Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician
SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
Ad (Piano Sing)
How to Make Your Piano Sing
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
Who's Online
127 registered (accordeur, Beachdingo, Auver, BB Player, 41 invisible), 1566 Guests and 20 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Pianos
Page 3 of 7 < 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 >
Topic Options
#1579270 - 12/18/10 06:58 AM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: dcb]
dcb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/15/10
Posts: 199
It keeps getting suggested that I call the tech who installed it so here is why I didn't...

--I've since found another tech who I really like a lot and don't plan on using the original tech anymore.
--Based on my gut feeling I think he would have thought my questions were a hassle and not wanted to put the time in (I've spent many many hours troubleshooting this)
--this is the busy tuning season so I wanted to be sensitive about his time
--Like many people, I think he would have just told me that the system is working fine and don't worry about it and then made up some reason why my hygrometer readings were innacurate, etc.
--The troubleshooting process was not something that could be done by a one visit inspection
--I'm a pretty competent person and these systems are dead simple so I could handle it myself (side effect is that now I really understand more about Dampp Chasers)
--I don't particularly care about the warranty although I'm sure it is not voided because of the minimal "work" I've done. Also, the warranty is a joke because it doesn't cover labor costs...just parts.

***EDIT: I don't want to offend anyone with this statement so disregard my comment about the warranty being a "joke". The warranty is fine and again, although I received a lot of misinformation (in my opinion), the customer service experience was very good. Also, I was unaware that some or most techs don't charge for the labor part of these warranty situations.

These conversations have been very interesting to me. There is clearly three opinions about Dampp Chasers: 1) they are incredible 2) they are worthless 3) somewhere in between

From my limited experience, I think the differing opinions can be attributed to:
1. Most people install it, never measure, and never really know if it works. (I bet lots of them don't really achieve the desired result. I would have fallen into this category if I wasn't curious about it.)

2. Installation, how extreme the environment is, and design of the piano (how tightly the piano is "sealed".

My other observation is that it is very interesting that these systems don't have a built in measuring device. (hygrometer, data logger, etc.) I bet it wouldn't make good business sense to do this because it would cost a lot of money on fine tuning these systems by heigtening consumer awareness of the performance of these systems.

Thanks everyone for your help with this one. This is a very cool forum.


Edited by dcb (12/18/10 08:05 AM)

Top
(ad PTG 757) The Value of PTG Membership
The Value of a PTG Membership
#1579273 - 12/18/10 07:07 AM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: dcb]
dcb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/15/10
Posts: 199
Trust me...DC wanted to go through the tech. I pushed them and they agreed to work with me. I've very greatful for that. Dampp Chaser support was friendly but here are some things they told me that I really have trouble with...

--you can't really measure the performance of the system by humidy readings...the pitch stability is the only thing that matters
--the humidifier really only adds humidity to a small area on the soundboard above the humidifier tank
--don't fill the gap between the bottom panel and the keybed...the system needs airflow to work properly

So again, DC was very helpful in regards to sending me replacement parts to try, but I really don't think they were a wealth of information regarding troubleshooting.

Top
#1579275 - 12/18/10 07:22 AM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: dcb]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
OK first, the warranty isn't a "joke." Yes it covers parts only, but in any warranty issues I've dealt with, I didn't charge labor. I chose to provide the warranty service as a courtesy to a good customer who trusted me with the installation and tunings.

Second...the purpose of the system is to stabilize the humidity and therefore the pitch of the piano. The reason many of us don't bother setting up humidity loggers after each install is because if the pitch is stabilized, varying only a few cents between seasons (instead of the normal 20-30 cents around here, for example), the system IS indeed working and doing its job. When there have been issues where the pitch didn't stabilize, further investigation was called for.

I'm glad you got your installation figured out. As you can see, there are definitely opinions about it, along with a fair degree of misinformation. In the end, your system stabilized and your piano will be better because of it! smile

*edit* I bet you'd be hard pressed to name other electronic products that give a 5 year warranty on parts. Pretty much unheard of.

*edit 2* I'm sorry, but this is really starting to bug me! A full 5 years on parts and it's a joke because the warranty doesn't include labor? Most other products cover labor for a short time and then parts only, but none come close to 5 years on the parts; a significant trade, I would think. Second, the company supplied you with a new humidistat and humidifer bar under its warranty, even though neither of those were the problem. So I guess I'm scratching my head about the joke of a warranty. The real problem lay in the installation, which would have been the tech, who you chose not to call. Dampp-Chaser ended up covering the system even though none of the system components were at fault. They dealt directly with you courteously and professionally, according to your comments. Hardly a joke, my friend! smile


Edited by Loren D (12/18/10 07:32 AM)
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

Top
#1579283 - 12/18/10 07:54 AM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: dcb]
dcb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/15/10
Posts: 199
Hi Loren. I think that's fair. I suppose calling the warranty a "joke" was a bit much. True 5 years is great. To be totally fair as well, many techs probably waive the labor costs or it takes so little time to replace parts, the cost is negligible. If I could retract my statement, I would.

Thanks for keeping me honest and reasonable. smile

Top
#1579286 - 12/18/10 07:59 AM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: dcb]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
No problem, my friend. smile I'm glad it all worked out for you!
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

Top
#1579311 - 12/18/10 08:47 AM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: rysowers]
Les Koltvedt Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 3195
Loc: Canton, MI
Originally Posted By: rysowers
Wow! That's a significant discovery! I may have to add that to my installation routine! It makes sense that that gap would have a real effect. Thanks for your research!


FYI, in regards to the 1/2" pipe insulation, you can find a variety of sizes in a product known as "Backer Rod" it's an easy to compress rope-like celled foam, available from 1/4" up to 6" in diameter. Any local box store "should" carry it.
_________________________
Les Koltvedt
LK Piano
Servicing the S. Eastern Michigan Area
PTG Associate

Top
#1579312 - 12/18/10 08:50 AM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: dcb]
wayne walker Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 515
Loc: Windsor,Nova Scotia Canada
Originally Posted By: dcb
Trust me...DC wanted to go through the tech. I pushed them and they agreed to work with me. I've very greatful for that. Dampp Chaser support was friendly but here are some things they told me that I really have trouble with...

--you can't really measure the performance of the system by humidy readings...the pitch stability is the only thing that matters
--the humidifier really only adds humidity to a small area on the soundboard above the humidifier tank
--don't fill the gap between the bottom panel and the keybed...the system needs airflow to work properly

So again, DC was very helpful in regards to sending me replacement parts to try, but I really don't think they were a wealth of information regarding troubleshooting.


from what I gather you now know more than Dampp-Chaser and us techs on the forumn, you're the expert now . The system might work if you stop messing with the installation


Edited by wayne walker (12/18/10 08:52 AM)
_________________________
Wayne Walker
Walker's Piano Service
http://www.walkerpiano.ca/

Top
#1579330 - 12/18/10 09:22 AM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: dcb]
dcb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/15/10
Posts: 199
I think I've been offending people on these posts so I'm going to stop posting. For anyone who has been offended, I'm sorry. I don't claim to know anything about piano tuning, repair, etc. and don't want to step on anyone's toes. I have a lot of respect for the forum members and how much experience everyone has.

My piano tech is lucky I didn't call him...I can be that customer that can be a pain and expects things to be too close to perfect. I know that so I wanted to spare him.

I do have a background in science, troubleshooting technical things, some common sense, and a DIY approach.

All of your experience, thoughts, and insight have been greatly appreciated which is why I read this post... I learn a lot from listening to you all.

My testing is certainly not scientifically sound in a perfectly controlled environment so I wouldn't expect anyone to use any of my experiences as the end all...just one guy, one piano, one experience.

I can say, however, that I think my DC system is great now and I expect it to work great for a very long time.

Top
#1579377 - 12/18/10 11:31 AM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: dcb]
James Carney Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/30/10
Posts: 440
Loc: new york city
Interesting thread...

I've owned a DC system since 1994 for my own grand piano and I've installed a number of new DC systems. (And, as of a few weeks ago, I am now a certified Dampp-Chaser installer.)

Everyone is certainly entitled to their opinion, but my experience is that the systems work beautifully, especially when the client doesn't have their piano sitting over or next to a heating vent in the floor (yes, I've seen this lots of times) or next to an open window...Or in direct sunlight for hours each day...Or all of the above.

I do a lot of work for a dealer who sells Bluthner, Bosendorfer, and Steingraeber - all three of these companies (and many others, including Ciresa soundboards from Italy) recommend the use of a Dampp-Chaser system for their pianos. Why would these manufacturers recommend a system that isn't effective? These are some of the finest pianos money can buy, and these companies have a legacy that goes back a long, long time...not to mention long before the Dampp-Chaser was even invented.

But more importantly, since living in NYC for six years now, I have personally witnessed the toll that our weather takes on tuning stability and action performance. It's absolutely awful here - sweltering summer humidity that morphs to static shock-inducing winters of indoor dryness where the % of RH measures in the teens or twenties. We are also surrounded by water, much of it salt or brackish. When I service pianos that have a DC installed, (and when the owner is diligent about keeping the tank filled with water!) the stability of the previous tuning is usually quite impressive, even if I am tuning in December and the piano was last tuned in July - it's almost always within a few cents of where it should be. It basically eliminates the need for a pitch raise so the tuner has a much better chance of leaving a rock solid, stable tuning. To me this is a major benefit of having one in your piano.

One thing that hasn't been brought up yet is the EMC factor. (Equilibrium Moisture Content) And this is what the Dampp-Chaser is really all about - maintaining an EMC that will protect the soundboard from expansion and contraction, which is the ultimate objective. (EMC is the point at which a given piece of wood will absorb and desorb (lose) moisture at the same rate.)

So my take is this: Don't worry so much about measuring the magic numbers of 40-45% RH on your hygrometer. Those numbers are not nearly as important as what is happening with the EMC of the soundboard (which was purposefully conditioned to remain somewhere around 10% EMC after an initial drying of the wood at about 6%.) If you are refilling the humidifier often, if your piano stays in tune longer, and if the action doesn't bind or get sluggish from season to season then you can be reasonably confident it's working.

As far as location of the DC humidistat, you will indeed get slightly more humidification if it is located a bit farther away from the humidifier tank. The install recommendation for a vertical is 2" above and 2" away from the side of the tank, so don't go too far away from those numbers. (In fact you should only alter the horizontal position if you must alter anything - always keep it 2" above the tank.)

Also, the use of distilled water is fine, and it may prolong pad life, but the pad treatment should always be used to add the necessary electrolytes so the sensors work. The pad treatment also inhibits mold growth.

Another thing that many piano owners may not understand: The DC can't compensate for a new piano that has received only one comp tuning a month after purchase. If the piano is new, or if it was neglected for many years, it may need multiple tunings in the first year to stabilize, especially if it only got one tuning at the dealer. (If it got one at all!) It also can't compensate for a lousy tuning, or for actions that haven't been correctly regulated/prepped. It is also crucial for owners to know that the system can sometimes work in a somewhat counterintuitive way. For example, even if it is pouring rain on an incredibly humid summer day the humidifier might be working some of the time - and this does not mean the system is malfunctioning. Its regulating itself within the microenvironment of the piano.

Some techs don't believe in the Dampp-Chaser, and there are probably some regions in the U.S. and other parts of the world where they may not be crucial, but I'm absolutely convinced that it makes a significant difference in the preservation of the piano and tuning stability in environments with dramatic swings in relative humidity.
_________________________
Keyboardist & Composer, Piano Technician
www.jamescarney.net
http://jamescarneypianotuning.wordpress.com/

Top
#1579405 - 12/18/10 12:38 PM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: James Carney]
wayne walker Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 515
Loc: Windsor,Nova Scotia Canada
Originally Posted By: James Carney
Interesting thread...

I've owned a DC system since 1994 for my own grand piano and I've installed a number of new DC systems. (And, as of a few weeks ago, I am now a certified Dampp-Chaser installer.)

Everyone is certainly entitled to their opinion, but my experience is that the systems work beautifully, especially when the client doesn't have their piano sitting over or next to a heating vent in the floor (yes, I've seen this lots of times) or next to an open window...Or in direct sunlight for hours each day...Or all of the above.

I do a lot of work for a dealer who sells Bluthner, Bosendorfer, and Steingraeber - all three of these companies (and many others, including Ciresa soundboards from Italy) recommend the use of a Dampp-Chaser system for their pianos. Why would these manufacturers recommend a system that isn't effective? These are some of the finest pianos money can buy, and these companies have a legacy that goes back a long, long time...not to mention long before the Dampp-Chaser was even invented.

But more importantly, since living in NYC for six years now, I have personally witnessed the toll that our weather takes on tuning stability and action performance. It's absolutely awful here - sweltering summer humidity that morphs to static shock-inducing winters of indoor dryness where the % of RH measures in the teens or twenties. We are also surrounded by water, much of it salt or brackish. When I service pianos that have a DC installed, (and when the owner is diligent about keeping the tank filled with water!) the stability of the previous tuning is usually quite impressive, even if I am tuning in December and the piano was last tuned in July - it's almost always within a few cents of where it should be. It basically eliminates the need for a pitch raise so the tuner has a much better chance of leaving a rock solid, stable tuning. To me this is a major benefit of having one in your piano.

One thing that hasn't been brought up yet is the EMC factor. (Equilibrium Moisture Content) And this is what the Dampp-Chaser is really all about - maintaining an EMC that will protect the soundboard from expansion and contraction, which is the ultimate objective. (EMC is the point at which a given piece of wood will absorb and desorb (lose) moisture at the same rate.)

So my take is this: Don't worry so much about measuring the magic numbers of 40-45% RH on your hygrometer. Those numbers are not nearly as important as what is happening with the EMC of the soundboard (which was purposefully conditioned to remain somewhere around 10% EMC after an initial drying of the wood at about 6%.) If you are refilling the humidifier often, if your piano stays in tune longer, and if the action doesn't bind or get sluggish from season to season then you can be reasonably confident it's working.

As far as location of the DC humidistat, you will indeed get slightly more humidification if it is located a bit farther away from the humidifier tank. The install recommendation for a vertical is 2" above and 2" away from the side of the tank, so don't go too far away from those numbers. (In fact you should only alter the horizontal position if you must alter anything - always keep it 2" above the tank.)

Also, the use of distilled water is fine, and it may prolong pad life, but the pad treatment should always be used to add the necessary electrolytes so the sensors work. The pad treatment also inhibits mold growth.

Another thing that many piano owners may not understand: The DC can't compensate for a new piano that has received only one comp tuning a month after purchase. If the piano is new, or if it was neglected for many years, it may need multiple tunings in the first year to stabilize, especially if it only got one tuning at the dealer. (If it got one at all!) It also can't compensate for a lousy tuning, or for actions that haven't been correctly regulated/prepped. It is also crucial for owners to know that the system can sometimes work in a somewhat counterintuitive way. For example, even if it is pouring rain on an incredibly humid summer day the humidifier might be working some of the time - and this does not mean the system is malfunctioning. Its regulating itself within the microenvironment of the piano.

Some techs don't believe in the Dampp-Chaser, and there are probably some regions in the U.S. and other parts of the world where they may not be crucial, but I'm absolutely convinced that it makes a significant difference in the preservation of the piano and tuning stability in environments with dramatic swings in relative humidity.


nice post.
I've installed many systems and found the pianos very stable after installation. Most times when I hear people complaining about the systems it usually come down to improper installation . Dampp-Chaser provides instruction for a reason and some people including some techs think their way of doing it is more right than the manufacturers.
_________________________
Wayne Walker
Walker's Piano Service
http://www.walkerpiano.ca/

Top
#1579478 - 12/18/10 02:44 PM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: dcb]
Eric Gloo Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 1253
Loc: Richfield Springs, New York
Originally Posted By: dcb
I think I've been offending people on these posts so I'm going to stop posting.


You can't stop now! laugh

You should let us know the humidity reading now that you've plugged the humidifier back into the humidistat.

Have you lowered the dehumidifier bar so that the bottom of the humidistat is 2 inches above the water tank?
_________________________
Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
Certified Dampp-Chaser Installer
Richfield Springs, New York

Top
#1579546 - 12/18/10 04:56 PM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: dcb]
Rick_Parks Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/16/10
Posts: 22
Loc: Maine, USA
I just wanted to bring up a possibility of mold or mildew forming if the air-flow is blocked? Humidity without air-flow- that's dampness isn't it? I doubt this is what Damp-Chaser wants.

Just a quick comment on the 20-30 cent change being normal for a piano? Ummm- I might have misunderstood what you meant by normal---- but, the average I come away with is about 10 cents (if that), in a normal environment. Again- perhaps I misunderstood what you were saying, Loren D.

Also--- another quick point DCB is in the seat of consumer/customer-- we are in the seat of service...Should we (as professionals) be telling the person we are offended? Or just take what's said and work with it?

I think this customer has given Damp-Chaser some things to consider for improving their product's performans (that is, getting it to do as advertized).

Just my thoughts.
-Rick


Edited by Rick_Parks (12/18/10 04:59 PM)
_________________________
Parks and Sons Piano Service
www.parksandsonspiano.com

Top
#1579553 - 12/18/10 05:01 PM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: wayne walker]
James Carney Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/30/10
Posts: 440
Loc: new york city
Originally Posted By: wayne walker


Most times when I hear people complaining about the systems it usually come down to improper installation . Dampp-Chaser provides instruction for a reason and some people including some techs think their way of doing it is more right than the manufacturers.


Wayne makes a great point, and when I initially read through the first posts I didn't catch the remark that the tech did the installation differently from the instructions.

Without seeing the work firsthand we certainly can't comment on the quality of the installation (detailed pictures would be extremely helpful here) but if the tech didn't do it right then the OP would be wise to get another tech that knows exactly how the DC should be installed. Even if it was done wrong initially, it's likely that the components can be repositioned/reinstalled to correct the problem, if there is one. If I were the OP I would probably get someone else - perhaps recommended by Dampp Chaser - to take a look just to be on the safe side.

BTW the online training modules at the DC website (for tech certification) are pretty cool. I was surprised at how much I learned, even though I already had experience installing the systems. There are a lot of little details that I am now aware of - and the section on wood, humidity, and EMC is especially informative.
_________________________
Keyboardist & Composer, Piano Technician
www.jamescarney.net
http://jamescarneypianotuning.wordpress.com/

Top
#1579556 - 12/18/10 05:07 PM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: Rick_Parks]
Rick_Parks Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/16/10
Posts: 22
Loc: Maine, USA
Oh- had a question for Loren D. and the others---
Has any study been done (by a third party not connected to PTG or D-C--- independent study smile ) as to the actual performance of the system in the piano? - also, the results of having twice the amount of humidity on the inside compared to the outside...and, the keybed's reaction (does it get humidity from this?- i.e. do the keys stick?)...
These are things I would be interested in finding out.

I'm not questioning honesty here-- I'm questioning the R&D. Not just a yes, please---- actual reports on this?

--Thanks

** EDIT: Citation ("Understanding Wood Finishing" Bob Flexner):
"When wood is exposed to more moisture on one side than the other, the imbalance causes cupping. The side exposed to the most moisture is restricted from swelling by the other side."


Edited by Rick_Parks (12/18/10 05:30 PM)
_________________________
Parks and Sons Piano Service
www.parksandsonspiano.com

Top
#1579560 - 12/18/10 05:10 PM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: Rick_Parks]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: Rick_Parks
I just wanted to bring up a possibility of mold or mildew forming if the air-flow is blocked? Humidity without air-flow- that's dampness isn't it? I doubt this is what Damp-Chaser wants.

Just a quick comment on the 20-30 cent change being normal for a piano? Ummm- I might have misunderstood what you meant by normal---- but, the average I come away with is about 10 cents (if that), in a normal environment. Again- perhaps I misunderstood what you were saying, Loren D.

Also--- another quick point DCB is in the seat of consumer/customer-- we are in the seat of service...Should we (as professionals) be telling the person we are offended? Or just take what's said and work with it?

I think this customer has given Damp-Chaser some things to consider for improving their product's performans (that is, getting it to do as advertized).

Just my thoughts.
-Rick


I don't think sealing the gap will be an issue. Dampp-Chaser advocates the under piano cover in grands, which pretty much does the same thing.

And yes, where I live we have extreme humidity fluctuations. At colleges where I tune, pianos run 30 cents sharp in September and just as flat in March.
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

Top
#1579620 - 12/18/10 07:23 PM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: dcb]
dcb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/15/10
Posts: 199
Hi everyone. I tried to stay away but I couldn't. I find this conversation really interesting.

I woke up this morning and the RH% was 44% without the humidistat plugged in. I plugged in the humidistat again and 12 hours later it is about 37%. I think I have to give it more time to see what happens.

Based on the DC spec, theoretically it should cycle between 38% and 46% and over time average about 42%. (dehumidifier goes on at 46%, humidity drops to 38%, humidifer kicks in until it reaches 46%, repeat, repeat)

Unfortunately, I screwed up my experiment slightly. When I got the 44% RH I had the pads at 1/2 thickness (2 plies instead of 4). The tech at DC told me that wouldn't make any difference so when I turned the humidistat back on this morning I changed the pads to std thickness.) I may have to redo this part of the experiment.

Also, as a side note on pitch stability, the DC tech support guy told me that I should expect no more than 2 cents off year to year if the DC is working properly. I think that's incredible so I'll be excited if that comes true. I think I read somewhere that most human beings couldn't detect less than 4 cents of a pitch difference so 2 cents would be really good.

Regarding the installation. My installation done by my tech is slightly off from the instructions. The humidifier bar is 4" too high. It is 6" above the tank instead of 2". The left/right distance is to spec at 2". Maybe I should just move the dehumidifier bar down 4" just to rule it out. Probably not a bad idea although I would love to hear from someone who has had the experience with moving the humidistat and the resulting performance change.

If I can get my RH% at around 37%, that's good enough for me. At this point, I'm just enjoying this as an academic excercise that offers some interesting debate.

Cheers.

Top
#1579629 - 12/18/10 07:46 PM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: dcb]
dcb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/15/10
Posts: 199
On second thought...I'll move the dehumidifier bar down 4" tonight and see what happens. That will remove one more variable and will help answer the question, "what happens if your dehumidifer bar is 4" too high".

It would make sense that DC has done the research and spec'd the ideal distance.

Originally, the humidistat was also about 5" too far away (too far left) from the dehumidifer tank. I moved that to the 2" position and it didn't make a difference. Perhaps the vertical distance is more critical than the horizontal distance.

Cheers.


Edited by dcb (12/18/10 07:47 PM)

Top
#1579640 - 12/18/10 08:12 PM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: dcb]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
Well, wait a minute. It's the bottom of the humidistat, not the dehumidifier bar, that needs to be two inches above the humidifier. The humidistat is around 4 inches thick at least (I never measured it...never had to!).

*edit* I mean 4 inches long, not thick.


Edited by Loren D (12/18/10 08:13 PM)
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

Top
#1579649 - 12/18/10 08:32 PM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: dcb]
dcb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/15/10
Posts: 199
Yep. I wasn't clear in my post, but I did it right. Here is an image. It was pretty easy to move. You can see the baffle installed above as well.


Top
#1579659 - 12/18/10 08:43 PM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: dcb]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
Ok, perfect! smile
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

Top
#1579709 - 12/18/10 10:22 PM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: dcb]
wayne walker Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 515
Loc: Windsor,Nova Scotia Canada
What part of hire a tech you don't understand
_________________________
Wayne Walker
Walker's Piano Service
http://www.walkerpiano.ca/

Top
#1579732 - 12/18/10 11:02 PM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: dcb]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
Rick, I can't answer about Dampp-Chaser's r and d, since I honestly don't know. That would probably be a question better referred to them. I doubt it matters though, since you obviously are against the systems. Nothing wrong with that, that's your choice.

I can say though, from experience, that there is a dramatic difference in stability in pianos I service where systems are installed properly and maintained. I keep the customers supplied with solution and change the ads when needed. When the systems are installed right and kept up they way they should be, the pianos benefit.

Like i said earlier, the seasonal changes here are dramatic. In the winter the rh in homes goes into the teens. 20-30 cent changes in pitch are not uncommon in non DC-equipped pianos, verses 3-5 cent fluctuations in ones that are equipped.

It's too bad that one tech installing a system wrong can cause such a bias against the product, but thats the way it goes, i guess!

Anyway, I suggest you refer your original question to dampp-chaser. I'm sure they'd be eager to answer!
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

Top
#1579844 - 12/19/10 06:24 AM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: dcb]
dcb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/15/10
Posts: 199
I agree that it would be very unfair to judge one system based on a an incorrect installation. The underlying logic to that statement is correct installation = works well, bad installation = doesn't work well.

The glitch is that technically the installation that worked better is the one that was wrong. (sealing the gap) The installation instructions don't say anything about sealing the gap. DC told me not to. When I did (incorrect installation) the system worked much better.

Note that I think these DC systems are very good(in my opinion). The design is simple, the installation is easy. They are good for pianos. My curiosity is just about how to maximize the performance.

Since moving the dehumidifer bar down to the correct height, my RH% has been 33-37%. My guess is that it had no affect but it is probably more critical to have the dehumidifer bar in the right place in the summer time.

To Wayne's point...maybe he's right. Maybe I should hire a tech to come to my house and fix my problem. I'm thinking about what exactly to say... Probably something like... I was having some problems and tried a bunch of things and found that if I seal the gap I can get to ~35%. Can you recommend anything that could help me get to a RH closer to 42%?

My guess is he might recommend not to seal the gap because that's not what DC recommends. Other than that, I'm not sure what he will say. (This is just opinion...I have no idea what he would say) This exercise would certainly take out another variable which is me and my inexperience...and would answer the question what would a tech do differently than I would. I'll keep you posted.

I'm still glad that I tried this stuff on my own first. I certainly learned a lot about DC systems. Thanks everyone.


Edited by dcb (12/19/10 06:29 AM)

Top
#1579847 - 12/19/10 06:47 AM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: dcb]
dcb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/15/10
Posts: 199
By the way, the scientfic testing recommendation was a great idea and could be a terrific marketing boost for DC. It would be pretty easy to do...

--Take a bunch of identical pianos and measure the moisture content of the sound board in many places across the board to get a startng point.
--Then put these pianos in people's homes and don't touch them (no playing, no tuning) Homes could be around the country in different climates.
--Then, measure the soundboard moisture content throughout the duration of the study. Also take good measurements of the home's environment for comparison.

Top
#1579849 - 12/19/10 06:53 AM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: dcb]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: dcb
By the way, the scientfic testing recommendation was a great idea and could be a terrific marketing boost for DC. It would be pretty easy to do...

--Take a bunch of identical pianos and measure the moisture content of the sound board in many places across the board to get a startng point.
--Then put these pianos in people's homes and don't touch them (no playing, no tuning) Homes could be around the country in different climates.
--Then, measure the soundboard moisture content throughout the duration of the study. Also take good measurements of the home's environment for comparison.



I have a feeling it's been done; I just don't know for sure. It's a good question for Dampp-Chaser.

However, I DO know that Baldwin, Bechstein, Bluthner, Bosendorfer, Hailun, Kawai, Pearl River, Petrof, Sauter, Schimmel, Seiler, Steingraeber, Steinway, Yamaha, Kluge, North Bennet Street School, Randy Potter, University of Western Ontario, Enrico Ciresa, and Andre Bolduc are all on record endorsing Dampp-Chaserâ„¢ systems. Those are big, reputable names, and if I were a gambling man, I would bet that they all did studies before lending such an endorsement.

As I said, my own personal experience is that they reduce pitch fluctuation in my area by roughly 90%; that's good for the piano and the customer.
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

Top
#1579875 - 12/19/10 08:43 AM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: dcb]
dmsynck Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 91
Loc: Dallas, Texas
Can anyone tell me the approximate cost of a replacement humidistat ? I have an older vertical system(no smart bar) that has been in place and worked well for about 8 1/2 years where the humidistat does not seem to be turning the humidifier bar on. I just replaced the pads and they are wet, but cold to the touch. I verified the bar itself does work by bypassing the humidistat and plugged the humidifier bar directly into an extension cord. After a minute or two, it started to get warm. Will be contacting my piano tech after the holidays to see about getting the situation corrected. Do you think that not having the "warm" humidity will have a negative effect on the piano / tuning ?

Top
#1579891 - 12/19/10 09:26 AM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: dmsynck]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
Without the humidifier bar turning on, the system is not humidifying the piano. Are you absolutely sure humidification is called for right now? You can test the humidistat by gently blowing a hair dryer toward the sensor holes to see if that trips the humidifier to turn on.

If the stat does need replaced, the original one may no longer be available. What model humidistat is it? The model number is on the front of it. The current model is the H5, which has different light and probe connectors. If that's the case, you may have to go for an HM5 kit, which is the humidistat, universal tank, warning light, led panel, and watering kit (essentially, everything except the dehumidifier rods, which last pretty much forever).

For starters though, check and see which model humidistat you have and we can go from there.
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

Top
#1579897 - 12/19/10 09:37 AM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: Loren D]
Rick_Parks Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/16/10
Posts: 22
Loc: Maine, USA
Originally Posted By: Loren D
Rick, I can't answer about Dampp-Chaser's r and d, since I honestly don't know. That would probably be a question better referred to them. I doubt it matters though, since you obviously are against the systems. Nothing wrong with that, that's your choice.

Aside from your rather rude assumptions about my character and my point of view- I do think that independent reports should be presented to verify statements--- otherwise you merely have a bunch of 'opinion'- such as with you; since you do not know the actual facts behind the claims Dampp-Chaser make.
I understand the strong feelings, having a product you endorse questioned...but, let's simply get to truth about the topic- once and for all.
I would think that IF there were such reports Dampp-Chaser would be the first to be waving it around-- especially to its own certified techs. We'll contact Dampp-Chaser and find out Monday--- let you know.

By the way, I do admit to my opinions as being such-- based on experience.

Originally Posted By: Loren D

.....Like i said earlier, the seasonal changes here are dramatic. In the winter the rh in homes goes into the teens. 20-30 cent changes in pitch are not uncommon in non DC-equipped pianos, verses 3-5 cent fluctuations in ones that are equipped.

Again-- I will give my experience (for what it is worth)- I live in Maine... I lived in PA for 15 years. I Worked for a company that serviced PA, MD, DC, and W.V for 6 years....
Now, I service Maine area (a very humid climate)...
My experience in both places says to me- a piano can be expected to fall out on average 7-10 cents (this is an average piano in a decent location in the home)... BUT, the really good piano (without a system installed) I find generally holds within the 5-7 cent range. Again- I don't know the situations your pianos are in--- but if it is a college piano (extreme heavy use, in a climate that goes up and down routinely) this could explain that...THIS however is not your average environment for a piano. So, scientifically- it would be wrong to try to apply such info as "The average".


One more thing-- your endorsements for Dampp-Chaser is interesting... It certainly reveals successful advertizing abilities- but, not necessarily truth in performance. I know there are many fields that endorse items for the money involved. Not saying this is the case- just a consideration.
The independent reports would take care of this.

I am still able to be swayed- believe me, there is nothing I would like better than to start advertizing these things for extra money--- but, my own experiences and the logic behind the system have hindered me from doing this with a clear conscience.

The test have to be thorough and ALL pianos in the same room- same environment--- first without the system to take readings on average affect...THEN install the units on all of them, and take your tests. It's really basic proof being expected.
I would think ANY tech who is going to endorse such an item would first check to make sure of the details (you say you don't know). I would certainly suggest that you, as a certified installer should find out--- it's for your own benefit.

I don't think I am bringing up something that should upset people here...if it works it works, there's nothing to be upset at when someone questions whether it works.
_________________________
Parks and Sons Piano Service
www.parksandsonspiano.com

Top
#1579906 - 12/19/10 09:50 AM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: dcb]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
Not rude at all, just calling it as I see it; you don't believe in Dampp-Chasers, which you've made clear in your comments. If understanding your position makes me rude, then I'm sorry I understand your position. (??)

And I stand by my claim that pianos fluctuate 20-30 cents between seasons here pretty routinely. Churches, schools, homes. That's not your experience, and I respect that. We go from 90 in the summer to 0 in the winter. That's a lot of dry heat.
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

Top
#1579914 - 12/19/10 10:12 AM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: Loren D]
Rick_Parks Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/16/10
Posts: 22
Loc: Maine, USA
Originally Posted By: Loren D
Not rude at all, just calling it as I see it; you don't believe in Dampp-Chasers, which you've made clear in your comments. If understanding your position makes me rude, then I'm sorry I understand your position. (??)

I said rude, because you say that the reports would not change my perspective- being "against" Dampp-Chaser (all assumptions insinuating a rather bad character trait)...
<i>"...I doubt it matters though, since you obviously are against the systems. Nothing wrong with that, that's your choic"</i>
I have not insinuated that you would continue to sell and install D-C systems IF we knew they did not work, did I?


Originally Posted By: Loren D

And I stand by my claim that pianos fluctuate 20-30 cents between seasons here pretty routinely. Churches, schools, homes. That's not your experience, and I respect that. We go from 90 in the summer to 0 in the winter. That's a lot of dry heat.

I never asked you not to stand by your claims-- I never said your experiences were untrue. I only question your applying it as "the average" in support of D-C systems.
What area of PA are you in? I was around Gettysburg area-- miss it (very beautiful state).
_________________________
Parks and Sons Piano Service
www.parksandsonspiano.com

Top
Page 3 of 7 < 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 >

Moderator:  Piano World 
What's Hot!!

Trade Regrets:
Barry "Bear" Arnaut

(ad) Yamaha CP Music Rest Promo
Yamaha CP Music Rest Promo
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Seiler Pianos
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
(ad) Piano Music Sale - Dover Publications
Piano Music Sale
Sheet Music Plus (125)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Interesting Thesis comparing popular methods
by kcoul058
11/24/14 07:30 PM
As a teacher would this irritate you?
by pianosNpreschooler
11/24/14 07:13 PM
What do you play for?
by findingnemo2010
11/24/14 07:07 PM
Nonflammable action lubricant
by showard
11/24/14 06:05 PM
a pleasant discovery
by dynamobt
11/24/14 05:21 PM
Forum Stats
77031 Members
42 Forums
159325 Topics
2340403 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
Gift Ideas for Music Lovers!
Find the Perfect Gift for the Music Lovers on your List!
Visit our online store today.

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission