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#1979926 - 10/29/12 01:25 AM Re: Hammer suggestions: modern board [Re: beethoven986]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1306
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Originally Posted By: Grandpianoman
Beethoven986....question, why not a Hailun?


Because I don't think the hammers are bad enough to warrant replacing.


What I'm talking about is not about replacing "bad" hammers. I'm throwing away good hammers on new pianos -- to the delight of customers who are enjoying the radical improvement.
_________________________
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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#1979934 - 10/29/12 01:59 AM Re: Hammer suggestions: modern board [Re: kpembrook]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3320
Originally Posted By: kpembrook
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
Originally Posted By: Grandpianoman
Beethoven986....question, why not a Hailun?


Because I don't think the hammers are bad enough to warrant replacing.


What I'm talking about is not about replacing "bad" hammers. I'm throwing away good hammers on new pianos -- to the delight of customers who are enjoying the radical improvement.


Oh, I know; you are talking about replacing "bad" hammers, they just happen to be new wink There are certainly pianos that I'd be inclined to do this on (Kawai, Samick, anything with Renner Blues, and certain Abels, etc). I just don't think the hammers that Hailun uses fall into this category.
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M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
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#1980119 - 10/29/12 02:40 PM Re: Hammer suggestions: modern board [Re: BoseEric]
BoseEric Offline
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Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 731
Loc: Fairfield County, CT
I find it interesting that there has not been any kind of consensus suggestion for the specifics of this particular piano. Unfortunately (at least for me) I think many techs experienced with a wide variety of hammers are not participating.
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RPT. In the business: Feurich pianos, Neupert harpsichords, Hidrau benches, piano technician

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#1980124 - 10/29/12 03:05 PM Re: Hammer suggestions: modern board [Re: BoseEric]
beethoven986 Offline
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Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3320
Originally Posted By: BoseEric
I find it interesting that there has not been any kind of consensus suggestion for the specifics of this particular piano. Unfortunately (at least for me) I think many techs experienced with a wide variety of hammers are not participating.


You haven't given us a specific piano. Also, there aren't an inordinate number of high end hammer choices. You can get Renner Blue Points, Abel Naturals, any of the three Ronsen types, or one of the two Isaac types. The first two are kind of hard out of the box; wouldn't be my preference, but the Ravenscroft folks use the Blue Points and they sound lovely on their pianos, so it can be done. Beyond that, I suggest acquiring samples of the Ronsen and Isaac hammers and testing them on sample notes in the piano and pick the one that matches closest to your taste.
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M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
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#1980145 - 10/29/12 03:50 PM Re: Hammer suggestions: modern board [Re: BoseEric]
Grandpianoman Offline
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Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2338
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Have a question....how would any type of hammer react differently on a new soundboard as opposed to an old, working soundboard?

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#1980151 - 10/29/12 03:59 PM Re: Hammer suggestions: modern board [Re: Grandpianoman]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3320
Originally Posted By: Grandpianoman
Have a question....how would any type of hammer react differently on a new soundboard as opposed to an old, working soundboard?


There are way too many variables, here.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#1980173 - 10/29/12 04:42 PM Re: Hammer suggestions: modern board [Re: BoseEric]
Grandpianoman Offline
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Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2338
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Perhaps a tech can add some info?

What are some of the most important variables?

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#1980177 - 10/29/12 04:58 PM Re: Hammer suggestions: modern board [Re: Grandpianoman]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3320
Originally Posted By: Grandpianoman
Perhaps a tech can add some info?

What are some of the most important variables?


I am a tech and I've done full set hammer replacement, and touchweight analysis/correction for that matter, and seen countless before and afters that were done by others.

The mechanical impedance of the soundboard, and the string scale are important. And while the string scale won't change from piano to piano of the same model (or shouldn't), the impedance is variable, especially as the piano ages. How it changes over time will partly be determined by how the board was originally constructed. Generally speaking, lighter, softer hammers for lighter and more flexible boards, and vice versa. Selecting the wrong type of hammer will either make the piano sound strident, or lacking in power. To be sure, this is grossly over simplifying things. One could write a book about this. If you want a more in depth answer, I suggest asking Del.
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M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
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#1980178 - 10/29/12 05:05 PM Re: Hammer suggestions: modern board [Re: beethoven986]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2338
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Sorry, I did not know you were a tech...thanks for the info.

Can one surmise then, that a well made and designed high-performance hammer would sound good on an old working soundboard as well as a new soundboard?

Keith Atkins experience with his clients new pianos, and my experience with an 80+ year old soundboard would seem to bear this out, no?

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#1980187 - 10/29/12 05:28 PM Re: Hammer suggestions: modern board [Re: BoseEric]
BDB Offline
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Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21398
Loc: Oakland
Stringing scales do change from piano to piano of the same model.
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Semipro Tech

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#1980190 - 10/29/12 05:33 PM Re: Hammer suggestions: modern board [Re: Grandpianoman]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3320
Originally Posted By: Grandpianoman
Sorry, I did not know you were a tech...thanks for the info.


With all the junk in my signature, it's easily missed. No worries.

Originally Posted By: Grandpianoman
Can one surmise then, that a well made and designed high-performance hammer would sound good on an old working soundboard as well as a new soundboard?

Keith Atkins experience with his clients new pianos, and my experience with an 80+ year old soundboard would seem to bear this out, no?


Sure, it's definitely possible. My final project at school was an action overhaul on a very old Canadian Heintzman. Even with the old, heavily grooved hammers, the piano sounded decent. With new key tops, bushings, regulation, and Ronsen Bacon felt hammers, it sounded better than the much newer Yamahas and Kawais in the practice rooms.
_________________________
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M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#1980197 - 10/29/12 05:44 PM Re: Hammer suggestions: modern board [Re: beethoven986]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
My final project at school was an action overhaul on a very old Canadian Heintzman. Even with the old, heavily grooved hammers, the piano sounded decent.


I wonder if you noticed. All of the Heintzman & Co models were fitted with hammer sets from Bohne & Co that was Weikert felt.

Bohne & Co Est. 1891 manufactured hammers in Canada until 1964.They are still in operation but are now known as Bohne Spring LTD.
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"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#1980198 - 10/29/12 05:49 PM Re: Hammer suggestions: modern board [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3320
Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
My final project at school was an action overhaul on a very old Canadian Heintzman. Even with the old, heavily grooved hammers, the piano sounded decent.


I wonder if you noticed. All of the Heintzman & Co models were fitted with hammer sets from Bohne & Co that was Weikert felt.

Bohne & Co Est. 1891 manufactured hammers in Canada until 1964.They are still in operation but are now known as Bohne Spring LTD.


I'm not entirely confident that the hammers were original to the piano because the hang job was not of a quality I'd associate with Heintzman. The shanks were definitely original, though.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#1980204 - 10/29/12 06:06 PM Re: Hammer suggestions: modern board [Re: BoseEric]
acortot Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 470
Loc: Italy
Oddly, many premium pianos in the early 1800's used elastic wood for the hammer-shanks.

They went to a lot of trouble to do so and stopped primarily because of broken shanks when pianos became heavy and pianists more forceful

If you look at how a golf club is built, it has a flexible shank, for a good reason.
_________________________
rhythm must be inborn - Alfred Cortot

An Article on the unusual makeup of original Pleyel hammers, during Chopin's lifetime:

http://acortot.blogspot.it/2012/07/pleyel-hammers-in-chopin-era-i-martelli.html

Max DiMario

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#1980477 - 10/30/12 10:38 AM Re: Hammer suggestions: modern board [Re: Olek]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5227
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Kamin
If by modern you mean multi laminated board, I am afraid hammer change will not make so large improvment.

About rib crowned, I believe that Fazioli have not rib crowned boards, for instance, so it may not be an absolutely "modern" option ...

Do some Chinese build grands have a floating bass soundboard, or are only Föester present this feature ?

Four Young Chang/Weber grands of my design (the 150, 157, 175 and 185) have floating soundboards in the bass section as do all of the new verticals.

And don't sell the multi-laminated soundboard short. We have built high-performance prototype pianos using carefully designed laminated soundboard panels that perform at least as well as their counterparts using solid spruce panels.

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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#1980483 - 10/30/12 10:47 AM Re: Hammer suggestions: modern board [Re: BoseEric]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5227
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: BoseEric
By modern I mean laminated. Laminated has negative connotations that are not in keeping with the modern day quality and advantages.

I have been philosophically opposed to WNG shanks. I believe that shank flex is critical to tone color. A number of technicians whom I respect use them, so I'm keeping an open mind. But I do believe there is an avenue of tonal control at a high playing level that is lost. I'm assuming the primary tonal advantage is power?

I included the bridge material and scaling because it is in the current design. I want to explore options that don't change the basic design and are relatively easy to install.

There are not floating bass designs coming from China that I am aware of. I know the Forster design and admire it greatly.

Unless it is specifically designed to give good, broad-spectrum response—most are not—laminated soundboard panels tend to be a bit stiffer than comparable solid spruce panels. At least in some directions.

You’ve not told us what the scale tensions are like; it does make a difference. But in general these boards do not respond well to overly hard hammers. My first choice would be something like a Ronsen hammer pressed with Weikert felt. Large or small depending on the size and scaling of the piano.

As to floating soundboards; the four smaller new Young Chang/Weber grands and all of the new Young Chang/Weber uprights use floating soundboard systems. All of these—except for the Albert Weber line which is made in Korea—are made in China.

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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#1980486 - 10/30/12 10:55 AM Re: Hammer suggestions: modern board [Re: BoseEric]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5227
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: BoseEric
A shank flexes under a hard blow, changing the strikepoint slightly. I know from experience that some pianists are aware of this tonal variation and use it intentionally, others more intuitively. Some pianos are great, some are average, some are awful. It is good to make awful ones better, but sometimes the baby can indeed be thrown out with the bathwater. Power is not the only desirable characteristic in piano tone.

Quite right. I’m assuming, since the hypothetical piano has a laminated soundboard panel, it is a relatively small one. (Not many pianos above about 180 cm or so have laminated soundboard panels.) This being the case I’d not worry about power—in the intended environment power will take care of itself—and concentrate on timbral palette. Hence my choice of the smallest practical cold-pressed hammer using a felt known for its excellent resilient qualities.

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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#1981131 - 10/31/12 09:31 PM Re: Hammer suggestions: modern board [Re: Del]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1306
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: Del

You’ve not told us what the scale tensions are like; it does make a difference. But in general these boards do not respond well to overly hard hammers.
ddf


And here I'll introduce my piano hammer "koan" (Buddhist thought-teaser riddle):

If a brick is hard and a pillow is soft, what is a basketball?

In almost all discussions of hammer qualities the parameters are limited to only two dimensions: mass and hardness. But, to quote Yoda, there is another: . . .. . . . Elasticity.

This parameter is either completely ignored or confounded with the hard/soft dimension.

This is not to disagree that various technicians have found particular hammer sets that have worked better or worse in given situations. But the conclusions about hard/soft and high/low mass may be improperly drawn since elasticity can affect how mass and hardness contribute to hammer function in a similar fashion to how mass, speaking length and tension interact in string scaling.

Moving forward I hope to see this variable recognized and accounted for in ways that it has not heretofore.
_________________________
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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#1981347 - 11/01/12 01:40 PM Re: Hammer suggestions: modern board [Re: kpembrook]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5227
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: kpembrook
[quote=Del]And here I'll introduce my piano hammer "koan" (Buddhist thought-teaser riddle):

If a brick is hard and a pillow is soft, what is a basketball?

In almost all discussions of hammer qualities the parameters are limited to only two dimensions: mass and hardness. But, to quote Yoda, there is another: . . .. . . . Elasticity.

This parameter is either completely ignored or confounded with the hard/soft dimension.

This is not to disagree that various technicians have found particular hammer sets that have worked better or worse in given situations. But the conclusions about hard/soft and high/low mass may be improperly drawn since elasticity can affect how mass and hardness contribute to hammer function in a similar fashion to how mass, speaking length and tension interact in string scaling.

Moving forward I hope to see this variable recognized and accounted for in ways that it has not heretofore.

Elasticity, or hammer resilience has been recognized for at least a century. And it has been written about in some depth by many researchers and authors. In the book, Piano Tone Building there is a discussion on the difficulty of measuring and quantifying the characteristic of resilience in the piano hammer. The desire to measure this actually led to the invention of the resiliometer—go to http://www.ccsi-inc.com/p-resilience-shore-resiliometer.htm— which has become a standard measuring instrument for a variety of materials and products.

It turns out that this is not the best way to measure the resilience of a piano hammer. A better method carefully measures hammer velocity and tracks measured hammer impact force against contact time but this requires a specialized test setup that is neither easy nor cheap to set up. See Dan Russell’s research papers for more information on this measurement technique.

As well, it is a subject I’ve touched on from time to time both on this list and on Piano Forum.

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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#1981648 - 11/02/12 07:58 AM Re: Hammer suggestions: modern board [Re: BoseEric]
BoseEric Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 731
Loc: Fairfield County, CT
Thanks Del, and for the info on the Weber floating board
_________________________
RPT. In the business: Feurich pianos, Neupert harpsichords, Hidrau benches, piano technician

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#1981745 - 11/02/12 12:24 PM Re: Hammer suggestions: modern board [Re: Del]
Roy123 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/04
Posts: 1708
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: Del


It turns out that this is not the best way to measure the resilience of a piano hammer. A better method carefully measures hammer velocity and tracks measured hammer impact force against contact time but this requires a specialized test setup that is neither easy nor cheap to set up. See Dan Russell’s research papers for more information on this measurement technique.

As well, it is a subject I’ve touched on from time to time both on this list and on Piano Forum.

ddf


Yes, indeed. Take the force vs. time data, run it through the Fourier Integral, and you'll find out the frequency response of the forcing function that results from the hammer blow.


Edited by Roy123 (11/02/12 12:24 PM)

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#1981827 - 11/02/12 03:29 PM Re: Hammer suggestions: modern board [Re: BoseEric]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7434
Loc: France
Your work on Young Chang seem to be noticed, a customer of mine just told me he was amazed by some Young chang he played lately.

WIth floating soundboard the stiffness of the bass region of the soundboard is not a problem, I believe it may really help.

I had not the chance to test one lately, will let you know. I was dubitative when I heard my customer, but he is a really talented and exigent pianist, have a Grotrian Steinweg and an Euterpe, so to say, so I can trust him.
Thanks for the informations,

Is the action better now ? the wood was really instable in the Young Chang grands, some 10 20 years ago (shanks and flanges, pinning problems, warping and twisting where common)

I heard that Samick produce now an action line that is named Flemming (the old name of an old Eastern Europe action, owned now by W; Steinberg, hence that production by Samick) but I doubt those parts are used in Young Chang (?) /Weber ... (no Weber in Europe for what I know)

Greetings



Edited by Kamin (11/02/12 03:32 PM)
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#1981923 - 11/02/12 06:30 PM Re: Hammer suggestions: modern board [Re: BoseEric]
acortot Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 470
Loc: Italy
Just to try and get back to the original question, I've had the impression that newer Yamaha pianos as well as others which use a stiff relatively inert-sounding board do not sound as good when they are voiced to be dark. They sound quite boring and lifeless.

Older pianos with vintage soundboards tend to have more resonances in the soundboard and the soundboard wood, being more of a seasoned tone-wood on the old pianos, tends to add harmonics to dark hammers, making the tone more interesting and complex.

The lower partials which are closer to the fundamental, on a perfect, rigid piano with a tight-sounding soundboard tend to be so simple and predictable sounding that the sound can be lifeless. To make the sound more rich you need to calculate the soundboard as a resonator IMO

The other way to make the sound more interesting is to make it brighter and percussive so that the shock of the hammer will set the string into oscillation in a more unpredictable, more dynamic fashion. The problem though is that you sacrifice dynamic shading, singing tone, roundness etc.,
_________________________
rhythm must be inborn - Alfred Cortot

An Article on the unusual makeup of original Pleyel hammers, during Chopin's lifetime:

http://acortot.blogspot.it/2012/07/pleyel-hammers-in-chopin-era-i-martelli.html

Max DiMario

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