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#1579915 - 12/19/10 10:26 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
Rick, it's Christmas. If any rudeness was implied, it was unintentional and I apologize if i came across that way.

I'm near Pittsburgh. Been crazy cold past couple of weeks! Lost a couple days due to snow/closings too.

Anyway, best wishes for a happy holiday and continued good business. smile
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1579921 - 12/19/10 10:36 AM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: Loren D]
dmsynck Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 91
Loc: Dallas, Texas
Originally Posted By: Loren D
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.


Thanks for your help. The humidistat I have is an H3. To answer your question, I am not 100% certain that the system should be calling for humidity right now. I don't know what the humidity level inside my house is currently, but according to the weather service, the humidity outside right now is about 57%. Possibly the conditions are not dry enough to kick the humidifier on. I believe I located the sensor holes you were talking about. There are two holes (1 at either end of the box that extend all the way through from front to back). So if I gently blow a hair dryer towards those holes, it should dry out the air around the humidistat enough to force the humidifier to try to come on ?

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#1579922 - 12/19/10 10:36 AM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: Rick_Parks]
wayne walker Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 515
Loc: Windsor,Nova Scotia Canada
Originally Posted By: Rick_Parks
Originally Posted By: Loren D



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.



If you check the website Dampp-Chaser has test result conducted by Roger Jolly that proved their system works.http://www.pianolifesaver.com/pianotechweb/index.php
_________________________
Wayne Walker
Walker's Piano Service
http://www.walkerpiano.ca/

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#1579925 - 12/19/10 10:42 AM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: dmsynck]
wayne walker Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 515
Loc: Windsor,Nova Scotia Canada
Originally Posted By: dmsynck
Originally Posted By: Loren D
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.


Thanks for your help. The humidistat I have is an H3. To answer your question, I am not 100% certain that the system should be calling for humidity right now. I don't know what the humidity level inside my house is currently, but according to the weather service, the humidity outside right now is about 57%. Possibly the conditions are not dry enough to kick the humidifier on. I believe I located the sensor holes you were talking about. There are two holes (1 at either end of the box that extend all the way through from front to back). So if I gently blow a hair dryer towards those holes, it should dry out the air around the humidistat enough to force the humidifier to try to come on ?


plug a night light into the humidifier outlet and then use the hair dryer method. this way you will see instantly when the outlet switches on
_________________________
Wayne Walker
Walker's Piano Service
http://www.walkerpiano.ca/

Top
#1579934 - 12/19/10 11:01 AM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: dcb]
dcb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/15/10
Posts: 199
I can't access the Roger Jolly article because it is password protected. This is a great find...could someone summarize the findings from this research and also tell me who Roger Jolly is? (I'm assuming he doesn't work for Dampp Chaser)

It would be intersting to see if the findings support the 38%-46% RH% range and 2 cents pitch stability a year.

It would be very cool if the findings support Dampp Chaser's marketing. (My guess is that it might not support it entirely...but that's ok. Most marketing claims slightly more than normally observed...that's just the art of marketing. My cell phone never gets the claimed standby time and most car drivers never really experience as good MPG as advertised...that's just life.)

With other products things like Consumer Reports and other competition come into play but this is a unique product because I don't think they have any competition and they don't sell to the end user.


Edited by dcb (12/19/10 11:08 AM)

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#1579935 - 12/19/10 11:01 AM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: wayne walker]
dmsynck Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 91
Loc: Dallas, Texas
Originally Posted By: wayne walker
Originally Posted By: dmsynck
Originally Posted By: Loren D
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.


Thanks for your help. The humidistat I have is an H3. To answer your question, I am not 100% certain that the system should be calling for humidity right now. I don't know what the humidity level inside my house is currently, but according to the weather service, the humidity outside right now is about 57%. Possibly the conditions are not dry enough to kick the humidifier on. I believe I located the sensor holes you were talking about. There are two holes (1 at either end of the box that extend all the way through from front to back). So if I gently blow a hair dryer towards those holes, it should dry out the air around the humidistat enough to force the humidifier to try to come on ?


plug a night light into the humidifier outlet and then use the hair dryer method. this way you will see instantly when the outlet switches on


Thanks for the tip.

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#1579940 - 12/19/10 11:07 AM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: wayne walker]
Rick_Parks Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/16/10
Posts: 22
Loc: Maine, USA
That's ok Loren... Sorry if I mistook what you were meaning.
Pittsburg is quite a different climate than Gettysburg, I certainly see you having a harsher experience there.
As far as the holidays- I don't celebrate any of them...Trying to follow what The Bible teaches (Sabbaths & Holy Days in Lev.23) while holding to faith In Christ. But, I guess that's for a different forum.

Oh, Wayne- Roger Jolly is a very successful and knowledgeable source to have behind you...
Source (Bio):
"Mr. Jolly is a member of the Master Piano Technicians of America, the Piano Technicians Guild, and the Canadian Association of Piano Technicians. He is widely published, and active as a Master class clinician."

But, Mr. Jolly doesn't qualify as a 3rd party, does he? He is a member of The Guild- which is the backbone for the D-C system (perhaps I misunderstand this?).
Again- let me make clear that I am not insinuating dis-honesty here; I'm merely pointing out what 'independent' means... How about a university study, or some Piano Mfg such as Steinway-- have they fully tested- or accepted these reports at face value?
We all assume things- but IS there actual proof from a source that has no interest involved? Seems to me that would be the clincher. Perhaps I am being too cautious over this- but the Tech world IS pushing these systems- we are responsible to know.

Oh, by the way--I meant to say this earlier-- having Steinway as an endorsement doesn't mean Steinway HAS tested it fully... Let's all remember- even Steinway has made mistakes (1962 and teflon).
_________________________
Parks and Sons Piano Service
www.parksandsonspiano.com

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#1579945 - 12/19/10 11:14 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
I think what Rick is after is a totally independent review, such as by Consumer Reports, etc. Which wouldn't be a bad idea, really. I'd welcome it, in fact.
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1579953 - 12/19/10 11:30 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
Exactly- Loren. Thank you!

Believe me, I would like to make money here too with this--- but I can't without knowing for certain that this system works.
I'm probably going to be Dampp-Chaser's hardest sell here- but in the end could prove their best friend. LOL
_________________________
Parks and Sons Piano Service
www.parksandsonspiano.com

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#1579975 - 12/19/10 12:01 PM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: dcb]
daniokeeper Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1074
Loc: PA
Quote:
But, Mr. Jolly doesn't qualify as a 3rd party, does he? He is a member of The Guild- which is the backbone for the D-C system (perhaps I misunderstand this?).


I am not a member of the Guild and I do occasionally recommend and install D-C systems. I don't think there is any sort of mutual linkage between the PTG and D-C Corp. I'm a school-trained, full-time tuner who has has been tuning professionally since 1979. I can tell you that the subject of the Guild has never once come up in any of my dealings with D-C or their wholesalers.

These days, many homes have and use whole-house air-conditioning during the summer and have humidifier systems on their furnaces during the winter. Most pianos seem to hold pitch reasonably well under these circumstances.

However, there are those customers that do not like air-conditioning and do not have winter humidification. There are also church pianos and school pianos that are really subject to extremes. In some cases, I would be grateful if the piano's low tenor region would only fluctuate 30-40 cents. In these cases, I do recommend the installation of a D-C system.

Edit: Every time I have installed a system, I have been able to stabilize the piano to within a few cents of A=440 year round.


Edited by daniokeeper (12/19/10 12:18 PM)
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#1580003 - 12/19/10 12:52 PM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: Rick_Parks]
wayne walker Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 515
Loc: Windsor,Nova Scotia Canada
Originally Posted By: Rick_Parks
That's ok Loren... Sorry if I mistook what you were meaning.
Pittsburg is quite a different climate than Gettysburg, I certainly see you having a harsher experience there.
As far as the holidays- I don't celebrate any of them...Trying to follow what The Bible teaches (Sabbaths & Holy Days in Lev.23) while holding to faith In Christ. But, I guess that's for a different forum.

Oh, Wayne- Roger Jolly is a very successful and knowledgeable source to have behind you...
Source (Bio):
"Mr. Jolly is a member of the Master Piano Technicians of America, the Piano Technicians Guild, and the Canadian Association of Piano Technicians. He is widely published, and active as a Master class clinician."

But, Mr. Jolly doesn't qualify as a 3rd party, does he? He is a member of The Guild- which is the backbone for the D-C system (perhaps I misunderstand this?).
Again- let me make clear that I am not insinuating dis-honesty here; I'm merely pointing out what 'independent' means... How about a university study, or some Piano Mfg such as Steinway-- have they fully tested- or accepted these reports at face value?
We all assume things- but IS there actual proof from a source that has no interest involved? Seems to me that would be the clincher. Perhaps I am being too cautious over this- but the Tech world IS pushing these systems- we are responsible to know.

Oh, by the way--I meant to say this earlier-- having Steinway as an endorsement doesn't mean Steinway HAS tested it fully... Let's all remember- even Steinway has made mistakes (1962 and teflon).

Dampp-Chaser and PTG have nothing in common. The proof is in the findings, but you're too narrow minded to see. I have seen the results of a property installed system in extreme conditions and know they work. I've provided this to Dampp-Chaser and did not received anything for compensation.

PIANO LOCATED OUTDOORS

"For the last 20 years our company has rented an upright piano for the Nova Scotia Choral Federation choir camp. The piano is located in an open stage area. Open to the elements. Temperatures from 49 F at night to 85 F to 90 F day time and high humidity 80% +. The camp runs the full month of August and the piano is required to be tuned each Saturday morning before 8 am plus 1 hour drive each way. When I tune the piano I'm lowering the pitch a good 1/4 semitone each week.

Last year and this year I decided to use a piano with a Piano Life Saver
System installed. We just brought the piano back today. The piano hasn't been tuned since it left the shop. The piano was only 1.2 cents flat. This has saved me many early Saturday mornings over the last two years."

Wayne Walker


Edited by wayne walker (12/19/10 02:44 PM)
_________________________
Wayne Walker
Walker's Piano Service
http://www.walkerpiano.ca/

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#1580006 - 12/19/10 12:57 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
Originally Posted By: dcb
I can't access the Roger Jolly article because it is password protected. This is a great find...could someone summarize the findings from this research and also tell me who Roger Jolly is? (I'm assuming he doesn't work for Dampp Chaser)

It would be intersting to see if the findings support the 38%-46% RH% range and 2 cents pitch stability a year.

It would be very cool if the findings support Dampp Chaser's marketing. (My guess is that it might not support it entirely...but that's ok. Most marketing claims slightly more than normally observed...that's just the art of marketing. My cell phone never gets the claimed standby time and most car drivers never really experience as good MPG as advertised...that's just life.)

With other products things like Consumer Reports and other competition come into play but this is a unique product because I don't think they have any competition and they don't sell to the end user.


contact Dampp-Chaser and see if they can send the test results to you by e-mail
_________________________
Wayne Walker
Walker's Piano Service
http://www.walkerpiano.ca/

Top
#1580007 - 12/19/10 12:58 PM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: dcb]
dcb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/15/10
Posts: 199
Wayne, the suspense is killing me. Can you please summarize in a few sentence the findings of the testing you found? Or, if you want to email me the article that would be great too.

Independent or not...at least it sounds like a controlled test of some sort and would be very interesting.

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#1580010 - 12/19/10 01:02 PM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: Loren D]
dmsynck Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 91
Loc: Dallas, Texas
Originally Posted By: Loren D
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.


I tried the hair dryer trick on the humidistat. It took about 20 or so minutes for the system to react to the changes, but I just checked it and the de-humidifier bar was cool to the touch and the humidifier bar / pads were warm to the touch. So, bottom line is that it appears the system is working like it is supposed to. Thanks again for all your troubleshooting help.

Top
#1580020 - 12/19/10 01:12 PM 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
Originally Posted By: dmsynck
Originally Posted By: Loren D
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.


I tried the hair dryer trick on the humidistat. It took about 20 or so minutes for the system to react to the changes, but I just checked it and the de-humidifier bar was cool to the touch and the humidifier bar / pads were warm to the touch. So, bottom line is that it appears the system is working like it is supposed to. Thanks again for all your troubleshooting help.


Great! Glad to be able to help. smile

*edit* If you ever need to test it again, a quicker way is to unplug the humidifier from the humidistat and plug a nightlight or lamp into it instead. Then you'll know immediately when it clicks on instead of having to wait for the bar to heat up.


Edited by Loren D (12/19/10 03:35 PM)
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1580028 - 12/19/10 01:23 PM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: dcb]
Cy Shuster, RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/18/05
Posts: 3448
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
I'm independent, and have the systems in my own pianos. I measure the pitch on every piano before I tune it. I just measured the pitch on my vertical, and it's at 440.35 Hz, and the last time I tuned it was June. We had two months of wet weather in July and August, and now two months of heating.

Here's another independent graph of pitch (this comes up over and over):
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/341557/1.html

The company has been in business for 60 years, and the systems have been installed in more than half a million pianos. Yes, that in itself is no guarantee, but people are very picky about their pianos, and can tell when the pitch goes out.

dcb, the current humidistat is the H5, two generations newer than the one you have (unless Dampp-Chaser upgraded you to the H-5). Another poster asked about the upgrade cost; it's at least several hundred dollars. The connectors to the light panel are different (to meet current U-L standards), so you may need to change more than just the stat.

Anyone with a smartphone can get an app to measure the pitch. If you have Windows Mobile, you can use the free trial version of TuneLab (www.tunelab-world.com). There's unfortunately no trial version for iPhone at the moment.

Seven cents is roughly where most people can tell pitch errors, although a one-cent error between strings of the same note would give four beats per second in the middle octaves, which most people would notice.

I draw a graph of the current pitch before tuning on every invoice, because I like to make decisions based on Real World data.
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...tml#Post1380228

--Cy--
_________________________
Cy Shuster, RPT
505-265-4234
www.shusterpiano.com
www.facebook.com/shusterpiano
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Registered Piano Technician
Dampp-Chaser Certified Installer
PianoDisc Certified Service Technician

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#1580047 - 12/19/10 01:47 PM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: daniokeeper]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: daniokeeper
Quote:
But, Mr. Jolly doesn't qualify as a 3rd party, does he? He is a member of The Guild- which is the backbone for the D-C system (perhaps I misunderstand this?).


I am not a member of the Guild and I do occasionally recommend and install D-C systems. I don't think there is any sort of mutual linkage between the PTG and D-C Corp. I'm a school-trained, full-time tuner who has has been tuning professionally since 1979. I can tell you that the subject of the Guild has never once come up in any of my dealings with D-C or their wholesalers.

These days, many homes have and use whole-house air-conditioning during the summer and have humidifier systems on their furnaces during the winter. Most pianos seem to hold pitch reasonably well under these circumstances.

However, there are those customers that do not like air-conditioning and do not have winter humidification. There are also church pianos and school pianos that are really subject to extremes. In some cases, I would be grateful if the piano's low tenor region would only fluctuate 30-40 cents. In these cases, I do recommend the installation of a D-C system.

Edit: Every time I have installed a system, I have been able to stabilize the piano to within a few cents of A=440 year round.


I agree, Joe. That low tenor can be hideous, and in dry homes where I've tuned to 440 the summer before, finding that section 30 cents down is not uncommon. By contrast, where I've installed vertical systems, the fluctuation is usually no more than 5c, which is quite a contrast. Personal experience doesn't qualify as independent review though, and that's what's being sought after here.
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

Top
#1580269 - 12/19/10 08:09 PM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: wayne walker]
Rick_Parks Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/16/10
Posts: 22
Loc: Maine, USA
Originally Posted By: wayne walker

The proof is in the findings, but you're too narrow minded to see.

Narrow minded?
This was already suggested as the solution to my current stance.

All I've done is ask some reasonable questions (at least they are in most industries that present a product for consumers).
Is it so unreasonable for me to question the impact (over an extended length of time- ?years?) a system that steadily introduces humidity into a wood box?--- A wooden box that contains so many intricate wooden parts, pivot points, metal strings, and glue-joints.
A wood box that cost my customer many thousands of their hard-earned dollars?...
You see, I'm not just interested in whether the piano is currently holding tune better than before.
Am I narrow-minded, or truly looking at all possibilities?

There are surely woodworkers present who can speak on the long-term affects of applying moisture to one side, AND dryness to the other with the same piece of wood. This is just one of the concerns there are.

Anyway----- I am done for now. Until I know more from Dampp-Chase.
I don't particularly care to continue debating without anything to discuss. It's been made clear that, so far opinion rules amongst people (Yes, I include myself in this)...
Let's try to get to the studies that address the concerns. I'll start with calling Dampp-Chaser tomorrow to find out about any independent studies.

*** Oh, and-- I think I did------- (checking....yep)- insinuate earlier that I wuold recommend the D-C to a customer in drastic cases where they cannot control the environment another way (that is, where the piano is going to basically suffer majorly anyway)...I actually did do this quite recently.
See? I'm not all bad.


Edited by Rick_Parks (12/19/10 08:12 PM)
_________________________
Parks and Sons Piano Service
www.parksandsonspiano.com

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#1580640 - 12/20/10 02:00 PM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: dcb]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4924
Loc: Bradford County, PA
dcb:

Hope you don't mind if I ask a question that you may have already given an answer to. (I only skimmed through the last few pages...) Did you notice any difference in the tone with the insulation installed? I kind of remember sticking some towels in the opening of my CW and didn't like the change in tone, but maybe I didn't. Like Red Green said, It's not that my memory is going, its just I forgot how bad it was.

If nothing else, the pipe insulation idea might be a good trick for keeping mice out of church basement pianos. Maybe inside a piece of PVC pipe so they don't chew through it.
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#1580692 - 12/20/10 03:10 PM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: dcb]
dcb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/15/10
Posts: 199
I did not hear a detectible difference in tone with the gap filled with the pipe insulation.

I did this a few days ago and it made all the difference with the humidity readings. It has been very steady at 35-37% now that I have the gap sealed. (It was 26% without the gap sealed.) My room has about a 23% ambient RH.

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#1580827 - 12/20/10 06:29 PM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: dcb]
Eric Gloo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 1240
Loc: Richfield Springs, New York
dcb, just wondering if you took readings with the humidistat in the recommended spot, but with the gap not filled. Or, was it all done at the same time?
_________________________
Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
Certified Dampp-Chaser Installer
Richfield Springs, New York

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#1580831 - 12/20/10 06:38 PM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: dcb]
dcb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/15/10
Posts: 199
I took readings with two exact setups but one with the gap sealed and one with no seal. (seal = 36% RH, no seal = 26% RH)

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#1580933 - 12/20/10 08:50 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
Ok-- so for what it's worth...
We contacted Dampp-Chaser today and asked if there were any independent studies or reports on the system...
After a pause- there was the reply that they had some "marketting reports".
We asked if there were any studies or reports that dealt with 2 pianos being compared to each other (one with and one without D-C)- she said, "yes, many", but after a pause (our side waiting for more)--- she offered mo more on that...
She inquired if we meant studies for RH% Averages, and we made clear that we were hoping for that AND something with information about the overall affects on the piano (parts and such) as well... She said "hold on a sec, let me look" and it turned into a loooong hold after that- she came back on saying she would email us "the marketting reports" and took down our email address.
We 'assume' there were no studies of such as we were asking (dudn't want to press them)-- still waiting on the email with those reports, however.
When we get that info- we'll try again with the push for some sort of detailed study or report.
Appears to be a losing battle. We'll try again though.

By the way-- I read Roger Jolly's full report on the systems...It appears to me this was nothing to do with what I am discussing (it was a study for the undercover-- 2 pianos WITH the D-C- one without the cover and one with)...
I thought the report interesting in its critic-- as he reports that the system couldn't do its job in a 10% RH. The answer was for 2 bucket systems. It's an interesting report, but, like I said- it does nothing to prove anything except RH levels could possibly be acheived and held as desired(with the extra work).
I personally do not understand why this was suggested for me to read? Thanks anyway.


Edited by Rick_Parks (12/20/10 08:54 PM)
_________________________
Parks and Sons Piano Service
www.parksandsonspiano.com

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#1580950 - 12/20/10 09:09 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
Hey Rick, I'm wondering about the concern of humidifying one side of wood, though. It would seem to me that if a piece of wood is dry to the point of cracking, and applying humidity to both sides of it is not possible, then applying humidity to one side is better than none at all. Consider: if a room humidifier is used instead of a Dampp-Chaser (that is, applying moisture from outside of the piano as opposed to from the inside), humidity is still being applied to only one side of the soundboard, just the opposite side. The only way to apply humidity to both sides of a vertical piano soundboard, it would seem, would be to have a room humidifier and a Dampp-Chaser™, so moisture could be applied to both sides of the board at once. Either one alone is going to humidify one side of the soundboard only.
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1581023 - 12/20/10 10:56 PM 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
That seems logical, Loren.
Only, let me present our argument to that...
I think you overlook the fact that the piano is naturally in an environment that encases it, surrounds it, envelops it, seeks to make it equal (the wood coming into balance in time)...
Compared to making a piano's inside an environment all its own (mostly the lower cabinet), completely different AT ALL times from the outside (a constant struggle for the wood, never ending)...

Cracks that develop from moisture are normally caused by some part of the wood trying to swell to meet that moisture level--- while something else is restricting it (i.e. the other dry side).
The wood trying to expand, when it meets the resistance of the wood that's not expanding to that moisture level becomes compressed...then when the moisture level drops, the wood begins to shrink. Now, it's sides had already become compressed, so it actually shrinks smaller than it was before 'width-wise'---- this is what opens up into cracks and checks.
Again-- this is our point of view on this (remember- as yet, there is no actual proof, but 'opinion'-- on all sides).

Again- the 'piano-inside' made an environment of its own does nothing to the outside.
The wood in a piano seeks to equal the environment-- this is why we push the customer to control the environment FIRST and FOREMOST.

What is it that a 40% RH 'piano-inside' seeks to equal?
The outside (a 23% RH). D-C is making certain it won't even get close…in deed, considers it a victory to keep it opposite.

Consistantly unequal levels on each side cause problems to wood. This is our concern about that particular issue.
Yet, ONLY ONE of the concerns about the affects on the rest of the piano parts-- as I said before there are many others.

Again-- this is our opinions based on what we understand about these things. I do wish we had some actual LONG-term test results--- as I feel our thoughts might very well be confirmed.
_________________________
Parks and Sons Piano Service
www.parksandsonspiano.com

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#1581163 - 12/21/10 06:14 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
I see what you're saying. It will be interesting to see what tests show. If there aren't any, someone should commission someone to do one! smile
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1581177 - 12/21/10 06:59 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
Mark, is your position then, that creating a whole room environment at the proper humidity level is superior than creating a microenvironment within the piano? I like to summarize things so I can keep on target. Would that be a correct summary?

Edit: not Mark. Rick! Sorry..:)


Edited by Loren D (12/21/10 07:42 AM)
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1581185 - 12/21/10 07:21 AM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: dcb]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4924
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Here’s an anecdote for the installation of a DC.

The piano is a 1960s Winter studio in a middle school classroom with large windows that face SW. First time I tuned it the lowest tenor note was at the same pitch as the highest bass note. Brought it up to pitch and six months later was called again to tune it and it was almost as bad and about 20 cents low in the center. This went on for about two years tuning 2-3 times a year. Finally a Damppchaser was installed. It was a unit taken out of a spinet that was donated to the school.

I just tuned it again mostly due to some unisons in the treble, but the pitch was dead on in the middle and only a little low in the low tenor. I also tightened the pressure bar about 1/8 turn on each screw making the piano much more tunable. No overshoot with a smooth pull on the left string and just a hair of overshoot on the center and right strings. As long as they keep it watered, I doubt if I will be called to tune for 2 years. I’ll change the pads as a courtesy occasionally when I tune the auditorium pianos.

Is some kind of damage occurring due to the inside of the SB being humidified while the outside is being dried? I don’t know. But there must have been more damage occurring when the pitch was dropping about 20 cents between every tuning!
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#1581192 - 12/21/10 07:45 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
I agree with Jeff. That kind of fluctuation certainly has to be more damaging than humidifying one side.
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1581203 - 12/21/10 08:20 AM Re: Need help troubleshooting my Dampp Chaser system [Re: dcb]
dcb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/15/10
Posts: 199
This has been a great conversation. I'm continuing to test my system and the only thing I can't understand is why I'm maintaining 36% RH with the system installed to spec + gap sealing and distilled water...but I got up to 44% when I plugged in the humidifier directly and bypassed the humidistat.

I may retest that part of my test and try it again.

Testing Dampp Chaser's claims are very difficult because their claims are so amazing:
1. Maintain year-round humidtity level of 38-46% RH
2. Maintain pitch stability within 2-3 cents (this one is vague because I'm not sure if DC meant yearly, between tunings, or indefinitely)
3. My piano will last twice as long than if I didn't have a DC installed. (Don't think I made this up...it is on their website.) I think pianos can last 100 years so mine should last 200 years. Pretty cool.

So, clearly the claims DC makes are not easily testable so people like Roger Jolly and me just try to measure the RH% in and around the piano. smile (And...nobody needs to mention that Roger Jolly is a very well-known, talented, and experienced person in the piano world and I'm not...I know.)

I think we should use this forum to collect thoughts on testing variables and setups so we can, as a community, do the testing that DC should, but hasn't. It would make us more knowledgeable about the systems and we should charge DC for the R&D. Here are some ideas:

1. Experiment with pad materials (maybe there is a bette wicking material out there that could improve performance)

2. Experiment with surface area of the pads/ heater bar. (Bigger surface area should increase evaporation rate)

3. Experiment with how tightly the gap is sealed. I tried to seal it completely, but maybe if I left a few inches of gap exposed, I could achive a small air flow across the pads that could also increase evaporation

4. ????

Obviously, use good judgment when it comes to these experiments. Safety first, and who knows how the warranty is affected. As for testing the effects of humidity on one side of the wood and not the other...I think those results would be interesting, but only after we've tested the much more basic claims around the performance of the system. (Maybe I'll start a new thread to call for testing ideas)

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