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#1177511 - 04/09/09 06:50 PM ? about soft pedal regulation on verticals
88Key_PianoPlayer Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/02
Posts: 1912
Loc: El Cajon, CA
I've heard/read that when regulating uprights, the bridle tapes are adjusted so the keys don't go down when you use the soft pedal. Why is this? I personally would prefer not to have the lost motion between the capstan and the sticker / whippen, and would be willing (and actually prefer) to have a shallower key dip when using the soft pedal, like on the Fandrich action. Why is it not recommended to regulate uprights this way? I realize you have to be much more careful and particular with how you adjust it when you do it the way I prefer, but isn't that what regulation is all about? (And no, I'm not thinking I'd do it to every piano I regulate (unelss it's a good idea), I was thinking if I wanted to regulate my own piano that way what pitfalls might I encounter? Am I going to shatter the plate into a gazillion microscopic pieces if I regulate the action that way, for example? laugh )


Edited by 88Key_PianoPlayer (04/09/09 06:51 PM)
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#1177561 - 04/09/09 08:48 PM Re: ? about soft pedal regulation on verticals [Re: 88Key_PianoPlayer]
Matthew Lavender RPT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/09
Posts: 31
Loc: Michigan
Having the bridle wires too taut will negatively affect the whippen and keep it from moving back to it's rest position and may cause the jack to not go back under the hammer butt. So unless you want keys misfiring I wouldn't recommend regulating your piano that way.
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#1177579 - 04/09/09 09:25 PM Re: ? about soft pedal regulation on verticals [Re: Matthew Lavender RPT]
Keith Roberts Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 1984
Loc: Murphys, Ca
You are better off installing a mute rail with the felt that drops in front of the strings. They work with an old cable style choke adjustment on a car.
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Keith Roberts
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Keith's Piano Service
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#1177621 - 04/09/09 11:12 PM Re: ? about soft pedal regulation on verticals [Re: Keith Roberts]
88Key_PianoPlayer Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/02
Posts: 1912
Loc: El Cajon, CA
If I go the mute rail route, are there tapered felt strips available? (Meaning if I press lightly on the pedal it only has a subtle effect, to pressing fully on the pedal gives maximum effect). Also if I install a mute rail how does that change the recommended letoff regulation? (btw the middle pedal on this piano is a bass sustain, and while it, IMO, is what I consider to be possibly the best brand and model of studio upright ever made, i don't know that it'd be worth the effort to put a sostenuto mechanism in. is it physically possible to do? i'm not about to consider doing it though.)
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Associate Member - Piano Technicians Guild
1950 (#144211) Baldwin Hamilton
1956 (#167714) Baldwin Hamilton
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#1177676 - 04/10/09 02:51 AM Re: ? about soft pedal regulation on verticals [Re: 88Key_PianoPlayer]
rysowers Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2494
Loc: Olympia, WA
I had a conversation with Darrel Fandrich about this very question. What I remember from that conversation was that Darrel claimed you could get some of what his action does by adjusting the tapes so that they lift the wippens. The tighter you make them the less dynamic lost motion you will get. The repetition spring on his action keeps the hammer from getting very far ahead of the wippen - which is what a tight bridle tape will do as well.

Of course, like mentioned above - you don't want them so tight as to not let the jacks return reliably.

I say go ahead and try it. Bridle tapes are probably the easiest part to adjust in the action so if you don't like the result it will be easy to put back. Let us know how you like it.
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Pianova Piano Service
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#1177714 - 04/10/09 07:32 AM Re: ? about soft pedal regulation on verticals [Re: rysowers]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4977
Loc: Bradford County, PA
88:

I’ve had the same thoughts, and since I don’t use the soft pedal on my own piano, I have it set to move the hammers forward only a little and then have the bridle straps set to almost lift the whippens with the pedal depressed. Of course this is only on my own piano. I would not do this (nor other things that I have done) to a customer’s piano.

A drawback I can see is that sometimes I like to just tap the keys when playing a light, fast phrase and let the momentum of the hammer do the work rather than pressing the key down fully. If the there is no slack in the bridle straps, then the hammer momentum must also lift the whippen all the way to the let-off point. Hmmm, I might have them too tight as it is…
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#1179435 - 04/13/09 07:25 AM Re: ? about soft pedal regulation on verticals [Re: UnrightTooner]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4977
Loc: Bradford County, PA
All:

A nice thing about this Forum is how it makes me reconsider what I think and do. I understand that it has been proven that the bridle straps do more than keep the jacks from tripping out from under the butts when the action is removed. They aid in returning the hammer butt for faster repetition. So if a little is good more is better, right? Of course not!

Rethinking things and trying some adjustments, I’ve decided that bridle straps that have more slack definitely allow better control when playing a fast, light piece like “The Pizzicato Polka”. I think the proper “window” of regulation is when the bridle straps are slack enough so that the whippens are not lifted when the soft pedal is used but tight enough so that, when swinging a hammer toward the string, the whippen is lifted before the hammer is at it checking distance.
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Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
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