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#1273944 - 09/24/09 07:11 AM Key weight on a Grand
adrienschmitt Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/23/09
Posts: 7
Loc: London, UK
I know this is a subject that has been discussed in previous post but I would like to know your opinion on this.

I have a Bechstein Grand that has been completely renovated a year and a half ago. It has also been regulated and voiced last June.

The impression that I have of the touch is that it doesnt sustain enough. I feel it has a light feeling that's really not appropriate for Brahms for instance. The repetition is not that great also.

For some time I thought voicing it could be a solution.

Then I asked my technician to come and asked his opinion about adding weights.

In my mind I assumed the average downweight of the keys would be lower than 50g. I WAS WRONG. The actual downweight is 52g!
and the upweight is 20g, so nothing extreme.

My technician told me that it could be possible to add some and substract weight to modify the ratio between downweight and upweight. He said he'll look first at the center pins for friction.

I also have an Upright which had been made heavier some time ago. From a downweight of 45g to 55g and I'm quiet happy with the result.
I know the feel and perception of the an Upright is very different from a Grand but what would be the approximate downweight to achieve the same effect? 58g? 60g? 62g?


Thanks


Edited by adrienschmitt (09/24/09 07:13 AM)
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#1274061 - 09/24/09 10:56 AM Re: Key weight on a Grand [Re: adrienschmitt]
Peter Sumner- Piano Technician Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 852
Loc: San Francisco
The upweight of 20g is right on the border of acceptability...if you reduce the leading to increase that number it will make the downweight higher...which is maybe what you need..
It is all in the perception....there are many places in the keys and action that could benefit from a lube of some kind to reduce friction...each case is different.
There are a host of items that need checking BEFORE any 'voicing' takes place.
You might want to research the hammers that were installed...Bechstein, I seem to remember, had a mahogany core in the early grands and, as such, were fairly lightweight....it is essential that this be replicated in the replacements used if the 'feel' is to be kept the same.
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#1274072 - 09/24/09 11:11 AM Re: Key weight on a Grand [Re: Peter Sumner- Piano Technician]
Gene Nelson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 1464
Loc: Old Hangtown California
The key that you had measured on your piano has 16 grams of friction. If it were reduced to 10 or 12 -a more normal range- your down/up weight would change noticably. Down minus up divide 2 = friction.
Possible change would be 45/23.
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#1276916 - 09/28/09 09:27 PM Re: Key weight on a Grand [Re: Gene Nelson]
adrienschmitt Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/23/09
Posts: 7
Loc: London, UK
Thank you for your help,

I realise now that it's not so much a problem of downweight but more of upweight.
I would like to know if the upweight was increased (up to 30g) and the downweight stayed the same (in the region of 52g), would the keyboard feel heavier even though the downweight remained the same... but I guess there would inevitably be a need to increase it by at least 4g.

I just thinking because: I know how 55g on an upright feels like, I like the heaviness of the keys... a little bit stiff, but ok.
Apparently 55g on an upright would feel like 59g on a grand. So if I could get just a little lighter like 56-57g.
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http://www.youtube.com/user/adrienschmittpiano/featured


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#1291006 - 10/21/09 03:02 AM Re: Key weight on a Grand [Re: adrienschmitt]
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
I apologize for resurfacing a dead thread but wonder if you pros could advice me on a predictament very similar to this scenario. I will consult my own staff tomorrow but wanted to get a better idea of what I am dealing with. I have a Steinway with 52 grams downweight and 18 grams upweight.
Somewhat familiar with the formula for calculating friction I am wondering after addressing friction points which would eliminate ? grams,I don't believe it be enough to make a major difference in raising the upweight enough.

If I chose to hang a bit heavier hammer which would add to my downweight(lets say 5 grams added to the touchweight)how much in ratio would it add to my upweight,after of course addressing most friction points already.

Also as Peter mentioned ,if I eliminated ? lead in making the downweight heavier,what is the approximate ratio of the rise in upweight. Really the same question I guess!

You guys deal with this all day long. Not being a tech,I'd like to get a better idea before addressing my guys. Appreciate any insight.!


Edited by pianobroker (10/21/09 03:27 AM)
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#1292181 - 10/23/09 12:26 AM Re: Key weight on a Grand [Re: pianobroker]
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
In anwsering my own question grin,I am amazed by my prep tech who ceases to amaze me. Having gained 8 grams of upweight just from eliminating friction alone (which I didn't think possible) the piano actually sounds totally different without no voicing at all. The downweight in eliminating the friction from many points changed very little with the upweight changing drastically. I'm very content with approximately 52gms down and 26 grams up with the dampers down. Now with the dampers up I noticed the downweight dropped a bit which is normal but my upweight also dropped 2 grams approximately. The damper action is new by the way. My question, Is it normal for the damper tray when lifted to subtract from the upweight which I need every gram I can get. Am I being too anal or picky ? The piano plays great now and nobody/player wise would discern the loss of those 2 grams of upweight due to the damper tray drag. confused but I'd like to know Appreciate any insight.




Edited by pianobroker (10/23/09 12:31 AM)
_________________________
www.pastperfectpiano.com
Largest selection in the USA
100+Steinway and M&H grands
Warehouse showroom Onsite Restoration
Preowned & Restored
Hailun dlr.818-255-3145
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z8RvhXGKzY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Voo0zumHGgE

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#1292191 - 10/23/09 01:17 AM Re: Key weight on a Grand [Re: pianobroker]
Gene Nelson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 1464
Loc: Old Hangtown California
Not certain what you mean by damper tray drag.
Down and upweight measurements are taken with the damper assembly lifted and out of the equation. It is a good idea however to be certain that there are no friction issues in the damper assembly (I am certain your prep tech has done this) and that the dampers are not being engaged by the key ends too early in the key stroke - about one third to one half hammer travel is a good place to engage the damper lift lever with the key end.
52 down 26 up is a good average place to be.
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RPT
PTG Member

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