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#2002063 - 12/20/12 09:15 AM Piano Clatter Checklist
Withindale Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 2335
Loc: Suffolk, England
Such explicit and colorful layerings of sound as Mr. Pollini brought to bear in the Sonata No. 2 in B-flat, Op. 35 (1837-39) would not have been possible on most concert grands. The very fast tempi in some places, such as the concluding fourth movement, Finale: Presto, were entirely devoid of piano clatter ...

I am trying to bring a 1905 grand up to scratch. It was reconditioned about 4 years ago.

The techniques described in the current thread about accurate let-off have done wonders for its touch, but there is still quite a lot of clatter. Much of the noise occurs as the keys come back to their rest position after release.

Some keys are worse than others. The keys need re-bushing, and the front pins putting back straight, but I suspect that will not be the whole answer.

Previous threads suggested these causes of clatter:
- knuckle hardness
- jack adjustment cushions
- balancier button cushions
- shank noise on rest rail due to loose pinning
- compression in the felt footing of the wippen heel
- hard backrail felt

Worn balance rail punching?

Is there anything to add to this list, and what might Signor Fabbrini be doing to reduce piano clatter to an absolute minimum?

Edited by Withindale (12/21/12 06:05 AM)
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2002918 - 12/22/12 01:27 AM Re: Piano Clatter Checklist [Re: Withindale]
rXd Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 2274
All of the above

Often overlooked is The hole on the bottom of the key at the balance pin often needs adjusting. They wear, sometimes producing a backwards and forwards extra motion in the keys.

This hole can be sized with thin glue until it is a tight enough fit then adjusted if necessry so that it returns slowly under the weight of itself and the action when lifted at the front just enough to lift the middle of the key a few mm off the punching. Adjustment Is made mainly at the sides of the hole, being careful not to re- introduce any backwards and forwards motIon when the keys are pulled or pushed.

I find this backwards and forwards wear more on American pianos, sometimes severe enough to require reducing the size of the hole with a saw cut and a small sliver of veneer.

I rarely find it on heavily used pianos here. I wonder if it's in the teaching. There is a recognised principle of pushing into the keys towards the fallboard or pulling away from it as the are pressed in playing in American schools. The key material is not much different here or there so it may be this playing habit being overly exaggerated that causes the excessive wear???

If it is a grand, dampers can be noisy, especially loose weights.

Edited by rxd (12/22/12 01:36 AM)
Amanda Reckonwith
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.


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