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#1182140 - 04/17/09 10:21 AM Stupid question about damper felt design...
Little_Blue_Engine Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 1236
Loc: Ohio, US
I've been replacing the worn damper felt on my upright a little at a time and was wondering why the bass dampers normally have two shorter wedges of felt instead of one longer one. I don't mean my piano individually, just uprights in general. Are two smaller pieces more effective at stopping the vibrations than one large one? If so is it because two smaller pieces are better able slide into place and "cuddle up" with the strings better than one large piece? Or is it because the strings are being touched in more than one place? Combinatin of both? Does the distance between the two wedges make a difference (I noticed my dampers are slightly longer than newer pre-made dampers) or are minor variations in length in an older piano just the result of less standardization in piano design between different manufacturers? As I mentioned, not asking about my specific piano and I'm not trying to redesign anything either. I'm just curious.
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#1182150 - 04/17/09 10:37 AM Re: Stupid question about damper felt design... [Re: Little_Blue_Engine]
JDelmore Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/10/07
Posts: 634
The vibrational nodes of the longer strings are further apart than on shorter ones. If the dampers worked well before, you should replace them exactly. If there were problems, i.e. odd harmonic ringing, that can be addressed, sometimes with "outrigger" dampers.
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"There is always room above; there is only the ground below."....F.E. Morton (with props to Del F.)

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#1182181 - 04/17/09 11:38 AM Re: Stupid question about damper felt design... [Re: JDelmore]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21821
Loc: Oakland
The wedges are short for the same reason the treble felt is compressed in the center: they make less noise when they touch the string.

I would not worry about slight differences in the size of the dampers. Manufacturers used what was available from their suppliers, too.
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#1182201 - 04/17/09 11:58 AM Re: Stupid question about damper felt design... [Re: BDB]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4224
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada


You can obtain longer dampers if you require them. Most of the generic replacements for older uprights are not as long as the originals.

I just had a problem with a very strong Heintzman (volume) and the regular generic replacements were not satisfactory. Too much bleed through, so I got these from Germany with the assistance of Jurgen Goering at Pianoforte Supply…..see photo….

http://picasaweb.google.com/silverwoodpi...689136902701410
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Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
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"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#1182343 - 04/17/09 03:46 PM Re: Stupid question about damper felt design... [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
Little_Blue_Engine Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 1236
Loc: Ohio, US
I like those triple wedged dampers! I've learned from experience working on old houses that sometimes things are done differently for a reason, even if it's not obvious. Mess with it too much and you find out the reason real quick eekso when I noticed the length difference I decided to use the origional dampers and just put new felt on them even though it takes more time and doesn't have that "shiny new" look. They're just long enough that a third wedge would fit in the middle with some space around it and I actually thought about doing that when I was working on them last night but wasn't sure if I should. I may go back and add a third wedge to a few of them and see what kind of difference it makes.
_________________________
I'll figure it out eventually.
Until then you may want to keep a safe distance.


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#1182346 - 04/17/09 03:48 PM Re: Stupid question about damper felt design... [Re: Little_Blue_Engine]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21821
Loc: Oakland
If you want more damping, adding weight to the damper block would probably do more than adding more felt. But be certain that is what you want. Too much damping makes the piano sound dry.
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