167272 - 03/23/09 12:14 PM Re: Front Duplex Steinway "A" [Re: Keith Roberts]
Rod Verhnjak Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 3659
Loc: Vancouver B.C. Canada
Originally Posted By: Keith Roberts
What year are they?

I have never seen ones that are screwed in and adjustable like that. What A is it? The long A? A2 A3? Maybe that was one of the first of a scale/length change. Once they decided where they went, they cast them into the plate.


Both "A"s are A2's
The one with the adjustable duplex was manufactured in 1901
The other one was manufactured in 1906

I have seen the adjustable duplex in early 3 bridge "A"s
I also have a 1900 "B" coming for a rebuild with the adjustable Duplex.

I have seen many but never noticed the one segment cast in brass.
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#1167293 - 03/23/09 12:57 PM Re: Front Duplex Steinway "A" [Re: Rod Verhnjak]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4949
Loc: Bradford County, PA
The segment looks identical to the others except for the string grooves. The unpainted bearing surface does not look like brass to me.
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#1167349 - 03/23/09 03:19 PM Re: Front Duplex Steinway "A" [Re: UnrightTooner]
Rod Verhnjak Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 3659
Loc: Vancouver B.C. Canada
Originally Posted By: UnrightTooner
The segment looks identical to the others except for the string grooves. The unpainted bearing surface does not look like brass to me.


Well Jeff perhaps it's gold or copper then, since it does not look like brass to you. smirk

It is a coppery brass color perhaps difficult to see in the pictures. And a magnet does not stick to it. The magnet stick to the others.

I did have them out for painting and I will be detailing the top of the one to remove the old grooves.
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#1167499 - 03/23/09 06:53 PM Re: Front Duplex Steinway "A" [Re: Rod Verhnjak]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4215
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
You know Rod,

This is just a guess but maybe they were experimenting with that area right beside the plate bar or something …trying a softer metal in that area maybe…. In the sixth octave if I am counting bridge pins correctly…..
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#1167551 - 03/23/09 08:53 PM Re: Front Duplex Steinway "A" [Re: Horowitzian]
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3876
I tuned an 1880's 85 note Steinway with that front duplex arrangement this morning. I didn't notice a change to brass, but there could have been. My guess would be that buzz control was the reason on yours.
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#1167556 - 03/23/09 09:09 PM Re: Front Duplex Steinway "A" [Re: Bob]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2407
Loc: Olympia, WA
Interesting post, Rod (and gorgeous work as usual!)

I have a couple of questions:

1. Some of the duplexes have a screw but most of them don't? Are the ones that don't held down by string pressure only? If so, I wonder why the others have a screw?

2. There's some sort of lettering or numbering on several of them. Have you deciphered any meaning out of those?

Just curious!
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Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
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#1167589 - 03/23/09 10:05 PM Re: Front Duplex Steinway "A" [Re: rysowers]
Peter Sumner- Piano Technician Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 852
Loc: San Francisco
Has anybody asked the factory if they have any records available?

Great work on that rebuild....
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Peter Sumner
Concert Piano Technician



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#1167708 - 03/24/09 03:06 AM Re: Front Duplex Steinway "A" [Re: rysowers]
Rod Verhnjak Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 3659
Loc: Vancouver B.C. Canada
Originally Posted By: rysowers
Interesting post, Rod (and gorgeous work as usual!)

I have a couple of questions:

1. Some of the duplexes have a screw but most of them don't? Are the ones that don't held down by string pressure only? If so, I wonder why the others have a screw?

2. There's some sort of lettering or numbering on several of them. Have you deciphered any meaning out of those?

Just curious!


1. There are 6 sections that make up the duplex. Two screws per section to fasten them to the plate.

2. They are numbered 1 to 6 left to right. Not sure what the "B" is for.

We had a PTG meeting tonight and those that make a comment agree on my thought of it being for duplex noise suppression. Helping in that sometimes annoying buzz you get on some models.

I guess once its strung I'll hear if it has any issues.
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#1167710 - 03/24/09 03:11 AM Re: Front Duplex Steinway "A" [Re: Peter Sumner- Piano Technician]
Rod Verhnjak Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 3659
Loc: Vancouver B.C. Canada
Originally Posted By: Peter Sumner- Piano Technician
Has anybody asked the factory if they have any records available?

Great work on that rebuild....


I have not asked anyone at Steinway. I doubt they would have any records for that, but you never know.

Thanks
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#1167757 - 03/24/09 07:09 AM Re: Front Duplex Steinway "A" [Re: Rod Verhnjak]
Les Koltvedt Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 3195
Loc: Canton, MI
Rod, I only hope my first S&S A build is half as nice as yours...looks great



Have you tried the new perimeter bolting system from Wessel, Nickles and Gross
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Les Koltvedt
LK Piano
Servicing the S. Eastern Michigan Area
PTG Associate

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#1168319 - 03/25/09 12:19 AM Re: Front Duplex Steinway "A" [Re: Les Koltvedt]
Rod Verhnjak Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 3659
Loc: Vancouver B.C. Canada
I have not used the WNG system yet. I have looked at them at PTG conferences.

I like the idea and plan on utilizing the system once the need arises.

Have fun with your Steinway restoration.
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#1168417 - 03/25/09 07:43 AM Re: Front Duplex Steinway "A" [Re: Rod Verhnjak]
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3876
Steinway has a records room filled with info on manufacturing specifications. Books and books of it. I'm sure it would be mentioned somewhere in them.
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#1168734 - 03/25/09 05:05 PM Re: Front Duplex Steinway "A" [Re: Rod Verhnjak]
Dale Fox Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 1064
Loc: Nor California Sacramento area


1. There are 6 sections that make up the duplex. Two screws per section to fasten them to the plate.

2. They are numbered 1 to 6 left to right. Not sure what the "B" is for.

We had a PTG meeting tonight and those that make a comment agree on my thought of it being for duplex noise suppression. Helping in that sometimes annoying buzz you get on some models.

I guess once its strung I'll hear if it has any issues. [/quote]


Rod, I believe the A,B markings indicate the models the particular cast can be used in. IOWs, it could work in a model "B" as well.

I doubt it will help with noise suppression, even if it was originally intended to do so. I have found it more effective to move those cast pieces as close as possible to the capo in order to shorten the length of the wire section as well as to increase the termination angle. I usually toss them into the bin and install a piece of brass bar of appropriate height.

The front duplex section allows noise and reduces efficiency. It isn't truly tunable either. In my way of thinking it's better to staunch the energy leak than to use a poor design because it was there originally.
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Registered Piano Technician
Remanufacturing/Rebuilding

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#1168806 - 03/25/09 07:03 PM Re: Front Duplex Steinway "A" [Re: Dale Fox]
Rod Verhnjak Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 3659
Loc: Vancouver B.C. Canada
Originally Posted By: Dale Fox


I usually toss them into the bin and install a piece of brass bar of appropriate height.

The front duplex section allows noise and reduces efficiency. It isn't truly tunable either. In my way of thinking it's better to staunch the energy leak than to use a poor design because it was there originally.[/color]


I have seen brass rods in place of the front duplex a few times. One rebuilder here in town once ground off the cast duplex in a 1960's "D" and installed brass bars. A few years later the piano was sent back to Steinway for a new plate.

I like some duplex leak. I find if I fully block the duplex noise, it makes the sound of the treble a bit sterile.

Not attempting to disagree with you but finding that fine line sometimes is a bit difficult.

If I don't modify the duplex the owner can't blame me for screwing it up. If they like the end result then your a hero. If they don't, all fingers point to the rebuilders modifications and not to the design of a finley design but not always perfected piano. grin



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