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#1181185 - 04/15/09 10:22 PM Removing DUO ART Player Action on Steinway Grand
eps Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 2
Does any tech know the best source for a step-by-step instruction/diagram for safely removing a full Duo-Art player action from a 1920s Steinway "A"? PTG Journal article? Art Reblitz's Player Restoration book? You cannot remove the key action for service - regulation, new hammers, etc. - without first detaching the whole player - spool box, tracker bar and tubes, etc.-and I want to make sure I do is safely and in the right order so that when I re-hook everything back up, the player operates fine.

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#1181263 - 04/16/09 01:19 AM Re: Removing DUO ART Player Action on Steinway Grand [Re: eps]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 23182
Loc: Oakland
I do not know if there are exact instructions anywhere, and it varied from time to time. I think earlier ones were harder to work on than later ones. Usually the variation was in how the tubes went through the keybed and how the soft pedal worked. All I can say is allow a couple of hours at the minimum, and take plenty of pictures if you are not good at figuring these things out.

If you do it, do everything you are going to do to the action all at once. You do not want to do this too often.
Semipro Tech

#1181282 - 04/16/09 02:26 AM Re: Removing DUO ART Player Action on Steinway Grand [Re: BDB]
rysowers Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2867
Loc: Olympia, WA
Those are notoriously difficult and time-consuming to remove. I had a client with an old George Steck grand with an Aeolian Duo-art player and he needed a sticky key fixed. I called in Jeff Davis a player specialist from Seattle. Took over an hour to get the action out if I remember correctly.
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA

#1181855 - 04/16/09 09:08 PM Re: Removing DUO ART Player Action on Steinway Grand [Re: rysowers]
Eric J Shoemaker Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/16/09
Posts: 4
Be prepared to flog yourself for taking on this task if you are inexperienced in doing so. Duo-Art keys are longer than they are in a conventional grand and that alone can confuse a reasonably competent tech. Make one mistake replacing/reversing or skipping any of the (thru the keys) tubes will throw off ALL of the rest of them, then you tear it down and start over and probably tangle it up a few more times depending on your fortitude. Just re-installing the one large hose to the spooolbox motor is challenging since it has to be squeezed through the treble end of the piano action and attached to the tempo regulator which you cannot see! Make sure none of the hoses kink or impede key travel, and must not do either when the una corda pedal is deployed. If you have a schematic remember that the tubing connections on top of the keys are oposite of where they meet UNDER the keys! Jeff Davis and myself are just about the only two guys left around here that can finish the job without crying and WITH check. At the very least: do not try to "wing it" in the customer's music room-- moving expenses to your shop and back should be a fraction of what you're going to charge to do this right and at least give you some freedom to figure out what you did wrong on your first attempt or reveal whatever else is already wrong caused by some previous genius that might be the primary cause of the need to regulate anything!You can learn how to do this if you are a reasonably good tech, have patience and know how to read a schematic. Murphy's law was written for this piano so start in your shop, get tubing charts, have patience and charge lots and lots, or walk away my friend! E-me if you like and we can chat more. Eric Shoemaker

#1182103 - 04/17/09 09:20 AM Re: Removing DUO ART Player Action on Steinway Grand [Re: Eric J Shoemaker]
wesquire Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/01/09
Posts: 88
Loc: Ohio
I had a client who owned 2 Duo-Art Steinways. I think one was an "A" but cannot remember the other. He was a collector of all old music machines and did his own ground up restoring except the real piano tech work. He WAS a real expert! I tuned and serviced these pianos for many years but when any action work was necessary...HE took them apart. I watched him once and just marveled at the procedure and his memory. He knew every square inch of that piano!

Eric is so right. Do not even try to do this in a clients home.
Get an expert and watch how it is done.
Retired industry professional.


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