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#1180804 - 04/15/09 10:21 AM Keys sticking on Baldwin Acrosonic?
1887Krakauer Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/07/08
Posts: 16
Loc: Cincinnati
I am looking at buying a used Acrosonic for my 5 year old to start lessons. The seller says a few of the keys stick. Is it worth trying to get this repaired? The price is only $75.00 which seems like a steal! If I get this repaired, will it raise it's resale value in the future?

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#1180844 - 04/15/09 11:24 AM Re: Keys sticking on Baldwin Acrosonic? [Re: 1887Krakauer]
John Dutton Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/06
Posts: 251
Loc: Billings, MT
Have a technician give it a once over. The keys could be sticking because they need to be eased, or the hammer shanks have warped and the hammers are rubbing, or the lost motion is out of control, or a mouse lived in the piano and chewed it up, or, or, or, or......

If a tech gives it a green light then it's up to your budget and sound sensibilities. IMO taller is better-all mechanical function being equal.
_________________________
Piano Technician
Pro horn player
Recording Engineer

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#1181017 - 04/15/09 04:07 PM Re: Keys sticking on Baldwin Acrosonic? [Re: John Dutton]
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3859
You get what you pay for. If in good shape, this is a $800-$1200 piano. The price is way too low, and sends up red flags that the piano needs expensive repair. Do not buy this without approval by a technician first.
_________________________
www.PianoTunerOrlando.com






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#1181097 - 04/15/09 06:46 PM Re: Keys sticking on Baldwin Acrosonic? [Re: Bob]
Matthew Lavender RPT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/09
Posts: 31
Loc: Michigan
Sticky keys are insignificant in the overall scheme of things when evaluating a piano. Your priorities should be whether the big things are in good shape i.e. the soundboard, pinblock, bridges. After that I'd check out the condition of the strings and the action.

Don't just assume that the piano will be fine. I've seen too many people purchase a piano that looks wonderful only to have it tuned later and find out that it's a POS. Hire a tech to evaluate it BEFORE you buy it. You'll save yourself a lot of grief in the long run.
_________________________
Piano Technician

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#2245427 - 03/12/14 03:37 PM Re: Keys sticking on Baldwin Acrosonic? [Re: 1887Krakauer]
attaboy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/10
Posts: 40
Loc: NY, USA
I live near Buffalo NY. I bought a used 1989 Baldwin Acrosonic Console for $400 in August of 2012, and was told that was a good price. But I've put a lot more than that into it so far and it still needs more work even tho the first technician I had told me it looks like it was hardly played. It was way out of tune when I bought it, but I don't recall any sticking keys in the beginning. Since then, there have been a lot of keys sticking. I also had trouble finding a technician I had confidence in until I went with one who tuned solely by ear. He also sells pianos he restores. When he came in the early summer of 2013 I'd had severe sticking problems following work by the previous technician, and he cleared this all up as well as doing a great tuning job. But as winter began to set in, with much lower humidity in the house, keys began sticking again. The restorer sent out his top tuner to fix this and re-tune the piano, and I had no reason to question his competency. Soon after he left, however, keys began sticking again, and again he came back and fixed this no charge. But a week or so later, sticking started on an earlier sticking key, and two other problems arose as well.

In a return call from him he told me that he and the restorer concluded a $275, more in depth approach was needed. They said that as with some other consoles they'd seen, the keys were too light in weight. I was told the keys were relatively more heavy toward the front and lighter toward the rear and that lead key weights would have to be installed at the rear of every key.

I find it hard to believe that Baldwin would sell a piano with this kind of problem. Further I would think such an adjustment would alter the piano action.

I'd appreciate any comments on this.

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#2245468 - 03/12/14 04:57 PM Re: Keys sticking on Baldwin Acrosonic? [Re: 1887Krakauer]
Johnkie Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/11
Posts: 708
Loc: England
Has anyone who has worked on this piano, ever removed a hammer and underlever to check whether the centres may be tight ? If not, it may well be tight centres causing your problems rather than a key weight issue. Manufacturers don't sell instruments that have slow or sluggish actions due to key weight issues, but all to often techs fail to identify the real problems, and try to work around them using other methods. Inserting extra weights may well seem to improve things but will also make the touch heavier, and certainly not completely cure troublesome notes in the long term.
_________________________
Concert Tuner & Technician for the past 49 years in the United Kingdom
and Member of the Pianoforte Tuners' Association (London)
www.jphillipspianoservices.freeindex.co.uk : E-mail jophillips06@aol.com

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#2245477 - 03/12/14 05:08 PM Re: Keys sticking on Baldwin Acrosonic? [Re: 1887Krakauer]
Jon Page Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/09
Posts: 260
Loc: Harwich Port, Cape Cod, Massac...
If it was made between 1974 and 1984, there is Corfam on the butts and catchers which becomes hard, noisy and ineffective. It is replaced with Ecsaine for about $800.00 with cleaning and regulation (at least that's about what I charge).
_________________________
Regards,

Jon Page
Piano technician/tuner
Harwich Port, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA
http://www.pianocapecod.com

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#2245674 - 03/12/14 11:16 PM Re: Keys sticking on Baldwin Acrosonic? [Re: attaboy]
Gerry Johnston Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/13
Posts: 98
Loc: Haverhill, MA
Originally Posted By: attaboy
I live near Buffalo NY. I bought a used 1989 Baldwin Acrosonic Console for $400 in August of 2012, and was told that was a good price. But I've put a lot more than that into it so far and it still needs more work even tho the first technician I had told me it looks like it was hardly played. It was way out of tune when I bought it, but I don't recall any sticking keys in the beginning. Since then, there have been a lot of keys sticking. I also had trouble finding a technician I had confidence in until I went with one who tuned solely by ear. He also sells pianos he restores. When he came in the early summer of 2013 I'd had severe sticking problems following work by the previous technician, and he cleared this all up as well as doing a great tuning job. But as winter began to set in, with much lower humidity in the house, keys began sticking again. The restorer sent out his top tuner to fix this and re-tune the piano, and I had no reason to question his competency. Soon after he left, however, keys began sticking again, and again he came back and fixed this no charge. But a week or so later, sticking started on an earlier sticking key, and two other problems arose as well.

In a return call from him he told me that he and the restorer concluded a $275, more in depth approach was needed. They said that as with some other consoles they'd seen, the keys were too light in weight. I was told the keys were relatively more heavy toward the front and lighter toward the rear and that lead key weights would have to be installed at the rear of every key.

I find it hard to believe that Baldwin would sell a piano with this kind of problem. Further I would think such an adjustment would alter the piano action.

I'd appreciate any comments on this.

What I find bothersome about this is the number of visits this "restorer" made before "finding" the problem. Whatever is wrong with the piano should have been found on the first service call - certainly by the second. I used to do a lot of service work for Baldwin. They did have a lot of sticky key issues, but I never had to install lead weights. My advise is to get another opinion.
_________________________
Gerry Johnston, Registered Piano Technician
Haverhill, MA
(978) 372-2250
www.gjpianotuner.com

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#2245787 - 03/13/14 08:15 AM Re: Keys sticking on Baldwin Acrosonic? [Re: 1887Krakauer]
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 1693
Loc: Conway, AR USA
Originally Posted By: 1887Krakauer
I am looking at buying a used Acrosonic for my 5 year old to start lessons. The seller says a few of the keys stick. Is it worth trying to get this repaired? The price is only $75.00 which seems like a steal! If I get this repaired, will it raise it's resale value in the future?


Depends upon what the owner means by "sticking." The key stick is sticking, that is, it won't move at all? the note plays but won't repeat? The key doesn't return completely? The tone, itself, "sticks"? Too many possibilities. Needs a tech-check.
_________________________
Bob W.
Retired piano technician

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#2245978 - 03/13/14 02:03 PM Re: Keys sticking on Baldwin Acrosonic? [Re: 1887Krakauer]
attaboy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/10
Posts: 40
Loc: NY, USA
First, I want to thank you kind gents for your comments. Here's more info.

The hammer underlever check was made. THe last technician and restorer who were jointly involved each have more than 30 years of experience

Early on they thought they knew what was causing the sticking at a point where 10 or more keys were sticking. Don't know quite how to describe it but apparently right on the keys there are these felts that swell. THey go in with what looks like a crimping tool of sorts and I believe they crimp the felts. THis had worked well and I had no sticking for about 6 months until winter set in. But with continued problems they concluded it would be best to install the key weights since the approach they were taking was not completely working.

I think I can live with the degree of sticking that is going on right now and wait to see if it gets much worse.

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#2247452 - 03/16/14 12:58 PM Re: Keys sticking on Baldwin Acrosonic? [Re: 1887Krakauer]
attaboy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/10
Posts: 40
Loc: NY, USA
I hope I'm not hijacking a thread here. But in my case its kind of a combination of the note plays but won't repeat and The key doesn't return completely. It returns completely, but slowly, would probably be the best way to describe it. I can't play fast repeats on it. Arps can be a problem. I've thought that if I could only talk to the manufacturer, Baldwin in this case, I might be able to get a better fix on my situation. BTW, How does the Baldwin Acrosonic piano that I have rate in quality among the Other console models that Baldwin makes? Does anyone know?

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#2247784 - 03/17/14 07:13 AM Re: Keys sticking on Baldwin Acrosonic? [Re: Johnkie]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7480
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Johnkie
HManufacturers don't sell instruments that have slow or sluggish actions due to key weight issues, but all to often techs fail to identify the real problems, and try to work around them using other methods.


I have seen some small pianos that did not have any weight in the keys. If it is planned to install some, chances are it was not done initially. When everything works fine the action is OK, but as soon as the centers get less free, only the weight of the rods that transmit the motion of the keys, is not enough.

With those inaccessible actions, any work on them expensive, necessitating a long disassembling with the risk of damaged parts.

To Attaboy, yes it visibly sound as centers getting lazy.



Edited by Olek (03/17/14 07:14 AM)
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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#2249506 - 03/20/14 02:39 PM Re: Keys sticking on Baldwin Acrosonic? [Re: 1887Krakauer]
tannertuner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/14/11
Posts: 23
Loc: Georgia, USA
Attaboy - one other thing comes to mind. I've seen Baldwins from the 1980s where the damper lever felt wore quickly, due to rough spoons. If the key weight is light enough, it can be just enough that a slight amount of friction in the key bushings will exacerbate the problem. The technician eases the key bushings and temporarily solves the problem, so he thinks that is the problem. But it isn't, which is why the problem is chronic.

When the damper lever felt becomes worn, the wippen can hang up when the key is pressed. The solution is not inexpensive. The drop action needs to be removed to the shop, all damper levers removed from the action, spoons polished, felts replaced, and reassembled.

This may be the problem with both pianos.

I agree, $75 for a Baldwin Acrosonic, depending on age and condition, is too low, and sends a red flag that much work is needed. I'm very surprised that Attaboy found a 1989 model for $400. That piano cost close to $3000 in 1989 and would have been one of the last few spinets ever made.


Edited by tannertuner (03/20/14 02:52 PM)
_________________________
Jeff Tanner
Piano Tuner-Technician; 30 years
Tanner Piano
http://www.tannertuner.com

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#2249509 - 03/20/14 02:47 PM Re: Keys sticking on Baldwin Acrosonic? [Re: 1887Krakauer]
tannertuner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/14/11
Posts: 23
Loc: Georgia, USA
Attaboy wrote: "BTW, How does the Baldwin Acrosonic piano that I have rate in quality among the Other console models that Baldwin makes?"

Baldwin doesn't make consoles anymore. They put their name on Chinese made pianos and overprice them. Not even Baldwin designs.

That said, in my opinion, in its day, the Acrosonic was the Cadillac of American made spinets. Aside from having an action that is difficult to service and a short scale with small soundboard (as is the case with ALL spinets), from a quality perspective, is as good as any of the consoles they ever made.
_________________________
Jeff Tanner
Piano Tuner-Technician; 30 years
Tanner Piano
http://www.tannertuner.com

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#2250475 - 03/22/14 01:15 PM Re: Keys sticking on Baldwin Acrosonic? [Re: Olek]
attaboy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/10
Posts: 40
Loc: NY, USA
Originally Posted By: Olek
Originally Posted By: Johnkie
HManufacturers don't sell instruments that have slow or sluggish actions due to key weight issues, but all to often techs fail to identify the real problems, and try to work around them using other methods.


I have seen some small pianos that did not have any weight in the keys. If it is planned to install some, chances are it was not done initially. When everything works fine the action is OK, but as soon as the centers get less free, only the weight of the rods that transmit the motion of the keys, is not enough.

With those inaccessible actions, any work on them expensive, necessitating a long disassembling with the risk of damaged parts.

To Attaboy, yes it visibly sound as centers getting lazy.



Thanks, Olek, I'll look into that.

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#2250482 - 03/22/14 01:22 PM Re: Keys sticking on Baldwin Acrosonic? [Re: tannertuner]
attaboy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/10
Posts: 40
Loc: NY, USA
Originally Posted By: tannertuner
Attaboy wrote: "BTW, How does the Baldwin Acrosonic piano that I have rate in quality among the Other console models that Baldwin makes?"

Baldwin doesn't make consoles anymore. They put their name on Chinese made pianos and overprice them. Not even Baldwin designs.

That said, in my opinion, in its day, the Acrosonic was the Cadillac of American made spinets. Aside from having an action that is difficult to service and a short scale with small soundboard (as is the case with ALL spinets), from a quality perspective, is as good as any of the consoles they ever made.


Thanks, Tanner, for your comments. This gives me a lot to look into. BTW, you were making reference to spinets. I'm not sure I made it clear, but my acrosonic is a console. Its good to know I have a great piano. RIght now there's only one key sticking but middle C gives this sqeaking noise from time to time.

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#2250489 - 03/22/14 01:31 PM Re: Keys sticking on Baldwin Acrosonic? [Re: 1887Krakauer]
tannertuner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/14/11
Posts: 23
Loc: Georgia, USA
My comments on the worn damper lever felts applies regardless of spinet, consollette or any other vertical action.

Jeff
_________________________
Jeff Tanner
Piano Tuner-Technician; 30 years
Tanner Piano
http://www.tannertuner.com

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#2250585 - 03/22/14 05:13 PM Re: Keys sticking on Baldwin Acrosonic? [Re: tannertuner]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7480
Loc: France
[quote=tannertuner]My comments on the worn damper lever felts applies regardless of spinet, consollette or any other vertical action.


Absolutely agreed, easy to test, push on the sustain pedal and try to perceive if there is really much friction gone.

Sorry I forget that (relatively frequent) problem on instruments of some age.

The spoon, .. on the cloth (wooven mechanical cloth)

WIth time the cloth wear , imagine sliding with force with a teaspoon on a fabrics, with dirt/dust, the spoon is finally agressive to the cloth and sort of sand it(it can also have the nickel worn, or some corrosion)

AT first the contact spoon/damper blade retains the whippen to move as freely as it need, and at some extreme point the edge of the spoon get caught in the cloth, the hammer/note get really stuck and do not get back until the sustain pedal is exercised (and even then sometime it stay blocked).

WHy it is not a bad idea to dust and blow with compressed air the actions from time to time (plus polishing and lubing).
Even vacuuming the key mortise may add to their longevity in the end. dust= abrasive material... there is generally too much in pianos...

Bad original dsign and regulating dampers on worn blades creates also that braking sooner than expected.

As anything with pianos, not particularly a long job, but dismounting mounting parts, correcting their spacing and position, regulating dampers (pedal and individually)
one full day soon necessary.


Edited by Olek (03/22/14 05:48 PM)
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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#2251325 - 03/24/14 09:58 AM Re: Keys sticking on Baldwin Acrosonic? [Re: Olek]
attaboy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/10
Posts: 40
Loc: NY, USA
All your comments have been helpful!!
This local pianist plays in a restaurant. He puts talcum powder on the keys from time to time. Mainly this is to offset sweaty hands in the summer. But is using this powder advisable for the overall health of the piano?

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#2254818 - 03/31/14 12:36 PM Re: Keys sticking on Baldwin Acrosonic? [Re: 1887Krakauer]
attaboy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/10
Posts: 40
Loc: NY, USA
That one key left sticking was treated with some talcum powder applied between it and an adjacent key. The sticking seems to have stopped.

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#2254905 - 03/31/14 04:28 PM Re: Keys sticking on Baldwin Acrosonic? [Re: 1887Krakauer]
Olek Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7480
Loc: France
if they are rubbing one another, this will come back. You may need to be sure they do not rub (may be only because the mortise are totally worn)

if the keys are warped the pins can be bend a little to avoid rubbing.

if a whole portion of the keys are slanting right or left,the mortise cloth are worn and need to be replaced.

talcum is not a problem with keyboards, but it may attract moisture in time. it is possible to use pure talcum in the cloth of the balance and front bushings, and even in the hole on middle of the keys. there are other dry lubes that resist better to moisture, as teflon micro powder.
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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#2255211 - 04/01/14 08:35 AM Re: Keys sticking on Baldwin Acrosonic? [Re: Olek]
attaboy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/10
Posts: 40
Loc: NY, USA
Originally Posted By: Olek
if they are rubbing one another, this will come back. You may need to be sure they do not rub (may be only because the mortise are totally worn)

if the keys are warped the pins can be bend a little to avoid rubbing.

if a whole portion of the keys are slanting right or left,the mortise cloth are worn and need to be replaced.

talcum is not a problem with keyboards, but it may attract moisture in time. it is possible to use pure talcum in the cloth of the balance and front bushings, and even in the hole on middle of the keys. there are other dry lubes that resist better to moisture, as teflon micro powder.




Thanks, Olek, for your comments. I like the teflon comment and will get some.

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