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Topic Options
#1957396 - 09/11/12 11:10 AM New hammers for 1928 Mason & Hamlin AA
bhammatt Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/11/12
Posts: 2
Loc: Alabama
New to the forum and hoping to get a little advice or enough info to help me ask intelligent questions to my technician. I am replacing in a 1928 Mason & Hamlin AA the top action, etc... with new WNG composite and composite shanks.

Technician wants to replace the hammers with Abel "Naturals". I'd like to find out some info on them such as are ALL Abel hammers "Natural"? I've seen alot of good comments regarding the special press hammers and I have been unable to find out if they are part of the Natural category or if they are something different entirely.

I have done research and feel good about the new WNG composite, but I have not been able to find as much information on felt so I can understand the difference between "naturals" or "specials" by Abel versus Renner blue or Ronsen Weickert Specials, etc....

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#1957463 - 09/11/12 01:52 PM Re: New hammers for 1928 Mason & Hamlin AA [Re: bhammatt]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3484
No. Abel "Naturals" are different, but I would not recommend them for WNG actions. Because the shanks are so stiff (carbon fiber), they really need a soft hammer to avoid making a strident tone during louder dynamics, particularly in the treble. Granted, this can be done with the Abel, but will require a lot of pre-voicing. My choice would be Ronsen Bacon felt hammers.
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

#1957465 - 09/11/12 01:59 PM Re: New hammers for 1928 Mason & Hamlin AA [Re: bhammatt]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2632
Loc: Portland, Oregon
You should also check out Ari Isaac's hammers. www.isaacpiano.com I have been extremely happy with them. My piano is a 1927 M&H BB...here is a link to the latest recordings I have made with his hammers installed. The best is to listen to those mp3's with a pair of headphones or good speakers. smile


#1957821 - 09/12/12 11:40 AM Re: New hammers for 1928 Mason & Hamlin AA [Re: bhammatt]
Bill McKaig,RPT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/16/11
Posts: 92
Loc: Tampa, FL
If you ask five technicians for a recommendation of hammers, you'll probably get five different answers.

I would talk to your technician about what kind of sound you want from your piano. He's in a position to know what should work best for what you want.

The functioning of the soundboard system is going to have a bigger impact on hammer selection than what action parts are used. The Abel naturals are nice hammers and may be just the right choice.... or maybe not. It comes down to trusting your technician.
Professional Piano Technician serving the Tampa bay area. website: mckaigpianoservice.com

#1957889 - 09/12/12 02:10 PM Re: New hammers for 1928 Mason & Hamlin AA [Re: bhammatt]
Olek Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 9230
Loc: France
Also the ability he have to voice what I read described as "hard" pressed hammers (that we very often complain are too soft).

Not enough experience dealing with those and the tech cannot have the benefit of naturally dense hearted heads, that to me are the only ones that can provide a clear open tone with a large dynamic range.

Impregnated hammers facilitate an open tone at light level of dynamics, but I often hear a saturated tone at fff level. Only the natural resiliency of felt can provide a strong but singing Ffff with a different enveloppe than at mf.

I use impregnation to raise the harmonic content, but dynamics are given by the differential in density the hammer provide.

Voicing the modern hammers is faster than it was, but the retracation of the mafelt is ofen limited, so experience is really necessary. After 30 stiches the dynamics and thickness of tone may lower , so those first stiches may be effective, strong and well applied.

Making a clear losange shape allows the hammer to lighten but mostly to have a more efficient suspension.

I wish I could see slow motion of hammer deformation, it goes lower than we. Suspect assuming the inside is resilient enough. Just without staples the Fff is less dense
Dont misunderstand me, i like soft hammers but only if the piano cannot produce the full dynamic range without saturating.

Edited by Kamin (09/12/12 02:14 PM)
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