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#1896119 - 05/13/12 10:39 AM Re-Scaling Question
Seeker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 360
Loc: Rockville, MD
As written about in several previous threads, I have a 1929 Steinert grand which is, from what my technician and I have been able to determine, an exact copy with respect to the scale, of a Steinway "B" of the same period. In general, I am thrilled with the piano which has the sound and feel of a very good Steinway B from the same period.

However - (and it wouldn't be a real PW posting without that however, right?) - along with the "B" scale comes the difficulty with the tenor break at F2 and F#2 - sort of a "nasal" quality to the sound compared to other notes just above and below. Not a lot, but some.

We're considering re-scaling those two notes with wound tri-chords to replace the current plain wire.

Have any of you any experience with such re-scaling?

Results?

What measurements would be needed to be able to make custom strings for those notes? Since we don't have wound strings there, we could not supply "Diameter Wrap" and "Diameter Core" measurements. Can any of you make recommendations there?

Would you recommend going with wound tri-chords any further up the tenor from F#2?

Latest sound samples coming some time this week. The Abel Natural Selects have been voiced beautifully (at least to my taste), and I'm really very pleased with how well this piano has turned out.
_________________________
Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")

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#1896136 - 05/13/12 11:09 AM Re: Re-Scaling Question [Re: Seeker]
RoyP Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 786
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio
I haven't personally re-scaled a B, but I have done other pianos. It does help the transition. The Baldwin SF10 is a similar size, and it has 8 bichords? It's something like that. So it can be done.

Another option is mass loading. We just had Tim Coates down to do a presentation at our chapter PTG meeting. This is a procedure to add weight to the bridge to even out the tone. He has a method of testing, and starts at the transition, working out from there. I had him do my piano at home, and it really smoothed it out. He did this for a couple of us while he was here. I have a Steinway O where I replace the soundboard and kept the original scaling, so it had that same transition issue. I've been testing pianos since then, and think many could benefit. This is something new to me...not the idea, but the practical application. Harold Conklin used mass loading on a couple of Baldwin models..the 6000, and the B. It's something you could try.
_________________________
Roy Peters, RPT
Cincinnati, Ohio
www.cincypiano.com

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#1896191 - 05/13/12 01:25 PM Re: Re-Scaling Question [Re: RoyP]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5233
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: RoyP
I haven't personally re-scaled a B, but I have done other pianos. It does help the transition. The Baldwin SF10 is a similar size, and it has 8 bichords? It's something like that. So it can be done.

There are, as you suspect, several problems here. Andrew is quite right in suspecting that the scaling of his Steinert is problematic just as it is with the Model B. I’m not sure that the scaling on the Steinert is an “exact” copy of the Model B but it’s pretty close and it cannot be solved by simply changing the size of plain steel wire. Larger diameters of wire will raise the tensions some but they are so much stiffer the resulting tone, while some louder, remains “thuddy” sounding.

So, as you imply, the solution, since the problem is the same, is the same one Conklin used on the SF-10 and that is converting some of the lowest notes to use bi-chord wrapped strings. I’d have to look at the exact lengths of the notes in question but on most traditionally designed pianos in the seven-foot range this would involve the lowest five to seven notes. It’s easier to do when the plate is out of the piano but it can be done in the home.

When done as part of a rebuilding process the now redundant tuning pin holes can be filled with epoxy and finished over and it’s easier to cover your tracks down where the hitchpins have to be rearranged. Depending on the piano it’s usually best to replace the agrafes with the appropriate bi-chord agrafes although in some cases—when the job is being done independently of full rebuilding—the original tri-chord agrafes can be used. Usually tri-chord wedge dampers are used though this part of the scale and sometimes they work quite nicely with the new bi-chord strings. Other times it is necessary to replace them as well. Usually the middle bridge pins are simply removed and the holes plugged. It is usually necessary to rearrange hitch pins some



Quote:
Another option is mass loading. We just had Tim Coates down to do a presentation at our chapter PTG meeting. This is a procedure to add weight to the bridge to even out the tone. He has a method of testing, and starts at the transition, working out from there. I had him do my piano at home, and it really smoothed it out. He did this for a couple of us while he was here. I have a Steinway O where I replace the soundboard and kept the original scaling, so it had that same transition issue. I've been testing pianos since then, and think many could benefit. This is something new to me...not the idea, but the practical application.

Mass loading can be used but at the low tenor a lack of mass is usually not the problem. Generally the problem is what I call “the end of bridge” effect. The system’s impedance drops off dramatically at the end of the bridge. Steinway’s “ring-bridge” arrangement helps to alleviate this but it is sometimes not quite enough to completely compensate for the loss of system stiffness at the end of the bridge. I’ve had much better results adding auxiliary ribs to stiffen the area of the soundboard immediately around the end of the tenor bridge.



Quote:
Harold Conklin used mass loading on a couple of Baldwin models..the 6000, and the B. It's something you could try.

Conklin used mass loading on the Baldwin 6000. The Model B was my design—though I accept no responsibility for its construction quality (or lack thereof)—and I used it for the same reason he used it on the Model 6000. I have since found the auxiliary rib to be more effective and use these almost exclusively when I encounter this problem.

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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#1896225 - 05/13/12 02:27 PM Re: Re-Scaling Question [Re: Seeker]
RoyP Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 786
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio
I thought that the Baldwin B was your design. I just tuned one this week. This one is surprisingly stable. Not a bad little piano, for it's size.

I haven't tried auxiliary ribs. I can see what you mean though. The good thing about the mass loading technique is that it is easy to try, and easy to remove if it doesn't work. What Tim was doing was just to place a small pair of vice grips on the rear bridge pins as a test. Then, if it helped, he added a small brass rod inserted into the bridge. If it doesn't work, you just unclamp the vise grips and take them off. No harm, no foul. It's an admittedly subjective process. I have assumed it had to do with it being the end of the bridge.
_________________________
Roy Peters, RPT
Cincinnati, Ohio
www.cincypiano.com

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#1896340 - 05/13/12 07:13 PM Re: Re-Scaling Question [Re: Del]
Seeker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 360
Loc: Rockville, MD
Thanks, Del; thanks Roy for your input.
I'll report back to my tech with your thoughts.
===================================
I believe that he was thinking of wound TRI-chords, not wound BI-chords for the F and F# previously mentioned - kind of like what we see at the top of the area just below the break on a "D".
===================================
On the quality of the sound - it's not "THUD" - more "nasal".
I'll try to record something tomorrow - just playing the notes up to, through, and beyond the break so interested parties can hear what I mean.

And - if it never sounds better than it does right now, I'd still be VERY HAPPY with the way it already sounds. What I'm talking about here comes under the heading of "tweaks".

All the best for a great evening to all.
_________________________
Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")

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#1896365 - 05/13/12 08:28 PM Re: Re-Scaling Question [Re: Seeker]
newgeneration Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 428
Loc: Richmond Hill, Ontario
Hello Seeker

The problem you face is something we at J.D. Grandt specialize in addressing.
From the sounds of it, you are not looking for a rebuild (either in whole or in part). If this were the case, heed the advise you have been receiving thus far.

If you would like to address the transition area of bass into tenor, by way of replacing plain steel trichords to wrapped bichords or trichords - we can definitely assist you with this. Receiving some measurements from you (or your tech), we can address the tension and inharmonicity issues that exist, choose the optimal core-to-overall diameter ratios as well as which steel wire to go with (various different 'types' exist depending on the circumstances that are being dealt with). With wrapped strings there are a number of factors that can be manipulated to provide a very good transition, usually without the necessity of vast re-designing of the instrument.

We have a long history of supplying bass strings to North America's technicians as well as providing warranty string replacements for some of the most popular brands in the industry. Our clients stretch as far as Central and South America, UAE, Malaysia and Indonesia.
If I can be of help, look us up and give us a call.

Best,
_________________________
John
J.D. Grandt Piano Supply Company
Steingraeber & Söhne (Canada) www.facebook.com/SteingraeberCanada
Lomence Modern Crystal Piano (North America) www.facebook.com/LomencePianos
Piano Bass String Manufacturing Specialist (Worldwide) www.jdgrandt.com

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#1896419 - 05/13/12 10:05 PM Re: Re-Scaling Question [Re: Seeker]
RoyP Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 786
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio
I have been happier with wound bi-chords than tri-chords. Tri-chords seem easier, since that is how the piano is already set up. But bi-chords seem to work better from a tonal standpoint. Just my opinion.
_________________________
Roy Peters, RPT
Cincinnati, Ohio
www.cincypiano.com

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#1896611 - 05/14/12 09:02 AM Re: Re-Scaling Question [Re: Seeker]
jim ialeggio Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 621
Loc: shirley, MA
An approach not mentioned is to keep the bridge and string configuration as is, but after analyzing the scale, change the problematic area plain wire tri-chords to plain wire tri-chords of lower tensile strength. This approach, ie using the existing challenged bridge layout, but strategically substituting different tensile strength wires, is something Paullelo has done a fair bit of work on.

The issue is that the current BP% is probably quite low here. The object, be it new bridge layout, wrap design, or plain wire substitutions is to raise the break% of the wire in this problematic area.

Low BP% means the wire is not stressed adequately, and metallurgically cannot function optimally. Wound strings, as noted above help, because the BP can easily be manipulated by the wrap/core design.

I've been using and experimenting with Paullelo wires, that is both plain wire and wrapped cores to address this issue. Strategically switching between different tensile strength cores on existing challenged bridges is an option.

Jim Ialeggio
_________________________
Jim Ialeggio
www.grandpianosolutions.com
advanced soundboard and action redesigns
978 425-9026
Shirley Center, MA

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#1896637 - 05/14/12 10:07 AM Re: Re-Scaling Question [Re: Seeker]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21420
Loc: Oakland
Yet another method is to keep the bottom tenor notes about the same and change the rest of the piano to match.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1896659 - 05/14/12 10:47 AM Re: Re-Scaling Question [Re: jim ialeggio]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5233
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: jim ialeggio
An approach not mentioned is to keep the bridge and string configuration as is, but after analyzing the scale, change the problematic area plain wire tri-chords to plain wire tri-chords of lower tensile strength. This approach, ie using the existing challenged bridge layout, but strategically substituting different tensile strength wires, is something Paullelo has done a fair bit of work on.

The issue is that the current BP% is probably quite low here. The object, be it new bridge layout, wrap design, or plain wire substitutions is to raise the break% of the wire in this problematic area.

Low BP% means the wire is not stressed adequately and metallurgically cannot function optimally. Wound strings, as noted above help, because the BP can easily be manipulated by the wrap/core design.

I've been using and experimenting with Paullelo wires, that is both plain wire and wrapped cores to address this issue. Strategically switching between different tensile strength cores on existing challenged bridges is an option.

As have I. I’ve strung a couple of short pianos that I would otherwise have converted to bi-chords down at the end of the tenor bridge with this wire. In all cases I’ve strung the pianos with Mapes IG wire first and then restrung the lowest notes with Paullelo wire. In one piano I think the tonal differences are clearly audible; in others I’m not so sure.

As well I now have two otherwise identical unisons—the length and diameter of note F-21 on a Steinway B—on my string test fixture one with Mapes IG wire the other with Paullelo wire. I keep trying to convince myself I’m hearing a difference. Sometimes I think I do; other times I’m not so sure. This ambiguity has been shared by a variety of visiting technicians who also find the differences, if any, to be minor. I’ve been told that the string has to stretch for a while for the differences to become obvious so I’ve left them on there for about a year now. I’ve not yet recorded them or tried to look at their spectrums but whatever audible timbral differences there might be are certainly subtle.

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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#1896728 - 05/14/12 01:23 PM Re: Re-Scaling Question [Re: Del]
jim ialeggio Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 621
Loc: shirley, MA
Originally Posted By: Del

As well I now have two otherwise identical unisons—the length and diameter of note F-21 on a Steinway B—on my string test fixture one with Mapes IG wire the other with Paullelo wire.


Del,

On the test fixture, were you trying to make the 2 wires sound identical? Which Paullelo wire did you use, and did you use the same gauge in the Mapes and Paullelo, or try to make them equivalent by reducing the Mapes wire size to match the Paullelo's BP%?

Jim Ialeggio
_________________________
Jim Ialeggio
www.grandpianosolutions.com
advanced soundboard and action redesigns
978 425-9026
Shirley Center, MA

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#1896924 - 05/14/12 08:57 PM Re: Re-Scaling Question [Re: jim ialeggio]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5233
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: jim ialeggio
Originally Posted By: Del

As well I now have two otherwise identical unisons—the length and diameter of note F-21 on a Steinway B—on my string test fixture one with Mapes IG wire the other with Paullelo wire.


Del,

On the test fixture, were you trying to make the 2 wires sound identical? Which Paullelo wire did you use, and did you use the same gauge in the Mapes and Paullelo, or try to make them equivalent by reducing the Mapes wire size to match the Paullelo's BP%?

If memory serves I have Type 1 on there now. I started with Type 0 and, after a couple of months, switched to Type 1. I'll have to check my records to verify that but I'm pretty sure the Type 1 is what I have on there now.

The speaking lengths and wire diameters are identical. Going to either larger or smaller diameters on these scales introduces other problems. My goal was to determine if any differences could be detected that could be directly traced to the metallurgy differences of the two wires. Besides, changing wire diameters would change tension but the "percentage of breaking strength" remains essentially the same.

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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