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#1587229 - 12/30/10 01:34 PM To Splice or Not to Splice?
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2402
Loc: Olympia, WA
I thought this lively discussion deserved it's own topic.

Here is a few of the good quotes from the other topic:

Originally Posted By: UnrightTooner
Originally Posted By: jpscoey
Originally Posted By: UnrightTooner
...Broke another string in the bass and broke a previous splice, also.

Five splices total, so far…



For me, a splice is only a temporary fix - next time round fit a new string?

If you've have five 'splice repairs' so-far, doesn't that suggest something?


I do understand what you mean. But it is like a little bird and a big worm. Where do you try to bite it off, if you can, when you start to eat? Five new strings, four of them in bichords would make the bass sound odd. Even replacing the other four, nine strings, and the bass still sounds odd. So replace them all, but not the treble strings on a 1950s piano? OK, replace the treble strings, too. And the hammers and dampers? Now we are talking about re-what-evering, which I am not set up for, and I don’t have anyone to recommend for a low-level piano. How about a new Yamaha console for about the same price?

And so I leave such thoughts entirely to the customer. If they are happy with a tuning every few years with a free splice thrown in, why shouldn’t I be happy, too?

Originally Posted By: Loren D
How about starting with "when a string breaks, replace it?" smile Sorry, but I'll state again that I am firmly anti-splice. I just see it as a sub par repair. Yes, I've heard lots of rationalizations about why it's better than replacing, but in the end you still have a string that's tied in a knot.

If my car needs repairs, I want it done right, not band-aided. I just tell the customer there's a broken string, it needs replaced and I'll order a new one. I've yet to have a new string in a piano sound objectionable. They may stand out in appearance, but an accurately made replacement has never left a piano I serviced sound peculiar.

I realize there's a pretty strong debate about this in the trade, with strong opinions on either side. Makes for good discussion. smile


Originally Posted By: Emmery
Not all pianos are fixed for the same purpose. Higher end and most newer pianos benefit from a repair that leaves them looking and playing like they never had a problem.

Older pianos that are nearing the end of their life can be revived with simple procedures like splicing a string (non speaking length). Cosmetics and having a knot is not an issue with most of these but it is essential to explain this to the customer before hand. I would not call it a "band aid" solution because if its done right, it could and should outlast the piano. If its done right, no one can hear the difference and it introduces no additional problems.

I had a customer with a 30+ y/o spinet that occaisionally suffered from broken strings near the upper bass. They always broke near the tuning pin. Part of the problem was because of the pins being bashed in too deep along with some poorly located tuning pin holes in the block. They were charged for string replacements several times by another tech but the problem continued. I backed the pins out and CA'd the hole and then set the pins in at the proper height. I fixed the problem with some oversized wire splices and no more breakages occured. It was cheaper and more permanent fix.

The customers' over all impression was that the previous tech didn't know or care to splice it and did the only thing he knew how to do, replace with a new string and leave the underlying problem there. This is a band aid solution also, just a more expensive one for the customer whose resentment will remain with that tech.


Originally Posted By: Emmery
You are correct Loren, but very few of these customers care about a knot being there let alone lift the lid on their uprights to look inside. I simply discuss the matter with them and give them the option to choose.

There is no solid evidence to show that a properly spliced string is in any way inferior to a new one other than cosmetics when the cause of breakage is addressed as I mentioned. Why would you not offer this cheaper option and exhibit your flexibility and capabilities in dealing with the problem in a more frugal manner?


Originally Posted By: Emmery

With some practice and the right tools you can make these knots quite small and quite close to termination points. I have some needle nose pliers that I cut short and ground down a bit to make a tight small loop. Some of my splices are done so that they end up very close to the termination point after the string is pulled to tension.

As for looks, I actually prefer to see a small knot instead of a whole shiny new wound string on these older pianos. As for bichords a spliced original string will usually sound better than changing out only one of the pair with a new one as I see done very often around here.

Originally Posted By: UnrightTooner
One way I get the knot tighter is with an altered pair of hammer shank knurling pliers. I ground a thin slot in the jaws in the same plane as the handles. I can then put the straight part of the string(s) in the slots and squeeze the knot tighter.

Originally Posted By: BDB
As I said in an earlier discussion, I look at knots as a temporary repair, which sometimes outlasts the piano. Knots are definitely less strong than a new piano, as the tight bends induce fatigue.

If you were to replace 5 bichords, both strings, you are getting to the point where it is as cheap to replace all of them, but sometimes replacing the piano is cheaper. Craigslist here has a fairly new Chinese studio piano for $500 now, which is a better deal than repairs on a piano that is breaking a lot of strings.
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#1587234 - 12/30/10 01:37 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2402
Loc: Olympia, WA
I love the look of a tidy string splice - it says to me "a Pro was here"! The thing about them is that they take a lot of practice, and sometimes we go months without needing to do one!

It really helps to have someone really good at them spend some time showing how it's done. This is an important skill in a piano technician's arsenal. I once had the pleasure of spending a day with Steve Brady (author of "Under the Lid" ) with a couple of other folks doing nothing but string repairs. It was very helpful!

Being a stubborn "I never splice" technician seems strange to me. It would be like never splicing a hammer shank, or never fixing a cracked bridge with epoxy, or using CA on a pinblock.

The main reason I can see for not splicing a wire, is that it's hard! I can't remember the number of times I've performed blood sacrifice during a string repair! And there's always that moment when you pull it up to pitch - a good time to practice deep breathing and going to that "happy place".
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#1587240 - 12/30/10 01:44 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21526
Loc: Oakland
I never splice hammer shanks.
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Semipro Tech

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#1587256 - 12/30/10 02:09 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5295
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: rysowers
I love the look of a tidy string splice - it says to me "a Pro was here"! The thing about them is that they take a lot of practice, and sometimes we go months without needing to do one!

It really helps to have someone really good at them spend some time showing how it's done. This is an important skill in a piano technician's arsenal. I once had the pleasure of spending a day with Steve Brady (author of "Under the Lid" ) with a couple of other folks doing nothing but string repairs. It was very helpful!

Being a stubborn "I never splice" technician seems strange to me. It would be like never splicing a hammer shank, or never fixing a cracked bridge with epoxy, or using CA on a pinblock.

The main reason I can see for not splicing a wire, is that it's hard! I can't remember the number of times I've performed blood sacrifice during a string repair! And there's always that moment when you pull it up to pitch - a good time to practice deep breathing and going to that "happy place".

I don’t like splicing strings. I can’t remember the last time I did one. But that doesn’t mean they are not an appropriate repair. And next time a string breaks while I’m tuning I’ll probably have to struggle some to remember just how to make one. But I’ll probably figure it out.

Done well, they work—and they work for a long time. I’ve discovered them all rusted and corroded on pianos that have come in for rebuilding. They had to have been there, working away nicely, for decades.

The only place I don’t like them—and won’t tolerate them for long—is in the speaking length of the string. This, it seems, is most often found on wrapped strings just behind the agraffe (or termination pin). But, even here, I’ve found them years or decades later.

(I’ve been known to splice a few hammershanks from time to time as well. And I use a lot of epoxy. Not much CA, though. I hope this doesn’t disqualify me as a professional whatever-it-is-that-I-am.)

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#1587267 - 12/30/10 02:30 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: Del]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1309
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: Del

The only place I don’t like them—and won’t tolerate them for long—is in the speaking length of the string. This, it seems, is most often found on wrapped strings just behind the agraffe (or termination pin). But, even here, I’ve found them years or decades later.


Agreed. I would only do a speaking length splice in a dire emergency and would correct it ASAP.

Quote:

(I’ve been known to splice a few hammershanks from time to time as well. And I use a lot of epoxy. Not much CA, though. I hope this doesn’t disqualify me as a professional whatever-it-is-that-I-am.)


Dunno, Del. No CA? You're skating on the edge there . . .
laugh
_________________________
Keith Akins, RPT
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

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#1587277 - 12/30/10 02:44 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
Call me crazy, I think a piano string should be in one piece. And I've yet to have someone convince me that is as professional (both in appearance and performance) than a new string.

Like I said, put yourself in the customer's shoes. Do you want your things fixed right or corners cut?
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1587283 - 12/30/10 02:52 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
Call me crazy, I think a piano string should be in one piece. And I've yet to have someone convince me that is as professional (both in appearance and performance) than a new string.

Like I said, put yourself in the customer's shoes. Do you want your things fixed right or corners cut?
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1587295 - 12/30/10 03:02 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: BDB]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: BDB
I never splice hammer shanks.


Neither do I!
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1587324 - 12/30/10 03:46 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: Loren D]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5295
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Loren D
Originally Posted By: BDB
I never splice hammer shanks.


Neither do I!

Would either of you please explain why not?

You show up—as I have—to tune a grand for some performance and find out that the local amateur tuner broke the top three hammershanks the last time he pulled the action. You know the kind of break; snapped right at the hammer. Gluing it back together as is just isn’t going to make it. What are you going to do? Tell the artist, “Sorry, it is my policy to never splice hammershanks so you’ll have to wait until I can obtain three new hammershanks from wherever to repair these three notes. You’ll just have to avoid playing them tonight.”

A good scarf joint is as strong as the original, looks good and will last until the local tuner breaks them again.

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#1587352 - 12/30/10 04:16 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: Loren D]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2402
Loc: Olympia, WA
Originally Posted By: Loren D
Call me crazy, I think a piano string should be in one piece. And I've yet to have someone convince me that is as professional (both in appearance and performance) than a new string.

Like I said, put yourself in the customer's shoes. Do you want your things fixed right or corners cut?


Well, for starters, a properly spliced string will stabilize much more quickly than a new wire.

Secondly it alerts a technician in the future that the string broke - it's a marker of sorts. It says "proceed with caution!"

Third: It's more economical for the client

Fourth: It is quicker - it allows for a repair under rigid time constraints

Fifth: There is no difference in tone.

Sixth: As mentioned earlier it can be very long lasting.

Seventh: It demonstrates skill and professionalism if done properly.

Eighth: It is part of the PTG Technical Exam: So if you can't do it, you will lose points. (if you get enough other things right you will still pass - kinda like parallel parking on the driving test!)

OK. Now lets see...reasons to NOT splice:

One: A perceived notion that it is inferior, without any real physical or accoustical reasons to support the notion.

Two: Perhaps allows the technician to make a little more money off the client.

Three: Gives another opportunity to see the client in the near future. A bonus if you really like the client's company.
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#1587353 - 12/30/10 04:17 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: Loren D]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2402
Loc: Olympia, WA
Originally Posted By: Loren D
Originally Posted By: BDB
I never splice hammer shanks.


Neither do I!


I've done this many, many times over the years and have yet to have one fail.
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#1587366 - 12/30/10 04:25 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21526
Loc: Oakland
I have tons of old grand hammer shanks lying around, so replacing them is no problem. It is easier to replace an upright shank than to get a good joint on one of them. It is even harder to get a good scarf joint on a grand shank. I have broken a lot of spliced hammer shanks.
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Semipro Tech

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#1587371 - 12/30/10 04:35 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1080
Loc: PA
Here's a question...

Would you consider splicing bass strings that break at the hitch pin end? I've had this happen to me with a very old upright. I replaced the strings. But, I've wondered what other folks would have done.
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#1587377 - 12/30/10 04:50 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21526
Loc: Oakland
Quote:
Well, for starters, a properly spliced string will stabilize much more quickly than a new wire.


Maybe, maybe not.

Quote:
Secondly it alerts a technician in the future that the string broke - it's a marker of sorts. It says "proceed with caution!"


I can usually spot a replaced string, too. If I cannot, chances are the piano is new enough that a warning will not help.

Quote:
Third: It's more economical for the client


Maybe, maybe not.

Quote:
Fourth: It is quicker - it allows for a repair under rigid time constraints


I can replace a plain string faster than I can splice it.

Quote:
Fifth: There is no difference in tone.


Perhaps.

Quote:
Sixth: As mentioned earlier it can be very long lasting.

Or not, but a new string definitely will be.

{quote]Seventh: It demonstrates skill and professionalism if done properly.


So does replacement.

Quote:
Eighth: It is part of the PTG Technical Exam: So if you can't do it, you will lose points. (if you get enough other things right you will still pass - kinda like parallel parking on the driving test!)


I can do it two ways. It is just not my preferred method.

Quote:
OK. Now lets see...reasons to NOT splice:

One: A perceived notion that it is inferior, without any real physical or accoustical reasons to support the notion.


I have broken a number of strings at the splice. I have also come across splices that rattle

Quote:
Two: Perhaps allows the technician to make a little more money off the client.


I do not make any significant money from tuning compared to my investment income. In any case, there is no monetary advantage in splicing a plain string, and very little in replacing a wound string, when you consider the time involved in ordering the string.

Quote:
Three: Gives another opportunity to see the client in the near future. A bonus if you really like the client's company.


A knot tightens over time, too. There is not that much difference. You have to go back, or let them put up with poor tuning.

Had you listed these in the opposite order, you could probably find 8 advantages to replacement and 3 advantages to splicing.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1587379 - 12/30/10 04:53 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2101
Loc: Maine
I do a lot of string splicing mainly because they hold pitch better than a new wire. The repair is quick and looks nice (tight knot with no ugly tails).

Splices are particularly useful in the lower tenor range where replacing wire would require fishing the new wire under bass strings. I'll almost always try a splice in bass strings unless the break is in the speaking length.

'The hitch pin end of bass strings? I generally reach for the package of universals and advise a replacement. I do remember once clipping the end of a universal and using that in a splice. 'Don't remember the exact circumstances.
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
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#1587386 - 12/30/10 05:01 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
curry Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/02
Posts: 3769
Loc: Hamilton Twp, NJ
String splicing is fine for a beat up old klunker upright or grand, but I would never splice wire on a new or somewhat newer $50-100,000 grand in a home setting.
Temporary splicing is ok in a concert situation, but new strings go on when the piano has some downtime. Same for hammer shanks.
The piano didn't come out of the factory with splices, nor should it live its life with splices. Too damn ugly.
_________________________
G.Fiore "aka-Curry". Tuner-Technician serving the central NJ, S.E. PA area. b214cm@aol.com Concert tuning, Regulation-voicing specialist.
Dampp-Chaser installations, piano appraisals. PTG S.Jersey Chapter 080.
Bösendorfer 214 # 47,299 214-358

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#1587419 - 12/30/10 05:57 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: David Jenson]
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1080
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: David Jenson
...

'The hitch pin end of bass strings? I generally reach for the package of universals and advise a replacement. I do remember once clipping the end of a universal and using that in a splice. 'Don't remember the exact circumstances.


I didn't think anyone else would. I keep old universals with me on the road... ones that cannot be sold as new because over time they have cosmetic/discoloration problems.

Thanks !
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#1587425 - 12/30/10 06:08 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: daniokeeper]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2402
Loc: Olympia, WA
Originally Posted By: daniokeeper
Here's a question...

Would you consider splicing bass strings that break at the hitch pin end? I've had this happen to me with a very old upright. I replaced the strings. But, I've wondered what other folks would have done.

I've done it successfully a couple of times. AND unsuccessfully a couple of times!
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#1587432 - 12/30/10 06:15 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2402
Loc: Olympia, WA
For the splice to be stable you have to really snug the not together. I squeeze the loops with pliers to tighten them up, and also put some needle nose pliers on the wire just on either side of the knot and tap the pliers on the side towards the knot to snug it up even more. Sometimes it holds pitch really well, and sometimes it still wants to slip a little flat - but not nearly as much as a new piece of wire.

But I'll agree with the fact that a knot that is not stabilized will be as unstable as a new wire. So the extra work is the key.

When splicing I usually try to use the original wire as the lead. This also seems to hasten stabilization.
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#1587451 - 12/30/10 07:08 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: curry]
David Jenson Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 2101
Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: curry
String splicing is fine for a beat up old klunker upright or grand, but I would never splice wire on a new or somewhat newer $50-100,000 grand in a home setting.
Temporary splicing is ok in a concert situation, but new strings go on when the piano has some downtime. Same for hammer shanks.
The piano didn't come out of the factory with splices, nor should it live its life with splices. Too damn ugly.


Yea. That's a point that I overlooked in my post. I tend to encourage replacement with new wire in higher priced pianos ... although, ... I remember a few that were temporarily spliced and the customer never wanted the spliced string replaced. 'Guess my splices are just things of beauty. wink

Incidentally, I eventually came to the place where I charged the same whether the string was a new replacement, or a splice. Each job comprised about the same amount of work.
_________________________
David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----

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#1587464 - 12/30/10 07:36 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: BDB]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5295
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: BDB
I have tons of old grand hammer shanks lying around, so replacing them is no problem. It is easier to replace an upright shank than to get a good joint on one of them. It is even harder to get a good scarf joint on a grand shank. I have broken a lot of spliced hammer shanks.

In the past I’ve also had a lot of old shanks sitting around in boxes—I don’t have that many these days. Moving tends to provide incentive for ditching stuff. I figure if I haven’t opened the box for ten years I probably don’t really need to keep it around. A bunch more are headed for the land fill as we speak. (Translation: I’m getting ready to move again….)

Most often when I see the need to splice a hammershank that need is immediate, not after I’ve driven back to the shop to sort through boxes of used parts, found the appropriate part and driven back to the location.

Done properly scarfing a hammershank is quick and relatively easy. And done properly the shank will break again before the scarf comes apart. If a scarfed hammershank comes apart it was done wrong.

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#1587474 - 12/30/10 08:11 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: Del]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: Del
Originally Posted By: Loren D
Originally Posted By: BDB
I never splice hammer shanks.


Neither do I!

Would either of you please explain why not?

You show up—as I have—to tune a grand for some performance and find out that the local amateur tuner broke the top three hammershanks the last time he pulled the action. You know the kind of break; snapped right at the hammer. Gluing it back together as is just isn’t going to make it. What are you going to do? Tell the artist, “Sorry, it is my policy to never splice hammershanks so you’ll have to wait until I can obtain three new hammershanks from wherever to repair these three notes. You’ll just have to avoid playing them tonight.”

A good scarf joint is as strong as the original, looks good and will last until the local tuner breaks them again.

ddf


Del, in an emergency situation like that, then yes of course. I'm talking about general non-emergency repair out in the field.
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1587481 - 12/30/10 08:20 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: Loren D]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5295
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Loren D
Del, in an emergency situation like that, then yes of course. I'm talking about general non-emergency repair out in the field.

Even so...I don't carry spares of all the different hammershank designs around with me. If I have to travel back to the shop and select an appropriate replacement--assuming I have one--and back somebody has to pay the bill and it's not going to be me. Not when a simple, reliable and professional looking scarf can be made in a matter of minutes.

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#1587484 - 12/30/10 08:39 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
Loren D Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 2546
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: rysowers


Well, for starters, a properly spliced string will stabilize much more quickly than a new wire.


That may save the tech a trip back, but what's the benefit to the customer? Does the customer get a better repair having a string without a knot in it, even though it may be an inconvenience to the tech?

Quote:
Secondly it alerts a technician in the future that the string broke - it's a marker of sorts. It says "proceed with caution!"


I can't count the times I had a string break and thought "Damn, I sure wish there had been a marker there." smile :p

Quote:
Third: It's more economical for the client


If my tires need rotated, but the mechanic doesn't rotate them and then claims he saved me money, am I really further ahead? I still need service.


Quote:
Fourth: It is quicker - it allows for a repair under rigid time constraints


I can't imagine it taking less time to do a neat splice than to replace a string, but I'll admit that I don't know on that one.

Quote:
Fifth: There is no difference in tone.


Cutting corners is ok if no one can tell?

Quote:
Sixth: As mentioned earlier it can be very long lasting.


I'll give you that one. smile

Quote:
Seventh: It demonstrates skill and professionalism if done properly.


To me, nothing demonstrates skill and professionalism more than someone who takes the time to do something right and with respect to the instrument and the client. Carefully and neatly installing a new string surely shows as much professionalism and skill as does splicing.

Quote:
Eighth: It is part of the PTG Technical Exam: So if you can't do it, you will lose points. (if you get enough other things right you will still pass - kinda like parallel parking on the driving test!)


Knowing how to do it for testing purposes and doing it routinely out in the field are two different things.

Quote:
OK. Now lets see...reasons to NOT splice:

One: A perceived notion that it is inferior, without any real physical or accoustical reasons to support the notion.


Are you saying an intact string and one that has broken and been knotted are the same, all things being equal? I don't agree, but if I'm wrong, why not at least do the one that looks better, then?
_________________________
DiGiorgi Piano Service (1984-2013)
http://www.digiorgipiano.com

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#1587520 - 12/30/10 09:37 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
backdoor Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/23/10
Posts: 18
So does anybody can explain how to splice wire?

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#1587572 - 12/30/10 11:33 PM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2374
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
A splice is handy to know how to do and I'm sure that if piano tech schools teach it and the PTG tests for it they also think the practice has some use. I know it has worked for my customers many times when they would otherwise not have spent the money for a full replacement. It will also salvage an iron wound string that you cannot replace (with iron winding)and it will sound the same as its neighbouring iron wound strings. It can immediatly solve a problem at a concert and it can make for a relatively cheap, no hassle fix for customers who don't mind having a knot inside their piano. A knotted string obviously does not have the same strength as one intact, but for practical purposes, it holds up the same under normal use (at least in my experience). It will also be more stable in pitch than a new replacement.

The tire rotation analogy is not very relevant since its purpose is to keep the tire wear even amongst the four tires. A piano with a spliced string does not cause a problem of wear or any other issue if left that way. Like it was said before, the splices are usually done on old clunkers or as a temporary fix until a proper string gets put on.
_________________________
Piano Technician
George Brown College /85
Niagara Region

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#1587601 - 12/31/10 01:36 AM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2402
Loc: Olympia, WA
There is a substantial cost savings to the client if you can splice a bass string instead of replacing. I charge $90 to replace a bass string. That covers the cost of the string, the time involved in measuring and ordering it, the time involved going back to install it and the time involved in going back to retune it (once. Additional touch-ups are $15 or more depending on travel).

A splice done in the course of a regular tuning costs my clients $0. If they need me to come touch it up the fee may be $15 or more depending on travel. But sometimes this isn't necessary.
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#1587603 - 12/31/10 01:40 AM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21526
Loc: Oakland
Your policies are not different from mine. We are arguing semantics.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1587765 - 12/31/10 11:19 AM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4190
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada

Well,
I guess I am in the non-splicer camp. I don't splice anything unless it is an emergency situation.

In an old clunker I suppose I would consider it.....but for some reason I don't have a lot of strings breaking when I tune....
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#1587770 - 12/31/10 11:25 AM Re: To Splice or Not to Splice? [Re: rysowers]
Les Koltvedt Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 3195
Loc: Canton, MI
Dan, I'd like to be that camp too...only in an emergency situation.
_________________________
Les Koltvedt
LK Piano
Servicing the S. Eastern Michigan Area
PTG Associate

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