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#1189322 - 04/28/09 06:45 PM Soft pedal on my Steinway 1098 upright
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
O.K. folks, at the risk of sounding completely dumb here, I have to ask this anyway!
I have owned this Steinway upright for 33 years, got it new and had it reconditioned 2 years ago. I am noticing that it sounds REALLY LOUD now and the action seems different, stiffer, kind of wooden sounding. I found that by playing with the soft pedal on the whole time, everything improves dramatically: tone, ease of trilling, etc. This piano has just the 2 pedals, no sostenuto pedal in the middle.
Anybody know what I am trying to describe here and/or do you own a Steinway upright or grand and have this issue with an older instrument?
Piano Teacher

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#1189345 - 04/28/09 07:23 PM Re: Soft pedal on my Steinway 1098 upright [Re: Barb860]
Marty Flinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/06
Posts: 2604
Hammers harden with age and the tone gets brighter and more brittle on all pianos. Don't know what they did to "recondition" your piano two years ago. Some hammer shaping and voicing will likely cure your issues.
Co-Author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Buying A Piano. A "must read" before you shop.
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#1189376 - 04/28/09 08:32 PM Re: Soft pedal on my Steinway 1098 upright [Re: Marty Flinn]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Thanks Marty. Yipes, I understood the voicing and filing of hammers would be taken care of in the reconditioning job I had done. I'll talk to my tech about it again. I did mention this to him already and he said the piano is getting old. Not sure the reconditioning was worth doing. But it's a Steinway for crying out loud.
Piano Teacher

#1189624 - 04/29/09 06:57 AM Re: Soft pedal on my Steinway 1098 upright [Re: Barb860]
Rich Galassini Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9517
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
When a piano is reconditioned with existing hammers, a tech. may "resurface" the existing hammers to get a more exact strikepoint. Resurfacing takes the grooves out of the hammers.

However, if this is not done judiciously, you may wind up with a significantly brighter sound because the hammer is now harder with less felt on it. Often voicing will help this, but sometimes the right answer is a new set of hammers.

BTW, if your tech. had to take enough felt off of your hammers that they are now unvoicable, you needed a new set of hammers anyway, IMHO.
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834

#1189813 - 04/29/09 12:33 PM Re: Soft pedal on my Steinway 1098 upright [Re: Rich Galassini]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Thank you, Rich. I may be at a cross-roads here with this piano if indeed a new set of hammers is necessary. We'll see what my tech has to say...

Thanks again,
Piano Teacher

#1189823 - 04/29/09 12:59 PM Re: Soft pedal on my Steinway 1098 upright [Re: Rich Galassini]
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
Actually one could do alot for $700 if you didn't change the hammerheads in the recondition. I can imagine the hammer condition after 33 years. Hammers as the pros mentioned, actually dry out.They lose that oil and resiliancy in the felt. Along with the climatic elements over the years;humidity and hammer filing contribute to that"hard as a rock factor" Just the expenditure of brand new hammers: boring them,hanging them,shaping them,voicing them,regulating etc.would be more than $700. I would go ahead and invest that much more $ in that,the piano should sound "like new" again. Maybe you could disclose what he did do for $700 as in ;rebush the keys,damper felt,bridal straps etc.1098 are 20K new now so....a further $ investment would be well worth it. smile
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