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#2001736 - 12/19/12 02:13 PM precise soft pedal adjust for grands
johnlewisgrant Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 555
Loc: canada
We know that engaging the soft pedal forces the hammers to the right and two strings of the trichord are struck, not three.

But in reality I've seen very few grands whose soft pedal adjustment does not in fact kiss the left most string of the trichord. Which leads to the question: do we want the soft pedal to barely touch that left most string when the pedal is depressed?

Or should it be adjusted so that the left most string on bi and trichords is not touched at all???

There is a BIG tonal difference between these two!

Thanks for any thoughts on this.
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#2001758 - 12/19/12 02:52 PM Re: precise soft pedal adjust for grands [Re: johnlewisgrant]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1300
Loc: Tennessee
Greetings,
I don't. Things get twangy in a hurry, and there is a lot of wear involved in hitting two strings. I like to have the una corda pedal take the left edge of the hammer to directly in line with the left side of the left string. Then I lightly sand a bevel on that edge of the hammer. When played, the left string is barely set in motion, but enough to keep the dampers working. The other two strings are also going to be on fresh felt, so there is a large amount of change in the tone.
I think there is some sympathetic "sitar" effect in the una cord. The lightly struck string will not be in phase with the other two, and the sustain seems to increase because of it.
Regards,

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#2001760 - 12/19/12 02:56 PM Re: precise soft pedal adjust for grands [Re: johnlewisgrant]
Gene Nelson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 1549
Loc: Old Hangtown California
There is no absolute for this adjustment. If you adjust the shift so that the hammers do as you describe - exactly align to two of the three string trichord, you will get a volume change, not a tone color change. To get a tone color change the shift must align the hammers to the strings between the string grooves in the hammer felt and all three strings will hit this softer felt between the grooves - giving a color change.
However, if you stop the shift for the latter, you may find an artist that wants both and you have eliminated half of their abilities.
So it is a good idea to find out what the artist wants.
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#2001905 - 12/19/12 10:00 PM Re: precise soft pedal adjust for grands [Re: Gene Nelson]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2649
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
If the hammers are made with dense felt and/or are hardened a lot with stiffening solution-clearing the third string will often bring a twangy sound. If the hammers are light and soft like older Steinways (and others), clearing the third string brings full use of the un-struck string as a passive coupler, 180 degrees out of phase with the struck strings. This phase difference reduces the impact sound but gives a similar sustain envelope as three strings that are excited in phase. Clearing one string gives both a half shift-which is a spacing position between the rest position string marks and moving over one full string-and full shift which enables the passive coupling effect. Because of the fanning of strings and strike position, the width of the unison at the hammers usually reduces as you move up the treble. This means that moving exactly one string groove over is almost impossible across all compass of tri-chord unisons.
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#2002066 - 12/20/12 09:29 AM Re: precise soft pedal adjust for grands [Re: johnlewisgrant]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Moving for 2. strings you can be lazy with hammer spacing, and as the pedal shift is exactly the distance between 2 strings.
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#2002068 - 12/20/12 09:30 AM Re: precise soft pedal adjust for grands [Re: johnlewisgrant]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7904
Loc: France
Moving for 2. strings you can be lazy with hammer spacing, as the pedal shift is exactly the distance between 2 strings.
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


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